Friday, July 28, 2017
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Creative Ice Scrapers!

Have you ever found yourself in an icy situation without an ice scraper handy?

If you find your car covered in snow or ice and you don’t have an ice scraper readily available, try these tricks to clear your windshield and mirrors:

Plastic card- Often times, a thin layer of ice can easily be removed with a plastic card from your wallet or purse.  Hold onto a used gift card, and you’ll have an ice scrapper on you at all times.Don’t use valuable credit cards or IDs though since the ice may cause damage to the card. 

Spatula- If you have any extra spatulas in your kitchen, you already have have a backup ice scraper. A stiff plastic one should do the trick.

CDs-Do you still listen to that summer mix you made 15 years ago? If so, put the music on your computer and use the CD to clear your windshield! This method works best for a thick layer of ice.

 Get creative! – Desperate times call for desperate measures. From hard plastic cups to hangers, or pretty much anything with a thin plastic edge, it’s easy to find a makeshift ice scraper.

The moral of the story is to be prepared during the winter. Having the needed winter accessories for your vehicle will help keep you on schedule, avoid unnecessary auto repairs, and keep you and your family safely on the road when the frost and ice try to slow you down. A quick stop to our shop for a winter inspection will also help you avoid any untimely breakdowns that the harsh winter weather may cause.

 

The 5 basic terms your car mechanic wants you to know

Familiarize yourself with a few basic car mechanic terms. By doing so, you’ll be better informed and understand both the details and the big picture the next time you’re discussing your vehicle’s repair or maintenance with your local mechanic.

 1. Oil filter

Your oil filter is vital to the health of your car. This important part cleans your engine oil while the oil circulates through your car’s lubrication system. During an oil change, your mechanic will replace the oil filter.

 2. Distributor

Found within your car’s ignition system, the distributor oversees and evenly delivers the right amount of electrical voltage to the vehicle’s spark plugs (and in the right order, too). 

3. Brake fluid

One of your car’s most important fluids, brake fluid is usually clear in color and is used within a vehicle’s hydraulic brake system to squeeze the brakes around the rotors and slow or stop your car.

 4. Radiator

The radiator is able to keep the liquid cool in your car’s cooling system by allowing liquid to run through a series of channels that are exposed to a vehicle’s air ducts.

 5. Tune-up

A regular tune-up ensures that these parts are in good working condition.

 Over time, parts and fluids in your car or truck need to be replaced. It is important to talk to your mechanic at Walt’s Garage about scheduled and preventative maintenance for your vehicle!

 

It's Cold Outside - 5 Car Maintenance Tips

Proper vehicle maintenance keeps cars running right in every season, but it's especially important in cold weather. Winter weather brings unique challenges for car owners. Whether you enjoy backyard mechanic projects or want to hire a trusted mechanic to keep up your car, most of the time you can avoid ending up stranded in cold weather by following these five car maintenance tips. If you decide to hire a mechanic, make sure she takes care of these five things. If you decide to do it yourself, these tips should keep you on track.

1. Check the antifreeze: Use an antifreeze tester or refractometer to draw a few drops of antifreeze from the radiator or overflow. This will give information on the current freezing point of your car's antifreeze. Check the normal lowest temperature for your area, and add more antifreeze as needed to make sure your engine block does not freeze.

2. Check the tires: Grab a ruler and check the depth of the tread on your car's tires. If driving in snow, make sure the tires have a minimum of 6/32 of an inch of tread. If driving on wet roads, look for a minimum of 4/32 of an inch of tread. Make sure to check all four tires, because tires do not always wear evenly, and replace tires that do not meet the minimum tread depth for you area's weather. Also, check tire pressure and make sure tire inflation reflects the manufacturer's recommendations for your vehicle.

3. Maintain visibility: Check the wiper blades for signs of cracking and wear. Replace damaged blades with either winter blades or all-season wiper blades. Fill the windshield wiper fluid compartment with non-freezing windshield wiper fluid. Never use plain water in the windshield wiper fluid compartment for winter driving, because plain water can freeze on the windshield, reducing visibility.

4. Check the oil: Check the oil for signs of particulate matter in the oil. If the engine oil looks thick or unusually dark, start the season right with a fresh oil change, making sure to use the oil viscosity recommended by the manufacturer for cold weather vehicle operation. Information about recommended oil viscosity for cold weather operation is available in the owner's manual or through an online search.

5. Replace or keep up the battery: Check the date stamp on your car's battery, and consider replacing it if the battery is more than three years old. While looking at the battery, clean the metal connectors to make sure the cables make good contact with the battery terminals. Finally, if the battery has any low cells, meaning the fluid in the compartments inside the battery appears lower in some cells than others, have the low cells refilled by a reputable mechanic.

Keep your car running right year-round to avoid getting stuck on the side of the road. While not a substitution for basic vehicle maintenance and regular repairs, taking care of these five car maintenance tips helps to keep cars running in the worst types of cold weather.  If you have questions, call us and we are happy to help!

   

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