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Top 8 Ways to Get Great Auto Repair & Service

Top 8 Ways to Get Great Auto Repair & Service

Get the Most out of Your Next Shop Visit I came to the automotive industry after more than a decade with a communications company. What I have come to realize in my experience in this industry is that most problems between auto repair shops and their clients are a result of faulty communication. It can be hard to understand the mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering aspects of cars. It's like going to your dentist or your doctor. You do not know what is wrong but you know you need it fixed. Here are 8 quick tips that can help you get the most out of your next auto repair shop. Communicate the Symptoms When you take your car to a shop for a repair, be sure to give the Service Advisor an accurate description of the symptoms your vehicle has. You know your vehicle better than anyone else. Carefully describe what you are feeling, seeing, smelling, hearing, etc. Jot down what you ... read more

Top 10 Road Trip Survival Tips for Moms and Dads

Top 10 Road Trip Survival Tips for Moms and Dads

Taking a Road Trip with the Littles? The Dogwoods Trees are blooming all around us which means Road Trip Season is upon us! If you’re like us and traveling with child(ren), you will appreciate this list of kid friendly road trip survival ideas. Top Ten Road Trip Survival Tips: Create a 3 ring binder for each child and print off the ‘I Spy Car Check List’ below. Place it in the binder. Pick up some Window Markers so your kiddos can draw on the windows (put them in a pouch that can be added to the 3 ring binder.) Print off some lines and dots games – or tic-tac-toe at this link. Place them in binder. Download Audible so you can enjoy some e-books while driving. Wrap a couple small toys from the Dollar store – kids love unwrapping presents on a trip and it keeps them occupied and happy! Take s ... read more

What to look for in a Quality Auto Repair Shop

What to look for in a Quality Auto Repair Shop

Searching for an auto repair shop can be hard work. It's no secret that the auto repair industry has an unfriendly reputation. As you search for a shop to provide your car with the care that it needs you should seek out certain qualities. If you can identify a shop that holds these characteristics, you will be well on your way to finding a shop you can trust with all your service and repair needs. Once you find that shop, we recommend sticking with them for absolutely everything you need. ASE Certified Technicians There is a way to determine if a shop values continuing education and employs educated technicians. You can look for shops that hire ASE certified technicians. Their website will have the ASE logo prominently placed on their website (usually in the footer of the first page). In order to gain this badge of honor in the industry, a technician must have at least two years of professional s ... read more

Engine Symptoms that Indicate it's time for Service

Engine Symptoms that Indicate it's time for Service

Your car's motor is responsible for generating the power that carries you from A to B. With routine maintenance it is likely that your car's motor will last multiple hundreds of thousands of miles with little extra service. However, this isn't always the case. Even well cared for engines may end up needing the occasional repair. If you notice any of the following signs of engine failure be sure to visit a local auto shop for further testing and repairs. Decreased Performance A common sign of engine malfunction is a change in performance. This might feel like a rough idle or the car may stall out. Sometimes performance decreases with fuel economy or how long it takes to get the car up to speed. These symptoms usually indicate a simple maintenance service is necessary. However, if you leave these symptoms too long, you can do irreparable damage to your engine. If you ever notice your car is having performance issues, get it to a trusted shop as soon as you can. Fall in MP ... read more

Suspension Symptoms Your Car is Giving You

Suspension Symptoms Your Car is Giving You

Your vehicle's suspension is critical to the safety of you and your family. If your shocks and struts are in poor condition, it can take 20% more time to brake. You have a better ability to navigate sharp corners when your shocks and struts are in good shape. Here's a look at five signs of a suspension problem. Bumpy Ride If you feel like you are rolling over bumps when on a smooth roadway, get in for an inspection. This is a prime symptom of failed shocks / struts. Drifting Another symptom is a feeling of drifting or swaying when you are driving around corners. This can be a steering or suspension problem and it is a safety matter. Unable to Pass the Bounce Test A third symptom is failing the bounce test. Basically, we safely park the car and then we push down on safe spots of the front and back of the car. If the car rocks more than a few times, it has failed the bounce ... read more

Car Won't Start Today? We Can Help!

Car Won't Start Today? We Can Help!

One of the worst feelings you can get regarding your car is getting in, turning the key and having nothing happen under the hood. The starting system of your vehicle is composed of several parts that work together in order to get the engine cranking. If one or more of these parts is unable to complete its duty your vehicle will not go. When you suffer from a no start situation be sure to speak with the local mechanic who can quickly identify and fix the issue. Dead battery Perhaps the most common cause of a vehicle that won't start is a dead battery. The battery can die for several reasons, including something as simple as leaving the lights on. If your vehicle has a dead battery you can likely jump start it, but if it dies consistently it may be time for a battery replacement. Some cars have a battery light on the dash to let you know it is getting low. Cold snaps can kill a battery that is starting to die leaving you with a car won't start situation. Bad starter motor ... read more

Keeping up with your Oil Change

Keeping up with your Oil Change

The most common and most important maintenance item for your car is definitely the oil change. For most cars and trucks the oil and filter replacement is necessary every 4,000 to 7,500 miles. This can vary based on your particular make and model. It can also vary based on how you drive your vehicle and the climate around your car. To get an idea on time for your car, check your owner's manual for the service table. Do not put off oil changes, as they perform several important functions for your vehicle, including the following. Proper engine lubrication The engine needs fresh oil to ensure that all of its moving parts are properly lubricated. As oil ages it loses its lubricating abilities, mostly because it becomes contaminated with day to day operating conditions and debris that makes its way in the engine. Air enters the engine and condenses. It is then mixed with the combustion gasses in the combustion chamber. This mixing causes acid. Acid deteriorates the quality of th ... read more

Do I need a Radiator Replacement?

Do I need a Radiator Replacement?

No matter what you drive, car, truck, or SUV, it uses a cooling system to regulate the operating temperature of the engine. This ensures that it doesn't, quite literally, melt itself. One of the main components of the cooling system is the radiator. This part reduces the heat of a specialized fluid called coolant that is pumped through the engine to keep it cool. If you run into any of the following issues it could mean it's time for a cooling system or radiator repair. Rising temperature gauge The first, and most basic way to see if a car is in need of a cooling system inspection is if your temperature gauge rises. Most vehicles have a dashboard temperature gauge that lets the driver know the current operating temp of the engine. If it is ever pointing to the hot zone it could indicate failure of some cooling system components, including the radiator. Shut the vehicle off asap to avoid additional o ... read more

Factory Maintenance - What Does That Mean?

Factory Maintenance - What Does That Mean?

Everyone needs a way to get to work, school, run errands, and meet up with friends and family. Our cars are an important part of achieving these tasks. Cars are expensive to buy and if not maintained, can become very expensive to repair. We highly recommend completing factory maintenance, as outlined in your owner's manual, to help you reduce the amount of downtime you will experience. These services are required to help keep performance and fuel economy at their peak. Our mission at Car Clinic is to help educate you so you can get the most out of your automotive investment. We firmly believe the following maintenance items are critical for every vehicle. Oil Service The first and most important thing you can do for your car's longevity is to consistently change the engine oil. We believe this should be done every 4,000 to 7,500 miles depending on the additives in the specific oils you select. Stick with approved oils (not just any old oil!) Properly timed oil changes ensur ... read more

Starter Motor Failure Symptoms & Solutions

Starter Motor Failure Symptoms & Solutions

Starter Motor Failure & Symptoms Getting your car started seems as simple as turning the key, but it's a far more complicated process. There are multiple parts involved that are activated when you turn the key. Every part works in harmony to get the motor running. One of the most critical pieces of this puzzle is the starter. While the starter may not be the sole cause of a no-start problem, there are telling symptoms. Those symptoms are noise related and we detail them below. Whirring Noise The first noise is a whirring sound. The pinion gear (internal to the starter) is engineered to engage the flywheel. The flywheel then engages the engine. If the pinion gear does not actually connect with the flywheel, but it does continue to spin, you will hear a "whir" or "swish." When you hear the starter motor spinning on it's own, this can indicate solenoid failure. Grinding Sound Another sound you might hear is a grinding noise as you attempt to start your car. This ... read more