Tariffville Auto Sales & Repairs

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Springtime Auto Maintenance to Ensure Optimal Engine Performance

Auto maintenance is important year-round to keep your car’s components working harmoniously with one another. However, it’s important to keep in mind that after a long, cold winter, your engine might need some extra attention to ensure that it is operating as efficiently as possible. With help from our experienced auto mechanics, you can replenish fluids, check engine parts, and make sure that you are set to hit the road come springtime. 

Auto Maintenance to Undertake This Season

Diagnostic Services

Before you can begin planning your warm weather road trips, you’ll need to have your car inspected by a trusted mechanic. Our team of professionals will perform comprehensive diagnostic engine testing to ensure that all of your engine’s parts are still intact from the freezing temperatures and excess moisture from the winter months. They’ll monitor the engine itself, its fluid levels, and how the internal mechanical components are operating. 

If you’ve noticed blatant problems with the engine, like stalling, knocking sounds, strange odors, or a sudden fuel inefficiency, communicate them clearly to our mechanics. Even drivers who assume that their engine is fine should enlist diagnostic services at the start of spring to troubleshoot any hidden and potentially harmful malfunctions. 

Tune-Ups

Once we’ve delivered a full diagnosis of your car’s current state, we can recommend the best course of action for you to stay safe and optimize engine efficiency. If there are any glaring issues with parts, we will suggest and install a replacement or patch up the existing components. If there are no mechanical issues, you should get an oil change to keep the moving parts lubricated during long springtime drives. We may also replace the spark plugs and add a new filter to ensure that you are driving safely and making maximum use of your powerful engine. 

By undertaking these steps, you can ensure that your ride stays reliable through spring and the rest of the year. If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, contact us and put your fears at rest. 

4 Auto Maintenance Mistakes

Since you use your vehicle almost everyday, regular auto maintenance provides it with the care it needs to get you from point A to point B with ease. The next time your check engine light turns on, or you notice your brakes making a strange noise, your car needs professional assistance. Below are four major auto maintenance mistakes every driver should avoid making.

Don’t Make These 4 Auto Maintenance Mistakes

1. Avoiding Regular Oil Changes

Read your owner’s manual to determine how often your oil should be changed. If you skip an oil change, your engine components will be susceptible to friction since they’re no longer lubricated and your engine will stop working efficiently. Old oil will also cause sludge deposits to form, which can result in costly engine repairs.

2. Forgetting to Monitor Tire Pressure

Temperatures, terrain, and other elements impact your tire pressure over time. If the pressure becomes too low or too high, you decrease your fuel efficiency and increase your chances of getting a flat tire. If your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system, the warning light won’t turn on until your tires are under-inflated. Check your tire pressure at least once a month by purchasing a tire gauge. 

3. Disregarding Your Check Engine Light

Your check engine light could turn on due to a wide range of engine problems. Some need to be handled immediately, while others aren’t as pressing. To prevent yourself from having to deal with expensive engine repairs, have your car checked as soon as possible. 

4. Neglecting the Brakes

Your brakes are one of the most important components that keep you and other drivers safe on the road. If you hear squeaking, squealing, or grinding when you slow your car, take it in for inspection. Also, have the brakes checked during routine auto maintenance to ensure the brake pads and rotors are not worn down.

Do you need to catch up on auto maintenance?  Don’t put these important tasks off, or you could compromise your car handling and safety. Put in the time for proper upkeep, and you’ll keep your vehicle road-worthy for years to come. 

Auto Maintenance for First-Time Car Owners 

A car — whether new or used — is an exciting investment. But don’t get too distracted by your ride; remember that auto maintenance is needed to protect your purchase and avoid costly repairs. If you’re a first-time car owner, consider this car maintenance guide, courtesy of our experienced mechanics.    

Auto Maintenance for Beginners

1.     Read the Owner’s Manual

Although maintenance for cars and trucks is largely universal, each vehicle also has idiosyncrasies. That’s why you should always read the owner’s manual. This guide contains valuable information about how often your vehicle needs serviced, how specific features work, and more. If you’re purchasing a used car, remember to ask the seller whether they still have the manual. If not, you may need to scour the Internet.   

2.    Perform Basic Inspections

As a first-time car owner, you should familiarize yourself with your new ride. That way you can address any problems or contact a mechanic before they necessitate costly repairs. Start by checking your tire pressure every month. Doing so will improve your mileage. Also check that your lights are working and replace your windshield wipers, if necessary. Listen for any strange noises that may need further attention.   

Remember these checks should not replace professional inspections. You should still take your vehicle to an auto repair shop every 12 months or 12,000 miles — whichever comes first. Mechanics are trained to identify potential issues that you may overlook.   

3.     Schedule Regular Oil Changes

You may have heard the old rule of thumb: change your oil every 3,000 miles. But according to our auto maintenance experts, you can wait anywhere from 5,000 to 7,500 miles under normal conditions. Ask a mechanic which service schedule is best for you and then schedule a visit to an auto repair center accordingly.

4.     Protect the Exterior

Auto maintenance isn’t just about what’s under the hood; it’s also about the exterior. Regularly washing and waxing your vehicle will not only keep your car or truck looking its best but will also protect it from corrosive substances.  

5.     Use an Auto Maintenance App

To keep track of your auto maintenance schedule, try downloading an auto maintenance app like Road Trip or AutoCare. These apps are designed to both remind you when your vehicle needs serviced and keep track of fuel economy and other metrics, making them a valuable tool for first-time owners.

Congratulations on purchasing your first car! If you have trouble with any of the above tasks or think your vehicle needs more extensive auto repairs, call (860) 325-5977 or visit our Main Street location today.  

Bumpy Ride? 5 Culprits Auto Repair Experts Say to Consider 

No matter if you drive a sleek sports car or a classic truck, your drive should be smooth and comfortable. According to our expert mechanics, excessive rumbling, bouncing, or swaying could signify a mechanical issue — and a need for auto repair.

5 Reasons Why Your Car Isn’t Running Smoothly

1.     Tires

Here’s a bit of auto troubleshooting you can do on your own. If your car isn’t driving properly, check your tires. You could have low air pressure or debris stuck in one of the wheels. Both issues are simple fixes. However, if addressing them doesn’t stop the roughness, you should visit a professional auto repair shop.   

2.     Transmission

 “Transmission problems” are two words that no car owner wants to hear. Repairs to this machine can be both extensive and costly. So, if you’re experiencing bumpiness, it’s essential you call an auto mechanic as soon as possible.  

Over time, your transmission’s gear teeth can be stripped, chipped, and ground away. This deterioration can cause your vehicle to slip out of gear. Depleted or dirty transmission fluid can also make for a bumpy ride.  

3.     Suspension

Your suspension not only connects your tires to your vehicle but also acts as a shock absorber. So if you start experiencing excessive bouncing or harsh impacts whenever you drive over bumps, this structure might be to blame. 

4.     Brakes

When driving, do you feel excessive vibrations or hear a squealing sound every time you decelerate? Both occurrences point to brake issues. Thankfully, brake repair is generally quick and inexpensive; you often only need to replace the brake pads. But don’t let that fact deter you from visiting an auto repair center right away.     

5.     Axle

If you’re experiencing bumpiness after a car accident, you may have damaged your vehicle’s axle on impact. The axle spins to move your vehicle’s wheels, so any dents or bends in the structure can cause improper rotation.

Listen to your vehicle — if something seems out of the ordinary, don’t let it go unchecked. Postponing maintenance not only poses a safety risk but also yields more complex, costly repairs. Bring your car or truck to our auto repair shop for servicing right away! 

3 AUTO MAINTENANCE MYTHS, DEBUNKED

Most car owners already know that auto maintenance is an important part of vehicle care. Simple tasks, such as changing the oil when necessary and filling the tires with air, can increase your vehicle’s longevity, saving you money in the long run. However, there are quite a few maintenance myths that can put unnecessary strain on your wallet. The following guide explains the truth behind these misguided beliefs.

Debunking Myths About Auto Maintenance

1. 3,000-Mile Oil Changes

Many people believe that a vehicle’s oil should automatically be changed every 3,000 miles or three months—whichever comes first. While regular oil changes are vital, you should always check your driver’s manual first. There, you will find recommendations based on your car’s specifications. Keep in mind, however, that the 3,000-mile rule may still be best if you tow trailers frequently or drive in dusty areas.

2. Pressure Rating on Tire Sidewall

When filling up the tires with air, some people inflate them to the pressure shown on the tire’s sidewall. However, this number indicates the maximum pressure the tire can hold. The level that’s recommended for your vehicle will be on a sticker, usually in the driver’s side doorjamb or the glove compartment. This recommended pressure is given by the manufacturer and takes into consideration multiple factors, including gas mileage, handling, and braking.

3. Premium Fuel Is Better

Many people believe that premium fuel will be better for their car’s performance. This mistaken belief can drive up your gas bill and put a dent in your wallet. While higher-octane fuels are important for preventing pre-ignition problems in high-compression engines, it won’t affect the performance of standard vehicles. This means you would be spending extra money for no reason.

When your vehicle requires auto maintenance, bring it to Tariffville Auto Sales & Repairs. Based in Harford County, CT, our team of auto mechanics is dedicated to providing quality service at an affordable rate. Whether you need engine rebuilding or routine maintenance, we can handle it all. To schedule an appointment or request an estimate, call (860) 325-5977 today.