Archive | Automotive Maintenance

Battery Health

Is you car a bit harder to start in this colder weather?  If so, it could be that your battery is getting weak.  If you have had the same battery for 4 or more years, it’s a good idea to have it tested to see how strong it still is.  Give us a call for an appointment and we will be happy to check all of your charging system out.  Sometimes it’s not the battery, if it is strong, then it could be that your alternator is not doing it’s job, or a belt may be loose.  In any case, making sure that all components of your charging system are working well is important, you surely don’t want to get stranded in the cold weather.

 

battery Long's Car Care Center 98072

Cold Weather Tip

Our cold weather tip is to make sure that you fuel tank is alway half full.  The reason is twofold, with bad weather come bad traffic, and sometime that short drive can turn into a much longer one, so you want to make sure that you have enough fuel, so that you don’t run out.  Secondly this helps avoid moisture forming and your fuel lines possible freezing.

 

freezing fuel lines Long's Car Care Center 98072

Belt Squeal

Is your car making a squealing noise when you start it? That high pitched noise that drives you crazy, is probably your drive belt also known as your serpentine belt.  This belt drives all of the engines accessories such as the alternator, a/c compressor, and power steering pump  Over time  they start to fray and wear out. We can assess the condition of your belts to ensure they are in proper working order, preventing you from getting stranded because of a broken belt.
beltsqueal Long's car care center 98072

Classic Cars

Here at Long’s we LOVE Classic Cars.  Randy, the owner, specializes in helping the owners of classic’s keep them in good running condition.  He will also rebuild engines, so that they can run again.  We have a bay in the shop that is dedicated to this work.  We also help customers that want to sell their classic, by having it in our showroom.  This way the car stays dry and warm, and is easily viewed by prospective buyers.  We also work hand in hand with a body shop, just down the road, that has the same passion we do for classics.  So if a vehicle needs both body work, and mechanical work we can take care of it for you.  So if you have just bought a classic that needs some work, or if you are maintaining the health of one, we would love to be part of your project.April 2015 2nd edits-38

Buying a Used Vehicle

Are you thinking about buying a used vehicle?  If so, please be careful.  Yes there are some great used cars out there for great prices.  But buyer beware…sellers can be pretty tricky when they want to be.  I used to know a detailer that worked for used car lots…it was amazing the things he could cover up, rust spots, remove mold, and the smell…when he got done they looked like new.  So you can’t always tell a book by it’s cover.  We have seen cars that have been underwater…they only way we knew is buy find a bit of sand on the underside of the car on the frame…places you wouldn’t normally have access to.  Also, if a check engine light is on, some people will disconnect the battery so the light will go off.  Unfortunatly for the unknowing buyer, the vehicle needs to be driven a bit for the light to come back on.  So for example, let’s say the seller knows that the catalytic converter needs to be replace..cost on this vehicle $2500.00, he doesn’t want to spend the money, he turns off the check engine light, you buy the car drive it for a couple of days, the light comes back on..and look who is stuck with the repair.  We always recommend a pre-buyers inspection to anyone that is buying a pre-owned vehicle no matter who you are buying it from.  We have the ability to tell if the light has been turned off, we inspect every bit of the vehicle so that you know exactly where you stand.  Sometimes this ends up with you not buying the vehicle, sometimes it means giving you the information that you need to get a better price on the vehicle.  Sometimes the cars get a clean bill of health.  In any circumstance it give you the ability to make the decision that is right for you.  As we always say “Knowledge is Power”.

 

buyingausedvehicle Long's Car Care Center 98072

Does your vehicle need an Alignment?

When driving does your vehicle pull to one side or the other? This makes driving uncomfortable at the very least.  Do your tires have uneven wear patterns?  Sometimes that is hard to see, we can put your car up in the air and check this for you.  If either of these are true, you probably are in need of an alignment.  Give us a call to set an appointment and we will get your vehicle straightened out in no time!!

 

alignment Long's Car Care Center 98072

Air Filter

When was the last time your air filter was changed?  It seems like such a simple thing…it is amazing how many people ignore it though.  Having a clean filter really does help the runnability of your vehicle.  A very dirty filter can starve the engine of air, causing lack of power, and it can also affect your fuel economy.  Stop by, and we will be happy to inspect it for you and if need be we would be happy to replace it.

 

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Maintenance

It’s the new year…time to start fresh.  This is a great time to check the maintenance records on all of your vehicles to make sure everything is up to date and to plan ahead for any needed items.  Some maintenance items can be expensive, such as timing belts.  If you find you are going to be due for one in the next couple of months, give us a call and we will let you know what the fee is, so that you can plan and be prepared.  Happy Friday everyone and enjoy your weekend!!

checklist Long's car care center 98072

Horse Trailers

Most of us are pretty good at doing regular maintenance on our vehicles but when it comes to the horse trailers, or other trailers we use, the story gets to be little different.

Just because there isn’t an engine to change the oil in doesn’t mean it doesn’t need regular attention.  Trailer brakes are not self-adjusting so to keep them effective they need to be adjusted and tested at least yearly.  Wheel bearings are usually lubed at that time  Because they sit so much the lights often get corroded from moisture, if allowed to go for too long the socket holding the bulb will fall apart making for a much more expensive repair.  Horse trailer floors get severe use, not just from the weight of the horses, but also from the “foreign objects” deposited by the horses.  Inspection of the floors is critical.  An overall inspection of doors, hinges and latches help to keep things where you put them.  We know how much you love your horses so let’s keep them riding in comfort and safety.

horse trailers Long's Car Care Center 98072

 

 

Night time driving

With winter, comes more time driving in the dark, or near dark.  Now is the time to check out your headlights to make sure you are being seen, and can see as good as possible.  If your headlights are foggy, the light coming from them is going to be dimmer than is recommended.  You won’t see nearly as well as you should, and you won’t be seen as well either.  We can solve this for you by simply buffing out your lenses.  Also…check their alignment pull up in front of your garage at night and turn you headlights on…do they shine straight ahead, or does one and not the other…again something that is quite simply for us to fix, buy doing an adjustment to the alignment of the headlights.  Do they both work???  You want to make sure that both headlights have bulbs that are actually working.  This is a safety issue, as well as an issue that can result in a pesky traffic citation, this is also something that most of the time is a simple fix…some cars are a little more time consuming..but we can let you know how long it will take when we see you!!  Enjoy the winter…and be safe!!

 

headlights Long's car care center 98072