Automatic Transmission Problems to Watch Out For

April 17th, 2015

Do you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission? Most people do, but few people know how to recognize the signs of a transmission problem. That’s why in this week’s blog, we’re going to talk about some of the most common signs of a problem with an automatic transmission.

transmission-problem

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Engine Diagnostics in Baltimore from Auto Stop

April 10th, 2015

Check engine light on? That means your car is trying to tell you something. Bring in your car for an engine diagnostic test at Auto Stop when the check engine light goes on, the sooner the better! Learn how we diagnose what’s wrong in our blog.

engine-diagnostic

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4 Tips for Finding an Auto Repair Shop in Baltimore

April 3rd, 2015

There are tons of auto repair shops in the city. How do you find one where you can trust that the mechanics will do a quality job at a fair price? This week, we’ll talk about some of the best tips for finding an auto repair shop in Baltimore.

auto-repair-shop-baltimore

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How Does a Turbocharger Work?

March 27th, 2015

Turbochargers are a popular aftermarket addition, designed for car owners who are looking to add power to their engine without adding weight. Learn how turbochargers work in this week’s blog.

turbocharger

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Oil Change and Other Spring Car Care Tips

March 20th, 2015

Spring is finally here! It’s time to do some spring cleaning. When it comes to your car, there are plenty of things you can do to give it the care it deserves after a long Baltimore winter. Learn about some spring care car tips in our blog.

oil-change

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Test Your Car’s Air Conditioning and Get it Fixed This Spring

March 13th, 2015

Spring is only one week away! Warmer temperatures are on their way, and soon enough you’ll be reaching for the knob to crank up the A/C in your car. The last thing you want is to be in for a nasty surprise when you turn the knob and nothing happens. That’s why it’s important to test your car’s air conditioning now to make sure it’s still working. In this week’s blog, we’ll talk about some problems you might encounter, and how to get your car’s air conditioning fixed in Baltimore.

 

car-air-conditioning

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Clutch Problems? Here’s an Easy Clutch Diagnostic Test

March 6th, 2015

If you think you might have a problem with your clutch, here’s a simple test that can help you either confirm or deny your suspicions.

clutch-problem

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What’s Going on With Gas Prices?

February 27th, 2015

After a long, long slide, gas prices have finally bottomed out and are on their way back up. Nationally, AAA reported that the average price for a gallon of gas reached $2.03, the lowest prices have been in 5 years. So why are gas prices going back up? And how long will they continue to go up? Learn what’s going on with gas prices in this week’s blog.

Gas Prices

Gas prices went down last year because the supply of oil jumped. This was in large part due to an increase in production from U.S. oil fields, and the news from OPEC that they would not decrease production as a response. But when 2015 arrived, gas prices started to go back up. There are a number of reasons for this.

First, this is the time of year when oil refineries schedule routine maintenance, because they’re usually less busy. Routine maintenance means production has to be limited or even stopped altogether. So there’s one thing slowing down production, which causes prices to increase.

The weather is another reason prices are going up. The very cold weather and snow that East Coast has seen in February have made operations more difficult for “about two-thirds of the region’s refining capacity, hampering production. Among other setbacks, a partial freeze of the Delaware River snarled deliveries and interrupted the cooling systems refineries in Philadelphia, according to Reuters.”

A third factor is the largest strike in the refinery industry in 35 years, which is happening right now. “Some 6,500 members of the United Steelworkers union at 12 refineries covering about a fifth of U.S. capacity” are on strike as a result of contract negotiations.

Up and Down

So what’s in the future for gas prices? Analysts expect the price of crude oil to remain steady, and supply is expected to continue to be high. Gas prices always rise in the spring as refineries begin to produce more expensive federally mandated summer gasoline blends, so we will see a steady increase over the next few months. But, analysts expect price increases to level off by the summer. But of course, we won’t know for sure until it actually happens!

winter gas

Auto Stop is your local auto repair shop, serving the Baltimore metro area. We are A+ accredited by the Better Business Bureau and our Angie’s List rating is an A. We are also an ARI Fleet repair center for all Fleet Repairs.

Our mechanics are highly trained and use state-of-the-art Automotive diagnostic equipment to pinpoint your particular issues, repair it, and get you back on the road as quickly as possible. We promise to diagnose your auto repair problems in an honest and professional manner and all of our work is 100% guaranteed!

What is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System?

February 20th, 2015

Was your car built after 2007? If so, it most likely has a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) built in. You may be more familiar with the TPMS as that orange horseshoe light (which is actually supposed to look like a flattened tread and the sidewall of a tire) that goes on on your dashboard once in awhile when your tire pressure is low.

The tire pressure monitoring system is an electronic system that keeps an eye on the pressure in all of your tires. Before the TPMS existed, you had to check your tire pressure manually, which required using this device seen below.

tire pressure

While a lot of people check their tire pressure regularly, there are also many who don’t. Tires with low air pressure wear more quickly, but more importantly, they present a safety hazard for you and other drivers. Not only can low tire pressure reduce the handling abilities of your car, but dangerously low pressure can result in a blowout and an almost certain accident.

This is actually the reason the TPMS exists. You may remember the incident with Firestone tires in the late ’90s when it was discovered that Firestone tires that had lost their tread as a result of low pressure would consistently blow out. This caused many traffic accidents, and unfortunately, fatalities. This led the government to mandate the inclusion of tire pressure monitoring systems on all vehicles manufactured in the United States.

Indirect vs. Direct TPMS

There are two kinds of TPMS: indirect and direct.

Indirect TMPS don’t actually measure your tire pressure. They measure how fast your wheels are revolving. The idea is that if your wheels are revolving faster than they should be for the speed you’re going, the pressure is probably low.

Direct TMPS on the other hand monitor your tire pressure directly, hence the name. With both systems, if the computer detects that the pressure is low, it will send a signal to turn on that light in your dashboard, which alerts you that you need to put air in your tires.

So, if you see that orange light go on, don’t take any chances. Pull over at the nearest gas station and put air in your tires! While you’re doing this, it’s also a good idea to give them a once over and make sure they still have enough tread and aren’t otherwise damaged.

Auto Stop is your local auto repair shop, serving the Baltimore metro area. We are A+ accredited by the Better Business Bureau and our Angie’s List rating is an A. We are also an ARI Fleet repair center for all Fleet Repairs.

Our mechanics are highly trained and use state-of-the-art Automotive diagnostic equipment to pinpoint your particular issues, repair it, and get you back on the road as quickly as possible. We promise to diagnose your auto repair problems in an honest and professional manner and all of our work is 100% guaranteed!

CV Joints 101: Everything You Need to Know

February 13th, 2015

CV joints, (short for constant velocity joints) are found on all front-wheel drive vehicles any many rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles as well. The CV joint performs an important function in your vehicle: it transfers the torque from your transmission to the driving wheels at a constant speed (hence the name). It’s rare for the CV joint to develop a problem, but it can happen, and when it does it’s important to repair the joint as soon as possible. Learn everything you need to know about constant velocity joints in this week’s blog.

CV Joints

 

The Function of the Joint

There are two sets of CV joints. Two are located on the ends of the drive shafts that connect to the transmission. These are called the inner joints. The other two connect the drive shaft to the wheels. These are the outer joints. In both cases, there is a boot that covers the joint to protect it and keep it lubricated.

The CV joint performs two functions:

  1. Transferring the torque from the transmission to the drive shaft in order to turn the wheels.
  2. Accommodating for the movement of the suspension.

Potential Problems

CV joints are actually well-known for their durability. Many cars with 200,000+ miles on them still have the original CV joints. The main problem with the joint is if the protective joint boot cracks. This allows the lubricant in the joint to leak out, which will result in the joint wearing out and eventually failing. The outer joint boots are more likely to crack than the inner ones.

Signs of a Damaged Joint

Look for a crack in the inner and outer joint boots. There might also be grease leaking out and located on the inside of the wheel rim and inside the drive wheel.

A worn-out outer CV joint will make a clicking or popping sound when you turn the wheel. This sound will get worse when you accelerate through the turn.

A worn-out inner CV joint will cause the car to shudder or shake from side to side when you accelerate. You might also here a clunking sound when shifting from drive to reverse.

Caring for Your Vehicle’s CV Joints

Every time you bring your vehicle in for maintenance, the mechanic will inspect the CV joints to make sure the boot is intact. This is the best way to ensure your CV joints are still in good working order. If you think your vehicle may have a bad CV joint, bring it in to your local auto repair shop in Baltimore, Auto Stop!

cv-joint

Auto Stop is your local auto repair shop, serving the Baltimore metro area. We are A+ accredited by the Better Business Bureau and our Angie’s List rating is an A. We are also an ARI Fleet repair center for all Fleet Repairs.

Our mechanics are highly trained and use state-of-the-art Automotive diagnostic equipment to pinpoint your particular issues, repair it, and get you back on the road as quickly as possible. We promise to diagnose your auto repair problems in an honest and professional manner and all of our work is 100% guaranteed!