How to Winterize Your Car in Baltimore: Part II

November 20th, 2014

Last week we talked about some tips for winterizing your car in Baltimore, and this week we’re going to follow up with even more tips. With winter storms dumping feet of snow on our neighbors up north, it won’t be long before we’re getting the same weather here. Follow these tips for winterizing your car in Baltimore to get your car ready!

Car Winterizing Tips

 

Check Your Tire Pressure

Tires lose pressure more easily during cold weather, which makes it even more important to make sure your tires are at the right pressure level on a regular basis. Low tire pressure makes you tires wear out faster, and can be especially dangerous driving on icy roads. Make sure to check your tread levels too. If your tread is getting low, new tires might be a good investment for the winter.

Check Your Battery

Your engine works harder in the winter, which forces the battery to work harder. If your battery is on its last legs, it might not make it through the winter. Batteries generally have a lifespan of 3-5 years, so if yours is in this range a new one may be a smart investment.

Check your battery by looking for corrosion, which forms around the claims and looks like a white powdery substance. Clean it off with water, baking soda and a toothbrush. Check the fluid levels too. If they’re low, fill them with distilled water, but not past the bottom of the cap.

Check Your Fluid Levels

Make sure you’ve got the right levels of oil and coolant in your vehicle. You should also avoid running the gas tank to very low levels in the winter. This is because when the tank is empty and the weather is cold, condensation can form on the walls of the gas tank, getting into the fuel line and freezing it up, which is an expensive fix.

winterize car

If you have any questions about our blog, “How to Winterize Your Car in Baltimore” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

How to Winterize Your Car in Baltimore

November 14th, 2014

The winter might not be here yet in Baltimore, but with the temperatures dipping down into the 30s, it sure feels like it. Plus, with our first snowfall of the season last night, it’s only a matter of time until winter arrives. With this in mind, it’s important to winterize your car in Baltimore to get it ready before the real cold gets here. Here are a few tips to winterize your car, and keep an eye on our blog for part two next week!

Winterize Your Car in Baltimore

Put together an emergency kit.

Having an emergency kit is important no matter what the season, but especially in the winter when slippery roads put you at greater risk for an accident. You should have:

  • Extra clothing (coat, gloves, boots, blanket)
  • Extra vehicle fluids (bottle of oil, coolant, washer fluid)
  • Tire repair kit
  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • An ice scraper
  • A first aid kit

Check your windshield wipers and fluid.

Visibility is very important in the winter, when frozen precipitation can quickly limit your visibility and make driving dangerous. Check your windshield wipers, and replace them if they look cracked or otherwise deteriorating. Wipers can break at any time, and you’ll be stuck waiting out the storm if you can’t see. Refill your wiper fluid too.

Check your heating and defroster.

On the other side of the windshield, your defroster keeps the inside of the glass from fogging up, as it’s prone to do in the winter when water vapor gets in to your car and condenses on the glass. Make sure the defroster is working properly. If it is but there’s still fog, there might be an air leak somewhere else in the car, such as around a door. Make sure your heat works too.

 

Stay with us, we’ll be back next week with more tips for winterize your car in Baltimore!

winterize car Baltimore

If you have any questions about our blog, “How to Winterize Your Car in Baltimore” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

What’s the Difference Between Summer and Winter Gas?

November 7th, 2014

Gas is gas is gas right? Actually, there is a difference between summer and winter gas. Learn what this difference is and how it affects gas prices in this week’s blog!

Summer vs. Winter Gas

Gasoline blends have to meet federal and state regulations, which is why there are about 20 different blends in the country for different states and different seasons. But what does the season have to do with the gas blend?

The reason is that when gasoline burns, it releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. In the summer when it’s hot, these VOCs evaporate into the atmosphere more easily. The summer is already a bad time for smog, due to the heat in the atmosphere, and adding in VOCs makes smog worse. So in the summer, gasoline refiners make different blends of gas that won’t add as many VOCs into the atmosphere.

They do this by adjusting blend to create a lower Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), which measures how easy it is for a gas to become a vapor. The higher the number, the easier it is. All gas blends must be below 14.7 PSI, which is the normal average atmospheric pressure. If it were higher than that, all gas would easily vaporize.

In the summer, depending on your location, the gas you buy has an RVP of between 9.0 PSI and 7.8 PSI. This is even lower in a few cities like New York and Los Angeles, where smog is a big problem. But this lower RVP comes at a price. Summer blend gasoline is more expensive to manufacture due to the extra steps needed to bring down the RVP. This is why you see prices rise at the pump during the summer. In the winter, when the regulations on RVP are relaxed, gasoline is cheaper to manufacture, and prices come down. Of course we’re seeing record low gas prices right now due to the falling price of a barrel of oil, but the switch to winter blend gas is having an effect too.

winter gas

If you have any questions about our blog, “What’s the Difference Between Summer and Winter Gas? ” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

Source

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/auto-blog/summer-blend-vs-winter-blend-gasoline-whats-the-difference-13747431

When Should I Replace My Car Battery in Baltimore?

October 31st, 2014

Is it time to replace your car’s battery in Baltimore? Learn what the signs of a dying battery are and when you’ll know it needs to be replaced in this week’s blog!

Signs You Need to Replace Your Car Battery in Baltimore

 

It’s more than 3 or 4 years old.

Batteries have a lifespan of about 3-4 years, after which they’ll start to give you problems. If the battery has been giving you problems on a regular basis, ask yourself how long ago it was installed. If it’s more than 3-4 years, it’s probably time to replace your car battery in Baltimore .

Your driving habits are wearing it down.

Certain driving habits will wear down a battery faster than others. If most of your trips are less than 15 minutes, your battery won’t have enough time to charge to its full capacity. Also, if it goes for a long time without being used, it will lose its charge, which isn’t good for the battery.

It smells bad.

Every once in awhile you should remove the protective case from the battery to do an inspection. If you’re greeted with a smell like rotten eggs, this is definitely a sign you need your car battery replace in Baltimore.

There’s corrosion or stains on the battery.

Another thing to look for during your inspection of the battery is corrosion or stains, especially on the terminals. This is a sign of an aging battery. The corrosion can be cleaned off, but take the necessary precautions when doing so. Some of what you’re seeing is sulfuric acid, so wear gloves and safety glasses to clean it up, using baking soda and water.

replace car battery Baltimore

If you need to replace your car battery in Baltimore, bring it to Auto Stop!

If you have any questions about our blog, “When Should I Replace My Car Battery in Baltimore?” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

Replace Your Car’s Engine at Your Local Baltimore Auto Repair Shop

October 24th, 2014

Is your car’s engine on its last miles? You don’t need to buy a new or even a used car just because the engine has finally bit the dust. Replacing your car’s engine with a used or rebuilt engine is a great way to get your car running again while saving money at the same time. And, you can replace your car’s engine at your local Baltimore auto repair shop, Auto Stop!

Used and Rebuilt Engines in Baltimore

If you want to replace your car’s engine in Baltimore, it’s important to know what your options are.

First of all, you can get a brand new engine. The obvious advantage here is that the engine is new. However, new engines are also your most expensive option if your talking about replacing the engine.

Another more cost-conscious option is choosing a used or rebuilt engine. A used engine is an engine that has been removed from a vehicle but still runs and can be put into your car. This is the most affordable option for replacing your engine in Baltimore. A rebuilt engine is a used engine which has been upgraded with new parts, and tested for quality assurance. This is more expensive than a used engine, but it’s worth it when you consider what you’re getting. If you don’t want to shell out for a brand new engine but don’t want a used engine, a rebuilt engine makes for a good midpoint.

You might have also heard the term “remanufactured engine” in your search for engine replacement. A remanufactured engine is essentially a rebuilt engine which has been rebuilt by the manufacturer or someone certified to build it to manufacturer standards, using the manufacturers parts. This kind of engine will be slightly more expensive than a rebuilt engine, but the only difference is the way its rebuilt.

replace engine Baltimore

Want to learn more about used engines, rebuilt engines, and replacing your car’s engine in Baltimore? Contact Auto Stop today!

If you have any questions about our blog, “Replace Your Car’s Engine at Your Local Baltimore Auto Repair Shop” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

How to Tell if Your Car Has a Fluid Leak

October 17th, 2014

Think your car might be leaking something? Learn how to figure out what it is in this week’s blog.

How to Tell if Your Car Has a Fluid Leak

Check the Fluid Reservoirs

You can check the levels of all the fluids in your car at their respectively reservoir caps, which are located throughout the engine. You’re probably familiar with the oil reservoir. The dipstick most likely has a yellow handle, which should stand out. If it doesn’t, a good place to look is in your owners’ manual.

Check the dipstick by pulling it out of the reservoir. The oil should be between the two indicator marks which should be clearly marked. If it isn’t in between these lines, then you most likely have an oil leak.

You can use this same method for the other fluids in your car. Some may have dipsticks while others may have a marker on the side of the reservoir that indicates an acceptable level of fluid. Some, such as the windshield wiper fluid reservoir, will be transparent, allowing you to easily see from the outside whether or not there is fluid in them.

Look on the Ground

The other way to determine if you have a fluid leak is to look on the ground around your car. The color, smell, and location of the fluid on the ground relative to the car can give you several clues as to what fluid it might be. Read our blog to learn how to determine what fluid is leaking from your car, and what you should do about it.

car fluid leak

If you have any questions about our blog, “How to Tell if Your Car Has a Fluid Leak” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

Is it Time to Get My Brakes Changed?

October 9th, 2014

brakes

Do you remember the last time your brake pads were changed? It’s important to keep up with auto repairs for your car. After all, faulty brakes are a major safety hazard for yourself and your passengers. Because we can’t see them, the brakes of a car are sometimes taken for granted. But with unreliable brakes, your car is definitely not safe to drive. So how do you know if your break pads need to be changed? Check for these signs of a needed brake replacement for your vehicle:

  • Check the thickness of the brake pads. Over time, your break pads wear down, making it more difficult to brake and cause your car to take a longer time to stop than it used to. If you take a look at the brake pads and they are any less than ¼ of an inch thick, you should have them replaced.
  • The sound of your brakes. Your brakes have what’s called a wear indicator, which will squeak when the pads have been worn down and need replacement. A grinding sound is also not good to hear. If you hear a grinding sound while braking, that means the brake pad has completely worn down, and your car is now relying on metal scraping against metal to brake. This may result in a more costly fix.
  • The feel of your pedals. Both vibrations within your pedal and a loose pedal are signs of faulty brakes. If it seems like you have to push the brake all the way down to the floor before your car begins to brake, you should definitely have it checked. The brake pads might be worn, there might be a problem with the hydraulic system, or there could be a brake fluid leak.

If you have any concerns at all about your brakes, don’t hesitate to bring your car in to be looked at. Safety is key when it comes to operating a vehicle, and you always want your car to drive its best. If you have any questions about brake replacement, contact your Baltimore auto mechanics at Auto Stop Limited. You can reach us by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

Source:  http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/brakes/brake-tests/5-signs-you-need-your-brakes-checked.htm#page=0

Do You Need to Fix Your Car’s Heater in Baltimore?

October 3rd, 2014

Now that the weather is starting to get a little cooler in the morning, some of us are turning on the heat in our cars for the morning commute in Baltimore. But you might be finding that the heat, which worked perfectly fine last year, isn’t quite the same as it used to be. Maybe it’s only heating at certain times, or maybe it’s not working at all. Read our blog on common car heater problems to learn if you need to fix your car’s heater in Baltimore.

Common Car Heater Problems

 

How Does Car Heating Work?

First, let’s talk about how the heater in your car works. Your engine produces plenty of heat when it’s running. The heat from the engine is absorbed by coolant. This coolant flows throughout the engine, and one of the places it goes it the heater core. This is a radiator that is found right behind the dashboard. The heater core transfers heat from the coolant into the passenger compartment, and makes your car warm!

There’s no heat.

If there’s no heat at all, it’s probably a problem with the heater core. Debris could be trapped in the heater core and preventing coolant from flowing through the core. This can be fixed by flushing the cooling system and removing the hoses that bring coolant into and out of the core in order to remove the obstruction. Newer vehicles may have a part known as a heater core valve, which could also be blocking coolant flow.

There’s heat, but it takes a long time to warm up.

If this is the case, watch your engine’s temperature gauge the next time you drive your car. Watch the needle move as you drive; it should be at operating temperature in under 10 minutes. If it doesn’t reach operating temperature and hangs out near the bottom of the gauge, the cooling system thermostat could be broken.

There’s only warm air when I’m driving, not when idling.

This could be the sign of an old water pump or a blocking in the cooling system.

Keep your eye on the temperature gauge.

If you notice that there seem to be problems with the heater in your car, keep an eye on the temperature gauge. Car heater problems could be accompanied by engine overheating depending on the cause of the problem, which you definitely don’t want. To get your car’s heater fixed in Baltimore, take it to Auto Stop, you local Baltimore auto repair shop.

fix car heater Baltimore

If you have any questions about our blog, “Do You Need to Fix Your Car’s Heater in Baltimore?” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

 

Source

http://repairpal.com/why-dont-i-have-any-heat

Fix Your Car’s Steering in Baltimore: Wheel Diagnosis

September 26th, 2014

Has your car’s steering been acting up lately? Sounds like it’s time for a wheel diagnosis. In this week’s blog we’ll cover some of the problems you might be having with your steering, and why you might be experiencing them. If you need to fix your car’s steering in Baltimore, bring it to Auto Stop, your Baltimore auto repair shop.

Wheel Dianosis

 

Slipping or Hard to Turn

If the wheel feels like it’s slipping out of place either when you’re turning or holding it steady, this isn’t a good sign. It could be low power steering fluid or a worn out power steering belt. Another possibility is a leaking power steering rack or a bad power steering pump. If the wheel is hard to turn, one of these is likely the culprit as well.

Vibrations in the Wheel

A vibrating steering wheel is definitely an unnerving sensation. This is usually strongest when you’re at highway speeds. It could be that the wheels are out of alignment, or the tires have worn unevenly. In these cases, a wheel alignment or new tires would do the trick. Another problem could be that the wheel bolts just need to be tightened. A warped brake rotor could also be the cause of a vibrating wheel, which would require a new rotor.

Loose Wheel

If the wheel moves from side to side without you even touching it, something is most likely worn out. If you’re lucky, you might just need a power steering fluid refill. But, some of the more likely culprits are worn strut bearings, worn tie rods or steering rack, worn ball joints, or broken steering rack mounts.

Noisy Steering

Steering wheel making a screeching noise? The first thing to check is the power steering fluid. If that’s not low, then a power steering belt may be loose or worn out.

fix car steering Baltimore

If your car’s steering has been off recently, don’t wait until the problem gets worse. Fix your car’s steering with Auto Shop!

If you have any questions about our blog, “Fix Your Car’s Steering in Baltimore: Wheel Diagnosis” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

Source

http://autorepair.about.com/od/troubleshooting/a/ts_suspesnion_2.htm

Signs Your Vehicle Needs Clutch Replacement in Baltimore

September 19th, 2014

If you own a vehicle with a manual transmission, it’s pretty much a guarantee that it will need clutch replacement. The amount of time a clutch will last varies widely depending on usage. A hard-run clutch might not even make it to 50,000 miles, but one that’s cared for can easily make it 100,000+. The climate is also a factor in how long a clutch lasts. Learn about the signs your vehicle needs a clutch replacement in Baltimore in this week’s blog.

Signs Your Vehicle Needs a Clutch Replacement in Baltimore

 

The Tachometer is Acting Up

The Tachometer is the gauge on your dashboard that measures the RPM of your engine. If you notice that the needle is moving up and down in a weird way when you engage the clutch to shift gears, this is definitely a sign that something isn’t right.

The Engine Sounds Off

You might also notice that when you engage the clutch to shift gears either up or down that the engine is revving in a way that is not normal. You should be familiar with the way your engine normally sounds when you clutch up or down, so any strange sounds will be apparent.

There’s a Smell of Burning Rubber

This isn’t from the guy in front of you peeling wheels. When the clutch begins to wear out, you’ll smell a foul smell of burning rubber. This is from the flywheel of the clutch making improper contact with the friction material. You might notice this when you get out of your car after driving, or in the passenger compartment.

The Stick Shift is Acting Up

Again, most of the ways you can tell your vehicle needs clutch replacement in Baltimore is when the vehicle is acting differently than it normally does. If the stick shift doesn’t feel like it usually does, it could be that the clutch is going.

Things to Remember to Keep Your Clutch in Good Shape

Your clutch relies on transmission fluid to keep it in good shape. If the transmission fluid is old, or if there’s a leak that reduces the amount of fluid in the system, the clutch will suffer. Keep the transmission fluid fresh by bringing your car in to your local Baltimore auto repair shop.

The best way to keep your clutch in good shape is simply not to work it too hard. Don’t drive your car like a racecar, and the clutch will last longer. Riding the clutch is another thing not to do, as this can take years off its life. Finally, one good thing to get in the habit of is releasing the clutch at stoplights and letting it rest for bit in neutral. This gives the clutch a quick break. If you do need clutch replacement in Baltimore, bring your car to Auto Stop, your local Baltimore auto repair shop!

clutch replacement Baltimore

If you have any questions about our blog, “Signs Your Vehicle Needs Clutch Replacement in Baltimore” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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!

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.

Sources

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/car-part-longevity/clutch-last.htm

http://www.ehow.com/how_4911859_replace-clutch.html