How to Repair Your Car’s Air Conditioning in Baltimore

August 15th, 2014

Is your a/c on the fritz? Repairing your car’s air conditioning in Baltimore is essential if you want to stay cool this summer. There are a number of reasons your a/c might be working poorly or not working at all. Learn what could be causing your air conditioning problem and how it can be repaired in this week’s blog.

How to Repair Your Car’s Air Conditioning in Baltimore

Low Coolant

Coolant is the component that carries heat out of your car in order to cool it down. The likely reason for low coolant is a leak somewhere in the system. If the coolant is low, your air conditioning system won’t be able to remove heat from the cabin. A mechanic can find and fix the leak in the coolant system and recharge the coolant if necessary.

No cooling while idling

If your car’s air conditioning seems to work while you’re moving at highway speeds but doesn’t while you’re idling, this could be the result of several possibilities. There may be inadequate air flow across the condenser. While you’re moving at speed this isn’t a problem, as the natural air flow compensates for the lack of fan power. But when you’re idling, you won’t receive all of the cool air from the condenser. Two other possibilities are low coolant levels, or an overheating engine, which can mitigate the effects of the a/c.

Not enough cool air at all times

Is there some cool air but not enough coming from the vents? Possibilities include a loose drive belt, clogged condenser or evaporator, clogged filter or expansion valve, or a coolant leak.

No cool air

No cool air at any time? This most likely means a component has completely stopped functioning or is totally clogged.

If you’re car’s air conditioning needs repair in Baltimore, bring it to Auto Stop today! We’ll get you back on the road in cool comfort in no time.

fix car air conditioning Baltimore

If you have any questions about our blog, “How to Repair Your Car’s Air Conditioning 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://www.autobytel.com/car-ownership/maintenance-repair/reasons-your-ac-won-t-cool-ac-stopped-working-103455/

 

Car Parts That Affect Your Gas Mileage

August 7th, 2014

The gas mileage you get from your car is a function of many factors. Some of these you can’t control, for example, whether you’re driving on the highway or in the city. Highway driving results in better mileage (stop and go driving in the city reduces your mileage), but if you live in the city, you’re going to be doing a lot of city driving. However, some of these factors are controllable. This includes the condition of the car parts that influence on your car’s mileage. By keeping the following parts of your car in good condition, you’ll ensure that your car is getting the best mileage possible.

Car Parts that Affect Gas Mileage

 

Tires

The condition of your tires has a huge influence on your mileage. Ideally, your tires should be inflated at the correct pressure, have a safe amount of tread, no uneven wear or bald spots, and should be aligned correctly in order to get the best mileage. Simply checking and adjusting your tire pressure once or twice a month can make a big difference in the health of your tires. Getting your tires rotated regularly and aligning them when necessary will help ensure they’re in the best possible condition.

Air Filter

Your engine’s air filter keeps the engine clean so that it can be at its best performance. However when the filter gets dirty, it can’t do as good of a job of removing particles from the air. Keep your filter clean or change it on a regular basis if it’s not reusable, and let your engine breathe deep and clean.

Spark Plugs

The component that gets it all started with a bang, spark plugs ignite the mixture of air and fuel in the combustion chamber to generate the energy that turns your wheels. Old plugs do this less efficiently, so make sure your spark plugs are replaced when necessary.

Oxygen Sensor

This sensor gathers data from your exhaust which your engine’s computer then uses to adjust the fuel injection level. The oxygen sensor doesn’t need to be changed often, but it should be checked at 100,000 miles and replaced if necessary.

gas mileage

If you have any questions about our blog, “Car Parts That Affect Your Gas Mileage” 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.bankrate.com/finance/auto/replace-car-parts-for-better-gas-mileage-1.aspx

Tips for Checking Your Car Before a Road Trip

August 1st, 2014

The long awaited family vacation is finally here! Bags are packed, hotels are booked and everyone is ready to go. But is your car ready to make the trip? The last thing you need is to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken down vehicle. Fortunately, with a little pre-trip car check, you can spot some potential trouble makers that could put a damper on your vacation. Do this pre-trip check at least a week before your trip so you have time to take it to your Baltimore auto repair shop in the event that something needs to be fixed.

Pre-Road Trip Car Check

Tires

Check the pressure of your tires and adjust it to the manufacturer’s recommended level if necessary. Give the tread some attention too. If it’s looking too worn down, your tires might be nearing the end of their lifespan. Look for any other inconsistencies in your tires as well such as protrusions. If the tires have seen better days, a new set of tires will be well worth the money and prepare your car for whatever weather it encounters.

Belts and Hoses

The belts and hoses in your engine are essential for countless functions. From the power steering to the cooling system, the seemingly chaotic jumble of belts and hoses under the hood all fits together to keep your engine running. Check belts and hoses for cracks, fraying, looseness, or any other signs that they may be past their prime. A worn out belt or hose is absolutely worth replacing.

Lights and Wipers

Check all of your lights to make sure they’re working, inside and out. You can get pulled over if your headlight, brake light, or tag light is out. If your wipers are worn out, put some new ones on.

Fluids

When was the last time you changed your oil? If you’re going to be driving a long way, it might be worth a pre-trip oil change. Your local Baltimore auto repair shop can check the levels of all of your other vehicle fluids as well to make sure you’re ready to go.

In need of an oil change, tune up, or other work on your vehicle before you hit the road for a road trip? Bring your car to Auto Stop! We’re your local Baltimore auto repair shop, ready to help get your car in shape for wherever the road leads.

road trip car check

If you have any questions about our blog, “Tips for Checking Your Car Before a Road Trip” 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 My Car’s Transmission Slipping?

July 25th, 2014

A slipping transmission is a problem that can happen to both automatic and manual vehicles. And if you’re not aware of what constitutes a slipping transmission, it can be difficult to even determine that this is the problem. You may notice decreases in performance but be unsure what to attribute them to. Look for the following signs of a transmission slip to diagnose the problem. And of course if you’re still unsure, the best thing to do is to bring your car to a professional auto repair shop in Baltimore for a diagnosis.

Slipping Transmission

  • Too much time to coast. If when you back off the acceleration the vehicle takes awhile to coast, this is a sign of a slipping transmission.
  • High RPM’s. If the RPM’s stay about 3,500, this too suggests a problem.
  • Delays in acceleration. “This indicates that the transmission is not properly transmitting the power to the internal combustion engine.”

So what causes a transmission slip? It could be anything from a simple fix to a more extensive repair. It may just be that your transmission fluid is low, in which case topping it off should fix the problem. However if there’s a leak in the transmission fluid, the repair will be a little more involved. Other parts of the transmission can wear out, such as the transmission band, gears, or the clutch, in which case you’ll need to have your transmission repaired at an auto repair shop in Baltimore.

The health of your transmission is critical to the health of the rest of your car. If you believe your transmission is slipping, bring your car in to Auto Stop for a diagnosis and a full-service repair if necessary. Contact us today for more information on transmission repair in Baltimore.

slipping transmission

If you have any questions about our blog, “Is My Car’s Transmission Slipping?” 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.autos.com/car-maintenance/transmission-slipping-what-causes-it-and-how-to-fix-it

Tips for Airbag Safety

July 18th, 2014

Airbags are hidden from view for most of their existence, and if you’re lucky you’ll never see your vehicle’s airbag, at least not for its intended purpose. However, it’s important to inspect your airbag on occasion depending on the kind of vehicle you own. The following tips will help you keep your airbags prepared in the event that they do need to be deployed.

Tips for Airbag Safety

Check the SRS Light

The SRS light is a light on your dash that alerts you when there is a problem with your airbag. The icon is a small airbag so you can’t miss it. If the light comes on, take the car to the dealership at the earliest chance you get. Airbags are covered under new car limited warranties but not the lifetime warranty. Remember to check this light when looking at a used car as well.

Stick with the Manufacturer

Many people try to avoid the dealership as a result of the markups they often charge, but if your SRS light goes on and you need a new airbag, the only safe bet is to get one from the dealer. Any aftermarket airbags you find could have been taken from a scrapped vehicle, or may be counterfeits from China. Unless you have complete trust in your collision repair shop, the manufacturer is the best choice in this situation.

If Your Car is More than 20 Years Old

If your vehicle is more than 20 years old, read the owners manual. It may call for an annual inspection or replacement. Regardless, it’s a good idea to inspect the airbag in an older vehicle occasionally. This is because they may have used plastic-to-metal sealing to protect the airbag from moisture, which is not as effective as the glass-to-metal sealing which is used in modern vehicles.

airbag safety

If you have any questions about our blog, “Tips for Airbag Safety” 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.edmunds.com/car-safety/do-car-airbags-expire.html

Tips for Driving in the Rain in Baltimore

July 11th, 2014

Here in Baltimore we’ve had a lot of wet weather recently, and these summer storms can make driving a nerve-wracking affair. Safety should always be your number one priority on the road, and wet weather and slick roads mean you’ll need to focus even more on safe driving to ensure the safety of yourself and others around you. The following tips will help you be a safer and more confident driver in the rain. When a storm pops up out of nowhere, you’ll know what to do.

Safe Driving on Wet Roads

 

Give Extra Distance

You should give plenty of space between your car and the car in front of you. If you have to make a sudden stop, it will take much longer on wet roads. This means that if you’re following at a normal distance, you might not be able to stop in time. Give yourself a wide berth to work with.

Slow Down

Driving fast in the rain is an easy way to lose control of your vehicle. Hydroplaning (when your tires lose contact with the road due to their inability to remove the water in front of them) can occur at speeds as low as 30 mph, so be conscious of this fact. Brake earlier than you normally would but brake gently, as a sudden brake can cause you to lose control. Brake before going into curves.

Take Extra Care After Dry Spells

If the road has been dry for awhile, it will have accumulated lots of fluids from vehicles such as oil. These don’t mix well with water, meaning when it first starts to rain after a dry spell, the two will make a slippery mess on the road until the oils are washed away. Take extra care when it begins to rain, especially in intersections where these fluids are found in the highest concentrations.

Turn on Your Headlights

Turn on your headlights so other drivers can see you. Turn on the defroster so your windshield doesn’t fog up, and make sure the air conditioner is turned on if it doesn’t do so automatically. If the rain is so heavy that you can’t see, pull over and wait for it to pass.

If You Start to Hydroplane

It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you start to hydroplane, don’t make any sudden adjustments. Slowly let go of the gas, steer straight, and let the car slow down until you’re not hydroplaning any more. If you brake, do so very lightly.

Avoid Puddles and Standing Water

Driving through a puddle can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, and standing water can bring your car to a standstill. Find another way to go if you encounter standing water on the roadway.

safe driving rain

If you have any questions about our blog, “Tips for Driving in the Rain 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://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/tips-and-techniques-for-driving-in-rain.html

How to Inspect a Used Car

July 3rd, 2014

If you’re shopping around for a used car, it’s important to know how to inspect the car. Many choose to shop for a used car because they’re more affordable than a new car, but used cars generally have issues that new cars don’t. Belts may be old and worn out, tires may need to be replaced, the engine may have seen a lot of miles. Some of the issues with an old car such as small repairs are an acceptable part of the cost of a used car, but others such as serious engine or brake concerns make cause you to think twice about the purchase. With that in mind, here are a few things to look for when shopping for a used car.

How to Inspect a Used Car

 

Exterior

On the exterior of the car, you’ll want to check out the frame, paint, tires, and headlights. Frame damage is common if the car has been in an accident, but it can easily be hidden with repairs. Still, you don’t want a car with a damaged frame. Your Baltimore auto mechanic can help you find any frame damage on the vehicle. Likewise, dents, rust, or scratches in the body and paint are signs that the car hasn’t been well maintained. If you’re lucky, the tires will be new and won’t need replacing. If they’re old, with little tread, you may be able to get the seller to come down in price to accommodate for the price of new tires.

Under the Hood

If you’re knowledgeable in car engines, you may be able to do this inspection yourself, but otherwise, it’s best to take the used car to a Baltimore auto mechanic for an inspection under the hood (as well as everywhere else). One thing you can check out yourself is the state of the belts under the hood. If they look worn down, frayed, or cracked, they will need to be replaced, as this could put the engine at risk of serious damage.

Interior

Of course you’ll want to take a test drive, which gives you a chance to check out the interior. A well-maintained car will have a clean interior with no stains or tears. Note the mileage on the odometer, as well as whether everything on the dash and center console functions as it should, including the air conditioner. During your test drive, note how the steering and brakes respond, and listen for any strange noises. And don’t forget to set your course for your Baltimore auto mechanic for a full-service inspection of the used car you’re looking at.

 

inspect used car

If you have any questions about our blog, “How to Inspect a Used Car” 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://blog.allstate.com/top-10-things-to-look-for-in-a-used-car-inspection/

What are Tier 1 and Tier 2 Gasoline?

June 27th, 2014

You may have heard of tier 1 and tier 2 gasoline, but there’s also a good chance you haven’t. But even if you aren’t familiar with the terms tier 1 and tier 2, you may know them in another way. You may have seen gas retailers advertise their product as being fortified with additives that help clean your engine and remove deposits. This is tier 1 gasoline. Tier 2 gasoline is the kind of gas you would find at your local, non-name brand retailer. You can find a list of tier 1 gasoline retailers here, but in general it includes most gas retailers which are national chains.

The question is, is tier 1 gas really better than tier 2 gas? And does your engine perform worse with tier 2 gas than it does with tier 1? The answers, while not definitive, suggest that it doesn’t make a difference whether you get your gas at a local chain or a national chain. According to Edmunds, “Because of the advances in engine technology, a car’s onboard computer is able to adjust for the inevitable variations in fuel, so most drivers won’t notice a drop off in performance between different brands of fuel, from the most additive-rich gas sold by the major brands to the bare-bones stuff at your corner quickie mart.”

Despite the claims from several oil companies that tier 1 gas improves the performance of the engine, several tests have shown that whether an engine runs on tier 1 or tier 2 gas, the results are the same. It seems in the end that gas is gas is gas.

gas tiers

If you have any questions about our blog, “What are Tier 1 and Tier 2 Gasoline?” 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.edmunds.com/car-care/is-cheap-gas-bad-for-your-car.html

Why Traffic is so Hard to Fix

June 19th, 2014

On your morning commute you always hit traffic around the same spot. The evening commute brings traffic going the other way. Even when they widen the road and add another lane, it still seems like traffic is inevitable, and there seem to be even more cars on the roadway despite the addition of a lane. Actually, you’re right. There are more cars on the road, and that additional lane is the reason they’re there.

The reason traffic is so hard to avoid actually has a lot to do with supply and demand. Except with traffic, instead of the classic supply and demand curve you learned in economics 101 (as supply increases, demand decreases), the reverse is true. When you increase the supply of the road, by adding a lane for example, people believe that this will decrease the traffic on this road. As a result, more people use the road, thinking the traffic will be better. But with the arrival of all these new cars on the road, the traffic is essentially the same as it was before. This principal also works when you consider public transportation. When public transportation is improved, more people use it, but more people also start to drive to work, thinking that traffic will be better.

There is research to prove this claim. In 2009, two economists looked at road construction and traffic in cities from 1980-2000 and determined that there was a very close relationship between the two. “If a city had increased its road capacity by 10 percent between 1980 and 1990, then the amount of driving in that city went up by 10 percent. If the amount of roads in the same city then went up by 11 percent between 1990 and 2000, the total number of miles driven also went up by 11 percent.”

So what, if anything, can be done to alleviate traffic in urban areas? Some cities have been experimenting with congestion pricing, which is essentially a toll drivers must pay to drive on busy roads during the busiest hours of the day. Because some drivers want to avoid the toll, they’ll drive at less busy hours, thereby spreading out the number of vehicles on the road over a longer time period and reducing traffic. Others, such as San Francisco have tried a similar approach with public parking in cities, increasing the price during busy hours in order to stimulate space turnover and reduce the number of people driving around looking for parking. Interestingly, this has actually led to an overall decrease of the average price of a parking spot in the city.

traffic

If you have any questions about our blog, “Why Traffic is so Hard to Fix” 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.wired.com/2014/06/wuwt-traffic-induced-demand/?mbid=social_fb

How to Check and Adjust Your Tire Pressure

June 12th, 2014

Checking and adjusting your tire pressure is one of the easiest things you can do to extend the life of your tires and ensure that you’re getting the best contact with the road for optimal steering and handling. According to Edmunds, “It’s estimated that for every 3 psi below spec, you bur 1 precent more fuel (and add 10 percent more tire wear). It’s not uncommon to be 10 psi below spec, which would waste 3 percent more fuel and increase tire wear by 45 percent.” With this in mind, let’s talk about how to check and adjust your tire pressure.

How to Check and Adjust Your Tire Pressure

Checking Your Tire Pressure

First, you’ll need a tire pressure gauge, which can easily be acquired at your local auto parts store. You can find the manufacturer’s recommended pressure level for the tires on the inside part of the driver’s side door that is visible only when you open the door. Note that the pressure listed on the tires themselves is the maximum pressure they can handle, not the recommended pressure (which is lower).

If you’ve been driving, you’ll want to let the tires cool down for about an hour. This is because the pressure reading will be higher if the tires are still hot from the friction of driving. Letting the tires cool will give you a more accurate reading. Take off the valve caps from the tires and put them in your pocket so you don’t lose them. Take a pressure reading with the gauge. If it’s under the manufacturer’s recommended level (or over), it’s time to adjust the tire pressure.

Adjusting Your Tire Pressure

To adjust your tire pressure, you’ll either need a portable air compressor, or you can go to the gas station, where they most likely have air for a few quarters or maybe even for free. Once again, remove the valve stem caps and put them in a safe place. The hose may be automatic, or it may require your to pull a level to dispense the air. In either case, add air to the tire incrementally, checking at intervals to see what the pressure is until it reaches the correct level. If the tires are hot, you can inflate a few psi over the recommended levels. Make sure you check the pressure again later once the tires are cooled down. Now put the valve stem caps back on, and hit the road!

tire pressure

If you have any questions about our blog, “How to Check and Adjust Your Tire Pressure” 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.edmunds.com/how-to/how-to-check-tire-pressure-and-inflate-tires.html