How Does Cold Weather Affect Your Car?

December 12th, 2014

With cold weather here to stay for the next few months in Baltimore, you might be finding that your car is acting a little different. Maybe it’s having a little trouble starting in the morning. Or maybe your tires are losing pressure faster. These are both normal effects that the cold weather can have on your car. Learn more about what the cold does to your car and what you can do to counteract it in this week’s blog.

How Does Cold Weather Affect Your Car?

 

The Battery

Cold draws voltage from your battery, which can make it more difficult to start your car. It can also make the battery die faster. The battery starts to lose voltage at freezing or below.

If you have a garage, park your car in there, where it may be a little warmer than it is outside. Another good thing to do is remove any corrosion that may be built up on your battery. You may want to consider replacing your battery if it’s more than 3 or 4 years old. Learn the signs your battery needs to be replaced in our blog.

Fluids

The cold can cause your car’s fluids to thicken up, making it harder for the car to start. Make sure your fluid levels are topped off to give your car what it needs to work with.

Tires

Cold air causes your tires to lose pressure faster. Low tire pressure will cause your tread to wear down faster, which you really don’t want in winter when roads are slippery. Low tire pressure can also reduce the handling capabilities of the car. Make sure you check your tire pressure and adjust it if needed once a week. Also, consider getting your tires rotated and your wheels aligned.

Wipes and Washer Fluid

One mistake drivers sometimes make is not clearing off their windshield of ice, or hoping that their wiper fluid will melt the ice. While some wiper fluids are designed to aid in ice melting, running your wipers over an icy or snowy windshield increases the risk that they will break. Use an ice scraper to clear off the whole windshield.

 

cold car

 

If you have any questions about our blog How Does Cold Weather Affect Your Car? in Baltimore from Auto Stop, 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.

Wheel Alignment and Tire Rotation in Baltimore from Auto Stop

December 5th, 2014

The winter can be tough on your tires. Between icy roads, potholes, and fluctuating temperatures, your tires will go through a lot. This week, we’ll talk about what you should do to take care of your tires in the winter, and how wheel alignment and tire rotation in Baltimore can keep you in good shape.

Winter Tire Care Tips

Tread

The ability of your tires to grip the road is important at any time of the year, but especially in winter when roads can get slick. Make sure your tires have enough tread to get a good grip on the pavement. A commonly used way to check is the penny test: take a penny and insert it into the tread, with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the tread doesn’t meet the top of his head, you don’t have enough.

However, keep in mind that while this is a popular way to check your tread, you still might not have enough even if your tires pass the test. If the top of Lincoln’s head is just barely covered by tread, this is still not much to work with. Better to use a dedicated tread depth measurement tool. 1/16 of an inch is about as low as you should let it go. If you’re at or below this level, consider investing in new tires for the winter.

Tire Pressure

The cold winter temperatures mean your tires will lose pressure faster. Low tire pressure is associated with faster wear on the tires, and poorer handling, both of which are problems. Check and adjust your tire pressure regularly throughout the winter to keep it at the recommended level. You can find the level in your owner’s manual or on the inside of the driver’s side door when you open it up.

Wheel Alignment

Misaligned wheels cause your car to pull to the left or right, and this tends to get worse over time. Not only is this a hassle to drive with, but it causes your tires to wear unevenly and faster, meaning they won’t last as long as you expect them to. Get wheel alignment in Baltimore to correct for a car that pulls to the left or right and to extend the life of your tires.

Tire Rotation

Tire rotation is the process of rotating the location of the tires on your car. For example, the front right will be moved to the front left, the front left moved to the back left, and so on. This is to accommodate for the uneven wear which is natural on your front vs. back tires (front tires wear faster). Getting regular tire rotation in Baltimore ensures that your tires will wear evenly over time.

winter tire care

If you have any questions about our blog Wheel Alignment and Tire Rotation in Baltimore from Auto Stop, 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 Find Your Car in a Parking Lot on Black Friday

November 26th, 2014

Black Friday is just two days away, and you know what that means. Everyone will be out shopping trying to get the best deals of the year. Everyone will also be looking for the best parking spot, which on Black Friday is not easy to find. It can be even harder to find your car on Black Friday in parking lots which are packed and full of cars and people looking for spots. If you’re always losing track of where you parked your car, it’s a good idea to go in with a plan this Friday. Try some of these tips to make sure you don’t lose your car in the parking lot this Black Friday!

5 Tips for Finding Your Car in the Parking Lot

Use Your Remote Lock

If you have a remote lock/unlock device, you can use this to hone in on your car, kind of like sonar. Hold it above your head (this extends its range) and press the lock button to trigger the beeping lock sound from your car. Follow your ears until you’ve found your car!

Park Near a Landmark

There aren’t many landmarks in parking lots, but there are some spots which may be easier to remember than others. Try parking in a corner, next to a tall light post, or a tree. This will at least narrow down your search to a smaller area.

Take a Picture with Your Phone

Take a picture of the store you’re about to enter from your parking spot. This will give you a point of reference to work from. Before you enter the store, take another picture back towards where you came from. This should help guide you in the right direction.

Flags

Grab one of those Ravens window flags and attach it to your car! There are bound to be other people with these flags, but this will at least give you something to look for.

Tag Team

Shopping with a partner? If one of you is tired, rest in the car while the other goes to shop. When they’re done, have them call you. You can pull up right by the exit and be on your way!

find car parking lot

If you have any questions about our blog, 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: 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