How to Know When You Need a Transmission Flush in Baltimore

January 23rd, 2015

Every car owner dreads transmission damage. The mechanical component that literally makes the car move, the transmission is integral to the life of any motor vehicle. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it is a very complex piece of machinery that requires special care to maintain. Because of its complexity, cost, and importance, the transmission is very expensive to repair. In a busy city like Baltimore, people with cars have the advantage of freedom of movement. If the transmission breaks—and may it never fail in traffic—this freedom becomes strangled. One of the easiest and most efficient ways to care for the transmission is to put it through a transmission flush.

Flush Away the Problems

Generally, you should get a transmission flush every 30,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first. However, sometimes this isn’t enough. There are a number of easily-recognizable signs that your transmission needs a fluid flush in order to maintain itself. The first is grinding or other strange noises. This means that dirt or other nasty compounds have infested your transmission. Transmission fluid is a vibrant red hue. If you find that it’s closer to brown or black, you need a flush. This is also true if your vehicle has trouble transitioning between gears. This is most noticeable in manual transmissions where you find that you need to push or pull the stick shift more forcefully than usual. A dirty transmission will also slip between gears when you don’t intentionally shift speeds or the stick. It may also cause the car to leap forward and lag at near-random intervals. Finally, the car may experience delays after shifting into forward, first, or reverse gear.

What does a Flush do?

A transmission flush removes contaminants from the machinery. Dirt, grime, and sludge build up over time during the natural operation of the car. This is unavoidable, but not necessarily disastrous when the car is well-maintained. This is why the above conditions are recommended: transmission flushes at regular intervals stop buildup before it causes damage. A transmission flush is particularly important in Baltimore for residents who live and work in the warehouse district or near the train yards, where dust and dirt are the most abundant in the air and on the ground and can enter the mechanics of the car on more easily and build up more quickly. Preventing this buildup means a longer-lasting and stronger car that will continue to provide you with the freedom you need.

transmission-flush-Baltimore

 

Auto Stop Limited, Inc. is Baltimore’s local repair shop. Our highly-trained mechanics use the most modern tools to find the source of your car’s trouble and repair it very quickly All of our work is completely guaranteed. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and an A grade from Angie’s List, we provide the best service in Baltimore. We even repair fleet vehicles. Call 410-467-7600 or visit http://www.autostopltd.com/ for more information. Also, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+!

Source:

http://www.carsdirect.com/car-repair/5-most-common-signs-that-your-car-needs-a-transmission-flush

Why Your Car Has a Hard Time Starting in the Winter

January 16th, 2015

So you’ve just turned the key in the ignition on a cold winter morning and: nothing. The engine sputters but just wont turn over. Or maybe the engine doesn’t even respond. The winter is tough on your car, especially in places like Baltimore where we see subzero temperatures frequently throughout the season. Learn why the winter is so hard on your car, and a few things you can try when your car won’t start on those cold winter mornings.

A Difficult Start

First, gasoline has a harder time evaporating when it’s cold. Gas needs to be vaporized in order to combust, and the cold makes it harder for this to happen. One potential solution to this problem is spraying ether into the engine, because it evaporates more easily than gasoline.

Second, the cold causes the oil in your engine to become thick and gooey. The engine wants oil to be smooth and viscous. Thick oil is harder for the engine to push around, which makes it harder to get started. Synthetic oil is more resistant to this problem.

Third, the cold takes a toll on your battery. The battery uses chemical reactions to generate electricity, and these reactions take place more slowly in cold temperatures. Not only that, but the engine is demanding more current from the battery to move that thick oil around. Combined, these two factors can overwhelm the battery and leave it with not enough juice to get the engine started. Car batteries are also more likely to die in cold weather. In either case, a quick jump should do the trick.

Here are a few more things you can do to make it easier to start your car in the winter:

  • Make sure you drive your car enough to charge the battery fully. If you’re taking short 5-10 minute trips, the engine won’t be able to give the battery a full charge. A longer drive means more charge for the battery.
  • Park in a garage if possible.
  • Use thinner or synthetic oil.
  • Try not to let the gas get too low. Condensation can form on the wall of the tank, sink to the bottom and cause problems in the fuel line.
  • If the car doesn’t start after 10-20 seconds, give it a rest for 2 minutes. You don’t want the starter to overheat. This also lets the battery recover.
  • If the car won’t start after several tries, try removing the battery and bringing it inside to warm up. This could take up to two hours, but may do the trick.

 

winterize car Baltimore

 

If you have any questions about our blog Tips for Protecting Your Car from Salt, 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://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Car-in-Freezing-Cold-Winter-Weather

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/start-car-in-winter.htm

Tips for Protecting Your Car from Salt

January 9th, 2015

With the snow this week, the roads are covered with salt, and your car probably is too. Salt is great for making the roads safe to drive on, but it’s bad for your car. Over time salt can have a corrosive effect which can damage your car’s finish and lead to rusting. Protect your car from salt with these tips below.

Tips for Protecting Your Car from Salt

 

Wash Your Car

The best thing to do is to wash your car regularly during the winter. Here are a few tips for optimal washign.

  • Try to wash the vehicle every 10 days.
  • Wash during the day so that the car has time to dry before freezing temperatures come at night. The last thing you want is to be frozen out of your car.
  • Another good way to prevent freezing is by opening and closing the doors, trunk, and gas tank several times after you wash the car.
  • Wash on days when the temperature gets above 40 degrees.
  • Make sure you wash the underside of the car. Salt buildup can do a lot of damage here. The best thing to do is seal the undercarriage before the winter begins, but if you didn’t, just try to wash it regularly.
  • If you go to a car wash, make sure it doesn’t use recycled water. This is because the recycled water will contain salt from other vehicles that have gone through the car wash, so you’ll just be replacing salt with more salt.

Driving Tips

  • Try to avoid driving through puddles of melted snow. The splash will throw salty water all over the undercarriage.
  • The same goes for deep snow. The snow can get packed up in the undercarriage and cause corrosion and other problems like inhibiting airflow or reducing braking action.

car salt

If you have any questions about our blog Tips for Protecting Your Car from Salt, 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.

Tips for Driving in the Snow in Baltimore

January 2nd, 2015

We haven’t seen any significant snow in Baltimore yet, but the winter has just begun, and if one thing’s for sure, the weather around here is unpredictable. So whenever the snow does come, here are a few tips for driving in it. But first, the most important tip: if you can help it, don’t drive in the snow! Stay in and stay safe. But if you’re already out there and on your way home, keep these tips in mind.

Tips for Driving in the Snow

Drive Slower

You have much less traction on snowy and icy roads. This means your vehicle won’t respond like it normally does when you accelerate, decelerate, and turn the wheel. Everything takes longer to respond, and moving at high speeds gives you less time to respond to turns, stoplights, and other vehicles. Drive slow, and get home safe.

Easy on the Gas and Brakes

Ease up on the accelerator and the brakes, they won’t react as quickly as you’re used to. Accelerate and decelerate slowly, giving yourself plenty of distance and time to stop behind the car in front of you.

Increase Your Following Distance

A good rule of thumb is to double the distance at which you normally follow another vehicle. Instead of a 3-4 second difference, follow by 8-10 seconds. You may need this extra room to stop.

Going Up Hills

Hills can be tricky in the snow. The best thing to do is build your speed and inertia on a straightaway before you hit a hill. Trying to speed up on an icy hill will just make your wheels spin. Build up enough speed (safely) before you get to the hill, then keep your foot on the gas without trying to speed up on the hill. Don’t stop on the hill if you can help it, as you might not be able to get started again.

Try Not to Stop

Stopping and starting on icy roads is even harder than navigating them. If you can, try to slow down far enough in advance of that light so that by the time it turns green, you still have some inertia left to build up your speed again.

snow driving tips

If you have any questions about our blog Tips for Driving in the Snow 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.

Source

http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/roadway-safety/winter-driving-tips/

Happy Holidays from Auto Stop Ltd!

December 19th, 2014

The holidays are here, and we’d like to wish a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to all of the friends and family of Auto Stop. We hope you enjoy the holiday season, whether you spend it with family in Baltimore or across the country. Happy holidays!

In the spirit of the holidays, we’d also like to ask everyone to come together and think about making a child happy for Christmas. There are many families in our city who are less fortunate and could use our help, especially at this time of year. There are lots of charitable organizations whose goal is to help these families and their children. Consider helping needy families in our community this year through one of these charitable organizations in Baltimore.

Toys for Tots

Toys for tots accepts donations of toys that are given to disadvantaged children in the community. This is the link to the Toys for Tots in Baltimore.

ShareBaby

ShareBaby believes that every baby deserves the proper equipment for the best start in life. ShareBaby collects gently used and new items such as diapers, clothing and basic goods for children between the ages of 0 and 5 and distributes those items to Maryland homeless and domestic violence shelters.

House of Ruth

The House of Ruth Maryland is one of the nation’s leading intimate partner violence centers, helping thousands of battered women and their children find the safety and security that so many of us take for granted.

Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore provides a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families, and helps to fund programs in the local area that directly improve the well-being of children.

Associated Black Charities

Associated Black Charities is a public foundation that advocates and facilitates the creation of measurably healthier and more prosperous communities through responsible leadership and philanthropic investment throughout the State of Maryland.

holidays

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.