Five Safe & Healthy Road Trip Tips

Here are our top road trip tips! Road trips are officially back! In the age of COVID, traveling by car, truck, SUV, RV, etc. is once again en vogue. According to a recent US Travel Association survey, 67-percent of participants said they plan on taking some form of a road trip in the next six months.

Due to ongoing health concerns associated with crowds and enclosed spaces, many people are choosing to opt-out of traveling via mass transportation carriers this year. The AAA projects air, bus, train, and cruise reservations will be down 75 to 85-percent year-over-year.

Health and Safety Tips For Your Road Trip

Health risks and uncertainties related to mass transit at the moment have lowered gas prices. Additionally, government stimulus checks are contributing to the surge in demand for road trips. Many of us working remotely, or not working at all. Road trips provide an excellent way to escape the rigors of our “new normal”.

While maintaining health, safety, and social distancing protocols as possible. In this month’s blog, we break down five safe and healthy road trip tips. These are to consider in the age of COVID and beyond. After being cooped up for months, there’s no better time than the present to hit the open road. Many in search of some fresh air and excitement.

1. Always Plan Ahead During A Road Trip

Even during more “normal” times, planning ahead will always be near the top of any list of road trip tips. Mapping out your route, calculating gas mileage, and plotting out fuel/rest stops, toll booths. Additionally, planning any leisure activities along the way should be the first step in planning any road trip. Planning ahead also means making any reservations well in advance.

Also, being aware of any area closures, special operating hours, and health protocols due to the pandemic. It may seem like a bit much, but with the plethora of tutorials, apps, and online tools available nowadays. Putting together a safe, cost-efficient, and most importantly, fun, a road trip is easier than it’s ever been.

2. Routine Service & Scheduled Maintenance

Making sure your car is up-to-date on all of its scheduled maintenances is essential before any road trip. The last thing you want is to have a breakdown on a deserted highway in the middle-of-nowhere. Aside from regular oil changes, battery inspections, fluid top-offs, and more.

You or your mechanic should visually inspect your entire vehicle for any damaged or worn components. Keeping your automobile in great shape will not only help ensure a safe, hassle-free road trip. Also, it will help maintain your vehicle’s longevity, fuel economy, and overall performance. We urge all motorists to bring your car, to our ASE certified automotive technician. Do this for a quick inspection before driving off on your next adventure.

3. Don’t Forget to Rest & Hydration

Getting plenty of rest and staying well hydrated are more than just handy road trip tips, they are vital to reaching your destination safe and sound. According to the NHTSA, more than 38,000 people die each year on the road in car accidents, with more than 6,000 fatal crashes being than a direct result of drivers falling-asleep-at-the-wheel.

Getting the proper amount of rest and hydration has been scientifically proven to maximize levels of energy and alertness while driving. The experts recommend stopping every two-hours or 100-miles to rest. Maintaining a sufficient level of sleep and hydration also helps fortify your body’s immune system, which is crucial in defending yourself against the Coronavirus.

4. Pack the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In these unprecedented times we find ourselves in, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, face shields, and any other personal protective equipment are the new “don’t leave home without it” items we carry with us whenever we leave the house. Also, don’t forget the disinfectant wipes and/or cleaning products.

At some point, you, your family, or your group of buddies will have to eventually exit your car or truck and come into contact with potentially infected people or surfaces. Whether it’s a gas pump nozzle, an ATM machine, a restaurant counter or public restroom, COVID, or not, having disinfectant wipes in your vehicle ready-to-go should be an on everyone’s list of road trip tips.

5. Healthy Snacks For Your Road Trip

Last but not least on our list of road trip tips is packing healthy snacks and refreshments. Fresh fruits carrots, jerky, nuts, popcorn, and protein bars, among many others, are great portable snacks to bring along for the ride. Munching on these nutrient-rich snacks throughout your journey will help keep you alert, energetic as well as boost your immune system.

Not to mention the fact your food options on the road typically consist of unhealthy gas station snacks or fast food. Bringing your own healthy collection of munchies will also help minimize exposure to the gas station and restaurant employees, patrons, and surfaces.

The road trip renaissance is real. In case you needed any more evidence, according to Car and Driver, RV and motorhome sales and rentals are “booming” due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Like much of the country, North Carolinians are ready, willing, and able to travel. Do you have any questions regarding your next road trip? Would like to bring your vehicle in for an inspection? Contact us today or stop by for a visit.

Money-Saving Driving Hacks

Five Recession-Proof, Money-Saving Driving Hacks

Money-Saving Driving Hacks2020 has been a turbulent year, to say the least. As the country now finds itself in the midst of an economic recession, most Carolina residents are looking to save. The average American household ranks car costs: fuel, maintenance, insurance, etc. number two overall, after housing, in terms of salary allocation. According to the AAA, the average car or truck owner spends $6650 a year, or $554 a month on operating costs, per vehicle. We explore five useful, money-saving driving hacks that will reduce vehicle-operating costs in these times of economic strife.

#1 Reduce Weight

Eliminating clutter from your car is a simple, yet overlooked money-saving driving hack that anyone can do. You’d be surprised how much all the random things in your car actually weighs. All that extra weight equals more money spent at the pump. On average, for every additional 100-lbs of weight in your ride, you can expect about a two-percent reduction in gas mileage. Smaller cars and trucks experience an even more pronounced decline in fuel efficiency when carrying additional weight.

#2 Decrease Engine Idle Time

When stuck in traffic, at a red light, a drive-thru, etc. your automobile continues to consume fuel while idling. You are essentially getting zero miles-per-gallon when your car or truck’s engine idles, burning gas as well as cash. If your vehicle is at a stop and idling for more than ten seconds, we recommend shutting off your engine. Restarting your engine is actually more cost-efficient than idling for longer than ten seconds. Shifting your car’s transmission into neutral when stopped ten-seconds is more fuel-efficient than letting your engine idle. However, is less efficient than powering down your motor.

#3 Combine Short Trips

Warming-up a car that’s been parked for more than a couple hours consumes more fuel than a freshly driven vehicle. Planning-ahead and consolidating several errands around town into one trip is a great way to maximize fuel efficiency and save money. Combining short trips also helps to reduce the risk of costly repairs caused by worn-out engine components. If possible, make sure to avoid driving routes that are prone to traffic during certain hours. Sometimes taking the “long way’ is more cost-effective than a more direct path due to road congestion, stop signs, traffic lights, or narrow, winding roads.

#4 Smarter Fuel Shopping

Knowing exactly when and where to purchase gas is often an underappreciated, money-saving driving hack. It pays dividends whether the economy is booming or going bust. According to Money.com, the price-per-gallon of gas varies around 50-cents in the average zip code. Over the course of a year, consistently filling up at the best-priced gas stations in town equals a savings of roughly $270 annually. Smartphone apps like Gasbuddy, provide a quick, convenient method of tracking down the best fuel prices. Remember, gas stations in affluent neighborhoods or located just off highways tend to charge a premium.

#5 Save Money on Auto Insurance

Shopping around for the best car insurance rates can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. Different insurance companies will charge different rates based on a wide variety of factors such as geographical location, vehicle make and model, credit score, and each individual companies’ internal data. Many insurance providers offer promotional discounts to lure potential clients away from their industry competitors.

Most reputable car insurance companies offer discounts to motorists who insure multiple vehicles or additional drivers. Many providers also offer discounts to their customers who currently pay the same company for other services like home, fire, or life insurance coverage. Agreeing to structure your auto insurance payments into a lump sum, six or twelve-month tranches, will typically lead to increased cost-savings as well.

Aside from the money-saving driving hacks listed above, you can never go wrong making sure your car or truck has undergone all of its routine maintenance services. Especially during these unprecedented times. The team at Carolina Auto Service is well aware the country is going through extraordinary circumstances at-the-moment, including an economic recession. We remain dedicated to faithfully serving the Winston-Salem community’s automotive service and repair needs as we have since 2004. We commit ourselves to do our part in making sure NC motorists are getting the best value. Lastly, we hope that these money-saving driving hacks have helped you! Call us anytime!

Summer Care Car

Beat the Heat: Six Essential Summer Care Car Tips

Summer Care CarSummer Care Car – It’s been a rough past few months for most North Carolinians, to say the least. The fallout from the global Covid-19 pandemic has turned the country upside down. After all that we have endured, there now appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

As the State’s shelter-in-place orders continue to ease, many North Carolinians are eager to go outside. That being said, we are ready to get back on the road again. Whether it’s a family road trip, a weekend getaway, local residents will unquestionably be hitting the streets this summer. While many NC motorists’ minds are on where they’ll be going and what they’ll be doing. Here at Carolina Mobile Auto, we want to remind NC motorists not to forget about proper summer car care. Here, we take a closer look at guarding your car or truck against the sweltering heat and driving conditions synonymous with a typical summer in Winston-Salem.

Air Conditioner

Having a functioning air-conditioner is considered essential when driving in the boiling heat of a North Carolina summer. Is your vehicle’s air-conditioner is delivering spotty performance now? Chances are it will need to be repaired or serviced before the summer comes to an end. First, you will want to check the temperature of the air. Also, the amount of air pressure being released from the vents. Is the air blowing out of the vents is warm or lacks sufficient pressure? Your vehicle may have a failing blow motor, damaged condenser, or a refrigerant leak. If you notice any odd smells coming from your vehicle’s air conditioner system, most likely the air filter is in need of replacement.

Coolant System

Seeing a motorist or two pulled over on the side of the road with an overheated engine is an all-too-familiar. An overheated cooling system is one of the most common causes of a breakdown during the summer months. That’s why it’s absolutely imperative to ensure your vehicle’s coolant fluid levels are properly topped off, as well as appearing the proper green or orange color. If your car or truck’s coolant fluid appears a rusty brown color or is noticeably leaking, it is time to bring it in for service. The ASE certified automotive professionals at Carolina Mobile Auto recommend a full coolant system flush roughly every other year to prevent any costly cooling system related repairs.

Tires

Visually inspecting your vehicle’s tires should be a part of every motorist’s standard daily driving routine. Making sure your tires have proper inflation is especially important during the summer months. Underinflated tires will run hotter than usual, making them more susceptible to blowouts. Not to mention the baking hot road conditions prevalent during a typical Winston-Salem summer day. Here at Carolina Mobile Auto, we also recommend rotating your tires every 5,000-miles to maximize your automobile’s performance, safety, and longevity.

Floor Mats

An often-overlooked part of summer car care is removing moisture from under your vehicle’s floor mats. As the weather heats up, there’s no better time to remove the floor mats in your car or truck and let them dry out in the sun. Moisture tends to accumulate over time under your vehicle’s floor mats due to wet weather and condensation. During the heat and humidity of a typical North Carolina summer, the moisture will form fungus, causing damage to a vehicle’s interior, along with an unpleasant odor, as well as general filthiness.

Paint

The harmful UV rays from the sun along with blistering summer heat will prematurely age your automobile’s paint job and can cause permanent damage. Regular washing is crucial when it comes to any proper summer car care routine. The negative effects caused by high temperatures and scorching sunlight are only magnified when combined with abrasive dust and debris. Waxing your car or truck with a synthetic wax will provide protection from UV rays, oxidation, and wear-and-tear.

Interior

The scorching sun and blistering NC summer heat will literally bake the interior of your car, truck, or SUV. This leads to drying, cracking, and overall diminished longevity of any leather, vinyl, or plastic-based materials built-in in your vehicle’s interior. Clean and apply a layer of dedicated automotive protectants to your vehicle’s dashboard, seats, and door handles. Cleaning these areas should be a key component of any summer car care regiment.

Aside from actively engaging in proper summer car care practices, the automotive experts at Carolina Mobile Auto also want to ensure local Winston-Salem motorists are keeping up with routine service and scheduled maintenance. When it comes to your vehicle’s performance and longevity, regularly scheduling your oil changes are always in-season. If you have any further questions about summer car care contact us today or drop by for a visit.

Proper Vehicle Storage

Proper Vehicle Storage During the Age of Coronavirus and Beyond

Proper Vehicle StorageWith most of the country on quarantine and social-distancing appearing to be the new normal for the foreseeable future, most North Carolina residents aren’t driving much these days. Whether you’re doing your part to “bend the curve”, short on cash, or simply have nowhere to go, more-than-likely you haven’t used your car much lately. You may own multiple automobiles, or possibly an entire fleet of business vehicles sitting unused due to these unprecedented times. Cars and trucks are highly susceptible to a myriad of environmental threats causing premature wear-and-tear when parked for extended periods. In this month’s blog, we take a closer look at proper vehicle storage during the Age of Coronavirus and beyond.

Making Sure The Gas is Full is The Proper Vehicle Storage

Topping off your car or truck’s gas tank is essential to proper vehicle storage. Over time, condensation will form inside the vacant space within your vehicle’s gas tank, leading to corrosion. Keeping your tank full also prevents the fuel system’s seals from drying out and failing. If you plan to park your car or truck for more than 30-days, you may want to consider adding a fuel stabilizer additive to prevent fuel degradation. A full tank of gas also provides an extra sense of security in these uncertain times.

Having a Fully Charged Battery Helps With Proper Vehicle Storage

The battery in any car, truck, or SUV will slowly lose its charge the longer it stays parked and out of commission. That’s why maintaining your automobile’s battery is vital to proper vehicle storage. Driving to the supermarket or drugstore weekly is the best way to charge your car or truck’s battery. If driving is not an option, starting your vehicle’s ignition once-a-week and letting your engine idle for about 15-minutes is the next-best choice. Plug-in trickle chargers are another solution to the battery-drain associated with long-term vehicle storage. Disconnecting the negative cable on your vehicle’s battery is another way to reduce the loss of charge.

Proper Vehicle Storage Means Maintaining Your Tires

Inflating your automobile’s tires to their OEM factory-specified levels is key to proper vehicle storage. Improperly inflated tires are more likely to develop flat spots. Flat spots occur when an automobile is parked for an extended period-of-time and the weight of the vehicle causes the tires to crease under pressure. Over time, flat spots will permanently damage tires, requiring costly replacements. Driving your car one-a-week even just a few blocks greatly reduces the chance of any flat spots developing. If you plan to store your car or truck more than 30-days, you should consider jacking the vehicle and removing the wheels.

Cover

The best storage option to protect your beloved car, truck, or SUV from the wear-and-tear of the elements is a garage. If you don’t have access to a garage or are out of space, the next-best-option, in terms of proper vehicle storage, would be a weatherproof automotive cover. Owners of late-model, luxury, classic, or other specialty vehicles will want to consider shelling out the extra cash and renting a storage unit. Prior to storing your vehicle, washing and waxing are highly advisable, especially if you plan to use an automotive cover.

No Parking Brake

If you plan to stash your car or truck for more than 30-days, then you should not use the vehicle’s parking brake. Engaging your automobile’s parking brake for extended periods causes the brake pads to gradually fuse to the rotor. Utilizing chocks (tire-stoppers) in place of the parking brake is highly recommended when storing any vehicle 30-days or longer.

Critter Prevention

Critter Prevention is an often-overlooked aspect of proper vehicle storage. Whether you park indoors or out on the street, even for just a few days, you run the risk of a critter invasion. Mice, rats, and other rodents like to crawl into tailpipes, vents, under-the-hood, or just about any other space they can squeeze into. The last thing anyone wants to deal with coming out of quarantine is a colony of mice living in their car. Make sure to block off any openings to your vehicle, especially the tailpipes, vent shafts, and any other opening a small rodent could enter and wreak havoc on your automobile’s wiring, belts, hoses, etc.

Auto Insurance

Depending on how long this national health crisis persists, you may consider reducing your auto insurance premiums. Times are tough and many of us North Carolinians. Many are out-of-work and struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic. Not only that, but many of us are also hardly even driving, if at all. Auto insurance companies are seeing increased profits at-the-moment due to a dramatic drop in auto accident payouts. Speaking to an insurance agent about reduced rates is a great way to save money. Anytime you plan to store a vehicle long-term we recommend this.

Here at Carolina Mobile Auto, we wish all members of the Winston Salem community safety and health. We praise all our local front-line medical staff, essential workers, with our utmost gratitude. We look forward to serving all of your automotive repair and service needs in the very near future.

Properly Disinfecting Your Vehicle in the Age of Coronavirus

Properly Disinfecting Your Vehicle in the Age of Coronavirus

As the world scrambles to deal with the fallout from the global Coronavirus pandemic, good hygiene and disinfection are paramount. In this unprecedented state-of-reality, where “social-distancing is the new-normal. And keeping all surfaces you come into contact with germ-free is absolutely essential. This would include properly disinfecting your vehicle’s surfaces for any virus particles that may have been contaminated with viral contagions. This is especially important for ride-sharing or public transportation vehicles such as taxis and buses, or app-based services like Uber. Here at Carolina Mobile Auto we have compiled a comprehensive guide on properly disinfecting your vehicle in the age of the Coronavirus.

Properly Disinfecting Your Vehicle: Where?

The steering wheel is one of the most important areas to focus on when disinfecting your vehicle. Did you know that a car or truck’s steering wheel can house up to four times the amount of germs and contagions as the average toilet seat? Aside from the steering wheel, focusing on any surface areas with high volumes of contact is key. Areas such as seats, dashboards, door handles, shifters, buttons and the seat-belt apparatus should be paid special attention. You will also want to concentrate on seat adjusters, the turn signal and wiper blade control. Additionally armrests, cup holders, storage containers, air conditioning vents and grab handles.

When cleaning any automotive touch screen displays, it is imperative not to use an excessive amount of water, which can damage electrical components. We also caution against using harsh abrasive chemicals when cleaning a touch screen, leading to the loss of its protective coating. Later in the blog, we discuss which cleaning products to use and which ones to avoid.

Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol, serves as a highly effective disinfecting agen. It  eliminates most viral or bacterial contagions. Alcohol also delivers exceptional cleaning power, with the ability to break down and remove tough stains from a wide variety of surfaces. The main drawback of isopropyl alcohol is its continuous prolonged use will lead to premature wear-and-tear of vehicle surface materials.

Soap and Water

Common household soap, water and a little elbow grease are all you really need to rid your ride of any pesky virus particles. Most regular soaps on the market (think Dove or Ivory) are able to chemically break down virus cells similarly to how they dissolve oils. The friction generated from cleaning also contributes to the elimination of any virus or bacteria particles. Soap and water also serve as an effective, non-abrasive cleaning agent. Soap and water are effective on delicate surfaces such as leather, fabric and suede.

Disinfectant Wipes

Bleach-free disinfectant wipes provide a convenient, portable option for cleaning and sanitizing your vehicle on the go. Standard household disinfectant wipes deliver a quick effective way to eliminate most viral and bacterial contagions. A variety of automotive surface materials can handle disinfectant wipes to clean the surfaces.

When Properly Disinfecting Your Vehicle, Do Not Use

Here at Carolina Mobile Auto we advise all of our esteemed clients against using any bleach or hydrogen peroxide-based cleaning products. We also caution against the use of any ammonia-based blue-glass-cleaners like Windex on your vehicle’s surfaces. While the aforementioned products do a respectable job at cleaning and disinfection, they will also damage your vehicle’s surface materials. Not only will these products damage materials like leather and vinyl, they will also strip your vehicle’s surfaces of their color and protective coatings.

Wash Your Hands

The cornerstone in both fighting the spread of COVID19, as well as properly disinfecting your vehicle is washing hands. As you’ve probably heard countless times in the past several weeks, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20-seconds eliminates virus particles from your hands. Frequent hand washing also mitigates the amount of contact any virus particles can potentially have with your vehicle’s surfaces. What’s the point of thoroughly disinfecting your car or truck, if you are constantly introducing a new barrage of viral contagions via your hands? Washing your hands on an hourly basis is a good rule that applies to staying healthy and stopping the spread the pandemic.

Hand Sanitizer

If vigilantly washing your hands frequently isn’t an option, then do the next best thing. Use an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer frequently. Sanitizing your hands helps prevent the transmission and spread of any virus cells to your car or truck. Here at Carolina Mobile Auto we recommend keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer handy when you leave your home. Practice caution when leaving hand sanitizer in your vehicle. High temperatures can cause the gases inside the sanitizer solution to expand and burst.

From the team over at Carolina Mobile Auto, stay safe, remain healthy. In these times of global crisis, we urge all citizens to remain calm and follow the Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines by staying home, washing your hands and practicing social-distancing. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.

Choosing the Right Motor Oil for Your Car or Truck

Choosing the Right Motor Oil for Your Car or Truck

Choosing the right motor oil is one of the most important decisions you can make as a car or truck owner. An automobile is only as good as its engine and an engine is only as good as the oil running through it. With an abundance of car and truck engine oil options on the market, how do you know which one is right for your particular vehicle and unique driving style? In this month’s blog, we take a closer look at the four major types of motor oil, along with deciding on which one to choose.

Motor Oil Basics

Oil is the lifeblood of any vehicle. It lubricates and cools vital engine components, allowing the engine to run smooth and efficiently, maximizing lifespan, performance and gas mileage. Routine oil changes are the single most important aspect in maintaining the health and longevity of any engine. It is essential to use the correct motor oil specified in each individual car or truck’s owner’s manual. Most automobile manufacturer’s will recommend two different oil types, one for normal operating conditions and one for cold weather environments.

Viscosity Rating

Determination of a motor oil’s viscosity rating is based on its resistance to flow at higher and lower temperatures. Each vehicle make and model requires a specific viscosity rated motor oil based on its own individual performance and operating characteristics. For example, 5W-30 is the oil viscosity rating most commonly found in cars and trucks on the road today.

  • Low Temperature Viscosity
    • The first number in a motor oil’s viscosity rating indicates its low temperature viscosity grade. For instance, the “5W” in the rating “5W-30” specifies the oil’s ability to flow at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, or -17.8 degree Celsius. The lower the grade, the less the oil will thicken in colder temperatures. Engines that operate in colder environments would typically do better with a lower viscosity grade. The “W” in the viscosity rating stands for “winter”.
  • High Temperature Viscosity
    • The second number is an oil’s viscosity rating signifies its high temperature viscosity grade. For example, the “30” in the rating “5W-30” denotes a motor oil’s level of flow at 212-degrees Fahrenheit, or 100-degrees Celsius. The higher the grade, the more resistant the oil is to thinning at higher temperatures.

Four Most Common Types of Motor Oil

There are four common types of motor oils used in today’s cars and trucks: Conventional, Synthetic, Blended and High Mileage. Each type of engine oil offers its own set of strengths based on price, performance and practicality.

  • Conventional
    • Also called standard motor oil is mineral-based and provides excellent, lubricant, cooling, and protection characteristics. Conventional oil is ideal for low-mile vehicles that are well-maintained and operated mainly on highways in relatively dust-free environments. The main advantage of conventional motor oil is its lower cost of operation and overall value.
  • Synthetic Oil
    • Synthetic oil incorporates advanced chemical refinement technology that delivers increased performance, lubrication and protection characteristics. Many of today’s luxury, high performance and hi-tech vehicles specifically require synthetic oil. While synthetic motor oil provides more quality, it also tends to cost roughly three times the price of conventional oil. Synthetic motor oil is a great choice for drivers who tend to drive in dusty environments. Also for drivers that do a lot of stop-and-go driving. And lastly, for those drivers that go on very short trips, as well as engage in regular towing activity.
  • Blended Oil
    • As the name suggests, blend motor oil is essentially premium-grade conventional oil and also synthetic oil. Blended oil offers a nice combination of value associated with conventional oil, along with the superior quality synonymous with synthetic oil. Blended motor oil offers better performance during high temperature, high engine workloads than conventional oil. Modern SUVs and trucks tend to use blended oils due to their combination of price and performance.
  • High Mileage
    • High mileage motor oil is highly recommended for any vehicle with more that 75,000-miles on the odometer. The design of high mileage oil is specifically to minimize wear-and-tear and increase longevity and performance in older automobiles. Formulated with seal conditioner, high mileage oil protects and rejuvenates aging seals in older engines. High mileage motor oil is also contains a ton of special fuel additives that help clean build-up and reduce wear in vital engine components.

Looking around town, you will find there are still a lot of older vehicles on the road today. More often than not, these automobiles were service history includes regular oil changes. As well, it’s very probable that the vehicle received the correct type and weight of oil as per the manufacturers recommendations.

If you aren’t sure which motor oil to use in your vehicle, bring it on down to us at Carolina Mobile Auto. We’re conveniently located in Winston-Salem NC right off the Interstate 40 near South Stratford Road. Our team of ASE certified auto technicians will quickly and reliably recommend a motor oil based on your vehicle’s specific needs as well as your own unique driving style.

How to Find a Good Mechanic in the Winston-Salem NC Area

How to Find a Good Mechanic in the Winston-Salem NC Area

For the average car or truck owner in the Winston-Salem NC area. Finding a good mechanic can be a difficult task. With a seemingly endless amount of local auto repair centers available, how do you know which one to choose? Do they deliver honest, reliable, high quality automotive service, or will you get “taken for a ride”? Whether you’re new to the area, or simply unhappy with your current service provider. Here are some tips on finding a qualified, reputable mechanic near you.

Online Reviews

In the era of information technology, which we currently live. Online reviews have become a valuable resource in evaluating auto mechanics. Websites and apps like Yelp, Facebook, Google and the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) are a great place to start any search for a good mechanic. It is important to digest the reviews from these companies with a “grain-of-salt”. At times they can be biased or inaccurate. However, if the majority of a mechanic’s online reviews are trending either positive or negative, generally you at least have some idea what to expect.

Fleet Service Mechanics

The top mechanics in any city are normally found working in fleet auto service and repair. Whether it’s corporate delivery trucks, government vehicles, taxis or any other business-related fleet, the most capable and qualified mechanics in town are usually employed by them. These are the same type of mechanics you want servicing and repairing your vehicle. Do your own research or reach out to a local city employee or delivery driver on the road and have them recommend a good mechanic.

Here at Carolina Mobile Auto, we’ve been providing top-of-the-line fleet automotive service and repair for over 15 years. We know exactly how demanding corporate and private fleet owners can be. When it comes to their vehicles, time is money. They only want the best, that’s why they come to us, because we come to you at Carolina Mobile Auto. Proudly delivering high quality, hassle-free, mobile pickup service in the Winston-Salem area for nearly two decades.

Entry-Level Service

Bringing your car or truck in for routine maintenance is an excellent way to gauge a prospective mechanic’s performance and professionalism. The best time to search for a new mechanic is when your automobile is in fine working order. A smaller, low-risk job like an oil change or tire service is an outstanding way to evaluate a new mechanic. You can get a basic feel of how honest and reliable they operate their business. It is better to be unhappy with your overall auto mechanic experience on a smaller entry-level service job, than on any costly, major engine repairs.

ASE Certification

The National Institute for Automotive Safety Excellence (ASE) is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to certifying auto mechanics in the United States and Canada. An ASE certification is the benchmark industry standard when it comes to professional automotive technicians. Also, all ASE certify mechanics are formally train in every facet of modern automotive service and repair. While it is possible to come across a good mechanic without an ASE certification, and a bad mechanic with one. Are you really willing to take that risk with your own car or truck?

All of our automotive technicians at Carolina Mobile Auto are ASE certified. So we can personally attest to the high level of work and professionalism associated with ASE certified mechanics. If you’re looking for a friendly, experience, highly train auto technician in the Winston-Salem NC area that you can trust. Contact us or stop in today for an obligation-free visit at Carolina Mobile Auto. We’re conveniently located on South Stratford Road, near Interstate 40.

Warranty

Any reputable auto mechanic will gladly guarantee their vehicle service or repairs for quality assurance. A premium automotive service center will even offer a warranty on all parts and labor included with any car or truck repair. For instance, over at Carolina Mobile Auto we are an officially license AC Delco Professional Service Center. All of our work is carry out using the finest quality OEM-specify auto parts that come backed by a nationwide 24-month/24,000-mile warranty. Also included, as part of our repair service at Carolina Mobile Auto is 12-months of complimentary AC Delco nationwide roadside assistance.

In the end, you have to trust your natural intuitions and use your best judgement when selecting a prospective mechanic. A car in its essence is an extension of our own safety and security. You have to feel comfortable with any mechanic you work with because you are essentially putting your life in their hands. At Carolina Mobile Auto, we take this responsibility very seriously. Lastly, we treat every client and vehicle with the respect and dignity they deserve and go the extra mile to get every job done right. No questions asked.

7 Proven Tips to Maximize Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency

7 Proven Tips to Maximize Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency

Reducing your vehicle’s fuel consumption is one of the best ways to cut costs and put extra cash in your pocket. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the average American spends more than five-percent of their income on automotive fuel. Not only is maximizing your car or truck’s fuel economy great for your bank account, it’s environmentally friendly as well. Mitigating your automobile’s fuel usage, in turn, limits the amount of harmful carbon emissions released into the environment. Compiled below is a list of seven tips to improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and save you money.

1) Routine Maintenance and Service

The first step in maximizing your automobile’s fuel efficiency is making sure it is up-to-date with all routine maintenance and service. Keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape ensures all engine components and fuel systems are functioning at optimal levels. A well-maintained vehicle will not only deliver peak performance, but retain its longevity and resale value as well. In contrast, a poorly maintained car or truck will provide significantly diminished fuel efficiency, along with costly breakdowns and repairs.

Regular oil changes are especially vital in getting the most bang for your buck in terms of automotive fuel economy. Keeping an eye on your vehicle’s spark plugs, air, oil and fuel filters are also key in minimizing fuel consumption. If you have any questions regarding your car or truck’s fuel efficiency contact us or visit us today. Here at Carolina Mobile Auto, our staff of friendly ASE certified auto technicians are here to help.

2.) Tires

Keeping your vehicle’s tires inflated at their proper manufacturer specified level is an easy yet effective way to maximize fuel efficiency. On average, under-inflated tires reduce an automobile’s fuel economy roughly 0.3-percent for every pound-per-square-inch (psi) drop in tire pressure. In addition, under-inflated tires create more friction and drag, resulting in higher rates of fuel consumption. Generally speaking, improperly inflated tires, which include over-inflated tires, are prone to premature wear along with posing a safety risk. Have one of our certified automotive experts at Carolina Mobile Auto examine your automobile’s tires for optimum efficiency, safety and performance.

3.) Drive Slower

High speed aggressive driving drastically increases the amount of fuel your vehicle consumes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reducing driving speed from 65-mph to 55-mph can boost fuel efficiency ten to 15-percent. The EPA also estimates overzealous driving behaviors such as hard acceleration, weaving in-and-out of traffic and fast braking can lower fuel efficiency by up-to 20-percent. Not only does fast, aggressive driving require more fuel, it also speeds-up wear-and-tear on your vehicle’s components. Needless-to-say, driving slower heightens your level of automotive safety by significantly diminishing the risk of any accidents.

4.) Reduce Wind Resistance

Another great way to improve your car or truck’s fuel efficiency is by reducing its wind resistance. Roof-mounted racks, lights and storage containers create additional drag that can lower your automobile’s fuel economy rating by up-to 20-percent. The same goes for open windows while driving, regarding fuel consumption. Removing any unused, exterior automotive parts and accessories makes your vehicle lighter and more aerodynamic, equaling better performance and fuel economy.

5.) Limit Air Conditioner Use

One of the most labor-intensive elements of your car or truck is its air conditioning system. Depending on your particular vehicle and environmental conditions, utilizing your automobile’s air conditioning unit can reduce fuel efficiency by 20-percent. When possible, driving with the windows open, along with relying mainly on your automobile’s built-in ventilation system for cooling are highly advisable. If you must turn on the AC, make sure to enable the re-circulate feature for optimum cooling performance and energy efficiency.

6.) Reduce Weight

Your vehicle’s fuel efficiency rating correlates directly to its curb weight. Every 200-pounds of extra weight added to your car or truck equals one less mile per gallon (mpg) of fuel economy. Removing all non-essential items from your automobile such as trash, auto accessories, sporting equipment, strollers, etc. can significantly increase fuel efficiency. Routine car washes are also essential to a good mpg rating. Removing dirt, dust and other grime from your vehicle, lowers its weight considerably, resulting in a boost in fuel efficiency.

7.) Avoid Idling

Last but not least is the energy devouring automotive phenomenon known as idling. Idling is incredibly draining on your vehicle’s fuel resources. When your car or truck is in idle mode, it is essentially providing a zero-mpg fuel economy rating. In essence, restarting your engine requires the same amount of fuel as idling for 30-seconds. Therefore, if you are ever stuck at a railroad crossing or similar situation that forces you to wait in place for over 30-seconds, we recommend turning off your engine.

If you would like to know more about vehicle fuel efficiency or have any other questions or comments, feel free to contact us. Also, if you’d like one of our experienced ASE certified mechanics to examine your automobile for any reason, stop by and see us today.

 

Six Tips to Help Purchase a Quality Used Vehicle

Six Tips to Help Purchase a Quality Used Vehicle

Buying a used car or truck is a form of art. A savvy auto buyer with the right experience and knowledge can easily purchase high quality, reliable used vehicles. Tremendous savings from its true market price no less. Conversely, inexperienced or first-time used car shoppers can easily get taken for a ride and end up with a lemon. Not knowing what to look for when buying a used car can have a devastating effect on your finances. Listed below are six tips to help you successfully purchase a quality used vehicle without getting burned.

1. Test Drive:

One of the most important phases in evaluating a used vehicle is taking it for a test drive. When taking a used car for a spin you should focus on its overall condition while taking mental notes. Is the vehicle running excessively rough? Are there any abnormal sounds, smells, leaks, or smoke being emitted from any of the engine, mechanical or electrical components?

It is essential to check a vehicle’s steering and brake responsiveness during a test drive. Fiddle with as many gauges and knobs as possible, like the radio, air conditioning, lights, etc. to verify they are in working order. Driving over bumps helps you determine the condition of the automobile’s suspension along with its overall ride quality. If possible, take the vehicle out onto the highway and see how it holds up under higher velocity driving conditions.

2. Vehicle History Report:

Obtaining a used car or truck’s vehicle history report from a reputable verification service provider such as Carfax or Autocheck is highly recommended. Researching an automobile’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) reveals crucial information about its accident and repair history, along with its ownership and registration records.

A reliable vehicle history report lets prospective car buyers know if an automobile has a branded or salvaged title. This occurs when a licensed insurance company officially designates a vehicle as a “total loss” due to a severe accident, flooding, or any other type of catastrophic disaster. Running a car or truck’s vehicle history report also confirms its odometer reading accuracy to ensure no mileage rollback has transpired.

3. Exterior Walk-Around Inspection:

When evaluating a used car or truck’s exterior, stroll around the outside of the vehicle while visually inspecting for any noticeable damage. At first glance, there should not be any fluid leaks or broken components. Here are some specific areas of a used vehicle to examine before purchasing.

Rust and Paint:

Any paint or rust damage will only get worse over time if left unchecked. Corrosion and oxidation not only eat away at your vehicle’s paint and metal parts but at your bank account as well. Minor patches of rust or paint discoloration on a used car isn’t the end of the world. However, large expansive areas of rust or damaged paint can signal big-money repairs in the immediate future.

Frame:

Visually inspecting a car or truck’s frame for any bending, warping or impact is vital when purchasing a used vehicle. Any sign of collision history should be considered a major red flag and can have a ripple effect throughout the vehicle in terms of performance, wear and safety.

Tires:

Looking over a car or truck’s wheels and tires should be a part of every used vehicle’s pre-sale inspection regime. Make sure all wheels are in good condition with no noticeable structural damage. The tires should all be the same make and model with plenty of tread remaining and no cracking on the sidewalls. Uneven tread wear on the tires is a sign of poor balance and alignment. Improperly aligned wheels and tires can signal much more serious mechanical problems, including a malfunctioning steering system, damaged suspension or frame issues.

4. Engine Examination:

When checking under the hood of a used vehicle make sure, the vehicle is not running. Glance over the engine and connected components for any obvious signs of damage. The next step will be examining the motor closely for corrosion or fluid leaks. All automotive fluid levels should be inspected for the proper measurement as well as the correct color and clarity.

5. Interior Cabin Inspection:

When stepping inside a used automobile’s interior cabin, one of the first areas to focus on is its upholstery. Closely examine the vehicle’s interior for any cracks, stains, and tears, as they can be very costly to repair or replace. All used vehicle’s electronic components including its audio system as well as it’s heating and air conditioning unit should be in solid working order.

6. Consult a Trusted Mechanic:

Most reputable automotive service centers offer used car inspection services for a small fee. Before forking over your hard-earned cash for a used vehicle why not have a highly trained mechanic give you their professional opinion on its sales-worthiness.

If you aren’t sure where to go for a used car inspection or are looking for top-of-the-line, honest, reliable service, then bring your used vehicle over to us at Carolina Mobile Auto. Conveniently located in Winston Salem, NC just off Interstate 40 and South Stratford Road, here at Carolina Mobile Auto our ASE certified automotive technicians have happily provided the local community with high quality used auto inspection service for the past 15 years.

Lastly, we look forward to servicing your vehicle here at Carolina Auto Service.  We are located at 1418 South Stratford Road Suite C Winston-Salem NC 27103.

Five Essential Winter Vehicle Preps

Five Essential Winter Vehicle Preps

It’s that magical time of the year again. As winter approaches and temperatures decline, now is the time to undergo the laundry list of winter vehicle preps designed to fortify your car or truck’s cold weather defenses. North Carolina is not particularly known for its harsh winter climate, averaging only six-inches of snow per year. That doesn’t mean you should let you guard down and not actively take measures to protect your automobile.

The past couple of winters, snowfall has surged in the state, breaking records in the process. Winston-Salem alone received over 12.5-inches of snow, in just one day, more than double the annual average. Abnormally high levels of snow in recent winters along with NC’s typical, over 40-inches of rain annually exemplify the need to always be prepared. While Winston-Salem is no Antarctica in terms of freezing weather environments, winter temperature lows do hover in the freezing range.

The Following Five Essential Winter Vehicle Preps Will Likely Save Your Car Or Truck From Harsh Winter Weather Wreaking Havoc On It…

The last thing any motorist wants is to break down on a cold winter night. There’s nothing worse than facing mechanical problems because you didn’t take the time to properly winterize your automobile. That’s why proper winter preparation is crucial in maintaining your vehicle’s lifespan, performance and overall value. Here is a compilation of five winter vehicle preps that will keep your vehicle running longer and stronger this winter and beyond.

Winter Vehicle Preps All Drivers Should Adhere To:

1. Battery

Checking your car or truck’s battery is a good place to start when going through your yearly winter vehicle preps. Colder temperatures increase strain on most powertrain systems due the fact the engine must work harder because of its cooled, thickened oil. The strain on the motor, in turn, intensifies workload on an automobile’s electrical system. What does this mean? A battery that functions perfectly fine in warm-to-mild temperatures may not have enough juice to work in the cold.

Another thing to take into consideration regarding automotive batteries is their CCA, or Cold Cranking Amps rating. A battery’s CCA indicates the amount of amps it can produce at zero-degrees Fahrenheit, for a 30-second interval. The older the battery, the more its CCA rating has deteriorated, leading to sluggish performance or complete failure in cold weather. A battery with a higher CCA rating is not necessarily the solution as they are bigger, heavier and more expensive. Visit us today at Carolina Mobile Auto and have one our certified technicians inspect your vehicle battery’s winter-readiness today

2. Tires

It is always important to have properly inflated tires on your vehicle to ensure maximum traction and overall safety. It’s imperative you actively monitor your car or truck’s tire pressure during the winter since air condenses in cold temperatures. Tires in general, lose about one PSI of air pressure for every ten degrees the temperature drops. Inadequately filled tires can spell disaster, especially on wet, slick or icy roads.

Colder weather causes the rubber components of a tire to harden, even on all-season tires. As the rubber hardens, it loses its traction properties, providing less stability and control while increasing the probability of an accident. Dedicated winter tires, featuring softer rubber aimed at mitigating cold weather hardening would be ideal. However, this is not an option or economically feasible for everyone. We recommend thoroughly inspecting and rotating your tires, replacing or servicing any that are worn or damaged.

3. Brakes

Inspecting and servicing your car or truck’s brakes is key to proper winter vehicle prep. With the increase in rain, snow, sleet and ice during winter months your automobile’s brakes are under increased distress. Moisture along with cold damp conditions leads to rust and corrosion, increasing wear while substantially decreasing performance and safety. Most brakes have a visual indicator, along with an audio signal, like screeching, to inform you it’s time for service. If you aren’t sure what to look for, bring your vehicle in to Carolina Mobile Auto and we’ll gladly examine it for you.

4. Gas

An often-overlooked aspect of winter vehicle prep is the gas tank. During the winter season, moisture collects inside a gas tank, which eventually turns into condensation. Excessive condensed water mixing into a car or truck’s fuel system can lead to an array of costly auto repairs. Condensed water that freezes inside the gas tank exponentially increases damage to the engine. Maintaining your vehicle’s fuel level at a half-tank or more is recommended to mitigate the negative effects of winter weather.

5. Windshield

A properly maintained windshield and related components are essential to winter vehicle prep along with safely navigating challenging weather conditions. Address cracks immediately as cold weather will further stress and expand them! And in doing so, will likely also decrease visibility and safety.

Inspect and replace wiper blades regularly, for obvious reasons. Also, always be certain to top off your vehicle’s windshield wiper fluid. Using the correct fluid is paramount as it has anti-freezing elements, and won’t freeze on you when you need it most.

Carolina Auto Service