buy an electric vehicle

Should I Buy an Electric Vehicle?

buy an electric vehicle

The electric vehicle, or “EV”, revolution is here. According to CNBC, in 2021, global automakers are projected to sell more than 3 million electric vehicles for the first time ever, a rise of nearly 40-percent from 2020. Meanwhile, in that same timespan, overall auto sales are down roughly 25-percent compared from pre-pandemic levels. With some auto manufacturers reporting declines in sales of more than 50-percent during the peak of the lockdowns. Even before the unprecedented global pandemic and ensuing economic aftermath. New car sales were already in decline due in part to the emergence of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. In the last ten years, the amount of EV cars and trucks on the road has jumped from about 17,000 in 2010. To over 7.2 million in 2019, with those numbers expected to skyrocket even higher in the coming years.

In another sign of the changing times, the American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is now ranked as the most valuable car company in the world, in terms of overall net worth. The CEO of Volkswagen, currently the largest automaker in the world by volume, Herbert Diess, was quoted as saying, “The era of the classic car maker is over. We need to move faster on electric vehicles or we will follow Nokia’s fate”. Volkswagen aims to produce electric-only automobiles by 2026. With other major automakers like Toyota and GM making similar pledges to take place by the end of the decade. With EVs clearly on the rise, the question is, should I buy an electric vehicle now, or should I wait?

Why Buy an Electric Vehicle Now?

Cost

When it comes to cost, the price of EVs have dropped drastically in the past decade due to advancements in battery technology, the most expensive component in any electric vehicle. These breakthroughs in innovation and development have improved battery performance and efficiency, while dramatically reducing their cost. Electric vehicles are now comparable in price to traditional ICE cars and trucks, with costs projected to drop even lower in the coming years.

The main cost-saving of electric vehicle ownership is the fact you do not need to buy gas. According to the International Energy Agency, the average internal combustion engine automobile motorist spends about $1117 dollars a year on gasoline or diesel based fuel, while the average EV owner spends roughly $485 dollars annually on plug-in electricity.

Maintenance

In general, EVs require less maintenance than traditional ICE vehicles because they simply have less moving parts that wear out and need to be replaced. The most expensive component of an EV is its battery. Servicing or replacing one can be very costly. However, most EV automakers offer a battery warranty of 100,000 miles or eight years, the industry standard.

Performance

Gone are the days where electric cars are associated as being slow and underpowered; think first generation Toyota Prius. Electric engines have proven to be more efficient than their gas-powered counterparts due to the fact energy in an electric motor passes through a lot less moving parts than a traditional ICE engine, resulting in more efficiency and power. To put it in perspective, Tesla’s top-of-the-line Model S electric 4-door sedan blazes from 0-60 mph in 2.5-seconds. At a cost of $99,000 and can be purchased online today. There were only two other cars to ever record a faster 0-60 time in automobile history, a Porsche and a Ferrari, both of which were supercars that cost millions dollars and were never released to the public.

Range

In the past, electric vehicles were criticized for not having enough range. With the evolution of EV battery technology, this is no longer the case. The average electric vehicle on the market in 2020 boasts a range of 200 miles per charge, while the average gas-powered vehicle gets 300 miles of range per tank of gas. The top EVs on the market have the capability to travel 400 miles on a single charge.

Improved Charging Network

A past knock on EVs was the lack of roadside charging infrastructure. As electric vehicle technology has matured, so has the network of electric charging stations. As of March 2020, the US now has over 79,000 EV charging outlets located at over 25,000 roadside charging stations nationwide. The number of charging stations is forecasted to grow exponentially in the next decade.

Eco Friendly

The whole idea behind driving an electric car is reduced carbon emissions as well as preserving the environment. EVs are significantly better for the environment than ICE vehicles because they do not release carbon emissions and are a lot more energy efficient than gas-powered cars and trucks.

Why Wait to Buy an Electric Vehicle?

Value

The number one reason to wait to buy an electric vehicle is money. The longer you are able to drive your current automobile the more value you are able to get out of it. The average car on the road is twelve years old, so If your gas-powered car or truck is running fine and maintenance costs are reasonable, than driving it as long as possible is in your best interest financially.

If you find yourself regularly paying for auto repairs and service, you should consult an ASE-certified mechanic to see if your automobile is costing you more in upkeep than it would to buy an electric vehicle. Here at Carolina Auto we have delivered honest, no-nonsense vehicle inspections and assessments to the Winston Salem community for over fifteen years. If you’re looking for a reliable, trustworthy auto repair and service center in North Carolina, than contact us today or stop by for a visit.

Cheap Gas

With oil prices at historically low levels and with future demand in decline, now may not be the best time to make the switch to electric. The global pandemic and economic downturn have only accelerated the decline in oil cost and future demand.

Not 100% Sustainable

The common misconception is that if you buy an electric vehicle you are not polluting the Earth. It is true that EVs do not emit toxic greenhouse gases that harm the environment and are significantly more energy-efficient. However, when an EV is plug in and charging it is consuming electricity from the grid. Which is power in part, if not exclusively, by the burning of fossil fuels. While EVs produce less pollution while driving, EV engines, on average. Produce 60-percent more carbon emissions than gas-powered engines during the production and manufacturing process. Electric vehicles have more toxic materials and chemicals than ICE cars. Especially as it pertains to the battery.

Cheaper in the Future

In the past decade, the price of EVs has fallen to a fraction of what it once was. In that same timeframe, the performance and capability of electric car and trucks have improved considerably as well. Like any other new innovative technology, it only gets more cost-effective and advance as time goes by.

Refills

Gas powered cars are much quicker and easier to refuel. On average, an electric car takes eight hours to charge from a standard home charging unit. The absolute fastest roadside charging station can fully charge an EV in 30-minutes using the highest-speed charging outlet. You must also factor in wait times to access charging outlets. The time required for slower charging ports and the added cost of using roadside charging stations.

The future of transportation is electric. While the auto industry is rapidly switching to electric vehicles, gas-power cars and trucks will still be with us for decades to come. However, just as the world transitioned from using horses as the primary form of transportation. All cars, trucks, buses, planes and trains will eventually be all-electric.

Dead Car Battery

Dead Car Battery: How to Fix

Dead Car BatteryAccording to the AAA, a dead car battery is the number one reason American motorists call for roadside assistance. If your car or truck won’t start, more often than not, the battery is dead. Dead car batteries are especially prevalent in the age of Covid social distancing. Where cars, trucks, and SUVs are driven less frequently, or not at all. Whether it’s due to drivers being out of work, working-from-home, schools. Businesses being closed or simply not having the money. People just aren’t driving as much as they used to. A decrease in overall driving activity increases the risk of a dead car battery. This is due to a reduction in the charging it receives from the engine’s alternator as a result of regular driving.

What to Do About A Dead Car Battery

Jump-Start

The most common method drivers cope with a car or truck that won’t start due to a dead battery is a jump-start. Keeping a set of jumper cables in your trunk is always a good idea. If you do not have access to any, you may be able to flag down a fellow motorist. Make sure to use your best judgement and approach any individuals on the road with caution.

After popping open the hood of both vehicles, first connect the red positive clamps to the red positive terminals on both auto batteries. Then connect the black negative clamp to the black negative terminal on the vehicle with the fully functioning battery that will be doing the jumping. Next, attach the remaining black negative clamp to any paint-free metal part or surface within the engine block. After first starting the working vehicle and letting in run a minute or two, you will then attempt to start the vehicle with the dead car battery. If it starts, make sure to drive around for a recommended 30-minutes or more, to sufficiently charge the battery via the engine’s alternator.

Roadside Assistance:

If you do not possess the necessary tools or are unable to find anyone to help, most likely you will need to call for roadside assistance for a jump-start or tow. If you are in the Winston-Salem area and you experience a dead car battery feel free to contact us here at Carolina Auto Service. We offer 24-hour a day, seven days a week roadside assistance service to assist with any battery, mechanical or any other automotive-related difficulty you may encounter on the road.

Do-it-Yourself:

If you consider yourself fairly handy, and have the necessary time and resources available, servicing or replacing your vehicle’s battery can be done as a do-it-yourself fix. First, you will need a multimeter, a handheld electronic device used for measuring electric current. After setting the multimeter to the 15 to 20-amp setting, connect the red positive and black negative contacts to the corresponding positive and negative terminals on the car battery. Did the reading registers below 12.5 amps? You will want to either charge or replace your battery depending on its overall condition and lifespan.

While your vehicle’s alternator maintains your car or truck’s battery charge through regular driving, it was never designed to fully charge the battery; for that, you will need a dedicated car battery charger. If you’ve properly charged your vehicle’s battery and it is still experiencing power loss or failure to start, then it will need to be replaced. The easiest way to figure out which battery to buy is by referencing your vehicle’s owner manual, or simply popping open the hood and taking a look. It is essential you choose the correct size and power rating. The main units of measurement when it comes to rating an automotive battery is Cranking Amps (CA), the amount of electric amperage it takes to start a vehicle at 32-degrees Fahrenheit, along with Cold Cranking Amps (CCA), the amperage required to start an automobile at zero-degrees Fahrenheit.

Dead Car Battery Causes

Lights

Leaving your automobile’s headlights or interior lights on for an extended period of time. This is a great way to return to a car or truck with a dead car battery that won’t start.

Air Conditioning

Operating your vehicle’s air conditioning. Also, climate control system is a major drain on the battery and consumes even more battery life and fuel when used with the engine running.

Electronic Devices

Any electronic device such as your automobile’s entertainment, GPS, keyless entry, security and other systems consume electricity, especially when the engine is not running and will increase the likelihood of a dead car battery.

Inactivity

Under normal conditions, regular driving is usually enough to maintain a charge in most automotive batteries. Infrequent driving, or not driving at all will gradually deteriorate your car or truck’s battery, draining its energy along with reducing its overall longevity. Did you plan to store a vehicle long-term? You may want to consider disconnecting your vehicle’s battery cables to prevent excessive energy loss.

Weather

Extreme weather conditions will prematurely age your automobile’s battery. Accelerating the time between battery replacements. Also, well as increasing the likelihood of being strand due to a dead car battery. Scorching hot weather causes battery fluid to evaporate. This reducing its ability to charge as well as emitting an unpleasant sulfur odor. On the other hand, cold temperatures diminish a battery’s capacity to transfer electric current. As evidenced by the difficulty of starting a car in cold climates.

Old Age

The average car battery lasts roughly three to five years. Did you notice significant levels of corrosion? Leaking fluid, a foul sulfuric odor, or the battery is swollen or deformed, it is time to take action. Does your vehicle battery is experiencing any of these symptoms? Then more than likely, it is nearing the end of it life and will need replacement soon.

Conclusion

Most of us will experience that helpless feeling of turning the key in your car. And pushing the ignition and the vehicle fails to start. The best way to avoid being strand with a dead car battery is proper maintenance. Battery maintenance is simple. In fact, it’s so simple, most car or truck owners never bother getting around to it. Simply visually inspecting the battery and cleaning off any dirt. Also, residue or corrosion as it accumulates can extend the lifespan of any car battery considerably. Do you have any questions or would like one of our ASE certified automotive technicians? Would you like them to inspect or service your vehicle’s battery? Feel free to contact us or stop by Carolina Auto Service today.

essential smartphone driving apps

7 Essential Smartphone Driving Apps to Take On the Road

essential smartphone driving appsAccording to the Pew Research Center, 81-percent of all Americans own a smartphone. That’s about a 120-percent increase from less than ten years ago, with the number of new smartphone owners expected to rise even further in the coming years. Smartphones have truly revolutionized the world. Providing the average person with a plethora of cutting edge, technologically advanced tools in the palm of their hand. It seems as if there is a smartphone app for just about everything, including driving. In today’s blog, we dive into seven essential smartphone driving apps that every motorist should have on their phone.

1.) Waze

This popular, free-to-use, GPS navigation app delivers real-time driving directions, traffic conditions, gas prices, and other useful information to all IOS and Android mobile devices. What sets Waze apart from the competition is its network of over 100 million active monthly users across the globe crowdsourcing up-to-the-minute traffic info and accident reports, along with alerting motorists of road hazards like potholes and police. Waze instantly processes all of this data while providing the most efficient, traffic-free routes possible, as well as seamless navigation. This easy-to-use, essential smartphone driving app is also known for its fun customizable voice options.

2.) Gasbuddy

While there is an abundance of apps dedicated to finding the best gas prices in town, Gasbuddy is the best in the breed. This free-to-download gas price app boasts an industry-leading network of over 60 million active users continuously sharing real-time fuel costs, updates, and ratings for over 140,000 gas stations across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Gasbuddy users are encouraged to report current gas prices by earning the chance to win free gas. Aside from helping drivers save money on gas, Gasbuddy offers an integrated gas station payment service, which includes a customer loyalty program.

3.) Plugshare

Plugshare supplies hybrid and electric vehicle owners with the latest prices, descriptions and alerts from more than 300,000 designated charging points located across the country. Also, Plugshare includes filters when searching for specific types of charging connections to ensure proper compatibility, as well as identifying rapid-charge stations and electric vehicle service and repair providers. This essential smartphone driving app is especially useful on road trips or cruising through unfamiliar areas, as it is not always easy to find charging or service stations for electric vehicles.

4.) Spotify

Music and driving go hand-in-hand. That’s why adding Spotify; the world’s number one music streaming service to our list of essential smartphone driving apps is a no-brainer. Just about any artist or song you can think of is available to stream on Spotify. The industry leading music app is also a podcast powerhouse, owning exclusive rights to some of the most popular podcasts on the air, such as The New York Times Daily and Barstool Sports, along with recently signing deals with celebrities like Joe Rogan and Kim Kardashian. Spotify offers an ad-based, free-to-use version as a well a subscription-based premium service with enhanced features and integrates seamlessly with most modern auto entertainment systems via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

5.) Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers is the best pure road trip-planning app on the market. This handy, free-to-download smartphone app makes planning any road trip fun and easy. Allowing users to plan every aspect of their itinerary, including fuel consumption and travel time. Over five million specific locations like gas stations, restaurants, and lodging are plotted across the United States and Canada. Including detailed descriptions, reviews, and photos. The database also features other points-of-interest such as shopping, recreation, and cultural sites. Also, along with a myriad of other fun and interesting stops to break up the monotony of a long drive.

6.) Witness Driving

The only pay app on our list. For a reasonable 99 cents, you can transform your smartphone into a full-functioning dashcam with the Witness Driving app. For a fraction-of-the-cost of a dedicated auto dash camera, you can record your driving on a loop with this user-friendly app. Witness Driving is very useful for documenting evidence to be presented during insurance company disputes involving accidents. Also, fighting unwarranted traffic violations in court, as well as capturing other random events for fun. Witness Driving also logs the time, date, speed and location of every video.

7.) Repair Pal

Not all of us are “car people”. Repair Pal offers drivers a valuable resource that tracks any repairs done to your vehicle. Also, notifications for upcoming routine maintenance. In the event of a breakdown, Repair Pal can identify and contact the nearest available roadside assistance service provider. They can do this nationwide, 24-hours a day. Also, Repair Pal keeps real-time data on prices for each specific type of repair. They do this based on each individual vehicle’s make, model, and geographic location. This gives users peace-of-mind in terms of fair market value. While this app may be valuable on the road, Winston Salem locals know bringing your car or truck to Carolina Auto Service is always the right decision. Especially, if you’re looking for premium, ASE-certified auto repair service at an exceptional value.

Here at Carolina Auto Service we genuinely hope you received value from our list of essential smartphone driving apps that will not only help you save time and money but enhance your overall driving experience. With all the fancy apps and tech features available on today’s smartphones, we want to remind you to be safe. Lastly, stay alert and keep your eyes on the road.

Road Trip Tips

Five Safe & Healthy Road Trip Tips

Road Trip TipsHere 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.

Carolina Auto Service