Check Engine Light Diagnostic

Engine Light

There are a variety of reasons why you could see a check engine light illuminate within the dash board of your car, truck, SUV, or other motor vehicle.

The professional mechanics at Carolina Auto Service provide expert diagnostic service. Helping you to quickly identify the various triggers of your engine light illumination. Regardless of what kind of vehicle you drive, it’s important to seek professional help right away if you see your service engine soon light illuminate.

If you live in Winston Salem, North Carolina and see a check engine light in your vehicle, then it’s time to consult the pros at Carolina Auto Service right away.

We can quickly diagnose your vehicle’s problem. This will help you to avoid any further engine damages which could result from neglecting the check engine light.

The Purpose of Your Vehicle’s Check Engine Warning Light

To identify problems that need repair PRIOR to causing catastrophic damage to your vehicle. There are seemingly innumerable causes. Common issues are an engine problem, a problem with electronics, or a problem within your vehicle’s transmission.

New vehicles come chalk full of complex electronics. High tech computer systems which detect problems before they become threatening issues. That’s why your car is designed with this light. It is a safeguard for your vehicle. To ensure avoiding serious damage to your transmission, engine, brakes, suspension, and more. Your car will alert you that there is a high chance of failure before it happens. This is awesome, since you can prevent more costly auto repairs.

If you happen to find yourself riding down the road and the check engine light suddenly comes on, it’s no reason to lose your cool. You don’t need to immediately pull off the road and contact an auto towing service. But, you do need to find out what the cause of the check engine light is as soon as possible.

The best way to diagnose check engine lights in Winston Salem, NC is to visit Carolina Auto Service.

Our professional mechanics can verify the cause of your check engine light’s illumination. After identifying the root cause of the problem, we can create an accurate, reasonable estimate for the prices of the necessary auto repair. Then, we can provide quick auto repair service to fix all of the issues before things get any worse. Contact us today for an appointment.

Common Causes for Excessive or Uneven Tire Wear

Common Causes for Excessive or Uneven Tire Wear

Most people don’t usually think about their car or truck’s tire wear til it is too late. Like when they are on the side of the road dealing with a flat.

Regular service and maintenance is key to maximizing the life and longevity of your automobile’s tires.

Riding on properly maintained tires not only drastically reduces your chances of experiencing any flat or blown-out tires; It also helps ensure optimum fuel efficiency, traction and safety while driving.

Excessive or uneven tire wear is a clear indication your vehicle needs some sort of auto maintenance or repair. Ignoring uneven tire wear will end up costing more. This is because you will need not only the repair for whatever is causing the problem, but also very likely, new tires as well. Suspension related problems requiring maintenance are the most common culprits that cause excessive and uneven tire wear.

The location and severity of accelerated tire wear helps to determine the underlying cause. It also serves as a red flag for any potential damage being done to your automobile’s suspension system.

How Long Does Tire Tread Last?

According to Edmunds, the average driver puts between 12,000 and 15,000 miles on their vehicle’s tires annually. At that rate, most standard tire models will provide roughly three to four years of tread life. Of course this estimate is based on normal operating conditions. Keep in mind, if you are on the road more than the average motorist, drive aggressively, or operate your vehicle on unpaved roads you will accumulate tire wear at a faster rate.

Furthermore, if your vehicle’s tires are regularly exposed to harsh, tire-aging elements such as heat, sun, moisture or cold, they will also need to be replaced before the end of their projected life expectancy. Most tire manufacturers recommend replacing any tires older than six years, regardless of tire wear, or lack thereof.

Some tire models can last up to ten years. However, they usually do require a yearly tire inspection following the fifth year of their manufacture date. To find the manufacture date of your tires, locate the four-digit “POV” number located on the sidewall of the tire near its model number.

For all tires produced after the year 2000, the first two numbers indicate the week of the year the tire was produced. The second two numbers specify the year. Tires built before the year 2000 utilize a three-digit number POV number with the first two numbers specifying the week number, while the final number indicates the last number of the year. Tracking down the exact decade on a three-digit POV number can be quite tricky, especially on classic cars with much older tires.

Common Causes of Uneven or Excessive Tire Wear

Improper Inflation Pressure is One of the Most Common Causes of Excessive Tire Wear

Improperly inflated tires are the most common culprit behind most cases of uneven or excessive tire wear. Under inflation will lead your vehicle’s tires to wear excessively either on their inner or outer edges, decreasing their overall lifespan.

Conversely, if your car or truck’s tires have too much air they will wear disproportionately toward their center. You can find your automobile manufacturer recommended tire pressure levels typically indicated on a sticker found when opening the driver’s side door. Or, you can also find these specs in the owner’s manual. The auto experts at Carolina Auto Service recommend checking the air pressure on your vehicle’s tires at least once a month.

Bad Wheel Alignment

A car or truck with misaligned wheels will experience uneven, premature tire wear along either its inner or outer edges. A vehicle with bad wheel alignment will typically veer either to its left or to its right when attempting to drive straight. Of course this creates a potential safety hazard for the driver as well as other nearby motorists on the road.

Other negative effects of misaligned wheels include:

  • Squeaking or squealing tires
  • Decreased fuel efficiency
  • Shaking or vibration when steering
  • Increased strain on suspension system components

The issues in the list above will very likely lead to unnecessary/costly repairs if left without diagnosis/repair. If you are in Winston Salem and your vehicle is experiencing any of the above faulty wheel alignment symptoms, come see us!

Lack of Tire Rotation at Regular Intervals Almost Always Causes Uneven Tire Wear

Tires that haven’t been rotated regularly are a likely cause for premature or uneven tire wear. Tires that haven’t been rotated regularly typically leave patchy areas of excessive wear throughout their surface. This diminishes your tire’s overall lifespan as well as making them more susceptible to blowouts or flats while driving. Most automotive experts recommend rotating your tires every 3000 to 5000-miles, or with every oil change.

Suspension System Service & Repair

If you notice a rumbling/buzzing sound being emitting from any of your tires, or notice indentations or “cupping” on their surface, chances are one or more of its suspension system components require repair or replacement. Continuing to operate a vehicle with a suspension system damage can further exacerbate the problem leading to more costly repairs down the road. Therefore, you should bring your car or truck into an auto repair center like Carolina Auto Service as soon as possible.

Failing or Bad Tie Rods

A loose or worn out tie rod can cause your car or truck’s wheels to fall out of alignment. Which results in uneven, excessive tire wear. A tie rod is the metal component that connects your automobile’s wheels to the steering column.

Indications that it is time to repair or replace one or more of your vehicle’s tie rods include:

  • Difficult steering
  • Poor wheel alignment
  • Accelerated wear on the inner edges

You have a lot riding on your tires. That’s why it’s imperative to remain vigilant in inspecting and servicing your car or truck’s tires. Keeping your tires in proper working order is essential to maximizing the performance, longevity and value of your automobile, along with keeping you safe on the road.

Experiencing excessive or uneven tire wear in or near Winston Salem, NC?

Contact us today or stop in to set up an appointment. Our ASE-Certified mechanics know tire wear causes and solutions.

What’s That Noise? – The Five Most Common Car Noises and What They Mean

What’s That Noise? – The Five Most Common Car Noises and What They Mean

It’s usually not a good sign if your car or truck is making any strange, unfamiliar noises. Out-of-the-ordinary sounds coming from your vehicle are a telltale sign that it’s in need of service or repair. Often times you can diagnose any automotive service or repair issues based on the specific sound a vehicle is making. In this month’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at the five most common car noises and what they mean.

The Five Most Common Car Noises and What They Mean

1.) Squeaking, Screeching or Grinding Brakes

Hearing a squeaking or screeching sound when applying the brakes? This is one of the most easily identifiable, common car noises most drivers will experience.

It means one or more of your car or truck’s brake pads needs to be serviced or replaced soon. A louder, metal-on-metal grinding noise indicates that your automobile’s brake pads are completely gone. If that is the case, this means that your car’s metal brake discs and calipers are rubbing against each other.

It is extremely dangerous to drive with completely worn out brake pads. Additionally, it can become costly as well, due to damage likely being done to your vehicle’s brake rotors and discs. If you have any concerns about any abnormal sounds coming from your vehicle’s brakes bring it in to a reputable auto repair center. Our ASE-certified auto mechanics are brake experts and will resolve any problematic brake noises once-and-for-all.

2.) Buzzing or Vibrating Tires

A buzzing or vibrating noise, similar to the drone sound coming from a hive of angry bees or hornets, is one of the most common car noises that indicates tire trouble. If you hear this sound emanating from your automobile’s tire area while driving, it clearly signals that the tire is in imminent danger of blowing out or failing.

You should pull over as soon as possible and visually inspect all of your vehicle’s tires, along with measuring their air pressure. A buzzing or vibrating tire can signify a variety of different issues such as incorrect air pressure levels, out-of-balance alignment or rotation, a puncture, leak, or it is simply worn-out and needs replacing.

Driving with a buzzing or vibrating tire is a safety hazard to yourself as well as other motorists. This tire problem must be immediately repaired.

3.) Shrieking or Squealing Engine

A shrieking or squealing sound coming from your vehicle’s engine during ignition or operation normally indicates that its serpentine belt needs replacing or service. Aside from the horrible sound, a worn, damaged or malfunctioning serpentine belt can also lead to failures and problems with your automobile’s alternator, starter, water pump, air conditioning compressor, and radiator fan.

While it’s a fairly simple fix, you will probably want a highly trained mechanic to professionally service your vehicle’s serpentine belt, as well as ensure no other underlying mechanical issues were causing the shrieking or squealing noise under the hood.

If your car or truck is shrieking, squealing or making any of the other common car noises listed in this blog, don’t hesitate to make an auto repair appointment asap.

4.) Whining or Whirring When Turning

Whining or whirring sounds emitted from the steering column when turning the steering wheel. This common car noise typically points to a power steering problem. A whining or whirring steering column is normally the result of the power steering system being low on fluid, experiencing a leak, or a worn component in need of replacement.

You will want to get your car or truck off the road and have its power steering system checked out by an automotive professional as soon as you can. Continual driving may lead to further leaking or damage.

Local Winston Salem, North Carolina motorists experiencing any whining or whirring sounds coming from their vehicle’s steering column should definitely bring their automobile in for top-of-the-line power steering service and repair at Carolina Auto Service, conveniently located on South Stratford Road near the Interstate 40.

5.) Clicking, Clunking or Crunching When Turning or Accelerating

A clicking, clunking or crunching noise coming from any of your automobile’s wheel areas when turning or accelerating normally occurs when there is a problem with one of its CV axles. A CV axle is an automotive component that essentially connects and integrates a car or truck’s wheel, to its chassis and suspension system.

If the CV axle or its individual parts need to be cleaned, lubricated, repaired or replaced it will make a clicking, clunking or crunching noise when turning or accelerating the vehicle, which gets progressively worse over time and usage.

Operating a car or truck with a damaged CV axle is a recipe for disaster. It could lead to complete loss of control when driving and in a worst-case scenario, a wheel literally falling off. Needlessly to say, you will want to refrain from driving a vehicle making clicking, clunking, or crunching sounds. And of course, bring it in to an experienced mechanic right away.

Trust your gut…..

You know your own car or truck better than anyone else. If your instincts are telling you something just doesn’t sound right on your vehicle, visit a reliable automotive repair center. Carolina Auto Service in Winston Salem, NC will diagnose and repair your car or truck problem. Don’t let a minor fix snowball into costly repairs and replacements.

 

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.

Why Routine Brake Service Is a Good Idea

Why Routine Brake Service Is a Good Idea

Routine Brake Service: What Can You Get Out of It?

Owning and driving a vehicle you can call your own is a privilege and honor. It’s also a major responsibility. If you want to be the epitome of a responsible driver, you have to take care of your vehicle properly. That involves a lot more than just parking it at night and washing it occasionally. It entails making sure that your vehicle is always 100 percent safe.

Your goal should be to make sure that your car is in tiptop shape at all times. A safe car proves that you respect your own well-being. It proves that you respect the well-being of the other people around you, too. Nothing means more than that.

Many different factors go into balanced vehicle safety. It can be smart to begin with brake service. Your brakes are a critical part of the functioning of your car. The brakes, in short, can halt your vehicle when necessary. They help you slow down when necessary, too. This is invaluable for safety purposes.

Brake Service Can Offer You Better Safety

It’s no secret that reliable brakes are essential for safe vehicle operations. If you want to make sure that your brakes are always safer than safe, professional service is your finest bet. Faulty brakes can make you more susceptible to dangerous collisions on the road. Brake failure is a major hazard that can lead to accidents of all sizes. It can frequently result in serious injuries and even fatalities.

If you notice anything amiss with your brakes, then you need to take your car in for professional attention without a second of hesitation. Brake pad replacement or repair work may be crucial.

Click Here Button

Brake Service Can Enhance the Longevity of Your Brakes

Routine brake maintenance is critical for people who want to maintain brakes that are in excellent and dependable shape for a long time. If you invest in frequent brake maintenance service, it can alert you to the need for new hoses, brake pads and small components in general. Replacing these elements is beneficial due to the fact that it can boost the strength of components of your vehicle that are a lot costlier. Replacing smaller elements can often keep your brake rotors and master cylinder in excellent working order.

If you notice any clues that suggest the deterioration of your hoses or brake pads, you should take care of them as soon as possible. Doing so can often protect you from brake problems that are a lot bigger and more complex. It can often safeguard your brakes overall and keep them working beautifully for a long while. If you want more brake mileage, routine service is the sensible approach.

Routine Brake Service Can Protect Your Bank Account

Brake service can often safeguard people from particularly time-consuming and serious brake problems. Severe brake problems often cost a lot to fix, too. If you want to be able to identify and take care of brake issues before they get the power to grow in intensity, then frequent service is optimal. Preventative maintenance can do so much for your peace of mind any time you’re behind the wheel. It can also keep your finances intact. No one likes the idea of spending a fortune on significant brake troubles.

Are Your Brakes in Strong Working Order?

It can be helpful to pay attention to your brakes at all times. Know the signs that denote issues with your brakes. They may alert you to the need for repair work or even replacement. This can keep you safe while you’re driving. You always want to steer clear of driving with problematic brakes. Nothing is ever worth that risk. If potential brake failure is in your future, you may hear strange squealing and grinding sounds. These sounds may suggest brake pad issues. Note, too, that tired pads frequently harm other vital brake components. That’s why you should never dismiss them.

There are a good number of other clues that can notify you of possible brake troubles. These clues include brake pedals that just aren’t as receptive as before, odd vehicle “tugging” actions during the braking process and braking vibrations. If you observe or experience any of these things, then you need to stop everything and take your vehicle in for service. You have no time to dillydally. Your safety is paramount. The safety of other drivers on the road with you is paramount, too.

Contact Carolina Auto Service in Winston-Salem Today

Are you searching for five-star professional brake service anywhere near Winston-Salem North Carolina? Get in touch with Carolina Auto Service today. Our mechanics are experienced brake service experts. They help drivers manage brake repair needs of all types. Contact us as soon as possible to reserve an appointment for our skilled assistance.

Click Here Button

Carolina Auto Service