Honda Repair

Common Repairs in Older Vehicles

Regular preventive maintenance is the key to keeping an older vehicle running well. No matter how closely you follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Your car has multiple parts that are bound to eventually wear out. The good news is that on the whole, engines are much more reliable than they were 40 years ago. The bad news is that once your vehicle reaches 100,000 miles, you can expect more and more components to wear out or otherwise become faulty, thus necessitating replacement.

Common Repairs For Older Cars

After 100,000 miles, you can expect maintenance costs to rise to between $4,000 and $5,000 for every 25,000 miles that you drive. That’s because in addition to the normal oil changes, tire rotations, replacement batteries and brake pads that your vehicle regularly needs, you’ll need to spend additional money to keep your vehicle running at its optimal level. Thus, it makes sense to be on the lookout for possible problems so your technician at Carolina Mobile Auto Service can examine your car and common repairs it before more serious problems arise.

When a particular part wears out or a problem arises depends on when on a variety of factors, including your driving habits, where you live and even the specific vehicle you own. Be on the lookout for these problems once you car’s odometer passes 100,000 miles.

Timing Belt – Common Repairs

Not all vehicles these days having timing belts. Some have timing chains, which can last indefinitely. If your car does have one, it will generally wear out by 100,000 to 120,000 miles and can cause big problems if it breaks because it plays an essential role in controlling your car when the camshaft and crankshaft rotate, causing the engine to die. If you have an interference engine, one that does not have sufficient clearance between the valves and pistons, the result could be one or more bent values and maybe even a broken piston. These types of common repairs often cost several thousand dollars. The life of your timing belt depends on the materials used in manufacture, miles driven, engine speed, temperatures under the hood and exposure to contaminants.

Water Pump

Most water pumps, which circulate coolant between the engine and the radiator, have an effective life of about 70,000, so it’s wise to keep an eye on its condition, even if you have already had it replaced. Water pump leaks usually manifest themselves through coolant that seeps through the vent hole or around the pump shaft.

Belts and Hoses

Anything made out of rubber will eventually wear out and these vital components of your vehicle are no exception. Heat and time are the main enemies. Be particularly vigilant of your high-mileage vehicle still has its original belts and hoses. Ask your mechanic to check them regularly.

Failing Tie Rod Ends

Technicians usually refer to this component simply as the tie rod, which connects your vehicle’s wheels with its steering and suspension. Tie rods can wear out from impact, constant use on bumpy roads or simple age. Common signs are bad alignment, shaky or loose steering wheel or uneven tire wear. When a tire road needs replacement, an alignment is also required.

Fuel Pumps

The life of your fuel pump differs dramatically depending on whether you have a domestic or foreign vehicle. Original fuel pumps on General Motors, Ford or Chrysler vehicles can fail anytime after 60,000 miles. Those from Asian manufacturers can last indefinitely. Most of the time, you’ll have no warning that the pump is about to fail. So you could find yourself stranded on the side of the road. Sometimes, the fault lies with something other than the pump, including a bad electrical connection, clogged fuel filter or fuel line, so an accurate diagnosis is necessary if the engine isn’t getting enough fuel. Some late model cars use electric fuel pumps that can be difficult and expensive to replace, are located inside the fuel tank.

Check Engine Light – Common Repairs

Your vehicle’s exhaust system can accumulate build-up as it ages that narrow exhaust passages and force the engine to work harder as well as lower gas mileage. The result can be failing components such as oxygen sensors that regulate vehicle emissions and help the engine work more efficiently. An illuminated light can also indicate a faulty mass air flow sensor. Both problems can cause the catalytic converter, which traps and converts harmful pollutants, to fail. A faulty mass air flow sensor can also cause damage to spark plugs.

Consider having your exhaust system cleaned if you have an older vehicle to avoid these problems. When the check engine light comes on, bring your vehicle in as soon as possible. You’ll want to have our of our technicians check computer codes to determine what the problem is. Replacing an oxygen sensor or mass air flow sensor is much less expensive then replacing the catalytic converter.

Understanding Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance

Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance – Hybrid vehicles have been available in the United States since the early years of the 2000s and have earned their way into the garages of individuals ho are concerned about the effects that gasoline-powered vehicles have on the environment. The current generation of hybrid vehicles are more reliable, longer-lasting, and in some cases, even less expensive than their first- and second-generation predecessors. Price drops occurred in recent years because the price of gasoline has dropped, making hybrids less attractive to some people.

The technicians at Carolina Auto Service have worked on various hybrid models since they first became widely available. Our staff remains up to date on the latest developments in hybrid technology, which is important as much as changed over the years. Having certified technicians who are fully versed in the peculiarities of hybrids too as the structure of the vehicles sometimes must be considered during repair.

Types of Hybrids

To understand possible problems your hybrid may encounter, it’s helpful to understand the different types of hybrid technologies. All hybrids combine the power of a gas engine with an electric motor powered by a battery. Thus, your vehicle has two powertrains, but how they work with one another depends on your specific model.

Parallel vs. Series Hybrids

Parallel design in full hybrids means the gas engine or the electric engine solely drive the wheels or they do so in unison. In a series configuration, the electric motor drives the whiles while the gas engine works as a generator once the electric battery is depleted.

Full Hybrids vs. Mild Hybrids

Full hybrids run on electricity alone until the battery runs out and then go to the gas engine to travel at higher speeds or for longer distances. Only full hybrids may be plugged in to act as full electric cars. Mild hybrids do the exact opposite of series hybrids with the gas engine turning the wheels and the electric engine giving the gas engine a boost.

Plug-in Hybrids

These vehicles incorporate the latest technology as they can be charged from a wall or charging station to work as electric cars for a range of between 10 and 35 miles and then switch to normal hybrid operation. By recharging the battery, you can use a hybrid vehicle solely on electricity until the battery needs assistance.


Most hybrid vehicles, especially those that are smaller, use fuel-efficient, four-cylinder gas engines. Larger SUVs and luxury cars, however, may have V6 or V8 engines. Most also have continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Hybrid Car Maintenance

Because hybrid cars have all the components of a gas-powered vehicle, overall maintenance will be similar. For example, you still have to get regular oil changes, have your tires rotated, get alignments when needed and generally follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

The very nature of hybrids lend themselves to less frequent maintenance intervals. Electric motors give gasoline engines a break, so it doesn’t go through as much wear. Thus, your car will probably require fewer oil changes. Frequency will depend on driving habits and manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask your technicians. Because of regenerative breaking, brake pads experience less heat and friction, making them last longer. That’s a particularly good benefit if you use your hybrid primarily for commutes to work in stop-and-go-traffic. Regenerative braking helps your hybrid in another way too. Whereas conventional cars rely entirely on friction to slow them down and dissipate the energy as wear and heat, regenerative braking captures some of that energy and turns it into electricity, and then stores it in the vehicle’s battery where it can be used later to run the motor.

Why You Need a Technician Experienced With Hybrids

Lots of people try to do some of their own preventive maintenance on their vehicles to save a few dollars, but hybrids have several qualities that make some of these tasks difficult for weekend grease monkeys. For one, you may not be able to readily get the oil specified for your car. New synthetic weights like 0W-20 are a common specification.

Beyond oil, though, hybrids employs sophisticated electronics with wiring systems that may reach around from the trunk to the front of the car. This means your hybrid will have a bevy of wires with which you may be unfamiliar. Because they are related to electricity, these wires can be dangerous. Trust an experienced technician to do something beyond simple maintenance as you may potentially encounter components with high electricity voltage.

Unique Problems of Hybrids

For most hybrid vehicles, their electronic components don’t require any special maintenance. Most vehicles come with manufacturer warranties lasting eight to 10 years or 100,000 to 150,000 miles. The most common problem is a dying battery, which may or may not happen outside your warranty. Dying batteries manifest themselves either by a sudden failure or through gradually decreasing fuel efficiency.

Other problems may be more specific to your specific model. Toyota Camry hybrids, for example, can have problems with the gas powertrain that don’t normally happen in gas-only vehicles. They can develop oil sludge that will result in excessive oil consumption. Other hybrid Camry’s may hesitate on acceleration and need transmission work. Others may run roughly due to a head gasket failure.

Other hybrids have problems that are peculiar to that particular model. Always note unusual running conditions to your technician, especially if you have a hybrid vehicle. Our technicians work on all models of Toyota, Nissan and Lexus hybrids, as well as the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Volt, and Hyundai Sonata hybrids.

To read more on hybrid vehicle maintenance, visit our blog!

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.

Colder Temperatures

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter’s Colder Temperatures

Even though winter weather conditions in Winston-Salem are not as severe as in other areas of the United States, it is extremely important that you prepare your car for winter as we can still experience the challenges that come with colder weather and treacherous road conditions. Winter not only brings with it colder temperatures and more precipitation, it also brings a greater chance of breakdowns and accidents.

Preparing yourself for winter driving has two facets. When the roads are cold and slippery, drivers need to adjust their behavior as soon as they get behind the wheel and be more vigilant, looking out for anything that may come their way. Drivers should take extra time and pay more attention while turning and passing, especially as temperatures drop and road conditions deteriorate.

Beyond your own actions, preparing your vehicle is just as important. Winterizing your car will make you vehicle safer and reduce the chance of mishaps. You will also be better prepared to travel out of the area if you take care of the following basic needs before the coldest part of the winter sets in.

Change Your Oil

Yes, we know you constantly hear about the importance of changing your oil at regular intervals. When the seasons change, new oil becomes even more important because outside temperatures influence the internal temperature of your engine. You should switch to a thinner, less viscous oil to ensure that your vehicle runs properly in cold weather. The technicians at Carolina Mobile Auto Service will recommend the proper oil for your vehicle.

Flush and Refill the Cooling System

Coolant not only keeps your vehicle from overheating in summer, it also helps protect it against corrosion in winter. Flush your coolant system before winter if it is due for service and make sure that your coolant has ethylene glycol for extra protection. Ensuring that your engine has the proper coolant to water ratio is more important in colder weather. Colder Temperatures. For most vehicles the ratio is 60 percent coolant to 40 percent water.

Don’t Forget Your Battery

Dead batteries are more common in winter. That’s because the colder the weather gets, the harder it is for the battery to crank. Thoroughly inspect your battery cables for cracks and breaks, while also checking the terminals for loose connections. Our technicians will also ensure that the battery has the correct level of battery acid. If your battery is three to four years old, it may be time for a replacement. When a battery is aging, it’s also important to have the level of charge checked to ensure that you don’t end up stranded on a roadside in inclement weather.

Windshield Wipers and Fluid

Being able to see properly is an essential part of safe winter driving. Replace your wiper blades if they are cracked or getting old. Make sure you also have enough windshield solvent to get you through the winter. When roads are wet and sloppy, you won’t believe how much you will use.

Follow Manufacturer’s Recommended Servicing

Following the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule can prevent unsafe operation and possible breakdowns by checking for worn parts. If your vehicle is approaching a recommended service interval, get the work done before cold weather sets in.

Assemble an Emergency Kit

Even with the best maintenance, unexpected breakdowns can occur. If you don’t already have one, assemble an emergency kit that includes items such as flares, blankets, a flashlight, engine oil, washer fluid, snacks and even an extra cell phone battery in case you become stranded. Also, make sure you have a good spare tire and a working jack. Colder Temperatures can cause issues with your vehicle so it is important to know before the winter temperatures set it.

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.

Car thief

Preventing Auto Theft

Preventing Auto Theft – As automotive technology has transformed society, the problem of auto-theft has also spread worldwide. This summer, for example, police in India re-arrested a man named as a defendant in over 130 auto theft cases during his long criminal career. Also, officers apprehended the 77-year old in a stolen vehicle on his way to sell the car to a scrap dealer. The septuagenarian told them he hunted for automobiles lacking security systems.

Automakers have devised a variety of methods to combat vehicle thefts. These include audible alarms, sophisticated auto engine immobilizing and recovery systems, and steering wheel locks. Car thefts in the United States have trended downwards since 2003 with some distinct regional disparities. In 2015, the crime occurred with the greatest frequency in California. Car thefts happen least often in the New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

North Carolina Vehicle Theft Statistics – Preventing Auto Theft

Data compiled by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed in 2014, North Carolina experienced 3.9 auto thefts for every 1,000 registered vehicles. Thieves in our state most often targeted the Honda Accord (the most frequently stolen vehicle nationally, too). Other brands favored by thieves include: the Honda Civic, full-sized Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge pickups, the Toyota Camry, the Nissan Altima, the Dodge Caravan and the Chevrolet Impala. The Raleigh area sustained a total of 1,524 reported vehicle thefts during 2015.

Insurance companies indicate methods of car theft-related crimes have grown more sophisticated even as better auto-theft prevention systems have gained popularity. Today car thieves sometimes attempt to circumvent high tech security measures by gaining access to “smart” keys. Also, they may switch VIN numbers to conceal thefts, too. Some criminals have used stolen identities to finance vehicles or to take out loans on them. (For this reason, police and insurance companies caution drivers never to leave mail unattended in an automobile; even if a thief does not abscond with the vehicle, stolen mail could place someone at high risk of sustaining an identity theft. You should also report an auto theft even if you recovered your vehicle.)

Tips For Preventing Auto Theft

To avoid becoming a victim of auto theft, taking a few simple precautions can prove helpful:

1. Never exit the vehicle (even briefly) while leaving the car running and the key in the ignition.
2. Never leave a key in a parked vehicle, always take the key (and any spare key) along with you.
3. Make a habit of locking your vehicle whenever you park.
4. Don’t leave money, personal possessions or shopping bags within view inside a parked vehicle.
5. Try and park in well-lit, secure locations.
6. Promptly repair broken or cracked windows and windshields and malfunctioning doors and door locking mechanisms; these problems could make breaking into a vehicle much easier.

The Future

Automakers continue to work on ways to enhance vehicle security. In the next few years, the advent of advanced biometric screening technology may help prevent some vehicle thefts.

Biometric fingerprint recognition systems have grown more widespread in recent years. This technology may eventually enable vehicles to distinguish between authorized and unauthorized drivers. Yet since both car-related criminal activities and crime prevention methods continue to evolve, taking common-sense safety precautions to secure your auto remains a wise policy. Also, Preventing Auto Theft is something that you can learn to be more aware of overtime. We hope this article is helpful in preventing crime in the future.

Call Us Soon

To help prepare your vehicle for winter weather in the Winston Salem, North Carolina area, call Carolina Mobile Auto Service at 336-765-8599 to schedule maintenance or repairs. Lastly, by keeping your automobile in great condition, you’ll enjoy driving throughout the year!


Will Hackers Target Autonomous Cars?

More drivers are growing accustomed to operating vehicles equipped with sophisticated computerized systems (i.e. Autonomous Cars)  A public debate has arisen about potential problems associated with the merger of high tech and standard cars. The possibility of self-driving automobiles will soon become a significant daily presence. Also, in many places the lent urgency to concerns regarding hacking. After all, whoever imagined online visitors would need to protect personal computers against threats such as viruses?

Government Concern

Agencies within the United State government have already issued warnings about automotive hacking issues. For instance, earlier this month the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a set of preliminary recommendations for manufacturers creating products for the new industry entitled: Federal Automated Vehicles Policy.

This initiative from the U.S. Department of Transportation called upon companies building self-driving vehicles and autonomous cars components to make safety a very high priority. It also urged developers to share information with one another in order to promote the creation of compatible systems.

Developing Anti-hacking Technology

Promoting interoperable automotive computer systems might expedite the development of the autonomous car industry. For instance, the chip maker Nvidia on September 28, 2016 revealed a new “supercomputer” automotive chip for vehicles called a “system-on-a-chip” or “SoC”. It aims to replace many individual vehicle processors.

Debuting its invention at an Amsterdam technology conference, the manufacturer indicated the new device, which it will market as “Xavier”, will comply with automotive standards while expediting advances in the use of automated vehicle camera technology. Other tech companies researching self-driving vehicles have sought to develop specialized platforms to help car makers design artificial intelligence components into vehicles more easily.

A Public Backlash On Autonomous Cars

Few people like to consider the possibility of hackers hijacking a vehicle. Also, spreading viruses capable of disrupting sophisticated navigation or remote sensing technology. Yet recently a Chinese security firm demonstrated it could hack into a Tesla Model S vehicle located 12 miles away. The testers managed to intercept the operation of electronic features. This includes the braking system, the dashboard screen display, and even the electronic door locks! Imagine finding yourself locked inside your own vehicle because a hacker intercepts your auto’s computerized systems?

Indeed, some recent polls indicate reluctance on the part of most Americans to surrender the steering wheel completely to an autonomous cars. Some 80% of respondents in one survey want to retain the option of humans assuming control over the vehicle, if necessary.

Anti-Hacking Measures For Autonomous Cars

Meanwhile, a new startup called Karamba Security recently raised $2.5 million in seed money to begin developing and marketing technology to help secure automobiles against hackers. It produces technology that prevents foreign code from changing manufacturer settings. And on electronic control units, small computers located with many sophisticated automotive systems. The Israel-based firm believes its products will also hold great applicability for drones and industrial robots in the future.

With some automakers glibly assuming the public will consent to become passive passengers and not owners of autonomous vehicles, valid concerns about automotive hacking appear reasonable. In order to gain widespread acceptance for autonomous vehicles, self-driving car manufacturers will need to meet high standard for safety!

Visit Us Soon

Carolina Mobile Auto Service in Winston Salem North Carolina offers regular automotive inspections and qualified repair services. Visit us at 1418C South Stratford Road, or call ahead to make an appointment by contacting (336-765-8599).


Recent Innovations Promote Safer Driving

During the past decade, automakers have made significant strides in incorporating sophisticated sensing capabilities into vehicles. As automation gains wider acceptance in society and the “Internet of Things” develops, car designers have begun applying some advanced robotic technologies to help promote easier, safer travel. Safer driving will help everyone on the road.

Although many innovations remain available as upgrades in 2017 models, just like air bag technology a few years ago some of these currently advanced systems may soon become widespread. Consider a few important recent breakthroughs:

Rear View Cameras

Already a standard features in several 2016 models, rear view cameras provide valuable assistance to drivers in many situations. Most people steering in reverse gear from a garage onto a busy street or backing up a vehicle to attach a trailer hitch in unfamiliar surroundings find the assistance of a rear-view camera useful.

Automakers urge customers not to depend completely upon rear view cameras. While it still remains important to look backwards before placing an automobile or truck into reverse. The presence of cameras in a growing number of vehicles has likely already contributed to safer driving. Some recreational vehicle manufacturers embraced this technology years ago.

Forward Collision Alert Technologies

A few automakers have begun utilizing sophisticated sensors to notify drivers when forward collisions appear imminent. This type of system issues an alert if the car approaches another vehicle too rapidly. The technology may prove especially valuable in reducing fender benders caused by tailgating. Drivers also benefit from these advanced warnings while driving in heavy snow or fog.

Although not infallible, this innovation will likely reduce automotive accidents involving pedestrians, too. Some manufacturers have even programmed vehicles to automatically slow or brake when a forward impact becomes inevitable. The reduction in speed could reduce injuries during collisions.

Lane Shift Alerts

One of the most promising sophisticated new warning systems notifies a driver whenever the vehicle makes an unexpected lane change. Drifting out of the lane of traffic poses a significant threat to safety in situations in which a driver becomes drowsy and experiences brief periods of “micro sleep”. In fact, studies have established that sleepy drivers frequently nod off for a few seconds at a time, periods when the vehicle may veer dangerously into oncoming traffic or drift off the roadway.

By issuing an alert when an unanticipated sudden change in trajectory occurs, these alarm systems may cause distracted or drowsy drivers to pull over and rest. The new technology appears to hold some significant safety benefits. Still optional in most models, the ability of drivers to receive alerts from “smart” vehicles monitoring lane changes will likely prevent accidents in the future.

Night Vision Cameras

Although still very expensive and limited in application mainly to luxury automobiles, optional night vision technologies have become more popular. A driver of a vehicle equipped with this feature enjoys the ability to use cameras in the car to survey the surroundings with the same sophisticated infrared systems employed in night vision goggles.

Potentially, this technology will benefit people traveling after dark, especially in poorly lit areas. Every year, deer and other wildlife crossing onto roadways precipitate car accidents. Night vision cameras enable drivers to detect wildlife, roadway obstructions or parked, broken-down vehicles more effectively. The technology also will help provide advance notice of pedestrians walking along the side of the road or crossing streets in poorly illuminated areas.

Surround-View Cameras

Some 2016 vehicles , offer a complete sophisticated surround-view monitoring system. Drivers can obtain a 360 degree perspective by examining a computerized diagram on the vehicle’s display screen.

This innovative system promises to reduce accidents associated with “blind spots” as drivers change lanes in busy traffic. This computer technology still requires alert driving, of course, yet it does promise to promote greater highway safety as it becomes more widespread. We hope this article gives you safer driving tips.

Visit Us Soon

For a full range of auto repair services, or for emergency roadside assistance, contact Carolina Mobile Auto Service at (336)765-8599. We serve the Winston Salem, North Carolina tri-city area!

Hot weather

How Hot and Humid Weather Affects Your Vehicle

Summer heat and humidity can wreak havoc on your vehicle and how it functions, even when you are not on a road trip. Warm weather, hot roads, and humidity combine to create a hostile environment for all vehicles. Here are a few things to consider when driving your car during the hot summer months. Now that you know that weather affects your vehicle, here is how to help prevent damage.

Oil, Coolant and Other Fluids

Because your engine runs hotter in the summer, it’s especially important to keep it well lubricated. Keeping on top of oil changes is especially important during hot weather, so make sure that you change it at regular intervals. Frequent road trips during summer will lessen the time between oil changes.

Antifreeze is also important. While it keeps your vehicle from freezing in winter, it also performs a vital function in the summer by keeping it cool. Make sure your car has enough of it as older vehicles tend to leak more antifreeze during hot months. Keep a close eye on your vehicle’s temperature gauge to keep it from overheating.

Transmission and power steering fluid should receive checks at proper intervals to ensure that those systems are working properly. Make sure that all hoses are in good condition to properly deliver fluid. Gas also evaporates faster in a hot environment. Park your car in the shade whenever possible to give all of these systems a break.


Hot tires coming into contact with hot pavement can be a recipe for disaster. If you make sure that your tires are properly inflated, you’re less likely to experience a blowout. Avoid this hazardous situation by having pressure checked monthly and adjusting inflation as necessary. Tires with insufficient tread are also prone to blowouts in hot weather.


It is well known that cold weather makes it more difficult for the battery to crank and start your vehicle. However, extra vibration from long summer trips can shorten its life. Make sure the technician tops off battery fluids when you bring your car in for regular service. Always carry a pair of jumper cables in case you get stranded.

Paint and Upholstery

Although paint processes have improved over the last several decades, some manufacturers now place thinner coats to cut costs, resulting inc more potential damage. Constant exposure to direct sunlight can damage your car’s surface and cause paint, rubber and plastic trim to fade, peel and crack.

To Learn More about How Weather Affects Your Vehicle, Call Us Today!

Running Like New

How to Keep An Old Car Running Like New

Running Like New – Over the past decade, Americans started to keep their vehicles longer out of necessity. Many couldn’t afford a monthly new car payment, so they invested money into keeping their present vehicle. The fact is, however, that the major manufacturers have made their vehicles more reliable than ever, with many cars, trucks, and SUVs logging 150,000 or 200,000 miles or more before being retired. An owner of a Toyota Tundra in Louisiana logged one million miles on his vehicle before Toyota awarded him with a replacement.

Keeping An Old Car Running Like New

The secret to keeping your older vehicle running well is really no secret at all. The difference between a well-running older vehicle and a junker is maintenance. As the engine ages, it’s even more important to keep the vehicle’s fluids changed as clean fluids will keep the powertrain going. Even if you use the best oil in the business, it’s no good if you never change it. In addition to regular oil and filter service, change transmission and differential oils according to the manufacturer’s service intervals. Make sure to use transmission fluid or gear oil of the recommended type and viscosity.

Keeping Your Cooling System Up To Date

Take care of your cooling system. Flush and change the coolant once a year. The hoses that carry that coolant also live a hard life with temperatures often exceeding 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Check periodically for cracks and leaks. If you don’t know when your vehicle’s coolant hoses were last replaced, consider doing so before they fail. Water pumps are another component that frequently fail in older cars. Replace it if you are having extensive engine work done.

Wheel Bearings Ensure The Tires Will Run Smoothly

Another component that the average driver gives little thought to is wheel bearings. These are important because then ensure that your tires run smoothly. Inspect, clean and repack bearings according to recommended service intervals. This maintenance is inexpensive when compare with spindle and hub replacement.

Maintaining The Brakes

Maintaining your brakes is another way to keep your car young. Flush brake fluid every two years and if your vehicle is seven years or older, consider replacing the rubber brake lines when major brake work is needed. When rotors or brake drums need to be remove, it’s also a good time to check the wheel bearings.

Whenever you have a question about the maintenance or operation of your older vehicle, the experts at Carolina Mobile Auto Service will be glad to thoroughly address your concerns.

Summer Maintenance Checklist

Essential Summer Maintenance Checklist Before Hitting the Road

Nothing says summer like packing up your vehicle and heading out on the open road. While most drivers realize that getting regular oil changes are essential for good operation, heading out on a road trip requires a complete check of your car to ensure that you won’t become stranded on the side of the road miles from help. Have your mechanic perform a full safety inspection a week or two before your trip to give you enough time to rectify possible problems that could occur and make your journey as safe as possible. Here is our Summer Maintenance Checklist before you hit the open road.

Summer Maintenance Checklist

A thorough inspection can’t foresee all potential problems. If you follow this checklist, however, you’ll reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip.

Check the Tires

Tires are the number one component of your car that can fail on the road. A good inspect will assess the condition of each tire itself, looking at tread, inflation and signs of uneven wear. Even though Carolina Auto Service does not sell tires, our staff wil recommend replacement if we feel your safety is at risk.

Check and Replace Fluids – Maintenance Checklist

In addition to oil, other system fluids, such as power steering fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid and brake fluid should be checked and replaced periodically to prevent your vehicle from stalling or encountering other problems. Top off fluids that are low or replace ones that have excessive dirt.

This inspection is especially important with regard to the cooling system, which experiences the second most failures in a typical vehicle. Not only should levels be topped off, your technician should examine the system for leaks and worn parts.

Check the Brakes – Summer Maintenance Checklist

Your brakes are your vehicle’s single most essential piece of safety equipment. An inspection will ensure that they are in good working order and able to stop within safe distances.

How Old is Your Battery?

The battery is essential to starting your car. Most batteries last between three and four years. Make sure that all cables are secure and free of corrosion and if there is any chance that you could lost cranking power while on the road, replace it.

Don’t Forget the Transmission

It’s easy to overlook the transmission when it’s operation well, but problems can seemingly happen almost instantly. Make sure that it gets a thorough check because you don’t want to spend extensive time and money having an unknown mechanic fix your vehicle on the road.

We hope this Summer Maintenance Checklist from Carolina Auto Service has helped you prepare for your next big road trip!

Engine Check Light

Common Reasons Why Your Engine Check Light Comes On

One of the most common scenarios at Carolina Auto Service are customers who come in, panicked because their engine check light is on. Many people think that when this light illuminates, an imminent breakdown will occur. Unlike other dashboard lights that signal an impending emergency, you have leeway. Although you shouldn’t ignore the engine check light indefinitely, it does indicate a potential problem that your mechanic should investigate.

Most problems associated with the engine check light are relatively inexpensive fixes, but have the potential to turn into catastrophes if ignored. When this light comes on, the best course of action is to come into our facility and have one of our technicians plug a small computer that will read the code produced by the error light and determine the problem. Although dozens of problems can make the light illuminate, these are the most common ones.

Loose or Cracked Gas Cap

Vapors can leak out of a loose or cracked cap, causing a reduction in gas mileage and increasing emission. Sometimes a loose cap can cause the light to turn on and then turn off a few miles later. Cracked caps are easy and inexpensive to replace with the piece itself usually costing less than $20.

Faulty Oxygen Sensor

Most cars ad trucks have between two and four sensors that monitor unburned oxygen coming from exhaust. Bad sensors are unable to provide data to your vehicle’s computer, resulting in poor gas mileage and in increased emissions. Ignoring this problem can lead to failure of the catalytic converter, making your repair bill much more expensive.

Mass Airflow Sensor

This part measures air entering the engine to determine the amount of fuel needed for efficient operation. A faulty sensor can damage spark plugs, oxygen sensors and even the catalytic converter, leading to stalling, increase emissions and decreased gas mileage.

Worn Spark Plugs or Wires

Spark plugs and wires help deliver the energy that ignites the air/fuel mixture in your vehicle’s combustion center. Failure to replace them results in poor performance and decreased fuel economy and can also lead to a clogged catalytic converter.

Catalytic Converter

By far the most expensive repair at more than $2,000, the catalytic converter is responsible for reducing exhaust gases and converting carbon monoxide into harmless compounds. When it fails completely, the vehicle won’t run.

There are certainly many causes for a check engine light but if yours comes on it’s best to have it checked out by ASE certified local repair shop. And of course if you’re in the Winston Salem area Carolina auto service is here to help. Contact us today to set an appointment with one our technicians.

Carolina Auto Service