Optimal Car Air Conditioning for the Summer Heat

Written by Car Talk. Posted in Uncategorized

The summer sun is here, school is out, temps are rising, and it’s time to stay cool. Driving around in the summer can be a huge drain if your car’s air conditioning isn’t working properly. Recent surveys indicated that over 75% of cars are in need of some sort of minor repairs. Among those minor repairs are often A/C maintenance. The good news is that taking your car into an auto repair shop for A/C maintenance is only necessary if you haven’t been taking good care of your vehicle. As one of the leading auto repair shops in the area, here are some of our top tips to keep your car A/C cool this summer:

Tips to Keep Air Conditioning In Check

Luckily for you, air conditioning repair is much easier than going in for brake service or new belts and hoses. In fact, keeping your A/C in check is more like an oil change or tune-up service (except in rare situations). Here are some tips and tricks from your favorite auto repair shop.

Avoid Pre-Cooling the Car: As tempting as it is to turn the car on and “pre-cool” the vehicle, air conditioning is designed to work best while the car is actually moving. The faster the engine turns, the faster the air conditioning compressor runs. The air conditioning compressor is what actually cools your car. Attempting to pre-cool the car is mostly just a waste of time and gas. If the cabin is really hot, crank up the fans when you first start driving and open the rear windows for about 20-30 seconds. This will force all of the hot air out of the car and help cool off the interior. Opening the front windows will only move the heat out of the front of the car, leaving the back hot. Make sure to open the back windows.

Use Lower Temps and Lower Fans: Setting the temperature to the lowest setting and adjusting the fans to a slower setting is much more efficient for car air conditioning. As an auto repair shop, we have also noticed that this doesn’t dry out the air as much and can increase fuel efficiency in a vehicle. The traditional A/C system in a car is set to cool air to 38 degrees. Setting the temperature higher forces the system to heat the air back up, which takes more fuel.

Avoid Recirculating Air: Especially if there are passengers in the back seat, turn off recirculation mode. This will take air from the front of the car and pull it back through the system, which keeps the front of the car cool but the back of the car hot and stale. Not something your passengers are going to like!

The Stop/Start System: Many new cars come with an automatic stop/start system. These features save fuel by stopping your car engine when at a red light or in heavy traffic and automatically start it again as you begin to move forward. While this can save some fuel, it also stops the A/C compressor from running when the engine is off. In very hot weather you will definitely notice the lack of cool at a lengthy stoplight or in stop and go traffic.

Clean the Filter: If you aren’t super confident doing this on your own, bring it into an auto repair shop and we can help you. Ensuring the cabin air filter is clean will help promote optimal airflow. If there is a lot of dirt accumulated on the air filter, it is time for a change. Typically the air filter is accessible from behind the glove compartment and only takes a few minutes to replace. Often the replacement can be done as part of an oil change service, or just done by your own. If the air filter isn’t behind the glove compartment and you aren’t sure how to locate it, bring your car in for a tune-up and an auto repair shop can help keep your A/C running prime this summer.

10 Maintenance Tips Anyone Can Use to Keep Your Car Healthy and Happy

Written by Car Talk. Posted in Uncategorized

Everyone knows how much Americans love their cars. Despite this, many do not take as good care of their vehicles as they should. In fact, nearly 77% of cars being driven today need some kind of work to be done, according to a recent survey. More than $60 billion in routine car maintenance goes undone each year. To avoid having your car spending too much time at the automotive shop, here are some things you should do for your car:
  1. Pay close attention to your tires. You can skip needing tire repair at the local automotive shop by doing simple things to keep them in good shape. There are a few things you can do to keep your tires healthy:
  2. Keep an eye on the air pressure. When tires are left underinflated, they are much more likely to be the cause of a serious motor vehicle accident. Once every 30 days, you should take a gauge and look at the pressure of your tires. If you are not sure what the pressure reading should be, take a look at your owner’s manual.
  3. Have your tires rotated. This is something you have to have done at an auto shop. You need to have this done every 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
  4. Have the wheel alignment checked. This can be done at the same time you have your tires rotated. If your alignment is out of whack, it can cause uneven wear and tear on your tires.
  5. Pay attention to the fluids in your car. You should make it a point to check and change your oil, wiper, brake, power steering, and automatic transmission fluids. These are all needed to keep your vehicle running the way you want it to run.
  6. Take some time to examine your lights. From time to time, it makes sense to put your car in park and then inspect your lights. You should take this time to look at how your turn signals, headlights, brake lights, and tail lights. It is always better to catch these things on your own rather than be pulled over by a police officer. If you find a problem, you can take your car to the local auto repair shop to have it checked out and fixed.
  7. Put in new windshield wipers when you need to. The problems with windshield wipers can sneak up on you. When you find that they are no longer effective at clearing the windows of rain, you should go ahead and switch them out. This is much less expensive than getting in a crash because you cannot see traffic through the rain.
  8. Show your air filter some love. You need to pay attention to the air filters in your HVAC system at home and the same is true about the air filters in your car. One way to tell if you need a new one is to take it out and look at it. When you hold it up to a light, you should be able to see the light coming through the filter. If you cannot, you should get yourself a new one.
  9. Get the debris off of the car. You should keep the exterior of your car clean and free of debris, your paint is your car’s first defense against the world. From time to time, it also makes sense to get any dirt and debris out of the radiator. You can also look to make sure all cables are connected securely and that there is no corrosion in the engine or near the battery.
  10. Take your car in for a checkup from time to time. You go to your primary care doctor for checkups and your car can benefit from the same treatment at the local automotive shop. Having the experts give your car a look-see and tune-up will keep it running longer and better.
Keeping a car or truck on the road longer does take time, energy, and some money. The good news is that you can help yours stay healthy and happy for a long time with minimal trips to the local automotive shop with these simple tips and tricks.  

Ready to Take Your CDL Exam? Keep These Study Tips in Mind

Written by Car Talk. Posted in Uncategorized

In 2013, trucking transported nearly 15 billion tons of cargo. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2040, that number is expected to increase to 18.79 billion tons. Clearly, the trucking industry is in higher demand than ever, and while jobs are readily available, the first step is attending truck driving school. After taking classes, you’ll have to pass a truck driver test, which can prove to be difficult. If you’re taking CDL classes and preparing for your truck driving exam, these study tips can help you retain the info you need to get licensed and hit the road.  

Make a Study Schedule

  First, it helps to make a schedule of when you’re going to study. Set aside a number of hours each day or week to devote solely to going over the materials needed to ace the exam. This means that cramming, i.e., studying all night during the night before the exam, will not work. Avoid cramming at all costs — the only way to learn the right info and memorize it efficiently is to break up your studying into multiple sessions to give your brain time to rest and retain.  

Know What to Study

  There’s nothing worse than studying for days and weeks before an exam just to walk in and find out that you’ve studied the wrong information entirely. Take the time to determine exactly what information will be on the test. The best way to do this is to communicate with your instructor, who may be able to provide additional resources and insight into the testing process. Chances are, if you didn’t learn it in class, it won’t be on the test.  

Take Practice Exams

  Finally, when you’ve been studying for a while, test your skills by taking an online practice exam. These tests are typically available at the DMV website or otherwise with a quick Google search. These exams serve as similar representations of what you’ll see on your actual test, so test your knowledge by completing several practice tests beforehand.   There were 3.5 million truck drivers employed in the U.S. in 2015, and this number continues to rise based on demand. These study tips can help you ace your exam and hit the road as soon as possible. For more information about attending truck driving school, contact us today.