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What Kind of Maintenance Do My Tires Need?

What Kind of Maintenance Do My Tires Need?

Tires are an important part of your car, and need proper care and maintenance to keep your vehicle working as intended. By following these simple steps, maintaining your tires will be an easy feat. Rotate your tires Tire rotation is a crucial part of maintenance, and it should be performed on a regular basis every 5,000-7000 miles. It is performed by removing each wheel and placing it in a different location on the vehicle to ensure even wear and tear. A tire professional should inspect the tires during each rotation. Have your wheels balanced Every 15,000 miles, you should have a trained technician balance your wheels. By ensuring that the wheels are properly aligned and that the car's weight is evenly distributed, you can lengthen the life span of your tires. Measure your tread depth Deep treads are crucial for your tires to grip the road and give you proper control of the vehicle. You can test the tread of your tires with the "Quarter Test," which involves findin ... read more

5 Most Important Warning Lights on Your Dashboard

5 Most Important Warning Lights on Your Dashboard

When you're driving, it's important to be aware of the warning lights on your dashboard. They can indicate that something is wrong with your car and needs to be fixed. Let's look at 5 of the most common warning lights: Check Engine Light The check engine light is one of the most important warning lights on your dashboard. It indicates a problem with your car, and you need to take it in for repairs. The light can be caused by various issues, so it's best to get it checked out as soon as possible. Coolant Temperature Light The coolant temperature light comes on when the engine is getting too hot. This can be dangerous, so you'll want to pull over and turn off the car as soon as possible. The light will usually go off once the engine has cooled down. Drive carefully when you take the car home. Once at home, wait until the entire engine has cooled down to investigate the issue. Low Engine Oil Light The low engine oil light usually comes on when there isn't en ... read more

What Does Coolant Do for Your Car?

What Does Coolant Do for Your Car?

Coolant, also called antifreeze, is a mixture of ethylene glycol, lubricant, and inhibitors that get added to your vehicle's radiator. It technically becomes the official term "coolant" when the antifreeze is mixed with water. This solution helps maintain a stable operating temperature within the engine and enables your automobile to function optimally in both hot and cold conditions. Below is a full rundown of what exactly coolant/antifreeze does in your vehicle. PREVENTS FREEZING As the name implies, the antifreeze will, of course, prevent the moisture in your car's engine and radiator from freezing in harsh winter conditions. If it does freeze up, it can cause extensive engine damage. PREVENTS OVERHEATING Antifreeze prevents the engine and its components from overheating in a hot climate. An overheating vehicle can lead to irreversible damages and a breakdown on the road. PROPER LUBRICATION Antifreeze acts as a lubricant as it flows through the cooling system ... read more

What Is Brake Fade?

What Is Brake Fade?

If you have ever pushed on your brake pedals and nothing happens, or it takes a significant amount of pressure to slow down your car, you experienced what is known as "brake fade." Nearly every driver has experienced this type of brake problem, so you shouldn't worry. Because brake fade is a widespread problem for many drivers, it is vital for you to understand the causes of it and what you can do to prevent it from happening. Your vehicle's brake system has many parts at play: brake calipers, pistons, fluid, pads, and rotors. They all work simultaneously for one purpose: to create friction so that your vehicle speed can decrease (and stop). When your car can't produce friction in a timely manner, you can be at risk of colliding with other vehicles or objects and getting hurt. Below are some common problems that cause brake fade: Brake Overheating Most of the time, the primary cause of friction loss is too much heat. Heat accumulates in your brakes when you br ... read more

What Are Some Common Signs That Indicate Suspension Problems?

What Are Some Common Signs That Indicate Suspension Problems?

Most people think that their car's suspension system is only there to provide you with a smooth ride on the roads. While that may be true, they serve other purposes too. For instance, they help other key components (engine, transmission, drive train, tires, etc.) from absorbing the effects of shocks and bumps. If your suspension system isn't functioning correctly, you will undoubtedly be able to feel it. Here are some of the most prevalent signs that indicate you need suspension repair: Drifting or Pulling Hard to One Side If your vehicle is drifting more than usual during turns or pulls hard to one side when you drive straight on the highway, you may have a suspension. This problem is worth getting checked out ASAP, as it could also mean you need a wheel alignment. Uneven Treads Harshly irregular tire treads are another symptom of bad suspension (or wheel alignment problem). You need to rotate your tires regularly to even them out over time.  Bumpy Ride If it seems ... read more

The Widespread Crime of Catalytic Converter Theft

The Widespread Crime of Catalytic Converter Theft

Criminals have targeted catalytic converters for as long as we can remember. However, rates of theft have drastically increased in the past couple of years in the US. The National Insurance Crime Bureau claimed that there were an average of 2,347 thefts in December 2020. You might be wondering, "why are they so special." Catalytic converters contain precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium. There was a slowdown in the mining industry due to the COVID pandemic. As a result, the value of these metals has significantly increased.     Catalytic converter theft is costly for both vehicle owners and businesses, but its most damaging effect is on the environment. Catalytic converters are in charge of controlling the emissions that come out of your exhaust. More specifically, the cat transforms toxic gases into less dangerous vapors to improve our air quality. Without this mechanism, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides would be released ... read more

Tips on How to Confidently Drive Through Fog

Tips on How to Confidently Drive Through Fog

Now that it's cooler outside, you may be prone to see some fog. Whether it looks just like a thin mist or a dense cloud, fog can significantly impact the visibility of your road and surroundings. In fact, fog causes more than 38,000 vehicle accidents every year. Here are some helpful tips that you can use to navigate comfortably through foggy weather: Turn Your Headlights On You should always ensure your headlights are on, no matter what time of day it is. Your headlights are intended to make you see better. However, you should NEVER use your high beams in fog. It may seem like a good option at first, as they are brighter lights. But your high beams will cause an intense glare with the water molecules. This would make it even more challenging for you to see, so stick with your low beams (and fog lights if you have them). Maintain A Safe Speed Your reaction time will not be as good as it is in normal conditions, so it's crucial to lower your speed and maintain extra distance ... read more

Why Does My Brake Pedal Feel So Mushy?

Why Does My Brake Pedal Feel So Mushy?

Brakes are all around the most critical safety feature on your car, which is why it is essential to pay close attention to what the pedal feels like from time to time. One indication that your brakes are not working as well as they used to is when the brake pedal starts to feel spongy, mushy, or soft. You should have this knowledge, especially if you have an older vehicle since it may not be equipped with emergency sensors that can display on your dash. Here are several reasons that may explain why your brake pedal is mush-like or not engaging as quick as it used to: The most common reason behind sponge-like brakes is air in your brake line, which could result from low brake fluid or a hole in the braking system. When air escapes into the line, you will need to have your brakes professionally flushed or bled to resolve the issue. If you suspect this problem with your brakes, our technicians at Ripley's Total Car Care can take care of the problem for you. Damaged brake lines or ca ... read more

Destress on Your Daily Commute

Destress on Your Daily Commute

Commuting is a customary practice for pretty much all Americans. With some roughly 300 million drivers in the US, you are bound to encounter congested traffic. We are here to remind you that it doesn't have to be stressful. Here are some of our suggestions on how to calm your nerves and chill behind the wheel. #1: Time Management You should see what you can get done the night before work, like packing lunch, taking out the garbage, picking out your outfit, or presetting your coffee machine, so you don't spend your morning juggling multiple chores. You will feel more relaxed once you've crossed those items off your to-do list. #2: Listen to Relaxing Music Listening to chill music can make your drive much more delightful. Choose genres like lofi and classical to lower your blood pressure and anxiety levels.  #3: Play a Podcast or Audiobook Audiobooks and podcasts are great sources to listen to pass the time in traffic. Think of your wait time in traffic as a time f ... read more

What to Do When Your Engine Starts Overheating

What to Do When Your Engine Starts Overheating

Today, most vehicles have modernized cooling systems equipped with multiple heat sensors and electric fans designed to keep your engine running smoothly. However, the reality is overheating can still occur. If you notice smoke-like vapor emitting from the hood or your temperature gauge spiking to the big "H," then you are experiencing an overheating engine. In instances like these, do NOT panic whatsoever. Instead, do the following to keep yourself safe and prevent further damage to your motor:    1) Turn On The Heater It might seem a little odd, but turning on your heater can help when your vehicle is overheating. Blasting the heat draws warm air away from the engine and into the cabin, lessening the strain on the engine's cooling system. In certain circumstances, this step may be enough to reverse the overheating. You'll know if this method works if the warning light goes off or the temperature gauge returns to its regular position.   2) Pull Ove ... read more

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