About Josh Russom

Here are my most recent posts

What’s That Strange Sound Coming from My Car? Part 1

As your car ages, sometimes weird squeals, clicks and clunking sounds happen. And when you hear them, you may wonder many where it’s coming from and if it needs your immediate attention. Your car, like people, will tell you if something is wrong. In this first installment of, “What’s That Strange Sound Coming from My Car,” we’re going to cover brakes, the types of noises they make, and the cause of those noises.

Continue reading “What’s That Strange Sound Coming from My Car? Part 1” »

Keep Your Car AC Healthy

Even though it’s September, summer isn’t over yet. It’s still hot and humid in Alabama. You’ll more than likely stop using your car air conditioning in a few months, but doesn’t mean that you should neglect maintaining it. To ensure that your AC runs smoothly for the rest of the warm season, and when you want it to work for next summer.  Image of car air conditioning knob.

Service Your Air Conditioner Regularly

Professional air conditioning maintenance helps ensure maximum comfort for you and your passengers. Your air conditioner does not simply blow cool air into your cabin,  it removes hot air from within the car, and disburses hot air around the outside of the car. The AC is composed of several parts such as the evaporator, compressor and condenser. All the parts need to work correctly, and they need to be checked for wear and tear.

Maintenance Tips

You should run your air conditioner at least once a week for a few minutes even in the winter. Doing so helps ensure that the valves, pumps and hoses in the system remain lubricated and functioning.

Ask your mechanic to check your air conditioner’s refrigerant, and to re-gas the system if needed. Have your air conditioner checked out once a year for the best results.

What does good car air conditioner service include?

Every car make and model will have different needs. Your mechanic will be trained on your car’s specific needs. When it comes to re-gassing your air conditioner, your mechanic will also know the proper handling and disposal procedures to keep your car AC safe.

The technicians at Performance Truck and Auto Repair are well-versed and trained in all things air conditioner repair and maintenance. With a little preventive maintenance and care, your AC will run smoothly as long as your car is on the road. For more information, call us at (334) 245-6600 today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I Know if My Alternator Is Going Out?

A car’s alternator charges the battery while driving. If your alternator goes out while you’re driving, it means that you’ll be driving for only a few miles before your car completely dies. It can be scary if you’re on the freeway when it happens. A bad alternator doesn’t have to be an unpleasant surprise. Your car will let you know that your alternator is going out with a these six signs:Checking Engine Electronic

1. A Warning Light

Most modern cars have dashboard warning lights — usually shaped like a battery, but some will say ALT or GEN — that let you know when the alternator is on the fritz. Do not ignore the light. Take your car to a professional for diagnostic service.

2. Dim or Flickering Headlights

The alternator provides power to the headlights, and the flickering or dimming means that the alternator isn’t performing like it should.

3. Electrical Failures

When the alternator goes bad, it takes all the electrical systems with it. That means your power windows, locks, dashboard lights, radio and air conditioner won’t work.

4. The Car Has a Tough Time Starting or it Stalls

Cars do not run on gas alone. It also runs on electricity — even if it’s not a hybrid. The alternator powers the spark plugs that ignite your engine’s gasoline. If the alternator is expiring, it can’t keep the engine alive, and eventually it won’t start at all.

5. Weird Noises

The alternator can cause some of the engine’s bearings to fail. If you hear weird noises, especially coupled with the other listed symptoms, your alternator may be going bad.

6. The Battery Dies

While batteries die on their own, a bad alternator can also be the culprit. A bad alternator can actually drain the battery because it fails to recharge it. If your battery completely dies — especially if it hasn’t been very long since you last replaced it — have your alternator checked.

Your car’s alternator provides your car with the charge it needs to get you where you need to go. If you experience any of the above signs, take your car to Performance Truck and Auto Repair. We’ll be happy to diagnose and repair the issue to keep you on the road. To learn more, call us at (334) 245-6600 today.

 

How to Get a Broken Key out of a Car Lock

Most modern cars have remote key-less entry, but sometimes your remote’s battery dies, or your car battery dies, and you need to use an actual, “old school” key to enter your car. What do you do if that key breaks off in your door? If the door is locked when the key breaks, it cannot be reopened. Use these tips to remove a broken key from a car lock:Car key inserted into the lock hole

Steps to Remove a Broken Key from a Car Door

1. Remove the Head of the Key

If you didn’t completely break the key head, work it back and forth until it completely breaks off and discard the key head.

2. Align the Lock to Remove the Key

Use your thumb or a small, stiff object to rotate the lock back to the insert position if the lock is rotated away from it.

3. Clear the Lock Area to Remove the Key

Remove any debris from the area.

4. Lubricate the Lock

With a liquid lubricant spray, attack the key at all angles.

5. Use a Lock Removal Tool

Find a lock removal tool at a hardware or automotive parts store. The tool should be narrow enough to slip into the lock, and have a pointed hook — or hooks. Once you’ve found the right tool, gently insert it into the lock. Turn the hook sideways while inserting the tool so it doesn’t catch the key’s teeth during insertion. Jiggle the tool until it’s completely inserted. Once it’s inserted with the hook facing the key, pull the tool back slowly and jiggle if necessary. You may need to re-insert the tool if the hook did not catch the key’s teeth. Once you see the key, remove it with your fingers or with a pair of fine pliers.

6. Properly Dispose of the Key

The broken key pieces can still be used to make a replica if you need to make one, but be mindful of when and where you discard the pieces.

If you’ve tried all the above steps and you still can’t remove a broken key from a lock, call Performance Truck and Auto Repair at (334) 245-6600 today.

 

 

 

How to Clean Your Car Like a Pro

Keeping your car clean and shiny inside and out is no easy chore. With a little elbow grease and ingenuity, and following the tips below, you can have your car looking like new for as long as possible.washing car close-up

Tips to Take Your Car Detailing to the Next Level

  • Start with a stiff scrub brush and compressed air on your carpets. Blow dirt with an air compressor from your car’s floor onto the middle of the carpet so you can vacuum it up. A stiff brush will loosen dirt that has gotten deep into the carpet fibers.
  • Get that new car smell back by taking a small air compressor and blowing out the air ducts.
  • Hand washing is the the best way to wash your car. However, don’t use dish soap like many car owners because it can strip wax coatings and leave your car vulnerable. Use a car wash formula instead.
  • Polish your paint with an oscillating polish machine. (The pros use a rotating polishing machine, but those can harm the paint if you aren’t careful.)
  • Protect your paint with a couple good coats of wax. The second coat will fill in any holes you missed with the first coat. Since wax protects your car’s coat of paint, it’s important that it doesn’t fade away completely. Applying new wax every season will ensure that your car’s paint stays intact.
  • Clean the glass last, and with glass cleaner without ammonia. Up the dirt and grime removal by using a microfiber cloth. When you clean the side windows, roll them down slightly so you can get the tops of them. Applying a glass water repellent to your windshield will help the rainwater to bead.

Clean Cars Are Happy Cars

Washing one’s car on a Sunday afternoon is a time-honored tradition passed down from generation to generation, and it’s not just good for your car’s appearance. It can mean that your car’s paint job lasts as long as your car does. However, even the cleanest, shiniest cars need work under the hood. When your car needs maintenance or repairs, call the experts at Performance Truck and Auto at (334) 245-6600 today.

 

Adding Fun and Function to Your Pickup

You depend on your truck for everything from home improvement projects to fishing trips. Your truck takes you to and from work every day — and some of you use your pickup for work. A dependable truck can be your lifeblood, and with the right accessories you can take your truck performance to a whole new level, whether it’s fun or functional.

Here’s a list of accessories you need to make your truck more versatile and to make the most of your pickup.Black Four Door Truck

Cover Your Path in Light

Whether you arrive at a campsite after dark or you’re working outside after sundown, rooftop fog lights will help you see what you’re doing, and you can finish what you need to do. Some rooftop fog lights can be controlled with remote control adding extra convenience.

Make Your Bed and Keep It Covered

A bed cover will protect all of your essential gear for your next home improvement job or a trip down to the Gulf. Bed covers are easily installed using a wrench and screwdriver, and also easy to go back to every day use.

Add an Extension

Long loads are no problem when you install a truck bed extender. This handy accessory increases your overall hauling capacity, making for more room when you need it. Many extenders can be stored in the cab when you’re not using them and some of them can adjust to accommodate rooftop hauling.

Help for the Long Haul

When you regularly haul big items like plywood or ladders, a rack is the perfect solution. And when the weekend arrives, you can remove your work gear and carry your play gear like a kayak or a paddle board.

Whatever the task at hand, the right accessories for the job will help you get the most out of your pickup truck. For more information, call the truck accessory experts at Performance Truck and Auto at  (334) 245-6600.

 

The Best Alabama Destinations for Off-Road Driving

Tearing Up the Trails With Thrills and Spills

We’ve covered how to prepare your vehicle for off road driving, and the potential risks of going mudding. With the knowledge to get your vehicle ready for off-road driving and  to be safe and legal while doing so, we wanted to list some of our favorite Alabama trails for an all-terrain adventure. Here are our favorites:Black Off Road Car

Boggs and Boulders Off-Road Adventure Park

Located in Andalusa, Boggs and Boulders, features 850 acres of fun for everyone. The trails are open to all types of trucks, and feature terrain from slick, red dirt hills, sand hills, rocky hills and even steep bluffs. The park is great for mudding enthusiasts with acres of black mud flats with deep and shallow parts alike. Great off-road driving is just one of the amenities at the park. It also features campgrounds with RV hookups, a spring-fed pool, three lakes, and the Mud Pie Cafe.

Choccolocco Mountain Off-Road Vehicle Park

This off-road park is in Jacksonville, and has 450 acres of rugged, mountainous terrain. The park features over 200 trails and obstacles for your to tear up at your heart’s content. There are trails are rated 1-5, and can easily accommodate full-sized vehicles. Trails with one and two ratings are accessible for ATVs, while trails rated three are reserved for vehicles with off-road modifications like lift kits and the right, large tires. Trails rated four and five should only be attempted by experienced off-road drivers and with rock-crawling vehicles only. The park also features a campground with a picnic area and handicap accessible restrooms and showers.

Off-Road driving is fun and exciting. With the right vehicle modifications, the right attitude and the right place to drive, and off-road adventure is well within reach, right here in Alabama.

Performance Truck and Auto is your Montgomery off-road specialist. If you’ve got questions about how to prepare your vehicle for off-road driving, and where to do it, call us at (334) 245-6600.

 

How to Find an Honest Mechanic

July 7 is Tell the Truth Day, and Performance Truck and Auto wants to celebrate. We all know that honesty is the best policy, but what does that mean in terms of auto repair and maintenance? We’ve all heard horror stories about sketchy mechanics charging an arm and a leg for simple repairs, or recommending services that were completely unnecessary. While those bad eggs may give the automotive repair industry a bad reputation, not all mechanics are dishonest. Finding a reputable mechanic is not only great for your car, but for your peace of mind. Here are some tips to make sure your mechanic is one of the good guys:Shifty Mechanic

Ask Questions

If a mechanic cannot explain why a repair is necessary in plain language–or he or she is not willing too, it’s a good indication that he or she is either dishonest or inept and under-trained. The Internet is full of information about fair prices for repair and maintenance.

A Good Mechanic Is Like a Good Doctor

Having regular check-ups with a good general practitioner for minor health issues can prevent major health issues in the future. Maintenance for your car works much the same way. Replacing a timing belt long before it snaps and the pistons hit the valves prevents disaster for your engine.

Well-Qualified With the Right Tools

Look for things like ASE certification and ASA membership. While those certifications and memberships don’t guarantee that the mechanic is reputable, they do mean that the shop invests in itself. Every shop claims to be the best with the most accurate repair and maintenance services, but mechanics with ASE certification must be trained and tested every five years to keep their certification.

When you do find an honest auto repair shop that won’t give you the run-around, stick with it. Your car will thank you. The ASE-certified experts at Performance Truck and Auto are the real deal. Call us at (334) 245-6600 for all your auto repair and maintenance needs.

Proudly serving the Montgomery area.

 

 

How to Jump Start a Car

Jump starting a car is a skill everyone should have. You may have left your lights on, or maybe you’re just being a good Samaritan. Either way, jump starting a car can be quick and easy with a few simple steps:Engine Start

Jump Starting 101

1. Park both cars about a foot and a half apart, nose to nose. Be sure your parking brake is on, or for automatics, that your car is in park.

2. Make sure both cars are turned off–obviously the car that needs a jump will be off. Make sure neither car’s battery is not corroded or otherwise suspect. If either battery is corroded, take your car to a professional mechanic and have your battery replaced.

3. Find the positive and negative terminals on each battery. The positive terminals have plus signs and are colored red, and the negative terminals have minus signs and are colored black.

4. Identify the proper ends of your jumper cables. The positive and negative ends correspond with the red and black battery terminals.

5. Attach the red/positive jumper cable to the dead battery’s positive terminal.

6. Attach the other red/positive jumper cable to the live battery’s red/positive terminal.

7. Now attach the black/negative end of the jumper cable to the live battery’s negative terminal.

8. With the other black/negative end of the cable, attach it to an unpainted metal part of the car under the hood with the dead battery. Keep away from the battery itself, but attach the cable to to the engine block–preferably to an unpainted bolt.

9. Clear the area.

10. Start the car with the live engine’s battery.

11. Now start the car with the dead battery. If it turns over, let it run for a few minutes. If it doesn’t start the first time, let it set for another minute or two with the live battery car running. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll need to have your car towed to a qualified mechanic who can get to the root of the problem.

12. If the dead car runs, disconnect the cables in the reverse order of which you attached them. Always check your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations.

Contact Us Today

If you still can’t get your car up and running, call Performance Truck and Auto at (334) 245-6600. We’ll be happy to diagnose the problem.

Getting Your Car Ready for Summer

Is Your Car Ready for Summer?three girls push the broken car

June 21 officially marks the start of summer 2015. In Alabama, that means we can count on hot and humid weather, backyard barbecues and vacations. Many people will pack up their cars and head out on the open road for a family road trip. The only thing worse than forgetting to bring your sunscreen is being left stranded on the side of the road or stuck at a car rental place with ruined summer plans.

The Importance of a Pre-Trip Checkup for Your Vehicle

Along with making sure you’ve packed plenty of underwear, turned the lights off and locked the doors, making sure your vehicle is road-ready should be a top priority. Your vehicle passing the checkup can mean the difference between smooth sailing to your destination and back or disaster.

Better to Be Safe than Sorry

Your mom has gotten more than a few things right. Telling you to be safe was one of them.

  • Check the filters and fluids.
  • Check your air conditioning
  • Check the windshield wipers.
  • Check the brakes.
  • Check your battery.
  • Check the tires.
  • Check your electronics.
  • Pack your emergency kit.
  • Enjoy the open road!

Choose a Qualified Expert to Check These Items off Your List

The ASE certified experts at Performance Truck and Auto would be glad to give your car a thorough checkup before you head out on the road trip of your dreams. If any one or more of the above checklist items need maintenance, repair or attention, we’ve got you covered. If you want to head out on a road trip, but are unsure of where to go, click here for excellent Deep South road trip destinations.

Get ready for your next road trip adventure by getting a thorough car checkup. Call Performance Truck and Auto in Montgomery at (334) 245-6600 today.

 

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