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The Pros and Cons of Automatic vs. Manual Transmission

Pros & Cons of Manual vs. Automatic Transmission

Even though automatic transmissions are much more popular than manual transmissions in today’s automotive market, you may be surprised at the benefits of stick-shift vehicles. In fact, the following pros and cons of automatic and manual transmissions may give you new insight into what kind of car you want next.

Manual Transmissions Pros

1. Drivers who prefer manual transmissions enjoy the sense of control over the vehicle. Shifting manually allows the driver to get a better feel for the car and makes driving a very engaging activity.

2. Because of the simpler design, manual transmissions often require less maintenance overall.

3. Cars with manual transmissions often get better fuel mileage than vehicles with automatic transmissions.

Manual Transmissions Cons

1. Driving a car with a manual transmission takes practice. It takes a coordinated effort to take your hand off the steering wheel and change gears while pushing in the clutch at just the right time.

2. Especially when driving in city traffic, working the clutch with your feet can get tiresome after a while. Also, some people with knee trouble may not be able to change gears well for an extended period of time.

Automatic Transmissions Pros

1. With automatic transmissions, the shifting is done for you. This makes driving a car fairly simple.

2. Drivers can keep both hands on the steering wheel instead of needing one hand to shift.

Automatic Transmissions Cons

1. Automatic cars tend to be less efficient when it comes to fuel consumption.

2. Cars with automatic transmissions usually require more maintenance to keep them operating smoothly.

If you have never driven a car with a manual transmission before, ask a friend or family member that knows how to drive one to take you for a spin. Who knows, the romance of driving a manual transmission vehicle may just win you over.

Contact Performance Auto Repair today at (334) 245-6600 in Montgomery to learn more about our services.

How to Know When Your Car Needs Transmission Repair

How to Know When Your Car Needs Transmission Repair

If you notice some problems when you need to shift gears, your car may be trying to tell you that it needs transmission repair. Whether your car has an automatic or manual transmission, there are warning signs that can alert you to take care of your vehicle’s transmission. Here are a few potential transmission issues where you may need to take your vehicle in for transmission repair.

1. Leaks – The transmission is a sealed system and should not have any leaks. If you do notice transmission fluid on your driveway, the transmission may have worn seals, gaskets or a loose pan.

2. Late Engagement or Slips – If your car has a long delay before engaging the next gear or slips into a different gear on its own, your transmission needs to get checked.

3. Strange Smells – The normal smell of transmission fluid is sweet or tart. If you begin to smell a burning odor, the transmission may be burning the fluid.

4. Odd Noises – Transmissions are designed to change gears smoothly. If you hear grinding, humming or whining noises while changing gears, take your car in for a transmission check.

How Much Will Transmission Repair Cost?

If you do notice any transmission warning signs, take your car to a reputable repair shop for transmission repair right away. Depending on what is wrong with your transmission, you may only need a small part like a transmission solenoid which can be quite inexpensive. On the other hand, your vehicle may need some major transmission repair or a complete replacement. In that case, you may end up paying a couple thousand dollars or more. Overall, be sure to get a detailed estimate on what is needed for your transmission repair and how much it will cost you to get it fixed up front.

If your car is in need of transmission repair, contact the experts in Montgomery at Performance Auto Repair. Call (334) 245-6600.

What’s Wrong With My Car’s Brakes?

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With the possibility of losing your brakes while driving and potentially getting into an accident, properly working brakes are absolutely essential. Here are some common problems that may signal a problem with your vehicle’s braking system.

1. Soft Braking

If your brakes feels mushy when you press down on the pedal, there may be a problem with the master cylinder leaking. This can be a very dangerous situation because the entire braking system could fail at any moment. One thing you could do is to check the brake fluid to see if it is running low. Otherwise, you need to get the master cylinder checked immediately.

2. Pulling to One Side

While cars that pull to one side could signal a problem with the tires, it could also be a warning sign of a frozen caliper. If the piston on the caliper is stuck in the bore or the dust boot that protects the piston gets dirty or torn, the fluid pressure is unable to push the piston. In turn, this causes the brake pad pressure to be uneven. If your call is pulling to one side, you may need to replace the caliper.

3. Shaking

If your steering wheel or the entire car shakes when you apply your brakes, your car is giving you another warning sign. In the case of your steering wheel shaking, you may need your rotors resurfaced or replaced. When the entire car shakes with braking, you probably need to replace your rear brakes.

4. Pulsing Pedal

Does your brake pedal pulse up and down when you push on it? This is a sign that your rotors may be warped due to age. Depending on what condition the rotors are in, you may need to resurface them or replace them altogether.

If you believe there is something wrong with your car’s brakes, you should have them checked them right away. In the long run, safety and peace of mind are well worth the price.

Common Car Air Conditioning Problems to Look Out For

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When warm temperatures heat up outside, the last thing you want to deal with is a car air conditioning problem. Here are a few common car A/C issues to watch for this summer.

1. Inefficient Car Air Conditioning

When the air conditioning in your vehicle is set on maximum but you are only feeling slightly cool air, there are a few things that you should check. First, look for leaves, dirt or other debris that may be keeping the air from passing over the condenser. Also, look at the cooling fans to see if they are on when the A/C is running. Lastly, check the car’s refrigerant levels to see if you need to top it up.

2. Strange Smells

In the winter, fungi or bacteria can grow in your car air conditioning system while it’s not in use. If you notice strange smells when you begin to use the A/C again, you may need to have your A/C system flushed out completely.

3. Condenser Issues

Your car air conditioning system uses a condenser to cool the refrigerant vapors that leaves the compressor. If the condenser gets blocked by dirt or debris, the air conditioner will be diminished and inefficient. To clean a clogged condenser, you can use a flushing agent through the system. As a last resort, you may need to replace the condenser to get your car air conditioning system running well again.

4. Leaks

One of the most common problems found in a car air conditioning system is leaks. Check around the fittings, the hose manifolds around the compressor and the seals to see if any of these areas are loose.

If you find any of these car air conditioning problems in your car, you may want to take your car to a professional mechanic to get it checked out. In the long run, fixing a small problem can save you a lot of time and money rather than replacing the entire A/C system.

Top 2017 Cars to Look Out For

2017 cars

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you may want to wait until the manufacturers release their 2017 models. From sleek and stylish to the top in fuel efficiency, there is something for everyone to choose, drive, and enjoy. Buying a new car has never been as fun as it is now.

Top 2017 Cars You Should Know About

  • 2017 Ford GT. This vehicle is built for speed. With a V6 engine that boast 700 horsepower, one of the top 2017 cars has four driving modes, Normal, Sport, Track, and Wet. This vehicle is limited edition so if you want one, you’ll need to stake claim on it soon.
  • 2017 Acura NSX Type-R. With its twin-turbocharged V6 engine, this vehicle has real power. It goes from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds and goes up to 200 miles per hour. You won’t want to be on the road with one of the top 2017 cars but you’ll certainly want to own one.
  • 2017 Lincoln Continental. With a focus on driving stability, this luxury vehicle has a V6 engine and all-wheel drive. It also has torque-vectoring rear axle function making it a highly sought-after vehicle.
  • 2017 Toyota Supra. Taking some of its components from BMW models, this vehicle looks and drives incredibly. It’s one of the top 2017 cars for good reason. A six speed and eight speed option is in the works and there is a very good possibility Toyota will release a hybrid version of the vehicle, too.

As you’ve read, there are a lot of benefits to buying the top 2017 cars. Think about your needs and then what you want in a car. Does practicality and fuel efficiency top your list? Or, do you want something that looks great, feels expensive, and turns heads wherever you go?

Base your decision which of the top 2017 cars to buy on how you feel about the manufacturer, the craftsmanship of the vehicle, and how it drives. If you’re not sure about the latter, take your favorite top 2017 cars on a test drive. Then, make a decision to purchase one or not.

Don’t forget to bring your new car into Performance Auto Repair in Montgomery for regular vehicle maintenance. Call us at (334) 245-6600 today!

How to Keep Your Tires in Perfect Condition

tire maintenance

The tires on your vehicle support its weight and provide a cushion between metal and roadway. They’re an important part of your car, truck or van and something you shouldn’t neglect. To keep your tires in perfect condition throughout the year, you’re going to need to do a couple of things. Tire maintenance is an essential part of being an automobile owner.

Wear and Tear

The first is optional and based on your living situation, but you should park your vehicle in a garage or under a carport if you have one available. This keeps the sun from beating down on and cracking the rubber on your tires. Old, weathered tires are more than just an eyesore; they pose a dangerous threat to drivers. Good tire maintenance prevents damage from occurring to tires and money from coming out of your bank account.

Poor tire maintenance makes tires wear out quickly. ‘Bald tires’ no longer have the traction they had when they were new and present a problem when there is water or ice on roadways. The rubber doesn’t grip the road like it should and can cause your vehicle to hydroplane and strike whatever is in your path.

Check Up On Your Tires

Keeping your tires in perfect condition takes effort. That’s why you should always read your vehicle registration manual for important information regarding tire pressure, tire size, and tire type. Tire maintenance requires constant and vigilant upkeep.

Visually looking at tires for cracks, knots, bulges, and penetrations helps you to prevent new tires from becoming damaged. It gives you the opportunity to have repairs done before blowing a tire and bending a rim. Mechanics emphasize the necessity of tire maintenance. Having a professional rotate your tires and check for damage after a fender bender is one way to keep them in perfect condition.

Tire maintenance is an important part of being a vehicle owner. Do your part to keep your tires properly inflated and place your automobile in a garage or under a carport if possible. Don’t place different sized tires on your vehicle and refrain from mounting new tires on your automobile. Leave that to a professional who knows the dangers the job entails.

Need a helping hand to look after your tires and ensure that your car is safe for the road? Call the professionals at Performance Auto Repair in Montgomery at (334) 245-6600 today.

Obscure Car Laws from Around the United States

Sometimes obscure laws remain on the books because people forget about them. Sometimes nobody bothers to change them. No matter why they’re still in effect, you can still get tickets for disobeying these weird laws. We’ve put together a list of laws to be sure to follow when you’re in these locations, as weird or funny as they may be.

Continue reading “Obscure Car Laws from Around the United States” »

What to Look for in a Used Car

It’s June, and that means that it’s prime time for drive time.  Maybe you’re considering purchasing a new car for yourself, or maybe your teenager is getting his or her first car. A used car can be a great deal or a great disaster depending on many different factors. Nobody wants to end up with a lemon. Here’s what to look for in a used car before taking the leap:Car For Sale

The Test Drive

Test driving your potential new vehicle should always be the first step in the buying process. Take the car on local roads and also on freeways so you can get a good feel for how the car responds and performs. On the highway, you can note if the engine runs smoothly or not, or if you hear any mysterious noises.

How the Car Looks: Inside and Out

Check the exterior for any signs of collision damage. You don’t necessarily have to avoid buying a car that’s been in a fender bender, but professional repair should be barely noticeable. Also, pop the hood and give the engine a thorough examination. Rust and dirt are sure signs that you shouldn’t buy the vehicle. Also check for any leaks that need to be repaired.

The Mechanic Inspection

One vital piece to the used car purchasing puzzle is bringing it in to a qualified mechanic to give it a thorough examination. If your mechanic gives you the go-ahead, you can rest assured that your used car purchase will be one that will last you a long time. If your mechanic tells you that you should not buy the car, don’t. A lemon can cost you hundreds of dollars in needless repair, and can end up not being worth the car’s price tag.

Contact Us Today

If you’re considering buy a used car in Montgomery, bring it in to the qualified technicians at Performance Truck and Auto. We’ll give it a thorough inspection and help you make a wise decision for your used car purchase. Call us at (334) 245-6600 to schedule an appointment.

 

Make Your Back Seat Safer with Shoulder Belt Upgrades

Vintage cars can be a lot of fun to drive and maintain. There’s nothing like cruising down the freeway in your B-body Charger or getting under the hood of a 1964 Impala. Usually these types of cars are reserved for weekend drives once their owners have families, which is understandable. Your family’s safety is of the utmost importance.Chevrolet Impala

Enjoy Your Family’s Company in Your Classic Car

Classic American muscle often meant no back seat, or if it had a back seat, you were lucky if you got lap belts to keep passengers safe. Which may have been fine in the ’60s and ’70s, but in 2015, car seat laws require that you  It wasn’t until the late ’80s that cars started having shoulder and lap belts standard in the back seat.

Without a shoulder belt, strapping car seats in can be difficult and unsafe. Just a lap belt isn’t enough to hold your precious cargo in place. (Even though a lot of people grew up without any harnesses to hold them in back seats, it doesn’t mean that it was a good idea.) Alabama requires that kids sit in booster or car seats until they’re eight years old.

The Best of Both Worlds

Many cars can be easily retrofitted with shoulder belts. Installation can be fairly quick and easy. In fact, some cars from the ’80s already have mounting brackets installed. So, why not have the best of both worlds? You can enjoy time with your favorite vintage automobile and with your favorite people, too. Take your family for a cruise along the Gulf Coast in your Mustang Shelby.

Contact Us Today

For more information about or to schedule an appointment for retrofitting a shoulder belt upgrade to your favorite classic car, call the Performance Truck and Auto experts at (334) 245-6600.

Proudly serving Montgomery, AL and its surrounding areas.

 

 

 

Top 4 Songs to Sing Along to in the Car

Last month, we posted about Deep South road trip landmarks, listing destinations as far away as New Orleans. Road trips can be a lot of fun, but sometimes you need things to pass the time like road trip bingo or listening to music. Radio reception can be spotty at best in the rural south, so we compiled a short list of the best songs to sing along to on your journey.Young Couple Driving Along Country Road In Open Top Car

Rockin’ Tunes to Sing:

1. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynard Skynard.

An ode to the great state of Alabama, the first words of the song are, “Turn it up!” You’ll want to turn up this classic rock jam and sing along to the catchy chorus.

2. “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night

Another classic rock anthem. It’s hard not to be joyous when rocking out to Three Dog Night’s biggest hit.

3. “Sound and Color” by Alabama Shakes

Hailing from Athens, the Alabama Shakes have taken the Billboard charts by storm. This song is perfect to belt from the back seat, driver’s seat, and every seat in between.

4. “Born on a Bayou” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

If you are traveling to Louisiana, this is the perfect song to sing on your way. Bayous cover Louisiana’s swampy landscape, and the CCR classic is the perfect soundtrack.

Make Your Road Trip Great

 Road trip sing-alongs are a great time. What’s not a great time is having to pull over to change a flat or call for a tow. Make auto maintenance and auto repair a priority. It’s important for you to have your vehicle ready to go prior to your road trip. Check fluid levels, tire pressure, caps, and hoses before heading out on the road. You’ll be glad you did!
What are your favorite songs to sing along to on road trips? We want to know. Comment on this blog or check out our Facebook page.

Call us today at (334) 245-6600 for more information or learn more about our money-saving specials here!

Proudly serving Montgomery, AL and its surrounding areas.

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