4 Issues that Require a Visit to an Auto Repair Shop

Woman stressed from her car breaking down and needing auto repair service

Sometimes the need for auto repair can be obvious – the check engine light comes on, or your car suddenly breaks down on the side of the road. However, some car problems may not be so direct, and it’s up to you to recognize potential trouble. Should you ever experience the following issues with your vehicle, don’t hesitate to take it in and let an expert assess your concerns.

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5 Signs It’s Time to Visit the Mechanic

image with text 5 signs it's time to visit the mechanic

Sometimes you have minor issues with your vehicle that you don’t give a second thought. Other times, major repairs are needed. It’s essential that you seek a mechanic’s advice sooner rather than later when you think you might have a serious automobile problem. If you notice any of these five signs, you may be in need of immediate vehicle repair. Continue reading “5 Signs It’s Time to Visit the Mechanic” »

What Does a Mechanic Do?


mechanic with text what does a mechanic do

It can be intimidating to take your car to the shop, especially if you’re unfamiliar with automotive terms. Understanding how a mechanic takes care of your vehicle will help you feel more at ease the next time you have to go to the shop for service or repair. Let’s explore the individual tasks that a mechanic does. Continue reading “What Does a Mechanic Do?” »

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.

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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 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.

Why Is My Car Shaking?

Driving down the road with your car shaking is never ideal. There are a number of things that contribute to vibrations. It may be the tires, a bent rim or the breaks. If car shaking persists, it could damage the tires and suspension.Waveform background isolated. Black and white halftone vector so

A Bumpy Ride Caused by a Bumpy Road

Potholes, curbs, speed bumps, and poor road conditions take their toll on your vehicle. Car shaking and vibrating is often due to tire balance. Having a qualified mechanic balance the tires remedies the situation in many cases.

Other causes of car shaking includes worn suspension parts, brake rotor pulsation, snow, mud, and debris build-up, loose wheel bearings, transmission and motor problems. If your steering wheel shakes, this likely is the cause. Not only is it a nuisance, it could lead to bigger more expensive repairs later down the road.

If car shaking comes from an engine compartment, it may be a lack of air, fuel or spark. Some symptoms to look for is shudder or jerking while accelerating or staccato shaking when the vehicle reaches a specific speed range. Also, it’s alarming if the car starts and drives ok for a while but shakes later on.

Talk to an Expert

Concerned about car shaking? Have a mechanic take a look at things before they worsen. It’s not an alignment you need. Braking and shaking indicates the rotors need replaced or resurfaced.

A new set of spark plugs might do the trick. A dirty or clogged air filter wreaks havoc as well. Replace them as needed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Don’t let car shaking ruin your day. Find out what the cause is and repair it before it becomes a bigger issue. Take your vehicle in and have it serviced by a professional. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem so you can take care of it right away.

Call us today at (334) 245-6600 for more information!

Proudly serving Montgomery, AL and its surrounding areas.
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