Top 10 Car Maintenance Mistakes

Car Care Tips

Keeping up with car maintenance is an excellent way to ensure the longevity and functionality of your vehicle. Use these car tips to avoid these common auto maintenance mistakes.
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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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

Keeping Your Car on the Road for the Long Haul

A car is a complex and expensive machine. While it may be nice to have a new automobile, it isn’t realistic for most people to afford the latest and greatest model year. In fact, it usually makes much more financial sense to keep your current car on the road for as long as possible. A routine vehicle inspection can be the best way to make sure you get maximum longevity out of your car.

beautiful woman traveling on a vintage car Vehicle Inspection and Repair Experts in Montgomery

A vehicle inspection should include a review of all your car’s major components and systems. You can do some of it yourself. In other instances, it makes the most sense to have a professional perform the vehicle inspection. Here are some things you can do to make sure your car passes its next vehicle inspection with flying colors.

Familiarize yourself with your owner’s manual, and make sure to stay on top of all recommended routine maintenance. Simple things like oil changes and tire inflation can make a big difference in how your car runs and how long it lasts. Plus, any mechanic will perform at least a routine vehicle inspection when you bring your car in for an oil change.

Taking better care of your car can mean taking your time. Slow down your speed, and don’t stomp on the gas pedal or the brakes. You’ll only cause unnecessary wear and tear on the engine and other components when you drive in a demanding fashion. Make a habit of driving slow and easy for a better vehicle inspection.

A car with a healthy exterior is bound to last longer. Paint may make your vehicle more attractive, but it also protects the body from rust and sun damage. Don’t let nicks and scratches stick around. Get rid of them during your next vehicle inspection.

Performance Trucks & Auto Repair in Montgomery, AL can help you keep your car on the road for the long haul. We provide experienced and affordable automotive care, and can help with any repairs or accessories your car or truck may need.

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

Proudly serving Montgomery, AL and its surrounding areas.

What to Do if Your Car Does Overheat

In our last post, we covered how to prevent your car from overheating. However, sometimes even with routine maintenance a car can overheat. For instance, hot weather causes cars to overheat. If you find yourself in a dilemma like this, act quickly. If you’re stuck in traffic and have nowhere to pull off, shut off your air conditioner and open your windows. You want the engine to cool down quickly.Man And His Over Heated Car

Here are some other tips recommended by repair and maintenance experts:

• Turn on the heater and blower if the vehicle continues to overheat. Transfer the heat from the engine to the passenger compartment of the vehicle. You’ll be hot but your vehicle won’t be. A maintenance and repair shop needs to be the next stop on your list.
• Shift into Neutral or Park when stopped in traffic. The water pump and fan speed up making liquid and air pass through the radiator quickly. Once the air and liquid circulate, the vehicle cools. It’s less likely to overheat for more than a couple of minutes.
• Go easy on the brakes. Brake drag cause the engine to heat up and sometimes overheat. Crawl along slowly. Be careful not to run into any automobiles, however, or you’ll need more than scheduled maintenance to repair your vehicle. Avoid the maintenance and repair shop by driving slow and pulling off whenever you can safely.
If your car overheats, don’t panic. It happens to the best of us! Pull over to the side of the road or street, pop the hood, and turn off the ignition. Let everything cool down on its own. Do not remove the radiator cap because you’ll be burned by the steam coming out. When in doubt, call the maintenance and repair shop and request that a mechanic assist you roadside.
Add antifreeze/coolant. Call a repair shop if the vehicle continues to overheat. It’s indicative to other problems which cost a mint if not taken care of right away. Perform routine maintenance on your vehicle as a preventative measure against cooling. Top off fluids, check hoses, and make sure caps are tight and not broken.
Having a mechanic perform a maintenance check to identify problems that need repair is a wise move on your behalf. If you don’t want your vehicle to overheat, you’ll want to take the steps necessary to prevent that from happening.

Performance Trucks & Auto Repair in Montgomery, AL can help you when your car overheats. We provide experienced and affordable automotive care, and can help with any repairs or accessories your truck may need.

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

Proudly serving Montgomery, AL and its surrounding areas.

Deep South Road Trip Destinations

Before you set out on the Deep South road trip of a lifetime, it pays to have an auto repair shop perform standard auto maintenance or auto repair on your vehicle to make sure it’s in great working order. When rubber meets the road, there’s a lot to do in preparation of your trip. Night at the Museum

For example, do you have an itinerary planned so you can check all the stops off your Bucket List? If you don’t have a clue as to where you want to go, use this handy guide for reference. Auto maintenance and auto repair is a good place to start.

Here are some of the most popular stops that you’ll see on your Deep South road trip:

• Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The French Quarter leaves little to the imagination. There’s street performers, shops, and restaurants galore. Get your fill of Po’ Boys and live music. It’ll be one of the most rocking parts of your road trip. Auto maintenance and auto repair keeps your vehicle running through the swampiest parts of Louisiana.
• Martin Luther King Jr.’s home in Montgomery, Alabama. Rich with history, Montgomery pays tribute to a number of legendary figures including MLK Jr., Rosa Parks, and Hank Williams. There’s also references to The Great Gatsby. You’ll see Zelda Road, Gatsby Lane, and Fitzgerald Drive. Make history part of your road trip. Don’t make an unexpected stop at an auto maintenance or auto repair shop because of a flat tire.
• The Coon Dog Cemetery near Tuscumbia. This road trip attraction started with the death of a dog named Troop. His owner buried him the woods where he and his friends met to discuss their dogs. People from all over the country visit the cemetery and give their coon dogs a special final resting place. Animal lovers can’t resist this road trip stop. Remote locations make it hard to find auto maintenance or auto repair shops. Keep this in mind by having your tires properly inflated and a spare in the trunk just in case your tire blows.
There’s so many places to stop and visit while traveling on a road trip through the Deep South. Before embarking on an adventure, have an auto repair shop take a look at your vehicle. Having a trusted mechanic perform auto maintenance and auto repair while you’re sitting at home is far better than calling someone you don’t know when you’re stranded on the road in a state you’ve never been to.

Get to Where You Want to Go

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 for the Deep South. You’ll be glad that you did!

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.

Importance of Maintaining your Vehicle’s Headlights

Maintaining your vehicle’s headlights is crucial to your safety on the road. Unfortunately, these important components of your car are often neglected. When it comes to safety on the road, maintaining your car’s headlights is one of the best ways you can protect yourself. So, just how important are they? Performance Truck & Automotive Repair has the details about headlights.

Why Maintaining Headlights is Important

Visibility

It is essential that both of your car’s headlights are fully functioning. One working headlight will simply not due. For example, if you are driving your car at night with only one headlight, other motorists could mistake your car for a motorcycle. A driver’s inability to accurately make out the actual size of your vehicle could create serious confusion on the road. When driving, it is important that drivers are given the space their vehicle needs. To avoid creating dangerous driving situations, make sure you maintain your headlights at all times.

In addition to making it hard for other drivers to see you on the road, poor headlights can also make it difficult for you to see other drivers and objects on the road when it is dark. Even foggy or cloudy headlights can compromise your vision, delaying your reaction time and making it more difficult for you to avoid obstacles in the roadway. So, for the safety of everyone on or around the road, it is critical that you maintain this component of your car.

Rain, Snow, & Sleet

During any kind of wet weather conditions, you will want to have fully functioning headlights. When things are working properly, headlights can help you see the roadway more clearly. And as always, headlights will help you be more visible to other motorists who are driving through the same weather conditions.

Car Value: Why Headlights Matter

In the event that you decide to sell your vehicle, you will want to make sure your headlights have been well-cared for, as they act as one of the telltale signs of the kind of maintenance you have given your vehicle. During the car-selling process, you may discover that what is an otherwise minuscule flaw to you is major issue for a potential buyer.  When selling your car, headlight maintenance is an absolute must. After all, they are considered the eyes of your vehicle, making them very important to buyers who are keen on looks.

Maintaining your headlights is relatively simple in the scheme of car care. Since there is not much of an effort involved, there is no reason that headlight maintenance should be neglected. Taking care of this crucial car component will enhance the appearance of your vehicle and — more importantly — make it safe for driving. With this aspect of car maintenance taken care of, you will be able to enjoy the ride and focus on other safe-driving practices.

Need a professional to help with the maintenance of your headlights? Contact Performance Truck & Automotive Repair  at (334) 245-6600  today — we are experts in all things related to headlights.

 

The What and Why of Wheel Alignment

Many people have cars, but only a few of them realize the importance of maintaining their wheels through wheel alignment. We shouldn’t just pay attention to our car’s wheels when we are stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. We should always be concerned with our car’s wheels, specifically their wheel alignment. The fact of the matter is that without proper wheel alignment, you wouldn’t be able to get around in your car. Understanding what wheel alignment is and why it’s important is essential, and lucky for you, Performance Truck & Automotive Repair has the skinny on wheel alignment.

What is Wheel Alignment?

Wheel alignment, also known as “tracking” and/or “breaking,” is when you adjust your vehicle’s wheels back to the angles originally set by the manufacturer. In other words, wheel alignment ensures that the wheels of your vehicle are set perpendicular to the surface of the road. Although this doesn’t sound all that important, it is. So, just how does your car’s wheel alignment impact your car?

Why it’s Important

Fuel Efficiency – your vehicle works much harder and burns more fuel if you do not align its wheels. This is because the wheels in your vehicle experience an uneven level of friction, giving way to more resistance from the road’s surface. Aligning your vehicle’s wheels helps you reduce this friction, which greatly improves your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Money Saver – not properly aligning your vehicle’s wheels will cause your tires to experience an uneven level of friction, wearing them down more quickly. This means that you will incur the cost of buying new tires. You can cut down these expenses by regularly aligning your vehicle’s wheels and skipping the costs of frequently buying new tires.

Improved Safety – if you neglect necessary wheel alignment responsibilities, your vehicle may unexpectedly pull or swerve to one side of the road. For safer handling, it is critical that you align the wheels of your vehicle properly.

Vehicle Performance – your vehicle will exhibit problems with the brake shaft, steering system, and suspension when you do not properly align its wheels. To avoid these issues, keep up with your wheel alignment and other maintenance necessities.

Now that you know the what and why of wheel alignment, regularly getting a wheel alignment shouldn’t even be a question. If your car is experiencing any of these telltale warning signs, don’t hesitate to take action. Get a wheel alignment as soon as possible!

Need a trusted auto repair shop to perform your car’s wheel alignment? Call Performance Truck & Automotive Repair at (334) 245-6600 today.

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