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.

Telltale Signs you Need Tire Replacement

As you make the transition into the cooler months to come, make sure your car doesn’t need tire replacement. Tires play an important part in car safety, especially during rain, sleet, and snow. So, just how can you know when your tires need to replaced? It can be tricky, but Performance Truck & Automotive Repair has all the details you need to know about this issue.

Tire Replacement Indicators

Bulges & Blisters

Some tire replacement indicators can be hard to identify, but an issue affecting the outside appearance of your tires should be easy for you to spot. If you see bulges or blistering on the outside of your tires, you could be on the verge of a dangerous blowout. Not sure how severe your tire damage is? If you are unsure, visit an auto expert as soon as possible and have your vehicle assessed for tire replacement. Chances are, the development of these exterior tire issues will result in the need for tire replacement.

 Sidewall Cracks

The sidewall is an area of the tire that is exceptionally susceptible to blowouts. So, if you see cracks or damage along your sidewalls, have your tires examined immediately. Typically, these sidewall issues act as indicator of an existing leak or a potential blowout. If you can locate the leak and stop it, tire replacement may not be necessary. However, tires that are at risk for a blowout are unsafe for driving and should be replaced immediately.

Tread Indicators

Because it can sometimes be difficult to keep tabs on your tires’ tread, new tires are typically manufactured with visual reminders of your tires’ tread status. Upon purchase, new tires should have no tread bar indicators visible. As tires’ tread wears down, though, bars will begin to appear. Once more than two bars are completely visible, your tread is thinning to the point that your tires will need to be replaced.

Tire Replacement Penny Test

Sadly, older tires lack these convenient red flags for tire replacement. Luckily, there is an easy solution to this issue. If you have a penny, you have your very own tire tread gauge. The way it works is simple. Grab an Abraham Lincoln penny and insert the coin into your tire with Lincoln’s head facing downward. If the head on the coin remains totally visible, it is time to purchase a new set of tires. This tire replacement gauge is so effective that it can be used on new tires, too.

Replacing old tires is important to the safekeeping of your vehicle. If your tires are exhibiting any of these telltale signs, it’s time to replace your car’s tires. For information about tire replacement, contact Performance Truck & Automotive Repair at (334) 245-6600 today.

Back-to-School Auto Care

Before you head back to school this year, make sure you are up-to-date on some basic auto care. We know things can get busy, but make sure auto care maintenance is a top priority on your to-do list. Practicing good car care is crucial, because without it, you won’t even be able to get to and from school on your own. In just a few steps, you can complete your back-to-school auto care musts!

Checklist: Auto Care

Auto Care Must #1 – Check the Vitals

Prevent potentially costly repairs by opening the hood of your car and making sure your fluid levels and the engine oil are where they should be. Not sure which fluids to be checked? No worries. Check the important ones, including: coolant, transmission, power steering , and brake fluid. If you are unsure where these fluids need to be, reference your owner’s manual.

Of these fluids, you will want to pay special attention to your coolant levels during warm weather.  A lack of coolant can eventually lead to the overheating of your car’s engine, which will make your car non-functioning. In addition to being certain your car’s coolant stays at the proper level, you will also want to change it periodically. The rule of thumb? Drain old coolant after every 30,000 miles or every couple of years. After draining the old coolant, flush the cooling system and refill it with new, clean coolant.

Auto Care Must #2 – Maintain your Car’s Tires

When it comes to good auto car, you will want to make a habit of checking your tire pressure with a gauge regularly. Follow the suggested pressure given by the manufacturer. Usually this information is located on a sticker in the driver’s door, glove compartment lid, center console, and/or owner’s manual.

Even if your tires are at the proper pressure, they can still pop or deflate. To ensure that you are prepared for these situations, make sure your spare tire is properly inflated and that you have a lug wrench, jumper cables, and jack in the trunk. Doing so will help you during flat-tire situations, saving you the time and money of calling roadside assistance.

Auto Care Must #3 – Check and Replace Brake Pads

Because of the high friction that is experienced between the rotor and brake pads, your brake pads will eventually wear thin. When this happens, it is advisable that you change the pads to avoid damage to your car’s braking system, which could eventually lead to the failure of brakes. To avoid this, check your brake pads from time to time, making sure they are thick enough to drive safety. If they are not, replace them — don’t risk your safety!

Auto Care Must #4 – Check the Lights

Another key safety component of your vehicle is its lights. If your brakes are working but you are not visible to other drivers on the road or can’t see the roadway, you are driving in dangerous conditions. Checking your lights is easy. Have someone inside of your car turn on the headlights, signals, and emergency flashing lights. As they go through the motions, walk around your car and make sure each set of lights is working properly. Check the brake lights to ensure that they are okay, too.

Maintain your Auto Care…Year Round

Once you finish this four-step process, you have completed your back-to-school auto care and you are sure to start the school year off on a good note. Keeping your vehicle in good condition is not just important before you start the school year, though. It is crucial to keep up on your auto care year round.

To learn about our superior auto care, contact Performance Truck & Automotive Repair at (334) 245-6600 today.

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