Auto Tips

  1. When turning on the a/c compressor when you are at speeds of 55-60 mph, let off of the accelerator and let the car coast a little and then turn the compressor on. Change your motor oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months. Make sure that you have the filter changed at the same time. Lube the front-end components at the same time.
  2. When planning a trip make sure that you always carry two gallons of drinking water, a roll of silver duct tape, nylon tie straps, flashlight, jumper cables, first aid kit. Also check to make sure the spare tire is inflated. And check to make sure you have the proper equipment for changing a tire such as a jack, lug wrench, hubcap key, 2 cans of fix a flat. And if available, a cell phone.
    • Windshield Wipers: Do not allow your windshield wipers to run on a dry windshield. This will shorten the life of the wiper blades and will overheat the wiper motor causing premature failure and expenses. Use the product Rain X on your windshield. This product is available at most large car washes or you can purchase it yourself. This will make driving in the rain and at night time more enjoyable and safer.
    • Electric Windows: Replacing your electric windows motor can be expensive. When using your electric windows as soon as the window is completely up or down, release the switch immediately. This keeps from overheating the window motor or switches.
  3. How Consumers Benefit from ASE Technician Certification?
    Finding a competent auto repair technician should not be difficult, and with that guiding principle, the non-profit, independent National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was founded in 1972. The mission was clear: develope a mechanism by which working auto technicians could prove their competency to themselves, their employers and to consumers. The solution: a series of national certification exams covering all the major automotive repair and service specialties. The result: an elite group of automotive service professionals at work in repair establishments throughout the nation. Pope Automotive employs only ASE certified technicians.
  4. Tips for Improving Your Gas Mileage
    • Keep your tires properly inflated and check them frequently.
    • Keep your front suspension and steering in proper alignment.
    • Use the thinnest viscosity oil that your car's manufacturer recommends.
    • Keep your engine in proper mechanical condition.
    • Keep your engine in tune and make sure the air and fuel filters are clean.
    • Make sure your brakes are not dragging.
    • Repair body damage. That crunched front fender adds aerodynamic drag - just ask any race car driver.
    • Don't use premium fuel if your car does not require it; using it is an unnecessary expense.
    • Don't waste your money on those late night "as seen on TV" products that are supposed to increase your mileage.
    • Avoid excessive warm-up time. Modern engines do not require it.
    • Keep your speed at 55 miles per hour/95 kilometers per hour or less whenever possible.
  5. Brake Tips:
    • Q. How often should my brake system be inspected?
    • A. Manufacturers' recommendation is that the brake system should be inspected every 12 months.
    • Q. What type of brake pads should be put on my vehicle?
    • A. Product that meets or exceeds original equipment specifications should be used.
    • Q. My brake pedal is very low. What could be causing that?
    • A. It could be one of these possibilities: air in the hydraulic system, the brake shoes are out of adjustment or there's a leak in the hydraulic      system.
    • Q. My brake pedal pulsates and my steering wheel shakes. What could be causing that?
    • A. Rotors and/or drums are warped or distorted.
    • Q. My ABS light comes on and sometimes goes off. What could be causing that?
    • A. It could be one of these possibilities: worn-out brake pads, low brake fluid or worn- out wheel bearings.
    • Q. I hear squealing when using my brakes. What could be causing that?
    • A. It could be one of these possibilities:
  6. Tune-Ups:
    Is an engine tune-up a thing of the past? After all, modern engines have no points and condenser to replace, no carburetor to adjust and spark timing is controlled by the car's computer. Most cars now even have direct ignition that replaces the distributor. Is a tune-up necessary anymore? Well, yes. But the procedure is different. About every 30,000 miles, you should take your car to a service facility for an "engine inspection" and "computer scan". With an "engine inspection", a service technician will check all the engine functions by hooking it up to a diagnostic analyzer. This computerized piece of equipment reveals problems in the ignition, fuel and emissions systems, and allows the technician to return the engine to factory specifications. At this point, they may replace the spark plugs or other parts as found faulty. Beware however, the technician may find only one or two components from a set to be faulty (such as spark plugs or ignition wires), therefore only replacing the ones found bad.
  7. Transmission:
    Set the emergency brake when you stop the car and then put the transmission in park. This takes the strain off of the transmission parking mechanism. Also it helps in some cars to keep the rear brakes adjusted. When backing up or going forward, when you shift from reverse to forward make sure that you bring the vehicle to a complete stop, then shift gears. This will lengthen the life of the transmission, motor supports, transmission supports, universal joints, front wheel c/v joints and axles. When in stop and go traffic in the summer put the transmission in neutral as much as you can. This takes the load off the transmission and motor and will let the motor and transmission oil cool off quicker. Thus extending the life of the motor and transmission.
  8. Timing Belts:
    Failed timing belts cause extensive valve repairs.
  9. Power Steering Leaks:
    When turning the car full left or right, do not hold the steering wheel all the way over until it stops. Let off the wheel and inch or two. When you hold the wheel fully all the way to the left or right, it will finally blow out the power steering hoses or pump from having too much pressure generated by the power steering pump.
  10. Fuel Injectors:
    Dirty fuel injectors make your cars use more gas, and they can cost $100 each plus labor to replace.
  11. Transmission Tips:
    An automatic transmission has basically three types for the home repair person to be aware of. One type has a fluid pan which can be removed and the filter can be changed. The other type has no pan, just a drain plug. Very few have external filters which resemble an engine oil filter. The third type has a drain plug and a fill plug at the bottom of the transmission. There is no dip stick tube to fill the transmission. It has to be done underneath with a suction tool while the vehicle is running. Unless you are sure how to do this I would suggest having a pro do it. Remember, check for a dipstick tube or fill plug before you start this by yourself. Standard transmissions is a basic drain and fill. However make sure you use the correct fluid. Some use 90 weight gear oil, some use motor oil, some use automatic trans fluid, and some have their own special fluids. Check your owner’s manual.
  12. Misc Tips:
    When changing the rear differential fluid be sure to add LSD (no I’m not on drugs!!) limited slip differential fluid if the manufacturer calls for it. If the vehicle has a full time 4x4 system make sure all 4 tires are the same size and design to avoid undue strain on the differentials. Turn your windshield wipers off before turning off the motor especially in the freezing regions. The biggest problem in the winter is wiper linkage damage due to blades frozen on the windshield. In snow country keep the better tires on the front of the vehicle if it has front wheel drive. Do the opposite with a rear wheel drive vehicle. Keep your windshield washer reservoir full and carry an extra gallon with you. You don't want to be caught without washer fluid, and you don't realize how quickly you use it up, especially in the winter months when we get salt spray on the windshield. Replace your wiper blades once a year.