A New Year is upon us and we hope the road ahead in 2021 does not include a check engine light for you. It’s happened to most of us of course, due to what could be a number of potential issues, some more costly than others. (You can find a list of the most common ones here.)
A new 2020 CarMD Vehicle Health Index Make and Model Reliability Rankings gives us some more data. It looks at the frequency of engine light repairs among makes of 1996 to 2020 model-year vehicles. Read More
If you have purchased a new car or crossover SUV in the past few years and assumed it had a spare tire and wheel, you could be in for a surprise. Unfortunately, you may not know for sure until you are on the side of the road somewhere. Those who find out they have no spare tire in an emergency situation are, shall we say, less than pleased. Read More
As we head into the final weeks of the year, COVID-19 cases are again spiking across the nation as the “third wave” hits the U.S. It’s just as important now as it was in March and over the summer to take precautions to prevent its spread. A big difference between now and last spring, is that when the pandemic started, many people were staying home and off the roads and had postponed travel plans. But now, many people are venturing out more in their communities. Plus, as we head into the holiday season, some families may be planning to travel -- especially by car. According to AAA’s latest estimate -- 47.8 million Americans are planning road trips for Thanksgiving. That’s a drop of 4.5% over last year - but still, folks, 47.8 million is a lot of people hitting the road. Road trips are not a risk-free activity. It’s pretty hard to social distance 6-feet in the confines of a vehicle.
Whether you’re staying around town or one of those who is planning to travel by car this year, let’s again go through some tips on how to clean and sanitize your vehicle. Although no amount of cleaning is a guarantee of preventing the spread of COVID among passengers in your vehicle, there are things you can do to help minimize the risk. Read More
Many of you will be traveling over the holidays, and nobody wants to find himself or herself stuck on the side of the road for any reason, but if you drive in major metro areas, odds are good you see it on a daily basis. I am a sucker for people who look like they need help and have stopped many times to see if I could assist. The last time I did this, the driver had been in a hurry and ran out of gas in a fairly new car. He asked if I could give him a lift to a gas station and I asked him if he’d called roadside assistance? His reply was “I don’t think I have that”. He was driving a two-year-old Camry, and a quick Google search revealed the phone number. He called and the ETA of the service provider was less than 10 minutes. Read More
We’ve all had our check engine light come on and likely wondered what it means and just how quickly it should be attended to. Check engine lights can mean different things and should never be ignored.
When your check engine light comes on, it is a signal that the onboard diagnostics system (or OBD II) has detected a malfunction in the vehicle's emissions, ignition or fuel systems. It could be something as simple as a loose gas cap or something as severe Read More
If you live in California, you probably already suspect this. But we can confirm you’re paying the most when it comes to check engine light-related repair costs. That’s according to CarMD’s 10th Annual State Ranking of Car Repair Costs.
The study found that California drivers incurred the highest average repair cost ($414.24), followed by the District of Columbia, Georgia, New Jersey and Virginia. (Texas places 18th on the list.) If you’re in Vermont, you Read More
A Texas Car Pro Show listener got in touch with me, totally frustrated with her dealership. She loves the dealership overall, loves her salesperson, and loves her vehicle. However, she gets irritated when she calls the dealership to make an appointment, and the first available time is two weeks away.
Welcome to summer temperatures and the problems it causes for dealerships and customers.
Summer Car Service Challenges All the years I owned car dealerships, I dreaded the summer heat. Read More
If you’re like many Americans you’re likely using your vehicle a lot less frequently during COVID-19 with all the stay at home orders around the country. We’ve provided some car care tips here for when your car is parked for longer than normal. Ford is also offering up some tips on how to specifically care for electric vehicles that may not be in regular use right now.
The automaker says owners of battery-powered vehicles might wonder how much charge they should keep in their Read More
CarMD, a leading provider of automotive diagnostic data and business solutions, released its 2019 CarMD Vehicle Health Index report. This annual VHI report provides an overview of information related to check engine-related car repairs, costs and trends. Top 5 Reasons for Check Engine LightBelow you’ll find the rankings according to CarMD’s findings along with average cost of repairs. The one you don’t want is the pricey problem of Read More
This April finds itself very different from the last, but one thing has not changed, and perhaps become even more important: Taking care of your vehicle, whether it’s parked for a while or not.
April is National Car Care Month. Most automotive service departments remain open to conduct repairs, recalls and fulfill other service needs. But you can also maintain your vehicle from home with a driveway vehicle check.
“A driveway vehicle check only takes about 10 Read More
Have questions about your car? Well, forget finding them the old fashioned way, in an owner’s manual tucked away in your glovebox. These days you’ll need to go online. In the digital age, automakers are posting them on their websites and some, like Hyundai’s, even include augmented reality features. Many brands are also now allowing you to reference them through the vehicle’s infotainment system.
The move to digital manuals is due in part to cutting weight, since paper adds up. In fact, if Read More
We’re not the only ones staying home these days. So, too, are our cars. As Americans are being asked if at all possible to stay home, many cars are sitting parked on the street, in the driveway or garage for days, and those days are turning into weeks. Unfortunately, parking your car even short-term for a few weeks can pose some potential problems for your vehicle. The best way to prevent many of them is to drive your car. Once a week if you Read More
The Car Care Council is reminding us about the importance of giving cars the proper TLC to avoid engine trouble and keep them running properly.
One way to keep your vehicle maintained is by checking its engine belts to make sure they are in tip top shape. Engine belts are a vital part of keeping your vehicle moving. Losing one can mean immediate trouble for the engine and an unpleasant breakdown for you. Read More
I hear from people all the time who are confused about the correct time to change their oil and filter. I wrote an article some years ago titled “nix the 3000-mile oil change”. The truth is, oil is just so much better these days, there is never any reason to change it at fewer than 5000 miles, and that is for those people who really want to get a lot of mileage out of an engine.
When to Change Your OilBusinesses that change oil for consumers often want to tell you that the sooner you Read More
The greatest single cost in car ownership is depreciation. Basically, the second you drive your car off a dealer lot, it loses value and will continue to do so until you either decide to sell it or it stops working.
By taking proper care of your car, keeping it looking good and running smoothly, you can ensure that it fetches as much money as possible when it comes time to sell or trade in. Following these five simple steps will work wonders in maintaining Read More
If your car is going to get egged, it will probably be next Wednesday night. Lots of things can happen on Halloween, but getting your car egged is one of the WORST. It happened to me a few years ago, and I am sure it was random, but the results could have been bad had I not known what to do. Thank goodness I saw it before I left for the day.
The DamageAs harmless as eggs seem, they can actually wreak havoc on vehicle paint surfaces and cause long-lasting, permanent damage. The yolk that’s Read More
It seems to sneak up on us every year. Suddenly we look up and for many, the thermometer is hitting triple digits. For some people, depending on locale, that first 100-degree day is the start of a string of hot days that lasts for months. This is a tough time of year for your car, but there are things you can do to help your car get through the summer season.
1. Check A/C Have your air conditioning system checked, many repair shops do this at no charge or a very nominal fee. It is not Read More
Old man winter is just around the corner and that means it’s time to get your car prepped for the frigid temps and the snow and ice that could follow. Some things you can do yourself, others could require a trip to a service shop. But they’re all important when it comes to preparing for and driving safely in often dangerous winter conditions. This is especially true if you have any winter road trips planned.
Know Your VehicleIt sounds simple, but every vehicle handles differently, so take Read More