Articles:

It's Your Turn (Using Turn Signals)

Sep 15th, 2021 Distracted driving causes a lot of motor vehicle accidents.  Well, according to one study, twice as many are caused by people not using their turn signals.   Drivers have a lot of excuses for not signaling.  About a quarter of drivers in one survey said they were just too lazy to do it.  Others think they really don't have to use a turn signal, even though traffic laws in most areas require it.  There are drivers who think they don't have enough time to do it because they make last-minute decisions; not the kind of driving that experts consider safe. An insurance company surveyed young drivers and more than two-thirds of them admitted they didn't regularly use turn signals.  Here are a few reasons drivers should use their turn signals. When you signal a turn or a lane change, it lets drivers around you know what you intend to do.  That way the other drivers can anticipate your actions and take whatever measures they ... read more

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive: Alignment

Sep 5th, 2021 Question   How do I know when I need a wheel alignment?   Answer   When your wheels are properly aligned, they all point in the same direction.  When they are out of alignment, most people notice a couple of things.  First the car pulls to one side when driving.  It could be slight or severe.  If your wheels have been out of alignment for a while, you’ll also start to see uneven tire wear – the shoulder on either the outside or inside of the tire is worn down more than the other.  A whole bunch of steering and suspension components are joined together.  Everyday driving can cause your wheels to go out of alignment over time just from the joints loosening up.  That’s why most manufacturers recommend an alignment check every couple of years.  Depending on where you live or the conditions you drive in (off-road driving, harsh winter conditions, poor pavement, etc.) – an alignment inspectio ... read more

Water Pump

Sep 3rd, 2021 Let's talk water pumps for autos in Norfolk, VA. The engine is cooled by coolant/antifreeze mixed with water. This mixture circulates around the engine, absorbing some of the heat. The coolant then flows through the radiator where air cools it down for the return trip back through the engine. Your vehicle's water pump is what drives this process. Cooling system problems are the number-one mechanical failure in Norfolk. So the water pump plays a pretty important role. You can't get very far in VA without a water pump. After all that distant and years of pumping coolant, water pumps just wear out. You might notice a whining or grinding sound coming from the water pump. Or maybe see coolant leaking from the pump itself. The precise location of the water pump varies depending on the vehicle. Some have the water pump attached to the outside of the engine where you can see it. With these, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. Some have the water ... read more

Smooth Shifting In Norfolk

Smooth Shifting In Norfolk

Aug 24th, 2021 If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that VA vehicles are getting more and more powerful and at the same time are getting better and better fuel economy . Much of that's because of better transmissions. To get a understanding of why that is, let's turn to gear experts – Norfolk bicyclists. A cyclist's cadence is the number of times per minute he or she pedals. Their ideal pedal speed is the zone where they can most efficiently generate power over a sustained period of time. The experienced cyclist uses his gears to keep his pedal speed in the ideal zone whether he's climbing a steep Norfolk hill, cruising on a flat stretch or killing a downhill. Look at how it works: if you have a 1-speed bike, you really have to pump hard to get up to speed. And your top speed is limited by how f ... read more

What Norfolk Drivers Should Do After a Car Accident

Aug 21st, 2021 Getting into a car accident can ruin a lot more than just your day. So, consider these tips to make sure the damages aren't worse than you originally think: 1. Make sure everyone is ok, and call 911 to report the accident. Not only will this help in case of serious injury, it will also enable official documentation - which may save you a lot of frustration and money later. 2. Call your insurance agent to find out what information he/she needs.  Listen to any advice based on their experience and based on your coverage and role in the accident. 3. Exchange insurance and contact information with the driver of the other vehicle. If you can, take your own photos of the scene and damage with your cell phone. 4. Follow the directions of your agent to file a claim, if necessary, and consider the repairs that might be needed. But remember, if your insurance agent tells you that you have to use a certain shop, check the laws in VA. Many states prohibit insu ... read more

The Dangers of a Damaged Windshield

The Dangers of a Damaged Windshield

Whether it's a chip or crack, you have to be careful with auto glass damage. You might be enticed to neglect it if it's not blocking your line of sign when driving. However, it is crucial to know that even minor cracks or chips need to be repaired. Windshield damage can spread super fast if not taken care of and can pose other safety hazards. The Damage Can Worsen With Wet Weather - When it rains, fogs, or snows, moisture can seep into the chip or crack. If that moisture remains embedded in the affected area in freezing temperatures, the crack will develop into something bigger.  Cause Car Accidents - If your cracked windshield is preventing you from seeing the road in any way, then you need to get it fixed pronto. It is not worth putting yourself and others at risk of getting into an accident.  Major Injuries Can Occur - Auto glass contributes to the structural integrity of your vehicle. Your windshield serves to transfer the force of frontal collisions down its b ... read more

Power Steering Maintenance

Power Steering Maintenance Aug 13th, 2021 Power steering service includes a thorough cleaning of the system and inspection of all the parts. The steering system and the suspension system work in tandem.  An alignment service at Carmasters Automotive in Norfolk also includes an inspection of steering components. In addition to protecting parts, properly maintaining your power steering system is necessary for keeping everyone safe — you, your passengers and other Norfolk drivers on the road.   Carmasters Automotive931 E Little Creek Rd.Norfolk, VA 23518757.456.0722   At Carmasters Automotive we install quality NAPA replacement parts.  

Norfolk Drivers Ask: Why is My Check Engine Light On?

Norfolk Drivers Ask: Why is My Check Engine Light On? Aug 2nd, 2021 The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some and is totally ignored by just as many.  Just what it means is a mystery to most of us. First, if your check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause severe damage to the catalytic converter or other components.  Get that taken care of right away.  If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at highway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads.  Take it easy all the way to the service center. If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two.  If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with your service advisor to get it checked out. Some more information on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative.  Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer.  The c ... read more

ABS - Anti-Lock Brakes

ABS - Anti-Lock Brakes Jul 25th, 2021 There’s a common misconception that Anti-Lock Brakes help you stop faster.  That is not always the case on loose gravel or snowy surfaces.  Anti-Lock Brakes, in fact, are designed to help you maintain control of your vehicle in an emergency braking situation.  Imagine you are driving on a snowy road.  You need to slam on your brakes and your rear wheels lock up.  Chances are good that the rear end of your vehicle will try to pass the front end and you can easily lose control.  What would happen in the same circumstance if your front wheels locked up?  Well you certainly would not be able to steer properly, and your front end would go to wherever gravity leads it. The Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) modulates your brakes on and off as many as 15 times a second.  This keeps your wheels from locking up while providing the greatest amount of braking possible.  You are better able to steer your vehicle ... read more

Your Nose Knows Gasoline

Your Nose Knows Gasoline Jul 24th, 2021 Each time we fuel up our vehicles, we get a little whiff of gasoline, so the smell is very familiar. There shouldn’t be any gasoline smell in or around your vehicle when you are away from the gas station. When you do smell gasoline away from the gas pump, the cause ranges from something simple to something that can be very dangerous. Let's start with the simple causes.  It could be a loose or faulty gas cap, or you might be missing one entirely. You may also have a leak in the fuel tank vent hose. These are relatively straightforward things to repair.  By the way, because your vehicle has fans that draw in outside air, you may be able to smell these outside fuel leaks inside the cabin. Here are some other possible sources of a gasoline smell.  You may have a leak in your fuel tank, and these are more common than you might think.  Fuel tanks can rot or get punctured by road debris.  The tank can be fixed or re ... read more

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