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Common Reasons For Car Heater Failure

Common Reasons For Car Heater Failure

Now that it is November in Norfolk, VA, we need to rely on our vehicle's heating system to keep us warm on chilly mornings and cold evenings. We also need it to defrost and clear our windshield when the outside temperature doesn't match the temperature inside the cabin. A good working heater isn't just related to comfort, but it is also necessary for your safety. Imagine going to cut on your heater and defroster when there's no air blowing out of your vents.  Here are some of the most popular reasons why your car heater might falter like this:  Low coolant levels can stop your vehicle from creating and delivering warm air into your cabin. A coolant leak is an issue that requires immediate attention. If you have a leak or are low in coolant, you are putting your engine at risk. A blown fuse somewhere in your car, SUV, or truck can cause electrical problems, affecting your automobile's ability to build heat.  A failing heater core or a leak in the he ... read more

Tires By the Numbers (What Tire Numbers Mean)

Tires By the Numbers (What Tire Numbers Mean) Nov 21st, 2021 You may have noticed your tires have a pretty long number on them.  Yours might start with a letter, then a 3-digit number, followed by a few more numbers and letters.  That string of letters and numbers is very important for your vehicle because it contains useful information on what tires will give you the performance to meet your vehicle’s original design specifications. These numbers can be found in most owners' manuals and usually on the driver's side doorframe.  Generally, it's a good idea to stick with the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations. Let's look at an example.  One customer's SUV has this number on her tires: P245/70R17 108T.  The first letter, P, means it's intended for passenger vehicles.  Some tires don't have any letter at the beginning, which means it's a metric tire. Some tires may also have LT at the beginning or end, which me ... read more

Important Things to Know About the Cost of Auto Repair

Important Things to Know About the Cost of Auto Repair Nov 18th, 2021 AtNorfolk full-service automotive service center, profit margins are a lot narrower than many people imagine. Cars are far more complex, thus the tools and diagnostic equipment are also more complicated and . Diagnosing why your Check Engine light is on may require a machine that costs $18k. Ask a senior technician how much he/she has invested in tools, initial education and ongoing training. For example, a carburetor used to be a pretty simple part to maintain and repair. Nowadays, an electronic fuel system repair in Norfolk requires a technician to have a higher level of knowledge and expensive diagnostic equipment to read and interpret the numerous trouble codes. And it doesn't end there. Shops must pay subscription fees for database services to locate and order the right parts. Buying or leasing shop space has risen along with other commercial real estate prices in Norfolk. All the technology that makes to ... read more

Opinion: Inspection program saves, protects Virginia drivers

Opinion: Inspection program saves, protects Virginia drivers

By Jim Bennett For The Virginian-Pilot | Nov 15, 2021 at 6:05 PM   Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Virginian-Pilot. Afternoon traffic on Interstate 64 is seen from the Mallory Street overpass near the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel on Oct. 14, 2020, in Hampton. (Kaitlin McKeown/Virginia Media)   Jim Bennett is the owner of Carmasters Automotive in Norfolk. (HANDOUT) With travel on the mind, the first thought many people have is, “Where am I going?” Not necessarily “will my car be able to get me there?” The average Joe in Norfolk could probably change a tire or knows when something in their vehicle is not operating correctly, but most likely they can’t check the quality of the exhaust system or change a brake pad. Before thinking about holiday travel, has your own vehicle been inspected? Every year, about ... read more

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive: Synthetic Oil

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive: Synthetic Oil

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive: Synthetic Oil Nov 8th, 2021 Question: What is synthetic oil and should I use it? Carmasters Automotive Answer: Regular oil, also called conventional oil, comes from dead dinosaurs. Conventional oil molecules are long hydrocarbon chains of various lengths. Imagine a bunch of pencils – some used and some brand new. Synthetic oil is often more highly refined petroleum-based oil. The molecules are shorter and closer to the same length. Think a bunch of those little golf pencils. Some synthetic oil is man-made. The molecules are rounder and much more uniform. Think marbles. So you can see that as you progress from conventional oil to synthetic blends (a mixture of conventional and synthetic ... read more

Serpentine Belt

Serpentine Belt Nov 1st, 2021 The serpentine belt is powered by the engine as it turns. Your alternator, air conditioning compressor and power steering pump depend on your serpentine belt to run. On some vehicles it also runs the water pump, radiator fan and power brakes. If your serpentine belt breaks, your battery won't last long. If it runs your fan or water pump, your engine could overheat before your battery dies. Steering and braking would also be affected. Hopefully, we've made a good case for replacing your vehicle's serpentine belt when it's worn out. Your owner's manual will advise you when to replace your serpentine belt. Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Carmasters Automotive can inspect the belt as well, to see if it's close to failure. You may have heard that it's a good idea to check for cracks in your belt to see if it's time for a new one. However, with the newer belts, belt thickness is a more reliable indicato ... read more

Mirror, Mirror (Door Mirror Problems)

Oct 26th, 2021 You've probably seen them lying around at the side of the road: someone's outside rearview mirror that's been knocked off by a driver’s not-so-perfect driving.  And you realize the person who owns that vehicle now has lost an important safety feature.  Having functional mirrors enhances your safety and that of drivers around you. You probably don't think too much about your mirrors, so now it's time to "reflect" on some signs that yours may have problems. The most obvious one is broken mirror glass.  Whether caused by an accident or vandalism, a cracked outside rearview mirror reduces your ability to see your blind spots.  In these cases, you may only have to have the glass replaced.  Driving blind (without a mirror) can cause serious accidents.  Don't put this off. Another issue is an outside mirror that can't easily be adjusted.  Many newer vehicles have power mirrors.  They're s ... read more

What Is the Purpose of an Oil Filter?

What Is the Purpose of an Oil Filter?

A vehicle's oil filter has two important functions: filter out contaminants and keep oil in the right place, at the right time. Your engine can’t perform efficiently without clean engine oil, and your motor oil can’t do its job without an oil filter. Operating your car with a clogged oil filter can do more than affect your oil quality, it can damage your engine and its surrounding components. Understanding what your oil filter is and how it functions can better your awareness of when it’s time for an oil change and filter replacement.  The oil filter collects all the harmful debris, dirt, and metal fragments that it may have picked up along its flow. If these contaminants get into your lubricant, it can severely damage the engine.   How Often Does It Need to Be Replaced? Every 3,000 miles you drive, your oil has gone through the oil filter 12,000 times! It not only means you need an oil change, but it means you need a filter change too. Many manufact ... read more

Carmasters Timing Chain

Timing Chain Oct 18th, 2021 As your engine runs, the intake valves need to open up to allow air into the engine. They remain closed while the air and fuel is compressed and ignited, powering the piston. Then the exhaust valves open to release the exhaust. This all has to be timed very precisely. It is the job of the timing belt or timing chain to make sure all of this is synced up properly.   Timing belts are made of a very tough compound that can last for a long time. Timing chains are made of metal and last for a very long time as well. If your vehicle has a timing belt, your vehicle's owner's manual has a schedule for replacing the belt. If your vehicle has a timing chain, there may not be a specified schedule for replacing it, but that doesn't mean that the timing chain system is indestructible and never needs attention.   For example, the chain runs on sprockets on the crankshaft and the camshafts. A broken tooth on a sprocket can cause the chain to sli ... read more

Deep Breathing In Norfolk: Engine Air Filter

Deep Breathing In Norfolk: Engine Air Filter

Deep Breathing In Norfolk: Engine Air Filter Your vehicle engine really needs clean air to operate efficiently. It takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your vehicle engine. And clean air is much better than dirty. When your air filter's dirty, it simply can't trap any more dirt, so the dirt just passes through into your air intake system. From there it can get into the vehicle engine combustion chamber. And burning dust and pollen in your engine as you drive around Norfolk does you no good. The verdict: When your engine air filter needs to be replaced, it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on how dirty the air is in VA where you drive. A simple visual inspection by a friendly and knowledgeable Carmasters Automotive technician will tell you when you need a new engine air filter in your vehicle. When you look at the air filter on your furnace in your home and see it's all clogged up with ... read more

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