Articles:

Suspension Problems In Norfolk?

Feb 16th, 2021 Suspension systems should continue to operate effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles, holding your tires’ footprint on the road.  Eventually, components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive. As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads.  In addition to just wearing out, suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic inspections.  During an inspection, your service technician will check for worn, broken or missing suspension parts. If the inspection reveals any problems, take care of this important safety and handling work.  When you replace your shocks, it’s usually a ... read more

Don't Store These in a Cold Vehicle (Items to Avoid Storing in a Freezing Vehicle)

Feb 1st, 2021 The other day, a man walked into a restaurant carrying a can of paint. He had just bought the latex paint at the local home improvement store, and he was stopping for lunch. "Latex paint is water-based, and it's so cold out. If I leave it out in my truck while I'm eating, it'll be frozen by the time I'm done with lunch." Yes, latex paint is one thing you should never leave out in your vehicle during freezing weather, since the cold can make it separate and clump up, turning it into a gloppy mess that won't go smoothly on your walls. There are a few other things you should not leave in your freezing vehicle. Medicines and drugs can change chemically if they freeze, especially those in liquid forms like insulin, eye drops, and cough syrup. It can be tempting to leave bottled water in the cup holders. The problem comes when bottled water freezes and expands. That can fracture the plastic. When things thaw out, guess where the water goes? D ... read more

Care About Your Spare (Spare Tire Care)

Jan 29th, 2021 Most of us don't worry about getting a flat tire. After all, it rarely happens, and if it does, we might think we can just call someone and have them put on the spare. That's all fine and dandy if your spare is in good shape. But how many of us even think twice about the condition of our spare tires? The spares that take the biggest beating are those mounted outside, like those on SUVs and trucks. They might be on the tailgate or underneath the vehicle. These get exposed to water, dirt, salt, and road debris. The mounting hardware can become so corroded that you may not even be able to get the spare out of its holder, leaving you with no usable spare at all. When you get your tires rotated, ask your NAPA AutoCare Center to check the condition and inflation of the outside-mounted spare and its holder. A little lubrication and maintenance periodically can help keep them fit for action. Often the spare on an SUV or truck is the same size as the other tires and ma ... read more

What are Signs of Low Brake Fluid?

What are Signs of Low Brake Fluid?

The importance of an efficiently functioning braking system cannot be overemphasized, and although the braking system has several components, brake fluid is one of the most important. When the brake fluid is low, the braking system may fail, and this might put your life in danger. But how can you tell when the brake fluid is low? Below are some symptoms that you need to watch out for. Warning Light This is perhaps the most obvious sign of low brake fluid. When the warning light goes on, then the brake fluid could be lower than required. Of course, it is possible that the sensors could be faulty and end up giving false signals. However, this is rare, and the most logical step for you to take would be to get your car checked instead of taking chance with the braking system. Noise Noisy brakes are a sign of a faulty braking system. In some cases, low brake oil can affect how the calipers are engaging, and consequently produce some noise. The brake fluid might also affect the brake pad ... read more

Carmasters Automotive Tech Question on Engine Failure

Carmasters Automotive Tech Question: I'm Collins of Norfolk. I had my engine go out and had to have it completely re-done at Carmasters Automotive in Norfolk. What could I have done to prevent this? Carmasters Automotive Tech Answer: You've got to feel for Collins: an expensive major engine rebuild is pretty extreme. It's a tough situation to be in: maybe you're still making payments on your vehicle and nobody wants to buy it with a blown engine, so you really have no choice but to pay the money to get it fixed. This is why your manufacturer and Carmasters Automotive have preventive maintenance schedules to help you avoid major repairs. Suppose you don't change your timing belt on schedule and it breaks. That can mean bent valves and a damaged cylinder head. Maybe you've skipped over the Carmasters Automotive recommendation to replace your coolant and end up with catastrophic overheating. It could be you've skipped a few too many oil changes and now slud ... read more

The Carmasters Automotive Guide To Wheel Alignment

It's no surprise that your vehicle will drive better if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction. That's called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other. Something that Norfolk drivers won't notice right away, but will if they keep driving when they're out of alignment, is that their tires are wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That's because when the vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire just wears out fast because you're constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip in VA – fighting to keep the vehicle going straight down the road. Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are slamming into a pothole, smacking a curb or hitting something like a rock. And it doesn't have to be a big shock, it can just be the regular bumps and bangs of daily Norfolk driving that add up a ... read more

Change Your Oil, VA Drivers!

Jan 1st, 2021 As engine technology advances, recommended oil change intervals have gotten longer.  High-quality oil in a well-engineered engine has led to extended intervals.  Here’s the problem:  With longer oil change intervals, it’s extremely important to follow them closely.  Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles, if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn’t have time to build up much sludge. But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles and you go over another thousand, you’re getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely.  And don’t forget your severe service schedule.  If you do a lot of stop and go driving, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted conditions, hot or cold weather, or haul heavy loads, you’re driving in severe service conditions.  Is your driving closer to the regular schedule ... read more

Simple Answers: Serpentine Belt

Question: My Carmasters Automotive said I need a new serpentine belt but I don't see any cracks in it. Does it really need to be replaced? Carmasters Automotive Answer: I appreciate your concern. Old style neoprene belts would crack with age, making it pretty obvious to Norfolk drivers when they needed to be replaced. Nowadays, serpentine belts are made from a different material that doesn't crack or glaze the way neoprene did. Stepping back, the serpentine belt transfers power from the engine to various accessories like the alternator, power steering pump and air conditioning compressor - even the power brakes and water pump on some vehicles. Modern serpentine belts have several grooves running their length. These grooves mate with the pulleys on the accessories. When the belt is within its useful life, it spins the accessories at the designed speed. Over time, belt material is worn away. When as little as 5% of the material is lost, the be ... read more

Reasons Behind a Faulty Car Heater

Reasons Behind a Faulty Car Heater

Nothing disrupts your morning commute like a faulty car heater, especially in the winter season when you need your car's heater the most. Imagine driving to work with your car's interior feeling like an ice-box; this is nothing short of miserable, especially if the temperatures in winter drop to -20 degrees Celsius like in Canada. So why does a faulty car heater cause such misery? Well, without it, your defroster cannot blow warm air inside the vehicle. This means the only difference between you and another person who is walking is the speed. If you notice that your windshield is a little foggy, then it might be time to pay your mechanic a visit. Common Causes of a Car Heater Breakdown Your car heater can stop working for a number of reasons; Low water/anti-freeze level that can result from a leak in the vehicle's cooling system. A faulty thermostat that prevents your engine from warming up properly. A faulty blower fan. A heater fan that isn't working properly ... read more

Carmasters Automotive Spring Newsletter

Carmasters Automotive Spring Newsletter

Carmasters 1st Quarter 2020 Newsletter I would like to bring everyone up to date. First, I would like to wish everyone the best in these difficult times. With Automotive repairs and services being considered essential services by Virginia and most states, we have stayed open especially with so many of our customers also working in essential jobs such as military, 1st responders, health care including government vehicles we service. We are taking even more precautions than normal to reduce the risk to our customers and team. Since our last newsletter, we have added to our team as well as our equipment, capabilities, services, and warranties. Everyone, please welcome to our  ... read more

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