Articles:

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

Timing Chain

Timing Chain Oct 7th, 2021 All engines have either a timing belt or a timing chain to synchronize the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves.  This keeps the engine running smoothly and efficiently.  If the timing is off, it may not run at all.  Timing belts need to be replaced on a schedule.  A broken or slipping timing belt could cause extensive engine damage. Timing chains are being used more and more in modern engines.  They are more durable and usually do not have a recommended replacement interval.  However, timing chains and their associated components do wear over time.  The tensioner and guide rails can wear causing the chain to be loose.  A tooth on a cam sprocket could break allowing the chain to slip.  You don’t want to wait for a complete failure (and possible extensive damage) so you need to watch for the signs of impending failure.  You may notice sluggish performance, reduced fuel economy, or diffi ... read more

Here's Why You Should Get Your Windshield Glass Repaired ASAP!

Here's Why You Should Get Your Windshield Glass Repaired ASAP!

Damage taken to your windshield can be just as dangerous as (if not more) internal, mechanical problems. Whether it is a sizable cracked streak or a minor blemish, you may be tempted to overlook it to avoid the cost of getting the repair. Most people do not know, however, that glass damage can spread fast and quickly. So, is it really worth the risk?   Worsen with Moisture - Throughout the seasons in Norfolk, VA, it may rain, fog, or snow. The moisture from the wet weather will trickle into the chip or crack. And if the water molecules remain enclosed in the area in freezing temperatures, you'll be faced with a larger crack! Intense heat can do the same too. Impaired Vision - If your cracked windshield is blocking your line of sight when driving, then you need to get it corrected ASAP. It's not worth putting yourself and others on the road in danger because you will likely be forking out more money if you get into an accident.  Serious Injuries - Auto glass isn ... read more

Carmasters Automotive Tech Question On Your Battery

Carmasters Automotive Tech Question On Your Battery

Carmasters Automotive Tech Question: I'm David in Norfolk, VA. For the last year and a half I've had some battery problems. I had trouble starting my car so I bought a new battery at a parts store in Norfolk. At first everything was fine, then about six months later I had problems starting my car again, so I got a new battery. Again, everything was fine for another five or six months then I had trouble starting my car again. I went to get another battery and the parts guy said why do you need another battery, weren't you in a few months ago? So he tested my battery and it was OK. Apparently I've been replacing good batteries. What's wrong with my vehicle? Carmasters Automotive Answer: Look, we can't fault David for not knowing what's wrong with his vehicle – he just didn't have enough information. And frankly, neither do I. Let's talk about where our friend went wrong and what he could have done. First, he wa ... read more

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

\
Carmasters Automotive, LLC is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Carmasters (757) 456-0722 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.