Articles:

Fuel Filter

The function of a fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory.  It filters your fuel.  The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine.  Both gas and diesel vehicles use fuel filters. There’s not a lot of dirt in the fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out.  The problem gets worse the older your vehicle becomes.  That’s because dirt, rust and contaminates will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank.  After a car is five years or older, it can have a fair amount of sediment built up.  That just means that the fuel filter must work harder as your car ages.  It’ll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often. A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration.  That’s because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough can’t ... read more

Steamed Up (Vapor Coming Out of Vents)

Sometimes you may notice a little steam or vapor coming out of your vehicle's vents when running the air conditioning or heater.  Is this something about which you need to worry?   The answer is it may or may not be troublesome. Sometimes it can be caused by water accumulating in the vent system after it condenses.  That water can wind up at the bottom of a vent, and when you turn on the blower motor, it can cause what looks like steam or vapor to come out of the vents.    It may go away on its own when the system dries out after you've run the fan for a while.  Of course, moisture sitting around for more than a short time in a hot vehicle is the perfect breeding ground for mold to develop, and you don’t want your vehicle to smell like musty mold.   Sometimes the moisture can build up because a drain is clogged.  A technician can clean that out and get things draining again.   If the vapor coming out of the vents has a swee ... read more

Wheel Alignment Service At Carmasters Automotive In Norfolk

When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard in Norfolk or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday VA driving can cause your vehicle wheels to be out of alignment. This can lead to expensive premature tire and suspension wear. Here are some alignment basics from Carmasters Automotive: The first angle is called toe: Do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire? The next angle is called camber: Do the wheels tip in or out at the top? And finally, there is castor. Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle. The ideal alignment for your vehicle was designed by its engineers. Carmasters Automotive alignment service starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything ... read more

Air Conditioning Service at Carmasters Automotive

Most people don’t service their air conditioning until after it fails.  Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job.  Small leaks in the air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can’t cool the air as well. Along with the refrigerant, a special oil circulates in the system.  The oil lubricates air conditioning components and keeps the seals resilient.  Low refrigerant and lubricating oil mean that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and we all know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. Air conditioning service starts with a visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks.  The compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it’s inspected for cracks or wear. The air conditioning compressor and other components are checked for proper operation.  Then comes the leak te ... read more

Radiator Fans at Carmasters Automotive

Norfolk residents who are old enough have probably heard the term “fan belt”. Back in the day the radiator fan in your vehicle was turned by a belt driven by the engine. There are still belt driven fans, although most are now driven by the serpentine belt. But most Norfolk vehicles now have electric fans that draw fresh air across the radiator to cool it. As coolant/antifreeze circulates in the cooling system it captures heat from the engine and flows into the radiator. Air cools the radiator and the coolant in it before it sends it back into the engine to pick up some more heat. Now your engine has an ideal temperature range in which it is most efficient: it shouldn't be too hot or too cool. The electric radiator fans help maintain the ideal temperature. A switch mounted in a cooling system passage checks the temperature of the coolant. If the coolant is at the low end of the range, the switch turns off the fan motor. When the coolant rises to a certain temperat ... read more

Norfolk Drivers Ask: What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

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, but 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 insur ... read more

Why Is My Car A/C Blowing Hot Air?

Why Is My Car A/C Blowing Hot Air?

Now that summer is here in Norfolk, VA, you can expect the temperatures to go up higher and higher. When it is hot, you naturally crank up the A/C whenever you get into your car. If it is the first time you’ve turned your auto air conditioning on since winter and you’re greeted with warm/hot air, what should you do? Well – you shouldn’t panic because tons of drivers have dealt with the same problem.    When you bring your car to Carmasters Automotive, the experts can crack down on your car’s air conditioning system. Below are some of the common explanations for warm or hot A/C. Low Refrigerant - Refrigerant is the substance responsible for cooling the air that gets blown out of your vents. When you run low on it, it means that a leak exists in the system. At our auto repair shop, we can fix the problem by repairing the leak and recharging your car vehicle with refrigerant.  Broken A/C Compressor - The compressor is where the entire proce ... read more

Used Car Inspection at Carmasters Automotive in Norfolk

It's natural for Norfolk drivers to be a little anxious when they buy a used car in the Norfolk area; you worry that it has something wrong with it or that it hasn't been well maintained. If it's possible, bring the vehicle in for a used car inspection at Carmasters Automotive. Your friendly and knowledgeable Carmasters Automotive service advisor can tell you if there are current or emerging problems. The peace of mind is well worth the price of the inspection service. It's also important for Norfolk drivers to get on track with the maintenance schedule and stay on track. If you don't have maintenance records for the vehicle, assume the worst and get started with an oil change at Carma ... read more

Color Coding Your Vehicle’s Fluid Leak

Color Coding Your Vehicle’s Fluid Leak

We understand the anxiety you may feel after detecting a fluid leak underneath your car. If it is a substantial amount, you may need to get repairs ASAP. The best thing to do is get your vehicle into Carmasters Automotive LLC for an inspection. One aspect that will help us narrow down which fluid it could be is the fluid color. Here is our quick guide to fluid colors and what they could mean: Red/Pink - Red fluid is typically a transmission, but it can also be your power steering fluid. They can appear to be a lighter red/pink color as well. Orange - Orange fluid can be a coolant/antifreeze leak. However, it can be rusty condensation from the radiator Yellow - Coolant can also be a yellow-ish color. It can happen if there is a loose hose clamp or a broken o-ring.  Green - Green fluid is the most common color associated with antifreeze. As mentioned before, antifreeze leaks through all kinds of hoses, fittings, or clamps when they’ve worn out. Blue - Windshield wiper flu ... read more

Air Blend Box

You push a few buttons or turn some knobs, and voila, you have warm air blowing on your feet or cool air chilling your face. How does all that happen? Well, it’s all thanks to the air blend box. This box lives behind your dash and serves up just the right temperature of air right where you want it.   Let’s break it down. First there is the blower fan that circulates the air through the heating/air conditioning system. The fan can blow at different speeds, depending on how much hot or cold air you need to be comfortable. The blend box can either draw in fresh air from outside or recirculate air from inside the cabin. People often choose to recirculate air when first starting the vehicle until it starts to either cool down or warm up.   The next thing the blend box does is direct airflow over the heater core to warm the air, or over the air conditioner evaporator core to chill it – or a blend of hot and cold to get it just right. From there the blend box ca ... read more

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