Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive for Norfolk: Power Brakes

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive for Norfolk: Power Brakes

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive for Norfolk: Power Brakes Jan 17th, 2022 Question: What is power brake service and why do Norfolk drivers need to have it done?Carmasters Automotive Answer: Imagine: you pour a tablespoon of water in your hand and throw it as hard as you can. Now, suppose you suck up a tablespoon of water into a syringe, push the plunger and squirt it out. Which would go further? Of course it's the water squirting out of the syringe. That's because you pressurized the water. Your power brake system is kind of the same thing. When you step on the brake pedal, the master cylinder pressurizes brake fluid which actuates the brakes so you can stop. Norfolk drivers who don't have enough pressure can ... read more

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive for Norfolk: Battery Replacement Jan 13th, 2022

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive for Norfolk: Battery Replacement Jan 13th, 2022 Question When do I need to replace my battery? Answer That’s a smart question.  All batteries wear out and need to be replaced – but some are being replaced before their time.  Look, if your battery is dying and you need a jump-start, it could very well be that you have a bad battery.  But have your service center test the battery first to see if it’s bad.  The problem could be parasitic drain or a bad alternator that’s not properly charging your battery. But you also need to have your alternator tested.  A surprisingly high percentage of “bad” alternators are actually just fine: the problem is a worn serpentine belt and/or belt tensioner.  If the belt is slipping, it’s not spinning the alternator properly so it can’t fully charge the battery. So, you see a dead battery can be the result of a chain of events: a wor ... read more

The Problems with a Cream Puff (Dormant Vehicles)

  Jan 5th, 2022 You may own a vehicle that you only drive occasionally.  Maybe it is a summer day cruiser, an off-roader, or vacation hauler.  Here are some things you need to know about a vehicle that doesn't get driven all that much. You know it has oil in it, and the problem with not driving a vehicle means the oil is just sitting there. Time is breaking it down.  The additives that neutralize acids that build up in the oil are still at work, being depleted over time.   Plus, parts of your vehicle that are supposed to be protected by oil simply aren’t when the vehicle is not being used.  That’s why oil change intervals include both time and distance recommendations. Combustion causes moisture to accumulate in the oil.  The water leads to significant corrosion, so it needs to be burned off periodically. You can do that by driving the vehicle at highway speeds for an hour or so. Your battery will discharge as it sits.  ... read more

Tech Question on Engine Failure

Carmasters Automotive Tech Question on Engine Failure Dec 29th, 2021 Question I’m Collins.  I had my engine go out and had to have it completely re-done.  What could I have done to prevent this? Answer You’ve got to feel for Collins: an expensive major engine rebuild is 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. Therefore, your manufacturer has 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 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 sludge has built up to the point ... read more

Battery Upgrades at Carmasters Automotive in Norfolk

Battery Upgrades at Carmasters Automotive in Norfolk Dec 21st, 2021 Batteries are a huge part of modern Norfolk life. I mean, how many battery chargers do you have in your Norfolk home? Of course, our purpose here is to talk about car batteries in Norfolk. When Norfolk drivers come into Carmasters Automotive and need a new battery, they're really not that happy about having to spend the money. But the fact is that 70% of batteries don't make it for 4 years. There are some things Norfolk drivers can do to extend the life of their battery. First, keep it clean. If you see it getting dirty or greasy, let your friendly and knowledgeable Carmasters Automotive service advisor know so it can be cleaned off. A dirty battery runs hotter and that shortens its life. If your battery terminals are corroded, let us take a look at that too. We can clean them, and if the corrosion has gotten into the battery cables, we can replace them. Also running your battery way down is bad for ... read more

5 Most Important Warning Lights on Your Dashboard

5 Most Important Warning Lights on Your Dashboard

As modern cars continue to evolve and improve the driving experience, an old problem remains. A warning light popping up on your dashboard seems to always appear at the worst time. While touch screens, GPSs, heated steering wheels have all made the driving experience much better, the fact remains: cars will always need maintenance. Below are the most important maintenance/warning lights you should pay attention to, and fix.   1. Tire Pressure Warning Light What it Looks Like: A tire pressure warning can vary from car to car, however, it is almost always the symbol of a tire. In some modern cars, an exclamation point may appear, along with the "low tire pressure" phrase appearing on your dashboard.   What it Means: Given how important tire pressure is in a car, it is surprising it has taken this long for cars to become standardized with tire pressure sensors. Correct tire pressure is extremely important for the safety and efficiency of a vehicle. From an efficie ... read more

5 Tips for Buying Used in Norfolk

5 Tips for Buying Used in Norfolk Dec 17th, 2021 Here are 5 tips from Carmasters Automotive for used car buyers: 1. Ask for service records. Most owners who document regular maintenance service take care of their vehicle. 2. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly. Check for uneven tire wear, alignment, suspension issues, strange sounds and funky odors. 3. If everything checks out up to this point, take it to Carmasters Automotive for a thorough used car inspection. Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Carmasters Automotive can give you a heads up on any pressing issues or emerging problems that will need to be addressed eventually. If the seller won't let you do this before you buy, move on. 4. Buy a CarFax report. This will show any major accidents and title status concerns including whether it is a salvaged vehicle. You don't want a car that was underwater for a week after Hurricane Sandy. 5. After you buy, stay on top of regular maintenance (and save th ... read more

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive in Norfolk: Spark Plugs

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive in Norfolk: Spark Plugs Dec 7th, 2021   Question: I'm confused about when I should get my spark plugs replaced. What's the deal? Answer from Carmasters Automotive: Well, it can be confusing for Norfolk drivers because there are several types of spark plugs and some last longer than others. Your owner's manual will have a recommendation for when your spark plugs should be changed.   Here's a little background from Carmasters Automotive. Spark plugs are in the combustion chamber of your engine. They send a little spark between two electrodes at the end of the spark plug which ignites the gasoline. This little spark goes off thousands of times a minute. Over time, the electrodes on standard grade spark plugs wear away, increasing the gap between them. When that happens, the spark isn't as strong and the fuel doesn't burn as well. As I mentioned above, there are several ty ... read more

Driving on Technology

Driving on Technology Dec 1st, 2021 Think of how much technology has changed vehicles in the last several years. And there's a lot more coming. Many will remember when drivers were the ones who had complete control of several driving functions: steering, braking, and skid and accident prevention, just to name a few. Thanks to computers, high-tech systems in the vehicle now assist with many of these. Anti-lock brakes help the driver stop while avoiding uncontrolled skids, traction control helps reduce slippage, and stability control can minimize the chances of losing control. Backup cameras let drivers see what's directly behind them, things they could never see before. Sensors warn drivers if a vehicle is crossing in front or behind them. Even more sensors and fish-eye cameras alert drivers when they're getting too close to something. And those are just a few of the advances. The quest for self-driving vehicles has produced features that are already making their way int ... read more

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

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