Yearly Archives: 2021

Diesel Engines

When someone mentions diesels around Norfolk, images of smoky, rattly trucks may spring to mind. The fact is that the modern, clean diesel engine is much more refined than in the old days. Sure, diesel engines remain a very popular choice with heavy duty pick-up truck drivers in Norfolk, but they are finding their way into nearly every segment of the VA automotive market. Why is that? Well, it's science. Diesel fuel contains more energy than the same amount of gasoline. So it takes less diesel fuel to do the same amount of work as gas.  so Norfolk diesel drivers get more miles per gallon/kilometers per liter and lower emissions. In Europe, where fuel is very expensive and good fuel economy is very important, around half of passenger vehicles are powered by diesel engines. This goes for small economy cars all the way up to the world's most luxury vehicles. The driving experience is also very good with diesel engines.  In fact Norfolk residents may not even be able to ... read more

Radiator Hoses

Your radiator hoses carry coolant between your engine and radiator.  It’s an important job.  If a hose fails, you could lose your engine coolant which might lead to overheating and very expensive engine damage, so you want to make sure you always have good hoses. Radiator hoses are very resilient, but they are subject to very harsh conditions.  Think about it, the temperature might be below freezing when you start your engine and the coolant could be up over 100 degrees Fahrenheit within a mile.  These extreme internal temperature fluctuations contribute to hose degradation from the inside.  Oil splashing on the outside of a hose will cause the hose material to soften over time.   Ozone can also eat away at the hose.  The bottom line is that hoses don’t last forever and will need to be replaced. If you see steam coming from under your hood, you probably have a cooling system leak somewhere.  Other signs are puddles of coolant und ... read more


Let’s talk transmissions.  Transmissions are heavy duty pieces of equipment that are designed to last a long time.  But like any other machine, they’ll eventually wear out and need repair. So, let’s focus on what you can do to push that day off as far as possible. The first thing you can do is to make sure your transmission always has enough fluid.  Transmission fluid cools and lubricates the transmission.  When there’s not enough fluid, the transmission will run hotter and wear out sooner.  The transmission fluid also provides the pressure needed to transfer power from the engine to the transmission.  Not enough fluid, and your transmission won’t shift properly. Your service center will check your transmission fluid level with a full-service oil change and top it off if needed.  If you see any transmission fluid on the driveway – it’s a reddish color – have us inspect it for a leak.  A gasket, ho ... read more

The Carmasters Automotive Guide To A Long Lasting Vehicle

May 18th, 2021 Let's say you've got a nine-year-old vehicle with plenty of distance on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two? Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles or 320,000 kilometers in Norfolk with proper care. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there. Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there's no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if you stay on top of your recommended maintenance even beyond the end of the printed schedule. For example, if a service is recommended every 15,000 miles or 25,000 kilometers when the vehicle is new, you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles or 25,000 kilometers after you go forth. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it's very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oi ... read more

5 Car Noises You Shouldn't Ignore

5 Car Noises You Shouldn't Ignore

From indicating it's time for a service through to a warning of fast-approaching mechanical failure, the noises coming from your car can provide a wealth of information. If you've had your car for a few months, chances are you'll be familiar with its usual sounds. This means that when a new noise starts, you'll quickly recognize that your vehicle needs attention. Here are five common noises to look out for, along with an explanation of what they might mean. 1. Hissing In most cases, hissing will be due to the escape of steam from an overheated radiator. In these circumstances, stop as soon as it's safe to do so and seek professional assistance. Driving with an overheated engine can cause serious damage. 2. Metallic scraping when braking If you hear squealing or metal-on-metal when braking, it frequently means your brake pads have worn right down to the underlying metal. Get the pads inspected immediately and replaced if necessary. If the brakes are worn to the m ... read more

Service Intervals

May 9th, 2021 Question: I'm really confused about auto service intervals for various items on my car. Help! Carmasters Automotive Answer: The simple answer for Norfolk residents is to follow the vehicle's recommended service intervals listed in your owner's manual or in your service center's database. But the team at Carmasters Automotive in Norfolk sympathizes with Norfolk residents because of the confusing intervals for modern vehicles. The days of simple rules of thumb that applied to most vehicles are long gone. For example, let's look at an oil change: manufacturers' recommendations run anywhere from every 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers) to 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers). This big range comes from engine design and recommended types of oil - so Norfolk residents really do need to read and follow the recommendations for their specific ... read more

Distracted Driving

May 6th, 2021 When asked, most people think they are good at multi-tasking.  Scientific studies, however, reveal that only around 2% of the population can truly demonstrate the capacity to effectively multi-task.  For the rest of us who are not so biologically wired, no amount of practice can increase our effectiveness at multi-tasking.  Turns out, multi-tasking is almost a superpower.  Think of fighter pilots: capable of maintaining their orientation in three-dimensional space, performing specific and highly complicated functions while accessing life threatening situations, and coming up with an appropriate response.  Admit it – you can’t do that. Yet when it comes to driving, we seem to think we are very capable of safely operating a motor vehicle with a myriad of distractions.  77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive while 55% claim it’s easy to text and drive.  Can they possibly be right ... read more

Get Fresh Air Inside Your Car In Norfolk

Apr 26th, 2021   VA air quality affects Norfolk drivers wherever we are. Many decades ago, people began to become aware of how air pollution negatively affects health. But what about the air inside your vehicle? Cabin air filters are now coming standard on most new vehicles since the 2000 model year. These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment. They can filter particles down to three microns, so that’s good enough to clean out dust, pollen and most pollutants. If you suffer from allergies, this is very good news. You can look in your owner’s manual to see if you have a cabin air filter. If you do, there’ll be a recommendation for replacing it when it gets dirty. If you live where there’s a lot of dust, pollen or pollution, you may need to change it more often. You can also ask your Carmasters Automotive service advisor. How hard it is to change a cabin air filter depends on your vehicle. Some are quit ... read more

How Often Do I Need A Timing Belt Replacement?

How Often Do I Need A Timing Belt Replacement?

How often do I need a Timing belt Replacement? There is no straightforward answer to this question. Most car manufacturers recommend that timing belts be replaced after covering 60,000-106,000 miles, while others state the belts need charging after seven years. How often you need to replace your car's timing belt will depend on the size of your car's engine and how you use the car. In fact, some engines don't even have timing belts. All cars come with maintenance schedules which are the best reference points to know when to replace timing belts. You can check your car's maintenance schedule for this information. Why Should a Timing Belt Be Replaced? The timing belt is a very important component of your car's engine. It runs the Camshafts and is what times' (controls) the pistons' movement. If it breaks, the engine won't run. As you drive the car, the timing belt wears out gradually until it cannot perform optimally ... read more

Tips on TPS (The Throttle Position Sensor)

Apr 15th, 2021 When you step on the accelerator, you expect your vehicle to speed up, not slow down.  But, what if it doesn’t?  That can be a big problem. The answer may be a problem with the sensor that helps your vehicle determine that the proper mix of air and fuel for your engine.  It's called the TPS, or Throttle Position Sensor. Here's how it works. Your vehicle’s throttle opens when you need more air to accelerate and closes when you need less.  The throttle position sensor does pretty much what its name says: it senses the position of the throttle.  That reading, along with air flow measurements, is sent to the vehicle's computer.  The computer factors in air temperature, how fast the engine is turning over, and air flow to determine how much fuel to supply the engine.  If everything's working correctly, you'll get the acceleration you want along with the fuel economy you expect.  However, if the TPS fa ... read more

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