Yearly Archives: 2021

Headlamp Replacement And Restoration At Carmasters Automotive In Norfolk

Apr 1st, 2021 Way too many accidents happen at night.  There are a lot of factors, but a big one is simply visibility: if you can’t see something it’s hard to avoid hitting it. There are some things you can do to make sure you can see as much as possible when you’re driving in the dark. First, keep your windshield clean.  Glare from oncoming headlights can obscure obstacles in the road.  Clean off that film that builds up on the inside of your windshield.  And make sure you have good wiper blades and plenty of washer fluid. Now it could be that your headlights just aren’t as bright as they used to be.  It happens – the bulbs just dim over time.  If it’s been a couple of years since you replaced your headlamps and they aren’t lighting up the road like they used to, get some new ones.  They make upgraded headlamps too that give you a brighter light and a larger field of vision so you can see better and furth ... read more

Replace Your Engine Air Filter At Carmasters Automotive

Replace Your Engine Air Filter At Carmasters Automotive

When driving around Norfolk, your vehicle engine needs clean air to burn the fuel – and it needs a lot. In fact, a typical vehicle needs about 216,000 gallons (820,000 liters) of air for every tank of gas. All that air passes through a filter that catches the dust and dirt. Eventually the filter gets completely full. Because the filter can only hold so much, dirt starts getting through. This dirty air passes through the mass airflow sensor and starts to accumulate on the delicate sensor element. The mass air flow sensor measures how much air is getting into your engine. When the airflow reading is incorrect, your vehicle engine doesn't get the proper amount of fuel. It runs rough and doesn't perform as well as it should. Eventually, the sensor is so damaged it needs to be replaced – which is pricy. In fact you could buy a case or two of air filters for the cost of a sensor replacement. Of course, that dirty air keeps on going through to your vehi ... read more

Will It Damage My Engine If I Continue to Drive My Car with the Check Engine Light On?

Will It Damage My Engine If I Continue to Drive My Car with the Check Engine Light On?

The check engine light in your car plays a critical role in the vehicle's onboard diagnostics system. If anything goes wrong with any component tied to the system, the check engine light flashes, usually an amber/yellow light. The problem is usually in the form of an OBDII code, and you need a professional with a diagnostic scanner to troubleshoot the issue. Once diagnosed, a certified technician repairs the problem. This article provides insights into some of the measures to take when the check engine light flashes when you drive and how to tell whether you can drive with the light on. Steps to Follow When Engine Light Flashes Step 1: Observe the Check Engine Light When the check engine blinks, observe it for w while. If it flashes for more than six (6) seconds, that's an indication that there is an emergency problem. Step 2: Pull Over Safely Pull over to the side curb and bring the car to a stop. That gives you a chance to check what the issue is. If you ignore the prob ... read more

Prevent Costly Repairs

Mar 13th, 2021 You’ve probably seen auto parts delivery trucks in Norfolk making their rounds. Every part has a story behind it. Unfortunately, some of the stories are tales of repairs that could have been prevented. One stop may be to deliver an engine air filter and a mass air flow sensor for a customer’s pick-up. His service advisor has been recommending he replace that dirty air filter for the last couple of oil changes. The guy’s been saying no to save a couple of bucks. Now dirty air has been getting into his mass air flow sensor for so long that it’s ruined. Talk about stepping over dollars to pick up a dime. Perhaps the next stop is for a fuel system cleaning kit and a set of four fuel injectors. This nice lady has never had her fuel system cleaned. Over the years, gum and varnish have completely ruined her fuel injectors. Her tech will replace the injectors and clean the system, removing carbon deposits from her valves and combustion chamber. Her eng ... read more

Busted in Norfolk: The Maintenance Free Myth

Mar 5th, 2021 Quality surveys report fewer problems with new cars than ever before.  So, does that mean that modern vehicles have become maintenance free? Back when cars spent more time in the repair shop, people were more mindful of routine service.  Now, it’s much easier to put it off.  Take tune-ups for example.  In the days of mechanical ignition systems, an engine needed to be tuned-up every couple of years.   If your engine was out of tune, you knew it.  It ran poorly and got bad fuel economy. Now, the ignition system is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer.  Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as a hundred thousand miles.  So, tune-ups used to force you in for service and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list. So, what’s the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance?  Well, your car will perform better and return better f ... read more

Simple Answers from Carmasters Automotive for Norfolk: Water Pump

Feb 21st, 2021 Simple Answers Service Intervals Question: My water pump went out and it cost much more to replace than ones I've had replaced in the past. My Norfolk technician said it's because of where it's located. Why is that? Carmasters Automotive Answer: Some water pumps are driven by the serpentine belt and are bolted on out in the open with the alternator and air compressor and such.  Other water pumps are driven by the timing belt.  These water pumps take a lot of labor to access and replace.  I suspect your current vehicle has a water pump that is driven by the timing belt. Water pumps are fairly simple devices that circulate engine coolant/antifreeze around the engine and out to the radiator.  Like any mechanical device, they eventually wear out.  Although having a cooling system service done on schedule at Carmasters Automotive will extend the life of your water pump and its seals and gaskets, it will eventually fail and need to be repl ... read more

Is it Safe to Drive With a Nail in My Tire?

Is it Safe to Drive With a Nail in My Tire?

If you drive long enough, you're going to end up with a nail, screw or rock in your tire. Read on to determine your next steps after you discover the piercing piece of trouble. The biggest thing to bear in mind: it is NOT safe to drive with something in your tire for any length of time. You'll be risking way too much to take the chance. Many cars have low tire pressure warnings on the instrument cluster (the area that also contains the speedometer, etc.). If your car doesn't feature a light to indicate low pressure, you should be sure to own a tire gauge and test your tire pressure often. If you're not sure what your tire's PSI (pounds per square inch) is, look at the sticker in your driver's side door or your instruction manual. Low tire pressure is often the first giveaway that there might be an unidentified intruder in your tire. If you discover the offending object, DO NOT pull it out. It may have gone far enough into the tire to actually seal it temporar ... read more

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

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