Yearly Archives: 2021

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

What You Need To Know About Transmission Service At Carmasters Automotive

Apr 5th, 2021 Automatic transmissions have gotten more sophisticated in recent years.  Take the number of gears for starters: The base is four speeds, five is very common. Many manufacturers are using six speeds, and several have seven or even eight speeds.  As you can imagine, this means more parts.  Today’s transmissions are computer controlled.  Some high-end transmissions have two or three computers.  Transmissions are engineered to last.  But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances.  If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.  This can happen with not enough fluid.  And, if the transmission fluid gets dirty or sludgy, small passages in the transmission can get clogged, then the lubricant is blocked and can’t get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely.  Most newer vehicles require special transmission fluids – we can make sure you get the ty ... read more

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

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