TIPS EVERY DRIVER SHOULD KNOW-BLOG
New Exemption :NC State Inspection Guidelines
February 10, 2106
Did you know that believe it or not, the state has given a small break to owners of newer vehicles. There is now a 3 year/70,000 Mile Emissions Inspection Exemption. The law eliminates the requirement of an emissions Inspection on vehicles registered in NC that meet certain criteria.
This exemption relates only to gas powered vehicles that are registered in an emission inspection county. To qualify for the exemption: Vehicle must be of the three most recent model years (ie. In 2016, this would include 2016, 2015, and 2014 models), and vehicle must have LESS THAN 70,000 on the odometer at the time of inspection.
These Vehicles are still required to have the Safety Inspection. This decreases the cost from the standard $30’s for inspection to $13.60
HOW TO SELECT AN AUTO REPAIR SHOP
December 8, 2015
Have you ever felt the dread of going to an auto repair shop--almost as bad as the dread you feel when you go to the dentist? No one wants to spend out their hard earned money for a repair on their car. However, If you own a car long enough this is going to be inevitable. Rather than waiting till your vehicle breaks down to make a hasty decision on choosing an auto repair shop, you need to be proactive and allow yourself time to do your research. If you have already found a shop that you love, then by all means stick to them and you will be rewarded by that shop for your loyalty.
To help you make a decision on a repair shop that you can trust to do quality work and not rip you off you should:
1. Look for a shop that is clean. This shows that the shop takes pride in what they do. If Junk parts are lying around and things seem to be disorganized, then stay away.
2. Check to see what certifications the mechanics have. The shop should be ASE certified, proving that they have the knowledge to perform a quality repair
and a proper diagnostic.
WOULD YOU TAKE YOUR CAR HERE?
3. Find out what kind of warranties they have both on their labor and parts. Also find out
what kind of equipment they have. They need to have the up to date equipment that is
required for the cars of today. Why take your car some place that does not have the proper equipment to do the repair or proper diagnostics.
4. Don't be afraid to ask questions. No question is too trivial. Make sure that they can
explain the repair to you in terms you can understand and are willing to communicate
5. Do your research on line. A good shop will have great reviews on line, most of
which you can trust. However, there are some review sites that the reviews are not
certified on. Anyone can post, good or bad, and in some cases the reviews are paid for.
6. There are sites such as Repair Pal that will give you an average estimate range of the cost of the repair you need. It takes into account the area of the country that you live in and provides a high to low range for you to compare to. Be careful to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Some shops use cheap parts and some shops skimp on the repair when possible.
7. Don't forget about good ole word of mouth recommendations. Talk to your friends, neighbors, family members, and coworkers to find out who they recommend.
8. Finally, REMEMBER--CHEAPEST IS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST. YOU USUALLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. It is OK to shop around, but in doing this make sure once again that you are comparing apples to apples. Sometimes shops will quote you a price and then when you get the vehicle in the shop many extras are added that should have been quoted initially.
WHEN TO THROW IN TOWEL AND GET ANOTHER CAR?
November 5, 2015
Well this is not a clear black and white decision that is easily made. Many factors should be considered before making this decision. A car is a big investment and should not be taken lightly.
1. Does something seem to be going wrong with my car every time I turn around? If you have an older vehicle that maintenance has not consistently been kept up with, this could be the case. Am I spending more at the garage than I would on monthly car payments? Or does it still get me from point A to point B reliably and safely, with just general maintenance requirements?
2. Am I in a financial position that allows me to really upgrade on this trade? New car verses Used car? If you decide to buy a used car, just remember you may be buying someone else's repair issues. Consider having a pre purchase inspection performed by a trusted mechanic.
3. Consider the using the following chart for assisting you with making an informed financial decision.
Good Luck with your decision. Whatever decision you may make, we at Paul's Automotive Service and Repair are here to assist you.
DOES MY CAR REALLY NEED THIS?--CABIN AIR FILTER
October 1, 2015
Well sometimes things are just so obvious and in need of being taken care of that I just have to document it with a picture. Such was a cabin air filter that was in a car that came into our shop--thus a picture was in order. (The filter
dirty cabin air filtershould be white and clean and free of dirt and debris)
The purpose of a cabin air filter is to clean the air as it enters your car. It removes dust and pollen from the air before it enters your car. How clean the air in your car that you breath is dependent on how clean you cabin air filter is.
The filter is not a critical part of the running of your vehicle, but it is critical to the amount of pollen you breathe, especially in the south. If you have allergies, a dirty air filter could possibly be making you sick. It harbors the pollen and lots of bacteria.
Check your owners manual to see how often it is recommended the filter be changed. If you look at the filter, it will certainly be easy to tell if it needs replacing. If you can remove it look between the ribs for dirt and debris. Make sure it is not wet. Wetness can point to other issues that you car may have. Don't forget the sniff test---but be careful that you don't get dust or stink up your nose.
Cabin air filters are not expensive and can let you breath a little easier. If your manual or professional suggests that it needs replacing, just do it.
RUNNING LOW ON GAS? NOT A GOOD IDEA!
September 23, 2015
We all have a tendency toward procrastination. I guess that is what leads us to putting off getting gas until the gas gauge is almost reading "E". We think we can rely on that digital read out that tells us how many miles our car will go before it runs out of gas---WRONG!!! We know how reliable all computerized stuff can be.
The truth of the matter is that letting your car run low on gas can cause you unnecessary problems besides leaving you on the side of the road because you are out of gas. Many cars have the fuel pumps located in the gas tank that are cooled by the gasoline that surrounds it. If the fuel level gets too low, then the fuel pump can overheat and be damaged. The life of your fuel pump is compromised and can end up costing $$$$$$ that could have been avoided.
Low fuel in cold weather is also inviting trouble because condensation of moisture in the air in the gas tank can cause an accumulation of water. (Consider-the less fuel, the more air in the tank) Water is heavier than gas and it settles to the bottom of the tank, working itself eventually in the gas line. We know what happens if we get gas at a service station that has water in it--our car doesn't run worth a hoot. The same is true if water gets in the tank through condensation. This can cause you an unwanted trip to see the mechanic.
Half full should be your new "Empty" if you want to avoid these problems. It doesn't cost you anymore to keep your tank half full. Just DO IT and stop procrastinating!!!
nother tip: NEVER stop at a gas station to get gas if you see the big fuel trucks at the station. If any water was in that underground storage tank you may be getting you gas from the bottom where all the water has settled to, or if they are putting fuel in the tanks they are stirring up the water which could get in your fuel. Go to another station or wait until later.