Car Maintenance Basics for Keeping the AC Running Great

Car Maintenance Basics for Keeping the AC Running Great

Here are some important car maintenance basics for your car’s air conditioner. It is important that you don’t ignore your AC, because it could start developing problems during the colder winter months. Here are some tips that will help keep your AC in tip top shape and ready to blast the cold air when you need it on a hot summer day.

Car Maintenance Basics for the AC

It is so annoying when you push that button for a nice cold blast in a super-hot car and you get lukewarm air instead. This can be prevented in several different ways. For a great running AC, follow these car maintenance basics.

Winter Use

Believe it or not, use it or lose it. Running your AC in the winter periodically is a great idea. It keeps your compressor working well and it removes the humidity from the inside of the car. If your windows are fogged up in the winter, run the AC!

Run Defrost

Turn your fan to the defrost mode and run it for 10 minutes or so every month or so. This keeps the mildew cleared out and helps to keep the bad odors out of your car.

Cold Blast

It is a good idea to run your AC once per week whether you need it or not. This keeps the coolant circulating and working properly. So, turn it up to high and full blast, enjoy the winter effect.

Maintenance

Have your auto mechanic at A1 Performance Auto Repair do a check of your car’s AC every two years to catch any developing problems and to recharge the coolant if needed.

A1 Performance Auto Repair Coupons

Be sure to check our Coupons and Deals page for discounts in the springtime for air conditioning maintenance and car maintenance basics.

Signs of Bad Rotors and What You Need to Do

Signs of Bad Rotors and What You Need to Do

There are signs of bad rotors. It is usually not a mystery that they need replacing. Although, as time marches on the signs might become less pronounced. Here are some things that might be going on with your car or truck that might indicate it is time to replace your rotors.

Signs of Bad Rotors

Signs of bad rotors include many sounds or vibrations, some of which could mean other things, too. So, here are some tests you can do to narrow down the trouble to see if it is a sign of bad rotors.

Rotor Test While Driving

Drive out to a road where there is nobody else on the road. Accelerate to 30mph then press the brakes somewhat hard, but without completely stopping. Do you feel a strong rhythmic vibration in the wheel while you brake? If you do, it is a sign your rotors are warped.

Try the test again at 60mph. If you feel the vibration only at the higher speed, it indicates that it is a slight warping of the rotors.

When rotors are warped, they usually need replacement. If the problem is only slight then grinding them might take care of the problem.

Noise

A squealing noise can happen with certain brake pads and are not necessarily a rotor problem. Have your mechanic check to see which is causing the squeal.

A grinding noise while braking, on the other hand, is likely due to the brake pads being worn down to the point where the rotor is being ground down every time you brake. You’ll likely have a brake pedal that is lower than it used to be, as well. See your mechanic right away. Your car might not be safe to drive. You’ll need new rotors and brake pads. The longer you wait to repair the car, the more expensive it gets.

A1 Performance Auto Repair

Stop by A1 Performance Auto Repair and we will take a look at your brakes to give you an accurate diagnosis and an estimate for repair. We hope to see you soon.

How to Jump Start a Car Battery Safely Using Jumper Cables

How to Jump Start a Car Battery Safely Using Jumper Cables

Here is how to jump start a car battery with jumper cables and do it safely. Cars aren’t the most loyal things sometimes. Batteries will go dead, sometimes because you left a light on  and other times because an electrical short happened or the alternator is dying. No matter the cause, here is the safe way to get back on the road.

How to Jump Start a Car Battery

Always carry jumper cables in your car. You will find there will be many times you’ll need to help a motorist and show them how to jump start a car battery.

  1. Check the voltage of your car battery and the other car’s battery that you’ll use to get yours going. They must be the same voltage and the same negative ground. Check both cars’ manuals.
  2. Put the cars facing each other, engine to engine, without touching. If the cars touch it could cause a short. You will work between the cars.
  3. Shut off everything in both cars before you start.
  4. A frozen battery will explode, so don’t even try.
  5. Clean the battery posts with baking soda so that you can see which is positive (+) and which is negative (-).
  6. Put the red (or yellow) cable in one hand and don’t let it touch anything. Use the other hand to put the other red (or yellow) clamp on the dead battery’s positive cable.
  7. Put the first red cable on the good battery’s positive cable.
  8. Clamp the black cable to the negative post of the good battery.
  9. Clamp the other black cable to a cleaned spot on a bracket under the hood somewhere, but never clamp it to the dead battery’s negative post.

Start the good battery car and let it run for 5 minutes. Then start the dead battery car. It should start right up. Remove the cables in the reverse order.

Oil Change near Me That I Can Trust

Oil Change near Me That I Can Trust

Here is an oil change near you that you can depend on and trust, plus there are coupons! A1 Performance Auto Repair specializes in all makes and models of cars and trucks. They handle both gasoline and diesel engines. A1 Performance Auto Repair serves the entire Sunnyvale and surrounding areas.

Oil Change near Me

When you’re Googling for “oil change near me” you need a new oil change place that you can trust. It is probably time to start using a real mechanic for all of your maintenance needs. There are a lot of reasons why.

When you have your oil changed, you are best served by an auto mechanic. A trained mechanic instinctively knows what prep to do to not damage your while doing a simple oil change. It is easy to strip the drain plug if you are not careful, as many of the employees at oil change places find out.

But besides taking the proper care with your car during scheduled maintenance, a mechanic will keep his eye out for other things that are amiss with your car. He is not likely to miss a mysterious oil spot on the engine or a broken brake that is visible from underneath the car. Investigating these little out of the ordinary occurrences when they start can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars down the road.

So, before you just find yet another “oil change near me” place to change your car’s oil without damaging it, start developing a relationship with a real mechanic near you. A1 Performance Auto Repair has excellent Yelp reviews and has a lot coupons to use to try us out with your car’s maintenance needs.

Signs Your Struts are Broken or Worn Out

Signs Your Struts are Broken or Worn Out

Your struts should last for 4 to 5 years or 50,000 to 100,000 miles, but every car and driver are unique. While some drivers could keep those original struts for twice that amount of time, there are drivers and conditions that will wear them out in less than 50,000 miles. So, here are some signs that are telling you it is time to replace them.

Struts

The job a strut has is to hold the car up and smooth out all those bumps and pothole jolts. They will save your tire wear typically and keep the car from jiggling apart. While car bouncing is cool if you’re a low rider, it isn’t so cool for everyone else. As a matter of fact, you’ll want it to stop immediately. Here are some signs that it is time to swap out your struts.

Excessive Bouncing

Your baby loves bouncing, but your mother-in-law not so much. When your struts are worn out you’ll be bouncing like crazy after every pothole you hit on the road.

Fluid Leak

You will see a little bit of fluid on your struts normally. If there is a lot of fluid running down your strut and even so much it is dripping then they probably need replacement.

Weird Tire Wear

A broken or worn out strut will cause tire cupping. This is caused by the bouncing taking little chunks out of your tires. So, you’re driving around leaving a little trail of tire bits.

Squatting and Bowing

If you accelerate and your car’s rear end goes down in sort of a squat or when you stop your front end takes a bow, it is time to have the struts looked at.

Deals on Struts

A1 Performance Auto Repair will have deals on struts from time to time. Keep an eye on our deals page and you might get to save a chunk of change when replacing some or all of your struts.

Cheapest Roadside Assistance – Ins Co Doesn’t Want You to Know

Cheapest Roadside Assistance – Ins Co Doesn’t Want You to Know

There are so many choices when it comes to the cheapest roadside assistance and your insurance company tends to have a very cheap plan. But there is something that your insurance company doesn’t want you to know.

Cheapest Roadside Assistance

Your auto insurance company likely has the cheapest roadside assistance, running in cost around $6 to $14 per month. This sounds like quite the deal, until you find out that it might drive up your insurance rates if you ever use it.

The reason your rates will go up isn’t because you’ve had an accident and you’re calling for assistance. You could go out to your car in the morning and have a dead battery. So, you use your roadside assistance with your insurance company. Suddenly you see your insurance rate climb. You’ve had no tickets and no accidents. It makes no sense that your insurance is going up so rapidly.

Well, it does make sense. Your rate is climbing because you used your insurance policy’s roadside assistance plan. Insurance companies treat these calls as an ‘incident.’ Traffic tickets are also counted as an incident. Auto accidents are an incident. Having an incident sends your rates soaring.

How to Avoid Rate Increases

The best way to avoid your insurance rates going up when you use roadside assistance is to use a plan that is not connected to your insurance. Use AAA or another auto club that is not provided by an insurance company. And really, sometimes they are the cheapest roadside assistance plan. With an auto club you never have to worry about your rates being raised because you used the plan to get some roadside help when you needed it.

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