Has your car been sitting for weeks? Maybe even Months? If so, there are some things you need to know to keep your car working properly for when you need it. The main issue that you might run into is a dead battery. That is why it is good practice to drive your car for a few minutes every two to three weeks. The last thing you want to happen is to be in an emergency situation where you need to use your car and it won’t start due to a dead battery.
A dead battery is the main concern but there are other issues that can occur with letting your car sit dormant for too long. You many also run into a problem with your tires. Over time, and especially in the colder months, your tires will slowly lose air pressure and if you don’t refill the tires and continue to let the car sit this can cause permanent flat spots. Driving with flat spots on your tires will cause a bumpy ride and even a bit of noise. By keeping your tires inflated and driving your car every couple of weeks, you will avoid this problem and help retain your tire’s shape.
A less common issue that can happen is rodent infestation in your car. Sometimes rodents will take up residence under the hood or even in the exhaust pipe. The biggest problem that can happen is the rodents may chew through wiring harnesses and other parts made of soy and other organic materials used on modern vehicles.
Make sure to do a routine check on your car every couple of weeks. Drive it for a few miles to make sure everything is working. Keep your tires inflated and gas tank full. If you find yourself with a dead battery, flat tire, or even damage by rodents your local Car-X is here to help. Find your Car-X here.
The Bernstein family have enjoyed doing business as a Car-X Franchise in the Lake Street neighborhood since 1980. The first 20 years on West Lake Street and the second 20 years on East Lake Street.
Their team of Pat, John and Billy have been with the Bernstein’s company for a combined total of almost 50 years. The Covid-19 impact and reduction of work has been painful for many including Pat and his team.
The riots, destruction and looting of the East Lake Street store and neighborhood is like salt in an open wound. Please help them REBUILD. They want to get back to servicing their community as soon as possible. These funds will help their technicians get back to work by helping them replace tools and personal items, and keep them working while they clean and rebuild their shop. Thank you for your consideration. Our hearts go out to the family of George Floyd!
Thank you from Car-X Tire & Auto on behalf of the Bernstein Family and the East Lake Street Car-X Team
COVID-19 has caused a global health crisis. In these uncertain
times we must keep in mind that we all have a job to do. For some that job is
to stay home or self-isolate and for others that job is to provide an essential
service. The Department of Homeland Security has deemed Car-X to be a part of the
essential services. We are here to ensure that you have a safe means of
transportation. While providing that service, our priority is to make sure that
you and our employees stay safe during your visit. Safety protocols have been
put in place at all of our locations to do so. We are taking this matter very
seriously and ask you to do the same.
It is important for us all to educate ourselves and stay
updated on COVID-19. Make sure you are properly washing your hands, sanitizing
your store-bought goods, and following other safety protocols. Being overly vigilant
is the tactic to take if we want to stop the spread of this virus.
With the winter season upon us, it is inevitable we will soon be dealing with colder temperatures, snow, and ice. Properly maintained tires are vital to the safety of your vehicle during the winter months. Your tires are your vehicle’s only contact with the road. Because of this, there are a few precautions you should take before the weather becomes unfavorable.
• All four of your tires should be the same type, size, tread pattern, speed rating, and load index. Differences in these factors can negatively affect a vehicle’s handling and stability.
• Proper inflation and pressure are imperative. Having inadequate tire pressure can cause unnecessary wear, as well as impact your vehicle’s fuel consumption. Keep in mind that as the temperature drops, so does the pressure in your tires. Make it a priority to check your tires’ pressure every few weeks in the winter.
• Have your tires checked for proper alignment and tread. This is something that should be done on a regular basis, but is most crucial to have done in preparation for winter.
• Make sure your tires are in good shape, or get new ones. Tires that are worn, cracked, or out of balance can seriously hinder your ability to drive and control your car. The majority of winter accidents are caused by loss of control of the vehicle on snowy or icy roads.
• Should you decide to get new tires, winter or snow tires are the best bet for those living in regions that have particularly cold and snowy winter months. Snow tires can provide up to 20% better snow traction than all-season tires. With snow tires, you receive the benefits of shorter braking distances as well as more predictable and controllable turning.
• If you choose not to purchase winter/snow tires, be sure to check the tread on your current tires. The next time you do purchase tires, check for deep grooves on the edges of the tires. These types of grooves move both snow and water outwards from underneath your tire, creating better handling and traction year-round.
Back to school can be a time of big decisions for parents and students. One of the most difficult is whether or not to take a car away to college. Consider the following when making this decision:
• Responsible use – Has your child done his or her part in taking care of their vehicle so far? Have they driven safely and not had a problem with speeding tickets or accidents? Keep in mind the atmosphere of college inevitably means less supervision and more opportunities for poor decisions, so trust is a major factor.
• School policy – Colleges have varying policies on cars for students. Many universities don’t allow first-year students to bring cars to campus. If your student’s school does allow vehicles, the next thing to look into is parking. Will there be a nearby lot or deck they can park in, or will they have to park further away? If the parking area safe?
• Convenience to family – Does it make sense to the rest of the family that your student’s car be gone for semesters at a time? There could be younger siblings near or of driving age that may need the car.
• Jobs or internships – If your student has a part-time job or internship this fall, especially off-campus, then it is important they have a reliable means of transportation.
• Cost – Does your child have a way to pay for gas, parking permits, etc., or will you be covering that? Come up with a plan, such as you paying a certain percentage if your student maintains a certain GPA.
• Rules – Should you make the decision your student will take their car, establish some ground rules. Classmates will surely ask to borrow or drive the car at some point.
Battery– Have your battery checked along with the charging system. Most people feel that the cold is tough on a vehicle’s battery, but it is heat that truly wears a battery out!
Tires– Have your tires checked for wear and have them rotated if needed. Teen-agers really do not enjoy changing tires while on vacation. Swimming and boating is a lot more desirable to them then this activity.
Cooling system– Ensure that your coolant can handle the extra heat you will be asking it to absorb and make sure it is still protecting all the different metals in your engine. Have the belts and hoses checked as well. The number one reason for vehicle break down while on the road is a blown heater hose.
Fluids– Make sure that all critical fluids are full and ready to make the long trip with no problems along the way! This list includes engine oil, transmission fluid, brake and power steering fluid, and also differential fluid. Change any of these fluids that are at the end of their useful life.
A/C– No time is the air conditioning system needed more then during a long road trip with the family all on board the vehicle. Cooler inside temperatures usually mean cooler tempers and a lot more enjoyable road trip. The A/C system should be checked for proper performance including compressor operation along with the cooling fans. You need to ensure that vehicle will be properly cooled when the outside heat is 90 plus degrees. Most newer vehicles are now equipped with a cabin filter and this needs checked yearly especially if anyone in the family suffers from allergies. Lastly, the A/C system should be checked for any small leaks so that the A/C does not quit half-way through your fun filled vacation trip.
Improving fuel economy is a matter of changing your driving habits. The benefits range from environmental to personal and financial. Here are some easy and effective tips on maximizing your fuel economy.
Drive Conservatively – Rapid acceleration and hard braking can reduce your fuel economy by 15-30% at highway speeds (10-40% in stop and go traffic).
Use Cruise Control – Cruise control reduces the fluctuations in speed keeping your car at a consistent pace helping to saving gas.
Avoid unnecessary Idling – Between 1 quarter to ½ gallon of fuel per hour is used when idling. Turn off your engine until you’re ready to get on your way, restarting your engine only uses 10 seconds worth of fuel. Only shut off your engine when it is safe to do so.
Practice Proper car Maintenance:
Remove any extra items from your car – More weight = more fuel your car needs to use
Change your oil regularly
Check your tire pressure
Check your engine air filter and replace if needed
Choose to roll down your windows instead of using AC
Ask yourself this: If you were stuck with a flat tire, a dead battery, an empty gas tank, a blown gasket or any number of other car troubles, would you be prepared? Most drivers try not to think about the possibility of being in any of those situations, but the fact is it happens more often than what we would think. Throw in the factor of bad weather, especially come the winter months and that probability of getting stranded increases.
When these events occur having an emergency kit can make a
large difference in your experience. Having some of these items can help you
get yourself back on the road sooner than later or at least can help keep you
safe until someone can come to the rescue.
There is no limit to what you can have in your emergency kit
but there are some things that are essential to have. Below is a list of those
essential items to keep in your vehicle:
No. 1 on your emergency kit
checklist should be lighting. Reflective lighting triangle and flares will help
notify other drivers of the roadside hazard. We suggest getting Led battery-operated
flares, they are longer lasting and reusable. A flashlight is also very
important to have on hand to help you investigate the issue with your car. It
is important to keep extra batteries as well.
Jumper Cables/ Jump Starter
Car batteries often die or lose
juice at the least opportune moments, having jumper cables can be the
difference between waiting for 10 minutes to find another driver to jump your
car or hours for a tow truck to get out to you. Another option is having a jump
starter. This device acts like the battery of another vehicle with jumper
cables directly attached. The instructions are the same procedure as jumping
your battery with another person’s vehicle. Often these devices have
multipurpose uses, some come with an air compressor and a flashlight attached.
The only thing that you must make sure to do if you decide to get a jump
starter is to make sure to charge it. Without a charge it will be useless, so
it is always good to have a separate set of regular jumper cables.
First Aid Kit
The first aid kit is a must have
item for your emergency kit. You can find prepack kits that will have all the
essentials for small to more serious injuries. It is easy to injury yourself
while trying to get your car back up and going. Be prepared for the worst and
always hope for the best.
These items are more essential in inclement
weather conditions. If your car loses power completely and leaves you stranded
on a winters day or evening the temperature in your car will decrease at a very
fast pace. Make sure that you keep these items easily accessible to avoid
leaving your car door open for longer than necessary, letting in the cold air
Spare Tire & Tools
Most of our vehicles have a spare
tire or at least should. You should always double check to make sure you have a
spare and to make sure that spare is properly inflated. A flat tire and a flat
spare tire a recipe for disaster or having a properly inflated spare tire but
no tools to switch out the tires. Ensure that you have the proper tools to use
your spare tire when the time comes.
Vehicle recalls occur more frequently than most of us are aware of. This results when a manufacturer determines that a car model has a safety related defect that does not comply with the government’s safety standard. The manufacturer is then required to alert owners of this problem and may offer to repair the issue at no cost to you.
These alerts are usually delivered by mail or email, but
they can often be overlooked. If you have a feeling that your car may be
involved in a recall but haven’t received an alert, you can go online and check
All you need is your VIN number which can be found in a few
different places: the driver’s side lower corner of the windshield, vehicle
registration, insurance card, or on a placard on the driver’s door jamb. Visit the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall page (www.nhtsa.gov/recalls) and enter you VIN. If your car has been issued a recall it
will pop up on the page and if nothing populates then your car has not been
If your car has been issued a recall you should call your
local dealer and schedule an appointment to fix the recalled issue. If you didn’t buy your car from that specific dealer, they will
help you with the recall if it’s the same manufacturer.
There are several possible reasons your car may not start, such as corroded cables or a light left on.
• If your car makes a clicking noise when you turn your key in the ignition – This type of sound usually indicates a dead battery. Have the battery checked and/or replaced by a certified technician.
• If your car is silent when you turn your key in the ignition – Check the battery cable connections and make sure they are tightened properly. Try starting your car again.
• If your car turns over but won’t start – Check your fuel supply. If you have plenty of gas, examine your spark plugs to ensure they are getting the electrical spark.
• If your car won’t start on cold days and your car has fuel injection – It will need professional assistance.
• If your battery seems alright – Failure to start problems can also be caused by bad ignition switches or starter connections. These can be examined and/or replaced by a certified technician.
Knowing how to jump start your car is important for if you ever do end up stranded.
1. Get out your jumper cables – Always carry a set up jumper cables in your car.
2. Find someone who is willing to assist you by using their car. Place both cars in park with the ignitions turned off and the emergency brakes on.
3. Remove the caps of both batteries.
4. Connect the cables to the two batteries. The red cable has positive clips on each end and the black cable has negative clips. They should be attached in the correct order. One of the red clips should be attached to the positive terminal of your battery. The other red clip should be attached to the positive terminal of the other person’s car. One of the black clips should be attached to the negative terminal of the other persona’s batter. The other black clip should be attached to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the carburetor or battery.
5. Try to start your car. If it still won’t start, make sure the cables are connected properly and have the other person run their engine for a few minutes. Try to start your car again and if it still will not start, you battery may need to be replaced.
…Your car breaks down
Many things can cause you car to break down. If you feel your car experiencing a problem while driving, make every possible attempt to pull over to the right-hand shoulder of the road.
• Turn on your flashers. If it is nighttime, turn on your interior lights.
• If you were unable to make it to the side of the road, remain in your vehicle and call for help. Always try to carry a cell phone with you while driving.
• Many suggest hanging a cloth or piece of paper out of the drivers’ side window. This lets other drivers know your vehicle is in trouble and to go around you, as well as alerts any police officers or highway patrol that you are in need of assistance.
• If you are familiar with your car under the hood and want to look for what the problem may be, ensure you are far enough to the side of the road and stand only on sides of the car that are far enough away from traffic. Get back in your car as soon as you’ve looked around.
• If you are concerned about getting stranded, you may want to invest in a roadside assistance program such as AAA or OnStar, which can now get to you very easily by using GPS to track your location.
An important first step to any car trouble is to refer to your owner’s manual.