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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Auto Repair in Mint Hill: What Do I Do if I Have a Corroded Battery?

Imagine yourself getting ready to leave for work in the morning. You go to start the car, and nothing happens. “How can the battery be dead?” you think, because the battery is only 7 months old! It shouldn’t show signs of ill health yet. A quick pop of the hood and you find a gigantic green glob on your battery; corrosion.

 

What is corrosion?

Corrosion is battery acid that has seeped from the battery. There are two types of corrosion you may see on a battery – lead sulphate or copper sulphate. It forms a solid green/blue crust. Not only is it bad for the battery, but it can be poisonous.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

Terminals (image courtesy of Handyman)

 

Where does corrosion form?

Usually corrosion is found on battery terminals due to their conductive abilities.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

A corroded battery

What are battery terminals?

Battery terminals are metal o-ring-like clamps that grab around the battery to relay current from the battery to other parts of the car.

 

How do I clean my terminals?

The best way is with white vinegar on a cotton swab or a bristle. Gloves and eye goggles should be worn. White vinegar is strong enough to remove corrosion but not so strong as to damage your terminals. Removing corrosion in bulk is also OK, but only if the proper safety equipment is being worn!

When removing corrosion it’s best to disconnect your battery terminals while cleaning. Be sure to write down your radio presets and be ready to set your clock again!

 

Can corrosion cause permanent damage?

Most likely no, corrosion does not cause anything permanent. That being said, corrosion can cause inconvienences like issues starting the car, which is never good, so maintaining a clean battery is important. It never hurts to have your battery checked from time to time. Feel free to contact Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill at 704-545-4597 if you wish to schedule an appointment for a battery test.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill – How Do I Unfreeze My Windshield?

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

Don’t let this be you!


Have you ever walked outside to your car to head to work only to realize the windshield is frozen solid? In colder months, this is all too possible. Maybe it snowed and the leftover snow froze. Maybe your windshield was wet and it froze overnight. Maybe Mother Nature knows you need to get to work on time and just likes throwing you curve-balls. Whatever the reason, there are many ways to defrost your windshield in an efficient manner. Below are listed some of the most common ways.

 

  1. Cold or Lukewarm Water

Water can speed up the process of defrosting your windshield, especially if your windshield is covered in thick ice. To defrost, simply take water and apply to the windshield by tossing, pouring, or however you like. IMPORTANT: Never use hot water! That could crack your windshield. Cold water or lukewarm water is fine because it is above freezing. It is important to remember glass expands and contracts based on the temperature, and a sudden change from freezing cold to almost boiling is too quick of a change.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

Deicer.

  1. Deicer

Deicers are chemical compounds designed specifically for melting ice on windshields. It is commonly sold at auto parts stores and sometimes gas stations. To use, simply spray onto the iced area and begin to scrape.

  1. Credit Cards

Credit Cards actually make a great scraping tool, especially on light ice and frost. IMPORTANT: If you choose this method, be sure not to scrape with the side with the magnetic strip! This could damage the strip and make the card unusable.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

An ice scraper.

  1. Ice Scraper

Much like a Credit Card, this is best for light ice and frost, but it can be used on heavy ice with the help of deicers or water. The major difference between the scraper tool and a Credit Card, however, is that scraper tools are designed for windshield. They are usually very slightly curved like a windshield, and sometimes are long so you can reach hard to get spots.

  1. The Car’s Defroster

This method is best used on light ice and frost, but if you have time to spare, this car be tried on heavy ice. To do this, simply set a temperature on your heater in the car, and then set the blow to “defrost”. Though this may take some time, as it most likely won’t blow hot right away, it is a hands free method to defrost a windshield.

  1. Ice Blockers/Guards

Some companies make windshield covers for the specific purpose of preventing ice and frost to build up on a windshield. To use, simply apply the guard before harsh weather, and remove it before you attempt to drive.

  1. Winter Windshield Washer Fluid

Winter Windshield Washer Fluid is similar to regular windshield washer fluid, except it is specially formulated to defrost and deice. It is similar to deicer, except it is kept in your windshield washer reservoir.

 

Whatever method you choose, always remember; keep yourself warm when defrosting your windshield! Don’t get frostbite over your windshield!

Auto Repair in Mint Hill – Do I Need an Oil Change?

When it comes to owning a car, the most common phrase uttered about maintenance is “oil change.” Oil changes, though routine and common, are the most important maintenance job that can be done to your car. Oil is to a car what blood is to living animals, without it, there is no life. To put it simply, oil changes are too important to overlook.

What is motor oil?

Motor oil is a specific kind of oil designed to lubricate an engine. There are two main kinds; conventional and synthetic. Conventional oil composes of “natural” oils and recycled oils. Synthetic oil is scientifically manufactured and distilled to be purer. While synthetic is the “better” of the two oils, putting conventional into your car is not a bad thing, it just means you should change it more.

Motor oil is also “weighted” meaning depending on its weight, the heavier it is. Your manual will always say what kind of oil your car needs.

Why is an oil change so important?

To put it simply, if the oil is not changed, the oil turns to sludge. When an engine has sludge in it, the car becomes a countdown clock. The engine will eventually seize up, and the whole engine will need to be replaced.

How often should I get my oil changed?

Some outlets have reported that you can go as long as 7,500 miles on conventional, but in reality that isn’t a good mark to shoot for. With conventional oil, 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first, is the standard. With synthetic, 5,000-10,000 miles is the standard. These numbers can change depending on how long you drive daily and how dusty or dirty the area you live in is, however.

How is an oil change preformed?

An oil change is a fairly simple process. First, the car must be shut off. Second, the car is lifted in the air, and a small screw called the drain plug is removed, allowing the old oil to exit the car and be recycled. After all oil has drained, the oil filter is removed by being unscrewed. The new filter is attacked and the drain plug is reinstalled. After this, the car is lowered and new oil is put into the engine. The amount of oil is determined by the manufacturer and is in the owner’s manual. After the new oil is in and the cap is secure, the oil levels are tested and modified if needed. Once the correct amount is in, the car is ready to be returned to the owner. A new sticker with the next oil change due date is applied to the car windshield before it leaves.