Auto Repair Mint Hill; Tune-ups, Warranties and Independent Auto Repair Shops

Today’s cars are some of the best made and most reliable in the history of the Auto Industry.  At Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill we still get asked:  Are regular tune-ups still necessary?  In Auto Repair today the term ‘tune-up” is used interchangeably with routine maintenance.  Since the majority of folks still know and love the term “tune-up”  that term is still widely used.

So, what is routine maintenance or a “tune-up” and how often does my car need it?  Routine maintenance is outlined in your owner’s manual by your car manufacturer.  They know what your particular make and model needs and what it doesn’t. Understanding and performing the manufacturers recommended services and maintenance is vital to ensuring your warranty remains intact.   Independent Auto Repair shops such as Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill have access to manufacturer databases and can obtain that information for you if you no longer have your owner’s manual.

However, it is not necessary to take your car back to the dealer where you purchased your car to keep  the warranty valid and that is the law; better known as The Right to Repair Act.  Independent Auto Repair shops such as Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill are qualified to perform all necessary recommended services and maintenance.  Having this work done by an Independent Auto Repair shop such as Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill will not interfere with your manufacturers warranty in any way.  So you can maintain your car, your manufacturers warranty and your freedom of choice as to who services your vehicle when you choose to have manufacturer-recommended service completed Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill.

If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Improving Gas Mileage and saving some Green

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Improving gas mileage and saving some green is a top priority these days for almost anyone with a car.   This week I have passed the same gas station in the morning then later in the afternoon only to see the price of gas increase 5 cents in 5 hours 🙁  , are you kidding me?
Well, if buying a new car that gets super good gas mileage is not in your future getting good gas mileage out of your existing car is essential to keeping your gas budget under control.  Here are some serious tips for raising your gas mileage and lower your dollar outlay at the pump.

The way you drive can make a huge difference in your gas mileage.  You have heard of the tortoise and the hare?  If you are a tortoise driver you will most definitely beat the hare in good gas mileage.  Starting off slow from stops and driving the speed limit with significantly increase your gas mileage.  Merging smoothly and not driving like you are in a NASCAR race can make a big difference as well  Avoid idling if you are waiting in a long line or sitting in traffic and during those cold weather months warming your car the in the driveway consumes gas too.

Gas up on Wednesday or early in the day.  Prices are raised on Thursday in anticipation of the weekend travel and 10 am is roughly the time most stations make their price changes  for the day (so that’s when they do it), according to a CEO of Dallas-based oil and gas company. Unless it is an emergency, do not buy gas Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Another key component to raising your gas mileage is keeping your vehicle in top condition.  This means keeping your car maintained from top to bottom.  Perform routine maintenance and oil changes when recommended, check your brakes to make sure they do not drag and keep your car aligned and check your tires regularly for abnormal wear and proper inflation.

With regular maintenance such as oil changes, air filter changes, tire rotations and tire inflation checks at Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, we can help you get the best possible mileage for your vehicle and save you money at the pump.

If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Prolonging the life of your Tires

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Prolonging the life of your tires can help you save money in your wallet.  Replacing tires on your car isn’t cheap and many drivers prolong it as long as possible  Below are some tips to make your tires last much longer and improve fuel economy to boot (an added bonus).  It only takes a few minutes per week and is so simple  (I think you know that punch line).

  • Know your numbers:  Different cars and different tires have different inflation numbers.  Your owner’s manual should tell you the proper inflation for your tires, however if you don’t have it, look inside the driver’s door, the glove box or inside the gas cap cover when you fill up.  Once you have that information use a tire-pressure gage to check your pressure (and always make sure the  tires are cold).
  • Don’t Underinflate:  There are several reasons why tires may have less air pressure than they should.  One, is not checking them regularly and ensuring they have the proper pressure.  Two, making sure they are inflated to the proper amount when they are replaced.  Tires lose air on their own and can lose several pounds per month.  When temperatures fluctuate that can also impact tire pressure which is why it is best to check the tire pressure when they are cold.  When tires are underinflated they can cost you gas mileage and wear improperly and lets not forget the safety issues, underinflation can cause tires to overheat and blow out.
  • Don’t Over Inflate:  You can have just as many problems with too much air in your tires as not enough.  Tires that are over inflated tend to wear more quickly in the center and like under inflated tires over inflating can overheat and blow out as well.
  • Rotate and Balance regularly:  Tires should be rotated between 6,000 and 8,000 miles.  Always refer to your owner’s manual for the exact rotation schedule for your vehicle.  Balancing should be done at the same time.  Rotating tires as directed along with balancing can help add life to your tires.

If you need assistance with maintaining your tires or when your tires finally do need replacement, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; April is National Car Care Month

Auto Repair Mint Hill; April is National Car Care Month and we have a lot of exciting activities planned at Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill.

During the Month of April if you stop by our shop and mention National Car Care Month and request a complimentary vehicle inspection, you can enter our drawing for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

During National Car Care Month our goal is to inspect as many vehicles as possible and educate the public on the benefits of properly maintaining your vehicle.  “During an uncertain economy, some motorists think they will save money by putting off needed vehicle maintenance,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “What they don’t realize is that neglecting routine maintenance can end up costing a lot more in the long run.”

In addition to offering complementary inspections during the month of April and a drawing for a Kindle Fire, Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill will be holding a car care clinic on Saturday April 21, 2012  offering  complementary inspections,  handouts on car maintenance and safety tips along with…..  Join us on Facebook for daily updates on all the April Car Care activities we have in store.

If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; How to Find the right Auto Repair Shop

Auto Repair Mint Hill; How to Find the right Auto Repair Shop
  • Find a repair facility before you need one.
  • Use friends and relatives for recommendations
  • Check local consumer organizations for an auto  repair shop’s history
  • Look for a clean and well organized facility
  • Look for signs of professionalism; ASE, BBB, ASA etc.
  • All policies (service fees, warranties, method of payment) should be explained to your satisfaction
  • Find a shop that you trust and trust your shop
  • If you get an uneasy feeling… LEAVE!

If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; What is ASE?

ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence.

  • Until the early 1970’s consumers had no way to distinguish between incompetent and competent mechanics.  In response to this need, the independent non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was established in 1972.
  • ASE’s mission is to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service through the testing and certification of repair and service professionals.
  • At present about 500,000 professionals hold current certifications.  They work in every segment of the automotive service industry: car and truck dealerships, independent garages, fleets, service stations, franchises and more.

If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; How do you make sure you get the best service from your auto repair facility?

Auto Repair Mint Hill; How do you make sure you get the best service from your auto repair facility?

These are some things to remember when explaining a problem  to your service professional or when you bring your car in for routine service or maintenance.

  • Read your owner’s manual and follow the recommended services
  • Keep a notepad of symptoms if your car is having a specific problem
  • Jot down unusual sounds, odors, drips, warning lights or gauge readings
  • Changes in acceleration, engine performance or gas mileage
  • Note when the problem occurs, (on start up, after it warms up)
  • Is it constant or does it come and go, if so how often?
  • When did the symptoms first appear?
  • Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of action
  • Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable
  • Don’t try to get an on the spot diagnosis – let the technician do his job

It is important to establish a relationship with an auto repair facility the same way you would with a primary care doctor.  It is always helpful when your auto repair facility has a history of the work performed on your car as well as any recommendations that may have been made on previous visits.  This gives your auto repair facility the ability to look at the big picture and know what has been done or why you may have come in in the past.  There may have been indicators to your current problem at a past visit that the technician mentioned or made note of.  Following these recommendations will make your experience with your auto repair facility less stressful and usually save time.

If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Car Maintenance Service Check List

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Car Maintenance Service Check  List

Referring to your owner’s manual is always best when determining what car maintenance is needed on your vehicle.  However many car owners who have older cars or bought new used cars may no longer have this information available.  A reputable auto repair shop will have access to manufacturers recommended services but if you are wanting a general idea of when to service your car; a check list is provided below.

  • Oil Change & Lube Chassis – every 3 months or 3, 000 miles.  Some will argue that you can go up to 5,000 miles between oil changes but to be safe somewhere between 3K-5K is your best option.  While the oil may still be in good condition due to synthetic blends and better technology, the filters have a useful lifespan and it expires at about 5,000 miles.  If you go over that mileage you run the risk of the filter not being able to do it’s job well.  This is one of the most inexpensive maintenance items that you can do for your car that will prolong it’s lifespan and performance.  Don’t skimp on this.
  • Transmission Service/Flush – every 30,000 miles.  Many times when you reach this mileage interval you may notice your car shifting roughly as you accelerate.  Flushing the fluid and replacing with fresh fluid will clean impurities from the fluid.  Sometimes it is recommended to change the gasket at the same time.  Your auto repair shop will know what is best for your vehicle.
  • Fuel Filter – every 30,000 miles.  Some vehicles have 2, others none.  Replacing the fuel filter on time can also help you maintain fuel efficiency which is so important with the price of gasoline.
  • Timing Belt – every 75,000 miles or 120,000 for some vehicles.  If you do not change this at the recommended interval you could be driving on borrowed time.  Once a timing belt breaks, you generally cannot drive your vehicle until it is repaired.
  • Drive Belts – every 75,000 miles.  Ditto on this one.
  • Coolant Hoses – every 75,000 miles.
  • Flush Engine Coolant – 30,000 miles and add a conditioner.  Have your auto repair facility check your coolant seasonally too. Many shops check this when you come in for a routine oil change and will top it off if it is low.
  • Brake Inspections – Should be performed every other oil change or at a minimum twice per year.
  • Tire Rotation – every 7,500 miles.  If you change your oil every 3,000 or so miles, do this every second oil change.
  • Brake Fluid Flush – every 30,000 miles or as needed.
  • Check Exterior Lights – Every oil change.

Performing routine car maintenance is meant to prolong the life of your vehicle and hopefully avoid major problems that can leave you stuck on the side of the road.  Setting up a schedule with a reputable auto repair facility can take the headache out of remembering when to do what and keep you on track.
If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Why Test Brake Fluid?

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Why Test Brake Fluid?

Everyone knows to change their oil & antifreeze regularly, but what about your brake fluid?  Failing to change oil or antifreeze could be costly, but it will not kill you. Using old brake fluid could easily lead to your brakes failing simultaneously. It is possibly the most critical safety item in your car. Not maintaining your brake fluid could possibly put you or your loved ones in harm’s way.

When maintaining your car, be sure to have your auto repair facility check the brake fluid regularly.  Tell them if there are any changes in your brake pedal (soft, spongy, goes to the floor).  Note any vibrations, noises or pulling when you apply the brakes.

Brake fluid has to have a wide range of attributes including a high boiling point and low cost and the end result is that most brake fluid is based on Ethylene Glycol with various additives to prevent corrosion etc. Unfortunately, Ethylene Glycol is Hygroscopic(attracts and holds water molecules) and gradually absorbs moisture from the air. This slowly lowers its high boiling point until it may be only a little higher than water. This could cause loss of stopping ability under certain driving conditions.  This is brake fluid’s dirty little secret.

Exchanging the fluid in the brake system helps extend the life of the brake system parts, including the master cylinder, wheel cylinders, calipers, ABS components, and hoses. Includes removal and safe disposal of old fluid and replacement with new fluid.

Additionally, when your brake fluid in tested your technician should also inspect:

  • Brakes hoses and lines
  • Wear on the Pads and Shoes
  • Wheel bearing and seals
  • Adjust the parking brake
  • Clean, service and adjust drum brakes every 15,000 miles and disc brakes hald way through their life.

If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.

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