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Auto Repair in Mint Hill – Our Toy Drive has Begun!

Once again the “holiday season” has begun. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, New Years… all coming in rapid fire. For many, this means a time of family. For others, this is more of a dream than reality. Many children do not receive any gifts during the Christmas season due to financial struggles. We want to do something about that.

 

In 2006, Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, LLC did it’s first toy collection drive. At that time, we went through Toys for Tots. While we expected to collect a few toys here and there, we never realized it would turn into the success it’s been. Over the years we’ve had thousands of dollars worth of toys (so many in fact, a few of our customers have made this paper because of it!) and nothing warms our hearts more than knowing that our customers have such giving spirits.

 

Since 2016, all our toys have been donated to Servant’s Heart of Mint Hill. Most of our customers are Mint Hill residents and have expressed a desire to have their donations stay local. Servant’s Heart provides the perfect platform for that to happen through their Christmas donation collection.

 

As a thank you to donors, we’re offering a free road trip inspection for anyone who donates a new toy in its original packaging. This is our second most comprehensive inspection and is normally $59.99, so donate a toy and have your car checked out to make sure it’s safe go to Grandma’s this season!

Auto Repair in Mint Hill – Is Now a Good Time to Go Electric?

Electric cars are all the rage these days – old companies like General Motors are starting to make them and companies like Tesla rely on them. Toyota has even gone so far as to state that all their vehicles will have an electric or hybrid model by 2025. Everybody wants a piece of the action, but that raises a huge question for the consumer – is now the time to make the switch? Like many things, the answer isn’t black and white.

 

Pro – It’s cheaper to “fuel.”

 

Electric cars cost $540 per year on average to recharge, according to finder.com. The average gas car costs about $1,400 a year to fuel.

 

Con – Few Repair Choices

 

With all electric cars, you’ll either have to go to the dealer or a specialty shop that only deals with electrics (which there aren’t a whole lot of yet) because the knowledge aren’t quite being taught to every automotive technician yet, and the tools aren’t available to the masses quite yet either. If you need things fixed, there aren’t a whole lot of places to go.

 

Pro – You Won’t Fix it Too Often

 

While the quantity of shops you have to go to fix an electric car may be slim, you won’t have to go as often as you do now with your gas car. Things like oil changes and the Check Engine Light are no more with electric cars. You’ll still need things like brakes and tires, but a lot of those little things you have to do now are no more with electric.

 

Con – Charging Stations are few

 

This is rapidly changing due to Government funding, but as of right now there are more gas stations than charging stations, especially out in rural areas. You can still charge your car at home, sure, but be careful when you’re driving through states like Montana that only have a few compared to the East Coast.

 

There are many more pros and cons to electric cars, and we encourage you to research them – your next car could very well be one depending on how long you wait.

 

If you have any questions about electric cars (or gas ones) feel free to call Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, LLC at 704-545-4597, email us at kenmanchester1@gmail.com, or message us on Facebook at facebook.com/ManchesterAutoandTireOfMintHill.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill – How to Handle Black Ice

Finally, the temperatures have begun to drop! Cooler weather is upon us, the holidays are soon to roll around, and the conditions in which you’ll be driving in will change too – in the colder months, black ice can be a real problem in the Carolinas.

 

Mint Hill winters generally have days that are above the freezing point and nights that are below it. Due to that, we tend to get rain instead of snow during the colder months. Whatever water is left on the ground after the storm stops turns into ice that night. You’ve probably noticed it too – your yard may look like it has a white beard the day after a december rainstorm because the wet grass froze overnight.

 

This can happen on roads too, but there is one big difference – most of the time, you can’t see it.

 

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) black ice forms when water on a road freezes over, but no air freezes inside the ice. No air bubbles make the ice impossible to see. It usually forms in shady areas, bridges, and anywhere water can easily puddle.

 

Most tips and tricks mentioned here today come from the USDA and Pekin Insurance – big thanks to them for this great info!

 

Staying Safe:

 

Do not slam on the brakes!

 

Even with modern anti-lock brakes (ABS) braking on ice is an easy way to lock up the wheels. If you need to slow down, do so before you hit the ice patch – and if you must brake while on the ice, pumping the brakes is your best option, even if your vehicle has an ABS system.

 

If you skid, turn into it.

 

One of the biggest mistakes people make if they actually start to skid is to jerk the wheel around over-correcting themselves while having their foot planted firmly on the brake pedal – the better method of attack is to turn into the skid and pump the brakes. This can be very hard to do if you’re panicking, however, so it is important to remember to stay calm in these situations – it can be hard, but you can do it!

 

Look at How Others are Driving

 

Do you see people in front of you losing traction for a few seconds? Are drivers in front of you slowing down a lot? Are you in an area that black ice can easily form? If you answered yes to some of these, then you may have found a black ice patch… or rather others found it for you.

 

Pack an Emergency Kit

 

We’ve talked about emergency kits many times before here (if you missed those articles, head over to autorepairminthill.com to catch up on some of our prior articles run in this paper!) and they’re crucial in a skid situation. While we hope you never crash in a skid, it’s always a possibility. Having chained tires, snow tires, or anything like that won’t give you more traction on ice… just snow. If you already have a good set of all-season tires on your vehicle, don’t waste money on new tires you don’t need – spend it on making a good emergency kit instead, because if you do crash, you’ll need one!

 

As always, practice safe judgement every time you plan to go on the road – if you don’t feel you can do it, don’t. Your life is more important than getting somewhere on time. If you’d like to know more, feel free to call Manchester Auto & Tire of Mint Hill, LLC at 704-545-4597, email us at kenmanchester1@gmail.com, or message us on Facebook at facebook.com/ManchesterAutoandTireofMintHill