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April is Car Care Month

April, as most of us know is the National Car Care Month and it is the appropriate time to service your car particularly if you did not use it during winter. Taking care of it will prolong your vehicle’s life and ensure that it is reliable and ready to be used in spring and summer. During national vehicle inspections, some of the issues that most vehicles have include improper tire inflation, completely worn treads, malfunctioning vehicle lights, windshield wipers, belts and hoses, air filters, and low lubricant and fluid levels.

Car care is important because it helps you keep safe on the road, saves money because you will spend less on repairs in the long-term and your vehicle will be reliable. These are some of the areas you should pay attention to during this month;

Exhaust system

Check the exhaust system for damage, leaks, or broken hangers if there is a strange noise. It is important to correct exhaust leaks urgently because they are hazardous.

HVAC

Inspect the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system because cooling and heating are essential because they make the interior of the car cozy and safe due to defrosting.

Steering and suspension system

Check this system every year including struts and absorbers as well as chassis parts like the tie rod ends, ball joints, and other components.

Tire Pressure

Inspect tire pressure once every month without forgetting the spare. Inspect the tread for irregular or uneven cuts, bruises, and wear on the sidewall. Make sure that you have a mechanic check the car’s alignment every year to improve handling and fuel economy and minimize wear.

Lights

Check if the interior and exterior lights are working and make sure that the bulbs that are not functioning are checked promptly. Replace windshield wipers twice a year or when they are chattering, streaking, torn, cut, or cracked for maximum safety and wiping performance.

Brake system

Inspect the engine brake system annually and ensure that the brake drums, rotors, and linings are inspected whenever the oil is getting changed.

If you need April vehicle maintenance, do not hesitate to bring your car into our auto repair shop today!

Why Do Warning Signal Lights Blink Fast Sometimes?

Every car comes equipped with warning lights, and thank goodness, they do. It would be amazing if our vehicles could talk to us and let us know when something is wrong, but in a sense, they do… they set off a warning light letting us know there is an issue at hand. Whenever you have your lights blinking fast it means something; your vehicle is letting you know there is an issue. Here are some things that can be meant when you are experiencing your lights blinking fast.

Dashboard lights will begin to flicker fast when there is an issue with your alternator. Generally, your alternator doesn’t need much attention it is extremely important that you know when it is beginning to decline. Whenever the dash lights flicker, the headlights seem dim, your battery doesn’t seem to stay charged, there are odd sounds coming from the belts or your battery, or your vehicle seems to stall there is an issue with your alternator. You may also have an issue with your starter. That is something else that can cause the dashboard lights to flicker at a fast pace.

When your turn signal begins to blink fast it can indicate that your bulb will soon be going out. Each turn signal has its own flashing unit that will pause the circuit that produces the blinking action for both the front and back of your vehicle. When the bulb is beginning to fail the resistance and pace of the signal flash faster than they should. The bulb may need to be changed, the flasher relay may be failing, there isn’t a lot of voltage getting to it, or you may have an issue with the ground connection of the vehicle.

The lights in our vehicles are working for us and are a great way that will help you know when there is an issue. It is almost like Morse code… your car is trying to tell you something is wrong. If you have these warnings you should get them taken care of immediately. If you need warning light diagnostics, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today!

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Brake Rotor/Disc?

Symptoms Of Bad Brakes Rotor/Disc?

If you’ve ever felt your steering wheel or your brake pedal shake/squeal when you tried to slow down or come to a complete stop, then you’ve just discovered a symptom of a bad or broken rotor/disc.

Reasons For Bad Brake Rotors/Disc

There are a few reasons for your brake rotors/discs to go bad.

  • The most common reason for a bad or broken disc/rotor is overheating from excessive brake use. Like when you are going down a mountain road.
     
  • Applying your brakes too hard while you’re traveling over 35 mph. Applying the brakes with such force causes the rotor to overheat when the friction from applied braking creates enormous heat causing the metal to expand and warp.
     
  • Letting your brakes go too long without changing them will also cause brake rotors/disc to wear down and grind the material off which could even cause the rotor/disc to explode.
     
  • Old Brake caliper hoses can deteriorate over time causing itself to internally collapse not letting pressure relieve itself after releasing the brake and damaging the rotors/discs.
     
  • The slides in the brake caliper bracket can cause damage from not being properly lubricated during brake service also.

Damaged Brake Rotors/Discs Affect Other Parts

Damage to your brake rotors/discs can affect more than just your brakes. They can cause a domino effect and damaging key parts and causing premature failure in others like:

  • The pistons inside of the calipers
  • Wheel bearings

The Danger Of Damaged Brake Rotors/Discs

Damaged brake rotors or discs can cause serious accidents. When your brake rotors/discs overheat while driving, the brakes can crystalize, which makes stopping using the brakes difficult if not altogether impossible. The hotter the rotors/discs are, the further it will take you to stop by several feet if at all.

Maintenance

If you hear squealing while applying the brakes then it’s time to replace the brakes. When you do change the brakes it is recommended that you also change the rotors/disc as well to be sure they do not wear out before your new brakes do. Always practice safety first when maintaining vehicle maintenance.

How Can I Save Money on Gas?

Most modern vehicles nowadays are designed to utilize fuel more efficiently. Yet, it is every car owner’s chief intention to maximize the savings on fuel cost. Fortunately, these tips and tricks can help you get some price relief on fuel costs.

Fuel-efficient Driving Practices

  • Avoid revving the engine– accelerating gently and moderately consumes less fuel in comparison to flooring the accelerator pedal or even accelerating too slowly.
  • Drive at a constant speed– avoiding speed fluctuations and keeping it steady can reduce fuel consumption.
  • Warming up the car is not fuel-efficient– idling uses up a lot of fuel and escalates your fuel bill.

Ride-Sharing and Planning

  • Carpooling avoids the extra cost of fuel for driving multiple vehicles. Having co-workers, students, or friends share a ride can save a lot of fuel, and at the same time, this practice is also environment friendly.
  • Performing multiple tasks in a single trip and planning the routes beforehand is a fuel-saving practice that can also save you from unnecessary driving.

Use of Public Transport or Cycling

A perfect for saving a lot of fuel money is to travel through public transport to work daily or use a bicycle to run your routine errands. Not only will this save you extra bucks but also the hassle of driving challenges.

Use of Technology to Save on Fuel Costs

  • In the present technological era where there are mobile applications for everything, you can find websites and applications that indicate budget-friendly refueling spots.
  • Another way of using technology to improve the gas mileage is to opt for fuelefficient cars such as hybrid or electric cars.

Regular Maintenance of Vehicle

  • Keep the tires in perfect condition by regular inflation and alignment to reduce the resistance and enhance the fuel economy.
  • Make sure the fuel cap is always in place to prevent the loss of fuel and your money with it.
  • Use proper low-viscosity motor oil to provide lubrication and lower resistance, improving the fuel efficiency.
  • It is essential to keep the filters clean so that your vehicle runs smoothly and burns fuel efficiently.

Following these tips consistently can help you save some extra money every time. If you suspect any fuel system damage, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today!

How to Properly Maintain Your Vehicle’s Tires

There’s a lot riding on your tires. They maintain traction on the road, and they absorb the shock of every bump along the way. Proper maintenance will maximize both the life and performance of your vehicle’s tires.

Tire Pressure

Improperly inflated tires can affect both your fuel efficiency and how your car handles in various types of weather. Many vehicle monitoring systems alert you to a tire with low pressure, but it does not tell you which tire. Use an inexpensive tire pressure gauge to check your tires monthly and before long road trips. Recommended tire pressure levels can be found in your vehicle owner’s manual and on a driver’s side door frame sticker.

Tire Tread

Tire tread is the key to your vehicle maintaining traction on the road. For every mile driven, the tread is wearing away. To check for low tread, put a penny between the treads with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see his scalp, it’s time for a new tire. Most tires also have an indicator bar to show you the minimum tread required for safe driving.

Alignment

Signs of wheel misalignment include a vehicle that pulls to one side, a steering wheel that’s off-center while driving straight, and uneven tread wear on the tires. Driving a car with improper wheel alignment will cause your tires to wear out prematurely. Have a technician align your tires as soon as possible if you experience these symptoms.

Balance

Your tires are balanced to your vehicle’s wheels with small weights that sit between the rim and the tire. When these weights shift or become lost, your car may start to vibrate, and your tires will wear unevenly. Most manufacturers recommend rebalancing the wheels every 5,000-6,000 miles.

Rotation

You’ll get the most out of each tire by rotating it to a different position on your vehicle every 6,000 miles. Why? Because even with proper balancing and alignment, tires don’t wear evenly. If you have a full-size spare, include it in your rotation schedule.

If you require tire maintenance, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today.

5 Common Reasons the Check Engine Light Came On

The check engine light isn’t always a welcomed surprise, but it is a helpful indicator that it’s time for your vehicle to have preventative maintenance. In a few cases, the check engine light may be alerting you to a simple fix. Its ambiguity can be frustrating and leave you panicked. To help bring more clarity to the check engine light, we have listed five common reasons the check engine light has come on. 

Spark plugs
Spark plugs send the needed spark to ignite the combustion process. While it would be nice if spark plugs last forever, they do wear over time. Work spark plugs will need to be replaced. If neglected, faulty spark plugs can cause a reduction in gas mileage and an engine misfire. 

Oxygen Sensor
The oxygen sensor measures how much-unburned oxygen is in the exhaust. This measurement is vital because too much or too little oxygen can damage your vehicle. If the oxygen sensor is damaged, the check engine light will come on. You may even notice black smoke coming from the exhaust and a rotten egg smell.   

Gas Cap
In some cases, there may not be a significant problem at all. If you recently got gas, you may not have securely fastened the gas cap. The gas cap prevents gas vapors from seeping out your vehicle and prevents fuel fires. If the gas cap is broken, you can purchase a new one at an automotive store relatively cheap.   

Catalytic Converter
If you’re noticing a sluggish engine performance, dark exhaust smoke, and a sulfur smell coming from your engine, the catalytic converter may have gone bad. This should be inspected right away before major engine damage occurs. The catalytic converter can be an expensive repair, and ignoring this can create a costlier problem. 

Mass Air Flow Sensor
A very particular amount of oxygen needs to mix with the fuel to start your vehicle properly. The mass airflow sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine to complete the combustion process. If the mass airflow sensor fails, your vehicle’s computer will alert you through the check engine light.  

Vehicle inspection and diagnosis in Brockton, MA

If your check engine light has come on, Green Auto Plus is here to help. Our team can run a comprehensive diagnostic test to determine the issue accurately. Our expert technicians are skilled in the latest automotive technology and are passionate about providing top-quality honest repairs. The check engine light doesn’t have to be ignored; we are currently offering a free check engine light scan and automotive advice. More diagnostics may be needed, but this will bring you one step closer to resolving the issue and safely getting your vehicle back on the road. 

Click here for more information

Or do not hesitate to reach out to one of our friendly service advisors for more information at 508-436-4495. 

Or shoot us a text at 617-843-5050. 

3 Common Exhaust Colors and What They Mean

Exhaust smoke is sometimes considered an evil necessity for our vehicles. Any smoke released from the exhaust should not look or smell very noticeable or unique. The color of your exhaust can tell you a lot about the status of your vehicle’s health. It can be alarming to notice your exhaust changing colors. If your vehicle’s exhaust has changed color since the last time you drove, below are three common exhaust colors and what they usually mean.

Black Exhaust

Black smoke is usually a clear indicator that your vehicle is burning too much fuel. This type of exhaust is typically emitted if the air filter is clogged or there is a problem with the fuel injectors. Black exhaust smoke should be inspected before it significantly impacts your vehicle’s performance.

Blue Exhaust 

Blue exhaust smoke is hazardous, as it typically means that there’s an oil leak. This can occur if there’s a leak in the valve seal or a malfunctioning piston ring. Please take special note of when you notice the blue exhaust as it will help determine what’s causing it. If the blue exhaust occurs when you’re accelerating, it’s usually a problem with the piston ring. While if the blue exhaust occurs when you are decelerating, it may be a cylinder head valve issue.

White Exhaust 

The white exhaust is the hardest of the three to identify. It can either be normal or completely hazardous. Light, white exhaust is normal and can be due to condensed water vapor. Exhaust smoke that is thick and white indicates a significant problem. You may have a blown head gasket or a major coolant leak. This should be inspected right away to prevent further damage.

Vehicle Maintenance and Repair in Brockton, MA 

If you notice unusual exhaust smoke, don’t hesitate to have your vehicle inspected. Green Auto Plus has ASE Certified technicians who use only the highest quality automotive parts and technology. We handle your car with complete care the moment you drop it off. If you need vehicle repair with a three year/36,000-mile warranty in Brockton, MA, –

Click here to schedule an appointment or call us at 508-436-4495.

Odd Vehicle Smells and What They Mean

Have you ever noticed an usual car smell? Vehicles use various fluids, and when something goes wrong, an odd smell may become apparent. Bad car smells can indicate a mechanical problem and, if neglected, can lead to expensive repairs. If you need help sniffing out the odd scent coming from the vehicle, below is a list of common smells and what they could mean. 

Sweet syrup smell
Coolant as an active ingredient called ethylene glycol. If you notice a sweet syrup smell, this can signal there’s a coolant leak in the heating system or radiator.

Burning smell
A burning smell can indicate that one of your rubber hoses has deteriorated or become loose. A loose hose can burn due to moving across hot engine parts. Additionally, if oil leaks on hot engine parts, a strong burning smell may be noticeable.

Musty Smell
A musty smell usually comes from the A/C vents due to excess moisture accumulating in the air vents. Excess moisture causes mold and mildew build up in the system and causes a musty odor.

Rotten Eggs
Rotten egg smells can signal a bad catalytic converter or a malfunctioning fuel system. Hydrogen sulfide is present in gasoline. If there’s a break in the converter, the sulfur smell can’t be transformed into its odorless form. The hydrogen sulfide will emit a noticeable rotten egg smell. 

Gasoline
If you recently fueled up, the smell of gas can linger for a bit. Check your clothing or shoes to ensure you didn’t accidentally drop a bit. If the smell lasts longer an hour, it may indicate a leaky fuel tank, injector, or a broken gas cap. It’s best to have your vehicle inspected to root out the cause of the odor. 

If you notice a strange smell coming from your vehicle, Green Auto Plus is here to help. Our ASE certified technicians here in Brockton, MA, are skilled at identifying odors with bumper to bumper vehicle inspections. We pride ourselves in offering service based on honesty and integrity. If your vehicle is emitting any of the above smells, click here to schedule an appointment. We’d be happy to serve you. 

Can Speed Bumps Damage Your Vehicle?

If you’re in a rush, a speed bump seems like an unnecessary delay, slowing down to shimmy your car over a bump. Speed bumps are meant to slow vehicles down in neighborhoods, roads, and parking lots with less than 35mph or less. If you press the gas when approaching a speed bump, you may find your car slamming hard on the pavement. This leaves many drivers wondering how speed bumps affect their vehicle. Depending on how fast you speed over them, speed bumps can cause frame damage. Cars with low ground clearance can experience even more severe damage if they hit the pavement at an angle. It’s always best to approach every speed bump slowly and with caution to avoid significant repairs. Below are a few common ways speed bumps can cause major damage:

Tire Damage
Speeding too fast over a speed bump can cause an impact, and hitting the ground could cause the tires’ sides to also hit the ground. Any significant tire damage could find you needing a required replacement.

Shocks
Potholes and dips in the road are absorbed effectively due to vehicle’s shocks. If it weren’t for shocks, you’d feel every bump and crater along the road. If you drive too fast over speed bumps, the shocks cannot adequately absorb the bump. This can cause them to become bent and leak hydraulic fluid. With enough damage to your shocks, your tires can lose the ability to contact the road during quick stops. Your vehicle can end up airborne with no control over it.

Exhaust System
Your exhaust system is located right underneath your vehicle. They keep vehicles quiet while also making them more efficient and environmentally friendly. However, hitting a speed bump too fast can easily cause major damage to the exhaust system. With just enough speed, your exhaust system will hit the ground when you land, causing damage so massive that it hinders its ability to perform its intended tasks.

Steering Wheel
After a few fast trips over speed bumps, your shocks will take on some damage. And without the protection from the shocks, the steering components become shaken severely during the drive. If a fix isn’t prioritized, prolonged vibrations can cause leaks in the power steering system. This can also lead to your wheels being thrown out of alignment and ruined steering rack mounts.

Speed bumps can cause significant damage, but this damage is easily preventable. Take your time and drive slowly over each bump. However, if you get caught up rushing and speed over one, we’re here to inspect your vehicle for an added peace of mind.