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How Often Should I Replace My Windshield Wipers?

How Often Should I Replace My Windshield Wipers?

  Do you struggle to see through the rain while driving? Do you see streaks or hear scrapes when there is plenty of moisture on your windshield? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, your vehicle could need new wiper blades. Effective wipers are essential to both your safety and the safety of others on the road. How Often Should I Change My Wiper Blades? Most drivers wait until their windshield wipers fall apart before having them replaced. If you want to be extra precautious, your wipers should be changed every six to twelve months, depending on usage, blade brand quality, and other external factors. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to replacing your blades. Signs You Need New Wiper Blades Most of the time, you can rely on your eyes and ears to dictate when to change your windshield wipers. It should be functioning to clear water, snow, or slush on your windshield. Here are in-depth signs that they need to be swapped out for new ones: &nb ... read more

Why Is My Check Engine Light Flashing?

Why Is My Check Engine Light Flashing?

The ominous flashing of the check engine light sends visions of smoking hoods and empty wallets through your mind. Don't let yourself stress about it any longer, take your vehicle in today and get it checked out before it becomes a problem you can't fix, causing even more repairs and putting yourself at risk of an engine failure while on the road. Why Can't I Check It Myself? The check engine light is part of the warning system your vehicle has to let you know when something's wrong. This monitoring is handled by the vehicle's computer, constantly monitoring metrics throughout the vehicle for fluid levels, mechanical failures, or any imbalances across the board. If there's a problem identified, the computer flips on the light and records the error code that occurred. That being said, interpreting the issue from the computer isn't as simple as reading a printout. Issues such as high temperatures or low tire pressure can be visibly verified, with the thousa ... read more

What Are The Different Types of Car Fluid Leaks?

What Are The Different Types of Car Fluid Leaks?

There are different types of fluids in your car engine, and each plays a specific role. Any of the fluids may leak, with varying repercussions on the engine's performance. It is essential that you determine what fluid is leaking from the color of the puddle. This helps you ascertain its type of damage to the car's engine. Here are some popular car fluid leaks and ways to identify them. Coolant The coolant color may range from pink to orange or bright green. The color variation depends on the brand of antifreeze used. New models in the market do not spill coolant. Therefore, a puddle of the coolant might point to a crack in the cooling system. You need to have leakage fixed fast to prevent the engine from overheating. Oil Oil is usually amber to black, depending on the period it has been in the engine. The darker the color, the longer it has been in the engine. Therefore, a black or amber puddle may point to a leak at the oil pan or gaskets ... read more

What Do the Sounds My Brakes Make Mean?

What Do the Sounds My Brakes Make Mean?

Understanding the brake sounds can help you be aware of an upcoming danger. You might wonder why your brakes are making weird or strange noises. If that's the case then you are in the right place. Different Types of Brake Sounds Let's discuss some of the brake sounds so that you would know what you've experienced with your vehicle. Consider the following: #1. Squeaking If you experience the brakes are producing a squeaking sound can be because of: Friction in the brakes Weather Sand Water Wear and tear The squeaking sound could also simply mean that the brake pads are of cheap quality. It's annoying, but not much alarming. However, if the above-mentioned points are not the cause then it's better to take your car to our auto repair shop for a thorough inspection. #2. Rattle If you experience the sound of a rattle then it can be because of the brake pads. It's usually a common concern with the drivers. If there are no anti-rattle shims, you can experie ... read more

What are the Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket?

What are the Symptoms of a Blown Head Gasket?

Your car's head gasket is a very important component of your engine block. It is the part that ensures that engine fluids (fuel, oil, etc.) never mix. The head gasket is tightly sealed and is designed such that it will stop residue buildup to protect the engine from things that might cause an explosion. If your head gasket is damaged, your car will have a lot of problems. Here are the most common signs of a blown head gasket. 1. Malfunctioning Cylinders Any misfiring from your vehicle cylinders also shows the head gasket is damaged. The cylinder is where the fuel burns to power your vehicle. So if your cylinders misfire, it may indicate that there's a problem between two or more cylinders. You'll need an expert to carry out leak testing and cylinder compression to determine the cause of the problem. 2. Telltale Leaks Any leaks from your engine are a clear sign that your head gasket is blown. The fluids in your car are supposed to be in an airtight (closed) system, so a ... read more

Your Car’s New Year’s Resolutions

Your Car’s New Year’s Resolutions

It's that time of year for taking stock of what worked and what didn't last year and resolving to make better decisions this year. While most people think of resolutions such as eating better and exercising, there are some others you might want to take into consideration. Such as your car. Your car is a lifeline; it gets you to work, school, the market, the soccer field, the hospital, etc. Where would your family be without a dependable car? One way to keep your car dependable is by adopting these new year resolutions to keep your workhorse working well: 1. Change Your Oil Whether you do it yourself or have it done, the new year is a great time to tend to it. Your car has a lot of moving parts in the engine and it needs fresh, clean oil for lubrication. Even if you haven't met the mileage sticker from the oil change place, it's good to get it checked. I lived somewhere that I didn't have to drive much and found out the hard way that my oil had gotten sl ... read more

Why Isn’t My Car Heater Working?

Why Isn’t My Car Heater Working?

You need your car heater working properly during the cold months, or the inside of your vehicle will turn into an icebox. A faulty heater is a potential safety hazard. When your heater is broken, your defroster cannot blow warm air onto your windshield thus will continue to accumulate ice and fog, which will interfere with your visibility. Imagine what can happen if you end up stranded somewhere with a heater that is not working on a freezing winter day. What Could Be Stopping Your Heater from Working? There are many reasons why your car heater may fail to work. Below are the four most common ones. A Faulty Thermostat An overheating or no heating condition in your car is mostly due to a faulty thermostat. When your car thermostat is not working, the engine overheats, the temperatures change erratically, and the vehicles' coolant leaks. If your thermostat is the reason why your heater has failed, go ahead and get a new one. It is actually cheap ... read more

How to Get Your Car Ready for Winter

How to Get Your Car Ready for Winter

As winters in Nebraska are always harsh, the proper and timely preparation of your vehicle for the cold months is a must. There are several important things that should be taken care of before winter sets in. Tires Check the overall condition of your vehicle’s tires first - if there’s a lot of wear and tear, think of replacing them. Pay attention to tread depth, as it is crucial in preventing slipping and skidding on wet, icy or snowy roads. Having in mind the average snowfall in Nebraska, it would be a good idea to put on winter tires on your car. Coolant A check of the composition of your coolant is absolutely necessary - it has to be ready to meet the harsh temperatures in the region which sometimes fall as down as 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The same goes for your windshield wiper fluid. Our mechanics here at A-1 Auto Repair have the tools and expertise to take care of such things and recommend you the most adequate fluids. Batte ... read more

What is a Timing Belt Replacement?

What is a Timing Belt Replacement?

When checking out your vehicle's factory recommended service schedule, you may have noticed that it strongly suggests a timing belt replacement or inspection at a certain mileage interval. Timing belts are a critical component of your vehicle, and do need to be replaced periodically. Your vehicle's engine is extremely complex with many different working parts, so not understanding what a timing belt exactly is or how often it needs to be replaced is common. Let us talk more about the timing belt and explain its function and importance within your vehicle.  What is a timing belt? The timing belt is an internal combustion engine belt whose job is to synchronize the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft. This helps to ensure that the engine's valves open and close at the correct time during each cylinder's intake and exhaust strokes. It is an essential part of the engine system and is necessary for proper overall function.  S ... read more

End of Summer Vehicle Maintenance Tips

End of Summer Vehicle Maintenance Tips

The summer is officially over and the fall season has begun, bringing in changing leaves, chilly weather, and spooky celebrations to come. The summer is notorious for excessive driving, which can take a toll on our vehicles. After the summer, it is important to address any damage done and have your vehicle restored before the fall season weather truly begins. Before the rainy season starts, take the time to read through our list of end of summer maintenance tips to make sure that your vehicle is ready to take on the upcoming colder months. Check your windshield wipers Windshield wipers are crucial for the upcoming rainy seasons and should be in good condition at all times. Wipers should be replaced once a year, so if it has been a while since your last replacement, your car is due for new wipers. Worn out wipers can be dangerous when you’re hit with unexpected rain while driving and can severely impair your ability to clearly see the road. Inspect your ... read more

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