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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

What are the Signs of Brake Problems?

What are the Signs of Brake Problems?

The brake system is an important safety component of your vehicle. If you ever notice a change in the performance of your brakes or hear a strange noise when pushing the brake pedal, it is vital to have your brake system inspected quickly to protect your safety on the road.  If there is a problem with your brakes, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:  Brake pedal goes to the floor Brake system light is on Loss of brake power Spongy or soft brake pedal Squealing/grinding noise when braking Vehicle pulls to one side/shakes when braking As soon as you notice a problem with your vehicle’s brakes, be sure to note down any symptoms. It will allow our experts to get a good idea of where exactly the issue is stemming from. The brake warning light will also turn on if a sensor has indicated a problem with the brake hydraulics system.  A squealing noise when braking is usually an indication of brake pad problems. If your brake pads are deteriorated ... read more

What Does Engine Misfiring Feel Like?

What Does Engine Misfiring Feel Like?

You may have heard of the term engine misfiring when reading symptoms of engine trouble. However, the term is relatively vague and it may be confusing to understand what exactly engine misfiring feels like. How do you know if your engine is misfiring, and what does it mean?  Let's first look at how an engine works so that you can better understand the term "engine misfiring". In order for the engine to work properly, it needs fuel to burn, oxygen, and a spark to ignite the combustion process. This igniting process will cause the pistons to move, therefore causing your engine to run.  An engine misfire is what happens when either the fuel, the oxygen, or the spark are not working correctly. While engine misfiring doesn't necessarily mean your vehicle won't run, it does typically cause increased emissions and reduced fuel economy.  So, how do you know if your engine is misfiring? Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for:  When idling or ... read more

Why is My Vehicle Overheating?

Why is My Vehicle Overheating?

You look at your dashboard and notice that your temperature gauge is sitting high - is it temporary due to the heat, or is there a problem with your vehicle? Engine overheating is a serious issue and definitely a matter that you want to address quickly. The longer you drive with an overheating engine, the more damage that can occur. You may have low coolant or there could be a problem with your vehicle's cooling system such as a failing radiator or a bad water pump. Regardless of the issue, it is vital to get your vehicle into A-1 Auto Repair at your earliest convenience to keep repairs to a minimum.  You may feel that your vehicle is only overheating because you've been driving in stop and go traffic for hours on a hot day. While this could be the case, our vehicles are designed to withstand major amounts of heat, so it is still in your best interest to have your car inspected quickly. Let's look at some of the reasons why your vehicle could potentially be overheatin ... read more

Dangers of Driving with Under Inflated Tires

Dangers of Driving with Under Inflated Tires

When most drivers see that pesky Tire Pressure warning light turn on, they don't panic. It simply isn't regarded as an emergency warning, so many drivers will continue driving for days, if not weeks or longer, with the light on. This is because many drivers don't fully understand just how important driving with proper tire pressure really is, and how dangerous it can be driving with under inflated tires. Let's take a look at why proper tire pressure is so important.  Your vehicle's tires are a very important safety component of your vehicle, especially because they are the components that sit between your car and the road. They create friction with the road in order for your vehicle to travel across many different types of terrain. In order for these tires to operate at their best, they need to be filled up with the right amount of air.  When you drive with under inflated tires, meaning that the tire pressure is below factory recommendations, you severel ... read more

What is a Brake Fade?

You're driving along and step on the brakes to slow down - you notice that it takes you significantly longer to brake, almost like your brakes are failing. This can be extremely scary, and is definitely a situation you want to avoid. So what happened? Did your brakes fail? This is what is called a brake fade. A brake fade is defined as the temporary loss or reduction of full brake power.  When you step on your vehicle's brakes, multiple different components work together to slow down to stop your vehicle. Brake fade is a situation in which no driver wants to find themselves in, especially when your brakes fail completely. Although it typically only lasts for a few seconds, those few seconds are enough to find yourself in an accident. Let's take a look at what exactly a brake fade is and how it can be avoided.  As you press down on the brake pedal, the brake pad and rotor create friction in order to slow down the wheels. When this doesn't happen, this is refe ... read more

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