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How To Check And Fill Your Fluids

How To Check And Fill Your Fluids

Everybody that owns a vehicle should know how to check and fill their vehicle’s fluids. There are a few major fluid levels to check on most vehicles. By checking the fluids in your vehicle regularly you can help to save yourself from costly auto repairs.

Lets start with the windshield washer fluid: Have you ever noticed when you use your windshield washer that the fluid is blue? The fluid solution is a combination of solvents with a detergent. The solution may also contain antifreeze. It’s pretty simple to fill and if you have a funnel it can make it even easier to fill. The washer fluid reservoir is under the hood. If you can not locate where the reservoir is, check your owners manual it should show you how to find it. After you have located the reservoir just fill it to the top.

The next thing you want to check is the brake fluid. This pretty easy to check also because most vehicles will have a level mark on the reservoir and as long as the brake fluid is to the level line it’s good. This way you do not have to open the cap that is on the master cylinder.

If you look and see that the fluid is not at the level line just open the cap on the master cylinder and put enough fluid into the reservoir to reach the level line. Be careful with brake fluid because it will eat the paint of your car if is spilled and left on the paint. Always keep a nice clean rag with you when filling the brake reservoir. If you don’t have any brake fluid go to you local auto store and pick some up and make sure it’s for an automobile. If you are not sure ask the guy behind the counter.

Let’s move on to the power steering fluid. Before you check the power steering fluid make sure that the vehicle engine has been warmed up or as some would say to the proper operating temperature. Power steering fluid looks red and most of the time you can check it by simply un-screwing the cap right from the pump itself. The cap usually has a small dip stick attached to it. The dip stick will have a fill line on it. Use a funnel and pour the fluid in slowly so you don’t over-fill. Sometimes the reservoir is not attached to the pump but has a separate reservoir.

When checking the engine coolant, “CAUTION” is the firt rule of thumb. Never, ever open a radiator cap when the engine is hot. This is a great way to get burned. There is a lot of pressure that builds up when the engine is hot.

You can check the fluid by looking at the level line on the over flow reservoir. If it needs coolant just un-screw the cap from the over flow reservoir or bottle and fill to the level line.

Again never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot. That is one of the reasons why there is an over flow reservoir. If your vehicle, for some reason, does not have an over flow then wait until the engine cools down before you open the radiator cap.

To check the transmission fluid the vehicle needs to be in park or neutral with the brake on. The vehicle also needs to be running. You also want the engine warmed up before you check the fluid. To check the fluid, locate the dip stick which will most likely be towards the back of the engine on the passenger side.

With the engine running pull out the dip stick and wipe it off with a rag, then stick it back into the tube were you just pulled it from. Make sure you push the stick all the way down. Now pull the dip stick out and look on the stick for the level lin. If you need fluid add a little at a time and fill to the level line. Before you push the dip stick back down the tube be sure to wipe it off each time in order to will get a proper reading. Use a funnel when filling with fluid.

Note: If you have a manual transmission you need to get under the vehicle and remove a plug. Check the owner’s manual before you attempt checking the fluid. With transmission fluid you may be better off to let your mechanic check this. Checking it once a year should be fine unless you start hearing noises coming from the transmission.

Last but certainly not least is the engine oil. This is also checked with a dip stick and it is usually found towards the front of the engine on the passenger side. It should have the word “oil” on it. To check the oil turn the engine off and wait a few minutes to let the fluid drain into the oil pan so you can get a good reading on the dip stick. Another good time to check the oil is before you start the engine.

When you pull out the dip stick wipe it clean and look for a minimum and maximum level marking on the dip stick. Then put the dip stick into the tube push it all the way down. Wait a second and pull the stick back out and look and see where the oil level is on the stick. If the oil is at the minimum mark add a quart of oil. If it’s at the maximum you are good to go. If it’s in the middle you can add a half a quart. Use a funnel when putting oil into your vehicle.

You should check the oil at least once a month but preferably once every two weeks.

By taking the time to do these simple checks you can save yourself a lot of money. Checking the fluid and filling them properly now and not waiting until something goes wrong is a lot less painful for your pocket book when it comes to auto repairs.

Car Maintenance VS Car Negligence

Car Maintenance VS Car Negligence

With the increasing cost of car repairs and the hefty fees charged by your local mechanic, it’s easy to just ignore problems you’re starting to experience with your car. Many drivers do not pay attention to the signs that their car is telling them unless they experience a real trouble. However, you must know that car repair negligence has its price.

Car problems often start small, than grow bigger as you neglect them.

Failing to address the problems in your vehicle early on will result in more costly problems later on, such as:

• Serious damage: because you have been ignoring that puddle of fluid that you see under your car that could be an oil leak, and ignoring it won’t make it better. When a car loses it’s oil which is the blood line of the vehicle it will cause major problems that could easily cost you thousands of dollars in motor repairs or motor replacement.

• Accidents: If you’ve been hearing your brakes squeal every time you step on the brake pedal to stop, that’s a good sign that the brake pads are already worn-out. If you don’t take action and don’t replace the pads, you may experience brake failure that may lead to a serious accidents or death.

• More expenses: Smaller problems will always turn into bigger problems any time you ignore problems with your vehicle. Your car is one thing you should not skimp on. You rely on it to keep you safe when driving it, so don’t ignore things that are happening with your vehicle or you may one day find yourself facing a bigger expense due to neglect.

How To Save On Car Repair and Maintenance

While you may think that you’re stuck with huge expenses on your car, you’ll be glad to know that this isn’t so.

There are a lot of ways by which you can save on your vehicle, Here are a few.

1.) Perform Routine Maintenance and Inspection. Always, follow the routine maintenance schedule of your car, no matter how busy you are. Check the level of your car fluids regularly. Check the air pressure in your tires, check for proper tire wear, and try to keep your vehicle clean.

2.) Learn some maintenance basics of your vehicle so that you can do some of the checks yourself like how to check the oil, or the water in your radiator, even learn how to check your tires’ air pressure. You would be surprised that just doing these simple things can save you money down the road.

3.) Look around for a local family owned car service shop, not a brand name shop. A family owned shop will treat you better and you will get better service and better prices.

Delayed Auto Repairs Cost More

Delayed Auto Repairs Cost More

Your car is an important part of your life. Sometimes we don’t realize how important until it stops working. Here in Harford County, Maryland it is hard to get anywhere without a vehicle. Hi, my name is Bob Hines. I’m the owner of Forest Hill Car Care with my partner Dave Quante. Between the both of us we have over 80 years of experience in car repair. That’s a lot of years taking care of vehicles. We understand how important it is to find a good and honest mechanic that will take care of your vehicle without taking advantage of you.

Here at Forest Hill Car Care we give you “Peace Of Mind”. You want someone to look after you? You Got It!!

If you need a simple oil change or need major engine work we will be there for you. If you need a car inspected bring it in – we are Certified State Inspectors. We will make sure that the car is safe for you to drive. If you have problems with emissions we are also Certified in Emissions.

The best way to take care of your car is to bring it in for an oil change. While we are doing the oil change we will take a look at your brake system, balls joints, exhaust system and other import things. It’s better for you to get those items checked so you really don’t have to worry about them. But you do have to bring it in for first time so we can look at it.

With today’s economy many people are putting off necessary maintenance on their vehicles. They are also delaying necessary repairs. Unfortunately that is leading to them to spending even more money for more serious repairs. It saddens us to tell people that they have a major repair bill knowing that if they had brought their car in sooner it could have been repaired for much less.

Delaying necessary car repairs really does cost more in the long run. A small needed repair on your vehicle that is delayed can turn into a major repair bill in a very short time.

Some times it’s hard to trust someone with your vehicle that you don’t know and I can understand that. Would you rather trust someone that says we can do an oil change in 10 minutes for you or would you rather have someone that is very experienced and will take the time needed plus look over your car for you and let you know what he finds?

Don’t think that when we look over you car we are going to try to sell you on something else. We are only looking out for you and letting you know if there are any problems that you may or may not want to take care of or plan to have done. It’s your vehicle and we want you to be well-informed/

If you have any questions about your car we would be glad to talk to you about them. It’s important that you understand what your car needs and we will explain anything to you in terms you can understand.

You are very important to us here at Forest Hill Car Care. Take the time to come out and see us at 2403 Rocks Road Forest Hill, Md 21050 or call us at 410-838-3116.

You can even just stop by to meet us. Ask for Bob, I’m friendly and I look forward to meeting you.

Why Get An Oil Change?

Why Get An Oil Change?

Your vehicle’s owner’s manual recommends regular oil changes and so does your auto repair mechanic. Many vehicle owners change their oil for this reason alone but when you’re watching your budget you may question whether or not you need to have the oil changed in your car.

Changing your oil regularly can be one of the best investments in maintenance for your vehicle. It can save you from costly repairs to your engine.

Your engine operates at high temperatures. Over time this causes thermal breakdown in the oil in your engine. Parts of the engine can rub together and wear out when not properly lubricated.

The oil also absorbs water, duct and combustion byproducts. Over time the oil will get saturated and will not be able to absorb any more of these items. Once this happens this stuff remains in the engine and can cause corrosion.

In addition, oil contains additives that can neutralize acids. Eventually these additives get used up and are no longer effective.

Without regular oil changes your engine will not last as long as it could. An oil change is pretty inexpensive so it is a good investment to protect yourself from major repair costs caused by the lack of oil changes.

So the question isn’t so much whether or not you should change your oil but how often you should change it. Your owner’s manual states the proper intervals for your specific vehicle. However you should take into account other factors also.

You may want to change your oil even more frequently if you do a lot of high-speed driving, have a habit of taking off quickly from a stop or have periods of heavy acceleration.

If the climate is extremely hot or cold your oil may need changing more often. Already here in Harford County we have had some early cold temperatures. And this summer we had some extremely hot temperatures. So you should be thinking of changing your oil now.

If you drive on any dirt roads, even a dirt or gravel driveway, consider changing the oil more often. Your engine has to deal with more dirt and your oil helps to filter this dirt and keep it out of your engine.

If your vehicle is old and it burns oil, change the oil more frequently. And if you carry heavy loads – towing a boat, towing a trailer or regularly carrying additional weight in your vehicle – this would be a good reason for more regular changes.

When the oil is changed the oil filter is also replaced. This is a great way to help you avoid more costly repairs. So even if you’re watching your budget more carefully these days, an oil change is a must to help you avoid those budget-busting car repairs. If you would like to receive great service and still get a great deal on your oil change visit us a Forest Hill Car Care where we understand providing old-fashioned service at competitive prices. Located in Forest Hill, Maryland we provide auto repair service to many of your Forest Hill, Bel Air, Fallston and Harford County neighbors.

Vehicle Maintenance And Sensible Driving Habits For Harford County

Vehicle Maintenance And Sensible Driving Habits For Harford County

Regular vehicle maintenance and sensible driving habits will help the environment and save you money in the long run, according to the pros at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Well-maintained vehicles pollute less, last longer and command greater resale values. Follow these tips from ASE to become a more savvy and environmentally conscientious car-owner.

* Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent, for instance. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the owner’s manual to keep your vehicle in peak condition.

* Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to reduce the effort required by the engine. This reduces gasoline consumption.

* Find a good technician. Forest Hill Car Care in Forest Hill, Maryland has ASE certified technicians and a strong and solid reputation for good service.

ASE-certified auto technicians have passed one or more national exams in specialties such as engine performance and air conditioning.

* Have your vehicle’s air conditioner serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older air conditioners contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service.

* Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations. Both of these habits guzzle gas.

* Don’t let the car sit idle with the engine running. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine to conserve fuel.

* Consolidate errands to eliminate unnecessary driving.

* Remove excess items from the vehicle to reduce weight and improve gas mileage. A lot of people carry around a lot more weight in their car from excess stuff in the trunk then they realize. Also, be sure to remove that rooftop luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag.

ASE was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals. Its certified technicians wear a blue-and-white ASE shoulder insignia. They also carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the ASE sign – look for the ASE sign when you visit Forest Hill Car Care.

Ball Joints Are Important To Your Car’s Suspension System

Ball Joints Are Important To Your Car’s Suspension System

Got ball joints? Yes, your car does. Maintenance has changed, but ball joints must still be inspected for wear, otherwise you risk causing tire or steering problems.

An important part of your car’s suspension system is its ball joints. Made of extra tough steel, ball joints act as the pivot point between two parts, the suspension and your car’s tires. Ball joints help support your car’s weight and, as is the case with some vehicles, ball joints may be used to help set the alignment. Let’s take a closer look at this key component of your car’s suspension system.

Enclosed in a steel housing, ball joints are used on the front end of almost every car, truck, SUV, and minivan. As might be expected, ball joints are subject to a lot of wear and tear. To properly protect them, the ball joints are housed in an enclosed boot to keep dirt away from the joint assembly.

There are two types of suspension systems that use ball joints. The first is a conventional system that uses an upper and lower ball joint. The second is called a MacPherson strut system that uses a single lower ball joint and an upper strut bearing. No upper ball joint is needed as the upper strut bearing does the job instead.

Maintenance for ball joints has changed over the years for most cars. Many vehicles are equipped with ball joints that are permanently lubed. Lubrication is not necessary nor is it even possible as the pack that holds the lubrication is permanently sealed. When ball joints wear out or are damaged, you can find replacement ball joints that come with lubrication fittings. In this case you would need to lubricate your ball joints on a regular basis as in when you change your vehicle’s oil.

When performing an inspection of your car’s suspension, your ball joints should be looked at too. Have a complete wheel alignment performed and make certain that the ball joints are not worn. If the ball joints wear out and are not changed, you will soon experience uneven tire wear or unreliable steering, such as wandering. Clearly, worn out ball joints are a safety issue that must be tended to and fixed immediately.

Ball joints are developed for the specific make and model of your vehicle. Many models share the same suspension system as other models within the brand. But to be sure check your vehicle’s repair manual for the right replacement ball joints. Certain manufacturers, such as Moog, develop ball joints for many makes and models and can be used by mechanics that prefer this particular product. Check online to find out more information about Moog ball joints and whether they are right for your car.

Remember, ball joints are an important part of your vehicle’s suspension system. Annual check ups of the suspension can head off costly problems and can help to keep you and your family safe.

Auto Repair Shop Harford County – How To Choose

Auto Repair Shop Harford County – How To Choose

Finding a good auto repair shop in Harford County can be difficult. You have many choices but it can be hard to know which auto repair shop to choose.

The average car owner does not know a lot about car repairs. This can make it difficult when searching for a good mechanic. Here are some items that can help you to decide.

1 – Look for a mechanic or auto repair shop that has a good reputation.

Does the auto repair shop have and they willing to show you customer reviews? People who are happy with an auto repair shop, especially long-time customers, are happy to brag about finding a good shop. Check to see if the auto repair shop has customer reviews on their website.

2 – Prescreen an auto repair shop or auto mechanic.

Before you need service stop in and meet the staff at the shop. If they are willing to take some time to meet and talk with you even when you are not in need of service, they are showing you that they care. See if the owner is involved in the daily operation of the business. Take your car to the chosen shop for general maintenance such as oil changes, transmission fluid changes and basic general preventive maintenance work. If the mechanics treat you with respect and the general vibe is good then that’s a great start.

Also look for things like the cleanliness of the shop and observe if there are certifications displayed. If everything seems legitimate, then maybe this is the place where you should get major repairs done.

3 – The difference between a national chain auto repair, a privately owned auto repair and a backyard mechanic.

National chains and car dealers are notoriously more expensive than local repair shops. However, make sure the local repair shop offers a good warranty on their service. Privately owned shops are normally less expensive and often times provide the same quality of service as chains and dealers. Look for a shop that still provides that old-time customer service that you aren’t likely to find elsewhere. Check that the shop has A.S.E. certified mechanics.

A.S.E. stands for Automotive Service Excellence. A mechanic must take regular tests to obtain and maintain their A.S.E. certification. The test is not an easy one to pass. The statistics are that one out of every three test takers fails the A.S.E. test.

Backyard mechanics can be risky to work with. They usually do not have the proper diagnostic equipment to detect what the mechanical issue is. And they may not have the appropriate tools to do the work.

The best choice is to take your vehicle into an auto repair shop in Harford County with the appropriate diagnostic tools and ASE certified mechanics.

Auto Service And Prices Can’t Be Beat

Auto Service And Prices Can’t Be Beat

“The best… Dave and Bob are wonderful!

“They never think anything is a stupid question. They fix everything.

“Their service and prices can’t be beat. It’s great to have our very own Click and Clak in the neighborhood.

“Thank You!!”

Annastasia Kezar
Auto Repair Customer