Stratford Auto Repair

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Follow Our Fall Vehicle Maintenance Check-Sheet!

Follow Our Fall Vehicle Maintenance Check-Sheet!

It's September, which means fall is here in Stratford, NJ. With the seasonal changes, it's time to run through a car maintenance checklist to ensure you're ready for the chilly season.   Having your vehicle inspected during the autumn months may feel like a drag, but it will save you a headache when the temperatures drop and winter hits. Here are six preventative maintenance tips to prepare your car for the autumn:   #1: Check Your Battery Have you ever had a vehicle battery drain during the winter? It's a common phenomenon in the north. In the colder months, vehicle batteries experience heavy wear and tear. All you need is a quick check-up (and possible battery replacement) to ensure you won't be stranded with a dead battery.   #2: Make Sure the Defroster & Heater Works With winter around a few months, we have to prepare for the worst. It's uncomfortable and unsafe to drive in wet conditions and especially freezing conditions. At the ... read more

The Basics of Wheel Alignments

The Basics of Wheel Alignments

Alignment is a highly complex subject covering many different terms and an array of vehicle parts. First and foremost, you should know that your tires point in the wrong direction when your wheels are out of alignment. As you can imagine, this is a considerable safety hazard. Misaligned wheels will affect your steering and suspension, but more importantly, they could affect your safety and the durability of your tires.   How Do Wheels Get Misaligned? There are numerous ways for your vehicle to lose its alignment.  Wheel misalignment can be driven by: Potholes Hitting the curb or flying through speed bumps Bumping into concrete parking stalls Wear and tear—as automobiles age, rubber components start cracking or losing their elasticity, and ball and socket joints develop looseness. Alignment angles are typically calibrated in tenths and hundredths of degrees or inches. Over time, a minor misalignment can cause uneven or premature tire wear.    What Hap ... read more

4 Essential Items That Every Car Owner Needs

4 Essential Items That Every Car Owner Needs

As a car owner, it's essential to recognize the value of regular maintenance and the responsibility that comes with ownership. From everyday situations to emergencies, there are things you need to have in your car. You should be prepared for the most unexpected circumstances.   First Aid Kit In the event of an accident or unforeseen injury, a first aid kit is ideal for storing in your glove compartment. The equipment itself will not treat a severe injury, as emergency personnel should be called immediately, though it can help in less extreme conditions.   Spare Tire One of the most unfortunate events you can experience on the road is a flat tire. A spare tire is always necessary to store in your vehicle. Additionally, you'll also need the proper tools, such as a lug wrench and jack, to repair your old tire.    Set of Jumper Cables Your car battery often dies at the worst times. If another driver is willing to lend you some juice, a set of jumper cab ... read more

What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down

What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down

  Breaking down in the middle of a drive is one of the most dreaded situations to be in for any driver. Somehow it always seems to happen at the worst time and at the worst place. Although it can be extremely overwhelming, the first thing to do is remain calm and follow these safety precautions. Breakdowns can, without a doubt, lead to car accidents if you are in an unfamiliar location, so understanding your surroundings is essential.   First and foremost, always remember to turn on your emergency or hazard lights. Doing so will communicate to other drivers on the road that something is wrong and will allow others to take precautions when driving around your vehicle.    If you perceive your car breaking down, deviate to the shoulder or side of the road in a safe area as soon as possible. As soon as you are positioned on the shoulder and out of harm’s way, turn your vehicle’s engine off.    Using your phone, find and call for a tow truck ... read more

What to Check After Hitting a Pothole

What to Check After Hitting a Pothole

During the course of driving on a local road or highway lies a monster in waiting. What are we talking about? Those dreaded potholes. No matter where you live you are bound to hit one. Even a small pothole can damage your automobile, but those big ones are surely a menace. Should you check your vehicle afterward? You bet you should. What are you looking for? Here is a brief checklist. Steering Troubles You will notice this without getting out of the car. Has your steering suddenly become difficult? Does the car want to pull to one side or another? If yes, this is a dangerous sign that requires a professional mechanic to fix it. Other steering problems you could now have are unusual vibrations in the steering column that was not present before hitting the pothole. Tire Problems Potholes can wreak havoc on your tires. You must pull over to someplace safe like a parking lot to check them out. Look for bulges, cracks, or puncture marks on the sidewall ... read more

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic Converter?

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic Converter?

Everyone with a vehicle has heard of a catalytic converter at some time or another… there are some that may even know a lot about a catalytic converter. While you may have heard of it or may know some things about it, are you able to know when you have a bad catalytic converter? There are some symptoms that you can be on the lookout for to know if you have a bad catalytic converter. In fact, there are 5 symptoms that you can watch for to know if you have a bad catalytic converter, or are on your way to having one. Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic ConverterRattling Noise: If you hear a rattling noise coming from under the vehicle this is a sign of a failing or bad catalytic converter. When you have a catalytic converter that is old or damaged internally it can be caused by an excessive amount of rich fuel mixtures. When this happens, the catalyst coated honeycomb meshes that are on the inside of the converter can break apart or collapse, which will ... read more

What are the Signs of Starter Failure?

What are the Signs of Starter Failure?

As its name implies, your car is not going to get very far if the starter is not working. This can be a frustrating experience to say the least. Everything else on the car might appear to be working great, including the battery, but yet you still cannot start it. There are some signs to look out for that would indicate you have a bad starter. What Are the Symptoms? There are several common signs that your starter is bad. Here are a few of them: Your Car Just Doesn't Sound Right If you hear a strange clicking noise when you go to turn the car on, this can be an indicator that your starter is going bad. This is why it is important to listen to the noises coming from your car as they can help you avoid getting stuck with a starter that has stopped working altogether. The Lights Come on But Nothing Happens You might notice that all of the lights on your dashboard come on, but the car just will not start. This is an indication that something is wrong with the starter. If that is t ... read more

How to Prolong the Life of Your Car

How to Prolong the Life of Your Car

Prolonging the life of your vehicle is not as difficult as it may seem. Here are different tips you can follow to ensure your car lasts many years with little to no problems. Lubricants Your car needs lubricants to help your car travel for miles. Essential fluids your car needs include brake and transmission fluid, differential fluid, and power steering fluid. Friction is not your car's best friend. Friction can cause a variety of issues, oftentimes expensive problems, with your vehicle. Check the Air Filters Your car's air filters need to be as efficient as possible to filter out solids and other impurities that can potentially damage the cylinders in your car. Your car burns fuel inside the cylinders, which helps it run. Without proper, effective air filters, debris can enter the cylinders and cause massive damage. Regular Engine Tune-Ups The engine is the heart of a car. If you want your car to last a while, you need to ensure you are properly caring for its engine. Re ... read more

What is a brake fluid flush?

What is a brake fluid flush?

Most drivers have no idea what a brake fluid flush is. Don't worry, we got you. Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that your car relies on to facilitate the braking mechanism's proper functioning. On the other hand, a brake fluid flush is a mechanical process to clean out dirty brake fluid from your car's system. If you are hands-on with your vehicle, you can change your brake fluid, but it is better to let a trained mechanic handle the process for better results. The secret to getting the best results from a brake fluid flush is to use high-quality brake fluid. Why Is Brake Fluid Flush Vital for My Car? Next to the engine, the brake system is the next most crucial system in a car. Because brake fluid is hygroscopic, it absorbs water over time. Brake fluid is used for the brake system because it does not compress under pressure. Fluid buildup is harmful to your car because it lowers brake fluid's boiling point affecting its density. When the fluid alt ... read more

Winter Maintenance Checklist for Fleet Vehicles

Winter Maintenance Checklist for Fleet Vehicles

Winter is one of the harshest times of the year for vehicles, especially when it comes to extremely cold weather and snow. When it comes to your fleet, you want to do what you can to prevent any unexpected breakdowns during the winter months and to keep your vehicles running at their best so that your business can continue to thrive.  Having certain maintenance performed on your vehicle ahead of the start of winter can be beneficial for your business in the long run. It’s definitely a great time to have maintenance performed and to catch any issues early on.  Here at our shop, we can assist with all of your fleet vehicle maintenance needs and can help check that your vehicles will remain reliable during the winter months. Here are the most important items to have taken care of to maintain your fleet during the winter:  Engine maintenance, including checking spark plugs, belts, hoses, and engine oil Test the battery for proper charge and replac ... read more

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