Stratford Auto Repair

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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

What is an ASE Certified Mechanic?

What is an ASE Certified Mechanic?

If you're in need of automotive repairs, then you want to turn to the right mechanic. There's nothing worse than shelling out large amounts of money for a complicated fix only to find the mechanic messed up somehow, or worse - not finding out until the problem is even worse. ASE mechanics are mechanics that have received certifications from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence. This organization checks and certifies mechanics and automotive shops and determines whether they're up to par in order to be ASE-certified. What Is So Special About Being ASE-Certified? If your mechanic is ASE-certified, then you know they have at least two years of relevant, hands-on work experience and have passed several exams proving their skill and knowledge. The NIASE hands out certifications in a number of areas surrounding automotive repair, including engine repair, manual drive trains and axles, and vehicles that make use of compressed natural gas. If ... 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

What is a Blown Head Gasket?

What is a Blown Head Gasket?

The head gasket is one of those terms that many of us have probably heard of, but don't quite understand. The head gasket is the block that is located between the engine block and the cylinder head. This part has a tough job because it is constantly put under high pressure and high temperatures. If your head gasket is blown, this is another way of saying that your head gasket has a leak.  A head gasket leak basically means that it is allowing coolant to leak out of the engine or it could mean that coolant is getting into the cylinder. When you continue to drive with a blown head gasket, the coolant and exhaust gases are going places that they shouldn't and this will start to cause engine metal and parts to warp and wear significantly. Leaking coolant can cause a multitude of different issues, including causing low coolant levels which can cause engine overheating and warping, damage your spark plugs, cause issues with the motor, rusted piston rings, cylinder walls, and m ... read more

What are the Signs of Engine Trouble?

What are the Signs of Engine Trouble?

Your vehicle's engine is one of its most important components. Think of it as the heart of your entire vehicle, making sure that all systems work as they should while providing the energy needed to get your car moving. It is the largest system of your vehicle as well - just take a look under the hood! With so many working parts, it's important to recognize when there might be an issue within the engine.  Engine trouble can be worrisome, especially due to the fact that finding the broken part can be a tricky job. One of the more obvious signs of an engine issue is the check engine warning light. This light illuminates on your vehicle's dashboard when it detects that there is a problem with a component either within the engine or that the engine needs to operate correctly. See, your vehicle actually has a computer system that is connected to many different sensors throughout your car. When the computer detects an issue, it stores an error code and turns your check engi ... read more

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