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Mon - Fri: 6:30 AM - 8:00 PM|Sat: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM|Sun: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Inspection hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Sat: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Articles:

What Is Causing My Engine Knocking?

What Is Causing My Engine Knocking?

When you properly take care of your vehicle and its engine, it should run with minimal noise. On the other hand, engine sounds or knocking (a common term to describe the noise) can mean your vehicle’s motor is headed for disaster. Knocking is one of the first signs that you can detect to avoid further engine damage. Here is what your engine knocking may mean:  Wrong Octane-Level Gas You may notice the engine knocking when you put the wrong fuel in your vehicle. Every car has a specific octane level of gas that it should burn. If your automaker recommends premium fuel, please do not fill up with regular. You should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to gasoline octane levels. Poor Timing Engine timing also plays a pivotal role in overall engine performance. Your vehicle’s onboard computer controls when each spark plug should fire. If the sequence of events is off, it can cause your engine to knock. Engine knocking can also occu ... read more

Starting Problems? Is it the Battery or the Alternator?

Starting Problems? Is it the Battery or the Alternator?

If your car simply does not start, there can be several reasons it won't start. A worn-out battery, a damaged starter, corroded connection cables, or a bad alternator could cause this issue. Here are a few ways you can tell why your car is not starting. Signs that You Have a Bad Battery If your car will not start on cold mornings and the engine sounds sluggish, then the battery is probably to blame. Usually, when the battery is close to exhausted, the car will barely make any sound, and the interior lights will also fail to come on. Sometimes it is not the battery itself that is dead, but some damaged or corroded wires might come loose, undermining power transfer from the battery to the car. If your battery has visibly damaged terminals or wires, it is probably too far gone to save, so it's time to buy a new one. Using a visibly damaged battery increases your chances of getting stranded at inopportune times because the battery will only get more damaged. Another way to tell ... read more

5 Winter Vehicle Maintenance Tips

5 Winter Vehicle Maintenance Tips

Whether you’re a newcomer or an old-timer in the DMV area, you know that our winters can be quite unpredictable. The weather can be harsh with lower temperatures, freezing rains, and the occasional snow. To keep your car, SUV, or truck in tip-top shape wherever you go this winter, make sure to read on to learn these fantastic maintenance tips. Newer problems tend to arise as the seasons change here in Alexandria. Some common problems drivers face in the winter include tough starts and heater problems. Below are some of our top tips to combat winter driving: Tip #1: Test Car Battery If your battery is several years old, now would be the perfect time to check it out. The freezing temperatures can get your battery and leave it drained completely. Inspect it for signs of corrosion and damage. If it can no longer hold a proper charge, it is best to replace it altogether. Tip #2: Keep Your Windshield Clean Visibility becomes even more important this time of year. With less dayligh ... read more

Top Tips for Car Rust Prevention

Top Tips for Car Rust Prevention

Sure, it can be quite ugly! However, car rust greatly affects more than your vehicle's appeal. Besides eating away and destroying the structure, it can eventually creep into the engine bay and cause performance problems. Moisture is one of the most common causes of vehicle rust, mostly from continued exposure to precipitation and snow. Your vehicle can also get rusty if it is not properly maintained, covered, and due to old age. Prevention is everything. If you ignore the rust and allow it to settle in, it might become a nightmare, impossible to eliminate. Here are some top tips for vehicle owners who want to keep their vehicles rust-free: Wash and Wax Too much dust and dirt can translate to a quick accumulation of rust. Therefore, you must wash your vehicle at least once weekly, regardless of the season. Wax it with top-quality wax every four months to protect it from contaminants. Contaminants stick on the vehicle's surface, causing openings in the car paint and allowing i ... read more

4 Signs That Indicate Low Brake Fluid

4 Signs That Indicate Low Brake Fluid

If your car, SUV, or truck has a hydraulic braking system, then the safety of your vehicle is highly dependent on brake fluid. Without the pressure provided by the brake fluid, the brake pads, calipers, and brake pedals would not be able to work together to slow down your vehicle.    Low brake fluid is a major safety concern and can even mean there is a leak or moisture build-up in the system. Unlike motor oil or transmission fluid, brake fluid is not consumed. Typically, you can detect low brake fluid by looking at it under the hood. Brake fluid is a clear, yellow color and sealed in a transparent reservoir. However, you may be able to tell if your car is running low on brake fluid with the following signs: Brake or ABS Light Illuminated Most vehicles nowadays are high-tech enough and have brake sensors that relay information to the onboard computer. Hence, the brake light may turn on when it detects low levels of brake fluid.  Soft Brake Pedals You can tell if th ... read more

What Causes Tires to Knock Out of Alignment

What Causes Tires to Knock Out of Alignment

A wheel alignment service corrects your wheel’s angles to have them pointing in the right direction. There are many reasons why your car’s tires can lose their alignment. While it may not seem dangerous to you now, misalignment can create costly and extensive damages.   Every automaker has alignment specifications depending on the model and size of the vehicle. When your car’s wheels are knocked out of alignment, your tires won’t grip the road properly. Therefore, your vehicle’s handling and performance will be negatively impacted. Additionally, it will wear down your tires unevenly and prematurely.  What Causes Tires to Lose Alignment Wheel alignment intervals can vary depending on your vehicle, driving conditions, and tires. Road Impacts: If you frequently ram into curbs, run into potholes, and speed over road bumps, don’t be surprised if your wheel alignment is off. These impacts, minor or major, can throw your vehicle’s wheel ... read more

What Happens During a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection

What Happens During a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection

Do you finally have your eye on a car but are having doubts because it is second-hand. Get yourself a pre-purchase inspection to ease your worries. What Is a Pre-Purchase Inspection? A pre-purchase inspection is a thorough evaluation by a certified person to ascertain the aesthetic, technical, and safety condition of the vehicle before finalizing the purchase. A trained mechanic or automotive expert who is familiar with the brand and model of the vehicle performs the majority of checks. The purpose of the PPI is to identify current problems or maintenance issues that might later cause financial or safety concerns for the buyer. When Do You Need a Pre-Purchase Inspection Some of the things you should consider before getting a pre-purchase inspection include whether the car is; • Owned by a certified person and has warranty • Being sold locally • The car has valid insurance After buying the car, any issues you experience are on your budget. Therefore, it's crit ... read more

Tips on How to Take Care of Your Car This Summer

Tips on How to Take Care of Your Car This Summer

It's no secret that the summertime is an easy time for mechanical failure to occur. When the heat cranks up in Alexandria, VA, many drivers will need to keep an eye out for their vehicle's performance and efficiency. The best way to avoid car problems this summer is with preventative maintenance. Follow some of these tips below to prevent unwanted breakdowns: Engine Performance - If you notice any engine issues, such as hard starts, rough idling, stalling, or a general lack of power, your car may be due for a tune-up. Additionally, you should get an oil change if you plan to do a lot of driving this summer. Cooling System - Coolant is a vital fluid that keeps your car from overheating. With temperatures climbing high, make sure you have a mechanic check your cooling system. You should flush your radiator every 1-2 years. Windshield Wipers - Windshield wipers should be changed at least once every year. Rain showers can come a ... read more

Maintaining Your Car During Stay-at-Home

Maintaining Your Car During Stay-at-Home

With the current stay-at-home orders, our customers' cars may be sitting in driveways and garages for days or weeks at a time. In order to keep your car in good shape, it's important to start your car at least once a week and keep up with routine car care to help prevent potential maintenance issues. When starting your car weekly, let it run for at least five minutes. (If you car is in a garage, be sure to open the door first.) Alternatively, taking your car for a short drive can also help with other maintenance issues: Battery – Today’s vehicles have several computers that are always in operation, so if a car sits too long without recharging, the battery could die within a couple of weeks.  Tires – Checking the tire pressure frequently is more important if the car is parked for long periods of time. Vehicles that sit idle too long can develop flat spots, so taking a brief drive every once in a while will help prevent ... read more

What is Factory Scheduled Maintenance?

What is Factory Scheduled Maintenance?

Factory Scheduled Maintenance is a list of maintenance items, that your car's manufacturer recommend be completed usually every 30,000 miles, 60,000 miles, 90,000 miles or more. These intervals and the maintenance items they recommend vary by the make and model of your vehicle, so it's best to check your car's owner's manual for more details. Each interval has some basic maintenance involved (oil change, etc.), as well as, more detailed inspections of fluids, filters, spark plugs, and wear and tear. The manufacturer sets these guidelines to get the best possible performance based on normal driving conditions. The bottom line: having your car's scheduled maintenance completed can prevent long-term and costly damage down the road. When you bring your vehicle in for it's factory scheduled maintenance, we're able to catch a smaller problem before it becomes a major problem - saving your money and time. Speaking of "normal dri ... read more

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