Ask A Mechanic – Q & A

To Ask Terry’s a question about car care or car repair Click Here – Ask A Mechanic



 

Q?

I’ve been reading a lot about self-inflating tires. Should I get a set? – Nick, Madison

A.

Self-Inflating tires are a new technology, still in the testing phase. They are only available for limited commercial applications, and only for the purpose of testing, at this time. It is expected this testing period will last approximately 18 months. After which, if the testing is successful, the technology will be available for passenger tires.

Under inflation causes poor fuel economy and reduced tread life. The additional cost of this product, along with the convenience of not having to maintain the air pressure yourself, will be the deciding factors if this product is for you. — Will C. Sparks, owner

Q?

A friend told me I should use a different oil in my car during the wintertime. Is that wise? – Name Withheld, Fitchburg

A.

Making sure you keep up with regular oil changes is one of the most important things you can do to keep your car or truck running problem free for miles to come. And an oil change is certainly one of the steps you need to take when readying your car for winter. But unless you’re absolutely diligent about changing your oil, you probably should NOT change to a lighter weight winter oil. While that might help during the winter, if you don’t change back during the summer, you could do major damage to your engine.

The best thing to do is talk with your auto mechanic about your driving and car-care habits. And be honest. The two of you together can decide what is best for your car or truck. – Will C. Sparks

Q?

I heard that the “penny test” is the best way to tell if the tread on my tires is so worn that I need new tires. Is that true? – Anne, Madison

A.

The “penny test” – done by inserting a penny upside down into your tire’s grooves to see how much of Abe Lincoln’s head is exposed – was once the gold standard for drivers. But that’s no longer the case. Especially for cars and trucks that deal with the rain, snow and mud Madison area drivers face. A Consumer Reports test showed that tires with 2/32 of an inch of tread (the amount left if only a small part of Abe’s head was covered) took two times as long to stop as those tires with about 5/32 inch of tread. The results were worse in rain, mud and snow. Overall grip was better with the less worn tires.

The new rule of thumb test is to use a quarter. If the top of George Washington’s head is covered by the tread, you have about 4/32 of an inch of tread left. But the best test of all is to let a professional tire expert evaluate your tires. – Will C. Sparks

Q?

Oil Changes are not needed in modern cars.

A.

Advances in motor oil technology as well as in the manufacture and materials in today’s vehicles are certainly better than in the past. However ALL VEHICLES require oil changes which includes the oil filter and possibly non-oil related items like the air filter. The frequency of oil changes is based on your driving habits, vehicle type and environment. Come in to Terry’s Car Care and find out about your vehicle.

Q?

Tire inflation is important. Fact or Fiction?

A.

Well….. it is fact. Your entire vehicle rides on those tires and when you are traveling at 66 feet per second you want to make sure the tires are working properly. Under inflation causes traction problems as well as lots of stress on the sidewalls of the tires. This could lead to a blow out. Even the best case scenario the tires wear unevenly and you lose longevity. A little air goes a long way.

Q?

Are Fuel Injectors part of routine maintenance?

A.

Fuel injectors have a special type of maintenance that should be performed at regular intervals. In order for you car or truck to run smoothly and with fuel efficiency the fuel injector nozzles need to be free of clogs and dirt. They also have to spray a very fine mist of fuel in order to operate correctly.

Our flushing service is the best in the business. We can clean and maintain your fuel injectors.

Q?

Does Brake Fluid Wear out?

A.

Brake Fluid absorbs water and as such causes corrosion and failure of brake parts. Brake fluid flushes are a simple way to keep your fluid fresh and functional.

Q?

What are the benefits of maintaining your vehicle?

A.

The common sense answer is money! but don’t forget reliability and protection of your investment.  According to a Consumer Reports Study in 2007, the average automobile owner can save over $30,000.00 by driving their car up to 225,000 miles.

It is always easier to schedule your vehicle for service at your convenience rather than at your cars convenience.