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Key Tips for Washing Your Car at Home

Key Tips for Washing Your Car at Home

You can cool down and get a chore done this summer with an at-home car wash. Washing your vehicle at home may seem as easy as grabbing a soap, bucket, and rag, but there are some things you should know beforehand. Read on to learn how you can nail your at-home car wash. Pick the right soap - The old-school method of car washes is grabbing dish soap. However, most people don’t know that dish detergent can damage your car paint. Instead, we recommend ditching the strong chemicals and opting for a car soap that is safe on car paint. Use a microfiber cloth - Using a household towel or old t-shirt may seem fine, but some materials can be overly abrasive. Microfiber cloths are softer and more absorbent, which will make the cleaning job easier. Don’t forget the inside - An effective car wash isn’t complete if you don’t clean out the inside. Make sure you get rid of the junk and vacuum the carpet and seats. Grab two buckets - The two bucket method has proven to be e ... read more

5 Signs That Indicate You Have a Weak Car Battery

5 Signs That Indicate You Have a Weak Car Battery

The reality is that car batteries do not last forever. Just like your phone battery or computer battery, your vehicle’s battery will lose power over time. It should be replaced every several years. If you continue driving with a weak battery, you risk electrical failure and a vehicle breakdown. Therefore, it's best to swap out your old battery early on. Below are some of the common signs of a bad battery: Sign #1: Slow engine crank and turnover If your car takes forever to start, then your battery may be nearing its death soon. The engine will crank slowly. As soon as you notice these typical signs, feel free to come in for a battery test. Sign #2: Clicking sounds Your car may make a clicking sound when you try to start your car. This is a clear sign that your battery is almost on its way out.  Sign #3: Electrical accessories malfunction Battery-powered accessories will malfunction as your battery charge is low. If your radio, power seats, or windshield wipers aren ... read more

What is a Head Gasket Leak?

What is a Head Gasket Leak?

The head gasket in your vehicle is one of the most important seals in your engine. So what happens when it starts leaking, and how do you get it fixed? What Does the Head Gasket Do? The head gasket is responsible for sealing in pressure and allowing combustion to take place within your engine. It also helps prevent fluids like engine oil or coolant from mixing with each other. But what are the potential causes of a leak? What Causes a Head Gasket to Leak? There are generally two main ways a head gasket can end up failing. One comes in the form of overheating, this causes the parts that the gasket is sealing to expand to the point that the gasket can no longer hold the pressure. Another cause is knocking, also known as detonation. When this occurs, the gasket can become overloaded and the seal breaks through. So what's a good way to tell if this is actually your problem? How Do I Tell If My Head Gasket is Blown? One of the first major signs of a blown head gasket is a loss of ... read more

How to Pack Your Car Efficiently for a Trip

How to Pack Your Car Efficiently for a Trip

We're sure some of you have some fantastic trips planned for the upcoming spring and summer. Whether you plan to road trip solo or with friends or family, you may need to jam all your stuff in a car. Some of us tend to over pack more than others, and you could be dealing with a stuffed truck a minute later. To save you some time packing this year, here are some of our top tips on how to efficiently pack your vehicle for a road trip:  First and Foremost, Clean Out Your Car Before you do any packing or organizing, you need to clear the way. Make sure to remove any unnecessary items from the cabin and trunk, including trash, sporting equipment, camping gear, etc. It wouldn't hurt to wash and vacuum the car beforehand too. Roll, Not Fold To make as plenty of room in your luggage as possible, remember to roll your clothes tightly instead of folding them. It's proven that you can fit more with this method. Soft Baggage  Soft luggage is preferable for vehicle trave ... read more

How to Check Your Coolant Levels and Inspect for Leaks

How to Check Your Coolant Levels and Inspect for Leaks

There are various fluids in your car, beyond motor oil, that need to be inspected and replenished regularly. Coolant or antifreeze is one of those essential fluids in particular that can become ineffective and corrode over time. This bright-colored liquid works to keep your engine and its components from overheating. Typically, you should flush your cooling system every two years, give or take. Though if you notice that it is in poor condition upon inspection, it's best to get rid of it. How to Check Your Coolant Levels First, allow your vehicle to cool down to avoid getting burned. Locate the coolant reservoir under the hood near the front or side of the motor. It is usually see-through, with lines labeled hot and cold. You can also look at the owner's manual for its location.  Remove the cap and inspect whether it dips below the "cold" line. If so, the mixture is too low. Please be sure to make a note of its condition as well. Low coolant is most likely due ... read more

Why Is My Steering Wheel Hard to Turn?

Why Is My Steering Wheel Hard to Turn?

Nowadays, driving is made easier with advancements in the automotive industry, which is why a stiff steering wheel may throw you off. If your steering wheel has felt harder to turn, your first intuition may be to stop driving and pay a visit to an auto repair shop. At a trusted auto service shop like Advanced Auto Care Center Florida, we will be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your stiff steering wheel. Below are three of the most common problems that we've been able to repair at our shop. Damaged Steering Rack Your car's steering rack comprises two parts: the pinion and the rack itself. Over time, the steering and the areas attached to the wheel start to give out. If your driving wheel only gets rigid after starting your vehicle, then it's most likely a steering rack problem.  Cracked Serpentine Belt A broken serpentine belt is another prevalent problem that causes a hard-to-turn steering wheel. The serpentine belt always runs and supports your car functions ... read more

The Importance of Tire Rotations

The Importance of Tire Rotations

Tires should be rotated every six months or every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, whichever comes first. But why, exactly? Is tire rotation really that important? Yes, in fact, it is! Why Tires Need to be Rotated When tires aren't rotated, they begin to wear down unevenly. This impacts the smoothness of the car's drive and overall handling. Additionally, uneven wear and tear shortens the lifespan of the tires themselves. Because the same areas are being worn down repeatedly and disproportionately, those areas become increasingly likely to experience issues which would ultimately require replacement. Regular tire rotation largely negates this issue of uneven wear and tear. Tires, of course, will wear with continued use; however, when this use is even and spread out, rather than limited to certain areas, the longevity of the tire is fully optimized. This optimization saves money in the long run, of course, but more importantly also promotes the safety of the driver by guarding against p ... read more

Are All Brake Pads the Same?

Are All Brake Pads the Same?

Brake pads are a vital component of the vehicle's braking system, as they provide the friction that allows your car to stop smoothly and safely. All of your brake components work harmoniously from start to finish to slow or stop a vehicle in motion. Your brake pads make contact with the brake rotor and apply friction based on the pedal inputs from the driver.    What Are Brake Pads Made Out Of? Today, drivers can choose from three types of brake pads: organic, semi-metallic (or metallic), and ceramic.  Organic ($)- Organic brake pads are typically made of a mixture of rubber, carbon, glass, or other materials. These types of brake pads are suitable for everyday driving of non-performance vehicles and don't produce much heat. They are also the lowest price point, but they require more frequent changes. They also don't perform as well as the metallic and ceramic brake pads. Semi-Metallic/Metallic ($$)- Semi-metallic brake pads contain between 30-70% of me ... read more

Putting a Stop to Brake Myths

Putting a Stop to Brake Myths

There are way too many misconceptions that have plagued the automotive repair industry. And every day, they're constantly getting spread around. Today, we are going to be putting a stop to some popular myths about brakes. Myth #1: You need to warm up your brakes The brakes on modern cars today produce enough friction to stop your vehicle, even in extreme temperatures. It doesn't matter how hot or cold it is; if your brakes are healthy, they should efficiently stop your car.  Myth #2: Wet brakes increase your stopping distance Indeed, it can take up to three times longer to stop on a wet surface over a dry one; however, it is not your brakes that cause the lag. Your stopping distance increases due to a decline of tire traction (not from wet brakes). That is why it is best to brake sooner than later in harsh weather conditions. Myth #3: There are specific laws regarding your brakes Surprisingly, your brakes are one of the few parts that have no laws or restrictions. It ... read more

Funky Car Smells & What They Mean

Funky Car Smells & What They Mean

Smells emitted by any vehicle can give drivers an idea of the health of their vehicle. While some smells are more urgent than others, ignoring unusual vehicle smells can result in a vehicle breakdown. Whenever you catch a funky fragrance in your car, we highly recommend you bring your vehicle to Advanced Auto Car Care Center for an inspection by our professional team.    Let's go over the list of unusual car smells and what they could mean for your car: The smell of hot oil usually signifies that you have an oil leak in the exhaust manifold. You can investigate by looking for oil under the vehicle after it's been parked. You may also see smoke under the hood.   A burnt rubber smell might be typical at a drag race, but when it's eminent on your everyday commute, something is surely wrong. A burning rubber smell usually means one of your rubbery components is at fault, like a slipping drive belt or loose hoses rubbing against the drive belt.    ... read more

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