Cherry Grove Automotive - Full Service, Quality, Honest Auto Repair
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"Winterizing" your vehicle...

The cool, crisp fall weather is here, and before we know it winter will descend upon us.  We will prepare ourselves for the cold by digging out the winter apparel, closing up the pool, and having our furnaces tuned up.  However, we also need to remember to get our vehicles ready for the cold.  This might include servicing the cooling system, having the belts and hoses inspected or replaced, replacing the wiper blades and changing the oil.  You should always have your coolant tested to ensure that it can handle the cold, as it is a vital component that helps to protect your vehicle's engine, radiator, heater core and more.  Weak or dirty coolant cannot properly perform its necessary functions, and can lead to costly repairs.  The same goes for your engine oil; it protects your engine from damage in both extreme heat AND extreme cold, so it needs to be changed every 3,000 - 5,000 miles so that it remains clean and retains its lubrication abilities.
 
As for your belts, hoses, and wiper blades; the rubber that these components are comprised of must be an equal balance of both flexibility and rigidity in order to work well.  That means that they must be flexible enough to twist, bend, expand and contract in all temperatures; but strong enough to resist breakage, fraying or splitting.  If the rubber becomes dry rotted or spongy, it cannot perform as needed and the component will need replacing. 
 
                  Just remember, a well maintained vehicle is a happy vehicle...

Getting the most out of your tires....

     Your tires are a very important component on your vehicle.  Keeping them in good condition is not only pertinent to the way your vehicle rides, but your tires also affect how your vehicle stops, steers, and can even affect your fuel economy.
     When the time comes to replace your tires, you should do your research before making a purchase.  Many newer vehicles come with performance tires from the factory, which are not only expensive to replace, but they may not be the best choice for your vehicle.  For example, a lot of four door sedans such as the Chevy Impala, Ford Taurus, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord came equipped with high performance Goodyear or Firestone tires meant for high speed driving and hard cornering.  But, how many of us actually drive our grocery-getters over 88 mph???  There may be a few of us, but most of us aren't using our daily drivers to qualify for a Nascar race.  So, putting high performance tires (which tend to wear out quicker and ride rougher) on your vehicle is not the best choice in most cases.  Instead, you may want to purchase a touring tire, which will provide a smooth ride, good all-weather handling, and generally last longer and cost less then a high performance tire.
     If you are unsure of what tire would suit you best, you can find a lot of information and consumer reviews online, or, feel free to ask us any questions and we'll be happy to help you out...
.....and remember, rotate your tires about every 6,000 miles, have your vehicle alignment checked about every two years, and attend to any steering or suspension issues promptly.  Your tires will last a lot longer and provide a smoother ride with proper maintenance! 
 

Understanding the complexity of driveability issues...

As more and more technological advances are made in the world of automotive engineering, driveability issues become increasingly complicated and difficult to diagnose. For instance, let's say you are having trouble with your vehicle running rough, and your "check engine" or "service engine soon" light is on.  The problem could be something simple such as a dirty throttle plate, a malfunctioning sensor, or worn spark plugs.  But, it may also be a combination of more than one of those simple solutions.  When you bring your vehicle in for service, a repair shop would first perform a diagnostic scan of your vehicle's computer.  This is done with a computer diagnostic scan tool which retrieves the trouble codes stored in your vehicle's computer or computers (some vehicles have more than one).  These trouble codes are sometimes linked to a specific part, or they may be  generalized codes that inform us of a problem with a particular circuit within the vehicle's powertrain management system.  For example, if we get a code P0301, that tells us that there is a misfire present on engine cylinder number one, but it does not tells us what the culprit is.  So, we would have to visually inspect all of the components related to that code, and also interpret the live data that we are receiving from the communication between our scan tool and the vehicle's computer.  The misfire issue could be due to a fouled spark plug, a faulty ignition coil, a clogged injector, or an arcing ignition wire; or it might be any combination of those things contributing to the problem.  There are also instances where we receive codes for a specific sensor or part, and we replace that part, but the problem still exists to some extent or there is an underlying issue with the vehicle that was masked by an even bigger problem.  This is why it is so very important to get your vehicle to a shop as soon as you notice a problem or notice a warning light that has come on.  Ignoring the problem will only make it worse, and can actually lead to additional problems that could end up costing you a lot more money to repair than the original issue would have.  And always remember to make a note of what is happening with your vehicle and when it happens when you have a problem, because providing us with an accurate, in depth description of an issue can sometimes be the most valuable diagnostic tool of all!  

THANK YOU....

We just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for all of the kind remarks you have made regarding our posts.  We would also like to thank all of our wonderful and loyal customers for your business!!

"Decoding" Automotive Repair Lingo

Did you ever have to bring your vehicle to a repair shop because one of those pesky warning lights or messages suddenly appeared on your instrument panel as you were driving?  On most modern vehicles, there are warning lights for the engine management / emission control system, hydraulic brake system, anti lock brake system, traction control system, so on and so on.  When your vehicle is diagnosed by a shop, a diagnostic computer scanner is used to communicate with the computer in your vehicle to read trouble codes.  These trouble codes tell the technician what component or system experienced a malfunction or failure.  For instance, one very common culprit for a "service engine soon" or "check engine" malfunction light is an oxygen sensor.  You may wonder, what exactly does an oxygen sensor do, and why does it need replacing?  Those of us who work in the repair industry know what an oxygen sensor does, but we sometimes forget that the average driver may not.  Well, an oxygen sensor's function is to measure the "contents" of the exhaust leaving your engine.  It tells the vehicle's computer what the ratio of unburned oxygen and fuel is, which assists the computer in adjusting the fuel mixture.  The reason that oxygen sensors go bad is because impurities in the air and in fuel build up on the sensor preventing it from functioning properly.  So, like many other components on your vehicle, they eventually need replacing.  So, we are open to discussion about any questions you might have about what a particular sensor does and how it affects your vehicle, and, we will happily "decode" any automotive lingo that might leave you scratching your head....

Tell us about your very first car....

What was your first car and what do you remember about it?  Was it a trustworthy old friend or was it a real clunker that left you stranded more than once?  My first car was a 1976 Chevy Monte Carlo with t-tops that leaked badly when it rained....every time I made a left turn I got soaked, and every time I made a right turn my passenger got soaked, lol.  But...it was very reliable and a pretty cool ride for a 17 year old.  The boss' first car was an AMC Gremlin....we often harrass her about that :-)  However, she redeemed herself as a true car gal when she said that her second car was a 1978 Trans Am.

Getting Ready for the Warm Weather

 
Well, despite the fact that it seems like winter refuses to end this year, the heat and humidity will be here before we know it.  Most of us remember to service the air conditioning in our homes, get the lawnmower tuned up, and restring the the weedwhacker, but, what about getting our vehicles ready for the summer?  Do you remember things like having your coolant tested, changing your oil, or having your a/c recharged?  Every year around this time I give our old truck a thorough once-over...I check all of the belts and hoses, test the coolant, and top off the refrigerant level in the a/c system.  When I change my oil throughout the warm months, I add a bottle of Lucas Oil Stabilizer or Marvel Mystery Oil to help retain the viscosity and lubrication properties of my engine oil in the extreme heat.  So, we want to know, what are your summertime vehicle rituals?  We'd love for you to share your tips and advice on what you do to help your ride "keep its cool" during the dog days of summer!  AND, as always, feel free to ask us any questions you might have...
 
 

Let's strike up a conversation....

This page is open to any automotive related discussion about your vehicle, questions or comments about us and the services we provide, or any "automotive news" you wish to share with us.  Did you just purchase a new car and want to brag about it?  Is there an upcoming car show you want to tell us about?  Are you really happy with the new tires you just bought from us?  We want to hear about it!!
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Recent Posts

"Winterizing" your vehicle...
Getting the most out of your tires....
Understanding the complexity of driveability issues...
THANK YOU....
"Decoding" Automotive Repair Lingo

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