TIM'S TIPS

IT'S A MYTH THAT ONLY NEW CAR DEALERS CAN SERVICE A VEHICLE UNDER WARRANTY, True OR False??? Until your vehicle is out-of-warranty, it must be serviced by the new car dealer or the factory warranty will be void. Although you may have answered “true,” the correct answer is “false.” It’s the law that independent repair shops can provide the services to maintain your new car warranty. Consumers are protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which prohibits a manufacturer from voiding the vehicle warranty because service was done by a non-dealer. According to the FTC, “It’s illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. Routine maintenance often includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads and inspections.” It is also important to note that the “Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part.” When using a non-dealer, independent aftermarket shop to maintain your vehicle under warranty, the council strongly recommends keeping records and receipts for all maintenance that is done to the vehicle and adhering to scheduled maintenance requirements. If a warranty claim arises, these records will provide proof that maintenance has been performed in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations and requirements. “It’s a common misconception that only car dealers can perform the routine maintenance and repairs on a newer vehicle that is under warranty,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The truth is that consumers can have routine repairs performed by their local independent repair shop or do the work themselves without affecting the warranty.  

The Weather Outside is Frightful; Take the Scare Out of Winter Driving AND BE PREPARED!

Please take a moment and read these tips BEFORE you hit the winter roads. In addition to having your vehicle ready for the winter weather, be sure that YOU are prepared should you find yourself in an emergency situation. At Tim's, we highly recommend that you ALWAYS have a fully charged cell phone. Also, be sure to have a tower's number programmed on your phone so that it's at your fingertips should you need it. TIM'S TOWING is available at 410-248-9029. With 24/7 service, "We will be there when you need us." When the weather outside is frightful, a little preparation will take the scare out of winter driving, says the Car Care Council. A few preventive vehicle maintenance steps will keep you from being stranded in severe winter weather. “The thought of a breakdown, an engine not starting or otherwise being stranded is scary as it is, but those things happening in freezing winter weather adds another level of fear,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “An investment of an hour or so to have your vehicle checked will pay off and help make sure your winter driving is less frightful and more delightful.” The Car Care Council recommends the following steps for winterizing your vehicle: • Check the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries. • Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years. • Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. Typically, wiper blades should be replaced every six months. • If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling. • Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly. • Check the brakes. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety component. • Inspect the exhaust system for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed. • Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed. • Be diligent about changing the oil at recommended intervals as dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time. Motorists should also keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Drivers should check the tire pressure of the spare in the trunk and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

13 CAR CARE RESOLUTIONS FOR 2013

It’s that time of year where New Year’s resolutions are in full gear. You have promised yourself to make it to the gym more often, try harder to get that new job, or take more time out to do the things that you enjoy. “All your resolutions have one common denominator — you must drive to get there. You have to drive to the gym, drive to your interview and drive to the visit the vineyard that’s been on your bucket list,” says Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. So why not resolve to take better care of your car and drive smarter? All your resolutions depend on it! Here are 13 tips provided by the Car Care Council for 2014 that will help with your resolutions:
  1. Get regular oil changes since they are your best investment toward the longevity of the engine.
  2. Get regular brake inspections which are the best way to ensure safe and reliable breaking and minimize the cost of repairs when break service is needed.
  3. Make sure your gas cap is secure and tight. A loose gas cap can trigger the “Check Engine” or “service Engine Soon” light.
  4. Ensure your tires are properly inflated. Proper tire inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3 percent when maintained regularly.
  5. Get regular alignment checks — they are your best way to maximize tire life and ensure that your car performs on the road as originally designed.
  6. Get routine tune-ups and engine performance checks — they can be your best assurance of good performance and fuel economy. A healthy running engine maximizes the life of expensive emission system components.
  7. Frequent washing and polishing is the best way to protect your car’s finish from the damaging effects of acid rain.
  8. You should check the condition of the coolant each spring and fall to make sure the additives that protect against corrosion still function.
  9. Have any suspicions of a leak checked out at once. Carbon monoxide from your car’s exhaust is odorless, colorless-and lethal.
  10. Try to replace your car’s fuel filter every two years or 24,000 miles for best results.
  11. During normal driving, you may not notice a light that isn’t working; inspect your car’s lights at every oil change.
  12. You should test your battery every fall. If your car’s battery is three years old or more, consider replacing it since the chances of failure increase.
  13. Improper ride height of your car can impact alignment angles and cause premature wear of some steering and suspension parts.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.   How often should I rotate my tires?  Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 5000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the manufacturer recommended interval?  YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement. What does it mean if my “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on?  There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the “check engine” light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems or failure of emission tests. What should I do if my car starts to overheat?  This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator as it can burn you. The best thing to do is have your car towed to a repair shop. When should I get my oil changed?  You should get your oil changed every 3000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If intervals are extended, ensure you use oil that is capable of extended mileage changes. What causes milky brown engine oil?  Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician quickly. How do I make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?  Battery cables and terminals should also be cleaned and inspected to make sure they provide a good electrical connection. What is synthetic motor oil?  Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates. Synthetic motor oils, though several times more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up. When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?  To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car’s fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. When should I change my spark plugs?  For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum tipped spark plugs. I need to replace a burned out fuse. What should I do?  Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage (printed on the fuse) and note that if a fuse continues to “blow,” you should have the circuit checked professionally by one of our technicians for defects.
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