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New Year’s Resolution for your Vehicle

Welcome to 2020 and a new decade!  The start of a new year is a time for resolutions. You can make resolutions for yourself for the new year, but how about making some for your vehicle too? One resolution to think about is taking care of your vehicle, your big investment. The best way to take care of your vehicle is with regular maintenance. This is the best way to keep your vehicle safe and reliable. At Robinwood. we perform a complementary multi-point inspection of important safety systems. If there is an issue, we can determine what it is and inform you of options. Preventive maintenance provides you peace of mind, saves you time and money and extends the life of your vehicle. You might also make a resolution for the overall care of your car.  Maybe you want to wash it more often or have it detailed.  Doing some minor inspections on your car in the long run, can make a huge difference in keeping costly repairs down. Walk around your car once a month. Turn the head l ... read more

Fall Care for your Car

The fall weather signifies a lot of things. It can be the start of school, the World Series, and the start of fall sports, like volleyball and football. With college football games on Saturdays, and professional football games on Sunday, you might be doing a lot of tailgate parties. You will want to make sure you can rely on your vehicle to get you there and back, safely and efficiently. Going and watching a game with family or friends can be fun and exciting, you will not want to ruin the day by having an unexpected breakdown with your car or truck. Now is a great time to have your vehicle brought in for a bumper to bumper inspection. By having it inspected, parts and components will be checked to ensure they are working efficiently. The tires can be inspected to ensure that the proper amount of air pressure is in each one. When the tires are properly inflated, your vehicle will travel and handle smoother. Tires that are over or under inflated have an increased chance blowing out. Al ... read more

What is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System?

What is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System? Keeping the tires properly inflated is important for your driving safety. If you are driving a 2008 or newer car, truck or SUV, it has a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) already installed. This feature became standard on all 2008 and newer models. Some older models may have the TPMS depending on their year and make. The TPMS symbol will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so please familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s system. The most common symbol looks like a cut away tire with the ! in the center of the tire. If a tire loses 25% of it’s recommended tire pressure, the TPMS light should appear. Even though this is a good warning system, if you routinely carry a large number of passengers, or have heavy loads in your pick up, an underinflated tire can create handling problems and possibly leave you on the side of the road with a flat tire. When the TPMS light illuminates, we recommend checking the tire press ... read more

Do Engines Need a Tune Up?

Older cars and engines may need a tune up every 30,000 to 45,000 miles. The machining of engine parts has greatly improved over the years. New cars made today, do not have points, caps and rotors, or spark plug wires. Most modern cars do not need a tune up in the traditional sense. The reason is that nothing can be adjusted because computers control it all. A tune up for a modern car mostly includes services such as spark plug replacement, air filter and fuel filter replacements, and a few other tasks. If you notice the vehicle running poorly, lacks power going up a hill or when you feel that quick drop out like the engine misses a beat, it time to get to the shop to see what is going on.  Preventive maintenance of replacing spark plugs, per the vehicle maintenance schedule based in the owner’s manual, is very beneficial.  Most spark plugs last 100,000 miles. Yet, at Robinwood, we see many cars with 150,000 miles or more and spark plugs haven’t been replaced. Wha ... read more

The Benefits of Engines Made Today

The engines in modern vehicles are quite different than what they used to be. Newer engines have technology that will help use less fuel while also having more power. Older engines had four or five speed transmissions, but engines today have seven or eight speed transmissions. The more speed the transmission has, the better it can work with the engine power to make the vehicle run efficiently. The engines used today can be partnered with CVT’s, or Continuously Variable Transmissions, which allows an infinite number of gear ratios. Hybrid cars are powered by battery packs. This allows the engine to generate extra power when it is needed, such as accelerating hard.   The engines today have technology that helps them work smarter and more efficient. There is a system that allows some cylinders to shut down when they are not needed, which is called cylinder deactivation. The cylinder deactivation helps everything run more efficiently and uses only the fuel it needs. When t ... read more

Father’s and Cars - Great for Family Bonding

Since we celebrate and remember Father’s Day in June, I thought this would be a good topic for my monthly article.  There are several reasons why we love our cars; we depend on them to get us to and from our destination safely; they’re transportation going to school, church, shopping, work and family vacations. While you own a vehicle, you will also want to make sure that it is always operating correctly and efficiently. There may be some ‘at home’ maintenance tasks you do on your vehicle to help it stay in the best condition. While you do these tasks, it would be a great time to teach your children about car care. This creates a great opportunity to talk and bond with family members. A simple task, such as changing a tire, can be a great learning experience for your son or daughter. As they grow up and get their driver’s license, they may need to know how to change a tire, incase one would blow when they are driving. Father’s can teach their c ... read more

The Importance of Struts and Shocks

Your vehicle should always be in the best working condition possible. An annual inspection of your vehicle’s suspension and steering components can prevent these components from getting to an unsafe condition.  Ignoring a problem will only make it worse in the long run. Sometimes the vehicle handles differently if the struts and shocks are starting to wear out. You may notice this because the ride will become rough and bouncy. You may also hear noises as you go over bumps or railroad tracks.  The struts and shocks are important to provide you and your passengers with a smooth and comfortable ride. If you notice that hitting even the slightest bump makes your car bounce side to side, it could be the struts and shocks. A strut-type suspension will have struts that are the shock absorbers mounted inside coil springs. This also helps to control the amount of bouncing created by bumps, dips, or rough spots in the road and making a hard or sudden stop. When the struts and sh ... read more

Oh, Those Annoying Potholes

Over the winter, the cold temperatures and weather can cause some significant damage to the surface of the roads. Potholes will form when the soil under the pavement becomes weak or displaced. Ice and running water can disrupt the soil under the pavement, thus resulting in a pothole. When a vehicle drives over these spots, the pavement will start to crack and chip away. All potholes start small, but will grow into larger ones as traffic increases. If you hit a pothole, it can end up causing you a lot more money and time if you do not have it checked as soon as possible. There are several areas that you should have checked. This includes shocks, struts, front and rear suspension components, tires, and the alignment of the tires. Since the tires are the only part of the vehicle that touch the road, they are the most prone to damage. This can include tread separation, flat tires, or sidewall bulges.  As you hit the pot hole, the tire makes impact and it may slice the rubber. You may ... read more

Taking Odd Noises Seriously

There are many different types of noises and sounds that occur from the car. One day the car is quite and the next day you start to hear the noise. Sometimes the noise starts off faint and then continues to get louder over time.  Some of them may be more serious than others. Even if you’re not sure if the noise is something serious or not, it is always best to have it properly inspected. I have listed below several of the common “noises” and their possible cause.  A clunk or thumping noise in the front or back of the vehicle, could possibly be an issue with the struts, the shocks or some other suspension component.   One noise that you might hear could be from the brakes. It might be a high-pitched screech that only happens when you apply the brake pedal. This can be caused by worn out brake pads. Some brake pads are equipped with wear indicators, designed to warn the driver the brake pads are at the end of their efficiency.  The brake roto ... read more

Do You Know the Condition of your Tires?

Driving in the winter can present different challenges when on the road. Winter storms can bring snow, sleet, ice, and freezing rain. We had a major winter storm last month where many cars and trucks slid off the road, accidents blocked highways, and, in some spots, people were stranded in traffic for 16 hours. Things were quite a mess the second weekend in January. I am sure good tires and bad tires were a factor in whether or not a vehicle was able to stay on the road. One of the most important things on your vehicle is the tires. I can’t stress this point enough. That six-inch section of rubber is the only part that separates you from the road. If the tires are in poor condition and or improperly inflated, it dramatically decreases the safety of the vehicle.  Tires should be inspected for proper air pressure, tread depth, sidewall damage, uneven tread wear and even the age of the tire. These are all important factors in keeping tires in their most efficient condition. C ... read more

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