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What Is a Wheel Alignment...and When Do I Know If I Need One?

What Is a Wheel Alignment...and When Do I Know If I Need One?

Every so often your mechanic might suggest a wheel alignment. This sounds logical, but why would your car need this procedure, and how does it help your car? Further, how do you know if you need a wheel alignment?   Today, we will discuss wheel alignments: what they are, how they are helpful, and how you can know if you are due for one.  What Is a Wheel Alignment? One might think that a car’s wheels are perfectly straight, and that a wheel alignment helps them return to that condition. However, this is not the case. In fact, cars have their wheels rotated in multiple planes in order to improve efficiency and safety.    Each car has slightly different, precise wheel alignment angles that influence how the tire contacts the road as the driver turns, drives straight and stops. The wheel alignment process helps return the wheels to the optimal angles so that your car drives as smoothly and safely as possible.  What Happens During a Wheel Alignment? Yo ... read more

Why Should I Wax My Car During the Summer?

Why Should I Wax My Car During the Summer?

Summer is here! While your vehicle may be getting a break during this time of social isolation, its exterior is still hard at work — especially if it was driven during the winter and/or is stored outside.    How can you help mitigate the exterior damage when you do drive your vehicle this summer? Waxing. And the summer is the perfect time to do so. Let’s explore why.  Why Wax? Wax helps maintain and protect your car’s paint job. Not only does waxing help your car look shinier and newer, it also helps protect from rust and other discoloration in your car’s exterior.    Waxing is often seen as a “finishing touch” or a step for a “special occasion.” However, regular waxing is as important as maintaining your car through regular oil changes. Frequency of waxing can vary, but the summer is the perfect time to wax your car.  Why the Summer? Apart from being the season you want to spend the most time in your ... read more

Do I Need to Detail My Car? What Does It Involve?

Do I Need to Detail My Car? What Does It Involve?

  It’s springtime, which means that spring cleaning is in full swing. It’s also time to apply the concept to your vehicle, especially after the long winter, or if you’ve been bored while practicing social distancing and you’re ready to tackle your at-home to-do list.    You already know that regularly washing and vacuuming your car is necessary, but what if your car is really dirty? Should you get it detailed? But what exactly is detailing? How much does it cost? Is it right for you? We’ll discuss all these questions below!  The Difference Between Washing and Detailing Everyone is familiar with washing their car. It can be done at home or in a car wash, by hand or with an automated system. Washing involves getting the dirt off the car. Detailing, however, is a deep clean with a restorative element.    With detailing, every aspect of the car is cleaned and rejuvenated. For example, the wheels are polished, paint imperfec ... read more

What Is Antifreeze Used For?

What Is Antifreeze Used For?

You’ve heard the word antifreeze used in the context of automotive maintenance, but do you really know what it’s used for? Perhaps not, but that’s okay. You’ve come to the right place to learn everything you’ll ever need to know about it! In fact, this quick primer will teach you about the different types of antifreeze, so that you can learn how to check your own vehicle’s antifreeze levels in a snap. Being able to handle your own vehicle maintenance at home always feels empowering. But if there simply aren’t enough hours in your day to check your antifreeze and other essential vehicle fluids, then perhaps it is time to schedule an appointment with Living the Dream Auto Care. Our skilled in-house mechanics can check your vehicle’s fluid levels quickly so that you can get back on the road without delay. What Is Antifreeze? How Does it Work?   Also known as “engine coolant” or simply ... read more

How to Prep Your Car for Warmer Months

How to Prep Your Car for Warmer Months

    Spring is in the air! No more scraping ice, salty residue or slippery driving. Maybe it’s even time for a road trip. While you might be ready to hit the road in the warmer months, it may be helpful to help your car recover from the cold weather and get ready for the summer.    In order to do that, we put together an inside-out checklist to help your car be in top shape and hit the road.   Inside the Car Air conditioning. Chances are that you probably haven’t used your air conditioning in a while. Turn it on to make sure it’s still cold. If not, now is the time to schedule an appointment to make sure it’s working so you’re ready when it really warms up.  Brakes. Road salt can erode your brakes, so just do a quick check to make sure they are working ok. Keep an ear out for noises, and watch for unusual brake behavior like grabbing and taking longer than usual to stop.  Emergency kit. It’s always good ... read more

How to Keep Your Windshield from Freezing Over While Driving

How to Keep Your Windshield from Freezing Over While Driving

If you live in New England, you probably spend much of the long winter months wondering how to keep your car’s windshield from freezing over while you drive. Admittedly, this can be a challenging task, especially when snow fills the air or wind chills drop below 0° F. But even so, there’s a sure-fire set of steps that can help you keep your windshield clear, regardless of what wintery weather settles in over the roads ahead of you. Of course, regular maintenance can also go a long way towards keeping your windshield in the best condition possible. Your friends at Living the Dream Auto Care can help you keep up with this kind of maintenance, regardless of the season.  If you find that these following steps aren’t effective enough to keep your windshield reliably clear, contact us and we can help you work out a more long-term solution.   Step 1 – Pull Over & Turn on the Defroster  Though it may sound ... read more

Do I Need Snow Tires?

Do I Need Snow Tires?

As wintry weather blows across New England once again, you may be returning to an automotive question that you ask yourself every year: “Do I need snow tires?”  While you might be able to make it through winter without a set on your car, the truth is that cars with snow tires are far less likely to swerve and skid across the roadways when ice and snow are present.   So, in many ways, you do need snow tires on your vehicle if you want to be as safe as possible during this blustery season! But if you still have questions about the value of snow tires, read on below because we have answers for you. Then, when you’re ready to buy your own set of snow tires, you can stop in to Living the Dream Auto Care and we’ll set you up with an affordable option.     What Makes Snow Tires Different?   At a basic level, snow tires (also known as “winter tires”) are made from a special type of rubber ... read more

Categories:

Get the Facts

3 Tips for Winterizing Your Vehicle

3 Tips for Winterizing Your Vehicle

Folks living in the Northeast region know that winterizing vehicles is so important, but sometimes the concept is confusing or unclear — or you’re not prepared. Before you know it, frigid temperatures bring in snow and ice that make the roads in your community treacherous. In order to decrease the likelihood of a dangerous crash during this period, cautious drivers should always spend some time winterizing their vehicle.   Some people believe that they only need to put chains on their tires in order to accommodate New England’s cold and snowy winter environment. But the truth is you’ll also need to address other susceptible parts of your vehicle – such as the anti-freeze liquids and windshield wipers – when winter rolls into town.    These are just a few of the key maintenance tasks you or a professional should undertake to fully winterize your car or truck:   Prepare Your Tires   ... read more

Categories:

Auto Care Tips

What to Do When Oil is Coming Out of Your Exhaust Pipe

What to Do When Oil is Coming Out of Your Exhaust Pipe

When you’re driving down the road and black billowing smoke starts to come out of your exhaust pipe…it’s definitely noticeable, right? You wouldn’t miss it and neither would the other drivers on the road!  But what about more sneaky issues like oil leaks? How do drivers know when oil is coming out of the exhaust pipe — and what should you do about it?  Oil leaking from the exhaust pipe can lead to deeper issues and it’s best to take your car to a professional for repairs as soon as possible.   Here are some warning signs that there’s an issue and that you need a professional’s assessment as soon as possible.    Check Your PCV Valve Blueish smoke coming from spark plugs and reduced fuel economy are some of the initial warning signs you need to look out for.  Why? Because when the PVC valve becomes clogged, it can result in a rough idle — or worse, stalling. If the engine becomes pressurized ... read more

What's Wrong When the Engine Cranks But The Car Won't Start?

What's Wrong When the Engine Cranks But The Car Won't Start?

Have you ever found yourself turning your car key in the ignition…but your engine refuses to fully start? It might crank, but that’s all it’ll offer. There are a lot of reasons this could happen. But the root of all causes behind your engine’s inability to start always points back to three issues: the car’s lack of fuel, spark or compression.    So, before you bang your head against the steering wheel out of frustration, consider the previously mentioned symptoms and how they could be causing your engine malfunction. Knowing and understanding these symptoms will enable you to fully explain your car troubles to your mechanic, who will then be able to officially diagnose and fix the problem. Luckily for you, the experts at Living the Dream Auto Care are here to educate you on common car engine issues.  Insufficient Fuel Pressure Your car needs fuel to work — that’s an obvious given. If you ... read more

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