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4 Common Car A/C Problems and Solutions

4 Common Car A/C Problems and Solutions

    When temperatures start to rise outdoors, the cabin of your car is the first to feel the heat. But what do you do when the cooling system isn’t working?   Not having a way to beat the heat is frustrating. No one wants to be stuck in a traffic jam without any A/C. Unfortunately, vehicle cooling systems can also be fickle. There might not be an easy answer.   Instead of sweating it out, be on the lookout for these common issues. If you can find the solution yourself, no sweat (literally). But if you need troubleshooting and repairs, you always have the Living the Dream team to help you out.   Problem #1: The Air Feels Wet While humidity might play a role in how humid the inside of your car feels at first, it should eventually go down to normal levels after the system has been running for a period of time.   If the air continues to feel damp and heavy, the most likely cause is debris or ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

When You're Going Bald, It Might Be Time for New Tires

When You're Going Bald, It Might Be Time for New Tires

Bald tires are a danger to everyone, no exceptions.   In every situation, bald tires on a vehicle increase the risk of an accident.   To make matters worse, it’s estimated that one in 10 cars on the road today are driving on a bald tire. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 26.2% of crashes involved a vehicle that didn’t have enough tread on a tire.   We want to help keep you safe, so to do that we’ll show you what to look for on your own tires and give you the information you need to make an informed decision on when it’s time to replace them.   Bald isn’t beautiful. Without tread, your car would be virtually undrivable. Tire tread is what provides traction between your tire and the road. In stormy situations where rain, snow or ice are present, a lack of tread can send your car careening out of control. &nb ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

5 Common Signs of Transmission Problems and What to Do

5 Common Signs of Transmission Problems and What to Do

Your car’s transmission has run so well for so long, it can be a shock to hear you might have transmission problems. However, the earlier you spot the signs and get it looked at by a mechanic, the better off your car and your wallet will be. To help you stay aware of your transmission and know when it’s time to get it checked, we’re sharing five of the most common signs of transmission problems. If you spot any of these clues, it’s time to set up a service appointment. 1. Leaking Fluid   A leaking transmission can cause a breakdown in short order. Leaking fluid could be a result of pan gasket damage, axle seal leaks, fluid lines and more. Any component of the system that has gaps or has been damaged could be the source of the leak. While leaking transmission fluid doesn’t mean you can’t drive the car, it’s not recommended to do so. You could cause permanent damage, worsening the original problem. Get leaking transmission fluid checked ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

6 Signs Your Car Needs New Brakes

6 Signs Your Car Needs New Brakes

    The last place you want to be when your brakes go out is behind the wheel of your car.   Brakes can last up to 70,000 miles for some car owners while others have to replace theirs after only 25,000 miles. The wear and tear on your brakes depends on your driving style, driving conditions and the quality of the parts and installation. How can you tell if your vehicle’s brakes are at the end of their useful life? Here are six of the top signs your car needs new brakes:   1. You Hear a Screeching Sound   You’ve probably heard the high pitched screech of brakes before - the traditional sign that your brake pads are wearing out. The screeching means your pads have worn down to the metal, and you need to make an appointment with us!   At times you might hear this screeching, usually after a rainstorm. When brakes get wet, a layer of rust can form on the rotors, which will cause a squeal when they’re used. After a few taps on the ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

7 Ways to Make Your Car Last Over 200k Miles

7 Ways to Make Your Car Last Over 200k Miles

The longer you make your car last, the more you get out of your investment. Not everyone can afford (or wants) to buy a new car every few years, so extending the life of your vehicle is crucial. Here are seven simple tips to help you max out your mileage beyond the 200,000 mark:     1. Follow the Maintenance Schedule Your car owner’s manual should have a page or two wholly devoted to a maintenance schedule. It should detail everything you’ll ever need to do to keep you car functioning well. You'll find direction for tire rotations, timing belts replacements and even routine oil changes. Neglecting regular maintenance can significantly reduce your car’s lifespan plus contribute to plenty of expensive repair bills along the way. 2. Use Good Gasoline   The cheapest option at the pump might save you money today but take a toll on your vehicle over time. Even if your car does run on regular, low-grade gas could ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

7 Steps to Winterize Your Vehicle

7 Steps to Winterize Your Vehicle

It’s time to winterize your vehicle. Temperatures are dropping, the holiday season is in full swing, and roads will be getting dangerously slippery before we know it. Keep yourself safe on the roads - get your car ready for the winter season! Follow these seven steps to ensure your vehicle is ready to handle the next big New England cold front or blizzard:   1. Refill Your Wiper Fluid and Check Wiper Blades Salt, snow, and ice will cake your windshield this winter and pose a serious visibility hazard. We recommend topping off your wiper fluid with a cold weather blend formulated specifically for temperatures below freezing. While you’re at it, check the condition of your wiper blades and replace them if they’re starting to wear down and reveal the metal beneath the rubber coating.   2. Make Sure Your Tires Are in Good Shape Bald tires will put you in a ditch – or worse – when roads ice over. Have your tires checked for tread wear and aid ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

Know Your Car and Save Money: Part 2

Know Your Car and Save Money: Part 2

As we continue our Living The Dream Auto Care educational series, we figured that there will be many parts of a vehicle that you hear about only because something went wrong. However, there are two components you often learn about before disaster strikes – at your annual state inspection. And fortunately so. If you’ve ever been rejected for a “sticker” because you have a loose tie rod or ball joint, consider yourself lucky. You’ll soon see that finding out about either of these suspension parts after it goes bad can lead to unpleasant consequences. Ball joints are the part of the vehicle suspension system that connect the steering knuckle (or wheel hub) to the control arm. They work similarly to the ball-and-socket design of the human hip joint. A ball joint is essentially a flexible ball-and-socket that allows the suspension to move and, at the same time, the wheels to steer. Additionally, ball joints also help support the weight of the vehicle. Bad ba ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

The Difference Between OEM, OES, and Aftermarket Parts

The Difference Between OEM, OES, and Aftermarket Parts

It is believed by many that OES (Original Equipment Supplier) parts have to be purchased directly from the dealer. OES parts are made on the same assembly line as the OEM(Original Equipment Manufacturer) except it goes through a couple added steps. Branding of the part or stamping with the manufacturer logo IE: HONDA, and then gets wrapped and labeled in the manufacturers packaging. This OES part has just become more expensive to the consumer because of theses added steps and inflated by numerous middlemen. Due to the regulations of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification there are quite a few OEM companies on the market because multiple OES brands are required. For the Auto manufacturers to have a steady supply on the production line, they must have several supply sources that provide them with equal quality parts. This ensures if a manufacturer has any problems with one supplier it will not disable the vehicles production and allow for substitution of o ... read more

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Get the Facts

Know Your Car and Save Money

Know Your Car and Save Money

Welcome to the first installment of the Living The Dream Auto Care educational series – Know Your Car and Save Money. Throughout the next few months, we will provide some relatively simple information to our guests (and anyone who wants to learn car care from the best J) regarding the basics of automotive terminology and care. Our intent is to de-mystify the lingo, help you know when your car needs attention, and – more importantly to you, we’re sure – keep your automotive costs low. If you’re car savvy, congratulations. Feel free to add to the discussion – to help your fellow guests. And if you know someone who is not, please share this information. We’re going to cover this topic top to bottom – and hopefully, you’ll find it interesting… Therefore, let’s start right at the bottom – where the rubber meets the road. Proper At-Tire Maybe someone can help us with this – who was the first person to suggest ... read more

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Auto Care Tips