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Are your vehicle’s headlights clear?

In Headlamps, Inspection, Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Traveling during late hours can be stressful and dangerous.

Addressing hazy headlights can improve safety and visibility.

Over time, a vehicle’s headlamps can grow foggy as their clear coat finish wears off and the headlight cover becomes pitted.

Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge has the ability to restore them.

According to Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire Manager Jon Conner, changing a headlight cover can fix the issue. Some lights must be replaced entirely.

“You can make an appointment with us and we will evaluate the headlights on your car, truck or SUV and give you a recommendation if they can be restored or need to be replaced,” Conner said.

The headlamps don’t just impact a driver’s safety or ability to see at night.

They can also cause issues in an annual check up.

“During a state inspection, headlights are checked for alignment and for candle power — or how bright they are,” Conner said. “For example, the headlights might require an 8,000 candlepower rating to pass the inspection. If it gets to low, you can actually fail it.”

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Power steering issues can be caused by rusting

In Maintenance by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Toyotas can be reliable vehicles that last for many years.

However, rust can build up on the components of various automobiles, including Toyota SUVs, forerunners, and Tundras.

This is especially true for those driven near the sea or in areas where large amounts of salt are used to treat the roads.

Individuals driving them may eventually notice that the power steering isn’t working correctly.

When checked, technicians may not find any issues with the power steering pump, the rack and pinion, and the power steering cooler.

“Upon further inspection, you can see that the intermediate steering shaft that contains a universal joint is rusted and is starting to seize up, which is making it feel that the power steering is going bad,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said.

To assist with steering, he explained, the pump and rack and pinion must receive feedback from the steering wheel.

The cause of the problem can be incorrectly identified.

“It can easily be misdiagnosed and that’s why it’s important to go to your professional automotive repair facility with ACE certified technicians,” Whitling said.

Power Steering

Toyota steering shaft

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Tips for battling the sun in Northern Virginia

In Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The fight with the sun has begun for many drivers.

“This is the time of year, especially when you’re commuting to work and commuting home — depending on what time it is — where the sun is coming through the windshield,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said.

Using a sun visor is one solution to the issue.

Some sun visors now come in two parts and can be used for a windshield and side window.

“If you’re not sure about your car, look at the owner’s manual, which most people don’t do,” Whitling said. “You’d be surprised what your sun visors actually do now.”

Drivers should also consider purchasing a pair of sunglasses and remove any ice on their windshield.

“If you haven’t defrosted your windshield, that just makes that problem worse,” Whitling said. “There are a lot of accidents because of this problem.”

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How drivers can address frost, prepare for winter months

In Fluids, Maintenance, Safety, Windshield Wipers by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Drivers are discovering an unwelcome guest in the morning — ice on their vehicle’s windows and windshields.

A few techniques can help speed up the defrosting process.

When preparing for the commute, it’s important to spend a few minutes getting rid of the frost.

“You want to make sure that your windows aren’t frosted up on the side, so you can see that car coming or that kid walking across the street,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said.

Motorists should let their car run for 1 to 3 minutes before hitting the road.

“It allows heat to start to build up and, if you already have your defroster on, you can go ahead and start defrosting the windshield,” Whitling said.

Pointing outer vents to the side windows can help thaw any ice on them.

Whitling suggests drivers tests certain parts of their vehicle.

“It’s a good time to check your windshield washer fluid and make sure that it’s going to protect down to the correct temperature,” he said.

They should check their rear window defroster, as well.

Electricity runs through the lines on the window to melt frost that has accumulated.

“It can take anywhere between, depending on how powerful the rear defroster is, 1 minute to 5 minutes. So, give it a little bit of time, make sure that it works,” Whitling said. “If not, now’s a good time to get your vehicle in to get it checked out.”

Frost

Frost

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Tire pressure should be checked as temperatures drop

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Temperatures are decreasing across the state. And so is the tire pressure of some vehicles.

With the cooler months quickly approaching, drivers are advised to check their pressure of their car’s tires.

Tire pressure should be checked a couple of times a year, or during an oil change, according to Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling.

“When you check your tire pressure and they’re all equally low, it’s just because of the change of temperature,” Whitling said.

If motorists notice that the pressure of one tire is much lower than the rest, it’s important to have it checked. It could be the result of a leak.

Drivers shouldn’t travel for long distances after their vehicle notifies them of the low tire pressure.

“It causes extra wear on the tires,” Whitling said. “Also, when it comes down to handling and emergency stops, you want those tires performing correctly. You don’t want them being too soft or too flexible, where they’re not able to really do their job.”

Some travelers fill their tires with Nitrogen, which can help keep tire pressure more consistent than air.

“If it’s needed, you can go ahead and put air in with the Nitrogen,” Whitling said. “When you are able to, go to your service center — like Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire — and we can do the Nitrogen recharge for you.”

Whitling suggests individuals who use Nitrogen to adjust the tire pressure this time of year because of the temperature change.