View Post

Is my transmission bad?

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

In today’s vehicles, it may be difficult to determine if you’re having an engine running problem or a transmission problem.

Since the vehicles have a lot of computer control in them, an engine running problem can mask itself as a transmission problem, and vice versa. 

One way to tell if you’re having a misfire problem over a transmission shaking problem is to look at the check engine light. If it’s flashing, then it is most likely a misfire. If the light is steady and you’re still having that issue, then it could be a transmission problem.

Transmission

Some other symptoms of a transmission problem will be delayed engagement when you’re stopped and then you press the gas pedal. This can mean that there’s a clutch problem, a solenoid problem, or even low fluid.

Another direct indication is the drive indicator on the dashboard may start to flash. 

If you have to press the gas pedal much further than normal to get moving, this could be a transmission problem, but you should have an auto repair shop take a look. Catalytic converters can get clogged up and give you the same symptom.

Also, very dark and burnt smelling fluid along with shifting issues can be a sign that the transmission is having problems.

One of the things you can do to help make the transmission last is to have a transmission fluid exchange performed about every 30,000 miles. This will not only put new fluid through the whole transmission, it can help get the clutch material and contaminants out of it.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

View Post

Virginia safety inspection of headlights

In Inspection by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

It’s important that drivers are able to see, even at nighttime and when there’s inclement weather.

To make sure that motorists are traveling safely, inspectors check a car’s headlights when conducting the Virginia safety inspection.

Virginia Safety Inspection

Headlights must have proper aim and mounting to pass the annual requirement. Vehicle safety inspectors shouldn’t be able to move the assembly.

They also look for cracks in the lenses and anything that distorts the light’s aiming pattern.

Headlights can also fail if they are discolored or they don’t have the correct candlepower — meaning that they’re too dim or too bright.

A headlight aligner machine can be used to check the candlepower and aiming.

Virginia safety inspection
Safety inspection of headlights

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

View Post

Why you should change your cabin air filter

In Cabin Air Filter by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Does your car smell musty?

It could be time for you to get a new cabin air filter.

The cabin air filter is a cartridge filter that purifies the air that enters the cabin from the vents.

It’s similar to an air conditioning filter found in most homes.

Cabin air filters also help prevent your vehicle’s heating core and evaporator from clogging up.

Cabin Air Filter

Clean Cabin Air Filter

How often the filter should be changed depends on the make and model of a vehicle and its driver.

Someone who lives on a dirt road may want to get a new one every 10,000 miles. Those who travel from their driveway to the interstate might need to change it every 20,000 miles.

Having the filter changed regularly helps keep dust, dirt, pollen and bacteria out of the front of your vehicle so you don’t breathe it in.

Before setting up an appointment to change it, you might want to make sure your vehicle has one. Some cars, such as Volkswagen beetles, don’t have cabin air filters.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

View Post

Windshields: What won’t pass Virginia Safety Inspection

In Inspection, Windshield Wipers by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Vehicle safety inspectors look over many parts of a vehicle when conducting the required Virginia Safety Inspection.

Torn windshield wipers is one item automotive technicians check for while inspecting windshields.

To pass Virginia Safety Inspection, there shouldn’t be cracks that go from one part of the windshield to another. 

Star cracks, which resembles a spider web, can’t be larger than 1 and a half inches in diameter. 

Virginia Safety Inspection

Windshield Repair

Rocks and debris that fall off moving vehicles or come up from the road can cause star cracks. 

It’s a good idea to check with your insurance company and see if it offers windshield coverage. If you notice a star crack in your windshield, some companies will address the problem at little or no cost.

You need to be able to open the driver’s window and see out of both sides of the windshield in order to pass inspection. 

A windshield will fail if the tint is too hazy or if it falls below the AS1 line.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

View Post

Tires and passing Virginia Safety Inspection

In Inspection, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

State inspections are an annual requirement that help keep drivers safe.

Why would my tires not pass Virginia Safety Inspection?

tire state inspection fail tread wear indicators

A tire that is flushed with indicators will fail state safety inspection.

There are many reasons why a vehicle’s tires may fail.

Inspectors must follow certain guidelines that are set forth by the state.

When it comes to tires, they will evaluate the tread depth and wearing patterns.

tire state inspection fail secondary rubber steel belts

When secondary rubber and steel chords are showing on a tire, it will not pass state safety inspection.

A tire won’t pass if secondary rubber or inner steel chords are showing.

Foreign objects, such as nails or screws, in the tires is another indicator.

 Other signs are if the tread is flushed with indicators or if the tread is under 2/32 inches in three locations.

tire state inspection fail nail screw in tread

Foreign object damage, such as nails and screws in tire, will fail state inspection

Vehicles that have bent or damaged wheels and rims will fail Virginia Safety Inspection. 

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

tire state inspection fail large sidewall cracking

Rubber cracking on an older tire. A large crack will fail state safety inspection.