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Coronavirus and car problems

In Battery, Cabin Air Filter, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

We hope everybody is getting through this time of staying home. We know it’s been tough on a lot of people. 

As people are starting to go back to work over the next few weeks, it’s a good idea to go out and check your car. There are some car problems you can expect.

Car problems to be aware of

Dead car battery

Vehicles have a lot of electronics on them, including the radio, clocks, alarm systems, and computers. Over a two week period, that can drain the battery. These are other factors that can cause a car battery to fail.

Jump start your car using jumper cables or a jump box have it run for at least 30 to 40 minutes.

Low tire or TPMS light on

Having a low tire or flat tire, or the tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light turning on are some other issues that could come up. 

While a vehicle is sitting, its tires can lose air over time, or there may be a small leak that wasn’t noticed before.

TIP: Be careful when using gas station air pumps. Most of the time, the gauges are wrong.

Brakes

Once you get on the road, you might notice a rotating grinding noise, especially when you step on the brake. Most likely, this is from rust building up on the rotors and drums. Most likely, it will go away between 12 and 15 minutes. If it doesn’t, you may want to have it looked at.

Check engine light

The check engine light could also turn on. We have been getting a code for the Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) and finding that the gas cap seals are the culprit. We recommend clearing the code, top off the car with some fresh gas, replacing the gas cap, and driving it to see if the light comes back on. If it does, we know that we need to do check engine light diagnostics.

Cabin air filter

We also suggest having your vehicle’s cabin air filter changed — not just because of the Coronavirus, but because of pollen season.

This is a perfect time to change the filter, which purifies the air that goes into the front of a car

Part of our replacement service includes using BG Frigi Fresh, a disinfectant that gets rid of viruses and bacteria.

If you have any problems, call Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire at (703) 670-8005.

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.

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Bacteria and your car’s air vents

In Cabin Air Filter by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

With allergies and viruses emerging, it’s a good time to replace your car’s cabin air filter.

The cabin air filter cleans air that enters the cabin area, and prevents dirt and bacteria from entering it.

Overtime, they become dirty and aren’t able to work properly.

Before requesting this service, it’s a good idea to confirm that your vehicle has a cabin air filter. Some cars do not. 

Different types of cabin air filters are available.

The cost depends on the materials, production and whether it becomes distorted. You can find cheap cabin air filters, but keep in mind that how cheap they are will impact their effectiveness.

We use a regular, mid-grade cabin air filter.

Better cabin air filter

A product that’s better than the regular cabin air filter is the Enviroshield Cabin Air Filter. 

These cabin air filters get rid of dust, soot, pollen and other particles. They are able exhaust system smells that other cars produce, as well.

Best cabin air filter

The PureFlow cabin air filter is top of the line.

Not only does it remove dust and pollen, it also soaks up bad odors. Made with charcoal and a filtration layer, it confines mold and gases that are dangerous and decreases the effectiveness of germs.

When to replace cabin air filters

We recommend replacing filters annually. 

You may need to change it sooner, depending on the amount of pollen in the air and the driving conditions.

Those who live on dirt roads may need to change it more often than drivers who mainly use the interstate. 

Indicators that it needs to be changed

If you are noticing a musty smell, that’s a pretty good indicator that it’s time to change the cabin air filter.

The air that’s going through the vents may also not be as strong.

Cabin air filters vs. engine air filters

Cabin air filters are responsible for purifying the air in the front end of a vehicle. Engine air filters cleans air that’s going into the engine’s combustion chamber.

There is typically one cabin air filter in a car. However, some, such as BMWs and Mercedes, have two filters. Other vehicles don’t have any.

Cars can have as many as six air filters, including the cabin air filters. Some vehicles have fans built into temperature control seats. Those fans have filters that protect the air that’s going into the fans. Certain vehicles, like the Ford Escape, have a filter for the blower motor to help keep the battery cool.

BG Frigi Fresh

There are also products that can be used to provide cleaner air. BG Frigi Fresh is one we use.

After removing the old filter, our technicians spray BG Frigi Fresh into the vent system.

Mold and bacteria begins to grow in a car’s climate control system when moisture collects in the evaporator. BG Frigi Fresh kills these germs, which can create a musty smell and even impact allergies.

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.

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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. This cartridge filter purifies the air that enters the cabin area from the vents.

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

When and why to replace a cabin air filter

Clean 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.

This filter helps prevent your vehicle’s heating core and evaporator from clogging up.

Having it 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 the filter, you might want to make sure your vehicle has one. Some cars, such as Volkswagen beetles, don’t have them.

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. 

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Challenges you can face when off-roading in your Jeep & how to be prepared

In Battery, Cabin Air Filter, Cooling System, Fuel System, Maintenance by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

If you own a Jeep and enjoy off-roading, then make sure your vehicle is prepared.

Jeep running problem after going through water getting into air intake.

Jeep running problem after going through water getting into air intake

“Driving Jeep Wranglers, or any kind of Jeep is fun – especially going off-roading – but one of the things that you have to be aware of is where the air intake is on a lot of these Jeeps,” said Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire owner ST Billingsley.

According to Billingsley, most intake systems are behind the right headlight of the Jeep, and this can be the source of some issues after your off-roading trip.

“So, as you’re driving through a creek, or going through a pond or something like that, and the water starts coming up over that hood, well you know you have a chance of getting that water sucked up in the intake, and if the water goes through too much it can actually damage the engine,” said Billingsley.

Jeep water and mud soaks the air filter causing rough running.

Jeep water and mud soaks the air filter causing rough running

You could also see a reduction in your vehicle’s power because the air filter is wet or has mud in it, or it has impacted the connectors to the car’s computer system.

“The computer on that is actually bolted right on the firewall, right next to the battery, so it’s another place that gets a lot of water and mud,” said Billingsley.

Other issues include water and mud on the ignition coils, and overheating with your radiator, as the fans struggle and can’t get air through the radiator, because of mud and water that is stuck. Your water pump can also suffer through similar struggles.

While it may sound bleak, there are things you can do to prepare your Jeep for off-roading, and hopefully prevent some of the issues you could run into.

Battery electrical issues after water damage off-roading.

Jeep battery electrical issues after water damage off roading

“If you are going through creeks or are off-roading, where you can get a lot of dirt and mud inside your vehicle, you want to pay attention to the radiator and wash it out. Also, if you’re going to be going through deep water, you may want to get an air intake relocation kit – you can run a tube up that runs out to the top of the windshield so it gives it an air intake, like a snorkel,” said Billingsley.

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.

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What is a cabin air filter and an engine air filter? What’s the difference?

In Cabin Air Filter, Maintenance, Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

“It’s time for a cabin air filter change.” When you hear that, you’re likely wondering what this part is and why you have to replace it.

A cabin air filter is a filter located either behind the glove compartment, under the hood or under the dashboard, depending on your vehicle, and is designed to remove dust, pollen, and other airborne contaminants from the inside of your vehicle.

This component will filter air that comes through the vehicle’s HVAC system to make the air cleaner for you. It can be a lifesaver if you’re stuck in airs with lots of traffic or pollution, or if you have allergies. For those suffering from seasonal allergies, keeping this filter clean can make a big difference.

honda air filter.

Honda air filter being checked during an oil change

An engine air filter has a similar purpose. An engine air filter helps to keep dirt, buildup, and debris from getting into your vehicle’s engine system. Just like a cabin air filter, over time things build up in the filter that can cause problems for your vehicle down the road if they’re not taken care of.

Why and when to change out the cabin air filter and engine air filter

In order to reap the full benefits of a cabin filter and an engine air filter, you need to make sure it’s swapped out regularly. Just like any filter they get dirty and clogged, and lose their effectiveness over time until they’re replaced.

But how often should you be changing out these filters? It depends on the type of vehicle, your preferences, and the conditions you drive in regularly.

“Both should be checked every oil change and replaced when dusty or dirty,” said Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner ST Billingsley.

So next time you’re getting your vehicle serviced, make sure they check your cabin air filter and your engine air filter, and see if they need to be replaced.

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.