3 things to watch out for with all this rainy weather

In Headlamps, Safety, Tires and Wheels, Windshield Wipersby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

It’s been raining for several days now, and you’re probably wondering when it’s going to end. While we can’t predict the weather or make the rain go away, what we can do is tell you about things you should be on the lookout for with all of this rainy weather.

3 things to watch out for with all this rainy weather

Wiper blades need to be replaced to keep the windshield clear for safe driving.

Check to see how your windshield wipers are doing

Your car’s windshield wipers see a lot more use when there’s rain for long stretches of time, and eventually like all things do, the wipers will wear out with frequently use. Having worn out windshield wipers can be a hazard, particularly at night or when there’s heavy rainfall, because they’re not as effective at removing the water from your windshield. They can also leave streaks and splotches that can make it difficult to see on the road. If you notice that your windshield wipers aren’t working very well, stop in and we can get those fixed quickly for you.

3 things to watch out for with all this rainy weather

Check to see if you have a headlight out even daytime runnig lights can burn out.

Are your headlights working?

Much like the windshield wipers, if you’re using your headlights during the day and night because of gloomy and dark conditions, then you could see that one of your headlight bulbs has gone out. Sometimes people don’t notice that a headlight is out until it’s dark and they’re visibility is impaired, and that’s not the time when you want them to stop working on you. Checking your headlights regularly, especially during long stretches of rainy weather, is an easy way to see if your headlight bulbs need to be replaced.

Do your tires help you to stop at a safe distance?

Regardless of the conditions outside or the tires you have, over time your tires will wear down from frequent use on the road. You want to make sure that your tires are at safe wear levels even when it’s sunny and bright, but days when it’s raining or snowing are really when you need those tires the most, as they’re what gives you traction and helps you to stop safely on the road. Now is definitely a good time to check the tread depth on your tires, and make note of how good your car’s traction is on the road. If your tread depth is worn, it could be time for a new set of tires, or you may risk sliding around on the road in wet conditions.


3 things to watch out for with all this rainy weather

Worn tire down to the tread bar indicators definetly time to change these tires.

3 things to watch out for with all this rainy weather

New tires have deep grooves andsipes to channel water away to keep you safe on the road.

Noticing car problems after the big storm? Get them checked out at Steve’s Auto Repair

In Alignment, Fluids, Maintenance, Safety, Tires and Wheels, Transmissionby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Last weekend the entire area was pelted with more than a foot of snow, with up to almost three feet in some places! Even though the snow has stopped and you’ve managed to dig out your driveway to get back on the roads, you may be experiencing some car issues following the storm.

Here are some common problems that our technicians at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has seen following the blizzard, that you should get checked out as soon as possible:

  1. If you’ve been driving on icy roads in your neighborhood, hitting blocks of snow and debris on your travels, or even running into curbs hidden beneath the snow, then you run the risk of a flat tire. Our technicians will be able to assess the damage to your tires if you’ve got a flat, and make recommendations on repair or replacement.
  2. If you own a truck or you’ve been out plowing, the storm likely put a lot of strain on your vehicle. Particularly if you were moving over large amounts of snow, or were trying to plow streets, it’s not uncommon for a vehicle’s transmission to be damaged. We’re seeing several plows at our shop this week to fix transmission related issues.
  3. One the most common things we’re seeing is damage to vehicles’ windshield wipers. Even if you lifted them up before the storm, the weight of the snow on the front of your car, or placing the wipers back on the windshield before all snow and ice were completely removed can cause them to be bent or broken. This is something our technicians can quickly switch out for you, and get you back on the road in no time.
  4. When heading out on the road after digging your car out, you may have noticed some shaking and vibration while driving. While this could be another more involved issue with your vehicle, a lot of the cars we’ve seen this week were having this shaking in their car because ice and snow were still in the rim wheel of the tires, throwing off the car’s balance.
  5. Hitting curbs or icy patches won’t only cause a potential flat tire – it can also mess with your vehicle’s alignments. Particularly after hitting chunks of ice or other debris, if you notice your car pulling to one side on flat pavement, then it’s a good idea to bring your car to a shop to have it looked at.
  6. Not able to use your wiper fluid to clear your windshield? Drivers that didn’t check their washer fluid to make sure it was at appropriate levels and the right mixture before the storm may be having issues with using their wipers correctly, as the wiper fluid is frozen inside.

The storm may have kept you from going out, but don’t let vehicle issues stop you too. Our technicians and service advisers at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire can inspect your vehicle to make sure that everything’s in working order, and get you safely back out on the road this winter.

Getting your vehicle stocked and prepared this winter

In Maintenance, Safetyby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Getting your vehicle stocked and prepared this winterAre you prepared if something happens while you’re in your vehicle this winter? It’s always important to be prepared, and when it comes to having supplies in your car it’s no exception.

Keeping a small emergency kit on hand in your vehicle is the best way to make sure that you have what you need, whether it’s getting stuck in a snowbank or a dead battery.

Here are the supplies you should keep in your car’s emergency kit:

A jumper cable. You may also want to include some flares and a reflective triangle for breakdowns.

Flashlight with extra batteries.

First aid kit with any of your medications included.

Formula and diapers (if you have a small child).

Non-perishable food items, including canned food and protein-dense foods, and a manual can opener to open any cans.

Water. Preferably a gallon of water per person a day. Try to prepare for three days’ worth.

Some tools, including a screwdriver and pliers.

A radio.

Cat litter or sand, to get better traction in icy areas.

An ice scraper and shovel to remove snow from your vehicle.

Warm clothing or blankets.

A cell phone charger.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire wants to make sure that all of our customers are safe and prepared, especially with the winter weather coming. In addition to your emergency kit, making sure to get your car serviced and installing snow tires are a good investment in your safety and your vehicle this winter.

Do you know the street safety rules around school buses?

In Safetyby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The school year in Virginia has just begun, and that means that school buses will be back out on the road.

Do YOU know the rules for driving and stopping around school buses?

  1. When you see a school bus stopped with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign on the side of the bus, you must stop your vehicle from any direction, if you are on a highway, private road or school road. You must stay stopped until the area is clear, and the bus is moving again.
  2. If a bus is loading or letting off passengers and the signals are not on, you still must stop.
  3. If you are driving on a road in the opposite direction with a road that has a median or a barrier, and the bus is on the other side, then you do not have to stop.

Make sure to follow the rules of the road and be safe this school year.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire partners with Caarmo on new auto technology in Woodbridge

In Maintenance, Monitoring System, Safety, Service Standardsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire partners with Caarmo on new auto technology in Woodbridge

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire owner ST Billingsley holds a new diagnostic device created by Caarmo in Woodbridge.

 Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire partners with Caarmo on new auto technology in Woodbridge

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has partnered with Caarmo to bring our customers more information and reliability to their vehicle maintenance.

Steve’s is one of 18 auto repair shops to offer Caarmo’s car diagnostic device, which will give consumers information about their car’s needs and allows them to connect with auto technicians to speak about their car and schedule service.

“One of the biggest expenses that people have is their vehicles. And that can be for businesses or consumers. They spend a lot of money, and a lot of time on them – but they don’t know what’s happening. So we’ve created sort of a really sophisticated ‘Fitbit’ for a car,” said Vinay Raman, CEO of Caarmo.

According to Raman, the device is smaller than a pack of cards, runs off the car’s power and plugs into the diagnostic port in your vehicle to begin transmitting diagnostic information.

“Since 1996, every car in the United States has got this diagnostic port…we use that same port [with our device] but we partner with a repair shop, to help their customers understand more of what’s happening with their vehicle,” said Raman.

One of the biggest benefits for customers is peace of mind that they will have information about what is going on with their vehicle, and that certified technicians will also be keeping an eye on the health of their car.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire partners with Caarmo on new auto technology in Woodbridge

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire owner ST Billingsley places the Caarmo device in a car’s diagnostic port.

“[We put] these devices in the vehicles to let them know, ‘Hey your car is operating just fine’ or if a check engine lights comes on – some people kind of freak out when they see that – we can take a look at that and say, ‘Based on the make and model of your vehicle, let me give you a sense of what’s actually happening.’ It gives you more of a sense of what’s going on than just a light on your dashboard – you have an expert on the phone,” said Raman.

Staff at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire will be able to open their mechanic’s portal at the shop, or use a phone app that will be able available to the shop and customers with the device. From the portal, technicians will be able to see if a customer’s car is in need, call to schedule maintenance, or reassure them that everything’s okay.

“If something goes wrong with one of the vehicles, a light will pop up on the screen…it’s an opportunity to call the customer and give them some peace of mind,” Raman commented.

Consumers will only pay $80 a year for the constant service, and the application will give you diagnostic information, service reminders and GPS tracking.

For those in the auto industry, using Caarmo’s technology is also a good way to work with fleets that need to ensure that their vehicles are functioning properly at all times.

ST Billingsley, owner of Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire, is proud to be partnering with Caarmo.

“We know how important it is to keep our customers informed and on the road. By offering Caarmo devices to our customers, we hope to ensure that their vehicles are getting the best care possible,” said Billingsley.

Steve’s will be offering the technology to customers in the coming months, when Caarmo officially launches the device.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire partners with Caarmo on new auto technology in Woodbridge

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is partnering with Caarmo to create a better car-care experience for customers.