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State inspections for Hyundai vehicles

In Inspection, Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Receiving a state inspection for a vehicle isn’t purposeless.

The law helps protect motorists throughout the year.

However, regular inspections aren’t required in some states, such as Maryland. Drivers are only expected to have their vehicle checked when they purchase it.

This contributed to a recent incident that brought a Maryland family to Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

The lower control arm of the family’s Hyundai Sedan rusted and broke off while they were traveling.

A lower control arm is connected to the frame of the vehicle and the steering knuckle by the lower ball joint.

Having their vehicle checked regularly could have prevented the issue.

“If they had been coming in for a yearly inspection, there would have been a better chance this would have been caught,” the General Manager at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire said.

The broken part didn’t lead to any injuries.

“Fortunately — in this case — they weren’t going too fast and didn’t hurt anyone, but imagine if they had been going down the highway like this,” the General Manager said. “So, this isn’t just about the individual, it’s about the safety of all drivers on the road.”

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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Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire covering employees’ health care

In Community Involvement by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is making health care more affordable for its employees.

On December 1, the Woodbridge-based automotive repair shop started paying 100 percent of the basic health care plan.

“Small businesses are finding it more difficult to attract and retain qualified employees. The rising cost of health care is contributing to the issue,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said. “We thought, ‘What could we do to be more marketable in our industry and do something that would benefit the employees?’”

This is enabling an employee to purchase health insurance for his two children.

Employees of Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire also received more Paid Time Off (PTO) days that can be used if they’re sick or they need to care for family members.

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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.”