View Post

Metro closing down for a while? Get your car ready

In Fuel Economy, Fuel System, Maintenance, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The word on the street is that the Blue Line, and several other area Metro lines will be closed for an extended period of time. This temporary Metro closing inevitably means that you’re probably going to be in your car more frequently, to get to work.

While we can’t get you out of the impending traffic nightmare that’s ahead, we can get your car prepared for those extra miles, and wear and tear – and save you some money too.

How to prepare for the temporary Metro closing

Fuel maintenance

For starters, when was the last time you had a fuel maintenance service on your vehicle? Many people forget how dirty fuel injects and filters can impact their car’s fuel economy. And you’re going to need the best fuel economy possible, heading north toward Washington, D.C. each day.

At Steve’s, we offer a BG fuel induction service that will improve your fuel economy, and get your engine running more smoothly. During the service we’re able to clean the fuel injectors, which will help balance your vehicle’s air and fuel ratio. It’s a service that should be performed every 15,000 miles, but it’s especially important now to catch up on it, now that you’re going to be on the road more.

Air filter

You also should have your air filter checked regularly. Did you know that a clogged air filter can reduce your fuel economy by 15 percent? That really adds up!

Get new tires

Another thing you’re going to want to invest in with the Metro closing temporarily for repairs is your tires. A lot of people don’t realize this, but your tires can have a big impact on your car’s fuel economy, and your stopping speed.  It’s very easy for one of our technicians to take a look at your tires and assess the condition, before making some recommendations.

With all of those traffic-filled miles ahead, you’re going to want to focus on one of two things – fuel economy and stopping time. At Steve’s we’re a Goodyear dealer, and if you’re looking to save

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max Tire.

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max Tire

We all hate it, but short stops and being cut off are an unfortunate part of having to drive for the morning commute in Northern Virginia. And if you want to avoid an accident, then it’s going to be important that you get tires for your vehicle that are designed to deal with those challenges. Especially for when you’re trying to quickly merge or switch lanes, having a sporty performance tire with good stopping power is going to be an asset. Especially with the huge influx of vehicles that will be on I-95 and I-66, you’re going to need all of the help you can get. That’s why we would recommend the Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season Tire.

Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season Tire.

Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season Tire

The Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season Tire was designed with stopping ability in mind. Having those extra couple of seconds, thanks to a good set of tires, can be the difference between a near-accident and damaging your vehicle. It has an asymmetric tread that makes handling easier, and it has a fantastic grip for all seasons and essentially all weather conditions. Its full-depth siping and biting edges help with its stopping ability and response.

Regardless of if you’re worried more about fuel economy, or stopping speed, both tires are a great investment to make for the coming months. You can’t change the Metro being closed, but you can do everything you can to make sure your car will have peak performance while you’re stuck in the daily commute traffic.

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.

5 things to have checked on your car this spring

In Alignment, Brake Fluid Flush, Cabin Air Filter, Cooling System, Maintenance by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

With the winter fading away, and the weather finally starting to warm up with the onset of spring, it’s time to get your vehicle ready with a little ‘spring cleaning’ maintenance.

These are the top five spring car maintenance tips:

  1. Have your vehicle’s fluids flushed
  2. Get your tires inspected
  3. Change your cabin air filter
  4. Make sure light bulbs aren’t out
  5. Get a wheel alignment

We provide more details about each one below.

5 things to have checked on your car this spring

Mercedes engine coolant flush

Have your vehicle’s fluids flushed – including the coolant

With winter on its way out, it’s a good idea to have all of your vehicle’s fluids flushed, checked, and refilled. It’s especially important for your coolant fluid to be flushed and topped off. Why? Because the warmer weather can raise the temperature of your vehicle, and coolant helps to keep things running smoothly.

“Given the fact that we’re going to start coming in to warmer weather, your car’s going to be running a little hotter because the ambient temperature’s going to be warmed up, so coolant’s a good fluid to get changed now,” said Rich Campbell, manager at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

Checking tires at Steves Auto Repair and Tire.

Checking tires at Steves Auto Repair and Tire.

All that driving in the ice and snow wears away at the tread on your tires, and over time that means your tires are going to need to be replaced. When its springtime and the snow and ice have cleared, that’s the perfect time to have your tires inspected by a technician. If your tires are worn down and losing traction, that can make a huge difference when stopping on wet spring roads, so it’s important to get them inspected.

“You need to make sure you’ve got adequate traction,” said Campbe.

Dirty cabin air filter.

Have your cabin air filter changed

Cabin air-filter changes are an important part of maintenance year-round, but they’re even more important come springtime, because of the pollen and things floating in the air that can impair air quality.

“That cabin air filter filters your pollen, the dust, and getting ready for spring you want a good, fresh cabin air filter in there,” said Campbell.

Are your bulbs out?

Tail light bulb replacement at Steves Auto Repair and Tire.

Tail light bulb replacement at Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Bulbs go out on vehicles all of the time, and it’s important to get them replaced, no matter what time of year it is. But when you’re doing your spring car maintenance checkup on your vehicle, it’s worth checking if any of your lights are out, as they’re easily replaced during a trip to the shop.

Have your wheel alignment checked out

Bouncing around on potholes and that unexpected curb following a big snow storm can really throw your vehicle’s alignment out of whack. If you notice your car’s pulling, even slightly, or you’re noticing a very rough ride, then that’s a pretty good sign that you may need an alignment service. Many drivers get them during the spring, because of those potholes, left by the snow plows, we mentioned earlier.

5 things to have checked on your car this spring

Wheel alignment at Steves Auto Repair and Tire

If you want to make sure your vehicle is road-ready for all of the trips and events you’ve got planned for spring, then make sure that you take your car in for some spring maintenance at Steve’s.

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.

Noticing car problems after storm? Get them checked out.

In Alignment, Fluids, Maintenance, Safety, Tires and Wheels, Transmission by 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 problems following the storm.

Here are some common issues 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. Tires
  2. Transmission
  3. Windshield wipers
  4. Rim wheel
  5. Wheel alignment
  6. Windshield washer fluid

More information on each topic can be found below.

More about car problems

Tires

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.

Transmission

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.

Windshield wipers

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.

Rim wheel

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.

Wheel alignment

Hitting curbs or icy patches won’t only cause a potential flat tire – it can also mess with your vehicle’s wheel alignment. 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.

Windshield washer fluid

Not able to use your wiper fluid to clear your windshield? Drivers that didn’t check their windshield 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 car problems 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.

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.

Car preparation and winter driving tips

In Maintenance by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

It may not be ideal, but it’s true: winter weather can be hard on your car, SUV or truck. If you want to make sure that your car is prepared and safe this winter, then you need to follow some important car preparation and winter driving tips:

  1. If your vehicle is stuck on ice, or just can’t seem to get traction on those wintry roads, then you’ll want to have sand or kitty litter on hand, to get yourself unstuck and back on the road.
  2. Your windshield wipers are one of your greatest assets when it comes to dealing with snow and ice. When there’s snow accumulation, snowfall, rain or sleet, you need your wipers working properly. As part of your proper winter care, make sure that the washer fluid in your wipers is full, and that it has the correct mixture so that the fluid won’t freeze.
  3. Have a technician check your antifreeze (AKA coolant) levels for your engine, to make sure that they’re at the right temperature to protect the engine. Getting your coolant flushed and drained and the radiator filled during the winter season will help to keep the system protected.
  4. Is your car all-wheel drive or four wheel drive? It’s important to know, as you drive during the winter months. All wheel drive vehicles have the system on at all times, whereas four wheel drive vehicle drivers need to engage their transfer case first.

Those are some of the big things to keep in mind with your vehicle as the winter weather hits, but even smaller things like knowing where you heated mirror button is located – if you’ve got one – can become very important in bad weather. Know your vehicle, how it can handle and perform in adverse conditions, and make sure you get it serviced before winter weather strikes and you’ll have a much easier time out there on difficult winter roads.

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

It’s that time of year: switching from summer to winter tires

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The weather is getting colder, and any day now there’s going to be snow on the ground. You know that driving in the snow can be a hassle, and sometimes even dangerous. And just like you change over from your summer wardrobe to your winter wardrobe, you need to swap out your tires for the season.

Summer tires

Summer tires have a lot of advantages. If you have a performance vehicle, like a BMW or an Audi, then you’re going to want a quality set of wheels to get more traction and tread for the best response when turning and braking on the road. And while summer tires are created to handle rain, hot pavement, and other summer weather factors, they’re not going to be able to perform nearly as well on slick and icy roads.

All season tires

BF Goodrich performance tire.

BF Goodrich performance tire

Many drivers opt for an all-season tire, because – as the name implies – they are built to be used in all seasons. All-season tires are designed to stand up to many weather conditions, across the seasons, but they’re no substitute for winter or snow tires, particularly if you’re in an area where there’s a moderate to severe amount of snowfall each winter.

Winter tires

Winter tires are created to perform in icy and snowy driving conditions, and provide the maximum amount of traction and grip on the roads. When you need reliability and you want to ensure safety out there on the roads this winter, the best way to make sure that happens is to have a set of quality winter wheels on your vehicle. They have the ability to perform on drive pavement, but they’re designed with inclement weather in mind. That extra traction is going to give you extra stopping time when braking, and when you’re driving around other vehicles, and you start to slide, those extra couple of feet can make a major difference in the outcome.

So when it comes to the safety and reliability of your vehicle in every season, making sure you have a set of summer and winter tires to alternate between the seasons is an excellent idea. At Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire we have technicians and staff that can answer all of your questions about the different types of tires, and which ones work best for your vehicle in all seasons, and all weather.

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.