Author Archives: chandy2014

Do More Cylinders Mean More Engine Life?

You love your four cylinder fuel efficient car. It does the job and gets you where you need to go. However, you keep wondering if those folks in the V8 Buick or Lincoln are going to get more life out of their ride. The answer is maybe, and perhaps not for the reason that you think.

All cylinders, regardless of how many there are, rotate at the same speed, they all fire once for every two rotations of the engine’s crankshaft. It would seem that all cylinders are created equal, and they are! The difference is that more cylinders create more torque, which means less wear on components like transmissions.

Today, the efficiency of power transfer within engines has become so refined, that even this torque differential doesn’t mean much for extending engine life. This is why you see big eight cylinder vehicles going the way of the dinosaurs.

No matter how many cylinders you have, bring your vehicle in to have its spark plugs inspected to keep it purring like a kitten. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

Are Touch Screens Too Much?

With the advent of the computer controlled car. Well, let’s call it for what it is, the computer car! Basically every aspect of your car is monitored and/or controlled by the car’s central computer. This means that, yes, you are driving around a sophisticated PC!

This means that you can have lots of functionality literally at your fingertips, and this comes in the form of a touch screen. If cars were all self-driving then such a distraction wouldn’t be, well, a distraction. Of course, some really good ideas and features have come out of this computer centric design. The backup cam is a good start. That feature is universally regarded as great!

However, all the other features can be a major distraction for the driver and there has been an industry backlash to reduce the complicated interfaces that have been appearing on cars.

Whatever you drive, bring it in and we can run a computer check on your vehicle to make sure everything is working optimally. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

Turbo Engines Used To Burn Up, Still True?

It was indeed the case back in the old days that at around 75,000 miles a turbo engine would fail, and in a spectacular cloud of black smoke. This was, of course, something that people would come to mechanics for with great regularity.

The reason this happened was that, over time, the lubricants for the turbo fan would dry up and the turbo fan would overheat. Since then, technology has come a long way and with improvements in design and lubricants, there’s no reason a new turbo engine can’t go 220,000 without an issue.

If you have a turbo engine, or any engine, bring it in to us and let us make sure it’s tuned up properly. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

After Car Warms Up Engine Doesn’t Stall

Back in the old days cars had carburetors, which were flaps that “choked” the engine so the air/fuel mixture going into the engine contained more fuel when the engine was cold. Nowadays everything is controlled by computer and instead of a choke and a carburetor, we have what’s known as an Idle Air Control Valve, which does the same job.

Of course, once your car is warmed up, you won’t need the IAC and your car will not stall. However, if your car is stalling when cold, this is not something you want to wait on. Let’s say you pull out one morning in front of one of those waste control vehicles. Yikes! Not a great time to stall.

If your engine is stalling for any reason, come in and see us for a quick diagnostic and a fair repair price. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

I Have Multiple Warning Lights On. Is My Car Toast?

So you have a good old reliable car. One that has served you well over the years. It still runs and drives great but some warning lights have started to turn on. Does this mean the car is about to be sent to the scrap yard? Not necessarily. Any car will last as long as you maintain it. What does that mean? Short of having the frame bent or the body rusted out, you can pretty much repair and replace anything on a car. So, when a warning light goes on it means that something is not operating within parameters set by the manufacturer. Cars have sophisticated computers that constantly monitor its systems. If something is not registering as expected, a light comes on.

It could be a relatively minor issue that causes multiple lights, like a speed sensor failing. Your Check Engine light would come on as would your Cruise Control warning light. This repair may be a couple hundred bucks to fix. However, it could also be that your catalytic converter is failing and you cruise control unit has gone bad. In this situation, the catalytic converter alone will run you about fifteen hundred bucks.

If you see any warning light come on in your vehicle, it is important that you bring it in to us. We can run a full diagnostic on your vehicle and let you know exactly what needs to be done to get it back safely on the road and how much it will cost. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

My Key Fob Battery Died And I Can’t Get Into Or Start My Car! Help!

Yes, this nightmare scenario can happen! If you notice that your key fob is needing to be closer and closer to your car to work, or that you are having to press the Unlock button multiple times to get the car to open, replace the battery before this situation occurs.

If your fob battery has died, have no fear! There are some ways that you can workaround the dilemma without having to resort to using a brick. xD

Many manufacturers have a temporary key hidden inside the fob. Often there is a place on the driver’s door that has a removable lid, revealing a keyhole. Also, the same goes for the start button. On many models the start button can be lifted to reveal a keyhole to start the vehicle. Other manufacturers allow you to touch the fob to the start button to get the car going.

If you are in this, or any other auto situation, and are not sure what to do, give us a call. At the very least we can bring you a fob battery! If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

What Did The New York Auto Show Tell Us This Year?

What an auto show this year in The Big Apple! It has lots of things you’d expect, and a few very interesting surprises!

It turns out that SUVs are back in force, with a 70% share of the market currently. So, of course auto makers are busy rolling out newer and sleeker SUVs, but that’s not the only fare on the plate.

Jaguar showed us its self-driving model, the iPace. This vehicle is being used as a self-driving taxi and Jaguar would like to deploy the 20,000 units it has made by the year 2020.

The other bit news of the show came from Toyota, which is now offering a Corolla – Hatchback! Here we go 70s! There was also the unveiling of a beautiful new Rav 4, which is sure to get a lot of attention this year.

Whatever your ride is, come in and see us for those new spring wiper blades. Last winter’s sand and salt were sure tough on your old ones! If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

My Car Has A Start-Stop Feature. Is It Going To Hurt The Engine?

If you have not heard, this is a feature that is very new to purely gas-fueled vehicles. Everyone has been in a hybrid when the engine eerily shuts off at a stoplight, but the same thing happening in a purely gas-powered ride? It seems counterintuitive, like won’t all that starting and stopping of the engine wear down its parts, causing it to fail earlier?

The answer is based on the fact that auto makers these days are very smart, so smart that they wouldn’t introduce a feature that actually hurts your vehicle. Starting systems these days are smooth and sublime, not having the jolts and grinds of the cars of old. So the starting and stopping isn’t going to hurt you or your car.

Look at the bright side, if everyone who has the start-stop feature on their vehicle were to use it, we would reduce vehicle-related air pollution by 3-5%. What’s not to like?

If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

I Noticed A Coolant Leak, Should I Get That Radiator Sealant?

It happens eventually to every car after so many miles and/or years. You begin to develop leaks. All leaks are bad. Bad for the environment, bad for your car and potentially really bad for your safety. If you see the tell tale green liquid on your driveway and believe, correctly, that you have a coolant leak, you may be tempted to go to your local auto parts store and buy some of that coolant sealant that you add to your cooling system.

We cannot recommend this as the problem may be something the sealant cannot fix at all and even if it does, it would only be temporary. If you notice a coolant leak, or any other type of leak coming from your vehicle, make sure you come in and see us right away. It is necessary for you to find out what’s wrong and get it fixed so you are safe on the road with you and your family.

See a spot on the drive? Call us and make an appointment! If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

Is It Always Necessary To Use The Parking Brake?

If you park on a flat driveway or surface, you probably don’t NEED to use your parking brake. However, it is generally a good idea to put the parking brake into regular use.

There are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to get into the habit of using your parking brake. One is safety. Not even so much as the safety of keeping the car from rolling down hill should it slip out of gear, but more of the safety you get from keeping the car from rolling over you if you get out and forgot to put the car in Park!

Another reason to use it is that if you rarely use the parking brake the cables may rust and that one time you do use it, it gets stuck and you need to have the car towed.

Have no fear! Many auto manufacturers are resolving this dilemma by having cars automatically apply and disengage the parking brake as needed! If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!