Category Archives: Handy’s Service Center

Is The 3,000 Mile Oil Change A Thing Of The Past?

With all the new technology on the market cars still need to have their oil changed regularly. That being said, for cars made in the past ten years or so, you don’t need to change their oil every three thousand miles. In fact, in some instances you can go ten to twelve thousand miles between oil changes if your car has synthetic oil.

Many folks end up changing their oil over frequency recommendations rather than mileage ones. Since conventional oil in newer cars can make it 7,500 miles or six months. people are changing their oil twice a year now more often than every 7,500 miles. Lots of people don’t drive that much.

If you have synthetic oil you can go a full year or ten to twelve thousand miles between oil changes. Whatever type of oil your car has or what year it was made, make sure to change yoru oil regularly based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. When you are ready for an oil change be sure to come in and see us! 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!

Why Do All Crossover SUVs “Look The Same?”

Cars have all tended to become more streamlined since the boxy eighties, but if you look at the current catalog of crossover SUVs, they all look pretty identical to each other. There are some real design reasons for this.

When it comes to larger vehicles, fuel economy requirements require certain aerodynamic shapes which cannot be varied from. Also, when dealing with taller vehicles, there are certain angles that the grill must be and heights that the hood must be to meet safety requirements.

The rest is pretty much all you get for styling, which doesn’t leave much room when you deal with vehicles that are essentially not sedans. Whatever you drive, bring it in regularly for an oil change so that you won’t have to go purchase another lookalike SUV for next year’s family trip! 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!

The Best Tire Guage

Given that technology is always improving, it is no surprise that tire pressure guages are improving too. If you have been into cars for a long time, you may have your own archive of vintage tire pressure guages. Have you noticed that if you try all of them on the same tire, you get different readings?

There have been all kinds of tire pressure guages, from pencil shaped ones to ones that look like a ring and pop out when the pressure is right. However, there is one type of tire pressure guage on the market today that is the best. If you purchase a tire pressure guage, get one of the “pistol grip” guages. They function best and will give you a truly accurate read every time for about ten dollars.

If you haven’t checked your tires in awhile have no fear! We always have state of the art equipment and will gladly check your tires for you. 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!

How Can I Tell When My Clutch Is Going?

If you have a manual transmission vehicle, you have a clutch. What you may not know is that every time you use the cluch you wear the disc out just a tiny tiny bit. This is why, over time, the clutch doesn’t engage until you push it just a little further down.

When your car or clutch is new, you may engage the clutch when it is pressed about halfway down. As time goes on it gets closer and closer to the floor. Eventually you will press the clutch to the floor and nothing will happen, the car won’t move.

Before that happens you will notice some slipping, like when you press on the gas you don’t get the acceleration you used to get or expect. If you notice your clutch sagging or slipping, come in and see us. 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 Was Speeding Like Back In The Day?

Here’s a bit of trivia for you. How fast was the first person to get a speeding ticket traveling? What would you put your wager on? 50 mph? 80? Did it take something like 100 mph to get a ticket because nobody had gone that fast before?

Amazingly, cars didn’t go very fast in the beginning and the first ticket was handed out to a gentleman for topping out at a breakneck EIGHT mph! This guy was in England and the year was 1896. It wasn’t until eight years later, in 1904, that the first American got their first speeding ticket, and that was in Ohio! Times had caught up, and 8 mph was no longer reckless. No sir, it was 12 mph!

When do you think the first radar gun was used? 70s? 80s? Nope. The first ticket handed out from a driver being caught by a radar gun was in 1954 to a man for going 36 in a 25. That actually does still happen today!

So, just for fun, what’s the fastest you can legally drive today in the US of A? It is 85 mph! This is the speed limit on a short 40 mile stretch of highway between Austin and San Antonion texas. To make sure you can drive safely within our Vermont speed limits, come and have your tires checked before the fall leaves start to slick up the roads. 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!

If You Are Stuck In The Snow, Can You Run Seat Warmers?

Bet that headline got your attention! Thought it would be kinda “cool” to put a winter question in the midst of all this summer heat! And, it’s a good question.

Let’s say you are off the road and stranded, unable to get enough traction to get back on the road in winter and you aren’t sure when the tow truck is going to get to you. (If you call Handy’s Towing, you can skip this post! You won’t need it. 🙂 ) Will you run out your battery by running the seat warmers? If your engine is running, of course you won’t. Unless you have a bad alternator, your car will make tons of electricity. Enough to power all its bells and whistles.

If you need to save gas and turn the engine off, then eventually the seat warmers, or anything you turn on that’s part of the car, will wear the battery down. How long will this take? Probably a good amount of time. You could probably sit with the seat warmer on high for 45 minutes and not worry about running your battery down. That being said, it’s always a good idea to conserve resources when stranded.

Come in and see us to have your battery checked. Hot or cold, you need to power your vehicle’s ignition with a solid, reliable battery from Handy’s Service Center. 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!

Vermont Had The First US Red Flag Law

Here’s a curious bit of automotive history I bet you didn’t know. Shortly after cars first appeared, the British Parliament passed the first of their Locomotive Acts, in 1865! This was aimed at steam cars. The Act set a speed limit of 4 mph in the country and 2 mph in town. Seems slow, right? Well, the cars back then really couldn’t go much faster. Also, when you were in town you had to have someone walk in front of the car and wave a red flag. Just in case the sputtering didn’t alert you to the car’s presence.

So, in Vermont, we implemented the Red Flag Law in 1894. Burlington must have been quite a sight with the few cars we had around being led like a bull! However, it was worse for drivers in Pennsylvania. They had to send up a rocket every mile! 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!

Can A Power Tool Tighten Lug Nuts Too Tight?

Everyone is certain about one thing. You don’t want to have your wheels come off the car while it is on the road! To make sure that our wheels are on good and tight, some of us become a little overzealous when it comes to tightening lug nuts. Some of us use power tools. A power wrench is a great tool, for sure. But if you tighten those lug nuts too much, too much of a good thing really can be bad!

Why? It’s a very good question. You probably think that you could never get those lug nuts on tight enough. I mean, if you are even a little loose with them your wheels are gone. Right?

Interestingly, and perhaps counterintuitively, this is not the case. You can tighten the lug nuts so much that they actually stretch the lug bolts to the point that they weaken and break off. Yikes! Bet you didn’t see that coming!

If you are doing anything with your wheels or tires, come in and see us. We have devices that ensure your lug nuts are tightened right to factory specifications. No worries about wheels coming off on the highway! 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’ve Tried Everything, Car Still Sputters!

Let’s say your replaced the plugs on your car, you’ve cleaned everything out and yet your car is still sputtering and lurching at startup. You wonder what it could be? You’ve always been your own best mechanic!

In situations like this, you need to turn to a professional. Odds are you have an ignition issue. When there are misfires and its not the plugs it could be your distributor, coil or plug wires. You can try to replace those on your own, but I would not recommend it. Ignition issues are best dealt with by an experienced mechanic.

If you are experiencing startup issues or you have a lurching car, come in and see us, we will find out what’s wrong and give you five-star service putting you back safely on the road. 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!

New Car? More Like New SUV!

It’s official, in America we are driving far more SUVs than cars. Last year, three MILLION more SUVs were sold than cars. Let’s hope gas prices don’t skyrocket again!

The trend started in the 90s. People started buying more and more SUVs until the Great Recession of 2008. After that it took some time, but now they are back and stronger than ever!

Another interesting result of all this SUV mania – Ford is now only making about three passenger cars in its portfolio. All the rest are SUVs and light trucks.

Whatever you drive, bring it in and have us check out your AC and wiper blades. You don’t want to be caught in a a downpour with bad wiper blades or in one hundred degree heat without AC. 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!