Author Archives: chandy2014

Should I Tighten My Lug Nuts?

If you change your own tire in an emergency situation, you should come in and see us about tightening your lug nuts. There is a science to tightening lug nuts and you just don’t go around in a circle, you have to tighten them like you would cut a pizza. We won’t go into details, but suffice to say, if you tighten your own lug nuts you could end up having them missing or getting your car way out of alignment. It is really important to do this correctly not only for the longevity of your tires, but also the longevity of you!

If you replace a tire in an emergency situation, come in so we can rotate and balance your tires, if needed, and make sure that your tire is attached securely and correctly to your vehicle. If you notice any tires leaking, also come in and see us for either a plug or replacement. 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 Smell Burning Oil. Where Could It Be Coming From?

Let’s say you are driving down the road and you come to a stoplight. Suddenly you notice a very pungent smell and it makes you slightly lightheaded. You search your memory and realize quite quickly that is it the odor of burning oil. You get to your destination and open the hood, but nothing sticks out, you don’t see any major leak.

When this happens, the cause is usually gasket related. If you are lucky, it is a valve cover gasket issue, which is not a huge repair. If it is a cylinder head gasket issue, that is a big deal and constitutes a major repair. The leak may not even be that big, all it takes is a drop or two of oil hitting the exhaust pipe to create one nasty aroma.

If you do notice a burnt oil odor, bring your car in and we will determine the cause and give you options with how to repair the issue. Remember, it is not good to inhale those vapors, so come in and see us right away. 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!

Make Sure Keyless Ignition Is Off

A tragedy occurred in Florida recently when an elderly couple in their eighties died from carbon monoxide poisoning. They had parked their new Toyota Avalon in their attached garage and left the ignition on. This happens quit a lot with keyless ignition cars as they are often very quiet or the hearing of the occupants isn’t that great, or the garage door drowns out the sound of the engine. Over the course of the evening, their bedroom was located next to the garage in their one floor home, filled with carbon monoxide and they passed away.

When you have a car with keyless ignition, it is always important to double and triple check that you have turned off the ignition. Clearly, someone passing away is an extreme and rare outcome. Much more likely is that you run the car’s battery down and you need a jump start. In any event, if you notice any issues with your car starting, keyless or otherwise, make an appointment and 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!

Lost My Credit Card In The Seat?

This has happened to all of us, we put our credit card on the console between the seats and gas up. Then, when we are ready to pay, we reach for the card and accidentally knock of off the console and it goes into the dreaded abyss between the seats. What’s worse, when we go fishing for it, we don’t see it! Even when we use the flashlight app on our phone, there’s not even a glimpse! What gives?

Well, to let you in on a little secret, the card is most likely under the carpeting in the cabin! How is this possible? At the four points where the seat is attached to the floor, there are cuts in the carpet, large enough for something like, a credit card, to slip into. If you move the seat all the way forward and reach into one of those cuts, you will most likely find your card, and probably a lot of change too!

If you have lost anything in your car, or your seats are giving you any trouble, 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!

A Tip For Next Winter

Most of you probably already know this, but since our fair state of Vermont got some May snow, we thought we’d share a winter driving tip with you, if for no other reason than it will be useful next winter. If you know that winter weather is coming, and your car is going to be parked outside for any amount of time, make sure you lift up your windshield wipers. This will keep them from getting stuck to the windshield and having their effectiveness reduced by being torn off of the windshield when it is time to get your car going. It’s a little tip that can help your wiper blades go a long way!

Always have your car checked out for all of its safety features at least once a year. Even if it’s during an oil change, have your wipers, brakes and emergency brake inspected to make sure they are working properly and don’t need replacing or repairing. 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 Need A “Lyft” To The Vet, Check With The Driver First

Let’s say your car is in the shop, or you don’t have a car, and you need to take your pet to the vet. Though this is not technically a car issue, it is related to cars and it is something to consider, so we thought we’d mention it.

Lyft and Uber operate as a business which employs independent contractors. In other words, every driver for Lyft and Uber is their own “boss” and can set their own rules. If you want to take your pet to the vet in a Lyft or Uber vehicle, you may be met with a “can’t do that” when you are picked up. Some drivers may have allergies, some may be afraid of your pet, and some may just not want to take the chance that their car get scratched up. So, it is best to let the driver know you are going to be bringing your pet somewhere, and if that is OK with them. If you do have a car, bring it in for a windshield wiper check, as those summer rains are coming! 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 Is In Park, But The Car Tells Me It Is Not In Park

This is a nightmare when it happens. You get home, or worse, you get to your office, and you put your car in park. The dashboard shows that your car is in drive, even though you know it is in park. It’s a major problem because the mechanical part of the car is always correct here, but the computer thinks otherwise. Well, let’s be clear, it is not completely that the mechanical part of the car is correct. The shifter and gear is in the right place, but the interpretation by the car’s “brain” is not.

The issue here is a bad shifter assembly. It is something that should be addressed as an emergency, and you should call us right away. The problem is that the computer and the mechanical parts of the car could “work together” and put you in neutral, and your car would roll away. Make sure you get us to tow you in if you see this problem. it could save your life! 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 Shakes When I Hit The Brakes At Around 60 MPH. What Could It Be?

So, you are driving down the road and your car suddenly starts to shake when you hit the brakes to slow down at 60 mph. Everything seems to be fine, so what could be the cause? It is almost certain that the cause of this issue is warped rotors. Your rotor is what your brakes “grab” to slow the car down. They are attached to the wheels. If one is warped, then every time that warped part of the rotor spins around to come in contact with the brake pads, it causes a little “bump.” At slower speeds this is almost imperceptible and doesn’t occur as frequently as when the wheels are spinning two to three times as fast as they would at normal road speeds.

Fortunately, this is an easily fixed problem, so if you notice your vehicle starting shake when you brake, bring it in and let us inspect and repair or replace parts of your braking system. 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!

Spring Vacation Is Just Around The Corner – Take A Road Trip!

Easter is this weekend and that means that our school kids’ spring vacation is coming up real fast. If you can get the time off from work, why not take a road trip?

We have many fascinating places to visit right here in Vermont. Everything from hiking in Stowe to visiting the various chocolate and specialty food businesses we have all over the state. Most of the state is only accessible by local routes, so it is very important to make sure that your brakes and rotors are in tip-top shape, especially when traveling all those mountain roads.

Before you embark on your spring vacation – or any other trip – make sure you come in and see us. Let us inspect your brakes, tire pressure and windshield wipers. You want to have a safe, fun and exciting time with your family! 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 Ford Explorer Roars After 15 Miles Of Driving. Why?

Someone brought in their Ford Explorer with an interesting problem. After about 15 miles of driving they would hear a “roar” and their “wrench” light would come on. They would stop at their destination, restart the car and everything would be fine, however, the process would then repeat itself after another 15 miles. What could it be?

The wrench sensor on a Ford Explorer is a signal for both drivetrain and transmission problems – so it could be either. Fortunately, the issue ended up being a solenoid sensor, which was a relatively easy and inexpensive problem to fix.

If your car is “roaring,” or if you have any of your dashboard lights on (other than the turn signal!), make sure to come in and see us to have it checked out. 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!