Author Archives: chandy2014

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!

What Does “Total Restoration” Mean?

You’ve heard about folks roaming the countryside and visiting old barns where owners of vintage cars are offering them for sale – with the caveat that they need a “total restoration.” What does this mean? Well, for one, it means you better have pretty deep pockets!

Some people are lucky, they inherit really fine old automobiles from family members, yet they have little interest in maintaining them or putting them on the road. This usually results in the vehicles languishing in a barn where they literally rot. No matter how fine an auto is, if you just let it sit it will deteriorate into a state where you literally have to restore everything. From paint to piston.

If you have an older car and want to keep it alive, bring it in and let us take a look at it. 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!

Should I Put My Car In Neutral At A Stoplight?

A lot of people wonder if they should put their vehicle in neutral while they are waiting at a stoplight. Will it save gas? Is it good for the engine? These are some of the questions people asks themselves.

In the old days, when cars used to idle around 1000 RPMs, idling in neutral at a stoplight would definitely do damage over time, as the parts slammed against each other at that speed. Today, everything in your engine is computer controlled, so you and your engine will hardly notice any difference when you put her in neutral.

Unless you are driving an ancient relic, its really up to you and a matter of personal choice. Just make sure you don’t keep those behind you waiting when you get back in gear! 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!

Paint Job? Wrap Job!

As the cost of painting a car continues to increase people have been looking for alternatives when it comes to giving their ride a fresh new look. A good paint job will run you about five thousand dollars. A new alternative is a wrap job, which will cost you about half as much.

What you get is basically a big roll of vinyl that is used to stretch over and cover your vehicle. Perhaps the best news is that you don’t have to be limited to a single color. With vinyl wrap, anything becomes possible and you can have a choice of multi-colored patterns to a traveling advertisement for your business. With large format ink jet printers, it is super easy and very inexpensive to get a custom wrap made. But be warned, to do this right it will take a week!

Come in and see us and let us inspect your current paint job. We will let you know if we see any rust and if you need any chips touched up or areas repainted. 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!

Brake Fluid Change Every 30,000 Miles?

Most people have not heard of changing their brake fluid as most people conceive of their braking system as a closed one that never has anything coming into it or leaking out of it. This is not entirely the case. As brake pads wear out, air eventually gets into the system to make up for the space of the worn out pads. Over time, this can cause water to condense into the brake fluid as, unless you are in the desert, all air contains water.

Water will corrode brake components which is why it is a good idea to change your brake fluid every 30,000 miles or so. It may be a bit overprotective as some people have cars that have gone 150,000 miles on their original brake fluid without a problem – but why take the chance? Changing it every 30,000 miles insures that you will have a safe, secure and well working brake 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!