Author Archives: chandy2014

Defective Brake Light Switch And Car Won’t Start

Many new cars now have a push button ignition. As long as you have the key fob in hand, you push the button and voila, the car starts! However, sometimes the car will just do nothing when you push that button and you are left wondering why. The car is in park, the battery in your fob is fine, your car battery is full of charge, so what could the problem be?

There is your brake light switch. This is the switch that turns on your lights on the back of your car. It is also the switch that tells the computer in your car that the brake pedal has been depressed. This is needed for the car to start.

Often, when your push button car won’t start, the problem is a broken brake light switch. If all else checks out, give us a call, we will get your vehicle to our shop, determine the cause of your issue, fix it and get you back on the road safely in no time.

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!

Do Cars Need “Highway Miles” Anymore?

Those of us who are old enough to remember, remember being told to get our cars out on the highway now and then and that highway miles were good for extending the life of the car. This indeed used to be the case. The reason was that we needed to “blow the carbon out” of the system.

All newer cars are fuel injected and therefore carbon residue does not build up anymore. If you took your engine apart at 50,000 miles it should look as clean as the day you bought it.

So, if you are a city person, or someone who just doesn’t like to take road trips and prefers to fly, don’t worry! You can take as many short trips to the grocery store or dentist as you like and never have to be concerned with getting those highway miles on your vehicle.

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!

Does “Sealed For Life” Really Mean “Sealed For Life?”

Lots of us have newer vehicled that were sold to us with things like transmissions that we are told are “sealed for life.” The idea behing this is that the system is kept hermetically closed so that nothing could possibly get into the system to cause abrasions or wear and tear. Also, the fluids used in these transmissions are design to not break down or degrade.

However, some people can get nervous when they hit the 150,000 mile mark or more and want to change their transmission fluid anyway, if for no other reason than peace of mind.

Yes, you CAN open a sealed for life transmission and change the fluid. Clearly, the designers of these vehicles knew that there are cases when you need to get into the transmission. Especially in the case of repairs. But, you really don’t need to! Just change the oil as scheduled if you want to be a true maintenance hawk.

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!

Does “E” On A Tank Really Mean “E”

This is a question a lot of drivers have. If their tank goes to empty does it really mean that there is NO gas left in the tank? I think we all know the answer to this, but I will confirm. When your car gets to “E” there is actually a gallon or two left in the tank.

This is what the industry refers to as “moron insurance.” However, I like to think of it as insurance to make sure you get to one of our pumps safe and sound!

You don’t hear it talked about much because, clearly, its never a good thing to run your tank out of gas and the manufacturers don’t want you to think that there may be a reserve after the reserve is used!

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 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!