Author Archives: chandy2014

Does High Octane Gas Really Do Anything?

You see it at the pump all the time. The three “grades” of gasoline, each with their ever increasing octane levels. But, does it really matter which one you choose? Will it really make a difference in terms of performance or extending your engine’s life? What octane indicates is the ignition point of the fuel. In other words, the higher the octane, the higher the temperature needs to be for it to ignite. Therefore, the higher the octane, the more power each “explosion” will have in the piston chamber each time the piston fires.

There are two types of vehicles where octane is mentioned. There are those that “recommend” a higher (say, 93) octane, and there are those that require it. If your vehicle recommends 93 octane, you may shave off a bit of performance if you opt for the regular 87 octane fuel. If your vehicle requires 93 octane, you better shell out the extra bucks, because you can damage your engine by not giving it the power it needs.

Whatever octane fuel your ride uses, come in and make sure the fuel filter is regularly changed. If you are not sure as to which octane your engine needs, come in and we will let you know! 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 Did People Buy Diesel Engines?

There once was a time, OK, the Seventies, when lots of people were buying cars with diesel engines. There was much allure with them. It was the early days of environmental awareness and diesel engines did get you far more miles per gallon than gas engines did at the time. They were preferred as truck engines due to the high compression they offered, allowing the large rigs to pull up mountains more easily.

Nowadays there are still vehicles being made which feature diesel engines, but not many people are purchasing them. The list of issues they used to have, ranging from not starting in the cold to the noise level they emitted, have largely been cleaned up. A modern diesel engine isn’t that loud and they have components installed to keep them warm so that they start in the cold.

Perhaps the biggest reason diesel engines will be seen less and less, is that cars and all vehicles are going electric! Whatever kind of engine you have, bring it in to have us keep it tuned up, well oiled ad running smoothly! 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 Over 300,000 Miles On My Car, Time To Upgrade?

Some of us luck out. We just happen to purchase a vehicle that just keeps going forever and ever. We never need to do anything but change the oil, get the recommended service and put gas in the tank. This is wonderful for the pocketbook! However, over time, you may want to upgrade your wheels if for no other reason than safety!

The older a car is, the less safety features it has. Remember, really old cars didn’t even have shatterproof glass! If you have a car with 300,000 or more miles on it, you are probably talking about a car that is at least a decade old. So many safety features have evolved and appeared in the last decade, you definitely want to take advantage of them, especially if you have kids.

So yeah, if your ride is about a decade old or more, and you have the means, upgrade to something newer – and safer!

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!

Even If You Are Quarantining, Take That Car Out Once A Week

Given the current pandemic that has thrown some of our lives into pandemonium, many of us are just not going out at all, and have locked ourselves away for fear of catching what hopefully won’t be going around soon.

What may be good for us is most definitely not good for our cars! Even if we do not want to interact with the outside world, we need to make sure that our cars are.

Probably the most important reason to drive the car for at least 15-20 minutes every week is to keep that battery charged up. Another reason is that you will keep the moving parts of the engine lubricated, as running the engine gets that oil pump saturating your engine with engine oil.

Believe it or not, but rodents can make homes in your engine if it is left unused and can cause tremendous amounts of damage. If you drive your car once a week they won’t have time to set up house! Lastly, getting out of the house and driving a bit once a week is just plain old good for your mental health.

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 An Older Car, It Is Burning Oil, Is This A Big Deal?

There are many of us who like to get as much use out of our cars as we possibly can. Given how tough times are, this is not a bad idea. Driving your “car into the ground” is definitely a logical plan of action to take.

When cars get older you may notice that you are having to put oil into the engine every now and then. Don’t be alarmed, at least not necessarily! The question is, how many miles between putting in quarts of oil are you going? If you are putting oil in every 1500 to 2000 miles, I’d say you’re good to go and you can keep driving your ride. This kind of oil burn for an older car is normal. If you start to burn through a quart of oil every 500 miles or so, then I’d start thinking about getting a new ride.

Regardless of how old your car is, come in and let’s make sure the oil level is correct! 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 OK To Top Off The Tank?

A lot of people are what I like to call “serial toppers.” These are all good folk who just happen to not believe their tank is as full as it should be when the pump shuts itself off. The truth of the matter is, once the pump shuts itself off, please do not try to top that tank off!

You may ask yourself, “why?” Well, the answer is actually very simple. There is something in cars nowadays that wasn’t really around back in the earlier days of automobiles. We have vapor recovery systems, which are great for the environment. If you try to force more gas into the tank, it can spill over into the vapor recovery system and cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage.

If you are experiencing any issues with your gas tank, 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 Does It Mean To “Lug The Engine?”

This is a term you may have heard, but didn’t know what it meant. Not surprisingly, it means almost exactly what is says. If you are “lugging” and object around, it means you are struggling to carry something that is either too large a shape, too heavy or both. You huff and puff, contort and strain trying to carry the object that is not convenient at all to carry. The same is true for your engine.

Your engine likes a lower gear to go fast in. That is comfortable and convenient for it. So, when you are going to fast in too high a gear, say going sixty in second gear (for most cars) you are “lugging the engine” because it is huffing and puffing and contorting itself to keep itself going. So, don’t do that! 🙂

If your engine is slipping, making noises or just not accelerating right, 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!

Automatic Parking Brakes Incoming

Most people don’t bother with engaging their parking break, especially when they are parking in their garage and there is virtually no chance of the car rolling off anywhere. However, there are definitely times where you want to have that parking break on, so some new models are making the parking break automatic. When you put the car in Park, the parking break engages, and when you take it out of park, the parking break disengages.

Why did it take so long? Parking brakes have traditionally been operated with a cable that the driver would pull or release. Over time these cables would stretch or come out of alignment, weaken and just become unreliable. So, the actions that the driver used to make are now being made by the car itself. It’s a great feature and one you should expect to see in the models of the not-too-distant future.

If your parking break isn’t holding, or if it’s squeaking, bring it in and have 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!

Does A Hybrid Car Really Save Me Money?

At one time it was generally accepted that hybrid cars saved you money on gas. Remember those days when gas was around five dollars a gallon in parts of the country! With gas prices falling back to what they were a couple of decades ago, do hybrid cars really save you money anymore? Fortunately, we can rely on math to figure that one out for us.

First, you have to find the price difference between the hybrid version of the car you want and the plain gas version of the car you want. Let’s say the difference is $2,000. The question now is, how much time will it take you to save $2,000 driving the hybrid version?

What you need to calculate is the savings in the difference in MPG based on how many miles per year you drive between the two versions. So, if the gas version gets 30 MPG and the hybrid version gets 40 MPG and you drive 20,000 miles a year, that would mean a difference of 167 gallons a year. At current gas prices, you would save about $350 a year. Up to you to see if it is worth it now.

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 I Need A New Transmission Or A New Sensor?

So you’ve had your car for awhile and it’s an automatic and it has performed its duty of shifting you between gears for almost a decade. Suddenly, you notice that the car is not shifting into third gear! You assume that it is either time to junk the car or rebuild the transmission.

There is something you should look into before tossing out your ride or putting big bucks into rebuilding its transmission. All automatic transmissions in cars of the last several decades are controlled by a computer known as the Power Control Module. In shifts the gears based on data it receives from sensors letting it know when to switch gears. If one of those sensors is not providing correct or any data at all, the computer will not tell the gears to shift.

If you notice that your car is not shifting correctly, come in and see us, our trained experts will diagnose the problem for you and offer solutions to get you back 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!