Should I Warm My Tires Up Before Going Fast?

Some of us old timers may recall our old man telling us that you better not drive that car over 40 mph before you’ve driven under 40 mph for about ten minutes! The logic being that the tires needed to “warm up” in order to prevent them from sustaining damage or wearing unevenly. The good news is that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not back in the times of our fathers or grandfathers, but ever. Tires simply don’t need to be warmed up.

There is one rule with tires that you actually should follow. That is the rule of not letting them sit for too long. If you garage or park your car for an extended period of time, you should absolutely take it out on occasion, or put it on blocks. The reason being, tires that sit in one position for an extended period of time will develop flat spots, which can cause rapid erosion of your tires, and in some cases be outright dangerous.

If you have had your car parked for a long time, or are thinking about storing it for awhile, come in and see us. We can inspect your stored car’s tires, and recommend how to store your car properly if you are going south for the winter. 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 Anti-Lock Brakes Really Do Anything?

Almost every, and perhaps every, car on the market today has anti-lock brakes. For those readers who do now know what anti-lock brakes are, they are brakes that “auto-pump” if the wheels lock up, allowing the driver to steer the car. In slick conditions, like icy roads or sometimes roads covered with wet leaves in the fall, the wheels can lock when you apply the brakes. Anti-lock brakes allow the wheels to move in between micro applications of the brakes, hence the “clicking” sound you get when you hear your anti-lock brakes engage.

Of course, it is always good to bear in mind that having anti-lock brakes doesn’t guarantee you aren’t going to end up in an accident or a crash. The purpose of anti-lock brakes is to give you as much of a chance as possible to avoid getting into an accident or a crash. So, always drive slow and safe in all appropriate conditions. If you anti-lock brake light is on, they may be in need of service, so 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!

Coolant Leaked Out, Had Just Picked Up A Six-Pack

This is a question that actually gets asked. People are out and about and their car springs a big coolant leak. Maybe a hose blew or a gasket popped. In any event, the driver didn’t have any coolant in the car but were on their way back home after picking up a six pack of beer, soda or some other beverage. The question they asked was if it is OK to use liquids like that if you don’t have anything else around? Is it OK to use just a “little” to make it to a service station, or back home? Or, should you suck it up, wait, and pay the tow truck.

The answer shouldn’t surprise you, no matter how hopeful you have might been about saving a few bucks. Definitely do NOT put any liquid other than approved coolant in your cooling system. It’s not the water, or carbonation, or even alcohol that is going to be a problem for your car. The main problem is the other ingredients, like sugars, malts, fruit juices, etc. that your cooling system is not going to like. If you have any leak of any kind, whether you are on the road or not, call our towing service to safely get your vehicle to our garage where we can professionally diagnose the problem and repair your ride. 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 Your Engine Be Hot Or Cold When Changing Oil?

This is a question people often ask, even when we change the oil in their vehicle for them. Is it better to change your engine oil after the car has warmed up? Or, is it better to change the oil when it is well rested and nice and cold.

The answer is that it is definitely better to change the engine oil once the engine has warmed up. Why, you may ask? Well, the main reason is that oil flows better when it is warm. The oil is less viscous the warmer it gets. That being said, you really don’t want to change the oil immediately after running your car. It is hot! And oil filters are often in places that are difficult to get to, and you could burn yourself.

The best time to change the oil is 30-60 minutes after you run your engine. Oh! Use oven gloves to change that oil and filter! It will definitely keep you from feeling the heat. Of course, the best idea would be to bring your vehicle in and let our expert staff change the oil 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!

I’m Not Driving Much These Days, What About My Engine Oil?

The pandemic sure has kept us home and most of us haven’t ventured far from the roost. In fact, I know several people who haven’t even put 100 miles on their car in the last six months! Does this mean we should all get an oil change vacation? Absolutely not!

Even if you don’t drive your car (and you should take it out for about twenty minutes a week, even for a joy ride, to keep the seals lubricated in your engine), you need to change the oil at least once every six months. Why, you may ask? Well, it is for a very simple reason – nothing lasts forever, not even engine oil integrity!

Over time, like everything else, engine oil degrades and loses its viscosity and ability to protect the moving parts of your car’s engine. If it breaks down enough, it can actually start to erode the seals that keep your engine intact. The best thing to do is, if you aren’t driving much, change your oil every six months. This assures that your engine oil is chemically sound and doing its part to protect your engine.

If you haven’t been driving much since March, or even if you have, come in and let us change your oil, it will keep your car happy and you from an major repair bill! 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 Fruit Flies In My Vehicle, But I Don’t Eat In The Car, Why?

Sometimes there are bizarre events that rarely happen, and they can happen to us. We recently heard of a guy who had fruit flies all over the cabin of his pickup, but he never eats in the truck and isn’t terribly fond of fruit to begin with. What could cause a bunch of fruit flies to show up? Is it just random bad luck?

The answer is, of course it is not random bad luck, there is a reason! If you notice flies or other insects in the cabin of your vehicle, and you don’t see any obvious culprits, like half eaten sandwiches or a tray of old fries, there are two things you should check.

The first thing to check is the carpet. If you spilled coffee with milk, soda or any other sweetish liquid onto the carpet, that will breed flies for sure. The other place to check is the ventilation system. If you park under trees or bushes that have any kind of berries, they can get into the ventilation system and breed flies.

If you notice any bugs, literal or figurative, in your vehicle, come in and see us, we will ferret them 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!

If I’m Moving Cross Country, What’s A Good Vehicle?

Let’s say you have graduated college, spent the summer with your folks are and ready to begin your new job – in Washington State! You have worked hard all summer and saved up a bit of money and need to get a car that will not only serve you well in the Pacific Northwest, but will also get you there! What should you buy?

There are a number of really good all-around vehicles on the market at the moment. We really like crossover SUVs. They offer an abundance of safety features, good road visibility and excellent fuel economy. You don’t want anything gianormous, like a Tahoe, and you don’t want anything super small, like a Mini. You want something that will get you and your gear across the country and out to the mountains on the weekend!

Two vehicles that come to mind are the Subaru CrossTrek and the Kia Seltos. Both of these cars have all the features you could want and are really good on gas mileage. Also, your parents will be happy with the safety ratings of these crossover SUVs. Parents, if you are reading, these cars would be great for you too!

Whatever you are driving, come in and have us perform a safety check before you make any cross country trips. 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 Is A Spark Plug Gap?

You might not know it, but when your spark plugs are changed, we take a factor into account that you probably have never heard of. When your spark plugs are working correctly, they literally make a spark that ignites the fuel/air mixture in the chamber of the piston. The explosion caused by the ignition forces down the piston, which then drives the motor. This process is repeated over and over until you turn the engine off.

There is a gap between the electrodes on all spark plugs that the car’s electric current jumps between to create the spark. Hence – spark plug! If the gap between the electrodes is too small for the size of your car’s piston, there won’t be enough power to drive your vehicle. If the gap is too large, it could destroy the spark plug itself and, of course, the car won’t run then, either.

As you can see, there is a fine art to changing spark plugs. You absolutely have to get the right plug for your vehicle’s engine. Fortunately, that’s we we do well! If your engine is running a bit rough, 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’s A Good All-Around Vermont Car?

Let’s say your car has about 300,000 miles on it and it is really starting to show signs of wear. Maybe you’ve even had it towed by us once or twice. While we appreciate the business, we’d rather have you come in for an oil change than to see you stuck without a safe ride.

You have so many choices today. Do you go with a sedan? A pickup truck? A SUV? Every car manufacturer is offering discounts on virtually everything from the tiniest two-door to the biggest dual wheeling pickup. Not surprisingly, all the hype about the Subaru Forester being the “official car of Vermont” isn’t all that far-fetched!

A vehicle like the Forester is really ideal for our state. It has great gas mileage and is perfect in all types of inclement weather, which we have in every season up here! Whether it’s summer downpours or winter snowstorms, the Forester can handle them all relatively well with its four wheel drive and traction control.

Whatever you decide to drive, come in and have us safety check you for the upcoming season. Remember, fallen leaves can be as slick as ice! 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 Though It’s Summer, I’m Thinking About Rust

It’s true that right around the corner, we are going to be facing winter again and with winter comes thoughts of our vehicles rusting from being on the roads. What can you do to prevent the ice melting salt from corroding your ride? Well, the best thing to do is to take your vehicle to the car wash and get an undercarriage wash included in the deal.

It is a good idea to wait a few days to a week after a snow or ice storm to get the car wash done. Why? Well, you want to wait until that salty slush is off the roads. A few days to a week after a storm, you may still see salt on the road, but it is not in its slushy form and will not be sloshing up onto your ride.

If you take the time to get your car washed a few days after every storm, you shouldn’t have to worry about rusting 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!