Watch The Game While Driving On The Highway?

With all the technology we have available today, some folks are getting the idea that they may as well just watch the big game while they are cruising on cruise control. This is a really, really bad idea. First of all, it is illegal. You are not allowed to operate handheld devices while driving and you are not allowed to drive distracted. I know it is tempting. Many people today have complete TV subscriptions through YouTube or other online services. They are even beginning to rival cable in their popularity. You can have virtually any network on sports organization at your fingertips live or on demand.

There is a bit of a loophole with handheld devices. Some people purchase equipment that allows them to mount their phone on part of their dashboard. This removes the handheld aspect of the phone and allows you to use it as if it were part of your car’s original equipment. Like the stereo, for example.

You can always catch the game by LISTENING to it! You can use the radio or use your TV service, just have the screen off and only listen to the audio. Nothing says you can’t listen while you drive! You just can’t have anything going on that could take your eyes off the road. Even for a few seconds!

Make sure your car’s dashboard is not cracked and all your equipment is working correctly. Come in and see us if you have any questions! 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 Using Olive Oil To Keep My Wiper Blades From Sticking To The Windshield Overnight In Winter A Good Idea?

There is much creativity in the human mind. We have managed to send ourselves to the moon, and proxies of ourselves to Mars and the outer solar system. One could ask, why not come up with something practical? Such as, why not come up with something that keeps my windshield wiper blades from sticking to the windshield in the winter? Great idea! Someone came up with a possible “solution.”

While thinking of a way to avoid having to scrape ice off from around and under his wiper blades, an adventurous soul remembered that Olive Oil is really good at not sticking! So, he went to his kitchen, got some olive oil and put it under his wiper blades and just above them to keep any snow/ice/water vapor from getting on or under his wiper blades. Next morning, sure enough, his wiper blades were not stuck to the windshield. Victory! Or, so he thought.

What ha actually happened was that, despite the wiper blades not sticking, the olive oil had formed a film which had frozen to the outside of the windshield. This had made it impossible to see through. Also, it was REALLY difficult to remove. If you have ever cooked with olive oil, you know that when cold water hits a pan with olive oil in it, the olive oil gunks up and makes a solid film covering the pan bottom. This is exactly what happened to the “inventor.” Great idea! Too bad, in practice, it has a very unpleasant side effect or two!

If your wiper blades are not clearing your windshield well, 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!

Car Sharing?

In today’s tough economic climate, it may not be possible to afford your own car. One idea that comes to mind is to share a car between yourself and your housemates and/or neighbors. It’s a tempting idea! Of course, one person will have to legally own it and have the insurance in their name. You could opt for some fancy legal trust work to own the car, but that is certainly a pricey proposition that would make car sharing prohibitively expensive.

Once someone in the household, or one of the immediate neighbors, decides to either offer their car or purchase one for communal use, how should you go about implementing your plan? There is a really good way this could be done. You could all agree to split the insurance costs equally, once a month. Then, you could all agree on a set fee per use that would go into a fund to pay for gas, the car payment (if any) and the maintenance on the vehicle. Of course, make sure your bank and insurance company know how many people are using the car and all their contact info!

Whether or not you use your car yourself or it serves the needs of many, come in and have us tune up your car for the upcoming summer months. 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!

Misaligned Hubcap Covers?

Here’s a fun little fact for you. Let’s say you obsessive-compulsive and like to have everything “just so.” You are a neatnik! Everything in your home (and garage) is in perfect order. Nothing out of place and everything straightened to a “T.” You notice, to your horror, that the covers of your hubcaps are all misaligned! You immediately set out to right the wrong. You pop off all the hubcap covers and put them back on so they are all exactly parallel with the floor. Military precision style.

So, you get home from work a couple of days later, prepared to satisfy you craving for order by congratulating yourself when you look at the side of your car and see those hubcap covers still in perfect order. One problem. To your complete dismay, when you look at the hubcap covers, they are all misaligned! What could have happened! Who at the office would be so evil as to rearrange your hubcap covers?

Well, the answer to this one is interesting. When you turn, the outside wheel spins just a tiny, tiny bit faster than the inside wheel, since you are temporarily going around a circle! The inside loop of a circle is shorter than the outside loop of a circle. So, your outside wheel has to turn just a little bit faster to keep up! Come in and have us check all your tires, to make sure they are road worthy for the rest of the winter and the upcoming mud season. 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 If I Left My Automatic Transmission Downshifted?

Those of us that drive cars with automatic transmissions know that we can “override” the car’s normal shifting capacities by manually putting the transmission in a lower gear. We often do this in winter or when going down long hills to either get more traction or not burn our brakes. But, let’s say you are talking with your kid and you forget that you downshifted and you continue to drive for a bit. Is this going to damage your transmission?

Fortunately, the answer is that today all vehicles have automatic transmissions that are controlled by the vehicle’s computer. Back thirty or forty years ago, you could definitely damage your transmission by driving it for a prolonged period, at high speeds, in a lower gear. The great news is that now, the car won’t let the engine rev into a danger zone, regardless of what the stupid human driving it does! So, if you ever forget and leave your car downshifted, don’t worry, you will most likely be just fine!

If you notice your car’s transmission 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 Is A Low Profile Tire?

You see them everywhere nowadays. The sleek, thin tire attached to a disproportionately large wheel. What gives?

The “thin” tires you are looking at are known as “low profile tires.” You may ask yourself if they serve a purpose. The answer is, yes, they do serve a limited purpose, but they are mainly purchased for aesthetic reasons. Some people just like the look of a big ol’ tire!

The only actual purpose a low profile tire serves is a bit better handling on the road. Since you have less of a sidewall on these tires, you have less of a sidewall that needs to turn, so you “grip” the road better. The downside, practically speaking, is that you have less sidewall, therefore less total tire compared to conventional tires. This means you are going to feel all the bumps in the road that much more!

It’s a matter of taste. It’s also a matter of tradeoffs. If you want the “cool” look of a low profile tire, be prepared to feel every bump in the road! If your tire light is on, or you have been needed to add air to a tire frequently, 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!

If My Car Is Running On A Lift, Will That Increase The Odometer?

This is an interesting “What If” question. You’ve seen cars up on lifts, of course, and you also know that mechanics test cars for sounds and performance. This can sometimes mean that a mechanic needs to not just idle your car, but engage the drive train while it is up on a lift. If you thought that this would add mileage to your car, you are right, it will!

The odometer does not keep track of mileage by sensing the road. The odometer keeps track of mileage by how many rotations the tires make. The car’s computer knows the circumference of the tire, and so it multiplies that distance out by the number of rotations your tires make.

Under most circumstances, a mechanic may put a very, very small amount of mileage on your car this way. Probably not even a tenth of a mile. However, if in the unlikely circumstance that your mechanic begins a test and then takes a phone call, you could end up with a few miles added on!

If your car’s odometer is not moving, 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!

The Lining Of My Car Roof Is Falling!

This is something that happens often – in older cars. You get in your vintage 1990s pride and joy and you look in the rear view mirror. What do you see? Part of the car roof is hanging down in your line of sight! Fortunately, this has nothing to do with the structural integrity of your ride.

The fabric that covers the roof is held on by glue. Of course, this glue is put on at the time of manufacture, and, like all glue, at some point the bond wears off. You can see a simplified version of this if you go through some old scrap books. Your great aunt attached a drawing you made as a kid with a glue stick, you open the scrap book to the page with your drawing on it, and the drawing just falls off! Same concept.

There isn’t much you can do about this, unless you want to spend a lot of money! A dealership will replace the entire headliner – foam backing and frame. However, if you can maybe cut a little hole in the part that is hanging down, you can use a glue gun to strategically put some glue in place, and voila! Might not be the greatest look, but hey, won’t cost ya much!

If you are experiencing any issues with the interior of your car, come in and see us. We can offer some practical tips, and get your oil changed in the process! 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 Lost A Hubcap, Does It Matter?

It can happen to us anytime of the year. We are driving on a country road with potholes, and BOOM!, we get home and realize a hubcap popped off which we will never see again. The first thing that comes to mind is “well that doesn’t look very classy.” The second thing that comes to mind is, “wow, I don’t want to spend any money right now.” We’d like to tell ourselves that we really don’t need that “decorative” hubcap and just keep on driving. I mean, we can’t see the missing hubcap from behind the wheel, now can we?

The truth is, if you lose a hubcap, you probably want to replace it? Why? Well, the hubcap, in addition to looking cool, actually protects the wheel nuts and wheel bolts from getting rusty and corroding. It definitely costs more in the long run to replace what holds your wheel onto the car than to replace a hubcap! So, if you lose a hubcap, at least get a really cheap replacement to keep your car from getting one step closer to the junkyard!

If you have lost a hubcap or have any questions about your tires, come in and see us, we can get replacements. 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!

Will Using Gas Additives Improve My Vehicle’s Performance?

We see them every time we gas up. Those little (or sometimes, not so little) bottles of fuel additives claiming to improve your vehicle’s performance by cleaning out your engine, in particular, your fuel injectors.

The long and short of it is, if your vehicle is not showing a Check Engine code, idling roughly or misfiring, your engine is probably pretty clean. Also, your mechanic has equipment that is especially designed to “wash” your fuel lines, without adding chemicals to your gasoline. Like they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

There is no need to go about adding solvents or solutions to your gas, or any other fluid in your vehicle. If you keep your car maintained with oil changes, transmission oil changes and keeping all fluid levels topped off, you shouldn’t need to add anything to any of your car’s systems.

If it has been awhile since you had an oil or transmission fluid change, come in and see us to keep your vehicle running smoothly and getting you the performance you deserve. 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!