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!

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!