My Car Bucks, But No Check Engine Light

Occasionally we get reports of people who have their cars consistently backfire, yet their check engine light isn’t on nor do they have a clue what is causing the backfiring to happen. This is where we recommend doing a scan of your car anyway. Why? Your check engine light itself may not be working!

Even if your check engine light isn’t on, the onboard computer can still store a code, it just didn’t happen to trip the mechanism that turns on the check engine light. Bucking usually occurs from a cylinder misfire.

The problems that typically cause misfires originate in the components of the secondary ignition. You’ve already replaced the coil pack, but it could be a bad spark plug, a bad plug wire or a faulty crank sensor. The crank sensor tells the car’s computer which plugs to fire. In most cases this is a relatively easy fix, so definitely come in and see us so we can scan your car to determine what is causing it to backfire.

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 My Headrest Position Matter?

Some people buy their car and never adjust the headrest. In fact, I know someone who leased a car, drove it for the entire three year term, and returned it with the headrest in the exact same position as it was when they leased the vehicle. He told me he literally never moved the headrest from its delivered position.

That being said, it is generally a good idea to adjust the headrests on your car once you start using it. So, what would the ideal position be? Well, behind your head, of course! But, to be serious, you want it high enough so that it is not behind your neck. That is a surefire way to get your neck injured should you hit anything or stop suddenly. The best position for the headrest is for the bottom edge of the headrest to line up with the lower part of the back of your head, an inch or two above where the neckline starts.

Its easy to get this right for the driver, especially if you are always the driver. You may want to make sure the headrest is adjusted properly for your guests when you are driving folks around. Regardless of when you adjusted your headrest last, come in and have us check out your wiper blades for the upcoming summer rains and thunderstorms!

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!

Don’t Tighten Those Lug Nuts Too Much! But Why?

Many people know this. Many do not. But, it never hurts to go over the basics every know and then. A good refresher is never a waste of time.

The fact is, most people know that you should never tighten lug nuts too tightly, but they don’t know why. Well, today is your lucky day. I am going to tell you why!

Whenever you put a wheel on a car, you put it on the (usually) five bolts that hole the tire. Then you apply and tighten lug nuts to hold the wheel in place.

Now, if you tighten the lug nuts too much, over time, you stretch and weaken those five bolts that are holding your tire in place. In fact, I’m pretty sure we have all seen cars with a wheel that just fell off on the side of the road, either being towed or waiting for a tow truck to respond. Well, I bet you nine times out of ten, that wheel fell off because the lug nuts had been too tight for a very long time!

We guarantee that if you bring your car into Handy’s, we will never tighten your lug nuts too gith, they will always be just right. 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 Better To Lease Or Buy?

Given the current financial climate, we sometimes get customers asking us which is better? Should you lease a car, or buy one? Given the current state of the economy and the supply chain issues, you may be much better off to lease a car than to buy one.

Under normal circumstances, yes, it definitely makes more sense to buy a car than to lease one, as you are spending, say, $45,000 to buy a car paid over three years, vs paying $15,000 (depreciation) over three years to lease a car. At the end of loan, you own the car of course. At the end of the lease, you have to give the car back.

Why it makes more sense now to lease than to buy is that you are very likely to OVERPAY for a new car. The prices for them are at an all time high. In fact, most dealherships are now adding $10,000+ dollars onto the sticker price of most cars just because of the demand, and for no other reason. You are paying more for product demand, and not for product. Therefore it makes more sense to lease, and not get taken to the cleaners!

No matter what you drive, come in and have us check out your brakes and wiper blade for the upcoming summer of heavy rains, which we always get from time to time in Vermont. 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 Are Regernative Brakes?

Everybody knows what car brakes are. Well, almost everybody! Until the advent of hybrid cars, all cars had friction brakes. The brakes that we tradtionally think of as brakes, where you have two pads that are applied to the rotors which create friction that slows the car down. However, hybrid cars alloed for a new type of braking system to be introduced. This is known as Regenerative Braking.

What happens in regenerative braking is that, instead of two pads being applied to create friction to slow the car, the wheels start to turn a generator in the car, which provides resistance, slowing down the speed of the car. Of course, there are many, many instances where this is not enough pressure to stop the car completely or fast enough. In those cases, the traditional friction brakes are then brought into play.

Your car’s advanced computer uses its software to determine which type of braking to use, starting with the Regenerative Brakes and applying the friction brakes when needed. Fortunately, the software is so good at this transition, you don’t even notice it happening!

Regard;ess of the kind of car you drive, come in and have us check your brakes. Not only are they required to be in working order for your Vermont State Inspection, they are also of primary importance for your safety and the safety of all those 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!

If I Am Making Deliveries Should I Keep My Car Running?

With the explosion in the use of delivery services, like Uber Eats and Instacart, we get a lot of customers coming in that use their vehicles to make deliveries. A lot of times we get the question as to whether or not they should turn their car off when they are bringing the delivery to the door.

Back in the old days, when cars had really bad carburetors, it would actually take more gas to turn the car off and on than to just let it run while you were outside of the vehicle making a delivery. Most people still think that this is the case. However, the reality is that since the 1980s, fuel injection systems have come into the picture. Since they meticulously measure every drop of fuel, it does not use a drop more gas to turn the car off and on every time when you get out of your ride.

You won’t hurt your car by starting and stopping it often, if you need to. New start/stop systems on cars are designed to start hundreds of times a day. And one other bonus! You will be helping the environment just that much more by turning off your engine as much as you can!

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 Having The Convertible Top Up Or Down Make A Difference On The Highway?

This is a question we get from time to time. We will have someone bring in their convertible for service and they will say they are considering a trip down to DC or up to Nova Scotia and want to know if it is safe to have te top up on the highway.

It sounds like a good question, right? Well, it is! And the answer may surprise you. Safety-wise, it really doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of difference whether you have the top up or down in a convertible when you are driving on the highway. Why is that? Well, the top of a convertible is cloth. So if you are hit from above or rollover, cloth isn’t going to protect you very much. So, what it really comes down to is personal preference.

You do have a lot more visibility when you are driving with the top down, but the sound of the wind and the beating of the wind against your face can make it a really unpleasant experience. The times I have driving a convertible on the highway, I like to keep the top down. It’s just more comfortable. You can always put the top up when you get off the highway and the speed with the wind is much reduced. That is usually quite comfortable – if it is sunny!

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 Like To Use A Plow Consider A Jeep For Next Winter

Crossovers are all the rage right now. A vast percentage of current market sales in Vermont are for these vehicles. If you just want to drive on-road in the winter, then yes, a crossover is a great vehicle and by all means purchase one. In fact, the new Subaru Forester apparently comes ready to roll with a set of snow-worthy tires!

However, there is one thing that you cannot do with a crossover that you can do with a Jeep. Let’s say a Jeep Wrangler even. There is no frame to speak of on a crossover to which you can attach a plow. If you would like to plow your (or any) driveway, you would not be able to do so with a crossover. Not only do they not have the frame for it, they don’t offer an auxiliary button by which you can control a plow.

And that’s the beauty of the Jeep. Not only can you have a great, safe and comfortable ride in the winter. You can take it offroad anytime of year AND you can attach a plow to it, if plowing snow is something you are inclined to do! 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!

Keeping Your Local Repair Shop In The Loop

You may not know this, but there is a law on the books in Massachusetts which is being challenged by automakers. This law has to do with literally who can work on your car. Or, at the very least, who can tell you what is wrong with it.

Years ago, it was decided that automakers had to have a universal code and access method for diagnostics so that any reoair shop can diagnose what is wrong with a car and fix it. This allows independent repair shops to operate. If that information was only available to proprietary dealerships, then your Subaru could ONLY be serviced by your local Subaru dealership.

However, Subaru, Kia, Tesla and others got crafty. They are trying to legally force a way to only allow their trained mechanics to work on your car. They want to implement their OWN code and access system. Why be so undemocratic? They say the current system is a security risk. That if the access and knowledge of what can go wrong with a vehicle and why is universal, well then a car can be hacked. Or, heaven forbid, all Teslas are told to Turn Left next Tuesday at 1:15 pm.

Of course, this is all rather far fetched, that any such thing could happen. But property is property and many automakers want to take all knowledge of their products “in house.”

We will watch this case with a close eye, as we hope to always provide dependable, accurate and affordable local service for whatever you drive.

Recycling and Handy’s

We care about the environment here at Handy’s and we keep looking for innovative ways to reduce waste and help others. One idea we recently came up with arose from me poking around the garage during the recent warm up. I found in a box at the back of the garage some auto light bulbs for a car I no longer own. I think all of us can or will find something like this as we do our ritualistic spring cleaning.

What I realized that is really great about this, is that I brought those bulbs into the shop and I will hand them out (if they are the right bulb, of course) to anyone who needs them. Of course, there may not be anyone with a 15 year old Chevy looking for a bulb anytime soon, but eventually, someone probably will be.

We encourage you to bring in any spare bulbs you may have for us to “recycle.” It is certainy better than sending them to the landfill where their toxic components can take up to 50 years to degrade. And who knows? You might just Light Up Someone’s Life! 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!