Should I Get High Mileage Motor Oil For My High Mileage Car?

This is something that gets asked often. People will bring in their Toyotas, Hondas and occasionally Fords (!) with over 150,000 miles on them and ask if they should put what is sold as “high mileage” oil into their engines.

The truth of the matter is that it really doesn’t matter what type of oil you use as long as it is the type specified by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Let’s face it, if you have leaky valves or seals, there isn’t any oil on the planet that is going to fix the problem for you. What is important is that you change the oil according to the protocol of your vehicle’s manufacturer.

When it is time for that oil change, make sure you come in and see us. We can accommodate you quickly and reasonably. Give us a call and set up an appointment for an economic and quick oil change.

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 Kind Of Gas Should I Use In An Old Muscle Car?

Let’s say your dad or grandpa left  you their classic ’69 Chevelle SS. A real muscle car, for sure! Let’s say that it runs great and that you take it to the pump for your first fill up with the new wheels. The question you ask yourself is, what kind of gas should I put in this beast?

The most important thing to remember here is that you want to make sure that the car does not ping. Pinging occurs when some fuel combusts in a cylinder before it’s supposed to. You can experiment with different octane levels to see which one your car operates most quietly at. Hopefully, for your wallet or pocket book, you can use 87 octane gas!

If you have an older vehicle, make sure to come in and have your fuel lines checked. Leaking fuel can be dangerous and certainly inefficient!

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!

When Parking On A Hill, What Order Do I Brake In?

There can be some confusion as to what order you should perform the parking ritual when parking on a hillside. On flat surfaces we rarely think of engaging the parking brake, but on a hillside most of us are “inclined” xD to do so!

The way to park on a hillside is simple if you remember these three easy steps. First put your foot firmly on the brake and put the car in Park. Once the car is in park, the engage the parking brake. Once you have the parking brake engaged, you can then take your foot off the brake.

The best way to remember the protocol is foot on brake first, foot off brake last!

Come in and see us to have your brakes checked for the upcoming winter, and remember, wet 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!

Sears Once Made Cars!

It was sad to hear of the recent bankruptcy filing by Sears, that once giant retailer that was the Amazon of its day.   The original founder of Sears didn’t make cars but his successor tried getting into the market with the 1909 Sears Motor Buggy.

The buggy was well liked and here is an actual review of one from 1910:

I received your motor car in August last; am much pleased with it and it does all you claim it will do. Last season I ran the car about 1,500 miles without a break or bog, and it crossed the Blue Mountain and also the Broad Mountain out in the coal regions with ease. We have rough and hilly roads here in Pennsylvania and the Sears stood all kinds of tests.

Like so many salvos into new markets, the buggy was not profitable and Sears discontinued it after 1912. Who knows. Will Amazon develop its own car?

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!

Can You Switch To Synthetic Oil?

There are a lot of myths going around about synthetic oil. We hear things like if you change from using conventional oil to synthetic your car will reject it like a bad organ transplant. We also hear that you cannot mix the two together or they will cause your engine to seize up or worse.

The truth is, you can use them interchangably or even together! Though, of course, we don’t recommend that and we recommend you stick to one type of oil per oil change. That being said, if you can afford the slight increase in price for synthetic oil, go for it.

Even if your car is a 2000 Mercury Cougar that has had conventional oil its whole life, you can change over to synthetic oil worry free. It does a better job and lasts longer. Period.

If you haven’t had your oil changed in the last 3,000 miles, 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!

Engine Idling High But No Check Engine Light

This is an interesting case we heard about recently. An individual came in with their engine idling high and they were stumped. They had changed their spark plugs, replaced all the filters and had the car checked out by a mechanic. Nothing could be found that seemed wrong. Also, there was no check engine light. What gives?

In the old days you could use a screwdriver and turn down the idle on a car. These days it is all computer controlled and you cannot adjust the idle manually in any way. The check engine light was not on becuase no sensor was sending erroneous information to the car’s computer. So what would cause this?

The answer was interesting. It was bad fuel injectors! There are no sensors in the fuel injectors and when they go they cause issues such as idling inconsistencies. Voila! New injectors and problem solved.

If your car not idling correctly, bring it in and let us have a look! 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!

Defective Brake Light Switch And Car Won’t Start

Many new cars now have a push button ignition. As long as you have the key fob in hand, you push the button and voila, the car starts! However, sometimes the car will just do nothing when you push that button and you are left wondering why. The car is in park, the battery in your fob is fine, your car battery is full of charge, so what could the problem be?

There is your brake light switch. This is the switch that turns on your lights on the back of your car. It is also the switch that tells the computer in your car that the brake pedal has been depressed. This is needed for the car to start.

Often, when your push button car won’t start, the problem is a broken brake light switch. If all else checks out, give us a call, we will get your vehicle to our shop, determine the cause of your issue, fix it and get you back on the road safely in no time.

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 Cars Need “Highway Miles” Anymore?

Those of us who are old enough to remember, remember being told to get our cars out on the highway now and then and that highway miles were good for extending the life of the car. This indeed used to be the case. The reason was that we needed to “blow the carbon out” of the system.

All newer cars are fuel injected and therefore carbon residue does not build up anymore. If you took your engine apart at 50,000 miles it should look as clean as the day you bought it.

So, if you are a city person, or someone who just doesn’t like to take road trips and prefers to fly, don’t worry! You can take as many short trips to the grocery store or dentist as you like and never have to be concerned with getting those highway miles on your vehicle.

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 “Sealed For Life” Really Mean “Sealed For Life?”

Lots of us have newer vehicled that were sold to us with things like transmissions that we are told are “sealed for life.” The idea behing this is that the system is kept hermetically closed so that nothing could possibly get into the system to cause abrasions or wear and tear. Also, the fluids used in these transmissions are design to not break down or degrade.

However, some people can get nervous when they hit the 150,000 mile mark or more and want to change their transmission fluid anyway, if for no other reason than peace of mind.

Yes, you CAN open a sealed for life transmission and change the fluid. Clearly, the designers of these vehicles knew that there are cases when you need to get into the transmission. Especially in the case of repairs. But, you really don’t need to! Just change the oil as scheduled if you want to be a true maintenance hawk.

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 “E” On A Tank Really Mean “E”

This is a question a lot of drivers have. If their tank goes to empty does it really mean that there is NO gas left in the tank? I think we all know the answer to this, but I will confirm. When your car gets to “E” there is actually a gallon or two left in the tank.

This is what the industry refers to as “moron insurance.” However, I like to think of it as insurance to make sure you get to one of our pumps safe and sound!

You don’t hear it talked about much because, clearly, its never a good thing to run your tank out of gas and the manufacturers don’t want you to think that there may be a reserve after the reserve is used!

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!