Category Archives: Handy’s Service Center

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!

Why Aren’t Fog Lights Yellow Anymore?

Back in the 70s (youngsters may skip this post!) virtually every car you bought had yellow fog lights. They looked really cool! Also, almost everyone in the auto industry thought that yellow fog lights would cut through fog better than plain white fog lights. Turns out, all those auto industry experts were wrong.

Fog is composed of water droplets, which diffuse and reflect light, making it not project that far. It doesn’t matter what color this light is, from white to yellow, to, say, periwinkle!

The only thing that does actually matter about fog lights is that they are aimed more towards the ground than headlights. That’s the key. Less light will be reflected back into your eyes!

This explains why all the fog lights you see today are plain white. They may not look as cool, but they are aimed in the right direction! If you have any lamps on your car that have burned out, come in and see us for 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!

Does Charging My Phone Reduce My Car’s Battery Life?

I know lots of people have had this thought cross their mind. “If I leave my phone in the mobile charger, will it make my car battery die more quickly?”

It is certainly understandable that you could think this. After all, you are having a continuous power draw on your car’s electrical system from something that is definitely not standard equipment (for now!). The answer to the question is that, no, having your phone connected to a mobile phone charger is going to have zero effect on the life of your car’s battery. Car batteries tend to last around five years on average. Some may last a little longer, some not quite that long. Regardless, even leaving your mobile charger plugged in all the time won’t make a difference. A mobile charger left plugged in 24/7 uses as much power in a day as turning on your flashers for ten seconds!

So, folks, go ahead and charge that phone while cranking the streaming tunes! If you haven’t had your battery checked for winter, come in and let us inspect it. 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 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!