Category Archives: Handy’s Service Center

The EV “Entitlement Era” Is Drawing To A Close

You may own one yourself. You certainly see them on the road more and more. They are definitely more that 10% of cars driving about at this point. Of course, it is electric vehicles which we are speaking of. For the past several years, if you owned an electric vehicle you could be assured of primo parking spaces at most every destination you could drive to. Everything from restaurants to supermarkets would roll out red carpet parking convenience for all those with electric vehicles – including charging stations.

However, as is true with all else, all good things must come to an end. The services and perks that have been extended to electric car owners are simply not sustainable in the long run when you consider how many people are purchasing electric vehicles and how they will be the dominant form of transportation in the not too distant future.

There is a practical reason why those parking/charging spots for electric vehicles are so close to the buildings. It is very costly to run a circuit a long distance from the power grid! Also, there is the additional issue of, whether someone is charging their vehicle or not, the electric vehicle folks tend to park in those charging spots, regardless.

We will have to find new ways of deciding who gets to charge and when, as these cars become more available. Not to mention the fact that Herz just bought over 100,000 Teslas to be their future entire rental car fleet. Hopefully, as a society, we will find a way to equitably distribute public electric vehicle charging as well.

Whether you drive an electric vehicle or not, come in and see us to make sure your ride is ready for 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!

Why Does The Gas Shut Off At The Pump Before My Tank Is Full?

This is something that you may experience from time to time. You are filling up your car with gas and, lo and behold, before you have five gallons in the tank the pump shuts off as if the tank has filled up. What gives? Well there are a couple of reasonable explanations as to why this occurs.

It used to be that there was no one-way seal in gas tanks. All newer cars do not allow vapors to escape out of the tank. When you insert a gas nozzle, you are doing so in a pretty air-tight way. Those vapors that used to escape were causing asthma and air pollution. So, all those fumes are shunted off into an evaporative canister until the next time you start the vehicle and they can be combusted.

If you are one of those people who squeeze in an extra 75 cents of gas to get to the even 37 buck mark, you could very well have actual gas spilling over into that evaporative canister. That would then cause the tank to “think” that is is full, and trigger the pump to stop filling the tank.

You could also have a faulty solenoid in the canister causing it to think the tank is full. If you are experiencing premature pump shutoff when filling up your tank, come in and see us. We may be able to easily make that problem disappear! 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 There A Good Car For An Old Dog?

We all love our pets and, like for our parents, we find ourselves taking care of them more and more in their old age. One act of kindness you can do for your elderly pet dog is to provide them with a vehicle they will enjoy and be able to easily move in, out and around in. Interestingly, the best kind of vehicle you can get for your aging pooch is a minivan.

So, why a minivan, you may ask? There are a number of reasons. Minivans have sliding side-doors that open very wide and provide great access. They also have lots of flat floor space right inside the door, and most have seats that can be removed so they’re not in your dog’s way. In addition, I think that the step-in height at the side door is quite a bit less than 18 inches. So, I would suggest you look at Chrysler Pacificas, Toyota Siennas, Honda Odysseys, Mazda 5s or any other minivans that catch your eye.

No matter what your drive yourself and your best friend around in, come in and have us look at the tires before the heavy snow hits. 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 New “Official” Vermont Car, The Subaru Outback, Has Some Amazing Safety Features

When it comes to safety and new cars, Subaru is way ahead of the pack. Not the least due to its amazing Eyesight safety package technology. Subaru with EyeSight will watch the road ahead, and if it notices a car has slowed or stopped in your path and determines that you’re not slowing down quickly enough, it will alert you, and, if necessary, apply the brakes itself. That’s called pre-collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

You should never daydream while driving but if you happen to start aydreaming and trying to figure out where you are going to park next time you go to the supermarket, and you start to veer out of your lane, the Outback will correct you and guide you back into your lane. That’s lane keeping assist technology. If someone pulls up into your blind spot on the highway, and you don’t notice them, a light will flash on your side view mirror and warn you not to change lanes. That’s blind spot monitoring. And if you’re backing out of your driveway, and someone comes down the street out of your view, the car will alert you using rear cross traffic alert.

So that you will never get honked at again, if you’re sitting at a traffic light, and haven’t noticed that the light turned green and the cars ahead of you have moved, the car will use the forward collision sensors and beep at you to get moving. Add that to the all-wheel-drive system, which will keep you safer in wet and snowy weather, and you can make a pretty good case that the Outback will greatly increase your safety. 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!

Any Recommended AC Settings In The COVID Era?

In this COVID era, we all want to be as safe as possible. This means, of course, exposing ourselves to as little risk as we can. Sitting in the car with friends and loved ones can cause anxiety as we are in very close poximity to another person. Let’s face it. You can’t very well socially distance in a car!

For startes, you turn off the recirculation option on the climate control system. Virtually every climate control system offers you the choice of having “fresh” or “recirculated” air. One button usually has a diagram of air (represented by an arrow) coming into the car from outside the front windshield. That’s the “fresh air” setting. That’s the one you want in the COVID era.

In addition to using the Fresh Air setting — and regardless of the AC settings — make sure you open at least two windows, if it isn’t super cold outside. Open your driver’s window and the window diagonally opposite that, on the passenger side in back. You don’t have to open them all the way, but even if you open each of them a bit, it will allow for some great cross-ventilation and dispersal of passenger breath. Even better, crack all of the windows a bit, if those in the car with you are OK with that. 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!

Your New Car Subscriptions Could Cost You More Than The Car In The Long Run

When you purchase a new car, you are also sold a whole host of free trial subscriptions for services for everything from phone pairing to SatRad, roadside assistance, and driver assist technology. If you look at the cost of these subscriptions, over the years they can quickly add up to more than the cost of an inexpensive car.

Let’s look at one really easy way to max out your yearly subscription costs. Driver Assist Technology is probably the “best” way to rack up those subscription charges. To upgrade from basic Autopilot to FSD, Tesla charges $2,388 per year. GM’s Super Cruise is a brand new service. Its $300 annual subscription cost activates after the trial period ends. Ford’s BlueCruise is expected to cost $200 per year ($600 for a three-year subscription.) Of course, these prices are almost certainly going to rise in the not too distant future.

Another big ticket subscription are the Extended Warranties. These are a massive business in the U.S. Automakers, and third-party providers charge either up-front, on a payment plan, or in the case of CarShield, by monthly subscription. If you go to the Car Shield website, the monthly cost for their service ranges from $99 to $129.

There are so many more! From music services to AudioBooks to In-Vehicle WiFi. When you get that new car. Look very closely at what subscriptions you are being signed up for – and which ones you may want to purchase on your own. 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!

MPG On The Sticker Vs. Real World

So, you buy a new car that says you are supposed to get 29 MPG on the sticker, yet your car’s “calculator” says you are only getting 24 MPG. What the heck?

Remember that, on all of those MPG stickers, there is small pring, and that small print says “your mileage may vary.”

The Environmental Protection Agency requires that car manufacturers test each model using very specific instructions. The vehicle is put on a dynamometer. What’s that? It’s the automotive equivalent of an exercise bicycle. The car sits still, and the driven wheels turn a roller, to simulate driving. Then the driver follows a very specific set of instructions to simulate a bunch of “trips.” He or she will try to match the car’s speed to the exact speeds on a screen, as it leads them through a “course” of stop and go trips. And as long as the test driver stays within 2 mph of the specified speeds, the test is valid, and the automaker has an EPA mileage number.

The city test reportedly covers 11 miles of driving in about 31 minutes and has a maximum acceleration rate of 18 seconds for a 0-60 time.

The problem is, nobody drives exactly like that. Therefore, use the EPA mileage numbers for comparison shopping, rather than as-promised, real-world results. 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 your auto repair needs!

Will Electric Cars Eliminate Traffic Noise?

With all the efforts for Green Energy and a clean Earth becoming ever more important, driving a fully electric vehicle is going to be part of that attaining those goals, for all of us. By mid-century, electric cars will be the standard and we will slowly see gas powered cars go the way of the cart and buggy.

But, many people assume that once this occurs, the roads will suddenly be silent as there will be no more gas motors revving along. This is not completely the case. Sound energy doubles for every 10 mph or so of speed. So road noise from traffic at 70 mph is going to be a lot louder than road noise from 30 mph traffic.

Electric cars are more likely to help with noise on slower and residential streets, where acceleration can make as much noise as tires. And they’ll be particularly helpful in reducing noise when large trucks go electric. That’ll help the situation. But electric drivetrains, on their own, won’t solve the highway noise problem.

The good news is there are other technologies that may help. Lots of places are using rubberized asphalt to pave roads now. That’s asphalt mixed with bits of old tires. Kind of a homeopathic approach. Tire vs. tire.

If your engine is making too much noise, or your tires are wearing thin, come in and see us. We can get whatever you drive into safe highway shape, regardless of how much sound the motor makes. 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!

My Car “Stutters” Sometimes Going Up A Steep Incline. What Causes This?

If you notice something like this happening, normally your Check Engine light would turn on and you would know to bring your ride into us to have a look.

This is what we call a “miss.” A miss is an engine misfire. It’s most likely to be noticed when the engine is under load, like when you’re climbing a hill. It’s often electrical in nature and usually easy to fix, once you can find and identify the cause.

As I said, normally a miss would turn on your Check Engine light and store a fault code in the computer. We would then to check that code, which would tell us what part has malfunctioned.

But if a problem is intermittent and of short duration, your vehicle’s computer might consider it a “phantom” event, and not store a code or turn on the check engine light.

In that case, it may store the information as a “pending code.” That’s information about something that went wrong, but it hasn’t happened regularly enough to become a pattern yet. So ask your mechanic to check for pending codes.

Misfires are most often caused by bad spark plugs, bad plug wires or bad ignition coils. Those all are part of what we call the secondary ignition system. Fortunately we fix these issues all the time and they won’t break your bank!

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!

Have You Noticed New Cars Don’t Have Gas Caps?

If yo have purchsed a vehicle recently, you may have noticed that there are no longer any gas caps on the tank when you open the door to fill your vehicle up.

This is kinda an illusion. Because the gas tank is not really capless. The cap is just on the inside now. It’s a spring-loaded flap located just inside the nozzle opening. When you insert the fuel nozzle, it pushes the cap out of the way and allows you to tank up. When you remove the nozzle, the “internal” cap springs back into place. It has a rubber O-Ring around it to seal the nozzle opening and keep both gasoline and vapors from escaping. So it works exactly like a gas cap used to, except you never have to remove it, replace it, tighten it or go back to the gas station because you accidentally left it on top of the pump and drove away. =)

If you notice any fuel vapors when your gas tank is sealed, however it is sealed, come in and see us. There may be a problem with your fuel line.

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!