Category Archives: Handy’s Service Center

A Tip For Next Winter

Most of you probably already know this, but since our fair state of Vermont got some May snow, we thought we’d share a winter driving tip with you, if for no other reason than it will be useful next winter. If you know that winter weather is coming, and your car is going to be parked outside for any amount of time, make sure you lift up your windshield wipers. This will keep them from getting stuck to the windshield and having their effectiveness reduced by being torn off of the windshield when it is time to get your car going. It’s a little tip that can help your wiper blades go a long way!

Always have your car checked out for all of its safety features at least once a year. Even if it’s during an oil change, have your wipers, brakes and emergency brake inspected to make sure they are working properly and don’t need replacing or repairing. 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 Need A “Lyft” To The Vet, Check With The Driver First

Let’s say your car is in the shop, or you don’t have a car, and you need to take your pet to the vet. Though this is not technically a car issue, it is related to cars and it is something to consider, so we thought we’d mention it.

Lyft and Uber operate as a business which employs independent contractors. In other words, every driver for Lyft and Uber is their own “boss” and can set their own rules. If you want to take your pet to the vet in a Lyft or Uber vehicle, you may be met with a “can’t do that” when you are picked up. Some drivers may have allergies, some may be afraid of your pet, and some may just not want to take the chance that their car get scratched up. So, it is best to let the driver know you are going to be bringing your pet somewhere, and if that is OK with them. If you do have a car, bring it in for a windshield wiper check, as those summer rains are coming! 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 Is In Park, But The Car Tells Me It Is Not In Park

This is a nightmare when it happens. You get home, or worse, you get to your office, and you put your car in park. The dashboard shows that your car is in drive, even though you know it is in park. It’s a major problem because the mechanical part of the car is always correct here, but the computer thinks otherwise. Well, let’s be clear, it is not completely that the mechanical part of the car is correct. The shifter and gear is in the right place, but the interpretation by the car’s “brain” is not.

The issue here is a bad shifter assembly. It is something that should be addressed as an emergency, and you should call us right away. The problem is that the computer and the mechanical parts of the car could “work together” and put you in neutral, and your car would roll away. Make sure you get us to tow you in if you see this problem. it could save your 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!

My Car Shakes When I Hit The Brakes At Around 60 MPH. What Could It Be?

So, you are driving down the road and your car suddenly starts to shake when you hit the brakes to slow down at 60 mph. Everything seems to be fine, so what could be the cause? It is almost certain that the cause of this issue is warped rotors. Your rotor is what your brakes “grab” to slow the car down. They are attached to the wheels. If one is warped, then every time that warped part of the rotor spins around to come in contact with the brake pads, it causes a little “bump.” At slower speeds this is almost imperceptible and doesn’t occur as frequently as when the wheels are spinning two to three times as fast as they would at normal road speeds.

Fortunately, this is an easily fixed problem, so if you notice your vehicle starting shake when you brake, bring it in and let us inspect and repair or replace parts of your braking system. 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!

Spring Vacation Is Just Around The Corner – Take A Road Trip!

Easter is this weekend and that means that our school kids’ spring vacation is coming up real fast. If you can get the time off from work, why not take a road trip?

We have many fascinating places to visit right here in Vermont. Everything from hiking in Stowe to visiting the various chocolate and specialty food businesses we have all over the state. Most of the state is only accessible by local routes, so it is very important to make sure that your brakes and rotors are in tip-top shape, especially when traveling all those mountain roads.

Before you embark on your spring vacation – or any other trip – make sure you come in and see us. Let us inspect your brakes, tire pressure and windshield wipers. You want to have a safe, fun and exciting time with your family! 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 Ford Explorer Roars After 15 Miles Of Driving. Why?

Someone brought in their Ford Explorer with an interesting problem. After about 15 miles of driving they would hear a “roar” and their “wrench” light would come on. They would stop at their destination, restart the car and everything would be fine, however, the process would then repeat itself after another 15 miles. What could it be?

The wrench sensor on a Ford Explorer is a signal for both drivetrain and transmission problems – so it could be either. Fortunately, the issue ended up being a solenoid sensor, which was a relatively easy and inexpensive problem to fix.

If your car is “roaring,” or if you have any of your dashboard lights on (other than the turn signal!), make sure to come in and see us to have it checked 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!

New Cars, New Safety

Technology has come a long way. This is especially so when you look at what safety features have been built into many new cars, particularly luxury models. Let’s take, for example, the Mercedes 2020 Mercedes-Benz 450GLE. Among the safety features offered are: active distance assist, active steering assist, emergency stop assist, active speed limit assist, active traffic sign assist, active blind spot assist, rear-end collision protection and stop-and-go assist. What a panoply!

The reality is that some of these features can have a truly “alarming” effect. Let’s just say that if your coffee is full, it is best not to stray out of your lane!

Of course, all this is eventually leading to cars that have the “ultimate safety feature” – self-driving. We may not want to give up driving our own cars, but they don’t have to be perfect to make the roads safer, they just have to be better than we are.

Whether you drive a traditional gas car, hybrid or electric, bring it in for tire rotation and taking off those winter snows. 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!

Replace With The Right Tires

Someone had a Prius and they were used to getting about fifty MPG. Around 42,000 miles they decided to replace their tires with a brand that was not recommended by the factory.They immediately noticed a drop in MPG to about 40-42 MPG. Of course, only MPG hawks, like those of us who drive the Prius, would notice such a reduction in miles.

At first this may make no sense. How can you go from getting fifty MPG down to 40 or so just by changing your tires? The answer is interesting. The Prius owner may have purchased the wrong TYPE of tire from another manufacturer. What you want for your Prius, and similar type cars, is a low-rolling-resistance tire. They have a distinct rubber formulation that is designed to increase mileage. Of course, there is a trade-off, in that you don’t get the traction you do with traditional tires.

Whatever car you drive, bring it in to have us check your tires for the upcoming summer heavy rains. You don’t want to hydroplane! 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 Buy An Aftermarket Performance Chip Or Tuner?

This one is a no-brainer. The answer is – ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Car manufacturers today have the best technology available when they design their products. When you purchase a new vehicle, you can rest assured that it is optimized to be as performance friendly as possible. There is only one way to enhance performance above what the manufacturer has provided and that is to cheat on emissions.

Clearly, this is nothing that any of us want and you definitely don’t want to be putting more chemicals into the air for us to breathe. Another reason to avoid purchasing one of these aftermarket devices is that they are frankly bad for your engine. Engines are computer created, computer controlled and computer tuned nowadays. You introduce one of these gizmos and every parameter of your engine is changed. How long do you think it will last if it’s being told to work harder that it’s designed to?

Whatever kind of vehicle or engine you have, come in and have us check it out and see if you need a tune up! 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!

It’s OK If You Overinflate A Little

Often, in the cold weather, if your car has a tire pressure warning indicator, it will come on, notifying you that your tires have fallen below the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure. For most of us, this is about 33 PSI. If you go to the local convenience store or service station to use one of the self-serve tire pumps, don’t sweat it if you go over a bit. In fact, it may actually be a good thing.

In Vermont we can have wild temperature swings in the transition from winter to spring. Some years it feels like we skip spring altogether and go straight to July! With all these fluctuations in temperature, you can be assured that your tires are fluctuating the pressure within them as well, and it will almost certainly go down some. So if you put air in your tires and the guage says 35 PSI, don’t let that air out! Keep it in, because I doubt you will be checking the tire pressure five times a day.

If your tires look bald or are having slow leaks, or are just plain old, come in and see us for an evaluation of your tires! 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!