Category Archives: Handy’s Service Center

What Does A Seized Engine Mean?

You often hear about someone’s engine seizing up, but what does that mean? Usually it means that the mechanical parts inside the engine were rubbing together as they should, but without lubricant. The reason why it is so important to make sure your engine oil levels are adequate is that engines move their parts together very, very fast. This generates a lot of friction and heat, unless you have lubricant. Oil is an amazing lubricant in that it is so slick and slippery, it basically keeps any two parts of anything from creating friction between them.

When you hear that an engine has seized up, it’s not so much that it has simply frozen in place and stopped working, rather than the lubrication drained out, the parts rubbed together and created a modern art sculpture! That’s right, once and engine “seizes” it becomes a permanent molten mess that must be replaced. It’s not like it froze up and needs to be started again. This is why you should always make sure your vehicle has an adequate amount of engine oil and that it is not leaking.

If you have any questions about your car’s engine oil, come in an see us, especially if you are noticing any leaks on the garage floor or driveway. 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 Isn’t Leaking, Fluid Levels Are Fine, Car Is Overheating

Most of the time, when we experience that temperature gauge going into the red, we have known that our cooling system has been leaking fluid and expect, at some point, for that warning to occur. However, sometimes you are sitting at a red light and suddenly the temperature gauge goes red! What could be the cause?

Fortunately, most of the time, the cause for this is a bad cooling fan. When you are moving along, you have air passing through the radiator and engine cooling it constantly. When you are at a stop sign, stoplight or idling, an electric fan, known as the Cooling Fan, kicks in and crates the airflow needed to cool the engine. If you stop moving and the engine heats up, odds are that cooling fan is busted.

If you engine overheats for any reason, come in and see us, we could save your car from having a blown head gasket or worse. 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!

Are All The “Dented Door” Designs Aerodynamic?

In case you haven’t noticed, most every newer model of car has some sort of “dent” built into the door design. Gone are the days of the “slab” sided car, with its clean, crisp 80s boxy lines.

Most people think these scooped out or bent areas on the sides of cars are meant to increase the aerodynamics of the car to give it just a little bit better gas mileage. However, unless you are driving a Ferrari at about 160 MPH, there isn’t going to be any noticeable difference in your gas mileage. Yes, indeed, these scoops and creases in the design are there just for that purpose- design.

Who knows? Maybe in the near future we will end up going back to the days of the slab sided boxes of the Eighties! No matter how old, or what the side of your vehicle looks like, come in and have the windshield wipers checked. Those soaking autumn rains are coming and you want to get the rain and leaves off of your windshield. 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 Car Should I Buy?

Summertime is definitely car shopping season. It’s the perfect time of year to get out there and test drive a lot of different cars or trucks to determine which one you want to purchase. However, there are some things you should do before you go out to get your new ride!

Perhaps the best first step is to determine how much you want to spend. If you figure out what your budget is, then you won’t be tempted to overspend if you see something you can just afford but were not planning on buying. It’s also a great way to avoid getting buyer’s regret.

Nest, go online and do some research about the kind of vehicle you’d like to purchase. Maybe you are interested in features such as headroom or miles per gallon. If you are going to be carting your kids and their friends around, you may want to get an SUV or a station wagon. Yes! Some manufacturers are still making good station wagons!

Lastly, when you go to the dealer make sure you are willing to negotiate. The dealers are there to sell cars and if they know you are definitely going to buy, they are going to want to keep you there and not let you seek out their competition.

Once you get your new ride, make sure to come by Handy’s to get it serviced. Even if you aren’t in the market for a new car, come in and have us check your tires. Fall is coming and wet leaves can be as dangerous 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!

New Cars Don’t Have CD Players

Here’s what may be a terrifying fact out there for audiophiles. New cars are ditching CD players! It’s true!

We recently had a 2019 Toyota Camry come into the shop for an oil change. We couldn’t help but notice there was no CD player in the dashboard and the owner told us there wasn’t a CD changer anywhere in the car, either. With a little bit of Internet digging, we discovered that most everyone is putting their music on their phones. Nowadays Bluetooth is the way to play music. In many ways it is much safer than CDs. You don’t have to fish for the right CD and take it out of the case, etc. Most phones have voice commands that will instantly play whatever song you wish to hear that is stored on your phone.

You may have to ditch the CD player in your car, but you don’t have to ditch excellent service! Keep coming in and seeing us for your regular maintenance needs. 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!

There’s An App For Road Injured Animals

We all hate to do it, but occasionally the wild critters out there run smack in front of our vehicles and we cannot avoid hitting them. However, not every time we run into a wild animal does it die. For those larger animals that survive and the smaller ones that don’t take a direct hit, the good folks at Animal Watch, a non-profit animal advocacy group, have developed an app to inform you about the nearest animal rescues to your location.

The app is called Animal Help Now! and is available for iPhone OS and Android. In additional to providing contact and location information for animal rescues, it also provides information on what to do for different specific types of animals that are injured. Once you have your injured animal taken care of, come in and see us to have your car evaluated for any damage that may have occurred. 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 Your Rental Car Interior Is Always Black?

We love to drive our own cars, always have, always will. However, on those occasions when we travel we often get to rent a car, which can be a thrill if we get something cool, or a drag if we get a generic sedan. No matter what you rent, you will notice one thing in common with every rental car. They all have black cloth interiors. This is something the industry figured out ages and ages ago, and the reason is probably clear now that I mention the prevalence of black rental car interiors.

The reason all rental cars have black cloth interiors is, you guessed it, to hide those coffee stains! And, of course, whatever other stains a family of four may put on the seats. If your kids get too crazy and grind jelly beans into the hot summer seats, you may have to pay a cleaning fee. Check with your credit card company, many offer insurance on rentals that cover such accidents. As always, bring your own car into our shop for a wiper blade check. Necessary for those summer 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!

I’ve Lost My Owners Manual, Where Can I Find A New One?

This is something that rarely happens, as most of us keep our owners manual in the glove compartment of our vehicles, but occasionally we can take them out, use them and then forget to put them back. If you have lost your owners manual, you can rejoice! For there is a place on the Internet where you can get a virtual replacement!

Over the years a website has slowly built up a PDF compendium of product manuals from all kinds of industries. Fortunately, cars is one of the major focuses of this endeavor. A PDF is a sort of virtual book that can be read in most web browsers or by downloading an app. They are free to use and free to read. If you go to manualslib.com you can search for your owners manual and download it. You can read it, search it or if you really want to, print it out. When you are done getting your PDF manual, bring your car by and have us check the tires. With the heavy rains happening, you want to make sure your tire treads are still deep enough to grip 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!

Should I Tighten My Lug Nuts?

If you change your own tire in an emergency situation, you should come in and see us about tightening your lug nuts. There is a science to tightening lug nuts and you just don’t go around in a circle, you have to tighten them like you would cut a pizza. We won’t go into details, but suffice to say, if you tighten your own lug nuts you could end up having them missing or getting your car way out of alignment. It is really important to do this correctly not only for the longevity of your tires, but also the longevity of you!

If you replace a tire in an emergency situation, come in so we can rotate and balance your tires, if needed, and make sure that your tire is attached securely and correctly to your vehicle. If you notice any tires leaking, also come in and see us for either a plug or replacement. 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 Smell Burning Oil. Where Could It Be Coming From?

Let’s say you are driving down the road and you come to a stoplight. Suddenly you notice a very pungent smell and it makes you slightly lightheaded. You search your memory and realize quite quickly that is it the odor of burning oil. You get to your destination and open the hood, but nothing sticks out, you don’t see any major leak.

When this happens, the cause is usually gasket related. If you are lucky, it is a valve cover gasket issue, which is not a huge repair. If it is a cylinder head gasket issue, that is a big deal and constitutes a major repair. The leak may not even be that big, all it takes is a drop or two of oil hitting the exhaust pipe to create one nasty aroma.

If you do notice a burnt oil odor, bring your car in and we will determine the cause and give you options with how to repair the issue. Remember, it is not good to inhale those vapors, so come in and see us right away. 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!