Category Archives: Handy’s Service Center

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!

My Car AC Puts Out Mist!

If you have a somewhat older car and you have been driving it for a few hours on a hot summer day and have been running the AC, you may notice mist coming out of the vents. No, you have not been transported to the realm of Harry Potter! You probably have an AC compressor clutch that is on its way out.

The good news is that the mist is not steam from your coolant being put into the air. What it is is that moisture collects on humid days around the air compressor clutch and when it click on, the moisture becomes fog, just like it does around the Golden Gate Bridge!

If you are noticing that your AC is not putting out the cold that it used to, come in and have us inspect your car’s heating and cooling 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!

New Car Warns Me About Battery After Ten Minutes In Driveway

Let’s say you have a one of the newer model cars, from 2017 or newer. If you have a car with a console that has a lot of computerized features and display screen, you could get a warning from your car after listening to about 10 minutes of radio with your ignition off. This is certainly strange for those of us wh, back in the 80s, would listen to Rush cranked up for a good half our on our in-dash cassette players! What’s the kicker? If you ignore the warning and keep on listening, your car will probably just shut itself off in about another ten minutes.

However, there is a very good reason for this new feature. Many new cars have a push button ignition and many new cars are hybrids. Of course, when hybrids idle, they don’t really make any sound. Let’s say you accidentally pushed the start/stop button twice when you turned off your car. You would have inadvertently left it on, and would have rather quickly run down your car’s battery. This is why you have paranoid car computers when it comes to left on cars!

Come in and see us anytime to have your battery checked, whether you have a hybrid car or not. 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!