Yearly Archives: 2022

How Often Should My Engine Air Filter Be Replaced?

How Often Should My Engine Air Filter Be Replaced?

Engine air filters are more than just a small maintenance item – they play a role in your vehicle’s efficiency and performance. When you neglect your engine filter, it will clog up and compromise your vehicle’s reliability on the road. Read on to learn more about engine air filters, and how often you should change them to avoid road troubles. The engine air filter is in charge of blocking out all kinds of harmful debris and particles, like leaves, bugs, dust, dirt, and other foreign objects that can get in the way of your engine’s daily operation. Similar to the air filter inside your apartments and homes, they need to be changed regularly. Symptoms of a Dirty Engine Air Filter Over time, the filter will fill up and cause blockages if you forget to change it. A dirty air filter restricts the airflow moving into the engine, which then affects the air-to-fuel ratio of combustion. As a result, the engine will have to compensate by working harder and consuming m ... read more

How to Tell If You Battery or Alternator Is Causing Your Starting Problems

How to Tell If You Battery or Alternator Is Causing Your Starting Problems

We’ve all been there – sitting in our cars and trying as hard as possible to get our engines to start up. Most people, at this point, will think that their battery is dead. Either way, you’re not having a good day. If your vehicle won't start up or stay running, there’s a good chance that you are dealing with an electrical problem. However, the battery doesn’t only make up the system. Most car starting problems can be related to the battery or alternator. Battery vs. Alternator Car batteries are responsible for generating power to get your vehicle to start and run. The alternator resupplies the battery with power. The alternator also powers many vehicle accessories. Therefore, an alternator problem will most likely leave you with a drained battery. To differentiate the two problems,here are the most common symptoms that point to a faulty alternator: Car starting problems Stalling Issues with electronic accessori ... read more

Getting Your Car Ready for Cooler Weather

Getting Your Car Ready for Cooler Weather

It's no secret that Fall is here, and cold weather will be in NC before we know it. With cooler temperatures and our vehicles recovering from the hot summer, it is the time of mechanical failure for cars, SUVs, and trucks.   The most reliable way to avoid car problems this season is to stay on top of preventative maintenance before winter rolls around. Here are some of STR Automotive’s top tips for what kind of preventative maintenance is most important and how to avoid those costly breakdowns down the road: Engine - Engine problems such as hard starts, rough idling, stalling, or overall lack of acceleration power can sometimes arise as the weather cools off. To avoid these troubles, make sure you get your oil change and have your engine components inspected. Cooling System - Coolant fluid is key to maintaining a stable engine temperature, and this car fluid should be flushed every 1-2 years. Windshield Wipers - Rain or snow, you’re going to need to make sure ... read more

Signs That You Car Needs a Tune-Up

Signs That You Car Needs a Tune-Up

A tune-up is essentially a maintenance service intended to check and replace engine-related components to ensure optimal performance and efficiency. Older model vehicles with mechanical ignitions require a tune-up every 10,000 to 12,000 miles. Whereas, modern cars with fuel injection and electronic ignition systems don’t need one until they hit 30,000 miles or more.    Most automakers will have a maintenance schedule that has a recommended interval for tune-ups. However, these warning signs may indicate your car needs a tune-up: Poor Fuel Economy If you’re needing to fill up more frequently, without any changes in your driving habits, then it may mean your car is due for a tune-up. Bring your car to STR Automotive so that our automotive technicians can inspect what is causing the inefficiency. Most of the time, the issue lies under the hood. Engine Stalling Frequent engine stalling is a major side effect of worn or defective spark plugs or worn oil filters ... read more

Types of Unusual Vehicle Smells

Types of Unusual Vehicle Smells

Do you know what unusual smells in a car mean? There are many different smells that can indicate problems with your vehicle. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common ones and what they might mean. If you experience any of these smells, it is important to take your car in for a diagnostic checkup as soon as possible! Ignoring a smell could lead to a large bill down the road. Here is a list of common unusual vehicle smells. Burning oil smell: This could indicate that your car is leaking oil or that the oil level is low. It could also mean that the oil needs to be changed. Sweet smell: A sweet smell could be a sign of a coolant leak. Rotten egg smell: If your car smells like rotten eggs, it could be due to a problem with the catalytic converter. Burning rubber smell: This could be caused by a loose belt or something rubbing against the tires. Fishy smell: If your car smells like fish, it could be due to a leak in the fuel line. Exhaust smell: Exhaust fume ... read more

What Is Engine Coolant?

What Is Engine Coolant?

Coolant is a fluid that is used to prevent your engine from overheating. It is a mixture of water and antifreeze, which contains the chemical additives needed to cool your engine. This fluid is a vital part of your car’s cooling system alongside the radiator, thermostat, and water pump.   As you run your car over time, coolant loses its effectiveness, which can put your engine at risk of overheating. Old, contaminated fluid can also cause corrosion and excessive wear on the rest of the system. Consequently, you will need a coolant change or flush to replace the old coolant with new fluid.   If you wait too long to change out your engine coolant, it can lead to breakdowns and improper engine cooling. Most auto manufacturers recommend changing coolant every 30,000 miles or so. It is always safe to check your owner’s manual for the proper intervals. Another way to tell whether you’re due for a coolant service is by looking for warning signs. Signs You Need ... read more

Why Is My Car A/C Blowing Hot Air?

Why Is My Car A/C Blowing Hot Air?

There's nothing worse than sitting behind the wheel on a hot summer day and being blasted with hot air through your vents. While there are many factors at play, AC blowing hot air indicates a major problem. Below are some of the things that can be causing your air conditioning to blow warm air: Electrical Problems If a single wire connected to your auto A/C is frayed, burnt, or damaged, it can signal your car AC to hot air instead. Something simple like a blown fuse can even cause your A/C to shut off completely, so it's important to have a diagnostic test here at STR Automotive. Lack of Refrigerant/Freon Refrigerant is a liquid to gas matter that is at the center of your car's A/C system. Without refrigerant, your air would not be cool. Over time, leaks of freon are possible. You can count on the A/C experts at STR automotive to catch any leaks and refill your vehicle with refrigerant. Broken Condenser The condenser tends to get blocked by dirt or debris, and you cou ... read more

Kick-Off National Spring Car Care Month the Right Way!

Kick-Off National Spring Car Care Month the Right Way!

April is national car care month, and it is the perfect time to give your car some love. As we close the books on winter, it's time to have your vehicle prepped for the thrilling drives this spring and summer. This month, we encourage you to take your car to our auto repair shop for a check-up. We'll thoroughly check your tires, brakes, filters, windshield wipers, etc., so that they can handle the pollen, rain, and more.  Plus, it's not uncommon for vehicles to need some fixing up after the harsh winter months. We'll renew your car, so you don't have to worry about more expensive repairs later on. Below are some of the maintenance items you should check off your list for National Car Care Month! Check your tire pressure and tread depth Check the brake system Change your engine oil Top off your other fluids Test your battery Replace air filters Exchange windshield wiper blades Examine belts and hoses for wear and tear Test and recharge the A/C system R ... read more

When Should I Replace My Vehicle's Timing Belt?

When Should I Replace My Vehicle's Timing Belt?

If you want to prepare for your vehicle's upcoming services, the timing belt should be on your list. Over many miles of wear, your car will inevitably require a new timing belt. To avoid damages, drivers must replace this rubbery component before it breaks. Here's how to figure out the best time to replace your timing belt.   What Does the Timing Belt Do In order to understand the timeline, you must know what the timing belt does. This vital engine component has grooves that ensure the camshaft and crankshaft move in sync. In other words, it guarantees that the valves open and close at the right time for smooth engine operation.   When to Replace the Timing Belt The ribbing on the timing belt keeps your engine parts moving at the right pace. However, with years of wear, the teething will wear out. Automakers know this, which is why you can find more information regarding its replacement in the owner's handbook. Ideally, it would help to replace the belt befo ... read more

What Does the Color of My Exhaust Smoke Mean?

What Does the Color of My Exhaust Smoke Mean?

Your vehicle's exhaust smoke characteristics may be a huge indicator of what is going on in your emissions system. Most of the time, you should not see your vehicle's emissions at all. Maybe, you'll catch the condensation on a cold morning, but that's truly it. If you start seeing white, blue, or black/dark gray smoke coming out of your tailpipe, then it means there's something wrong. You should look at it closely for its color and communicate it with your mechanic when you bring your car in for an inspection. What Does Dark or Black Smoke Mean? If you see dark puffs coming out the tailpipe, it most likely means that your engine is burning excess fuel. Ignoring this problem for too long can even lead to a fire. It would be wise to pull over immediately, especially if there is smoke coming out from the front end of the car. Then, you should call for roadside assistance. What Does Blue Exhaust Smoke Mean? If your exhaust smoke almost looks blue, you should immedia ... read more

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