State Inspection

$16. | But if you come in during the middle of the month $10. Read below for details.

State Inspection

Get $6 Off Between the 8th-21st

No expiration date

Getting your car inspected can be a chore. Between home and work, it can be a tough thing to schedule. You see that sticker on your windshield every day and the closer it gets, you think, “This year, I am going to get that done sooner rather than later”. You promise yourself that you will, but every morning you get back in that car and off to work or play you go. Once again, you notice that impending date and think to yourself, “Okay, now I really have to go!”

Courthouse Automotive gets it. It’s the last thing on your mind. As a little extra incentive, we’re offering $6 off your State Inspection, if you bring your car in between the 8th and 21st of every month. As for those early birds out there, we’d like to reward you for always being on top of your inspections. Why not let us make your car a priority so you don’t have to.

We inspect to the Virginia State Police Safety Inspection Standards found here.

Replacement of Stolen/Lost/Damaged State Inspection Approval Stickers

The Safety Division issues replacement stickers for lost and/or damaged safety inspection approval stickers under certain conditions, without causing the vehicle to be re-inspected. This process provides a valuable service to those citizens affected by loss, damaged and stolen inspection stickers without compromising the purpose of the Inspection Program. To replace your inspection sticker, contact the Safety Division.

Courthouse Automotive offers a/c service in Virginia Beach, VA. Our ASE Certified technicians will ensure that your vehicle will keep you cool in the hot Virginia Beach sun.

Did you know that without regular maintenance an air conditioner loses about 5% of its original efficiency per year? This means that without proper maintenance, your air conditioning unit may be performing as poorly as other models that are years older! But there is good news; you can still recover most of that lost efficiency. Schedule an appointment with one of our factory-trained professionals—we understand all aspects of AC repair, from modern computerized components to environmental disposal concerns. Turn to us, your qualified source for everything related to your air conditioning system. The following is a brief schematic of some of the basic components that comprise this system:

Compressor:

  • The compressor is a belt-driven device that compresses refrigerant gas and transfers it into the condenser. The compressor is the core of your vehicle’s air conditioning system.

Condenser:

  • The condenser’s primary function is to cool the refrigerator. The condenser dissipates heat released by compressed gases and condenses them into high pressure liquids.

Receiver (Drier):

  • The receiver is a metal container that serves as a storage receptacle for the refrigerant; also known as a drier because it absorbs moisture from the refrigerant and filters out harmful debris and acids. You should change your drier every 3-4 years to ensure quality filtration and prevent any chemical damage.

Orifice Tube/Expansion Valve:

  • The orifice tube (also known as the expansion valve) is a controlling mechanism that regulates refrigerant flow throughout the system. It also converts high pressure liquid refrigerant (from the condenser) into low pressure liquid, so that it can enter the evaporator.

Evaporator:

  • The evaporator removes heat from the inside of your vehicle. The evaporator allows the refrigerant to absorb heat, causing it to boil and change into a vapor. When this occurs, the vapor leaves the evaporator through the compressor, cooling your car and reducing humidity. The evaporator houses the most refrigerant in the heat transfer process and harmful acids can corrode it. This corrosion typically damages the evaporator beyond repair.

In order for your vehicle to run, it needs an exact mixture of fuel and air. The air for this mixture first goes through the air filter to protect the engine from dirt and other particles that could harm it.

To keep your vehicle operating correctly, you should change your air filter regularly, like during your annual tune up. If you live in an area with dirt roads or heavy pollution, you may need to have your air filter changed more frequently. Your vehicle also performs better and gets better gas mileage with a clean filter.

Contact us today and we will assist you and answer your air filter questions.

When your vehicle alignment is not proportioned correctly, two issues may occur:

  1. Driving becomes more expensive
  2. Driving becomes more dangerous

Driving without proper alignment costs you money. Not only does flawed alignment decrease gas mileage and tire life, but it also adds stress to your vehicle’s steering equipment and structure. Ideally, your vehicle’s wheels should run perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Adjusting these wheel angles will bring your vehicle back into proper alignment.

Driving without proper alignment puts you at risk. An out-of-alignment car pulls and drifts away from a straight road and may cause an accident. Excessive tire wear—another result of bad car alignment—leads to tire blow-outs and poor traction, which also causes accidents. Bring in your vehicle and our alignment experts will make sure your vehicle drives smoothly and safely.

How does poor alignment happen?
  • Many factors impact your vehicle’s alignment. You typically need alignment service after a major or minor collision that results in physical damage to your vehicle’s frame.
  • Your vehicle needs immediate attention when you notice steering problems or uneven tire wear patterns on your tires.
  • Sometimes problems arise from something as small as driving over a pothole, or grazing over a curb.

Look for the following symptoms to determine if you require our computerized alignment services.

Caster:

A faulty caster angle causes loose or difficult steering.

Caster describes the steering pivot angle, as seen from the vehicle’s side and measured in degrees. Caster alignment plays a large role in evaluating the “feel” of steering and the stability. Three to five degrees of positive caster is typical for most vehicles and lower angles for heavier vehicles.

Camber:

A faulty camber angle will create pulling and tire wear.

Camber is the angle of the wheel in relation to a vertical direction (seen from the front or rear of the car). A negative camber measurement occurs when a wheel leans toward the vehicle’s framework; a positive measurement points the wheel away from the car. An ideal camber angle assures optimal tire efficiency, proper steering control, and helps prevent rolling.

Toe:

A faulty toe angle will wear down your tires.

Like camber and caster, toe is measured by degrees. When your front or rear wheels have front edges pointed toward each other, the pair is called “toe-ins.” If the front edges point away from each other, the pair is called “toe-outs.”

With properly aligned wheels, you’ll get:

  • Tires that last longer
  • Easier steering
  • Improved gas mileage
  • Smoother ride
  • Safer, more secure driving

Let’s face it: you can have the most meticulously maintained vehicle on the road, but it won’t start without the right battery – properly installed and appropriately fitted – for your driving needs. From ignition to door locks, your car battery allows you to get from point “A” to point “B.”

The following is a brief overview of the electrical system that makes transportation possible:

  • Battery Composed of a series of lead plates submerged in a 35% sulfuric acid/65% water solution, your 12-volt battery houses a chemical reaction that releases electrons through conductors, producing electricity which is then channeled into your vehicle’s electrical system. The battery supplies electricity to all of the electrical system components, including the essential power required to start your vehicle. In periods of high demand, the battery also supplements power from the charging system.
  • Charging System The charging system is the life force of your vehicle’s electrical system, consisting of three main mechanisms: the alternator, various circuits, and the voltage regulator. The alternator:
    1. Provides power to the electrical system, and
    2. Recharges the battery when the car is running.

    The circuits act as conduits for electrical power. The voltage regulator controls the voltage passed through the circuits. Remember, all of these components require consistent attention and maintenance. It’s not just your battery that needs to be replaced; if any components fail, your power source is reduced to a lifeless, twenty pound paper weight.

  • Starting System It may seem obvious that the starting system turns your vehicle’s engine on, but did you know that this process consumes more electrical power than anything else your car does? The starting system consists of three components working one after another. These components include: the ignition switch, the starter relay (or solenoid), and the starter motor.Here’s how it works: Turning the ignition causes a small amount of current to pass through the starter relay, causing a stronger current to flow through the battery cables and into the starter motor. The starter motor cranks the engine, forcing the piston to create enough suction that draws a fuel and air mixture into the cylinder. The ignition system creates a spark that ignites the mixture and your engine starts.Contact us for battery replacement or electrical system repairs.

Among all the equipment in your vehicle, belts and hoses have the shortest lifespan. These components often crack, leak, or fray due to their constant exposure to heat, vibration, and other harmful chemicals. If not promptly replaced and maintained, it could spell disaster for your vehicle’s performance. Belt and hose evaluations based solely on their appearance are not enough. We recommend diligent inspection, and are here to do it. Here is a sample of how we ensure belt and hose quality:

Visual Inspection of Belts

  • Search for clear indications of damage (cracking, glazing, softening, or peeling)
  • Test for correct tension
  • Test for correct alignment
  • Record belt condition for future reference

Visual Inspection of Hoses

  • Search for leaks, cracks, hardening, or softening.
  • Test cooling system for leaks using state-of-the-art pressure technology
  • Record hose condition for future reference

Get your vehicle’s belts and hoses inspected on a regular basis because damaged pieces can seriously harm your vehicle. Research shows that while most people get regular oil changes, they neglect the condition of their belts and hoses. A leaking hose or a cracked belt will cause you more trouble than an overdue oil change ever will.

The following is a brief description of some of the different belts and hoses we inspect:

Drive Belts:

The engine drives some of your vehicle’s accessories. Instead of being supplied by electric power, these accessories rely on a series of pulleys and belts to operate. Some of these accessories include:

  • Power steering pump
  • Alternator
  • Air conditioning compressor
  • Radiator cooling fan
  • Water pump

Some vehicles require a single serpentine belt to power these accessories (as opposed to several individual belts).

Hoses:

If you think of hoses as your vehicle’s circulatory system, then you’ll have an appropriate representation of their importance. Hoses are composed of two rubber layers with fabric in between. Types of hoses vary on make and model, but typically include:

  • Fuel hose (sends gasoline from the gas tank to the engine)
  • Radiator hose (delivers coolant to engine)
  • Power steering hose (connects power steering pump to steering equipment)
  • Heater hose (provides coolant to heater core)

Our ASE-certified technicians take professionalism to the next level by offering courteous and knowledgeable service to all of our customers throughout the Virginia Beach, VA area. Continually striving to master every aspect of automotive care, ASE technicians follow Motorist Assurance Program Uniform Inspection Guidelines for your vehicle’s braking system to assure safe, smooth driving.

When your mechanic is wearing the ASE patch, don’t expect to get to know him—you won’t be back in a long time! That’s because our ASE technicians do the job right the first time. They inspect the following braking components:

Disc Brakes:

  • Disc brake rotors and pads
  • Calipers and hardware

Drum Brakes:

  • Brake drums and shoes
  • Wheel cylinders
  • Return springs

Parking Brake:

  • Cables

Hydraulic System:

  • Master cylinder
  • Brake fluid and hoses
  • Power booster

Your vehicle’s brake system is a culmination of over 100 years of technological innovation, transforming crude stopping mechanisms into dependable and efficient equipment. While brake systems vary by make and model, the basic system consists of disc brakes in front and either disk or drum brakes in back. Connected by a series of tubes and hoses, your brakes link to each wheel and to the master cylinder, which supply them with vital brake fluid (hydraulic fluid).

We can summarize all of your braking equipment into two categories, Hydraulics and Friction Material:

Hydraulics

Master Cylinder:

The master cylinder is like a pressure converter. When you press down on the brake pedal (physical pressure), the master cylinder converts this to hydraulic pressure, and brake fluid moves into the wheel brakes.

Brake Lines and Hoses:

Brake lines hoses deliver pressurized brake fluid to the braking unit(s) at each wheel.

Wheel Cylinders and Calipers:

Wheel Cylinders surrounded by two rubber-sealed pistons connect the piston with the brake shoe. Push the brakes and the pistons stop and the shoes pushes into the drum. Calipers squeeze brake pads onto the rotor to stop your car. Both components apply pressure to friction materials.

Friction Materials

Disc Brake Pads and Drum Brake Shoes:

A disc brake uses fluid (released by the master cylinder) to force pressure into a caliper, where it presses against a piston. The piston then squeezes two brake pads against the rotor, forcing it to stop. Brake shoes consist of a steel shoe with friction material bonded to it.

How It Comes Together:

When you first step on the brake pedal, you are triggering the release of brake fluid into the system of tubes and hoses, which travel to the braking unit at each wheel. You actually push against a plunger in the master cylinder, releasing fluid. Brake fluid can’t be compressed. It moves through the network of tubes and hoses in the exact same motion and pressure that initiated it. When it comes to stopping a heavy steel machine at high speed, this consistency is a good thing. The performance of your brakes can be affected when air gets into the fluid; since air can compress, it creates sponginess in the pedal, which disrupts consistency, and results in bad braking efficiency. “Bleeder screws” (located at each wheel cylinder) remove unwanted air in your system.

A car without functioning brakes is dangerous. In many cases, warning signs will tell you if your car’s brakes may need service.

Warning signs include:

  • Squealing or grinding noises when using brakes. This could mean your brakes need to be adjusted or that your brake pads are worn and need replacement.
  • Your dashboard’s Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) light turns on. This indicates that your brake fluid is low. You may have a leak in your brake line. Get it inspected.
  • While braking, your car pulls to one side. This means that your brakes need adjustment, there is brake fluid leakage, or your brakes are worn out and need replacement.
  • Your brakes are hard to press down or feel “spongy.” Usually this means air has gotten into your brake lines or you may have low brake fluid.
  • When applying your brakes, your steering wheel, brake pedal, or entire vehicle begins to shake. If this happens, your brake rotors could be warped and need replacement.

When you notice any brake warning signs, contact our professional staff by phone, or email, immediately and we’ll take care of it.

Your Check Engine Light (CEL) warns you that your vehicle’s computer found a malfunctioning component in your emission control system. You may see “check engine,” “service engine soon,” or “check powertrain.” Or, the light may show an engine picture, perhaps with the word “Check.” To determine the actual problem, we use an electronic scan tool or a diagnostic computer to retrieve Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). Some common issues that turn on the check engine light include:

  • Your gas cap isn’t on tight enough; we suggest checking before calling us
  • Water got into your engine somewhere
  • The spark plugs don’t function correctly
  • Your vehicle is emitting high levels of pollutants

In any case, you should bring your vehicle to us, and we can inspect your vehicle, diagnose the problem, and take care of it. Leaving your engine light on can cause serious problems with your car in the long run.

A check engine light appointment goes pretty fast, so stop by or give us a call.

Your modern vehicle’s engine is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment. Federal Exhaust Emission and Fuel Economy regulations demand that today’s vehicles use electronic engine control systems to curb carbon emissions and increase fuel efficiency. With advanced control systems taking the place of simple engine components, common maintenance services such as tune-ups become less vital. Your vehicle still requires regular services (such as spark plug and filter replacements). You will also need computerized analysis of your vehicle’s control computer. Our factory-trained technicians provide these basic services.

Here’s how your modern vehicle’s control computer operates:

A network of sensors and switches convert and monitor engine operating conditions into electrical signals. The computer receives this information, and, based on information and instructions coded within this savvy computer program, it sends commands to three different systems: ignition, fuel, and emission control. When a problem arises—the “check engine” light turns on—our service pros checks it out. Bring in your vehicle, we’ll check it out, and you can know if the “check engine” is a real problem, or just a sensor/computer issue.

Here’s a brief overview of your vehicle’s sensory components:

  • Mass airflow sensor
  • Throttle position sensor
  • Manifold absolute pressure sensor
  • Coolant temperature sensor
  • Exhaust oxygen sensor
  • Crankshaft position sensor
  • Camshaft position sensor

We recommend you get a seven point preventative cooling system maintenance check performed at least once every two years. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for specific guidelines. The cooling system inspection identifies areas that need attention, and consists of the following:

  • A visual inspection of all cooling system components, including belts and hoses
  • A radiator cap pressure test to check the recommended system pressure level
  • A thermostat check for proper opening and closing
  • A pressure test to identify external leaks to the cooling system parts including the radiator, water pump, engine coolant passages, radiator, heater hoses and heater core
  • An internal leak test to check for combustion gas leakage into the cooling system
Cooling System Operation

The Cooling System carries heat away from the engine and maintains the operating temperature by circulating anti-freeze/coolant through the engine, and carrying it to the radiator for cooling.

Modern automobiles operate in a wide temperature range, from well below freezing to over 100 F. The fluid used to cool the engine must have a low freezing point, high boiling point, and the ability to transfer heat. An adequate amount of antifreeze/coolant and water reduces the possibility of engine over-heating and freezing, as well as contains additives to prevent rust and corrosion in the cooling system.

Water holds heat well; however, water alone freezes at a temperature too high to be used in engines. The fluid in most vehicles mixes water and antifreeze or coolant. With this mixture, the boiling and freezing points improve significantly.

Coolant temperatures sometimes reach 250 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Even with antifreeze added, these temperatures boil the coolant. To prevent boiling, the cooling system raises the coolant boiling point by pressurizing it. Most systems pressurize coolant at 14 to 15 pounds per square inch (psi) which raises the boiling point approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Our skilled technicians know the importance of a properly working cooling system. Come in to our shop or call or email us today for a thorough inspection.

Want to make your vehicle stand out and perform better? Enhance your ride with custom wheels. The wheels you choose depend on your vehicle’s use and driving conditions. For instance, you can increase the size of your wheels for off-road driving or add spinning rims for cruising around town. No matter your needs, talk to our professionals and we will give you custom wheel options.

What type of custom wheels do you want?

Aluminum Alloy Wheels: Light-weight and strong, these wheels improve performance, handling, and gas mileage. They also make your ride look cool and come in a finish that’s right for you.

Custom Steel Wheels: Heavier than aluminum, these wheels are perfect for off-road driving and heavy-duty work. These strong wheels improve vehicle stability and come with finish options.

After choosing your wheels, pick a finish. Common options include: polished, painted, powder-coated, or chrome plated finish. Feel free to ask one of our professionals which finish best suits your needs.

Give us a call and let our experts guide you to custom wheels to improve your car’s looks and your driving experience.

Your vehicle’s axle connects two wheels together in front and in back. This load-bearing component acts like a central shaft, maintaining the wheel positions relative to each other and to the vehicle body. The axle construction matches vehicle use; trucks and off-road vehicles come with axles that keep the wheel positions steady under heavy stress (ideal for supporting heavy loads), while conventional axles satisfy general consumer needs. No matter what you drive, remember that your vehicle’s axle must bear the weight of your vehicle (plus any cargo) along with the acceleration forces between you and the ground. When it comes to axle inspection, we are your source for professional, knowledgeable service. Bring your car to us and rest assured that the equipment that carries you and your family is safe and secure.

Here is a brief description of the most common axle design:

Drive/CV Axle:

Simply put, the engine drives the axle. Typically found in front wheel drive vehicles, a drive axle is split between two half axles with differential and universal joints between them. Each half axle connects to the wheel by a third joint—the constant velocity (CV) joint—that allows the wheels to move freely. This joint allows the shaft to rotate, transmitting power at a constant speed without a significant increase in friction and heat. CV joints require regular inspection.

Check your axles: Go out to a large space (such as a parking lot), and slowly drive in tight circles. If you hear a clicking or cracking noise, you have a worn joint, and it must be repaired immediately.

Call or send us an email. We’ll have you back on the road, “click-free” in no time.

Your vehicle depends on a properly working electrical system. Four main parts make up this system, and they must work together effectively. These include:

Batteries: Your vehicle’s battery provides the electricity needed to start the engine. We recommend checking your battery with every oil change and replace it every three or four years.

Alternator: After starting your engine, your alternator takes over and generates power for the electrical system and recharges the battery. The electric system powers headlamps, light bulbs, and other electrical accessories.

Starter Motor: Your starter motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy used to start your engine. Basically, once you turn your ignition, the starter cranks the engine to start your vehicle. As a general rule, test your starter every spring to make sure it draws the right amount of current.

Wiring: The wires in your electrical system connect the battery to the starter motor, the alternator to the battery, and the alternator to the starter. These large wires transmit several hundred amperes during cranking.

What can you do at home to help extend electrical system’s life?

  • Clean off your battery and the connections once a month.
  • When purchasing a new battery, buy the same kind of battery and amps as the old one.
  • Turn off your vehicle’s radio when the engine is not running to preserve your battery.
  • If your vehicle needs a jump-start, use a car that is shut (not running). And remember to jump your vehicle with a battery with the same or lower voltage.

If you are having trouble with your vehicles electrical system and need a professional opinion, we are here to help. Our technicians provide quality service in for your electrical system repairs.

Give us a call, email, or stop by today.

Your exhaust system is more than a muffler. It is a series of pipes that run under your car connecting to your muffler and catalytic converter. The exhaust system controls noise and funnels exhaust fumes away from passengers.

In some ways, your car’s exhaust system works like a chimney on a house, directing the byproducts from burning fuel away from the people inside. A car’s exhaust system routes waste gases from the engine to the rear of the car, where they are released into the atmosphere. Exhaust gases contain dangerous substances (such as carbon monoxide) and can be hazardous if allowed to flow into your vehicle’s cab.

The exhaust system also converts pollutants into less harmful byproducts, reduces engine noise, and directs exhaust gases to heat air and fuel before the fuel goes into the engine’s cylinders. Finally, the exhaust system provides the correct amount of back pressure into the engine to improve its fuel-burning efficiency and increase performance.

Key components of your exhaust system include:

Exhaust Pipes:

Designed specifically for each model, this pipe is used to properly route exhaust to the back of the vehicle.

Exhaust Manifold:

Acting like a funnel, the exhaust manifold collects the gases from all cylinders and releases them through a single opening. Some engines have two exhaust manifolds.

Catalytic Converter:

The catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions and transforms pollutants into water vapor and other less harmful gases.

Muffler:

The muffler is a metal container with holes, baffles, and chambers that reduces exhaust noise.

Resonator:

The resonator works with the muffler to reduce noise.

Tail Pipe:

Found at the back of the car, the tail pipe carries exhaust gases away from the vehicle.

Contact our professionals for complete exhaust system repairs.

Have you recently been in a crash or a fender-bender? Believe us, we have seen it all and can honestly say we are front-end collision experts. Using the latest in collision repair technology, our service pros will correct any amount of damage your car has endured. From major structural problems to cosmetic flaws, we will erase any dent, ding, scratch, or chip. We will get you back on the road and restore your vehicle to its regular condition.

Are you seeing problems with your vehicle like:

  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Rough idling
  • Hesitation when accelerating
  • Engine knocking
  • A sticking throttle pedal
  • Cold-start problems
  • Failed emission testing

If so, your fuel system may be worn out or dirty. Your vehicle’s fuel system must be maintained to perform efficiently and keep emissions low. In many cases, your fuel system clogs as it wears out. Fuel filter clogs often occur because they trap dirt, water, and other contaminants which cause stress to the fuel pump. That is why we suggest you replace your worn out filters every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Bring in your vehicle and we’ll remove your old fuel filter and replace it with a new one. As for dirty fuel systems, our professionals will clean them.

Our Fuel Service cleaning includes:

  • Cleaning deposits from fuel injectors
  • Clear intake valves of deposit buildup
  • Remove hard-to-remove deposits from the combustion chamber
  • Clear deposits from the air intake (including throttle body and intake manifold)

Having issues with your vehicle? Bring it by our shop as soon as possible and we will diagnose the problem(s) for you. We have a wide range of services and carry top-of-the-line products to accompany them. Our skilled employees will provide you with full service and quality repairs for all your vehicle needs.

Give us a call or email us today.

Price: $32.50*

Includes:

  • 5 Quarts of Oil
  • Oil filter
  • Complimentary Vehicle Inspection

What kind of oil should you use?

We’ll help you figure this out.
  • Standard Oil
  • High-Mileage
  • Synthetic Oil
  • Regular/Synthetic Blend

Keep your vehicle running and in good condition with regular oil changes. Depending on vehicle age or type, choosing the right oil will make the difference between getting to your destinations and breaking down. Below are some recommended oil changes and types; however, please call us if you have a special request.

Standard:

Standard oil changes typically cover five quarts of oil, an oil filter change, and a fluid levels and air filter check.

High-Mileage:

We recommend high mileage for vehicles over 75,000 miles. High-mileage oil blends synthetic and standard oil to decrease oil detergency. As a car ages, its performance diminishes and the vehicle starts to burn oil. High mileage oil changes include five quarts of oil, changing your oil filter, and a fluid levels and air filter check.

Synthetic:

Synthetic oil is designed to increases vehicle performance and engine protection. A synthetic oil change includes five quarts of oil, an oil filter change, and an inspection of all your fluid levels and air filter.

We use quality oils including: Mobile 1, Pennzoil, Castrol and more.

We recommend following the manufacturer’s schedule for oil changes. That information is in the owner’s manual. If you do not have an owner’s manual we can look the schedule up. We will also top off fluids and recommend additional services. Contact us to find out the best oil for your vehicle and schedule you next oil change.

*Most Vehicles, excludes Diesel and engines that need more than 7 quarts of oil.

Have you ever had a cold or the flu and you’ve spiked a fever, causing your temperature to rise? It’s not fun to feel that way, is it? Being sick and overheated causes a person to be tired, and their performance drops significantly. Now imagine this same situation happening to your vehicle. When your radiator is not working properly, it is like giving your engine a fever. This not only harms performance, but can cause major damage. We know that a leak in your radiator can turn a messy situation into a major repair for your vehicle. Your radiator is one of your vehicle’s most vital components. The radiator displaces heat caused by your engine in order to keep the engine cool and running correctly. This is how a radiator works:

The Coolant Process:

Ethylene glycol, better known as anti-freeze, is the neon green liquid that flows from your engine and then through your radiator to cool it. The liquid is able to cool by passing through tubes inside of the radiator. As the liquid passes through these tubes, the heat from the liquid is displaced by the tubes and small “fins” connecting the tubes of the radiator. The liquid flows through these fins and tubes and the surrounding air is warmed by the displacement of heat. The liquid’s heat is lost by allowing the radiator’s assembly to “radiate” the heat caused by the liquid into the air. A fan pushes that hot air away from the radiator. Air heats up fast, so replacing the warm air around the radiator with cool air is extremely important. When the coolant finally exits the tube and fin assembly of the radiator, it has been sufficiently cooled and passes through the engine again.

Why should I fix a leak in my radiator?

The first thing that our team of professionals will tell you is that it is best to keep your engine running cool as to allow the engine to run more cleanly and efficiently. This in turn will allow your engine to last as long as possible and keep it safe from abnormal wear and tear. If that leak is not fixed properly as soon as possible, your engine may overheat causing very costly damage including:

  • A blown out top header
  • Destruction of your radiator entirely
  • Cracking or blowing out the engine’s head gasket
  • Total engine seizure

Our friendly and courteous auto care professionals will repair your radiator, when possible, and get you back on the road with confidence. We want to make sure your radiator will keep your engine at the optimal temperature so you can avoid a much more costly visit to our shop. Contact us today to set up an appointment or request a quote for radiator service!

Ensure maximum miles without major break-downs with routine car maintenance at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles. Scheduled maintenance allows us to do a point-by-point vehicle inspection, tune-up (spark plugs, filters, etc.), oil change, and transmission maintenance. Depending on your miles and the vehicle, we may change belts, re-time your vehicle, and test the battery.

Cost per vehicle can vary depending on inspection, so please call us for vehicle-specific service information and pricing.

Your car’s suspension and steering system allows your wheels to move independently of the car, while keeping it “suspended” and stable. Any play or uncontrolled motion in these systems results in handling deterioration and accelerated tire wear. Also, your vehicle’s alignment affects the condition of the suspension and steering systems. Contact our professional staff today for an inspection, or schedule repairs to your vehicle’s suspension and steering system.

Suspension System

Worn or loose components affect the suspension system’s ability to control motion and alignment angles, resulting in vehicle handling and stability deterioration, as well as accelerated tire wear. The suspension system includes:

  • Control arms
  • Ball joints
  • Springs (coil or leaf)
  • Shock absorbers
  • Struts

Call or email us to get your suspension, shocks, and struts checked.

Your vehicle’s tires make constant contact with the road. Over time and with normal wear-and-tear, your become worn down. This can be dangerous when braking on wet or snow-covered roads. Hydroplaning occurs when the tire’s grooves are so worn down that they don’t channel water out from beneath the tread. When this happens, your treads only skim the water’s surface and the steering wheel won’t respond. Keep your tires in working condition.

How do I know if I need new tires?

  • Your tread depth is below 1/16 of an inch (1.6 millimeters). To get a rough idea of your tread depth, use a penny and insert it “head down” into the tread. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, you need new tires.
  • Your tread wear indicator bar is visible. Flat rubber bars run perpendicular to the tread. If you see them, it’s time for new tires.
  • Your tire’s sidewall is showing visible cracks or cuts. Take this seriously; your tires may soon start to leak.
  • Your tires have developed bulges or blisters. Weak spots on tires show up around blisters or bulges and can blow out your tires.

If you see any of these signs, you need to have them checked and replaced. We carry a number of brand name tires to choose from, and our trained technicians will install them properly.

Come in to our shop, call, or email us, and we will assist you.

The front tires on a front-wheel drive vehicle accelerate, steer, and help brake your vehicle. Front tires tend to wear down faster than rear tires. Typically rear wheel tires last twice as long as front wheel tires. Ideally, we recommend you replace all four tires at the same time. Rotating your tires helps ensure even wearing for all your tires. Contact our staff to get your tires rotated.

How do I know when to rotate my tires?

Follow your vehicle’s owner’s manual suggestions, rotate them with every other oil change, or rotate them every 3,000 to 7,000 miles.

A TPMS or “Tire Pressure Monitoring System” electronically monitors the air pressure inside your tires. Depending on your vehicle, the TPMS reports the tire-pressure information, through a gauge, a pictogram display, or a low-pressure warning light. This system can be divided into two different types—direct (dTPMS) and indirect (iTPMS). As of September 1, 2007, the TREAD (Transportation Recall Enhanced Accountability and Documentation) Act requires that all vehicles sold in the U.S. be equipped with one of these types.

Direct TPMS reports tire pressure in real-time through pressure sensors installed directly in the valve of each tire.

Indirect TPMS uses the car’s anti-lock braking systems (ABS) to approximate tire pressure. Since tire inflation levels affect tire rotation, indirect TPMS also relies on the differences in wheel rotation to detect under-inflation.

Benefits of TPMS:

  • Avoid traffic accidents: Recognize under-inflated tires before they malfunction and create an accident.
  • Extend tire life: Under inflation contributes to heat buildup, tire disintegration, ply separation and sidewall/casing breakdowns.
  • Improve safety: Properly inflated tires add stability, greater handling, and braking efficiencies while providing better safety for the driver, the vehicle, and others on the road.

Having trouble with your TPMS? Give us a call today and our professional team will take care of it for you.

Your vehicle’s transmission is a device that is connected to the back of the engine and sends power from the engine to the wheels. It allows you to easily shift your vehicle into drive, park, or reverse. Today’s transmissions are made up of many components and systems that must work together fluently for your vehicle to operate properly. Components of your transmission include:

  • Planetary Gear Sets
  • Clutch Packs
  • One-Way Clutch
  • Bands
  • Torque Converter
  • Hydraulic System
  • Oil Pump
  • Valve Body
  • Computer Controls
  • Governor, Vacuum Modulator and Throttle Cable
  • Seals and Gaskets

When your transmission is in needs of an overhaul, one option is to have it rebuilt. Your transmission will be completely removed from your vehicle. Once it is out and disassembled, each part is carefully inspected and cleaned, if necessary. Even when being rebuilt, certain parts may still need to be replaced after inspection. After the necessary parts are repaired or replaced, the transmission is reassembled and installed back into your vehicle.

The modern automatic transmission is the most complicated mechanical component in today’s vehicle. The automatic transmission contains mechanical systems, hydraulic systems, electrical systems, and computer controls that work together to power the engine to drive the wheels. With so many parts working together, this can lead to your transmission needing special attention.

Transmission maintenance leads to a longer vehicle life. Typically trouble with the transmission starts from overheating. Stop-and-go traffic, heavy pulling, struggling in the snow, hot weather, and racing can cause your transmission to overheat. At higher temperatures the transmission fluid burns. Your vehicle loses lubrication and deposits inside the transmission increase. We recommend that you take your vehicle to a service technician as soon as you believe your vehicle is having transmission problems.

To prevent your transmission from damage:

  • Check your parking space for leaks regularly. If you notice fluid deposits under your car, have one of our technicians inspect it right away.
  • Check the transmission fluid levels and condition. Change it when necessary.
  • Make sure you use the correct transmission fluid as specified in your owner’s manual.
  • Make sure to stop your vehicle before shifting into reverse or park.
  • Always hold the brakes down when shifting from park.

Paying attention to your transmission will help increase the lifespan of your vehicle, save money on costly repairs, ensure smooth shifting, extend your transmission fluid’s life, and help prevent leaks.

When getting your vehicle serviced, explain any problems in as much detail as possible to our technicians. This will help us diagnose and prevent transmission issues efficiently and accurately.

Maximize gas mileage and power, and increase the overall life of your vehicle, with regular tune ups. Tune ups should happen at least every 30,000 miles or every two years, depending on the age and mileage of the car. A tune up makes sure that often overlooked “little things” work correctly and get replaced if needed.

Here is a typical tune-up:

  • Replace the fuel filter. Filters get clogged with particles and it can decrease the car’s efficiency and power.
  • Change the spark plugs and check the plug wires. Bad plugs or wires lead to mileage inefficiency, loss of power, and rough starts. We’ll want to make sure you get new plugs and replace old wires.
  • Replace distributor cap and rotor. Some cars do not come these items, but if you have them, we can replace them.
  • Check ignition system and timing. Older vehicles rely on ignition timing.
  • Make needed adjustments to valves and check/replace gaskets if oil is leaking.
  • Belts are an important part of the tune up. We check all your belts and replace them if we see signs of wear and tear.
  • Check all fluids and top off any levels.
  • Change oil and filter if needed.
  • Check and replace air filter.
  • Check and adjust clutch in cars with manual transmission.
  • Service battery. Clean cables, add distilled water, and clean terminals.

The tune up process and service may vary from car to car or based off time since your last tune up service. Prices may also vary based on your vehicle and selected services.

For your next tune up, email, call, or come down to the shop and set up an appointment.

Often confused with wheel alignment, a properly balanced wheel is a beautiful, perfectly tuned wheel-tire combination. This is accomplished by placing measured lead weights on the opposite side of the “heavy spot”—the noticeable tread wear on your unbalanced tire.

How do I know if I need my wheels balanced?

Is your vehicle vibrating at certain speeds, say, between 50 and 70 mph? If so, chances are your wheel is out of balance. One section of your tire is heavier than the other because it’s endured more exposure to the friction and heat of the road. Most people are very satisfied with the difference such a simple and inexpensive procedure makes.

Look for these signs, and if you find either one, come see us:
  • Scalloped, erratic wear pattern on tires.
  • Vibration in steering wheel, seat, or floorboard at certain speeds.

People often overlook windshield wipers. Extreme temperatures, oil, dirt, and other factors cause your windshield wiper rubber to wear down. A worn out and ineffective wiper creates streaks on your windshield and obstructs your vision. Cracked or torn wipers or jagged edges mean it’s time to replace your wipers. We suggest that you change the rubber and the wiper arm every six months. Our staff will fix any of your wiper issues and will let you know which kinds of wipers work for your vehicle.

Contact our professionals today.

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