The challenges of the winter aren't just chilly toes and ruined shoes - taking care of your car has its challenges, too. Here are a few tips for you to keep your car in great shape, until springtime.
We'll be going over the safety features of your car - the good, the bad, and what you need to know. Tune in to our Facebook page to follow the feature! This month, we'll start with Airbags -- they are the biggest reason you need to keep your children in the back seat! Front airbags have been standard on all new cars since 1998 and light trucks since 1999. Most vehicles had them even before then. Crash sensors connected to an onboard computer detect a frontal collision and trigger the bags. The bags inflate in a few milliseconds—the blink of an eye—then immediately start deflating. While airbags have saved thousands of lives, they also have the potential to cause injury or even death to children or to occupants who aren’t using a seatbelt. Children under 12 should be seated in the rear in an appropriate restraint system and rear-facing child seats should never be installed in front seats equipped with airbags.
While we're talking about children, don't dress them in puffy coats (better to just use layers or a car blanket) for children in car seats, this winter, as the "puff" deflates in an accident and when it compresses the child can more easily slide out of the seat.
Adaptive, or dual-stage front airbags, introduced in 2003, became standard across the board by the 2007 model year. Most airbag systems now detect the presence, weight, and seat position for the driver and front passenger, and deactivate or de-power front airbags as appropriate to minimize the chance of injury to drivers positioned close to the wheel, out-of-position occupants or children.
Side airbags. Torso protecting side-impact airbags for front-seat passengers are also nearly universal, and some automakers offer side airbags for rear-seat passengers, as well. Side airbags are fairly small cushions that pop out of the door trim or the side of the seatback. They help protect the torso, but most aren’t effective in protecting the head. Nearly all new models today also include additional “side curtain” bags that deploy from above the windows and cover both front and rear side windows to prevent occupants from hitting their heads and to shield them from flying debris. A curtain bag often also stays ‘inflated’ longer in most cases to also keep people from being ejected during a rollover or a high-speed side crash. The better head-protection systems deploy the side-curtain bags if the system detects that the vehicle is beginning to roll over.
At Cutshaw, we live and breathe everything automotive because that is our job. However, simple things like regular maintenance can slip your customers’ minds because your lives are busy. Do you need an oil change or a tire rotation? Come by and see us! And if you didn't know this - we cannot take appointments for Virginia State Inspections - it is best to come by a the beginning of the month (or mid-month) and beat the crowd. See you soon!
Well, it's kind of like this question: Do you take a bath? (or shower)? If the answer is
'Yes' then you'll understand the need to flush your powersteering. Simply put, it gets
dirty. If your answer is 'No' - that's creepy:) Powersteering fluid, much like oil and others
contains additives. In addition, powersteering is one of the few systems in your car that
does NOT have a filter on it. So, over the course of the vehicles life, that fluid, which
lubricates the powersteering system, gets dirty and is no longer keeping your system lubricated. As a result, metal parts will rub together and break.
Benefits of a Power Steering Fluid Flush (old fluid removed, system is cleaned, and new power steering fluid is added)
When Should I Flush My Powersteering Fluid?
Ok, so I'm going to flush my powersteering fluid. How do I know when to do that? Many car manufacturers do not provide a service interval for powersteering flushes. A good rule of thumb is every 30,000 miles or every two years. These services are pretty cheap (from $59 to $199ish) and so, it's an inexpensive form of insurance. With that said, it's your car. Flush it whenever you think is right or when your trusted friends at Cutshaw recommend it :-) But don't wait too long. Repairing
your powersteering system can cost $500 (and up!).
So you need to new brakes on your car.. Either a mechanic told you so or you've started feeling that guh, guh, guh vibration or hearing squealing when you step on the brakes while driving. Bummer! But, we can help. Bottom line, there are 4 things you need to know when you think you need new brakes.
1. First, brakes are EVERYTHING, keeping you, your family and friends safe. How often have you been driving, maybe not paying attention a bit and had to stomp on the brakes to stop your car just in the nick of time? You? Never! Right, me neither. Yeah, you need em.
2. Do I need brake pads? Brake pads should last between 30-50,000 miles and are measured with that thingy on the left. Ask to see the measurements to make sure they DO need to be changed.
3. What type of brakes should I have installed? There are 3 types of brake pad, basically: Basic/Good, Better, Best. Found this good article with lots of pictures and details, ignore the typos and misused words...we didn't write it. We DONT recommend the basic metallic pads because they tend to make noise and throw off a lot of brake dust making your tire rims look dirty.
4. Should I replace rotors at the same time? Notwithstanding budget, YES. Since you are going to replace your brake pads only every 3 to 5 years....it's not that much more $$$ to do both at the same time and avoid another trip to the brake shop. It also ensures that new brake pads don't get torn up by warped rotors. With that said, no sense replacing rotors if they are silky smooth:) At Cutshaw Automotive we can advise you on the best brake buy for your budget.
So this is the most basic question for the entire auto repair industry because it defines the life of the vehicle for gas and diesel vehicles (not electric.) The simple answer is: follow the owners manual. Some vehicles call for an oil change every 3000 miles, some 5000 and some higher (bad call.)
Why these numbers? Back in the day there was only one type of oil and it was dirty...not well refined, but now we have more highly refined oils that are cleaner and can last longer. Engines have advanced and so has oil. So we recommend changing your oil every 5000 miles for a couple of reasons:
1. For most people an oil change every 5000 miles = twice a year. Easy to remember.
2. Your tires should be rotated every 5000 miles so, it's a 2fer. Do both at one time, keeping your in shop time most efficient.
3. Seasonal change. From hot weather to cold weather your car goes through changes and need different treatments. So perhaps Spring and Fall or Winter and Summer.... kind of like when you bring out your summer clothes and put away winter clothes....get a car check up.
4. The majority of car manufacturers recommend every 5000 miles.
So fine print, blah blah, blah....folks can argue with the above or nitpick...but at Cutshaw Automotive, we are about helping our customers decide how often to get their oil changed in a way that is convenient for them. Twice a year, summer and winter, spring and fall, Halloween and Easter....however you can remember it (and we'll remind you .)
Visit us at 3105 Cutshaw Ave. Richmond, Va. 23230,
Call us 804.355.666 or click below to schedule your oil change and tire rotation appointment .
When summer rolls around and you're rolling around in your car too... your car's air conditioning is a must. When it's hot outside, it better be cool inside. Your car A/C temperature should be about 65 degrees farenheit....Not kidding. But over time, it can develop leaks or completely fail.
Here's how to evaluate what might be wrong with your car's AC.
Wierd note: each car has a certain amount of refrigerant in it from 1 lb to over 2lbs. Refrigerant comes to us in a container much like you buy propane for your grill and it's expensive and requires professional safety management. IE. you gotta get certified.
1. If your car has fewer than say 5 to 7 years old and not cooling as it should (65*) it likely has lost some refrigerant. You might have heard this stuff referred to as 'freon,' which is what it used to be called. We connect your vehicle via vaccum hoses to a big fancy (expensive) machine that tests the system, puts dye in it and recharges it. This SHOULD solve your problem. "But why dye?" you ask. Great question. It allows us to identify any significant leaks in the system. We can actually see the dye spewing out from the hoses and valves that might be leaking.
2. If your car is seven to 10 years old or older. It is possible that the car air conditioning compressor is broken. Yes, that means big $$$$. Replacing a compressor runs in the $800 range. But, you can do some self evaluation by opening your hood, turning on the AC and listening to hear the air compressor turn on and off. If you do NOT hear that....ugh.... the compressor may be gone. However, some times you are in luck and the recharge will revive it ...that's why you almost always start with a recharge first.
We offer repairs and maintenance services, at Cutshaw. Maintenance is the routinely scheduled services, inspections and part replacements that your vehicle manufacturer recommends based on the age or mileage of your vehicle. We do oil changes, inspections and tire rotations on an hourly basis, at Cutshaw. Repairs are services that are required or necessary when something on your vehicle is not working properly or may have worn to the point where a replacement is required to maintain the performance of your vehicle. The repairs part of maintenance is where many people end up losing the value of their car. Letting something "slide" usually leads to bigger repair costs or damaging something else. Our technicians won't recommend unnecessary services and we do believe in QUALITY service. You can Trust Cutshaw.
Our combines experience, the latest tools and our management make a top-notch shop, in Scott's Addition of Richmond. Regular maintenance and necessary service for your vehicle. We will service your engine to keep it newer, longer and safer to drive.
3105 Cutshaw Ave
Richmond, Virginia 23230
Well,, it's kind of like this question: Do you take a shower? If the answer is 'Yes' then you'll understand the need to flush your powersteering.
Simply put, it gets dirty. If your answer is 'No' - that's just lazy and kind of creepy :-) Powersteering fluid, much like oil and other fluids in your engine, contains additives. In addition, powersteering is one of the few systems in your car that does NOT have a filter on it. And if your steering doesn't work...guess what? You die. Let's not mess with this system so important to the drivability of our cars. Over the course of the vehicle's life, that fluid, which lubricates the powersteering system, gets dirty and is no longer keeping your system lubricated. As a result, metal parts will rub together and break.
Come into Cutshaw and get your oil changed, your brake pads changed and come get your powersteering system flushed. #TrustCutshaw
Eco-Power is 65% re-refined oil. We carry it, we love it and you will too. And the very best part is that is costs about the same (or less) than your regular motor oil. That's a two-fer. Read more about Eco-Power, here.