Road trips are exhausting, freeing, frustrating and SO much cheaper than a flight. And because you decide when to go and when to stop and even decide to scrap the whole plan and go somewhere completely different. ROAD TRIP!
Road Trip Tip #1
Don't leave at the wrong time of day (do you need to stop for coffee, will the traffic be particularly heavy? Prior plan the TIME, itself. Pack car-friendly food and drinks (and a simple cooler of high-protein snacks).
Road Trip Tip #2
Don't forget a spare set of keys. If you rent a car, ask the rental office if there’s a spare key in the vehicle and where it is. If there isn’t, ask for one before leaving the rental location. And .... duh ......separate them, so you don’t lose both.
Road Trip Tip #3
Download any audio books or podcasts BEFORE you get out of WiFi. Unless you have unlimted data roaming (probably not!)
Road Trip Tip #4
Your GPS is a God send, until it doesn't work, in the middle of no-where. Please, Please, Please bring a paper map. If you don't have AAA membership to get free maps, buy a paper map.
Road Trip Tip #5
When you are in the middle of NO WHERE - this is NOT the the best time to see a Check Engine light (or any other panic-inducing indicator light on the dashboard) come to life. Never go on a road trip without visiting Cutshaw Automotive, first and packing an Emergency Car Kit.
HAVE a great summer of FUN! But, don't leave on your adventure without popping by Cutshaw!
Your vehicle’s air conditioning system does not create cold air. How it works is that it actually takes the heat and moisture out of the air that is already in your car, leaving behind cooler air. Which is why it takes a while for it to start feeling cool. The Freon refrigerant resides in the air conditioning system and the compressor compresses the Freon into a high-pressure state causing it to liquefy. It travels through the high-pressure lines to the condenser. The condenser which is similar to a small radiator, puts the liquid in contact with fresh air on the outside of the vehicle, which absorbs the heat from the liquid. It then flows into the expansion valve or orifice tube where it is restricted and becomes gaseous into the low-pressure side of your air conditioning system. Finally, it flows into the receiver bag that removes and collect unwanted moisture and impurities. The clean gaseous Freon travels to the evaporator and it now absorbs heat from the air passing through to leave behind the cooler air. Magically -- your fan blows cooler dry air into your car’s cabin!
The Freon travels back down to the compressor to get compressed back into the high-pressure gas and begin the process again. The Freon, also, carries dispersed oil that helps to keep the air-conditioning compressor lubricated, while operating. Your Freon staying charged is *crucial* to the proper operation and lubrication of the air conditioner compressor.
Where does Cutshaw Automotive come in to the equation? If your Freon gets low, you’re Air Conditioning system can still operate, but it may lose some of its cooling effect, it can shorten the cycle, or it can damage the compressor because it isn't being properly lubricated, while operating. We can do a simple check of pressure. Or we can give a thorough check of the operation of the compressor, it’s clutch and belt, check the high and low pressures of the system while operating, check proper control panel operation, check heater blower fan and engine cooling fan operation, check for restrictions in the system, check for proper air flow through the condenser and evaporator and check for any obvious leaks. We're your care-free car care in Richmond. Trust Cutshaw!
At Cutshaw Automotive, we are REQUIRED to do an OFFICIAL Virginia State Inspection procedure, every time we do a state inspection on a vehicle at our garage. Each time, we put anybody's baby up on the lift, we look for and at the same things. In fact, they are all urgently important for our environment, your safety and the safety for other vehicles on the road. Each one is carefully considered in being added to the manual, and Cutshaw in meticulous in making sure we go over the list, carefully, when you get your inspection, here:
Cutshaw's Inspection Procedure:
1. - REMOVE OLD INSPECTION STICKER.
2. - DRIVE VEHICLE INTO INSPECTION LANE.
3. - INSPECT BRAKES FOR:
(Jack up front end as shown in “Official Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual”.)
Consider getting your Virginia State Inspection done closer to the beginning of the month just in case there is anything we need to address. Champe, Domingo and the Cutshaw Team!
Winter is clearly over and now, it is time to take assessment. If you’ve hit potholes (in RVA? Naaa!), your tires have lost pressure. Your brakes may have accumulated road salt. Your alignment may not off after driving on icy roads. Here is your checklist for After-Winter-Care from Cutshaw Automotive:
Visit our Facebook page for our contest - simply post a GIF in the comments of the post and we'll choose a winner by Tuesday - feel free to share with a friend, ya'all!
According to 2015 data from the Car Care Council, 84% of vehicles surveyed required immediate service. Among the issues: low or dirty oil, contaminated air filters and inadequate coolant levels. Neglecting preventive auto maintenance means easy fixes can become expensive repairs down the road.
Preventive maintenance important because it saves you money. "Preventive maintenance helps you get the most out of what has become a significant investment in transportation", says Tony Molla, Vice President of Communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). "For most consumers, a car is [one of the biggest purchases] they're going to make in their lifetime."
Don't you hate getting gas when it is freezing rain? Don't you hate how LONG the 28 days of February seem? OK. I will stop whining. Why is it so important to not ignore oil changes while the weather is stinking cold?
Following manufacturer's recommendations, you should change the oil and oil filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Because Virginia is mild compared to other regions in the country, changing the viscosity of oil may not be necessary, over the winter, but just know that 5W-30 motor oil flows quicker in cold weather than 20W-50. Oil is rated by viscosity, but temperature does affect its thickness. In cold weather, it gets very dense and might have a hard time (at start-up) circulating through the system for proper lubrication. It's important the oil you put in isn't thin enough to run past all the components, without properly adhering.
Don't ignore your oil changes in the winter. Cutshaw offers a roasty-toasty waiting area with free coffee and comfy couches....so let us get your oil changed while you let us offer you care-free car care. We even offer free towing and a loaner car, if necessary for larger repairs.
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)
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. This kind of service is much cheeper than repairing or replacing your powersteering system ($500 and up!) With that said, it's your car. But, when your trusted friends at Cutshaw recommend it :-) do it!
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.
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