How do I distinguish between “severe” and “normal” driving?

Question: If my owner’s manual has two different maintenance schedules, how can I figure out where I fit? Answer: You’re right, most manufacturers these days recommend different maintenance schedules for the same car, depending upon how you drive or the conditions in which you drive. Manufacturers call it “severe” or “normal” driving. You can probably Read the full article…


How closely do I need to adhere to my car’s maintenance schedule?

Question: Do auto manufacturers suggest maintenance checks just so that their service departments can make money? Answer: Every auto and truck manufacturer recommends a maintenance schedule customized for its own vehicles. This month (April) is National Car Care Month, so it’s a good time to consider how well you are adhering to that schedule. You Read the full article…


If my ‘check engine’ light is on, do I have a serious problem?

Question: How immediately do I need to respond to the check engine light? Answer: That dreaded check engine light can cause a lot of stress for vehicle owners. They fear a costly repair bill, and sometimes car owners take a head-in-the-sand approach, preferring to ignore it, hoping it will go away. A check engine light Read the full article…


How do I know whether my vehicle needs a wheel alignment?

Question: If I get a wheel alignment, does it accomplish the same thing as balancing my tires? Answer: Wheel alignments and tire-balancing are different procedures. We talked last month about balancing your tires and how the procedure can solve the problem of uneven wear on your tires. A wheel alignment can also extend the life Read the full article…


What causes my steering wheel to shake?

Question: Does a shaking steering wheel mean that my tires are out of balance? Answer: Other issues can cause a steering wheel to shake – such as bent rims, warped rotors, or even a defective tire. But when somebody brings us a car with a steering wheel that shakes at normal cruising speeds, we first Read the full article…


If I hear a strange ticking noise, is that a problem?

Question: How can I figure out which engine noises need immediate attention? Answer: Prior to making a reservation for repair, one of the first things a customer might tell us over the phone is, “I hear a strange noise … “ There are many different sounds that a malfunctioning vehicle might make during various stages Read the full article…


How can I prepare my car for cold weather?

Question: As we get closer to winter, which maintenance items should I address to keep my car running smoothly? Answer: Colorado is infamous for its sudden weather changes in the fall, and it’s best not to wait until the first snowstorm (average date in the Denver area is Oct. 19!) before considering the ways that you Read the full article…


Is it worth spending the extra money on ‘premium’ fuel?

  Question: How should I decide whether to pay for gasoline with a higher octane rating? Answer:If your car manufacturer recommends a specific level of octane for your vehicle’s gasoline, that’s the one you should use. You can usually find that information in the owner’s manual. Octane ratings measure a fuel’s ability to resist “knocking” during Read the full article…


How hard is it to replace a bulb in a taillight?

Question: What do I need to know about changing a vehicle’s lightbulb? Answer: If one of your taillights has gone bad, you want to get it replaced as soon as possible, both for safety reasons AND because you don’t want to get pulled over. Sometimes the most complicated part about the replacement is the identification Read the full article…


What should I know about owning a diesel vehicle?

Question: Why do some people choose to buy a car or truck with a diesel engine? Answer: Diesel vehicles are quite popular, and according to the latest report in AutoTrader, some of the top diesel cars last year were the Audi 3, the BMW 3 Series, the Chevy Cruze, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes-Benz and trucks, Read the full article…