How often should I replace my windshield wipers?

Question: What are the indications that a vehicle’s windshield wipers have reached the end of their lifespan? Answer: As we write this in December, we would agree that the windshield wipers deserve considerable attention. The rain, sleet and snow cause enough of a driving obstacle; but another issue is the splash-back from oncoming vehicles that Read the full article…


What items should I carry in my car during the winter?

Question: For local driving, do I need to worry about keeping cold-weather provisions in my vehicle? Answer: In the Denver area, the average winter temperature is just under 31 degrees, so think about how long you might be able to tolerate being stranded on the side of the road in those conditions, and how long Read the full article…


What can I learn from that stain on the garage floor?

Question: Is it possible to diagnose my car’s problem by checking the color of the liquid that it leaks? Answer: Technically, the answer is no; but it can point you in the right direction. Fluid on a garage floor might be as simple as rainwater that continued to roll off the body after you drove Read the full article…


What causes my car to make a pinging noise?

Question: Is there a way to eliminate the pinging that I hear in the engine when I accelerate? Answer: There are three likely causes of the kind of engine ping you are experiencing. It’s a pre-combustion event in which the ignition in the cylinder occurs prematurely. An engine will begin to ping at a relatively Read the full article…


Do I need to check my car’s oil level between changes?

Question: If my mechanic changes the oil every three months, can I assume that the fluid level is adequate? Answer: A quarterly (every three months) oil change is a great way to maintain a healthy car, especially if you are disciplined about it. And for some people, depending upon the conditions, the quarterly oil change Read the full article…


Is it safe to ignore my car battery in the summer?

Question: Do I need to be aware of possible harm to my vehicle’s battery resulting from summer heat? Answer: Car owners tend to worry most about their batteries in the winter, but batteries can also experience considerable stress during the summer resulting from overheating or overcharging. In fact, a battery’s failure in the winter is Read the full article…


Is there an easy way to track my tires’ air pressure?

Question: How do I know when my tires are starting to go flat? Answer: In the “good old days,” you had to carry a tire pressure gauge in your glove compartment, and that’s probably still a good idea. But today’s modern vehicles (dated 2008 and beyond) have technology that gives the driver an immediate indication Read the full article…


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 of 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” 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…


What happens when the coolant gets contaminated?

Question: What do I need to know about the fluid in my radiator? Answer: One of the ways to keep your car running in top order is to stay alert to the condition of the engine coolant. The coolant needs to stay tightly sealed within the system to avoid contaminants. When the coolant becomes contaminated with water, Read the full article…


Is my car safe when I leave it for the road test?

Question: Does Lake Arbor Auto use my car to run personal errands? Answer: One issue that frequently troubles customers is the one involving the road test. At Lake Arbor Auto, we encourage customers to ask specific questions about how long we expect to have to road-test your vehicle. There have been media reports in the Read the full article…


Do I really need to change my oil every 3,000 miles?

Question: What conditions should I consider when establishing my oil-change schedule? Answer: Your car needs an oil change every 3,000 miles as determined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Oil breaks down and loses lubricity (slickness) as the result of many factors. But here are the top three reasons you need an oil change at 3,000 miles: Heat Read the full article…


What’s going on when the car heater fails?

Question: Could the cold air coming out of my car’s heater indicate a serious problem? Answer: While many different malfunctions can cause a heater to blow cold air, the most common one is low coolant. Here’s what you need to consider:  If your vehicle is not equipped with a low-coolant warning light, the cold temperature from your Read the full article…


What do I need to know about winter driving?

Question: Which parts of my vehicle are most susceptible to the extreme cold weather? Answer: In the deepest part of the Colorado weather, Lake Arbor Auto recommends that car and truck owners pay particular attention to at least three basic elements of their vehicles: Lift windshield wipers off the windshield during long periods of inactivity.  Wipers freeze Read the full article…


How effective are all-season tires, really?

Question: Do I need to put special tires on my car for the winter? Answer: Driving in the Colorado snow can be a pretty stressful activity, especially when the roads are snow-packed or icy. Winter tires can make your driving a lot less stressful. Years ago, drivers used to keep two sets of tires on Read the full article…


In cold weather, does a car need time to warm up?

Question: Are modern cars immediately ready to go in the winter? Answer: Our cars are not nearly as sensitive to cold weather as we humans are. Modern cars need to run only for about 30 seconds in Colorado’s typical winter weather before they’re ready to go. Give your engine time to receive the lubrication oil, Read the full article…


Road Tests

Leave your car with confidence at Lake Arbor Auto Many of our first-time Lake Arbor Auto customers come to us with considerable anxiety about leaving their cherished vehicles in the hands of strangers. Bad experiences at other repair shops might have prompted some cynicism about auto repair shops in general. We’re here to make that Read the full article…