Rockville Auto Repair

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Diagnosing Your Vehicle at Auto Clinic Care in Rockville

When we Rockville residents get a car repair bill, we really shouldn't be surprised to find “diagnostic fees” as one of the line items. When we get a computer fixed, there is usually a charge for the time it takes to diagnose the problem. When we go to a medical doctor, most of his fee is for his ability to diagnose what's wrong. It's no different with our vehicles.Some diagnoses are fairly simple. Brake repairs at Auto Clinic Care usually require only a visual inspection, for instance. But other problems are much more difficult to diagnose. An intermittent engine problem, for example, takes time and expertise to pinpoint.Modern vehicles have multiple computers that monitor a variety of sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of those sensors has a reading that is higher or lower than the standard parameters, the computer turns on the Check Engine light. Technicians at a service center such as Auto Clinic Care in Rockville can scan the engine's computer for a trouble code ... read more

Categories:

Diagnostics

By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at Auto Clinic Care in Rockville

Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, Rockville drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local Rockville tire store.Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When Rockville drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the Rockville area, it should have a high aspect ratio. For h ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Breathe Deep in Rockville With a New Cabin Air Filter

Poor interior air quality is nothing to sneeze at, and Rockville auto owners might be interested to know that more and more new cars are coming equipped with a cabin air filter. Check your vehicle owner's manual, but they typically need to be replaced at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 kilometers).The filter is usually under the vehicle hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you'll want to have your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Clinic Care service advisor take care of replacing them.As we said, many Rockville people don't realize they have a cabin air filter and come to Auto Clinic Care saying "my vents are smelling bad." It usually turns out to be a dirty cabin air filter. A switch out and they're on their way, smelling sweet.Rockville residents who suffer from allergies can really benefit from a cabin air filter as it keeps irritants to a minimum.If you're one of them, you'll want to replace your f ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

Tacky or Techie? The Tachometer.

There's a gauge that many vehicles have that says RPM on it.  And there are a lot of people who either don't pay any attention to it or don't even know what it is. Here's why it's a good gauge to know about. It's called a tachometer, and that "RPM" label means it is measuring how many revolutions per minute (RPM) the engine is turning.  Automotive experts know that a vehicle's engine can be damaged if it turns too fast (revving too high) or too slowly ("lugging" the engine). A tachometer (sometimes called a tach) is almost a "must-have" gauge for vehicles with a manual transmission; the driver has to manually change gears; the tach helps the driver know when revolutions are in the optimal range. Some say you don't need a tachometer if you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission. It's true that most drivers of automatics don't even look at it.  But there are times when paying attention to the tach can help you prevent an expensive repair. Here's a good example.&nbs ... read more

Automotive Tips from Auto Clinic Care: Wiper Blade Options

Wiper blades are critically important to Rockville drivers for good driving visibility and safety. When it’s time to replace your wiper blades, there are a number of different wiper blade designs and grades. Rockville drivers should always use at least the design or grade that came with their vehicle. If you live in MD where there is a lot of wet weather, flying insects, or you do a lot of highway driving, you may want to upgrade to a more advanced design or premium quality wiper blade. Your friendly and professional Auto Clinic Care service advisor can share the options available for your vehicle and help you decide which wiper blades are optimal for you.Give us a call.Auto Clinic Care5531 Nicholson LaneRockville, MD 2085230

Servicing High Mileage Vehicles at Auto Clinic Care

The price of gas and the uncertain economy are both causing MD residents to review their finances. More and more Rockville drivers are opting to keep their vehicles longer and put off purchasing a newer car. It is estimated that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads of North America today have over 75,000 miles/120,000 km on them. And the average age of vehicles is now over eleven years. That translates to some car care issues that many Rockville men and women haven't dealt with in the past. Older vehicles simply have different maintenance requirements than newer ones. Learning those requirements presents a challenge for people in Rockville because many owner's manuals only publish maintenance schedules up to 60,000 or 90,000 miles (96,000 or 145,000 km). Vehicle owners have to keep good records and be more involved in planning preventive maintenance if they want to keep their vehicles on the road. First of all, any service in your owner's manual that comes with a r ... read more

Automotive Tips from Auto Clinic Care: Making Your A/C System Last Longer

Rockville drivers know that if their air conditioning system isn’t making cool air like it used to, there is a problem. It may be as simple as adding more of the right kind of refrigerant.Your A/C requires special compressor oil, which circulates through the system along with the refrigerant, to lubricate and protect expensive components and keep seals and gaskets from drying out. If refrigerant has leaked out – so has the compressor oil. This oil needs to be replenished whenever refrigerant is added.An air conditioning inspection at Auto Clinic Care will uncover any potential problems and identify any necessary repairs needed to get Rockville drivers on the road to cool air once again.Give us a call.Auto Clinic Care5531 Nicholson LaneRockville, MD 2085230

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Air Conditioning

Getting the Right Tires and Wheels in Rockville

A lot of people get custom wheels in Rockville. When you do this yourself (over the internet . . .) you could run into trouble if you're not careful. Sometimes, once they're mounted, they just don't fit right. The tires rub in turns or on bumps. You don't want that. Consulting your Auto Clinic Care tire professional can ensure you get the right fit. First he'll ask you a series of questions about your Rockville driving needs and what you want in your new wheels. Now, not every wheel can go on every car. Care must be taken so that tires and wheels are not too large or that the wheel is centered too far towards the outside or the inside so the tires rub.If you don't want to make any modifications to your vehicle, you would need to focus on the wheels that would fit. With trucks, some people in Rockville like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift.Also, most Rockville drivers don't realize that you need to keep the rolling diameter of yo ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Suspension Service in Rockville at Auto Clinic Care

When they hear the word suspension, many drivers in Rockville may think back to those energetic days of grade school. Well, your vehicle's suspension is actually a good thing because it keeps your vehicle up off the road and helps provide a comfy ride around Rockville. Its job is to keep your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many parts. If you look under your vehicle, it's basically everything that connects your wheels to the vehicle's frame. These are heavy duty parts that do a lot of work. They need to be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time for this is when you get your annual alignment service at Auto Clinic Care. Here are some warning signs of suspension problems: the car pulls to one side it wanders the steering is erratic you see uneven tire wear you experience a poor ride or handling you see oil leaking from shocks Basically, you just don't feel in control when you're driv ... read more

Categories:

Shocks & Struts

Wasteful Thinking

With the weather getting colder, you might be tempted to start your vehicle up, let it idle for 15 or 20 minutes and then get in the nice, cozy cabin.  Some vehicles offer remote starting that let you do that from the comfort of your home or apartment.  But is letting your vehicle idle like that good for it? Manufacturers say it doesn't harm the vehicle.  They say it's because modern vehicles are made differently from those in the past.  Just about all newer vehicles employ fuel injection which uses computers to adjust the amount of gasoline that goes into the cylinders.  The engine gets only the fuel it needs, taking conditions into account. Older vehicles, on the other hand, used to use carburetors.  When you started a cold engine, the carburetor wasn't able to adjust the gasoline amount depending on conditions.  Some of the gasoline would mix with oil and the pistons wouldn't get the same lubrication as they would with undiluted oil. So yes, you ca ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy