Savvy drivers know that maintaining their car year-round is the key to smooth, safe driving. There’s no better time to make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on its preventative maintenance than before a road trip. We can’t think of many things that are less relaxing than having your car break down before a well-deserved break! Rather than finding yourself stranded on the side of the road, get your vehicle road trip ready at Aarrow Transmission and Automotive. We’re proud to serve drivers throughout the Richmond area.
1. Check Your Tire Pressure, Tire Tread, And Spare Tire
One of the first things you’ll want to do is check your tires, which are critical for safety and fuel efficiency alike. Take a look for signs of wear-and-tear on the side walls, as well as proper tire pressure and tread depth. Your owner’s manual will tell you how much air your tires need. It’s easy to check your treads using either a penny or a quarter – simply place a coin into the grooves of your treads headfirst, and if you can see the top of the president’s head, your tires need attention. If you find that your tire tread is worn out or that your tires need help in other ways, give us a call! We have locations on either side of the James River for your convenience.
2. Check Oil Level or Get an Oil Change
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t waited too long between oil changes, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you should do. Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle, and fresh oil helps to clean moving parts of an engine while dissipating heat to prevent a mechanical breakdown. Your vehicle depends on having the proper level and quality of oil to run properly, and making sure to stay on top of this can keep your car in better shape for longer. Depending on your vehicle’s condition, you may want to keep an extra quart of engine oil handy in case your oil level gets low. We can help you determine whether that’s the right choice for you.
3. Test Your Brakes and Brake Fluid
It goes without saying that properly functioning brakes are key to your vehicle’s safety. If your brakes are worn out, your stopping distance is increased and may result in an accident, especially when combined with highway fatigue. In order to avoid disaster, a brake check is vital. We can check your brake fluid level, which helps us to analyze the condition of your brake pads or identify a leak.
4. Inspect Your Battery
As anyone who’s needed a jump can tell you, your car’s battery does a lot more than start the vehicle. It also acts as a surge protector for the car’s computer and provides power for short-term use of things like lights, stereo, GPS, and wipers. If you’re not sure what to look for, some signs that your battery may need attention are corrosion on the connectors, a warped battery case, dim headlights, electrical issues, or a rotten smell under the hood. You may also notice that your Check Engine light is on. Whenever you notice any of these signs, you need to clean and test your battery. For assistance with your battery, including new battery installations, contact Aarrow Transmission. We can help Richmond area drivers at our South Richmond or Glen Allen location.
5. Take Note of Your Visibility
When you’re on the road, there’s a lot you can’t control. Things like severe weather, highway exhaustion, and distracted drivers can all impact your experience, and may even cause an accident. Making sure that your visibility is clear is the best way to minimize risks. First, make sure that your mirrors, windows, and windshields are all clean. Rubber windshield wiper blades degrade over time, so they typically need to be replaced every 6 months. Even if they’re new, it’s a good idea to wipe them down with a damp rag to remove any residue, ensuring a clean swipe. We also recommend you get washer fluid to keep the bugs at bay. Lastly, you’ll want to check headlights and taillights for brightness and clarity.
6. Make Your Drive Comfortable
Long drives are tough, so it’s important to make sure you’ll have everything you need to stay comfortable until you get to your destination. We recommend bringing along plenty of water and snacks, as well as a caffeinated drink or two to help keep your energy up! Scout out rest areas along your route to plan breaks for stretching your legs and using the restroom. Whether you like listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks during the drive, do yourself a favor and download them to your phone before you leave – you don’t want to run the risk of losing your entertainment when you pass through an area with bad reception. Although it isn’t pleasant to think about, you’ll also want to pack a first aid kit. You never know what could happen, and those items could make all the difference.
Are You Busy Planning, Shopping, and Packing? Bring Your Car To Us At Aarrow
No matter whether you’re driving cross-country or just headed to a weekend at the river, being prepared for your road trip will get your vacation started on the right foot. For the best preventative maintenance services in Richmond, bring your car to Aarrow Transmission. The crew at our South Richmond and Glen Allen locations will be happy to get your vehicle road-ready!
With colder weather settling in, it’s a good idea to winterize your car. Since we don’t always get much snow here in Richmond, you might think that there’s no need to protect your car against winter weather. Nothing could be further from the truth! Winterizing your car is about more than making it ready for ice and snow; it also helps keep it running its best in chillier temperatures. At Aarrow Transmission, we’re serious about helping Richmond drivers keep their vehicles in great shape year-round. Here are a few of our best tips for winterizing your car from our South Richmond and Glen Allen locations.
1. Get your vehicle inspected
Bitter cold can increase wear and tear on certain parts of your vehicle, especially if it’s older, but these problems aren’t always immediately visible. Rather than leave it up to chance, have one of the trained mechanics at Aarrow inspect your vehicle! We know what to look for, and we’re able to make repairs that last.
2. Check your battery
Did you know? Cold weather places added strain onto car batteries, leaving you stuck with a car that won’t start. The motor oil in your vehicle can thicken from cold weather, which means it has to do more work in order to power your car. Having your battery inspected by a professional means you’ll be able to get needed replacements on the spot.
3. Check the condition of your tires
All kinds of issues can befall your tires during the winter. If their treads are worn, they’re susceptible to hydroplaning, which may lead to serious accidents. Cold weather can also cause your tire pressure to drop, which reduces gas mileage and runs the risk of wearing your tires out faster. A trained mechanic – like the experts at Aarrow – can inspect your tires and determine what’s best for your vehicle
4. Get a brake inspection
Keeping your brakes in top condition is essential year round, but crucial in the winter. Wintery road conditions put your breaks under more strain than any other season, and if the roads have been salted, it can cause further damage to the brake system. Having your brake system checked once or twice by the season is an easy way to keep your car, your passengers, and yourself safe.
5. Check your antifreeze level and condition
If your antifreeze is rust-colored, it means you may need to flush and refill the cooling system. Coolant is what protects your engine from freezing and cracking. It’s vital in the wintertime, so make sure you have enough. Coolant test strips are inexpensive and easy to use, and they will show you if your coolant is still good for freeze protection. If it’s not, get new coolant right away.
6. Replace your wiper blades and keep a spare pair in your car.
When windshield wipers wear down, they can cause water smears on the windshield and become more dangerous for winter drives. To prevent wear, use an ice scraper to clear ice from your windshield rather than your wipers. It’s also important to ensure your wiper fluid is freeze resistant and that you keep extra wiper fluid in your vehicle.
Honest Auto Service In Richmond, VA
For help with any winterizing needs, visit Aarrow Transmission. With two convenient locations on either side of the James River, we’re proud to serve drivers throughout the Richmond metro area. Give us a call today to schedule your next service.
You don’t often think about brake maintenance, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Most people wait until their brakes have become a real problem before they repair them. Never wait until the last minute when it comes to your braking system. Keeping your brakes in top working condition ensures the safety of you, your passengers, and other motorists. If you suspect something might be wrong, contact the brake experts at Aarrow Transmissions, the most trusted auto repair in Richmond, VA and Midlothian. We guarantee honest and affordable pricing for all brake and auto repairs.
If you’re unsure if your brakes are working properly, here some signs that you may need them replaced:
When stopping at a red light or stop sign, you might notice loud screeches coming from your car or someone else’s. Sometimes it’s just water, but it could also be more serious. If this loud noise happens frequently, it means your wear indicators are worn down and it’s time to change your brake pads. Waiting too long will cause the indicator to scrape against the rotor, which can cause even more issues. The mechanics at Aarrow Transmissions will be happy to get rid of this obnoxious noise.
It’s not normal for your brake pedal to vibrate while coming to a stop. Get your car the professional attention it deserves with the brake repair experts at Aarrow Transmissions. We will take a look at your braking system and diagnose the problem. Most likely, this vibrating sensation is caused by warped rotors. When this happens, your brake pads become uneven, which makes it harder for them to grab the surface correctly.
If you’ve been driving around Richmond or Midlothian and noticed your vehicle pulling to one side while braking, your pads are probably uneven. Brake pads don’t always wear at the same rate, so one side begins to pull when it happens at a faster rate. Waiting too long to replace the pad will only put more stress on the vehicle. Aarrow Transmissions can replace your pads and have your brakes feeling good as new.
4. Stopping Takes Longer
Does your car not brake as quickly as it used to? This is commonly referred to as “brake fade.” If your car regularly brakes on hills, eventually it will take a toll on the braking system. Usually, it means your brake pads are worn or your brake fluid is low. Just to be safe, have the best brake technicians in Richmond make sure everything is working properly.
Similar to screeching, your brakes may make a grinding noise if the pads need to be replaced. There’s no one better to call than Aarrow Transmissions.
6. Thinning Brake Pads
It’s never a bad idea to inspect your brake pads. You can easily do this by looking between the spokes of your wheel. If the padding is less than a ¼ of an inch thick, it’s time for a new set. Bring your vehicle by Aarrow Transmissions, and we will replace your brake pads at an affordable price.
7. Your Brake Light Is On
If the brake light is on, your car is trying to tell you something. Have a professional take a look to make sure your brakes are functioning properly. As Richmond’s top choice for brake and auto repairs, the experts at Aarrow Transmissions will be happy to inspect your car’s brake system.
8. Burning Smell While Driving
If you’ve noticed a sharp, chemical odor coming from your car while driving, pull over immediately. This smell coming from your engine is due to the overheating of your brakes or clutch. Typically, this happens after repeated braking on steep hills. Check to make sure your parking brake is fully released and allow your brakes to cool down. If the burning smell returns, contact Aarrow Transmissions. We will get to the root of the problem so you can safely get back on the road.
Honest Auto Service In Richmond, VA
You trust your brakes to take care of you and your family. Trust Aarrow Transmission to take great care of your brakes. Feel free to call or contact us today for any general questions you might have about our brake services or if you need a quote.
Pretty much everyone will experience the horror and frustration of a car that won’t start at least once or twice. A dead car battery can leave you stranded with no idea where to turn for help. Once your new car battery is installed, it’s important to know how long the battery will last before needing to replace it again. You don’t want to find yourself stranded again!
Your Battery’s Life Span
Car batteries don’t last forever. While regular, lead-acid car batteries are maintenance-free, it’s still important to know ahead of time how long your battery will last before you need to replace it. However, with so many different brands, types, and qualities of batteries available, there is no set estimate of a battery’s life span.
Battery life depends on the battery’s quality, and many experts and mechanics agree that three to five years seems to be the average life span. Some experts recommend that car owners replace their car battery after four years no matter the current condition, but it’s always better to test the battery first. Every battery’s life span is different, and some will last longer than others. Testing out the battery is the only way to know the strength of your battery and if it’s wearing down and needs to be replaced.
While there is no exact expiration date for car batteries and no definite way to know how long it will last, there are still ways to tell if you need to replace your battery soon. Instead of getting stranded with a vehicle that won’t start, look out for:
- Dimming headlights
- Frequent need for revving and jump-starting
- Strain in cold weather
- Power fluctuations
Your car may show some of these signs if your battery is nearing the end of its life. Check the battery warranty and when it was manufactured to figure out how old it is and determine if a replacement is needed.
How to Prolong Your Battery’s Life
While car battery replacement is inevitable, there are ways that you can prolong your battery’s life. Over time, your battery will inevitably start to weaken, but there are many factors that you can adjust to improve your battery’s life and prevent it from failing prematurely:
- Properly secure your battery. Vibrations and rough travel can impair normal functioning, so make sure the clamps are on tight.
- Turn headlights off while parked. This preventative action will help keep your battery fully charged since you only need headlights while driving.
- Routine Maintenance. Check your battery every time you check your oil to test its quality and strength.
Professional Auto Repair
When your car battery dies and needs to be replaced, some car owners try and fix the issue by themselves, which can be ineffective and even dangerous! Leave it to the professionals and take your vehicle to an auto repair service.
At Aarrow Transmission, our automotive service experts can replace your battery with a brand new one, and you don’t have to lift a finger! Changing a battery can be unsafe for an amateur mechanic considering the live currents that need to be worked around. We have the skills and knowledge to get the job done right, so you don’t have to risk replacing the battery yourself.
If your vehicle won’t start, instead of the standard “auto service near me” search, call Aarrow Transmission. We’ll fix the issue and have your car rolling out of the lot in no time!