Summer weather is finally upon us! There’s nothing like rolling down the windows, listening to some tunes and breathing in the fresh air as you drive. As great as the summer weather may be, it also can take quite the toll on your car. Here are some of the most common car parts that are affected by hot temperatures.
You should be checking your tire pressure year round and putting an even bigger emphasis on them during the summer. Having hot tires on hot pavement can result in a blowout. Having improperly inflated tires can make the matter worse so make sure to check your tire pressure at least once a month.
Cold weather is usually more harmful on your battery than warm but the hot summer months can also take a toll on your battery. Long summer trips add extra vibration to the battery and can shorten the lifespan of it. Make sure to always have jumper cables or a battery box on hand in case of emergencies.
Warmer weather results in more travel and more miles on your vehicle. Changing your oil is another year-round maintenance check you should do but it should be elevated during the summer. Since your hot engine needs all the lubrication it can get, replacing your oil in intervals to make sure it always has a sufficient amount is a must. A rule of thumb is to change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
Just like antifreeze keeps your engine from freezing in the winter, coolant keeps your engine from overheating during the summer. The last thing you want is for your engine to overheat and break down during a long road trip, not to mention it can end up with you having to spend thousands of dollars to replace it. Your car has a temperature gauge for a reason, keep a close eye on it!
Automotive Specialties Inc.
If your vehicle is having trouble, take it to a trusted and dependable autobody shop like Automotive Specialties Inc. We have an Audi Certified Collision Center and have worked with dozens of different makes and models from all over the world. For more information, give us a call us at (617) 462-1722.
Sitting in a cold car in the dead of winter waiting for it to warm up can be almost agonizing, but realizing that your heater is broken and that your car won’t be heating up is even worse. Even though you may want to get your heater fixed right away, this can be expensive and time consuming, and perhaps you just don’t have the time and money to spare. If your car heater stopped working, and you can’t get it fixed any time soon, there are still a number of small ways to keep yourself warm despite the cold outside.
Park inside the garage
If you have a garage, this is the best option to get a little extra warmth on those cold winter days. Parking your car inside the garage will shield it from the most brutal cold outside, and will keep it at least a few degrees warmer (and more comfortable!) for you. Plus, if your garage is connected to your home, you can avoid facing the cold outside, which will help keep you warmer in general.
Invest in a windshield cover.
If you don’t have a garage or covered area you can park in, and there’s snow and ice outside, you’ll have to spend a considerable amount of time standing in the cold scraping your windshield (remember that as long as your heater isn’t working, neither will the defroster for your windshield!). Standing outside for that long will only make you colder, so cut this time down considerably by investing in a windshield cover. Lay it over your windshield at night, and in the morning all you have to do is shake off the snow, then you’ll be on your way!
Bring portable heat
If you’ve got a couple extra blankets lying around the house, keep a couple in your car to use while driving around. Laying them around your shoulders and on your lap can provide a little extra warmth. If blankets just won’t cut it, consider buying a heated seat cover that you can plug into your car’s interior power socket. Sitting on a heated seat will certainly bring you warmth and make you feel cozy.
Buy a pack of hand warming packets
Sometimes the worst part about a cold car is having to grip the steering wheel, which feels like an icicle. To avoid this, consider buying a pack of small hand warming packets, which you can slip into your gloves, lay on your lap, or even slip under your socks. Although they may not warm up your whole body, that little bit of warmth will still help to make your drive more bearable.
Automotive Specialties Inc.
If you car is having trouble with heat, bring it to Automotive Specialities. We fix luxury cars and can have your car back on the road in no time. For more information about our services, give us a call at (617) 364-1722 or fill out a contact form.
We’ve all had car problems before! Just when you least expect it, you see that check engine light come on and your heart drops. Although some issues may require you to take your vehicle into for service, a lot of the issues can be handled yourself and save you a lot of money! Here are some tips to help fix issues you may be having with your vehicle.
Changing Your Coolant
Your car’s coolant won’t last forever. You should roughly expect to change it after 24,000 miles if you use green coolant and 100,000 miles if you use extended-life coolant. Although it doesn’t have to be replaced that often, keeping an eye on it can save you a lot of money because if you do drive on worn coolant, it can begin to affect your radiator, heater core, and water pump.
Changing Your Oil
Ever needed to replace your engine? Probably not. If you want it to stay that way, then I suggest you pay attention to your oil level. If you neglect to change your oil, it can begin to overheat your engine, wear out the parts, and eventually lead to it completely breaking down and not working anymore.
Changing Your Cabin Air Filter
No one likes a cold car in the winter! If your heat isn’t getting as warm as it should, it could be due to a clogged air filter, which reduces the effectiveness of your heat. You should expect to replace your cabin air filter at least once a year to make sure your cars A/C system and heating are working efficiently.
Cleaning Your Headlights
It’s important to be able to see while driving at night and foggy headlights could lead to you not being able to drive well. For a small price, you can buy a special headlight cleaning kit instead of getting your headlights completely changed.
Cleaning Your Battery Terminals
As time goes on, your battery begins to wear and could be corroding in the process. Checking from time to time on your battery to make sure there is no corrosion can help you out in the long run, as a corroded battery can also lead to computer-control system issues as well as charging problems.
Automotive Specialties Inc.
If your car has been in an accident or needs repair and you want a premier service to fix it, look no further Automotive Specialties Inc. to get the job done! Give us a call at 617-364-1722 or visit our website for more information.
Automotive Specialties is proud to announce that we are a Gold and Platinum I-Car certified shop. If you’re not in the automotive world, you may not have heard of these achievements before, but they reflect our team’s commitment to being the best at what we do. If you’re not familiar, here is a quick run-down of what each certification means and why it’s important.
I-Car Professional Development Program
The I-Car program provides professional development for the collision repair industry. Depending on your role (technician, insurance, etc.) your training is tailored to fit what an individual would need to do their job to the best of his/her ability. Training is designed to build upon existing knowledge and skills, and is updated to reflect the latest in collision repair techniques.
Gold Class Professionals Business Recognition
Gold Class is the highest achievement in training recognized by the auto collision industry. It’s estimated that only 20% of repair shops currently meet this standard, and Automotive Specialties is a part of that elite group. Maintaining this certification means that the automotive staff has to undergo continuous training, staying up-to-date on the latest technology and repair techniques in the industry.
Platinum Individual Recognition
I-Car’s Platinum recognition offers a clear path for automotive professionals to continue their professional skill development. This industry recognized certification keeps our technicians trained on current vehicle technology and safety that translates into faster, safer, more efficient repairs for you.
When you trust your luxury car to Automotive Specialties, you trust it to the best! We are constantly working to exceed your expectations and provide the best in collision repair. Call us at 617-364-1722, or click here to see our services.
For many, owning a luxury car represents the “I’ve finally made it” moment—when you feel secure enough to indulge in all-leather seats, the most advanced technology, and an ultra-smooth ride. The rising popularity of leased vehicles has made driving a luxury car easier than ever before; according to Statistica, luxury cars purchases account for about 6% of the current U.S. car market.
In the market for a luxury car? Here are some of the best models in 2018:
1) 2018 Porsche Cayenne
If you’re looking for a sports car that comes ready for adventure, turn to the new Porsche Cayenne. With a new, dynamic design, this model sports a new generation of engine redeveloped completely from scratch, going from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds with a top track speed of 152 mph.
The Cayenne also offers outstanding digital connectivity with range of helpful services and smartphone apps that simplify your drive, such as the new Porsche Connect app, Apple CarPlay, My Porsche and the Porsche Connect Store.
2) 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Mercedes-Benz continues to pave the way forward when it comes to innovative luxury design with the newly redesigned 2018 S-Class. More majestic and more athletic than its predecessors, the extensive hand-tailoring of the interior leather shows the thoughtful attention to detail and topclass quality that Mercedes is known for.
With radar-based technology, the system will alert you to an impending accident or collision and automatically provide an appropriate level of braking to help prevent a collision. And with their new, patented PRE-SAFE technology, a special “pink noise” tone will be emitted just before an accident, reducing the effects of a collision on occupants’ hearing.
3) 2018 Jaguar I-Pace
The legendary luxury car brand’s first all-electric car, this Jaguar has the acceleration of a sports car, reaching 60 mph in a mere 4.5 seconds. With near perfect weight distribution offering instant torque and an elegant, highly aerodynamic design, this electric car is not your ordinary electric car. And the 90 kWh battery allows a very impressive 240 mile driving range, giving you peace of mind for long trips and everyday adventures.
4) 2018 Lexus ES
The most advanced ES yet, the 2018 Lexus ES offers first-of-its-kind technology and a more powerful engine, convincing Kelly Blue Book to call it “about the closest thing to a sure bet.” If you like those odds, this may be the car for you. It’s a premium sedan rates high for safety and reliability and is roomier than some of its close competitors. When it comes to getting a bang for your buck, this car is capable of 40 mpg in the city.
2018 has seen a wide range of top luxury vehicle offerings from all of our favorite brands, and competition between them continues to drive the pace of innovation. It’s tough to say which are “best,” but we certainly have our favorites. What model would you list as the number one luxury car for 2018? Call Automotive Specialties Inc. today to find out more about the industry’s top offerings, and to figure out which car would be the right fit for your lifestyle.
How to Tell If Your Battery Is Dead
Before you try jump starting a car, you need to determine that the battery is the reason the car isn’t starting up. If you turn the ignition and hear the engine cranking, a dead battery isn’t your problem and jump starting it won’t do a darn thing. However, if you turn the key and the car does absolutely nothing, then there’s a good chance you have a dead battery on your hands and jumping it may be your ticket to getting back on the road. Whether you left the lights on or it’s that the battery is just old, sometimes even the most reliable cars won’t start.
With a little planning, though, you can be prepared if you ever need to give your battery a charge.
Using Jumper Cables
DO NOT TOUCH the metal clamps to any metal other than as described below. Doing so could cause an electric shock.
Before you hit the road, make sure you have jumper cables in your emergency car kit. Once someone has arrived with a working car that you can use to charge your dead battery, try the following steps:
- Park the front of the two cars close together but make sure they don’t touch.
- Make sure both cars are turned off.
- Connect the positive jumper cable (usually red) to the positive terminal (usually marked with a plus sign) on the “dead” battery.
- Connect the other end of the positive cable (+) to the positive battery terminal on the vehicle with the “good” battery.
- Connect the negative cable (usually black) to the negative terminal on the vehicle with the “good” battery.
- Connect the other end of the negative cable (-) to some large metallic part of your car’s engine block.
NEVER connect it to the negative (-) post of the “dead” battery as it will cause sparks.
- Check that the cables are not near any moving engine parts.
- Start the “booster” vehicle and let the engine idle for a few minutes.
- Start the vehicle with the “dead” battery.
- Remove the cables in reverse order (negative from “dead” battery, negative from “live” battery, positive from “live” battery, positive from “dead” battery)
Make sure to keep the jumped car running for at least 30 minutes to give the battery sufficient time to recharge.
If you are not comfortable performing any of these steps, call a professional for assistance.
Call Roadside Assistance
Many auto insurers now offer roadside assistance plans for their customers, which often provide help with common situations, such as breakdowns, flat tires and dead batteries. It can be a relief to know professional help is just a call away (or click, as some providers offer apps as well) if your car won’t start. If you don’t have this service, you may want to consider adding it to your auto insurance coverage or purchasing a roadside assistance service plan.
After your car is running again, remember that a jump is meant to restart the disabled vehicle, not to recharge the battery. It may be a good idea to put the jumped battery on a battery charger, which you can buy at an automotive store, as soon as possible to help ensure that it’s charged to full capacity.
If you’re unsure about the long-term health of your battery, consult a mechanic or a professional at an automotive store for advice.
When outside temperatures reach 80-100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172 degrees, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, there are a few simple, easy steps that you can take to keep your car cool this summer.
From maximizing your air conditioning to finding a shady spot when parking, the following tips can help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid days.
Sun shades: Sun shades help block the direct rays coming into your vehicle, keeping the temperature slightly lower.
Tinted windows: A more expensive, yet constant way to block the sun is with window tinting. Make sure you know your state’s laws, as some have restrictions on how much or which windows you can tint.
Covered parking: Looking for a shady spot or parking your car so the sun is hitting the rear window instead of the windshield, helping keep the steering wheel and front seats slightly cooler.
Keep Your Car’s Seats Cooler
Beware of leather seats in summer! You may want to cover them with towels or use cloth seat covers to help keep them cooler during the summer, or even purchase cooling gel covers or pads.
If it’s in your budget, you might also buy a vehicle with air-conditioned seats, which circulate cool air around your backside.
Typically, this works by utilizing a porous mesh on the car seat so air can flow through it. Fans inside the seat produce air circulation, which is diffused to spread the cooling effect throughout the seat and through the mesh, cooling the seat’s surface.
Take Advantage of Air Conditioning
To maximize your car’s cooling ability, turn the air conditioner on full blast as soon as you start driving and lower your back windows for 10 to 20 seconds. helps push hot air out as the cool air comes out of the vents.
While there may not be a regular interval at which your air conditioning system should be professionally checked, but you may want to get it inspected if the air coming out of the vents doesn’t feel as cold as you remember. If the air coming out doesn’t feel cold, you may need your local auto body repair shop to top off the refrigerant to recharge your system.
Never Leave a Pet in the Car
It is very dangerous and even lethal to leave an animal in a parked car for any amount of time. According to Michael Dix DVM,
“Never leave your pet in a parked car when the outside temperature is above 70 degrees. Not even with the windows partway down, not even in the shade, not even for a quick errand. Dogs and cats can’t sweat like humans, so they pant to lower their body temperature. If they’re inside a car, recycling very hot air, panting gives no relief, and heat stroke can happen quickly.”
While you can’t change the weather, you can prepare your car for the hottest months of the year. Remember these tips this summer and enjoy a cooler car.
Living near the ocean can offer a lot of perks. You get the cool ocean breeze, the calming sound of the waves and beautiful views of the sparkling sea. But, while life along the coast may seem ideal, it may not be easy on your car. In fact, certain environmental factors present in coastal locations may cause or accelerate vehicle corrosion and damage.
The coastal environment can affect a vehicle’s paint. The combination of the sun and salt air near a coast can destroy a car’s finish. That’s because the hot sun increases the pores in the paint, which results in greater absorption of salty moisture — and ultimately, more corrosion.
Humidity, Dew and Corrosion
Other parts of the vehicle, including brake calipers, nuts and bolts, can corrode as well. Salty humidity and dew are among the largest factors in progressing corrosion, particularly during certain times of the year.
The longer cars have been exposed to the ocean, the more damage you will notice.
And if the body of the car is extremely corroded it is sometimes cheaper to replace the car rather than try to fix and repaint it.
Preventing Ocean-Related Car Damage
If you are moving to a coastal location or have recently purchased a new car that you want to protect from the coastal elements, there are steps you can take to help slow salt damage to cars. If you are just a few blocks from the beach we suggest the following practices to help you prevent ocean-related damage to cars:
- Park in a garage or use a vehicle cover, particularly in winter.
- Wash and wax the paint regularly.
- Don’t drive on sand or into ocean water. If you do, rinse the underside of the car with a hose after it has cooled off.
Living near the ocean may have negative effects on your car, but if you understand why the damage happens and take the appropriate steps to help limit or prevent it, you can enjoy coastal living with minimal corrosion to your vehicle.
Summer’s here and everyone’s hitting the road to travel. The last thing you want on your trip is to break down on the side of the road and be left stranded. Keep these safety essentials in your car this summer to avoid any mishaps on the side of the road.
- Spare Tire – A flat tire can ruin anyone’s day. Most cars come with a spare donut that can be driven on for only 70 miles, just enough to hopefully get you to a repair shop. Be sure that your car is always equipped with a fully inflated donut or spare tire.
- Portable Car Battery Charger – A dead car battery can quickly turn any trip into a disaster if you don’t have jumper cables and another vehicle. Portable battery chargers are a great alternative – most are small and inexpensive.
- Warning Devices – Whether you use road flares or bright orange traffic cones, make sure you can alert oncoming drivers about your stopped vehicle.
- First Aid Kit – Always be prepared. Make sure that this kit includes the essentials, like bandages, gauze, and sunscreen.
- Portable Phone Charger – Many of us rely on our cell phones to be a GPS or to call for help. Keep a portable battery in your car in case your car isn’t able to charge your phone.
- Water – In the summer, temperatures in a car can hit record limits. These hot temperatures can increase your risk of dehydration. Be sure to stay hydrated, even if the water is a bit warm.
Extreme heat in summer takes its toll on everything, including your car. Here are some tips and general information to help protect and extend your car’s health.
- Tire Pressure: Check your car’s tires’ pressure at least once a month; they lose between 1-2 psi for every 10 degrees of change in temperature. Make sure you check your vehicle’s sticker for the optimal psi: over-inflated, under-inflated or worn down tire can be very dangerous to your car and your safety.
- Stored Cars: Check your fluids, especially if your car spent the winter months stored in a garage or wasn’t frequently used. Leaks are common in the winter, so make sure you look at your coolant, transmission, differential, power steering and brake fluid.
- Battery Cleaning: While winter’s cold air is known for killing car batteries, it is the heat of summer that truly takes its toll on batteries. Ensure it has a long-lasting life by keeping it clean.
- Air Conditioning: If your A/C can’t maintain temperature 10 degrees cooler then the outside air, something is wrong. Take it into a professional autobody shop right away.