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Committed to Helping You Maintain Your Vehicle

At Scott Sherman Auto Care, we are committed to helping you maintain your vehicle in optimum condition and performance. This commitment to your vehicle doesn't stop when you leave our facility.

In this section of our website, you will find tips and news that you can use to help you maintain your vehicle and keep you driving safely and comfortably. Be sure to check back as these tips and news will be updated regularly.

 

Tips from the Scott Sherman Crew for National Fall Car Care Month

Posted on 10/17/2017

National Fall Car Care Month Blog

October is a wonderful month in the Pacific Northwest for transitions. Here in Seattle, the leaves turn bright fall colors, the air blows a crisp breeze, and we enjoy some sunny days before the rain begins. It’s the perfect transition time between the lazy days of summer and the busy holiday months ahead. October also happens to be National Fall Car Care month - a great time to make sure your car is ready for the cooler weather.

The crew at Scott Sherman Auto Care came up with their favorite tips for preparing your car for the changing season. Read on for some recommendations form Jeremy, Chris and Andy.

Tips from Jeremy:

1.  Mix up Homemade deicer.  Put a mixture of 1 to 1, rubbing alcohol and water in a squirt bottle.  It melts ice off car windows in a snap.

2. If you go over the pass make sure to have winter formulated windshield washer fluid.  This will ensure it won't freeze in the bottle and be at the ready as you need it.

3.  Make sure to have your winter tires put on before the threat of snow. Alternatively, store chains in your car so you will have them ready. Nothing is worse than getting caught in a sudden snow fall.    

Tips from Chris:

1. Ensure you have good wiper blades and a clean wind shield.  Smearing or streaks usually happen because of a dirty windshield.

2.  Have your battery checked before the temperature gets below freezing.  Cold weather puts the battery under its highest stress and if it's marginal, the cold could push it over the edge. 

3.  Fall is also a good time to have your cooling system checked for freezing point and corrosion.  A proper functioning system will help with defrosting, heating, and ensure your engine won't freeze at night in a deep cold spell.

Tips from Andy:

1. Keep an emergency or preparedness kit in your car in case of avalanche closure or delay if you plan to travel over the pass.  Kits should have blankets, water, snacks, flashlight, batteries, and maybe a portable phone charger.  Cards or a book are a good addition to help pass the time.

2.  As the temperature changes and cools off, keep an eye on your tire pressure.  The change in temperature can affect your tire pressure.  Most tire monitoring systems only look for a difference from tire to tire, so if they all go low at the same time it may not warn you.

3.  Wash your car often.  Winter months bring wet and salted roads. The salting creates a large amount of debris and dirt on a car.  Washing it will help keep the paint nice and avoid corrosion or moss that can damage the finish.

Looking for additional tips for car care as we move into the winter months? We’ve got more winter car advice on our blog. Or just give us a call at (206) 745-5886 to book a time to bring your car into the shop for our Fall Special for $59.00 and we will make sure your vehicle is ready for the colder months.

Roadside Tips for Teens and College Bound Drivers

Posted on 09/26/2017

Broken down car September Blog

Fall is here and that means back to school for young people of all ages. For teens and college kids back to school time means more time on the road in their vehicle. Driver education classes teach the basics of driving rule and regulations, but often it’s up to the parents to teach young people what to do if they get stuck on the side of the road. 
Here are some tips you can pass on to the young driver in your life:

  •  Pull the car over to a safe location as soon as you suspect something is wrong. Usually that means the right side of the road, but sometimes you can also pull into a parking lot. Make sure the location is accessible so that a tow truck can find you, but also safe.
  • Turn on your hazard lights as soon as possible. After you’ve pulled over to a safe location, turn on those hazards. Especially on highways, it’s difficult for other fast-moving vehicles to gauge the situation of others on the road. Your hazard lights warn other drivers to be careful as they pass by.
  • Make sure you have a charged phone on hand. You don’t want to be stranded without a phone or one that has a dead battery. Bringing a charger on a long road trip will help prevent this. And if your phone battery is low, use it as little as possible so you can communicate with a tow truck or call others to help.
  • Have your AAA or roadside assistance number with you at all times. If you were issued a card, make sure it’s in your wallet, the glove compartment of your car, or have the number programmed into your phone.
  • If you need to leave your car, use the door on the opposite side of the roadway to exit and enter your vehicle. Usually it’s safer to stay with the car if you are pulled over in a safe place in an area of high traffic. 
  • Have an emergency kit on hand in case you are waiting a while. Some items to include in the kit are a flashlight, snacks, bottled water, first aid kit and blanket. 

No one, including young people, likes to imagine being stuck by the side of the road. But most of us will find ourselves in that situation sooner or later and being prepared ahead of time can make all the difference in how your young driver handles the situation.

Got a New Car? Make Sure You Have a Solid Maintenance Plan.

Posted on 08/03/2017

You just bought a new car – this is an exciting moment for anyone. Now you need to develop a maintenance plan to keep your car in good working condition. So where do you start?

The first step is to find a mechanic or shop that you can rust. Talk to friends and family for their recommendations. Try to find one that will work within your budget and is hopefully close to home in case of an emergency.

The next step to consult your new vehicle’s owner’s manual – some brands recommend maintenance at different mileage milestones or based on driving conditions. Any maintenance plan should be based on the recommendations contained within the vehicle’s manual.

Tires. Make sure they are properly inflated to the manufacturer's specified pressure. Tire gauges are cheap and easy to use. Tires should be replaced when tread wear indicators are showing between the treads. Ask your local tire dealer if you are unsure how to identify tread wear indicators. Check your tires every other day for pressure and every week for wear or damage. Have them replaced when they become worn beyond acceptable limits.

Oil. Oil is the blood of your car, and without it, the car isn't going to go far or quietly. Have your go mechanic demonstrate how to check your oil properly, and have the oil changed as recommended in the owner’s manual.

Windows. Make sure that all windows, mirrors and lights are clean and not broken. Replace any broken lights or mirrors as soon as possible. Have small windshield cracks by a windshield repair center to determine whether the windshield can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Check regularly for cracks and damage.

Brakes, belts, and battery. The braking systems of modern cars are designed to be replaced periodically to maintain maximum braking efficiency. If you notice ANY problems with the brakes, take your car to have the brakes checked immediately. If the brakes fail, you can have a very serious crash.

Check the battery once per month for corrosion and clean it or have it cleaned and as needed. Avoid running your battery down, if possible. Even with a jump start, it's hard on the battery. Batteries do eventually get old. If you must replace your battery, also check the alternator to make sure that it is still functioning properly.

Interior. Clean and vacuum the interior as needed. The interior is often a point of selling power when it comes time to trade the car in or sell it. While many may not care about the oil or tires, if the interior looks a little dirty, the deal is off. If you ever want to trade the car in or sell it, every quarter spent at a pay vacuum will be paid back to you with interest!

Fluids. The other lifeblood of the car are the various fluids. Coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, and other fluids need to be checked at a minimum of once per week. Ask your mechanic to demonstrate the method to check these.

Lights. You can check your own lights if you have someplace you can park near reflective glass windows, or you can ask a friend to walk around your car while you turn on different lights. Make sure to check your headlights, taillights, reverse lights, brake lights, and turn signals.

Windshield wipers. It's not difficult to replace worn wiper blades yourself. Replace just the blades once a year as needed before the rainy season. You can also replace the entire wiper assembly if needed. If you do a lot of driving in wet weather conditions, you may also want to apply a water repellent treatment to your windshield.

Emission control systems. Depending on where you live, you may be required to get your car checked for emissions periodically. This is usually part of the MOT inspection. Generally, a professional must perform the diagnosis. Oxygen sensors and EGR valves are two common culprits.

Maintaining a car to keep it in good condition will help you to keep you and the car safe, drive it for a long time, and someday sell it for a good price. If you have any other questions about caring for your vehicle, just let us know. The crew at Scott Sherman Auto Care is always happy to help.

How to Get Better Gas Mileage

Posted on 07/21/2017

65 years

Summer is prime time for road trips. Now is a great time to look at different ways to improve the gas mileage in our cars.

Regular Vehicle Maintenance

The largest and most important item to look to when trying to improve gas mileage is the car’s engine. In addition to extending the life of the engine, proper and timely maintenance will allow you to get more miles per dollar spent on gas. Addressing small issues as soon as possible will also prevent them from turning into bigger (and more expensive) issues later. The three specific areas to maintain for great gas mileage are the emission control system, the air filter, and the spark plugs.

  • Emission Control System. If the oxygen (O2) sensor in the emission control system goes bad, your gas mileage can drop as much as 40%. If the O2 sensor is malfunctioning, it may be falsely alerting that there is too much oxygen in your exhaust when there really isn’t. This causes your system to dump more fuel into your air fuel mixture, wasting excess gas and destroying your fuel economy.
  • Air Filter. More frequent air filter changes can improve your vehicle’s gas mileage by as much as 10%, the Car Care Council says. The filter keeps dirty particles from damaging the inside of your engine and helps it run more efficiently. The Car Care Council, a consumer advocacy group that promotes vehicle maintenance, recommends checking the filter each time you change the oil every 3,000 miles.
  • Tire Inflation and Wheel Alignment. When your tires are underinflated, you’ve got more rolling resistance, and your engine will burn more fuel in order to push you down the road. Check your tire pressure each month when the tires are cold, and make sure they’re inflated to the recommended pressure on the tire placard or your owner’s manual. Ask your service professional about tire balancing and wheel alignment, too. As with proper tire inflation, your engine won’t work as hard when all of your tires are pointing in the same direction.

Driving Habits

Small changes in your current driving habits and even the time of day you drive can have a large impact on your gas mileage.

  • Plan Your Route. It’s amazing how much gas you can save by combining trips and planning the most time-efficient driving route before you go. A route with right turns is generally more efficient than one with left turns because you won’t have to turn across oncoming traffic. Plus, many states allow cars to turn right at red lights, so you’ll spend less time idling.
  • Stop signs and traffic lights. Because the accelerator pedal controls how much gasoline is fed to the engine, it makes sense that a light touch will yield the best mpg. A vehicle is least efficient when it is accelerating, so the trick is to use just enough power to get up to the desired speed quickly, without hard acceleration. On the other hand, accelerating too slowly can actually hinder overall gas mileage. An easy fuel-efficient driving technique: When you see a red light or stop sign ahead, let off the gas and coast to a stop.
  • Lighten the load. Your engine uses less fuel when you’re carrying less weight. Roof racks are handy sometimes, but carrying things on the roof creates another source of drag that can increase your gas consumption. Keep your roof clear unless you actually need to haul something from one place to another. For every 100 pounds of weight you remove from your vehicle, you’ll increase your gas mileage by much as 2%.
  • Drive Less. The absolute best way to increase the savings on gas is to use an alternative method to commute – carpooling, public transportation, roller skates, bicycle, or even walking can all help save money spent on gas.

Even with fuel efficient and electric cars, we can all benefit from some basic car maintenance and a change in our driving habits to increase the miles per gallon we get in our cars.

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