Category Archives: Car Care Tips

7 Ways to Improve Driver Visibility this Winter

7 Ways to Improve Driver Visibility this Winter

It's nice having all four seasons in Alaska, even if that means our winter is a little longer than most people's. Dealing with the cold temperatures, snow and long, dark nights is just part of life in Fairbanks this time of year, and it forces most of us to be more diligent drivers. One thing you can really do to help your safety as a driver is to maximize your visibility. The more you can see (and the more others can see you), the safer you will be. Simard Automotive has put together this list of helpful visibility tips for the winter season: 1. Keep Your Windows Clean This may go without saying, but keep your windshield, rear window and side windows clean. Apply a coat of weather treatment to help keep rain, snow and ice from sticking and clean them often. If you know it is going to be clear overnight with below-freezing temperatures, dry off the windows before you go to bed. This will help k ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Is it Time to Change Your Tires?

Is it Time to Change Your Tires?

Your tires provide the only contact points between your car and the road. They affect everything from handling and safety to fuel economy, so you want to make sure they are always in good shape. Tire Rotation One way to extend the lifespan of your tires is to get them rotated every 5,000-6,000 miles. They do not wear out evenly as you drive and every vehicle is a little different. Therefore, rotating the tires on a regular basis as part of your preventative maintenance plan will help spread out the wear and tear, so they last as long as possible. Tread Depth It's also a good idea to check your tire treads every so often. Be sure and check each of the tires because, like we said, they don't wear out evenly when we drive. You can use the "penny test" to get a basic id ... read more

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Car Care Tips

How Often Should You Change Your Vehicle's Air Filters?

How Often Should You Change Your Vehicle's Air Filters?

An air filter can be easy to overlook. It's not something most of us think about until it is a problem. In this article, we want to talk about both of your vehicle's air filters and how often you need to change them. Engine Air Filter The more important air filter will be the engine air filter. It performs a simple, yet vital role, within your air intake system. An engine needs fresh oxygen for optimal internal combustion. As air is pulled into the motor, it runs through the engine air filter. The filter is there to keep out dust, dirt and debris that can negatively impact the motor's performance. If the filter is old, worn out or too full of dirt, contaminants will get through. This may cause the engine to not run as efficiently and can ultimately lead to internal damage if left ignored. Typically, you will want to change out your engine air filter every 15,000-30,000 mil ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Bad Muffler? Here Are 3 Problems to Look for

Bad Muffler? Here Are 3 Problems to Look for

A vehicle's exhaust system serves a very important purpose. From the exhaust manifold through the catalytic converter and ultimately out through the muffler and tailpipe, it expels dangerous gasses from the engine and burns them off to reduce harmful emissions into the environment. If any component isn't working or an exhaust leak develops, you will lose fuel economy and it could lead to major internal engine damage that will be costly to repair. Of course, you may also be breathing in deadly carbon monoxide fumes if the exhaust leaks into the passenger cabin. The muffler acts as kind of the final gatekeeper in the emissions process, though its primary purpose is just as the name suggests. It muffles the sound of the engine as exhaust is expelled. You always want to make sure your muffler is in good shape. The good news is there are some common symptoms you might notice, which will tell ... read more

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Car Care Tips

What Alaska's Cold Weather Can Do to Your Car

What Alaska's Cold Weather Can Do to Your Car

We love living in Alaska, especially here in the Fairbanks area. There is no place like it on earth. However, nobody ever said this climate is easy on vehicles. When the fall and winter months roll around, it gets harder and harder to keep your car, truck or SUV running right. There are other safety issues that also come with driving in inclement weather. In this article, we'd like to talk about some of the common Alaskan weather issues and what they can do to your car. Rain and Moisture Excess moisture in the air and on the ground can take its toll on any vehicle. It wears out rubber and foam components like belts, hoses and door/window seals. It can lead to rust in parts that aren't properly coated. Also, driving on wet roads can kick up a lot of dirt, grime, road salt and greas ... read more

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Car Care Tips

What it Means if Your Car is Leaking Radiator Coolant

What it Means if Your Car is Leaking Radiator Coolant

Your vehicle's cooling system is one of its most important systems. It is vital for keeping the engine from overheating when it is running at thousands of revolutions per minute (RPMs). The lifeblood of the cooling system is the radiator coolant (also known as radiator fluid or commonly referred to as antifreeze). It circulates from the radiator through all the key cooling components. If there is not enough fluid in the system or it is not recirculating properly, your car will likely overheat and that can lead to major engine damage. Coolant Leaks One of the best ways to tell if you might have a cooling system problem is to check for any coolant leaks. The radiator fluid is pretty easy to identify because it generally has a very bright yellow/green color ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Do you Need New Spark Plugs? Here Are 6 Signs to Look for.

Do you Need New Spark Plugs? Here Are 6 Signs to Look for.

Spark plugs are among the smallest parts in your vehicle, but they perform a very important function. When you have a bad spark plug or one that isn’t working as it should, you will start to notice some issues. Your engine may not run well or it may struggle to fire up at all. As part of regular vehicle maintenance, the spark plugs should be tested and inspected regularly. Then, they should be replaced as needed to ensure proper performance. That’s why Simard Automotive gives you this list of 6 common signs of spark plug failure: 1. Rough Idling If the engine is idling roughly with unpleasant sounds or vibrations, it could be a sign that it is not firing on all cylinders. The spark plugs will be one of the first things a professional mechanic will look at when an engine isn’t running smoothly. ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Exhaust Leak? It's Not a Problem You Want to Ignore!

Exhaust Leak? It's Not a Problem You Want to Ignore!

An exhaust leak is a serious automotive issue. You may smell the exhaust fumes more than normal or you may even see exhaust smoke coming out from somewhere other than the tailpipe. Your check engine light will also usually come on when there is an exhaust issue. If your car has an exhaust leak, it is not a problem that you want to ignore. The Risks of an Exhaust Leak If an exhaust leak persists, it can obviously be dangerous to your health (and the health of anyone riding in the vehicle. Exhaust fumes (especially those that haven't been burned off properly in the catalytic converter) are full of dangerous carbon monoxide that can literally be deadly when you breathe in too much of it. In addition, a malfunctioning exhaust system can lead to serious engine damage. The exhaust system is there to pull away and burn off the exhaust fumes coming from the engine. If that isn ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Is Your Car Laboring? Here Are Some Possible Reasons Why.

Is Your Car Laboring? Here Are Some Possible Reasons Why.

Hopefully, you had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend as the summer season officially comes to an end. However, if your vehicle feels like it is "laboring" more than usual, then maybe it's time to take care of it.  Since you drive your primary car, truck or SUV pretty much every day, you can often tell when something just isn't quite right. Maybe the vehicle feel like it is sluggish, lacking power and not accelerating like it is supposed to. Perhaps it feels a little loose as you drive, with a lot of bumps and vibrations. The assumption from most car owners is that there's a problem with the engine, but that is usually not the case. There are many other reasons why your vehicle might be laboring more than usual, according to the Fairbanks auto repair experts at Simard Automotive. Let's look at a few of the most common sources: Transmission The transmission is very often the cu ... read more

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Car Care Tips

What's that Noise? Identifying the Strange Sounds Your Car Might Make.

What's that Noise? Identifying the Strange Sounds Your Car Might Make.

One of the easiest ways to tell if you have an automotive problem is to simply listen to your car. Any time you hear a strange noise, it could mean that there is an issue worth getting looked at by a professional mechanic. Some sounds are common and represent minor concerns. Meanwhile, other sounds are signs that there is something seriously wrong. Here are some of the common noises you might hear (and what they might mean) according to the Fairbanks auto repair specialists at Simard Automotive: 1. Engine Squealing This is something you'll probably notice right when you turn on the car. The sound may persist as you drive or it might slowly go away as the vehicle warms up. This is usually one of the belts (timing belt, fan belt, etc.) that may need to be adjusted or replaced, but persistent noises coming from the engine ... read more

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Car Care Tips
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