Category Archives: 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

Signs That Your Wheels Are Out of Alignment

Signs That Your Wheels Are Out of Alignment

When your vehicle's wheels get out of alignment, it may just seem like a slight annoyance at first. Perhaps the car pulls a bit to one side or the other, or maybe it feels a little loose when cornering. Slowly but surely, the problem becomes worse and before long the handling is really off. This is when it becomes somewhat dangerous to drive.  The Snowball Effect What you may also not realize is that when your wheels are out of alignment, it could be causing damage to other vehicle components that are having to work harder to make up for the misalignment of the camber, caster or toe. We're talking about the brakes, suspension, wheels/tires, differentials, transfer case and power steering system. In other words, that slight annoyance of bad wheel alignment can ultimately develop into some very expensive automotive repairs. Wheel Alignment Issues to Look for ... read more

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Car Care Tips

What Are Your Car's Factory Recommended Maintenance Needs?

What Are Your Car's Factory Recommended Maintenance Needs?

Cars are very complex machines and they require plenty of maintenance in order to keep them running right and lasting long. Ignoring standard maintenance procedures can put you and your car at risk. The vehicle might not perform right or it could be flat-out dangerous to drive if certain parts are worn out or damaged. In addition, the longer you put off preventative maintenance and minor repairs, the more you risk developing major automotive problems that will be very expensive to repair. What Maintenance Does My Vehicle Require? The tricky part is that every car is a little bit different. The maintenance needs of a classic 1960s Ford Mustang are going to be somewhat different than a 2019 Chevy Silverado. The parts are different. The systems are more or less complex depending on how old the vehicle is. For example ... read more

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Car Care Tips

How to Tell if Your Transmission is Slipping

How to Tell if Your Transmission is Slipping

Transmission problems can come in many different forms, but one of the most common is when it slips between gears. This means the transmission is not shifting correctly or it is not staying properly in gear as you are driving. It is usually the sign of internal transmission damage, or sometimes it just means your vehicle is due for a standard transmission service (replacing the transmission fluid, filter and pan gasket). The earlier you detect a slipping transmission, the more likely you can get by with a transmission service instead of having to pay for more costly transmission repairs. At the first sign of trouble, you will want to bring your car into a professional auto repair shop like Simard Automotive in Fairbanks, AK. Here are 6 common signs of a slipping transmission: 1. A Sluggish Feeling If the vehicle feels unusually sluggish as if it has less power or is struggling to accelerate, it could ... read more

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Car Care Tips
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