Category Archives: Car Care Tips

Time for a Winter Wheel Alignment Check?

Time for a Winter Wheel Alignment Check?

Winter is generally a good time to take care of certain automotive needs. You want to be safe when out on the road and you want your vehicle to be reliable during the coldest time of year. One maintenance activity you may not want to put off is making sure your wheels are aligned properly. There are numerous benefits to a wheel alignment, especially in the winter season. Bring your car, truck, SUV or service vehicle into Fairbanks' own Simard Automotive for a quick and easy wheel alignment check. If it is out of alignment, we'll let you know what specific work needs to be done and you can decide if you want to proceed with the service(s). Here are 4 simple reasons why it's good to get your wheels in better alignment this winter: 1. Improved Handling & Performance When your wheels are properly aligned, they a ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Are You Dealing with an Emissions System Problem?

Are You Dealing with an Emissions System Problem?

Today's modern vehicles have more advanced emissions systems than ever. The exhaust control system (also know as the EVAP system) features sensitive controls, sensors and equipment to reduce emissions. Then, you have the standard exhaust system equipment like the catalytic converter, exhaust pipes and muffler that all play their part in keeping the engine healthy and minimizing the toxicity of the exhaust being put into our environment.  All cars, trucks and SUVs—new and old—require exhaust system and emissions system maintenance and repairs to keep the vehicle running right. So, how do you know if you might have an emissions/exhaust system problem? Here are some symptoms to look for, according to the Fairbanks auto repair specialists at Simard Automotive: 1. Warning Lights Of course, t ... read more

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Car Care Tips

8 Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

8 Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

Getting your engine oil and oil filter changed is absolutely the most important preventative maintenance service that any vehicle requires. Clean, fresh oil will help keep the engine healthy and provide better automotive performance, in general. Some modern vehicles that use synthetic oils and synthetic blends don't need the oil changed as often as most older cars, but all vehicles will require this maintenance periodically. Check your owner's manual or consult with your mechanic on how often you should get an oil change. If you aren't sure the last time you changed your oil or you think you may be overdue for an oil change, here are some signs to look for according to Simard Automotive: 1. Low on Oil It is very easy to check your oil yourself using the handy dipstick under the hood. If the oil level is below the recommen ... read more

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Car Care Tips

8 Reasons Why Your Car is Struggling to Start

8 Reasons Why Your Car is Struggling to Start

Engines tend to have a little harder time starting up in the cold winter months, but as long as there are no problems they should fire up just fine. If your car is struggling to start or stalls out when you come to a stop, it's probably more than just the cold temperatures outside. You may have an automotive problem that needs attention. According to the Fairbanks auto repair experts at Simard Automotive, here are some of the most common culprits when it comes to an engine that's struggling to turn over: 1. Dead/Low Battery This is definitely something that can be impacted by freezing temperatures as the battery tends to drain more quickly or can lose some power while the vehicle is turned off. You may have a dead battery or low charge that is making it hard for the engine to start up. 2. Bad Spark Plug ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Winter Brake Maintenance at Simard Automotive

Winter Brake Maintenance at Simard Automotive

Winter sure is beautiful here in Fairbanks, but it sure isn't easy on our cars and trucks. The roads are rough and the icy surfaces can be slick. You have to be extra careful and attentive while driving. You also have to keep your vehicle winterized with all the key systems in good shape. Winter Maintenance Recommendations Of course, you need to care for the tires, suspension system and other handling components that will keep you safe during difficult driving conditions. However, few things are as important as your brake system. You want your brakes to be healthy, this time of year more than ever. We're talking about brake pads and rotors with plenty of life, so you can stop and slow down when you need to—often suddenly this time of year. We're also talking about a healthy automatic braking system (ABS) that is working properly so brakes don't lock up and let ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Why Your Transmission Needs to Be Serviced Periodically

Why Your Transmission Needs to Be Serviced Periodically

Your vehicle's transmission is one of its most important systems. It is literally what makes the vehicle move down the road as it transfers power from the engine and sends it out to the drive wheels. Just like you help take care of your engine with routine oil and oil filter changes, you will want to do the same for your transmission. What Does a Standard Transmission Service Include? A standard transmission service at Simard Automotive will include draining the old transmission fluid (also known as transmission oil or automatic transmission fluid—ATF) from the transmission pan, cleaning the pan, replacing the transmission filter and replacing the pan gasket if necessary. In some serious cases when the fluid is really bad, a full transmission fluid flush may be recommended. The process is actually pre ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Are Your Tires Ready for the Alaska Winter?

Are Your Tires Ready for the Alaska Winter?

We all know that the winter season comes up fast on us here in Alaska. It's getting colder by the day, and it won't be long before ice and snow are problems on the roads in and around Fairbanks. We all know how to adapt to bad weather driving around here, though. That's what being an Alaskan is all about! Now is the time to check your tires and make sure they are ready for the winter weather. Many local residents will change out to snow tires this time of year. Whenever you are ready to swap out your tires, bring your vehicle down to Simard Automotive and we'll get it taken care of for you. If you don't yet have snow tires or all-weather tires and are thinking about using them this season, let us know and we'll get you a great deal on a set. If you are using all-weather tires or just sticking with your usual tires through the winter season, you should be fine. They do a great job keeping the road ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Bad Oxygen Sensor? Here Are 4 Signs of Failure.

Bad Oxygen Sensor? Here Are 4 Signs of Failure.

Most modern vehicles on the road will have as many as four oxygen (O2) sensors as part of the vehicle's emissions system. They monitor the flow of oxygen into the engine, as well as the levels of oxygen and other gases as they are expelled from the engine and through the exhaust system. These vehicle sensors are very sensitive pieces of equipment designed to detect the smallest changes in gases.  You want your oxygen sensors to be functioning properly and doing what they are designed to do. This way, you can can get warnings if something is wrong and your car's computer can consistently monitor and adjust certain things while you drive. However, oxygen sensors can often fail and give false readings, so they will need to be replaced periodically to ensure everything is working correctly. Here are a few ways to know if you might have a failing O2 sensor in your vehicle, according to ... read more

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Car Care Tips

4 Benefits of Getting Your Brakes Serviced

4 Benefits of Getting Your Brakes Serviced

Most drivers don't think much about their brakes until there are major problems. They don't pay attention unless the brakes feel very weak or they start to hear those unpleasant screeching and squealing noises that typically indicate low brake pads or other significant brake issues. When you wait until there is a major brake problem is when you end up having to spend more on major brake repairs. Not only that, but driving with bad brakes can also cause other automotive issues, including damage to the wheels and tires and the suspension system. This is why it is always recommended to have your brakes serviced preventatively as part of your overall preventative maintenance plan. A brake service will replace brake pads and resurface the rotors before they become too weak. A professional mechanic will also inspect the brake fluid and bleed the brakes as needed, while inspecting all the other brake co ... read more

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Car Care Tips

5 Signs of Auto Electric Problems

5 Signs of Auto Electric Problems

Your car depends on its electrical charge to power many different systems. If you have a weak battery, failing alternator or some other sort of electrical problem, you will experience problems. You may not even be able to start your vehicle at all.  Here are some signs of auto electric issues, according to the Fairbanks auto repair specialists at Simard Automotive: 1. Vehicle Won't Start A surefire sign of a dead battery is when the vehicle won't start at all. You can usually tell when you turn the key in the ignition or hit the START button and it makes no sound at all (maybe just an odd click or two). This likely means there is no electrical power at all. If you hear and feel the engine trying to turn over, you may have power. You could just have a low battery, wiring malfunction or mechanical damage that could i ... read more

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Car Care Tips
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