Category Archives: 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

The Risks of Driving with a Damaged Motor Mount

The Risks of Driving with a Damaged Motor Mount

Whether you prefer to call them motor mounts or engine mounts, these simple connections are among the most important in your vehicle. They are what hold the engine in place atop the chassis. They use a combination of metal connections and rubber seals/pads to hold things in place and minimize the vibrations as the engine runs. A car’s engine generates a ton of power and torque and that’s why it’s so important to have healthy motor mounts. Over time, the rubber seals will often crack or wear out, and this leads to big risks. If the engine starts to move around, even just slightly, it can lead to engine issues, chassis/frame damage and handling problems. To put it bluntly, it’s very unsafe to drive with a broken or weak engine mount. According to the Fairbanks auto repair specialists at Simard Automotive, there are a ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Why Are You Getting Less Gas Mileage Than You Expect?

Why Are You Getting Less Gas Mileage Than You Expect?

Gas is getting more and more expensive. It doesn’t matter if you drive a big gas-guzzling truck or a fuel-efficient hybrid. You still want to save as much time and money at the pump as you can. If it seems like your vehicle isn’t getting the gas mileage it should, it could be a result of numerous different automotive issues. Here are 10 of the most common things that can affect your MPG according to the Fairbanks auto repair experts at Simard Automotive: 1. Fuel System Problems There may be an issue in your fuel system, whether it’s a dirty fuel filter, a clog or leak in one of the fuel lines or something else. Getting a professional fuel system service might be recommended. 2. Using the A/C Too Much If you really crank up the air conditioner all the time, you won’t get very good gas mileage. You may want to get you’re ... read more

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Car Care Tips

The Importance of Oil Changes

The Importance of Oil Changes

There are many good reasons why oil changes are the most common form of automotive maintenance performed. Though there are many different fluids throughout your car performing different lubricating or hydraulic functions, motor oil truly is the lifeblood of any vehicle. It helps keep the engine running smoothly with proper lubrication between fast-moving metal parts. Without engine oil doing its job, bad things can and will happen. Preventative Maintenance An oil change is the epitome of what we call "preventative maintenance" in the auto repair industry. It is called preventative because it is a service performed to help prevent major engine breakdowns. If you don't get your oil and oil filter changed regularly, then the oil ultim ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Is Your Vehicle Pulling Left or Right? Here Are Some Possible Reasons Why.

Is Your Vehicle Pulling Left or Right? Here Are Some Possible Reasons Why.

You may notice while you are driving that your car or truck is pulling to one side or the other. You may feel it when driving on a straightaway and you let go of the wheel briefly. It might pull gently or it could pull kind of violently to the left or right. Or, you may notice it more when you are making a tight turn or when braking/accelerating. If something is affecting the vehicle's handling, it is worth getting checked out by a professional mechanic. Not only is it a matter of your safety as a driver, but it's best to get the problem diagnosed before it develops into something much more significant. According to the auto repair experts at Simard Automotive in Fairbanks, AK, here are some of the most common causes of a vehicle pulling to one side or the other: 1. Wheel Alignment Over time, your wheels naturally shift out of alignment. Whether it's the camber, caster or toe that is off, i ... read more

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Car Care Tips

How to Tell if You Have a Blown Head Gasket

How to Tell if You Have a Blown Head Gasket

The head gasket is a rather simple, yet very important, component within your engine assembly. It provides a vital seal between the engine block and the cylinder head. It allows the engine to build proper compression within the combustion chamber while also containing exhaust gases to keep the engine running efficiently. In addition, it keeps coolant and oil out of the combustion chamber, which can do internal engine damage if leaks occur. Head gaskets are usually made of a composite material using a graphite base, silicone and other sealants to provide a tight seal. However, over time it can deteriorate and develop leaks. And unfortunately, some vehicles and head gaskets are more prone to failure than others, so always be on the lookout for manufacturer recalls if you are worried about your head gasket. When leaks do happen, bad things can happen within the engine. When a significant leak occurs, most ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Why is My Car Making Strange Noises?

Why is My Car Making Strange Noises?

Do you hear strange noises coming from your car, truck or SUV? Do they happen right when you turn on the engine or only when you are driving? Do they get louder when you make sharp turns? These are all good questions to ask when it comes to identifying the source of an unusual or unpleasant sound coming from your vehicle. Almost any bad component can lead to an audible clue that something isn't right. However, there are some common culprits that you can look out for.  Either way, any strange sound is worth getting inspected by a professional mechanic like the technicians at Simard Automotive in Fairbanks, AK. We can identify the specific problem and recommend the necessary repairs. Here are some of the most common sources of unusual vehicle noises: Exhaust System Vibrating and rattling noises are often associated with an ... read more

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Car Care Tips

The Effects of Ice and Road Salt on Your Vehicle

The Effects of Ice and Road Salt on Your Vehicle

Driving in the middle of a cold Alaskan winter can bring with it plenty of challenges, but we're used to it up here in Fairbanks. Rain, snow, sleet and ice are all hazards that make for difficult visibility and often-dangerous road conditions. It pays to be extra cautious when driving around. Damage Underneath the Vehicle However, there are other winter-related issues that not every car or truck owner keeps in mind. That's the effect of the moisture, freezing temperatures, sand and salt on the vehicle itself. Unless you have an older vehicle and can see the rust on the body, the hidden dangers are what these elements are doing underneath the car. As you drive, so much grease, grime, salt, sand and water get kicked up under the chassis. Keeping Your Car Clean One of the best preventative measures you can take is to ... read more

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Car Care Tips

5 Signs of Power Steering Problems

5 Signs of Power Steering Problems

If you have a vehicle with a traditional power steering system, it is prone to problems. Just like most systems in a car, it requires standard preventative maintenance and care. If it is experiencing issues, it needs to be repaired. If you drive for extended periods with power steering problems, it can lead to more significant damage. Many new vehicles manufactured in the past few years will use an electronic power steering system (EPS) that uses an electric motor design compared to hydraulic pumps or pistons. Some older cars may not have power steering at all. These different types of steering systems still require attention and professional maintenance/repairs. However, in this article we will focus mostly on traditional power steering systems that use hydraulic pump designs and power steering fluid. There are common signs that you have a power steering problem in your vehicle. If you notice any ... read more

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Car Care Tips

The Simard Automotive Guide to Vehicle Sensors

The Simard Automotive Guide to Vehicle Sensors

Your vehicle is equipped with numerous sensors to help notify you when there is a potential problem. The more advanced and modern your car is, the more sensors it will likely have. They are connected directly to the computer system. They are there to help make sure the vehicle performs its best while also to warn if something is wrong. Sensors can sometimes produce faulty warnings if not calibrated correctly. Or, the sensors can fail altogether and will need to be replaced. They are just like any automotive component that can wear out with time. Every vehicle manufacturer will have different systems and sensors they might use, and almost every car will be a little different, as well. However, Simard Automotive has put together this list of the most common sensors that you will find in many of today’s cars, trucks and SUVs. Oxygen Sensor &n ... read more

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Car Care Tips
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