Many of our reader’s look to us for advice on how to properly care and maintain their vehicles, which is part of what makes us one of Northern Virginia’s top auto repair shops. Having a great relationship with your auto repair shop or service adviser is not always about quick service and friendly prices, but also depends on how they show you how to manage your car care.
Our blog routinely features great advice and tips for getting the most out of your automobile, but this week we’re taking it a step further. Here are FAR’s most frequently asked questions about car advice:
Q: What does it mean if my check engine light comes on?
A: Your check engine light is your vehicle’s way of letting you know that one of the many parts and sensors that run your engine is malfunctioning. While you still may be able to drive your vehicle, with seemingly no difference, it’s important to contact FAR for diagnostics to prevent a bigger problem down the road.
Q: How do I check my tires to make sure they are properly inflated?
A: On the driver’s side door, or in the owner’s manual, your car should have a recommended PSI. This tells you how much air your tires should have. Using a tire pressure gauge, which should be in your vehicle at all times, check the pressure of the tires and see if they are at the recommended settings. If not, you may need to inflate your tires, but be sure not to over-inflate, as this can lead to similarly disastrous results.
Q: What’s the difference between synthetic and conventional oil and which should I use?
A: Synthetic oil was recently introduced into the automobile marketplace a few years back, and contains high-performing fluids with fewer hazardous additives such as sulfur and hydrocarbons than conventional oil. The choice between synthetic and conventional ultimately comes down to the vehicle’s use, make and model, age, and mileage. To help figure out which type is best for your vehicle, contact one of our service advisors.
Q: How do I know if it’s time for a wheel alignment?
A: There are many signs and symptoms of an improper wheel alignment. The most common are: steering not staying upright when driving, car pulling to the left or right, uneven tire wear, and squeaking coming from the tires. If you are driving regularly on poor roads, around frequent potholes or speed bumps, you should have your alignment checked once every 6,000 miles or at least twice a year.
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