Tips for Avoiding Holiday Traffic

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traffic

The month of December usually has several of the busiest travel days of the year. When you add that level of traffic volume with the element of unpredictable weather/road conditions like we tend to get here in Kansas, your holiday trips can get stressful in a hurry. Before you embark upon your holiday trek this year, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle inspected by an ASE-certified technician to ensure it’s running at an optimal level and you won’t encounter any unexpected/unwanted breakdowns while you’re on the road. Once you’ve taken care of that, here are some tips on how to avoid, or at least better negotiate, traffic the next little while: Plan Ahead. If your holiday plans can be flexible, take advantage of that flexibility and avoid the busier days and the busiest times for traffic congestion. Rush …… ( more )

Maintaining Your Transmission

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transmission maintenance

Your transmission is one of the most complicated and integral parts of the your vehicle and an extremely-expensive component to replace. For these reasons and several more, it’s important to be mindful of transmission maintenance and to make sure your transmission is in great shape. What Causes Transmission Problems?Most transmission troubles start because of overheating. Overheating can occur when towing a heavy load, rocking the vehicle from the snow, having continuous stop-and-go traffic in hot weather, racing, and other activities that work the transmission hard. At high temperatures, the transmission fluid loses its lubricating power, which could result in premature failure. When that happens, the next step is a transmission rebuild or replacement. Ways to Prevent Damage Luckily, taking care of your transmission isn’t complicated. Just taking a few extra steps here and there can go a long way towards …… ( more )

Biggest Driving Distractions

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driving

Preventative maintenance is important for keeping your vehicle safely on the road, but just as important is safe driving practices! Every day, about 100 people die in car crashes, and 90% of all crashes are caused by driver error. Being distracted behind the wheel is dangerous, to yourself, your vehicle, and others. So put down that tube of lipstick and lock up your cell phone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the top 10 distractions to drivers are: Cell phones – Wireless devices are the number one culprit for distracted driving. Over 25% of all crashes involve cell phone use. From phone calls to texts, smart phones to tablets, these devices are a hazard. Passengers – Talking to or interacting with passengers can pull your focus, especially young children. Ask your passengers to respect your role and help …… ( more )

Signs of Transmission Problems

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transmission problems

The transmission is one of the most important parts of your vehicle, keeping you running smoothly on the roads in Kansas. When something goes wrong, it is often frustrating and expensive. Ignoring or missing a warning sign for transmission problems can lead to significant damage and costly repairs. As you drive on the roads in Galva, pay attention to subtle (yet obvious) changes to your vehicle’s performance. These are signs that tell you it’s time to bring your vehicle into Nightingale Transmissions for an inspection or service. Look for these warning signs of transmission problems: Shifting delay. When your vehicle takes too long between gears, it may indicate an issue with the transmission. This will often happen shifting from neutral to reverse or drive gears. The car should adjust and catch the gear nearly immediately. If not, stop into our …… ( more )

Five Ways to Avoid Car Theft

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car theft

The experience of car theft is one of the most frustrating and upsetting ordeals you can go through as a vehicle owner. Even if it’s recovered, there are almost always repairs to be done, mountains of paperwork to file and insurance companies to deal with. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of having your car, and its contents, stolen. 1 – Never leave your keys in your vehicle. Never. This includes starting your car to warm it up and going back inside – even if your vehicle is within eyeshot there could still be a thief lurking nearby, ready to pounce. 2 – If you have a removable stereo, be sure to take it out EVERY time you park. You should also refrain from advertising the fact that you have any special audio …… ( more )

Transmission Maintenance 101

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transmission maintenance

The automatic transmission is perhaps the most complicated part in a vehicle—and the second most expensive to replace, next to an engine. As such, keeping your transmission in good shape is a good idea. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when it comes to your transmission maintenance: What Causes Transmission Problems?At their core, transmission problems stem from overheating. This can occur when towing a heavy load, rocking the vehicle in the snow, having continuous stop-and-go traffic in hot weather, and other activities that make the transmission’s work more difficult. At these higher temperatures, the transmission fluid loses its lubricating qualities, which will eventually result in premature failure—and an expensive repair or replacement! Ways to Prevent Damage. What’s the good news in all this? Well, taking care of your transmission isn’t difficult at all. In fact, just taking a …… ( more )

The 5 Secrets of a Contented Transmission

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transmission repair

When it comes to cars, engines get all the attention and praise but it’s really your transmission that takes that energy and puts the wheels in motion. An angry transmission can mean major, costly repairs that will put a damper on your summer plans. Let’s look at the 5 Secrets of a Contented Transmission: 1. Check your Transmission every 1,000 miles if you drive an automatic or 3,000 miles for manuals. Find your transmission fluid dipstick using your owner’s manual. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean with a rag or towel, then reinsert and remove it again. You’re checking for correct levels, color and smell. Levels will be indicated by marking on the dipstick. Low fluid levels can indicate seal leakage or even malfunctions in your transmission. If you drive an automatic, your transmission fluid should be bright red; if …… ( more )

Emergency Road Kit Creation Guide

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emergency kit

Sometimes it’s hard to leave home and remember everything that we may need. Whether you are an avid road-tripper or just enjoy a nice Sunday drive every now and then, a stocked emergency road kit can be invaluable. Below is a list of must-haves to keep in your car, especially if you’ll be traveling off main roads or know there is severe weather coming: Flat tire kit or tire-puncture sealant – While the toolkit can fix a flat in a jiffy, spraying some tire sealant on a minor flat can help you make it safely to a mechanic. Road flares – Invaluable in case of emergency or trouble to flag other motorists down. Flashlight – A dependable and weatherproof flashlight will ensure that you at least have light during any kind of problems or disasters. Also, don’t forget extra batteries! …… ( more )

Three Steps for a Clean Car

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cleaning

It’s officially springtime in McPherson County, which means it’s time to start your spring cleaning. This year, don’t forget about your vehicle! Here are three steps to clean your car and protect your investment. Step one: Scrub the exterior. The same contaminants and salt can damage your vehicle’s paint, so wash the exterior too! Pay special attention to the bottoms of doors, tires and wheels that can collect excess grime. Use only clean rags that will not scratch the paint. Avoid washing in direct sunlight which can leave the paint susceptible to scratches and cause the soapy water to dry early.Step two: Clean the interior. Sometimes it feels like we live in our vehicles. Take the time to tidy and freshen the interior by removing trash and unnecessary items that have been forgotten or left behind. Organize the items you …… ( more )

Does Your Vehicle Need Transmission Repair?

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transmission maintenance

Transmission repair can be expensive, but without a properly working transmission, your vehicle cannot run. Both manual and automatic transmissions ensure that power moves from the vehicle’s engine to the wheels. Your vehicle’s engine works at speeds called RPMs or Revolutions per Minute. The transmission’s job is to transmit power to the wheels while keeping the engine’s RPMs in the optimal range. It does this through a complicated combination of gears and parts that recognize changes in speed and RPMs and move accordingly to optimize the vehicle’s energy. If the transmission isn’t shifting the gears properly, you’ll notice a bumpy ride because the energy isn’t transmitting smoothly from the engine to the wheels. The vehicle may buck or stall, or you’ll hear grinding noises from underneath the vehicle. If the transmission is really in trouble, you may even see smoke …… ( more )