Welcome to Pickering's Auto Service Blog! Click on any category on the right hand side of the page for information.

Articles:

Driving in the Heat

Driving in the Heat

Baby it’s HOT outside! Summer heat can be tough on you…and your vehicle.  While most drivers would probably think that winter cold is the worst season to travel in, read on for information on how summer driving can affect a car, truck or van. The first thing most drivers probably think and worry about is overheating on the road. Randy Pickering, founder of Pickering’s Auto Service in Lakewood and Arvada tells us, “It’s not just the outside temperature that can cause overheating. Restricted air flow and low coolant levels - or even a small cooling system leak – can cause your engine to overheat.  A bad water pump or thermostat can do the same.  It’s always a good idea to have your auto service center do an inspection before you head out on a long trip.” Before you start out, make sure that there’s enough coolant or antifreeze in the engine. (Yes, antiFREEZE!.  Antifreeze not only keeps your car running right i ... read more

When Should I Get My Car A/C Serviced?

When Should I Get My Car A/C Serviced?

Summer is here, and whether or not you commute to work every day or are planning a nice little road trip to get away for a little while, having working air conditioning can mean the difference between comfort and an unbearable ride. Before you find yourself having to deal with driving in the intense heat without relief, you can always ensure that your car's A/C is working at its best. So, when does your A/C need to be serviced?  The air conditioning system in your vehicle is complex and has many different working parts including the compressor, blower motor, fan, condenser, evaporator, and more. Some of these parts tend to fail more than the others, and often times we find vehicles just need a recharge of refrigerant. That is why we invite you to have your A/C serviced here at Pickering's Auto Service as soon as you notice any of the following issues with your vehicle's A/C: Air doesn't blow out of vents when turned on (this could affect heat, too) Air ... read more

Keeping Your Vehicle Healthy

Keeping Your Vehicle Healthy

Stay Well We hear the phrases “stay well” and “stay safe” a lot these days.  It implies that we should take the steps necessary so that we remain healthy and able to do what we want – and need - to do in the future. The same can be said for your vehicle. Routine maintenance and preventative servicing can help keep your car or truck “healthy”, too! While we understand that you may not equate “healthy” as a term that can refer to your vehicle’s condition, after you read this we hope that you’ll think differently about how you handle your auto service and who you trust to fix what ails your car. Just as people need regularly scheduled care – like visits to your dentist every 6 months for cleanings; your general practitioner or eye care professional every year for an annual exam, etc. – your vehicle’s manufacturer has also set specific guidelines that should not be ignored. Just like you and I, c ... read more

Maintaining Your Car

Maintaining Your Car

JUST SITTING AROUND What you still need to do to maintain a car that’s not being driven Cars - like people - have a hard time just sitting around.  So it makes sense that in this new pandemic environment, where people aren’t out and about as much as they used to be, their cars are just hanging out getting unhealthy, too.   Like us, there are a few things that you need to do to be ready to roll when things get back to normal. Consider these points to keep your vehicle in good shape: 1. Clean out your car and store it without personal items and trash. Possessions could invite a break in. Trash, like food and beverages, can transfer strong smells, leak, etc. (Rodents are always looking for a meal - don’t make it easy on them!) Store your car with the windows up and the doors locked. 2. Protect the exterior. A good coat of wax, tire protector, etc.  A well-fitting auto cover can help protect your car from bumps, scrapes ... read more

What Causes My Steering to Pull to One Side?

What Causes My Steering to Pull to One Side?

Driving with a steering wheel that is pulling left or right can be tiring. You constantly have to put pressure on your steering wheel to prevent your vehicle from drifting left or right, and without constant concentration you may find yourself drifting into another lane. Plus, constantly pulling on your steering wheel can't be good for your vehicle's tires. If you find that your vehicle is fighting against you to drive straight, something isn't right.  If you find that your vehicle drifts or leads to one side while you are traveling straight, this is known as steering pull. The cause of this issue is usually due to uneven camber or caster side-to-side. This is usually caused by a component within the suspension system, such as a bent spindle or strut, collapsed arm bushing, weak springs, and more. In order to fix the issue in this instance, our mechanics will identify the suspension system causing issue and replace that component or readjusting the camber or caster to ... read more

Wheel Alignment vs. Wheel Balancing

Wheel Balancing vs. Wheel Alignment: What's the Difference? Wheel balancing and wheel alignment are two entirely different but related concepts and services. Some vehicle owners take them to mean the same because they both aid in the long-term health of a vehicle’s tires. However, it’s important to differentiate the two, as mixing them up could lead to unnecessary and expensive repairs.  Let’s take a closer look at each process and learn the benefits they provide to your vehicle. Wheel Balancing Wheel balancing involves the equal distribution of weight around the wheel and the even rotation of the tires. The process requires adding small balancing weights to the rim which counter any weight inconsistencies. A vehicle with improperly balanced wheels generates a vibration through the steering wheel when driving above a certain speed. As such, it causes considerable discomfort over time. Moreover, balance issues can lead ... read more

Wheel Alignment is About Tire Preservation

In Many Cases, Wheel Alignment is About Preserving Your Tires Car owners get wheel alignments because their wheels aren’t pointing in the right direction anymore. This is what bad roads do to cars, and it can have serious consequences knowing what it does to your steering. But for most drivers who don’t go through potholes on a daily basis, wheel alignment is about preserving your tires.   Just as wheel alignment affects how well you can drive, it can play a part in how long your tires last. They should be pointing in the right direction, or else the tires will shred too much rubber too fast. If your tires are thinning out for no reason at all, it may be worth looking at a wheel alignment.   Pay Attention to Your Tires   Unfortunately, you can’t rely on your car’s check systems to monitor your wheel alignment or how much tread the wheels have left. Regular checkups are still your best defense against drivi ... read more

Car Brake Check A Must-Do Before Winter 2017 Strikes

Car Brake Check A Must-Do Before Winter 2017 Strikes Winter is coming, and in a matter of days, we’ll have to drive on icy roads again. While weather forecasts say that winter in states like Colorado may be drier and warmer than usual, you should still prepare your car for the cold season. After all, with La Nina, and the unpredictability of Colorado weather, we can’t be sure what kind of winter we are going to have this year. Generally, winter is a tough season for driving. Snowfall can significantly reduce visibility on the roads in addition to making them slippery. To make sure your car is ready for these driving challenges, you need to perform a thorough vehicle maintenance and check-up before winter arrives. You may start with one of the most essential parts of your car: the brakes. Check the Brake Fluid Though often neglected, brake fluid is ... read more

Do New Tires Need Wheel Alignment?

Is Wheel Alignment for New Tires Necessary? Usually, wheel alignment isn’t included on the recommended maintenance schedule provided by vehicle manufacturers. So, how often you should align your wheel is largely indefinite; but, to be on the safe side, you must do it annually—and whenever you get new tires. Minimal Tire Wear When you spend a hundred dollars per tire, you would likely want to use your newly purchased tires for a long time to come. But when you refuse to align your wheel fitted with new tires, the opposite will happen. The new tires will start to wear unevenly, and you’ll have to replace them much sooner. What’s even worse is that unevenly worn tires are at risk of a blowout, which could put you in danger. Thus, for the benefit of long-lasting tires and a safer driving experience, it is essential to have your wheels aligned before driving on a set of new tires. Alignment on Three Angles Here ... read more

Strange Noises When You Hit the Brakes?

Does Your Car Make Strange Noises When You Hit the Brakes? Here’s What They Might Mean It’s no secret that brakes are one of the most vital parts of a car. So, when you hear a strange noise whenever you hit the brakes, it is imperative not to ignore it. To help you in this matter, we’ve come up with some of the common noises brakes make and what those noises may mean: Scraping Noise If your car makes a scraping noise whenever you apply your brakes to turn, it’s possible your vehicle has picked up a rock from a dirt road. The rock might have gotten lodged between the rotor and the backing plate, creating that awful, annoying noise. Just take the rock out or have it removed by a mechanic, and you’re on your way. Squeaking Noise Does your break squeak annoyingly? It’s highly possible your mechanic installed cheap brake pads. Inferior pads often have large, wide metal flakes in the brake material that squeal every t ... read more

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