The Importance of a Healthy Exhaust!

exhaust repair NH

Your vehicle’s exhaust system has evolved dramatically since the older times of pipes and mufflers. Today, your exhaust structure is made up of several different parts and components. Each of these having a significant role in the overall safety and performance of your vehicle. Because of the essential role, NH exhaust repair is something that should never be overlooked!

The system in a nutshell

Although complicated, most people can’t be bothered with the intricate ins and outs of their exhaust system. That’s what you have our team for, right. However, understanding the basics will help you recognize the need for NH exhaust repair.

Your exhaust system’s primary function is to channel threatening gases from the engine out and away from the car, keeping you and your passengers safe. The catalytic converter then helps turn these gases into less harmless gases that create less damage to you and the environment. If the catalytic converter starts to deteriorate, the gases aren’t burned as efficiently. Furthermore, the oxygen sensors, mounted in the exhaust system, monitor oxygen levels in the exhaust gases. This monitoring allows efficient engine operation, while overseeing the converter’s operations.

Not only does an exhaust protect driver and passengers from toxins, but the exhaust system also reduces loud noises from the engine, which is a New Hampshire state law!

Maintain a safe car with regular maintenance and exhaust repair in NH. Below are a few factors that contribute to the need for replacement:

  • Driving habits (short trips take their toll on exhaust system life)
  • Road conditions (salt, road spray, bumps)
  • Vehicle type
  • Age of exhaust system parts

If your exhaust system has not been inspected regularly, some symptoms of damage include:

  • Loud noise
  • Rattling noise when starting, accelerating or braking
  • Drowsiness while driving
  • Rotten eggs smell

If you believe the components of your exhaust system may need a little TLC, it’s time to contact your local exhaust repair specialists in NH, RK Auto Repair at (603) 595-7575

auto repair nh

Brake Service in Nashua: 3 Signs It’s Time

brake service nashua

A vehicle’s brake system is an intricate network of functioning parts. Working together to keep you safe, this system is one of the most crucial elements to keep in tip-top shape. As time goes by, different parts of this balanced system can wear down, making the components less effective and putting you at a higher risk for accidents or collisions. In this article, we’re providing a few signs that indicate it may be time for brake service in Nashua at your trusted auto repair shop, RK Auto.

 

Brake Dashboard Light

One of the first indicators of brake issues is the illumination of the dashboard indicator light. If your brake light illuminates an amber color, this may indicate a problem with the anti-lock braking system (ABS). However, if the indicator is illuminated red, it may mean an imbalance somewhere within the system. In either case, having your brakes professionally inspected is the best option. Your local mechanic will determine the cause of the indicator light, allowing you to address the problem before it escalates. Once escalated, faulty brakes put your safety at risk as well as increase the chance of even more costly repairs.

 

Grinding or Squealing Sounds

If you hear a grinding or squeaking sound when you apply the brakes, this is a sure sign that your system is failing. The ASE certified mechanics at RK Auto Repair will inspect every aspect of your brake system for damage or wear, allowing our team to properly address the problem. Often, squealing sounds are an indicator of worn brake pads, broken rattle clips, or deteriorating insulation.

 

Slow Response Times

Finally, and possibly the most dangerous sign that you need brake service in Nashua is if your brakes are slow to respond. Often described as a spongy feeling when applying the brakes, this situation puts you and those around you at high-risk for collisions.

At RK Auto Repair, our team of experts is here to help keep your vehicle on the road safely. If you feel your brakes are not quite what they used to be, it’s time to schedule brake service in our Nashua, NH shop. Our mechanics will test, repair, and replace any needed parts, ensuring they are properly working, at exactly the time you need them to.

To schedule your appointment for brake service in Nashua, contact RK Auto Repair at 603-595-7575.

brakes nh
brakes nh

No matter what type of vehicle you drive, maintenance and repair are inevitable. When it comes to your braking system, it’s no exception.  NH brakes take some serious abuse between seasons and the continuously changing road conditions, which is even more reason to pay attention to them. 

Your brake system is an intricate component of many parts, all of which need to be in proper working condition for your brakes to function as they should. Each time you press on the brake pedal, you’re activating an entire system of delicately balanced pieces.  Knowing these pieces in and out is imperative to the safety of yourself and your passengers, and that is what our team is for! Here at RK Auto Repair, we have decades of industry experience to keep your vehicle running safely.  In this article, we’re providing you with a few red flags that it may be time to stop in and have your brakes checked out.

Unusual Noises

You know your vehicle, and you know how it sounds.  If, when applying pressure to your brake pedal you hear odd noises, pay attention.  Grinding, squealing, or squeaky brakes are potential signs of several different issues. For example, if grinding noises may indicate that the ceramic or metal brake pads are completely worn.  The grinding noise is caused by the pad component grinding against the metal of your brake rotors. If left unattended, you could face damaging not only your rotors but your calipers as well. 

Spongy Feeling

Another sign that your NH brakes have seen better days is the presence of a “spongy” feeling when applying pressure to the brake pedal. Often, this occurrence is an indication that there’s air present in the brake fluid and a flush is needed. After a professional inspection determines this is the case, a brake fluid flush will clean any air out of the system and new, clean fluid will be added.

Steering Wheel Shakes

Let’s go back to those rotors we already mentioned. Over time, your brake rotors will wear, with or without the help of other components.  When they do, you may experience a shaky steering wheel when braking. Whether replacement or resurfacing is required, our team will perform a complete inspection of the system and provide you with an honest recommendation.

At RK Auto Repair NH, brakes are just one of our many specialties.  If you’re questioning the integrity of any component of your braking system, give us a call today to schedule your appointment.  As one a primary element concerning safety, your brakes should never be ignored! Call our team today at (603) 595-7575.

mechanic nashua nh
mechanic nashua nh

With a large selection of oils available on today’s market, choosing which one is right for your vehicle can be an overwhelming process.  From synthetic to conventional, and let’s not forget additives, how does one go about choosing? Starting with your trusted mechanic in Nashua, NH, is always the best option! At RK Auto Repair, our team of highly experienced technicians can advise you on which oil will best help to achieve optimal performance in your vehicle. 

Synthetics

As if the world of motor oil isn’t confusing enough, we’ll add a twist by noting that there are full synthetic oils and synthetic blends of oil.  So what’s what, and why would you choose a synthetic oil over conventional? 

Full Synthetic:

Full synthetic oil is designed for high-tech engines.  Makes like the Dodge Charger, Corvettes, Mustangs, and even Mercedes-Benz fall under this category. If optimal performance levels are what you are seeking, synthetics are your answer.  From viscosity index to engine protection, a full synthetic oil will provide a superior, long-lasting result in all areas.  Flowing better at low temperatures, this oil also maintains optimal lubricity at high temps. As we know, not all engines are created the same, so not all engines require the features that a full synthetic provides.

Synthetic Blend:

Think of a synthetic blend as a full synthetic without the steroids.  Combined with organic oil, this oil blend is less volatile and designed for heavier loads.  For instance, pickups and full-sized SUVs typically benefit from a synthetic blend.  Formulated to protect, this type of oil evaporates less, increasing fuel economy.

Conventional

When it comes to the majority of vehicles on the road, conventional oil is the go-to.  Conventional is simply a term referring to the production process that is undertaking.  Conventional oil provides the ability to be produced using traditional drilling methods.  Because this type of oil is universal, manufacturers can provide conventional oil to all cars with all levels of requirements.  Although many consider conventional oil the less superior choice, for most vehicles, this oil will do the job just fine.

To sum things up

  • Most synthetic oils are designed to provide better lubrication
  • Synthetic oils will provide an extended drive time between required oil changes
  • Synthetic oils will maintain viscosity at higher temperatures for longer periods
  • Conventional oils are often recommended for older engines
  • Conventional oils are well suited for most cars.  

If you’re unsure about which oil is best for your vehicle’s needs, always rely on your Nashua, NH, mechanic, RK Auto Repair.  Our team has the industry experience and knowledge to help you choose and explain why you’re choosing the right type of oil for your vehicle.  With complete transparency, you can have peace of mind that you’re receiving honest advice for a fair price.  Call us today to schedule your appointment (603) 595-7575.

NH Fleet Maintenance Spring Cleanup Could Save You Hundreds

We’ve finally made it through the winter. With the warmer and sunnier days of spring ahead, both business and homeowners are getting their honey-do lists in order. While you might be thinking of cleaning out the garage or the endless yard work ahead, there’s another important element to spring cleaning. Have you thought about your fleet of vehicles? With RK Auto’s fleet maintenance NH, we can take the hassle out of keeping your fleet up and running, by making sure your vehicles are ready for the busy season ahead.

Fleet maintenance NH

 

Winters can be tough of your vehicles

 After the rough conditions of winter, your fleet could require repairs or tune-ups. From snow and ice, salt and potholes, winter roadways can take a toll on vehicles. However, with a little TLC from our team, you can have peace of mind that you’re prepared for the busy season. Below are just a few items that one should consider when preparing for NH fleet maintenance:

  • Washing is crucial. Keeping your fleet clean is more than just looking good. A thorough wash ensures salts and other potentially damaging elements are removed from the vehicle’s surface. Furthermore, you’ll have a perfect reveal of any minor dings and scratches that the winter months provided.
  • Fixing those dings and scratches. Even if they’re minor, these flaws can often open the doorway for rust.
  • Wiper blade inspection and, most likely, replacement
  • Fluid check and top-off
  • Tire and brake inspections
  • Air conditioning system check. Even if you’re still running the heat, you’ll be thankful your ac is working at full capacity when you need it!
  • Shocks and strut inspection

As the season forges ahead, schedules become hectic as business picks up. Often, we forget about routine fleet maintenance and inspections. However, waiting too long can incur costly problems.

At RK Auto, we’re here to help your business stay on top of your routine inspections. As a courtesy to our customers, we’ll monitor and alert you when your fleet is due for maintenance. This allows for the most efficient and preventative measures to keep your fleet running at peak performance all throughout the year.

For more information about fleet maintenance in NH, contact RK Auto at 603-595-7575.

best mechanics in nh

custom exhaust NH

NH custom exhaust systems are an investment.  Unlike other areas of the country, New Englanders and their vehicles experience the four seasons.  Thus, maintenance and care requirements are a bit different.  In this article, we’re covering the five best practices to protect your exhaust system.

1.) Change Your Oil

Without the proper oils and fuel, your vehicle will not operate at its maximum capabilities. Functions can be easily compromised from a lack of lubrication, and that most certainly includes the exhaust system. Frequent oil changes and check-ins help to ensure performance levels are top-notch, and that the exhaust system doesn’t dry out or rust.

2.) Swap Out Filters

The air that’s filtered in and out of your vehicle plays an integral role in the performance of your NH custom exhaust.  Easily clogged from excess air and dirt exposure, dirty filters are highly ineffective components that may compromise the integrity of your vehicle’s performance. Besides clogging, normal wear and tear on filters also play a role in maintenance.  Thus, keeping you with routine checks is a must. Besides, this component is relatively cheap and easily replaced. 

3.) Replace Stock Parts

Since cars are mass-produced, they are often made with cheaper stock parts. These parts can be quite vulnerable and not perform as well as more streamlined and quality stand-alone components. If performance is what you seek, you’ll want to shop around to find exhaust parts that offer enhanced functions. We promise you’ll notice the difference!

4.) Schedule Routine Maintenance

Yes, it can be a bit annoying and inconvenient, but vehicle maintenance is what keeps everything in motion and in tip-top shape. When it comes time for your vehicle’s routine maintenance, be sure to make the call and have it settled. Even a simple inspection can unearth problems you may not have been aware of.  Catching any issues before it’s too late is crucial to protecting your investment. 

5.) Practice Safe Driving

Believe it or not, that driving school advice about safe driving is much more useful than you ever thought. When operating your vehicle, driving at safe speeds while avoiding road hazards plays a crucial role in the integrity of your vehicle’s exhaust system. It’s not only critical for the safety of your vehicle’s components but for your safety as well.  When you speed or drive poorly, it puts strain your vehicle’s parts.  Strain on the components may cause them to age much quicker than average driving habits do. Safety is of utmost importance, and the benefits to your vehicle parts are added bonuses.

Performance is key, so keeping up with your vehicle’s requirements will ensure optimal results.  When you need auto repair for everything, from inspections to NH custom exhausts, RK Auto Repair is here to assist.  Contact us today to schedule your appointment (603)-595-7575!

Preparation is Your Key to Safe Winter Driving

RK Auto Repair Storefront in Winter

The coming of winter in New Hampshire means preparing your vehicle.  Knowing that it will be at its best to handle all of the perils of winter driving will bring the peace of mind you need as a driver. As every hearty and experienced New Englander knows, driving in the winter can be fraught with the unexpected as snow and ice on the road.  Thus, preparing with the proper steps, like have your brakes in Nashua checked, will ensure preparedness.

Involve an Auto Repair Specialist

Check in with your auto repair specialist as soon as possible to schedule a thorough vehicle inspection. Taking the time to check out all of the vehicle’s equipment and systems, your mechanic will provide optimal safety for you and your family.   If there is any question regarding the safety and working condition of a part or a system, it is always best to err on the side of caution, especially as winter approaches.

The Importance of Fluid Checks & Storage

Your anti-freeze, or coolant, is one element every driver needs during the winter.  Your auto repair technician can test your 50/50 coolant mixture and determine if it should be replaced. Furthermore, they will check your lines and flush the radiator system to guarantee that you have heat when you need it, and that your vehicle doesn’t overheat.

Your wipers, of course, are critical to winter driving as well. Swapping them out for a new pair will provide the cleanest windshield possible during the slushy months. The small cost will far outweigh the benefits of increased visibility should you be driving home in a snowstorm. In that vein, your windshield washer tank should, also, be full during the winter.  Having an extra gallon handy in your truck is a great way to be stay prepared. Here, too, your auto repair specialist can check the entire system to make certain you will have clear visibility when you need it.

Brakes and Tires Prevent Catastrophe

Perhaps the most important of winter preparations will be to inspect the condition of your tires and brakes. Air pressure changes during the winter.  Your trusted mechanic will test the current conditions and advise how to proceed for the future.

In addition, your mechanic will inspect the condition of both your tires and your brakes. Worn tires will cause a loss of traction and can easily blow out. This, in combination with failing brakes, will affect your ability to handle your vehicle with proper accuracy.

To schedule your Nashua brake inspection, along with a full-service overview, contact your favorite auto mechanic in Nashua, RK Auto.  We’re here to help keep you and your family safe during the winter! (603) 595-7575

best mechanics in nh

Did you know that some of the best mechanics in NH are not licensed to perform NH state inspections? It’s true that shops need to undergo and adhere to specific guidelines in order to be a state approved inspection station.  Lucky for you, your favorite shop, RK Auto Repair, is one of those auto shops!

So, when the yearly task of inspecting your vehicle rolls around, be sure to come visit our team.  Worried that your car or truck may not pass? Here is what you can expect during a routine inspection and emission testing:

Inspection process

A licensed inspection station should adhere to a specific list of items for testing.  These tests are considered the physical safety portion of the inspection process. Below is a list of those items:

  • A valid registration and VIN must be obtained.  Your inspection sticker, if a pass, will hold the same month date as the registration. 
  • Steering and front end suspension
  • Brakes
  • Electrical system
  • Horn
  • Ensuring all lights are operational and aiming correctly
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel system
  • Tires and wheels

Although this a broad list.  You can find further information through the Division of Motor Vehicles on exact testing and what your mechanic will be inspecting. 

Emissions testing

best mechanics in nh

Another necessary part of a state inspection is the emissions testing.  This test must be performed on all vehicles less than 20 years old. This test will help to determine the amount of pollutants being released by the vehicle into the environment. Items include functioning gas caps and a measurement of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons.  If a vehicle fails emissions, all repairs must be performed before a sticker is issued. 

With over 2,000 licensed inspection stations across the state of New Hampshire, choosing which one to visit can be overwhelming.  Here at RK Auto Repair, we’ve been considered one of the best mechanics in NH for a reason.  Our team will perform an honest inspection.  Beyond the inspection, if your vehicle requires repairs, we’ll make the best recommendations with the best prices around.  Schedule your next inspection with us by calling (603) 595-7575.

Should I Be Concerned About an Exhaust Leak?

exhaust repair NH
exhaust repair NH

An exhaust system is comprised of several different parts.  Each one of these parts plays an integral role in the operation and safety of your vehicle.  For example, the catalytic converter is a crucial element in converting toxic fumes into environmentally friendly emissions.  Because of the importance of each component, exhaust repair in NH is a must at the first signs of damage.  This article will take an in-depth look at exhaust leaks, and provide you with the information every driver should know.

Components

As we mentioned, your vehicle exhaust system is made up of several different components, each with its own job.  Below is a list of parts and their specific job within the exhaust system:

  • Catalytic converter which helps to reduce air pollution by changing harmful carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into environmentally safe vapors.
  • Cylinder heads play a vital role in controlling the combustion process.
  • Exhaust manifolds collect the exhaust from multiple cylinders into one pipe, which helps to minimize heat, air, and harmful gases.
  • Hangers are extremely important for driving safety.  If a vehicle has even one broken hanger, automatic shifting can occur during driving causing a whiplash effect.
  • Exhaust joints hold your system in place.  As with any element that is tossed around and hit with road debris, joints can leak or obtain cracks that allow leaks to happen.
  • Mufflers keep your car running quietly by silencing the combustion process.
  • Oxygen Sensors in modern cars sense the amount of oxygen within your exhaust system.  This information helps the vehicle’s computer calculate and release the correct amount of fuel for maximum fuel economy.

The dangers of exhaust leaks

Beyond affecting the performance of your vehicle, many safety factors that are a concern with exhaust leaks.  Below are just a few of those concerns:

  • Carbon Monoxide.  The fumes that the exhaust system creates contain carbon monoxide, the odorless killer.
  • Interrupted Driving.  From vibrating gas pedals to steering wheels and automatic shifting while driving, exhaust system leaks and damages can create a dangerous driving experience for yourself and others.

For more information on common signs that it may be time for exhaust repair in NH, check out our previous article.

If your vehicle needs exhaust repair in NH, it’s time to contact the team at RK Auto Repair.  Our team of fully certified mechanics has the experience to find even the smallest cracks within your exhaust system.  Don’t wait until repairs become a costly event, call us today at (603) 595-7575.

brake service Nashua

Now that you’ve prepared your vehicle with the proper tires for the winter months of New England, it’s time to look at another critical element.  Elements like your brakes are also imperative to driving safely in the winter.  Lucky for you, your favorite auto mechanic, RK Auto Repair, offers brake service in Nashua and surrounding towns to keep you and your family safe this winter.  Here’s what you can expect when having a full brake service done with our team.

Inspection

A must for safe driving, breaks should undergo an inspection at least every six months.  This is the same timeframe for a tire rotation which takes care of two routine maintenance requirements at once.  When the tires are removed, your mechanic will be able to inspect and check the following items:

  • Brake fluid
  • Brake lines and hoses
  • Disc brakes: brake pads, brake rotor, caliper
  • Drum brakes: parking brake, brake shoes, rotor, cylinders, springs
  • Brake pedal compression
  • Wheel bearings and seals
  • Springs
  • Cylinders and cables

Although there can be several other elements depending on the braking system of the vehicle, this list provides you with the general idea of what to expect.

Repair

While the inspection is underway, if there’s an issue with a specific part that can be repaired we’ll do so with your permission.  Components such as the calipers can be repaired with the proper amount of expertise.  However, sometimes it’s cheaper to replace than repair.  The decision will come down to the amount of repair needed and the labor involved.  Because everyone is family here at RK Auto, you can have confidence and trust in our opinions and recommendations. 

Replace

Although we’ll try to repair the components that we can, sometimes this is not possible.  There are certain parts within your braking system that are better replaced than repaired.  Items such as disc brake rotors, brake hoses, and wheel bearings are just a few of these.  Furthermore, when choosing whether to repair or place, items such as the material and the amount of labor involved are two of the main considerations.  If the piece will require a labor intensive repair, it may be more cost-efficient to replace it.

brake service Nashua

Our team of ASE certified mechanics can provide you with the brake service your vehicle needs this winter.  As Nashua’s premier auto repair shop, don’t hesitate to contact RK Auto Repair for all of your winter driving needs. We’re located in the heart of residential south Nashua, making access to our shop a breeze.  Schedule your appointment today at (603) 595-7575.