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.

tires nashua

With winter creeping upon us, New Englanders are preparing for the months ahead. From yardwork to vehicle preparations, taking precautions can ensure safer travels. When it’s time to hit the road, it is essential that your vehicle be well-equipped for the harsh conditions. RK Auto Repair can fit your vehicle with a set of winter tires in Nashua to help keep you and your family as safe and secure as possible once the snow and ice settle in.

The difference

Winter tires and everyday tires are different for several different reasons. The reason winter tires are an essential feature to New England driving is the fact that are made from different rubber than all-season tires. This specially designed rubber provide winter tires with a more effective performance once the road temperatures drop.

The benefits

Additionally, winter tires are equipped with optimized tread. This allows the vehicle to have a better grip on the road. Thus, preventing or minimizing slipping.

The optimized thread also provides drivers a faster breaking experience. In fact, winter tires shorten braking distances up to 30 percent regardless if the roads are wet or dry, slushy or icy. As you can guess, this features will significantly decrease your chances of being involved in an accident.

tires nashua

Regardless if your car is fitted with anti-lock brakes all-wheel drive, or nether, winter tires should be used during the cold season. The professionals at RK Auto can help you with all aspects of selecting, inspecting, repairing, and installing winter tires in Nashua. For more information, or if you have any questions, contact RK Auto Repair anytime at 603-595-7575.

Three Common Types of Brakes in Nashua

rk auto repair
rk auto repair

Although many people rely on their trusted mechanic for the details of their vehicles, it’s good to know the basics behind the workings.  Here in Nashua, brakes are one of the most common reasons to bring your car in for service.  From potholes to extreme heat, New England weather provides all the elements your vehicle needs to fall apart.  However, with a basic understanding of your braking system and regular maintenance, you can save yourself hundreds in potential vehicle repair. 

Hydraulic

The most common system for vehicles and motorcycles is the hydraulic braking system.  This system works in combination with braking fluid and other components of your car.  With the transfer of energy, the brakes enable an object to stop; typically a rotating axel. 

In order to maintain optimal functioning in your braking system, routine maintenance is crucial.  During your routine check, your braking system will be inspected by a licensed mechanic.  Several items will be checked out by your mechanic.  These include:

  • Brake Fluid Levels
  • Fluid Flush and Replacement
  • Wear and Tear of Brake Pads and Rotors
  • Bleed the Brake Lines
  • Inspect Brake System Components

Regenerative

Often seen in hybrid and electric vehicles, regenerative braking systems are an innovative way of thinking.  Essentially, breaking is an inevitable part of driving and a waste of energy.  The built-up heat dissipates instead of being used as energy.  Thus, engineers have created a new type of system that converts the energy into electricity, helping to recharge the vehicle’s battery.  A more efficient system, regenerative brakes will also provide owners with a longer lifespan.

Servo

Otherwise known as vacuum or vacuum-assisted braking, servo braking lessens the wear on the components of your vehicle.  Power assistance is used to reduce the human effort.  In other words, the required pressure need to operate the brake pedal is lessened.  Thus, you can expect a longer life on elements such as your brake pads and rotors. 

If your brakes have you questioning their integrity, our ASE Certified mechanics will thoroughly inspect your braking system to ensure optimal performance and safety.  To schedule your appointment, contact the team at RK Auto Repair today. 

custom exhaust NH
custom exhaust NH

Like all vehicle parts, exhausts need a little TLC every once in a while.  However, unlike vehicle parts that have a routine maintenance schedule, your exhaust will let you know when it needs repair.  Here at RK Auto Repair, we specialize in all exhaust systems, especially custom exhausts in NH.  If your exhaust system is showing any of the following signs, it may be time to give our team a call.

Engine Noise

One of the sure signs of exhaust failure is increased noise.  Similarly, increased noise is typically the first sign that most drivers will notice.  Because the system’s function is to keep engine noise down, a leak in the exhaust will result in loud rumbling grabbing the attention of the vehicle owner and all that pass by.  A typical spot for a leak to occur is in the exhaust manifold.  However, your engine may also leak at the manifold, which could cause possible harmful effects to both the driver and passengers.  Thus, it’s always best to have your vehicle looked at as soon as possible if you’re noticing an increase in exhaust noise.

Decreased Fuel Efficiency

Another sure sign that there’s a leak with your exhaust system is a decrease in fuel efficiency.  However, this sign is a bit easier to overlook if not paying close attention to your mileage.  The reason for efficiency loss could be that your engine is operating at hotter temperatures than usual.  If you notice you’re making more trips to the gas stations than usual, give your local auto repair shop a call.  It’s always better to catch potential issues sooner than later.  If small problems go ignored, they could become more costly headaches for you in the future.

Vibrations

Paying close attention to the normal conditions of your vehicle is imperative to noticing when something is off.  For example, some older cars provide their owners with a massage when driven, and this is somewhat normal for them.  However, if your vehicle suddenly provides feedback from the steering wheel or gas pedal, you may be facing an exhaust leak.  Although it may not seem like too much of a concern, if left unattended, the vibrations could increase making vehicle handling a difficult task.

Here at RK Auto Repair, our team of experienced professionals can help you determine if your NH custom exhaust needs repair.  For more information, visit us online at https://rkautorepairllc.com or call to schedule your next appointment 603.595.7575.   

auto repair Nashua NH

At one time or another, we’ve all had to bring our vehicles in for repair.  From simple fixes to more complicated issues; auto repair in Nashua NH keeps professionals busy! This article highlights the top reasons one may find themselves visiting local experts, like RK Auto Repair.

SCRATCHES

Because life happens, scratches are a major reason for many auto repair visits.  Whether your visit is due to the shopping cart set free from some uncaring shopper, or your child turning their metal bike handle a little too late; scratches happen.  Some scratches are easily buffed out while others may be a bit more labor intensive.  Either way, your auto repair shop will be able to give you an estimate before work begins.

DENTS

Similarly, dents are a common reason to bring your vehicle into the shop.  Whether it is from a careless error of backing into something, or perhaps you were in an accident, a trip to your local repair shop can fix most dents.  Like scratches, the severity of the damage will determine the total cost. 

CRACKED WINDSHIELDS

No matter where you live, cracked windshields can happen for several different reasons.  One of the biggest causes of a cracked windshield comes with highway driveway.  Often, vehicles passing you by will kick-up road debris sending it ricocheting towards your glass.  Best case is that your vehicle has a hairline crack.  This type of crack is relatively simple to repair.  However, deeper cracks from accidents or other types of damage may require a full replacement.

AIR CONDITIONING

In New England, we go from using our heaters to turning on the air conditioning.  Thus, spring and summer is often the busiest time of year for a/c work.  From a simple recharge to a full a/c replacement, auto repair shops will have you cooled down in no time at all!

BRAKES

Wear and tear on the brake pads is an inevitable thing.  However, the good news is that this type of repair is typically less expensive than other types.  However, if your brakes require disc, drum, or rotor repair; you may be looking at a couple of hundred dollars.

OIL CHANGES

The most frequent, and most common, reason to visit your auto repair shop is for routine maintenance.  For instance, an oil change should occur every 5,000 miles to keep a healthy engine.  It is also essential to keep your records.  If you go to sell the vehicle, people want to know what they’re buying has been taken care of.

If your vehicle requires attention for any reason, consider RK Auto for all of your auto repair in Nashua, NH.  Fully licensed and insured, our team of professional experts has been voted the “Best Mechanic” in the Hippo, twice! Visit us online or give us a call at (603) 595-7575. \lsdlocked0

Summer Tires in Nashua NH

tires Nashua
tires Nashua

Many vehicle enthusiasts look forward to this time of year in New England.  Summer cars are out, tops are off, and updates are happening.  One of the biggest trends we see at RK Auto is the changing of tires.  With winter conditions far behind us, winter tires are off, and summer tires in Nashua and surrounding areas keep vehicles looking their best during the warmer months.  However, before running out and switching your tires, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Manufacturer’s Speed Rating

One of the most important factors to take into consideration when choosing tires is the speed rating.  Ratings will let the driver know the maximum recommend speed that a tire can be safely driven.  For many, this element is not an issue.  However, most summer tires are made for high-performance vehicles and provide increased speed and agility.  If racing is a seasonal pastime, be sure to watch the rating levels.

Driving Conditions

Summer tires are categorized seasonally for safety reasons.  More specifically, they are not designed to function in cold weather.  This type of tire can generally handle three out of the four seasons.  Once the cold air sets in, the rubber of the tire can harden creating undesirable driving conditions. Their optimal functionality can be maintained in temperatures over 44 degrees Fahrenheit. However, when rain is the consideration, summer tires perform better than all-wheel tires.  Helping to control hydroplaning at higher speeds with increased traction, summer tires may keep drivers safer during the drizzly spring months. 

Often, summer tires can be thought of as “every day” tires because of the versatility throughout many of the New England seasons.  However, keeping in mind their restrictions is extremely important.  Furthermore, summer tires in Nashua, for many, mean low profile or high-performance tires.  This type of tire falls into a separate category with entirely different functionalities and precautions.

For more information on which tire will best suit the needs of your vehicle, contact the experts at RK Auto Repair.  Voted the best mechanic in the area, the team at RK Auto is fully licensed and insured.  Visit them online at rkautorepairll.com or call today and get your summer tires in Nashua taken care of before the season passes you by! d

best mechanics in NH

At one time or another, we have all experienced the need for auto repair services.  Whether small or big, many of cringe at the thought of having to bring our vehicle into the shop.  However, if you’re looking for auto repair in New Hampshire and search out your local auto repair shops, the process doesn’t have to be so painful.  Local repair shops, like RK Auto Repair, offer many benefits that dealerships no longer provide to the consumer.

Convenience

Not only is your local repair shop around the corner, but they are also a one-stop shop servicing all of your vehicles needs.  From oil changes to exhaust system repairs, local shops can handle most concerns without the hassle.  Another added benefit is that your appointment and turn-around time is typically faster than that of a dealership.

Personal Attention

There is something to be said about friendly, personalized service.  As a consumer, when you walk through the door and are greeted with a genuine smile and referred to by name you’re left feeling great inside.  By utilizing the services of your local auto repair shop, you can be sure that not only your name, but your vehicle will be known.  Thus, you’re left feeling that you are in good hands.  Further, this type of service will save you time.  Without having to repeat your vehicles concerns to each new face, your local shop will remember for you.

Dependability

Much dependent on word-of-mouth, repair shops strive to provide top-notch service to their customers in hopes that their name will be passed on.  Chances are, if your friend or family does recommend a local auto repair shop to you, you’ll check them out.  Why is this? Because you trust the person that referred you.  However, you would not have been referred to if the auto repair shop wasn’t dependable.  In today’s busy world, nobody has time to go back and forth on issues that should be adequately corrected the first time.  Being dependable ensures customers not only come back time and time again but refer to you to their friends and family.

Budget Friendly

Although dealerships have mastered the wow factor in appearance and staffing numbers, it comes at a cost.  The overhead of a local auto repair shop is typically must less than that of a dealership.  Thus, lower operating costs mean lower repair costs. 

auto repair new hampshire
local auto repair shop

Next time you require auto repair in New Hampshire, consider RK Auto Repair.  With over 30 years of trusted experience, the team at RK Auto is fully licensed and insured.  Providing free estimates and loaner cars, RK Auto Repair is sure to make your next auto repair service a pleasant one.  Visit them online or call today to schedule your next appointment (603) 595-7575. \lsdpriori