Is Your Car Winter Ready?

Tire repair and replacement area of the garage

The winters of New England are no joke. Weather drops below freezing, so the air hurts your face, and the snow pummels everything. Driving becomes much harder in the winter than in other seasons due to the ice and snow. In extreme cases, roads are closed off. It can be intimidating to drive when you know the weather is going to get rough, which is why it’s important to make sure your car is prepared for anything. Here are a few tips to get your vehicle winter-ready from the best mechanics in Nashua.

Tire repair and replacement area of the garage

Tire Pressure

Tire pressure and tread depth are going to play significant roles in how your car handles in winter weather. As the temperature fluctuates, the air in your tires expands and retract. This causes your tire pressure to fluctuate as well. You can test your tire pressure with a gauge and fill it with an air compressor to your manual’s recommendation. As for tread depth, you can use a penny to test that. Place a penny in the tread with Abraham Lincoln’s head pointing up. If you find his head is still visible at the top, it’s a sign to replace your tires before winter hits.

Supplies

As a safety precaution, you should make sure you have a supply kit in the trunk of your car. While you should always keep an emergency kit in your car, you should make sure it is well stocked as winter comes around. Your kit should include essential items like road flares and a flashlight, a first aid kit and a radio. To customize the kit for winter, you should add blankets, a warm change of clothes, an ice scraper, and a bag of sand to get traction on the road.

Coolant

Making sure your car’s coolant and antifreeze levels are ready for winter is the key. The only thing keeping your engine from freezing and stalling in the winter chill is your coolant. You can check your coolant levels at home with a kit or bring your car to the best mechanics in Nashua to make sure it’s done right.

 

Driving in the winter is an intimidating thought that becomes less intimidating when you know you’re prepared. Making sure your tire pressure and coolant levels are at peak performance are the first steps. For extra safety, be sure to update your emergency kit with winter supplies. For any questions on how to prepare your car for winter, contact RK Auto Repair, the best mechanics in Nashua at 603-595-7575 or visit them online!

What is a Tire Rotation?

Tires in Nashua

When it comes to your vehicle, it never hurts to know as much as possible. Many people have heard of tire rotations throughout their life, but many don’t know what it is or why it should be done. Tire rotation is the process of moving the position of the tires on your vehicle to ensure more even wear and therefore a longer lifespan for your tires in Nashua. Though each car has a different necessity, the standard rule is to get your tires rotated every 5000 to 7500 miles. Here is a breakdown of tire rotation so you can know what’s going on with your car.

 

Tires in NashuaFront-Wheel Drive

Cars that operate on front-wheel-drive by using the front tires to steer. The front tires are putting the power into the road. Because of this, front-wheel-drive can lead the front tires to wear at a faster rate than the rear tires. To rotate tires on a front-wheel-drive vehicle, you should move  the back left tire should move to the front right position with the back right tire moving to the front left position. Then the front left tire to the back left position and the front right tire to the back right position.

Rear-Wheel Drive

There is one significant difference between front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive vehicles. For rear-wheel-drive, the front tires still control the steering of the car while the rear tires transfer the power from the car to the road. This distribution of work leads to more even wear on the front and rear tires. This means that to rotate your tires in Nashua, you should move the front left tire to the back left position. The front right tire should be transferred to the back right position. When bringing the back tires to the front, you should place the back left tire on the front right side and the back right tire on the front left side.

Four-Wheel Drive

For four-wheel-drive, or all-wheel-drive, vehicles, the wear is even more evenly spread. Four-wheel-drive tire rotation will follow the same pattern as rear-wheel-drive vehicles. The two tires in the front will remain on the same side as they move to the back. The back tires will move to the front, swapping sides as they do.

 

While tire rotation can be done at home, it’s safer to have it taken care of by professionals. Let the mechanics at RK Auto Repair take care of your tires in Nashua. Contact them at 603-595-7575 or visit them online.

 

Tires in Nashua

As we switch over from snow tires to our regular tires, it is time to determine if it is time for you to get new tires for the season. Tires are the key to making sure you make it to your destination safely. Balding tires can lead to grip issues on the road, especially during inclement weather. The good thing is there are some easy ways for you to tell if it is time for you to buy new tires in Nashua.

The Penny Test

Everyone knows about the penny test. If you don’t, well, you will learn today! The penny test is very simple to administer on your own. All you need is a penny. Take it with Lincoln’s head upside down and insert it into the tread of the tire. If the tread covers Lincoln’s forehead, then your treads are okay. On the opposite end, if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it is time for new tires. It is important that you test every tire, though. Each tire could wear differently, especially if there is a wheel misalignment. If this is the case, you should make an appointment to replace the tires and get a proper alignment.

Tire Cracks

While you are doing your penny test, also see if there are any cracks in the tires. They could happen from weather and temperature and are a sign that you could need to switch out your tires soon.

Tread markers

In newer tires today, some markers are a part of the tire itself. These rubber additions run across the tire from side to side. They are perpendicular to the usual treads of the tires, and if they are flush with the casing, then it is time to replace. That means that the treads are very low.

Bald tires

It is the most dangerous tire to drive on. Bald tires have zero traction on them. It is important that you do not let your tires get to this level, but if they do, bring them in to get switched out as soon as possible.

Tire Pressure

It is more of a preventative measure, and also something that could contribute to balding tires. The tire pressure will naturally decrease over time. However, it is important for you to check the tire pressure, as driving in warm weather with an under-inflated tire can lead to more heat from the tires, and a faster wear out. Especially after winter, check the tire pressure since the cold can mess with it.

Tires in Nashua are fast and easy to replace. They are a necessary evil when it comes to maintaining your vehicle. RK Auto works on many customers, and we would like you to come into our shop for all of your tire needs. Whether you need two wheels replaced or all four, we can work with you to determine what you need. Our customers are family, and that makes a difference in our service. Call us today (603)-595-7575 to schedule an appointment with us!

NH State InspectionThere are many month long celebrations in the world: Black History Month, National Women’s History Month, BBQ Month, and even Golf Month. Each of these happens, some for historical reasons, others for more frivolous reasons. So, why would you not have a month dedicated to making sure that your car is getting the care that it needs? Car Care Month is not only one month but two months. If your vehicle is not kept up with, then you could run the risk of falling into a dangerous road. That is why the month is the best time to remind you of the common maintenance your car needs.

What are the two months to consider car care?

The two different time frames chosen for National Car Care Month are the beginning of spring and the middle of fall. These two times are the transitional periods between the two seasons when you should fix any issues that could potentially harm your car’s performance for the next few months. That is why we chose April and October to pay particular attention to the auto repair in Nashua, NH for your vehicle.

Why did they choose April?

That is a good question, and carcare.org has answered why they decided April was one of the months for Car Care Awareness. April is typically the first month that spring tends to come in full swing. Especially in New Hampshire, where a rogue snowstorm can happen at any time, it is important to remember that with the last melting of snow, there are a lot of things that your car will need. Washing your car, anything that may have gone wrong in the cold of winter, and even the worry of new issues that are coming with the spring rains, it is important to make sure you are up to date.

Why choose October?

The other month selected for car care month is October, similar to the reason that they chose April. With the end of summer and the start of winter, it is time to start winterizing your car and making sure that you are ready for the snow to come. It could mean getting snow tires in Nashua or any other needs that have to get done, such as brake and exhaust issues. Having a safe car in the winter is key to being able to continue the same mobility that you had during the summer months.

When we get into the full swing of the summer months, it is important to remember that auto repair in Nashua, NH should not be limited to these two months that we commemorate. In fact, you should follow your maintenance schedule for your vehicle rather than trying to make your own. Your car will thank you if you take good care of it, and you will be able to get more time with your vehicle.

At RK Auto, we like to remind you that with Car Care Month, it is time to review your car’s needs for monthly and yearly maintenance. From oil changes to tire rotations, it is important to remember that your car depends on you as much as you count on it. So, for any needs, call RK Auto at (603)-595-7575 to make sure that your vehicle keeps you going.

Ties in Nashua from RK AutoWith April in our midst, that means plenty of showers to allow for the flowers of May to bloom in beauty. The important thing to remember, though, is that the water needs somewhere to go. The water will not always drain into sewers or drainage ditches on the side of the road. Sometimes you will come across some puddles. The scary thing is, they can be deeper than they look and cause hydroplaning. It is important to know how to handle these scenarios because if you lose control, you could end up having to get some costly auto repair in Nashua, NH when you didn’t expect it.

What is hydroplaning?

If you have ever been driving and felt a little skid over some water, you have experienced hydroplaning. While it is scary to witness, once you know what happens, it can help the experience. When you hydroplane, you go over water that your tires cannot adequately disperse to get traction on the road. The loss of traction causes the skidding and sliding of the tires on the surface which is the long and short of hydroplaning. Typically, when you hydroplane, you lose control of steering and brakes. It is why many accidents happen in the rain.

When the water mixes with oil, it increases the chances that the wheel will not be able to break through the water and receive the traction that it needs. As you drive along the road, you will be able to skid on the water more if you are going faster on the road, which is why it is a good idea to slow down during the rain, especially if it is heavy.

How to stay safe on the road?

There are a few standard rules to follow when it comes to staying safe during a rain storm. Avoiding a costly auto repair in Nashua, NH while practicing these habits means that your wallet will thank you later.

  • Be careful at the start of the rain storm. When the rain first falls, it can stir up oil and things that could be slippery. It is best to slow down when the rain stops, especially if you aren’t sure of the road conditions.
  • Properly inflated tires are essential to being able to control the vehicle as well. Your tires should stay inflated to the proper psi at all times. Lack of proper psi could mean they have low traction. Also, check the treads and keep the tires rotated correctly.
  • Slow down for your wheels to continue to maintain traction on the road. The faster you go, the more likely you are not to scatter the water.
  • Follow the cars in front of you. Following the tail lights will ensure that you stay in lines during torrential rains, but also you are following in the tire treads through the already established water.
  • Avoid puddles and lanes that tend to accumulate pools of water. You never know how deep they are and what is underneath.
  • Don’t slam on the brake or make hard turns. When you do that, you are more likely to skid than if you were to take it slow.

There are ways to pull yourself out of the skid once you get into it as well.

  • Understand what is going on with the skid. Know that if you start getting pulled in various directions, you could be hydroplaning.
  • Relax and wait for it to stop (which is easier said than done). Avoid slamming on your breaks and take your foot off the gas slowly.
  • Steer in the proper direction slowly. Ease into the direction you want to go. Don’t just jerk on the wheel. Then slowly brake by pumping, never make any jerky or fast motions if possible.

If you follow these tips and tricks when you find yourself hydroplaning, then you could save yourself from disaster. If something does go wrong, however, you have the folks at RK Auto to help you with any auto repair in Nashua, NH you may need. Give us a call the next time you need a qualified mechanic at (603)-595-7575.

Car Accessories That Can Damage Your Vehicle

Best mechanics in NH from RK Auto RepairA lot of customization can lead to your dream car, but it is important to know your costs financially and physically. Always consult with a mechanic before you begin your customization journey. Furthermore, keep an eye out for these accessories that can easily damage your car if you use them to make your car look cool.

Observe a few of them below. If your car needs some TLC beyond customization, consult RK Auto Repair for some of the best auto repair in Nashua, NH.

  • Tinted Windows

Not only are they heavily scrutinized by the law and illegal if abused, they are also dangerous. Tinted windows may look kind of edgy, but come with very big risk once they are installed.

Darker windows can distort and limit visibility, which can lead to poor vision. Poor vision is a recipe for terrible accidents on the road. If you are going to go for it, install them in your back windows – that way, you can have the cool look you want without affecting your driving seat vision.

  • Colorful Fog Lights

This also ties in to visibility. Having standard issue fog lights will allow you to be seen in dark, limited visibility situations. It is important to keep them bright and tuned up. White lights are best, since they are able to properly cut through fog with scientific accuracy.

Yellow fog lights are often considered,  but are in poor taste. They are unable to shine as bright or cut through fog as well as white lights, and will limit your light’s visibility. Other cars in traffic are not going to see dim lights, so modified fog lights are a visibility hindrance at best, and an accident waiting to happen at worst.

  • Televisions

It’s true: car trips can be long, tedious, and boring if you do not have the proper enthusiasm or entertainment. However, the remedy to boredom should not come with safety risk. While a television installation may seem like top-quality, cutting-edge entertainment for passengers, it is not safe.

Even if they are behind the driver’s seat, these screens can distract the driver. Loud noise levels can cause a driver to lose focus and not properly hear any hazards that could appear on the road. Keep the Netflix to portable mediums like iPads or laptops.

  • Blackout Kits

These also deal with headlights. Blackout kits are made to cover up your headlights slightly, and are able to mask the visibility and brightness of headlights. This is extremely dangerous.

It is important to be visible and have a reliable, strong light source, especially in darker driving conditions. Not to mention these kits are illegal, so legal consequences are at play here as well.  If you want to get your headlights looking right, go to RK Auto for great auto repair in Nashua, NH.

  • Lift Kits

Making a car look tall and detached from its wheels is one of the more unique ways of customization. This requires a lift kit, which will lift the body up and make the car more top heavy.

Get ready for some quick physics: a top heavy vehicle is bound to flip. The heaviness on top will cause the bottom to not pick up the slack, and throw off the center of gravity.

Keeping a vehicle balanced is key, and the natural mechanics of a vehicle should not be tampered with.

Be sure to avoid these dangerous accessories. If you need some work done on your vehicle, it is always best to talk to the professionals. For any time you need auto repair in Nashua, NH, call RK Auto Repair at (603) 595-7575!

Preventing Tire Problems

Tire repair and replacement area of the garageIn many ways, the tires of a car are just as important as an engine or brake. They are the foundation of a car, and prevent other car parts from carrying all of the weight of the vehicle – tires smoothly ensure your vehicle operates optimally.

Follow these suggestions to keep your tires are in top shape, and be sure to contact RK Auto Repair for any advice and service regarding tires in New Hampshire. Keep them in mind as a contact for any issues with your car or questions you may have, big or small.

 

 

  • Slow Things Down

 

Driving at elevated speeds causes plenty of problems, tires aside. When you consistently change and rev up speed, tires become stressed and suffer from plenty of damage. Though it begins as your problem, your speeding can harm other drivers on the road.

Constant speeding up and slowing down as you drive will only cause friction stress, leading to your tires becoming prematurely worn in the process. This wear and tear can lead to blowouts, holes, and flat tires – nothing you want to deal with, and costly problems to boot.

 

 

  • Keep Them Properly Inflated

 

A flat tire is one of the most frustrating, albeit common problems, to have as a car owner. It’s a drag to fix, and causes large amounts of stress on your vehicle and its many inner parts. With consistently proper inflation, you will not have to worry about any flatness or additional stress on your vehicle.

Plus, proper inflation can keep the rest of your car in gear. When tires are low, it causes the rest of your car to compensate. Tons of stress is put on every other part, and that can lead to even higher mechanic bills. Check your tire pressure regularly, and if you have any doubts, fix your tires in Nashua at RK Auto Repair.

 

 

  • Do Your Best to Avoid Potholes

 

Not only are potholes very frustrating to deal with on the road, they are incredibly damaging. Hitting them frequently can cause tears, and lead to blow outs in a second. Both situations take a significant toll on your car as a whole.

Additionally, potholes can affect shock absorbers, suspension systems, struts, and more. It is a bad situation for any portion of your car. Keep a sharp eye out on the road and keep away from potholes if you can help it, as they are more damaging than they appear.

  • Maintain A Clear View

 

Safely viewing everything in front of you is Driving Safety 101, but it cannot be stressed enough as you make your way wherever you go. Your focus on the road delivers you to your destination safely, and lets you see everything you need to – including the various threats on the road that are hazardous to tires.

Maintain a clean and quality-grade windshield so you can see everything in your field of vision – and avoid accident factors in the process. It may seem like common sense, but these things can occur from the smallest mistakes.

Preparation is Your Key to Safe Winter Driving

RK Auto Repair Storefront in Winter

The coming of winter in New Hampshire means you need to know that your vehicle will be at its best to handle all of the perils of winter driving. As every hearty and experienced New Englander knows, driving in the winter can be fraught with the unexpected as snow and ice and mud will test you and your vehicle’s preparedness and skill.

Involve an Auto Repair Specialist

Check in with your auto repair specialist as soon as you can to have your vehicle thoroughly inspected. Take the time to check out all of the equipment and systems you will come to rely on during your winter driving and ensure that they are all in top working condition. If there is any question at all regarding the safety and working condition of a part or a system, it is always best to err on the side of preparation especially as winter approaches.

auto-fluid-replacement-rk-auto-repairThe Importance of Fluid Checks & Storage

Your anti freeze, or coolant, is one thing you need to have working properly along with your windshield wipers. Your auto repair technician can test your 50/50 coolant mixture and determine if it should be replaced. Also, they can check your lines and even 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. Swap them out and have brand new heavy duty ones put on. 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 always be full during the winter and it would be advisable to keep a gallon or two in your trunk. Here, too, your auto repair specialist can check the entire system to make certain you will have clear visibility when you need it.

Tires Prevent Catastrophe

Perhaps the most important of winter preparations will be to inspect the condition of your tires. Air pressure changes during the winter so get your auto repair specialist to get them to their proper poundage and advise you with regard to keeping the tire pressure at the proper level all winter long. In addition, your auto repair specialist can completely inspect the condition of your tires. You can’t take the chance of driving with worn tires in the winter. Worn tires will cause a loss of traction, can easily blow out, and will affect your ability to steer and brake away from possible catastrophe.

Final Checks & Balances for Winter

Some final areas of preparation that your auto repair specialist can help you with are your battery and your wires, especially your spark plug wires. You don’t want any frayed or cracked wires as they will affect how your engine runs and responds in bad weather. Have your battery posts cleaned and replace the cables if need be. Also, get your auto repair specialist to test your battery. The last thing you need on a stormy night is to lose power or to be unable to start your vehicle.