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BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport Tire: A high quality, all-season tire

In Tires & Wheels by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Are you in the market for a high quality tire with a lower price point?

The BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport Tire may be the right fit for your vehicle.

With a 65,000 to 75,000 mile treadlife, this all season tire works well in dry and wet weather conditions. It features siping that helps push away water.

The BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport Tire is very similar to the Michelin Defender Tire, Michelin’s top tire.

Sizes are available for different types of vehicles, including trucks, SUVs and smaller cars.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire has a wide selection of tires. We also offer a nationwide road hazard warranty for all tires that we sell. 

This month, if you buy a set of four tires and a wheel alignment, you can receive road hazard at no charge.

To learn more about this BFGoodrich tire or any other tires, give us a call at (703) 594-4646 or visit us at 15698 Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Car windows on Subaru wouldn’t roll down

In Uncategorized by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Are your car windows refusing to roll up or down? There are a few different causes behind this.

A Subaru driver dropped off their vehicle at HomeTowne after realizing the passenger car windows weren’t working.

First, Charles checked the window switches. He then moved on to the motors for the passenger windows and learned they weren’t working.

Located in the car door, the window motor is one part that is needed to open and close the window.

When you press the switch, a current goes to the motor. This starts the regulator, which causes the window to go up and down.

For some vehicles, the motor and regulator can be ordered separately. In this case, they came as one assembly. 

car windows
Window Motor and Regulation Assembly

The motor going bad is one car window problem that can occur. It could also be installed incorrectly.

A window with automatic up and down may not roll down if a car battery has been changed or disconnected. Some drivers believe that the window is broken, when it just needs to be reprogrammed.

This issue can also happen with sunroofs. 

The window switch is another part that can stop working.

If your window isn’t opening or closing, it’s also a good idea to make sure the window lock button hasn’t been pressed.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Emission test required every two years

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Every two years, Northern Virginia drivers must have an emission test conducted on their vehicle.

This requirement applies to those who keep their cars in certain localities, such as Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

The emission test seeks to protect the environment by making sure the car releases the right amount of fumes into the air.

It is run by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an emissions shop. It became a Virginia Certified Emissions Repair Facility in 2017.

We confirm details about the car, including its weight and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

When testing a vehicle that’s older than 1996, inspectors use a sniffer tool that’s put inside the tailpipe. They also check for various components, including the catalytic converter, O2 sensors and the Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP).

We use an OBD II connection device on newer cars. The DEQ computer plugs into the OBD II port on the car and checks for problem codes and system monitors.

Those monitors can include the EVAP system, catalyst (catalytic converter), 02 sensors, the EGR system, Oxygen Sensor Heater and secondary air system.

There are a few ways you can be rejected for testing: if there are bald tires, an audible exhaust leak, or fluid that’s dripping on the dyno machine.

Why does that matter?

We have to make sure the vehicle is safe to run on the dyno, in case the DEQ requires it.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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What impacts oil change prices?

In Oil Change by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Is your car due for an oil change?

A few factors can play a role in the cost.

Oil change prices can depend on how many quarts a vehicle has and the type of oil it needs.

The make and model of a car also impacts oil change prices.

For example, an oil change for a BMW, Mercedes, or other luxury vehicles may cost more because they require special scan tools to reset the maintenance lights.

Mercedes and BMWs have several lights that can be triggered, so it’s important for technicians to take their time and check them off.

The manufacturers of some cars, like the Mercedes-Benz built after 2010, suggest changing the oil and oil filter every 10,000 miles or after one year.

If you’re driving an older Mercedes-Benz, you may be better off changing your oil at the 5,000 mile mark.

TECHNICIAN TIP: One of our technicians wants to make sure he’s taking care of his Mercedes. He likes to change his oil at 5,000 miles and top off the fluid to keep everything clean in the engine. He also does that because the stop and go traffic in Northern Virginia can be pretty hard on a car.

Because of there are so many different types of oil out there, it’s hard to stock every single one. At HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire, we use synthetic oil so every car gets the best oil. Read about our switch to full synthetic.

Therefore, with all of the commuting, we recommend a 5,000 mile interval with our oil, as that’s also a good time to rotate the tires.

Our technicians rotate the tires and perform a courtesy check during every oil change.

If you don’t change your oil or if you go too long without an oil change, it can cause damage to the engine.

Regular oil changes also helps prevent sludge buildup.

Read more about what happens during an oil change and why they are important.

We recommend checking your oil every other time to fill up on gas. 

If you notice you’re low on oil, it’s OK to add oil between oil changes as long as it’s the right type, viscosity and amount.

However, it’s important to keep an eye on it, because a vehicle shouldn’t use or lose oil. If you’re losing more than a quart or two between oil changes, it could mean that there’s a leak or the oil is being consumed internally.

Depending on the type of engine you have, the valve can go bad on the intake manifold. That can lead to an oil consumption problem.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Five possible reasons why your air conditioning isn’t working

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

It’s that time of the year where the sun is beating down and many drivers are starting to notice that their vehicle’s air conditioning system isn’t doing the job.

Here are a few possible causes behind this problem:

Low on freon: The car could be low on refrigerant, which means that it likely has a leak. Air conditioning leaks could be coming from multiple locations, including fittings and rubber gaskets.

air conditioning
Freon being added to Buick

Malfunctioning expansion valve: It’s possible that the problem lies with the expansion valve, which helps control the amount of freon that flows through the A/C system. This component may not be working correctly.

Expansion valve
Expansion valve

Electronic Climate Control System: Another part that could be failing is the Electronic Climate Control System. This function determines how cold or hot it gets in the front of the car.

air conditioning
Electronic Climate Control System

Operator error: Today, the setup for car A/C systems vary. So, it’s very easy to hit a wrong button — or not the one you should. It’s a good idea to read the owner’s manual and make sure you aren’t missing something.

air conditioning
Turning on the air conditioning

Constricted air conditioning condenser: You might also want to check to see if the condenser is constricted. Due to improper cleaning or an impact, the fins could become bent and block the airflow.

condenser
Old Air Conditioning Condenser

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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How to keep your car air conditioning condenser clean

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Air conditioning offers sweet relief from the hot summer sun.

Like other parts of your vehicle, maintaining it is necessary.

Many parts make up an air conditioning system. The condenser is responsible for condensing the refrigerant that runs through it.

Cleaning your air conditioning condenser is one way you can maintain it.

You will want to start by removing leaves, bugs and other debris. This can be done using a shop vacuum that has a soft bristle brush.

Then, spray the condenser with air conditioning cleaner and rinse it off. For vehicles that have a compressor, a blow gun can remove some of the water.

On some higher end cars, there are air vents controlled by the car’s computer. They open and close when the air conditioning is on.

You may also want to check out the small fins on the air conditioning condenser. If there is some sort of impact or they are cleaned improperly, they can block the airflow that’s coming through. The fins will need to be straightened, which is a very time consuming task.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Mercedes parts replaced after wheel falls off

In Uncategorized by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

One of our customers was driving down the road when a wheel on their Mercedes fell off.

The impact resulted in damage to the steering knuckle, which connects suspension and steering parts.

Mercedes parts
Steering Knuckle

It also damaged the hub bearing, which allows the wheels to rotate.

Mercedes parts
Old and New Hub Bearing

Charles replaced them and the brake dust shield last month.

Mercedes parts
Brake dust shield

This is one reason why it’s important to torque lug nuts correctly.

We hand torque all of our lug nuts when putting wheels back on a vehicle after completing a project, such as a tire rotation or brake repair. 

Our technicians use torque limiters and torque wrenches.

If you don’t torque the lug nuts enough, it will leave the wheel loose and ruin the wheel, the wheel studs, and wheel bearing. 

Overtightening the lug nuts, however, will weaken the threads on the wheel studs, which can cause a failure.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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All season tire from Uniroyal Tires

In Tires & Wheels by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

When hitting the road, it’s important for drivers and passengers to feel safe.

Protection is one characteristic of the Tiger Paw Touring A/S Tire.

Produced by Uniroyal Tires, the all season tire is available for most CUVs, small and medium SUVs, and passenger vehicles.

It has a 75,000 mile tread life warranty and is reliable in wet and dry weather conditions.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Dynamic engine service addresses sludge buildup

In Uncategorized by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Engine sludge buildup is a recurring issue in some vehicles.

Dynamic engine service can help address this problem.

This service was performed on a Honda Odyssey. It was running rough and the check engine light had turned on.

We started the process by adding engine cleaner. Once the engine reached its operating temperature, we drained the oil and changed the oil filter.

Draining engine oil

Engine cleaner was added again and the engine ran in neutral for 45 minutes.

Then, our technician drained the engine cleaner and replaced the oil filter before adding new engine cleaner and running the engine in neutral for 20 minutes. 

Afterward, the oil filter was changed, and new oil and oil conditioner was installed.

Throughout the dynamic engine service, we watched the engine oil pressure. If the pressure drops, it could mean that something is blocking the oil pump suction line strainer.

Monitoring engine oil pressure

This procedure is recommended for cars that experience sludge buildup as a repeat problem.

Sludge — old, thick oil that is sticking to the engine — can get sucked into solenoids and other components, causing them to go bad.

Some vehicles are prone to sludge buildup. It also depends on the driving style.

Having proper oil maintenance performed with high quality oil is another way to prevent sludge from building up.

With today’s engine and the variable adjustable camshafts, making sure the oil ports are clear are very important. It can cause rough running conditions, as was the case with this Honda. 

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Rear differential repairs offered at HomeTowne

In Uncategorized by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Noises can tell us a lot about car problems.

Some may indicate that rear differential repairs are needed.

Charles recently installed a new rear differential on a 1998 Firebird.

The car was brought in when the driver noticed a rotational noise from the rear.

At first, we thought the universal joints — also known as u-joints — were the culprits, because they were older and dried out. 

U-joints connect different parts, such as the driveshaft and rear differential.

Replacing them, however, didn’t fix the problem.

After further investigation, we decided that the rear differential needed to be replaced.

Firebird

The rear differential sits between the rear wheels. It takes rotational energy the drive shaft creates and splits it to the wheels equally.

Read about how you can prolong the life of your differential and some signs it’s going bad.

We replaced the rear differential in this situation, but we also do rear differential repairs.

Sometimes axle bearings on the rear axle can go bad and make a growling or humming sound. That sound can depend on the type of vehicle and whether it’s coming from the left or right side of the vehicle.

The carrier bearings, which are attached to the ring and pinion, is a noise that people will hear in the car, especially if the pinion bearing is going bad. 

The pinion bearing is near the front of the differential, and that is where the driveshaft and the yoke of the differential connect. That’s also a common place for the front pinion seal to leak.

Another common problem is where the rear axle shaft seals begin to leak. It’s possible on some vehicles where the differential fluid could be slung around and actually get on the brake pads and rotors. 

This may reduce your braking ability — and in extreme circumstances — could catch on fire. Normally, you would just see smoke coming from the wheel, and it would stink.

Clutch packs, which can be found on some limited slip differentials or posi track differentials, can also cause some noise.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.