Summer can be a tough time on a car. The 100+ degree temperatures, the stop and go traffic and salty conditions make Myrtle Beach a rough environment on a vehicle. After decades in business, Turn Key Automotive has found that if your car or truck is not ready for summer, than sooner or later you’ll be on the side of the road. In our area, it’s not just the heat, but also the traffic. Sitting in stop and go traffic puts extra stress on your engine, breaks, and cooling systems. Then, add the humid summer heat and you’ve got a recipe for trouble. This is why keeping up with your vehicle scheduled maintenance is so important. Here’s 5 ways to make sure you car is never stuck on the side of the road this summer.
CHECK THOSE FLUIDS
Cars, like your body, need to stay hydrated to run well. Make sure all your fluids are topped off and regularly changed based on your vehicle’s owner’s manual. This goes beyond just your oil, which is obviously important. making sure your coolant is in good shape. You may not know it, but the coolant in your radiator will degrade and most late model cars should have theirs changed at 100,000 miles, and then ever 50,000 after that. If you’re rolling around in a new car, you’re likely fine, however we do recommend a quick check to ensure your levels are good. The good news is with your scheduled maintenance every oil change at Turn Key Automotive also includes a free multi-point inspection where we check your fluids, along with other key vehicle systems.
CHARGE UP THAT AIR CONDITIONER
Over time your vehicle’s air conditioning system can lose efficiency and will need to be “recharged.” While you vehicle will run just fine with out an air conditioner, if you’ve ever driven around in Myrtle Beach without one you know it’s not a pleasant experience. When your AC is running good, you can expect your car or truck to cool off within just a minute or so, and then keep you cool regardless of traffic conditions. Learn more about keeping your vehicle AC running in our article here.
AIR FILTERS ARE THE LUNGS OF YOUR CAR
Fresh air is critical to a well running vehicle and it one of the most common ailments for vehicles in Myrtle Beach. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your air filter, cabin filter and other air cleaning systems will help your car run better and keep that AC working at it’s peak. Don’t skimp on your air filters either, just like you fresh air keeps your car or truck healthy. Consult your owners manual scheduled maintenance for how and when to replace or clean your filters.
BELTS AND HOSES
100+ degree temperatures, humidity and salt can quickly wear down the belts and hoses in your vehicle. Nothing will leave you stilling on the side of the road faster than a broken belt or cracked hose, so check them now before they let you down.
In the Myrtle Beach area there are a lot of cars on the road. With everyone going to the fun place at the Beach, brakes become one of the critical components on your vehicle. Low speed collisions are the number 1 traffic incident in our area and a good set of breaks will give you the few extra inches of stopping distance between a spilled cup of coffee and a call to your insurance company. Breaks, like your AC, don’t also just “go out,” over time they slowly degrade in performance and it is very easy to fail to notice the warning signs. Be sure to ask about the condition of your vehicle breaks on your next scheduled maintenance. The great news is break services is not too expensive and doesn’t take a very long time at all.
Your car dashboard has that same annoying light again, it’s time for your six month, or 3,000 mile oil change. But do you really need an oil change? It’s not as if your vehicle is burning oil, in fact your car us running great, so why bother taking it to the mechanic and spending money just to change our your oil?
Why your vehicle needs an oil change?
Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, sure it burns fuel to go, but it bathes in oil to run smoothly. And just like a bath you would enjoy, draining the water in your tub and filling with fresh is pretty important. Otherwise, you (and in this example your engine) will start to get pretty nasty.
Oil serves a critical role in your vehicle’s health. Not only does it lubricate the moving parts of your engine, it also keeps your seals from drying and cracking and removes dirt and grime from your system. All that dirt and grime has to go somewhere and your oil system’s job is to bind to those little pieces of junk and keep them from doing harm. However, the oil in your car’s system can only handle so much before it starts becoming thick and gunky. When your oil starts getting dirty, and going from a golden clear color to a dark black hue, it can no longer efficiently keep your engine running smoothly and clean.
That’s where your regular oil changes come in, by removing the old contaminated oil and replacing with fresh keeps everything in your car running in top condition.
When does your vehicle need an oil change?
This is a very common question and one that will highly depend on your vehicles make and model. A large diesel engine will need a different oil change schedule than a small four cylinder commuter car. The best answer to how often you need to have an oil change is in your car or truck’s manual. However it is a good rule of thumb to change your oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles or every six months.
Oil change frequency also depends on you driving conditions and habits. Remember oil’s job is to lubricate and sweep away dirt and grime, so if you’re driving in dusty/dirty conditions you will need to change more frequently than someone who simply drives highway conditions to and from work.
Lastly, the type of oil you use will dictate how often you visit the auto mechanic for a change. Sure, conventional oil is cheaper and what you may be used to, but it often doesn’t last as long and not as efficient in binding to dirt and impurities in your engine. Talk to your mechanic about switching to a synthetic oil that will offer better performance and last longer. In many cases, depending on your vehicle’s recommended service, an engine with synthetic oil may only need to have a change every 7,500 miles or more! Yes, it’s more expensive during the oil change but saves money over time with less frequent changes and better/longer engine life.
How do you change your oil?
To be honest oil changes are very easy and mechanics, such as the ones at Turn Key Automotive, will complete several in any given day and thousands each year. Many people try to change their own oil and you can too, after making sure you have the right tools, filters, replacement oil, and a plan for disposing of old oil. However even the most seasoned “car guys” will often bring their cars into the shop for a change.
Why? Well for the cost, only $24.99 for an oil change at Turn Key Automotive in Myrtle Beach, and just a half hour of time a certified mechanic can put your car on a lift, grab the needed oil and filters off the rack, drain and replace your oil, and dispose of your old oil properly. At the same time any good mechanic will also perform a multi-point inspection and filter check to ensure everything else on your vehicle is running as it should.
Ready to get your oil changed?
Hopefully you see why getting an oil change is so important. If that light on your dash is telling you it’s time, consider contacting the ASE certified auto mechanics at Turn Key Automotive. Before you call us, check our our car repair coupons and save on your next oil change!
Have more questions? Just call us at (843) 293-6793 and we can answer all your questions and make schedule an appointment that’s convenient to you.
Spring in Myrtle Beach can be tough on both a car’s exterior and interior. The ever changing weather can make the roads a mess and the arrival of the thick yellow pine pollen can make keeping your vehicle clean next to impossible.
So, now that the weather is getting nicer, the pollen is starting to subside, and beach season is right around the corner; how can you keep your car looking new? The team at Turn Key Automotive has the car care guide specifically for Myrtle Beach.
Exterior Car Care
No doubt that the springtime pollen and dust have been hammering the exterior of your car or truck. The solution, don’t worry so much about washing your car often since it’s only going to be covered in pollen again within hours. Instead, follow these two steps to keep your vehicle looking new in Myrtle Beach.
A Good Wash & Wax: Before the spring kicks in, make sure you have a good wash and wax and your finish is in the best shape possible. If you’re going to do the waxing yourself consider using your garage or other covered area. This will keep your vehicle cooler, and away from dust and debris that can easily get caught in your vehicles finish while you’re waxing.
Better yet, invest a bit of money to have a professional do the job. A good detail can cost upwards of $100, but will give you a professional look that is sure to impress.
From there, the pollen will often just blow right off when you drive, and if it doesn’t $5 and a quick drive through at a car wash will get you back to new in no time.
Lastly, one of the quickest ways to keep a car “looking” clean is keeping the tires shiny. Products like Meguiar’s Tire Shine or Black Magic are easy to spray on and will get your tires looking new. If you really need new tires, Turn Key Automotive can help there with our best prices on the top tire brands.
Interior Car Care
Pollen doesn’t stop at your exterior; it seems to infiltrate every square inch of your car here in Myrtle Beach. The solution, just like your exterior, a bit of preventative maintenance before spring can really help. While you are waxing your exterior, take sometime to condition your dashboard and seats. This will help make clean up a breeze later on. Then, one a week or so just wipe a clean damp cloth across your interior and you’re good to go. Better yet, Armor All interior wipes are an easy way to keep your interior looking beautiful.
Myrtle Beach can be tough on cars and if you are having any issues your team at Turn Key Automotive are here to help you with repairs both big and small. Can we help you, contact us today.