How to Troubleshoot an Air Conditioning Problem in Your Car

Summer is here, and many drivers are turning on their air conditioner for the first time only to find lukewarm air blowing back at them. Having an air conditioning problem in your vehicle is annoying, to say the least, but there are many ways to troubleshoot the problem and pinpoint exactly what is going wrong. What are the best ways to troubleshoot an air conditioning problem in your car?

Finding Your Air Conditioning Problem

First, start your car and kick on the air conditioner to the highest setting. Feel the air and see if it is warm, cool or cold. If the air is warm or cool, but not as icy-cold as you would associate with an air conditioner, you could be having a problem with air flow. Replacing the air filter could be a quick fix to this issue. A lack of coldness can also be caused by a failed hose or component, damaged evaporator, vacuum leak, failed switch or fuse, Freon leak or failed blower motor. We can pinpoint the exact cause and develop the right solution.

Check the Compressor

Is your air conditioning compressor running? If the compressor is not working correctly, that could be the source of your air conditioning problem. Mobile Auto Service can check the compressor to see if the clutch is engaging properly. If the clutch fails to engage, the compressor might need to be replaced or refilled with refrigerant. We will also check the wiring that leads to the compressor. In some cases, the wiring is damaged or in need of replacement for the air conditioning problem to be resolved.

Look for Leaks

Did you know that your air conditioning system can leak? Mobile Auto Service can use a special leak detection technique to find any flaws in your system. Using a special dye, we can identify cracks or pinholes that are virtually invisible to the naked eye. Once we find the leak, we can repair the area and restore your AC system to good condition. If there are not leaks, we can also continue troubleshooting.

Solve Your Air Conditioning Problem with Mobile Auto Service

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.

The Basics of DOT Inspections in Maryland

DOT inspections are an essential part of “keepin’ on truckin’” in Maryland, and many truck drivers and vehicle operators are required to have them on a regular basis thanks to a Maryland law passed last year. While requirements were more narrow in the past, now every vehicle with a combined weight over 10,000 lbs. must have a DOT inspection completed. What are the basics of DOT inspections in Maryland?

What Is a Commercial Vehicle?

Commercial vehicles, even if they are contractor vehicles and not trucks, must have a DOT number and physical card and receive DOT inspections. What counts as a commercial vehicle in Maryland? A vehicle that is operated in interstate commerce to move property or passengers when the car:

  1. Has a gross combined weight rating or gross vehicle weight rating, or a gross combined weight or gross vehicle weight of 10,0001 lbs. or more.
  2. Is designed or used to transport 8 or more passengers (including the driver) for pay.
  3. Is designed or used to transport 15 or more passengers (including the driver) without compensation.
  4. Is used to transport hazardous materials in a quantity that requires a placard.

How Do DOT Inspections Work?

Maryland has a Preventative Maintenance Program (PM Program) that requires all commercial vehicles are regularly inspected, repaired and maintained every 25,000 miles or 12 months. Mobile Auto Service is here to help! The state of Maryland outlines the exact standards of maintenance, and we understand how to complete them and fill all of the necessary paperwork. Some of the elements of the inspection include:

  • Alignment
  • Suspension
  • Steering
  • Mirrors
  • Glazing
  • Brake and Clutch Pedal
  • Tanks and Pressure Valves
  • Horn
  • Windshield Wipers

We are happy to help you maintain your truck or commercial vehicle and keep it in excellent condition. We can perform a broad range of maintenance to prepare you for DOT inspections for Maryland vehicles, including:

  • The North American Standard Inspection, which looks at basic documents, the seatbelt, exhaust system, steering wheel, rims, wheels, headlights, taillights and fuel system
  • The Walk-Around Inspection that also checks underneath the vehicle
  • The Driver-Only Inspection that examines the operator’s license, daily log and medical certifications

Get Ready for DOT Inspections with Mobile Auto Service

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.

6 Signs That You Need New Tires

When was the last time you put new tires on your vehicle? If you’re like many drivers, until you get a flat tire or end up hydroplaning on the highway, thinking about purchasing new tires is not at the top of the list of your vehicular priorities! However, there are many small signs that indicate it’s time for new wheels to keep your car and passengers safe while you’re driving.

6 Signs That You Need New Tires

  1. Bald Tires: The most glaring sign that you need to replace your tires is tires that are obviously bald. Bald tires are more likely to fail in any conditions, but especially in rainy, snowy or icy conditions. Without tread, your tires cannot properly brake, turn corners and drive safely.
  2. Cracks or Gouges in the Sidewalls: Any damaged tire is unsafe to drive on, so if the sidewalls on your tires are cracked or have gouges in them, you should invest in new tires. Poor wheel alignment can contribute to this problem, so make sure that you have your tires aligned whenever you go in for vehicle maintenance.
  3. Shaking: Is your car shaking when you drive? While poor-quality roads might be the culprit, poor tire quality, bad tire alignment and balance issues are also common problems.
  4. Out of Warranty: Most tires come with a manufacturer’s tread wear warranty that ensures them to last for a certain amount of time or a certain number of miles. Once your tires are out of warranty, you should strongly consider having them checked and think about buying new tires that will be under warranty.
  5. Spare Tire: Have you been treating a spare tire like it is a normal tire? If you are relying on your spare tire, you need to replace it with a regular tire that is built for regular usage. Spare tires are only designed for temporary use, so you will have less traction, less cornering ability and a poorer driving experience.
  6. Cords: Can you see the cords through the rubber on your current tires? That means that your tires are not safe for use while driving, and you are putting yourself at an increased risk of a blowout or flat.

Tire Rotation and Balancing from the Pros

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.

The Benefits of Tire Rotation

While most drivers understand that tire rotation should be performed on a regular basis, very few understand why it is actually important. Is tire rotation just one more thing that’s bundled into your car’s maintenance, or does it actually serve an essential purpose for your car’s health and well-being?

What Is Tire Rotation?

Tire rotation carefully repositions your car’s tires every 5,000 miles or as recommended by your tire or vehicle manufacturer. Most drivers choose to have their tires rotated and balanced whenever they are getting their oil changed. Tire rotation is an opportunity to also ensure that your wheels are in good condition, check air pressure, have them rebalanced and examine tread depth.  

The Benefits of Tire Rotation

  • Even Wear: Your tires can get uneven wear when they are not rotated often enough. The tires on the front of your car wear differently than the tires on the back of your car, so there is no way, without rotation, to ensure that all four are aging and wearing in the same fashion.
  • Safety: Any car that has properly rotated and balanced tires handles much better, which in turn makes it safer and smoother. Cars with uneven tires or poorly balanced tires will have a bumpy ride.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Tire rotation saves you money in the short and long term! Tires last much longer when you rotate them regularly for even wear. Long-lasting tires always save you money. Rotation can also save you money by catching tire problems before it means missing work, school or an event due to a flat tire (and paying for a new one and roadside assistance!).
  • Decreased Noise: Tires with an uneven tread will make for a louder ride. If you notice your wheel vibrating or your car sounding louder than normal on the road, there’s a chance that having your tires rotated will instantly decrease the noise and make your ride smoother and more pleasant.   
  • All Wheel Drive Benefits: Finally, if your car has all wheel drive, evenly-worn tires are ideal for reducing stress on your drivetrain and reducing overall wear on your car.

Tire Rotation and Balancing from the Pros

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.

What Car Fluids Should You Have Checked Regularly?

When your car is running properly, accelerating smoothly and a pleasure to drive, how much thought do you put into the car fluids that make all of those things happen? If you’re like most drivers, the answer is “not much!” However, the car fluids under your hood are vital to keeping your vehicle in excellent condition and your car on the road. What vehicle fluids should every driver have checked on a regular basis?

The Car Fluids You Should Have Checked Regularly

  1. Engine Oil: Your oil is one of the most important things in your car, and it should be changed every 5,000 miles or in accordance with the recommendations in your owner’s manual. Before you check the oil levels in your car, you should always turn it completely off and wait at least 10 minutes for everything to cool down. The oil dipstick is typically near the front of the engine. Pull it out and wipe it with a clean rag. Then, put it back in and pull it out again. The oil level should be somewhere between the FULL and LOW markings.
  2. Transmission Fluid: If you don’t have a dipstick, like many newer cars, you will need to call Mobile Auto Service for a check-up. If you do have a dipstick, keep your car running and leave it in park. Complete the same routine as you did to check your engine oil. Pay attention to the level and color of the fluid, which should be pink, red or light brown. Transmission fluid should be replaced every 30,000-60,000 miles.
  3. Coolant: Your car should be off and cool to the touch before you check the coolant. This tank is typically translucent, and you should be able to tell by glancing at the markings on the side whether or not the levels are low.
  4. Wiper Fluid: Turn off your car and let it cool down before checking this car fluid. If the container is translucent, you should be able to quickly identify whether or not you need more windshield wiper fluid added.
  5. Brake Fluid: This fluid requires a mechanic to check, and we can quickly locate your master cylinder reservoir and check whether or not brake fluid levels are low. Brake fluid should always be changed about every 45,000 miles.

Check Your Car Fluids with Mobile Auto Service

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.

Should You Choose All-Season or Summer Tires?

Now is the time to take your winter tires off of your car and replace them with something else. However, what should you replace them with? Summer tires are a great option, but all-season tires can also be appropriate. In this blog, we’ll be reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of each type of tire so you can make an informed decision. 

All-Season Tires

All-season tires are designed to offer you a great balance of features for the entire year. On top of providing good performance in dry and wet conditions, these tires can also give you traction during snowy weather. All-season tires are typically manufactured with moderate tread depth and rubber that is made to offer greater tread life than summer tires. You can purchase all-season tires for a number of vehicles, load capacities and speed ratings easily.

All-season tires will perform well in hot weather, but they often provide less traction than summer tires, so you might notice a difference when cornering, steering or braking. Just like they aren’t perfect for summer driving, they also aren’t ideal for driving in severe weather conditions during the winter. If you live in a mild climate and don’t drive in extreme weather often, all-season tires are just fine.

Summer Tires

Summer tires are great for high-performance vehicles and are designed with agility and speed in mind. Due to unique tread patterns and rubber, they provide the driver with excellent precision on the road and place as much rubber on the road as possible. The treads are also made to stay as flexible as possible, which promotes a high level of traction and grip. They are also excellent for driving in both wet and dry conditions on any sport utility or high-performance vehicles. The tread patterns are well-suited to preventing hydroplaning and evacuating water from the tire surface.

When you’re struggling to choose the right tire for the vehicle and manner in which you drive, you can always trust Mobile Auto Service to help. We have access to a broad range of tires designed to meet your manufacturer’s speed rating, size guidelines, load capacity and more.

Get New Summer Tires from Mobile Auto Service

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.

The Dangers of Cheap Brake Jobs

While cheap brake jobs might seem inexpensive up front, their cost over time can be insurmountable. From a dangerous accident caused by cheap aftermarket parts to permanent damage to your car as a result of bad brakes, here’s what every driver needs to know about the dangers of cheap brake jobs.

You Get What You Pay For

If you pay for cheap brake jobs, you are paying for lower-quality or less labor and lower-quality products. Of course, there are inexpensive brake pads on the market, but they have a radically lower lifespan, a poorer safety rating and lower driver satisfaction. In general, it can take almost 0.9 hours just to replace brake pads, and an additional 0.2-0.4 hours to replace rotors. If a brake job is suspiciously inexpensive, it might also mean the person completing it is inexperienced, rushing or both.

Quality=Safety

This comparison might seem odd, but think of purchasing brakes like purchasing medicine for a cold. When you are buying a drug, you are not just paying for the cost of making, packaging and advertising the medicine. Instead, you are also paying for all of the research and development that went into the cold medicine. The same exact thing is true for brake pads. The most reputable manufacturers spend a great deal of time and money developing effective brake pads for different vehicles. From simulation testing to on-vehicle testing in a controlled environment, hundreds of hours go into the development of a single type of quality brake pad.

Permanent Damage to Your Car

Cheap brake jobs can also lead to serious damage to other parts of your car, including:

  • Brake Rotors: Brake rotors are the first thing to be damaged once your brake pads wear down. The rotors can get warped, cracked or ground down over time and need to be replaced.
  • Calipers: Calipers are critical parts of your brake system. Once the pads wear down, there is no barrier between the calipers and rotors, so the two parts will grind against each other and cause severe damage to both parts.
  • Suspension: The suspension system helps your ride to feel smooth even when you are driving on a bumpy road. Cheap brake jobs can throw off the suspension system and make your car out of alignment, which can do damage to the entire vehicle.

Never Settle for Cheap Brake Jobs

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.

The Hidden Problems Caused By Rear-End Collisions

Rear End Collision with Remote Mechanic

While every type of accident can cause a certain amount of damage, rear-end collisions are particularly dangerous. Because these accidents are often minor and untreated by drivers, the damage done below the surface can go undiscovered until it is too late. What do you need to know about the hidden problems caused by rear-end collisions?

Trunk Problems

Many trunk glitches can occur in the period after a rear-end collision. Some of the most common issues include:

  • The trunk popping open when you did not press the button, which can be very dangerous on a highway or while driving
  • A trunk that will not stay locked, which renders it useless and puts your car at risk when parked
  • Water seeping into the trunk after the moisture seal was damaged
  • Trouble opening the trunk

Wheel Issues

A rear-end collision can lead to alignment issues with your vehicle, including:

  • Your car driving unevenly on the road, which can be troublesome when making turns or driving on winding roads
  • A steering wheel that feels wobbly
  • Strange vibrations coming through the steering wheel, which can lead to discomfort and trouble driving
  • Premature wear on the tires
  • Uneven wear on tires, which can cause you to need replacement tires long before they are completely worn

Electrical Trouble

Even a minor, low-impact rear-end collision can compromise some of the electrical systems in your car. Loose or damaged wire connections can lead to:

  • Non-working or inconsistent speakers
  • Brake lights and tail lights that do not work
  • A dead battery

Frame Issues

The bumpers on your car are made of plastic. Whenever your bumper is cracked or dented, the impact of the collision might have reached the frame of your car. Even small accidents can bend a frame slightly, and slight frame damage can mean serious and costly repairs. Unaddressed frame problems can lead to warning system sensor issues, less frame strength and more damage if another collision happens in the future.

Never Take a Chance After a Rear-End Collision

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.

4 Bad Stick Shift Driving Habits

Bad Stick Shift Driving Habits with Remote Mechanic

When you drive a car with a stick shift or a manual transmission, there are several bad habits that can do real damage to your car. Your transmission might not be something you think about very often, but replacing it is costly and labor-intensive. Here are the bad stick shift driving habits every manual transmission car driver needs to avoid.

4 Bad Stick Shift Driving Habits

  1. Resting Your Hand on the Shifter: Whenever you shift gears in your car, the selector fork is pushed against a rotating collar. The collar engages with whichever gear you chose. When you use your shifter as a hand rest, the extra weight can force the fork to remain in contact with the collar for an extended period of time, which causes unnecessary wear to both parts. Keep your hands on the wheel and avoid constantly touching the shifter.
  2. Riding the Clutch: Whenever you press down on the clutch, it will disengage to let you shift gears. When you let your foot off, it will re-engage the clutch. If you leave your foot on the pedal after you switch gears, which is called riding the clutch, it will make the disc slip and will stop it from engaging fully. Force yourself to keep your feet away from the clutch pedal whenever you are not utilizing it.
  3. Leaving Your Car in Gear at Red Lights: Your car’s clutch is made to engage and disengage rapidly, but not to be constantly disengaged. If you keep your car in gear while at red lights and stopped, you are forcing the bearings to remain pressed against the springs and diaphragm, which does damage similar to when you ride the clutch.
  4. Slamming into Gears and then Popping the Clutch: Some drivers have the bad stick shift habit of slamming into each gear and then popping the clutch. This leads to premature wear on the shifter forks, clutch and synchronizers. Additionally, this is pretty uncomfortable for your passengers. It leads to a jerky ride that is anything but smooth. Instead, practice shifting smoothly from gear to gear—it will get you there just as quickly!

Protect Your Stick Shift and Manual Transmission

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.

The Dangers of Worn and Old Tires

Replace Old Tires with Remote Mechanic

You’re probably aware that flat tires or poorly inflated tires are a danger on the road, but did you realize that worn and old tires can be just as dangerous? While the risks might not present themselves immediately, old tires are a hazard to your vehicle, you and other motorists on the road.

How Do Tires Age?

Think of tires like a rubber band. Old rubber bands that have been used for a long time, exposed to the elements or stretched too much will start to show cracks when you stretch them. In a similar fashion, the tires on your car face a number of harsh road conditions that lead to cracks you can’t necessarily see. Over time, the cracking on the inside of the tires will cause the steel treads to separate from the rubber parts of the tire.

How Long Can You Drive Your Tires?

Depending on what tires you buy and how you drive, your tire lifespan will change. Many automobile manufacturers suggest that you replace your tires every 6 years, but some tire manufacturers suggest replacement every 10 years. In general, the more that you drive your car and the harsher the road conditions are, the more frequently you will need to replace your tires.

What factors affect the longevity of your tires?

  • Heat: Tires age faster in warmer climates where cars have exposure to coastal climates and sunlight.
  • Conditions: How do you treat your tires? Are they properly inflated? Underinflated tires will have more wear and tear. Driving habits will also negatively impact tires, and things like hitting the curb often or past repairs for a puncture will lead to a shorter lifespan.

Why Are Old Tires Dangerous?

  • Increased Hydroplaning Risk: As your tire tread wears away, the grooves will become shallower and less above to keep water away from the tire. Bald tires will hydroplane on roads that are only slightly wet.
  • Heat Buildup: Driving makes friction between the road and tires, which also makes heat. Treads help tires to cool and prevent blowouts. Without tread, heat levels will rise.
  • Poor Handling in Weather: Driving on a road that is covered in ice or snow is dangerous enough with good tires, and old tires can make for a disastrous situation.

Keep Your Car’s Tires in Excellent Shape

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for seasonal maintenance, you should always have our number handy. Use Mobile Auto Service to fulfill any variety of your auto repair and maintenance needs. To schedule your affordable and honest service today, contact us for a free quote at 443-424-0131.