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.

How to Show Your Car’s Engine Some TLC

Show Your Engine some TLC with Remote Mechanic

While it might be what’s responsible for keeping your car on the road every day, the engine is vastly underappreciated by many car owners. Your car’s engine is the heart of the vehicle, and it’s incredibly expensive to repair or replace. How can you take excellent care of your car’s engine and save yourself money and hassle in the long run?

Regular Oil Changes

Your car’s engine is filled with countless intricate moving parts. As a result, all of those parts need to be properly lubricated for optimal function. As you drive and generate heat with your vehicle, the oil in your car will degrade and lose its ability to lubricate your engine. Carbon deposits, or sludge, will start forming inside, but if you have regular oil changes and take great care of your engine, you don’t need to worry about long-term damage. Not sure if you are due for an oil change? Mobile Auto Service can assess your car and quickly perform an oil change to keep things in tip-top shape.

Don’t Let It Overheat

The worst engine problems are typically caused by overheating. Overheating on a single occasion can lead to serious engine repairs or require outright replacement. If the coolant level is too low as a result of a leak, the engine can overheat in the aftermath. Failed water pumps, faulty radiator fans and thermostats can all also lead to an overheated engine. To take care of your car’s engine, you should always keep your coolant levels topped up and schedule service from Mobile Auto Service if your engine temperature is rising more than it typically does.

Change Your Air Filter

The engine air filter stops debris and dust from entering your car’s engine. If your current filter is clogged up, your car’s engine will not be able to adequately pull in new air, which leads to a lack of power when you are accelerating or passing other vehicles. Outdated and weathered air filters can actually break completely and allow dust and debris directly into the engine. Air filters should be replaced every 15,000-25,000 miles, or more frequently if you drive in dusty areas or on unpaved roads.  

Keep Your Car’s Engine 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.

4 Tips for Long-Distance Road Trips

Long-Distance Road Trip with Remote Mechanic

Are you headed on a road trip for the holidays or over the winter months? Before you pack your bags and load up the car, you should brush up on the best ways to stay safe on the road during long-distance road trips.

4 Tips for Long-Distance Road Trips

  1. Think about the pacing of your trip before you leave. The time to think about exhaustion isn’t when you’re struggling to stay awake, but before you’ve even left your driveway. A condition known as “highway hypnosis” is very common on long-distance road trips, particularly when driving on boring highways without much to look at. Even worse, over 60% of drivers indicate that they’ve driven while drowsy. Always take regular breaks on the road and trade off with a partner regularly. It’s better to stop for the night or take a nap instead of risking falling asleep at the wheel. 
  2. Don’t just think about fuel for your car! You should also think about fuel for your body. Carry bottled water and snacks with you on the road and don’t rely on fast food places to always be present. Small, filling snacks like carrots and almonds are great ways to get a boost of energy without making yourself uncomfortably full.
  3. If you know the route you’ll be taking in advance, you should plan out stops at regular intervals along the way. Getting out of the car to keep your circulation going is important to staying awake and staying healthy on long-distance road trips. In general, you should plan to stop every 2 hours to stretch your legs, take a bathroom break and fill up your car if needed.
  4. Adjust your car seat before you leave on a long-distance road trip. Your seat should be tilted so that you have maximum circulation and are sitting up straight. If you feel tension in your body or notice part of your body feeling particularly sore, you should adjust the seat height and incline to make you more comfortable.

Keep Your Car in Perfect Condition on Long-Distance Road Trips

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.

How to Drive in Extreme Road Conditions

Extreme Road Conditions with Remote Mechanic

Extreme road conditions are everywhere in the winter season, from snowy winter mornings to heavy holiday traffic clogging the highways. Preparing for extreme road conditions is essential to making it through the holidays safely, so now is the time to refresh your memory on what to do when you’re in a sticky situation.

Rain

  • Slow down! Wet roads slow your car’s reaction time, so you should always follow the speed limit when driving in the rain.
  • Turn on your headlights. Maryland requires all drivers using their windshield wipers to use their headlights when driving, so increase your visibility and the ability of other drivers to see your car by turning them on.
  • Keep more space between your car and the car in front of you.
  • Avoid heavy braking when it’s raining. Try to first slow your car by taking your foot off the gas earlier than you typically would.

Snow

  • Accelerate and decelerate your car slowly to avoid skidding and keep as much traction as possible. Always allow more time to stop at traffic lights and stop signs.
  • The recommended following distance of 3-4 seconds for driving on a dry road increases to 8-10 seconds in snowy conditions, so allow plenty of space between your car and others around you.
  • Don’t try to power your way up hilly roads. Putting your pedal to the metal on snowy roads will get your wheels spinning and leave you stuck.

Ice

  • High speeds on icy roads mean trouble stopping and a high chance your car will spin out of control. Never drive over 45 mph in any car when roads are icy. Black ice can surprise you in an instant.
  • If possible, avoid driving on icy roads entirely.
  • If you are fishtailing or sliding in your car, turn into the slide. Turn your car wheels in the direction that the back of your car is sliding. Be careful not to overcorrect.

Heavy Holiday Traffic 

  • Remove distractions from your car as much as possible. Even if it’s boring to stare at headlights, playing on your phone is a good way to rear-end someone.
  • Practice defensive driving, including looking out for cars with drivers who aren’t paying attention, signaling before turning or merging, putting space between you and other vehicles and always following the flow of traffic.

Keep Your Car in Great Condition Despite Extreme Road Conditions

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.

Our 9 Best Tips for Winter Driving

Tips for Driving in Winter with Remote Mechanic

Will you be hitting the road this winter? Now is the time to brush up on the best driving techniques for making it through the cold and snow.

Our Best Winter Driving Tips

  1. Never drive in the winter when you are feeling tired and fatigued, especially if there is precipitation coming down.
  2. Don’t warm up your car in an enclosed space, like a garage, and check the tailpipe to make sure it is clear from snow.
  3. Always keep your gas tank at least 50% full to prevent your fuel lines from freezing.
  4. If you’re headed on a long-distance trip, check weather reports on your drive. If there will be severe weather on the way, try to plan your route to avoid it, or plan on stopping at a hotel for the night on the way.
  5. Have your car inspected before you head on a road trip to make sure that everything is in good working order. Mobile Auto Service can visit you at home or at work to give your car a preventative maintenance check-up and make sure you’ll be safe on the road.
  6. If you do get stranded in the snow, you should stay inside your car. It will give you some shelter and make it easier for anyone stopping to help or Mobile Auto Service to find your car. You should also make sure that you keep an emergency kit in the trunk or back seat of your car in case this happens. It should contain blankets, gloves, hats, scarves, non-perishable food, water and any medication that you need.

Our Best Snow Driving Tips

  1. Always accelerate and decelerate slowly. Never try to speed or rapidly move in the snow, because it takes much longer to slow down on icy and snow-filled roads.
  2. Know how your car’s brakes work. If you have antilock brakes, you should be braking differently than if you do not. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor when braking and apply steady, firm pressure. If your antilock brakes kick on, continue driving and do not pump the pedal.

If you are heading up a hill, don’t try to power up it or your wheels will spin. Use inertia to carry your car to the top. Once you get to the top of a hill, slow your speed and go down the other side as slowly as you can.

Call Us if You’re Stranded this Winter

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency, dealing with a car that won’t start or looking for regular preventative 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 You Should Do When Your Car Won’t Start

Your Car Won’t Start, Call Remote Mechanic

Cold weather is here, which means that countless drivers are heading downstairs in the morning only to sit in a car that won’t start! If your car won’t start this winter, here is what you need to do to get yourself back on the road as quickly as possible.

If You Turn the Key, But Nothing Happens

If you turn the key and the engine won’t crank at all, you might hear either total silence or a persistent clicking sound. These are signs that your battery might be dead. First, you should try to turn on the headlights of your car. If the lights are dim, your battery connections might be weak, or the battery might be totally dead. Try tightening and cleaning the battery connections and see if that does the trick. If not, give your car a jump and call Mobile Auto Service for a new battery.

If Your Car Cranks, But Won’t Start

If the starter is turning, but your car won’t start, the issue could be any one of a number of things. A frozen fuel line is very common in the cold winter months. If you keep your fuel tank less than half full and water is in the fuel line, the water will freeze and stop your car from starting. If you have been driving lately in wet weather or a lot of snow, wet engine components or spark plugs can also prevent your vehicle from starting. You shouldn’t try to fix these problems on your own. Instead, you should give a call to Mobile Auto Service. We can quickly diagnose the exact problem and make the necessary repairs to get you on the road again.

If You Hear a Soft Click

If you hear a quiet click, cycling the key around might help to get your car started. Turn your car key from the off position to the start position about 10 times. Give your car a few minutes of a break, and then start the engine again. Try this cycling technique a couple of times in a row to see if your car starts.

Call Us When Your Car Won’t Start!

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency, dealing with a car that won’t start or looking for regular preventative 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 Signs You’re Working with an Honest Mechanic

Honest Mechanic with Mobile Auto Service

Your car is broken, and you’re in a new town. What do you do? One of the biggest concerns many car owners have in that situation is finding an honest mechanic. Nobody wants to spend more than they need to, or take their car in only to find out that the problem wasn’t even fixed. What are the signs that you’re working with an honest mechanic?

They’re Willing to Explain

It isn’t always easy to do this before repairs are made, but when a mechanic calls and suggests repairs, they should be willing to explain exactly what needs to be done. It’s easy for skilled mechanics to explain using more technical terms than necessary, but if your mechanic cannot or is unwilling to break things down into easier terms, it’s a sign that they might be under-trained, inept or unprepared to work on your car.

They’re Honest

It sounds silly, but an honest mechanic should be honest. That means that, if they might not be the most qualified to make a repair or suggest a solution, they’ll admit it. Think of finding the right mechanic like finding the right dentist. A general dentist is great at preventative maintenance and minor repairs, like fillings. However, if you need a dental implant or root canal, you would go to a specialist. The same is true for mechanics.

They Have the Right Tools of the Job

Every mechanic isn’t good at working on every type of vehicle, and the more manufacturer-specific tools that a mechanic has on hand, the more likely they are to be able to work on your car with a high skill level. You should also look for additional “tools” of the trade, including ASE certifications, other training certifications, and iATN and ASA memberships.

They Won’t Recommend Pointless Things

If the first recommendations out of the mouth of your new mechanic are that you should get a coolant flush and power steering flush, you should be cautious. Repairs that aren’t necessary are sometimes ways for less skilled repair shops to make a quick buck. If you aren’t sure if what was suggested is actually required, check your records and see the last time the service was performed.

Look No Further for an Honest Mechanic

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.

3 Benefits of Choosing a Mobile Auto Mechanic

Mobile Auto Mechanic Benefits with Remote Mechanic

Nobody enjoys scheduling an appointment for an auto repair service, or having to leave the house to get basic maintenance performed. There has to be an easier way, right? There is! Mobile auto mechanic services are a flexible and affordable way to get the service that you need without needing to go to a traditional shop.

Competitive Rates

Some people mistakenly assume that they will pay a premium for the convenience that mobile auto mechanic services offer. However, in most cases, rates are just as competitive, since the owners of a mobile repair service do not need to spend a great deal to rent and maintain a traditional fixed garage. When you hire Mobile Auto Service, you can rest assured that you are getting the best service and the best price every time.

Honest Up-Front Costs 

Since repairs from a mobile auto mechanic service will be completed at your home or your office while you are doing more important things, you will benefit from honest up-front rates before work is performed. Many traditional repair facilities take a long time to determine what the problem is, suggest repairs and then hit you with a surprising bill at the end. Mobile Auto Service knows how important honesty is, so we always give you an idea of what costs you’ll incur up front, so you know what to expect.

Convenience

You’ll never need to worry about driving to the repair shop again if the repair shop is wherever your car is parked! We bring repair and maintenance services to you, so you can have your car serviced as quickly and easily as possible. You don’t need to settle for repair shop waiting room coffee, because we work around your schedule, not the other way around.

You also can get back to work or play when you use a mobile auto mechanic, as any parking lot or driveway will work perfectly fine for making necessary repairs. Instead of sacrificing a workday to have your pre-road-trip maintenance performed, you can have a normal workday while we take care of your car.

Enjoy the Convenience of Mobile Auto Mechanic Services

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.

Preparing for a Roadside Emergency

Roadside Emergency with Mobile Auto Service

While no driver wants to experience a roadside emergency, preparation is key to making sure that you are prepared when the time inevitably comes. Whether it’s a flat tire late at night or smoke pouring out from the hood of your car on a hot summer day, here is what you need to know to prepare for a roadside emergency.

Create an Emergency Kit

First, you should pack an emergency kit filled with (at minimum) everything listed below:

  • Jumper Cables: These should always be in your car in case your battery dies and you need a jump. Batteries can have trouble in periods of extreme heat or cold, and having jumper cables on you will make it much easier to get a jump.
  • Flashlight: Breakdowns can happen anywhere and at any time of day, so you should always have a flashlight handy.
  • First Aid Kit: While we hope you are never injured during a roadside emergency, having a first aid kit in your car is always a good idea.
  • Everything Needed to Put on Your Spare Tire: This can include a jack, lug wrench and the spare tire itself. You should make sure that your car has all of these inside and that they all work properly.
  • Blanket: If your roadside emergency happens in winter, things can get cold pretty quickly. A blanket can be used to keep you and passengers warm.
  • Reflectors or Flares: One of the biggest hazards of a roadside emergency is being invisible to other cars. Flares and reflectors can help other motorists take notice of you and steer clear of your car (or help you out!).
  • Tools: You never know when you’ll need a wrench or screwdriver on the road. Always carry a basic tool kit in the trunk that can help you out of a sticky spot quickly.
  • Extra Fluids: It’s also a good practice to carry around a little extra of the fluids that your car needs to run properly, like antifreeze, oil and windshield wiper fluid. It’s always better to be prepared than to run out and not be able to find a gas station nearby.
  • Winter Supplies: Especially if you drive in Maryland or the northern half of the United States, you should be prepared for winter in your car. A shovel, hat and mittens and a bag of kitty litter or sand should all be stashed in your trunk. You can also use tire chains during a snowstorm to help with traction.

Know Who to Call During a Roadside Emergency

Mobile Auto Service is there for you anytime you need us. Whether you’re in the middle of a roadside emergency or looking for preventative 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.