Author Archives: chandy2014

Coolant Light On? Could Be A Small Leak

If your coolant light goes on, there is no need to panic. Many times these lights go on when there is just a small leak present. The cooling system has many hoses with clamps and these clamps often get loose over time, especially given how many vibrations the engine chassis takes while running and going along the road.

To test for small leaks, we will run a test where we pressurize your cooling system, get the engine running good and hot and then let it sit overnight over a clean mat or space of flooring. In the morning, as the system cooled, we will see where the small leaks are located by what is on the floor when we arrive.

IF your coolant light is on, be sure to make an appointment to come in and see us to determine the cause. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

Why Is My Gas Mileage Getting Worse?

As our cars get older, our gas mileage tends to get worse. Much like the way our computers tend to take longer to start up the older they get. Our computers may have fragmented hard drives, but our cars almost certainly have diminished compression. Over time the compression power of our engine’s cylinders diminish due to extended use. They literally no longer pack the punch they once had. This is something that is normal and there isn’t much you can do about it other than get a new engine.

Other causes of worsening gas mileage are things like bad thermostats. If the thermostats are stuck open, then the engine never gets up to full operating temperature and that will affect gas mileage performance. This is something we can easily fix for you.

Among the more expensive reasons why you are losing gas mileage can be a partially or completely plugged catalytic converter. This device also plays a role in getting you to pass inspection in many states. We can help you determine if yours is functioning adequately.

If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

Can You Find Parts At A Junkyard?

Not only can you find parts at a junkyard, but your mechanic (us) can too! This can lead to significant savings over purchasing a new part. This is especially true if you are looking for a part for a much older vehicle when the cost of a new replacement part may not be justified.

Any decent junkyard today will have a computerized inventory of the vehicles and parts that they have on their lot. This makes it much easier to call and check to see if the part you are looking for is available used. Yes, there may be some wear and the part will probably not last as long as a brand new one, but you can get lucky and get a part from a virtually new car that was wrecked yet had their steering column intact. If you are looking for parts for your vehicle, come in and see us for the best price and selection.

If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

Why Do We Need Oil Changes?

Although the quality of motor oil has greatly improved and synthetic motor oil can usually last an entire year for the average driver, we are all told that we need to have our oil changed regularly. In the old days it was once every 3,000 miles. Now, those of us who use synthetic oil can go up to 10,000 miles between oil changes. So, the question is: Why do we need to change the oil?

The reason for this is that in the heat of the engine, with the oil molecules rubbing against each other thousands of times a minute, the structure of those molecules breaks down. This means that they don’t do as good of a job protecting your engine as they did before and they need to be replaced, hence the need for an oil change.

If your oil needs changing, or you are not sure if it’s time to have an oil change, come in and see us! If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

Parking and the City

There are some things that you just can’t make up. One is the reported cost of purchasing a parking space in a new luxury condo building down in New York City. OK. So, the cheapest condo in the building will go for a cool million. You want a parking space with that? It will cost you an additional – get ready – $550,000! That’s right! Just over half the amount you paid for your condo!

Whenever we think of parking being bad here in Burlington, think of what others have to deal with. And speaking of parking, your parking brake is vital to your safety, especially if you park on steep hills. It is also something that must pass inspection every year, so if you notice that it’s not holding like you think it should, bring your car in and let us have a look at your parking brake and all your brakes. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

My Neighbor Is Offering Me A Really Nice OLD Car, Should I Buy It?

It’s immaculately maintained, you’ve seen it for years, interior is show room condition and you know he just had the brakes done. A wonderful 20 year old Lincoln. It could be yours for about two grand. Should you buy it?

If you look at it on the surface it seems like a good deal. But, honestly, it is a twenty-year old car and even if hundreds of parts have been replaced, thousands more have not! Whenever you buy a car that old, you are almost certainly going to hit a major repair at least once a year. Given how low monthly car payments and lease payments are nowadays, being hit with a $1,500 repair bill could be almost a year’s worth of payments.

If your heart is set on an older car, bring it in and let us have a look at it, we will assess its condition and let you know what it may need. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

Some Additional Winter Driving Tips

Here are some tips for winter driving that you may not have heard of!

Windshield Scraping – If you have one of those inexpensive ice scrapers, you may want to let your car warm up before you use it. They can actually scratch your windshield. Let your car warm up so the ice loosens, then scrape away!

Snow Tires – We all know to be extra careful when driving in winter conditions, but having a set of snow tires really can make the difference between a safe ride and a wreck. In fact, our neighbor to the north, Quebec, has made it mandatory to use snow tires. Good advice!

Heated Seats – If you are thinking about purchasing a new car, see if you can find one that has heated seats. They will actually warm you up much quicker than the car heater will.

Winter Floor Mats – The mats that come with your car are not meant to stand up to the salt and sand that many of us experience during the winter months. If you stop by we can help you get sturdy winter mats that you can use throughout the winter, keeping your original mats in good condition.

If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

The Dutch Have A Way For Cyclists And Drivers To Be Safe Together

In Holland the drivers there practice a technique of opening their car doors in such a way that it virtually guarantees a cyclist will not be hit by a parked car’s door. The technique is called the “Dutch Reach.” What it is, is that when a driver of a parked car opens his or her door, they use the arm farthest from the door to open the door. Basically, the move forces you to turn and see the road just behind your vehicle so you can identify if any bicyclists are passing by you. Voila! No more doors opening into passing cyclists.

To make sure your car doors and windows are in good working order for the upcoming spring, come in and give us a visit. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

My Older Car’s Airbag Light Won’t Go Off

So you have a wonderful old Japanese car that’s been running great forever, and is still running great. However, you’ve noticed recently that the airbag light doesn’t go off like it used to when you started the car. In fact sometimes it stays on for the entire trip. It’s just the car getting older, right? No worries!

Actually, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. No matter how old or new your airbag system is, it is designed to test itself every time the car is turned on. That’s why you see the airbag light briefly light. If it doesn’t go off then something is indeed wrong with the system and one or more of your airbags may not work. It is definitely something you want to get checked out. Bring your vehicle in and we will run a full check on it and help you get all of your safety features working on all cylinders.

If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!

In Praise Of The Entry Level Car

Given the low gas prices that we have been experiences, most people are buying things like light trucks (62% of sales last year!) and SUVs. Unless there is some sort of energy crisis, things are likely to stay this way.

However, if you look at entry level cars, there’s a lot to be said for them. They are incredibly reliable, offer great gas mileage, have wonderful safety features offer a lot more space than those 80s predecessors, and, perhaps most of all, they are really inexpensive! Usually coming in around 15k with an automatic transmission.

So, if you want a really good ride that won’t cost you a lot or take your wallet at the tank, take a good look at entry level cars. Spend that extra cash on a trip to see your favorite ice hockey team! If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for all your auto repair needs!