Author Archives: chandy2014

Ultra-Smooth Rides Coming To A Car Near You

In addition to the developments in self-driving cars, another ground breaking development has been made. The digital chassis! This is an amazing invention. The company ClearMotion, founded by MIT grads, has developed a digital suspension. It is so finely tuned and adjusted that you can literally put champagne glasses on your hood and they won’t spill or topple when going down the road in a car with one of these suspensions.

Within two years you should be able to purchase a car with this technology. Imagine going 200 mph (don’t try this at home!) and feeling like you are not moving at all? Amazing! Of course, if your good old standard suspension is not working and you are feeling the bumps in the road, 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!

Right Now, Fully Self-Driving Electric Cars Are A Drain!

We are all aware that the future of driving seems to be not driving at all. Electric, self-driving cars appear to be what we are all destined to be behind the wheel of in the future. Those in the know have one item on their minds regarding these self-driving entities: They use a lot of power! If you calculate the kilowatts it currently takes for a car to do all the tasks a human does, you end up with a usage of 2-4 kilowatts. That’s like running 50-100 laptops in the trunk!

So, of course, your concern is that your car will run out of charge and leave you stranded. Not to worry! Until efficiency catches up, more self-drivers will probably be hybrids, virtually guaranteeing that your ride will not suddenly stop on you. If you are concerned about your current ride stopping on you for any reason, 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!

Slowing Drivers Down With A 3-D Crosswalk

A small fishing village in Iceland has literally taken to the streets in an attempt to get drivers to slow down for pedestrians in crosswalks. Recently, the village of Ísafjörður had their crosswalks painted in such a way that it creates an optical illusion. Drivers see a 3-D crosswalk in their way. The optical illusion naturally causes a driver to slow down on their approach to the crosswalk. This inventive idea seems to be pretty effective. Of course, the big question is, how long will this be effective before drivers realize it’s just an illusion?

If you have any questions about your car’s ability to drive over crosswalks (or anything for that matter) 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!

Winter is Coming, Should I Idle My Car to Warm it Up?

This is a hotly debated topic among car enthusiasts and mechanics alike. The perennial question – should I idle my car on those cold winter mornings to warm it up? The answer has two parts. The first is “within reason,” and the second is “it’s up to you.”

In the old days you could actually harm your car by idling it too much. When there were carburetors and chokes you could send too much gas into cold-star cylinders and the excess gas could leak through the cylinders into the oil. Nowadays everything fuel-related in cars is computer controlled so you don’t have to worry about getting gas and oil mixed.

Basically, it comes down to whether or not you want your car warmed up INSIDE before you get into it in the winter. You don’t need to warm up cars to drive them but you may like the interior warm before you open the door to take the wheel. The only downside? You do contribute a little more to pollution whenever you idle your car for any reason. 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!

What is a Heat Shield?

A heat shield is a component of your car that wraps around your muffler and protects your car and the environment from the 400+ degree heat your muffler attains when your car is running after, say, 30 minutes on the highway. Many times this shield can rust or break off. Some people think its not that big of a deal and just go on driving their vehicle anyway without its heat shield.

We cannot agree with this practice. The heat shield is there for a reason. It protects the environment. For example, lets say you pull to the side of the road or park in a field, you could easily set fire to dry grass with a muffler that hot. It also protects the contents of your trunk, which could ignite or spoil under such intense heat.

If you hear a rumbling in the back of your vehicle, it could be your heat shield. Actually, if you hear a rumbling period in the back of your vehicle, come in and have us check it out. We want to keep you safe! 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!

No Leaks and Just Had Brakes Done. Why Don’t They Work?

This can be a mystery to people. And a frustrating one. You’ve just spend a couple of hundred bucks to have your brakes replaced and BOOM! You step on the brake pedal and it goes all the way to the floor, nothing stops! This is certainly a great cause for concern and something that you need to resolve immediately.

What could it be, you ask? Well, odds are it is something called your Master Cylinder. This is a component in your car that pushes the hydraulic fluid to your brakes when you depress the pedal. It contains a piston the increases the pressure in your brake lines and causes the brakes to clamp down on the rotors, slowing the car. Sometimes that piston fails, and needs to be replaced.

If you notice that your brakes are not working properly, or they are squeaking and squawking, come in and see us for a safety inspection. 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!

Green Car Solutions in The Netherlands

When you think of Holland, you usually think of blue-tinged china or tulips perhaps. Nowadays they are on the cutting edge of Green having become a top startup country. What is the most recent start up trend in Holland? Green Transportation!

This tiny European country is hitting it big in the Green auto business. Already at universities in Holland there is the WePod, which is a self-driving shuttle ideal for taking students around campus. And it’s smart, they put a dummy skateboarder in its path and it stopped on a dime being equipped with many radars and cameras.

In addition to public transportation solutions, Holland is also developing electric cars. They have two firms, Amber Mobility and Lightyear One, which are working on 250 mile range electric cars. Regardless of the car you own, come in and have it checked out for the upcoming winter months. 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!

Should The Engine Be Warm Before An Oil Change?

You want to change your oil and it occurs to you, does it really matter if I change the oil after the car has been sitting, or should I change it after the car has warmed up? If you think about this logically, the answer becomes clear. When an engine warms up, the oil does too. This makes the oil flow more easily. An extreme example of this would be butter. The more you heat butter the more of a liquid it becomes. Also, since the oil will have been circulating while it warms up you will pick up more impurities that will be flushed out when you drain the oil.

You don’t want it to be too hot though. If the car has been running for 30 minutes on a highway and you drain the oil, you are going to get seared by a 300 degree liquid. Ouch! So, what is the best rule of thumb? Five minutes. Running the engine for five minutes will get your oil to the temperature and consistency ideal for an oil change.

Of course, the best advice of all is to come in and have us change the oil for you. No guesswork and we environmentally dispose of your used oil. 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!

Winter is Coming and My 4×4 Makes Odd Noises Only When It Precipitates!

Let’s say you have a good old 4×4 Explorer. You drive it year ’round but when winter comes around you get an uneasy feeling because every time it snows or there is ice on the ground it starts to make these dreadful sounds! Is something really wrong?

The answer, thankfully, is most likely everything is fine! All 4x4s have something called Traction Control. When this kicks in the car can make all kinds of very disturbing, grinding sounds. But, no worries! Your transmission is not being ground into dust! It’s just your car working to keep you safely on the road.

If you want to have your Traction Control tested before winter to make sure it is going to continue to keep you safe, 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!

What Does It Mean If My Gas Gauge Never Goes Down?

This is a problem that can occur from time to time, especially in older vehicles. You fill up your tank, drive a week and the fuel gauge still says your tank is nearly full. You commute 20 miles each way every day and you know that can’t be accurate. What gives?

Well, what gave out is most likely your sending unit. The sending unit is something that floats in your gas tank, much like a buoy in the ocean. The unit sends the level of gas it senses to the car’s computer, which then reflects that level on your gas gauge, whether it be digital or an old fashioned dial.

If you notice this happening with your vehicle, come in and see us. You definitely don’t want to be writing down your mileage to determine if you need to fill your tank again! 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!