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!

Detroit Coming Back To Life

It has been many years since Detroit was a place you actually wanted to visit. However, with the advent of some new technology, you can see cranes again in downtown Detroit! What caused this rebirth? Self-Driving Cars!

Yes, the technology that has enabled the birth of self driving cars has also enabled the rebirth of downtown Detroit. Among the companies taking part in this rebirth are Lear Corporation and May Mobility, both giants in the race for developing self-driving cars.

If you are interested in learning more about self-driving cars or are you interested in learning more about the condition of your old fashioned human-driven car, please 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!

Beware Hurricane Car Deals

Given that hurricanes Harvey and Irma have flooded and destroyed hundreds of thousands of cars, you can bet that some of those cars’ owners are going to be looking for a way to recover some of their losses. One of those ways is to try to sell the car.

It is not always easy to tell if a car has been damaged by a flood, it could look absolutely perfect from the outside once it has been cleaned up. So, what are some things to look for to tell if the car has been in a major flood? The clearest way to tell a car is junk is to check the title. If the car has what is called a Salvage Title it means that the car has been declared a total loss.

However, if you notice things like speakers that do not work, that is a very good sign that the cone was underwater and destroyed. If you are thinking about buying a used car, give us a call for some pointers. 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 To Check Before That Last Summer Trip

So summer is winding down and you have that last road trip of the summer planned. What should you do first? Bring your vehicle in to us so we can make sure it’s safe for the ride!

Among other things, we will carefully look at all of the following:

Cooling System
Tires
Steering and Suspension
Change the Oil
Check the Air Conditioning System
Check the Tranny

Once we complete our multi-point inspection you can be sure your car will be safe and secure for your last trip of the summer. If anything needs work, we will let you know and provide you with an estimate. 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 Cars Still Last Longer Than Others

Yes, we all know that auto manufacturing has seen amazing improvements over the past 30 years and American models can keep up with their Japanese counterparts when it comes to durability and longevity. Yet, why is it that Toyota, year after year, takes the top spots in Consumer Reports reliability polls?

The answer comes down to engineering. Let’s face it, if you look at a Camry, it’s not going to win any awards for super style or super performance. This was intentional! Toyota decided to put all its engineering efforts into designing cars that would last long and be reliable. Part of this is engineering parts that have very, very small tolerances. or the space between parts. This means that they don’t bang against each other as much when the engine is spinning at thousands of times a minute.

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!