Air Filters & When To Replace Them

Made out of heavy plastic paper, air filters are an impressive piece of technology. Air is allowed to pass through into your engine, but not pesky dust and debris. Think of an air filter as a shield. Air filters are considered an essential part of your car’s fuel supply system. A properly working air filter equates with an excellent fuel economy, and a damaged air filter equates with dirty gas.

How often should I replace my air filter? This depends on your climate and driving conditions. If you spend a lot of time driving on dirty, dusty roads, you will need to replace your air filter more often. If you drive more often on paved roads, you can replace it less. However, here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Replace your air filter every other oil change.

  • Replace your air filter once a year.

  • Replace your air filter every 30,000 miles.

By the way, air filters are not the only things that need to be changed or replaced periodically. Robert’s Collision & Repair is offering a Spring Special of $10 off of an oil change service; valid through March 31, 2015. When you bring your vehicle into us for regular vehicle maintenance, we will recommend that the transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, etc. be changed periodically, too. All these steps will keep your vehicle operating to its utmost potential, keeping you and your family safe from breakdown worries.

The team at Robert’s Collision & Repair can easily check your car’s air filter for you. We will make sure your air filter, along with the entire engine, is running optimally. To schedule an appointment, call us at 831-373-1534, or visit our 26,000 sq. ft. facility at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you!

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Cool Things Inside Your Owners’ Manual

We keep our owners’ manual in our glove box for safekeeping. We may look at it time to time to answer one of our questions. However, most of us do not take advantage of this wealth of knowledge. The owners’ manual is full of beneficial, useful information.

What are some cool things inside my owners’ manual? Take a look at this list:

  • Is your vehicle equipped with remote vehicle start? In other words, can your vehicle’s engine be started from the outside? The answer will be found in your owners’ manual.

  • You may be able to lock or unlock your vehicle from the outside.

  • Have you ever looked a symbol in your car and wondered what it exactly meant? The owners’ manual has this information.

  • You can learn how to store a favorite radio station.

  • Most owner manuals even have tips on how to achieve a better fuel economy, and what type of gas works best for your vehicle.

  • Learn how to enable safety locks in the passenger and back seats of your car.

  • Did you know that some vehicles have valet keys hidden in the owners’ manual or somewhere in the car? Valet keys can usually unlock the driver’s side door and start car. These keys cannot unlock the glove box or trunk.

Robert’s Collision & Repair will be happy to answer any questions about your vehicle. Please call us at 831-373-1534, or visit our 26,000 sq. ft. facility at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.

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Roadside Emergency Kit: Are You Prepared?

roadside-auto-emergency-kit

A roadside emergency can happen anytime or anywhere. It doesn’t matter if your car is old or new. A roadside emergency just might happen. With that in mind, it is important to be prepared, which means getting together a roadside emergency kit.

What exactly goes in an emergency kit? What do I really need when I am stuck on the side of the road? The answer begins with the purpose of a roadside emergency kit. An emergency kit is supposed to help you get assistance and alert other drivers to your presence.

When putting your emergency kit together, go over this checklist:

  • Jumper cables

  • Flashlight

  • First-aid kit

  • Tire gauge

  • GPS navigation system

  • Roadside flares

  • Duct tape

  • Screwdrivers, wrench, and pliers

  • Pocketknife

  • An ice scraper

  • Roadside emergency car

  • Blanket

  • Granola or energy bars

Safety always comes first. If you are planning on going on a long-distance trip, make sure you check and even double-check your emergency kit. We also recommend bringing your car into Robert’s Collision & Repair for a check-up. Like the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry! To schedule an appointment, call us at 831-373-1534. Robert’s Collision & Repair is located at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.

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Headlights & Taillights: Know When To Replace Them

headlights and tail lights

Headlights and taillights are vital to you and your family’s safety. If a tail light or headlight goes out, we don’t lose immediate control of our vehicle. However, our safety is still compromised. The headlights and taillights are just as crucial as your vehicle’s brakes or tires to your overall safety.

The million dollar question: when should I have my vehicle’s lighting system replaced? Unfortunately, there is not a specific timeline on when you should have your lights replaced. When you bring your vehicle into Robert’s Auto Repair for maintenance, we will make sure to inspect your vehicle’s lights.

Most drivers are aware when their headlights or taillights burn out, but what about all those  other lights you need to drive safely? Don’t worry, the team at Robert’s Collision and Repair will thoroughly inspect your vehicle’s entire lighting system. We will inspect and replace, if needed, the following lights:

  • Headlamps

  • Taillights

  • Reverse lights

  • Brake and high mount lights

  • Blinkers

  • License plate

  • Side marker lights

  • Emergency flashers

Clean, bright, and gleaming lights are paramount to you and your family’s safety when out on the road. Don’t neglect to have your entire vehicle’s lighting system inspected on a routine basis. To schedule an appointment at Robert’s Collision & Repair, please call us at 831-373-1534. Our 26,000 sq. ft. facility is located at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.

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Tire Pressure: Know What It Should Be For Your Tire

tire pressure light

Did you know that your tires lose pressure daily? In warmer weather, your tires lose even more pressure. With summer and spring approaching, it is important to know what the correct tire pressure actually is for your car.

Basically, correct tire pressure depends on the model of your vehicle. These details should be listed somewhere on vehicle: Check the following spots:

  • Door edge

  • Door post

  • Glove box door

  • Fuel door

We also recommend checking your vehicle’s tire pressure every time you get gas. Don’t forget to check your spare tire. You just never know what might happen.

There are also definitely some benefits of properly inflated tires:

  • The tires will last long longer.

  • Your car will drive noticeably safer.

  • Save money at the pump.

Robert’s Collision & Repair will be happy to take a look at your tires, and make sure they are properly inflated. If you have questions or concerns about your car, please call us at 831-373-1534, or visit our 26,000 sq. ft. facility at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.

 

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When Should You Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades?

It is easy to forget about our windshield wiper blades. These blades work very hard, and it is important to remember to replace them. Windshield wiper blades remove snow, ice, dirt, and rain from our car. We are able to arrive at our destination safely because of our wiper blades.

Since it doesn’t rain or snow a lot in California, I can wait longer to replace my windshield wiper blades. This is false. Our blades are exposed to dry, hot weather, which is just as damaging as sleet and snow. Wiper blades, no matter the weather, need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months. If you have rubber wiper blades, you may have to replace them sooner. If your vehicle is equipped with silicone blades, you can wait to replace them a little longer.

Here are a few signs your windshield wiper blades need to be replaced as soon as possible:

  • Blades are continually leaving behind streaks and smears.

  • Make squeaking and chattering noises.

  • Blades leave behind large spots of water.

  • Cracks or tears in the windshield wiper blades.

If you notice any of the signs above, replace your blades right away. The team at Robert’s Auto Repair can carefully inspect and replace your windshield wiper blades. To schedule an appointment, call us at 831-373–1534.

 

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Check Engine Light: What To Do When It Comes On

You are driving along, and suddenly, your vehicle’s check engine light starts flashing. What does this mean, and exactly what should you do next? Basically, check engine lights monitor your car’s performance. When that light is on, your car has diagnosed an electronic-control system and is unable to repair it.

The check engine light means different things for different models of car, so start reading your car’s manual. The problem in your vehicle’s engine may be a small one or something more worrisome. It is important to take care of the problem as quickly as possible. Bring your car into Robert’s Auto Repair as soon as the check engine light begins to flash.

When the check engine light comes on, it, usually, signifies one of the following reasons:

  • Oxygen sensor needs replacing: If you do not replace this, you can lose up to 40% of fuel in the long run.

  • Something is wrong with the gas cap: If you let a faulty gas cap go unnoticed, you, most likely, be making extra trips to the gas station.

  • Catalytic converter needs to be replaced: A broken catalytic converter means your car will run at a higher, more dangerous temperature.

  • Mass air flow sensor needs replacing: Once again, a broken mass air flow sensor means you will be making extra, unnecessary trips to the gas station.

  • Spark plugs or plug wires need to be replaced: If you let this go unfixed, your vehicle will begin to run poorly.

When your car’s check engine light starts to flash, don’t let it go unnoticed. Your car is trying to tell you something, and it would be wise not to ignore it. To schedule an appointment, call 831-373–1534. Robert’s Auto Repair is conveniently located at 234 Ramona, Monterey, CA 93940, right off of Del Monte Blvd. at Highway 1.

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When Should You Change Your Oil?

When should you change your oil? The answer is far from simple. For older cars, you should change it every 1,000 to 3,000 miles. For newer models, some say you should change it every 7,500 miles, and others say your oil should be changed every 6 months. Which answer is the right answer? We break it down for you:

1.  It greatly depends on the conditions you drive in. If you drive in pesky stop-and-go traffic, frequently haul heavy loads, or even drive in very hot, dusty weather, we suggest changing your oil every 1,000 to 3,000 miles.

2.  Ultimately, the basic rule is to change your oil every 5,000 miles or six months, whichever one comes first. If you own a newer vehicle, it is important to follow this regime.

Dirty oil just does not compare to fresh oil. Sludge in your oil can ruin your engine. Oil changes at routine intervals will prolong the life of your engine, and you may even be able to get twice the mileage out of your car. Start the New Year off right, and treat your car to an oil change at Robert’s Auto Repair. We are located at 234 Ramona Avenue in Monterey, California, 93940. Call us at 831-373-1534 to schedule an appointment.

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Your Vehicle’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2015

Editorial Note: We can’t help but run this note from your vehicle every year. It’s one of our annual traditions. Happy New Year from the entire Robert’s Auto Repair team!

I, my human’s vehicle, do solemnly swear to make the following New Year’s Resolutions for 2015.

I resolve to carry my humans and their precious cargo safely wherever they drive me.
I resolve to stop as quickly as possible when faced with an emergency situation.
I resolve to respond quickly when my gas pedal is pushed, my steering wheel is turned, my brakes are applied, and when my human is running late.
I resolve to provide warmth when it’s cold, air conditioning when it’s hot, and shelter from the rain, wind, sleet, snow, and hail.
I resolve to never hydroplane, slide, or lose control of myself on the road.
I resolve to use gasoline efficiently, helping my human’s money stretch as far as possible.
I resolve to avoid all accidents, scratches, pot holes, and any damage that would harm me or make my insurance go up.
I resolve to always serve my humans reliably, safely, comfortably, and be ready to go anytime they need me.
I resolve to do everything I can to prevent my humans from locking their keys inside me.

I, my human’s vehicle, will be fully equipped to meet all of my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions if my humans remember that I am part of the family and that I need regular maintenance if I am able to keep my promises.

I, my human’s vehicle, will be delighted to uphold my promises if they take me in for a check-up, repair, some detailing work, some tire work, and/or some body work at Robert’s Auto Repair, located at 234 Ramona Avenue in Monterey, California 93940.

Signed,
Your Beloved Vehicle

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New Year’s Eve Driving Safety Tips

With New Year’s Eve approaching, many of us will be out and about celebrating with friends and family. To keep yourself and your passengers safe, here are some important driving tips that will keep you safe as the clock turns to 2015:

  • Make certain your vehicle is in good repair so you won’t have to worry about pulling off, late at night, on the side of the road. Be sure to have a full tank of gas, too.
  • While at a party, don’t leave your drink unattended, because someone may spike it and that is dangerous.
  • Don’t drink and drive! Period.
  • Be sure to have a designated driver who is not going to drive with a “buzz”. Sober is the only option for your designated driver.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, both on the road and while walking around.
  • Don’t play with fireworks or guns. You’ll just be inviting trouble with the law, at best; or injury, at worst.
  • Don’t go out alone. Stay with your group of friends, even while driving or walking.
  • Make sure your pets are safe and secure inside your home, surrounded by comforting music to drown out scary noises. You don’t want them to escape in a panic and get hit by a car.
  • If you need to get your vehicle in good repair before you head out for New Year’s Eve, we are happy to assist you. To schedule an appointment with our auto body or detailing shop, please call today at 831-373-1535. To schedule an appointment with our mechanical repair or tire shop, call 831-373–1534. Robert’s Auto Repair is conveniently located at 234 Ramona, Monterey, CA 93940, right off of Del Monte Blvd. at Highway 1. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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