Monthly Archives: May 2004

Pre-Vacation Vehicle Checklist

Before you head out on vacation, run through this handy checklist to make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the trip.

  • Have your vehicle inspected, if possible at least two weeks before you are ready to leave. This will help you to avoid last minute problems.
  • Take phone numbers and insurance papers.
  • Remember to keep your fuel tank full whenever possible. This will help avoid vapor lock during hot weather driving.
  • Remember to take any necessary maps. Pack extra snacks and drinks in case of unexpected delays.
  • Pack a flashlight with fresh batteries, glass cleaner, paper towels, and extra oil (know your brand of oil to avoid mixing brands).
  • Lock you car at all stops. Hide an extra set of keys on your vehicle. There´s nothing more frustrating than locking your keys in you car in unfamiliar territory.
  • Make reservations ahead of time, especially during the summer months and holidays.
  • If you are leaving the U.S.A. it is a good idea to have notarized birth certificates for children.
  • Make sure you know where your locking lug nut key, socket wrench and/or hub cap key are located.
  • If it is getting close to time to rotate your tires, make sure and do it before you leave. Check tire pressure too.
  • Check you oil at least every other time you fill your gas tank and visually inspect everything under the hood.
  • Do not use your cruise control during rainy weather. Wet roads increase your chance of hydroplaning.
  • Should you experience vehicle problems on your trip, the first place to call is A Street Automotive & Collision. We can refer you to a reputable facility close to you.

The Ups and Downs of Emergency Brakes

Emergency brake failure is usually not a problem unless the vehicle is parked facing UP a steep incline.

Have you ever heard of a vehicle that slipped down a hill even though the emergency brake was on? This can happen when the following 3 conditions occur:

  • The vehicle has rear drum brakes
  • is not in gear
  • and is parked with the nose of the vehicle pointing up a steep incline.

You can test your vehicle by setting the emergency brake and trying to back up. Most likely your vehicle will back up with a little more effort than usual, but when you try to go forward it will not move.

Emergency brakes are designed to keep most vehicles stationary while the vehicle is pointed down inclines or going forward. Emergency brake failure is not usually a problem unless the vehicle is parked on a steep incline. Avoid the slim chance of having your vehicle creep away by pointing the nose downhill and turning the wheels into the curb.

Using the emergency brake the proper way will always bring safe results.

Floorboard or surfboard?

Now that the rainy season is here you may have already gotten a big surprise on your vehicle´s floorboard or trunk area. You open your door, climb in and find out your feet are in water. The seasonal rain the night before had left a generous deposit of water through a leak somewhere in your vehicle. Your subconscious mind tells you that it is just condensation, but the reality of your wet feet tell you it´s time to get professional help.
Although we have many tests for finding body and seal leaks, they are very time consuming to correct. The blacklight test, pressurized cab test and the dollar bill test are all tests that we may perform at A Street Automotive when we are trying to pinpoint body leaks. Technicians must be able to recreate the leak conditions to fully see the leakage patterns. Consequently, recreating the wind speed and raindrop angles is often the key to making an interior leak appear. Often we cannot even get a leak to appear until we simulate the correct leak conditions. Multiple leaks may even appear under different test conditions.
Please remember when you bring your vehicle in to get the leaks corrected that thy didn´t begin overnight and must be carefully and completely corrected to solve your problems. Using professional methods make body and seal leaks repair seem an easy fix but re-creating leaking conditions and accessing the area may be very time consuming.

Now that the rainy season is here you may have already gotten a big surprise on your vehicle’s floorboard or trunk area. You open your door, climb in and find out your feet are in water.

The seasonal rain the night before had left a generous deposit of water through a leak somewhere in your vehicle. Your subconscious mind tells you that it is just condensation, but the reality of your wet feet tell you it´s time to get professional help.

Although we have many tests for finding body and seal leaks, they are very time consuming to correct. The blacklight test, pressurized cab test and the dollar bill test are all tests that we may perform at A Street Automotive when we are trying to pinpoint body leaks. Technicians must be able to recreate the leak conditions to fully see the leakage patterns. Consequently, recreating the wind speed and raindrop angles is often the key to making an interior leak appear. Often we cannot even get a leak to appear until we simulate the correct leak conditions. Multiple leaks may even appear under different test conditions.

Please remember when you bring your vehicle in to get the leaks corrected that thy didn´t begin overnight and must be carefully and completely corrected to solve your problems. Using professional methods make body and seal leaks repair seem an easy fix but re-creating leaking conditions and accessing the area may be very time consuming.