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Frozen Auto?

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

removing-snow-from-carHow to Quickly Remove Ice From Your Car Windows

Fill up a spray bottle with two parts rubbing alcohol (70-percent isopropyl alcohol) and one part tap water, says David A. Katz, M.Sc., a chemistry professor at Pima Community College in Arizona. Keep it at room temperature—not in your car—between uses. 

Spray the mixture on your windshield and the ice will start melting immediately. Let it sit for a minute, then use your scraper to wipe off the ice.

So why not just splash regular room-temperature water on your windshield? While warm H2O would melt the ice, it’ll just freeze again. 

The rubbing alcohol/water mixture has a much lower freezing point (5 degrees Fahrenheit) than water’s 32 degrees. That means it won’t refreeze on your windshield unless the temperature outside dips close to 0 degrees.

Maintenance tips for you car in the fall

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fall drivingIt won't be long before the weather gets snowy. Driving safely during the fall requires more than just cautious driver behavior. Watch out for deer.

But also remember, your car also needs attention.

Here are 10 tips to get your car ready for the fall.

Check the brakes and tires. Inclement weather and associated road conditions and other hazards require good stopping power. That means good brakes and tires. If the tires have wear bars showing, say the experts, you need to replace the tires. Also check the tire pressure, as tire pressure drops when the outside temperatures plummet.

Why is my A/C airflow weak?

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

giphy-sweatIf you notice reduced airflow get it to us right away.  If there is anything wrong with your air compressor, the problem can cause other failures.  So, get a jump on it.

Main causes of weak airflow:

  • Seals. No, not those seals down by the pier. Core case seals, blower house seals or evaporator core case seals; All can open up and diminish air flow. A/C ventilation systems are very sensitive and must remain sealed. Once they're opened, the whole system is compromised.
  • Mold or mildew may have accumulated in the evaporator core from residual moisture that occurs during the cooling process. When this happens, air will have trouble reaching your air vents.
  • A hose has come loose. This usually happens with the blower hose that supplies air to the blower unit.
  • Ventilation fan is fried. If the fan's not blowing, air won't be flowing very well.
Whatever's the cause of your airflow problems, we' check it out. Schedule an A/C Performance Check.

The sweat alone is enough to drive any of us crazy. However, we can keep you cool.

How to stop rodents from chewing on car wires.

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

rodents-in-your-carCar maintenance usually does not include mouse traps, but it should.

Your periodic inspections should include looking for wires that have been chewed!

People all over Kent county see damage caused from squirrels, chipmunks and rats in their automobiles. This can be costly,  frustrating and potentially dangerous.

Why Are Those Pesky Varmints Picking Out My Car?

Like your dog or cat, rodents are constantly looking for something to gnaw on.  Many species have continuously growing teeth and are always teething.

Why are critters chewing up the wires in my car?

A recent lawsuit against Honda claims that the soy-based covering on the wires in its vehicles causes the cars to be tempting targets for small animals.

What Signs Should I Watch For?

If your check engine light comes on with seemingly no warning, or if your car doesn't start period, there is a chance rodents are the cause.

Here in the Rockford Michigan area we have plenty of woodland creatures about.  We need to check regularly under the hood. Check for chewing or rodent droppings.  If you see the signs, bring it to us immediately.

How to dissuade the pests.

You need to make the environment as inhospitable as possible.  There is tape that contains capsaicin (active ingredient in red pepper).

You can currently find a specially made tape that isn't attractive to small creatures. The tape contains capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers. It should help deter the animals from your wires.

They Got Me!

Is It Covered?

The bad news is that cars damaged by rodents are not covered under your car's warranty. The good news is that your auto insurance might cover it.

If you have comprehensive insurance, there is a good chance that you can have the repairs paid for. Be sure to check with your insurance agent before you go to get any repairs done.

How to spot a flood damaged used car.

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

how-to-spot-a-flooded-carsThousands upon thousands of cars have been damaged by from Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey.  We can expect to see them being sold on the used car market.  How can you tell if a car was damaged by flooding from one of those storms?

Carfax, the used car research firm, recently stated that flooded cars on the market have already jumped 20 percent since last year.

Floodwater damages the interior mechanical parts such as
  • the engine,
  • transmission and
  • drive train of vehicles as well as
  • their electric computer systems.

This can make the car very unreliable and make it a safety hazard while driving.

The Ten LEAST Reliable Cars (2017)

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC
  • Jaguar F-Pace
  • GMC Acadia
  • Fiat 500
  • Ford Focus
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Volvo XC90
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Tesla Model X

Chevrolet Camaro

Price as tested: $47,020
Trouble spots: Transmission (minor), in-car electronics, drive system

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Price as tested: $49,105
Trouble spots: Brakes, steering/suspension, power equipment

Preventative Maintenance Saves Money

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

auto-electrical-problemsKeep Your Car Healthy

It's important to do your "well child" checks on your car.

Having your mechanic regularly take a look under your car's hood could save you thousands down the road.  Often there are small fixes or preventative changes that could make a huge differenc.  For instance, your mechanic notices a belt getting worn or cracking.  Having this belt break while going down the road could lead expensive repairs. It's much safer and cost effective to go ahead and have it replaced.

If your mechanic has a chance to stay familiar with your car's issues it will save you money and time.  It will also be safer for your family.

Common Reasons an Engine Overheats

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There are many possibilities when an engine overheats.  First, always shut engine down immediately to avoid warping the cylinder heads and causing damage to internal engine parts such as valves, pistons and camshafts.

Here are a few things to watch for so that doesn't happen:

Rising temperature guage on the dash, blinking or glowing red light on the dash, and of course steam billowing from under your car hood.  Any of these are not good signs.

Keep the coolant level full in the overflow tank.  If this is constantly needing more liquid there may be a small leak in your coolant system.  It's a good idea to have your entire system checked every couple of years too.

A faulty coolant system can cause your entire engine to fail so call Bronk's Auto Repair to schedule your annual maintenance review and avoid the problems caused by overheating your engine

Power Window Regulator Repair

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You can save hundreds by replacing the power window regulator yourself. You will need some basic tools (socket set, etc.) and access to an online repair manual specific to your vehicle's make and model for detailed instructions and diagrams. 

These basic 4 steps to power window regulator repair will get you you started 

1. Remove the power windo switch panel and the electrical connectors then remove the door panel trim.

2. Test the ower window motor connector by reconnecting the swich panel and performing a voltmeter test. If the switch is good you'll need to replace the power window regulator.

3. Remove the window by taking out the glass- to- regulator bolts then tilt the window up and out.

4. Remove the regulator- to- door fasteners and pull regulator through one of the holes in the door panel. Replace the power window regulator and re-install glass and panels

Repair Minor Paint Scratches

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It is super easy to get minor scratches on your car's surface.  These little scratches add up quickly if not repaired. Paint scratches on your car will not only take a toll on the appearance but will also open the door to rusting over time. 

Often minor surface scratches can be buffed and polished out.  If you can run your fingernail across the scratch without it getting snagged then you can save hundreds of dollars by repairing the area yourself.

You will need a portable drill or dual action polisher unit, 3000 grit sandpaper, rubbing and polishing compound, and polishing pads.

Slightly wet the scratch and sandpaper. Sand until the finish is dull and the scratch is no longer obvious then clean with a microfiber towel.  Spread rubbing compound on the polishing pad and spread around the pad. Run the drill with polishing pad over the area until a light haze appears. Simply finish up with the polishing compound to restore the shine.

Keep the Bulbs Burning Bright

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Headlight bulbs can be dangerous if not maintained properly

Always change your bulbs in pairs. By replacing only one bulb it creates an uneven light dipsersment which can be dangerous for you and for other drivers. An uneven light decreases your visibility by 33%. To oncoming traffic it could appear as if you are a single bulb vehicle such as a motorcycle or impair their ability to accurately determine distance between you and the center lane.

Bulbs become dimmer after 3 years so replace them before they burn out.

Keep Your Battery Strong

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

A few simple factors can significantly affect the life of your battery.

  • Clear debris from the top of the battery to avoid slowly dischargig the battery
  • If needed, regularly top off the battery with distilled water
  • Keep the terminals clean and free of corrosion
  • Overcharging is as bad for your battery as under charging
  • Watch for dummy lights on the dash and dimming headlights
Keep these things small to do's at the top of your maintenance list for a longer battery life.

Fix Your Defroster Grid Quick and Easy

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

A rear defroster grid can be damaged easily. Having things pressed up the back window is a sure fire way to create scratches in the grid that disrupt the flow of the electrical current. Don't worry there's no need to spend hundreds of dollars on repair costs. Just go to your local automotive repair store and purchase a repair kit.

In a few easy steps you'll be seeing clearly again

1. Get rid of the gunk- clean the window thoroughly inside and out to remove any dirt and particles. Then go over the window with rubbing alcohol to remove any oil from finger prints.

2. Find the scratches dissrupting the flow.  This can be done using a voltmeter and measuring along the grid where the voltage dips. Mark each scratch and place masking tape along bottom edge for a nice neat job.

3. Last, simply use the conductive paint to repair the grid line. Wait about 15 minutes, remove the tape and you are ready to use your repaired defroster

How to Load a Car onto an Transport

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This is a step-by-step demonstration on how to load your car onto an Auto Transport.

Towing your car on a car dolly is helpful for towing project cars and hot rods.

You can also use an car carrier when you're making longer moves and you can't drive the car.

Winter Driving Tips

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Winter-Driving-TipsThe first thing to prepare for Winter driving is your car.  Give your car a winter check up at Bronk's we have a special to keep the cost low and keep you on the road - not in a ditch.

Here are a some good driving tips to read and pass along.

Car Electrical Problems - Quick Diagnostics

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

auto-electrical-problemsYour car's electrical system has many systems that operate windows, mirrors; it starts your engine and charges your phone.  If you are having problems, troubleshooting can be difficult.  Bronks Auto Repair can help, but here are a few things to look for:

Check Your headlight

Dim headlights or brake lights can indicate:
  • charging problems,
  • resistance in the electrical system,
  • loose wires or
  • a severely discharged battery.
Check your vehicle's alternator belt. Dim lights also mean low voltage. Once your battery's voltage drops below a certain level, safety systems such as traction control may disable and eventually the vehicle will stop running altogether.

Simple Auto Repair Tips

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DIY-Oil-Check-Rockford-mi“I hooked up my accelerator pedal in my car to my brake lights. I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I’m gone.” – Stephen Write.

1. Air filter replacement. Clogged air filters degrade performances. By changing your car's air filter, it will increase power and gas mileage. This is a very easy repair you can do on your own.

2. Spark plugs. This simple procedure can give your car better fuel milage and a smoother ride. Spark plugs for most cars are cheap. Check the plug wires while replacing spark plugs too.

3. Windshield wipers. Replace the worn out wiper with new ones. Change windshield wipers for better driving conditions during rain and snow. All you will need is a screwdriver and the new wipers.

4. Headlight bulbs. Check the front of your car for burnt headlight bulbs. Be sure to get the right bulb for your car and save money by changing it yourself.

5. Dangling exhaust pipes. If you hear extra car noises from the back of your car, it could be damaged pipe holders. Most cars use rubber loops to hold exhaust pipes that can be damaged over time. Look under your vehicle for any broken hangers in the exhaust pipe and change accordingly.

6. Fuel filters. Fuel filters cost about $15, but can save hundreds of dollars from engine damage. Fuel filters are important to keep fuel injection and carburetor systems clean and working properly.

Guy walks into my parts store. Says "I need a gas cap for a Kia."
I said, okay, sounds like a fair trade.

Used Car Inspection

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bronks-rockford-used-car-inspectionMost people buy a used car at some point. It may be for your child, or spouse.

How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Burned

Buying a used car can be filled with potential problems, but doing your homework at the inspection will reduce your chances of ending up with a lemon.

Bronk's is happy to provide you with an independent look at a used car.   Schedule an appointment and bring your car in for an inspection.

Knowing what you are getting is the trick to buying any previously owned car. And in the used car world, peace of mind is a thorough inspection.

We have created a 62 point checklist to inspect a used car.

pdfClick here to view and download the Used Car Inspection Checklist.

Auto AC Repair

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If your search landed you here, good chances your car's AC is not working.

  • Do not use a can of "AC Stop Leak" This can destroy the entire air conditioning system. Often there is a large amount of oil and seal conditioner in the fix-it-yourself cans. The amount of oil in an AC system is critical to the cooling performance and with extra oil the compressor will fail.
  • Do not open the AC system on your own!  Every time the AC system is opened a little refrigerant is lost.  This eventually leads to poor AC efficiency.  Also, when the schrader valve is opened, it is another opportunity for it to leak.
The only preventative maintenance on an AC system is to replace the cabin air filter.

After inspection at Bronk's Auto Repair, we explain the findings that were revealed.

Diagnosing a Transmission Problem

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Transmission-repair-experts"Transmission Problems" are two words we do not want to hear.

Your transmission is complex and a remarkable system. Unfortunately it is not for the YouTube Fix-It-Yourselfers and needs to be seen by professionals like the technicians at Bronks Auto Repair in Rockford Michigan.

Transmission problems fall into two very similar categories:
  1. The Car Won't go.
  2. The Won't go smoothly

These two groups of problems are caused by the same faults in your transmission, so whichever your car is doing, the following applies.

Frozen Gas Line

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

If there is condensation in your gas tank and it gets into the fuel line AND with cold Winter nights, there is a good chance your gas line is frozen.

antarctica-frozen-gas-lineA frozen fuel line occurs from extremely low temperatures causing water vapor in the gas tanks to mix with the fuel and freeze.  Fixing it is rather simple and inexpensive, but it is frustrating.
  1. Use a hair dryer to heat the fuel line. If you know where to locate the fuel line, aim a hair dryer at it until the ice melts. Use the high-heat setting.
  2. Heat the whole car. Bring your car into your garage and place space heaters pointing at the engine.  Or you can cover the car with a large tarp and put heaters under the tarp so that you are only heating a small space.
  3. Tow the car to our heated garage.
  4. Wait until the weather warms up - in Michigan! You may be able to start it just by waiting until the afternoon.

Exhaust System Repair - Greater Rockford Area

on . Posted in Auto Repair Tips

Professional-car-mechanic-in-Rockford-MINever put off a muffler or car exhaust repair.

We know that your muffler and exhaust system do more than keep your car quiet.   Your exhaust system performs a series of functions
  • makes sure toxic fumes stay out of your car cabin
  • makes your engine run correctly
  • increases fuel efficiency and
  • cuts emissions that pollute the air
Never put off a muffler or car exhaust repair. Stop by, call, or schedule an appointment today for an exhaust system inspection at our Rockford repair center.

To better understanding Your Muffler and Exhaust System, here are some tips: