Coopers Auto Repair Specialists - Auto Repair Blog
Coopers Auto Repair Specialists is a family owned and operated second generation auto repair shop. They provide complete automotive, truck, SUV, Hybrid and RV service and repair. Their blog contains articles relate to auto repair and maintenance.
It’s no secret that environmental awareness is growing. More and more people are becoming environmentally aware and are making efforts to reduce their carbon footprints. While there are multiple ways you can start living a greener life, one increasingly popular method is investing in a hybrid or electric vehicle. Hybrids are cars that use a traditional gas-powered engine, but they also use an electrically powered battery part of the time, while they aren’t completely emission-free they are greener than a strictly gasoline-powered car for sure. An electric vehicle (EV for short), is run completely off of electricity and releases zero emissions. Here is a list of pros and cons of buying hybrids and electric vehicles.
A solid reason people like hybrids is because i’t like having the best of both worlds. Hybrid drivers are able to satisfy their goals of reducing carbon footprints while also knowing that if they need to travel far and wide, they can depend on their gasoline-powered engine to help them. Shorter distances can also be driven using EV mode, which saves on gas money!
Hybrids typically cost more than plain gas-powered cars and sometimes take away trunk space to make room for the battery in the vehicle. If you don’t have anywhere to plug it in, you won’t be getting a very big return on investment.
An electric vehicle costs much less to run considering the fact that you don’t need any gasoline at all to run the vehicle. Studies have shown that EVs pay for themselves long before their lifespan is over. EVs can also be charged at home, or in a parking lot, avoiding the hustle of the gas station. EVs also have no engine noise and, depending on the model, they can be very quick. EV owners also receive incentives like tax breaks and credits for driving green. EVs also require much less maintenance than cars with gas-powered engines.
Some models have a limited range, some with 100 miles per charge and they take longer to charge (about 30 minutes) than it takes to fill a tank up with gas. EVs also typically have higher initial costs than gasoline-powered vehicles and not nearly as many options to choose from.
Overall, if you have the right resources, buying a hybrid or EV can definitely work out in your favor, saving you some serious money while also lessening your negative impact on the environment. For now the pros outweigh the cons for both vehicles, but they are still a pretty recent invention and have tons of room for growth as technology advances. If you do have a hybrid, make sure to get it serviced by a mechanic who knows how to service them! We have the expertise and the equipment for hybrid repair here at Coopers Auto Repair Specialists. Just let us know!
We Specialize in Hybrid & EV Repair!
Coopers Auto Repair Specialists has a team of highly trained technicians, with the knowledge and experience to repair any make or model of hybrid or electric vehicle. Visit one of our two convenient locations, give us a call or easily schedule service online today!
EV Cars are vehicles who run, at least in part, on electricity. EV Cars are the cars of the future. As the technology advances, more and more car manufacturers are releasing their own EV cars and as they become more common they will become more economical. Currently there are several different types of EV cars, including the “Plug-in Hybrid, the Battery-electric cars, and the fuel cell vehicles. Each type of EV car is powered a little differently giving each one it’s own unique advantages.
What do you need to know?
The difference between EV cars and your conventional hybrid is that the electric portion of the car runs solely on electricity, whether it is through a battery, the grid, or a fuel cell. Conventional hybrids are vehicles that have electric motors that are fueled off of gasolene. One example is the Toyota Prius. The non-plugin version of the Toyota Prius has a battery that is recharged by normal driving behavior. Because it never has to be plugged in and is fully powered by gasoline, it’s not considered an EV car.
Are Electric Cars Really Better?
This depends on what your definition of better is. EV Cars have a lower carbon footprint and are inherently “greener”. But they have more benefits than simply being better for the environment.
They are Safer
EV Cars were built with the newest and best safety features on the market. On top of this, they are easier to steer and maintain control because their heavy battery packs sit below passengers, centering the weight of the vehicle. This makes them harder to roll over or lose control of.
They are Quiet
Because electric vehicles don’t rely heavily on internal combustible engines, they are not as loud. They purr quietly as they start and pick up speed. They are so quiet that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had to implement a new safety standard that requires Hybrids and electric vehicles to produce noise, even if it’s an artificial one.
They Have the Power to Pick Up and Go
Hybrids and Electric Vehicles have the reputation of not being able to pick up speed quickly. This just simply is not true. Most models are able to match the pick-up of a conventional vehicle. Some luxury EV cars can hit 60 mph in 2.28 seconds. This is highly dependent on the model of the car and the driver so don’t let this rumor prevent you from making a purchase.
Have any questions about your electric or hybrid cars? We are fully trained at Cooper’s Auto Repair Specialists and would be happy to answer any of your EV Car questions, whether it’s about repairing your current vehicle or completing a pre-purchase inspection of your future electric car. Feel free to call us at either of our locations or schedule an appointment online.
The warm weather is here and that means summer is right around the corner! What better way to enjoy the summer than being out and about! Whether you’re heading to your local pool or packing up for a road trip, make sure your vehicle is as ready as you are! Here are 5 tips to get you started.
Check Your AC
The last thing you want is for your air condition to go on the fritz mid road trip. If your cold air doesn’t seem to be working well, stop by your local Tacoma mechanic for a check up. Also, keep an eye on your in-cabin air filter to make sure the air coming into your vehicle is clean.
Stay Up To Date With Your Maintenance
When is the last time you got an oil change or a tire rotation? If you’re due (or overdue) swing by to get up to date so that your vehicle runs at peak performance all summer long.
Do you hear squealing or feel vibrations when you brake? It could be time for new brake pads or rotors. The summer heat can make your brakes heat up more than normal so make sure you get them changed so that you can brake when you need to.
Get Your Tires Pumped Up
We know we talk a lot about tires, but they’re very important. A low or worn tire can blow suddenly and cause damage to yourself or the rest of your car. Check your tread and air pressure before you set off on your journey and get tires replaced as needed.
Pack Your Emergency Kit
No one likes to think about it, but you should always have an emergency kit in your car, especially on longer journeys. In addition to the normal things like a first aid kit, jumpter cables, and a flashlight, make sure you take plenty of water. This can help cool you and your car down if you start to get overheated in the summer sun.
We here at Cooper’s Auto Repair Specialists hope you have a very safe and fun summer! If you have any questions about if your car is ready to hit the road, please give us a call or schedule an appointment at either of our shops in Tacoma or Puyallup. Remember, it’s not just about the destination, it’s the memories you make along the way!
Whether it’s a quick trip across town or a family vacation to the beach, roadtrips are great bonding opportunities for all passengers. Here are some games to play in the car that would be fun for adults and kids alike!
1. The Singing Game- One person sings a line from a song. The next person must connect it to another song. And it keeps going. For example, “Take on me, take me on…” “On the arms of an angel…” “Angel.. You’re my darling angel.” On it goes until someone gives up!
2. 21 Questions – One person thinks of a person, place, or object. The rest of the passengers have to ask a maximum of 21 yes or no questions to try to figure it out.
3. Road Trip Bingo – Create bingo cards for things that can be seen along the way like cows or railroad crossings. First person to see 5 in a line wins!
4. I spy – This classic game begins with one person finding and describing an object within their sight saying “I spy something with my little eye something… “ The other passengers then have to guess what they spy.
5. License Plate Game – On longer road trips, this fun game includes seeing how many different states you identify on license plates of passing cars.
6. The Picnic Game – This alphabet and memory game starts with one person saying “I went to a picnic and I brought apples”. The next person must repeat what the previous person said and add in another product with the next letter of the alphabet: “I went to a picnic and I brought apples and bananas”.
7. Synonyms – Think of a title of a movie, song, or book and rename it using only synonyms. The other passengers then have to guess the real title. For example “Disappeared alongside the breeze” is “Gone With The Wind”.
8. Cows on my Side – This is another great game for long road trips. Each time there’s a cow, the passengers on that side have to call out “Cows on my side!” and receive a point. If they don’t call it out, the passengers on the other side call out “Cows on your side!” and steal their point. The side with the most points at the end of the trip wins.
Before you head on your road trip, stop by your local auto repair shop to make sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road!
Fall is here, and you know what that means! The rain is soon to follow! Staying safe during our rainy season comes down to having the right parts. That’s right, we’re talking tires!
Did you know that properly maintaining your tires can not only keep you safe, it can also save you money? Proper inflation can help you extend the life of your tires by allowing them to wear properly. It can also help save you gas money. Tires that are under inflated have higher rolling resistance which leads to you using more gas to get your car moving.
Save money and stay safe on the roads by following these 3 simple steps!
Let’s start with the foundation: finding the right tires. We recommend getting all-seasons or tires that are specially made for wet weather. These are manufactured to allow you to have as much traction as possible, even in the rain.
Since you can’t run on brand new tires all the time, it’s important to inspect them regularly to make sure they’re performing optimally. Here are some things you should check at least once a month.
Check the air pressure. Your recommended air pressure is located in your owner’s manual or in the driver’s door jam. Make sure not to over or under inflate your tires.
Check the tread depth you have remaining. The grooves in the treads help funnel water from under the tire and allow you to stop and control your car better. The easiest way to do this is to place a penny within your treads. If the tread covers President Lincoln’s head, you’re ok. If you can see all of his head, it’s time for new tires.
Check your tires for damage. You’d be amazed at some of the things we’ve seen stuck in people’s tires! If you find signs of damage, change out the tire for the spare and head to your local tire repair center.
Your local auto and tire repair center can help you keep on top of your tires. Here are a few ways we can help.
Rotate every 5000 miles. Your tires wear differently based on their location on your vehicle. To help them wear more evenly, make sure you get them rotated often.
Replace them when it’s time to. The average tire can last about 50,000 miles if it’s driven regularly. If you don’t drive your car often, your tires can dry out and rot. Often times, this damage isn’t visible from the outside, so if you think your tires are more than 6 years old, have them inspected or replaced.
Warmer weather is on the way which means it’s time for Spring Cleaning! It may be on your list to tackle the closets full of winter coats and clean out the garage to make room for more gardening tools, your car may not receive the full TLC it deserves. A few quick and easy DIY tips will have your ride feeling fresh and clean and ready to start those warm weather adventures!
Remove any and all trash
This may seem like an obvious first step but removing used cups and gum wrappers from the cups makes a huge difference. Grab trash bag and start clearing- if it’s not useful(ie. that broken pen you that’s lived in your center console since 2014), lose it! Start a habit of keeping a small garbage bag in the car at all times- if you commit to emptying the bag often, you’ll keep your car feeling clutter free all the time.
Dust from the top down
Grab a microfiber rag and get moving. All of that pesky Spring pollen has surely found it’s way into your car. Make sure you get the nooks and crannies of your dashboard!
Take out floor mats
Give each mat a good shake outside the car(with the car doors closed) and then vacuum each one. Try vacuuming in one direction really well, then switching directions to get deep into the mat fibers.
While you’re letting the floor mats air our, go ahead and take the vacuum to the interior of the car. Vacuum between seat cushions, inside the cup holders, and anywhere else you can get. While you can go to any gas station and use their vacuum, consider purchasing a shop vac- they’re easy to store, inexpensive, and it comes in handy for quick clean ups.
Wash your windows
Use an all purpose cleaner or specialty cleaner, and clean the interior and exterior areas of your windows, and front and rear windshields. For a streak free clean, try using a mixture of white vinegar diluted with water.
Replace car air fresheners
Whether you use Little Trees, plug-ins or opt for a combination of essential oils, be sure to make your car smell fresh! If going the essential oil route, add a few drops to a paper towel and wipe down solid interior parts of the car or place a few drops on a paper towel and store the paper towel under one of the seats.
The check engine light is one of the least understood warning lights that is on the dashboard of your car. Seeing it come on could mean anything from a small issue to a major technical problem.
If you see your check engine light come on as you start your car, and immediately go off, your system is working exactly as it should. The light you see is your assurance that your check engine system is working properly and it going off means there are no potential problems.
The check engine system checks hundreds of different parts of your car every second. A problem with any of these parts can cause the light to come on.
5 common reasons for the check engine light to come on are:
If you jumped back in the car too quickly after pumping gas, it’s possible your gas cap didn’t close properly. Without that seal in place, vapors released while driving can damage your entire system.
Your car is equipped with multiple oxygen or O2 sensors that monitor the amount of fuel you car is using. A block to these sensors can lead to inaccurate information relayed from the sensors to your computer.
Mass Air Flow Filter
Your mass air flow filter measures the amount of air traveling through your engine. If this filter gets clogged you could do some damage to your catalytic converter or O2 sensors.
Spark plugs initiate the combustion in your engine. Faulty spark plugs can cause your engine to misfire and lead to your engine not starting.
Damaged Catalytic Converter
Ignoring some of the aforementioned issues can cause major damage to your catalytic converter. If it stops functioning correctly, your car will have reduced performance and will not be able to pass an emissions test.
If while you’re driving your check engine light starts blinking, pull over as quickly and as safely as you can. This is usually a sign of a major failure in your engine and your car will not continue under it’s own power for very long.
If your check engine light stays on after you start your car, there is a problem that you need to get checked as soon as possible. Drive cautiously to a service center so that you can figure out exactly what is going wrong.
Automobiles are well known for their environmental impact, and while hybrid and electric vehicles are on the rise, most of us are still fuel-powered travelers. Read on for a few simple tips on how you can lessen the environmental impact of your vehicle…
Consolidate your trips. Plan your errands based on location, and practice efficiency in knocking out your errands with the least amount of miles to cover.
Keep cool. When parking in the sun, use a sun shield or park in the shade. This will allow your vehicle to stay cooler, requiring less energy to cool off.
Lighten your load. Are you driving around with half your wardrobe in your backseat? Do you use your trunk as extra storage? A heavier vehicle requires more gasoline to get around.
Drive responsibly. Don’t speed up too fast, idle too long or drive in an aggressive manner. Use cruise control when possible, and try to maintain a constant speed of less 50 MPH or less, whenever possible.
Take care of your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve gas mileage by upwards of 3%.
Have your air filters regularly checked and replaced. A dirty air filter can cause your engine to lose power.
Check your gas cap for cracks. A damaged gas cap can release gases as vapor, which not only increases vehicle emissions but can lead to a potential loss in costly fuel.
Most importantly, keep your vehicle properly maintained. Regular maintenance checks are meant to keep your vehicle running optimally, which can not only improve your vehicle’s performance and maintain it’s value, but it can also lead to lessened energy and emissions.
Being responsible with vehicle can not only improve your environmental impact, but it can help keep your vehicle running longer, saving you significant dollars in the long run! Want to know more? Ask us how we can help ensure your vehicle is running as efficiently as possible!
Vehicle maintenance is important to both your vehicle and your budget. Though every vehicle owners manuals clearly outlines your suggested maintenance schedule, nearly 80% of vehicles on the road have at least one component needing maintenance at any given time. What maintenance services should you be keeping up with, and what are the potential risks in avoiding these services? Read on to find out!
Here are a few basic vehicle components in need of regular maintenance:
-Power steering fluid
What are the consequences of not keeping up with regular maintenance?
Scheduled maintenance is in place for a reason – it’s going to keep your vehicle running more efficiently, for a longer period of time, and help your vehicle maintain it’s value. Failing to keep up with basic scheduled maintenance can lead to costly repairs down the road. Don’t avoid vehicle maintenance to save a few dollars, because there’s a good chance you’re going to lose in the end.
Additionally, accidents become more likely when these maintenance items are ignored. Take wiper blades and tires, for example. Letting your tire tread or wiper blades wear too low can put you at a greater risk of weather-related accidents. Your life is worth far more than a $25 set of wiper blades!
Where to start?
Wipe the dust off your owner’s manual. Read up on which maintenance services are recommended when. If you’re behind on your maintenance schedule, give us a call. We can take a look at your vehicle and let you know which maintenance items are of the highest priority.