Check Engine Light: What to Do When It Comes On

Check Engine Light: What to Do When It Comes On

If you drive your car long enough, there is a good chance that the check engine light will come on at some point. Depending on the make, model and general condition of your car, the check engine light can signify a range of different issues. The first tip for dealing with the check engine light is not to panic. Rather than imagining the worst (like the death of your engine), think of it like an early warning signal alerting you of a problem that requires your attention.

Why Is the Check Engine Light Coming On?

The check engine light can be a sign of a few different problems, the most common of which are:

  • Worn or damaged spark plugs and wires
  • Damaged oxygen or mass airflow sensors
  • Damaged gas cap
  • Problems with the catalytic converter

Although none are necessarily a mechanical emergency in the moment, ignoring a check engine light — and what’s causing it — can affect your car’s performance and lead to problems in the future.

What to Do About a Check Engine Light

The most important step you can take — before something actually goes wrong with your car — is to become familiar with the manual so that you’re not caught off guard. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re dealing with when there is a problem.

In order to prevent potential mechanical damage, there are a few precautions that you can take if your check engine light comes on while you are driving:

  1. Pull over and turn off the engine Don’t panic; wait until you can safely pull over and turn off your car without blocking traffic or endangering yourself or fellow drivers.
  2. Check your oil to make sure you’re not running low, and look for signs of an oil leak.
  3. Take your car in to get serviced.

The problem may be as simple as needing a basic oil change, or you may have to have a faulty part replaced. The key is to have your car checked out as quickly as possible to avoid long-term engine damage.

We offer full mechanical service with no appointment necessary at a number of convenient locations, including Tupelo, Florence, Corinth, Muscle Shoals and Booneville.


5 Ways a Healthy Coolant System Prevents a Vehicle Breakdown

5 Ways a Healthy Coolant System Prevents a Vehicle Breakdown

The coolant system is one of the most important elements of your vehicle. It’s made up of a water pump, thermostat, radiator, radiator cap and lots of small interconnecting hoses, and all of these keep your automobile from overheating. Think of your cooling system as an air conditioner that blasts a stream of fresh air to your engine. Keeping this component well-maintained reduces breakdowns — something that could save you money and hassle. Here are five ways a healthy coolant system prevents a vehicle breakdown.

1. It Regulates Engine Temperatures

A cooling system works by absorbing heat from your vehicle’s engine and releasing it into the air. A liquid coolant makes this whole process happen. It flows through passages in your engine, then the interconnecting hoses, and then the radiator. The result? A cooler engine, which means fewer breakdowns.

2. It Identifies Other Problems With Your Vehicle

Servicing your engine’s cooling system also identifies any other problems with your vehicle. A trained professional will make sure your engine is in good working order, change the liquid coolant and provide solutions to common automobile problems.

3. It Saves You Cash on Repair Bills

A healthy coolant system is a must-have. Failure to replace your liquid coolant could result in expensive repair bills from an overheated engine. The majority of automobile manufacturers use extended-life coolant, which lasts for around 100,000 miles. However, you might need to change your coolant before this.

4. It Prevents the Build-Up of Rust and Mineral Deposits

Rust and mineral deposits can build up in your cooling system and increase the chances of a breakdown. A professional will flush your cooling system — a simple process where rust and minerals are removed — and leave it as good as new.

5. It Prevents Your Engine From Freezing Up

Maintaining a healthy cooling system stops your engine from freezing up in the winter — something that could result in a breakdown. Vehicle engine freezes are one of the biggest mechanical faults for long-distance drivers and often cause internal damage.

Looking after your coolant system prevents breakdowns and keeps your engine healthy. Visiting Havoline Xpress Lube and Service Center helps you achieve this. Our friendly staff will recommend the best quality oil changes and the latest equipment and repairs for your vehicle’s coolant system. Book an appointment at one of our centers in Tupelo, Booneville, Corinth and Muscle Shoals today!


10 Little Known Facts to Improve Your Gas Fuel Economy for Summer Road Trips

10 Little Known Facts to Improve Your Gas Fuel Economy for Summer Road Trips

Summer road trips can be fun, but they can also cost you in fuel. Fortunately, you can take steps to improve your gas mileage and save on fuel. Here are 10 tips to help you get started.

1. Lighten Your Load

Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so inspect your load and remove any non-essential items. Removing 100 pounds of excess weight from your vehicle can improve your fuel economy by around two percent.

2. Remove Roof Racks and Boxes

Only use roof racks and boxes when you need them. Removing a roof rack or box reduces aerodynamic drag on your vehicle and thus improves your fuel economy by up to five percent.

3. Maintain Optimum Tire Pressure

Check your tire pressure and inflate your tires to the recommended pressure listed in your vehicle handbook, if necessary. Maintaining proper tire pressure can increase your fuel economy by up to three percent.

4. Replace Your Air Filters

Change your air filters at the recommended intervals listed in your vehicle handbook. Replacing your air filters can increase your fuel efficiency by up to ten percent.

5. Use Your Air Conditioning Wisely

Only use your air conditioning when you need it. Running the air conditioning can increase your fuel use, particularly when you’re driving at slow speeds.

6. Schedule Regular Maintenance Checks

Instruct one of our qualified automotive technicians to perform periodic preventative maintenance and service work on your vehicle. Scheduling regular services can help you ensure that your vehicle remains in good working order and thus uses fuel efficiently.

7. Choose Low Rolling-Resistance Tires

Choose low rolling-resistance tires over other types of tires to minimize energy use as your tires roll. Reducing rolling-resistance can save you up to 4.5 percent on fuel consumption.

8. Avoid Idling

Switch off your engine whenever your vehicle is stationary for more than a minute. You should also plan your route and timing carefully to avoid idling in heavy traffic.

9. Change Your Oil

Check the color and consistency of your oil. If the oil has turned thick and black, instruct one of our automotive technicians to change the oil. Changing the oil helps improve the efficiency of your engine and thus improves your fuel economy.

10. Practice Safe Driving

Observe the speed limit, and use cruise control to keep a consistent speed when you’re driving on the highway. Maintaining a steady speed is more fuel efficient than heavy braking and acceleration.

Improving your gas mileage is easy with the right know-how. By following these 10 simple tips, you can increase your fuel economy and save money on your next road trip.


April Is National Car Care Month — Is Your Car Ready for a Spring Road Trip?

April Is National Car Care Month — Is Your Car Ready for a Spring Road Trip?

Spring has sprung and the open road is calling your name. It’s time to take a road trip with the windows down. Before you gas up and hit the highway, though, you need to make sure your car is ready. Winter puts your vehicle through the ringer, and there are a few ways to make sure your car can handle spring showers.

Tires

If you have winter tires, now is the time to swap them out for a set of all-season ones. No matter which type of tires you’re rolling with, be sure to check for ample tread. Rain translates to slippery roads, and worn tread makes it difficult to stop in slick conditions.

Coolant Service

Coolant keeps your engine running at the right temperature, and before you begin a lengthy journey this spring, you should make sure you take care of this essential system. It’s a good idea to get rid of the antifreeze you used during the winter, so get your radiator flushed and refilled with a regular coolant. Antifreeze is helpful in the winter but may leave chemical residue that is unhelpful or even unhealthy for your engine if not cleaned out once spring arrives.

AC Services

Your air conditioning system removes hot air from the cabin of your car, allowing you to cruise in comfort. If not maintained properly, your AC could stop working or overheat your car. On top of making sure your coolant is filled up, you can also get the system cleaned, including hoses and belts.

Windshield Wipers

Your windshield wipers may take a beating during winter months — competing with ice is no easy task, after all. Make sure your wipers are still up to the task of clearing away rain before you hit the road. New blades can be picked up at any auto supply store, and replacing them takes just a few minutes.

Is your ride ready for the rain? Make sure you run through this checklist before you set off on your next springtime adventure.


Vehicle Safety Tips for Spring Travel

Vehicle Safety Tips for Spring Travel

Driving in the spring can be dangerous. Although the risk of ice and snow is reduced compared to the winter, there are fresh hazards to contend with, as the better weather brings animals out of hibernation and encourages cyclists and motorcyclists to take to the road. Spring is also a popular time for construction work on the roads, so you’ll need to keep your wits about you to avoid an accident. Use these vehicle safety tips to protect yourself against common springtime hazards.

1. Check Your Brakes

Exposure to cold weather over the winter can damage brakes. Before you head out on your first springtime journey, check your brake pads and rotors. Look for signs of rust on the brakes and refill the fluid if necessary.

2. Check Your Tires

Whether you’re switching back to your summer tires or using the same set all year round, be sure to check for excessive tread wear before you set off on a long journey. If your tires are unevenly worn, you may need to rotate them. Eventually, all tires will need replacing as the tread wears away. Don’t forget to carry a spare with you in case of punctures.

3. Pack an Emergency Kit

Now spring is here, you may be glad of the opportunity to cast off your winter clothes and change into lighter attire. However, nighttime temperatures can still dip quite low. Always carry an emergency kit, containing warm clothing, blankets, food and water, as well as a spare cell phone battery, so you can stay warm and safe if you break down.

4. Don’t Drive Tired

If you’ve been celebrating the onset of spring by staying up late with friends or family, be sure to get some rest before you begin a long drive. Driving when you’re tired can increase your reaction times and put you at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Take plenty of breaks from driving, even if you don’t feel sleepy, to refresh your concentration. If you find drowsiness setting in, pull off the road in a safe location and take a nap.


Car Care Tips for Cold Weather

Car Care Tips for Cold Weather

When the weather outside is frightful, the last thing you need is car trouble. Regular, routine preventive maintenance will help ensure that your car will get you where you need to go safely and reliably. It also will save you money by increasing fuel efficiency and the likelihood that a technician will detect problems early so you can address them before they require expensive, emergency repairs.

Winterize Your Vehicle: Check These Boxes!

Before you brave treacherous winter roads, make sure you’ve had a professional technician take care of the following key maintenance issues.

  • Change Your Oil. Regular oil and filter changes are critical to protect your engine, according to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. This service is especially important in winter, as cold temperatures can cause sludge buildup in dirty oil.
  • Evaluate/Replace Filters. When your oil is changed, your oil filter should be changed, too. Have air, fuel and positive crankcase ventilation filters checked and replaced if needed.
  • Check Antifreeze. Ideally, your radiator’s fluid reservoirs should be full, but not all the way to the “maximum-fill” mark. Have your cooling system flushed and refilled with a 50/50 concentration of antifreeze and water (make sure to use the appropriate antifreeze rating for your climate.)
  • Check Battery. Have your battery charge checked by a professional. A weak charge could become no-charge in winter, as cold-weather cranking requires extra energy. Make sure connections are tight and any corrosion is cleaned.
  • Check Belts and Hoses. Drastic seasonal temperature changes cause belts and hoses to expand and contract. Eventually, they may crack and fail. Have worn belts or hoses replaced.
  • Check Windshield Wipers. Worn wiper blades will significantly obscure your vision by smearing and streaking your windshield. If blades are beginning to show signs of wear, install a fresh pair. Also, make sure you have a full reservoir of windshield-washer fluid (not water.)
  • Evaluate Tires. Have your tires evaluated to make sure they have sufficient tread and aren’t wearing unevenly (in which case have them rotated.) Check tire pressure regularly (you’ll find the recommended inflation level inside your driver’s-side door.) For the safest winter performance, have winter tires installed on your vehicle.
  • Check Brakes. Brake malfunctions can be disastrous, especially on slick roads. Have your brakes thoroughly checked out by a reputable professional.
  • Check Transmission. Unfortunately, many motorists neglect their transmissions until they fail and require costly repairs. Have transmission fluids topped off or replaced, and have a technician evaluate the system for any problems.
  • Carry an Emergency Kit. The aforementioned steps will significantly reduce the likelihood that you’ll become stranded. Still, stock your car with apparel, tools, snacks, water and emergency gear to help you survive a worst-case scenario.

My Owner’s Manual Says I Need Synthetic Oil. Is This True?

My Owner’s Manual Says I Need Synthetic Oil. Is This True?

Your Manual says your vehicle needs synthetic oil, what to do? Engines in many newer vehicles many times require synthetic oil because they have to deliver a balance of performance, fuel economy, and fuel emissions. This is to ensure that your vehicle’s engine has a long life and on average can help cut down on maintenance and repair requirements as your vehicle ages.

Our Recommendation For Your Vehicle’s Oil

Simply put, follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation. If the manual is specifying synthetic oil, it’s most likely for a good reason. Not doing so could also void your vehicle’s warranty, and shorten the life of your engine.

Advantages of Synthetic Oil

-Flows easier in cold weather.

-Has a higher resistance to viscosity breakdown, heat, friction, and other chemical contamination.

-Synthetic oil has longer intervals between oil changes; 7.5K – 10K miles vs. 3K for mineral oil.

-Improved fuel economy in for many engine models.

-On average longer engine life.

-Increased horsepower and torque by decreasing engine drag.

 

Oil Change Services we Offer – Havoline Xpress Lube & Service Center

We offer full mineral oil and synthetic oil changes. Find a location or contact us today!

Oil change Services include

  • Change engine oil
  • Change oil filter
  • Lubricate chassis as required
  • Check & fill transmission fluid (1st pint free)
  • Check & fill differential fluid (1st pint free)
  • Check brake fluid level
  • Check & fill power steering fluid
  • Check & fill window washer fluid
  • Check & fill battery as required
  • Check wiper blades
  • Check all hoses & belts
  • Check air filters
  • Check & fill radiator coolant
  • Inflate tires to proper pressure
  • Clean windshield
  • Vacuum interior

Engine Air Filter VS. Cabin Air Filter

when we began in this business some 22 years ago, the term “air filter” meant the “engine air filter”, and was just a normally checked item and discussed topic.  Beginning back to the late 90’s the Cabin Interior Air Filter was introduced in some lines of new vehicles.  Though more and more common to see Cabin Interior Filters in 2016, we often have discussions with vehicle owners that do not even know there are two filters in their vehicle. So, let us explain the difference between and Engine Air Filter and a Cabin Air Filter.

Engine Air Filter

Keeps the air going in your engine clean, filtering out dust, debris, and many other particles that try to gunk up your engine by coming through the air intake. They help especially in highly populated cities, and dusty country areas, to increase vehicle performance.

Cabin Air Filter

The cabin interior air filter is designed to filter the air that comes into the vehicle that the passengers actually breathe in. Capturing exhaust fumes, dust, pollen, and bacteria to help keep passengers air safer to breathe. Vehicle owners can check their owners’ manual to see if their vehicle has such filter.

Question For Havoline Xpress Lube & Service Center

If you have any further questions please contact us today or come by one of our convenient locations.


Making a Career in the Quick Lube Industry

Often this Industry is looked at as a short-term job.  We realize that is the case for some but we are thankful for many long term Team Members at Havoline Xpress Lube.

Owner & Operator, Randy Groover, had hopes of breaking that stereotype when 22 years ago he began Pro Oil Shop, Inc. dba. As Havoline Xpress Lube, Service Center & Tire Xpress.

Groover, always wanted to build a team around him that would help take the company forward further than he could.  That mentality has paid off today as many employees remain from the beginning over 20 years with the company.  We want to highlight those; Store Managers, John Campbell, Derek Long, Jim Davis, Brian Umfress and the company Operations Manager, Stephen Cantrell.

The Havoline Xpress Lube family has six more management team members that have been with the company 10-20 years.  This has been a big part of our success and builds trust with our customer as they see tenured employees taking care of their vehicles.  Though not common in the industry, Groover started from the beginning with Health Insurance, Paid Vacation, Holiday pay as well as a company matched IRA retirement plan.  As things have changed with recent legislation on Health Insurance, we have begun to see many skilled workers in our Industry wanting to come to our Team for the benefits package that others may not offer.

Make sure to visit our Careers page and fill out our online application if you are interested working in the Quick Lube Industry.


Car Maintenance

Car Maintenance – Why do I need it?

According to Car Care Resources (http://www.carcare.org), routine maintenance is key to safety, performance and durability. Keeping your car in great shape starts with regularly scheduled auto care and preventative maintenance.

Car Maintenance Saves Time And Money

Not only does routine auto care and preventative maintenance help keep your car safe and dependable, but it helps save money and long term aggravation. Car Care Resources developed this infographic that highlights what should be inspected regularly to determine if there is a maintenance need before it becomes a bigger, more expensive problem. Many times you may not know how often to check certain parts of your car. This car care infographic provides a great checklist of what to inspect frequently, every 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and yearly, so you can maintain your car more efficiently.

If you have any questions about this infographic give us a call, ask during your next oil change at one of our 6 Mississippi locations, or fill out our contact form.

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