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Rockville, MD 20852
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Why You Should Periodically Run Your Car’s AC in the Winter

It tends to get very cold in Rockville, MD throughout the winter months. Although the highs typically get up into the 40s, the lows are usually in the 20s and sometimes even the teens during December, January, February, and sometimes even March. This means that you won’t need to run your car’s air conditioning system much, if at all, once the winter begins. Most experts in auto repair in Rockville, MD will, however, recommend that you turn your car’s AC on every so often, even during the winter. Here is why you should consider doing it if you’re not doing it already.

Rockville, MD mechanic

Clears up condensation on your car’s windows

Is there anything worse than trying to drive around in the winter when your car’s windows are all fogged up? It can make it impossible to see anything. It can also cause you to put others into harm’s way. You can clear up condensation and fog from your car’s windows by turning your AC on every now and again. It’ll dehumidify the air in your car and stop it from fogging your windows up and making it impossible for you to see.

Keeps your car’s AC system working the way it should

If you shut down any piece of machinery for an extended period of time, you’ll usually find that it won’t be running on all cylinders when you attempt to start it back up sometime down the line. The same goes for your car’s AC system. If you let it sit dormant all winter long, its parts are going to get way too comfortable and not work the way they should when you start using your AC in the spring and summer. By running your car’s AC system for a little while every few days, you’ll keep it sharp and prevent it from falling into a state of disrepair.

Extends the life of your car’s AC system

Your car’s AC system is probably not going to last the life of your car. At some point in time, you’re going to need to make repairs to the system to keep it fully functional. You can cut down on the repairs you need to make by running it in the winter from time to time. You shouldn’t run it all the time when it’s freezing-cold outside. But even just a few minutes every few days will keep your AC system active and allow fluids to flow throughout it.

Allows you to spot potential problems with your car’s AC system

We know we just alluded to the fact that driving around with foggy windows in the wintertime is one of the worst things in the world. But we just remembered that there is at least one thing that’s definitely worse—driving around in a hot car with no AC in the summertime. To avoid finding yourself in this scenario, keep an eye on your car’s AC system in the winter. It’s better to make Rockville, MD car repairs to it after spotting problems with it in the winter as opposed to waiting to discover those same problems in the spring or summer when you need your AC.

Do you need to have your car’s heating or cooling system serviced? Preferred Automotive can provide you with a Rockville, MD mechanic who can set you up with heating and cooling services. Reach out to us at (301) 881-8530 or visit us at 12356 Wilkins Ave, Rockville, MD 20852 to make an appointment for your vehicle.

5 Signs You Need to Have Your Car’s Spark Plugs Replaced

The spark plugs in your car have a very important job. When you turn your car key to turn your car on, they provide the spark that is necessary for internal combustion to take place in your engine. Without them, you’re not going to be able to get your car up and running. The spark plugs in your car aren’t going to last forever, which is why you should remember to take your car to a mechanic for auto repair in North Bethesda, MD if you ever suspect issues with them. Here are 5 signs that’ll let you know you need to have your car’s spark plugs replaced.

North Bethesda, MD car repair services

Your car makes a lot of noise when it’s idling.

When your car is idling in your driveway or even at a red light, you shouldn’t hear a lot of noise coming from your engine. Your engine should be nice and quiet in most cases when you’re sitting in one spot in your car. If it makes a ton of noise when you’re idling, you may want to enlist a North Bethesda, MD mechanic to check it out. Your spark plugs could be to blame for the issue.

Your car doesn’t start right up on cold mornings.

Does your car sound like it’s really struggling to start up when you go to turn it on at the beginning of a cold morning? This could be yet another sign that your spark plugs aren’t doing what they should. You might eventually be able to start your car, but you could drain quite a bit of power from your car’s battery in the process. You’re better off having a mechanic look at your spark plugs to see if they need to be replaced.

Your car has an engine that’s always misfiring.

If your car’s spark plugs are covered in carbon deposits, there’s a decent chance that the cylinders in your engine are going to misfire all the time. Your car isn’t going to be able to perform the way it usually does, which might cause you to fear the worst. Take your car into an auto repair shop to see what’s happening. It could just be a simple case of your spark plugs needing to be replaced.

Your car seems to be having a hard time accelerating.

When you put your car into “drive” and step on the accelerator, you expect for your car to move forward. But if your spark plugs have gone bad, your car might not always respond how you expect it to. Old spark plugs can lead to your car’s engine performing sluggishly, which can slow down your ability to accelerate. You may need to have your spark plugs replaced to accelerate like normal again.

Your car is burning through more gas than it should.

Did you know that driving around with old spark plugs in your car could potentially drag your fuel efficiency down by up to 30 percent? You do now! Do something about it by making sure that you replace your car’s spark plugs often enough. If you don’t, you might start to notice that you’re burning through way more gas than you used to.

If you want to replace the spark plugs in your car, Preferred Automotive can get the job done in no time. We can also provide you with other North Bethesda, MD car repair services. Contact us at (301) 881-8530 to arrange for one of our mechanics to work on your car or bring your car down to 12356 Wilkins Ave, Rockville, MD 20852 for service.

Why You Need an Experienced Auto Repair Shop by Your Side

Did a brand-new auto repair shop just open up on your side of town? If so, you might be thinking about taking your car there the next time you need auto repair in Rockville, MD. They could very well have mechanics that have experience working in other places. But ideally, you should only trust your car with an experienced auto repair shop that knows the ins and outs of the car repair business. Here is why experience really matters in the auto repair industry.

auto repair in Rockville, MD

Experienced auto repair shops offer a wide range of services.

All auto repair shops offer car repair services to some degree. But a lot of the newer ones only offer a set of specific services as opposed to a wide-ranging list of services that covers pretty much every aspect of a car. You should always look for auto repair shops that can extend an extensive list of services to their customers. It shows that they’re confident in their ability to deal with almost any part of a car.

They have relationships with companies that produce high-quality parts.

When you’re having new parts put into your vehicle, you want to know that they’re manufactured by a company you can trust. Experienced Rockville, MD car repair shops specialize in working exclusively with the most trusted names in the auto repair industry when it comes to auto parts. They’ll make sure that you have high-quality parts put into your car that come equipped with warranties on them. You won’t always get this same kind of treatment from auto repair shops that haven’t been around for long.

They won’t charge an arm and a leg for car repair services.

You might think that you’ll be subjected to higher-priced repair services when you call on an experienced auto repair company for help. But more often than not, the opposite is true. Many experienced auto repair shops know how to make repairs to cars in the most cost-effective way possible. They can fix your car right the first time and get it done in no time so that you aren’t forced to pay outrageous labor fees.

They stand behind the work they do and do whatever they can to make things right.

Auto repair shops that have been around for decades have stood the test of time for a reason. They’ve usually gone above and beyond over the years to ensure that their customers have been happy with their services. You can expect to get this same great treatment when you work with an experienced auto repair shop. They’ll make sure you’re 100 percent satisfied with their services and work to make things right if you’re not happy for whatever reason.

Preferred Automotive has been the auto repair shop people have come to for help with car repair since 1990. Let us show you what sets us apart by having one of our Rockville, MD mechanics take a look at your car. Call us at 301-881-8530 to schedule an appointment or drive your car down to 12356 Wilkins Ave, Rockville, MD 20852.

Things You Should Never Say to a Mechanic at an Auto Repair Shop

When you first start taking your car to a new shop for auto repair in North Bethesda, MD, it’s not a bad idea at all to spend at least a few minutes speaking with the mechanic who’s going to work on it. It’s good to be on a first-name basis with a mechanic, especially if you plan on bringing your car back to them in the future. By developing a close working relationship with them, you can learn more about the ways you can maintain your car and make it last longer.

auto repair in North Bethesda, MD

There are certain things that you’ll probably want to steer clear of saying to your mechanic, though. Unless you have a great relationship with them, they won’t take too kindly to these things when you say them. Check out some of the things you should keep to yourself when talking to a mechanic who is going to be working on your car.

“I know exactly what’s wrong with my car…”

When you bring your car to a North Bethesda, MD mechanic, you might have a strong suspicion as far as what’s wrong with it. But unless you’ve trained to be a mechanic yourself, you don’t know the whole story. So don’t tell your mechanic that you know exactly what the issue is. Instead, let them do their job. The problem could be worse than it appears, or it could be a lot less serious than you were originally thinking.

“I saw how to fix the problem with my car on YouTube…”

These days, you can see just about every car repair possible performed on YouTube. Depending on how much time you want to devote to it, you can see professionals and backyard mechanics alike doing everything from routine oil changes to transmission repairs. But just because you’ve seen someone make a repair on YouTube does not make you an expert on it. Refrain from telling your mechanic that you know how to make certain repairs simply because you watched a video about it online.

“I brought parts for you to use in my car…”

It’s never been easier than it is right now to buy auto parts online. You can find parts for your car in a matter of just minutes, and in some cases, you can have them shipped right to your home in just hours. But you shouldn’t invest any time or money into buying parts for your car if you’re going to have a mechanic work on it. A reputable auto repair shop will not install parts purchased by a customer since there are all kinds of liability insurance issues that could pop up if they do it.

“I don’t think a repair should cost that much…”

There are some shady mechanics out there that will attempt to rip people off when they’re repairing their cars. But as long as you’re working with an experienced auto repair shop with a good reputation, you shouldn’t be too concerned about this happening to you. The price that you get from them is often a fair and reasonable price based on the auto repair you need done. Try not to make it seem as though they’re attempting to rip you off when they’re offering you the best possible price.

The mechanics at Preferred Automotive would be more than happy to talk to any customers who want to discuss the North Bethesda, MD car repairs they need to have made. They can explain the repairs so that customers understand why they’re necessary. Contact us at (301) 881-8530 today to arrange to have auto repair done or stop by 12356 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, MD 20852 to have an issue with your car diagnosed.

5 Auto Repair Jobs You Should Never Attempt to Do Yourself

Depending on what’s wrong with your car, making an auto repair in Rockville, MD can be expensive. It’s why some people will attempt to make repairs to their own vehicles rather than bringing them into an auto repair shop.

There are some auto repair jobs that you might be able to pull off if you take the time to learn how to do them. But there are also a whole bunch of auto repair jobs that you should not try to do under any circumstances. Let’s take a look at 5 auto repair jobs that should be off-limits for all the do-it-yourselfers out there.

auto repair in Rockville, MD

Replacing brakes

The brakes on your car are probably the most important parts on it as far as safety is concerned. If your brakes aren’t installed the right way, it could put you and any passengers who are in your car in real danger. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped some people from trying to replace their brakes on their own. While it is possible for people to do it, it’s really not worth the risk. If you make one tiny mistake, it could be catastrophic for you and put others at risk.

Putting in a head gasket

“Blown head gasket” are three words that all car owners hate to hear. Replacing a head gasket in a car can cost thousands of dollars. It can also take a substantial amount of time to replace one, even if you’re an experienced mechanic. Outside of the fact that you could do serious damage to your vehicle by putting in a head gasket the wrong way, you’ll also waste a whole bunch of time doing it. Leave it to the professionals instead.

Installing a fuel pump

A fuel pump is one of the most sensitive parts inside of any car. This can make it very expensive to replace. Some car owners try to get around the expense by trying to replace their fuel pump themselves, and they often pay the price for it in the end. If you fail to install a fuel pump correctly, it can cause all sorts of issues under the hood and lead to even costlier Rockville, MD car repairs down the line.

Repairing a radiator

Your radiator plays an essential role in the operation of your car. It’s responsible for keeping everything under the hood cool when your car is firing on all cylinders. Without it, your car will begin to overheat and could even catch on fire. You do not want this to happen, which is why you should only trust a mechanic to work on your radiator. Whether you need it serviced or replaced, they’ll make sure the job gets done right so that you don’t have to worry about your car overheating.

Tinkering with a transmission

Did you know that the average car transmission contains thousands of tiny parts in it? These parts help your car to move forward and go in reverse with ease. But your car could get stuck in the driveway for months to come if you tinker with your transmission. You need to know exactly what you’re doing when you work on a transmission. Let a mechanic work on yours if it ever needs to be repaired.

Do you need to have a serious auto repair done? Trust a Rockville, MD mechanic from Preferred Automotive to take care of it for you. Call us at (301) 881-8530 today to schedule a repair or bring your car down to 12356 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, MD 20852 to have someone look at it.

Why You Should Do Auto Repair Instead of Buying a New Car

Is your car, truck, or SUV in desperate need of auto repair in Rockville, MD at the moment? If so, you might be thinking about trading it in and buying something new as opposed to spending money to have your existing vehicle fixed. You may have even convinced yourself at this point that it makes more sense to buy a new car rather than investing money into your old one.

It might not be the worst idea in the world to upgrade your car if you’re still driving around in something from the 1980s or even the 1990s with a couple hundred thousand miles on it. But if your car is still in relatively good shape right now, you should strongly consider repairing it as opposed to replacing it. Here is why you should do auto repair instead of buying a new car.

auto repair in Rockville, MD

Old cars are lasting a lot longer than they used to.

Years ago, 100,000 miles was about what you could expect to get out of the average car. Once a car hit the 100,000-mile mark, people started to think about buying a new car since it was only a matter of time before their old one gave out on them. But today, cars are lasting so much longer than they did in years past. You can easily get 150,000 to 200,000 miles out of a car as long as you take the time to maintain it. If your car is still well below that, it would be silly to trade it in when there is still so much life left in it.

New cars cost more than ever before.

If you’re going to buy a new car, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. The average cost of a new car has eclipsed $35,000—and you could end up paying a whole lot more than that if you buy a car with all the bells and whistles included. If you can afford to do it, you’re free to spend your money on a new car if you want. But wouldn’t it make more sense to fix your car up at a Rockville, MD auto repair shop instead and save yourself a ton of money in the process?

There’s no guarantee a new car won’t cause problems for you, too.

A lot of people think that as long as they have a new car, they won’t have to worry about it causing any problems for them. They’re under the impression that older cars are the only cars that have issues and require auto repair. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. While it is true that an older car might need to have more repairs made to it, a newer car can have its fair share of issues, too. And those issues could be costlier to fix than the ones associated with new cars. It’s yet another reason why it would make a whole lot more sense to hang on to your old car for as long as you can.

Do you want to extend the life of your old car as much as possible so that you can put off buying a new one? A Rockville, MD mechanic from Preferred Automotive can help you keep your car out on the road for a long time. Call us at (301) 881-8530 today to schedule service on your car or bring your car down to 12356 Wilkins Ave, Rockville, MD 20852 for repairs.

4 Reasons People Visit Auto Repair Shops for AC Repair Services

Is there anything worse than driving around in a hot car during the dog days of summer? It’ll make you wish you had stayed home instead of ever leaving the house. If your car is hot beyond belief right now, you might need to have auto repair in Rockville, MD done on it to bring your air conditioner back to life. Here are 4 common reasons why people visit auto repair shops for AC repair services in the summertime.

auto repair Rockville, MD
AC won’t turn on

Did you just try to turn on your air conditioner only to discover that—gasp—it won’t turn on at all? This can obviously be very frustrating because it won’t even give you the option of getting access to slightly cooled air in your car. If you ever experience this particular problem, you should run right down to a Rockville, MD auto repair shop right away to have a mechanic take a look at your car. You could have some kind of electrical issue going on with your vehicle.

AC doesn’t produce cold air

If your air conditioner turns on but doesn’t produce any cold air when it’s running, this can be almost as frustrating as your AC not working at all. Nothing is less refreshing that hot air blowing on you in a hot car. You’ll be forced to roll the windows down when you encounter this situation. You’ll also be forced to bring your car down to an auto repair shop to have it inspected.

AC doesn’t blow hard enough

The good news: Your car’s AC system is blowing cold air! The bad news: The air is coming out of your car’s vents so slowly that you and your passengers can barely feel it. When your car’s AC system can’t pump out cold air quickly, it’ll have almost no impact on the temperature in your car. You won’t even want to bother running your AC since it’ll still be hot in your car despite it being on. You could have an issue with your cooling fans, your compressor, or something else. Hand the keys to your car over to a mechanic so that they can diagnose the underlying issue.

AC is leaking

Within your car’s AC system, there are all kinds of different hoses, O-rings, and other parts that can cause leaks. If you happen to have a leak in your AC system, it’ll cause some of the issues listed above as well as other problems with your car. A mechanic can use several techniques to find out if a car’s AC system has a leak somewhere in it. It’ll make it easy for them to fix whatever is wrong with your AC system so that it starts blowing cold air again.

Driving around in the summertime without air conditioning in your car is a big no-no. Outside of making you uncomfortable, it could also potentially put your health at risk if you’re not careful. Let Preferred Automotive take care of your AC problems for you. One of our Rockville, MD mechanics can check out your AC and figure out why it won’t work for you. Reach out to us at (301) 881-8530 today or visit us at 12356 Wilkins Ave Rockville, MD 20852 to get your AC fixed.

How to Tell When It’s Time for You to Perform a Coolant Flush

The coolant in your vehicle plays a very important part in its overall operation. Coolant is used to keep your car’s engine and radiator cool when it’s running. Without coolant, cars will often overheat, regardless of how hot or cold it might be outside. If it’s been a long time now since you’ve had the coolant in your car flushed, consider scheduling a coolant flush with a shop that specializes in auto repair in North Bethesda, MD. Here is how you’ll know when it’s time to do one.

auto repair in North Bethesda, MD

Your last coolant flush was more than two years ago.

You don’t have to have the coolant in your car flushed every year. But most auto manufacturers recommend that you have it done at least once every two years. They also recommend that people have it done every 30,000 miles if they manage to hit that mark before the two-year period is up. The only exception to this rule is if you have extended drain coolant in your car. This type of coolant can usually last for five years or 100,000 miles, depending on which comes first.

Your coolant levels are low.

Every once in awhile, it’s a good idea to pop the hood on your car to check out your coolant levels. There are coolant reservoirs in most vehicles that are easily accessible. Take a look at your coolant levels to see that you have enough coolant in your car. If you don’t, you may need to either top your levels off for the time being or, better yet, take your car to a North Bethesda, MD repair shop for a coolant flush.

Your coolant looks like it has rust in it.

Regular coolant is bright green. Extended drain coolant, meanwhile, is bright orange. If you look at your coolant and it’s not one of these two colors, that could indicate a problem with your coolant. You should especially worried if your coolant appears as though it has rust in it. There are a lot of parts in your car that can rust over time, and that rust can change the composition of your coolant. You’ll need to have your old coolant flushed and replace it with new coolant to make sure your coolant is able to do its job.

Your coolant is leaking.

Is there a big pool of green or orange coolant underneath your car every time you park it? This means you have a leak somewhere in your coolant system. It can be difficult to find exactly where the leak is in some cases, though, which is why you should call on a professional mechanic to find it. They’ll identify the source of the leak and let you know what needs to be done to fix it. They’ll also usually tell you to have a coolant flush done at the same time since the coolant system is already being repaired.

Whatever you do, you shouldn’t drive around in a car with no coolant or coolant that is so old that it’s not able to deliver the performance you need anymore. Allow a North Bethesda, MD mechanic to perform a coolant flush for you to bring your coolant system back to life. Preferred Automotive can set you up with the coolant flush services you need. Contact us at (301) 881-8530 today to take advantage of them or drive your car down to 12356 Wilkins Ave Rockville, MD 20852.

5 Useful Tips for Extending the Life of Your Car Battery

Most car batteries are only designed to last for about three or four years. After that, you’ll need to replace them to prevent finding yourself with a dead battery at the worst possible time. But there are some steps you can take to extend the life of your car battery and get more out of it. It could prevent you from having to replace it sooner than you should have to at a Rockville, MD auto repair shop. It’ll also give you peace of mind when you’re out on the road. Here are 5 useful tips for extending the life of your car battery.

Rockville, MD auto repair shop

Cut down on the number of short car rides you take.

Have you gotten into the habit of taking a lot of car rides that are on the shorter side? You might think this is cutting down on the wear and tear you’re putting on your car, and to some degree, you’re right. But you’re also putting a huge strain on your car battery when you do this. You’re not giving it the time it needs to recharge when you only drive for a few miles at a time.

Shut your lights off before getting out of your car.

The easiest way to kill your car battery is by leaving your interior lights or headlights on when the car is off. Yet, lots of people continue to accidentally leave their lights on when getting out of the car at the end of a drive. Check and double check that your lights are off prior to stepping out of your car. It’ll prevent your lights from emptying your battery completely.

Avoid plugging too many things into your car’s outlets.

There are car adapters for just about every piece of electronic equipment these days. You can charge smartphones, tablets, and more by plugging them into your car’s outlets. It’s OK to do it when you’re driving around. But try not to plug these things into your outlets when your car is idling. It’ll drain your battery down quickly and could even empty it altogether if you’re not careful.

Clean corrosion off your car battery every so often.

Over the years, corrosion will often build up on your car battery. Pop the hood and clean it off to prevent the corrosion from taking a toll on it. To do it, simply mix together 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of hot water. Take an old toothbrush and dip it into the mixture before scrubbing any corrosion you can find from your battery. Doing this will keep the battery cleaner and extend its life.

Start your car and let it run even when you don’t need to use it.

Every mechanic in Rockville, MD will tell you that it’s not a good idea to let your car sit for days, weeks, and months on end without letting it run. It can kill your battery and impact other parts of your car, too. Even if you’re not planning on driving for awhile, go out to your car and start it up every other day or so and let it run for a few minutes. This will allow fluids to circulate and keep your battery charged.

Is the battery in your car starting to give you problems? Preferred Automotive can take care of replacing it for you. We can also offer other auto repair services in Rockville, MD. Reach out to us at (301) 881-8530 today to set up an appointment or drive your car down to 12356 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, MD 20852 to have it looked at.

4 Reasons to Have Your Tires Rotated at an Auto Repair Shop

When is the last time you had the tires on your car rotated? If it’s been awhile now since your last tire rotation, bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop in Rockville to have it done right away. Most auto manufacturers recommend that drivers rotate tires once every 3,000 to 7,000 miles to prevent problems with tires. Check out 4 reasons why you shouldn’t put off tire rotation any longer than you have to below.

auto repair shop in Rockville

Prevents tires from wearing out unevenly

Each of the tires on your vehicle will wear out differently depending on where they’re situated and how you drive. This can result in your tires wearing out unevenly if you aren’t diligent about rotating them every now and then. By doing tire rotation, you’ll find that your tires will wear out evenly over the years. They’ll last longer than they would otherwise and keep their tire tread pattern.

Maintains tire traction

Do you spend a lot of time driving in rainy or snowy conditions? If you do, it’s important for you to have good tire traction. It’ll prevent your vehicle from slipping and sliding all over the road when it’s wet or icy. If you don’t have a Rockville mechanic rotate your tires, you’re going to find that some of your tires don’t provide you with much traction at all. It’ll cause your car to move around far too much when you’re driving in rain and snow, and it could even put you in harm’s way.

Keeps tire warranties intact

Most tires come with an extended warranty on them. If the tires don’t perform up to your standards over the long haul, you can have them replaced free of charge in many cases. But you’ll usually find that a tire manufacturer will void the warranty on your tires if they suspect you haven’t been doing regular tire rotations. It’s your job to make sure your tires are being maintained once they’re on your car, and that includes rotating them once or twice every year.

Helps you avoid having to replace tires sooner than you should have to

Replacing the tires on a car, truck, or SUV is often very costly. You could spend more than $1,000 on some of the tires that are out there. Therefore, you want to get as much life as you possibly can out of tires before replacing them. There will be a small expense that comes along with a tire rotation. But it’ll be nothing compared to what you would have to pay for brand-new tires. You can keep your existing tires for a longer period of time by rotating them and making sure that there is more than enough air in them at all times.

Are you having a hard time remembering the last time you rotated your tires? Preferred Automotive can set you up with a Rockville tire rotation today. Give us a call at (301) 881-8530 or visit us at 12356 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, MD 20852 to schedule an appointment.