Tune Up For What!

Has your car been sluggish, squealing, vibrating or has become completely unreliable? If you answered yes to any of the above – it’s time for a tune up! Check out these 5 signs that your car shows when its time for a tune up.

tune up

1. Warning lights
Those little indicators on your dashboard aren’t there just for decoration. They illuminate for a reason – to indicate a problem or potential problem with a vehicle system or component. It’s important to pay attention to these lights, and when they light up or flash, get them diagnosed at your earliest opportunity.

2. Stalling
Your vehicle stalling in mid traffic is not only dangerous, but is also a warning sign of trouble lurking. Engines are designed to deliver reliable performance, particularly when you need it the most. Common causes: fouled spark plugs, clogged fuel filter.

3. Hard Start
It’s Monday, you’re allowed to be a little sluggish first thing in the morning. However, your vehicle isn’t. If your car won’t start when you need it to, and if it takes several turns of the key before it starts, you’ve got a problem. Common causes: weak battery, defective starter.

4. Poor gas mileage.
If you feel like you are filling your gas tank more frequently even though you’re driving the same distance, your vehicle may be experiencing a reduction in fuel mileage. A sudden decrease in fuel mileage indicates the vehicle isn’t operating as efficiently as it should. Common causes: improper tire pressure, sticking brake pad.

5. Vibration
We know that after a harsh winter Pittsburgh roads are bad, but when the sudden appearance of vibration that isn’t caused by rough road conditions is a red flag. You might only feel it in the steering when at a certain speed or it may seem to go throughout the whole vehicle. Common causes: worn or unbalanced tires, tire going flat, failing universal joint.

If you have been experiencing any of the above problems, click here and schedule your tune up appointment with one of our master technicians today!

Become a Master Technician with These How-To Videos

Do you need help checking your tire pressure? What about changing your cabin air filter? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Our master technician, Johnathan, is here with quick and easy how to tips on common car questions. Click the videos below and find out how to become a master technician yourself! If you haven’t mastered the craft, and need to make a service appointment, click here, and we can do it for you! We’re always looking for suggestions! Leave your car questions in the comments below!

Common Car Problems in the Winter

With the temperatures warming to the 40’s and 50’s this past weekend, everyone was thinking spring. Unfortunately, those thoughts were short lived with the return of snow showers and single-digit temperatures at the beginning of the week.

And the wrath of winter weather doesn’t stop with us. It extends to our cars. The good news is, though, there are a number of things you can do to safeguard your car.

Batteries

One of the most common problems faced by drivers in the winter is failed batteries. Some contributing factors to a battery’s demise in the winter are how long you’ve had the battery and the quality of the battery going into winter. At Jim Shorkey, we suggest stopping by one of our Service Centers and having your battery checked before the winter starts.

According to AAA, your car’s battery can lose about 35% of its efficiency when the temperature is around 0 degrees.

Frozen Lines

The fuel lines carry gasoline from the tank to the engine. When you drive, the gasoline runs through the lines and keeps them clear. Sometimes, condensation can build up in these lines and, if left in cold weather too long, can freeze. To prevent this, you should take special care in keeping your gas tank at least half full, or between 3/4 to full throughout the cold months.

Winter Car Breakdown

If you have questions about how to keep your car safe in winter, contact our maintenance experts at any of our Jim Shorkey locations. If you run into problems, our service professionals can help.

 

How to Extend the Life of Your Brakes

Do you feel like you are buying breaks after every season!? If so, take a look at our helpful hints on how to extend the life of your brakes. Both your car and wallet will thank you!

Stop speeding
Stops from high speed are your brakes worst nightmare. Stopping form 65 mph rather than 55 mph forces the brakes to dissipate about a third more energy.

Be a coaster
Coasting helps get rid of a lot of brake-killing speed. For instance, if you know you’ll have to stop at the end of a freeway off-ramp, coasting from 70 down to 50 before you brake will help reduce brake wear.

Memorize
Memorize places where other drivers slow down. If you were to ask a Pittsburgh driver, they would tell you the Squirrel Hill Tunnels are infamous for this!

Unload your car
The heavier your car, the harder it is on your brakes. Remove any unnecessary things that are weighing your car down.

Don’t follow the crowd
Many drivers brake just because the person in front of them did. It’ll take some practice, but eventually you will learn to coast when others brake inappropriately.

Change your break fluid
Brake fluid needs to be periodically changed. Renew your brake fluid, especially if you have an older vehicle or one that you purchased used. Flushing the brake fluid will make the internal components last longer and the brakes work better.

Upgrade and specialize
You get what you pay for, so don’t be surprised when bargain brakes wear out quickly. Today’s brake pads are complex, they may contain a dozen or more components, and are designed for specific uses.

Be frugal, but not foolish
Trying to extend brake life too long will cost you more money in the long-run. A good time to inspect brake material thickness is when you have your tires rotated.

no brakes

If you need new breaks give one of out service departments a call today!

The Importance of Routine Oil Changes

Sure, every car owner knows they have to get their oil changed. But maybe you’re really busy this week, or you’re waiting for payday, or you’re trying to stretch a few more miles out of the oil you currently have? Whatever the case, oil changes often fall on the backburner in terms of car maintenance. It cannot be that bad for your car, right?

Wrong.

Check out these photos of a car engine in which the car owner neglected to get oil changes:

service repair, car service pittsburgh, car care pittsburgh engine_01

Now, compare those to these photos of a well-maintained engine that received regular maintenance:

service repair, car service pittsburgh, car care pittsburgh service repair, car service pittsburgh, car care pittsburgh

It doesn’t take a well-trained and highly skilled auto mechanic to notice the difference between these two engines. We cannot stress enough the importance of proper vehicle maintenance, especially going into late fall and winter. Click here to schedule your service today at any of our convenient locations on Route 30 in North Huntingdon or Pittsburgh Road in Uniontown.

Five DIY Car Maintenance for the Upcoming Fall Season

Fall is here, which means shorter days and cooler temperatures. We always recommend bringing your vehicle into one of our Service Centers to ensure it’s running in top shape this time of year, but to help prepare your car for the demands of the coming driving season, we have five, simple do-it yourself car maintenance tips for a smoother and safer drive around Pittsburgh.

  1. Generally, wiper blades are used more frequently in the fall and winter. They take a lot more abuse from road grime and windshield-washer solvent, so it’s best to have your wiper blades replaced annually every fall. Fortunately, replacing wiper blades as part of car maintenance is very easy and requires no tools. They cost from $10 to $20. Note: some cars will require same-sized blades for the driver and passenger sides, while others will require a longer blade for the driver-side wiper.winshield wipers, DIY car maintenance, car care tips, service tips, car service tips
  1. Check your spare tire to ensure that it is properly inflated. The typical space-saver spare tire found in some cars must be inflated to the inflation pressure listed on the side of the tire. A tire pressure gauge costs $7 to $20. Tire pressure drops one PSI, or pound per square inch, for every 10-degree drop in temperature, according to AAA, so check your tires on a weekly basis. The proper inflation pressure will generally be listed in your vehicle’s owner manual and/or noted on a sticker located on the driver’s doorjamb.
  1. In colder seasons, windshield-washer fluid needs to be replaced with a solvent that is suited for use in cold weather. The washer fluid costs $2 to $4 per gallon, depending on the brand and whether it has antifreeze mixed in. Checking the brake-fluid reservoir is also a good idea. If the level is low, top it off with the appropriate type of brake fluid ($3.50 to $17 per container, depending on the type).
  1. At a minimum, engine air filters ($11.50 to $53 per filter, depending on brand) should be replaced twice per year as part of car maintenance. So, if you haven’t done so already, replacing your car’s air filter is a good idea. When an air filter reaches the point where it causes enough of a pressure drop to restrict airflow, the car’s fuel economy, performance and emissions begin to deteriorate, getting progressively worse until the dirty filter is replaced. Car air filters, DIY car maintenance, car care tips, service tips, car service tips
  1. Many electrical issues and ignition problems stem from loose or corroded battery connections. If you notice corrosion on the posts or cable connectors, use an appropriate brush ($4 per brush.) This is a very inexpensive, yet handy tool that you can get at any auto parts store. And clean both (posts) completely, and then reconnect everything securely. As part of regular car maintenance, and for safety, make sure all of the car’s lights are working; it’s important for you to see, as well as be seen, during autumn’s longer and darker nights. Headlight bulbs range in price from $14 to $27 for a single bulb to $25 to $50 for a dual pack.

How To Schedule a Service Appointment Online At Jim Shorkey Kia

If you’re like many of our busy service customers, it can be difficult to find time to call into the dealership and schedule a service appointment. So, what can you do? The good news is that we recently added a redesigned and enhanced Service Appointment Scheduler to our Jim Shorkey Kia page—eliminating the need to call into the dealership altogether.

Scheduling an appointment with the new system can be completed in a few quick steps outlined below:

  • Simply go to www.JimShorkeyKia.com and click on the Schedule Service Appointment in the middle of the page:

Step 1

  • This will then take you to the page below. Click on the tab across the top that best suits you and follow the prompts to schedule an appointment at the most convenient time and date.

Step 2

Finally, check out Andy White, our Service and Parts Director at Jim Shorkey Kia, as he walks us through the step-by-step process in this short, helpful video:

Jim Shorkey Cares: A quick service tip

Wintertime can be rough, and venturing outside can be unreasonably painful. Therefore, most people neglect their vehicle until the sun triumphantly breaks through the clouds and flowers harmoniously burst through the soil. As this time of the year draws nearer and nearer, we would like to bring you a quick service tip that will have your vehicle driving like a beacon of spring in no time.

Cabin Air Filters. The cabin air filter helps remove allergens and contaminants, as well as trap pollen, bacteria, dust, and exhaust gases that may find their way into a vehicle’s air conditioning and heating and ventilation systems. The filter also prevents leaves, bugs, and other debris from entering these systems.

A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can cause musty odors in the vehicle and can cause contaminants to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe in more fumes and particles when riding in the car compared to walking down the street. A restricted cabin air filter can also impair airflow in the HVAC system, possibly causing interior heating and cooling problems—important for staying comfortable during the excessively hot summer months. Over time, the heater and air conditioner may also become damaged by corrosion.

It’s generally recommended these filters should be changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual. Check out our Kia Service Manager, Andy White, below as he explains the importance of changing cabin air filters and compares a clean air filter with a dirty counterpart.