Repair Tips You Can Trust From Alpha & Omega Automotive
We have created a trustworthy resource that delivers monthly high caliber auto maintenance tips, superior fuel savings ideas and best in class auto repair guidance. For more help, ask one of our pros!
These are the 6 best ways to care for your car
1:Check Your Lights - switch on your headlights and walk around to the front and rea of the vehicle to ensure everything is working.
2:Maintain Your Battery - wipe away grease with a cloth and make sure you are not leaving your car off for extended periods of time.
3:Flush And Fill Coolant - top off the radiator with clean water using a hose and replace the radiator cap. start the engine and leave it running for 15 minutes. Or just bring it by A&O
4:Top Off Gas and Wiper Fluid - use a funnel and fill until wiper fluid reaches fill line.
5:Monitor Your Tire Pressure - remove cap from air valve and use tire gauge to read air pressure.
6:Test Your Defroster and Heater - hop in your car and start it up to test heat and defroster.
Why have auto repair costs increased over the last few years?
There are a few reasons for this! Including but not limited to: higher labor costs and better technology.
- More technology in cars
- Ongoing supply-chain issues
- Longer ownership of vehicles
- Increase in crashes
- Fewer available technicians
What's a common mistake that can lead to a costly repair?
What's a common mistake that can lead to a costly repair?
Mixing up your fluids.
It's recommended you keep an eye on your fluids to maintain your car! If your wiper fluid is running low, add more. If your coolant is low, replace it! These tasks can easily be done at home or at a shop however if you are performing this task yourself, be sure to pay close attention to what fluid you're putting where.
Some newer models of cars have taken to putting their wiper fluid and radiator caps very close together and oftentimes they have similar, if not the same, colored caps.
Pay extra attention in those scenarios! You do not want washer fluid in your radiator cap. Should this happen (and it's okay, everyone makes mistakes!), it is recommended you have your car brought to the shop ASAP to have your radiator drained and flushed before a more severe issue occurs. You don't want your whole cooling system damaged!
Does anyone know why we have to get emissions tested?
In 1996, Georgia state legislation created the Inspection and Maintenance program to reduce harmful emissions and minimize the harmful effects of vehicles on the atmosphere.
There are only 13 counties in Georgia requiring emissions testing, they fall in or around the Atlanta metropolitan area. So what kind of cars need testing?
In Georgia, only cars and light trucks weighing less than 8,500 pounds need to pass emissions. Once passed, car owners will only need to pass emissions again once every year or registration renewal cycle for the vehicle.
Learn How A 15 Minute Monthly Check Can Benefit Your Vehicle
While you might have a regularly scheduled maintenance with us at Alpha & Omega Automotive every three months, a regular 15-minute monthly check under the hood can prevent problems and breakdowns in-between appointments.
Not sure what to check for? No problem! Use Alpha & Omega Automotive's checklist to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape:
- Oil Level on Dipstick
- Dashboard Indicator Lights
- Head and Tail Lights
- Windshield Wipers and Fluid
If you're noticing problems, don't wait until your next maintenance check. Give us a call and let us take care of any problems right away to ensure your vehicle is working to the best of its ability. At Alpha & Omega Automotive, we're here to make sure your car rides are worry-free!
When should I change my spark plugs?
When should I change my spark plugs?
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum-tipped spark plugs.
As the temperatures begin to dip, let's talk about ways to maintain your heating system!
There are a few things that can cause a heating system to malfunction:
- low coolant levels
- cooling system leakage
- malfunctioning blow fan
- bad thermostat
Thankfully, we have several maintenance tips to keep your heater running nice and toasty.
- Flush the coolant on a regular basis
- Use excellent high quality antifreeze
- Prevent debris from entering the heating box by regularly cleaning and removing it
- Regularly get your car inspected by professionals like Alpha & Omega Automotive and get it serviced for accurate functioning
If you notice an issue with the heating system bring it in immediately rather than delaying! Waiting will usually lead to a more costly repair. Alpha & Omega Automotive has two conveniently located shops in Woodstock and Marietta, Georgia.
Be sure to follow us @alpha_and_omega_automotive for more car care tips! Alpha & Omega Automotive is your friendly, neighborhood auto-shop dedicated to getting you back on the road again.
Why is tire alignment an important part of keeping your car maintained?
Generally, the recommended interval for tire rotations is 5,000 to 8,000 miles. You can usually have your tires rotated when you bring your car in for an oil change. It's a pretty inexpensive maintenance practice that can provide you with several benefits!
- Smoother ride
- Enhanced safety
- Better fuel efficiency
- Longer-lasting tires and suspension
If you notices signs such as uneven tire wear, loss of tire pressure, and vibration when driving at a high speed, then it's time for a tire rotation! Be sure to bring your vehicle by to Alpha & Omega Automotive so we can take care of you!
What should you put in your emergency kit?
An emergency kit is filled with items you keep in your car in case of an emergency. It is best to always be prepared for the worst case scenarios.
These are some items we recommend keeping in your emergency kit.
- First Aid Kit
- Jumper Cables
- Water Bottle
- Nonperishable, high-energy foods, such as unsalted nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
- Duct Tape
- Multipurpose Utility Tool
- Cell Phone Charger
Ideally you should check your emergency kit every 6 months to replace any expired items. It's also a good idea to keep family and emergency phone numbers, including your auto insurance provider and a towing company, on a note in your car in the event you use someone else's phone to call for help.
Keep Your Car Healthy and Happy
One way to keep your car healthy and happy (and save you money!) is as simple as keeping your battery clean!
Ramsey Solutions gives a great tip on this!
"Over time, corrosion (which looks like white or bluish powder) can form on the terminals of your car's battery (those little metal knobs on top). If you don't keep them clean, the battery could develop a crack or simply not function, leaving you stranded. Since a quality car battery can cost upward of $250-and a tow can run you even more-buying a $5 wire brush and keeping the terminals looking spiffy is money well spent."
This is as simple as testing your battery twice a year and inspecting it for corrosion. Not sure what you're looking for? Just bring it on by to Alpha & Omega and we'll check it over for you.
Preventive Auto Maintenance For Severe Driving
Reduce the Effects of Severe Driving On Your Car
Are you an "aggressive" driver? Everyone answers "no" to this question because "aggressive" has become associated with road rage incidents. Today we replace "aggressive" with the word "severe." Severe driving is often unavoidable.
8 Types of Severe Driving
- Moving quickly through curvy roads in and around Marietta
- Traversing gravel or sandy roads
- Driving in extreme heat, on icy roads or roads with a deep snowpack
- Executing multiple lane changes in stop-and-go traffic
- Consistently driving 10 mph or more over the speed limit
- Short time dependent commutes around Marietta
- Truncating a safe following distance resulting in frequent braking
- Driving with heavier loads such as a cargo or passenger van or towing a trailer
While most motorists have experienced "severe" driving on occasion, for other drivers it is an unavoidable part of their daily commute. If you are a severe driver, take extra care to avoid excessive wear and tear on your car, SUV or truck. Severe drivers are more likely to experience an inconvenient breakdown.
Increase Your Preventive Maintenance Intervals On These Six Important Items:
- Replace your motor oil and oil filters
- Top off or replace your coolant
- Have your brake pad thickness and brake fluid inspected regularly
- Check your tire tread depth
- Replace your windshield wipers
- Monitor your transmission and steering fluid
Other ways to avoid excess wear and tear on your car from severe driving involve slowing down, avoiding quick starts and stops, and removing heavy items left in your car's trunk or truck bed. Remember gas mileage decreases rapidly when you drive above 60 mph.
Stop by Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta and let our pro mechanics help you develop a preventive maintenance plan that matches your driving style. Call today at 770-928-0006 or come by the service center at 4035 Canton Rd, Marietta, GA, 30066.
5 Regular Auto Maintenance Items That Save Real Money
Save Money And Time With Simple Preventative Maintenance From Alpha & Omega Automotive
A little auto maintenance goes a long way toward protecting your wallet from high-cost auto repairs in the future.
Schedule regular auto maintenance for these five essential systems
- Brakes, including brake pads, brake fluid, calipers and rotors
- Tires, including tread wear, proper inflation, front end alignment and balancing
- Belts, including serpentine, starter and timing belts
- Hoses, including cooling and radiator hoses
- Fluids, including oil, transmission, steering, brake, antifreeze and wiper fluids
At Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta we keep your car running smoothly and efficiently to save you both time and money in and out of the repair shop. Many drivers overlook how services such as a simple oil change can increase fuel efficiency and save you money at the gas pump.
Come by Alpha & Omega Automotive at 4035 Canton Rd, Marietta, GA, 30066 and discuss an annual vehicle maintenance plan with us today. Spreading maintenance items out over the course of the year can help make auto maintenance expenses more affordable. Ask us about Alpha & Omega Automotive coupons and rebates on items such as tires for additional savings.
Call Alpha & Omega Automotive today at 770-928-0006.
Should I Replace My Car's Spark Plugs?
The Two Instances When You Should Always Replace Your Spark Plugs
Let's talk spark plugs. A common question we hear at Alpha & Omega Automotive is, "Should I replace my spark plugs?"
A spark plug performs a critical task for your vehicle's engine. Without a spark plug your car or truck's engine cannot work. Properly working spark plugs also deliver added fuel efficiency. Most owners manuals say to replace the spark plugs every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. In many cases spark plugs last longer than the driver's ownership of the car.
So, when should you replace your spark plugs?
- If you just purchased a used vehicle
- At least every 80,000 miles
Spark plugs are one of the hardest working parts of a vehicle. If you just purchased a used car, it is best to go ahead and replace the spark plugs. You have no idea if the previous owners were "severe" drivers. A spark plug can fire 400 times per minute per cylinder or 1,600 times a minute on a four-cylinder engine. Severe driving can place even higher demands on the spark plugs and engine.
Many used car dealers boast an extensive multi-point inspection plan prior to the sale of any car but many of these plans don't cover spark plug integrity. Because a failed spark plug can mean disaster for your new purchase it is best to get them replaced by the qualified technicians at Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta.
At Alpha & Omega Automotive we recommend replacing spark plugs before they reach the 80,000-mile mark. Many car owners delay spark plug replacement until the engine starts "missing." An engine that is "missing" will typically result in a jerking feeling when accelerating. Spark plugs that are severely worn out will create a pinging or knocking sound. These fouled, worn-out spark plugs can lead to extensive engine damage that is expensive to fix. Therefore, replacing spark plugs before they reach the 80,000-mile mark is very important.
Three Indicators Your Spark Plugs Need To Be Replaced
- Rattling, pinging or knocking noises when accelerating
- Missing, hesitating or jerky feeling when driving
- Slow acceleration or chugging
Sluggish and reduced performance also causes poor fuel economy. Save money at the pump by taking care of your vehicle's spark plugs.
Come by Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta if you just bought a used car or your vehicle is approaching the 80,000-mile mark to have your spark plugs replaced by one of our qualified pro mechanics. Call today at 770-928-0006 or stop by our service center at 4035 Canton Rd, Marietta, GA, 30066.
Don't Forget to Replace Your Car or Truck's Belts
Remember to Change Your Belts
Drivers in Marietta are busy and it is easy to forget that belts are tirelessly working to keep your engine running. A worn-out belt is a break down waiting to happen. Avoid being stranded on the side of the road and get your belts inspected each time you get an oil change at Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta.
Your car or truck's belts are essential for many of the vehicle's critical components such as water cooling, air conditioning and the alternator. Serpentine belts are used to turn the alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. Often when serpentine belts brake your vehicle will stop working completely.
Come to Alpha & Omega Automotive to get worn or frayed serpentine belts replaced. Replacing belts when cracked, frayed or showing signs of excessive wear is very inexpensive when compared to having your car or truck towed to our repair shop.
Listen for signs of belt problems. Noise like rattling or slipping in the belt system is a sign of wear. Use your nose to tell you if a belt problem is imminent. The smell of burnt rubber can indicate a slipping belt.
At Alpha & Omega Automotive when we replace a worn serpentine belt, we check all the components in the serpentine system such as tensioners and pulleys. A typical serpentine belt replacement is 60,000 to 90,000 miles.
Why risk being stranded when a bad belt can be diagnosed with simple routine maintenance? Get Alpha & Omega Automotive to replace your car or truck's serpentine belts as directed by your owner's manual and avoid the hassle and expense of a sudden breakdown.
Call Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta today at 770-928-0006 to schedule regular maintenance such as belt inspection.
Owning A Car Is A Hidden Cost For College Students
Car Ownership - A Hidden Cost for College Students in Marietta
Public transportation, Uber or Lyft may be an option for students attending college in large cities but for students attending colleges in small towns the only option may be owning a car. This is particularly true for students attending community colleges where commuting to campus is the only option.
College is expensive and owning a car while attending school is an added expense. Here are the top six expense categories college students should plan for:
- Parking permit, annual taxes and registration
Parking permits, licensing, registration and taxes are unavoidable. However here are some recommendations for managing other costs.
- Consider using a gas app that helps you track down the best price in town for gas. Many local gas and convenience stores offer a reward card just for gas.
- Revisit your auto loan. College may be a good time to consider a less expensive car. Call your local credit union and ask them about financing. Some financial institutions offer lower interest rates for car owners who sign up to have their monthly payments deducted directly from their bank account each month.
- Shopping for car insurance may also create a significant savings. If you switch to a less expensive car you may need less coverage. If you are driving less on average this may also lower your insurance costs. Keeping a clean driving record while you are in college can help keep your insurance rates low.
- Come by Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta and let us help you create a solid auto maintenance plan. No one wants to miss class because their car wouldn't start. Regular maintenance on your car will help prevent high-cost car repairs in the future. Maintenance items such as oil changes can also increase fuel efficiency saving you additional money at the gas pump.
- The cost of tires can be a jolt to a college student's budget. Plan to buy tires by setting aside a little money each month. Save on tires by taking advantage of manufacturer rebates.
Call Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta today at 770-928-0006 or stop by our service center for preventive auto maintenance services at 4035 Canton Rd, Marietta, GA, 30066.
Alpha & Omega Automotive Knows What Older Cars and Trucks Need
Take Your Older Car or Truck To Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta For Preventative Maintenance
The consumer price index for used cars and trucks jumped up by 40.5% from January 2021 to January 2022. As a result, the average age of vehicles on the road is rising as many owners of older cars decide it is cheaper to hang on to them than to buy one today.
As cars get older, they need more maintenance and repair. Drivers in Marietta must be more diligent about preventative maintenance. Replacing a bad O2 Sensor costs $250.00 on average. This may increase or decrease based on the make and model of your car or truck. However, performing recommended auto maintenance such as air filter replacement and spark plug replacement can extend the life of your O2 sensor.
Kelly Blue Book reports the average vehicle age in the US is 13.5 years. After five years of ownership the chances of a breakdown or service issue increases dramatically unless drivers are vigilant about preventative maintenance. Come by Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta and let us help you set up a preventative maintenance plan for your car or truck. Sticking to a maintenance plan will minimize the chances of breakdowns, increase fuel efficiency and decrease any future repair costs.
The Top 6 Auto Preventative Maintenance Items to Plan for Today
- oil change
- oil and fuel filters
- belts and hoses
- brake system components
- brake and transmission fluid flushes
- tires and alignment
Alpha & Omega Automotive in Marietta is dedicated to helping busy car owners prioritize preventative maintenance. We make it easy with convenient, affordable and friendly service. Call today at 770-928-0006 or stop by our service center at 4035 Canton Rd, Marietta, GA, 30066 and speak to one of our technicians.