“Tires and Safety”

Question

How can I tell when my tires are worn so much that they need to be replaced?

Answer Check this Video Out! This video allows us to see how much abuse our vehicles tires endure. https://youtu.be/rILyBg7ZjeI

That is a very important question.  As we discuss the matter, keep in mind that one of the most important jobs of your tire tread is to move water. The channels in the tread act as passages for water to escape from underneath the tire.  The deeper the tread, the deeper the channel – and the more water that can be evacuated.

When enough water can’t be moved from underneath the tire, the tire can ride on the water – often called hydroplaning.  The tire is literally not contacting the road but rather is “floating” on the water so there is little traction and the vehicle can slide.

So somewhere between a brand-new tire and a bald tire lies the point at which the tire should be replaced.  Some governmental jurisdictions have minimum tread depth requirements others do not.  So, check the laws where you live to learn the legal minimum.

Tire manufacturers are required to mold a tread wear bar into the tire.  This bar appears across the tread when the tire is worn down to 2/32 of an inch.  If you were to insert a US penny upside down into the tread on your tire and the tread did not come to Abe Lincoln’s head, your tires are worn below 2/32 of an inch.

Studies have shown, that there is a significant difference in stopping distances in wet conditions with tires that have less wear.  For example, in controlled, wet conditions a vehicle with 4/32 of an inch of tread traveling at highway speeds was able to stop in about 85 feet less distance than the same car with tires with 2/32 of an inch of tread.  That could easily be the difference between a safe stop and hitting the vehicle in front of you.

You can gauge 4/32 of an inch by inserting a US quarter upside down into the tread.  If it covers George Washington’s head, you have more than 4/32 of an inch of tread.

New tires are a big-ticket item so it’s natural to want to get as much value out of them as possible.  Just remember that a huge part of that value is the ability to stop safely in wet conditions.  Talk with your tire professional for help with tire replacement.

Give us a call

All Phase Auto Repair
300 Eastern Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21221
410-687-5030
http://allphaseautorepair.com[coupon couponid=”657″ coupon_align=”cctor_alignnone” name=”$20 Off” tire purchases rest of May Must get Tire Protection Program.

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4 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Maryland State Inspection

4 Things You Need To Know Before Getting A Maryland Vehicle Inspection

In Maryland, before registering your vehicle, it’s important to have it thoroughly inspected. There are approximately 1,600 locations throughout the state of Maryland that have been licensed to correctly inspect your car. While the station should first be authorized to follow through with the inspection, most locations specialize in inspecting passenger cars, trailers without air brakes (up to 20 feet or less in length), light trucks, and SUVs. Often, many car owners visit locations only knowing the facts listed above, but don’t know some additional must know facts before getting a Maryland vehicle inspection.

Getting your car inspected shouldn’t be a tedious or complicated task, but it should be something you have knowledge about prior to visiting an inspection location. Don’t worry, if you don’t have the answers, that’s where we come into the picture. Brushing up on your facts about car inspections is a piece of cake.

There are five specific facts every car owner should know before walking into a station to get their car inspected. Not familiar? No worries. Keep scrolling and allow us to school you on five things you need to know about Maryland vehicle inspections.

1. When To Inspect Your Vehicle

Maryland only requires you to get your vehicle inspected for two reasons:

• You just moved to Maryland and your vehicle is registered in another state, or

• You just bought a used vehicle (or received it as a gift or inheritance)

If you just moved to Maryland, you have 60 days to register your vehicle, and you need to pass the Maryland state inspection before registering your vehicle. If you just purchased a used vehicle (or received it as a gift or inheritance), your car needs to pass the Maryland state inspection within 90 days prior to registering the vehicle. Even if your car already passed the Maryland vehicle inspection this year, you still need to re-inspect the car because the certificate has an expiration of 90 days.

Note that some driving services (Uber, Lyft, etc.) may require an additional Maryland State Inspection even if you have previously had an inspection performed and/or the vehicle is registered in Maryland prior to becoming a driver for their service.

2. Where To Schedule Your Inspection

Prior to scheduling your inspection you want to make sure that the inspection station is authorized by Maryland as the Maryland Vehicle Administration only accepts certificates from authorized locations.  All Phase Auto Repair station 7987A  has two Technicians certified by Maryland who can reliably perform safety inspections.

Like anything, finding a location to get something looked at that you use on a daily basis is pretty important. There are some good stations and there are some bad stations, but it is up to you to do a thorough search to find the best location to get your car inspection completed. You will find out that doing your research beforehand can save you a lot of stress and possibly, maybe even a lot of money. Google is your best friend so take full advantage.

3. What The Maryland Vehicle Inspection Includes

Patience is a virtue and when it comes to Maryland vehicle inspections, and the main goal is to try and get your car back in your possession in a feasible amount of time. Most inspections take anywhere between 1 to 2 hours once the mechanic begins to work on the vehicle. Depending on your vehicle, different aspects of it are checked. In general, brakes, steering, lights, exhaust, safety belts, and other crucial components are checked during the Maryland vehicle inspection.  We have a full list posted in our office.

Upon completion of your auto inspection, the mechanic will issue you a report that states whether or not your vehicle passed and what may or may not need to be discussed further. This pass or fail notice is also electronically submitted to the MVA at the time of the inspection for their records. A certificate will not be issued if your vehicle fails to meet any of the safety standards.

You also have the option to perform required repairs at the station, complete the repairs yourself, or have them performed at another location if, for example, your vehicle is under warranty for the item(s) that failed inspection.

Note that if the vehicle is re-inspected within 30 days after the original inspection and you have driven it less than 1,000 miles, the inspection station only needs to inspect the defective parts noted during the original Maryland vehicle inspection. Here is more information from the Maryland Vehicle Administration.

4. Maryland Vehicle Inspection Costs and Fees

The Motor Vehicle Association doesn’t control the rates when it comes to the cost of inspections, so depending where you decide to get your vehicle inspected, the cost can and will vary. The average price for Maryland state inspection as of 2022 is around $95.  Some vehicles are more due to tint or size of the vehicle.  It is necessary that each location has their rate posted somewhere in the station to let patrons know beforehand how much they will be dishing out of pocket. For re-inspection, rates vary depending on specific parts that need to be inspected.

Ultimately, getting the Maryland vehicle inspection is a simple process. Following the steps above will ensure that getting your car inspected is a pleasurable process.

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” What’s leaking from my Vehicle”?

We’re often asked questions about the cooling system – the system that cools your engine and keeps it at the proper operating temperature. Let’s examine the topic in two areas: first the coolant itself and, second, the parts that make up the cooling system.

The coolant is the mix of water and antifreeze that circulates through the engine to draw off heat. First, you need to have the proper amount. If you don’t have enough coolant it can’t keep your engine cool.

You also need the right kind of coolant. Different makes of vehicles require different coolant formulation to protect against corrosion.

Finally, your coolant needs to be fresh. Over time and miles, the anti-corrosion additives in the coolant are depleted and the coolant can start to eat away at the cooling system parts. Your owner’s manual and your service adviser can help you with the recommended coolant replacement schedule and make sure you’re getting the right type of coolant.

Now let’s talk about the cooling system components. These will all eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Starting with the radiator, we see them coming into the shop with leaks or clogged with deposits. Depending on the damage, we will clean, repair or replace. We also see radiator pressure caps that can no longer hold the proper pressure. We recommend replacing pressure caps when you change your coolant to avoid this problem. We see leaky water pumps and hoses that need to be replaced. There’s also a part called the thermostat that opens and closes to regulate the flow of coolant. Sometimes they stick open or closed and the cooling system won’t work properly.

Engine damage from overheating can be very expensive to fix so it’s important to maintain your cooling system properly with scheduled coolant replacement and periodic inspections of the cooling system. Certainly, come in if you suspect a leak and have us take a look.

Give us a call

All Phase Auto Repair
300 Eastern Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21221
410-687-5030
http://allphaseautorepair.com

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“Gas Prices Near Me”

All Phase Auto Repair understands the best way to stay ahead of gas prices is to stop in for our exclusive “Digital Courtesy Inspection.” Your Vehicle could be costing you money in ways you may not be aware of. Brake issues like rusted slides, Exhaust leaks or clogs, Check Engine Lamps On, worn Spark Plugs, Suspension and Steering issues, Fluids, Tires and more, can waste your money, time, and fuel. Our “Digital Courtesy Inspection” is as detailed as Maryland State Inspection and covers many parts of the checklist but cheaper, and more focused on fuel savings. Call Terri  

 

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My car is making a funny noise.

Are you hearing a squeal, clunk, or clank? Don’t put your headphones on and tune out! Learn which car noises should have you headed to your mechanic as soon as possible and which noises are less than urgent.

SOUND #1: THE SQUEAL OF A BANSHEE WHEN YOU BRAKE

  • What you hear: A high pitched squealing coming from your tires when you step on the brake pedal.
  • What’s happening: The brake pad indicator is rubbing up against the rotor.
  • Cause for concern? This isn’t an emergency. The brake pad indicator is there to let you know when your brake pads have worn down and need to be replaced. While you’re not in any immediate danger, you’ll want to plan to have your brake pads replaced in the near future. When it’s convenient for you, make an appointment for a brake inspection before the squeal turns into a scream.

SOUND #2: THE SQUEAL OF A BANSHEE, BUT UNDER THE HOOD

  • What you hear: A loud squealing noise coming from under the hood.
  • What’s happening: This is a classic sign of a loose or worn drive belt.
  • Cause for concern? Yes, because the serpentine belt powers all of your car’s major systems. A squealing serpentine belt is one that could be about to break. When an old serpentine belt snaps, drive torque to all of the engine’s accessories is lost and you’re left, well…”up the creek” with a car that won’t go. Unless you want to throw down some money for a tow truck, scheduling an appointment for a vehicle inspection may be in your best interest. Your mechanic can help you understand how much life, or how little life, may be left in this essential engine component.

SOUND #3: A CAT THAT DOESN’T WANT TO BE TOUCHED

  • What you hear: Sounds like a grumpy cat, “rur rur rur,” when you start the engine.
  • What’s happening: Your battery is losing juice and is struggling to power the engine.
  • Cause for concern? This is less of a safety concern and more of a convenience concern, as your car could end up failing to start tomorrow, next week, or next month—it’s tough to make an exact prediction. A slow engine crank paired with this unfortunate noise means your battery is on the fritz. It may be low on fluid, be past its prime, or need a jump. Head over to All Phase Auto Repair for a free battery test and our car whisperers will let you know how much “life” is left in your battery.

SOUND #4: A RUMBLE & ROAR UNDER YOUR REAR

  • What you hear: A loud roaring sound coming from somewhere underneath the driver’s seat.
  • What’s happening: You probably have a leak or crack in your exhaust manifold. The roaring you hear is excess engine noise that would normally get silenced by the muffler. When your exhaust system fails, all of your engine’s sound waves and vibrations get channeled into the car.
  • Cause for concern? The driver’s seat is vibrating like a massage chair, which is kind of nice. And the noise isn’t too noticeable when the radio is cranked up. Maybe you can let this one slide? Nope. A malfunctioning exhaust system means that you could have poisonous carbon monoxide venting into the cabin. Don’t delay—this is a sound you want to get checked out right away!

SOUND #5: FLAPPING, LIKE A FISH OUT OF WATER

  • What you hear: A flapping or slapping sound when you run the air conditioner or blowers.
  • What’s happening: A loose, misaligned or worn out ventilation flap is, well…flapping.
  • Cause for concern? No biggie. This might impact your airflow and the sound will likely drive you a little nuts, but it’s not a serious safety issue. Turn up the tunes, roll down your window, and feel free to get to it when you have time. Or, nip this annoying little problem in the bud by scheduling an AC service.

SOUND #6: A GIANT, GROANING YAWN

  • What you hear: When you turn the steering wheel, the car groans and whines like it just woke up from a deep and pleasant slumber. The steering wheel may also feel stiff and unresponsive.
  • What’s happening: Something in your power steering system is causing friction. The power steering pump could be a issue.
  • Cause for concern? Yes. Have your power-steering system checked out. As the problem worsens, you’ll slowly lose control over the car’s steering. You could also cause further damage to the rest of the power-steering system. This is a significant safety issue. Schedule a checkup at All Phase Auto Repair as soon as you can. In the meantime, try not to make any fast or sudden turns.

SOUND #7: RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT—SQUEAK!

  • What you hear: The steering column squeaks when you turn the wheel.
  • What’s happening: Like a groaning steering wheel, this is an indicator of an issue with the power-steering system, but a light squeak is less concerning than a major groan. It’s likely a symptom of low power-steering fluid.
  • Cause for concern? Not as big of a safety concern as Sound #6. If topping off your power-steering fluid fixes the problem, then there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. This fluid is the cheapest part of your power-steering system and changing it/keeping it topped off can help extend the life of the much pricier power-steering pump and rack. If replacing the fluid doesn’t squelch the squeak, you may have a leak in your power-steering lines. Keep an eye on it.

SOUND #8: ARE WE AT A METAL SHOW? OR IS THAT MY BRAKES?

  • What you hear: Loud, metal on metal grinding sound coming from your brakes.
  • What’s happening: You’ve worn right through your brake pads and now the calipers are grinding against the rotor.
  • Cause for concern? When it comes to your car, metal on metal grinding is almost always a cause for concern. In this case, your brakes won’t work properly until you get the pads replaced. What’s more, driving without brake pads is dangerous.  When you hit the road, don’t let it hit you back. Schedule a brake inspection service today.

When your car works, everything works. If your car is trying to tell you something is out of whack, listen. Then turn to All Phase Auto Repair for all of your noise-related questions or repair needs.

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“FREE BATTERY TESTING” with All Phase Auto Repair #FREECOURTESYINSPECTION

Winter is still beating us up and putting strain on your vehicles systems including electrical, cooling, power steering, engine, and more. All Phase Auto Repair can get you ready for spring no matter what your vehicle needs are. All Phase Advises customers to start and drive those sitting vehicles so batteries do not go dead. Slow cranking, clicking, blinking or no lights are all symptoms of bad batteries. All Phase Auto Repair will help you get to spring with FREE BATTERY TESTS and #FREECOURTESYINSPECTIONS. 410-687-5030 CALL TERRI for your free courtesy check.

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What to do when your car breaks down!

 

Having car trouble can be incredibly frustrating, but it can also be a safety issue if you’re already on the road. Here are some tips that may help keep you and your passengers safe if your car breaks down or you get a flat tire.

Young woman making call on cellphone in front of car with hood up.

1. TURN ON YOUR HAZARD/EMERGENCY LIGHTS

Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers as soon as you sense something’s wrong. Keep them on until help arrives.

2. SLOW DOWN AND PULL OFF THE ROAD

Aim for the right shoulder of the road. Consumer reports recommends that you pull over to a safe, flat location that is as far away from moving traffic as possible.

3. TURN YOUR WHEELS AWAY FROM THE ROAD AND PUT ON THE EMERGENCY BRAKE

This could help prevent the car from rolling into traffic.

4. STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE

If you’re on a highway or crowded road, avoid getting out of your vehicle to look at the damage or fix a mechanical problem. If you need to get out of the car, get your vehicle to a safe place and make sure the road around you is completely clear. If you’re stopped on the right-hand side of the road, get out through the passenger-side door.

5. BE VISIBLE

Once you’re safely out of the vehicle, prop up your hood to let other drivers know they should proceed with caution. This will alert other drivers that you’re broken down.

6. SET UP FLARES OR TRIANGLES

Place flares or triangles with reflectors behind your car to alert other drivers to the location where you’ve stopped.

7. CALL FOR HELP

Call or use an app to get a tow truck, mechanic or roadside assistance to come help. your insurance company or other provider who may be able to help. If you’re in an emergency situation or are not sure who to contact, call 911 or the local police for help.

CONSIDER A ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE MEMBERSHIP PLAN

Before you find yourself in a tough situation, you may want to consider getting roadside assistance. Knowing you’ll have help in case of a breakdown, or another unexpected car issue can offer peace of mind. Roadside assistance plans may provide services like:

  • Towing
  • Jump starts
  • Fuel delivery
  • Lockout services

You may be able to purchase roadside assistance from your car insurance company or from an independent provider.It’s important to be prepared for the unexpected, especially on the road. Hopefully you’ll avoid any bumps in the road, but it’s helpful to know what to do just in case.

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” Why is my vehicle making noises”

https://allphaseautorepair.napavision.com/topic/suspension/

” WHY IS MY VEHICLE MAKING NOISES” All Phase Auto Repair diagnoses many issues with our customers vehicles including steering and suspension systems. Often times these noises come back to these systems. Extreme forces exerted on system components can and will cause rapid wear that can cause many unwanted noises before they fail. Wheel bearings, struts, springs, ball joints, steering and suspension linkages and tires are by far the most common noise related problems we find. Today’s vehicle often has prolonged oil and filter changes keeping you away from critical vehicle checkups leading to failures with these systems compounding repair bills and inconvenient breakdowns. All Phase utilizes #FREECOUERTESYINSPECTIONS to help out, this can often pinpoint problem areas before diagnostics are involved. Of course, we can find all those hard-to-find noises most shops can’t for a minimal charge. Call for your appointment today. https://allphaseautorepair.napavision.com/topic/suspension/

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Top 6 reasons why your car won’t start

TOP 6 REASONS WHY YOUR CAR DOESN’T START

No car has ever broken down at the “right time”. Whether you’re sitting in a car that won’t start, or preparing for the future, this list might help you figure out what’s wrong with your car. Take a look at these 6 common reasons why your doesn’t start to see if any of these symptoms match your car’s issue.

Warning:If your car won’t start, avoid turning the key for extended periods of time. In cold weather, letting the engine try to turn over for a while might seem like it will work, but if you try to crank the starter engine for more than 15 seconds, you may damage the starter engine.

If you turn the key and the engine won’t crank:

You most likely have an electrical problem.

Vehicle Repair

Dead Battery

For any number of reasons, your battery might have died. This is the most common reason for a car to die, and therefore the best reason to keep jumper cables in your car. Once you have your car jump-started, the alternator should recharge the battery as long as the car is running.

If this problem happens frequently, you may be able to help the problem by cleaning out any corrosion that has gathered around the battery terminals. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you will need to replace the battery.

Starter Engine Issues

If you can locate the starter under the hood of your car, you can check if it’s the source of the problem. If you don’t hear clicking when you start the engine, the problem may be a dead battery. If you hear clicking, but the engine doesn’t crank, the starter might not be getting enough electricity.

Using your owner’s manual and a voltmeter, you should be able to test functionality.

Broken or Damaged Ignition

Similar to the starter engine, a broken or damaged ignition switch can stop your car from starting. If your headlights can turn on, but your car won’t crank, that means that your battery is charged, but either the starter or ignition is the problem.

If the starter or ignition is the problem, a starter engine can be jumped by using a charged battery.

If the engine cranks, but the car won’t start:

If an engine is cranking, but will not start, you know that your electrical is good. For the car to start running correctly, you need a few ingredients: spark, air, fuel, and compression.

Fuel:

If you suspect that the problem may be fuel related, there are a couple of solutions. If the weather is cold enough, your fuel line may have frozen, and would need to be thawed. Two more common solutions are:

Gas Tank is Empty

Even if your gas tank isn’t showing that the tank is empty, this could still be the issue. A miscalibrated fuel gauge can lead you to run out of gas.

Fuel Filter Needs to be Replaced

Check your owner’s manual to find out how often, or how long ago your fuel filter should have been changed. A clogged fuel filter will stop gas from reaching the engine. If you frequently run your car to empty, your fuel filter could look much worse.

No Spark

If your car will crank, but not start, you may not be getting a spark. A spark is used to ignite the fuel, allowing the car to start. It is possible to check for a spark yourself, but this is likely outside of the skill set of the average driver and should be left to a mechanic.

If you have any difficulties starting your car, H&H Mobil can bring your car into the shop and run a full diagnostic on it to see if any or multiple of these reasons are causing issues with your vehicle.

If one of the above reasons is why your car doesn’t start, contact All Phase Auto Repair to have a professional take a look at your car and help you safely get back on the road as soon as possible.

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