Tech Talk Edition 1: Check Engine Light Tips

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Today we are sharing a recent video that will be the first in a series called, “Tech Talk.”  On Tech Talk, we will interview Tischer Auto Technicians on topics that will assist you, the driver, to understand more about your car and basic car maintenance.

Our Acura Master Technician, Justin, details what to do when your “check engine” light appears. This can be an extremely stressful and frustrating alert for car drivers. Here’s what you need to know (in case you don’t watch the video).

Why the Check Engine Light Appears

Your check engine light will appear when the car computer has detected a sensor that is out of range. The check engine light can appear for something as simple as a loose gas cap, or be an indication of a more serious issue. While we understand today’s drivers are pressed for time, the best thing you can do is bring your car in to your local dealership for a diagnostic assessment.

How We Test A Check Engine Light Alert

When you bring your vehicle in for a diagnostic test, a scan tool will give a readout of what the computer has seen fail in the vehicle. We then go through a diagnostic checklist to pinpoint the exact cause of failure.

What Drivers Can Do to Maintain and Maximize the Life of The Vehicle

As Justin explains, “It’s very difficult to over-maintain a car.” So, plain and simple, if you don’t want to see that danged light go off, regular service is the best medicine for your car. For example, regular oil changes and transmission service are some of the least expensive car maintenance options which protect the most expensive parts of your car.

As we stated earlier, we know today’s drivers are pressed for time, so making the time to maintain your car will not only prolong its life, but will also save you money over time and keep that much-hated check engine light from driving you bonkers.

For your convenience, you can easily schedule a maintenance appointment for your vehicle directly through our website. Choose a date that works for your schedule, and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Please let us know what you think of the video—you can reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter, and please share this video with others.

Tips to Protect Your Car from Pollen Damage

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Here in the Baltimore and DC Metropolitan areas, we are all too familiar with pollen. With spring underway, it’s a safe assumption that many of you have already begun feeling the effects of pollen—allergies being the most common sign.

Another sign that pollen is all around us is that we can see it on our cars. And while our cars don’t suffer allergies, did you know pollen can actually damage your car’s exterior?

How Can Pollen Damage My Car?

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If you look at pollen under a microscope, you will see it isn’t a smooth object; it has spores that act as little “hooks”—hooks that can latch onto our hair, our clothes, and—you guessed it—onto our cars.

Pollen can also be highly acidic and that acidity can eat away at the paint on your car.

What Not to Do

It might seem like an easy answer would be to simply wipe the pollen off your car with a non-abrasive cloth. The problem is that while the cloth may not scratch your car, those microscopic hooks can.

Secondly, a water bath won’t fully do the trick either. As we stated earlier, pollen is acidic and when it comes in contact with water, the water can activate the acidic qualities of the pollen. This acidity will begin to ruin the paint job on your car and may eventually even lead to rust in some areas!

How to Protect Your Car

What a headache a little yellow dust can cause! But don’t worry—there are some very manageable and easy things car owners can do to offset the lousy effects of pollen.

1. Use warm, soapy water and give your car a proper wash. Check out these dos and don’ts of home car washes from Consumer Reports.

2. After your car is dry, apply wax. This will add a protective layer making it harder for pollen to “latch” onto your car. We recommend using the following products.

3. Park in a garage. While no area is completely pollen-proof, parking in a business garage or in your home garage means less exposure of your car to pollen in general.

4. Buy a car cover. Maybe you thought car covers were just for those individuals who pamper their cars as much as their own children. While that may be the case for some car enthusiasts, car covers also add a protective guard against the elements of Mother Nature, such as that pesky pollen.

5. Don’t park near/under trees. We know as the temperatures warm, it’s going to be very tempting to park in the shade, and we don’t blame you. That seems like pretty sound logic. However, parking under or near trees is a danger zone for your car if you’re trying to avoid pollen exposure as much as possible in the coming months.

Bonus tips—Protect Yourself!

6. Check your cabin air filter! You can have this replaced during service at your dealership or do it yourself—just check your owner’s manual for details. A clean cabin air filter means less pollen getting on the inside of your car.

7. Keep your windows up whenever possible, even when parked, to lessen pollen infiltration in your car’s interior and fabrics.

8. When using the air conditioner, use the recirculate setting. This will mean less pollen-filled outside air coming inside your vehicle.

Pollen is like the evil twin of fairy dust—it brings us down! It irritates our allergies, leaves our cars coated with that horrible neon yellow sheen, and when left untreated, can wreak havoc on our automobiles. No—there’s no happy thoughts when it comes to pollen! Hopefully we’ve given you some very simple, actionable tips that you can put to use to protect your car from pollen damage. And remember, if you’re not so great at maintaining your car, make sure you schedule service or have your car professionally detailed.

Do you have other car-saving tips when it comes to pollen? Let’s hear them! Share them below or share them with us on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for reading, and always protect your car!