Pascagoula Auto Repair

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Clark's Professional Car Care Tech Question On Your Water Pump

Clark's Professional Car Care Tech Question: I was driving on the freeway in MS and my vehicle engine started to get hot. I turned off my air conditioner and was able to drive the short distance to my meeting and then found a shop in Pascagoula. It turns out that my water pump was leaking. It cost me many hundreds of dollars to get it fixed. What could I have done to avoid this? Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: This guy's story really did have a happy ending. When you continue driving when your engine's overheating you risk a catastrophic engine failure. It really is a good idea to pull over and let your vehicle engine cool down before driving again. If you add water or coolant, be sure your engine is cool or you risk serious burns. Now there's no way for Pascagoula drivers to know when their water pump will fail – the ... read more

Alignment

It's no surprise that your vehicle will drive better in the Gautier area if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction. That's called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other. Something that you won't notice right away, but you will if you keep driving around when you're out of alignment, is that your tires are wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That's because when the vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire just wears out faster because you're constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip – fighting to keep the vehicle going straight down the road. Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are slamming into a pothole, smacking a curb or something like a rock. And it doesn't have to be a big shock, it c ... read more

Alternator

Question:My battery keeps going dead. I had it tested and it is fine - what could be the problem? Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: Well, your problem could be caused by several things. Let's start with a likely suspect: your alternator. The alternator is like a little electrical generator. It is spun by the serpentine belt on your engine and makes electricity. This electricity is used to power the electrical systems required to run your vehicle. It also powers all of your electronic accessories like your stereo, navigation, heated seats and air fans, as well as charging all the electronics you have plugged in. After the alternator has done all that, any electricity that's left over is used to charge your battery. You can see where we're going: if the battery isn't getting enough electricity to stay charged, the problem may have somet ... read more

Simple Answers from Clark's Professional Car Care for Pascagoula: Check Engine Light

Question: My Check Engine light is on and my boyfriend thinks he can get the code read and know what part to replace to fix my car.  I say it’s not that simple.  Who’s right?  Clark's Professional Car Care Answer Good news – you are!  Just look at it logically: there are hundreds of things that can go wrong with your vehicle.  Some are simple and some are quite complicated.  Let’s take a step back.  Over 80% of engine functions are computer controlled.  The computer receives information from dozens of sensors.  When a sensor reading is out of range, a trouble code is entered in the computer and the Check Engine light is illuminated. It’s a common misconception by Pascagoula drivers that the trouble code will tell you exactly what is wrong.  For any given trouble code, there are any number of faults that would trigger the code.  For example, a code indicating a misfire on cylin ... read more

Trip Inspections at Clark's Professional Car Care in Pascagoula

A lot of Pascagoula drivers wonder about how to prepare their vehicle for a trip. That's a big deal. You could be driving through MS mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas so you may be anxious to know that the car is up to the task and won't leave you stranded. Pascagoula drivers really do need to plan ahead for a major road trip – there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive to see if you can feel any vibrations. Are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? The next thing is a full service oil change at Clark's Professional Car Care in Pascagoula to make sure all of your fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your vehicle is older, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to cle ... read more

Cabin Air Filters

Let's talk about cabin air filters. There seems to be some confusion about them in Pascagoula that we should be able to clear up. Much of the confusion starts because cabin air filters are relatively new. Not all vehicles in Pascagoula have them, so some people confuse their cabin air filter with the engine air filter. Every vehicle in MS has an engine air filter that cleans the air going into the engine. But not all have a cabin air filter that cleans the air going into the passenger compartment. It's easy to get mixed up. The cabin air filter cleans out dust, pollen, spores and other pollutants. To give a point of comparison, a grain of sand is about 200 microns across. A cabin air filter can stop particles that are just 3 microns in size. It really does make the passenger cabin a much more pleasant environment. When the cabin air filter gets dirty, you just need to replace it. Your owner ... read more

Simple Answers from Clark's Professional Car Care: Synthetic Oil

Question: What is synthetic oil and should I use it? Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: Regular oil, also called conventional oil, comes from dead dinosaurs. Conventional oil molecules are long hydrocarbon chains of various lengths. Imagine a bunch of pencils – some used and some brand new. Synthetic oil is often more highly refined petroleum-based oil. The molecules are shorter and closer to the same length. Think a bunch of those little golf pencils. Some synthetic oil is man-made. The molecules are rounder and much more uniform. Think marbles. So you can see that as you progress from conventional oil to synthetic blends (a mixture of conventional and synthetic) to full synthetic oil, there will be less friction in your engine. Less friction means less heat – so better lubrication and protection against wear for Pascagoula drive ... read more

Item Most Stolen from Vehicles

What item is most often stolen from vehicles? Is it: (A) Stereo (B) Wheels (C) Air Bag (D) DVD System Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft – approximately 50,000 a year nationally in the United States. New airbags cost about $1,000 for Pascagoula but go for $50 to $200 on the black market. Stolen airbags are making their way back into vehicles that have been in an accident in Pascagoula. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them. There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all. That is definitely a part you don't want to take a chance with, so ... read more

Simple Answers from Clark's Professional Car Care for Pascagoula: Differential Service

Question:What is a differential and why do Pascagoula drivers need to have it serviced?Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: First of all – your vehicle does have a differential. If it's a rear wheel drive, your differential is on the back. If it's front wheel drive, your differential is built into your transaxle (transmission). Pascagoula drivers with all wheel drive or four wheel drive will have differentials front and rear and maybe one in between. When you are steering through a turn at an intersection in Pascagoula, the wheels on the outside of the vehicle have to spin faster than the inside wheels because they have to travel a slightly longer distant through the curve. The differential compensates for these speed differences between the wheels. Because it is part of the equipment that transfers engine power to the wheels, the differential is working pretty hard. Differential fluid &nda ... read more

Simple Answers from Clark's Professional Car Care for Pascagoula: Selecting Tires

Question: I need new tires. How do I know which tires to get? Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: Let's look at selecting new tires in light of three factors: FunctionFit, and Value. Function: This gets at what your needs are for new tires: weather conditions, terrain, temperatures, etc. New family vehicles sold in MS come with all-season tires. They can be used all year long and do pretty well in most Pascagoula road conditions – but they aren't ideal at the extremes. Winter tires have a more aggressive tread for handling snow and ice and they have a rubber compound that helps them have better traction as temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit/7 degrees Centigrade. In MS winter weather, that means definitely better stopping and road-hol ... read more