Pascagoula Auto Repair

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Oil Change

An oil change at your local Pascagoula, MS, auto shop sounds simple, but there are some pretty important things to know about preventing oil sludge. Oil eventually starts to turn into jelly, literally: petroleum jelly. Sludge clogs up oil passages and keeps oil from getting to some areas of the engine, causing parts to wear out prematurely. And that means expensive engine repairs. That's why you need to change the oil and oil filter on schedule — to get the old oil out before it turns to sludge. Your manufacturer will have a recommendation for how many miles/kilometers you can go between oil changes. They also usually have a number of months between recommended oil changes. That's because the detergents and other additives in the oil break down over time. Your owner's manual will have a recommendation for time and distance, but you need to remember that it's based ... read more

5 Tips for Buying Used in Pascagoula

Here are 5 tips from Clark's Professional Car Care for used car buyers: 1. Ask for service records. Most owners who document regular maintenance service take care of their vehicle. 2. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly. Check for uneven tire wear, alignment, suspension issues, strange sounds and funky odors. 3. If everything checks out up to this point, take it to Clark's Professional Car Care for a thorough used car inspection. Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Clark's Professional Car Care can give you a heads up on any pressing issues or emerging problems that will need to be addressed eventually. If the seller won't let you do this before you buy, move on. 4. Buy a CarFax report. This will show any major accidents and title status concerns including whether it is a salvaged vehicle. You don't want a car that was underwater for a week after Hurricane Sandy. 5. After you buy, stay on top of regular maintenance (and save the records). Clark ... read more

Simple Answers From Clark's Professional Car Care For Pascagoula: Air Conditioner

Question:Why isn't my air conditioner blowing cold air? Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: Your air conditioning system uses refrigerant to create cold air. The most common reasons Pascagoula drivers lose their cold air have to do with the refrigerant. The first is not enough refrigerant. Refrigerant is a gas in the system, and very small holes in a hose, seal or coupler can allow enough to leak out to prevent the creation of cold air. Another potential problem for Pascagoula auto owners is contamination. Over time the inside of the rubber hoses can deteriorate, and little bits of rubber can clog up various filters and other parts of the vehicle A/C system, preventing proper circulation of the refrigerant. And a component could also be worn or broken. So the first step for Pascagoula drivers who ca ... read more

Clark's Professional Car Care Advice on Your Cooling System

Last week I was out running errands in Pascagoula and my temperature warning light came on – total panic! I pulled over and my car was overheating. After it cooled down, I went right into my Pascagoula service center to have them take a look. My service advisor at Clark's Professional Car Care told me my water pump was leaking and needed to be replaced. He said water pumps just wear out and that you need to replace them because they pump the coolant that cools the engine. He told me they checked out my radiator hoses, serpentine belt and tensioner and that they were OK. But I was overdue for changing my coolant – like, embarrassingly overdue. I didn't realize there was a schedule in my owner's manual for when to change my coolant. My Clark's Professional Car Care service professional said that the coolant actually becomes corrosive over time and could damage my radiator, head gaskets, intake manifold gaskets, heater core, metal cooling pipes, expansion (fro ... read more

Headlamps

You may be surprised to learn that 40 percent of traffic fatalities in MS take place at night even though there's 60 percent less traffic. It goes to show how important proper visibility is to nighttime driving in our Pascagoula community. Obviously, a clean windshield is important – so are good wiper blades. Your headlights play a bigrole as well. There are two main concerns. One is with the headlamp, or bulb. The other is with the lens. The fact of the matter is that headlamps go dim over time on your vehicle or other auto. You just need to replace them. Some vehicles come with a standard bulb which you can replace or you can upgrade to a halogen bulb that's much brighter. Halogen costs a little more but you'd be amazed at the difference. It's a good idea to  ... read more

Headlight Restoration

Question: My headlight lenses are all cloudy. I checked with my Pascagoula vehicle dealership about replacing them and it is very expensive. What else can I do? Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: You are right - replacing a headlight assembly can cost hundreds of dollars. Luckily there is something Pascagoula citizens can do about cloudy headlamps. First let's talk about why the headlamps are so cloudy. Back in the day, Pascagoula vehicles' headlights were glass. These were heavy, could crack, and had practical limits as to their shape, so manufacturers started using plastic headlight lenses. MS road grime and UV light take a toll on the plastic surface. Over time the lenses get cloudy and discolored. Just look at the vehicles in any Pascagoula parking lot and you'll see a lot of that. Because a disproportionate amount of traffic accidents happen ... read more

Water Pump

The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water pump  is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine. The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles, or 65,000 kilometers, but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles, or 160,000 kilometers. Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced. Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cra ... read more

Coolant Replacement at Clark's Professional Car Care in Pascagoula

Your cooling system's job is to keep your vehicle engine cool while driving around Pascagoula, Pascagoula and Pascagoula. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the cooled mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat. Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your vehicle engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in MS. Without coolant, the metal engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. Many parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole engine is ruined and has to be replaced. Also, if it's freezing outside in Pascagoula, the water ... read more

Air Conditioning

Let's talk about air conditioning service and repair issues for the Pascagoula, MS area. Most of us in Pascagoula don't give our air conditioning a second thought as long as it's making cold air. But it's a complex and expensive system that we should think about before it starts blowing hot air. The refrigerant in the air conditioner contains a special oil that lubricates and cools the A/C parts. When enough refrigerant leaks out, your air conditioner still makes cold air, but the parts don't have enough oil to protect them and they wear out faster than they should. So it's important to service the air conditioner as recommended by your Pascagoula, MS service center. Replacing old refrigerant has another benefit: refrigerant tends to gather moisture and become corrosive. That causes leaks in the system which can be expensive to repair. Fresh refrigerant protects the air conditioning components and keeps the syst ... read more

Differential Service

When Pascagoula drivers take a corner in their vehicle, the outside wheels have a slightly longer distance to go than the inside wheels. That means that the outside wheels have to turn a bit faster than the inside. The piece of mechanical wizardry that makes this possible for is called the differential. The differential allows the drive wheels to rotate at different speeds in turns without the wheel binding or hopping. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is on the rear axle. You've seen that bulge in the middle of the axle when you're behind a truck; that's the differential.  If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the differential function is handled by your transaxle. Of course, all-wheel drive vehicles have differentials on both axles. They also have a center differential or a transfer case between the front and rear axles to compensate for speed differences betwe ... read more