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Archive for August 2016

Change Your Wiper Blades Twice Yearly at Lakeside Certified Auto

Posted August 28, 2016 10:02 AM

Because 90% of our driving decisions are based on visual information, unobscured vision is paramount. Which brings us to the topic of today's Lakeside Certified Auto article: wiper blades. While this isn't the most exciting automotive subject, it's important. You wouldn't drive at night in Willoughby with your headlights off, but a dirty or streaked vehicle windshield can catch the glare of the sun or on-coming headlights and make it just as difficult to see.

Most of us in Willoughby replace our wiper blades when they no longer do the job. They are so worn, hard or brittle that they can't clean the windshield. They may even be falling apart. In other words, we deal with our wiper blades from a failure perspective. We address them when they no longer function. The theory, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," doesn't apply here. Instead, we should think about wipers blades as an important safety system that we should maintain rather than repair.

OH automotive experts recommend that we change our wiper blades twice a year, in the spring and fall. That way you have functional blades for those Willoughby spring showers and winter storms.

When we use our wipers a lot, they get worn from the Willoughby road grime and bug juice. Even if we don't use them very often, they're exposed to the sun, heat and cold, and air which cause them to dry out, become brittle and break.

And of course, you need a good windshield washer fluid in your vehicle to help the wipers do their job. Always use washer fluid because plain water doesn't work as well and it can freeze in the reservoir. If you're driving where there are a lot of bugs in OH, you can pay a little more and get fluid that does a better job of clearing them. If you live where you have extremely cold winters, you can get fluid that resists freezing.

Like everything else in the automotive world, there've been some big advancements in wiper blades, both in terms of the design and the materials from which the blade is made. If you are a local Willoughby driver that has a need for better than average windshield wipers, you can pay some more for an upgraded wiper. And if you live where there's a lot of snow and ice in OH, they make special winter blades that don't clog up and freeze like standard blades.

At one of your fall and spring oil changes, ask your Lakeside Certified Auto service advisor which is best wiper blade for your driving conditions. Replace your blades on schedule so you never have to struggle with your vision when you switch on your wipers.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



How Your Check Engine Light Works

Posted August 23, 2016 9:16 AM



Have you ever had an experience like this in Willoughby, OH? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your Check Engine light starts flashing!

You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stops flashing, but stays on. By the next day, the light is off.

You wonder; "What was going on?" Well, it's actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works.

Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn't be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something's wrong. Whatever's wrong could cause some serious engine damage.

Warning, warning! It flashes the Check Engine light to alert you to take immediate action.

It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to normal. Now the engine control computer says the danger is past, but I'm still concerned, I'll keep this light on for now.

Then the Check Engine light goes off in a day or two.

The condition never did recur, so the computer says whatever it was, it's gone now. The danger is past, I'll turn that light off.

Now a flashing Check Engine light is serious. You need to get it into Lakeside Certified Auto as soon as possible. But if it stops flashing you can wait a few days, so you have time to see if the problem will clear itself or if you need to get it checked. How does the computer know when to clear itself?

Think of it this way. The engine control computer is the brain that can make adjustments to manage the engine. Things like alter the air-to- fuel mix, spark advance and so on. The computer relies on a series of sensors to get the information it needs to make decisions on what to do.

The computer knows what readings are in a normal range for various conditions. Get out of range, and it logs a trouble code and lights up the Check Engine warning.

The computer will then try to make adjustments if it can. If the computer can't compensate for the problem, the Check Engine light stays on.

The computer logs a trouble code. Some people think the code will tell the technician exactly what's wrong.

Actually, the code will tell the technician what sensor reading is out of parameters. It can't really tell him why, because there could be any number of causes.

Let's say you're feeling hot. You get your heat sensor out – a thermometer – put it under our tongue and in a minute or two you learn that you have a fever of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

You know your symptom – a fever – but you don't know what's causing it. Is it the flu, a sinus infection or appendicitis?

You need more information than just that one sensor reading. But it does give you a place to start and narrows down the possible problems.

There are reports on the internet telling you that you can just go down to an auto parts store and get them to read your trouble code or buy a cheap scan tool to do it yourself.

There are two problems with that. First, the computer stores some trouble codes in short term memory and some in permanent memory. Each manufacturer's computer stores generic trouble codes, but they also store codes that are specific to their brand.

A cheap, generic scan tool, like you can buy online or that the auto parts store uses, doesn't have the ability to retrieve long-term storage or manufacturer specific codes. Your Willoughby, OH, service center has spent a lot of money on high-end scan tools and software to do a deep retrieval of information from your engine control computer.

The second problem is that once you've got the information, do you know what to do with it? For example, a very common trouble code comes up when the reading on the oxygen sensor is out of whack.

So the common solution is for the auto parts store to sell you a new oxygen sensor — which is not cheap — and send you off on your way. Now your oxygen sensor may indeed have been bad and needed replacing. But the error code could have come from any of a dozen of other problems.

How do you know the right solution? Back to the fever analogy, do you need surgery or an aspirin? Leave it to the pros at Lakeside Certified Auto. Give us a call and let us help you resolve your check engine light issue.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



Go Straight: Wheel Alignment for Willoughby Automobiles

Posted August 16, 2016 2:49 AM



Willoughby drivers may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel's off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn't feel like it handles right as they drive down Willoughby, OH, streets and roads.

When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around Willoughby are great ways to knock a car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels start pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

The team at Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby wants you to know that driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.

At the very least, those who drive with wheels out of alignment will have to replace their tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which can be expensive. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars.

Now, let's discuss some alignment basics. Wheels are adjustable for toe, caster and camber. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.

So, what is involved in an alignment check at Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby? First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything is bent or broken. Tire condition will also be evaluated.  Next, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and we take an initial alignment reading.

If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's centerline. If the back wheels aren't adjustable, the direction they push is determined and the front wheels are aligned to match.

Like most things, vehicle manufacturers have recommended a mileage interval for having alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that's given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive around the Willoughby area. It's better for vehicle owners to have their alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear; by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at Lakeside Certified Auto when necessary is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety in OH.

Come see us at  for more information about your tire alignment. We look forward to serving you.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight and Your OH Driving

Posted August 8, 2016 6:09 AM



Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from Willoughby knows this makes sense.

Some of us in the Willoughby area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I'm not talkin' what you see in the mirror.

Guys: sports equipment and tools. Ladies: well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about 45 pounds of french fries on the floor.

All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and there, and everywhere else.

Lose the junk and save some money.

...And you really only need one of those spare tires.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



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What People Say About Us

Willoughby
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    , 06/03/2022

    They were absolutely wonderful. Quick to diagnose the issue, considerate of my concerns, thorough, professional, and kind. I highly recommend them and will definitely return.

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    , 02/21/2022

    THESE PEOPLE ARE AWESOME. STRAIGHT FORWARD KNOWLEDGEABLE, AND JUST DAMN GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO.

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    , 03/16/2022

    Today they earned themselves a new customer! They replaced three belts in my 97 Toyota 4Runner, and did it fast and at a very reasonable price. Highly recommend here.

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    , 12/21/2021

    These guys are absolutely great. I called on very short notice around the holidays, and they got me right in. Full exhaust system repair done in just hours. Not only are they very prompt, but extremely friendly with quality work. Awesome customer service. Highly recommend this place.

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    , 10/28/2021

    Thumbs up!

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    , 10/01/2021

    I won't take my car anywhere else! They are very fair priced and do excellent work!

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