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Spring Safety Driving Tips

As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers,” and while we look forward to the blooming of flowers and new leaves on the trees, all that rain can cause trouble driving. Springtime downpours mean driving conditions often include mud, muck, slush, and standing water.

Spring weather conditions present their own driving challenges, including a high number of accidents due to wet pavement. To help keep you safe on the roads in the coming weeks, here are a few spring driving safety tips to follow.

Navigating Heavy Rain
Before you go out in spring driving conditions, make sure that your windshield wipers are new and that you have plenty of windshield wiper fluid. You’ll also want to make sure your tires are in good condition with proper air pressure and with enough tread. If you find either is overly worn or broken, replace them with auto parts in Apopka.

Beware of Standing Water
During or immediately after heavy rainstorms, pools of standing water can form on the road. If you can, avoid the puddles altogether. If there’s no way to switch lanes safely, try to drive through it very slowly, so you don’t slide. Hydroplaning is another major danger with standing water. This occurs when your tires are riding on top of the puddle, rather than gripping the road. Your main defense is to go slow.

Be Cautious of Mud
Steer and brake very carefully when there’s mud on the road to avoid sliding. If you do start to slide, treat it as you would an ice slide and turn your car in the direction of the slide, slowly pumping your brakes.

Car Sounds and What They Might Mean

Grinding. Squealing. Popping. Pinging. Clicking. Screeching. These are all scary noises when it comes to your car. But they are also helpful clues that can be useful. Paying careful attention to the sounds your car makes can help diagnose potential problems with it. Here are a few of the most common car sounds and what they might mean.

  • Squealing Engine: The next time the engine makes a loud squeal, it’s likely telling you it’s time to have the fan belt replaced. Fan belts tend to loosen over time, which can lead to that unmistakable squealing sound.
  • Knocking Under The Hood: There are a few possible explanations for engine knocking, among them, a problem with how fuel is being ignited within your engine, using incorrect spark plugs, using low-quality gasoline, or worn out or loose rod bearings.
  • Squeaky brakes: If your brakes consistently give you a high-pitched, single-note screech, this is caused by worn-out brake pads or, on older vehicles, brake shoes. Other possibilities include overheated brake pads or brake rotor rust.

When your car starts making weird sounds, don’t delay. Treat those noises like symptoms of a more significant problem, which requires a check-up and maintenance right away. For radiators, alternators, starters, or car batteries in Winter Garden, FL, call Millikan Battery and Electric, Inc., for prompt and professional service.

Dashboard Warning Lights You Need To Pay Attention To

Dashboard lights blink at you often, but do you really pay attention to them? A red warning light on the dashboard has an important purpose and usually indicates a serious car problem or a safety issue. A seat belt safety light is easy to understand and resolve quickly, but more serious warning lights need to be checked and corrected immediately.

Do you know what your dash lights mean? While no light should be ignored, some need more immediate attention than others. Here are five common warning lights and why they might be on.

Battery Light: The battery either needs to be replaced, or the wiring or alternator needs to be repaired. Head to a service or repair station that specializes in car batteries in Winter Garden, FL, as soon as possible while your car still has power.

Engine Temperature Light: Your engine could be overheating. Turn off your air conditioning and radio, turn on the heat, and pull over to a safe place to call for roadside assistance.

Check Engine Light: This dashboard sensor can mean a variety of things for your car, like the spark plugs need replacing or the gas cap isn’t screwed on tight, but there’s no need to panic. Visit a service station at your earliest convenience.

Oil Pressure Light: If this light turns on and stays on, it means your car might be low on oil. Top off your oil as soon as you can and then take it to a service repair shop to have it checked.

Tire Pressure Light: One or more of your tires need additional air. While you can safely drive on the tires for a short time, driving underinflated tires too far or too fast can cause irreparable damage to them, so fill them up at the next gas station.

Engine Troubles: Steps To Take If Your Car Overheats

Today’s vehicles feature sophisticated cooling systems equipped with heat sensors and computerized fans, which are designed to keep the engine running without issue, whether it’s warm or cold outside. Overheating is rare with modern vehicles, but even a well-tuned automobile can still overheat. Although hot weather is the most common cause of overheating, many other factors can cause the same problem.

Here are five easy steps to help you mitigate the situation should your car overheat while driving.

  1. Don’t panic! Your car might be heating up, but you need to keep your cool to ensure your safety.
  2. Turn off the AC and turn on the heater. This will draw warmth away from the engine, allowing warm air to circulate away from the cooling system.
  3. Pull over safely. Park your vehicle as soon as you can and turn off the engine. If you have roadside assistance, you may want to call for help, as you may need a tow. If you’re in heavy traffic and can’t pull over immediately, shift into Neutral or Park and rev the engine a little. The water pump and fan will speed up, circulating coolant through the radiator, faster, helping to cool the engine.
  4. Pop the hood. Allow the engine to cool for at least 15 minutes and then open the hood to relieve some of the heat. Remember, for your safety, do not add water or remove the radiator cap until the vehicle has cooled completely.
  5. Check and add coolant. If your coolant level is low, a quick top-off could help protect your engine and prevent overheating until you can get things fixed.

After you’ve completed these steps, if you aren’t having your car towed, you can carefully restart your engine and drive to an auto repair shop near me. Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature gauge as you drive to make sure the temperature isn’t creeping back up to unsafe levels.

: Everything You Need to Know About the Life of Your Car Battery

The life of your car battery is dependent on a number of factors, so while every battery has an estimated lifespan, how long it actually lasts for your vehicle will vary. Some of the varying factors that affect your vehicle’s battery include humidity, temperature, and other environmental factors.

Under ideal circumstances – that means you live in the perfect world with low humidity and moderate temperatures – you can likely expect your vehicle’s battery life to be about six years. However, on average, in the real world, a car battery lasts between two and five years. For drivers in warm climates of the south, temperatures tend to increase damage to the battery due to sulfation and water loss. For drivers in more northern climates, you may not be able to get the full five or more-year lifespan out of your battery because of the long, cold winter temperatures.

But, just like the overall health of your car, proper care can extend the life of your car battery. The best way to make sure that your car battery lasts a long time is always to keep it fully charged. That means always turning off the lights and never leaving accessories plugged in. Also, always make sure your battery is checked during routine vehicle maintenance. When it is time for new car batteries in Winter Garden, FL, call Millikan Battery and Electric, Inc., for high-quality service at competitive prices.

Most Important Car Maintenance Services

Besides good driving techniques, every driver should know that one of the most important parts of road safety is maintaining your vehicle. It would be unwise to drive a car that didn’t receive regular maintenance or mechanical checkups to ensure that it is running properly and safe to operate.

Anyone who owns or operates a vehicle, whether that’s a car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle, knows that if you don’t keep up with proper maintenance, repairs will end up costing you a ton of money. Preventative maintenance is like getting a regular check-up at the doctor. Much the same, this type of regular inspection helps keep your car “healthy” and gives you and your mechanic the chance to catch anything serious before it becomes a major problem. With a vehicle, that can mean saving thousands of dollars per year.

If you want to keep your car running well, here are ten of the most important car maintenance tips you’ll want to follow. These preventative tips apply to any vehicle and can help save you money in the long run and can keep your car running for years to come.

#1   Read your owner’s manual
#2   Change your oil regularly
#3   Check your fluids – antifreeze, power steering, coolant, wiper fluid
#4   Check your battery and clean the contacts
#5   Replace worn-down brake pads
#6   Replace your engine air filter
#7   Replace your cabin air filter
#8   Check hoses and belts
#9   Replace old spark plugs
#10 Rotate your tires and check the air pressure

When you need a reliable, affordable, and experienced auto repair shop near me, call Millikan Battery and Electric, Inc. You’ll get quality service from reliable professionals on all your auto service and repair needs.

Vehicle Radiator: Repair or Replace?

Like any system that works hard day in and day out, your vehicle’s radiator can fail and require repair. The main reason for radiator failure is a leak, which can lead to the cooling system failing. If the coolant has not been checked or topped correctly, the inside of the system will begin to rust and become clogged. Corrosion will eventually result in small holes developing, causing engine coolant loss, and a need for radiator repair.

Symptoms of Radiator Failure
The most common sign of radiator failure is coolant leaks. To ensure your vehicle’s radiator has the proper amount, you should check it regularly. On most cooling systems, there will be a maximum and minimum level indicator you can use to judge the level of coolant – ideally, it will always be between those two marks. Coolant levels will decrease naturally, but a significant drop over a short period of time will indicate a radiator leak. Other faulty radiator symptoms include frequent engine overheating (keep an eye on the temperature gauge), or a puddle underneath the engine (this will indicate a leaking radiator).

Repair or Replace
In some cases, a radiator repair is a better choice than replacing the radiator, but not always. At the first sign of trouble, call us for exceptional radiator repair and auto parts in Apopka. Our expert team of mechanics at Millikan Battery and Electric Inc., will diagnose and fix the problem and get you back on the road quickly.

 

Tips For Cleaning Corroded Car Battery Terminals

Sometimes trouble starting your vehicle is a sign that the battery needs replacing, but often this frustrating situation is actually caused by buildup on the battery terminals. Avoid unnecessary expenses, worry, and trips to the auto repair shop by cleaning your vehicle’s battery terminals. By doing so, you can actually help the battery perform stronger, longer.

Step 1: Mix your homemade battery cleaner. To do so, combine one tablespoon of baking soda into one cup of water and stir until mixed.

Step 2: Disconnect the cables from the battery. First, make sure the car isn’t running and then undo the negative and then positive cable attached to your battery. Once that is complete, assess your battery for buildup, corrosion, and grime.

Step 3: Start scrubbing. Using an old toothbrush, dip it into the baking soda cleaner and start scrubbing the terminals. Be sure you’re rinsing the toothbrush regularly as you work. Clean the terminals thoroughly until all of the buildup has been removed.

Step 4: Rinse off the cleaning residue and the battery. After you’ve removed all of the corrosion and dirt from the terminals, give the battery a rinse. You can use a spray bottle with water to spray both the battery and terminals. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can wipe everything down with a damp rag. Then, use another cloth to dry the terminals completely.

Step 5: Reattach the cables. Once the terminals are dry, you can apply a small amount of petroleum jelly on them. This will lubricate them, help prevent further corrosion, and help strengthen the connection. Finally, reattach the positive and negative cables, and you’re finished.

Keeping your vehicle battery clean can help prolong the life of car batteries in Winter Garden, FL. Stop by Millikan Battery and Electric LLC., if the battery is still giving you trouble after cleaning. We’ll replace your battery if needed and get you back on the road with peace of mind.

The Important Job of Your Car’s Radiator

Have you ever driven past a stranded motorist leaning over the hood of a car with steam pouring out of it? It was most likely the result of an overheated engine. Because the radiator is an important piece of the car’s coolant system and is central to keeping the car cool, when the radiator isn’t working as it should, the entire car won’t run properly.  A car engine functions through a series of moving parts, creating a great deal of friction. That friction means there is excess heat energy, not to mention the heat from fuel burned in the engine.

The radiator and cooling system are what keep your vehicle running at proper temperatures. The radiator coolant is cycled through the engine and back through the radiator. This process ensures that the engine isn’t running too hot. If your engine does overheat, it could be a fault within the radiator or another cooling system component.

The radiator is a crucial part of your vehicle, which means it requires regular preventative maintenance to ensure it’s running as designed. If damage occurs to your radiator, you’ll want to get it repaired as soon as possible. If not, it could lead to much more significant and costly engine problems. For auto repair in Apopka, FL, Millikan Battery and Electric, Inc., can handle all radiator and cooling system repairs and maintenance. We’ll keep your vehicle running smoothly with the engine at ideal temperatures.

Preparing Your Car For Winter In Central Florida

With winter only a few weeks away, the chance for colder weather in Central Florida is unavoidable. While you thankfully needn’t worry about snow-proofing your vehicle this winter, it is a good idea to take precautions to ensure it’s ready for the change in temperature. You’ll want to get your car prepped and ready for winter, no matter what type of weather you’re facing.

Tip #1: Have your car battery inspected by the experts at Millikan Battery and Electric, LLC. Our service techs will check both the physical condition of your car’s battery as well as the voltage levels. If you need a new one, we’ll get it replaced swiftly and get you back on the road ASAP.

Tip #2: Have your spark plugs inspected. While this important component of your car’s operating system is small in size, they are super important. Your spark plugs are what’s responsible for getting your car up and running, and cold weather can take a toll on them if they aren’t in good condition.

Tip #3: Have your fluids checked. Your car will be working harder in the colder temperatures, so you’ll want to ensure your vehicle has the fluids it needs to run properly, including oil, coolant, and brake fluid.

Now’s the time to winterize your vehicle. For issues with your car’s starter or radiator,  as well as car batteries in Winter Garden, FL, call Millikan Battery and Electric, LLC., at 407-556-8285 to schedule an appointment.