Is Brake Fluid Replacement Necessary? 

Spot Bad Brakes

Brakes are perhaps one of the most necessary elements of vehicle safety. However, many customers may find themselves wondering, “Is a brake fluid flush really necessary?” The short answer is yes. Your braking system relies on the hydraulic fluid to amplify your foot’s pressure on the pedal. This is what allows you to stop a heavy, fast-moving vehicle with minimal effort. Your brake fluid requires regular service to maintain this performance. Here is everything you need to know about brake fluid flushes. 

Why Brake Fluid Flushes are Important

Your brakes tend to face three primary problems, which comprehensively lead to necessary brake fluid flushes:

  1. The braking process generates heat, which breaks down and wears away at your brake fluid. 
  2. This process leaves moisture behind, which can cause your brakes to rust.
  3. Particles of debris, rubber, and metal can contaminate the solution over time.

If left unattended, these issues can lead to reduced brake performance and, eventually, brake failure. This is where brake fluid flushes come in. So what does the process of brake fluid flushing involve?

What Happens During a Brake Fluid Flush?

Brake fluid flushing requires a careful process to ensure proper brake functionality; however, a skilled and experienced mechanic can complete a brake fluid flush quickly and effectively. This process has four major components:

  • Draining Hydraulic Fluid: An expert begins this service by removing old, worn, and depleted hydraulic fluid. 
  • Clean out Debris: Next, your mechanic will clean out your braking system to ensure that all of the debris is removed.
  • Check For Rusted Braking Components: If you wait an extended period of time before getting the brake fluid flush you need, an expert will be unable to clear out the rust and corrosion. Instead, they may need to replace your calipers, wheel cylinders, or any other rusted metal component. 
  • Brake Fluid Renewal: This service is finished by filling your system with fresh braking fluid, effectively renewing your braking performance, and protecting your vehicle from brake issues.

When Do I Need a Brake Fluid Change?

Corrosion and rust can cause structural damage to your braking system, leading to costly repairs. Regular brake fluid service can prevent these deeper system issues from occurring. Brake fluid flushes are recommended every 30,000 miles or 2 years, depending on your driving and braking patterns. 

For example, if your daily commute is mostly long stretches of highway, you may be racking up miles quickly without using your brakes heavily. This puts less stress on your system, allowing you to wait for the full 30,000 miles before you need a brake fluid change. For drivers with shorter, brake-heavy commutes, the 2-year mark may be more appropriate for proper brake protection. Your vehicle year, make, and model may also affect your brake fluid flush cadence. Consider consulting your owner’s manual or speaking with your local mechanic for further insight.

Brake Fluid Flush in the Triangle

The experts at Chapel Hill Tire are skilled in providing quick, high-quality brake fluid flushes. Our transparent pricing paired with our available coupons help Chapel Hill Tire offer this and other brake services at an affordable price. You can find a Chapel Hill Tire mechanic in one of our eight Triangle-area locations, including those in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Make an appointment here online to get your professional brake fluid change today! 

Top 3 Signs You Need a Coolant Flush

Coolant Flush in Chapel Hill

The summer heat presents unique challenges to vehicles in the south. Thankfully, your vehicle has measures in place to keep your engine protected. This important task is largely placed on your engine’s cooling system and the antifreeze that keeps it running. It is essential to keep this coolant fresh with manufacturer-recommended coolant flushes. So how do you know if you need a coolant flush? Here are the top signs of this needed service, brought to you by the mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire.

Vehicle Overheating and High Temperature Gauge

The primary role that coolant plays in your vehicle’s functioning is keeping your engine temperatures low. If you find that your temperature gauge is always high and your engine is frequently overheating, chances are that you need a coolant flush. Allowing your engine to overheat can cause serious, costly problems, so it is best to visit a mechanic at the first signs of temperature issues. 

Sweet Maple Syrup Car Smell

One distinct sign of a needed coolant flush is an engine smell that may remind you of pancakes. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which is known for its sweet-smelling properties. As your car burns through coolant, it can put off smells that drivers often compare to maple syrup or butterscotch. While the smell may be nice, it is a sign that your engine needs attention as it burns through your antifreeze.

Recommended Maintenance, Signs, and Symptoms

Beyond these two distinct signs that you need a coolant flush, other indicators tend to be more ambiguous, such as unusual engine noises. When you hear an engine noise or notice that something seems astray, it is essential to bring your vehicle in as soon as possible (or have a mechanic come to you). Other considerations to look for include:

  • Leaking Fluid – If your antifreeze is leaking, you may notice a blue or orange liquid beneath where you parked your vehicle. Without normal coolant levels, your engine will begin to quickly overheat. 
  • Seasonal Attention – Coolant issues can happen year-round; however, vehicle overheating is most common in warm months. You should make sure that your car is ready for summer with fresh coolant, oil, and other needed maintenance before your engine faces any risks.
  • Maintenance Schedule – When all else fails, check your owner’s manual for guidance. The care routine of your coolant can be impacted by the age, make, and model of your vehicle as well as your driving patterns, former care routines, the climate in your area, and other factors. This makes it essential to comprehensively care for your vehicle. 

If you are still unsure of whether or not you need a coolant flush, bring your vehicle to an expert for insight. A professional mechanic can advise you on whether or not this is the service for you. If you do need a coolant flush, a professional can complete it quickly and affordably. 

What is a Coolant Flush?

Simply adding more antifreeze to your engine might temporarily relieve coolant problems, but they will not solve the source of your issue. This is where a coolant flush can help. An expert will begin by ensuring that your coolant is not leaking. If there is a leak, they will need to first find and repair this issue. Once they confirm that there is not a larger problem with your system, they will remove all of the old, burnt antifreeze. 

Your mechanic will also use professional-grade solutions to eliminate any existing debris, dirt, sludge, rust, and buildup that your system may be holding. A mechanic will then finish the coolant flush by adding fresh antifreeze to your engine along with a conditioner that will keep it protected for longer. This process improves the health and protection of your vehicle, so you will likely notice an immediate boost in engine cooling and performance following this service.

Chapel Hill Tire Coolant Flush

If you need a coolant flush, the experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. We proudly serve drivers in and around the Triangle with our eight trusted mechanic locations. You can find Chapel Hill Tire mechanics in Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. Our experts are well versed in the needs of vehicles of every brand, make, and model, including Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Audi, BMW, Subaru, Ford, Mitsubishi and many others. Make an appointment here online or call your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location to get started today!

4 Services for Keeping Your Engine in Tip-Top Shape

Engine air filter change in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and Carrboro

When it comes to taking care of your car, there is perhaps no component more important to protect than your engine. However, keeping your engine in top shape can require some careful consideration. Here are 4 services that can help you keep your engine running at peak performance. 

Engine Service 1: Regular Oil Changes

Routine oil changes are perhaps the most essential part of keeping your vehicle in top shape. These quick and affordable maintenance visits can prevent costly damage in your engine. This is because your oil provides lubricants to keep every engine component working together without friction. It also offers necessary engine cooling properties. Without adequate oil changes, devastating engine damage can happen quickly. It is important to maintain your oil change schedule to keep your engine in peak condition.

Engine Service 2: Air Filter Replacement

Your engine’s air filter collects debris, dust, and contaminants that would otherwise pose a risk to your engine’s health. These filters need to be changed regularly to remain effective. If your filter becomes too blocked with contaminants, it will prevent air from entering your engine’s combustion chambers. In the best-case scenario, clogged air filters will disrupt your car’s air/fuel mixture, causing low fuel efficiency and preventing a pass on your emissions inspection. In a worst-case scenario, this could become unsafe and cause costly vehicle damage. Thankfully, air filters are quick and affordable to replace, costing just $30 at your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location. 

Engine Service 3: Engine Performance Restoration

Engine Performance Restoration (EPR) is an engine cleaning service designed to improve your engine’s health and efficiency. Using professional-grade cleaning solutions, a mechanic can eliminate the heavy deposits that may be weighing on your engine. These deposits can trap heat and cause your engine to consume extra fuel. By cleaning out your engine, an EPR can create an immediate boost in performance and protect your engine from damage. 

Engine Service 4: Maintenance Flushes 

Your engine is composed of several different systems, each of which requires a unique set of care and attention. Many of these engine components contain unique fluid solutions that become depleted over time. This can cause system failures and create trouble for your engine as a whole. Maintenance flushes are designed to preserve your engine components by keeping them filled with fresh liquid solutions. Popular maintenance flushes include:

 

  • Power Steering Flush
  • Brake Fluid Flush
  • Coolant Flush
  • Rear Differential Fluid Service
  • Transfer Case Full Synthetic Fluid Service
  • Fuel Injection Service
  • Transmission Fluid Flush
  • 4×4 Driveline Service
  • Front Differential Fluid Service
  • Manual Transmission Full Synthetic Fluid Service

 

Importance of Proper Engine Care

You might try to push your engine care off as long as possible; however, this may lead to trouble and cause you to miss out on some of the benefits of engine care. Here is a look at the major benefits you can expect from proper engine maintenance:

  • Improved driving performance: You can enjoy a smoother ride when you give your engine the care it needs.
  • Longer vehicle lifespan: When your engine is well taken care of, it will last longer and increase the life expectancy of your vehicle. 
  • Improved retail value: If you think you will trade-in or sell your vehicle at some point, you can get more for your car if your engine works well and has received proper care. 
  • Fewer needed repairs: Engine repairs can be expensive and inconvenient. You can prevent these costs and avoid the hassle of repair with preventative engine care.
  • More environmentally-friendly: When your engine doesn’t have the care it needs, it may use more gasoline to compensate for issues. Proper care will help you save money and reduce your environmental impact. 

Chapel Hill Tire: Local Engine Services

Here at Chapel Hill Tire, we have the tools, experience, and services you need to keep your engine running at peak performance. With 8 Triangle-area mechanic locations—including Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Carrboro—you can find a Chapel Hill Tire shop no matter where your schedule takes you. If you are worried about driving with a compromised engine, our experts will come to you with our free pick-up/delivery service. Make an appointment here online to get started today!

Caring for your Car in Quarantine

Motor Oil Being Poured

These unprecedented times can also present unique challenges for your vehicle. The last thing you need right now is preventable car trouble. To avoid car issues after quarantine has passed completely, give your vehicle the attention and care it needs today. Here is everything you need to know about caring for your car in quarantine. 

Stay Out Of The Heat

The intense summer heat can have several different negative effects on your car. These problems can become intensified as your car sits unmoving in the direct sunlight for extended periods. When you know it is going to be a few days before you take your car out again, take measures to protect it from the sun. If you have an outdoor car cover, now is the time to make full use of it. Parking your car in the shade or your garage can also help protect your vehicle from sitting in the heat. 

Maintain Needed Services

There are two ways a mechanic estimates needed services: by mileage and by the length of time between mechanic visits. You might wonder why a car receiving low mileage would need service; however, it is more likely that a dormant car encounters certain service issues than a car in use.

Oil changes, for example, are one of the most commonly needed services. While you may think you can push it off because you are not driving your car often, it is essential that you reconsider. Your engine oil deteriorates rapidly when it is not being used—losing its cooling and lubrication properties more quickly than it does when you are driving your car frequently. Skipping your oil change in quarantine could have you running on ineffective oil. This can spell trouble for your engine and lead to costly repairs. 

Take Your Car Out

One of the most important care routines that you can provide your vehicle while quarantined is frequent drives. Even if you are not commuting daily, you should still aim to take your car out for a drive once each week. The less frequently you drive, the more likely you are to incur one of the issues that threaten dormant cars. 

Problems with Dormant Cars

If you leave your car sitting for too long, here are the potential threats that it faces. Keep your eye out for:

Dead Battery From Quarantine

A dead battery is one of the most common issues for dormant cars, and perhaps one of the easiest to prevent. Your battery recharges while you drive. Leaving it sitting for an extended period of time can cause your battery life to drain. During the season’s heat, your battery will also be fighting corrosion and internal evaporation. It is essential that you take your car for a spin every once in a while and give your battery time to recharge. 

Dormant Cars and Tire Issues

As you may know, tires are made out of rubber. This material can become hard and brittle when left dormant for too long, often referred to as tire dry rot. Dry rot is intensified by the summer heat and direct UV rays. Tires are also used to rotating the distribution of your vehicle’s weight and pressure. When it sits still for too long, you risk tire deflation and damage

Problems With Engine Belts and Hoses

Your engine’s belts and hoses are also made of rubber, which could leave them vulnerable to dry rot when left unused. While they are not as much of a risk as your tires, their deterioration could spell big trouble for your vehicle. 

Tailpipe and Engine Inhabitants

Especially during the colder months (though we are hoping COVID-19 concerns pass by then), small critters may begin to seek shelter in your engine or tailpipe. When your vehicle is only driven every once in a while, it can create the perfect environment for critters:

  • Your car is usually warm after being driven. Even when you are driving infrequently, it may provide enough warmth to attract animals after usage.
  • During infrequent usage, your car may also provide enough dormancy for critters to trust it as a stable environment. This is true during any season. 

This concern is especially prominent for drivers in the more rural parts of the larger Triangle area. Be sure to take a quick look for critters if you are using your car infrequently.  

Unusable Gasoline

While you might not give your gasoline a second thought, leaving it sitting for too long can lead to trouble. Over an extended period of time, sitting gasoline can become degraded. Your gasoline loses its combustibility as it begins to oxidize and certain components start to evaporate. As a general rule, gasoline is good for 3-6 months. Gasoline issues can be prevented by lightly using your car, even if you are no longer commuting daily. If your gasoline has become bad, an expert can drain it out for you. 

Brake Rusting

Depending on how long your vehicle has been sitting and how much rain and humidity it has endured, your brakes may squeal when you start driving it again. This is caused by rust buildup that would have otherwise been prevented by frequently brake movement. Your brakes may be fine, though severe rust will require expert care. If you are worried about driving your car with questionable brakes, contact a mechanic that provides at-home visits, like those at Chapel Hill Tire. 

Chapel Hill Tire Quarantine Car Care

The experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you during the COVID-19 quarantine concerns. All eight of our Triangle-area mechanic locations are providing the care your car may need while maintaining the CDC recommendations for safety. We are offering free curbside service and free pickup/delivery to help keep our customers and mechanics protected during this time. Make an appointment with Chapel Hill Tire to get your car the quarantine care it needs today!

Free Car Service Warranty: Why it Matters

Car Service Expert in Raleigh

The spring and summer heat hitting the Triangle can accelerate vehicle issues and spell trouble for drivers on the road. When your vehicle encounters a problem, who do you trust to get it working again? How do you know that you are getting high-quality vehicle service by a reliable mechanic? Mechanics with free service warranties help you feel protected by ensuring that any issue with your eligible repair or will receive a repair at no cost to you. Here is a closer look at why extended car service warranties matter.

Peace of Mind with Car Care

Your car is so much more than just a car—it is your financial investment, your safeguard on the road, and your lifeline in getting where you need to go. Bringing it to a mechanic requires you to trust a professional with all of these things. Knowing you’re covered by a free warranty can give you the assurance and peace of mind you need to feel comfortable handing your car to an expert.

Service Warranties and High-Quality Parts

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for—especially when it comes to automotive parts. Some mechanics save money on the vehicle services they provide by using the cheapest parts possible. It is common for careless service experts to choose certain brands based on the discounts they offer mechanics rather than the quality they provide customers. By focusing on price instead of quality, these automotive parts are more likely to break prematurely or encounter issues. Free extended service warranties display that a mechanic trusts the parts they are using on your vehicle. 

Service Expertise and Trusted Mechanics

Expertise is an essential part of receiving high-quality vehicle service. Successful repairs and maintenance visits require a certified mechanic that knows exactly what they are doing. A free extended service warranty displays how confident a mechanic is in their work so that you know you are dealing with a trusted expert. This type of warranty is also a way of displaying accountability. Even the most experienced mechanics have the capacity to make a mistake. Untrustworthy vehicle professionals will try to escape accountability for service problems. A free warranty lets you know that you are working with a reputable mechanic who will correct any issues free of charge. 

Length of Warranty: Why it Matters

While multiple mechanics and dealerships in your area may offer free service warranties, not all warranty agreements are made equally. Poor-quality parts and service may last for a few months, only to give out just after the warranty window closes. Check with your preferred mechanic to see which services are included and how long the warranty is good for. A trusted mechanic (like Chapel Hill Tire) will offer a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty on extended services, which is sure to beat out that of your dealership and other service experts.

Types of Warranties: Why a Free Service Warranty is Different

When you encounter a vehicle issue, it may be covered by a warranty from your part manufacturer or your vehicle manufacturer. However, these warranties can be limited, especially if you bring your vehicle to a careless mechanic. Free service warranties are designed to protect you from such instances. They often cover any issues that you may encounter with a repair or service visit. This level of comprehensive coverage can safeguard you from managing repeated car issues and facing multiple expenses for the same repair. 

Chapel Hill Tire Free Extended Service Warranty

Here at Chapel Hill Tire, we work hard to build a strong foundation of trust with our customers. This starts with our transparent prices and continues with our  FREE 3-year/36,000 mile service warranty on all major long-term services and repairs. We proudly extend this coverage to all of our eight Triangle-area locations, including those in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Carrboro. Contact the experts at Chapel Hill Tire to see if your next service falls under our free warranty agreement. You can make an appointment online to get started with your trusted Chapel Hill Tire vehicle service today!

How to Know When it is Time to Replace Your Car Battery

Charging Car Battery

4 Signs It Is Almost Time For a New Battery

Have you ever been in a hurry to get to work or school on time only to find that car won’t start? While jump-starting your car may get you to work, it is best to get your battery replaced before any issues can arise. This is why it is helpful to know when your battery is on its way out. Here are four signs that you are almost due for a new car battery, brought to you by the mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire.

1) Your Battery Struggles to Combat Seasonal Challenges

As the North Carolina heat begins picking up, you might start to notice your battery reacting adversely to these changes. This occurs when the heat begins evaporating the water in your battery’s internal fluids. This evaporation also can cause battery corrosion. Newer batteries can manage harsh weather conditions with ease, but a battery near the end of its lifespan will begin to struggle in extreme climates.

2) Your Car Has Been Sitting For Too Long

If you leave your vehicle for an extended trip out of town, it could have a dead battery when you return. Your battery is heavily impacted by your driving patterns. While you might think that driving frequently negatively impacts the health of your battery, the opposite is often true. Your battery recharges while you drive, which means leaving your vehicle sitting for an extended period of time could deplete its charge. If you have chosen to quarantine out of town and left your vehicle sitting idle, consider asking a roommate, friend, or neighbor back home to make sure it gets a spin around the block every once in a while to protect your battery.

3) Your Vehicle Struggles When Starting

Have you noticed your engine taking longer to crank than it normally would? Perhaps the lights begin to flicker or you hear an unusual noise when you turn the key? These are all indicators of imminent battery failure. Before your car has a chance to fail you, consider bringing your vehicle to an expert for a starting system inspection or a battery replacement.

4) Your Battery Is Older and Triggers a Dashboard Light

Wouldn’t it be easier to tell when you needed a battery replacement if your car gave you a sign? Thankfully, most cars do just that. Your dashboard battery light is designed to illuminate when your vehicle senses a battery or starting issue. When all else fails, you can also rely on the age of your battery to provide an estimate of when it may need to be replaced. The average car battery will last three years, though this could be affected by your battery brand, vehicle type, area’s climate, car care, and driving patterns. 

Alternative Starting and Battery Problems

Are you experiencing starting issues after getting a battery replacement? Is your new battery dying prematurely? These are signs that your issue exists beyond a dead battery:

  • Alternator Issues: Your car’s alternator is responsible for recharging your battery while you drive. If your battery dies soon after the replacement, you could have an alternator issue.
  • Bad Battery: Alternatively, a battery that dies soon after replacement could be a sign of a faulty battery. While this is rare, it is not unheard of. Thankfully, you will likely be covered by a warranty if you visit an expert mechanic. 
  • Drained Battery: Are you keeping your battery protected? Leaving lights on or chargers plugged in could be killing your car battery. 
  • Starter Problems: As the name suggests, your car’s starter is responsible for starting your vehicle. If there is an issue with your starter, your vehicle will not crank up, even with a full battery. 

Starting tests and vehicle diagnostics can be completed to detect the source of your vehicle issue. A mechanic will then work with you to develop a repair plan that will get your car working again.

Chapel Hill Tire Battery Replacement and Care

If you are experiencing battery issues, contact the experts at Chapel Hill Tire. Our shops are open to serve the needs of Triangle-area residents, and our mechanics are completing curbside service and free pickup and delivery to protect the health of our customers and our employees. Additionally, if you are worried about driving your vehicle with a compromised battery, our mechanics will come to you! Make your appointment here online with Chapel Hill Tire to get the new battery you need in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, or Carrboro today!

5 Tips for Shopping for New Tires

Tire mechanic at work

When the traction on your tires become worn and they begin losing their structure, you could be putting yourself in danger on the road. The average set of tires lasts 6-8 years, but this timeline can depend on the type of tires you have, the road conditions in your area, your driving patterns, and other variables. When it is time to invest in your next set of tires, consider these 5 shopping tips to get the right tires for you at the lowest possible price. 

Evaluate Your Tire Needs

You might be surprised to find how many different types of tires are out there. Before buying new tires, think about what kind of features best suit your needs. If you live in the north, you might consider buying winter tires. If you are looking for ways to upgrade your driving experience, you might want to invest in performance tires. Off-roading vehicles might require all-terrain tires. Make sure that you are making the most out of your tire investment by considering your tire needs and your preferred features.

Find the Right Tire For You

While you might think that your vehicle needs dealership tires, you can find the same tire for a better price when buying from a trusted distributor. Consider checking out the different tires available for your vehicle and shop around based on features, price, and quality. You can use a Tire Finder tool to view tire options tailored to your vehicle and your driving preferences.

Shop Around for Estimates

When it comes to buying tires, you might consider gathering a few different estimates. When you find the lowest price, you can beat it with a Price Beat Guarantee. Bring our experts a lower competitor price on new tires and Chapel Hill Tire will beat it by 10%. This gives you peace of mind that you are getting the best price on new tires when you buy from our specialists. 

Speak With A Tire Expert

Buying a new set of tires is a big step; you should feel comfortable and confident about your purchase. If you have any questions, concerns, or hesitations about new tires, speak with an expert before buying. They can help you determine whether or not you need new tires right now and give you peace of mind that you are buying the right tires for your car at an unbeatable price. 

Consider Tire Protection

When you invest in a new set of tires, it is important that you take the necessary steps to protect them. Many tire manufacturers include a warranty that will cover you if you get a faulty tire; however, you will not be covered if you fall victim to a pothole, road damage, or a fender bender. Instead, you could get stuck paying for new tires all over again. Tire protection plans will provide a tire replacement or repair if your new tires get damaged.

Where to Buy New Tires | Chapel Hill Tire

When you are ready to buy your new tires, the experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. Our professionals will guide you through the tire buying process. We will also help you get the lowest price possible with our Price Beat Guarantee and available tire coupons. Our eight mechanic locations make it easy to help drivers throughout the Triangle, including those in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Browse our Tire Finder and make an appointment online with our experts to get started today!

Vehicle AC Services: Keeping You Cool This Summer

Woman turning on car air conditioning

Has your car’s ac stopped working? As the spring heat begins ramping up, it is important to get your car ready. Here are 5 AC services that can keep you comfortable throughout the warmer months to come. 

Cabin Air Filter Change

Your cabin air filter keeps dirt, pollen, and other hazards out of your vehicle when you run your air conditioner. However, when your cabin air filter becomes old and dirty, it can slow or block the cool air from entering your car. It also makes your car’s AC system work harder than it needs to, which can cause larger issues down the road. An air filter change can improve your cabin air quality, boost the function of your car’s AC, and protect the longevity of your car’s air conditioning system. 

AC Performance Check and Diagnostics

Are you wondering if your air conditioner could be working better? An AC performance check will give experts a chance to evaluate how your AC is doing. If there is a problem, a professional can perform diagnostics to pinpoint where it is coming from. They will then work with you to you arrive at a plan to get it repaired.

AC System Recharge and Refrigerant Flush

Your car’s air conditioning requires proper refrigerant levels for adequate function. When your refrigerant leaks, your AC function will be immediately impacted. During an AC system recharge, an expert will work to solve both the source of this problem and its symptoms by finding and repairing the leak and replenishing your refrigerant levels.

A specialist will begin by injecting an ultraviolet dye into your air conditioning system. This will help them detect where the refrigerant is leaking. Once the leak has been located and repaired, your mechanic will use special equipment to remove all of the old refrigerant from your vehicle and replace it with fresh refrigerant to repair and replenish your car’s AC system.

Vehicle Air Conditioner Cleaning

When you notice an unusual smell when running your car’s AC, there could be mold or bacteria in your air. This often builds up on your evaporator when the drain tube becomes blocked, leaving water trapped in your system. Blocked drain tubes can impact your AC function and damage your system over time. An expert can clean your drain tube and your evaporator to return the function of your AC and eliminate the moldy smell.

Air Conditioning Part Repair and Replacement

Like most vehicle systems, your AC has several different components that all need to be in good working order for your AC to function properly. This includes your—

  • AC Evaporator
  • AC Thermal Expansion Valve
  • AC Condenser
  • AC Compressor
  • AC Accumulator or Drier

If there is an issue with any of these parts of your AC system, it will need to be professionally repaired or replaced before your system can function properly.

Chapel Hill Tire vehicle AC Services

If your car’s air conditioning unit is not working as it should, bring it to the experts at Chapel Hill Tire. Our professionals know the ins and outs of vehicle air conditioning and can get your unit working in no time. Make your appointment at any one of our eight Triangle-area locations to get started today!

Can Any Mechanic Work on a Hybrid? 

Green Car | hybrid Toyota vehicle

When you drive a hybrid, you know that your car has some unique perks and care requirements. So what does that mean when it comes to vehicle maintenance, repairs, and services? Can just any mechanic work on a hybrid? While a standard mechanic will probably not turn you away, you will get the specialized care you need from a hybrid certified mechanic. Learn more here about the service that your hybrid needs.

Hybrid Battery Repair and Replacement

Hybrid batteries are unlike the standard car battery, as they are powerful enough to supplement fuel usage and recharge every time you brake. This also means that they require a special level of battery service and attention. Here is a look at how hybrid batteries are different from standard batteries:

  • Power, size, and care: Unlike the standard car battery, a hybrid battery is much larger and more powerful. For mechanics without the right hybrid experience, this can make it dangerous to service, challenging to replace, and easy to damage. 
  • Cost: Because they are much larger, longer-lasting, and powerful batteries, hybrid replacements tend to be pricier than standard car batteries. 
  • Replacement cadence: Thankfully, hybrid batteries are usually under warranty for a minimum of 100,000 miles. Newer hybrid vehicles may even have battery warranties that meet or exceed 150,000 miles. Depending on your driving patterns and vehicle maintenance routines, this should last you several years longer than a standard car battery.
  • Inverter: Your hybrid car has an inverter, which converts your vehicle to relying on gas when your battery is low on charge. Quality battery service also involves inspecting and tuning up the inverter when it needs care.

To keep your hybrid battery warranty intact, you may need to maintain proper hybrid vehicle care from a certified technician.

Hybrid Electrical Service

Powerful batteries also means careful electrical service for hybrid vehicles. Mechanics need to take extra precautions when working with hybrids because many of them are designed with auto-start and shutoff systems. This system is built to preserve your battery life, but it can also strain your transmission and starting system. A hybrid auto-start system combined with a powerful battery can spell trouble for an inexperienced mechanic completing electric services. 

A hybrid expert will also know how to keep an eye on your electric drive motor to ensure that your vehicle has what it needs to properly run on the power of your battery.

Standard Vehicle Services

In addition to specialty hybrid care, you will need to tend to standard vehicle maintenance services to keep your hybrid working as it should. 

  • Oil changes – While your battery dependence may put a little less strain on your engine, your hybrid vehicle will still need regular oil changes.
  • Tire services – Tire refills, rotations, and replacements are the same for hybrid vehicles as they are for standard vehicles. 
  • Fluid refills and flushes – Fluid flushes and refills are staples for every vehicle. However, depending on your hybrid, your fluid flush needs and level refills may be different from the standard vehicle. Speak with an expert or consult your owner’s manual for insight on fluid level care. 
  • Air filters – Your hybrid vehicle will still need standard air filter replacements and cabin filter replacements as a part of your care routine. 

Despite needing standard services, your car will still benefit from a mechanic who knows the ins and outs of hybrid vehicles.

Hybrid Brakes – Regenerative Braking and Care

Hybrid vehicles have regenerative brakes, which absorb the energy it takes to stop your vehicle and use it to recharge your battery. Thanks to regenerative braking, hybrid brakes are built to last much longer than standard brakes. However, if an issue does arise, your vehicle will require expert care by a professional familiar with hybrid regenerative brakes. 

Chapel Hill Tire Hybrid Care and Replacement

If your hybrid vehicle is due for service, bring it to the experts at your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location. Our professionals are hybrid certified and ready to serve hybrid vehicles in Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. Make your appointment here online to get started today!

3 Signs Your Brakes Need Service

Spot Bad Brakes

Having the ability to slow and stop your vehicle on the road is not an option. Your brakes are necessary for keeping you and others safe, making it essential you give them the care they need to properly function. Here is a closer look at how brakes work and signs that they need service.

How Do Brakes Work?

While you might not give your brakes a second thought, they play an astonishing role in the driving experience. Your brakes control a large, heavy vehicle moving at rapid speeds to a slowed pace or a complete stop with just a little bit of time and slight pressure from your foot. To understand brake issues, it is important to first understand how your braking system works to make this happen. 

When you press the brake pedal, the master cylinder begins to release hydraulic fluid (often just called brake fluid) into the calipers (or wheel cylinders). The hydraulic fluid amplifies the pressure of your foot, giving you the power to slow and stop your vehicle. Your brake system is also designed to use leverage to amplify this pressure. 

This causes the brake calipers to lower your brake pads to the rotors (or discs), where they apply the pressure you need to stop. The friction material on your brake pads absorbs the heat and pressure of this exchange to safely slow the moving rotors. Each time you brake, moderate amounts of this friction material wears away, which is why your brake pads need to be replaced regularly. 

Each of these systems is held together by several small parts, and each needs to be in proper function for your brakes to work as they should. So how do you know when it is time for brake service? Here are the top three signs.

Noisy Brakes – Why Are My Brakes Squeaking?

When your brakes begin to make a squeaky, grinding, or metallic sound, this means that they have worn through the friction material on your brake pads and are now rubbing directly against your rotors. This can begin to damage and bend your rotors, leading to a shaking steering wheel, ineffective stopping, and squeaky braking. Replacing both your brake pads and rotors are much more expensive than replacing just your brake pads, which is why it is important to get this service done before it can cause any damage. 

Slow or Ineffective Braking

If you notice that your vehicle is not as effective when slowing or stopping as it used to be, this is a key sign you need brake service. The time it takes for your car to slow or stop can depend on your tire health, your vehicle size, the road conditions, the pressure you apply, your brake health, and more. However, the National Association of City Transportation Officials reports that the average vehicle is manufactured with the ability to make a complete stop within 120-140 feet when traveling at 60 mph. If you notice that it takes an extended amount of time or distance to make a complete stop, you may need new brake pads, brake fluid, or another type of brake service. Without proper service, you will leave yourself prone to accidents and safety hazards. 

Brake Warning Light

When your brake warning light comes on, this is a clear sign that you may need service. Your brake light may be scheduled for routine notifications or actively monitoring and reporting issues with the health of your brakes.  However, if your car is measuring your needed brake service by mileage, it may be inaccurate. If you drive long distances with minimal stopping, your brakes will experience less wear than a driver in the city, where traffic and lights cause frequent, heavy stops. If you heavily rely on your brakes, keep an eye on their wear, as you may need service before your warning system gives you a heads up. Here is our full guide to understanding when brake pad replacements are needed.

Popular Brake Services

While you might assume that a braking problem is a sign of a needed brake pad replacements, your braking system is a bit more complicated than that. Several different parts and systems are working together to safely slow and stop your vehicle. Here is a look at the common brake services that you may need to resolve your braking issues. 

Front Brake Pad Replacement

Your front brake pads often take the hardest hits in your braking system, meaning that they require frequent care. 

Rear Brake Pad Replacement

Depending on your vehicle type, your rear brake pads often do not work as hard as your front brake pads; however, they still are essential to your vehicle and need to be replaced regularly.

Brake Fluid Flush 

Hydraulic fluid is needed to give your vehicle the power to stop. If your brake fluid has become worn or depleted, you may need a brake fluid flush

Rotor Replacement 

If you have a damaged or bent rotor, it will need to be replaced so that your brakes can safely stop your vehicle. 

Brake Part Replacement or other services

When even a small part within your braking system becomes damaged, lost, or ineffective, it will need to be repaired or replaced. While these services are less commonly needed, you could have a problem with your master cylinder, brake lines, calipers, and more. 

For a closer look at why your brakes are not working or what kind of service is needed, bring your vehicle in for an expert’s take. 

Chapel Hill Tire Brake Service

If you a brake pad replacement, brake fluid, or any other brake service in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Carrboro, or Durham, visit the experts at Chapel Hill Tire. Unlike other mechanics, we offer brake service coupons and transparent prices. Our experts will have you in, out, and on your way in no time. Make an appointment here online to get started with your Chapel Hill Tire brake service today!