Archive for the ‘Auto Repair’ Category


Recipe for a Successful Road Trip

Monday, May 16th, 2016

successful road trip with kids

Spending 20+ hours in a car can seem like a daunting task and, if not done properly, a recipe for disaster. Avoid the heartaches and woes when trying to fly the coop on your next road trip.

– Snacks. The first thing you’re going to need to get your road trip started is snacks. Make sure to diversify your snacks; get both sweet and salty. Also, pack a couple of healthy items, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, to break up some of the greasy fast food stops.

– Entertainment. You cannot and should not count on your second-in-command to be your sole source of entertainment, especially if the both of you are driving. Download a few audio books before you embark upon your adventure to get you busy while your buddy catches some shuteye.

– Directions. In the age of technology, it seems silly to print out directions but remember technology can be finicky. Nothing seems more frustrating than driving in unfamiliar territory only to have your GPS re-route your entire trip. It’s best to have a hard copy just in case things get a little wacky.

– Comfort. Long trips can do a number on the body, so make sure you’re comfortable. The first thing to ensuring comfort is to have space, so clean out your vehicle before hand to increase elbowroom. Also, don’t forget to bring a pillow and a blanket for nap time. After all, you don’t want to get a crook in your neck.

– Vehicle. Bring your car into your dealership or local mechanic for inspection before you hit the road. Get your oil and tires checked to make sure things are in tiptop shape. If you don’t have a “car guy” yet, give TalkLocal a call and we’ll connect you with a local pro.

– Friends. So now that you know the recipe for a successful road trip, make sure to share with friends so that you and your buddies can hit the road and have some fun.
With the right ingredients, you’re guaranteed to make horrible road trips a thing of the past. Grab your ingredients, gas up the car, and hit the road. Remember, half the fun of an adventure is just getting there.

Preparing Your Car For Winter: Five Tips for Fall

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015


Fall is a precursory season, often spent running around for winter clothes, school supplies, gas, and heater repairmen – and for good reason: nobody wants to brave a snowstorm in a t-shirt or take notes on the backs of their hands. Of course, no matter how prepared you are for the upcoming season, if you’re not preparing your car for Winter, you’re running a high risk of getting stranded in the worst possible weather conditions. So, don’t let Winter car maintenance fall through the cracks this year.

Here are four easy DIY tips for getting your car ready for the Winter weather.

Engine Oil Check

If you don’t check your engine’s oil level monthly, start this new habit. It only takes a minute or two.
– When checking your engine’s oil level, the dipstick is your best friend
– Wait until your engine has cooled down, and then locate the dipstick in your vehicle
– Take it out of the dip tube and clean it, then push it back in until it fits in the tube again
– Wait a minute or two, then take it out again and check the level of the oil. If it is between the two dots, or the high and low marks, then you’re good to go
– Credit: Car Bibles

Battery Check

Experts recommend testing your battery every Fall to lower the chances of it failing due to cold weather.
– Check your car’s battery yourself is a bit more complicated, so we found a helpful video from a reliable source to walk you through the process

Windshield Wipers Check

Wipers should be replaced every Fall so you have new wiper blades that can battle the cold weather; it’s quick, easy and inexpensive to do yourself.
– Lift your wiper blade, and push the tab under the wiper to remove the blade
– Then attach the new blade – easy as pie

Tire Pressure Check

Tire pressure should be check every Fall because it tends to drop as the weather becomes colder.
– Wait until your vehicle has been sitting for a few hours – the colder your tires are, the more accurate the reading
– Try to use a tire gauge, and not a built-in one on an air compressor
– Then add (or release) air from the valve stem of the gauge until your tire’s pressure matches its recommended level

Also, no matter where you are make sure to have a snow brush and ice scraper packed in your trunk. We are huge advocates for safety,  so we recommend buying a car emergency kit. This one from Survival Supply is around $20 and is overstuffed with useful tools:


If you are on a time crunch and can’t get to everything, give us a shout out at TalkLocal and we will place a request for a mechanic for you.

Safe Travels and Happy Fall!

Changing A Flat Tire: 3 Tricks Even The Veterans Forget

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Changing a flat tire all alone is difficult, not because the steps involved are complex, but because beginning to change a tire immediately prompts the urgent and attentive intervention of passing strangers. I’ve been shown how to change a tire several times. First by my parents who directed me in the process, and later by the helpful strangers who quickly talked through everything they did. One time, I successfully jacked up the car before being interrupted by someone who warned me that I was supposed to loosen the lug-nut. Plus, my jack was denting the bottom of my car because it was placed in the wrong spot. It wasn’t until last week, at the tender age of 30, that I finally changed a tire… completely on my own… from start to finish… without being rescued by some kindly gentleman stranger. I lucked up that day. Not only did I discover my flat tire while already at home, I took care of it in the security of my enclosed garage- away from helpful neighbors.

My first step was to find the above video on Google. To my surprise, there were steps that even my tire changing vets hadn’t done- probably forgot. So, whether or not you feel confident changing a flat tire, take a couple of minutes to watch the above video.

And, the next time you change a flat tire, don’t forget these most frequently skipped tricks: 

Wedge a brick or piece of wood beneath the flat wheel:


Before loosening the bolts, which is what most people do when changing a flat tire, you should place a wedge a thick brick or piece of wood beneath the flat tire to prevent it from turning. This, in addition to parking on a flat surface and setting the parking break, keeps the car from rolling, It’s also easier to loosen the lugs if the wheel is stationary rather than turning with each wrenching motion.

Give the car a firm nudge to make sure the jack is stable:


If you’ve placed the jack in the location suggested by your car manual and lifted the car until the wheel is a couple inches off the ground, it should be safe to operate on the car in the elevated position. Still, it couldn’t hurt to use your body weight to test the car’s stability to the setup where it would be weakest, above the jack itself. It’s a simple step, so be sure to give it a try before putting yourself at any potential risk. Only then should you proceed to completely remove the lugs and swap the flat tire for the donut or new tire.

Make sure the new tire is well secured:


After sliding the new wheel into place, you need to get the lugs fully tightened. You should go over the lugs once or twice with the tire iron. If you have a torque wrench, use it on each lug. If not, simply attaching the tire hire so that its handle is perpendicular to the ground and stepping on it like a step can certify that the lugs are as tight as possible.

As embarrassing as it is to admit, it took me 45 minutes to change that tire last week. Of course, only 15 of those minutes were spent changing the tire itself. I also had to do some research, hunt down my car user’s manual, and add air to the donut which was apparently a bit low.

Of course, if your roadside troubles need more than a quick fix or its something you just can’t handle, TalkLocal can connect to the right local towing or roadside assistance service. Visit TalkLocal or download the app on iPhone, Android.

When to Replace Spark Plugs

Monday, March 10th, 2014

When to Replace Spark Plugs - Auto Repair

Spark plugs play an important role in your car’s engine because they make ignition possible. If there’s something wrong with your spark plugs, the fuel in the cylinders won’t ignite, and your vehicle won’t start. To work properly, spark plugs need to be checked periodically. You might have to clean or even replace them to get the best out of your vehicle.

When to Replace Spark Plugs

Here are the most common warning signs that tell you it’s time to have your spark plugs replaced.

1. Engine Sound

Every driver becomes familiar with the sound made by his or her car, after driving it for a while. If your engine starts producing a rough sound which makes the car vibrate or seem less agile than usual, you might need to have a look at the spark plugs. The sooner you do it, the better. By changing your spark plugs on time, you will avoid costly damages.

2. Car Won’t Start

When the car doesn’t start, it’s not necessarily because your battery is dead. It might be because of the spark plugs. If they don’t produce the ignition spark, you can’t get moving. Faulty spark plugs can also drain your battery, so there’s a double reason to solve the matter as quickly as possible by checking them both.

3. You Need to Fill the Tank More Often

Another sign that might warn you that your spark plugs are becoming a nuisance is fuel consumption. If your vehicle starts consuming more fuel even though you’re not driving longer distances than usual, the culprits may be the same spark plugs. This happens because combustion cannot be completed if the spark plugs don’t perform well.

4. Acceleration Is Slow

If you’re having trouble accelerating, and it feels like forever until your car gains speed, you may be in for a spark plug replacement. Usually, when you accelerate, your vehicle will respond instantly, but with lazy spark plugs, acceleration becomes difficult.

Need a Mechanic?

Seva Call can put you in touch with a trustworthy mechanic in your area, should you need assistance with your car. Our service is effective and free.

Car Repair Estimate

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Car Repair Estimate - Auto Repair

Car accidents, whether minor or more severe, are stressful. Repairing the damage that has been done to your car can be costly, and it might prove to be a daunting task if you’re not prepared. To reduce stress and solve the matter as soon as possible, it’s best to know what to expect when it comes to getting a car repair estimate.

Compare Car Repair Estimates

Car insurance companies usually recommend that you take your car to particular auto repair shops, but it’s not always the best idea. You might have a better option. Ask for referrals from people you know and trust, and get estimates from several repair centers before you decide what is the most advantageous alternative for your car and wallet.

What Does a Car Repair Estimate Involve?

Not all drivers are aware of what a car repair estimate actually involves. By knowing exactly how the estimate is made, you are better prepared to make an educated decision. Here are some of the steps.

Car Damage Assessment

In order to give you an estimate, the auto repair shop needs to inspect your car thoroughly. This includes:

– Impact intensity and vehicle damage severity

– Checking the exterior of the car

– Checking the interior of the car

– If your car has suffered other damages in the past, you’ll need to tell the mechanic about it

– Checking the condition of the car components, both the steel and plastic parts

– Inspecting the mechanical system

– Verifying the suspension system

– Checking the condition of the exterior paint

Car Damage Paperwork

Once the car inspection is done, the repair shop will make a checklist with the repair parts your car needs, estimate necessary labor time, and then give you a total car repair estimate.

Understanding what a car repair estimate involves will allow you to take part in the estimation process actively, make sure you get an accurate price, and allow you to benefit from quality services.

Need Help?

If you need a car repair estimate and want to take your vehicle to a trustworthy auto repair shop, Seva Call is here to help. We can connect you with reliable professionals in your area who can give you an estimate right away.

When to Replace Engine Coolant

Monday, February 10th, 2014

When to Replace Engine Coolant - Auto Repair

Engine coolant or radiator fluid is an essential element of your vehicle’s cooling system. Also called antifreeze coolant, it is responsible for cooling your engine while your car is running. During winter, it prevents the engine from freezing if you park it outside. Changing the engine coolant on time is vital to keep your car in good condition.

When to Replace Engine Coolant

Engine coolant contains antifreeze liquid and water. After extensive use, it may accumulate dirt and various contaminants or it may turn acidic, which will not only prevent your car from functioning properly, but could also damage the engine.

Car manufacturers advise drivers to change the engine coolant every two to three years, or after an average of 24,000-36,000 miles.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that this can also be influenced by how and where you drive your car. For instance, if you live in a hot climate and use your vehicle often, you might need to replace the engine coolant sooner. Experts recommend you do this before you hit 15,000 miles.

What You Need to Do

You can take your car to an auto shop to have your engine coolant changed by a mechanic, or if you feel comfortable about it, you can do it yourself. The process is not complicated, and if you haven’t done it before, you can learn it easily. To be on the safe side, you can ask an experienced person to assist you the first time you attempt to do this.

Steps to Follow When Replacing Engine Coolant

1. Remove your radiator drain plug, and wait for the engine coolant to drain. The plug is on the radiator bottom.

2.  Flush the radiator and the entire cooling system of your car to eliminate dirt that hasn’t been evacuated with the fluid.

3. Refill the radiator with new engine coolant, containing the antifreeze and water mix.

4. Dispose old engine coolant properly by taking it to a recycling center.

Need Help with Your Car?

Seva Call can connect you with a dependable auto shop in your local area right away. With our help, you won’t need to waste precious time looking for trustworthy professionals.

How to Winterize Cars

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

How to Winterize Car - Auto Repair

Driving a car in the winter is slightly more complicated than driving during normal weather conditions.  You should take certain steps before going out to take on snow, sleet, and ice.  Do not take winterizing your car lightly.  You need to be prepared to drive through the severe weather.  Keep reading if you want to learn how to winterize cars.

How to Winterize Cars

If your car is due for a 3,000-mile service you should not put it off. This means you need to get the oil changed and test oil viscosity so that your vehicle is in tip-top shape.  As the temperature drops, oil tends to thicken, and if it is too thick it will not be able to properly lubricate the engine.

You will also need to check your windshield wipers. Usually, windshield wipers work well for about a year. Make sure there is enough washer fluid as well. Furthermore, you need to make sure the heater and defroster in your car are working properly so you can stay warm and see properly when you are driving.

Another area you need to check is your battery.  Either replace the entire battery or simply make sure that the connectors are not corroded and that everything is in working order.  You can have it serviced and tested to make sure it holds its charge.

Don’t forget to ensure that the tire pressure on all four tires is at an appropriate level.  When the air outside gets colder, the air inside the tires will contract, so you need to have the correct air pressure.  You may also want to add chains around your tires to increase their ability to grip the road when there is snow or ice.

You should also do a general service of lights, coolants, engine parts, etc.  Even with all this preparation, you should still be cautious when driving in severe weather conditions.

Need Help Winterizing Your Car?

If you have more questions about winterizing your car you should try to talk to a professional so that you can get the best help possible.  The easiest way to get in contact with reliable local mechanics is to use Seva Call. Just tell us what you need, when, and where, and we will connect you with the best professionals in your area in just minutes, for free!

Commercial Vehicle Repairs

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Commercial Vehicle Repair - Auto Repair

As a truck driver or truck owner, it’s important to be prepared in case your truck breaks down. If you’re on the road and your truck breaks down, you can call a towing service to take the truck to a repair center specializing in commercial vehicle repairs, you can ask a mechanic to help you, or you can fix the problem yourself if you have mechanical skills.

Here are some of the most common problems you might have to deal with when your truck breaks down, followed by some tips on how you can prevent costly repairs. Knowing what might be wrong will make your task easier, and will get you back on the road in a shorter amount of time.

Check the Fuel

Although it might sound like a no-brainer, you can end up on the side of the road if you don’t check your fuel regularly. Watch for road signs telling you when you reach the next gas station and fill the tank to make sure you can get to your destination.

Flat Tire

Most drivers have had to deal with a flat tire at least once. With trucks, flat tires are even more inconvenient, as they may cause delays and other logistic problems. To prevent this unpleasant event, verify tire pressure and adjust it to road conditions and load capacity.

Weak Battery

This is one of the most common problems encountered by commercial drivers. When you least expect it, the truck may break down because of a weak battery. To prevent this, inspect your battery before you leave on a trip, especially if it’s a longer one.

Motor Oil

Motor oil keeps your truck running smoothly. An insufficient level of motor oil can cause a lot of problems on the road. Check your motor oil and change it whenever necessary to avoid breakdowns and expensive commercial vehicle repairs.

Need Help with Your Truck?

If you’re looking for a repair center specializing in commercial vehicle repairs, Seva Call can save you time and energy. We can put you in touch with experienced mechanics in your area who can put you back on the road in no time.

How to Open a Stuck Car Trunk Latch

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

How to Open a Stuck Car Trunk Latch - Auto Repair

A car trunk latch that will not release or seems to be stuck is a common problem for car owners, but, fortunately, this is relatively easy to fix. This problem can happen if you don’t keep your vehicle inside a garage, allowing the gears or the mechanism of the latch to become corroded by moisture.

If you’re unable to open your car trunk from the outside, you’ll have to get inside the vehicle to access the latch and repair it.

Repairing a Broken Car Trunk Latch

Most of the newer vehicles today include a safety feature that lets a person open the car trunk from inside. If you have an older vehicle that doesn’t have this feature, there are kits available that you can use to retrofit your vehicle. Also, some newer cars are equipped with a special mechanism for emergency car trunk latch release.

If you cannot open your trunk either because it’s stuck, the lock is broken, or you don’t have a key, here’s what you can do:

1. Test the car trunk latch. If you have a remote control for the trunk but pressing the release button doesn’t work, use your trunk key to open the trunk manually.

2. If your car is equipped with a manual car trunk latch release, locate this inside your vehicle. In a minivan, this feature may be found on the inside of the vehicle’s luggage area underneath a trim panel. In other cars, generally, it can be found either at the back of the car trunk or by the wheel well on the trunk’s sides. This mechanism can be an actual lever like a ripcord or a button.

3. Inspect the mechanism of the latch to check whether there is a broken plastic component. Any broken parts will need to be fixed by a qualified mechanic.

4. Remove dirt and debris from the mechanism by spraying compressed air into it.

5. Put lubricating oil on the gears and hinges of the latch. Turn the key, opening and closing the car trunk latch to work the lubricant into the parts. Then, put lithium grease on the moving parts and the hinges to keep them well lubricated.

Need Help Opening a Locked Car Trunk?

Get help quickly from a reputable local mechanic. Seva Call can connect you with one in just a few minutes. Simply let us know what service you need and we’ll match you with the right professionals immediately. Try our service now!

Mobile Vehicle Repairs

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Mobile Vehicle Repairs - Auto Repair

Mobile vehicle repairs give drivers an alternative to taking their car to an auto shop when it breaks down. If you have problems with your vehicle and need to fix them quickly, a mobile mechanic can help you out. This way you don’t have to spend time scheduling an appointment at an auto repair center and waiting for several days or more until your car is returned.

What Kind of Repairs Can a Mobile Mechanic Perform?

A mobile mechanic can fix all sorts of problems your vehicle might have, which don’t require more complex tools or parts that are difficult to replace outside of an auto repair shop. If you discover one day that the engine makes strange noises or if your car won’t start, you can opt for mobile vehicle repairs as a fast and effective way to solve your problem. Some of the repairs that can be completed by a mobile mechanic include:

– Brake replacement

– Starter check

– Alternator repair

– Carburetor repair

– Motor oil replacement

– Tire change

– Water pump repair

– Piston repair

– Air conditioning check and repair

– Alternator repair

– Suspension system repair

– Filter replacement

– Transmission problems

– Radiator troubleshooting

– Engine repairs

What Does a Mobile Mechanic Do?

If you call a mobile mechanic to repair your car, your vehicle will be treated with the same care and attention as an auto repair shop.

First, the mobile mechanic will inspect your car and diagnose potential problems, and then he will communicate to you what needs to be done. If you agree with the repairs, the mobile mechanic will get down to work, so that you can get your vehicle back on the road as soon as possible.

If your car needs a more thorough inspection or if the repairs involve more time, labor, and resources, the mobile mechanic can take your vehicle to an auto repair shop, and then return it back to you when it’s ready. However, reliable mobile vehicle repair services have the necessary equipment to fix most common car problems.

Mobile mechanics are specially trained to complete repairs on-site, in a quick and effective manner.

Need a Mobile Mechanic?

It may be difficult to find a trustworthy mobile mechanic at short notice — unless you use Seva Call. We can connect you with experienced local professionals in minutes, for free!