What You Should Know About Deer Safety

deer Now that the leaves are changing, drivers have a new set of hazards. Leaves present a danger on the road, school buses are back on the move, and it’s deer season. You’ll want to watch out for deer, because these guys are very athletic. They can run up to 40 miles an hour and leap high enough to scale a 9-foot fence.

According to a post by Geico, there are things you can do to stay safe during deer season.  Read below to learn more about how to prevent these leaping marathoners from crashing into your vehicle.

Some facts about deer on the road:

  • Accidents involving deer occur mostly between October and January, which is deer breeding season.
  • Deer are most active in the early morning and evening, between 5 AM and 8 AM and from 5 PM until midnight.
  • Deer travel in packs, so if you see one, there are likely more nearby.
  • They aren’t just on country roads. Due to urban sprawl and the growing deer population, our forest friends make appearances anywhere from suburban streets to city highways.

How to Avoid Colliding with a Deer:

  • Be alert, particularly in keeping the right side of the road on your radar. If a deer enters the road from the left, you have a better chance of spotting it before it’s too late.
  • When possible, use your high beams for increased visibility.
  • Buckle up! Sixty percent of fatal animal accidents occur when the driver or passengers were not wearing their seat belts.
  • If you notice a deer on the road, break firmly and be careful not to swerve.
  • If you do hit a deer, do not approach it. Injured deer are likely to injure you due to fright. Make sure to call the authorities as soon as possible, as the deer may block the road and be a hazard to other drivers.

 

Summer: Beating the Heat with A/C

We rely on our auto air conditioner every single day to stay cool on our way to work, yet many of us don’t even think about how it works.  Even if your A/C unit appears to be working, it could still be running inefficiently, meaning either you can’t quite get cool or you might be losing a lot of gas mileage.

auto air conditioningThe most common problem with an air conditioner is a low level of refrigerant, which can happen without visible difference.  If your refrigerant levels are off, your car will be using too much gas to cool itself down, causing you to lose gas mileage and therefore money.  Because of routine problems like this, we recommend that you have your A/C checked at least once every two years (if not more often), especially before the summer months.

In addition to having regular maintenance on your A/C system, there are a few ways to save fuel while still staying cool.  Of course, there is the dilemma of whether to roll the windows down or run the air conditioning.  Although there is some debate among the experts, the general consensus is that at lower speeds (under 45 mph), having the windows down is more efficient, while at higher speeds (above 45 mph), having the windows down causes too much air drag, so running the A/C is better.  One other way to save gas that not as many people know about is to run your A/C on re-circulate because it takes significantly less energy to cool down the already cooler inside air than the hotter outside air.

As you get ready for the summer months this year, consider taking your car into the shop to make sure everything is running at peak efficiency.

Spring Instagram Summary

We’ve enjoyed every minute of our spring here at Tommy’s Automotive, and we’re excited that summer is finally here! In case you missed it, we’ve compiled a round-up of everything we posted on Instagram.

We fixed up an old 48 trailer that’s ready to do work on the farm. Plus, we found a hidden message while changing a customer’s oil and spotted some flamingos that looked a little lost and very chilly.

Don’t miss out on the shop news this summer, follow us on Instagram!

Spring: Check Your Belts and Hoses

honda_engine

Belts and hoses are some of the most overlooked parts in your engine, but they are essential to the engine doing its job properly.  Belts and hoses are typically checked every time your car goes in for a tune-up (every 30,000 miles), but checking them is easy and can save you a lot of hassle.  In fact, nearly a third of all cars and light trucks have belts or hoses that should be replaced, according to a recent survey.

Hoses in your engine are designed to keep the engine cool.  This is a pretty important job, but as hoses get older, they can leak or deteriorate.  A faulty hose is a very easy (and inexpensive) fix, and if it is left alone, it can result in much more serious and expensive repairs to the engine.

Belts do a lot of different jobs within the engine.  As with hoses, belts start to deteriorate over time (especially with cold temperatures) and can fray or even snap.  If a belt snaps while you are out on the road, the only way to get the car moving again is a tow truck.  Avoid the problem all together and simply have your belts checked regularly and replaced as necessary.

Learn more about our other repair services.

Nor’easter Tire Maintenance and PA Potholes

It’s a difficult time to be a tire. Our neighborhoods are all becoming 1 giant pothole, and just when we thought spring was here, there’s another nor’easter on the way. All of this is quite annoying, and if that weren’t enough, it also affects your car.

Changing winter temperatures aren’t just a pain for you. As the temperature drops, so does your tire pressure, so be sure to keep your eye on the PSI. Luckily, warmer weather will soon be here (knock on wood). So go ahead and take the time to give your tires some extra TLC.

Rotate Your Tires

Not sure if it’s time to rotate your tires? Many people like to have their tires rotated when getting an oil change. Generally, they should be rotated every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. At around 40,000 miles it’s time to think about tire replacement, which is where our fancy machinery can help.

Potholes, Potholes Everywhere

Pothole_BigWe’ve all been seeing it. Those gosh darn potholes are literally everywhere, and there’s nothing we can do about it. To avoid any tire damage, be sure to slow down on roads that aren’t well paved.  Sure fixing a tire problem is one thing, but running over a deep pothole can actually bring up a host of other problems, including:

  • Premature wear on shocks
  • Suspension damage
  • Steering misalignment
  • Exhaust system damage
  • Engine damage

Within the first two weeks of the new year, Philadelphia alone had over 500 reported potholes. And it’s only getting worse.

While some people have received money towards repairs from filing insurance claims, it can often cause more of a problem, further increasing insurance rates. Learn more in this Philly.com article.

If you think your tires need a little extra winter TLC, stop by Tommy’s and we can make sure your car hasn’t been damaged by excess pothole driving.

Make Sure Your Battery Doesn’t Leave You Out in the Cold

car batteryBatteries are one of the simplest, yet most vital parts of a car.  If the battery is dead or isn’t working, the car won’t even start in the first place. However, people often forget to check their batteries until it’s too late and end up stranded.

Two easy ways to keep your battery running longer include keeping your car in a garage when it’s at home to shield it from the elements and cleaning off the battery.  To clean the battery, look for build-up around the terminals; it can usually be easily removed with some baking soda and water.

It’s also a good idea to keep tabs on how your battery is doing throughout its lifecycle.  You can do this by using a battery tester at a local auto shop. Although these testers can’t give you perfect information about what is going on, they can give you an idea of how the battery is doing overall.

People often have problems with batteries in the winter for a couple of reasons.  First of all, the oil inside your engine is essentially like molasses in the cold weather, making the engine much harder to turn over (requires more current from battery).  Second of all, your battery does not produce its normal amount of energy in the cold.  These two factors combine to cause a lot of problems, which is why it’s better to be safe than sorry with batteries, especially in the winter.

A battery’s typical lifetime usually ranges between 4 and 5 years.  At that point, there’s usually nothing that can be done to save the battery; it simply has to be replaced.  Just remember, you’d rather be on top of it and get it replaced 6 months early on your own schedule than have to do an emergency repair after your battery fails out and strands you in the cold.

Just in case you have a battery problem, it’s always good to remember how to jump a car.

Have questions about your battery? Give us a call (610) 696-2633.

Winter Instagram Roundup

We’re revving up for the new year here at Tommy’s, and we thought we’d bid the year adue with an Instagram roundup of our autumn and winter thus far, picking up where our summer roundup left off.

So far, it’s been a great time! We’ve sold a few cool trucks and indulged in some of our favorite foods. If you want to keep up with what’s going on at Tommy’s, make sure to follow us on Instagram.

Check out the photos below to get a feel for what we’ve been up to:

Time to Check Your Tires

Tires are a very important part of your car for obvious reasons—they are what keeps your car on the road.  There are two main things that need to be checked on your tires: pressure and tread.

maintenance-tiresTire pressure is very easy to check and extremely important to keep in the recommended range. The recommended tire pressure is listed in the car’s owner manual but is typically between 27 and 32 psi.  In order to check the tire pressure, you simply need an accurate pressure gauge, which can be purchased at a local hardware store. Remember that temperature can affect tire pressure (typically 10 degrees increases pressure by 1 psi), so if your tires were filled in the winter, they may be overinflated when it gets hotter. Having the correct tire pressure is extremely important because under-inflated tires are significantly more likely to fail and also cause decreased gas mileage.

When people talk about tire tread, they are referring to the depth of the grooves on the outside of your tires.  These grooves are extremely important, because they deal with things like mud, water, and snow on the road.  Without grooves, those elements would quite literally lift the tire off of the road, causing you to lose control.  So, when your tires’ tread starts to get low, you could be at a significantly higher risk to hydroplane.  The age-old trick involves using a penny to estimate how much tread you have left. When your tires lose most of their tread, it’s time to get them replaced.

This fall, make sure your car is staying on the road and not losing gas mileage to bad tires.  Come into the shop and we’d be happy to replace your tires or do any other maintenance you need.

 

Summer Instagram Roundup

Now that summer is coming to a close, we’re taking this chance to get you up to speed on what’s been going on around here. Following us on Instagram is the best way to stay in the loop concerning Marge and Peyton’s antics and other hot news from Tommy’s.

A lot went on this summer. We finished installing our custom service counter, celebrated the 4th, and got the chance to work on some cool cars. The sun was bright, but thankfully, Marge always set a good example by shielding her vision with protective eye-wear.

To see what else we’ve been up to this season, browse the gallery.

Winter Instagram Roundup

Here’s a roundup of what’s been going on at Tommy’s this winter. We had a great season!

Get the latest on cool cars, stay informed on what Peyton’s up to, and get an insider’s look at goings on in the shop. To stay in the loop, make sure to follow us on Instagram.