“Everything Auto” Blog – You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

Our focus is to keep you and your family safe on the road. We employ the most qualified people who will accurately determine your needs, clearly communicate the best solutions and execute all work with integrity.

When you have questions, please use us as a trusted resource for honest information. We will provide high-quality auto repair work and trusted pre-owned auto sales, we love this stuff so much we even want to blog about it!

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Resolve to Love Your Vehicle In 2017

Hand about to press a 2017 button. Concept of new year two thousand seventeen. Composite between a photography and a 3D background. Horizontal image

What resolutions did you make at the beginning of the year, if any? If you’re like many people, you probably resolved to put some energy toward saving money, losing weight, or spending more time with family. How’s all of that going? Again, if you’re like many people, your focus may already be drifting from those commitments you made at the start of the month. The good news is that every day is fresh chance to keep trying and even add more goals! We suggest making an effort to love your car or truck a little more this year. This can mean a few different things.

Commit to Regular Vehicle Maintenance

Life is busy. We get it. Some of the first things to slip from the to-do list are routine vehicle tune-up appointments. These include oil changes, AC system inspections, filter changes, brake checks, wheel alignments, transmission flushes, and more. It’s important to stay up to date on these tasks, as they are the building blocks of a car that stays safely on the road for a long time. Get ahead of bigger issues in the future by taking care of the little things now.

Buy a New Used Car

Sometimes it’s simply time to buy a new or used vehicle that you LOVE at the right price. American Pride Auto Sales can help. We have an extensive inventory of high quality used cars and trucks and do everything we can to find each customer the vehicle that suits them.

Let Us Buy Your Car for Cash

If you’re ready to give up your car but not ready to trade it in for a new one, then it may be time to let us appraise it for cash. And who doesn’t love cash?

Whatever you choose to do this year to improve your vehicle situation, American Pride Automotive is here to provide you with solutions. We specialize in car sales, maintenance and repair and have three convenient locations in Williamsburg, Yorktown and Toano, VA. Find the location nearest you and get going with this resolution!

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Drowsy Driving Is About As Dangerous As Drunk Driving, Says AAA Study

nearly sleeping driving woman in the night

A report released this week says that driving on less than 7 hours of sleep each night significantly increases the risk of a crash. This sounds like common sense, but the data makes the gravity of drowsy driving much more real.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reviewed thousands of accidents with injuries and found that drivers were 1.3 times more likely to be a part of an accident when sleep deprived, even by as little as an hour. The risk increases to 1.9 times more likely when the drivers missed two of the recommended seven hours. The more sleep deprived you are, the better chance you have of being involved in a crash. The study found the following:

  • 1.9 times more likely for five to six hours of sleep per night
  • 4.3 times more likely for four to five hours of sleep per night
  • 11.5 times more likely for less than four hours of sleep per night

This increased risk makes driving while fatigued almost as dangerous as driving while tipsy. Signs of driver fatigue include drifting into other lanes, trouble keeping one’s eyes open, slower reaction times, stiff muscles, impatience/increased road rage, and forgetting miles driven.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may be putting yourself and others on the road in danger. In addition to making lifestyle changes (less caffeine, reducing stress, avoiding TV/computer/phone time before bed and more), talk to a doctor about what you can do to get more sleep.

At American Pride Automotive, we care about your safety! Take care on the road and get some rest this holiday season. We’ll be here for all of your car care and auto repair needs.

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The Importance of Road Trip Checks Before Holiday Driving

Happy holidays card in a Christmas tree.

If you’re traveling by car this holiday season, put safety first and make sure your vehicle is in great condition before hitting the road. Our cars and trucks carry us from point A to point B all year long and everyday use can create significant wear and tear that may not make itself obvious until a long road trip. That’s why American Pride recommends bringing your vehicle in for a “physical” before vacation and taking precautions like these:

  • Brake check. Brake maintenance often goes by the wayside over time, despite being crucial for road safety. We check brake fluid levels and the condition of the brake pads and rotors so you won’t have to worry about stopping safely.
  • Have an emergency kit ready. In addition to a spare tire and jack, every car should have an emergency kit in tow. Even if you think you’ll never use it, better safe than sorry. This kit may include road flares, a flashlight, basic tools, blankets, non-perishable snacks and extra water. Also be sure to pack extras of any essential medications like inhalers and epi-pens.
  • Pack smart. For the sake of your back and your car, try and keep luggage light and evenly distributed in the vehicle. Lots of heavy luggage stowed away in the back of the car leads to poor fuel economy (especially if you’re driving on hilly terrain).
  • Test the lights. Check that all exterior lights (headlights, turn signals, fog lights, high beams, and daytime running lights) are operational and clear.
  • Rent a car if you need to. Say you’ve done all of the above, brought your vehicle into American Pride for a road trip check, and simply have some misgivings about your car’s roadworthiness (or paying for repairs). Don’t be afraid to rent a car to get you through the holiday trip and address your existing vehicle’s issues when you return. Better safe than sorry!

American Pride Automotive is proud to serve the peninsula with three locations in Williamsburg, Toano and Yorktown. Call your nearest location to schedule auto maintenance, repair or a road trip check. Happy holidays!

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We Did It! More Than $6,000 Raised for Hospice House


We reached our objective! For July, August and September, $5.00 from every State Inspection performed was set aside for this quarter’s community: star Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg. Through our State Inspections for our Community program and the loyalty of our awesome customers we raised over $6,000.00 for this valuable asset to Hampton Roads. It was an honor to support such a terrific non-profit.

Wondering why our team is wearing William & Mary Tribe shirts?  We are proud supporters of the athletic program this year and show our support by wearing Tribe shirts every Friday.  American Pride Automotive: Community Driven.

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American Pride Automotive Honored as Governor’s Virginia Business Spotlight

We are so grateful to the office of the Governor for featuring American Pride Automotive in the latest Virginia Business Spotlight. Thank you, Governor McAuliffe, for your kind words and support. We pride ourselves on serving the commonwealth through excellent auto service, sales, and community involvement. Watch the video and read more about the Virginia Business Spotlight!

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Taking the Time To Team Build


kai·zen : noun
a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.

At American Pride, we believe in “sharpening our saw”as it enables us to better serve our customers. We also believe in having FUN!

This past weekend, the American Pride team closed up shop early and headed to New River Gorge, West Virginia for some white water rafting, zip lining and good old fashioned team building. Aside from giving our employees a well-deserved break, these activities teach us how to work together and make good things happen through collaboration–no matter how different we are personality-wise. These skills come in handy when it’s time to make difficult decisions or face a challenging automotive repair.

Thanks to you, our customers, for letting us have the weekend “off.” We hope that this serves as a reminder that the American Pride team is always striving to serve you better.


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How Can You Tell If Your Car Has An AC Evaporator Leak?

If your vehicle’s air conditioning isn’t working or is underperforming, you’ve certainly noticed it in the recent persistent heat wave. There are plenty of reasons this could be the case (See: “My Car’s AC Is Blowing Hot Air!” for a few possibilities), but a problem we see frequently is a leaking evaporator coil.

Also known as the evaporator core, this component helps regulate AC temperature by cycling refrigerant through the system–essentially converting warm air to cool air with the help of the engine’s blower fan and compressor. A leak in the evaporator coil disrupts this process and eventually causes the system to fail.

What Causes Evaporator Leaks?

While most leaks are caused by damaged outer seams on the evaporator core, others are a result of corrosion inside the unit. This usually happens when leaves or other debris make their way in through the air intake and decompose. No matter what the cause of the leak, you will need to get it replaced. Unfortunately, the only way to tell if the evaporator core is the culprit is to bring it in to an experienced auto mechanic like American Pride Automotive.

A Real Life Example

A customer recently brought their truck into the shop with AC problems and we narrowed down the issue to be a pretty clearly leaky evaporator.

leaky evaporator core

The yellow dye pictured on the right of the evaporator indicates the source of the leak.

Auto AC Repair

Diagnosing and repair an evaporator core is a labor intensive process.

This type of heat and humidity all but requires your car’s air conditioning to be working at 100%. If it’s not, call or contact American Pride Automotive. Our staff will diagnose the problem, whether it’s an evaporator core leak or something else, and fix it so that you can get back to enjoying the summer–wherever the road takes you.

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Why You Should Buy From a Used Car Dealership With a Service Center

Do you have a kid going back to college at the end of the summer? A high schooler who needs transportation for their part time job? When it’s time to find a used car, especially for a teen or young adult, safety and reliability are two of the most important factors in the buying decision. Cost is also a factor and that usually means opting for a used car. With all this in mind, we recommend buying a car from a dealership that also services cars.

Most auto mechanics who also sell cars on their lot vet out the vehicles that come in, inspecting them for problems (both existing and potential) and get to know their pros and cons. When you purchase at a mechanic/dealership, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision.

We hear a lot about “buying local,” and for good reason. Buying a used car from a local dealership with a service center is one of the smartest things you can do. You get the personal service from auto technicians who know your car because their team members sold it to you. The team here at American Pride Automotive loves it when customers who have bought cars from us bring them back for routine maintenance and repair. It gives us a chance to check in with the customer and holds us accountable for the vehicles we sell.

If you’re in the market for a used car, take a look at American Pride’s online inventory or stop in to any of our three locations in Toano, Newport News or Yorktown.  Every car on our lot has been inspected and screened for quality so that you can feel confident about buying a trustworthy used vehicle.

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Should I Sell My Car to a Dealer?

There are many reasons to sell a car and just as many ways to go about selling it. One option that’s become increasingly popular in recent years is selling the vehicle directly to a dealer, often for cash. It’s a similar alternative to the traditional auto trade-in but can help make the most of the seller’s time and money. Is this the path for you? Perhaps. Consider these thoughts before selling your car to a dealer.

  • It’s important to shop around.  You deserve the best cash return on your car, so don’t just go with the first dealer’s offer! Get a few appraisals and don’t be afraid to negotiate the figure.
  • Be real about the condition of the vehicle. If your car is a clunker, it’s probably a good idea to let the dealer give you cash instead of trying to offer it as a trade-in. If the vehicle is newer, with lower mileage and in good condition, you may be better off trading it in for something you like better.
  • Respect your own time. Selling a car to a private party is a lot of work. Between listing the vehicle on various websites, responding to potential buyers (some qualified…others not so much), meeting with those potential buyers, you’ve already lost a great deal of time and money.
  • Safety first. Like we’ve written about before, selling a car to a private buyer can be risky. Listing directories like Craigslist have developed a bit of an unsafe reputation. If you are meeting potential buyers, we recommend bringing another person along and doing so in a public place.

So to answer your question, selling a car to a dealer for cash is often a great idea! The key is choosing an auto dealer that has your best interests at heart. American Pride Automotive will buy your car for cash and give you the best deal we can. Let us do the hard work for you. Schedule an appraisal today at your nearest location (Williamsburg, Yorktown, or Toano).

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Memorial Day Weekend Hours

Instagram style row of US flags for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veteran's Day

“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.” (Monia Michael)

All American Pride locations will close for the three day weekend, we will re-open our doors on Tuesday morning…the coffee will be hot and smiles large.

To all those who have served – Thank You!

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