“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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Thank You For Getting Your Car Inspected at American Pride!

As part of the State Inspections for Our Community program, we’ve spent the last few months raising money for Hospice House and Support Care of Williamsburg. Our staff has a soft spot for this organization and we are honored to work with them to help bring comfort and peace to families facing end-of-life decisions. This is the second (and hopefully not last) time Hospice House has been our Community Star.  We’re proud to have raised $6,000 and we have YOU to thank!

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Stay tuned for the announcement of our next Community Star!

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What is the Difference Between Used, Rebuilt and Remanufactured Transmissions & Engines?

Lately you’ve noticed that your vehicle is behaving strangely–shaking, slow to change gears, or simply not not starting at all. You take it to the mechanic and get the news no car owner ever wants to hear: It’s time to replace the engine, transmission, or another critical (costly) component like a differential or transfer case.

Faced with the high price tag of replacing these parts with factory-new equipment, many people would rather get rid of the car entirely. What these same people don’t know is that there are alternatives. The three main ones (aside from brand new) are used, rebuilt and manufactured components. To some these options may sound quite similar, but the truth is that they provide very different benefits.

Used

This is the lowest cost option for those who need a new engine, transmission, or other important vehicle part. It is also the riskiest. Used components are usually sourced from junkyards and in most cases not cleaned or thoroughly inspected. There is a higher likelihood that it is a high-mileage part and/or has been involved in an accident.

Rebuilt

A rebuilt engine or transmission is made up of parts that have been reconditioned or refurbished. This reconditioning involves taking the unit apart, cleaning it and replacing worn or damaged aspects. Unlike used parts, rebuilt parts are generally inspected and tested, but their quality varies widely and warranties are typically short-term. That being said, if your budget constraints are tight, rebuilt equipment may be the safest, most affordable option.

Remanufactured

If you aren’t crazy about buying new but still want to invest in quality, then remanufactured parts may be for you. All components are built precisely to manufacturer specifications and quality standards and thoroughly tested. At American Pride, we install JASPER remanufactured transmissions, engines, transfer cases and differentials because of their superior craftsmanship and long-term warranties (most parts carry a 3 year/100,000 mile warranty).

When making a big vehicle decision like whether and how to replace a major component, be sure to get at least two opinions from auto mechanics you trust. If you’re unsure of what to do about your car or truck and live in the Williamsburg, Yorktown, or Toano area, call the pros at American Pride. No matter what kind of replacement part you choose, we can help guide you and get you the best value for your money.

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Happy Holidays From Our Family to Yours

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American Pride Automotive Cares About Your Safety This Holiday Season

Christmas tree on car. Small toy car

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and that means travel, holiday parties and a general sense of hectic glee. All of this activity makes the holiday season a particularly dangerous time to be on the road. It’s important to stay alert, make smart choices and keep proper vehicle maintenance in mind in order to get where you are going safely. These are just a few precautions you can take–not just during the holidays, but all year long.

Do a “Pre-Flight Check”

Especially important before a long road trip, you should always ensure that your vehicle is in ideal working order. Check that headlights, taillights and turn signals are operational. Check that the pressure is sufficient in all four tires. We also recommend taking a look at all fluid levels, including brake fluid,  oil, power steering, coolant and washer fluid. Getting ahead of a potential problem before you hit the road will make all the difference in the quality of your drive and the long-term condition of your vehicle.

Don’t have time to give your car a good inspection with all the busyness of the season? Call American Pride and schedule a road trip vehicle check at any of our three locations. We are always happy to make sure that cars and trucks are safe for long drives.

Have Fun, But Be Smart

Planning on attending holiday parties this year where there will be alcohol? Don’t risk putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation. Assign a designated driver, use a service like Uber or Lyft (but be aware that fare charges will be higher during the Christmas season), or call a traditional cab (Try Triangle Taxi in Williamsburg or Orange Cab Company in Newport News).

If you live in or travel Williamsburg, Yorktown, Newport News or Hampton this year, keep American Pride in mind for your automotive needs this holiday season. Call now, submit a contact form to request an appointment, or stop in to our Williamsburg, Toano or Yorktown locations.

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November 7 Family Service Day

What an awesome team! This weekend American Pride participated in Family Service Day‘s national day of service and gave a ‘hand up’ to families from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Peninsula as well as Child Development Resources by providing free auto repairs, maintenance and education.

“I was there today and wanted to thank you again for the free services you provided me. It really means a lot. Be blessed!”- L.B., an FSD service recipient

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We are very proud to represent the Williamsburg community while many other shops across the country had their days of service. Learn more about Family
Service Day at www.familyserviceday.org.

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State Inspections for Our Community: Colonial Revolution MTB

Through our State Inspections for the Community program we are proud to have been able to support Colonial Revolution MTB. Colonial Revolution supports our area youth (our future) by guiding them into a lifelong sport that develops strong bodies, strong minds and strong character…mountain biking.

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Thank you to all of our loyal customers who choose American Pride Automotive for general repair and maintenance. It is your loyalty that allows us to continue to give back to the community that has been so good to us. If your vehicle is due for a state inspection, we’d be honored if you would choose American Pride. It will give you the chance to get a necessary service while doing something great for the community. Learn more about the program here.

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Now Is The Time To Winterize Your Car

Now that we are finally enjoying some gorgeous fall weather, it’s time to start changing gears in all areas to get ready for a very cold winter. Because of El Niño, meteorologists are predicting below-normal temperatures in Hampton Roads and on the Virginia peninsula. This means that we could be in for more property damage and safety risks from snow and ice than in previous years. While you clean your gutters, weatherstrip windows and doors, and turn off exterior water spigots, consider these tips for winterizing your vehicle.

1. Construct an Emergency Kit. 

As we all know, icy and snowy conditions can stop traffic on interstate 64 and 664. It’s important to be prepared if you get stranded on the road due to traffic or vehicle failure. A good winter emergency kit should include:

  • Extra coolant/antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid
  • Distilled water to mix with coolant if necessary
  • Emergency flashers
  • Drinking water
  • Non-perishable foods like protein bars and dried fruit
  • Spare tire
  • Blankets
  • Hand warmers
  • Flashlight
  • Basic toolkit
  • Vehicle fire extinguisher
  • Extra clothing
  • Kitty litter! It works like a dream for adding traction when stuck in snow or ice.

2. Check the coolant

The cooling system is your engine’s best defense against locking up due to freezing temperatures. Make sure the anti-freeze in the coolant reservoir is at or slightly below “max” level. Anything less could be a sign of a cooling system leak. If you do check the levels yourself, remember to only do so first thing in the morning when the engine is cold.

3. Check the tires

We’ve talked about it again and again. Do the penny test on your tires to make sure that the tread is adequate. This is especially important during the wintertime, as bare tires are a huge hazard in slippery conditions. You should also test the pressure weekly.

4. Have a professional check the belts and hoses

Especially if your vehicle is older, we recommend getting a winter tune-up and inspection to ensure that the various components under the hood are in good working condition. Cold weather can put added stress on these components.

5. Replace windshield wipers
Unless you’ve switched out wiper blades in the past year, it’s probably a good idea to do it now. Also, consider adding a de-icer to wiper fluid, as this can be a big help on those super-cold mornings.

6. Test the battery
Most car batteries fail during the winter because of freezing temperatures. Get your battery levels tested and make sure that all connections are free of debris. As a safeguard,include jumper cables in your emergency kit.

Trust American Pride Automotive to get your car ready for winter. We offer overall tune-ups and vehicle inspections that can make the difference between a safe vehicle and a dangerous one on wintry roads. Contact the location closest to you (Williamsburg, Yorktown, Toano) while the weather still cooperates!

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Virginia State Inspections for the Good of the Community! March of Dimes

This week we had the honor of presenting the March of Dimes with a check in support of Team Emerson Grace. These funds were raised from American Pride Automotive’s State Inspections for our Community program where $5.00 from each inspection goes to local charities, this program is active at all of our locations.

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Thank You to all of our loyal customers who make this level of support possible! Be on the lookout for the announcement of our fall Community Star. Learn more about our State Inspections for Our Community program here. Call any of the three American Pride Automotive locations in Williamsburg, Toano or Yorktown to request a Virginia state inspection appointment.

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Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start

It’s never fun to get in the car on the way to work only to find that it won’t start. When multiple turns of the key in the ignition don’t solve the problem, you may not know what is causing it. Bottomline: You need your car to start. Here are some possible underlying causes.

Battery-Related Failures

When your vehicle won’t start, a dead battery is the most common culprit. If you have a battery-tester on hand, it will be say to see if this is your problem. If not, try jumpstarting the vehicle. If jumpstarting seems to solve the problem, at least temporarily, then you need a new battery. If those tests are inconclusive, check your battery connections for corrosion or debris. Sometimes dirty connections can disrupt the connection with the rest of the vehicle’s system.

Bad Ignition Coil

When an ignition coil is damaged or gets old, electricity from the battery no longer ignites the spark plugs and prevents…you guessed it, ignition. An auto mechanic will be able to check the ignition coil.

Clogged Fuel Filter

At American Pride, we like to emphasize the importance of planned preventative vehicle maintenance, like cleaning and replacing filters. The fuel filter is one that must be cleaned or replaced every two years. If you don’t, you may be stuck with a car that won’t start, as fuel will no longer reach the fuel pump.

Starter Issues

Who would have thought that problems with the starter might prevent the car from starting? When the starter motor goes bad, the engine can no longer turn its pistons and therefore can’t combust.

You can prevent most of the potential causes for a car that won’t start by being dedicated to routine maintenance by a trusted auto mechanic. Call American Pride for auto service that you can depend on. We have three convenient locations in Yorktown, Williamsburg and Toano to serve you.

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Should I Get a Second Opinion on An Auto Repair?

When a strange sound or an odd vibration in a vehicle means a repair with a high price tag, don’t take the first recommendation you get from a mechanic. Why not? Because newer cars are a lot like human bodies in that there can be multiple causes for a single issue depending on the make, model, year and condition of the vehicle.

If one auto service pro recommends a new radiator, for instance,  it is well worth your time to take the vehicle to another mechanic, as the source of the issue could be something as simple as a malfunctioning temperature sensor.

Another aspect of the second opinion principle applies primarily to older vehicles: Consider carefully whether a major repair or replacement is worth it based on the age and value of the car. A good auto professional will be honest with you on this front and help you consider various alternatives to spending big bucks on a repair that won’t increase the value of the vehicle. The general rule of thumb is this: If the repair costs more than the current appraised value of the car, don’t do the repair. It may be smart to invest in a quality used car instead. 

At American Pride, we encourage our customers to get second opinions on recommended vehicle repairs if they have any question in their minds about the usefulness of those repairs. We also frequently give second opinions to customers of other auto repair shops. Either way, the certified professionals at American Pride give are ready to give an honest answer and a fair quote.

If you’re facing a major repair and want a little extra assurance that it is the right choice, call American Pride and schedule an appointment at any of our three convenient locations (Toano, Williamsburg, or Yorktown).

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