“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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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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April is National Car Care Month

Your vehicle does more than get you from point A to point B. It keeps you safe on the road, survives the crazy Virginia weather, helps you get to work on time, and makes relaxing road trips possible. Show your car a little love this April in honor of National Car Care month by coming to American Pride for a repair or maintenance appointment.

Take advantage of our Saturday hours at the American Pride Automotive Williamsburg and Yorktown locations by making an appointment for an oil change, auto AC recharge, Virginia state inspection, or engine tuneup. Our experienced auto technicians are here for you.

In the meantime, celebrate national car care month by reading a few of our past car care tips:

3 Most Common Causes of Transmission Problems

My Engine Is Smoking…What Do I Do? 

Top 10 Ways to Save on Gas this Summer

Most Common Reasons for the Check Engine Light

“My car’s A/C is blowing hot air!” The Everything Auto Blog: Automotive Air Conditioning Series Part 1 

Call, contact or visit any of our three locations to make an appointment.

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The Hidden Costs of Selling Your Car Yourself

No matter how well our vehicles serve us, there comes a time in every car’s life when it’s time to sell (or salvage). If the car is in sufficiently good condition to sell, vehicle owners have a number of options in front of them–some of which are better than others. Some choose to trade the car in at a dealership while others try to sell it privately with the help of websites like Craigslist and other local listing resources. Selling a car yourself may seem like the easier and more lucrative option, but you may want to think twice and consider other paths.

Private sale of a vehicle requires a lot of work up front on the part of the car owner, but most people assume that the end payoff will be worth it. The challenge is that there are a few extra costs associated with this method–and not all of them actually involve money.


Between cleaning and detailing the vehicle, taking quality photos, deciding on a reasonable sale price, listing it on multiple sites and classifieds, and taking time out of the week to meet with interested buyers, selling a car yourself is time consuming. You also aren’t guaranteed that all your hard work will pay off (not all buyers are particularly qualified).

Repair & Maintenance Costs

Older cars almost always need some maintenance and repair before they are ready to sell. This means extra investment on your part that may or may not pay for itself after the sale.


Did you know that nationally police stations are now offering “safe zones” for Craigslist-type transactions to take place in order to prevent incidents with dangerous, deceptive people? If you do choose to sell privately, consider bringing along at least one other person to all meetings and doing so in a public place.

So if you don’t want to sell your car yourself, what are your other options?

  • Trade in: If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and your existing car is in sufficiently good condition, most dealerships are willing to work out a trade-in deal. One of the downsides to this method is that you are limited to the vehicle selection on the lot.
  • Consignment: Perhaps the easiest and most lucrative way to sell your car, selling via consignment involves a dealership giving you cash for your car (no trade-in necessary) and them putting it on the market for you. In this case, once the dealership buys the car from you, you aren’t responsible for repairs or private financial transactions. You just get to walk out with cash.

If you want money for a vehicle in good condition, bring it to any of our three American Pride Automotive locations to request a valuation. Letting us sell your car will save you time, money and peace of mind. American Pride also offers trade-in options if that option is a better fit. You trust us to service your vehicle; we’ll make sure it goes to a good home, too. Learn more about how to sell us your car and get cash in your pocket here.

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Selling Your Car FAQs

If you’re interested in selling us your car, these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will help you understand the process and your options.

What Do you Do With my Car?

Once we have given you cash for your car, we fix any issues, perform any needed maintenance, detail the car and often install upgraded items such as new tires.  We then sell your car through our auto sales division.  Because we do the repairs ourselves, we are able to sell your car for a fair price and offer a warranty to the new buyer. Continue reading

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