(704) 372-3885 2641 N. Graham St. Charlotte, NC 28206

Learn About Your Car

Batteries are a huge part of modern life. Think of how many battery chargers you have.

Of course, our purpose here is to talk about your car battery. When people come into Joey's Truck Repair Inc. and need a new battery, they're really not that happy about having to spend the money. But the fact is that 70 percent of batteries don't make it for 4 years.

There are some things that you can do to extend the life of your battery. First, keep it clean. If you see it getting dirty or greasy, let us know at Joey's Truck Repair Inc. and we can clean it off. A dirty battery runs hotter, and that shortens its life. If your battery terminals are corroded, let us take a look at that, too. We can clean them, and if the corrosion has gotten into the battery cables, we can replace them.

Also, running your battery way down is bad for it. Things like running the headlights or watching a DVD player with the car turned off can deeply deplete your battery. The typical battery can only take about 10 of those deep cycle depletions before it gives up the ghost.

Because we often take short trips around Charlotte with lots of stops for errands, our batteries can end up not getting fully recharged just by driving around. That also shortens battery life. You can hook up a good quality automatic battery charger at home from time to time. We recommend charging once a month during hot months and every three months during cold months.

Now when it's finally time to get a new battery, we can help you find the right replacement. We'll always make sure to meet your manufacturer's recommendations. If you have special needs, like live in a very cold climate or run a lot of electrical accessories, we can look at an upgrade that'll give you the power you need.

Give us a call.

In cold weather, you may notice your windows fogging up. Then you can't see where you're going, and suddenly you and those around you are in danger. So, what causes your windows to fog up in cold weather, and how can you stop it?

Fog is simply moisture condensing on a cold surface. When the air inside your vehicle is moist and warmer than the outside air, it hits the glass that's cooled by the outside temperature, and you get fog.

If your windows fog up, you probably already know to try the defroster for your windshield. You may also have an electric defroster for your rear window and outside rearview mirrors. Electric elements in the window and mirror glass heat up, so the moisture doesn't condense on the glass.

If the defroster isn't working on all the windows, turn up the temperature setting on your heater. Hot air holds more moisture. Switch on the air conditioning. As the air moves over the cooling coils, the moisture is removed. Turn your ventilation system off the "recirculating" setting, so it lets in outside air. Open a couple of windows slightly to move some of the moist, warm air out as the cooler, dry air comes in. Your windows should quickly clear up.

For this to work, all the systems in your vehicle must be working properly, of course. Blower motors must work, and the air conditioner condenser and its other components need to be in good operating condition. Plus, you have to be able to roll down your windows.

This is why it's essential to keep all of the components in your vehicle in good working order. Who knew it was so important for your air conditioner to work in cold weather months? Add to that the fact that, in many vehicles, the air conditioner automatically comes on when you turn on your windshield defroster. That way, the A/C removes moisture as the heat warms the glass to prevent condensation, a very effective one-two punch. It's a good idea to have your NAPA AutoCare Center perform an A/C inspection every year to make sure it's working as it should all year round.

Oh, one thing that helps prevent fogging is making sure the insides of your windows are cleaned regularly. Dirt and oil on the glass give water molecules something to cling to. Boy, this sure clears up the subject of foggy windows!

If you haven't looked into diesel engines lately, you may be interested in today's post. Why should you care about modern diesel engines? Fuel efficiency, for starters. Because diesel fuel has a higher compression rate than gasoline, it generates more power per barrel. This is especially advantageous for drivers who pull heavy loads with powerful trucks that are always thirsty.

There are still many misconceptions about diesel powered vehicles. Let's debunk some of the myths.

1. Diesel Burns Dirty

This was true years ago. Since 2006, however, U.S. diesel vehicles have been required by law to use ultra-low-sulfur diesel or USLD. Modern diesels are soot-free and have a smaller carbon footprint.

2. Diesels Are Sluggish

Not any more. They are as fast off the line as similar gasoline-powered cars. If your idea of fun is to spend an afternoon test-driving new cars, go take a spin in a diesel BMW or Porsche.

3. Diesels Are Loud

Back in the day, you could hear a diesel motor from a mile away. Today's diesels run quiet.

4. Diesels Have a Bad Resale Value

Actually, diesel vehicles have a lower depreciation rate.

Diesel engines require parts that are heavier and stronger. Here, we occasionally service diesel cars and trucks with over 300,000 miles/500,000 kilometers. The heavy-duty parts make diesel vehicles a little more expensive new, but due to the extra burliness, diesel engines last a lot longer. This is one of the reasons Cummins diesels inspire such a loyal following.

Another often-overlooked benefit is lower risk of fire. Diesel fuel is less flammable and won't explode like gasoline.

What about the drawbacks? Cold weather starting is one. Diesel engines can be hard to fire up when the temperature drops. However, an engine block heater can solve this problem. Talk to our friendly and knowledgeable pros here for more .

If you are in the market for a new vehicle that's easy on fuel, you might want to explore your diesel options. You may even qualify for a tax credit if you buy a clean diesel vehicle. Of course, diesels require regular maintenance like any other vehicle and the services are usually a little more costly due to the nature of the engines. But the extra cost is offset by the better fuel economy and longer engine life.

Bottom line? Today's diesel is not your grandfather's diesel.

Think of how much technology has changed vehicles in the last several years. And there's a lot more coming.

Many will remember when drivers were the ones who had complete control of several driving functions: steering, braking, and skid and accident prevention, just to name a few. Thanks to computers, high-tech systems in the vehicle now assist with many of these. Anti-lock brakes help the driver stop while avoiding uncontrolled skids, traction control helps reduce slippage, and stability control can minimize the chances of losing control.

Backup cameras let drivers see what's directly behind them, things they could never see before. Sensors warn drivers if a vehicle is crossing in front or behind them. Even more sensors and fish-eye cameras alert drivers when they're getting too close to something. And those are just a few of the advances.

The quest for self-driving vehicles has produced features that are already making their way into today's cars, trucks, and SUV's. Electric and hybrid vehicles are introducing break-out technologies. For example, a new braking technology allows the driver to let up on the accelerator, and instead of the car coasting for a while or the driver having to apply the brakes, the vehicle will slow down using regenerative braking without the driver even touching the brake pedal. This regenerative braking system recharges the batteries. Another system helps steer the car to keep it in the center of the lane using cameras and radar to keep track of the lane markers.

Most of these technologies aim at improving safety and efficiency. Much the same as all other systems in the vehicle you currently own, it's important to maintain them so they're working properly. As you can imagine, NAPA AutoCare & Truck Service Centers invest heavily in training and diagnostic tools and equipment to keep your high-tech systems up to date as we all move forward to the vehicles of the future.

Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of driving around NC on underinflated tires. Now, it's hard to tell when a radial tire is underinflated but your friendly and knowledgeable Joey's Truck Repair Inc. can help you. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds – which is significantly underinflated.

Your newer vehicle or light truck might be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This technology has been used by race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from underinflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track.

Obviously, TMPS systems don't come free for auto owners. U.S. government studies have estimated the net costs of the TPMS system itself, maintaining the system, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases. The costs are partially offset for Charlotte drivers by savings in fuel and tire wear. There's also a saving in property damage and travel delay for people in Charlotte. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.

The government predicts fewer fatal accidents. They estimate that this will cost between three and nine million dollars for every life saved. This new safety equipment will help motorists avoid the most common vehicle failure and possibly a catastrophic accident.