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Have You Checked Your Headlights?

Have You Checked Your Headlights?

Like everything in the TN automotive market, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. TN drivers can be safer at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility on MEMPHIS roads, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the more quickly you can react to road conditions. This is because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as MEMPHIS resident population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.Most new vehicles sold in TN come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on some MEMPHIS roads; they're very bright and have a bluish tint.From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are ... read more

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Parts

To Save Gas Around MEMPHIS: Keep up with Your Scheduled Service

To Save Gas Around MEMPHIS: Keep up with Your Scheduled Service

  One topic that hits the news in TN on a regular basis is the price of gas. The answer for some TN drivers is to buy a vehicle that gets better fuel economy. For those of us in MEMPHIS who don't want to add a car payment to our monthly expenses, we need to improve our fuel economy any way we can.Following recommended service intervals by coming into Central Automotive is one of the best ways people in MEMPHIS can keep their vehicle running efficiently. That means better fuel economy. When you give it some thought, it only makes sense. Dirty oil or transmission fluid can't lubricate or clean. That means more drag which reduces fuel economy.Keeping up with scheduled oil changes and transmission services will save gas for TN drivers.Dirty engine air filters are another efficiency pirate. They rob your engine of enough air to effectively burn the fuel, so you need more gas to get the job done. Replacing a dirty air filter can pay for itself in fuel savings before the next oil change ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

MEMPHIS Road Trip Preparation

MEMPHIS Road Trip Preparation

People from MEMPHIS, TN, love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than a TN road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.You can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. Heading out on a TN road trip? Stop by Central Automotive before you head out to make sure everything is in good repair. Let's look at some of the auto maintenance related problems you might encounter on a road trip in TN and what you might do to avoid them.The most common vehicle component to fail is the tires. Of course, you can't always avoid a road hazard that leads to a flat, but you may be able to head off some maintenance-connected tire problems.A good tire inspection at Central Automotive will start with looking over the c ... read more

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Inspection

Battery Basics for MEMPHIS

Battery Basics for MEMPHIS

It's important for MEMPHIS drivers to know battery basics. First, let's talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold TN weather. Most MEMPHIS area drivers think it's cold weather because that's when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold vehicle engine. However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short MEMPHIS trips because the alternator doesn't have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. MEMPHIS drivers can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the summer and every three months during the winter.As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren't capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your ... read more

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Battery

Improve Your Night Vision When Driving in MEMPHIS

Night driving in MEMPHIS is not as safe as daylight driving as evidenced by the increased accident rate at night. Much of that is simply because it's dark outside.Visibility is important to safe driving. Ninety percent of our driving decisions are based on what we see. And at night, we just can't see as much as we can during the day. In fact, if you have 20/20 vision during the day, your night vision is only 20/50. To translate, that means that an object you can clearly see 50 feet away during daylight, only becomes visible to you at 20 feet at night.Reaction time is also related to visibility. MEMPHIS motorists don't react to a situation until they see it. So at night, we're reacting to situations later just because it takes longer to see them. But we don't have to stop driving at night to stay safe. We just need to practice some preventive maintenance and vehicle care that will maximize our night vision.The most crucial item that helps us see wh ... read more

Categories:

Headlamps

Hey MEMPHIS Drivers: How Do You Save Gas?

Higher MEMPHIS fuel prices aren't going away any time soon. That's not good news for our wallets. A lot of MEMPHIS drivers are trying to find ways to cut down on fuel consumption and hang on to some of their hard-earned money.North Americans drive billions of miles less during months of high fuel prices. That's right, billions. Of course TN vehicle owners can't stop driving altogether, so we still need to find other ways to cut fuel bills.Preventive maintenance at Central Automotive in MEMPHIS and good vehicle care can actually pay for themselves by lowering our fuel consumption. Here's a real-life example of how that can work.A family planned a four-day camping trip. Before leaving, they took their SUV into Central Automotive for an oil change. They flushed the cooling system, serviced all three differentials and cleaned the fuel system. They replaced the PCV valve and breather element. Then they checked the tires to ensure they had enough air.Th ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Bouncy Bouncy ? Are My Shocks Bad?

Bouncy Bouncy ? Are My Shocks Bad?

When MEMPHIS drivers think about preventive maintenance, what usually comes to mind is oil, fluids and brakes. We don't generally think about our shocks or struts, but these auto parts keep our tires on the road.MEMPHIS drivers don't think about shocks as often as oil changes because shocks and struts last a long time and wear out slowly. They don't need to be checked as often as our brake pads or air filters. By the time your shocks have 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) on them, their performance will have noticeable degraded. If you want to restore the handling and ride designed for your vehicle, try replacing your shocks and struts.Of course, if you drive off-road around MEMPHIS, carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or put in a lot of mileage on poor driving surfaces, your shocks or struts will wear out more quickly. You'll need to replace them more often or upgrade to better shocks.Your suspension system uses springs and shocks to absorb the “shocks” and vibr ... read more

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Shocks & Struts

Introduction to Diesels for MEMPHIS, TN

Introduction to Diesels for MEMPHIS, TN

Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around MEMPHIS, TN, is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses; we're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.Most people in TN are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import brands offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in MEMPHIS, TN. But that's about to change.In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in MEMPHIS, TN, so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.Why are so many MEMPHIS drivers interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There's more power in a barrel of dies ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Diesel Maintenance for TN

Diesel Maintenance for TN

At Central Automotive we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV's. But our TN friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there're nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.Here's who's announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in TN.You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to TN and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that TN diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Re ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Serpentine Belt Service at Central Automotive in MEMPHIS

Serpentine Belt Service at Central Automotive in MEMPHIS

Don't you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you're zipping down a busy MEMPHIS road? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator - which charges the battery; the water pump - which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All are pretty important parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components. Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go long distances. Like all moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around MEMPHIS, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the vehicle immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing engine damage. You can be sure that it won't happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might even need to get your veh ... read more

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Parts
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