Craftsman - AlexandriaGive Us a Call:703-719-7606
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM | Sat: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
7001B Manchester Blvd. , Alexandria, VA 22310
Craftsman – FairfaxGive Us a Call:703-272-3216
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM | Sat: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
11611 Lee Hwy , Fairfax, VA 22030
Craftsman - ChantillyGive Us a Call:703-646-8260
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM | Sat: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
14510 Lee Rd. , Chantilly, VA 20151
Craftsman - MerrifieldGive Us a Call:703-646-8270
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM | Sat: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
2733 Merrilee Drive , Merrifield, VA, 22031
Craftsman - McleanGive Us a Call:703-356-7730
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Sat: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
1387 Chain Bridge Rd , McLean, VA 22101
Craftsman - Sterling/CascadesGive Us a Call:703-794-5300
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Sat: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
21180 Potomac View Road , Sterling, VA 20165

Alexandria , Fairfax, Chantilly, Merrifield, Mclean & Sterling/Cascades AUTO REPAIR

Articles:

What’s the difference between a hybrid vehicle battery and an electric vehicle battery

What’s the difference between a hybrid vehicle battery and an electric vehicle battery

Hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles (HEV or EV) have two main things in common, electric motor-generators (MG) and a battery pack. The battery pack, in both cases, is like the fuel tank in a conventional vehicle, storing energy to power the MG and vehicle electrical systems. Unlike the fuel tank in a conventional or hybrid vehicle, however, the battery pack can also be recharged by the car itself, via the MGs. At their most basic level, electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle battery packs are a collection of rechargeable cells arranged to hold a specified amount of energy. In this way, they are identical. On the other hand, there are a couple of key differences in chemistry, charging capabilities, and maintenance. Chemistry and Capacity The main difference between hybrid vehicle and electric vehicle battery packs is their chemistry. For example, the 2010 Toyota Prius NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) hybrid battery pack holds just 1.3 kWh (kilowatt-hours). Thi ... read more

Hybrid Battery Life

Hybrid Battery Life

Hybrid Batteries, like all batteries, eventually run out of power. It’s never a question of if, but when. It’s just the innate nature of batteries! Most hybrid batteries will perform well for 5-8 years, depending on these factors: Driving habits. The worst thing for a hybrid battery is to let it sit for periods of time. The battery will begin to self-discharge and lose power. Hybrid vehicles need to be driven regularly to maintain optimum battery performance. Temperature. The nickel-metal hydride batteries in hybrid vehicles will not last as long in extreme climates where the temperatures are either normally very high or very low for extended periods. Terrain. Vehicles that are regularly driven over challenging terrain (like mountains) will loose power and fuel efficiency faster than ones that are driven in less demanding places. There are several things you can do to extend the life of your hybrid battery ... read more

Will a Hybrid Battery Last as Long as a Standard Battery?

Will a Hybrid Battery Last as Long as a Standard Battery?

Most likely, yes! Under typical conditions, the battery found in Hybrids (NiMH) are expected to last about 5-8 years, though prolonged rest periods or getting overheated by strenuous charging and discharging cycles (such as when driving in mountainous terrain on a regular basis) can shorten that life expectancy. For a typical driver, under optimal conditions an SLA (Sealed lead-Acid) battery can be expected to last about 3-6 years, though even a single deep discharge can ruin it, no matter its age. A Deeper Look Hybrids Usually Use Two Types of Batteries Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) have two batteries. Like a normal car, they have a low-voltage battery that powers systems such as the stereo, computers, and navigation system. They also have a high-voltage battery, called the traction battery, that powers systems like the vehicle's electric motor-generator unit and air conditioning compressor. The traction battery is the expensive one ... read more

Keep your Hybrid Rolling

Keep your Hybrid Rolling

Make sure your hybrid won't let you down by following these important tips to keep it performing in top-notch condition. Change Your Oil and Filters & Have Your Brake Pads Checked Like regular gas engines, hybrid and hybrid-electric vehicles need regular oil and filter changes. However, they don't need them as often because the electric components take some of the load off the engine. Our recommendation is to change your oil between 5,000 and 10,000 miles and your air filter every 40,000 miles. It's also a good idea to have your brake pads checked at the same time. The good news is that the regenerative braking properties of your car mean that your brake pads need to be replaced less frequently than those on a standard gas-powered car, but you want to be safe on the road, so make sure your technician gives them the okay before you drive out of the shop. Always Take Your Vehicle to a Hybrid Expert It's really important ... read more

Winter Maintenance Tips

Winter Maintenance Tips

Kick the tires: Have your tires rotated and inspected. The last thing you need in cold, wet weather is to be driving on bald tires or tires with low air pressure. You’ll need all the traction that is possible and both of these issues will significantly impair your tire’s response.  Double check the tire pressure against the manufacturer's specifications found on the driver’s door jam or post when the tires are nice and cold and add air if needed.  Or you can stop by Craftsman Auto Care anytime and we will be happy to check your pressure and make any adjustments for you! Bonus tip:  Pop your hood and clear out all those leaves and any debris that might have accumulated under your hood in the cowl (the section where the windshield and the hood meet).  This  debris can clog your body water drains and may have a negative affect on air inducted into the cabin and the cabin air filter. Chang ... read more

The Answers to all your Tire Questions!

The Answers to all your Tire Questions!

How often should I get my tires rotated? As a general rule, you should get your tires rotated when you get an oil service performed.  (about every 6-8k miles or every 6-12 months) Changing the location of the tires on your vehicle allow them to wear evenly and will give them a longer life. What is a tire “balance”? During tire installation services, tires are fitted to wheels and then are measured on a balancing machine and correction weights are applied on the rims to ensure that the weight of the tire and wheel assembly is evenly distributed.  Tires need to be balanced if your notice excessive vibration that can occur from regular driving conditions.  Tires should be balanced when they are rotated (about every 6-8k miles or every 6-12 months). How often should I buy new tires? This is definitely dependent on your mileage, environment and driving habits and how well you’ve maintained your tires.&nb ... read more

Categories:

Auto Care

How to Change a Flat Tire

How to Change a Flat Tire

When your vehicle gets a flat tire while you are driving, remain calm and follow these instructions: Don’t panic! You don’t have to stop your vehicle immediately.  The most important thing to do is to keep the car under your control by slowing down, and then pull over to the side of the road away from traffic to a safe spot. For female drivers who are alone – be very vigilant about your surroundings and watchful for thugs who cause accidents to get their victims to pull over. If you are approached by a suspicious person, remain in your vehicle with your windows up and call 911 if you feel threatened! Park your vehicle on a level surface away from soft ground. If you have a brick or wheel chocks, place them in front of your front tires if you are changing a rear tire and behind your rear tires if changing a front tire. Turn off your vehicle, put your emergency brake on, and turn on your hazard lights.  Open your trunk and remove your spare tire, car jack ... read more

Categories:

Auto Care

Car Emergency Kit Checklist

Car Emergency Kit Checklist

This kit is intended to aid you in getting help, signaling your car’s presence to other motorists, and tackling simple challenges. Even if you have roadside assistance coverage or an automobile club membership with roadside assistance, you usually need access to a phone in order to contact them, and you may have to wait on the side of the road for an hour or more before help arrives. That’s why we recommend that drivers carry certain items in their vehicle, even if it only gets used for everyday, around-town driving.  This basic kit can be supplemented with additional items if you go on a long-distance trip or have to deal with winter weather conditions. Cellular phone and travel charger – keep an old, fully-charged cell phone in your glovebox for back-up; inactive cell phones can still be used to call 911. First aid kit – be sure you know how to use it. Warning light, hazard triangle, or flares. Tire gauge – use this on a monthly basis to check ... read more

What you really need to know to stay cool on the road

What you really need to know to stay cool on the road

The AC system in your vehicle is similar to the one in your home, but it’s wedged into an area that runs to temperatures above 250 degrees and is regularly exposed to rattling and rolling everywhere your vehicle goes! Over time, these factors cause the system to leak refrigerant and lose the ability to remove heat and produce and circulate cold air. Because it’s a pressurized, sealed system, proper maintenance requires a skilled technician with the right equipment. Don’t end up hot and sweaty on the side of the road! Check out the information below to learn how your system works and the kind of service it requires. Common maintenance AC Performance Test. Testing is important to check the levels of refrigerant and the gases in your system. It’s a simple diagnostic whereby your vehicle is hooked up to special AC equipment and can be done in under an hour, usually at a cost less than $100. Dye Test. Using a black light, the technician does a visual scan of the ... read more

Vehicle AC Fun Facts

Vehicle AC Fun Facts

Test your IQ and see how many facts you already know: The refrigerant for your car is made specifically for vehicles.  It can’t be used in other air conditioner systems.  The EPA has banned the use of Freon, a brand for a popular refrigerant, because it’s bad for the ozone layer.  Vehicles now use R-134.  So the statement, “I need more Freon” should actually be, “I need more R-134”. See clearly! Run your AC system to remove fog from your windshield to improve visibility. The evaporator removes the moisture in your car to eliminate the fog.  This works in both hot and cold climates. “Topping” off the refrigerant can cause damage to your AC since it’s a pressurized system, and you have no way of knowing how much is needed to allow it to run properly.  All fittings in this system leak a bit, up to the ASE standard of ... read more

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