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Make Your Vehicle Last



We live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days, GA folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough - they had to do without. Most Augusta drivers couldn't afford new vehicles very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It's a good thing that vehicles are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us GA penny pinchers is that a modern vehicle can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Augusta vehicle owners making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a little farther between recommended oil changes, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and for clogged passages. Then some vehicle parts don't get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted; the radiator starts being damaged - one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning - really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Augusta at The C & C Auto Show, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It's like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your service advisor at The C & C Auto Show help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at The C & C Auto Show is cheaper than a new car  payment for Augusta drivers. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol - you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

The C & C Auto Show
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901
706-863-5800

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Looking Down the Road - Headlamps



If you've ever been driving around Augusta and had a headlamp go out, you've probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won't have the same brightness, which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at The C & C Auto Show. We're at 990 Telfair St. in Augusta, GA 30901. Or give us a call at 706-863-5800.

Experts at The C & C Auto Show recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It's easy to remember if you do it when Daylight Saving Time changes in the fall. That way you'll have bright headlamps for those long GA winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can't believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and gives a very white light that's a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they'll last for the life of your car. If you want your friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint - no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can't react to what you can't see. You need headlamps that'll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. Your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and to keep your lights from shining off into oncoming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That's because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Augusta service centers offer a service to restore the lens that's a lot cheaper.

You can't drive if you can't see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don't forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

The C & C Auto Show
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901
706-863-5800

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Severe Service Requirements

A lot of Augusta drivers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their vehicle's  owner's  manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for over 30 years and is a speaker, a trainer and a writer.

Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because, "Most owner's manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called 'regular service' and 'severe service.' Sometimes they're simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time."

Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture. So there isn't one generic schedule that applies to all vehicles. In addition to your owner's manual, Augusta automotive repair centers (including The C & C Auto Show) subscribe to information services that provide the auto maintenance schedules for every vehicle - so they can help Augusta drivers know when to take care of needed services. Below is a typical definition for severe service.

  • Most trips are less than four miles/six and a half kilometers
  • Most trips are less than 10 miles/16 km and outside temperatures are below freezing
  • You drive regularly in very hot GA weather
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time (not on the freeway)
  • Stop and go driving
  • You drive in in dusty or muddy conditions
  • You routinely tow a trailer, haul heavy loads or carry a car-top carrier around Augusta

It's common sense for Augusta drivers: Just a few minutes at higher speeds allows the moisture in the oil to evaporate. Very short trips, or trips of less than 10 miles when it's very cold, don't allow the engine to heat up enough to get rid of the water. And water in the oil leads to damaging sludge. Also, towing and heavy loads raise operating temperatures and cause fluids to break down faster. Dusty and muddy driving around Augusta means that more dirt will get past the air filter to contaminate the fuel system and engine oil.

The bottom line is that you need to decide for yourself if the regular or severe service schedule is right for you, based on your driving habits. Look at your owner's manual or talk with your The C & C Auto Show service advisor who can help you know which schedule to follow.

Here is what a fleet manager said recently: "Since city miles are generally tougher on vehicles than highway miles, we use the manufacturer's severe service schedule as the basis for our preventative maintenance program. We massage those schedules over time, increasing or decreasing the service intervals so that they make the most sense. There is a little bit of art to go along with the science."

Make an honest evaluation of your driving habits. Unless you do mostly GA highway driving in moderate weather, you'll likely have a fairly good amount of severe service mixed in. Some Augusta drivers just want to play it safe and follow the severe service recommendations, rather than analyzing how they drive each month.

Ask us for help evaluating your driving and service needs.

The C & C Auto Show
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901
706-863-5800

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The Engine Gets a Boost (Turbocharged Engine Maintenance)

If someone told you that your vehicle could have the same power but with a smaller engine, wouldn't that sound like great idea? Just think, a smaller engine would save you money at the gas station and you'd still get the same horsepower.

The technology to do just that has been around for a long time. It's called a turbocharger.

Race cars and other performance vehicles have been using turbochargers for years. It gives them a power boost without the need of a bigger engine, saving them fuel and pit stops.

Automakers have offered turbo gasoline and diesel engines for years, but there were problems with durability. Plus drivers had to make some driving adjustments with the way turbos delivered power. Newer turbos, though, have been vastly improved, and manufacturers are including them in more models. For example, Jeep offers its 2019 Cherokee with a choice of two engines that each make about 270 horsepower. One is a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and the other is a 6-cylinder conventional gasoline engine. The general rule of thumb is: the fewer the cylinders, the better the fuel economy.

A turbocharged vehicle uses a turbine that is turned by exhaust gas. That compresses air that goes into the engine, which then allows it to use more fuel per second, increasing power. One advantage of a turbo is that it is only engaged when the driver demands more power from the engine by stepping on the throttle harder.

One thing to remember, though, is that turbocharged engines have additional parts and are more complex. That means they can be more expensive to maintain. The upside? You'll likely save fuel.

Like any complex machine, it's important that you maintain your turbo vehicle so it will give you more years of service. The C & C Auto Show technicians are trained to inspect and service the systems associated with a turbo engine. If you already drive a turbocharged vehicle, keep up your regular maintenance schedule to get the longest life and performance out of it.

Because of the advantages these powertrains offer, turbo engines are definitely here to stay.

The C & C Auto Show
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901
706-863-5800

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Following Recommended Intervals for Your vehicle

If you're reading this article in Augusta, GA, then you probably care about your vehicle and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your professional service advisor at The C & C Auto Show tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you had planned. And you worry that if you say "no," you might be harming your vehicle or risking your family's safety.

At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. Service recommendations are in your owner's manual. But it is not like you want to keep your vehicle auto maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.

Vehicles are complicated machines and it takes some effort for Augusta residents to keep them running well. That is why they have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your vehicle performing efficiently and prevent breakdowns. In a typical owner's manual you'll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks - yeah, it is a really long list!

Fortunately, this isn't a test: Augusta residents don't need to have it memorized. Your friendly advisor at The C & C Auto Show has access to your manufacturer's recommendations. Don't be surprised when your service advisor at The C & C Auto Show reminds you something is due. Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let The C & C Auto Show help you stay on top of maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. We'll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.

The C & C Auto Show
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901
706-863-5800

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Augusta Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Augusta drivers, your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Augusta drivers follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles/six kilometers around Augusta?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles/16 kilometers in below-zero GA temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in GA?
Do you drive often in dusty Augusta areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Augusta?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold GA weather?


Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Augusta on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Augusta surface streets?

Let's suppose your owner's manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles/5,000 and 8,000 kilometers. Analyze your driving patterns and Augusta weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you're closer to.

Why should Augusta residents care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Augusta or winter driving means that the engine doesn't heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn't let the oil protect it adequately. That's why GA residents need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in GA summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs. If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly and knowledgeable The C & C Auto Show service advisor. We can help you restore your vehicle to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

The C & C Auto Show
706-863-5800
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901

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Change Your Engine Air Filter at The C & C Auto Show

Many Augusta car owners have probably wondered: "What's the harm in putting off replacing an engine air filter? The answer is that not replacing it could cause your Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor to fail. This expensive sensor is situated between your engine air filter and your engine. Dirty air filters are a leading cause of mass air flow sensor failure – and these babies can cost several hundred dollars to replace in Augusta.

Change your vehicle air filter at The C & C Auto Show when it's dirty. Your vehicle engine will thank you.

Give us a call.

The C & C Auto Show
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901
706-863-5800

 

 

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Relax When the Wind Blows in GA: Winter Car Prep for Augusta Drivers

When autumn comes around in Augusta, leaves fall, nights get longer and there's a definite nip in the air. Time to unpack the boots and gloves and fold some extra blankets onto the beds. It's also time for Augusta drivers to winterize their vehicles.

Here is some expert auto advice for Augusta drivers on what vehicles need to keep everyone safe and rolling throughout the GA winter months.

1. Check your antifreeze. Top it off or change it if necessary. You don't want your radiator, engine or hoses freezing up. If your vehicle isn't generating enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze might be low, or you might have a thermostat problem. Either way, you should get it checked out before the full force of GA winter sets in. If you are due for a cooling system service at The C & C Auto Show in Augusta, get that done as well.

2. Check your brakes. The slushy wet conditions of winter increase stopping distances. Ice exacerbates the problem. Your first concern, of course, is to make sure you adapt your driving habits to winter weather: slow down, and give yourself plenty of room to stop. Get your brakes checked at The C & C Auto Show and replace any worn pads or other parts. Check your brake fluid. It can accumulate moisture and decrease your stopping power.

3. Test your battery. A battery's cranking power drops in the cold, so if your battery is already weak, the onset of winter will do it in. The last thing you want is to be on a snowy GA road in the dark and cold with a dead battery.

4. Pack emergency supplies. Toss a blanket into the trunk. If you do find yourself stranded, your first concern will be to stay warm. If you're traveling away from GA population centers, then pack some emergency food and water as well. Also, it's a good idea to top off your tank in winter. That way, if you get stuck, you'll have some fuel to burn to stay warm, and it'll keep your gas lines from freezing up.

5. Check your wiper blades. They may be able to handle a light Augusta summer rain shower, but they might not be up to the ice and snow that collect on a windshield in winter. If you experience particularly harsh winters or really wet ones, you can purchase special blades that resist freezing. And don't forget to top off your wiper fluid.

6. Check your tires. Tires lose pressure over time, but they lose pressure fast when it's cold outside in Augusta. Tires lose about one pound of pressure every six to eight weeks; they also lose one pound of pressure for every 10°F/5.6°C drop in temperature. If the last time you checked your tires it was 80°F/26.7°C outside and it's 40°F/4.4°C now, your tires could be down five pounds in pressure — and that's serious. It's a safety issue and cuts down on your fuel economy.

7. Driving conditions in the Augusta area may warrant special winter tires. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable The C & C Auto Show tire professional to get the right tires for your area and for your driving habits. If you are getting winter tires, it's always best to get them for all four wheels. But if you're only going to get two, put them on the rear wheels, even if you drive a front-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle. Traction is more important on the rear of a vehicle if you want to prevent sliding or fish-tailing on slick surfaces.

So there you have it: a quick checklist to winterize your car in GA. When it comes to car care, preventive maintenance is always the best practice for Augusta drivers, especially when it comes to winter weather. None of us want to be caught out in the winter cold.

The C & C Auto Show
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901
706-863-5800

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I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement in Augusta



About 90% of our driving decisions in the Augusta area are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.

Most Augusta drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our vehicle windshield is just dirty. In fact, it's estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can't adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we need them the most. If that sounds like you, you've got plenty of company in the Augusta area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

Augusta drivers need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as vehicle safety component. Then we'll stay ahead of the storm.

Augusta vehicle owners really ought to replace wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of GA, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Augusta conditions, if your vehicle has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don't clear the vehicle windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren't just a safety hazard for Augusta drivers; they can also scratch their windshield. That may require replacing the entire vehicle windshield – that's the consequence for neglecting such a small part.

The C & C Auto Show recommends Augusta drivers replace worn blades right away. We can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At The C & C Auto Show, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.

Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though The C & C Auto Show will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Take it with you if you're heading out on a road trip.

Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn't cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won't clean your windows as well.

So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eyes on the road.

Find us at:

The C & C Auto Show
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901
706-863-5800

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Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle



We live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term "built to last" goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They're still a very big investment and Augusta drivers want to make them last as long as possible.  We also want to make keeping them running as cheap as possible. When talking vehicles, it's all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, "A stitch in time saves nine," and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your vehicle. A great example is coolant service in Augusta.

Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing, it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That's why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, Augusta vehicle owners shouldn't forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don't forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper for Augusta drivers than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don't forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent mechanical damage and improve fuel economy.

Now this is a lot to remember for Augusta drivers - too much, really. But it is your Augusta automotive technician's job to keep on top of this stuff. At The C & C Auto Show we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which  maintenance schedule you should use - the regular schedule or the severe service schedule - depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older vehicle.

Bottom line - take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent damage and maintain your warranty coverage.

Of course, you want your vehicle to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you'll be proud to drive it longer.

Most of us in Augusta can't afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient - and expensive - problems down the road, and can keep driving "old faithful" for years to come.

The C & C Auto Show
990 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901
706-863-5800

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