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919-834-7300 | 5312 Atlantic Springs Rd Raleigh, NC 27616

Auto Repair Tips & Guidance

Find quick auto repair answers here because you have things to do!

Who has time to read a manual on auto maintenance? Get fast auto repair and maintenance tips you can trust with the North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator blog. Updated monthly, our blog offers quick auto maintenance tips, suggestions for better fuel efficiency and cost saving auto repair ideas.

Looking for more answers? Come by our service center at 5312 Atlantic Springs Rd, Raleigh, NC 27616 today or ask one of our auto repair experts by phone at 919-834-7300.

Should I Replace My Car's Spark Plugs?

2022-10-01

The Two Instances When You Should Always Replace Your Spark Plugs

Let's talk spark plugs. A common question we hear at North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator is, "Should I replace my spark plugs?"

A spark plug performs a critical task for your vehicle's engine. Without a spark plug your car or truck's engine cannot work. Properly working spark plugs also deliver added fuel efficiency. Most owners manuals say to replace the spark plugs every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. In many cases spark plugs last longer than the driver's ownership of the car.

So, when should you replace your spark plugs?

  1. If you just purchased a used vehicle
  2. At least every 80,000 miles

Spark plugs are one of the hardest working parts of a vehicle. If you just purchased a used car, it is best to go ahead and replace the spark plugs. You have no idea if the previous owners were "severe" drivers. A spark plug can fire 400 times per minute per cylinder or 1,600 times a minute on a four-cylinder engine. Severe driving can place even higher demands on the spark plugs and engine.

Many used car dealers boast an extensive multi-point inspection plan prior to the sale of any car but many of these plans don't cover spark plug integrity. Because a failed spark plug can mean disaster for your new purchase it is best to get them replaced by the qualified technicians at North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator in Raleigh.

At North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator we recommend replacing spark plugs before they reach the 80,000-mile mark. Many car owners delay spark plug replacement until the engine starts "missing." An engine that is "missing" will typically result in a jerking feeling when accelerating. Spark plugs that are severely worn out will create a pinging or knocking sound. These fouled, worn-out spark plugs can lead to extensive engine damage that is expensive to fix. Therefore, replacing spark plugs before they reach the 80,000-mile mark is very important.
Three Indicators Your Spark Plugs Need To Be Replaced

  1. Rattling, pinging or knocking noises when accelerating
  2. Missing, hesitating or jerky feeling when driving
  3. Slow acceleration or chugging

Sluggish and reduced performance also causes poor fuel economy. Save money at the pump by taking care of your vehicle's spark plugs.

Come by North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator in Raleigh if you just bought a used car or your vehicle is approaching the 80,000-mile mark to have your spark plugs replaced by one of our qualified pro mechanics. Call today at 919-834-7300 or stop by our service center at 5312 Atlantic Springs Rd, Raleigh, NC, 27616.



Don't Forget to Replace Your Car or Truck's Belts

2022-10-01

Remember to Change Your Belts

Drivers in Raleigh are busy and it is easy to forget that belts are tirelessly working to keep your engine running. A worn-out belt is a break down waiting to happen. Avoid being stranded on the side of the road and get your belts inspected each time you get an oil change at North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator in Raleigh.

Your car or truck's belts are essential for many of the vehicle's critical components such as water cooling, air conditioning and the alternator. Serpentine belts are used to turn the alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. Often when serpentine belts brake your vehicle will stop working completely.

Come to North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator to get worn or frayed serpentine belts replaced. Replacing belts when cracked, frayed or showing signs of excessive wear is very inexpensive when compared to having your car or truck towed to our repair shop.

Listen for signs of belt problems. Noise like rattling or slipping in the belt system is a sign of wear. Use your nose to tell you if a belt problem is imminent. The smell of burnt rubber can indicate a slipping belt.

At North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator when we replace a worn serpentine belt, we check all the components in the serpentine system such as tensioners and pulleys. A typical serpentine belt replacement is 60,000 to 90,000 miles.

Why risk being stranded when a bad belt can be diagnosed with simple routine maintenance? Get North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator to replace your car or truck's serpentine belts as directed by your owner's manual and avoid the hassle and expense of a sudden breakdown.

Call North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator in Raleigh today at 919-834-7300 to schedule regular maintenance such as belt inspection.



Owning A Car Is A Hidden Cost For College Students

2022-10-01

Car Ownership - A Hidden Cost for College Students in Raleigh

Public transportation, Uber or Lyft may be an option for students attending college in large cities but for students attending colleges in small towns the only option may be owning a car. This is particularly true for students attending community colleges where commuting to campus is the only option.

College is expensive and owning a car while attending school is an added expense. Here are the top six expense categories college students should plan for:

  1. Fuel
  2. Financing
  3. Parking permit, annual taxes and registration
  4. Insurance
  5. Maintenance
  6. Tires

Parking permits, licensing, registration and taxes are unavoidable. However here are some recommendations for managing other costs.

  • Consider using a gas app that helps you track down the best price in town for gas. Many local gas and convenience stores offer a reward card just for gas.
  • Revisit your auto loan. College may be a good time to consider a less expensive car. Call your local credit union and ask them about financing. Some financial institutions offer lower interest rates for car owners who sign up to have their monthly payments deducted directly from their bank account each month.
  • Shopping for car insurance may also create a significant savings. If you switch to a less expensive car you may need less coverage. If you are driving less on average this may also lower your insurance costs. Keeping a clean driving record while you are in college can help keep your insurance rates low.
  • Come by North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator in Raleigh and let us help you create a solid auto maintenance plan. No one wants to miss class because their car wouldn't start. Regular maintenance on your car will help prevent high-cost car repairs in the future. Maintenance items such as oil changes can also increase fuel efficiency saving you additional money at the gas pump.
  • The cost of tires can be a jolt to a college student's budget. Plan to buy tires by setting aside a little money each month. Save on tires by taking advantage of manufacturer rebates.

Call North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator in Raleigh today at 919-834-7300 or stop by our service center for preventive auto maintenance services at 5312 Atlantic Springs Rd, Raleigh, NC, 27616.



North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator Knows What Older Cars and Trucks Need

2022-10-01

Take Your Older Car or Truck To North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator in Raleigh For Preventative Maintenance

The consumer price index for used cars and trucks jumped up by 40.5% from January 2021 to January 2022. As a result, the average age of vehicles on the road is rising as many owners of older cars decide it is cheaper to hang on to them than to buy one today.

As cars get older, they need more maintenance and repair. Drivers in Raleigh must be more diligent about preventative maintenance. Replacing a bad O2 Sensor costs $250.00 on average. This may increase or decrease based on the make and model of your car or truck. However, performing recommended auto maintenance such as air filter replacement and spark plug replacement can extend the life of your O2 sensor.

Kelly Blue Book reports the average vehicle age in the US is 13.5 years. After five years of ownership the chances of a breakdown or service issue increases dramatically unless drivers are vigilant about preventative maintenance. Come by North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator in Raleigh and let us help you set up a preventative maintenance plan for your car or truck. Sticking to a maintenance plan will minimize the chances of breakdowns, increase fuel efficiency and decrease any future repair costs.

The Top 6 Auto Preventative Maintenance Items to Plan for Today

  1. oil change
  2. oil and fuel filters
  3. belts and hoses
  4. brake system components
  5. brake and transmission fluid flushes
  6. tires and alignment

North Raleigh Automotive & Radiator in Raleigh is dedicated to helping busy car owners prioritize preventative maintenance. We make it easy with convenient, affordable and friendly service. Call today at 919-834-7300 or stop by our service center at 5312 Atlantic Springs Rd, Raleigh, NC, 27616 and speak to one of our technicians.




What Our Customers Are Saying

reviewiconProfessional Advice

I usually look at the reviews for places that I've never used before. I found the service and the personnel here exactly as stated on the yelp reviews. Woody was right on target when he provided an on phone analysis of what my radiator problem was. He also provided a range of what the cost might be. I was especially impressed with the time in which it took for them to do it. My vehicle was in their shop by ten am and completed by 4:30 pm.

, 06/12/2017

reviewiconGreat Customer Service

Fantastic business. I will bring my car here for as long as I'm in this area. They are very straightforward, could have raked me over the coals and absolutely did the opposite. My car was leaking coolant and I couldn't find the leak. Brought it here, two days later get a call saying all they can find was a small leak from a clamp on the hose. They tightened it and got me back on the road that very day they called. I will recommend this place to everyone. Thanks guys!!!

, 02/27/2018

reviewiconHonest Auto Shop

I have found my mechanic. Saw that these guys had nothing but good reviews, so I called to ask if I could drop my car off after hours because I work 9-6 every day. I dropped my car off on Monday night, and on Tuesday by 10 am a mechanic had called me to ask for some more info on what was wrong with my car. Woody called back about mid-afternoon to let me know that while they believe it's the compressor, they did not feel comfortable performing such an expensive repair when they weren't 100% sure and when my car was still running mostly fine and blowing cold air. Most other places around here would've happily taken my hundreds of dollars! I appreciated the honesty so much, as that's very rare these days... especially in the auto repair industry. He took my payment for the diagnostic over the phone and said that once my compressor fails, I can use the amount I paid as a credit towards my repair. These guys are super honest and the whole process was so easy and seamless. While it kind of sucks that my car isn't fixed, it still works and I'm not out hundreds of dollars! Super appreciative and I will certainly be here for future repairs and maintenance.

, 07/20/2019

reviewiconFast and Courteous

I got a 1980 Fiat Spider 124 with radiator trouble. I call and spoke to Woody and ask me to get it there and next day was done. Kudos to Woody. Thank you !!!

, 05/28/2020

reviewiconBest Auto Shop

North Raleigh Radiator is the best! My family has been going to them for years, and I have personally taken two of my vehicles to them over the years. They are honest, reliable and kind. As a lady, it feels intimidating to find an auto shop that you can trust. I've gone to other automotive shops in the area who have tried to sell me things that my car hasn't needed, but Neal and Woody have never tried to do that (they just shake their heads at the other guys) and have been my go to for a second opinion when it comes to what repairs I actually need. They are also more accommodating than other shops, as it's been easier to find a time slot when my car needs attention. I will continue coming here for as long as they are open! You will not be let down or disappointed. They are truly the best in the area.

, 05/08/2018
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