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How Bad Is It? Answers to Your Car Questions

Check Engine Light - BigStock

We have a new topic for our blog – How Bad Is It?  We’re answering those tricky questions that you wonder about and don’t know who to ask. 

To drive with the check engine light on?

Kinda Bad. The “check engine” light can come on for any number of reasons, from a loose gas cap to a malfunctioning component or sensor. As a general rule, you can still drive the car.

Super Bad. A flashing “check engine” light indicates an engine misfire, which can cause irreversible damage to the car’s catalytic convertor.  Stop the car if the check engine light is flashing and get a tow truck.

To rotate tires about every 10,000 miles?

Not so bad.  Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that the tires be rotated on the same schedule as oil changes. In most cases that means every 6,000 miles or six months.  Unless you drive fewer than about 7,500 miles per year, it's a good idea to rotate tires every six months or so to prevent uneven wear.

To do a wheel alignment every 2 – 3 years?

Not Bad at All.  You should have you wheels aligned when your steering has an obvious pull, if your car has been in an accident, or you buy new tires.  If tire wear is uneven you could need an alignment or you might have worn suspension parts.

Just make sure you have it done right. A proper wheel alignment should take about an hour and a half. A proper alignment involves aligning three angles: caster, camber, and toe-in. Have an alignment done by a trusted technician who won’t charge you for an unnecessary four-wheel alignment.

Our Thoughts

We appreciate the trust you place in us.  We also want to provide you with useful information about owning and caring for your cars – a vital part of your freedom to move around.  We invite you to come by for a visit.  We have a cup of coffee waiting for you.

Kathryn and Sybren 
We can fix anything.  We just happen to fix cars.  
Friendly & Expert Service Since ‘46

Adolf Hoepfl Garage 
4610 N. Shepherd  
Houston, TX 77018 
713.695.5071

Sources: Cars.com, Boston.com