Wet Roads and Safety

As winter fully sets in here in North Carolina we tend to get a variety of weather conditions that can make roads extremely dangerous. Everyone worries about snow because we see it so rarely, but wet roads can be just as dangerous as snowy roads. And on days of heavy rain one of the most terrifying words you can hear is hydroplaning. Hydroplaning specifically refers to a film of water that forms between the roadway and your tires that lifts the front wheels off the pavement and adversely affecting your ability to steer and brake. Hydroplaning is base on a number of variables,  and speed is the most significant. However, vehicle weight, tire pressure, and water accumulation all play a part.

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There are several things that you can use to help prevent hydroplaning. The most important is to slow down. Any speeds over 35 mph on wet roads increase your likelihood of hydroplaning. Keep your vehicle maintenance up-to-date. This includes checking your tread on your tires and ensuring they have over ¼ inch tread. Cold weather lowers the pressure inside your tires which makes you more susceptible to hydroplaning. Ensure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressures. Do not use cruise control during adverse conditions. Use proper route selection to avoid water on the roadway.

 

Hydroplaning results in understeer, which is where you have your wheels turned but the film of water under the tires causes a loss of traction. The vehicle will continue straight as if you have not even turned the wheel. If you realize you are hydroplaning, let off the accelerator. As your speed decreases your tires will pass through the film and gain contact with the road again. Ensure your wheels are pointed in the direction that you need to go. Avoid sudden and large movements of the wheel, gas pedal, and brakes due to the fact you don’t know when your tires will make contact.

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Drive as slow as you need to when dealing with adverse road conditions. It is much better to arrive a bit late than to have an accident along the way.

We have tow trucks in different shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Call us anytime and we will be on our way to help!

Daytime: (910) 483-2958

After hours: Richie (910) 818-4646
Richard (910) 818-2958

Tired of all those leaves? Husqvarna has all the tools to make your outdoor life easier!

 

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The Nuts and Bolts of Vehicle Survival Kits

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Fall is upon us and winter isn’t far behind. As many of us begin making travel plans for the holidays we need to consider an emergency kit for our vehicle. How large or small the kit is will be up to you as an individual. The only real downsides to a large kit is the amount of space in your vehicle you sacrifice and the cost to set up and maintain. Look at your lifestyle and decide if a small kit in the trunk is enough or if you have the room and budget to plan for the zombie apocalypse. Let’s take a look at some starting points for your vehicle survival kit.

CR-Cars-Hero-Winter-Emergency-Kit-12-17Any kit needs to be versatile enough to be beneficial in different environments. Think about what would help on a 4 lane interstate versus a deserted dirt road. Our environment will also determine the amount of time that we must sustain on our own. In the modern era with cellular phones, this time has dramatically decreased in most locations. Keeping a battery charger with you survival kit can extend the life of your phone. The only consideration for this is you must keep it charged as it will lose its charge over time in your survival kit.

One of the greatest dangers to a stranded motorist is other vehicles that are still moving on the roadway. Marking your vehicle as disabled is a key step to ensuring your safety. Beyond your hazard markers, consider road flares and orange reflective triangles. These will help ensure other motorists see your vehicle and you.

hypothermia-symptoms2-5ad4bb0fc6733500379fc89bHypothermia can set on quickly once a vehicle loses power and can no longer supply heat. Even if you are not planning to be out in the elements bring a coat with you in winter just in case you find yourself exposed to the elements longer than you planned. Keep a set of smaller items such as a warm hat and gloves in your vehicle kit. A foil thermal blanket is a compact option that can help if there are more than one of you when you get stranded. Carrying a lighter and a small bag of dryer lint is a great way to get a fire going quickly. Don’t forget that road flare we mentioned earlier, it can get a fire going to keep you warm in a hurry.

Having a basic first aid kit is a must. Ensure that any pre-packaged kit has items that will be useful in a situation with severe injuries. This is not the kit we are turning to for a band-aid. Large bandages that will be useful for stopping major bleeding are a great item to have on hand. Taking a first aid class before you find yourself in a dangerous situation can pay off huge when things go wrong.mental-health-first-aid-usa-announces-partnership-with-afsp

Other areas you may consider that go a bit farther are water purification and a shelf-stable food source. These would only be necessary for more extreme and longer-duration situations. For most of us, a candy bar and a bottle of water would go a long way. Keep in mind the water will freeze if it’s below 32 where you park your car. Lastly, it’s hard to go wrong with a knife or a multi-tool. They can be used for just about anything.

Whatever items you carry make sure you practice with them. The first time you strike a road flare should not be on the side of the interstate with cars flying by at 80 mph. It’s also tough to build your first fire when the temperature is dropping and you are starting to shake. Stay safe and plan ahead.

We’re here for you.

We have tow trucks in different shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Call us anytime and we will be on our way to help.

Daytime:

(910) 483-2958

After hours:

Richie (910) 818-4646
Richard (910) 818-2958

Come visit us at 7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC or call us at (910) 483-2958

Follow our Facebook page and check out our website as well!

Trailer Brakes 101

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As North Carolinians, we are blessed with an amazing state from the coast to the mountains and we love to take full advantage of it. Some activities only call for a backpack while some require some pretty large equipment or supplies. When it comes to boating on our coast and lakes, to horseback riding in the Sandhills we have pretty heavy “toys” that we have to get from our homes to our destination. Taking a look at the regulations that govern the trailers that we pull shows that the NCDOT on their website (www.ncdot.org) requires electric trailer brakes on trailers weighing over 4.000 lbs GVW. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the actual weight of the fully loaded vehicle or trailer, including all cargo, fluids, passengers, and optional equipment, as measured by a scale. On the Internet, there are many locations where you can weigh your vehicle.
Now that we know we need some trailer brakes, we probably need to take a look at what they are.

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The signal starts when we press on the brake pedal which in tandem applies the brakes on the tow vehicle as well as sends a signal to the brake controller. This signal is either on or off–there is no determination of how hard you are pressing on the brake pedal. The controller takes this signal and provides us with options for how hard we want our trailer brakes to be applied. Too little brake, and the trailer still pushes on the tow vehicle. Too much braking and the trailer will tug on you as it tries to stop the tow vehicle. This is set on the controller and is based on the trailer and the weight of what you have in the trailer. The setting for the brakes should always be tested before driving at normal road speeds. To test the brakes roll forward slowly and apply the trailer brakes using the manual setting on the controller. This will give you only trailer brakes and not the tow vehicle brakes. Read the manual provided with your controller for proper settings. Most trailer brakes use a drum brake assembly where the pads push outwardly against the drum when applied causing friction and slowing the trailer. This is the same style of brakes that was found on the rear of most vehicles until the mid-2000’s. The activation of the trailer brake is electric rather than hydraulic like the brakes on your truck are. These use an electric current and a magnet to apply the braking power. As you can see there are two shows that make contact with the hub, a smaller front shoe

brakesThe activation of the trailer brake is electric rather than hydraulic like the brakes on your truck are. These use an electric current and a magnet to apply the braking power. As you can see there are two shoes that make contact with the hub, a smaller front shoe and a larger rear shoe. This image would be flipped for the right side of your trailer. Some vehicles come with a trailer brake setup built in from the factory and some do not. When a vehicle does not have a factory controller we can install one in your vehicle. Please give us a call and we can help you safely get your toys to wherever you are going. (910) 483-2958

Spring is in the air and summer is coming fast!

Get ready for warm seasons by getting your own Husqvarna equipment. Once you have the right tools for the job, the job becomes a lot less of a job and a lot more fun. Trust us. We only sell this line because we love it!

Check out our webpage for more deals and our Facebook page for daily updates on what’s going on in the shop!

Crumpler’s Automotive

7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, N.C.

Time to Winterize That Car!

We know, we know…this October has had its fair share of 80 degree plus days, but being in North Carolina we know that you know that it’s only a matter of time before that changes. And it’s usual that the first frost is out of nowhere! Because of our fickle weather here, you have to prepare ahead of time so that you aren’t caught off-guard when Mother Nature makes its cold weather debut this Fall. Read on below for a few tips to winterize your vehicle now.

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Check Your Tire Pressure

81bjl0bC4QL._SL1500_Most of us have all-weather tires in this state. Because of that, we don’t need snow tires or anything quite so drastic as that, but we do need to make sure our pressure is good this time of year. Deflated tires close up the tread and decrease traction, which increases the possibility of sliding etc. Check your owner’s manual to see the suggested pounds per square inch.

Check Your Battery

The average car battery lasts 3-5 years, so it’s best to be aware of how old yours is. Colder months are harder on your car’s engine because it has to work harder, which puts more pressure on the battery. Bonus: batteries are often on sale in the fall, so this is a good time to get it checked and replaced.

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The white substance is corrosion. This battery needs to be cleaned up and checked out!

Even if it’s not old, take the time to check the battery cables and clamps for any fraying and/or corrosion. If you see white, powdery substances around the clamp, that’s corrosion from battery acid. It’s easily cleanable and not a huge cause for concern. Just let us clean it up for you!

Check Your Oil

Oil is lubricant, plain and simple. It stops your engine parts from grinding together. The thickness of your oil (viscosity) greatly affects the engine’s performance. If it’s too thick, the oil will flow too slow. Cold temperatures cause oil to thicken, so that’s a consideration as you choose which oil to put in your car. If in doubt, we can always advise you on what you need, depending on the season.

Antifreeze

antifreezeAntifreeze protects your engine from freezing and heating up on hot days as well as cutting back on corrosion. You need equal parts antifreeze and water in your radiator for it to function properly. For this reason, stores carry a pre-mix that is the correct 50:50 ratio. If you’re not correct with your ratio, you can literally blow a gasket and that cost can be expensive. Better to just keep it correct!

Check Your Defrosting and Heating Units

Defrost keeps you safe because it ensures visibility, so it’s important to make sure this system is working properly. And no one wants to crank on the heat for the first time and find out that it doesn’t work! Figure out now if you have a faulty heat coil, before you need it.

Replace Windshield Wipers and Wiper Fluid

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We know none of you are those people who have rubber flapping around on your windshield when it’s raining and water smearing into channels on the glass when you’re trying to see, right? If you begin to hear scraping, you already know that it’s time to change the wiper blades, because they can warp, crack, split and deteriorate. They should be replaced every 6 months to a year. Keeping your wiper fluid full can assist in breaking up ice on the windshield on a cold day, so make sure you have plenty of fluid now as well.

Make Sure Your 4-Wheel Drive Works

Chances are, most of you that have 4-Wheel Drive don’t use it during the summer. Before winter starts, it’s critical to make sure it all works before you need it to improve traction on snow or in ice.

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Keep an Emergency Kit Inside Your Car

We saved the simplest tip for last. The easiest way to combat cold weather is to keep a few essential supplies with you all the time in your car. You’ll always want a spare tire and the knowledge on how to change one. If you don’t know, simply tell us and we can teach you! Keep some bottled water on hand as well, some gloves, a blanket, and an extra coat. Flashlights and flares are helpful too if you get stuck. And make sure you have an ice scraper, some engine oil, and some coolant as well. The last thing is your own set of jumper cables so that if you need a jump, you don’t also have to borrow the cables! If you need instruction on how to use jumper cables, we can show you how as well. Just ask.

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We’re always happy to educate our customers in order to keep them safe. Make an appointment to come down to the shop, and we’ll make sure your car is good-to-go for the cold weather! Just call (910) 483-2958

Fall is the Season for Husqvarna!

We can’t say enough good about this wonderful line. We only carry items that we stand behind and believe are of the highest quality. That’s why there’s Husqvarna in our shop, plain and simple. Check out all that we have on hand right now:

 

We’re always here if you need us. Check out our website for deals and tools and our Facebook for Crumpler’s Automotive and Crumpler’s Custom Cycle for daily updates.

We love hearing from you, so please comment and share!

Crumpler’s Automotive is located at 7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC

 

How to Handle a Vehicle Breakdown

August brings with it the feeling that summer should be over soon, except that we still have to deal with the heat. This can be hard on your vehicle and even though we all try to do the best in vehicle maintenance, the heat plus internal issues can catch you in a rough spot before you know it. This month, we decided to discuss the steps you should take in case you end up with a vehicle broken down on the side of the road.

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  • First thing: get your car off of the road. Even when you’re in the midst of that moment when you realize you can’t continue down the road, you usually have enough time to get your car out of the way of traffic and onto a shoulder. If not, turn on your hazard lights immediately. When your car is on the side of the road, put it in Park and engage your emergency brake. Also turn your steering wheel so that your tires face away from the road. That way your car won’t accidentally roll into oncoming traffic. Again, turn your hazard lights on.
  • Call for help. Fortunately, almost all of us have a cell phone in this day and age. Call a family member, and the police if there’s been an accident or if one is needed for safety issues. Then call Crumpler’s Automotive and set up to get your vehicle moved to our shop. Call (910) 483-2958, or (910) 818-4646, or (910) 818-2958.
  • Let other drivers know you’re in trouble. In addition to your hazards, if it’s safe, consider putting out some road flares if you have them. Place them about 50 feet behind your car. Only get out of the vehicle if you’re safe to do so. You can also hang a white towel or shirt out of the window or tie this to a mirror while you safely stay in the vehicle.
  • Stay with your vehicle. It’s easiest to coordinate with roadside assistance if you’re present, and it’s also not safe to leave the scene on foot. 4,000 pedestrians are killed per year in the United States.
  • Know your limitations. Now probably isn’t your best moment to start trying to repair your vehicle. If you’ve never changed a flat tire before, don’t try on the side of the road. Learn in a safe scenario first, because your adrenaline will be up and this generally doesn’t help with trying any new skill for the first time. If you can change a tire, at the very least wait for the police so they can monitor traffic while you change it in less-than-ideal conditions.
  • Use common sense. Every situation when you’re broken down is different. Try to remain calm and don’t let anxiety take over. Be wary of strangers as well. As much as there are good people out there, there’s also a handful that wish to take advantage of you. The true Good Samaritan will be understanding of your wariness.  Trust your gut–it’s there for a reason! If a stranger approaches to help, it’s best to be in your car with the doors locked. Roll down the window a bit to tell them that help is on the way.

We’re here for you and will always be available to advise you on the correct course of action, so don’t hesitate to call us when you’re in a tough spot!

It’s still the season for Husqvarna! We have so much available at our shop. If you don’t see it out front, ask us. Chances are we have what you’re looking for in the back. If not, we can definitely order it!

 

And if you’re in the market for a used vehicle, motorcycle, ATV or golf cart, come check out all that we have at our place. You may be surprised at what you find!

Have comments or suggestions? Let us know! Also make sure to follow our Crumpler’s Automotive Facebook page and our Crumpler’s Custom Cycle Facebook page to keep up with all that’s going on daily at the shop. And check out our website to order tires or learn more about all that we offer!

Safely Towing Your Trailer

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No one can deny that we are living out a typical, sizzling, North Carolina summer here in 2017. But the beauty of our great state is that we have all kinds of fun to be had in every direction, from the mountains to the ocean, with area lakes and trails in between! There’s so much to do, and many of us in this state are known for making our fun and taking it with us. We tow trailers with boats,  ATVs, motorcycles, jet skis, and even horses all over the state at this time of year. This month, we want to talk about towing safety, so that you, your loved ones, and your vehicles and property all stay safe out on the open road this summer. Here are some areas to consider as you think about towing any of the above items:

Your Tow Vehicle

The first point to consider with towing safety is to correctly match up the strength of your tow vehicle with the size trailer you would like to tow. The hitch must safely towing.jpgconnect both the tow vehicle and your trailer in such a way that provides both ease of handling and safety under the most extreme conditions. You don’t want to “rig” it to make it work. You want the connections to be fitted and the vehicle to work for the weight of what you’re towing. Also, do your research and make sure your tow vehicle can handle the weight you’re going to be asking it to tow for the long-term. You don’t want to shorten your vehicle’s life by asking it to perform beyond its capacity or cause costly damage in the process.

Here are a few more of the items you may need to research for your personal towing needs:

Axle ratio
Increased engine cooling system
Transmission cooler
Alternator and battery size
Heavy duty suspension system
Tire size or rating
Engine size, torque, and capacity
Towing Package (includes some degree of pre-wiring)
Special mirrors

Most of these items are needed for towing under any conditions: mountain driving, hot climate driving or when towing heavy class trailers.

Make sure you do some short drives with your set-up before you decide to hit the road for a long trip. Also, ease into hauling in the mountains until you are very comfortable with your rig and how it handles. You don’t want to get in a dangerous situation or find that you’re out of your realm of expertise when it’s too late. Take it slow and learn from someone who knows how to tow already. A great rule of thumb: if you can’t back your trailer, you shouldn’t be hauling your trailer. Learn the basics!

Keeping Your Vehicle Cool During Towing

guidetotowingprimarymediadesktopSince excessive heat is your transmission’s worst enemy, a trans-cooler is an ideal and often necessary towing accessory. Long trips, hill climbing, and towing larger trailers are especially hard on your transmission. Hot transmission fluid running through the cooling system causes most radiator boilovers. When oil temperatures exceed 200 degrees F., oil breaks down causing seals to crack and leaks to occur.

A transmission cooler will protect your radiator by reducing the temperature of transmission fluid. The fluid constantly passes through a series of air cooled tubes before re-entering your transmission. The engine oil cooler functions much the same way. You can purchase these two types of coolers separately or together. You should also check your engine oil regularly throughout your trip.

Tire Safety

Tire size and tire pressure are both important subject for your tow vehicle and your trailer. Under-inflated tires will get hot and can lead to tire failures and possible loss of vehicle control. Over-inflated tires can cause uneven tire wear. Tires should be checked often for pressures recommended on the Safety Compliance Certification Label for original equipment tires. And mini/spare tires should not be used while towing Class II or Class III trailers.

Mirrors

It may help to equip your tow vehicle with special mirrors: one flat to see the road, and one convex to see the side of your trailer. These mirrors extend out from your tow vehicle, which enables you to see all the way down the side of your trailer. Know that if you can’t see beyond your trailer with your regular mirrors, you need extended towing mirrors for safety.

Lights and Wiring

towing-a-5th-wheel.jpgMany new vehicles made for towing come with the set up for your trailer plug ins standard. If your vehicle is older or you need to retrofit it, find a  qualified hitch installer to wire up your taillights, signals, and brake light functions into a special plug or connector in order to access the trailer’s light systems.

Any trailer that tows 4 or more feet behind your vehicle or visually blocks your taillights must be equipped with its own taillights, and your vehicle must have a connection to the trailer’s taillights. If you are towing a trailer equipped with electric brakes, you must have a brake control installed and working in your tow vehicle.

These are just a few of things you should consider. But there are many more. We’re happy to answer any questions you have or check your towing rig to make sure it’s safe. Just give us a call: (910) 483-2958.  And remember, if you ever find yourself in a bad spot, Crumpler’s Towing is here for you. We’re just a phone call away whenever you need us!

Summer also brings….HUSQVARNA Equipment! All of this and more available at our shop….

 

And if you’re looking for a great pre-owned vehicle, check out what we have at the shop:

 

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As always, we’re here for you! Come see us with all your automotive needs. And remember we work on motorcycles and ATVs as well! Please follow our Facebook pages Crumpler’s Automotive and Crumpler’s Custom Cycle and check our website www.crumplersautomotive.com 

Share and like this blog–it means the world to us!

Some Reasons Your Car May Not Start…

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It’s never convenient when your car won’t start. Because not only do you need to get somewhere usually, but now your “get somewhere” is going to soon be the automotive shop, which can be costly and again, inconvenient. To truly know what’s wrong with your vehicle, you’ll want to bring it into Crumpler’s Automotive and get it checked out by one of our mechanics. But we wanted to compile a list of some of the top reasons your vehicle may not be able to start, so that you can be better educated if it happens to you.

Fuel Pump Failure or Restriction

fuel pumpOne of the most common no-start issues is the failure of the in-tank electric fuel pump. This is generally due to lack of scheduled maintenance, because the fuel filter has to be changed at proper intervals. If it’s not changed, it tends to clog and not allow fuel to move through. The fuel pump can also fail if the fuel level is below a quarter of a tank for an extended period, or if you run out of gas, of course. If the fuel pump runs dry it can ruin the pump.

Timing Belt Failure or Timing Belt Tensioner Failure

timing beltTiming belts should last 40,000-60,000 miles by design. If the timing belt isn’t changed before it breaks, it can cause extensive damage within the engine in some vehicles. It’s a good rule to have the timing belt changed just before the recommended interval and at the same time check the tensioner. Replace that as well if it’s in question at the same time, as this is a common failure as well.

ECM/PCM Failure

car ecmThis is a failure in your vehicle’s computer. Unfortunately, computer failure does happen from time-to-time with automobiles. There are tests that can detect these issues quickly.

 

Batteries, Cables, and/or Clamps

Neglected and corroded batteries can cause a vehicle not to start. This can easily be avoided by regular maintenance as well.

Electrical Issues

There are many start-up issues caused by voltage variations. Even minor variations can cause issues in the computerized controls in most cars. This is diagnosed with a load test that will show if your vehicle performs to certain standards.

Other Issues

 

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Cam Sensor

Alternators: used to charge the battery. If it doesn’t work, your battery usually doesn’t either.

Cam Sensors: Sensors tell your computer when your cam is in rotation. This helps determine spark timing and fuel delivery. If they are bad, your car won’t run well or at all.

Vehicle out of fuel due to inaccurate gauges.

Engine locked due to lack of oil.

Plugged exhaust system.

If your car won’t start, it could be for one of the above reasons. Call us and we’ll be happy get it working again. We can even come and pick it up so that we can get you back on the road as quickly as possible. Call us at (910) 483-2958

 

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Our doors are open from 7 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday.

And if you’re ready to take care of your yard like the experts do, make life easier for yourself and check out all the Husqvarna equipment we have for sale at the shop. You will love how EASY this stuff is to use!

 

If you’re in the market for a vehicle, check out the great options we have for sale at our place. And if you don’t see what you like, just call us and we can find it for you!

(910) 483-2958

We also have 4-wheelers, motorcycles, and a golf cart for your consideration as well!

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FOR SALE: Outlander BRP 2013 model
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FOR SALE: Kawasaki Brute Force 2009 model
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FOR SALE 1998 Harley
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FOR SALE: Harley Ultra Classic, 1992 model. Engine recently overhauled, new paint, new exhaust, new stereo. Ready to ride!

We welcome your feedback and love your comments. Thank you for following us! Check us out on Facebook at Crumpler’s Automotive and Crumpler’s Custom Cycle and our website to keep up with us on the daily.