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!

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Know a Good Mechanic

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When something goes wrong with your vehicle, you want to be able to trust the person working on it. One of the worst feelings is that tingly one where you realize someone may be trying to take advantage of you. And unfortunately, mechanics can have a bad reputation for this. We decided to put together a list of expectations that you can keep with you in case you’re ever left wondering if someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes in our field.

  1. Mechanics should be able to quickly diagnose what your problem is and offer solutions.
  2. A good mechanic should fix your vehicle effectively and efficiently, within a reasonable and agreed upon amount of time.
  3. Excellent skills in customer service are required. A customer should feel like he or she can ask questions and get straight answers. Customers should also feel taken care of and put at ease on the possible scenarios associated with their vehicle.17854701_1868829986476449_5997395442752894966_o
  4. Communication skills are on-point. Plain English is much appreciated by our average customer. Though a car’s engine can be complex, no one wants to be talked to in a way that is over your head or talked down to like you are incapable of understanding the intricacies of the issue. A good mechanic can share on whatever level the customer prefers or requires. The most important piece here is that everything is clear to the customer as the decision process is made and the plans are laid out for the repairs.
  5. A solid work ethic is a given. Your mechanic should be committed to working hard on getting your vehicle ready to run well again.
  6. Certifications set a person apart. A good mechanic is certified. This is the difference between someone that is “good with cars” and someone who has a career in this field. Plain and simple.  Mechanics have changed so much in the past 30 years. If a mechanic doesn’t try to stay current, he or she will be left behind and unable to work on newer modeled vehicles. A good mechanic understands the most advanced technology in the field.

All these qualities are the kind that we build our business on. We can proudly and humbly tell you that if you come into Crumpler’s Automotive, you will meet mechanics with all of these qualities and more. Our team will provide you with the best in service all-around. To make an appointment, call us at (910) 483-2958.

A HUGE THANKS to all of you that helped to make our Crumpler’s Custom Cycle Open House such a huge success! Much thanks to our whole team for helping out, all our volunteers, Open Road for playing some great music, and to all of YOU who attended! We hope to make this an annual event, and as it goes with Crumpler’s, we intend to only get better with age…!

‘Tis the season for mowing and yard work….Come get your new Husqvarna at the beginning of the season, and make life easier on yourself!

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And if you’re looking for a great used vehicle or motorcycle, check out all we have at our place. We have golf carts and ATV’s too! Call (910) 483-3791 for more details.

To stay up-to-date with all that we’re doing at the shop, make sure to follow us on Facebook, and please leave us comments and provide feedback. We value hearing from you!

When Do You REALLY Need New Tires?

There’s no way to truly know how long a tire will last. We all have hopes and predictions, but each vehicle wears differently and each driver maneuvers down the road in a unique way. Climate and road conditions can also play a part in the way a tire wears. Read on below for some considerations as you look towards how long your tires will last. And if in doubt, always feel free to stop by Crumpler’s Automotive, and we’ll always be happy to check your tire wear as well.

Keep an eye on your tires. 

If you periodically make a point to look at your tires, the wear and tear will show up a bit more clearly to you. If you never look at the tread, you’ll really have no point-of-reference as to what they should look like. Note what the tread looks like when you first get them, and look for variances on each tire and through the months and years.  Keep five years in mind. After that milestone, you definitely need to keep an even closer watch on your tires and should have a professional check them yearly after the five-year mark, at least.

Do any of your tires look like this?

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If so, then regardless of how old they are, they need to be replaced.

Tread Test.

What should I look for when inspecting my tires?

One easy way to check for wear is by using a penny to test them.

To do so accurately, follow these three steps:

*Take a penny and hold President Lincoln’s body between your thumb and forefinger.
*Select a point on your tire where tread appears the lowest and place Lincoln’s head into one of the grooves.
*If any part of President Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re driving with the legal and safe amount of tread. If your tread gets below that (approximately 2/32 of an inch), your car’s ability to grip the road in adverse conditions is greatly reduced.

Inspect the sides of your tires.

Though we’ve discussed it a lot, it’s not just about tread. If you look at the side of your tire and see any bulges, bubbling, or cupping shapes, then you are at risk of a blowout. Your tires need to be replaced immediately if so.

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Look for debris in your tires.

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If you see nails, screws, or anything breaking the surface of your tire, you need to bring it in, even if the pressure seems ok. It’s only a matter of time before you end up with a flat. We may be able to plug the tire, or you’ll need a new one. But the longer you wait, the great the chance of more damage.

Good maintenance makes all the difference.

In the end, proper care and maintenance make a world of difference in your tires’ lives. Make sure to get them rotated periodically. Maintain the correct tire pressure. And if you’re ever in doubt, come see us and let us check them out. We’d rather you be safe, than in a compromised position far from home. Call our shop at (910) 483-2958 with any questions. And by the way, a new feature on our website exists to help you browse, find, and order the right set for you. Check it out here!

In the market for a change? Check out all that we have for sale at Crumpler’s Automotive:

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1988 Monte Carlo SS for sale. This is a REAL and rare SS, folks!
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1996 cargo van for sale. Low mileage. Come check it out!
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For sale: 2002 Lincoln Navigator. Great riding and clean vehicle.
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2007 Ford Freestyle for sale. This one has ALL the bells and whistles. You’ll want to test drive this one before it’s gone!
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Toyota Solara 2004 model. It’s a convertible and rides nice!
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2008 Club Car golf cart for sale. It’s good to go!
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Take this piece of history home! Vintage Ford Tractor. Still runs well.
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We have all KINDS of Husqvarna mowers and lawn tools. Come see all of our stock at the shop!

 

Make sure to follow us on Facebook for daily updates and please take the time to give us feedback. We want to be the best we can be for YOU!

 

 

Texting and Driving: It Has To Stop

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We’re driving down the road and our phone dings. You try to ignore it, but it dings again, and again….and….again. Now you’re getting concerned. Maybe it’s your spouse, your kids, or your work….and they NEED you right now. At least that’s how it feels. But do you look down? Do you risk it? Considering that 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving, you know it’s not worth the risk. But in an increasingly digital and “instant” age, what should you do to manage this issue?

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If you’re still reading and you think, “Well surely a few seconds can’t hurt. And besides, I’m a good driver…”, then think again. If you’re  driving at 55mph, you can travel the length of a football field in no more than five seconds. Imagine what can happen in that distance when your eyes aren’t on the road.

First things first, put your phone on silent and put it in a designated spot while you drive that you won’t reach for. It also helps to let people you may be communicating with over text know that you’re traveling and won’t be answering your texts for a bit. Another helpful tip is to flip the phone over so that you can’t see the alerts on the screen while you drive as well.

If you have someone else in the car with you that you trust, have them do the texting for you if you feel that a response may be needed for someone. Dictate what the person should type and keep that conversation short, as this can also be distracting.

dont-text-and-driveYou can also download apps that do the work for you if you don’t want to just ignore texts. For example, the app “Live2Txt” is simple. Turn the app on when you get behind the wheel, and you’ll silence your smartphone from incoming notifications, texts, and calls. When you receive a message, the app will alert the sender with a customized message that you’re unable to respond at the moment. Another app “DriveOff” automatically locks your phone when you’re driving at speeds faster than 10mph. This one is a great idea for teenagers. The messages just won’t show up.

Your safety and the safety of others on the road is more important in the moment than any message. Couple that with the fact that you’re 23 times more likely to be in a car accident when you’re texting and driving, and it’s a no-brainer. Choose to have the self-discipline to not answer. It really will save lives if we all decide to be safer in this way.

It’s that time of year, and we’re thankful for you!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our valued customers. We could not exist without you, and we are honored to be able to serve you and this community daily.

If you’re in the market for any ideas for Christmas, stay tuned, because we have a gift-buying guide coming soon. In the meantime, we have a full line of Husqvarna products as well as great used vehicles and motorcycles. Just give us a call for more information (910) 483-2958, come see us, or check out our Facebook or website!

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The Scene of the Wreck

Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t go the way we want. Maybe it was their fault, maybe it was our fault, maybe it was just a complete accident, but wrecks happen. We’ve had enough people panic and not know how to handle the aftermath, that we decided to share what we think is the best course of action after the wreck occurs. This is in order to help keep you calm and to get you safely out of harm’s way in the aftermath.

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One of our tow trucks. We’re always here to help you in those rough moments.

The easiest and most unproductive thing to do after an accident is to panic. Instead, try to pause for a second and take a breath. The most important thing is to make sure you and your passengers are safe first. If there are injuries, you must call 911. Follow their instructions. Wait on emergency personnel and listen to their advice.

If there are no injuries thankfully, you still need to call law enforcement or 911. Even if you’re not injured, you’re alone, or it was an accident that was not involving other vehicles, you should involve law enforcement, especially if you will need to repair your vehicle or get a wrecker to come out.

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Once the officer arrives, explain the situation and how it occurred. At this point, the officer can tell their dispatch to call a towing company. You may request any company you’d like, which is why we suggest you tell the officer that you’d like to call Crumpler’s Automotive. Please note that if there are no injuries and the damage is minor (meaning you know you just need a tow to get the vehicle back to the shop to get something small fixed) you may not want to involve your insurance company. However, if the damage is major, you’ll need to call your insurance company. You can do this the same day or the next day. The point is, you don’t have to do it at the scene of the accident. But you will need an accident report from a police officer.

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Upon getting a call from dispatch, we will bring one of our tow trucks and get your vehicle. At that point, we’ll also help you get somewhere safe if you don’t have someone to pick you up. Then the vehicle will come back to our shop and will wait for the insurance adjuster  to come to the shop and assess the damage. Then the insurance company will contact you as the owner as tell you how they suggest you proceed considering the damage. If you have full coverage and the vehicle is not totaled, insurance will help pay for the repairs of your vehicle. If it’s totaled, then you will have a compensation congruent with how the insurance company values your vehicle at that time. We will then dispose of the vehicle.

All in all, it is no short process, and it’s one that requires patience. But allowing for these steps and doing it correctly will help your particular process run much more smoothly. All the above steps also apply to your motorcycle if you happen to have an accident. We sure hope you aren’t in a bad situation. But if you are, we certainly want to be the one to help you and make sure above all that you stay safe.

Time for some fall clean-up!

Check out all of our Husqvarna products in stock at Crumpler’s. If we don’t have it we can always order it!

And if you’re on the hunt for a vehicle, check out all the great pre-owned vehicles we have on our lot right now!

Clockwise: 1988 Monte Carlo, 2005 Escape, 1991 Jeep Wrangler, Silver Cadillac CTS, 1998 Red Chevy Suburban, Black Chevy Suburban, 2003 White Lincoln LS, 2001Cadillac Deville.

Our products and services rival any of our competitors and our prices are competitive with national chain stores. But that’s not why we are here. We’re here to serve our community and proudly bring our best to work every day. We have a goal of excellence, and we’re only getting better with age!

Keep up-to-date with all that is happening at Crumpler’s by following us on our very active Facebook pages: Crumpler’s Custom Cycle and our main page: Crumpler’s Automotive.

We thank you for following our blog and ask that you comment, like and share it! Also if you need any more information, call us at (910) 483-2958 or visit our website at Crumpler’s Automotive.

 

What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

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It’s that sinking feeling that everyone who drives has had at one time or another…you’re cruising along, having a decent day, feeling no  real worries, and then you look down and see a little orange light on your dash is lit up. All your care is directed here now, as you try to decide how big of an emergency this is…. Do you hear a sound….? Smell a  strange smell…? Feel any difference in your car’s handling….? You check your other gauges… and it really feels like nothing has changed. Does that mean you ignore the little orange light that now seems to be boring into your eyeballs each time you look down? Luckily your friends at Crumpler’s Automotive are here to help. Read on to learn how to handle this little orange friend like a BOSS!

To keep this basic, always understand that check engine lights monitor your car’s performance. When the light comes on, it means your car has diagnosed that it has an electronic control system issue, and it’s unable to repair it on its own. Also know that the check engine light signifies different things for different cars, so as much as it seems like a pain, this is the moment when you need to pull out that handy owner’s manual for your car and do a little reading. This can at least give you some insight as to whether this is small or a more critical issue. Regardless, you’ll need to start thinking of making plans to get it into us so we can take a look at it.

As general rule, the check engine light could mean:

  • An oxygen sensor needs to be replaced. You could lose a lot of fuel if you don’t get this replaced soon.
  • Something is wrong with the gas cap.
  • Your car’s catalytic converter needs to be replaced. A broken one will make your car run at a higher and more dangerous temperature.
  • Mass air flow sensor may need to be replaced. This will also cost you in fuel.
  • Spark plugs or plug wires need to be replaced. Your vehicle will begin to run poorly if you don’t get this fixed.

As you can see, this doesn’t mean you need to panic. But it does mean that you need to go ahead and call us to get in and see what’s going on. To schedule an appointment, call (910) 483-2958. We’re open from 7 am to 6pm Monday through Friday.

By the way…Fall is in the Air! We have some great deals on Husqvarna mowers before the season ends. Come see what we have on the lot!

Also if you’re ready to start some of those fall weather yard tasks, come see us about weed eaters, leaf blowers, and chainsaws. We have them all!

Need a New Ride?

FOR SALE: 1988 Monte Carlo SS. You will love the way this rides!

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FOR SALE: Completely Custom bike made in our shop. Not another like it!

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These and many more for sale, just call us at (910) 483-2958 and follow us on Facebook. Also, check out our website! And always feel free to comment and share here. We love your feedback!