he Top 5 Reasons a Car Won’t Start

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Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto

We all rely on our cars every day to get us to work, home from school, to the grocery store and to the homes of our loved ones. That’s part of why it’s so frustrating when you turn the key only to find that your car won’t start! If you’re stuck with a car that won’t start sitting in your driveway, here’s what you should know about the top 5 reasons a vehicle won’t start.


The Battery Is Dead


The single most common reason why a car won’t start is a dead battery. This is most common on hot days in the summer, but it’s also prevalent throughout the winter. High temperatures put a lot of strain on batteries, so people living in warmer climates should take special care. If you turn your key in the ignition and nothing happens, your battery is dead or about to die, and you should have it replaced. Another way to detect a dead battery is turning on the headlights. Are they dim or decreasing in intensity? A low battery is the culprit!

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A Bad Ignition Switch


Did you realize that your ignition switch (also known as where you insert the car key) can malfunction? The ignition switch’s purpose is to send a message from the key to the engine to start. If the switch is faulty, the engine won’t receive the signal. A professional auto repair shop like Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto can take care of replacing the ignition switch.


Broken Starter


Your car’s starter is a battery-powered motor that gets your engine running. If you turn the key in the ignition and hear a clicking noise, there’s a good chance the start is the problem. If you jump the car, it might get it working for a short period of time, but to totally fix the problem the starter will need to be fixed or replaced entirely.


A Clogged Fuel Filter


Your vehicle’s fuel filter stops dirt, debris and other gunk from getting into the fuel lines in your car. Whenever the filter is clogged, a wide range of problems can occur. One of those problems is a car that won’t start! Using your vehicle’s owner’s manual, you should see where your filter is located and how it should be replaced. In general, you should replace your fuel filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles. By having regular oil changes at Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto, you can stay on top of filter changes before it’s too late and avoid more car issues.


An Empty Gas Tank


First off, don’t be too embarrassed. You aren’t the first or last driver to let your gas level get way too low before filling things up again. If your gas tank is completely empty, the best way to get your car on the road again is filling it up! Pick up a can of gas at a gas station and fill ‘er up. Also, try to avoid riding too close to empty during the colder months. When your car is sitting outside in cold winter weather, the wet air in your gas tank could have too much moisture and freeze. When that air freezes, you’re in trouble. The more gas that you keep in your tank, the less air and moisture will be inside.


Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto Is the Expert in Fixing Your Pesky Car Problems


Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto has been keeping drivers in the Denton, Texas area on the road since 1991. When you need great auto care backed up by excellent customer service, you can trust Tommy’s. To schedule an appointment or get in touch, give us a call at 940-222-4491 or email us at service@tommyht.com.


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What Is a Timing Belt?

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The timing belt is an essential part of every vehicle, but the average driver doesn’t think about it until something goes wrong. With most timing belts rated between 60,000 miles to 90,000 miles, what you don’t know about timing belts can hurt you!


Timing Belt 101


The timing belt in your car is what controls the camshafts in the engine and opens and closes valves at the perfect time for your vehicle to run smoothly. The teeth on the timing belt help to coordinate the movements of your camshaft and crankshaft. Depending on what model of vehicle you drive, your car might use chains or gears instead. Timing belts are made of rubber, don’t need lube and are quieter and more efficient, which makes them an enduring choice. If you have a timing chain in your car, it will theoretically last for the life of your vehicle, so you don’t need to worry about changing it as regularly.


Timing belts are typically located inside of a cover that keeps them safe from the grime, dirt and debris that can be flowing around the engine. Since it is hard to access the timing belt to do a quick check of its condition if you aren’t a professional or haven’t gotten a tune-up in a while, you should always be on the lookout for signs that your timing belt might be on the fritz.


The Signs Your Timing Belt Is Failing


If your engine is making a clicking sound, your timing belt might be the problem. Whenever the valves and systems regulated by the timing belt are out of balance, the clicking sound is a hint that the belt might need to be replaced. That sound can also mean that your oil pressure is low, which will, in turn, affect the performance of the timing belt.


Is your car not starting, despite having a charged battery? A broken timing belt could be the culprit. Whenever a timing belt breaks completely, you will not be able to start the car, and there’s a good chance other things in the engine might be broken as well. If your engine is misfiring, it’s another sign that your timing belt is worn out. The misfiring could be caused by the belt slipping on the camshaft drive and forcing one cylinder to open or close before it should. If you suspect that is occurring in your car, you should not wait around for repairs, or you’re risking permanent engine damage.


Random squealing sounds when you’re accelerating, braking or decelerating can also indicate problems with a timing belt. As with many other car noises, there are many things that can contribute to the problem, so you should always take your car into a skilled repair shop like Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto.


How Often Should Your Timing Belt Be Replaced?


You should start by checking your owner’s manual to see what your manufacturer suggests. Depending on your car, the recommended changing schedule might be between 60,000-100,000 miles. When you replace the timing belt, all of the tensioners and pulleys around it are also replaced. If you also have a timing belt that drives the water pump, replacing it at the same time can be a smart, cost-effective move to save on labor costs.


Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto Is the Expert in Timing Belts


Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto has been keeping drivers in the Denton, Texas area on the road since 1991. When you need great auto care backed up by excellent customer service, you can trust Tommy’s. To schedule an appointment or get in touch, give us a call at 940-222-4491 or email us at service@tommyht.com.


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Why Do My Brakes Feel Spongy?

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Tommy’s Hi-Tech Auto

When you’re running down a list of things that you don’t want to happen while you’re driving, suddenly spongy brakes are probably near the top of the list. Driving safely isn’t just about going; it’s also about stopping! If you have brakes that feel mushy, squishy or spongy, you should get your brakes inspected and serviced as soon as possible to prevent bigger issues. What could be the culprit behind your brake issues?


Air in the Brake Lines


One of the most prevalent causes of spongy brakes is air in the line. Brakes need consistent, evenly distributed hydraulic pressure to stop vehicles properly. If there is air in the brake lines, the balance of pressure can be thrown off. This means that you’ll need more time, effort or distance to bring your car to a complete stop. Where does the air come from? Most of the time, air in the brake lines is a result of low brake fluid or a leak.


Ancient or Insufficient Brake Fluid


Brake fluid serves an important purpose by converting the energy you created in applying the brake pedal into the force needed to stop your automobile. Brake pads and brake fluid both naturally age over time. Low brake fluid is a natural result of waiting too long to have your brakes serviced. Occasionally, low levels of brake fluid can also occur as a result of a leak.


Damage to the Brake Line


Many drivers are surprised to learn that rust, created by road salt and high moisture levels, can cause brake line damage. Over time, the combination of harsh salt and moisture can cause lines to become hard and brittle and either leak or break. If you were in a car accident, your brake lines also might have experienced the negative effects of the impact and been bent or weakened.


Damaged Calipers


The process of braking your car creates heat. Over time, that heat can damage the brake calipers. Beyond having spongy brakes, damaged calipers might also cause your vehicle to pull to one side when stopping or lead to a high-pitched squealing noise when you brake.


Worn Cylinders


The master cylinder in your car helps to distribute the hydraulic pressure by pushing brake fluid to the appropriate spot for braking. If seals in the master cylinder are broken or leaking, they will need to be repaired to brake normally again.


Keep Your Car Safe with Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto


Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto has been keeping drivers in the Denton, Texas area on the road since 1991. When you need great auto care backed up by excellent customer service, you can trust Tommy’s. To schedule an appointment or get in touch, give us a call at 940-222-4491 or email us at service@tommyht.com.


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Why Do My Brakes Lock Up?

Have your brakes been feeling a little grabby lately? Do you find your brakes slowing your car down when you aren’t pressing on the brake pedal? Or, are your brakes locking up after you slam on them? First things first, you shouldn’t be driving your car in traffic until you determine what the problem is and get it resolved. Now, it’s time to learn why your brakes are locking up.


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Brake Issues


If you have anti-lock brakes, they should not lock up while you are driving unless there is an underlying problem. Some of the most common underlying issues include faulty brake pads, bad calipers on the disc brakes or faulty cylinders on the drum brakes.


Regardless of the type of brakes that you have, if your vehicle veers sharply to one side or the other when the brakes are locked, it’s a sign that you should take your car into a mechanic for an official diagnosis. The mechanic will start by working up your brake system. Caliper piston problems, master cylinder issues and a variety of other problems can cause your brakes to lock when driving normally.


Non-Anti-Lock Brakes


Brakes without anti-lock capabilities will lock up whenever you apply hard and steady pressure to them. This occurs most often when slamming on the brakes. If you braked so hard that your tires made a squealing sound, there’s a high probability that your brakes will lock up.


What Should You Do When Your Brakes Lock?


Before anti-lock brakes (ABS), brake systems locking up while driving was much more common. When speeding over black ice or wet leaves, it is tempting to slam on the brakes when you need to stop. However, that will lead to the system locking up and send you sliding down the road. The moment that you feel the brakes start to lock in a car without ABS, you should release the pressure on the pedal entirely and then rapidly pump the brake until the car stops.


If your car has anti-lock brakes, to prevent locking up and sliding, you will feel a vibration and pulsing underneath the pedal as you stop. The brake system is completing the pumping on your behalf. Don’t take your foot off the brake pedal, because the mechanisms in the car are doing the work for you.


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Keep Your Car Safe with Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto


Tommy’s Hi Tech Auto has been keeping drivers in the Denton, Texas area on the road since 1991. When you need great auto care backed up by excellent customer service, you can trust Tommy’s. To schedule an appointment or get in touch, give us a call at 940-222-4491 or email us at service@tommyht.com.

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The top 5 reasons brakes make noise.

The top 5 reasons brakes make noise.

Don't you hate that awkward moment when you pull up to a light and everyone is looking at you because your car is making a horrendous squealing noise? What in the world is that? I just had my brakes replaced, how could they be making noise?

We see five main reason why brakes make noise, and in most cases is caused by a poor install or poor pad quality. If you have any questions, please let us know. We offer a complementary brake inspection, Click here. Below are the five main reasons we see every day we customers have brake noise issues.

The first being the brake pad lining material is worn out. Brake pads don’t last forever, and usually wear out in two years for front brakes, and four years for rear brakes. Did you know on the newer vehicles the rear brakes are used a lot for cornering, steering and handling! We actually see a lot of rear brakes wear out fast than the front because of this. Of course, all of this is depending on driving habits. Some brakes pads are designed to squeal when they get low. This is not as common as it used to be with the invention of brake pad wear sensors. If you’re getting a grinding noise you have most likely run the lining material down to zero, and the noise is the backing plate hitting the rotor and these need to be checked out immediately!

The second common problem we see with brake noises is the rotor surface being uneven. This happens most commonly from wear. Towing heavy loads, or lots of braking can build up heat and “warp” the rotors. As the rotor goes around the brake pad can’t sit on the uneven surface completely, and can start making noise. We will usually recommend resurfacing or replace the rotors when this is an issue.

Thirdly, Brake calipers that have been sticking or missing hardware can cause the pressure applied by the calipers to not be applied evenly. When this happens, it will most likely wear out the brakes unevenly. If the hardware starts to stick, and won’t release, it will cause the brake pads to stick and cause noises, and poor braking. As brake calipers stick and do not slide properly, the brake pads will rub constantly and in turn build up heat and cause crystallization and squeal.

The fourth thing we see is an issue with the brake pad material itself. When you buy anything these days, there is always a good, better, and best. The basic “good” brake pads are a cheaper material and tend to make a lot of noise. They will stop your car, but don’t expect to have smooth or quiet stopping power. This is one reason we do not use value brake pads. You get what you pay for.

The fifth common issue we see is incorrect installation. Missing shims, caliper slides, brake hardware, or hardware not lubricated properly. Brake pads are not as easy to install as you once thought. When we remove the brakes the first thing we do is clean everything and polish the hardware. Remove any rust, road debris, and most important old and sticky lubricates. After the cleaning you need to re-apply good lubricate and install the shims and any other hardware that is replaceable. This will really ensure that the brake pad slides, brake shims, brake pins, brake hardware, is all moving evenly and properly. Shims are commonly ignored when brake pads are installed. However, shims are the main component to absorb the vibrations from the brakes. Vibrations in brakes will make noise.


We offer a fantastic brake service. We can look over your car, provide an accurate estimate, and talk you through any questions at no cost to you. We want you to feel comfortable asking questions, and being an educated consumer. We hope this helps, and if you have any questions please let us know.

~Michael Rosenberger


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College Special - Complimentary Vehicle Health Check

Don't Forget About The Car!

It's hard to believe it's almost time to think about going to college already! We know your list is long and we want to make sure your son or daughter has a safe vehicle driving to and from college. We at Tommy's would love to offer you a complimentary Vehicle Health Check.

Now until September 2018 bring your college ID or other proof and you will receive a complimentary Vehicle Health Check! 

Our Vehicle Health Check Includes:

  1. Oil level and status
  2. Tire Condition
  3. Test battery
  4. Check Alignment
  5. Condition of Coolant and level
  6. Condition of Transmission Fluid and Level
  7. Scan your computer for codes
  8. Test lighting system
  9. Visual inspection under vehicle
  10. Check visual brake pad wear
  11. and MUCH MORE!

See it in action! 

Denton's Best Auto Repair Warranty 3 YR 36K Miles!

We believe our warranty is the best in the country, let alone Denton, TX. Our stated warranty is 3 Year 36,000 Miles BUT we make sure and take care of our customers the way we would like to be treated. So many times we go above and beyond and take care of a warranty concern even if the warranty is out. We have the best customers in Denton and they deserve the best treatment.