Articles:

Headlamps

You may be surprised to learn that 40% of traffic fatalities take place at night even though there’s 60% less traffic.  It goes to show how important proper visibility is to nighttime driving. Obviously, a clean windshield is important – so are good wiper blades.  Your headlights play a big role as well.  There are two main concerns.  One is with the headlamp, or bulb.  The other is with the lens.  The fact of the matter is that headlamps go dim over time.  You just need to replace them.  Some vehicles come with a standard blub which you can replace, or you can upgrade to a halogen bulb that’s much brighter.  Halogen costs a little more, but you’d be amazed at the difference. It’s a good idea to replace your headlamps once a year.  The idea is that your lamps never dim to the point that they become a safety issue.  Just take care of it at a fall oil change so that your lights will be bright for the ... read more

Severe Service Maintenance Schedule For Owners

Some of our customers at Lighthouse Automotive Inc are surprised to learn that there are actually two service schedules for their vehicles. One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Let's look at what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions and let you draw your own conclusions: Most of your trips are less than four miles/six kilometers Most of your trips are less than 10 miles/16 kilometers) and outside temperatures are below freezing The engine is at low speed most of the time – not on the highway You operate your vehicle in dusty areas You regularly tow a trailer, carry heavy loads or a car-top carrier Stop and go driving Driving in very hot or very cold weather So you can see that a lot has to do with how you drive, but some has to do with where you drive. Some areas of the country will be more or less severe than it is here in NC. For many, normal driving includes elements of severe servic ... read more

Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some and is totally ignored by just as many.  Just what it means is a mystery to most of us. First, if your check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause severe damage to the catalytic converter or other components.  Get that taken care of right away.  If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at highway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads.  Take it easy all the way to the service center. If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two.  If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with your service advisor to get it checked out. Some more information on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative.  Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer.  The computer can adjust many engine parameters for environmental condition ... read more

Under Pressure: Your TPMS System

Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of driving around NC on underinflated tires. Now, it's hard to tell when a radial tire is underinflated but your friendly and knowledgeable Lighthouse Automotive Inc can help you. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds – which is significantly underinflated. Your newer vehicle or light truck might be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This technology has been used by race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from underinflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track.Obviously, TMPS systems don't come free for Wanchese car buyers. U.S. government studies have estimated the net costs of the TPMS system itself, maintaining the system, replacement of worn or broken parts and  ... read more

Tags:

tires

Tire Service At Lighthouse Automotive Inc

Tire Service At Lighthouse Automotive Inc

For most people buying tires is a big deal, so consult with your friendly and knowledgeable Lighthouse Automotive Inc tire professional about proper size, type and grade for your driving needs. He can help you balance load requirements, performance, durability and cost. When buying new tires in Manteo, it's best to replace both tires on the same axle in order to keep the rolling diameter as close as possible. Manteo drivers with four-wheel-drive vehicles should replace all four tires at the same time because you can run into problems if the tires have different rolling diameters due to wear or different type of tire. Four-wheel-drive vehicles should have all tires very close to the same rolling diameter to avoid binding and wheel hop between the front and rear axles. Also, tire manufacturers recommend that if you are buying just two new tires that they be installed on the rear for safer ... read more

Tags:

tires

Power Steering Service At Lighthouse Automotive Inc

Power steering is easy to take for granted – you spin the steering wheel and your car turns.  But behind the scenes your power steering is making it easy.  The vast majority of vehicles on the road have hydraulic power steering systems, which means that pressurized fluid is used to help you do the work of steering.  A pump pressurizes the power steering fluid to provide the boost you need.  In some vehicles the pump is driven by the serpentine belt, in others there’s an electric pump. The problem is that over time, the fluid becomes contaminated and can cause leaks in the hoses and connections.  It gets harder to steer and could even cause total failure of the power steering system. Periodically, your service advisor may recommend that the old, dirty fluid be cleaned out of your system and fresh fluid be installed.  This helps the power steering components last longer and maintains your vehicle’s steering performance and keeps you safe ... read more

Diagnostic Service

Imagine waking up one morning with a stomachache.  You pick up the phone, call the doctor’s office and say, “I’ve got a really bad tummy ache.  How much will it cost to make me feel better?”  Of course, you wouldn’t do that.  You know that there could be a lot of reasons for your symptoms and that the doctor will have to examine you, ask some questions, and probably run some tests before she can tell you what’s wrong and give you treatment options. This same scenario plays every day at auto repair facilities.  When the cause of the concern isn’t obvious, the vehicle will need to undergo a diagnostic process.  The typical vehicle has about 30,000 parts, including several networked computers and miles of wiring.  Finding exactly what is wrong can be very complicated and take some time.  The most experienced technicians at the shop are the ones that tackle the difficult diagnostic jobs.  Once they have ... read more

Lighthouse Automotive Inc Takes Care of Your Vehicle's Suspension

After many years and tens of thousands of miles Wanchese vehicles' suspension system components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in Wanchese. As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth NC highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads in NC. In addition to just wearing out, vehicle suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in a bumpy Wanchese road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your vehicle's manufacturer recommends periodic inspections. During an inspection, your friendly and knowledgeable Lighthouse Automotive Inc service advisor will check for worn, broken or missing parts. Signs for Wanchese residents that shocks or struts are wearing out: the vehicle tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing ... read more

The Test Your Vehicle Can Fail (Emissions Tests)

Clean air quality is something that helps all of us thrive here on Planet Earth.  And considering that motor vehicles are a contributor to air pollution, emissions tests in the U.S. and Canada are in place to keep vehicles from needlessly spewing dangerous gases into the air.  While laws vary from place to place, the goal of an emissions test is the same: to make sure toxic gases are kept at a minimum. They often measure nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and hydrocarbons.  Fail the test, and you may not be allowed to drive that vehicle on the road until it's rectified. Keeping your vehicle maintained is the best way to make sure you can pass an emissions test.  Here are a few things that could be wrong with your vehicle that might result in it failing that emissions test. The mixture of fuel and air in your engine is heavy on the fuel.  That can cause issues with the catalytic converter that is intended to keep emissions to a minim ... read more

Better Service, Better Fuel Economy in Wanchese!

Maintaining your car or truck will make it more efficient.  It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel:  And you save money. To help organize our discussion, let’s think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. Friction.  Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the engine.  It must work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel.  The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil.  Low oil means there’s not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there’s more friction.  The wrong viscosity and grade of oil can also adversely affect fuel economy.  Dirty oil won’t lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid.  Getting your oil changed and transmission serviced on schedule will reduce friction and save money.  Consider upgrading to synthetic oils in your dif ... read more

12
Lighthouse Automotive Inc. is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Lighthouse Automotive Inc. (252) 987-4003 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.