Tiny's Auto Repair: Valparaiso, Indiana Auto repair
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FAQ

This page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about vehicle repair and service. We've thrown in some of our favorite tips and recommendations, too. Please call us or consult our Contact Us page for answers to your specific questions. We are happy to assist you!

  • Tires

    • How much air should I put in my tires?

      Proper inflation is the single most important part of tire care. Check or adjust inflation every few months and always use the inflation recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Checking air pressure should be standard procedure on any routine visit to your vehicle service center for oil services, tire rotations, or general maintenance and repair. For do-it-yourselfers you can find this information in your owner's manual, posted on the edge of the driver's door, on a door post, in the center console, or on the inside of the glovebox door. Be sure to check inflation when tires are COLD: when the vehicle has been driven less than a mile or one hour or more after driving. Use a good quality tire gauge. And don't forget to check the spare!

    • Is it safe to repair a flat tire?

      If a tire loses all or most of its air pressure, it must be removed from the wheel for a complete internal inspection to be sure it's not damaged. Tires that are run even short distances while flat are often damaged beyond repair. Most punctures nail holes, or cuts up to 1/4 inch which are confined to the tread may be satisfactorily repaired by trained personnel using industry-approved methods. Don't repair tires with tread punctures larger than 1/4 inch, or with any sidewall puncture. Also, never repair tires that are worn below 1/16 inch tread depth. Your Advisor and tire technician can advise you.

    • Can I drive normally on my spare tire?

      Many newer vehicles come equipped with a temporary spare. These tires are usually much smaller than the other tires on your car. It is important to realize that these spares have far more limitations than a typical tire, including speed and recommended driving distance. No more than 50mph and no longer than 50 miles per trip.

    • How often should I rotate my tires?

      Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.

  • Vehicle Maintenance

    • I have 100,000 mile spark plugs in my car. When will I need a tune-up?

      In the traditional sense there is no such thing as a tune-up anymore. Carburetors and distributors with their myriad of parts destined to failure have been replaced with electronic injectors and electronic ignition systems. There is virtually little to wear out. Aging Ignition wires and spark plugs may continue to function for 100,000 miles but not optimally. The car manufacturer’s boastful claim of 100,000 between tune-ups has little grounding in common sense, and is mostly a marketing ploy. At the price of gasoline these days even a three percent decrease in fuel efficiency is expensive, not to mention ecologically unfriendly. A fresh set of spark plugs any time over 50,000 miles will normally make a noticeable difference.

    • What does it mean if my "check engine" or "service engine soon" light comes on?

      There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the "check engine" light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems.

    • With the change of the season and the temperatures, do I need to have my car checked?

      It is a good idea to have your coolant checked to determine its freezing and boiling points to verify whether it needs to be changed. Have your air conditioner tested before the summer heats up, it is cheaper to fix before the season gets started.

  • Fluid Leaks

    • I have a leak under my car. How can I tell what is leaking?

      The coloring of the liquid identifies the type of liquid. Coolant Fluid is orange or green, Engine fluid is Brown or Black, Transmission Fluid is Red or Pink, Power Steering Fluid is Light Brown, Differential Fluid- Brown. depending on the leak it could mean trouble, don't wait until it's too late!

  • Vehicle Smells & Sounds

    • My car is making a terrible sound, what information will help?

      Squeaks, squeals, rattles, rumbles, and other sounds provide valuable clues about problems and maintenance needs. Here are some common noises and their definitions. Squeal - A shrill, sharp noise, usually related to engine speed. Click - A slight sharp noise, related to either engine speed or vehicle speed. Screech - A high-pitched, piercing metallic sound; usually occurs while the vehicle is in motion. Rumble - a low-pitched rhythmic sound. Ping - A high-pitched metallic tapping sound, related to engine speed. Heavy Knock - A rhythmic pounding sound.. Clunk - A random thumping sound. The more details you can provide us, the better chance of locating the problem quickly. Does the noise occur when the engine is cold or warm? Hot or cold outside, rainy or dry? Does the noise occur while driving or only when parked? These clues help the technician diagnose your problems faster, saving you time and money!

  • Oil Change

    • When should I get my oil changed?

      You should get your oil changed every 3000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

    • What is synthetic motor oil?

      Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates. Synthetic motor oils, though several times more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up.

  • Fuel System

  • Cabin Air Filters

    • Why are Cabin Air Filters important?

      Air quality is becoming a major concern for many people - outdoors, in our homes, and now even in our automobiles. An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from hay fever and other allergy-related problems.

    • How often should they be replaced?

      Vehicle manufacturer recommendations may vary, but the general guideline for replacing cabin air filters is every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or at least once a year.