What Should I Do to My Car Before a Long Road Trip?

Auto Maintenance

Are Your Ready for Your Next Road Trip? Check These Essential Elements of Auto Maintenance.

Summer is the season for road trips, and many vacationers set off without proper preparation for their cars. Your vehicle needs the benefit of regular car maintenance, especially if you plan to take it on a long trip. After all, the last thing you want is a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Proper car maintenance requires that you review a selection of factors before the commencement of a long trip.

To get started, it is helpful to review car maintenance requirements with a road trip car checklist:

  • Change Oil and Check Car Fluids
  • Check Air Conditioner
  • Change Your Air Filter
  • Check Your Tires
  • Check Your Brakes
  • Check Your Wipers and Wiper Fluid

If you can take care of these things, you’re in good shape to hit the road. Are you unsure about how to check your car fluids, brakes, AC, and more? Give us a call at (865) 272-3379, and we can handle these car maintenance issues quickly and thoroughly. People's Choice Auto Repair is your local expert for auto maintenance in Oak Ridge, TN.

How Often Should You Check the Fluids in Your Car?

Auto Maintenance

In Order to Prevent Disaster While On the Road, Make Sure to Check Your Car Fluids.

Adequate levels of car fluids are an essential requirement for safe operation of a vehicle. If you are inexperienced and uncomfortable with this, simply take your car to a professional mechanic like People's Choice Auto Repair. If you want to check your car fluids on your own, make sure to cover the following.

Transmission Fluid: Some cars come with a second dipstick that allows for the easy check-up of your transmission fluid. If your car only has a dipstick for oil, then you’ll need to have a mechanic check this fluid.

Brake Fluid: An essential fluid for the proper function of your brakes, you should check your brake once or twice a year. If you worry that you might forget, simply check the fluid every time you have an oil change.

Coolant: Your car’s coolant accomplishes two things. In the winter, it prevents your engine from freezing up. In the summer, it stops the engine from overheating. If you have low levels of coolant and decide to undertake a road trip, then your car will almost certainly overheat.

Wiper Fluid: Your car’s wiper fluid is an essential resource for long trips. Without it, you’ll find yourself scrubbing the windshield at regular intervals.

Check Your Oil: Even if fewer than 3,000 miles have passed since your last oil change, it’s always a good idea to check your oil before a road trip.

What Do You Need in a Car Emergency Kit?

Another element that could easily appear on a road trip car checklist is the essential nature of a car emergency kit. Once you’ve performed other elements of car maintenance, you’ll want to make sure that your car emergency kit contains some essentials. A first aid kit is absolutely a necessity, and it should contain everything needed to treat small wounds. Your car should also have a small fire extinguisher, road flares, and jumper cables. In order to provide for personal comfort, make sure to pack water, a flashlight, and a rain poncho. It will also help to have a multi-purpose tool and duct tape.

At People's Choice Auto Repair, we’re your local authority for auto maintenance in Oak Ridge, TN. To satisfy the requirements of maintenance and your road trip car checklist, give us a call today at (865) 272-3379.

Fluid Leaks: Strange Colors and What They Mean

Coolant or Radiator Fluid

If You Spot Colored Fluid Leaking from Your Car, Talk With Your Mechanic Soon as Possible.

Not all fluid leaks are a sign of the apocalypse, but you definitely need to take them seriously. While your car will typically leak clear, colorless fluid (harmless condensation), you should be on the lookout for other types of fluid leaks. You’re probably already familiar with brown oil leaks, but here are three strange colors you might not recognize. 

Leaking Fluid #1: Green

Antifreeze often appears green as it leaks from your car. A leak could indicate a problem with your car’s hosing, fitting, or radiator. While this might not seem leak an immediate issue during the summer, you’ll want to protect your car and yourself from expensive fluid replacement. Remember, it’s always smart to address the source of a leak sooner, rather than later.

Leaking Fluid #2: Yellow

If you spot yellow fluid oozing out of your vehicle, talk to your mechanic immediately. That yellow fluid could be coolant from your radiator; that’s the coolant that keeps your car from overheating when your driving on the highway. With low fluid levels, your engine can experience reduced engine functionality (or even a complete shutdown). Don’t wait for an emergency to get this fluid replaced.

Leaking Fluid #3: Pink

If you’re spotting pink fluid, you may already be experiencing a drop in maneuvering capability from your steering wheel. Pink liquid can either be from transmission or steering. Both of these systems are obviously critical for daily functionality.

If you’ve spotted one of these or any other color of fluid leaks, make sure you take your car to the shop. For more information about car maintenance or to schedule an appointment, call our team at __PHONE__.

Signs You Need a Tire Replacement for Your Car

Without our car’s tires, it would be impossible to get and from the places, you want to go. Because of this, it’s important that our tires are in great shape. However, like most components on or in our car, there will be times when a tire replacement is needed. Knowing when to get a tire replacement can save you money as well as keep you safe.

Low Treadwear

Signs You Need a Tire Replacement for Your Car

Find Out When You Need a Tire Replacement for Your Car.

The tread on a car’s tires provides traction so that cars do not slip or slide on the road. Without the tire tread, it can be hard to maneuver your car. Tire tread should be at 1/16 of an inch, so if it falls below that, you need a tire replacement.

Worn Tire Edges

Wear and tear not only happens at the center of the tire, it can also appear on the sides of the tire, as well. Getting in touch with an auto mechanic can determine what the cause is.

Damages To Your Tires

If your tires deflate, you run over something sharp, or the tire is older, it can cause damages like bulging, cracks, or tears. Usually, this is very apparent and will be easy for a car owner to identify.

Lots of Vibration

Vibration while driving isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if it’s extreme, that can spell trouble for your tires. The tires can cause the car to vibrate if the alignment is off or something is wrong with the car’s suspension.

For tire replacement service in Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN, call the mechanics at People's Choice Auto Repair today at (865) 272-3379.

Signs You Need a New Transmission

New Transmission

A Transmission is a Complicated Mechanism that Necessitates Professional Work.

The transmission serves as the heart of a vehicle, as it transfers power from the motor to the wheels. As a matter of fact, if a transmission fails completely, a vehicle will not even move. Since no one wants this catastrophe to occur, it is important to stay attentive to repair needs. If you notice any of the following issues, take you vehicle to a trusted mechanic. At People's Choice Auto Repair, we provide exceptional service for a new transmission in , TN.

Slipping Transmission

If your vehicle seems to change gears for no reason, or fails to accelerate properly, you have experienced transmission slipping. Your engine may also generate worrisome noises like whines and pitch changes. A major problem, slipping transmissions always warrant professional repairs.

Engagement Delays

This happens whenever your car fails to immediately shift into drive from park. You may notice that the engine revs without forward movement. Pay attention to any delays when you shift gears. These can indicate a transmission on the verge of failure, so get yours checked out today.

Fluid Leaks

A transmission should never leak fluid. As a sealed mechanism, the transmission uses the same fluid repeatedly to lubricate parts. If you notice a bright red, dark red, or brown liquid under your car, then you have a transmission fluid leak. Have this attended to quickly, as a transmission will overheat and fail without proper levels of fluid.

At People's Choice Auto Repair, we provide exceptional service for a new transmission in , TN. To learn more about company or schedule an appointment, give us a call today at __PHONE__.

When To Get Your Car’s A/C Repaired

When To Get Your Car's A/C Repaired

Signs To Figure Out When To Get Your Car’s A/C Repaired.

One of the worst things that can happen to your car is when the air conditioner goes out. It’s a big frustration that can make driving your car brutal. To prevent this from happening in the future, there are signs that your car’s air conditioner needs to be repaired. Below are times you need your A/C repaired.

No Air

The biggest indicator that you need your car’s A/C repaired is when there is no air blowing through the vent. I fuse could have been blown or the air conditioner fan is damaged.

No Cool Air

You turn your car’s A/C to the coldest setting and all you are getting is warm. This is an annoying issue that is most likely caused by a leak in the A/C refrigerant.

Unusual Odors

There are two things you should be aware of in terms of smell. If you smell coolant, you probably have a refrigerant leak. Another smell to be knowledgeable is a musty smell. A musty smell usually signified there is a mold build-up.

Weird Noises

When you turn on your car’s air conditioner, there shouldn’t be a lot of sounds that you hear. A clear sign that you need auto A/C repair is when the air conditioner makes a lot of noise when you turn it on.

If you think you need air conditioning services in Oak Ridge, TN, please give People's Choice Auto Repair a call today at (865) 272-3379! Our mechanics will take a look at your car’s A/C and determine what is wrong with it. From there we can offer repair service to get it up and working again.

3 Easy Ways To Make Your Car Safer Today

Vehicles can be dangerous, that’s no secret. From the way they are driven to the condition they are in, the level of danger fluctuates accordingly. One of the easiest ways to make your own vehicle safer is to make sure it is in top condition at all times. Today we will go over 3 easy ways you can make your vehicle safer today!

Check The Tire Pressure

car maintenance

Is your vehicle as safe as it could be?

Always make sure your tires are at the optimal pressure. If they are too low, they will wear down very quickly and even mess up your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by increasing drag. If they are over-inflated, they are very unsafe to drive on, making you more likely to hydroplane, or experience a blowout.

Clean or Replace Your Lights

If your lights are foggy or dim, they need to be cleaned or replaced. Visibility places a key role in vehicle safety, so it is important to keep your lights nice and bright. If your lights are fine, but the covering lens is foggy, having it buffed should do the job just fine.

Replace Your Windshield Wipers

Last but not least on our list is windshield wiper replacement. Windshield wipers are only good for so long, so if yours haven’t been replaced recently, take a look at them. If the wiper has become dry, or warped, or cracked, it needs to be replaced. You ant to make sure that when the weather gets ugly, your windshield is still nice and clear!

For help with other vehicle repair or maintenance needs, give our shop a call today at (865) 272-3379 and let us know how we can assist you!

A Professional Car Checkup After Winter

Your car is an important part of your life. You need it often, if not every day, and it needs good maintenance to continue working well for you. It may need a little extra auto service when things are rough, like the weather. Winter is hard on your car–harder than you may think. Before winter comes, it’s a good idea to have your car checked to make sure it’s ready. After winter, it’s a good idea to have another professional car checkup.

Cold Weather and Your Car

Woman on Phone with Car in Snow

Have a Professional Car Checkup After Winter.

Cold weather is hard on your car. The drop in temperatures can make even simple processes more difficult, liking idling and hard starting. It’s important to pay more attention to all those little things that you normally don’t worry much about. Your filters, for example, may need changing for winter. They can help your car run much better when it’s cold.

Oil changes are important for winter, too. If you haven’t had it done in a while, it might be good to talk to your mechanic. Your engine needs good oil to run well, but cold weather is harder on your engine, and so that oil is more important. You can also talk to your auto technician about preventing fuel line freezing.

Your car’s heater works doubly hard for you in winter. Your ac and heating system needs help to sustain those temperatures, particularly when its combating the environment’s temperature. It’s not comfortable or safe for you to end up sitting in the cold. Have your mechanic check your heater.

Even seemingly small things can matter when it comes to your car. Have a professional car checkup now, even if winter is not quite over in your location. Come to People’s Choice Auto Repair for your auto services in Oak Ridge, TN. Call us at (865) 272-3379.

Give the Gift of Car Maintenance

It’s that time of year–the time to find good gifts for people. Yes, there are many things to love about the holiday season that do not involve buying presents; gift giving and receiving are small parts of the fun. There is almost always that one person, however, for whom finding a gift is a chore. It’s not necessarily because they don’t appreciate what they’re given, but because you simply don’t know what to get. Think outside the box this year and consider something different. Give the gift of car maintenance.

Benefits of Giving Car Maintenance

Car Driving in Snow and Trees

Give the Gift of Car Maintenance.

Most of us own cars. If the recipient of your gift has a car, then you can assume they will, at some point, need repairs or maintenance. That makes the gift of car repair an efficient, useful gift. Often, those are the best types of gifts–the ones people really need, or of which they can really make use.

If you’re on a budget, giving someone car maintenance doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as extravagant, or as small a gift as you want. You can pay for an oil change. Or, if your loved one has been waiting to get some expensive car repair and you want to help, offer an amount to help with that, or to pay for it altogether.

It may not be a glamorous gift, but most of us could use a little help now and then with car-related expenses. After all, caring for your automobile isn’t always cheap, but it is important. If you give the gift of car maintenance this year, you could be giving exactly what someone needs.

We want to be there for your and your loved one’s auto repair needs. Bring your vehicle, or have your loved ones bring their cars to us and let us be your trusted source for auto repairs in Oak Ridge and Knoxville, Tennessee. Call us at (865) 272-3379 today.

How to Perform Winter Car Preparation

Winter Car Preparation

To Prevent a Breakdown, Make Sure That Your Car Is Prepared for Winter.

As temperatures drop, the time arrives to prepare your car for winter. Winter places unique demands upon a vehicle. If you depend on your car, then you need to make sure it’s ready for the seasonal assault. Practice these tips for winter car preparation, and you’ll be well prepared for holiday travel.

Check Your Tires

Summer travel can place heavy demands on the performance of your tires. As winter approaches, you’ll want to check your treads and other areas of the tires for wear and damage. If you live in a region prone to snowfall, you will also want to invest in a good set of winter tires.

Coolant Levels

Ironically enough, your coolant becomes extremely important once the temperatures drop. Engine coolant prevents freezing across the integral parts of your vehicle. If your coolant seems low, replace it with a 50-50 mix of coolant and water in your radiator.


When it comes to your lights, you’ll want to keep in mind that it gets dark much earlier in the winter. Since this means you will use your headlights more, you will want assurance of proper functionality. Check to make sure that all of your lights broadcast evenly, with no dimness. If a bulb is burnt out, replace it immediately.

At People’s Choice Auto Repair, we can provide for full winter car preparation in Knoxville, TN. We also represent a premier choice for all other varieties of auto repair and maintenance. To learn more or schedule service, give us a call today at __PHONE__.

4 Signs Your Car Air Conditioner Is In Trouble

vehicle air conditioner problems

How Well Do You Know Your Car?

Your car’s air conditioner plays a vital role in the comfort of your daily commutes.While it is most inconvenient in the heat of summer, any time your car’s A/C fails can be frustrating. Today we will tell you some tell-tale signs of A/C failure that can save you money and frustration. As with all car problems, spotting and repairing A/C trouble early on will lead to faster and less expensive repairs.

Rattling, Whistling, Or Other Strange Sounds

When you turn on the A/C, the only sound you should hear is the fan blowing. Any strange sounds that accompany the turning on of your system can indicate issues with your compressor, but potentially something worse. Be sure to have it checked out right away!

Leaking Coolant

Occasionally, your coolant hose can become damaged and leak. When the coolant hose starts leaking, your A/C will be failing in no time, so be sure to replace the hose before the lack of coolant adds more wear and tea to your A/C.

Temperature Fluctuations

If your vehicle seems to be having trouble maintaining a steady temperature, this is an indication that something is wrong. Generally speaking, it indicates water in the hoses, which is a simple fix, but can lead to smelly problems if not fixed promptly.

Mold, Mildew, Or Bacteria Smells

While the average car owner doesn’t sample swabs from their A/C and create lab cultures, most people are fairly familiar with the smell of bacteria. Any sort of mildewy smells coming out of your vents are not a good sign, and should be addressed immediately for your health, as well as your vehicle’s health! Thankfully, this type of repair is very inexpensive, as well as beneficial.

For all of your vehicle repair needs, you can count on the experts at (865) 272-3379!