Like many other automakers, Mazda is shifting towards producing greener vehicles. However, being a smaller company, it can’t do it alone and has enlisted the help of Toyota. Recently, the two companies made a deal that will give Mazda access to Toyota’s vehicle electrification expertise. What’s more, in November 2018, the two automakers invested $1.6 billion to begin building a massive car plant (it measures 3.3 million square feet) in Huntsville, Alabama.
The first order of business for the jointly owned car plant, which is scheduled to open in 2021 and will employ 4,000 people, is to make a redesigned Toyota Corolla. It will also produce a crossover Mazda, the details around which remain a mystery. The project is a 50-50 partnership, with the two companies contributing equally to the operation.
Shifting to the present, 2019 sees the arrival of a new generation of Mazda3s. More luxurious than its predecessors, the 2019 Mazda3 has the latest SKYACTIV chassis, which gives the car a more robust structure. Under the hood, the carmaker made a fantastic choice by opting for the latest generation SKYACTIV-G 2.0 with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which is the cream of the crop when it comes to basic gasoline engines.
Alternatively, drivers can choose to purchase their 2019 Mazda3 with a SKYACTIV-X engine. This small 2-liter engine with a high compression ratio delivers 176 horsepower and is assisted by the new M Hybrid system, which optimizes fuel efficiency. The standard models feature either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. You can also opt for the 4-wheel drive model, a first for the Mazda3. The Mazda3 with the SKYACTIV-X engine should be available near the end of the year as a 2020 model.
The check engine light: when to be worried
Even if you take good care of your car, eventually its components will wear out. Thankfully, the check engine light will let you know if there’s a problem. If this light illuminates on your dashboard, it may indicate a minor issue or be a sign of a more serious problem. Here’s what you should do if the check engine light comes on.
If the light is on
If you’re cruising along and the check engine light suddenly comes on, you can keep going till you arrive at your destination. Once you park your vehicle, inspect the cap on your gas tank. A common cause of the check engine light illuminating is a loose cap.
If this doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to make an appointment with a mechanic and get your car inspected. The check engine light illuminating sometimes indicates that one or more of your engine’s components needs to be replaced.
If the light is blinking
A blinking light indicates a problem that needs to be fixed immediately and that could damage your car if you keep driving. Stop as soon as you can find a safe spot to pull over and call a towing service to get your car to a garage. A mechanic can identify the problem and make the necessary repairs to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of the vehicle. Note that in some cars a red light versus a yellow or orange one will indicate a problem that requires immediate attention.
If the check engine light is on, be sure to bring your car to a mechanic for an inspection. Small problems can snowball into big ones when you don’t take the appropriate measures.
Must-haves for your summer road trip
Summer is the perfect time to jump in your car and hit the open road. But even for the most spontaneous of road trips, it’s essential that your car is properly stocked for the journey. Here are some essential things you’ll need to bring along.
Food and water
Put some sandwiches, veggies, fruit and other snacks in a cooler, along with plenty of water. This will spare you from shelling out for food during the drive. Plus, such provisions may prove indispensable if your car breaks down or you get stuck in traffic.
Your phone and GPS aren’t infallible. Plus, these devices might lose their signal or die unexpectedly. Having a real map on hand is a good idea.
If you end up on the side of the road with car problems at night, a flashlight may just save the day. It can also come in handy in a number of other circumstances such as unpacking the car at night or taking a roadside wee in the dark.
A first aid kit
A well-stocked first aid kit is a must. Essential items include Band-Aids, tweezers, hand sanitizer, antibiotic ointment, gauze, scissors, adhesive tape and a saline solution (for eye washing and cleaning wounds).
Finally, don’t forget to bring items to keep you and your passengers entertained. Think about bringing along music, audiobooks, games and media players. You want to ensure that you and your companions have a fun and memorable trip.
What every driver should know about brake maintenance
When was the last time you had your brakes inspected? Here’s what you need to know about brake maintenance and how to tell if you should get yours checked by a professional.
Brake inspection schedule
There’s no hard and fast rule regarding how often you should get your brakes checked. In fact, scheduled maintenance for your brakes is largely influenced by your driving habits.
Aggressive drivers, especially those who make repeated abrupt stops, tend to put more strain on their brakes than those who handle their cars more gently. Similarly, driving around the city is more demanding than driving on the highway.
The bottom line is that the more you use your brakes, the more often you should get them inspected.
To be on the safe side, have someone check your brakes at least twice a year or every 12,000 miles, whichever one comes first. Regular inspections are the best way to stay safe on the road.
Red flags to watch out for
If your brakes are faulty, there are a number of possible indicators that this is the case. In a scenario in which the discs or pads are worn out, warped or not installed properly, or in which the brake fluid has oxidized, you’ll likely notice one or more of the following signs:
• The braking distance has increased
• The brake pedal has either a loose or stiff feel
• The brake pedal vibrates when you engage it
• The brakes are noisy
• The car drifts when the brake’s engaged
• The brake warning light is on
If you notice even just one these signs, immediately make an appointment with a mechanic. When it comes to your brakes, veering on the side of caution is always best.
5 things to check on your car before your next road trip
Are you planning to go on a road trip this summer? If so, it’s important to ensure that your car is in peak condition before you head out. Here are five things to check.
1. Lights. Before you hit the road, make sure all your lights work properly. Inspect your headlights, high beams, brake lights and hazards. Repair or replace them as needed.
2. Wipers. You can count on your windshield getting grimy while you’re on the highway. Plus, you never know when a rainstorm is going to strike. Test your wipers before heading out and make sure you have plenty of wiper fluid.
3. Tires. Check the air pressure in your tires. You should also inspect their overall condition and look out for any signs of damage or deterioration. Be sure to do the same for your spare.
4. Fluids. Make sure you have enough oil, coolant and brake fluid before you leave. Otherwise, you risk having your car break down en route.
5. Brakes. Ensure that your brake pads are in good condition. If they’re worn, it isn’t safe to operate your car. While you’re at it, be sure to also check that your handbrake is working well.
If you’re planning on making a multi-day trip, it’s best to take your car in for a tune-up before you leave. A mechanic will help you make certain that your car is in top shape and primed for the journey ahead.
Meet Tony Partlow of Tony’s Tires
Tony’s Tires is a locally owned tire installation and repair shop located in Front Royal, Virginia. Services offered include New Tire Sales and Installation, Tire repairs (when safe to do so), vehicle repairs related to tires and tire wear, TPMS installation and Computerized Wheel Balancing using state of the art Hunter Road Force Touch equipment.
They offer all major tire brands, including Michelin, Pirelli, Goodyear, Continental, Falken, Hankook, Yokohoma and many more. Their distributors enable them to get virtually any tire needed within just 24 hours. They also offer a selection of wheels from various manufacturers including Advanti, Konig, Modular Society, Mickey Thompson and more.
Tony’s Tires is located at 11 E. 7th Street in Front Royal, Virginia. Their telephone number is 540-551-0922. http://www.tonystiresfrontroyal.com/
2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited
This 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited, loaded leather, sunroof, heated seats, news tires, warranty.
In-house financing available with approved income and $1500 down payment.
Contact Jamie at Elite Auto Sales 540-631-7230, or stop by the lot at 1372 John Marshall Hwy, Front Royal, VA.