Category Archives: Roadside Emergencies

Easy ways to avoid a highway breakdown

Looks like weather in Overland Park, Kansas will be great for the holiday weekend! If you’re packing your bags to go on a road trip there are a few things you can do to help ensure your safe arrival. Don’t ignore warning lights! If your engine maintenance light or any of your preventive maintenance auto dash lights are on, now is not the time to hit the highway. The stress of a long-distance drive at high summer temperatures may be what pushes the reminder to a full-blown auto repair emergency. Check your tires. Really—when was the last time you took a good look at your tire wear? Or checked the pressure in your spare tire? Check your fluid levels. The proper amount of oil, transmission fluid, coolant, or washer fluid could be the difference between a great weekend and a day at the auto repair shop. Pack an emergency kit. Nothing is more miserable than a car full of hungry/thirsty passengers who are wishing to be anywhere but on the side of the highway. At the v ... read more

Four easy ways to avoid pothole damage

Four easy ways to avoid pothole damage

When you’re tooling down the highway (or even an Overland Park thruway like 87th Street near New Concept Auto Service) and suddenly see a pothole looming up ahead, what do you do? Do you hit the brakes? Do you swerve? Do you brace yourself? Do you curse? Do you pray? Here are four easy ways to avoid hitting those dastardly holes and creating a need for costly repairs to your vehicle. Be an eagle eye. The best way to spot a pothole is to watch the cars in front of you (like you are supposed to be doing). Cars will dip, swerve, and/or brake. In spring in Kansas City, if you see cars hitting their brake lights, or everyone is making the same move at the same spot, there’s likely a pothole ahead. Go full speed ahead. If the impact is inevitable, resist the urge to hit your brakes. When you apply your brakes the front of your car will dip and the car experiences what’s called weight transfer. This means if your car weighs 4,000 pounds when you are driving at a steady spee ... read more

Changing a tire safely (Part II)

Today, at my Overland Park auto repair shop, we have the luxury of using five-ton, two post hydraulic lifts which are very safe provided the vehicle is staged properly. We even use custom-made hickory blocks to safely set a vehicle just right. If we use a floor jack or bottle jack, we always place a metal jack stand under as a backup, whether we are crawling under the car or not. All our floors are level, so if you are doing this at home on a slope, always block the wheels at the other end. A front wheel drive will roll if you jack up the front, a rear wheel drive if you jack up the rear. Here is something else to think about. A three-legged stool is steadier than a four-legged one, but a car is shaped like a rectangle. So if you raise a car in the air and place a jack stand at each corner under the solid frame, you may find one of the jack stands is not holding anything. Very unsafe! This is because car frames are stronger than one might think and the floor may not be perfectly leve ... read more