Maintenance 101

What Does VSA Stand For?

By Rick Popely on April 18, 2021

VSA stands for vehicle stability assist, the proprietary term for the electronic stability control system used on Honda and Acura vehicles. Electronic stability control relies on sensors to detect ... Read More
What Does TCS Stand For?

By Rick Popely on April 11, 2021

The abbreviation TCS stands for traction control system, a feature that is on all current vehicles and prevents the drive wheels from losing traction on slippery surfaces. Here’s how it works.  Rel... Read More
What Happens When You Overfill Your Car With Oil?

By Rick Popely on March 20, 2021

When an engine has too little oil, bad things can happen: Friction between moving parts increases, the engine may run hotter and, worst case, moving parts seize when they become starved for lubrica... Read More
What Do DOHC, SOHC and OHV Stand For?

By Rick Popely on March 13, 2021

Automakers often toss around terms that look like alphabet soup to some, including engine descriptors such as DOHC, SOHC and OHV. These engine acronyms can be confusing. Here is what they stand for... Read More
Which Cars Have Free Maintenance for 2021?

By Fred Meier on November 29, 2020

Here are brands that offer some form of complimentary scheduled maintenance for their 2021 new vehicles. Read More
Is Oil for High-Mileage Engines Worth the Extra Cost?

By Rick Popely on October 2, 2018

CARS.COM — Most major oil brands market motor oil made specifically for engines that have more than 75,000 miles of wear, claiming that additives help reduce engine wear and provide anti-aging bene... Read More
When Is It Time to Replace Your Tires?

By Rick Popely on October 1, 2018

Traditional advice says that when your tire tread is worn down to where the groove measures just 2/32 of an inch (and that’s the tire tread depth law in some states) or when the tread wear in... Read More
Does the Brand of Gas I Use Actually Matter?

By Rick Popely on September 27, 2018

Yes, it does matter, because some brands contain more detergent additives that can prevent carbon deposits from forming inside your engine. These are the so-called Top Tier brands that use consider... Read More
How to Check Brake Pads

By Rick Popely on September 18, 2018

CARS.COM — When a driver applies the brake pedal to stop their vehicle, the brake pads are the friction material that gets pressed against the discs that spin along with the wheels. Eventually they... Read More
Will a Reusable Engine Air Filter Really Get Me Better Mileage and Better Performance?

By Rick Popely on September 18, 2018

Several aftermarket manufacturers sell engine intake air filters that they claim provide better airflow and increase a car’s horsepower and acceleration as a result. Some of these companies h... Read More