Your Parking Brake and You

2019-08-15 08:35:27

car repair Falconer

It goes by many names: parking brake, emergency brake, handbrake, E brake. When used properly it can be one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. This secondary breaking system was created to be used in the case of brake system failure. These days most of the safety benefit comes from using it when you park your car.

There are four forms of parking brakes:

1. Center lever, placed between the two front seats of the auto
2. Pedal, on the far left of all the floor pedals
3. Stick lever, located under the instrument panel (less typical on newer autos)
4. Electric or push button, found on the console controls in late-model cars

Many car owners only decide to use the parking brake when they park on steep hills. This is a serious mistake, especially if you are driving a manual transmission vehicle.

Get into the habit of using your emergency brake every time you park. And if you want to put less stress on your transmission, follow this formula when you park your car.

1. Stop the car all the way with your primary brakes
2. Set the parking brake
3. Place your car in park
4. Turn off the car

Some car owners who have the center lever brake question whether they should push the button in when they set the brake. Well, keep wondering because there is no definitive opinion. Older cars used materials on these brakes that could wear out, but newer vehicles shouldn't have that issue, despite the ratcheting sound you hear.

If you've ever driven with your E brake engaged, don't be ashamed, it happens to everyone sooner or later. So is it a concern? Yes, that's why getting into the habit of engaging the brake is important because you'll be less likely to forget to disengage it.

But is it the end of the life of your parking brake? Probably not. But it is smart to have an emergency brake inspection. Visit us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair and we can take a look at your brake system and any other parts of your car that concern you. Call us at 716-665-2501 for an appointment today.

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Road Trip Inspiration

2019-08-08 08:21:50

preventative auto maintenance Falconer

The term "National Scenic Byway" is an official designation bestowed by the US Department of Transportation. To qualify, a route must have archeological, cultural, historic, natural, or recreational significance. Or it can merely offer drop-dead gorgeous panoramas. Let's look at some of the drives our country has to offer:

Maui’s Hana Highway

Hana Highway is a 64.4 mile segment of highway between Kahului and Hana on the island of Maui. It takes two and a half hours to drive this road when no stops are made. But you will want to stop at many stunning vistas. We suggest planning half a day to explore this gem.

Miami to Key West Overseas Highway (pictured)

From Miami to Key West, this 160-mile drive (and engineering marvel) will have you ‘ooh-ing’ and 'aah-ing' the whole way.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

We wanted to recognize a route that is often overlooked in articles about scenic 'US' drives. Since Puerto Rico is a US Territory, this one qualifies, though many tourists visit it by cruise ship. You could happily get lost in Old San Juan. It’s the oldest settlement in Puerto Rico and on its own little island 35 miles north of the most eastern point of Puerto Rico. You get to it by three bridges that deliver uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean and San Juan Bay.

Pacific Coast Highway

An inspiration for countless feel-good songs, this coastal gem is officially called State Route 1. We recommend doing this one in a convertible or classic VW bus with a surfboard rack on top. If you're planning a trip to the Golden State, you can start up north in Leggett or at the southern end near Dana Point.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway is not only a Scenic Byway, it's an All-American road. An All-American road must meet two of the "intrinsic qualities" listed previously. Not surprisingly, the Blue Ridge Parkway runs along the spine of the Blue Ridge mountains. It is located on the boundary between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina, from which it travels north to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Don't drive this one too fast. You'll want to appreciate the drop-dead gorgeous vistas. (And avoid a speeding ticket.)

Route 66

Fortunately, there are still a few segments of this historic road intact. One is a three-hundred-mile section from Chicago, Illinois, to St. Louis, Missouri. On the northeast end, the ‘Mother Road’ of America starts on Adams Street, just west of Michigan Ave. You can get your kicks at several Route 66 museums along the way. Stop for a bite at Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket in Wilmington, Illinois. This vintage roadhouse has been serving hungry motorists since 1946.

Before you head out on your next excursion, schedule a pre-trip inspection at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair in Falconer.

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