We all try to be handy on our own, but we are not always successful. We rely heavily on Google and Youtube to solve life's problems these days.
We at Hanlees want to make your lives easier. We have taken some of our customer's most common issues and recorded a How-To series to help you with maintaining and fixing your car! Welcome to the Hanlees Family.
Remember, if you ever have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact us at http://hanlees.net and will do our best to help solve your problem.
beside blooming irises –
joys of life on the
- Matsuo Basho
You're running late for work and someone cuts you off going 5 mph
under the speed limit. You want to scream at them, rip your hair out,
maybe even rear end them. But stop, take a moment, and reflect on the
zen of driving. Life is about movement, whether inside a car or out,
and sometimes it's all about what we do while moving, and not the
speed or destination, that matters the most.
Take a deep breath, and let the world move around you. Trying to push
something as big as the earth towards your end is a tiring endeavor.
Don't turn into this angry driver:
are some tips on chilling out, enjoying the ride, and avoiding temper
tantrums while on the road:
Just think of the Eagles' song and “...don't let the sound of your
own wheels drive you crazy.” (But listen to this song enough, and
you're bound to go a little nuts.) Instead focus on the meaning
behind the lyrics. Sometimes the sound of driving can be monotonous.
Likewise, listening to repetitive music will also stress you out
subconsciously. Try to vary it on long car rides. Sometimes switching
the radio off will give you time to think, focus, and calm down. When
that gets old, switch the music back on again. Think of your life in
movement, your surroundings and motivations constantly changing, the
need to wake up and fall asleep everyday – let this rhythm guide
your radio choices.
to Other Drivers (or Yourself)
Ok, this sounds a little schizophrenic, but talking releases stress
much in the same way that listening to music does. When a fellow
driver does something you don't like, try talking to them as if they
are your friend. Instead of shouting and cursing, this form of
empathy through conversation (although one-sided and a little insane)
is a great way to put yourself behind their wheel and see the road as
one big driving community instead of a rat race. We all share the
road equally, and we rely on each other for safety, much like the way
we live life. No driver's an island. You will find empathy is a great
way to siphon stress out of your life, even if no one hears it. Think
of it like chanting a mantra.
But not too much. Keep your eyes on the road there, buddy. Still,
you're out on a trip, no matter how short or long, so you might as
well breath in the fresh air. Even if it's a route you've driven a
hundred times, there are still new things to be discovered, and new
reflections to unearth. There is a reason poets call the natural
world the root of all inspiration, so be inspired. Driving is a great
way to see nature, and the variation of light as you hasten down the
freeway might just make an artist out of you. Moderately enjoying
your surroundings will take away the monotony of the road, prevent
tunnel vision, and make you a safer driver in general. It will also
calm you for the journeys ahead.
Most of us have probably witnessed a car overheating. It is usually a sweltering summer day and a person is pulled over with their hood up and frantically trying to cool down their car. While an overheating car is rare with modern vehicles, it can still occur. Remember to stay calm and focus on cooling down your car. People will often panic and try to drive to a gas station or reach their destination. If your temperature gauge is on high, it is important to immediately take measures to cool down your car.
What can cause your car to overheat?
Low coolant level – Can be caused by evaporation through the overflow reservoir. This can happen over time or can be caused by being improperly filled. Consult your manual to find the radiator cap and check the fluid level.
A leak in the engine cooling system – Can be caused by old hoses, holes, old or broken gaskets. Leaks or pools of liquid on the ground can indicate a problem with your cooling system.
A bad thermostat – A bad thermostat can act as a plug thus restricting proper circulation.
Failing water pump – Failing water pumps can be indicated by high pitched squeaking. A failing water pump should be addressed as soon as possible because a failing water pump can quickly lead to serious car trouble.
Trapped air in the cooling system – Trapped air usually occurs if there is a problem shortly after a improperly addressed pump repair.
Radiator cooling fan is not working – When turning on the air conditioner while the car is on you should hear the cooling fan start. If you do not hear the fan this could indicate several problem with the the fan e.g. connection, fuse, bad fan.
Clogged radiator core – Oxidation and sludge can clog the radiator core possibly leading to a radiator replacement.
Your radiator cap needs to be replaced – This can be a difficult problem to diagnosed without a radiator cap pressure tester. If you notice fluid around the cap of your radiator try testing the pressure with a pressure tester.
A blown head gasket – This problem can be indicated by puddles of coolant under your car and in extreme cases the car may not even start.
What to do if you're on the road:
At the first sign of overheating, shut off your air conditioner and turn on your heater and fan. This can very effectively transfer heat from your engine to your passenger compartment. Opening your windows can help keep you cool if the heater is on during a hot day.
If you are in traffic resist riding your breaks. Break drag can increase work load on your engine.
If you are in traffic try shifting to neutral or park and rev the engine a little. This can increase water pump circulation and fan speed thus helping heat dissipation.
If the problem persists pull over and let the car cool off. Do not open the radiator cap or add water while the car is hot. If you must add water while the car is still warm add the water slowly while the engine is idling in neutral or park.
If for any reason you feel your car may be compromised from over heating contact a dealership as soon as you can to address the problem.
With our busy lives, we
often forget simple maintenance of our cars. This can result in
costly repairs and breakdowns.
It is important to take the
time to learn about your car so that you can get the most money and
time out of it. Here are a few mistakes that many make:
Parking your car
outside: Why should one
of your most valuable and necessary possessions sit outside where it
can be damaged by the elements? Keeping your car in your garage can
protect it from unnecessary damage.
Not Changing Your
Air Filter: Your air filter
takes impurities out of the air, but it can become clogged and needs
regular changing. A clogged air filter can hurt your fuel economy
and end up costing you more in gas.
Tire pressure: Check
your tire pressure regularly. Tires with too little pressure can
hurt your fuel economy and can affect your car's ability to stop
quickly. Consult your manual for pressure levels.
There are a lot of misconceptions concerning regular oil changes.
The rule of thumb used to be 3 months or 3,000 miles, but in today's
world of synthetic oil and more efficient cars, it is important to
consult your manual or your service representative for further
Often the rubber material on wiper blades deteriorates and can
crumble. This can lead to a streaky windshield that is difficult to
see through during rain. Check your wiper blades for cracking or
Taking Care of Your
Brakes: If your brakes are
making sounds or feel “funny” it is essential to take them in.
Don't risk putting off a funny sound with your brakes. Safety
often drive around with a burnt out headlight or taillight. These
lights are to allow others to see your car. They also allow you to
see where you are going! When a light goes out, change it as soon
We have all been there. You are driving on the freeway and
all-of-a-sudden a rock flies into your windshield and leaves a nasty
star. Taking your car in as soon as possible can save you $.
Often, stars that are smaller than an inch in diameter can be
filled-in saving you a lot of money. If you wait too long and the
star begins to spread into a crack, the entire windshield will need
to be replaced.
find yourself with a bad case of 'cabin fever', it might
not be a bad idea to go out and experience the open road. While
planes are a nice and fast way to see the world, they often leave out
Ralph Waldo Emerson's old adage, “Life is a journey, not a
destination.” The wind in your face, the open scenery stretched out
before you, and a nearly unlimited list of places to go and things to
experience – sometimes going by automobile is the best cure for
are some places that prove to be not only amazing destinations, but
also beautiful drives along the way!
National Park: The place
that first inspired the idea for National Parks in our country thanks
to John Muir. Located in the heart of California, the ride entails
beautiful sights of the valley, surrounding forests, and rolling
hills. In the warmer months one can practically visit the majority of
Yosemite's grand monuments by car including Glacier Point,
Inspiration Point, Bridalveil Fall, and El Capitan. While driving is
nice, it is also a great idea to step out of the car and do some
hiking around Yosemite Falls or the Giant Sequoia Grove!
Monterrey Bay Aquarium:
While going by car might not
seem the best way to view some of the Pacific Ocean's most
fascinating wildlife, getting to this world famous aquarium provides
a breathtaking view of the California Coastline. Arguably the most
impressive place to drive, Highway 1 snakes its way up and down the
very edge of California, giving drivers spectacular vistas of the
Pacific from its steep cliffs and turns. The aquarium is build on the
Monteray Bay, featuring local wildlife from jellyfish to sea birds,
and the mammoth 90-foot window Open Sea exhibit.
If it's already winter, then you might as well enjoy all that winter
has to offer including skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and more! If
snow adventure is your calling, then Lake Tahoe can be no better.
Surrounded by a huge number of slopes and ski lodges, this
destination is a picturesque place to slalom and mogul your way down
the mountains. Make sure to have chains ready or snow tires equipped
for the frigid trip into the peaks of his high elevation basin. It's
truly a winter wonderland as you will be met with snow-frosted trees
and shimmering lakes of ice. *Here's a little factoid: The photo above was actually taken by one of our employees during her trip last summer to Yosemite!
Wiper blades, much like all things,
have a certain life cycle that adheres to the ebb and flow of time
and tide. In spring it start fresh and new, able to wipe away the
April showers with ease, keeping you and your family safe. Visibility
problems are the common denominator in all serious driving accidents,
and the wiper blade is your adversary in this battle for safe
However, the steadfast tool has many
threats that may compromise its usefulness. During the long hot days
of summer, cars that are parked outdoors are at risk of having their
wiper blades desiccated in the unyielding heat. The rubber will dry
and crack, long unused, under the sun's rays. Even if you wash your
car regularly, the drying of the blade's rubber will only damage it
further in the intense temperatures.
As fall approaches the windshield
wipers are once again put back to work. Although they still move at
the same rate, the tough months of summer have done a number on these
once efficient friends of the safe driver. They streak now, they
stumble on the glass surface, and most of all, they all together fail
to wipe away the rain and snow.
Finally, winter comes – and it is
time to consider finding new wiper blades. The same way one would buy
new glasses to keep from stumbling into hazards, cars must regularly
change windshield wipers to stay vigilant and to maintain safe
visibly in the threatening driving conditions that winter brings.
Beat the rain and snow this year by
giving your car a new set of eyes. Arguably the most important safety
tool on your car: the wiper blade. Stay safe!
So your car is looking a little old and dingy. Then, you see someone
drive by in a shiny new car. The shiny paint and clean lines scream:
“You Gotta Get a New Car!” Before you sign the dotted line, keep
a few things in mind.
Do I have the money for a new car?: Unfortunately, cars are not free. We all have to make sure we have
sufficient funds for our payments.
What is my trade-in value for my current car?: This could help defray the costs and take some money off your final
How is my credit?: Having bad credit doesn't make it impossible to purchase a car, but
it can make it a little harder. Often, you will need more money
down on the car if your credit is bad.
Do I really need a “New” car?: If you just got a new car a year ago, chances are, you can make do
with what you have. However, if your current car does not suit
your needs, it is important to find a vehicle that does.
What are my priorities?: Does my current car provide enough safety, space, and fuel
efficiency? Do I need a car with a back seat for when I have kids? Do I need a car with 4 wheel drive for when I go to Tahoe?
Purchasing a new car can be a fun and exciting process. Do your
research and take a look at your finances. There are many factors
that go into looking for a new car besides your color preference.
Find the car that works the best with your wants, needs, and budget.
It can really help to talk to a salesperson to find the vehicle that
works the best for you.
Here is an image from our Davis Geo-Toyota-Chevrolet store back in the early 90s. Hanlees Auto Group was founded in 1993 by a family of three brothers. Over the past 20 years, we have grown to 9 locations with 7 different makes! Many of the faces you see here are still with us after 20 years! We are very grateful for the dedication given by our employees.
Here is a look at the demolition of our old Volkswagen building in Richmond, Ca. We will be open throughout construction and are very excited for the new Toyota building on this lot. We will keep you posted with updates on our progress!
Emergencies happen. You never know what life is going to throw at
you. It is better to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Here
are some handy things to keep in your car at all times.
First aid kit
Hazard triangle or road flares
$20 in small bills and change
Pen and pad of paper
Basic tools: a multi-head screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and a
pair of pliers
Some rags or old cloths
GPS navigation and a paper map of the area
Roll of paper towels
Food: granola bar, energy bars, and bottles of water
Store them in a small duffel bag in your trunk so that you are ready
in any emergency. If it is too difficult to make your own emergency
kit, there many pre-made kits you can purchase and throw in your car.
It may seem crazy or overzealous to keep this many belongings in your
car, but in an emergency, these items could save lives. Create and
store your own emergency kit today. You never know when it will come