Monthly Archives: October 2014

Road Trip Tips

Road Trip Tips

Road Trip Tips

Driving the family to the beach for summer vacation? Perhaps you are thinking about putting the skis on the car roof and heading to the mountains? Maybe a nice family road trip for spring break? Sounds great right? Let’s hit the road, but first, how about a few road trip tips!



Prepare Your Vehicle

If any of the above possibilities are in your future, be sure to bring your vehicle to your auto mechanic to have the family vehicle checked . When vacationing, there is always a huge list of things to accomplish or purchase before you hit the open road. Many of these will be last minute. Don’t make a trip to the auto mechanic one of them.

Ridpath’s recommendation is to call and make an appointment with your auto mechanic 1-2 weeks before leaving. This will give ample time for automotive service before your road trip. Nothing will get your trip off on the wrong foot(tire) like waiting until the last minute to service your vehicle. Your only days away from your long awaited vacation and BOOM! Your auto mechanic calls to notify you that your vehicle needs some form of service or repair, and unfortunately it cannot be accomplished before your anticipated departure. That would be a major bummer. Consider the possibilities…..

What if parts have to be ordered? What if the prescribed work takes more than 1 day? What if the vehicle requires some form of service or repair to make it safe to drive on your road trip? Nothing could be worse for your vacation budget than spending unplanned money only days before your departure. We recommend to have your vehicle checked even up to 4 weeks before your trip. This will cover all the normal “wear and tear” items that usually pop up on road trips.

Ridpath’s Has Your Vehicle Covered

The most valuable of our road trip tips is to contact Ridpath’s Auto Center for any concerns you have with your vehicle. If you enjoyed our road trip tips article, be sure to read through the rest of our automotive car care tips. Ridpath’s Auto Center provides valuable tips to prevent future problems with your vehicle.

If you are approaching your vacation, be sure to call Ridpath’s Auto Center at (610) 544-2828 to set up a comprehensive automotive consultation. We can evaluate your vehicle and provide the advice and options that best suit your personal situation. We are conveniently located in Springfield, PA immediately off the corner of East Woodland Avenue (Route 420) and Powell Road. Ridpath’s Auto Center can provide you and your family the peace of mind you need to enjoy your road trip.


Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light

Check engine light


Check Engine Light: The Mysterious Warning

Ahh, the almighty check engine light. The modern day marvel, the fancy “idiot” light. Every vehicle has some form of a check engine light in it’s vehicle monitoring system. Some go with “Check Engine”, some “service engine soon”, and still others with an icon which has been likened to everything from a radiator to a sailboat! Most newer vehicles have adopted the icon theory as to avoid language barriers, it is supposed to resemble an engine block. But that is only the beginning of the mysteries. The system is linked to dozens of vehicle sensors, sending units, modules, control devices, and even the fuel cap. Sometimes it comes on while driving, sometimes it comes on but then goes out, perhaps it only comes on when driving on highways and other times it comes on and blinks!! Confusing to say the least.

Check Engine Light: What does it do?

The system is designed to monitor dozens of  different operating systems in the vehicle keeping the driver apprised of any potential problems that may affect the vehicle or performance. In theory if the computer recognizes a “fault” with a monitored system it will store a code in memory. This code is then able to be retrieved by our technician which should provide a starting point for our diagnosis and repair. A light that comes on and goes off is possibly a minor system or intermittent fault. A light that comes on and remains on steady is possibly a major or consistent fault and should be diagnosed as to not interrupt the performance of the vehicle. When the check engine light is actually blinking the vehicle should not be driven any more than absolutely necessary. The blinking light is a self-preservation system, the affected system which is not functioning properly may be causing further damage to the vehicle. As with anything, the design on paper is more accurate than in a real world application. Sometimes the light will come and go without leaving a code. Sometimes the fault is very intermittent and will not trigger the light or leave a code. Sometimes the computer that controls the monitoring is actually at fault and can  set erroneous codes or produces symptoms without the light or codes!

Ridpath’s Has Your Check Engine Light Covered

Overall, the “check engine” light system does aid in proper diagnosis of today’s vehicles but, as with any technology, it is not always an accurate picture of what is happening with the vehicle. Blending today’s software and diagnosing tools with years of experience and training is how we at Ridpath’s Auto properly and efficiently diagnose and repair our customer’s vehicles every day.

Check Engine Light giving your worries? Fret no longer. Ridpath’s Auto Center is conveniently located right off of the corner of East Woodland Avenue (Route 420) and Powell Road in Springfield, PA. We provide automotive service to customers all over Delaware County, Pennsylvania and beyond. If your check engine light is causing you a concern, call us today at (610) 544-2828 to set up a comprehensive automotive consultation for your vehicle. We will diagnose your problem, and provide you multiple repair options to suit your personal situation. Ridpath’s Auto Center: “For all your automotive needs since 1981.”