Category Archives: Tech Tips

“Are We There Yet?” Season is Almost Here!

“Are We There Yet?” Season is Almost Here!

It’s about that time again. You know, that part of the year where we pack ourselves, and all the essentials (some non, too), into our trusty car/van/truck/wagon and hit the road for parts unknown (or known, whichever). Within the MWI family there are a few avid road trippers, a few newbies, and since we’ve all got some sort of trip on the horizon, we thought we’d share a couple great ‘Road Trip Tips’ lists we found. We’ve also got a few tips directly from our in-house ‘road-trippers’. First from your technicians… Chris advises a full tank of gas to start your journey. Armando says to make sure your car is safe and ready with a ‘pre-trip’ inspection, and Todd wants everyone to make sure the snacks are fully stocked and plentiful. Now for the front office… Carlos says make sure your car is clean – start your trip off on the right foot so to speak. Paul says “just before you do… don’t” (to be interpreted however you like 😎 ). Sara advises a inventory (and update ... read more

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Tech Tips

Spring Car Care Tips!

Spring Car Care Tips!

With today being the first official day of spring (despite the winter weather we’re experiencing) we thought now would be an opportune time to go over some spring car care tips. We know here in Maryland, the spring season can mean road trips, camping trips, additional extracurricular activities, and on and on it goes. Whatever your lifestyle, we also know, your car needs to be ready for anything you may throw at it (please don’t actually throw things at your car though). There’s a good possibility the harsh winter weather has been tough on your car, and it is likely showing some signs. Now is a great time to bring it in for a full inspection, that way we can identify any smaller issues, before they become larger ones. Just a few of the item we’d recommend checking: Engine oil and filter condition, condition of other vital fluids, functionality of wiper blades, starting and charging system performance, condition of the braking components and tires, belt and hose conditio ... read more

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Tech Tips

Vehicle Wiring is Tasty… to Rodents!

Vehicle Wiring is Tasty… to Rodents!

Here at Motor Works, we specialize in solving unusual problems. Here are two of the strangest — completely different problems with the same cause: Rodent damage. The Problem… This wiring harness is about 6 inches too short, thanks to Mr. Mouse. First up is a 2011 Honda CR-V. Our client told us his parking lights weren’t working. The brake lights, turn signals and reverse lights were all fine. He replaced some bulbs and found a blown fuse as well. We thought it was perhaps another shorted bulb situation, so we removed all the rear bulbs to inspect them. But there was still a short somewhere in the system. A quick look in the engine compartment and we had our answer. A rodent had chewed through the wiring harness that supplies power to the driver’s side front marker light (which comes on with the parking lights). This shorted the wires together causing the blown fuse ... read more

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Tech Tips

Foggy Headlights? Restore instead of replace!

Foggy Headlights? Restore instead of replace!

“Before” – Notice the headlight is foggy and discolored. Now that Daylight Saving Time has come to and end and it’s getting darker earlier, have you noticed your headlights aren’t quite as bright as they used to be? It may not be the bulbs — it might be the lenses. Most newer cars use plastic headlight lenses and over time they fog, dull and discolor. This is due to exposure to ultraviolet light and environmental contaminants (Yes, our air is dirty!) Some studies say it can reduce the brightness of your headlights by up to 80%. This fogging and discoloration is similar to cataracts on your eyes. Chris is buffing and sanding the headlight lens. Curing with the UV Lamp The good ne ... read more

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Tech Tips

Colder weather could trigger Tire Pressure (TPMS) Warning Light

Colder weather could trigger Tire Pressure (TPMS) Warning Light

If you see this light on your dash, it probably means your tires are low. So we woke up this morning to temperatures in the 40s in our area and have already received more than a few calls from our clients today telling us their tire pressure warning light has come on. Since this is the first morning at these cooler temperatures, it’s not uncommon at all. Remember, air pressure is temperature-sensitive, that is as the temperature decreases, the air pressure in your tire will be lower. If your tire pressure warning light comes on, it usually means the tires are low. The tires might look “normal” at first glance, but they’re probably low enough to trigger the warning system. This is called TPMS, which stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Some cars have pressure sensors in each tire that communicate via radio to the car’s computer. Others measure the rotational speed of the wheel (which changes with tire pressure). If one or more of your tires are out of specif ... read more

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Tech Tips

Get Your Car Ready for Fall!

Get Your Car Ready for Fall!

Hi All! Sara here. With the first official week of fall come and gone, I thought it might be a good time to go over some pointers that will help keep your vehicle in tip-top shape through the inclement weather to come. Here are four easy things we can do (inspired by Autoblog.com): Check your tires for uneven wear or other damage Check your brakes — are they squeaking? Scraping? Grinding? Check your headlights — any bulbs out? “Cataracts” on the lenses? Check your windshield wipers — are they worn, cracked, or make ugly streaks on your windshield? Don’t hesitate to give us a call or visit our Appointments Page to set up a visit

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Tech Tips

When should I change my oil?

When should I change my oil?

We sometimes get questions from our clients about the “Maintenance Minder” system in most newer cars. While it’s true that cars have improved over the last 35 years that we’ve been caring for them, we’ve found that it’s important to service your vehicle on a regular basis. Here’s an excerpt from Greg’s upcoming book that will be published soon. Q) How often do I really NEED to change my oil? Some places say 3,000 miles and some ads say their oil can go 12,000 miles. What’s the right thing to do? A) You’ve hit on one of my pet peeves… Short answer is it depends. How often do you need to see your dentist? If you’re planning on keeping your set of pearly-whites for the remainder of your days, then I would say “on a regular basis”, right? Preventive maintenance is just that…Pre (meaning before) and event-ive (as in something happened)…before something happens. We go to the dentist on a regular basis because, while we may not like going, we know ... read more

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Tech Tips

Check Engine Light On? We Can Fix It!

Check Engine Light On? We Can Fix It!

Weird fix of the month – A first-time client was referred to us for our diagnostic abilities. His Odyssey was giving him grief with a reoccurring check engine lamp and the same evaporative system trouble codes. After 3 (or more) visits to the dealer (some of which included payment, I am told), we diagnosed this vehicle. A spider had found a home in a plastic vent fitting located inside the frame. The spider had woven several webs inside the fitting. You can see at least five separate webs inside the plastic fitting. These caused enough of a vapor flow restriction to keep setting trouble codes. The spider is gone, and so is the problem. We employ some of the brightest diagnosticians in the area. Bring it on

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Tech Tips

Prevention is Primary: Maintenance Schedules – Confused?

Prevention is Primary: Maintenance Schedules – Confused?

We all know that routine and regular maintenance is the best way to extend the life of your Honda or Toyota product, right? By following the manufacturer’s servicing schedule, your car will last for many years and cost less to repair by catching the small problems before they become large ones. That’s the way it USED to be, anyway. Until 1995, Honda and Toyota maintenance schedules were pretty consistent however since then, maintenance schedules for each year and model are different and confusing. At a minimum, we address the published schedules in the service manuals using OEM parts and fluids ensuring your factory warranty. Additionally, there may be services that we may suggest as if yours was our Mother’s car, to keep it in great shape for the long haul.Contact us or [email protected] with your questions. We will do our best to ensure your vehicle gets the maintenance it deserves to stay in “like-new ... read more

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Tech Tips

Use our Diagnostic Worksheets

You can help speed the diagnostic process by printing and filling our diagnostic worksheets before you come for your appointment. Brakes and RideCar Will Not StartPerformance or Poor MileageUnusual Noises

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Tech Tips

T.A.P. (Teacher Appreciation Program) Announcement!


“Are We There Yet?” Season is Almost Here!


Spring Car Care Tips!


What the heck is Variable Valve Timing?


Airbag Recall – Questions, Answers and Updates


Decoding your Dashboard


Blue Seal of Excellence


The Right Part for the Job


Inside the Tech: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)


Inside the Tech: Lane Departure Warning


Greg’s Take: Things Break!


Greg’s Take: Nationwide Technician Shortage


Squeezing a few extra MPG from your car!


Caliper Slide Pin Boot – What is it?


Traction Control Systems


What’s a Timing Belt?


What’s a CV Boot?


Where the Rubber Meets the Road – Check your Tires!


Oil Light? Stop Right Now!


Client Spotlight – Aviation Author


What’s a Catalytic Converter?


Client Spotlight – Champion Irish Dancer


“Gregsplanation” – What’s a Cabin HEPA Filter?


Keep Your Car Looking Like New


“Gregsplanation” – Why does water drip from my car on hot days?


What does VTEC mean?


200,000 Miles and Counting


The 2016 Civic is Here… And it looks amazing!


Motor Works: Ethics Certified!


Vehicle Wiring is Tasty… to Rodents!


Rock Stars in and out of the shop!


The Value of Maintenance – 334,000 Miles and Still Going Strong!


Foggy Headlights? Restore instead of replace!


Wheel Alignment 101


Veterans Day 2015


Colder weather could trigger Tire Pressure (TPMS) Warning Light


Get Your Car Ready for Fall!


Motor Works Featured in “Remarkable Results”


Car Optometry – Aiming the Honda LaneWatch System


Differential? What’s That?


Odd Fix of the Day – Sienna Brake Lights


When should I change my oil?


Check Engine Light On? We Can Fix It!


Famous? MWI featured in Shop Owner Magazine


Video: Consumer Compass


Honda and Toyota products definitely hold their value over time. Smart!


Prevention is Primary: Radiator Hose


Prevention is Primary: Maintenance Schedules – Confused?


Use our Diagnostic Worksheets


MWI Consumer Checkbook Top Quality Rated…Again!


Video: AARP Modern Maturity – 1985 TV show Clip at MWI


Video: He Did it for Love – Technician buys car for his mother!

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