Blog Page at Monicatti Auto Sales in Chesterfield, MI

Car Warranty Guide


6/5/2023 - 9:00 AM

For many people, next to their homes, vehicles are the second-most valuable thing that they own. However, as they age and as we drive them, they tend to break down, which nearly always causes undue stress and headaches. Having a good car warranty in place can help reduce these stresses and headaches and protect you from having to pay out-of-pocket repair bills.

Here at Monicatti Auto Sales & Service Center, since we sell used cars and used trucks, we highly recommend buying extended vehicle warranties (more on that below!) to help protect your purchase. While our in-house automotive service center takes great care to put all of our vehicles through an extensive multi-point vehicle inspection before placing them for sale with the rest of our current vehicle inventory, unfortunately we cannot prevent or predict if or when our vehicles will break down. So we feel it is always in a customer's best interest to protect their investments with at least some sort of extended vehicle warranty.

Below is our guide to car warranties, how they work, what they cost, what they cover and whether or not they are worthwhile.

Car Warranty Facts:

  • Car warranties can help to reduce out-of-pocket expenses on vehicle repairs.

  • Car warranties cover defects & damages from regular use.

  • Car warranties do NOT cover parts that are made to wear out during normal use, such as brake pads.

  • Car warranties are NOT insurance and do NOT cover accidents or vehicle abuse.

  • Purchasing a car warranty is a strategic financial decision that may give peace of mind, but may not pay for itself.

What is a Car Warranty?

A car warranty is a contract from your car’s manufacturer or from an aftermarket extended warranty company that states that they will pay for select repairs to your vehicle.

What is Covered/Not Covered by a Car Warranty?

Car warranties typically only cover problems that the manufacturer considers defects. So a warranty will only cover components that don't live up to reasonable expectations. They do NOT cover damage from accidents or if the vehicle is used in a manner that the manufacturer didn’t originally intend.

Warranties also do NOT cover normal wear and tear from daily use. Some parts of a vehicle are expected to wear out regularly, so car warranties only pay to replace them if they wear out ahead of schedule.

For example, depending on the model of the car, it’s normal to replace brake pads every 25,000 to 70,000 miles. A car warranty will generally not cover that cost. If, however, the vehicle were to need brake pads after just 10,000 miles, the warranty would likely cover the cost of the new pads and the cost of figuring out what part of the brake system is malfunctioning to wear them out so fast and fixing that as well.

Car warranties also do NOT cover regularly scheduled maintenance, such as oil changes. In fact, failing to keep up with the manufacturer's recommended maintenance can actually void your warranty in some cases.

Types of New Car Warranties

Most NEW vehicles that are purchased from a manufacturer's dealership come equipped with a number of different warranties. So we will dive into each of those next and explain what they each cover.

Comprehensive or Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty

  • New vehicle limited warranty

  • Covers the majority of new car parts on a vehicle

  • Typically lasts for 3 years/36,000 miles (whichever comes first)

  • Length and coverage may vary by manufacturer

Powertrain Warranty

  • Covers the vehicle's engine, drivetrain & transmission

  • Typically lasts for 5 years/60,000 miles (whichever comes first)

  • Length and coverage may vary by manufacturer

Emissions Warranty

  • Covers the components that limit the vehicle's emissions

  • Coverage tends to vary, covering some parts for short periods and other parts for longer periods

  • Required by law to last for 2 years/24,000 miles (whichever comes first)

  • Some coverage lasts for up to 8 years/80,000 miles (whichever comes first)

  • Length and coverage may vary by manufacturer as well as by location

Corrosion Warranty

  • Protects the vehicle against rust or corrosion of sheet metal

  • Length and coverage may vary by manufacturer

Lifetime Limited Parts Warranty

  • Covers the repair or replacement of specific vehicle parts for as long as they last

  • Qualifying parts vary by manufacturer

  • Does NOT cover normal wear and tear

How Long Does a Car Warranty Last?

Car warranties last for a set period of time or a set number of miles. The typical average auto warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles. That means the warranty will cover repairs for the first 3 years you own the vehicle or for the first 36,000 miles that you drive it, whichever one comes first.

This is typical for a basic, limited "comprehensive" or "bumper-to-bumper" warranty. However, as we explained above, there are a number of different types of warranties, which not only offer different coverages but also come in different lengths/mileages as well. AND, these numbers and coverages can also vary by manufacturer.

Below is a comprehensive listing of most large vehicle manufacturers and their basic warranty coverages. *NOTE* These coverages can change at any time. For the most accurate and up-to-date warranty information, be sure to contact the manufacturer of your vehicle directly.

Extended Warranties

Extended warranties, commonly known as vehicle service contracts, provide coverage for a vehicle once the manufacturer warranty ends. Some automakers offer their own plans, but they typically require that you buy coverage while your car is still under its factory warranty. However, you can also purchase an extended warranty through various third-party providers. Here at Monicatti Auto Sales & Service, we offer a number of extended warranty options from numerous third-party warranty companies.

Are Extended Warranties Worth It?

Unexpected car repairs are both costly and stressful. A transmission, for example, costs an average of $1,800 to $3,400 to replace, while a fuel pump costs an average of $488 to replace. The price to repair a power steering pump ranges from $507 to $720.

An extended vehicle warranty can save you hundreds or even thousands on repair costs. This is especially important when purchasing a used vehicle, like the ones we offer here at Monicatti Auto Sales & Service. Mechanical breakdowns are inevitable no matter how well you take care of your vehicle, so adding extended coverage could contribute to your peace of mind on the road.

How Much Do Car Warranties Cost?

When purchasing a brand-new vehicle, the warranties are built into the price of the vehicle. No dealership should ever attempt to charge you extra for a warranty on a new vehicle.

When it comes to extended warranties, the cost can vary greatly depending on the warranty company, the type of coverage and the length of coverage. Most third-party warranty companies will offer a basic extended warranty, a mid-level warranty and a higher-end warranty. These can cost anywhere from an average of $3,000 to $5,000 or more and can be completely paid for upfront or billed to you on a monthly basis over a few years.

Does a Warranty Transfer to the New Owner When a Vehicle is Sold?

Most car warranties will transfer with the vehicle when it is sold. However, oftentimes, transferring a warranty will change its terms. For example, both Hyundai and Kia offer one of the industry’s longest warranties on new vehicles: a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, if the vehicle is sold, only a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty transfers to the new owner of the vehicle.

If you’re buying a used car, try to find out when it first sold. Automakers typically start selling the next model year before the calendar year is out. So your 2022 vehicle may have a warranty period beginning in 2021 if it sold early.

How to Check Whether a Vehicle is Still Under Warranty

To find out if your vehicle is still under warranty, you will first need to know its mileage and date of purchase. To find the vehicle's mileage, check the odometer. If the vehicle’s mileage exceeds the warranty limit, then it is no longer covered. If it is not over the limit, you will still need to check the date of purchase. Your vehicle's owner’s manual will have details on the warranty coverage and when the vehicle was originally sold. If you do not have the original owner's manual, write down the VIN (vehicle identification number) and call any dealership selling that vehicle brand. They will be able to look up the purchase date for you.

Another way to figure out if your vehicle is srtill under warranty is to use a site like You will still need the VIN to look up the vehicle, but CarFax will tell you the current warranty status. (*Note: The CarFax information may not be completely up-to-date as it is only as accurate as the last service update. So you may still want to contact a dealership.)
If you are not the vehicle’s first owner, you may also want to ask whether the warranty was transferred to you when you bought the vehicle. The answer is almost always yes. But, for some manufacturers and some model years, warranty terms can change when a car gets sold as a used vehicle (as we previously mentioned).

(NOTE: Information gathered from a number of trusted sources, including and

Top 10 Signs Your Vehicle Needs Brake Service


3/6/2023 - 9:00 AM

In general, ignoring problems is never a good thing as they will only get worse over time. While this statement can be said for a number of things in life, it is especially true when it comes to our vehicles. More specifically, when it comes to our vehicles' safety features and systems.

One of the most important vehicle safety features & systems are the brakes. Considering how much time we spend in our vehicles and considering how fast we drive our vehicles on a daily basis, the brake system is what helps to prevent an accident from happening. However, how do you know if or when your brakes need to be serviced? Here at Monicatti Auto Sales & Service we have put together a list of our top 10 things to look out for.


One of the first places you should look for signs of brake failure is your vehicle's dashboard. As soon as a brake warning light comes on, it's a clear sign that your brakes need some attention. If you're unsure of what the brake warning lights look like, check out our blog article on WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER IGNORE YOUR WARNING LIGHTS.

Typically, there are 2 main brake warning lights - the main brake system and the anti-lock brake system, or ABS. ABS components can fail and still allow the rest of the brake system to function normally. However, if the main brake system light comes on, it means the vehicle has most likely experienced a failure which needs to be serviced immediately.


If your vehicle is taking longer than normal to come to a complete stop, that's obviously a problem! It's possible you could be experiencing "brake fade" which is a temporary reduction in the stopping power of your brakes. Depending on the cause, this could be a short-term issue or a long-term issue. For example, if you are driving down a steep hill and riding your brakes, this will heat up your pads and rotors and cause them to be less responsive for a short time. Once cooled down, they may return to their normal performance and be fine. However, over time, this brake fade can become permanent, in which case the pads and/or rotors will need to be replaced.


If you hear noises when you step on the brake pedal, most notably a grinding noise, it likely means the brake pads/shoes are worn out and the metal under the pads is rubbing, or grinding against the metal on the brake rotors or drums. If this is the case, you want to replace the brake pads/shoes as soon as possible to avoid destroying the brake rotors or drums. However, prolonged driving and braking under these conditions will likely require the rotors or drums to be replaced as well.


Most vehicles have numerous brake lines running throughout the vehicle. Especially vehicles with anti-lock brakes (or ABS). A leak in any of these lines will lead to a loss of fluid and air in the system, which will eventually cause the entire brake system to fail altogether. Depending on the age and condition, brake fluid varies from clear to a rusty-orange coloration. There is also a bit of an odor to brake fluid. Any signs of leaking are bad and must be repaired immediately.


Issues like failing calipers, a failing master cylinder, a weak brake line or air in the brake lines can cause the brake pedal to feel very soft or spongy when you step on it. Your brake pedal should feel nice and firm and feel solid as the brakes are gradually applied. This could be as simple as having low brake fluid. However, a soft, spongy brake pedal typically means your brake system is not working as it should and needs to be looked at.


Conversely, if your brake pedal is too hard to push, this can also be a sign of a problem. Most vehicles use one of 3 different types of brake power assist systems: a vacuum boost, a hydraulic boost or an electric boost. These brake power assist systems are meant to assist you, the driver, to help reduce the amount of effort you need to apply to the brake pedal in order to make your vehicle stop. When these systems fail, it causes the brake pedal to be hard to push. In some cases, the brakes may still function properly but will be much tougher to apply. However, if the brake pedal is hard to push and the brakes do not seem to be working, you will want to have it serviced immediately.


When you step on your brake pedal, pressure is applied to both the left and the right sides of your brake system evenly. If you step on your brakes and the vehicle pulls to one side or the other, there is more than likely an issue with one side. Chances are that the brakes are wearing more on one side than the other. This could be due to a failing wheel cylinder, a sticking brake caliper or maybe worn rotors causing uneven application and wear on the brakes. This is also why it is highly recommended to replace your brake wear components in left & right pairs to ensure equal wear and performance.


If you step on the gas and you can hear your engine revving and trying to accelerate, but the vehicle doesn't get up to speed as fast as it should, it's very possible that you could have a brake caliper or drum that's hung up or sticking. Or, if you're driving and you take your foot off the gas and the vehicle slows down much faster than it normally does, this could be another sign of the same issue. This is typically caused by road grime buildup or faulty brake caliper/wheel cylinders. It's also possible that your drum brakes are unable to pull the brake pads/shoes away from the drum and need some adjustment.


When your brakes get heated up too much, the rotors can develop hot spots. Once cooled, they contract more than the rest of the rotor, resulting in a warped brake rotor. If this occurs, every application of the brakes sends pulses, or vibrations, through the brake pedal or steering wheel. These vibrations can also be a sign of poor steering alignment. Either way, it is something you will want to have checked out to avoid further damage.


If you find yourself smelling an odd burning odor when you hit the brakes, there's definitely a problem! Overheated brakes smell quite bad and are a dangerous situation. If your brakes are smoking, you are burning the friction lining. In extreme cases, such as heavy-duty trucks, the friction material can actually catch fire. Overheated pads and shoes develop a glaze on the surface that is slick, and your braking performance will be greatly reduced. This is a component of brake fade as we discussed earlier.

If you notice any of these signs, it is highly recommended that you immediately take your vehicle to your nearest, trusted automotive service center before the problem gets any worse. Here at Monicatti Auto Sales & Service, our 10,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art Monicatti Service Center can handle all things brake related! Give us a call at 844-463-6722 or fill out our online CONTACT FORM to schedule an appointment TODAY!

As of March 6th, 2023, we have an AMAZING SPRINGTIME BRAKE SPECIAL for you to take advantage of! Check it out TODAY!

(NOTE: Information gathered from

Top Vehicle Features For The Winter


2/3/2023 - 9:00 AM

Unless you're someone who loves the winter months and enjoys everything that comes with it, you're probably counting down the days until spring arrives! While it's easy to simply stay inside to avoid the cold temperatures, at some point you have to go outside to drive to work or drive to get groceries. So here at Monicatti Auto Sales & Service, we have compiled a list of our favorite vehicle features to help make winter driving more bearable!


Our number one feature for dealing with the winter is remote start! Why sit in a freezing car when it could be nice and toasty warm before you even open the door? Simply hit the button from the warmth of your home and let your car do the work! Today, many vehicles come with remote start right from the factory. However, for those that don't, you can easily have an aftermarket kit added to give you this amazing feature!


While you're more than welcome to stand out in the freezing cold, meticulously chipping away at the ice on your windows and mirrors, wouldn't you rather sit inside where it's warm and let your car do the work for you? These features are not only easier than scraping, but can even go hand in hand with the first feature on our list, the remote starter! Stay inside while your car not only warms up, but melts all the ice of your windows and mirrors as well!


Depending on the length of your daily commute, driving with snowy & icy road conditions can be a daunting task. However, vehicles with 4WD (4-wheel drive) or AWD (all-wheel drive) can give you better control in bad weather and make your trip easier.


One of the most popular (and widely available) cold weather features are heated seats. Imagine watching the ice melt off your windshield and mirrors while your heated seat warms your backside. Sounds great, doesn’t it?


Speaking of heated surfaces, with a heated steering wheel, you can say good-bye to the days of driving with chilly fingers! This feature will keep your hands and fingers nice and warm during your winter travels!


This handy feature allows you to keep everyone in the vehicle comfortable and happy, while eliminating arguments! Each person can adjust it to their liking and no one has to argue over the temperature.


Having a good set of all-weather floormats can save your vehicle from the wear and tear of the colder months. These handy accessories help to keep the snow, salt and ice from collecting in the carpeting of your vehicle. Plus, keep them around for the warmer months and they'll also protect your vehicle from dirt, mud, water and other messy things!


The main purpose of fog lights is to help illuminate the road directly in front of your vehicle. This can be especially helpful during rainy, foggy or snowy conditions.

Monicatti Multi-Point Inspection Checklist


Here at Monicatti Auto Sales & Service we perform a multi-point inspection on every vehicle that comes through our dealership. Whether it's a customer vehicle coming through our Monicatti Service Center or one of the vehicles for sale on our used car lot, we ensure all of our vehicles are in top working order.

Services to Check & Recommend

Recommended Scheduled Maintenance Services

Check Fluid Levels & Fill

Recommended Maintenance Services

  • Engine Oil

  • Transmission

  • Brake Reservoir

  • Window Washer

  • Power Steering

  • Coolant Recover Reservoir

  • Oil Change

  • Oil Filter

  • Fuel Filter

  • Engine Air Filter

  • Cabin Air Filter

  • Spark Plugs

  • Engine Coolant

  • Transmission Fluid

  • Transmission Filter

  • Accessory Drive Belts

  • Tire Rotation

Check Vehicle Battery
Battery Terminals Condition: ___ Good ___ Bad

Service Technician Comments: __________________________________


  • Operation of horn, interior lights, exterior lamps, turn signals, hazard & brake lamps

  • Radiator, heater and air conditioning hoses for leaks and damage

  • Windshield for cracks, chips and pitting

  • Windshield washer spray, wiper operation and wiper blades

  • Accessory drive belts

  • Brake system (including lines, hoses and parking brake) and wheel end for end-play and wheel bearing noise

  • Clutch operation (if equipped)

  • Constant velocity (CV) drive axle boots (if equipped)

  • Drive shaft, transmission, u-joint and shift linkage (if equipped) and lubricate (as needed)

  • Engine Cooling System, hoses and clamps

  • Exhaust System (leaks, damage, loose parts)

  • Oil and/or fluid leaks

  • Shocks/struts and other suspension components for leaks and/or damage

  • Steering and steering linkages

Check Vehicle Brakes - Measure Front/Rear Brake Linings

Left Front

Left Rear

Right Front

Right Rear

____ Over 5mm or 7/32" (Disc)
or Over 2mm or 3/32" (Drum)
____ 3-5mm or 4/32"-7/32" (Disc)
or 1.01-2mm or 2/32"-3/32" (Drum)
____ Less than 3mm or 4/32" (Disc)
or Less than 1mm or 2/32" (Drum)

____ Over 5mm or 7/32" (Disc)
or Over 2mm or 3/32" (Drum)
____ 3-5mm or 4/32"-7/32" (Disc)
or 1.01-2mm or 2/32"-3/32" (Drum)
____ Less than 3mm or 4/32" (Disc)
or Less than 1mm or 2/32" (Drum)

____ Over 5mm or 7/32" (Disc)
or Over 2mm or 3/32" (Drum)
____ 3-5mm or 4/32"-7/32" (Disc)
or 1.01-2mm or 2/32"-3/32" (Drum)
____ Less than 3mm or 4/32" (Disc)
or Less than 1mm or 2/32" (Drum)

____ Over 5mm or 7/32" (Disc)
or Over 2mm or 3/32" (Drum)
____ 3-5mm or 4/32"-7/32" (Disc)
or 1.01-2mm or 2/32"-3/32" (Drum)
____ Less than 3mm or 4/32" (Disc)
or Less than 1mm or 2/32" (Drum)

Check Tires (Tread Depth)

Left Front

Left Rear

Right Front

Right Rear

____ 7/32" or Greater
____ 4/32" to 6/32"
____ 3/32" or Less

____ 7/32" or Greater
____ 4/32" to 6/32"
____ 3/32" or Less

____ 7/32" or Greater
____ 4/32" to 6/32"
____ 3/32" or Less

____ 7/32" or Greater
____ 4/32" to 6/32"
____ 3/32" or Less

Check Tires (Wear Pattern/Damage)

Left Front

Left Rear

Right Front

Right Rear

____ 7/32" or Greater
____ 4/32" to 6/32"
____ 3/32" or Less

____ 7/32" or Greater
____ 4/32" to 6/32"
____ 3/32" or Less

____ 7/32" or Greater
____ 4/32" to 6/32"
____ 3/32" or Less

____ 7/32" or Greater
____ 4/32" to 6/32"
____ 3/32" or Less

Tire Wear Indicates: ____ Alignment Check Needed ____ Wheel Balance Needed
Tire Pressure Set to Factory Recommended PSI: ____ Front ____ Rear

12 Winter Storage Tips for Your Vehicle


10/20/2022 - 9:00 AM

While we may very well have a few warm days left in the year, the cold weather is creeping in and winter is just around the corner. For those of us with classic cars, hot rods, sports cars or even just RWD vehicles that don’t do so well in the snow, it’s time to start thinking about placing our 4-wheeled friends into storage.

Suggested Supplies:

  • Vacuum

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Car wax

  • Fabric sheets and moth balls

  • Car cover

  • Tire pressure gauge

  • Fuel and fuel stabilizer

  • Oil and oil filter

  • Antifreeze

  • Wheel chocks/blocks

  • Battery trickle charger

Step 1: Decide Where You Will Store Your Vehicle

Ideally, your own garage is the best place to store your vehicle for the winter. Not only is it easier to keep an eye on and makes things more convenient if you need to access the vehicle, but it also helps with a few of our storage steps below. It’s also FREE which is a plus! However, if you don’t have a garage or if your garage is too full to fit your vehicle, you can rent indoor vehicle storage at a number of self-storage facilities. With climate control options, month-to-month rental agreements and security features like video surveillance, a storage facility provides the flexibility and peace of mind you want.

For a listing of local storage facilities in and around Macomb County, MI, including facilities in Casco, Chesterfield, Clinton Township, Fraser, Macomb, Mt. Clemens, New Baltimore, New Haven, Ray Township, Richmond, Roseville and Washington Township – CLICK HERE.

Step 2: Clean Your Vehicle

Once you’ve decided where you will store your vehicle, the next step is to CLEAN IT! Remove all of the trash, remove anything that might freeze and vacuum up any and ALL crumbs that could attract pests. The last thing you want is for critters to snuggle up and hibernate inside your vehicle during the winter months! Once you’ve deep cleaned the interior, spend some time on the outside as well. Any dirt or salt left on the body of your vehicle could lead to rust, so make sure to wash your car before storing it. And not only the body, but underneath your vehicle as well. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, a fresh coat of wax can also help protect paint while in storage.

For a PROFESSIONAL cleaning, either before OR after the winter, come see us at Monicatti Auto Sales & Service in Chesterfield, MI and book an appointment with our professional, in-house auto detailers. You can give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM.

Step 3: Change Your Oil

Before putting your vehicle into storage, be sure to get an oil change. Fresh oil will protect your engine while it’s sitting and guarantee it’s ready to drive again when the weather warms up.

Step 4: Refresh the Coolant/Antifreeze

With a name like “antifreeze” (also known as coolant), you can probably guess that it’s definitely made for the winter! Adding more antifreeze is especially important if you’re storing a vehicle outside. Due to the risk of freezing, make sure your water-to-antifreeze ratio for the winter is close to 50/50.

If you’re unsure of how to perform an oil change or flush your antifreeze or coolant, Monicatti Auto Service Center in Chesterfield, MI services all surrounding areas including (but not limited to) Algonac, Casco, Chesterfield, Clinton Township, East China, Fraser, Macomb, Mt. Clemens, Marysville, New Baltimore, New Haven, Ray Township, Richmond, Roseville and Washington Township. Give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to book your appointment TODAY!

Step 5: Fill the Tires

Adding extra air to the tires before storing your vehicle can save you a lot of trouble when it’s time to drive again in the spring. Slightly overfilling the tires before putting your car away is a smart idea to make sure they don’t go flat from fluctuations in temperature. Just be sure not to exceed the maximum PSI.

Step 6: Top Off the Gas

Filling up on gas before you put a vehicle into storage is a smart idea because it prevents condensation from building up in your fuel tank. If you’re going to be storing your vehicle long-term, for the entire winter for example, adding a fuel stabilizer to your gas can help protect your car. This is because gas can break down over time and a fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening, which can be detrimental for your engine when it comes time to start it again.

Step 7: Protect Your Battery

There are two main options to choose from when deciding how to store a car battery for the winter. Disconnecting a car battery for storage is a great idea as long as it’s somewhere dry, has a stable temperature, and is kept off of the floor. If you don’t want to deal with removing and reinstalling a battery, you could invest in a battery trickle charger. A trickle charger will keep enough power running to the battery so it doesn’t die completely.

Step 8: Chock Your Wheels

If you are storing your vehicle outdoors or if your garage or driveway are built on an incline, wheel chocks can be a good idea that will offer you peace of mind without putting unnecessary strain on your parking break. These pyramid-shaped blocks wedge under your front tires to ensure it won’t roll anywhere.

Step 9: Get a Vehicle Cover

A winter car cover is a wonderful idea because your vehicle will stay dry, clean, and free of dust, especially when stored indoors. However, if your vehicle is sitting outside during the winter, a car cover can sometimes be bad as it can actually trap in moisture and accelerate rust and erosion. In this case, it’s a good idea to clear snow and ice from your vehicle as often as you can.

Step 10: Take Steps to Prevent Pests

Air intake boxes, exhaust pipes, and other openings around your vehicle can invite unwanted pests like rodents and insects. Block off these openings while storing your vehicle to keep pests out. Fabric sheets inside your car and moth balls on the outside are great ways to deter pests from making a home in your vehicle. Just make sure to remove any covers before you start your car!

Step 11: Run the Engine Occasionally

How long can a car sit without being driven? That depends on the make and model of your car, as well as if it’s being stored indoors or outdoors. Ideally, you should start your car every few weeks and allow the engine to run until the engine heats up fully to ensure everything is in working order.

Step 12: Check Everything Before Driving Again

Thoroughly inspect your vehicle for rot or damage before you take it out of storage for the season. Check your breaks and begin driving slowly. Depending on the length your car has been sitting without being driven, give it an ample amount of time to idle before you head back out on the open road!

(NOTE: Information gathered from and

Why You Need To Rotate Your Tires


6/3/2022 - 9:00 AM

Virtually every vehicle manufacturer, tire manufacturer and tire dealer recommends that you rotate your vehicle's tires periodically so that they will wear evenly and last longer. But is tire rotation really necessary?

Apparently there are many motorists out there who don't think so, as tire rotation is one of the more neglected routine maintenance items. You can often even spot vehicles that are in need of tire rotation while out on the road. They are the vehicles whose front wheels are nearly pitch black from brake dust. The reason for this is that the front brakes are larger than the rear brakes on most vehicles (front-wheel drive vehicles) and they do 75 percent or more of the braking. Thus, they generate more brake pad dust, which in turn gets all over the wheels.

Whether your vehicle has front-wheel, rear-wheel, four-wheel or all-wheel drive, your tires will benefit from a change of scenery from time to time. The weight and workload the tires carry is unevenly distributed which makes them wear unevenly.

A majority of vehicles on the road are front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive which operate in front-wheel drive most of the time. On these types of vehicles, the front tires carry an extraordinary load.

First of all, the front tires carry far more weight than the rear tires because the engine and transmission are typically mounted over the front axle. When you apply the brakes, more weight shifts forward which adds to the load. The front tires also endure uneven wear and tear from powering and steering the vehicle. They also bear the brunt of cornering forces when weight shifts to the outside of a turn. By contrast, the rear tires on a front-wheel drive vehicle are mostly just along for the ride!

Rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles spread more of the load to the rear tires because they drive the vehicle. However, the front tires still carry a significant burden from steering and from the weight of the engine and transmission.

Tire wear and tear can also indicate other problems or issues with your vehicle. For example, if the shoulders are worn more on your tires, it could be an indication of a misalignment or worn suspension parts. If the outer edges of your tires are worn more, it could indicate your tires are underinflated. Conversely, if the inner part of your tires are worn more, it could indicate your tires are overinflated.

How frequently tires should be rotated depends on the vehicle and the manufacturer's recommendations, which can typically be found inside the vehicle's owner's manual. A good rule of thumb is to rotate them at least as often as you change the oil. So if most mechanics tell you to change your vehicle's oil every 6,000 miles and you typically drive around 12,000 miles per year, you should rotate your tires twice a year.

The tire rotation pattern also depends on the vehicle. For most front-wheel drive vehicles, a typical pattern is to move the front tires to the rear on the same side and crisscross the rear tires to the front. The pattern might be different for rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles and will also be different on vehicles that have directional tires or different size tires in the front and rear.

With directional tires, for example, the tires have to stay on the same side and only move between the front and back. If the front and rear tires are of different sizes, they are rotated to the other side of the same axle.

If your tires are in need of rotating or if you're unsure about rotating your tires, our MONICATTI AUTO SERVICE CENTER can assist you. Give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to schedule an appointment TODAY!

(NOTE: Information loosely taken from a similar article on

Why You Should Never Ignore Your Warning Lights


5/4/2022 - 9:00 AM

Over the years, cars and trucks have come equipped with a variety of safety technologies to enhance driving safety. These safety technologies typically also come with warning lights that will flash on your dashboard to let you know if and when something is wrong.


YES! As a car or truck owner, it is your responsibility to take these warnings seriously. Not only do these warnings serve as a way of alerting you of potential issues with particular vehicle components, but they can also save you from ending up broken down on the side of the road and also save you the trouble of dealing with much more serious and costly repairs down the road.


As humans, an injury can hamper the performance of completing mundane, day-to-day activities and your vehicle is no different! If you ignore your warning lights and certain components begin to malfunction, it can lead to reduced performance for your vehicle. A broken sensor could send the wrong signals to your vehicle's ECU (Engine Control Unit) which might throw off the performance and maybe even force it into limp mode where the engine protects itself from large loads and stresses.

To better help you stay on top of your vehicle's performance, here are the main vehicle warning lights to look out for:


This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT light of them all! The check engine light can be anything from a loose gas cap to something much more serious. If this light is ignored, it could lead to a much more costly repair or even irreparable damage. This could mean there are engine problems, emissions issues or even a faulty oxygen sensor. If the check engine light comes on, you want to have it checked out right away!


The oil pressure light can come on when there is an engine problem, a sensor problem or simply just a low oil level. If you ever see this light come on, you need to have it checked out right away. Just like the check engine light, ignoring this warning can lead to serious damage and more costly repairs.


Any time you see this warning, you should pull over immediately and turn off your engine. This warning light is a serious sign of engine overheating and keeping the engine running could lead to irreparable damage.


If the tire pressure light comes on, it means there is an imbalance in tire pressure. One or more tires might have too much or too little air pressure in them and it may not be adequate according to what the vehicle's manufacturer suggests. This is typically a very easy fix as you can add or remove air pressure using an air pump or by visiting your local gas or service station. However, in some cases it could mean the tire pressure sensor has gone bad and needs to be fixed.


Your brakes should always be in perfect working condition as they can save your life. If the brake light or the Anti-Braking System light comes on, there is likely an issue with your brakes. If your brakes are not working properly, your vehicle could skid or even not stop at all. When this warning light comes on, it is best to get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible.


While your brakes can save your life by helping you to avoid an accident, your airbags can save your life when an accident does occur. If you see the airbag light come on, it means there is a problem with one or more of the airbags in the system. So if you are in a collision, one of the airbags may not deploy. Needless to say, it is of the utmost importance to get this warning light checked out right away!

In addition to the warning lights mentioned above, there are many other lights that can come up on your vehicle's dashboard. Below is a fairly comprehensive listing of many of the others.

All of these vehicle warning lights can be checked out and serviced for you here at our MONICATTI AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE CENTER! Give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to schedule an appointment TODAY!

10 Tips For Cleaning Your Car


Friday, April 1st, 2022 - 9:00 AM

Unless you're a car fanatic like we are here at Monicatti Auto Sales
& Service, washing your car can be a bit of a hassle, especially if
your car doesn't end up looking much better than when you started.
With the right tools and the right methods, you can get your car
looking like a brand-new showroom piece!

However, before you just throw some soap and water at your ride,
read on for our top 10 tips for cleaning your car the RIGHT way!


While this might sound a bit arbitrary, picking the right day and
even TIME of day to wash your car can make a difference. Don't
try to wash your car in extreme cold or heat. If it's too cold, obviously
the water will freeze and make things extremely difficult for you. If
it's too hot, the water will evaporate quickly and form grimy residues
before you have a chance to wipe them off.

Dark colored cars can absorb so much heat that they become hot to
the touch. This not only burns your hands and fingers, but it can also
affect some of the chemicals used for washing and detailing your car.


Before you clean the outside, start with the interior. Remove any obvious
trash from the ash trays, doors, seat pockets, glovebox and other interior
storage spaces. Don't forget to check under the seats for food wrappers,
missing sunglasses or even misplaced money (HEY, you never know!).

If you use seat mats, take them out and clean them separately. If they're
rubber, wash them with warm soapy water.


Once all of the trash has been removed, it's time to get out the vacuum!
Oftentimes, dirt gets into tough to reach places. So you may need to
loosen it up or get it out into an open area where the vacuum nozzle
can reach it. You can use a stiff brush (like an old toothbrush) to
accomplish this.

If you have a pet that frequently rides in your car, chances are you
have pet hair on your seats or in the carpet. Try using a moistened
rubber glove or wrap sticky tape around your hand with the sticky
side facing outwards to clean it up.

Finally - and this is a pretty cool trick - use a compressed air canister
to blow dust and dirt out of the little nooks and crannies that you
can't reach with the brush or the vacuum nozzle.


We're not quite done with the interior yet! The dash and instrument
panel can collect a lot of dust. However, these areas are more delicate,
so use a damp cloth on the dash and controls. There are also dash
and upholstery cleaning products for these areas, which can help.
Try using a soft paintbrush to get dust out from the rims of the
instrument dials if needed.

*NOTE* Don't be tempted to use any silicone sprays that add shine
to your interior. A shiny dash can create horrible glare and make it
difficult to see when driving. Also, if any overspray gets onto the
pedals it can make them slippery, which can also be dangerous.


Finally, while you have all of the doors open, grab a bucket of clean,
soapy water and clean the door sills and door openings. These are
easily overlooked during a regular car wash, but will stick out like a
sore thumb when you open the doors later.


If you look around or ask around enough, you will get all kinds of
advice for the best way to wash your car. We suggest you start by
rinsing the car off with a steady stream of water to get all of the
loose dirt off. This will help reduce the risk of rubbing dirt into the
paint later on.

Once the entire car has been rinsed off and most of the loose dirt has
been cleared, it's time to wash the car. Grab a clean bucket and fill it
with a mixture of warm water and car washing solution. Do NOT
use household detergents as this can strip away any protective wax
layers from the paint.

Next, grab a car washing glove or a large sponge and start from the
roof and work your way down the sides, front and rear of the car. This
gives the car wash solution a little more time to soak into the grimiest
areas near the bottom and means the water in your bucket stays cleaner
for longer. If the water in your bucket becomes too dirty, it is a good
idea to empty and re-fill it to keep from washing your car with dirty
water or even scratching the paint with small bits of dirt.

If you find any stubborn spots, don't keep rubbing away at them because
this could damage the paint. Instead, try using a tar and bug remover
spray. And if you have any dirt that appears to be bonded into the
paint, you can use a clay bar to remove it. However, be sure to read
the instructions carefully to prevent from doing any damage.


It is not necessary to wax your car every time you wash it. Most
detailing experts suggest that you wax your car 2-4 times per year.
There are even car wash solutions that contain wax in them and help
to preserve your wax layers in between waxes.

First you need to rinse off the car and allow it to fully dry. However,
do not allow the water to puddle and dry naturally because this will
often leave some residue, even if it looks clean. Instead, use a leather
or silicone squeegee or a chamois. These are not designed to dry the
surface on contact, but rather spreads the water out into a thin layer
that evaporates more quickly and cleanly.

Next it is time to apply the wax. Follow the instructions carefully
from the manufacturer's bottle that you are using. It may seem
counter-intuitive, but in the case of waxing your car, less is more.
A good application of wax is not very visible. The smallest and most
thin layer is the best and most effective way to apply. For applying
the wax, follow these steps:

  1. Apply some wax to an applicator. This can be a small foam
    or microfiber pad or a special finishing pad on a waxing/
    polishing wheel.

  2. Rub the wax all over all of the body panels on the car. This
    can be done using small circles or straight lines. A thin layer
    is better and should be so thin that you have to look at the
    surface in the light to see what you have already done.

  3. After the entire car has been coated in wax, allow it to dry
    and haze. The time needed for this depends on the product
    itself as well as the humidity and temperature. Lower
    temperatures slow down the hazing while higher temperatures
    speed up the hazing. If you want to test and see if the wax is
    finished hazing, perform the "swipe test".

    • Wrap a piece of a microfiber towel over the end of
      your finger

    • Swipe the waxed area with the towel-covered finger
      in much the same way that you would swipe a

    • If the wax is done hazing and ready to be buffed off,
      you will see a smear-free clear swipe area left behind

    • If the wax is NOT ready to be buffed, you will see an
      oily smear left behind over the waxed surface

    • If the wax is NOT ready yet, wait a little longer and
      repeat the "swipe test"

  4. When the wax is ready to be buffed, take a clean/un-used
    microfiber towel and wipe off the entire car. If you applied
    the wax in a very thin layer, this should be very quick and

  5. While buffing the wax off, you should start to see the shine
    appear. After you are done with an area, turn your microfiber
    towel over and use the clean side to wipe it again to prevent
    any smears. You could also possibly use two separate towels
    for this.

  6. Once you are done buffing the entire car, step back and enjoy
    your hard work!

Some detailing experts will wax and buff the car twice for extra
protection and extra shine. However, there is a clever test you can
perform to check the depth of your shine. Place a ruler perpendicular
to the surface and see how many numbers you can read in the
reflection. The more you can see, the better the shine.


We may be done with the car, but let's not forget about the wheels
and tires! If washing the wheels with your sponge or washing
glove doesn't get them fully clean, try using a stiff brush to remove
any brake dust or road grime. And here's a handy tip: when you think
you're done, move the car forward about half a rotation of the tires
and clean again to get the areas you may have missed the first time

There are special wheel degreasers and cleaners which will remove
the dirt and brake dust without damaging paintwork or the finish on
the wheels like a regular detergent will. Some even contain sealants
to help protect against dirt and pitting in the future.

Lastly, you can get tire cleaners and sprays that will give your tires a
shiny, new car look. This shine typically fades away, but it looks great
while it lasts and can be a handy tip if you're trying to sell your car.


Once everything else is done, it's time to clean the glass. It's a good
idea to leave this until the end because the windows tend to pick up
dirt and grime from all of the other steps.

Some people use straight up glass cleaner for the glass on their car.
However, this can sometimes leave lots of streaks. Other people
wash their car's glass with soap and water. A good combination of
water and glass cleaner can work great as well.

Whatever you decide to use, make sure to roll down the windows
a bit to clean the top edges as well. Otherwise, these will stay dirty
even though the rest of the windows are nice and clean.


While cleaning your car, you probably noticed a few cosmetic
flaws here and there. Dings and scratches are typically best left
to the experts at the body shop. However, some things, like faded
paintwork or plastic trim, can be fixed fairly easily.

For faded paintwork, you will need a polishing solution and a little
bit of skill. And remember, polish is NOT wax! Polish is abrasive
and designed to remove the top layer of paint that's faded to reveal
the true color underneath. But when in doubt, leave it to the

On the other hand, bumper polish is very easy. Many cars have black
plastic bumpers and trim that fade over time. Bumper polish can be
messy to apply, but is also quite easy and can help to restore that
showroom gleam to faded plastics.

So even if your car is 10 years old or older, it doesn't have to look
like it. A good cleaning will leave it looking YEARS younger and
will make you feel much better about your ride!

If any or all of this sounds like too much work, at MONICATTI
we offer Auto Detailing Services.
So feel free to give us a call at 844-463-6722 or fill out
our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to schedule an appointment

(Note: Information loosely taken from

Simple Winter Car Care Tips


2/18/2022 - 5:00 PM

Sometimes it seems as though winter will never end! We get a few
nice, warm days and then BAM, Mother Nature dumps some more
snow on us!
For many drivers, facing the challenges of salted streets,
icy roads, freezing temperatures, and heavy snow can be quite
daunting. So how do you keep your vehicle in top condition during
the winter months? Plan ahead and use our car care tips to make
sure your vehicle stays in great shape all winter long.


One major hazard with winter driving is that the sun sets earlier in
the day, which means there’s less daylight, especially on your
commute home. As a result, you’ll want to make sure your
 are in excellent shape, providing the brightest possible
illumination they can. If a bulb is out, fix it before winter starts, and
if there’s snow covering any exterior light, make sure you remove it
before setting off to drive anywhere. If your headlights are foggy or
yellow, consider replacing them or look into an easy restoration kit.


It’s often more difficult for a car battery to operate in cold weather
than it is for it to operate in warm weather. As a result, a battery
that’s merely weak during the summer could turn into a dead battery
during the winter. Our advice is to have a volt test performed on
your battery before winter starts to make sure it’s still in good
working order. If it isn’t, buy a new battery as soon as possible so
you’ll never have to worry about being stranded or left in a cold
parking lot with a car that won’t start.


Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is tremendously important to
your car, as it keeps the engine from freezing in cold temperatures.
Before you head into winter, make sure your car isn’t low on
Also, check to see that there aren’t any leaks in your vehicle’s
engine components that could cause coolant to drain out. Many
mechanics recommend drivers use a 50/50-mix of coolant and water
in their radiator. This blend usually results in a lower engine freezing
point than just coolant.


You might be wondering what gasoline and washer fluid could
possibly have in common. The answer is that they’re two liquids
you should try to keep full during the winter. You should keep your
gas tank full for several reasons. First, a full tank may prevent
accumulated water from freezing inside your fuel pump. Second,
it will allow you to run your engine longer and keep you warm if
you get stuck. Meanwhile, a full windshield-washer reservoir is
tremendously important, as messy road debris from a snowstorm
can sometimes necessitate constant window washing to see where
you’re going.


All-wheel drive can be confidence-inspiring when you’re
accelerating, but it doesn’t help you when you’re braking and turning,
experts say. For drivers who live in areas where the temperature
regularly drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, 
winter tires are a must.
Winter tires are more capable of staying flexible at low temperatures.
This means that they can provide improved traction when you’re
trying to stop and turn on cold pavement, even if there’s no snow on
the ground.


It’s incredibly important to keep track of your tire pressure as
temperatures get colder. This is because tire pressure can drop along
with the air temperature, losing up to one pound per square inch
with every 10-degree drop in air temperature. Driving around with
low tire pressure could mean premature tire wear or potential tread
separation, which could lead to a major accident. Also, your car
handles less predictably with underinflated tires. If you check your
tire pressure and find that one or more of your tires are low on air, fill
them at a gas station air pump. Don’t forget to let out a little air as
temperatures start to climb again in the spring.


Before winter gets into full swing, be sure to check your car’s
window defroster and climate control system to make sure both
work properly. Their purpose is obvious: The climate control
system will help keep you warm in the winter (and can help keep
your windows from fogging up), while the defroster will keep your
windows from icing up. Both items are crucial to maintaining
comfort and safety throughout the winter. Then again, you could be
lucky enough to own a car with a
 heated windshield!


Although this isn’t a car care tip as much as a winter preparedness tip,
we suggest considering a survival kit for your vehicle if you want to
really be ready for winter. While it might sound ridiculous for some urban
drivers, motorists in rural areas might find themselves stuck on a deserted
road with heavy snow falling and few vehicles around for miles. In any event,
a survival kit is a good idea. Select one that’s stocked with the following:

  • Thermal blanket

  • First-aid kit

  • Multi-tool that includes a knife

  • Flashlight and charger or batteries

  • Jumper cables

  • Cellphone charger and extra battery

  • Shovel

  • Sand or cat litter

  • Ice scraper

  • De-icer

  • Flares

Because snow and ice cause hazardous driving conditions and it can make
it difficult for other vehicles to see you or your car, be cautious and remain
vigilant if you must pull off to the side of a road or interstate.

(NOTE: Information taken from an article posted on the AutoTrader website. 
Monicatti Auto Sales & Service is a proud sponsor of AutoTrader and lists 
all of our vehicles on their website.)

How to Protect Your Car From Rust

Rust never sleeps: Here's how you can protect your car

No matter what type of automotive rustproofing protection you favour (electronic, one-time spray, factory coating or annual treatments) there are large gaps in warranty coverage from even the best companies out there. First things first; if you operate a vehicle on public roads 12 months of the year, there really is no such thing as rustproofing. About the best we can hope for is to slow down Mother Nature’s ravage of our daily drivers so that the loan payments end before the sheet metal. We really can’t stop rust altogether.

All rustproofing suppliers offer pretty much the same warranty; they will repair or replace outer sheet metal panels if rusted through from inside/out and if all other guarantee conditions have been met (annual inspections, reapplications, etc.). But what about all the other steel and iron on the vehicle? Cast iron and steel suspension and steering components, fuel and brake fluid lines, exhaust systems, fuel tanks and straps can all be affected by rust and can bring major repair bills. Is there anything we can do to extend the life of these components?

1. Park carefully. Parking your vehicle on grass, dirt, snow or poorly drained surfaces is just asking for rust to come and take up permanent residence in your vehicle. As our vehicles spend most of their idle time at our place of residence, tackling the home-parking front can go a long way to keeping rust at bay. If you think investing in a driveway improvement is too expensive, ask your regular repair garage for some cost estimates on replacing brake rotors, exhaust systems, suspension control arms, fuel tank and the like and you’ll quickly find the financial justification. Don’t rest easy if your parking lane is paved. Old cracked asphalt surfaces can provide just as much moisture to the undercarriage of your chariot as a dirt field in spring. Even applying a layer of asphalt sealer can help out.

2. Keep it clean. Most of us like to keep the paint work and interior of our vehicles clean, but what about the underbelly? If you drive on gravel or dirt roads or take an off-road adventure from time to time, the mud and gunk that can collect underneath your vehicle will act as a moisture trap increasing the speed with which your wheels will head to the scrap yard. Check horizontal surfaces under the car/truck such as control arms, skid-plates, axles, etc. from time to time and do a little down-and-dirty cleaning when needed. If you don’t have a pressure washer, a garden hose and stiff brush will do. You may have to jack the vehicle to improve clearance, so make sure you take the necessary precautions with proper jack supports and wheel chocks and have a spotter standing by.

3. Keep it full. One of the most expensive repairs a driver can face because of rust is the replacement of a fuel pump module (the electric fuel pump and level sender unit located in the tank). While the interior parts of this piece (which can range in price from $300-$1500 plus labour) are well protected, its metal top plate and output lines are very exposed and prone to rusting. Fuel tanks and their parts can be attacked from two sources of moisture leading to rust. The first is external and the second is internal condensation caused by the difference between liquid fuel and outside air temperatures in a humid environment. Keeping the fuel tank topped off during the wet seasons can help to reduce the condensation effect. It also provides better traction in snow and on icy surfaces.

4. Blow it clean. On trucks and SUVs with large fuel tanks, the dirt, dust, and road grime that can collect on the top of the tank can lead to premature rusting of the fuel pump module. The labour involved in periodically lowering the tank to inspect and clean off its top can be pricey and can make it hard to justify as a means of extending the life of the pump module. A safe DIY method involves spraying compressed air on top of the tank while it’s mounted in its location to dislodge any debris or gunk. Use safety goggles and go easy on the air nozzle trigger as small stones can hurt when propelled by compressed air.

5. Spray it on. While no rustproofing company will guarantee undercarriage components against rust, that’s not a reason to not have the more vulnerable iron and steel parts treated. You can purchase aerosol cans of rust inhibitors at most auto parts stores, or you can have the pros take care of it for you. If doing it yourself, avoid getting any spray on brake rotors, drums, linings, or calipers. Keep it off hot surfaces such as catalytic converters and exhaust components as well as away from electrical wiring and connectors. Don’t overdo it. It’s better to perform annual touch-ups rather than try to lather on enough protection for the next decade.

Article Originally published
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