Steamy Car Windows And How To Prevent Them

Are you fed up with having to spend 10 minutes or more clearing the fog from your windows before you go to work? This can be one of the most frustrating things about starting up your car, but thankfully it is a task that you can speed up with a little know-how.

At Helwig Auto, we talk to many customers at our auto repair shop who ask us how to prevent fogging and other problems and we are always happy to assist.

What Causes That Annoying Fog On Your Car Windows? 

Car windows fog up or mist over due to the difference in humidity levels inside the car and outside. During the winter, we automatically switch on the heater to warm up the interior of the vehicle, but because of the colder temperature outside, this can cause moisture to build up on the inside.

It is not only cold days that can cause your windows to fog up. When it is hot and humid outside and you switch on the air conditioning, you create cooler temperatures on the inside and this can actually cause water to build up on the outside of your windows. A quick swipe with your windshield wipers should be enough to clear this water away.

And of course, if you have a vehicle packed with people breathing (no, you can’t tell them to stop doing that unfortunately!), you may also notice the windows start to mist over.

How To Prevent Or Clear Misty Windows In A Flash – Expert Advice From Your Local Car Repair Shop

If you are not lucky enough to own one of the newer vehicles with its snappy anti-fog or defrost buttons, here are a few tips on how you can clear those steamy windows fast.

  • Clean your car windows at least every two weeks. Dust and other contaminants can actually make it easier for fog to build up as it provides a base on which the water can accumulate.
  • Try to eliminate excess moisture from your vehicle before getting in. Damp clothing, damp hair or damp pets can all cause mist to build up. We also recommend you keep a cup of dehumidifier crystals in your car as these can be great for soaking up moisture in the air.
  • Consider keeping your window open just a crack at all times during the winter to allow the interior to cool down a little. Try to avoid using your heater on too high a setting as this will cause a big difference between the temperature inside and outside of your vehicle.

Just remember the reason why windows fog up and this should help you to avoid this problem or at the very least, clear it quickly. At Helwig Auto, we believe you should have access to practical advice that keeps you safe and happy on the road.

Whether you need to arrange car maintenance with our team or you need a little expert auto advice, we are always happy to help.  You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest deals and discounts.

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The Top 5 Winter Driving Hazards And How To Handle Them

Unless you live in sunnier areas of the country such as LA or Florida, you are likely to experience bad winter weather at some point. Driving in winter can be hazardous but there are many things you can do to ensure you stay safe on the road even in the most adverse weather conditions.

Approximately one quarter of all auto accidents in the US are attributed to typical winter weather conditions. However, many  of these accidents could be avoided with proper vehicle preparation and maintenance and observation of slower and safer driving techniques.

1. Beware Of Black Ice – The Hidden Danger

Black ice is one of the biggest dangers to the winter driver and is particularly prevalent when the temperature is near or below freezing. And because black ice forms on road surfaces before water freezes, many drivers are unaware it is even there until the moment their tires lock and they are thrown into a spin.

At Helwig Auto, we offer seasonal car maintenance and recommend that you choose a good set of winter tires with excellent traction. These will make all the difference when you drive onto an icy patch on the road and we can fit your set at our full service auto repair shop. You can also stop by for a complete tire check if you are worried about your tire tread or pressure.

2. See And Be Seen

During bad weather, visibility can start to deteriorate and it can be impossible to see more than a few feet in front of you. It is essential that all of your lights are in perfect working order to ensure you can see the road ahead and that other drivers can see you too. Check your lights on a regular basis either by getting out of your vehicle to check or asking a friend to check that all of your lights are working.

3. Give Your Battery The Best Care

As your battery gets older, it can start to fail in colder temperatures. The last thing you need is to break down on the side of a highway during a blizzard. Bring your vehicle to our auto mechanic shop; we will inspect your battery to ensure it is offering you the best performance.

4. Be Prepared For The Worst

No matter what precautions you take, sometimes the weather or your vehicle may get the better of you. When this happens, you will be glad that you packed an emergency kit in your vehicle.

Here are just some of the items you might want to carry with you:

       Reflective triangles

       Lantern or flashlight

       First aid kit

       Jumper cables

       Water and non-perishable food items

       A fully charged cell phone and charger

5. Making A Clean Getaway No Matter What The Weather

Of course, you need to be able to get your vehicle on the road in the first place, and this can be tough in snowy or icy conditions. Again, winter tires will be your friend in these circumstances and will give you the grip you need to drive your vehicle safely.

Be Safe On The Road This Winter – Let The Experts At Helwig Auto Assist

At Helwig Auto, we offer a full range of auto service and repairs all year round – services that will keep you safe on the road and your vehicle operating perfectly. When it comes to arranging car maintenance you can trust us to give you the best value and service.  You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest deals and discounts.

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The Heat Is On – Auto Heating Maintenance Tips And Advice

Did you know that the heating system in your vehicle is one of the only components to have stayed largely the same since the invention of the combustion engine? This is mostlyHelwig Auto Clinic down to its simplicity and reliability plus its ability to work perfectly no matter what changes are made to other engine components.

During the colder months of the year, you depend on your heating and cooling systems to keep the passenger compartment warm and your engine running smoothly.  Nothing beats the heat inside a vehicle on a cold and frosty day.

At the Helwig Auto car repair shop, we offer heating system maintenance that will ensure the temperature around your engine is regulated and that you have access to internal heating when you need it the most. There are also some precautions and maintenance tasks that you can take on to ensure your heating system stays in great shape.

What To Do When Your Vehicle Overheats – Expert Advice Direct From Your Local Mechanic Shop

It is most likely that your car will overheat in hot weather rather than cold, but if you are stuck in miles of traffic, your vehicle can overheat no matter what the time of year.

The trick is not to panic.  There are a few things you can do to help regulate the temperature if the temperature dashboard light pops on:

  • If your heaters are not already on, turn them on.  No, we’re not going crazy!  This actually draws heat away from the engine and back into the passenger compartment helping to cool the engine down.
  • If you are stuck in traffic, give the accelerator a few nudges to rev the engine. This will cause the water pump and the fan to accelerate too and this will help to draw more liquid and air around the engine.
  • It’s tempting to ride the brakes when stuck in traffic but brake drag can increase the load on the engine and cause the temperature to peak even more.

How To Top Up Your Car Radiator – Anybody Can Take Care Of This Car Maintenance Task

At our mechanic shop, we see many heating system issues that could have been prevented with good car care. Topping up the radiator is one maintenance task that takes moments but one that many people forget to do.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Take off the radiator cap by placing a cloth over the top and turning it gently. Take care if the engine is warm as the radiator could spit out hot water or steam. It is best to let the engine cool down first.
  • You should be able to see how high the water level is by looking into the radiator. Add a mix of 50/50 water and coolant and check your manual if necessary to find out what the liquid level should be. It’s usually advisable to ensure all the tubes of the radiator are covered.
  • Replace the cap, screw it on tight and you are done!

Let Our Expert Auto Mechanics Take Care Of Heating System Problems

Our auto repair service is second to none and we mean it when we say we can take care of any auto problem. Whether your vehicle has started to overheat or you have another problem with your heating and cooling systems, we can help.

At Helwig Auto, we offer expert auto repair in Madison and Dane County and we should be your number one choice when it comes to arranging car maintenance.  You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest deals and discounts.

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How To Tell If You Have A Problem With Your Brakes

You probably don’t pay much attention to your brakes until you need to use them in an emergency or until there seems to be something wrong with them. Helwig Auto Clinic

When you are driving happily along the highway with the wind in your hair and the radio turned up, it’s easy to forget that you are in a solid piece of glass and metal hurtling along. And it’s just as easy to become complacent about the workings of your vehicle.

While your brakes might not be the most exciting part of your vehicle, they are one of the most essential; and they need looking after. At Helwig Auto we offer auto repair service that will ensure your brakes are working perfectly and that they will bring your vehicle to a safe and timely stop each time. 

Faulty Brakes And What To Look For – Advice From Your Local Auto Mechanic Shop

Knowing the first signs of brake failure can help you to arrange urgent repairs before a serious accident occurs.  We offer a full range of brake checks and a comprehensive auto repair service that you can trust. If you are ever in any doubt that your brakes are faulty, make sure you contact us to arrange an appointment.

There are some signs of brake failure that are more obvious than others. For example, you may notice a light illuminating on your dashboard or that your brakes are starting to feel a little spongy. You might also notice a grinding sound as you press on the brake to bring your vehicle to a stop. A vehicle pulling to the left or right when braking can signal a problem too.

Faulty brakes can also cause other problems such as abnormal wear to your tires. The good news is that we can give your vehicle a thorough check up to ensure everything is working as it should and remains in roadworthy condition.


How To Get More From Your Braking System

  • Always try to gauge a safe stopping distance when driving in traffic. Avoid using the brakes unnecessarily. Be aware of your surroundings and keep enough distance between your vehicle and the one ahead.
  • It might sound strange, but it is strongly advised that you only use your right foot when using the brake. Crossing your left foot over to use the brake can actually cause more wear.
  • Only use good quality brakes and ensure that brake fluid is topped up on a regular basis.


Let Helwig Auto Arrange A Full Auto Repair Service For You

Our auto repair reviews show just how popular we are with our local customers. We offer expert auto repairs in Verona, Madison, Dane County and Mount Horeb and we can take a look at your brakes today to give you total reassurance.  Make us your number one choice when it comes to arranging car maintenance.  You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with the latest offers and discounts we have available.


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How Often Should I Replace My Spark Plugs?

How Often Should I Replace My Spark Plugs? Advice From The Experts At Helwig Auto Clinic Service Shop

When it comes to car repair in Madison and the surrounding region, Helwig Auto deliversHelwig Auto Clinic outstanding service and trustworthy, professional advice. One of the most common vehicle parts we replace is the spark plug. This is done either as part of a routine full service auto repair or because of specific problems related to the role of the spark plug.

What Do Spark Plugs Do?  Your Car Repair Shop In Madison Can Check If Yours Are Working Properly?

The spark plug is actually one of the easier parts to describe and install. It is one of the most important parts of the engine and also one of the least considered parts when it comes to drivers arranging routine checks.

Basically, the spark plug is responsible for igniting fuel and creating the all important combustion process that makes your car go. If your spark plugs are not firing properly, your vehicle will either fail to start or offer a series of misfires before the engine finally starts.

Spark Plug Replacement As Part Of Full Service Auto Repair

Unfortunately, if you are wondering when you need to replace your spark plugs, there is no single answer to this question. The best way to check is to look in your owner’s manual for the car manufacturer’s recommendations. If you do not have this information on hand or you believe your spark plugs are faulty, our expert mechanics at Helwig Auto can assist. We have years of experience in dealing with a huge range of vehicles. We can check over your spark plugs and the entire ignition system to ensure it is firing on all cylinders.

Our Expert Mechanics Can Replace Your Spark Plugs In Moments

Regular checks will ensure your engine continues to give you the best performance over many years to come. Spark plugs are not expensive or difficult parts to replace so bring your vehicle to us when you first notice a problem.  The last thing you need is to be stuck by the roadside due to faulty spark plugs refusing to start your engine.

Speak to Helwig Auto today to arrange a full service or to find out more about spark plug replacement.  As one of the best auto repair shops in the Madison and Dane County region you can rely on us when it comes to arranging car maintenance. 

We offer a range of services to ensure your vehicle performs at its best. You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest deals and discounts.

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Night Driving

Long Night’s Drive Ahead?  Our Safety Guide Is Essential Reading … And A Visit To Your Auto Mechanic Shop May Be In Order

The human eye performs at its best during daylight hours. This is because images and colorsHelwig Auto Clinic are sharper and well defined.  Rapid movements are easier to detect when it is light and the brain is able to decipher what is going on around us with ease.

Experts say that once night time falls, our eyes only see one tenth of what they would be able to during daylight hours. This is a huge consideration if you are driving at night time. Add to this the glare of headlights, dark roads without illumination and a myriad of road signs to read, and you have a recipe for disaster if you do not drive with your wits about you. 

Not to forget, you also need to ensure your vehicle is in good shape. A full service auto repair shop can take a look under the hood and outside to confirm that.

The Dangers Of Driving At Night—Tips From Your Local Auto Mechanic Shop On How To Keep Safe

Restricted vision can mean more risk than is present during the day. Whether you wake in the night and need to negotiate a dark hallway or you are negotiating the twists and turns of a hairpin road, you need to take things slower and give your brain more time to interpret events.

If you are planning a long drive at night, it’s a good idea to plan your journey way ahead of time. Know your route, the stops you can make along the way in an emergency and any particularly risky parts of the route that need extra consideration. Do your homework and keep the phone numbers of the best auto repair shops on your route handy as well. 

Our Auto Repair Shop Services Can Give You Extra Peace Of Mind

A major consideration when driving at night is that your vehicle is equipped and ready to deal with night driving. You’ll need to ensure your lights are fully functional so you are seen by other drivers on the road.  Many accidents at night are caused by defective headlamps or brake lights – is it really worth risking your own or somebody else’s life by neglecting to change a bulb?

See And Be Seen – Arrange Full Service Auto Repair With Our Experts

If your lights have been giving you problems or you suspect a loose connection or faulty battery, bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop for a thorough check-up. At Helwig Auto, we specialize in a range of car repairs and we are one of the best auto repair shops in the Madison and Mount Horeb region today. 

Speak to us about arranging car maintenance.  We will ensure you can see and be seen easily while out on that long road trip at night. You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest deals and discounts.

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Wheel Alignment – The 5 Red Flags Every Vehicle Owner Should Look Out For

Did you know that keeping your wheels aligned will help your tires to live longer and give you better performance on the road?  And yet, this is one of the areas of car maintenance thatHelwig Auto Clinic can often be overlooked.

At Helwig Auto, we offer a professional and thorough wheel alignment and tire service that will ensure you get the best from your tires.  And because improper wheel alignment can result in higher fuel costs, we’ll be saving you money well into the future too. 

Many drivers don’t realize that they have a problem with wheel alignment until the damage to their tires has been done. The good news is our handy guide can teach you how to look out for the warning signs for yourself.

1.  A Crooked Steering Wheel

If you have noticed your steering wheel is at an angle even when you are driving straight, this could be a sign that your wheels are out of alignment.  Give the Helwig Auto repair shop a call for a quick check for total peace of mind and expert advice.

2.  Pulling To One Side

When your wheels are out of alignment, they can cause your vehicle to pull to the left or the right.  You might not notice this so much if you have power steering, but a good way to test this is in a flat and empty parking lot.  Simply drive straight and then let go of the wheel briefly.  If you find the car pulls to either side, give us a call! 

3.  Tires Are Wearing Out At An Uneven Rate

If you have noticed that the outside or inside edge of your tires’ tread is wearing out quicker than usual, this is a good indicator of your wheels needing alignment.  This can happen to any of your four tires so make sure you check all of them at the same time.

4.  Tires Are Wearing Out Excessively

If your tires seem to be wearing out at a quicker rate than normal, this could also signify misalignment.  Tires can grind along the road rather than rolling along when the wheels need alignment and this will result in your tires requiring replacement at a faster rate.

5.  Your Tires Are Squealing

As mentioned above, tires will grind and rub along the road when they are attached to misaligned wheels and this will cause them to squeal even when pulling away at a slow speed.

The good news is that Helwig Auto offers a comprehensive tires service and car repair in Madison and the surrounding areas.  Our auto repair shop is conveniently located and we can often book your vehicle in on the same day.  Don’t leave your safety or the condition of your tires to chance.  We offer a through tire check and can arrange replacement and wheel alignment to the highest standard. 

Speak to us today about arranging car maintenance in Madison and Mount Horeb.  We offer expert service and the highest levels of workmanship. You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest deals and discounts.

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Auto Maintenance Myths – How To Save Money On Your Car Maintenance Year After Year

If you really want your car to go that extra mile, quite literally, you need to take good care of it and that means regular auto maintenance. But even if you are on top of your maintenance tasks throughout the year, you could be spending more than you need to because of clever marketing tactics and misinformation.

At Helwig Auto, we offer auto servicing and honest advice that you can rely on.  We give you the lowdown on how to save money while still keeping your vehicle operating perfectly.

“Change Your Oil Often” – Don’t Listen To The Quick Lube Advice

If you have recently had your oil changed at a quick lube shop you may notice they have Helwig Auto Clinicgiven you a sticker or card that advises changing the oil again after 3000 miles.  Of course, they want to make a profit and they know that most customers will abide by this advice. The truth is that many new vehicles are designed to go further – most can go up to 7500 miles before they need to have an oil change. Check your car’s manual for more detailed advice.  If you are concerned about your oil levels or want a thorough check, we can help.

“Air Conditioning Is Damaging To Your Fuel Economy”—Not Really

You may have heard people saying that air conditioning can be a real drain on fuel and that it’s much more economical to wind down the windows.  It’s true that air conditioning does put more load on the engine, but it only decreases fuel economy slightly.  In fact, when you open your windows, you are creating more aerodynamic drag and this can cause you to use more gas.  Enjoy your AC if you have it!

“Filling Up Your Tank In The Morning Will Give You More Gas For Your Money”

Have you heard this one?  If you buy your gas in the morning when the air is usually cooler, you will get more for your money. The concept is that cooler gas is denser, but the truth is that the gas actually coming out of the pump nozzle is unlikely to change that much when stored in underground tanks.  So our advice?  Just buy when it’s convenient.

“Check The Tire’s Sidewall To Ensure The Recommended Tire Pressure”

The tire pressure recommendations on the side walls of your tires are just a guide. You should always check your vehicle’s manual to find the automaker’s recommended tire pressure.  This will take into account the weight and type of the vehicle and how it handles on the road.  We offer a full auto and tire service so if you need help with tire replacement or checking tire pressure, we can help.

At Helwig Auto arranging car maintenance in Madison and Mount Horeb really couldn’t be easier.  We want you to get real value for money without compromising the performance or safety of your vehicle.  Speak to us today to arrange auto servicing or call us for professional advice. You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest deals and discounts.


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Offensive Odors In Your Vehicle And How To Identify Them

There’s nothing to beat a new car smell but it is, unfortunately, very short-lived. Within a Helwig Auto Clinicfew short weeks, the insides of your car have absorbed smells from so many sources—coffee, gym shoes, a suit jacket waiting to be dropped off at the drycleaners, food spills, your pet dog or cat, diaper changes on the road and who knows what else.

Have you noticed an offensive odor in your vehicle?  Maybe you only smell it while you are driving or perhaps it hits you the moment you open the door to get in. One thing’s for sure – you want to know what it is and how to get rid of it!

Interior vehicle odors can be caused by a number of different things and special attention may be required to remove the odor.  At Helwig Auto, we are here to fix any problems you are experiencing with your vehicle including worrying whiffs and suspicious smells.  Our mechanics have a good nose when it comes to identifying vehicle odors and can give you advice or arrange repairs at our auto mechanic shop accordingly.

5 Steps to Identify and Get Rid of Vehicle Odors

1.  Identify any obvious sources

If you have kids or pets they can leave behind some pretty nasty things in your car.  Spilled soda, half a sandwich or swampy mud deposits can all cause a stink, especially in hot weather. Carpet and upholstery cleaners can take care of most of these problems.

2.  Do some odor ‘detective’ work

If you have a musty or moldy smell in your vehicle, you may have a leak through your floor panels or water sitting in the footwells.  Feel the carpets all over your vehicle and lift them up if they feel damp.  At Helwig Auto, we have helped many customers with leaks and other problems that have allowed water to enter the vehicle.

3.  Does the air filter need replacing?

Sometimes the smells you are experiencing may not be inside the car as a residual smell but could be entering your vehicle due to a faulty air filter.  We can check this over for you and replace this part if necessary. If your odor is coming from the inside, it may also be time to replace the often-overlooked cabin filter.

4.  Check for critters

Is there any chance you could have hit an animal while driving and not realized it?  Even a small animal caught up in the engine chassis, the grill of your vehicle or in your wheel arches could cause a stink that will knock you for six.  Check all over your vehicle to see if you can find evidence of road-kill.  It’s not a nice job, but your nose will tell you it needs doing!

5.  Let Helwig Auto take care of those troublesome odors. If you really cannot locate the source of a problem odor, let our team help. As one of the best auto repair shops serving Madison, Mount Horeb and Dane County, we will get to the root of the problem in no time. At Helwig Auto arranging car maintenance is easy—just get in touch online to book an appointment.  You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest deals and discounts.


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Top 5 Misconceptions About Tires

If you’ve been following our regular blog posts you’ll know that we’ve written about tires a few times now—it’s just too important a subject!  In terms of performance, grip and safety, tiresHelwig Auto Clinic are one of the most important parts of any vehicle. There are, however, many myths out there that we at Helwig Auto feel the need to bust in order to keep our customers as safe as possible. 

We deal with many tire replacements as part of our auto repair service and we are always on hand to give you tire advice as well as advice on any other aspect of your vehicle.

1.  All season tires have better grip on a wet road than summer tires

This might seem like common sense, but tires actually differ from brand to brand and “all season” can mean different things in different states and counties.  In actual fact, most all season tires are designed to handle the road better in snow and icy conditions.  Summer tires take into account wet weather and are designed to handle well when roads are slick with rain.

2.  Lots of tire tread means a healthy tire

At Helwig Auto, we recommend our customers replace their tires every five years regardless of the tire tread depth.  There are other considerations to take into account when it comes to tire health.  The condition of the tire’s sidewalls, tire pressure and general tire health all come into play when identifying any problems and we are always on hand to carry out a full tire health assessment. 

3.  A tire will burst if the maximum pressure is exceeded

If a tire is healthy without any damage and has been fitted to a healthy wheel, it will not burst if you accidentally exceed the maximum pressure noted on the side of the tire.

4.  The maximum pressure indicator on the sidewall is the proper inflation pressure

This is a tricky one.  In actual fact, the proper inflation pressure depends on the recommendations of the auto maker of the vehicle to which the tire is fitted.  You’ll usually be able to find this information in your vehicle driver’s manual or in the case of new cars on a placard on the driver’s doorjamb.  If you need reassurance you are always welcome to pop into our auto mechanic shop for advice and correct pressure settings.

5.  Budget brand tires are as good as leading brand tires

Most tire brands feature a premium range of tires and a budget range of tires.  The problem is that they don’t always spend the same time or efforts testing their budget tires as much as their premium range.  However, there are laws to protect consumers from tire failures and minimum testing requirements are in place.  Do your research before replacing your tires or better yet, let us recommend the best tires to suit your needs and your budget.

If you are looking for tire replacement or auto repair in Madison or the surrounding areas, speak to the experts at our auto repair center.  At Helwig Auto arranging car maintenance and tire replacement is convenient—contact us online or call us at (608) 437-5112.  You can also join our mailing list to keep up to date with the latest tire deals and discounts.

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