5 Summer Car Tips

The summer months are quickly approaching and as the temperature gauge rises, so do a few concerns for your car and your health. Prepare now to make the transition comfortable for you and your vehicle. Follow these five simple tips to keep your car in outstanding condition throughout the brutal summer months.phoenix car summer tips

1. Check your AC!

The last thing you want is to have that first scorching hot Arizona day come up and your AC doesn’t work. Our advice is to test your AC out now and make sure it is running properly. You don’t want to be stranded in above 100 degree weather without it. Getting overheated while driving can cause dizzy spells, fatigue, and dehydration in a hurry. Don’t ever let it get to that point. If you are concerned about your AC, book an appointment and have it checked out today.

2. Tire Tread and Pressure.tire tread in the summer

Heat and tire pressure can wreak havoc on your tire tread, which can cause dangerous driving conditions. A quick and simple way to gauge your tire tread is to keep a penny nearby. Insert the penny into your tire tread with Abe Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see space above his head, then it’s time to make your way in to Bell Union Auto Service for a new set of tires! Tire pressure is also a very important aspect to check for. Under inflated tires mixed with extremely hot road conditions make a recipe for disaster.  Blowouts are very common in Arizona and can turn a Sunday stroll into a crisis in a hurry. That being said, it’s important to check the tread and the pressure regularly. 

3. Sunshade.

If you don’t already have a sunshade, it’s time to invest in one right away! These simple shades can save you from getting into a burning hot car and touching an extremely hot steering wheel. It can also protect the interior of your car from getting sun damaged. Sun damage is nearly impossible to reverse and diminishes the value of your car. Protect it and protect yourself by buying a sunshade as soon as possible.

4. Car Cover.

In the intense Arizona sun where your car is often parked outside, a car cover is a smart investment to make. It won’t take long for the sun to take a permanent toll on the paint of your car. Protect the outside and inside of your car with a simple cover and keep the sun from damaging your vehicle. For short trips, using the sunshade in your windshield will work but if you are parked in direct sunlight for any length of time, then there is high value in purchasing a cover. For a small price, you can maintain the value of your car.how to wax car

5. Wash and Wax.

Washing your vehicle and keeping it clean from debris and build up can help prevent corrosion on your vehicle. Make sure you wash your car regularly to keep it in the best condition possible. Once your car is nice and clean, go get a fresh wax! Wax can prevent sun damage and keep dust and debris from collecting on your car. Think of wax as a protective border around your car to keep it safe from environmental hazards. It can even cover small scratches!

Keeping you and your car in tip top shape is important. As the brutal summer months come creeping up, it’s important to know about some of the issues that often arise as a result. These five simple tips can save the value of your car and keep it in exceptional condition year round.

Start now and prepare for the summer months ahead. For all of your vehicle repair needs, book an appointment with our friendly staff at Bell Union Auto Service!

Halloween Safety Tips For Drivers

As a motorist, you can help make this the safest Halloween yet for the kids in your neighborhood. Help keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween with these useful tips.

tips for a safer halloween

Yield to pedestrians.

Some kids may be unsupervised while trick-or-treating and may not be watching out for cars. Make it your job to watch out for them to avoid an accident.

Drive MUCH slower than posted speed limits.

This is not the night to be in a rush. Take is slow and keep your eyes open for darting children.

drive slow halloween

Have your lights on.

Even if it seems a little too early to have your car lights on, you’d rather have them on too early than forget to turn them on altogether.

Get off your phone.

Don’t risk not seeing a trick-or-treater. Being detraction-free will help you keep an eye out for children crossing the street in the middle of the road. Make sure to put your phone down and check it when you arrive at your destination.

texting while driving safety

Use your turn signals.

Communicating with other drivers will help keep them and other pedestrians more aware of their surroundings.

Keep your own kids safe.

Before sending your kids out for the night, pack them with a flashlights or glow sticks to make them visible to other drivers.

halloween safety

5 Summer Car Care Tips

With extremely high temperatures during the hot summer months, our cars need extra attention to ensure they are running at their best. The heat not only takes a toll on you, but it also takes a toll on your vehicle. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road with a car that isn’t running.

Follow these tips to ensure you have the safest summer possible with your vehicle.

  1. Get an AC checkup.

    Not having prAC check upoperly working AC in the summer months is dangerous in the Valley of the Sun. If your AC is not running ice cold, bring it in to Bell Union Auto Service for an AC check up as soon as possible. Our friendly staff will do a comprehensive check up on your car to determine the cause of the problem.

  2. Check Your Wipers.

    With the extreme Arizona sun, windshield wipers fall victim to the heat. With it also being Monsoon season, it is a must to have properly functioning windshield wipers.

  3. Check Tire Pressure.

    To minimize wear and tare on your tires, it is good practice to check the press level of your tires. Checking the pressure of your tires can also help prevent a blow-out.
    Tire Pressure In The Summer

  4. Monitor Your Fluids.

    Bring your car in regularly to Bell Union Auto Service and we have a professional take a look at all of the fluids in your car and assess the quality of those fluids.

  5. Have an Emergency Kit.

    If you do experience car failure, it is important to be prepared. Consider keeping items such as bottled water, a first aid kit, non-perishable food and jumper cables in your car at all times.
    Emergency Car Kit During the Summer

The summer is here and it’s important to be prepared! For any of these car repair needs and more, visit Bell Union Auto Service in Scottsdale.

6 Signs You Should Have Your Brakes Checked


In need of brake repair for your vehicle? Make sure to schedule your break repair appointment in Scottsdale today with Bell Union Auto Service!


We are so dependent on our cars to get us from point A to point B so if we properly maintain them and treat them with respect, they will take very good care of us and our precious cargo. Besides the engine, the 2nd most important system of your vehicle that needs good upkeep is your brake system. It’s irreplaceable. After all, if you can’t stop, there’s no point in starting in the first place! Right? Your brakes take a beating every single time you get behind the wheel so good and proper maintenance of them is critical to help ensure your safety and that of your passengers.

But here’s the good news: in most cases, if you’re paying attention, your car will give you fair warning that the brakes are wearing out. Here are six signs you should look (and listen) for that tell you it’s time to bring your vehicle in for service:

  1. Your brake light is on

    If the ABS light on your dashboard turns on, that means it is time for brake repair. This light stands for anti-lock braking system, and if it is illuminated it means that sensors in the brake system have detected some form of a problem and it’s time to call for an appointment.

  2. The car pulls to the side when you brake

    If your car pulls to one side or another, without turning the steering wheel when you apply the brakes, this often indicates that the current brake pads are wearing unevenly and need replaced with new brake pads.

  3. The car jerks when you stop

    Do you feel the car vibrate or jerk when you apply the brakes? Sometimes this happens because one or more of the brake drums has become warped. This can be a safety issue because the brakes are making contact inconsistently, lengthening the time it takes to stop. If you feel this vibration, definitely have the brakes looked at.

  4. You have to pump the brakes

    Your car should immediately respond when you press the brake pedal. If you have to pump your brake pedal or need to push it down farther than normal, check your brake pads. They may be so low that they barely touch the disc itself. Your brake fluid could be low as well, forcing you to press the pedal almost to the floor to engage.

  5. The brakes grind or screech

    In most vehicles, a metal shim begins sounding off at the first sign that the brake pads are getting too thin, creating a high-pitched squeal or screech when the brakes are applied. If you take the car in for auto repair when you first hear this sound, chances are only the pads themselves will need replacing. If you procrastinate, the brake job will cost you more. When you hear a growling or grinding noise when you apply the brakes, that is usually caused by the calipers making direct contact with the brake drums or rotors, meaning metal on metal. You start hearing this sound because you’ve been ignoring the brake squealing. This typically means that the drums will need to be replaced along with the pads.

  6. The pedal vibrates or touches the floor when you brake

    If when you press your foot down on the brake pad, and feel vibration or constant grabbing when you attempt to apply the brakes. This is commonly known as “pulsating brakes”. The vibration is typically caused by worn out brakes, or brake pads that are warped due to heat. In the case of pulsating brakes, sometimes the brake pads are re-machined to remedy the problem. If the pads cannot be re-machined then they will likely need to be replaced with new brake pads.

Having problems with your breaks? Schedule an appointment with our friendly mechanics at Bell Union Auto Service for brake repair in Scottsdale AZ.  You can also schedule an appointment today to have a maintenance check on your car’s brake system by calling (602) 788-7600. We proudly serve the North Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, and North Scottsdale area. Our mechanics can check all the various parts of the system and make sure you are safe, because braking is crucial. Contact us today!

Is It Time to STOP and Have Your Brakes Checked?

We all rely on the brakes every time we drive our cars, or rather, every time we stop our cars. Whether you drive just around your neighborhood most of the time, or long distances on the freeway, you have to be able to stop the vehicle safely. But maintaining the brakes includes several different services, done much more often than many people realize.
Most cars today have disc brakes and their brake systems consist of the following parts:
• Brake Pads
• Brake Lines
• Discs (or Rotors)
• Master Cylinder
• Caliper
Brake Pads – It’s time to have the PADS checked! Pads are the part of the system that gets changed most often. The pads are the cushion between the discs, or rotors, and the calipers, the part that pushes on them to cause friction and stop the car. A general guideline to follow is to have your brake system overall checked every 10,000 miles. If you live in a very hilly area or someplace where you drive over rough terrain weekly or even daily, you should have them checked more often than that.
Brake Lines – The brake fluid in the brake lines is the other thing that gets more regular treatment and replacement in your brake system. It is critical for keeping the system working properly. Sometimes it simply needs to be changed or flushed, similar to how you have the oil changed in the car.
Rotors – The rotors are protected by fresh brake pads, but if the pads get too worn down, they can start to affect the rotors, causing wear in them. Wear in rotors in characterized by deeper grooves or pits, and can be seen during a standard inspection by a mechanic.
SQUEEK! Listening to your car is always a good idea. If there is a squeeking when you hit the brakes, it is a good idea to have them checked. If your car or the wheel of the car vibrates a little when you brake, that may also be a sign you need your brakes checked.
Pulling to one Side – Sometimes if a break line has a leak, and one side gets low on fluid, the brakes on one side of the car will be more effective than those on the other side. This causes the car to pull to one side upon braking, which is another warning sign that something may be wrong and need attention.
Do the brakes feel right? – If you have to apply the brakes and push way down before the car starts to slow down, or the opposite, you barely touch them and they are braking, you may need to have them checked. Don’t leave “mushy” or “spongy” brakes too long – it could be your brake pads that need replacement. And if you don’t change the brake pads when they are due, you can develop more costly problems, like damage to the rotors.
Schedule an appointment today to have a maintenance check on your car’s brake system at Bell Union Auto Service by calling 602 788-7600. Or pull in to one of their locations in North Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, and North Scottsdale. Our mechanics can check all the various parts of the system and make sure you are safe, because braking is crucial. Contact us today.

Avoid Costly Engine Problems or Breakdowns with Regular Belt and Hose Maintenance

Avoid Costly Engine Problems or Breakdowns with Regular Belt and Hose Maintenance

Small items that need to be maintained. Hoses in your car include those in your cooling system, your fuel system and your air system. Belts are different in different cars – some have one big long serpentine belt that runs through several systems, while others have several belts to maintain. Both hoses and belts are relatively small items to maintain that play a big part in the efficient running of your car’s engine.  A snapped belt or burst hose can lead to many different problems like your engine overheating or not starting at all.  Compared to maintaining the hoses and belts, these problems can lead to extensive and costly damage. Car manufacturers differ in how often they recommend this maintenance, but many are more often than you may expect.  If you have had your car for a few years, it may be time to have them checked.

Problems a mechanic may see with your belts and hoses.  Problems with hoses that should be corrected include kinking, wear and deterioration.  The hose cannot be kinked or be touching hot or sharp parts of the engine.  They are made from rubber, so extreme heat can damage them, or something sharp can pierce them.  Belts are similar – they need the right temperature to function in and they must have the proper tension.  As belts wear, they can split and fray. A trained mechanic can detect these problems early and replace hoses or belts in order to avoid bigger problems later.

Major problems to avoid.  Both hoses and belts are part of several different systems in your car.  When it comes to your own comfort, the belt that takes part in the air conditioning system is critical.  It can get hot in a car very fast during the warm weather if this belt is not working properly or it breaks.  The coolant hose is important for your engine because it keeps it from overheating by delivering coolant to it. The drive belt, or “fan belt” works in several systems including the power steering system, and without it, it can be very difficult to steer the car. The belt also keeps the alternator going, which charges your battery.  Without that, you will not be able to start your car.  You can avoid these potential problems, too, by doing regular maintenance on the hoses and belts.

Added benefits. Procedures done during maintenance on the hoses can also reveal problems or malfunctions with other parts of the car, like checking heater hose temperatures can reveal problems with the thermostat. As with most things, the earlier a problem is caught, the better. Schedule an appointment today to have a maintenance check on your engine’s belts and hoses here at Bell Union Auto Service by calling 602 788-7600. The mechanic there can tell you how often your car’s manufacturer recommends the check.