Archive for the ‘Vehicle Repair’ Category

Ally: Drive With Confidence at Payne!

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Ally is teaming up with Payne Auto Group to provide a limited warranty promotion for all used vehicles!

When you buy from Payne you are buying with CONFIDENCE! Receive 3,000 mile or 3 months (whichever comes first) warranty on your used vehicle. What does that mean?

  • Available when financing through ANY BANK
  • Exclusively at Payne
  • No qualifications required except to purchase at Payne
  • Available with ANY used car purchase from Payne
  • Basi Power Train Warranty Extended

And now with Ally, you’ll find even more coverage on all used vehicles offering coverage on the following:

Checking Your Automatic Transmission Fluid

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Transmission fluid is one of the most important fluids you need for your vehicle to run smoothly.

If your vehicle hesitates when your automatic transmission shifts gears, check the transmission fluid level before you let any mechanic start talking about servicing or adjusting your transmission or selling you a new one. To check your automatic transmission fluid, look for a dipstick handle sticking out of your transmission. This is located toward the rear of an in-line engine on vehicles with rear-wheel drive as shown here:

There are several types of fluid for the transmission. Each is made for a specific type of automatic transmission. Newer transmissions from the major automakers require different fluid than older ones. Because so many different kinds of transmissions are around these days, check your owner’s manual or dealership to find out which type of fluid your vehicle requires.

A faulty transmission and one that’s just low on fluid share many of the same symptoms! If your vehicle hesitates when your automatic transmission shifts gears, check the transmission fluid level before you let any mechanic start talking about servicing or adjusting your transmission or selling you a new one. Obviously, adding transmission fluid is a lot cheaper than replacing the whole transmission system! For more info on regular maintenance, check out this monthly checklist for your vehicle.

If your vehicle is in need of service, schedule an appointment online at any of our Service Centers.

Tire Repair Kits: What To Know

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

In the past, automakers equipped vehicles with a full or small spare tire. Nowadays, automakers are opting for a small tire repair kits instead. Though, having a tire repair kit in your vehicle isn’t such a bad idea.

There are many tire repair kits out on the market today and each does different things. In this article, we will outline the various tire repair kits and what each of them does.

Aerosol Inflators

Aerosol inflators are used to pump a sealant into a flat tire, plugging small punctures from the inside. Aerosol inflators have grown in popularity due to the easy-to-use nature and readily available nature of the product.

Pressurized-can sealers, such as the ubiquitous Fix-A-Flat, are one-time-use products that have a dispensing tube that screws to a tire’s air-inflation valve. These sealers can both patch a hole and inflate the tire. [X]

Tire-sealant kits combine a portable 12-volt air compressor and a replaceable container of sealant. More and more new cars supply this kind of kit in lieu of a spare tire. [X]

It is important to note that aerosol inflators should only be utilized for very small holes in the tread of the tire. These products should not and cannot be used to fix holes more that 6mm big or for tears on the sidewall of the tire.

Another thing to note is that once you use these products, you must take your vehicle to a professional soon. Typically at 100 miles or so after use, go by what the instructions on the product state. The professional must clean out the residue from the product left behind on the wheel and inside the tire.

Tire Plugs and Patches

The biggest pro of using a tire plug is the cost. Tire plug kits are some of the cheapest on the market today. Tire plugs are made of short strips of leather covered with a gooey, unvulcanized rubber compound. When forced into a nail hole, the plug fills the hole and the rubber goo vulcanizes under the heat of driving to fully seal the repair. [X]

Tire patches, on the other hand, are usually done by professionals as the patch goes on the inside of the tire. This fix is generally the most reliable when it comes to tire repair and the strongest and most effective repair. Though, unless you have the tools to remove the tire from the rim, you cannot patch a tire yourself.


There are a few options out there if you want or need to plug a small hole in your tire. There is always the professional option and Road Side Assistance if you’re in a real pickle.

If you want to get your tires examined, please schedule an appointment online with our Service Center!

How to Clean Flood Damage from Your Vehicle Interior

Monday, September 24th, 2018

The Rio Grande Valley has been subject to flooding this year. With flooding comes a terrible loss of property, one of which could be flood damage to your car.

After the rain has subsided and the flood waters have gone done, recovering your car should become one of your main priorities. The earlier you start recovering your car from the flood damage, the better. There are a few things you must do to ensure you clean your car out properly.

Survey the Damage

When the weather permits and the flood water has subsided, survey your vehicle for damage. Open up your vehicle and remove everything that isn’t attached. This means removing papers, trash, car mats and other various items you have in your car.

Next, determine how bad the damage is. Press down on the carpets and seats to see how saturated with water they are. Flood damage can wreak havoc on a car’s interior, causing mold, rust and other problems dangerous to you and your vehicle. Take a wet/dry vac to remove out any standing water and to vacuum the interiors.

If your vehicle is completely saturated with water, you may have to go in and remove all carpet and the seats. This can help you spot detail and help your car dry out faster.

Create Air Flow

Once you have your vehicle stripped down to the basics, it’s now time to really air out your car. Increase the airflow going through your vehicle by setting up a fan on one side of your vehicle. To help things go faster, you can set up multiple fans around your vehicle to get the airflow going.

You should leave the fans going for at least a day in order to ensure proper ventilation and drying. Another thing you should consider is using compressed air to get water out of tight spots. This can help reduce rusting and mold in smaller and tighter spaces that a wet/dry vac can’t get to.

Deodorize Your Vehicle and Spot Treat

Once your vehicle is thoroughly dry, it’s time to deodorize. Ideally, you should go back in and shampoo your carpets and upholstery. Although this may seem counterintuitive to get things wet again, shampooing your upholstery and carpet can kill lingering bacteria that can breed mold.

There are also other deodorizing products that can help, not only with the smell but with keeping away excess moisture. Baking soda is a great product to use when spot treating your vehicle.


Overall, treating a flood-damaged car is hard work. There are many alternatives to treating your vehicle, such as making a claim through your insurance or taking it to a professional to clean out your vehicle.

If you want to get the damage to your vehicle surveyed by professionals, please visit our Collision Center!

Fluid Color: What Means What?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Vehicles take many fluids for them to function in tip-top shape. From brake fluid to transmission fluid, each has a distinct color you should watch out for if you ever see a puddle of fluid underneath your car. In this article, we will discuss the three major fluids you should look out for if you see them underneath your car, and what color they are so you can identify it.


Green fluid leaking almost always means antifreeze. Antifreeze leaks are one of the most common leaks when it comes to vehicles. Usually, the leak has come from a hose or clamp not attached properly. Antifreeze, or coolant, regulates the temperature in the engine, keeping it from overheating. If you see green liquid beneath your car, take your car to a mechanic to check for an antifreeze leak.


Red fluid leaking from your car means you have transmission problems. The transmission fluid is typically a red color, light red when new and dark red to dark brown when older. Transmission fluid helps to lubricate the gears that the transmission is switching automatically when you drive an automatic vehicle.

Dark Brown

Dark brown fluid can be one of the most troubling things you can find leaking from your vehicle. Seeing a pool of dark brown liquid beneath your vehicle can be diagnosed as leaking motor oil. When motor oil is aged, it can become a thick, dark brown or black liquid. Diagnosing a motor oil leak can come from a variety of places such as an overworn gasket, a corroded oil coolant line or a few other places a mechanic can quickly discover. If you noticed an overabundance of this fluid seeping out of your vehicle, get it to a mechanic immediately. An unchecked motor oil leak can cause catastrophic damage to your vehicle’s engine!

Keep an Eye Out!

It’s important to keep an eye out and always glance under your car for any pooled liquids. If you notice your car is leaking one of these important liquids, schedule an appointment with our service techs online at any of our locations.

Please visit our website and hover over our Service and Parts tab for a list of locations where you can get your car serviced today!


5 Vehicle Repairs You Should Never Do at Home

Monday, September 17th, 2018

Maintaining your vehicle can be as easy as keeping the interior clean too as difficult as transmission repairs. Though there are some maintenance repairs you can do yourself, like changing the oil, there are some repairs you should never do yourself. In this article, we will outline five vehicle repairs you should never do at home.

Windshield Replacement

Driving with a damaged windshield can pose many problems. Not only is it dangerous to you, but also to your passengers, as the glass is now fragile and more prone to shattering. Replacing your vehicle’s windshield on your own is a bad idea for multiple reasons. You may order the wrong size glass, or be taking a gamble on a windshield that may not be totally safe. It takes professional tools to install a windshield correctly, tools a layperson may not have access to or know how to use. Lastly, the supplies you will need to replace your own windshield can cost the same or more as getting it professionally done.

Fuel Pump

There are several signs you may need to get your fuel pump replaced. Some of these signs consist of your engine sputtering, the temperature of your car rising, or your engine refusing to start. The fuel pump transfers fuel from the tank to the engine. Replacing the fuel pump on your own can be risky if you don’t attach the hoses correctly. Not attaching the hoses correctly can cause catastrophic damage to the engine which can require being outfitted with a new engine altogether.


The transmission is one of the most important functioning parts of your vehicle. The transmission diverts power to the driveshaft and rear wheels. Symptoms your transmission has failed are whining and clunking noises, lack of response, a burning smell, or leaking fluid. The transmission contains many, many complex parts. Without the transmission, your car wouldn’t be able to move forward or reverse. You should never attempt to repair your transmission yourself. This complicated procedure should only be done by professionals, or risk completely ruining your car.

Air Conditioner Repairs

Although some air conditioner repairs are relatively easy to DIY, if you are not car-repair-savvy, you’re better off taking your vehicle to a professional. Refrigerant needed for your AC is toxic when inhaled or ingested, so if you are not familiar with handling this liquid, you should let a professional take over. Adding refrigerant may not be the end-all fix. Your AC may have a more serious problem that requires some time and effort to fix. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to leave it to a professional.

Drivability Problems and Error Codes

When it comes to drivability problems and error codes, it could be anything from an actual drivability error or an error with the program. Either way, when you have these error codes it’s best to have a mechanic look over your vehicle to diagnose the problems.


Maintaining your vehicle is a daily task. Preventative care will help keep you from having to deal with massive fixes in the future. While there is a lot of car maintenance that doesn’t require a mechanic, major parts of your vehicle, like the transmission, need a professional to look at it.

If your car needs maintenance, Payne Auto Group has service centers across our dealerships. Please visit our website for more info and locations of our service centers!

Car Care 101: How to Protect Your Car from Extreme Heat

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Summer months can be brutal. Temperatures can reach far over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and while you may be able to escape the heat your car can’t! Today we will be talking about three important tips for protecting your car from extreme heat.

Replace Fluids Regularly

One of the most common things that happens to vehicles in the summer is overheating. Not only can it be a pain, but now you may be stuck on the side of the hot road with a hot car! One thing you must always be weary of is fluids. Fluids may evaporate quicker or be used up faster due to the high heat index. Some of the fluids you may consider are coolant, power steering, brake, and even windshield washer to keep your visibility high. If you want more information on coolant and what it’s used for, check out our blog post Car Care 101: What is Coolant and Why Do I Need it!

Maintain Your Air Conditioning

When you’re running errands during the summer, it can be a hassle if your car doesn’t have A/C. If you find your car is having A/C trouble follow these steps:

  • Check your refrigerant levels. Refrigerant is what your car uses to turn hot air into cold air. Refrigerant can also be referred to as Freon R-12, R-134a, and HFO-1234yf. You should recharge your cooling system every two years with gas and lubricant.
  • Check cabin filters and replace them regularly every two years
  • Get your A/C professionally serviced at any maintenance shop

Please read our blog post Beat the Heat: Prepare Your A/C for a Scorcher! for more information on how to care for your A/C

Test Your Car Battery

According to AAA, “summer heat accelerates the rate of fluid loss and resulting oxidation of battery components.” [X] Heat is the number one cause of loss of battery life and battery failure. Car batteries typically last about four years in most conditions. Here are a few tips you can use to help keep your car battery in shape for the summer:

  • Turn off stereo and unplug external devices when your car is parked to save from unnecessary battery drainage.
  • When possible park in shaded areas. Your car battery typically performs better at temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 27 degrees Celsius. Extreme heat can damage the chemical activity within the battery and cause internal corrosion.
  • Be aware of any strange smells. A failing car battery may smell like rotten eggs.
  • Test your car battery voltage at least twice a year. A good voltage should read at 12.6 volts or above.

For more tips on how to care for your battery please read Car Care 101: Signs Your Car Battery is in Danger  for maintenance tips.


Summer can be a fun time for you and your family! Especially when road trips are involved! To keep up the fun and minimize the headaches, please keep in mind these basic car maintenance steps! And please check out our other blog posts regarding car service, like Car Care 101: Withstanding the South Texas Heat

Car Care 101: Should I Replace My Cabin Air Filter?

Monday, September 11th, 2017
cabin air filter

You know the importance of routine oil changes for your vehicle, but there are other things you’ll need to replace every so often. One of them is known as the Cabin Air Filter, and it does your vehicle a major solid.

If you ever take your vehicle for an oil change, you may have heard this term before. This type of filter will sometimes pop up on the recommended replacement list, but the majority of us brush it off as a non-priority. Trust us, this is a necessary and helpful replacement that you, and your vehicle will benefit from. There are a few things you should know about cabin air filters before you take the plunge. Read on for more information about what they are, what they do, and whether or not it’s a good idea to get yours replaced.

What is a Cabin Air Filter?

The cabin air filter, which is found in late-model vehicles, cleans the air that is being cycled in the interior. It does this through the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system. The job of the filter is to catch any kind pollen, dirt/dust, or material in the air. Without the filter, all types of debris that cycles through your vehicle could do it a great deal of damage. The effect is similar to the way dirt and dust can harm a human’s respiratory system. That’s kind of scary!

You should always consult your owner’s manual for recommendations for your particular vehicle. But maybe you’ve lost it and don’t recall what it said. Lucky for you, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you determine whether a replacement is necessary.

What are some warning signs?

If your cabin air filter needs replacing, you may be currently experiencing reduced air flow through your climate control system. If you crank the fan up high and hear a whole bunch of noise but get little-to-no results, then it’s best to get your car checked out.

Another thing to look out for is an insistent smell that stinks up your car. This can definitely be a sign of a weakened or broken cabin air filter, and it’s one that should motivate you to get to the mechanics quickly!

In any case, you should have your car checked out at least once a year to determine if a replacement is necessary. Our awesome service department gives your vehicle a thorough inspection! We want to make sure you are out on the road without a worry. Feel free to contact us or set up an appointment online at your nearby Payne Auto dealership. Our skilled mechanics will get your car ready to go in no time. Or if you’re looking for a new or used car, you can also browse our wide selection of inventory!

Faulty Air Conditioner? Consider These Fixes!

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Fall is here, meaning there are cooler times ahead!


Anyone who lives in South Texas knows that our weather can be quite erratic, and what should be fall can easily turn into an extended summer. One thing you definitely DON’T want during this time is a dead air conditioner, in your vehicle or your home.

A/C ain’t coolin’ like it used to? There are a few reasons this may be so.

Some of these include:

  • A Freon leak, which could be the cause of a failed o-ring, hose, seal or component
  • A clogged expansion tube
  • A clogged refrigerant charging hose
  • Failed compressor/compressor clutch
  • Failed blower motor/motor resistor
  • Damaged or failed condenser
  • Damaged or failed evaporator
  • Vacuum leaks
  • Failed switch, fuse, relay, control module, blend door or solenoid

Does your A/C go from cool to warm? If so, you may be dealing with a specific problem that needs attention.

Here are some causes of cool-to-warm A/Cs.

Clogged expansion valve

The refrigerant won’t flow into the evaporator properly if this important valve is blocked.

Faulty compressor clutch

Your compressor can’t maintain correct pressure if the clutch is not engaging properly. This can result in hot air coming from your A/C.

Blown Fuse

A blown-out fuse may be the culprit behind your cold A/C’s warm path.


Does your A/C need some work? Don’t worry — we can help! Our skilled mechanics can get your air conditioning system working in no time. Call our Service Department to schedule an appointment, or simply stop by. While you’re here, you can take a look inside some of our newest models.



Car Care 101: What’s a Timing Belt, anyway?

Friday, September 1st, 2017
timing belt

If you have no clue what a timing belt is, you’re not alone. Questions like “Do I need to get my car’s timing belt replaced?” or “What is a timebelt, anyway?” may come to mind. At Payne Auto Group, cars are our business, and we want to make sure you’re learning plenty, too.

What’s a Timing Belt?

A timing belt is an important part of your vehicle’s system. The rubber belt works inside your cars internal combustion engines by ensuring the synchronizing of the engines function. The belt maintains the rotation of two shafts (the camshaft and the crankshaft) along with the opening and closing of the engines valves. Why is this important? When the valves open and close, air and gas are allowed to circulate in and out of your car. This in turn makes the fuel in your vehicle ignite in the combustion chamber.

Proper timing belt maintenance is important. If your timing belt wears out to a ragged state and breaks, these valves will immediately open at the wrong time. They will then clash against the larger pistons operating in your cars engine, and thus, cause damage.

Unfortunately, deteriorating timing belts aren’t easily diagnosed. Most of the time, you won’t find out you’re in need of a replacement until you take it in and your mechanic points it out. But don’t panic! There is a general rule of thumb that can help you. Most mechanics often recommend that the belt be replaced between every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. If you aren’t quite convinced, you can do a quick scan through the owner’s manual to find what’s recommended for your particular vehicle.

Be sure to tune in next week for more tips on vehicle maintenance! In the mean time, check out any of our previous posts to find something you may have missed out on!

For more information about Ed Payne’s Rio Grande Valley cars, visit your local McAllen, Weslaco, Rio Grande City or Brownsville dealership.