Engine light diagnostics

Decoding the Mystery of Engine Light Diagnostics

As a driver, one of the scariest moments is when the check engine light flashes on the dashboard. A sense of doom fills the air as you wonder what could possibly be wrong with your car. Engine light diagnostics can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be a mystery. At Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, we are here to help drivers in Louisville, KY, decode the mystery of the check engine light.

car battery replacement

Car Battery Replacement: Signs It’s Time to Change

Car Battery Replacement Basics

Everyone who owns a vehicle knows that automotive maintenance is non-negotiable. Among the routine upkeep that every vehicle demands, battery maintenance stands out as crucial. For Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, helping vehicle owners understand the importance of timely car battery replacement is a priority.

Our aim in Louisville, KY is to ensure that you do not find yourself stranded because of a dead battery. We believe in beneficial and practical auto education. That said, we have compiled a few key signs to look out for that indicate a need for car battery replacement.

Engine Is Slow to Start

One of the most obvious signs that you need a car battery replacement is when your engine is slow to start. The sluggish crank of the engine is an indication that the battery is not generating enough power to start your vehicle.

  • Your car may take a few extra seconds to start
  • The engine sounds sluggish or weak
  • Your vehicle’s cranking gets progressively worse over time

Having your battery checked by our expert technicians at Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care can ensure it is delivering enough power for your car to run smoothly.

Dashboard Warning Lights

Most vehicles these days have dashboard warning lights for low battery power. An illuminated battery light can mean that your vehicle battery is not charging correctly or is depleting faster than it should.

  • A warning light typically indicates a low charge
  • Is usually coupled with other signs such as dim lights or slow window rolling

Ignoring this warning light can lead to a complete shutdown of your vehicle. It’s best to schedule a battery inspection as soon as the warning light comes on.

Swollen Battery Case

A swollen battery case is another sign that your battery may need replacement. Excessive heat can cause the flat sides of your car battery to swell, reducing your battery life.

  • The case may be more rounded rather than flat
  • There could be acid leakage, which is extremely damaging

Louisville, KY can get quite hot, especially in summers, making this a typical issue we deal with at Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care.

Dim Lights and Electrical Issues

If your vehicle’s headlights, indoor lights, or dashboard lights are dimmer than usual, it could be a sign of a weak battery. Electrical systems like power windows and windshield wipers might also perform slower than normally, indicating a need for car battery replacement.

  • Lights seem less bright, especially when the vehicle is idling
  • Electric elements in your car (like power windows, wipers, radio) start to labor

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, specializes in quickly diagnosing signs of a dying battery, ensuring that your vehicle provides you with reliable performance.

Frequent Jump Starts

If you find that you have to routinely jump-start your vehicle to get it running, that’s a pretty clear signal that the battery is nearing the end of its lifespan.

  • Always needing to boost your battery to get started
  • The car dying if you leave it idle for short periods

At Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, we replace batteries before they reach this critical point, minimizing the inconvenience of unexpected battery death.

Old Age

Car batteries typically last around 3-5 years, though this can vary based on your vehicle model, usage, driving conditions, and maintenance.

  • The battery is older than three years
  • It has been three years since your last battery change or check-up

Even if you’re not experiencing issues, it’s wise to have your battery checked once it hits the three-year mark. Prevention is always better than cure!

In conclusion, recognizing the signs that your vehicle battery needs replacing can save you from significant trouble. For vehicle owners in Louisville, KY, Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is your trusted auto service provider. We are happy to advise you on all things car battery replacement-related or any other auto maintenance needs you may have. Safety, Peace of mind, and a smooth ride, that’s what we aim for.

Contact Cottman of Louisville and experience the customer service you deserve. To read more about reviews and get directions, check out Cottman of Louisville’s Google Business Profile.

Transfer Case Repair

Transfer Case Repair 101

As a vehicle owner, one component you might not think about regularly, but that plays a quintessential role in the operation of your car, is the transfer case. Especially essential in 4WD or AWD vehicles, the transfer case tonally dictates your car’s performance in varying driving conditions. Although it tends to be overlooked, transfer case repair should not be taken lightly. This is where specialists like us at Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care in Louisville, KY come in.

A Brief Overview of a Transfer Case

Let us start by understanding what a transfer case is and why it is such an integral part of your vehicle. The transfer case is a part of the drivetrain in four-wheel-drive (4WD), all-wheel-drive (AWD), and other multiple powered axle vehicles. It is responsible for the distribution of power from the transmission to the front and rear axles by means of drive shafts.

The importance of a transfer case is evident in the way it enhances your car’s mobility. It enables the driver to shift between gears, allowing for both low and high range. This shift in power is the driving force that broadens your control over the vehicle, letting you seamlessly switch gears based on your driving conditions.

The Need for Regular Checks and Transfer Case Repair

Given the critical role that the transfer case plays, one cannot underscore enough the importance of regular care and maintenance:

  • Prevention of Wear and Tear: A transfer case takes quite a beating, facilitating the constant shifting of gears. Over time, like any essential component, it carries the risk of significant wear and tear. Regular inspection increases its longevity, reducing the chances of sudden breakdowns.
  • Avoiding Costly Replacements: Neglecting regular checks might advance minor issues into major ones over time. Recognizing these early symptoms can save you from the significant cost that comes with complete transfer case replacements in the future.
  • Ensuring Smooth Operation: Eccentric noises, difficulty in shifting gears, or leakage are signs that the transfer case needs attention. Routine checks ensure that your car maintains optimal performance.

So, it becomes evident that periodic inspections and timely transfer case repair is non-negotiable for maintaining your vehicle’s health and facilitating a smooth ride.

How Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Can Help

At Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, comprehending the gravity of effective transfer case maintenance, we offer top-notch service to our customers. Our well-trained technicians understand your vehicle inside and out, employing state-of-the-art equipment and latest techniques for transfer case repair. When you entrust your vehicle to us, we promise:

  • Quality Service: Our priority is to ensure the well-being of your vehicle. We provide detailed diagnostics, comprehensive repairs, and high-quality replacement components.
  • Experienced Technicians: Our team of experts know their way around all transfer case configurations. They hold extensive knowledge in dealing with various transfer case complications and providing effective solutions.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Satisfaction and comfort of our clients are pivotal to us. We promise a hassle-free experience with extended warranties on parts and labor.

Whether you own a car, SUV, or a heavy-duty truck, if it is a 4WD or AWD, paying attention to the health of your transfer case is key. Ensuring regular transfer case repair and maintenance can save you from dealing with potential heavy setbacks in the long run. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, your local Louisville, KY auto repair shop, is always ready and equipped to provide you with exceptional service and advice to keep your vehicle performing at its best. Contact Cottman of Louisville and experience the customer service you deserve. To read more about reviews and get directions, check out Cottman of Louisville’s Google Business Profile.

Total Auto Care Means Less Stress For You

Many of us stress about upkeep on our vehicles. The fact is, we don’t really need to.

If you were to develop a fool-proof system for taking the hassle out of maintaining and repairing your car, what would it look like? Cottman of Louisville thought about this and created a service called Total Auto Care that works the way they would want it to work for them.

Cottman of Louisville believes that the key to great customer service is, of course, it’s people. We select and train qualified technicians and regularly update their knowledge to keep up with ever-changing automotive industry technology. But it’s not enough to be technically savvy. Our technicians pride themselves on a customer-driven approach. We want our customers to come back because they trust that we will always do what’s best for them. We want to be a rock for our community and always be building ties with our customers.

Automotive Repairs, Expertise & Know-How

Total Auto Care starts with state-of-the-art diagnostics tools that can pinpoint problems for quicker troubleshooting. When you think about how complex modern cars are, that’s a real bonus. The motor, drivetrain, and suspension alone are mostly too complex for a shade-tree mechanic so sensitive sensors and analytical computers are a must if you want to find out what the issue is and get it fixed as quickly as possible. Need an example? If you seem to be having troubles with your car cranking and suspect a batter problem, you could got to an auto parts store and they will happily sell you a battery and maybe even install it. But what if that doesn’t solve your problem? You need a comprehensive automotive diagnostics tool found at Cottman of Louisville to get to the bottom of your ignition system problems.Diagnose-My-Car-By-Plugging-It-Into-A-Computer

Auto Care Services

So how comprehensive are the auto care services at Cottman of Louisville? How about this:

    • Transmission Repair
      Transmission work is a cornerstone of our business and we’ve been doing it since we opened in 1962. As anyone knows who has had transmission issues (automatic or manual transmission), if you got a bad transmission box, you car is going nowhere, fast. Our work is second to none and we will have you back in the fast lane before you know it. And not just rebuilds or replacements, either. We provide a full line of maintenance services like transmission flushes for automatic transmissions all the way to clutch replacements for the manual crowd.
    • Car Cooling Systems
      This maintenance seems so mundane that many people forget about how quickly a bad cooling system can bring your car to a halt. In addition, a frozen cooling system could mean serious damage to your engine including a cracked engine block. Fear not, though. We know cooling systems inside and out and can keep your motor not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
    • Timing and Pump Belt Replacement and Alignment
      Today’s engines use complex tensioned belt systems to drive everything from the water circulation to the alternator to the actual coordination between the upper and lower parts of your engine. Just getting into the area where these belts and chains are accessed requires sophisticated knowledge to not only take them apart, but replace the necessary parts and get it back together.
    • Care Heating and Air Conditioning Repair
      Anyone that lives in Louisville knows that the summers are steamy and the winters are pretty chilly. Unless you are really used to the great outdoors, you probably demand a cool car in the summer and a nice warm one when it turns cold. We at Cottman of Louisville can make sure that you are ready year around for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw your way.
    • Brake Repair
    • Car Battery Services
    • Check Engine Light & Engine Repair Services
    • Everyone gets frustrated when that check engine light pops up, and Cottman of Louisville can do a free digital inspection to see what’s wrong.  If your engine needs repairs, we’re ready to walk you through the process, needed repairs, and cost for your vehicle.
    • Exhaust System Repairs
    • Power Steering & Suspension Services

Expert Technicians, Honest and Fair Pricing

Cottman of Louisville is staffed by people who live in Louisville and know that economical solutions to difficult problems are very welcome. We promise that we will give you pricing that is accurate, never inflated. We have cars too and know that a bad car can be a severe financial burden to its owner. If you have issues with your vehicle, you owe it to yourself to come see us and get fair pricing backed by outstanding customer service. Call today or drop by. We’re looking forward to seeing you.


Can I Diagnose My Car By Plugging It Into A Computer?

In short, probably not. Using a scan tool or computer system will provide codes and some basic readings from the various sensors around the car, but it doesn’t tell you with any degree of certainty what’s wrong with the car. It just provides enough information for a skilled and experienced technician to know where to look for the actual problem.


At Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care of Louisville, we can provide the expertise and information to help better understand the root of a problem and the different solution options we can provide to solve it. Often times, using a scan tool can also end up in a misdiagnosis of the real problem, and users end up spending a lot of money replacing parts that may or may not be necessary.


The technicians at your Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care of Louisville are fully trained on computer system diagnosis. They know just how much of the information they collect through a scan tool that they can trust, and how much they need to verify before they make any repair recommendations.

So, if your check engine light comes on, make an appointment today and be back on the road in no time!


5 Ways To Get More Life Out Of Your Brakes

5 Ways to get more life out of your Brakes

Owning a car comes with certain responsibilities including periodic maintenance like oil changes, timing belts, brakes, and other wearable parts. Making sure your car is taken care of will save you money down the road. Your brakes are one of the most important safety components of your vehicle.  Keeping them in good working order is one of the easiest ways to limit expensive accidents. Here are some tips to get the most life from them and save you money in the long run.

  1. No Hot Rodding! It takes a lot more work for the brakes to slow the car down if you are speeding. And, on the plus side, you’ll save on speeding tickets too.
  2. Always pay attention to traffic patterns and anticipate your next stop. Let off the gas pedal well before a red light and coast to a stop. It will save the life of your brake pads and may even prevent a rear-end collision.
  3. Slowly pump rather than stomp on the brakes. By releasing and applying the pedal, you give the brakes a chance to cool down improving performance and longevity.
  4. Only use your right foot for both the brake and gas pedals. That way the brake never gets hit while using the gas. Even just resting your foot on the brake pedal while driving can make the brakes drag and cause premature wear.
  5. Use quality brakes. Just because a cheaper brake pad is available does not mean it’s recommended by the manufacturer. By using premium brakes with the correct formulation, you can get many more miles between brake repairs and have fewer issues like brake noise.

Try these 5 tips and you’ll be on your way to fewer headaches and saving money over time on your brake repairs. If you have any brake replacement, brake repair, or even just basic brake inspection needs here in Beaverton Oregon, we at Cottman of Beaverton are always happy to help! Happy motoring.



Business Update To Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Cottman of Louisville’s Update To Coronavirus

Updated March 23rd 2020

Dear Customers, Visitors, Family & Friends

Though we are taking extreme precautions to mitigate any risks of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 for our customers and staff, we have still received many questions and wished to proactively address how we are responding:

  • As of this writing, we are still open for business at our physical office location.
  • We have implemented the CDC guidelines of ‘social distancing’ and zero-touch in-person meetings.
  • Business personnel have been busy with extra cleanings of the office and other high-touch areas.
  • We will immediately implement any new CDC guidelines as this pandemic unfolds.

There are simple things the CDC recommends you do to help keep yourself and others healthy while visiting our location:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

We will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and make every attempt to keep you informed. Emergency notifications to staff and patients will be conducted through our emergency communication channels including text notifications, telephone calls, and communicated directly to customers.

For updated information on this rapidly changing situation, please visit the CDC website here: http://bit.ly/39TQIyg

Cottman of Louisville


Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Marks Groundbreaking Year with Digital Marketing Achievements and Awards Aftermarket Leader Fills 2017 with Myriad Marketing Initiatives, Including National Check Your Transmission Day, Activity Book Giveaway and New Educational Videos

HORSHAM, Pa. – Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care marks an incredible year of accomplishments in the aftermarket industry, including a slue of national awards, additions to its pioneering educational video series, community giveback and an overall commitment to excellence in the digital marketing space.

The leading aftermarket car care brand is rounding out 2017 with nine different accolades for the Transmission Physician video web series, including two Telly awards and two gold Communicator awards. In addition, Cottman introduced the world to National Check Your Transmission Day, the first national holiday focused on transmission maintenance, observed during the month of October.

“2017 was a year filled with impressive accomplishments for Cottman and it’s a testament to our commitment to excellence and customer service that we continue to reinvent what it means to be innovative and creative in the aftermarket space,” said Derik Beck, vice president of digital marketing at Cottman. “From prestigious national awards for our education video series, to an entirely original national holiday focused on transmission care, we’ve put our heart into everything we’ve accomplished, and I’m grateful to my team.”

The Transmission Physician, a standout component of Cottman’s broader catalogue of educational digital content, made a name for herself by debunking common transmission myths, sharing specialized, transmission-specific advice and exploring related topics such as checking the automatic transmission fluid (ATF), why transmissions are so expensive, the process of how a transmission works, rechecks and more.

The brand received nine different national marketing awards for the Transmission Physician, including the following:

  • 2017 Automotive Communications Awards – Women in Auto Care
  • 2017 W3 Awards Silver – Online Video-Web Series for Video
  • Communicator Awards – Campaign/Web Series – Gold
  • Communicator Awards – Video Education – Gold
  • dotCOMM – Video for Web – Animation – Platinum
  • Hermes Award – Educational – Gold
  • Summit Creative Award – Animation – Silver
  • Telly Award – Craft Use Animation – Gold
  • Telly award – Video/Web Series – Gold
  • Vega Award – Animation – Arcturus (3rd Place)
  • Vega Award – Web Personality/Host – Arcturus (3rd Place)

“At Cottman, we’re never satisfied with just ‘good enough,’ and that’s evident when you look at our commitment to digital marketing excellence, our quality services and our engagement with consumers at each of our locations,” said Randy Wright, president at Cottman. “The awards earned by the Transmission Physician, as well as the many other recognitions and initiatives we’ve undertaken, continue to show our dedication to being the trusted neighborhood transmission and car care center in each of the communities we serve.”

To bookend a year of industry acclaim, Cottman released four videos in the Transmission Physician series.

Further leveraging its position as an industry leader, Cottman launched an unprecedented national holiday: National Check Your Transmission Day on Oct. 21, a special celebration during October’s National Car Care Month. In observance of National Check Your Transmission Day, Cottman was a leading voice urging all drivers to make transmission maintenance a priority. To that end, Cottman was able to offer its very own free TransCheck 21 PLUS Inspection, which provides busy consumers with the chance to enhance regular auto maintenance with a comprehensive transmission check at no extra charge.

“Transmission repair is one of the most expensive repairs, making more consumers prone to ignoring preventable problems, and National Check Your Transmission Day was the first of its kind, bringing transmission care to the forefront of consumers’ minds in October,” added Beck. “All of our digital efforts are intended to improve consumers’ confidence in their own transmission maintenance know-how, and Cottman’s superior services, making National Check Your Transmission Day a stand-out success for us this year.”

Building on Cottman’s foundational digital content, the brand’s trusted Cottman Man digital video series was honored with a variety of industry marketing laurels, including the following:

  • IAC – Cottman Man Video Series – Best Other Online Video
  • Summit International – Cottman Man Video Series – Animation – Platinum
  • W3 Award – Cottman Man Video Series – Online Video Web Series – Silver
  • W3 Award – Cottman Man Video Series – Web Personality or Host – Silver

Building on the momentum of the brand’s outstanding educational videos, Cottman was also acknowledged for the quality of its Cottman Man Blog. The consumer-facing blog received an “Automotive Communications (B – to – B)” award; was named as one of the “Top 100 Auto Repair and Maintenance Blogs for Mechanics and Car Owners” by the Feedspot online blog spot; and reached number 14 on the “Top 33 Informative and Helpful Blogs for Car Care, Repair, and Maintenance” by the itmycar.com website.

Taken together, these digital marketing and content awards speak to the outstanding quality of Cottman’s consumer content, as well as the brand’s commitment to providing accessible, engaging videos and blogs that aim to educate all drivers on transmission maintenance and general car care.

Finally, Cottman continued its special seasonal tradition of bringing holiday magic to local communities and to spread awareness of basic car maintenance to people of all ages. The brand is donating its children’s coloring and activity book featuring the Transmission Physician and the Cottman Man, for the second year in a row, this time to local chapters of Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Girls, Inc. across the country this holiday season.

“The best way to cap off Cottman’s year of awards is by giving back to our communities, and making the holidays as memorable as possible for those in need,” Beck added. “Our hope is that by donating activity books to area children’s organizations, we’re able to spread holiday joy and give kids some useful knowledge about car care that will last them a lifetime.”

To view the Transmission Physician and Cottman man Educational Video Series, visit www.cottman.com/videos/. And, to learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, please visit www.cottman.com.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic.  Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Wins Communications Award from Women in Auto Care Cottman’s Transmission Physician Honored for Contribution to Women’s Representation in Auto Care Industry

HORSHAM, Pa. – Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care continues to set the standard for inclusion and representation in the auto care industry with a new award that highlights the impact of the groundbreaking Transmission Physician, growing the brand’s reputation for service and quality.

Cottman was awarded the prestigious 2017 Automotive Communications Award by Women in Auto Care, which recognizes companies and agencies that provide automotive information through outstanding advertising, marketing and public relations efforts.

“This year has been a whirlwind of awards for the Transmission Physician, and we continued to be humbled by the recognition of the auto care industry and the marketing community,” said Derik Beck, vice president of digital marketing at Cottman. “I’m so grateful to my team for the chance to work together on a video series that has had such an incredible positive impact, and we’re thrilled the board for Women in Auto Care saw the value of the Transmission Physician.”

Cottman and other winners were recognized at the Women in Auto Care press conference and reception on Oct. 31, 2017, during AAPEX in Las Vegas.

The Automotive Communications Awards are just one of a series of accolades that the Transmission Physician has garnered in 2017 – the brand also took home the following in recent months:

“At Cottman, we have long prided ourselves on our commitment to our customers, and our video series are a core component of that engagement and education,” said Randy Wright, president at Cottman. “The Transmission Physician is an excellent example of our digital marketing team’s creativity in appealing to a broad audience to empower customers to learn as much as they can about transmission maintenance, and this award is an extraordinary recognition of their achievement.”

The Transmission Physician web series is a standout component of Cottman’s broader catalog of educational digital content. Using accessible animation and themes, Cottman shares its educational videos on the brand’s website as a way for consumers to learn more about common car care topics

As a specialist in transmission technology and repair, the Transmission Physician debunks common transmission myths, shares specialized, transmission-specific advice and explores related topics such as checking the automatic transmission fluid (ATF), why transmissions are so expensive, the process of how a transmission works, rechecks and more.

In addition to the Transmission Physician, Cottman also educates its online audience through the Cottman Man, the brand’s well-known namesake and longtime star in his own digital series, teaching consumers about car care and tips to maintain the longevity of their vehicles. Together, these characters strengthen Cottman’s ability to promote accessible and meaningful maintenance tips that add value to the services already offered at every Cottman location.

To view the Transmission Physician and Cottman Man Video Series, visit www.cottman.com/videos/. And, to learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, please visit www.cottman.com.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

 With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic.  Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania.  For more information, please visit www.Cottman.com and www.TheCottmanManBlog.com.

About the Women in Auto Care Automotive Communications Awards

The Automotive Communications Awards were created by Women in Auto Care. The awards recognize companies and agencies that provide automotive information through outstanding advertising, marketing and public relations efforts. Winners were recognized at the Women in Auto Care press conference and reception Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, during AAPEX in Las Vegas, Nev.

For more information about Women in Auto Care or the Automotive Communications Awards, please visit: https://www.womeninautocare.org/awards/.