Over the life of your vehicle, you’re going to have to replace the brakes. Often, it can be difficult to know conclusively that it’s time to replace the brake pads. If if you let them go too long, you can end up with a vehicle that’s unsafe to drive. It may also mean that more parts are needed to be repaired or replaced.
Issues of Poor Brakes
There can be several signs of an issue. If you notice longer stopping distances or that the pedal feels soft or spongy underfoot. The brake light or ABS light comes on while braking. Also be aware of any low brake fluid. This could be a sign there is a leak somewhere, or that your brake pads have worn down. If the vehicle pulls to one side or the other while braking, and is hard to control, it could have an issue.
Signs to Notice
Also feel if there is a pulsation or shudder through the brake pedal while braking. Any tendency for one or more wheels to lock up and skid while braking can also be a sign of an issue. Excessive brake pedal travel, with the pedal going almost to the floor before brakes engage is something to be aware of. Also notice any squealing, groaning, or metallic grinding noise while braking
The metal-to-metal grinding noise is by far the worst. It means the friction material of your brake pads has worn to a point where the rivets that hold them to the steel backing plate are exposed. Your only braking ability comes from metal-to-metal contact, and the rivets are quickly digging deep grooves into the rotors. Not only will your badly-scored rotors need to be replaced, but you’re also driving a very dangerous vehicle.
Depending on your vehicle and driving style, brake pads will generally last 40,000-60,000 miles. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to have your brake pads inspected about once a quarter. If you see they’re thinner than normal, make sure to contact us as soon as you can.
Noticing leaking transmission fluid is probably one of the easiest ways to determine your car needs attention. A little fluid on your driveway can quickly turn into a huge and expensive car problem. Transmission fluid is crucial to your car’s shifting capabilities and is bright red and sweet or tart smelling. Unlike motor oil, your transmission does not consume or burn up fluid during use. If you notice your fluid is running low it is almost always caused by a leak. Keeping a close eye on your transmission fluid level is a good way to stay on top of this.
There can be several common reasons for a fluid leak. Any recent service or part replacement that involves disconnecting cooler lines like a radiator replacement or a transmission flush. If you have worn seals or gaskets, or a loose transmission pan. Also if the drive shaft is out of balance or there are worn axles. A transmission leak can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Most modern cars have sensors that will pick up irregularities and trigger your vehicle’s computer system to report there is a problem in a particular area. One of the most common dashboard warning signs is the transmission temperature. This means that your transmission fluid is hotter than normal causing your transmission to operate at a higher temperature. Should this light engage, check your transmission fluid level and engine coolant level immediately.
Generally transmission fluid has a slightly sweet or tart odor. Should you start to notice a light, burning odor it’s time to start thinking about your next fluid change. This is a problem that can go from bad to worse very quickly. Transmission fluid is vital in keeping all the transmission parts lubricated while preventing the unit from burning itself up. If your transmission fluid is severely burnt it could mean your transmission is burning as well which can mean a complete transmission rebuild.
If you have a manual transmission, a common warning sign is a very abrupt grinding noise or feeling when you shift into a new gear. Experiencing a grinding noise after fully engaging a clutch and shift may mean you have worn clutch or might have to get it adjusted. Also, your transmissions gear synchronizes may be worn out or damaged. With an automatic transmission you will feel the car shimmy into each gear, instead of having unnoticeable shifts. There is also a good chance you will hear a whining, buzzing, or humming sound. Noticing an odd noise is a sign of an issue. Bring the vehicle in, and we can inspect it for you.
Before the summer heat becomes regular, make sure to bring your vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. By having your vehicle inspected on a regular basis, you can help prevent further damage from occurring. Anytime there is an odd noise or sound, it is important to schedule an appointment with us.
Summer means that the hot temperatures will be arriving. It is recommended to inspect the air conditioning system on your vehicle as soon as possible. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner’s manual for location and replacement interval.
One of the most common causes of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended. Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled.
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual. Check it more often if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer. If you notice that you have to replace the oil frequently, make an appointment so we can check it for you.
A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solution. If the wipers leave a streak when clearing the windshield, have them replaced. Noticing any noises they make can also be a sign they are showing their age and will need to be replaced before summer.
Inspect all lights and bulbs. Replace burned out bulbs. Also periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check the tire pressure once a month. Also check them while they’re cold before driving for any distance. Don’t forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping. Check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there’s uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
One of the biggest benefits for having regular maintenance done is that it can help improve the fuel efficiency. A vehicle that is well maintained can run better. Parts of the engine can become lubricated which can also help it to run smoothly. Having the proper oil in your vehicle can also help to lower maintenance costs. A vehicle that is properly maintained can help ensure that the parts and components are working the way that they should be. This will reduce the amount of strain and stress they cause, which also decreases the amount of fuel that would be used. Also make sure to inspect the tires on the vehicle. Make sure they are at the proper air pressure. This helps improve the fuel efficiency, as well as improve the comfort level when you drive. The tread should also be checked. A good amount of tread can help you to grip and handle the vehicle better as you drive.
When regular maintenance is done on your vehicle, you can help to improve the lifespan of it. This can reduce wear and tear on the vehicle. By checking the fluid levels, tire pressure, lights, and brakes, the vehicle’s life can be extended. If you start to notice an issue with the vehicle, bring it in as soon as possible. This can reduce the chance of parts causing strain with one another and leading to a further issue.
Inspecting the parts thoroughly to ensure that everything is as safe as it should be. This can help prevent an unexpected breakdown when you would least expect it. The tires can be inspected to help reduce the chance that they go flat at an inconvenient time. If you notice the vehicle pulling in one direction or another, bring it in as soon as you can. This could indicate an issue with the tires or alignment. You will always want to make sure the tires are in the best condition.
Having the electrical system inspected on your vehicle is important No one wants to be stranded on the side of the road, but if you take time to take care of your vehicle, from the windshield wipers to the electrical systems to the fog lights will perform well for you. Make sure to bring your vehicle in and we can inspect it for any potential issues that might be starting to form. Having regular inspections will help keep it running efficiently and effectively through the winter months.
The electrical system
The battery is the part that powers your vehicle. Its main purpose is to provide a charge for the alternator, which is connected to the battery by a belt. Checking the electrical system should be a major part of your general maintenance routine. It would be pointless to check all of the parts of the vehicle and not check the part of the car the powers it. If there is an issue with starting the vehicle, make sure to contact us.
Where the battery is
Also, the battery is closed environment that houses six cells. These are stacked with positive and negative lead plates that are separated by insulators. The cells sit in a solution of sulfuric acid and water. The energy to power the vehicle comes from the cells inside the battery. The battery also provides power for devices such as the radio, vent, windshield wipers, and the air system. Make it a point to test the battery often. The easiest way to do this is to turn on your headlights before you switch the ignition. If you notice that your lights are brighter after you turn on the vehicle, then you may have an issue with the battery. You can also use a voltmeter, which is a device that measures voltage. A low reading would mean that the battery needs charging.
Remember the alternator
The alternator is the part that produces the electricity that controls the charge that is being stored in the battery. The battery then powers electrical devices, such as the engine controls and the ignition. If your vehicle is difficult or slow to start, it could be an issue with the battery or alternator. It is recommended to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it properly. This can help get you back to a reliable ride when you travel.