When you drive, you will always want to have the best visibility. This includes the windshield, back window, side windows, and even the side mirrors of the vehicle. You will want to bring your vehicle in if you notice an issue with the windows, windshield wipers, or wiper fluid. If you cannot clean the windows properly when you drive, you will most certainly have visibility problems. You will want to make sure these are corrected before you drive.
If the windshield is cracked, you will want to have it replaced as soon as possible. Ignoring a crack or a divot can result in the issue becoming worse. This will then impair the visibility when you drive. An object or debris could line up with the crack, and you will not be able to see it until it is too late. A crack can also weaken the windshield, making it less effective at protecting you and your passengers.
The windshield wipers should also be inspected. These will help you to clean and clear the windshield when it becomes dirty. The road grime, dirt, dust, or other insect debris can get smeared on the windshield. By keeping the windshield clean and free of the debris and dust, you will be able to see clearly. If not, your vision will be impaired and you might have an accident or hit something.
You will also want to check the windshield washer fluid levels. If there is not any fluid, it cannot help to clean the windshield. The fluid will loosen up any grime and insect residue that might be on there. If you have to fill up the reservoir often, it could be a sign of a leak in the system. Noticing this should be an indication to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. With regular maintenance, you can help keep your vehicle lasting as long as possible.
The warning lights on the dashboard are important. This helps you to determine what is wrong you’re your vehicle. One of the more difficult lights to locate the issue is the check engine light. This is connected to sensors all over the vehicle. It includes the engine, fuel, and emissions systems as well. If the light comes on, check is the gas cap. Most vehicles have a pressurized fuel system and vapor recovery loop. If you do not twist the gas cap until it clicks, the fuel system is not sealed. This will not allow it to pressurize and result in the light coming on. If you check the gas cap and the light still stays on, bring the vehicle in as soon as you can.
Service Engine Light
The service engine light may illuminate, as you are getting closer to a regular maintenance inspection. This can indicate when the engine temperatures, oil temperatures, or air temperatures are less than ideal. It can also come on when it is time for an oil change. This can help to remind you of regular oil changes. If this light comes on, contact us. Regular service is probably needed for your vehicle in order for this light to turn off.
Brake Warning Light
This light means there is an issue with the braking system. Make sure to check the owner’s manual of the vehicle to find out the meaning. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for you. This is because the brake warning light can serve for multiple issues. If the light comes on, notice any smell of burning brake dust. Bring the vehicle in as soon as possible to help prevent a further issue. The brakes are an important part of your vehicle, so you will want to have this issue taken care of immediately.
When there is a low level of coolant in the vehicle, this light will illuminate. It is recommended to top off the coolant level. It is also important to remember to not open the radiator cap when the engine is hot. The coolant system is pressurized and could spray hot coolant. If you have to fill the coolant often, it could mean there is a leak in the system somewhere. Over time this can become a costly expense, and lead to further issues. If this happens, you will want to make sure you bring the vehicle in so we can inspect the vehicle and components for you.
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.