By noticing the behavior and handling of your vehicle, you can catch brake problems before they become too costly and more importantly, too dangerous. It is also recommended to bring your vehicle in and we can inspect it for you. If you notice anything between regular inspections, make sure to schedule an appointment so the issue can be resolved quickly. While driving your vehicle it is recommended that you occasionally turn off the radio and listen to your vehicle. A different sound the vehicle gives off is typically the easiest way to detect a problem within the components. If a grinding sound is coming from any corner of your vehicle while you are braking or if there is a rough feel coming from the brake pedal, then it is likely that your brakes need to be looked at. Shimming or shaking is also a sign for a problem. It is important to take care of this problem early on because putting off such repair will lead to additional problems such as broken or damaged rotors, brake pads, or loss of pressure in your brake fluid lines. Your brake pads are a part of your braking system that provides friction to give us the stopping power we need. Brake pads are designed to wear out and will then need to be replaced. The brake rotors on the other hand are more costly if they go out. Your brake pads are located between the caliper and the rotor. Your braking system uses friction, which changes kinetic energy from the moving vehicle into heat energy. Brake pads have to have a high enough coefficient of friction to convert the energy of the moving vehicle into heat. A brake rotor is a flat piece of steel that is attached to a rod. It is held in place on the inside of your wheel. On each side of the rotor is where your brake pads are located. When you apply the brake pedal, the pads compress around the rotor causing it to slow down or stop the vehicle. Rotors are very thick because they need to dissipate the heat that is caused by the friction of the brake pads. If the brake pads start to become worn thin, metal-on-metal contact will start. This can start your steering wheel shimming while you brake. Vehicles that sit a long period of time are likely to develop rust around the body of the car as well as around the rotor. Overlooking problems within your braking system cannot only be dangerous but expensive.
The tires take the majority of the force when you hit bumps, objects, or potholes in the road. Even the smallest of potholes can create a large problem. Also, you can reduce the chance of damaging your tires by avoiding debris that can be on the road. Hitting something large can cause the sides of your tires to bulge. If you notice a bulge, it is important to bring it in, because a bulge that goes ignored can cause a blowout if it is not repaired. Even if you run over a small object, you should inspect your tires for possible damage, just to be sure. Checking your tread depth is an easy process. The tread should never fall below 1/16 of an inch in depth. Taking a penny and placing it in the tread can determine the tread condition. Take the penny so the top of Lincoln’s head is showing, and place it so the top of Lincoln’s head is in the tire’s tread. If any part of the head is covered by the tread, you still have adequate tread on your tire. If you can see the top of his head, which means the tire tread has worn down, you should get the tires replaced soon. Also make sure to look for cracks or cuts that are distinct enough to be visible. Also remember to look for bulges or blisters that may form on the outer surface of the tire. This may lead to a blow out when you are traveling, something we should always try to avoid. Always make sure to check the tire pressure on a regular basis. In addition, also make sure to check it before you travel long distances. This is a quick and easy check that can reduce the chance for tire stress and any irregular wear. You can also help to expand the life of your tires by having good driving habits. Avoid fast starts, stops, and turns while you are driving. It also helps to not speed because excessive heat is generated at higher speeds when you drive, and will increase the rate of tire wear. If you notice an issue with the tires, make sure to contact us and schedule an appointment.
If you smell burning rubber, it could mean the belt is slipping. It could also be hoses that are loose and are rubbing against drive pulleys. If the engine is hot, do not reach in to check the issue. It is always recommended to have a professional do this. Another smell to be aware of is a burning carpet smell. This could indicate brake issues are happening. It could also become a safety hazard while driving. Make sure to have the brakes of the vehicle inspected as soon as possible. This is especially true if you notice the smell when under normal driving and braking conditions. If there is an odor of hot oil, this could indicate a leak. The oil could be leaking onto the exhaust system of the vehicle. Make sure to look for any oil spots on the pavement or cement where you park. Also look for any smoke that might be coming from the engine area. If the vehicle is leaking oil, it can cause damage to other parts as well. It can also cost you a significant amount because you will have to replace to oil frequently. If there is a leak with the fuel injector line, there might be a smell of gasoline. This can also be noticed if the fuel tank leaks. If you notice this, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can. The smell of fuel could result in a fire hazard. Bringing the vehicle in can improve the safety for you and those around you. If you smell an odor like rotten eggs, there is an issue with the vehicle. It could mean that there is a problem with the catalytic converter of the vehicle. It may not be converting the hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide as properly as it should. This can result in a poor running engine. Eventually, the catalytic converter can be overloaded and fail. Smelling something sweet, like the smell of syrup, could mean there is a leak in the vehicle. The leak could be that of engine coolant. This can be related to the cooling system of the vehicle. If you need to check the coolant, make sure to not open it if the cap is hot. There could be pressure from the hot steam. If there is anything out of the norm you notice with your vehicle, make sure to contact us so we can inspect it for you.
All owners should have a regular auto repair schedule to ensure that all components of the vehicle are working, as they should be. An auto repair schedule also helps to catch any premature wear and tear on your vehicle. When performing any type of auto repair on your own there are certain aspects of your vehicle that should not be overlooked. Be sure and check your oil, transmissions fluid, and fuel filter on a regular basis for any clogs or leaks. These filters keep the fluids running through the vehicle cleanly and without harmful contaminants. Having a dirty air filter is another aspect on auto repair you should not disregard. A dirty air filter will slow you down and force you to use more fuel. Always be sure and check your oil level during this process too. Your engine oil should be changed every three months or 3,000 miles for the best results. While there are some things you can fix on the vehicle yourself, it is always best to have a professional do these. This way we can ensure the parts and components are working properly with one another when you drive. If you happened to notice a sign of a problem starting to form, make sure you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. This can help to save time, money, and stress in the long run when it would be time to repair or replace the part. Ignoring the issue can increase the chance that other parts will start to fail. There are different types of oil for different situations. Older cars might use a thicker oil to help fill the gaps where thin oil may otherwise seep through and cause the oil to become lost. Do not ignore your fuel filter because it will become plugged up. If the plug continues, the filter may get to where it will not work anymore and you can end of up harmful substances in your fuel system. This will slow your vehicle down and even cause you to break down. You should also flush your cooling system instead of draining it once a year. If you are not sure how often to bring your vehicle in, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the right schedule for your vehicle.