Car Maintenance Tips to Avoid Expensive Repairs

most expensive car repairs
admin 2020-10-15

You may be wondering what the most expensive car repairs are and how much you can expect them to cost, especially if your vehicle is aging. But it’s not always as simple or straightforward as it may seem. So, let’s review some of the top maintenance tips to help you avoid the most expensive car repairs.

The Most Expensive Car Repairs

It’s probably no big surprise that engine repairs are almost always the most costly car repair. Whether you’re at the beginning of your vehicle’s life, or you’ve been neglecting your car for a few years, engine damage can be the result of a serious lack of regular maintenance. Although, engine failure is a possibility, even with the best maintenance practices.

Power Steering

If you’ve ever had issues with your power steering, you probably know the signs. You can usually feel the steering wheel begin to loosen, or you may notice that the power steering pump is no longer working properly. Sometimes this can be one of the most expensive car repairs.

The Transmission

Transmission failure is something you obviously don’t want. Some signs your transmission is in distress can include slipping gears, a burning smell, as well as shaking or grinding while you’re driving. If your vehicle is having issues like this, you need to bring it in as soon as possible.

Preventative Car Maintenance

Of course, it’s easier and more affordable to schedule regular car maintenance than it is to deal with expensive repairs. Everyone knows it’s important to plan for oil changes, but what else should you prioritize?

Make sure to replace you windshield wipers when they stop working as effectively, especially before the rainy season. Also, rotate your tires and check the air pressure. Usually you can have this done when your oil is being changed, so it’s not an extra trip. It’s also a good time to have your air filter replaced, as well as to take a look at the coolant levels and the transmission fluid. In general, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle looked over every few months to stay on top of minor repairs before they become a real concern.

Lafayette Car Repair

Being aware of the most expensive care repairs beforehand can help you save money when it comes to planning for proper vehicle maintenance. Contact us at Lafayette German Car Repair to schedule today, just click here to make an appointment, or call (925) 284-3390.

Your Car Maintenance Guide After a Long Road Trip

German Car Repair
admin 2020-09-15

Taking a road trip is a fun way to sightsee and spend time together with friends and family. You may even find yourself preferring to travel by car, especially during times when flying is inconvenient. But while road trips almost always result in treasured memories, they can also result in wear and tear on your vehicle. Read on to discover what kind of car maintenance you should perform after a long road trip to keep your vehicle in optimal working condition.  

Clean Inside and Out

After a few weeks or days on the road, your vehicle will likely be due for a cleaning. Interior cleaning may consist of removing debris and trash. A vacuuming of the upholstery and carpeting may also be required. Wiping down hard fixtures and console parts with a damp cloth is also recommended. As for exterior cleaning, be sure to wash your car and undercarriage if you’ve come into contact with road salt. This substance can erode the metal parts of your car, and should be removed as soon as possible.

Check Tires

If your car has been driven a long distance, it’s a good idea to make sure that your tires have held up. First, see how the tread looks. If the tread is significantly worn down, your tires are not as safe and efficient as they should be. Here’s a simple test. To check the tread level, insert a penny, head down, into a groove of the tire. If Lincoln’s entire head remains visible, it’s time to get new tires. 

Change the Oil… Maybe

It used to be that car owners were advised to have their oil changed every 3,000 miles. With the advent of synthetic oil, this threshold has increased. It’s now suggested that most cars have their oil changed at either 7,500 or 10,000 miles. In fact, the interval can go as high as 15,000 miles. If you’ve traveled a significant distance, it’s likely a good idea to have your oil changed, but it’s only really necessary if your vehicle needs it. Different cars have different oil change requirements. Consult your car’s manual if you’re unsure of the proper interval. 

Run a Checkup

After a long journey, it’s a good idea to run a checkup on your car. A good auto mechanic will be able to inspect your vehicle for any overlooked wear and tear it may have sustained. Breaks should be checked, as well as tire alignment and air pressure. The dashboard should also be checked for any service light indicators. After your post-road trip car maintenance, you’re all set for another adventure! 

Schedule Car Maintenance With Us

When your car is ready for maintenance, contact us. At Lafayette German Car Repair, we help you keep your vehicle in excellent working order. We take pride in providing you with expert advice and high-quality service. Call (925) 284-3390 to schedule your car maintenance appointment today!

Signs Your Auto Transmission Needs Changing

Lafayette German Car Repair
admin 2020-08-15

It’s important to stay on top of your vehicle’s maintenance for a number of reasons. And, part of this care is recognizing the signs that something is wrong. For instance, how can you tell if your auto transmission is on the verge of a breakdown? Of course, no one likes to wait on the side of the road for assistance. Protect yourself from these mishaps and save money by learning the signs your auto transmission needs repair work.

Trouble with Gears

The alarm bells should ring if your vehicle develops issues switching gears, or if the gears sometimes slip in or out of position while driving. This problem can lead to dangerous situations, so it’s important to immediately address the issue.

Leaking Auto Transmission Fluid

Are you noticing a wet spot under your car after it’s been parked for a while? This can indicate an issue with your auto transmission. Transmission fluid has a red color and emits a sweet odor. A mechanic first needs to determine the cause of the leak, then replace or repair the broken part, and finally, refill your transmission fluid to the appropriate level.

A Grinding Sound

If you drive a manual and your car produces a grinding sound when switching gears, you probably have a worn-out clutch. In cars with an automatic transmission, you can recognize this problem by a shaking feeling when switching from one gear to the next.

A Burning Smell

Also, if you smell something burning when you get out of the car, it could very well be an auto transmission problem. The transmission fluid might be burning, or the gears could be overheated from too much friction. In any case, it’s a good time to call your auto repair shop.

On the Road Again

Since 1996, Lafayette German Car Repair has offered high-quality car repair services. If you’re in the Lafayette area, our specialized technicians are ASE certified and ready to help with all of your car maintenance and repair needs. Contact us at (925) 284-3390 and return to the road with the confidence we offer a warranty of 24,000 miles or a 24-month guarantee on parts and service.

Difference Between Conventional and Synthetic Oil

Lafayette Car Repair
admin 2020-07-15

If you need to change the oil in your German car, you might be wondering whether you should choose natural or synthetic oil. While the answer to that question depends on your vehicle and budget, synthetic oil is generally recommended. Let’s look at the differences between the two if you need an oil change for a German car.

1. Engine Sludge

Conventional oil breaks down more quickly than synthetic oil, meaning it probably won’t last as long. One reason for this is that synthetic oil products tend to have fewer impurities than conventional oil. This helps to prevent the oil from becoming gummy and solidified.

Solidified oil is often called “engine sludge. This sludge is completely ineffective when it comes to lubricating an engine. In fact, it can even clog up the oil lines in a vehicle, which could mean needing to have them cleaned during the oil change for a German car.

2. Synthetic Oil Lasts Longer

In many cases, you will be able to drive 10,000-15,000 miles between oil changes if you use synthetic oil. If you choose conventional oil, it’s likely that you’ll need an oil change every 7,500 miles or so. Although older cars are likely to need an oil change every 3,000 miles with conventional oil, you may be able to get your oil changed every 5,000 miles when you opt for a synthetic product instead.

3. Is Synthetic Oil Better for Your Engine?

Synthetic oil tends to reduce friction more effectively than conventional oil so your engine stays healthier. This reduction in friction could even help parts of your engine to last longer.

4. Synthetic Oils Reduce Pollution

Not only can switching to synthetic oil reduce emissions, but it can also improve your fuel economy. As a result, you can save money while you play a part in saving the planet.

Oil Change for a German Car

Not only do we offer low prices on oil changes, but we’ll get your car out of the shop as quickly as possible. Ask about our latest deals when you give us a call at (925) 284-3390. Or, just stop by our shop today!

What Maintenance is Needed for ABS Brakes?

Walnut Creek Car Repair
admin 2020-06-15

ABS, also known as anti-lock brakes, are a safety feature in modern trucks, cars, and motorcycles. They electronically control brakes to enhance traction and stopping distances, so your wheels don’t lock up on potentially slippery surfaces.

Although ABS brake systems are durable, they aren’t indestructible. They need proper care and maintenance to increase their longevity and minimize brake repair. For example, faulty ABS brakes can’t function properly since there’s no communication between the electronic control, brakes, and sensors.

Furthermore, ignoring ABS brake trouble can take you off the road for an extended period of time, and can be dangerous, requiring brake repair.

So, what maintenance is needed for ABS brakes to ensure they last for the long haul?

Keep Your Car’s Brakes Clean

Keeping your brake system clean allows the brake fluid to run through and against the brakes properly. This way, it ensures your ABS operates when needed. You can keep your brakes clean by spraying them with a hose to wash off excess dirt and dust.

Replace Your Brake Fluid Regularly

Changing your brake fluid regularly ensures that your anti-lock brakes work efficiently. For instance, when your brake fluid is dirty or contaminated, it changes how your brake system functions, causing your wheels to lock up. Therefore, it’s wise to replace old brake fluid during scheduled maintenance appointments, depending on its mileage.

Additionally, ignoring your brake fluid replacement can damage your master’s cylinder, callipers, and brake linings, which are expensive to repair.

Schedule Maintenance

All ABS brake systems have an interval of mileage or time for how often you should schedule a maintenance service. You can check your manufacturer’s manual to know this interval so that you never miss a service.

Scheduling regular maintenance for your anti-lock brakes reduces the risk that they’ll malfunction. It also allows you to identify and fix brake issues early, saving you money in brake repair or replacement costs in the long run.

Have the Speed Sensor Calibrated

ABS speed sensors can become misaligned over time, requiring calibration. But, to calibrate your speed sensors, you’ll need an experienced brake service specialist to reset your speed sensors correctly.

Brake Repair and Maintenance

Following your factory-scheduled maintenance ensures that old parts are replaced before they become a problem. But when your anti-lock brakes aren’t responding as quickly as they used to, it’s time to schedule brake repair services. If you’re in the Lafayette area, schedule with us at (925) 284-3390, or check out our specials online.