Winter Automotive Maintenance Tips

automotive maintenance tips
admin 2020-12-10

Cold winter weather can be tough on your car. So, it’s important to undertake some maintenance tasks to keep everything in the best working condition. These measures can save you from incurring expensive repairs, not to mention prevent you from getting stuck on the side of the road because your car broke down. Let’s review some basic automotive maintenance tips to make sure your vehicle is reliable, even in the winter.

Change the Windshield Wipers

Obviously, being able to clearly see where you’re going is one of the most important aspects of safe driving. But worn out wiper blades can make it harder to see the road through rain and fog. This is a real safety risk.

Fortunately, it’s not expensive to swap out those old, ineffective windshield wipers. This is an easy fix to take care of before winter weather conditions impact visibility. Look for a reputable automotive repair shop to have the best wiper blades installed on your vehicle. Also, make sure to top off the washer fluid since you’re likely to use more of it this time of year.

Check Your Exterior Lights

During the winter months, you’re more likely to drive in the dark because the days are shorter. That’s why you need to ensure your exterior lights are working properly, and that they’re bright enough to light up the road. If they’re dim, foggy, or yellowing, you may need to replace the bulb or the plastic covering.

Have Your Brakes Inspected

This is one of those automotive maintenance tips to pay special attention to because cold weather can have a negative impact on your vehicle’s brakes. You definitely don’t want to take any chances with your car’s brakes.

Have your brakes inspected by a certified professional. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you have a good braking system in place for any emergency stops on wet winter roads.

Perform a Volt Test on the Battery

Another thing that can be dramatically affected by cold weather is your car’s battery. It’s more difficult for your car battery to function optimally during cold weather. That’s why it’s a good idea to perform a volt test on it to make sure it’s effective enough to last you through the cold season. The last thing you want is to find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere because your car failed to start.

Check the Coolant Levels

Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is essential for your car engine, especially in the winter. This helps to prevent your engine from freezing. Even if you aren’t in an area were it snows, it’s not a bad idea to get your engine checked to ensure your coolant levels are in a good range. Also, have the engine inspected for any leaks in order to prevent your coolant from draining.

More Automotive Maintenance Tips

The above automotive maintenance tips are essential winter prep. Cold months can have a great impact on your vehicle, which is why you should always visit a reputable automobile repair shop to have your car maintained.

To schedule an appointment in the Lafayette area, contact us at (925) 284-3390, or click here to redeem one of our specials.

Major Car Repair: Out-of-Pocket Payment or Insurance?

major car repair
admin 2020-11-15

Auto insurance is specifically designed to help absorb the risk of driving, and to protect you from having to pay for everything out of pocket if a major car repair is necessary. In some cases, it’s more than obvious you’ll need to file an insurance claim. But when you make that decision, your monthly premium is going to be higher. If your car experiences major damage, you may be wondering if you should pay on your own for the repair or submit a claim.

There is no black and white answer to this question because, honestly, there are a lot of things you need to take into consideration before you make a final decision. In this article, we’ll do our best to help you with the choice by presenting the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Things to Consider

When you’re involved in a car accident and your car is damaged, it’s best to consider some things before instantly filing an insurance claim. Why? Because every situation is different, and you don’t need to immediately decide whether to pay out of pocket or submit a claim.

When to File an Insurance Claim

If the car accident involves other vehicles or other people, it is always wise to file a claim. Even if there is minimal damage or everyone seems unhurt, it is best to notify your insurance. Here’s why… When an accident first occurs, you simply don’t have all the facts about the damage in that moment. So, while it may not look bad at first glance, there could be a hidden car problem that shows up over time. Or, maybe you feel fine because of the rush of adrenaline, but develop a stiff neck later.

When to Pay Out of Pocket

If you experience minor damage from a single-vehicle accident, it may be in your best interest to pay for car repairs out of pocket to avoid raising your monthly insurance premium. Of course, this won’t be the case if a major car repair is obviously going to be needed.

Need a Major Car Repair?

When your car is in a wreck, the biggest priority is certainly getting it repaired, but it’s not always easy to decide if you should pay out of pocket or file a claim with your insurance company. Our ASE certified technicians can help you make that choice by accessing your car. Contact us today at (925) 284-3390, or request an appointment online by clicking here.

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

Vehicle 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.