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Your Basic Car Maintenance Checklist

basic car maintenance checklist
admin 2022-03-15

If you want to keep your car running smoothly for years to come, it’s important to stay on top of your basic car maintenance. This includes things like changing the oil, checking the tires, and keeping the fluids topped up. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry – we’ve put together a Basic Car Maintenance Checklist that will take the guesswork out of it for you. Just follow these simple steps and your car will stay in good shape for many, many miles!

1. Check the oil level and top it off if necessary

Every time you get gas, pop the hood to check the oil level. If it’s low, fill up with a quart or two until the dipstick shows an adequate amount on its indicator strip (usually between “L” and “H”). This is important because without enough lubrication from clean motor oil running through your engine, the metal pistons and bearings will start to grind and wear down – causing costly damage in the long run.

Tip: don’t overfill your engine with oil. If you see that the oil is above the “FULL” line on the dipstick, pour some out until it reaches that marking.

2. Check the tire pressure and adjust if necessary

Under-inflated tires not only wear out more quickly, but they can also be a safety hazard. Driving on under-inflated tires at high speeds can cause them to blow out, resulting in an accident. You should check your tire pressure at least once a month (more often if the weather is hot or cold) and adjust it if necessary.

Tip: Use a good quality tire gauge to measure the pressure and make sure the tires are cold before you start (that is, don’t measure the pressure after driving for a while).

3. Inspect the brakes for wear and tear

You should inspect your brakes at least once every six months to make sure they’re operating properly. If you notice any signs of wear and tear, take the car in for a check-up ASAP! This will prevent costly repairs down the line – not only do worn out brake pads need replacing more frequently than new ones, but their failure can also cause accidents.

Tip: Listen for any unusual sounds when braking, and look out for brake dust on the rims (indicating that the pads are wearing down).

4. Check all fluid levels, including brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, etc.

It’s important to keep all of your car’s fluids at their proper levels, and this includes checking the brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, etc. You should check these levels at least once a month (more often if the weather is hot or cold).

5. Clean the car inside and out – this will help it look nicer and last longer

Keep your car clean both inside and out. Washing the exterior will prevent rust from forming, while vacuuming up crumbs or dirt on the inside will help prevent mold and mildew from forming.

Tip: Use a vacuum to suck out any dirt or debris that has accumulated between seats, under mats, etc., then wipe down all surfaces with mild soap (including the dashboard).

Bonus tip: Waxing your car every six months will protect against rust caused by salt.

6. Rotate the tires every 6,000 miles or so to extend their life span

Rotating your tires will extend their life span and improve gas mileage, because it ensures that all four wheels are getting equal wear. You should rotate the tires every six months or so (or every other oil change). Ideally this would be done by a professional mechanic if possible, but you can do it yourself with some basic tools – just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Schedule Maintenance Services Today

If you’re in need of professional automotive maintenance or repair, you can rely on us. We are available for your car emergencies and the little details that keep your car running smoothly and efficiently. Contact Lafayette German Car Repair by calling (925) 2284 – 3390. We offer great deals, excellent service, and long-lasting results!

What Does an Automotive Service Technician Do?

What Does an Automotive Service Technician Do
admin 2022-02-15

Have you ever wondered what an automotive service technician does? When your car disappears for service, how do technicians make it run smoothly again? Lafayette German Car Repair employs expert car technicians with years of experience doing what they do. In this article, we’ll answer the question “What does an automotive service technician do?” – specifically, what does a GREAT automotive service technician do?

What is An Automotive Technician?

An automotive technician is someone who diagnoses and repairs problems with cars. They work on all types of vehicles, from gas-powered to electric or hybrid. Many technicians specialize in a certain area, like brakes or transmissions; but most are generalists and can work on any part of the car.

The job of an automotive technician involves fixing a wide range of issues that might arise with vehicles. They may work in dealerships, auto parts stores, or at home garage setups.

Duties of an Automotive Technician

An automotive technician’s work can vary depending on their place of employment. However, there are some common duties that all technicians share. They include:

  • Diagnosing the problem, whether mechanical or electrical
  • Repairing or replacing the faulty part
  • Performing basic care and maintenance, including oil changes, tune-ups, and tire rotations
  • Repairing or replacing worn parts, such as brake pads and wheel bearings
  • Testing the repaired vehicle to make sure it is functioning properly
  • Providing a cost estimate for the repair
  • Informing the customer of the work that has been done

 

One important thing to remember is that automotive technicians must always adhere to safety regulations. This means wearing protective gear like gloves and goggles, and making sure not to start any fires or spill any fluids.

What Does a Great Automotive Technician Do?

Now that you know what an automotive technician is and some of their common duties, let’s take a look at what makes a great technician. What distinguishes them from the rest?

The best technicians are those who have:

  • A passion for cars and auto mechanics
  • In-depth knowledge of how car systems work
  • Experience with a range of makes, models, and years
  • Hands-on experience with a variety of tools
  • Great customer service skills (this is actually very important! The best technicians should be friendly and helpful to all customers)
  • Good communication skills for explaining the problem and what needs to be done about it.

 

Lafayette German Car Repair employs only the best technicians in the business. If you’re looking for someone to work on your car, be sure to bring it to us! We have years of experience and knowledge in all areas of automotive service. Our technicians will get your car running like new again – and they’ll do it safely and efficiently!

Make An Appointment With Us Today

Lafayette German Car Repair is a full-service auto repair shop serving Lafayette, CA, and the surrounding area. We offer expert repairs on all makes and models of vehicles from gas to electric hybrid cars. Come see why we’re the best in town for automotive maintenance services that you can trust! Contact us today at (925) 284-3390.

Pleasant Hill Mercedes Service Boosts Resale Value

mercedes service pleasant hill
admin 2022-01-12

For many consumers, owning a Mercedes-Benz is the sign they have finally made it in life. These luxury cars are some of the safest and most innovative vehicles on the market today. With proper care, your automobile will drive safely and comfortably, last longer, and preserve its resell value. Although routine maintenance will help against naturally occurring wear and tear, mechanical failures are inevitable and bound to happen at some point. In these cases, our Pleasant Hill Mercedes Service can get your car back on the road and driving better than ever.

What is Routine Maintenance for a Mercedes?

Mercedes-Benz recommends a variety of routine maintenance procedures to keep your car running smoothly. At Lafayette German Car Repair, we can perform all of these services, ensuring your car’s resell value is as high as possible. The following is a list of some key items that should be checked and/or serviced on a regular basis:

  • Oil and Filter Change
  • Tire Rotation
  • Brake Inspection
  • Coolant Level and Strength Check
  • Power Steering Fluid Level Check
  • Windshield Washer Fluid Level Check
  • Differential and Transmission Fluid Levels Check
  • Engine Air Filter Replacement
  • Cabin Air Filter Replacement
  • Spark Plugs (every 30,000 miles)
  • Belts (every 60,000 miles)
  • Hoses (every 100,000 miles)
  • Batteries (every 60 months/60,000 miles)
  • Brakes and Rotors Replaced as Needed.

The best course of action is to have these services done at a recommended interval by your local Mercedes service center.

Mercedes Service Pleasant Hill For Major Repairs

In addition to routine maintenance, our team of experienced technicians can also handle any major repairs your Mercedes may need. We use only factory parts and offer a 24 month/24,000 mile warranty on all of our services. It is important to take care of major repairs soon after they are identified, as they can often lead to further damage if left untreated.

Trust ASE Certified Technicians to Preserve Resell Value

Our Pleasant Hill car repair center employs highly trained ASE Certified technicians. They are well-versed in Mercedes vehicles and have the experience needed to ensure your car runs efficiently for years to come. Even if major repairs are necessary, you can be confident knowing our team will take care of your vehicle with factory parts at a fair price. We also use the latest diagnostic equipment to identify potential problems before they happen!

With proper maintenance and expert care, your Mercedes-Benz will continue to run like new and hold its value for years to come. Bring your car, truck or SUV into Lafayette German Car Repair today and let us take care of everything!

Pleasant Hill Mercedes Service – Give Us A Call Today!

A European vehicle’s unique design and production demand special expertise. We can also repair your American or Japanese automobile. Call Lafayette Car Repair now for a free service examination or safety assessment to find out what your car’s problem is and what the best course of action is. For the finest service on your automobile, contact one of our car specialists right away at (925) 284-3390.

How to Tell if You Need Brake Repair

Automobile brake pads replacement in car repair shop or garage
admin 2021-02-10

There are a few obvious indications that something may be wrong with your brakes. To tell if you need brake repair, pay attention to these telltale signs.

High-Pitched Screeching Noises

Hearing a squealing sound when you press the brake isn’t always a bad thing. This can happen if you haven’t driven your car in a while, especially after heavy rain or cold weather. Rust can develop on the brake discs but rub off after you drive the car. Though, if this sound persists, it’s time to schedule an appointment to fix the problem.

Grinding Sounds

This is not a nice sound to hear while you’re driving. In fact, it’s likely a built-in warning that you need brake repair. Pads that have nearly worn down will start making this noise. It’s likely you’ll need to have the brake pads and discs replaced.

Wobbly or Jittery Braking

Sometimes this wobbling can be felt in the steering wheel. If you tend to brake often while driving, you’ll probably need more frequent brake repairs. For example, when the pads heat up, the material they’re made from can actually coat the brake rotors, creating an uneven surface. These discs can become “warped” over time, and may need changing.

Related Content: Car Maintenance Tips to Avoid Expensive Repairs

Slow Response to Braking

If you begin to notice changes when you push the brake pedal, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle inspected. Notably, slow response times can be dangerous—regardless of how fast you’re driving. So, if your vehicle is taking longer to come to a full stop, schedule a brake repair as soon as possible.

Car Pulls to One Side

This is generally the result of brake calipers or a brake hose that is failing. What ends up happening is the balance between the wheels causes one side to brake unevenly. Your car will pull in the opposite direction of the side that’s faltering.

Related Content: What Maintenance is Needed for ABS Brakes?

Mysterious Driveway Puddles

If you start to notice little pools of liquid under your vehicle, these puddles could be coming from the lines that run hydraulic fluid to your brakes. One of the signs that you should look for is a soft brake pedal. If the brake fluid is leaking somewhere, there won’t be enough pressure for the hydraulic system to properly clamp down.

Lafayette Brake Repair

If you’ve noticed any of these signs while driving, it’s best to schedule a local car service for your peace of mind. Regular car maintenance can actually cut down on your need for brake repair and other automotive repair services. Call Lafayette German Car today at (925) 284-3390 to learn more about our specials.

Basic Car Maintenance Everyone Should Know

basic car maintenance
admin 2021-01-10

Did you know there’s some basic car maintenance that you can DIY without having to go to an auto repair shop? Understandably, there are going to be some regularly scheduled visits for your make and model, but other things you’ll probably be able to handle on your own. You can stay ahead of the game and do these basic tasks yourself. Here are some great things to learn to ensure reliable auto performance.

Check Your Tire Pressure

A trip to the gas station used to be a good place for checking your tire pressure. These days, it’s easier to do at home. There are even handy air pumps that you can store in your trunk. They work by using the cigarette lighter plug-in. This option is more convenient. You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your driveway. One of the items you’ll want to have handy is a pressure gauge. They’re small enough to leave in a glove box. This tool tells you how much pressure you need and how much your current tire pressure is. It’s important to stay within range for safety reasons, and also to extend the life of your tires. After all, they’re a big investment.

Inspect the Battery

Car batteries are more advanced than they were decades ago, but that doesn’t mean they can’t go bad. It’s a good idea to check your battery from time to time. Look for corrosion that can form at the connectors. Also, examine the condition of your battery to see if there’s anything abnormal. Is your car slow to start? When you inspect the battery, notice if there’s an odd smell. Another sign of trouble is a bulging battery case.

Related Content: Your Car’s Year in Retrospect: Did You Do Your Annual Maintenance?

Refill the Coolant Levels

A radiator works hard to keep your engine from overheating, so it pays to keep an eye on its coolant levels. Learn more about the best coolant for your model. An auto shop can help you make this decision, but it’s still good to do your own research. Using the wrong coolant can be bad for your vehicle, so only use what’s suggested by the manufacturer.

Check the Oil

Popping the hood can tell you what you need to know about the oil level in your car and if it needs to be changed. If you aren’t familiar with checking the oil level, the owner’s manual will explain more about this basic car maintenance service. There are also great YouTube tutorials on how to check your car’s oil level. It’s pretty simple once you understand the steps. The most important issue is keeping the correct oil levels topped off. Learn to identify which oil brand is meant for your make and model.

Related Content: Easy Ways to Maintain Your Car During the Pandemic

Listen For New Sounds

You already know how your car is supposed to sound because you drive it all the time, but listen for any little changes. New sounds can indicate a serious problem is forming. Issues like shaking or vibration are no laughing matter. If there’s a sound that you’re not familiar with, it’s one more sign to call for an appointment. Even little humming or knocking sounds shouldn’t be disregarded. Trust your ears and senses for any changes that happen. It indicates that your car needs more than basic car maintenance.

Beyond Basic Car Maintenance

When you need a local auto shop, call us at Lafayette German Car Repair (925) 284-3390. You can also view our current specials by clicking here. We want to save you money!

Winter Auto 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 car mechanic. 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 Auto 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 certified professional car mechanic to redeem one of our specials.