Vehicle Safety Inspection

March 11, 2016

Signs of Poor Brakes

            Keeping your vehicle in the best condition possible is important. One part that you should not overlook is the brake system. The brakes are one of the most crucial parts to the vehicle. Paying attention to the warning signs that may indicate a need for service could help prevent an issue or accident from occurring. In the vehicle, a hydraulic system filled with brake fluid will trigger a set of padded clamps that are the calipers. This will then cause them to squeeze together on a disc that is the brake rotor. The friction that occurs between the pads and the rotor will eventually stop the vehicle.   When you apply the brake pedal, you may notice a squealing, squeaking, or grinding noise. These noises can indicate that you may need to have the brake pads replaced. Hearing a grinding noise could indicate that the brake pads have already worn through completely. The noise is caused by the metal of the calipers grinding against the metal of the rotors as you apply the brakes. With worn brake pads, you have the possibility to damage the brake rotors, and it results in a more costly repair bill.   As you apply the brakes, you may notice that your vehicle pulls in one direction or the other. The may be caused from a caliper that is sticking. The caliper could stick because it causes friction with one of the wheels and not the others. Then your vehicle would pull to the side where the caliper is stuck. While pulling does not always indicate an issue with the brakes, it is a good idea to bring the vehicle in. It could be caused from tires that are poorly aligned or worn out.   You can also be aware of brake problems if the pedal vibrates when you apply it. This will usually indicate that the brake rotors are warped. The uneven surface will brush against the brake pads, resulting in the vibration feeling through the brake pedal. Brake rotors will usually warp when they are under extreme stress for an extended period of time. If the brake pedal almost goes to the floor before the vehicle stops, it could indicate worn brake pads or an issue with the hydraulic system. There may be air in the brake link or a brake fluid leak. If the brake pedal grabs immediately with the slightest touch, there could also be an issue with the brake system. The rotors may have worn unevenly or the brake fluid has become contaminated. No matter what issue you notice, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for you. This will help you to have a safe and reliable ride.
December 2, 2015

Holiday Driving Tips

            Driving during the holiday can mean that there is heavier traffic on the roads. Make sure your vehicle is in the best condition possible by having it maintained. If you are not sure how often to bring the vehicle in, you can contact us and we can advise you on the recommended schedule. By having the vehicle inspected, you can ensure it can be as reliable as possible when you are on the road this holiday season. There are some things you can do to help improve the vehicle when you drive this winter. The first step is to make sure your vehicle is operating properly. The lights, oil, tires, belts, hoses, brake fluid, antifreeze fluid and the condition of the battery should all be checked by a professional before leaving. Plan your route in advance and check traffic reports and weather conditions before you leave. As a backup, bring along a paper map. Even with a GPS system it is recommended to bring along another option should something occur where using a GPS is not possible. Follow speed limits and remember excess traffic and congestion on the roads may mean you will have to travel below posted limits. Always drive at a speed you feel comfortable at. By doing so, you can reduce the chance of an accident. When you get ready to travel, make sure the vehicle is in the best condition possible. This can help you to be prepared for anything that you might encounter on the road. It is always important to bring your vehicle in at the first sign of an issue. This can help prevent further damage to your vehicle and other wear and tear to parts. When you notice an issue early, you can save time, money, and stress in the long run.
August 28, 2015

When to Change the Brake Pads on A Vehicle

An important system to inspect on your vehicle is the brake system. While it is important that your car is powered by a well conditioned engine, it is also important that it can be stopped by a good set of brakes. When the brake pads of a vehicle are getting thin, it can then also lead to damage on other parts to the braking system, including the calipers and the rotors of the brakes. If those get bent or worn, then your brake system repair just got a lot more expensive than simply replacing the brake pads. Having routine maintenance and checks done on your brakes can save you money down the road and prevent an accident from happening. If the Brakes Respond Slower Did it seem like it took longer to stop at the stop sign than normal? You might have a heavier load than normal in the car or you might have an issue with your brakes. Has it been awhile since you had new ones put on? Then it might be time to visit your mechanic and ask him to check the thickness of the remaining pads. They can measure it in just a matter of minutes and give you an accurate gauge of remaining brake pad. Make sure to bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the brake system for you. Noises from the Brakes when they are Applied Was there a metallic grinding sound when you were stopping at the stop sign? If there were no other cars around you and yours was the only culprit, then you might need to head to an auto service center ASAP. Grinding metal on metal might mean the brake pads are completely worn down and you are grinding the rotors down. That means the car will not stop nearly as fast and you are doing damage to the entire braking system of the car. It could also mean there is something off balance and needing adjustment on the calipers or something on the tire. Know when the Last Brake Inspection was Keeping track of details like your last oil change or your last tire rotation might not be your forte. That is okay because most auto repair shops will have a computer system and do it for you. There are a few things you should be aware of when it comes to your car. When was the last time you had a maintenance check and when did you have your brake pads installed. An ASE certified mechanic will know what to look for on the brakes and tell you when they should be repaired. They have a tool that measures how thick the brake is and how much percentage of the brake pad you have used. If you are at twenty percent or less for brake pad remaining, then you might want to start thinking about new brakes. Replacing the brake pads will only take an hour or so and is well worth your wait. Failing to stop at an intersection could put you in a nasty accident and hurt yourself or a passenger with you. Taking the time to fix the brakes before they become a problem is something that is easy and recommended for your safety and that of anyone who travels in your vehicle.
April 29, 2015

What to Consider When Choosing a Mechanic

Mechanics are a crucial service and tool for anyone with a vehicle, as they help to keep your car in perfect working order. Sometimes you will need the mechanic to handle basic auto maintenance, and other times you will need them for more serious auto repair services. You must choose a mechanic who can handle both, providing you with the best services possible. Maintenance that Can Be Done The first thing that you will want to look for are the services that the shop can perform. Having maintenance done for your vehicle can improve the life of it. You want to know that the mechanic that you choose can actually handle the services that you need, and may be able to handle services that you need in the future. Simply ask for a full list of services to have a better grasp on what the mechanic can provide. Certification is incredibly important, as you want to make sure that your mechanic has been educated on the specific parts that you need repaired. Look for ASE certifications for various aspects of your vehicle. If you find a Master ASE Technician, you have found someone who has been certified as much as possible. Price is an important thing to consider because you want to make sure that you do not spend too much for your repairs. Ask a mechanic for prices for various maintenance and repair jobs to understand their usual prices. Take a look at the shop that you are interested in. Popular repair shops rarely offer poor service, as they would simply be unable to keep a high volume of customers if they did so. Reviews are a Good Source Online reviews are an important part of the search, as they give you solid insight into the world of the mechanic and their relationship with their customers. Look into these different reviews and work to understand both the good and the bad. While you should take all of these reviews with a grain of salt, know that they may expose a continuing problem with the company. You will note any potential issues that you may have with the mechanic and may be able to decide whether or not the mechanic is the right one for you based on this information. Leaving a car to chance is simply not an option for anyone who wants their vehicle to be in the best shape possible. Take the time to check out the various mechanics you are considering for your vehicle. Know their prices and know the services they offer. Research online reviews and take note of their certifications and their popularity. Each of these various characteristics will help you to understand what to expect from the mechanic. Comparing these different mechanics through these five different characteristics will make it simple and easy for you to pick out the perfect mechanic for your vehicle. It is important to keep your vehicle in the best condition possible, so you will want to make sure the place you choose, will do an ideal job of keeping the vehicle in that condition.