Easy Ways to Maintain Your Car During the Pandemic

admin 2020-05-15

Most of us are driving less during the shelter-in-place order, which means our cars aren’t being used for days or weeks at a time. While this might seem like a good thing because you aren’t putting miles on your vehicle, cars were made to be driven.

In fact, a lot can go wrong if they’re parked for too long. So, here are some tips from your friendly Pleasant Hill German car repair shop. Let’s keep both your wheels and your wallet happy until it’s safe to get back on the open road!

Go For a Spin

Even though we’re social distancing right now, it’s okay to take your vehicle for a quick spin around the block. Plus, it’s probably good for your mental health too.

All the mechanical components in your car suffer if you don’t drive it on a semi-regular basis. Every couple of weeks should be fine. This will keep your battery charged and the engine lubricated. It’s important that the various fluids in your car circulate through all its moving parts so they function properly.

Repark Your Car

When a car isn’t driven, its tires develop flat spots where they meet the road. This is due to the tremendous weight they bear. Also, tires are already prone to losing pressure, which can increase the damage. It’s a good idea to repark your car, even if it’s just a few feet away.

And one more thing… Be mindful of where you park too. For instance, avoid that oak tree that might drip sap all over your car’s paint job.

Do You Need a Fuel Stabilizer?

Since your car isn’t going into long-term storage, we don’t recommend a fuel stabilizer. You don’t need to drain the fuel tank, either. Your trips around the neighborhood should be sufficient.

Skip the Parking Brake

If you don’t plan on driving for weeks, it’s best not to use the parking brake on flat surfaces, especially if you live in a damp climate. This is because corrosion can occur, fusing things together and making it difficult to disengage the brake when you’re finally ready to start driving again.

Pleasant Hill German Car Repair

Hopefully, life will be back to normal soon. But in the meantime, if you have any further questions or concerns about leaving your car in park for an extended length of time, please contact us at (925) 284-3390. Stay safe out there!

How to Repair Your Audi Brakes

admin 2020-04-15

Audi is a company that continuously sees healthy sales margins, and for good reason. These vehicles are the epitome of engineering and craftsmanship, and you can get a lot of miles out of them when you take the time to care for their maintenance. But how do you repair Audi brakes?

This is one of the most necessary forms of Audi repair and maintenance, so to learn more, consider the points below.

Tips to Care For Audi Brakes

When you follow these suggestions, your vehicle will stay in great condition, and you’ll also be safer behind the wheel:

Change the Brake Pads as Necessary

When it comes to Audi brake maintenance, look no further than the brake pads. These pads attach the rotor and are responsible for the friction that slows and stops your car. If the pads on your Audi are wearing down, you’ll need to change them out.

Change your Brake Fluid

Your brakes will continuously give you problems if you don’t take the time to check the fluid. This fluid provides your brakes with the lubrication needed to prevent unnecessary breakdowns. Your Audi will be better able to hit tight curves with the accurate braking that you need. 

Buy Nothing But the Finest OEM Brake Parts

When it is time to repair your brakes, make sure you take where parts originate from into consideration. This means looking into original equipment manufacturer brakes, bearings, rotors, and other parts. 

When you’ve found the help of a quality auto repair shop, you’ll be better able to get the right supplies for any job that you have. 

Get Regular Inspections For Your Audi

Finally, take the time to handle your Audi maintenance by starting with some quality inspections. By scheduling an inspection for your vehicle each year, it’ll be easier for you to pinpoint when brake repair is needed to ensure continued high performance. 

Seek the Highest Quality Audi Repairs 

Audi brakes are engineering at its finest. When you have the help of a quality brake repair professional, it will help you stay on top of maintaining the health of your Audi. This is also a matter of safety for you, so never hesitate when it comes to taking care of your brakes. 

Our auto shop is ASE certified and has years of experience repairing Audis and other brands. Make a repair appointment with us so we can help with any of your vehicle’s needs. 

The Impact of Computers in Car Repair

admin 2020-03-15

Vehicles have changed a lot since they were invented, especially in just the last thirty years. Sophisticated car control systems were once available only in luxury models, but now computerized systems are entirely standard. That’s why, in order to best serve customers, car repair shops need to work with the latest technology.

Here’s a look at how tech is changing the auto repair industry.

Car Repair: Mechanic Vs. Technician

While it may sound like these terms are interchangeable, there’s actually a difference between mechanics and technicians. Mainly, their area of expertise. In general, technicians are trained to use a car’s computer system to pinpoint and resolve issues. As the world around us becomes more digitized, their skills will only increase in demand.

However, mechanics are more likely to be hands-on. They know how to strip an engine, then put it back together again.

Your Car is Getting Smarter

First and foremost, all this new tech in the auto industry means that car repair shops have immediate access to information. Digital inspections, alongside info from the OEM (original equipment manufacturer), helps technicians get to the bottom of things, and also improves customer communication.

Your vehicle is getting smarter, so your car repair shop needs to stay current with the latest tech trends and tools. The electronics in your vehicle, that system of wires and software, is referred to as the Controller Area Network, or CAN, for short. Prior to the Digital Age, cars just had electrical systems, but times have changed. Beneath the surface, our vehicles have become increasingly more complex.

Car Repair Perks

One of the key benefits of going digital is that it becomes possible to install updates to modify how a car operates. For example, maybe a manufacturer fixes a computer glitch or develops a better algorithm. In the past, this would have meant manually replacing parts, but now a technician can upload the latest software.

Manufacturers discourage it, but there are even people who hack or reprogram their own cars.

New technology comes with a learning curve, but it’s now the fastest way to accurately repair systems. To schedule an appointment, please contact our shop at (925) 284-3390.

Your Car Maintenance Schedule

admin 2020-02-10

Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget about a regular car maintenance schedule until something goes wrong. But if you get in the habit of planning upkeep, you’re less likely to experience unexpected breakdowns that also break the bank. No one wants to be that person stranded on the side of the road with their hazard lights blinking.  

The Owner’s Manual

Every vehicle comes with an owner’s manual, but if your copy is missing, an electronic version might exist online. The manual should include a section detailing the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This will give you an overall idea of how often tasks need to be performed so you can get them on the calendar in advance.

Another thing to consider is that if your vehicle is exposed to extreme temperatures, or you frequently haul heavy loads or drive on rough terrain, it’s best to switch to the “severe maintenance schedule.”

Car Maintenance and Motor Oil

Motor oil can cause damage to an engine when it’s not changed regularly. The oil acts as a vital lubricant that keeps parts from grinding together, but accumulated contaminants eventually lead to friction. This is also an ideal time to swap out old air filters. Twice a year is usually a good rule of thumb. The air filter is responsible for keeping small particles out of the engine.  

Top Off Tires

Properly inflated tires reduce the risk of a blowout. You can find the proper tire pressure listed in the owner’s manual, as well. For accuracy, it’s best to add air to tires before driving, preferably not after you’ve been on the road all day. This is because tire pressure is affected by temperature. It’s not a bad idea to double-check your spare tire, too.

Car Maintenance for Fluids

Washer fluid is usually topped off during an oil change, but don’t forget about your vehicle’s brake and transmission fluids. As a side note, never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot. You could be scalded by boiling coolant as the pressure is released.    

Keep an Eye on Belts and Hoses

Belts and hoses need to be examined regularly and most should be changed every three to four years, depending on how many miles you put on your car. It’s important to check hoses for cracks or bulges. Similarly, belts need to be inspected for signs of wear.

Of course, there are other things to be conscious of when creating your upkeep schedule, such as the battery life, and windshield wipers. Stay organized with a car maintenance log, or even download a phone app.

A good mechanic can also help you keep track of your vehicle’s needs. Please contact us at (925) 284-3390 to plan your car maintenance schedule.  

How to Clean Foggy Headlights

Foggy Headlights
admin 2020-01-15

Foggy headlights are not only a safety hazard on dark roads, but they also make your car look worn out. Luckily, the solution is usually pretty simple. This quick guide walks you through the DIY steps to restoring your car’s shine.

What Causes Foggy Headlights?

The lenses in car headlights used to be made of glass, but today they’re mostly comprised of a thick plastic. This means they’re more durable, but UV rays from the sun eventually degrade the outer layers of plastic, giving foggy headlights that yellowy, opaque look.

What You’ll Need

Auto supply stores sell headlight restoration kits, which provide a bottled cure for foggy headlights. But there are also home remedies that you can use in a pinch. Plus, most people already have these supplies just lying around.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Old towels
  • Toothpaste
  • Disposable gloves
  • Masking Tape
  • Water

Once you’ve gathered supplies, follow these simple steps:

  1. Rinse headlights and pat them dry.
  2. Protect the paint and plastic around your headlights with masking tape.
  3. Put on latex gloves, if you chose to wear them. Scrub foggy headlights with a dab of toothpaste and a little water, using a clean cloth, or soft-bristled brush.
  4. Rinse both headlights, and allow time for them to air dry. If you have it at hand, it’s all right to apply a small amount of car wax to protect your clean headlights.

Overall, this quick tip is a simple process that should only take about ten minutes, and next time you’re out for an evening drive, you’ll definitely notice better visibility.

If you have any further questions about headlight maintenance or replacement options, please contact us at our shop. We can be reached at (925) 284-3390.