Brake Fluid Flush – Are They needed?

brake fluid flush, brake fluid check, brake check
admin 2019-08-16

Period brake fluid flushes are one of the big debates in car maintenance. Some car manufacturers say it’s every two years while others may see its annual.  A good rule of thumb is to do it every 30,000 miles.

What is a Brake Fluid Flush?

The fluid absorbs the moisture in the air so it can quickly go bad.   The purpose of such flushes is to cleanse the brake fluid system.   This is done by removing all the fluid from the vehicle and then inject it with a whole new set of fluids.  A partial replacement of brake fluid due to air bubbles is called brake bleeding. 

How to Identify you Need a Flush?

Despite the controversy among manufacturers and mechanics, an easy sign of problems is when your car feels like it does not stop as well.  If you feel that you are having to push your hardest and not getting the results you expect.  Your car should should then be flushed soon thereafter.  You can also tell it’s going bad based on the color of the fluid.  

Contaminated brake fluid may cause brake issues and/or cause your brakes not to work as efficiently.  The bad fluid boils at a lower temperature.  Beyond the above, poor brake fluid will also impact other aspects of your vehicle.  Your hydraulic system could begin to rust.  Rubber portions in the valves in the cylinder and calipers could deteriorate.  Particles of it could go into the fluid.  These pieces could clog the braking system and permanently damage your vehicle.

Other Brake Warning Signs

– Check the thickness of the brake pads.
– Squealing sound coming from the brakes.
– Your car feels like it’s pulling.
– Should your brake pedal vibrate when you use it.
– Loose brake pedal that takes a lot to stop.

Should have questions about your braking system, we strongly recommend contacting Lafayette Car Repair for an appointment.

How Your Car’s Suspension System Works

suspension system, car maintenance, vehicle stability
admin 2019-06-25

It is your car’s suspension system that allows you to have a smooth ride. Through the system, the bumpy road is manageable while you are driving. In fact, you can still maintain control, accelerate and brake despite the hurdles since the mechanism maintains car tire contact with the surface. If you want to sustain the quality of car rides, you will need to understand how the car suspension system works. 

Car Suspension System 

All the components in the car, like frame, tires or steering wheel, play an important role in your car’s workability. The stability system in the car is made of dampers and springs. Usually, an average suspension features four coil springs in each wheel. The purpose of them is to compress and expand in case of contact with a bump. This quality of springs make the car rides shock-resistant and stabilize the car.

When the spring coils absorb the vertical movement, dampers come into play next. They further diffuse any remaining motion which might have been left behind by the springs. This systematic cooperation of springs and dampers is vital for reducing the bouncy effect when the road is bumpy.

A third addition to the components of suspension system of car is the anti-roll bar. This is the component that will enforce movement of the vehicle in order to move swiftly along the uneven road. It makes the car rise or lower according to the height of the bumps.   Furthermore, it decreases the vehicle’s tendency to tilt or roll to the sides when it is driving on sharp corners.

All three of these parts are what make the car suspension system efficient. On the other hand, you can tell that it is not working when the vehicle starts to feel less smooth during the rides. It will become easily vulnerable to the lumps and uneven surfaces.

In other words, a car’s suspension system is the main factor which impacts the quality of your rides. Without a high-quality suspension system, the degree of smooth rides will automatically drop. If the system is not maintained, you can get into accidents and may have to pay a heavy price for replacements too. Therefore, you have to be careful about the suspension system of your vehicle. You should know that when the system wears out, it will also reduce the efficiency of the stopping distance by a whopping 20%. You should never risk that and always keep the suspension system maintained through regular checkups at the workshop.

 

Mysterious Car Sounds What They Might Mean

car sounds, car noises, listening to your car
admin 2019-05-22

A fully operational and working machine is expected to produce some noise. The soft twirl of the motors or a soft hum of the engine should be enough to guarantee that the equipment is working properly. However, when you start hearing something out of the ordinary, it’s time to pay attention. There could be a number of reasons behind noises, and sometimes finding the cause can be difficult.

Following are some of the common vehicle noises that can spell trouble:

Whistling or Rumbling Exhaust Sounds

In most cars, the engine is located in the front but the exhaust of the engine travels the length of the car so noises can be created anywhere along that system through vibration or defect. The further back the sound is heard, the less serious the issue probably is. Apart from this, you might hear high-pitched or low-pitched whistling or rumbling sounds if it’s an exhaust issue. This could be caused by a crack or hole in the exhaust causing the exhaust to leak somewhere throughout the system.

Popping Engine Sounds

A popping sound coming from the tailpipe of your vehicle is a sign that there is something wrong with the engine. It could mean a clogged catalytic converter, a bad power circuit or accelerator pump in your carburetor, bad spark wires, worn or dirty spark plugs, water in your gasoline, a clogged fuel filter, an ignition problem, or a dirty air filter. Similarly, if there is a rattling noise when sitting at a stoplight or stop sign that sounds like a box of rocks shaking, then it could mean that your catalytic converter is bad. A popping sound that comes from the engine or under the hood could mean that a sensor might not be working properly or your car could benefit from a tune-up.

Braking Noises

You will usually hear squeaking, squealing, or screeching noises when you have brake issues. And if there’s a clunking noise, it could indicate a problem with a worn steering system; brake hardware is missing or damaged or the disc brake caliper is mounted improperly. A squealing noise when braking could be various things; brake pads that have overheated and are now glazed, brake pads and/or shoes that are worn, dirt on the brake, disc brake calipers that have come loose, and more.

Pinging or Knocking Sounds

You may hear knocking or pinging. Although rare, it happens, and this generally means a problem with your fuel or ignition system. It could simply mean that your engine needs a tune-up or the fuel in your gas tank could contain water.

Gurgling Noises

Gurgling noises are one of the stranger sounds when it comes to vehicles. Most of the time, you’ll hear this because your cooling system is not doing its job. Boiling coolant can be heard from the hoses as well as the coolant reservoir. In this case, let your engine cool and check the reservoir level to see if you need to add coolant.

 

Mysterious sounds are worth looking into. If your vehicle is doing anything alarming or suspicious, bring it into Lafayette German Car Repair. We’ll see to it you get back on the road safely.

First-Time Driver? Follow These 9 Car Maintenance Tips

German Car Repair
admin 2019-04-14

Getting your very own car for the first time can be exhilarating. You’ll love going on drives to explore wherever it takes you.

Especially as a first-timer, you also need to be aware of things that are important to maintain the condition of your car. Regular maintenance is critical in order to prevent breakdowns and spending big money to fix them later on.

Here are 9 things you need to pay attention to in order to keep your car in optimal condition for the long run.

1. Check and Replace the Air Filter Regularly

Your car has an air filtration system that cleans contaminants and debris, providing clean air in your car. This filter, if not cleaned for a long time, will become clogged with various waste and pollution. This will at least cause two damages to your engine:

  • First, it will increase the risk of reduced airflow due to the blockage of the air filter. This blockage causes the engine to work harder than it should . This can cause inefficiencies and decrease fuel economy.
  • Second, if the debris and other contaminants are not cleared out, they can find their way into the engine. This will cause wearing down on the car’s metal parts. Continuous damage can decrease the engine’s lifespan and cause costly repair fees.

Manufacturers usually recommend you replace the car’s air filter every 6,000 miles.

2. Check On the Car’s Battery

Car batteries commonly last for 3 to 5 years. This lifespan varies on driving habits and the temperature of the environment. Schedule regular battery charge tests after your battery reaches three years old. Many mechanics will even notify you when they expect your battery to need changing later on, once they know where it stands. This is important to prevent a sudden breakdown. Keeping a healthy battery means increasing the efficiency of your car’s engine and reducing pollution as an engine that runs on steady power will release fewer chemicals into the atmosphere.

3. Replace Old Spark Plugs

Spark plugs in a car are responsible for the ignition of your engine. As you turn your key in the ignition and press the gas, this tiny element will ignite a mixture of fuel and air that makes it possible to move the pistons in the car engine. However, spark plugs burn out over time. That’s why it’s critical to change them every once in a while. Worn out spark plugs cause the engine to work harder and results in lower efficiency of the engine. If your car is pushing to do extra work, its lifespan will become shorter. You need to check your spark plugs regularly and have them changed before they completely burnt out.

4. Check Hoses and Belts Regularly

As your car engine works, it emits heat. This heat is monitored by the engine and prevented from becoming too hot by the cooling system. But over time, the exposure to heat damage increases the risk to belts and hoses. They can become dry and cracked, and even break. These belts are what move various elements of the engine and the hoses help carry fluids from one part to another. If they crack and break, this will severely damage your engine. During your scheduled maintenance, make sure that the technician checks belts and hoses specifically.

5. Replace the Wiper Blades

Wiper blades are partly made from rubber. Heat will degrade this rubber part over time. During summer or in places with higher temperatures, keep an eye on your wiper blades. Experts’ recommendation is to replace your wiper blades every 6 to 12 months. If rain or snow starts smudging and smearing under the blades rather than being wiped clean, it’s time for new blades.

6. Change Oil Regularly

An appropriate analogy for motor oil is that it’s the car’s blood. The oil, like blood, picks up and carries away any debris it encounters. Oil also helps lubricate the engine and protects the moving parts from heat and friction. As the oil collects debris and heats and cools repeatedly, the effectiveness of your oil degrades. Dirty, thick oil hurts your engine. This is why oil should be changed about every 3,000 miles or 3 months. Check your owners’ manual for the recommended interval for your specific car. The older your car is, the more frequent oil change required.

7. Replace Brake Pads

Brake pads are what stop your car from moving. They utilize a high amount of friction in their daily use, which can mean they break down fast. It will be extremely dangerous to drive a car with worn-down brake pads. Thus, it is critical to have your brake pads replaced annually to avoid damage to the engine, high repairing cost, and most importantly- accidents.

8. Take Care of Your Tires

Your tires are rolling on all kinds of surfaces, at various angles and in different weather, with ideal air pressure sometimes, but not all the time. All this variety leads to uneven wear & tear on your tires and slight changes in their alignment over time. If your tires are rotated and aligned ever 6 to 12 months, you can keep them wearing evenly, and enjoy greater safety and longer lasting tread.

To ensure good longevity of your tires, you have to keep up with proper tire inflation. This will also reduce the risk of tire blowouts at high speeds and possibly save you from experiencing car accidents. Improper tire pressure will also affect your fuel economy. Find the recommended tire pressure written on the sidewall of your tire in PSI and follow that guideline.

9. Know a Good Mechanic

Once you suspect something is wrong with your car, it’s almost too late to do your research and find the best place to take it. Not knowing where to go or who to trust can dangerously delay your taking action. So, when you get your first car, it’s important to schedule an inspection with a reliable shop near you, like Lafayette German Car Repair, and establish a relationship that may come in handy in the future. Knowing where to go when you need help makes driving much more relaxing, like it was meant to be.

Being a good driver is one thing, but it is even more important to pay attention to the quality of your car as a whole. And regular preventive maintenance will save you a lot of repair costs and increase the lifespan of your vehicle.

 

Why the Best Auto Repair & Auto Body Services Are Under the Same Roof

Lafayette German Car Repair
admin 2019-03-24

After an accident- many people are tempted to take their car straight to an auto body shop, or a mechanic’s shop. They seldom get a chance to bring their car to place that has both auto body and mechanical experts. And many people don’t even know the difference. 

But Why Should it Matter?

Auto body repair jobs address the physical damage that compromises the structural shape and the look of your car. Mechanics repair the mechanical, complex systems that make your car function.

Your first thought may be to take your car to an auto body shop that has some mechanical knowledge. Or a mechanic’s shop that has some auto body knowledge. That should be enough, right?

Not quite right.

These are two arms of the auto repair industry, each very specific and important. While you may think “a car shop is a car shop”, they are not close enough to the same that you can go to one shop for both services. Unless that shop has a full-service auto body shop and a fully-equipped mechanic service too.

What Do Auto Body Shops Do Best?

Skin & Skeleton

When a car has been in an accident, it sustains body damage like a crumpled hood, bent fenders, dings, rips, and dents. This damage is both structural and aesthetic. Basically, it’s the skeleton and the skin of your car that receive auto body repair jobs, but not the guts.

Auto body shops have knowledge, certifications and equipment like pneumatic tools, metal-cutting guns and plasma cutters to work on the body and return it to its intended form and function. What they do for your car’s shape, structural strength, and paint job really can’t be done by a mechanic.

What Do Mechanic Shops Do Best?

The Guts

A mechanic’s shop specializes (not surprisingly) in the mechanical aspects of your car. The guts. The things that make your car end up in a different place than it started, safely.

If you need an oil change or brakes repaired or transmission examined or lights checked, you go to a mechanic shop to get the job done. Their people are trained and certified to diagnose and repair all mechanical parts of a car, and have the equipment for the task.

Often, after an accident, both structural and mechanical systems have been affected. If you go somewhere that can’t identify and address both kinds of damage, your car may suffer. That’s why going to a shop like Lafayette German Car Repair is so important. Having both auto body repair jobs and mechanical expertise and equipment makes us able to care for you whole car.