Maintaining your vehicle at home is a satisfying way to keep your motoring costs down. With the right knowledge and products even someone who isn't very mechanically inclined can take care of many of the smaller issues in everyday driving. Sometimes, however, car issues can be too specialized or complex for the average motorist to take care of by themselves and it becomes time to take your car to the pros. Below you'll find three major warning signs that you need to get to a mechanic ASAP, as well as some of the potential causes behind them.
Engine and Drivetrain ProblemsLet's start at the beginning. If your car won't even turn over and start up, then the rest of the problems on this list won't come into play. The simplest cause of this issue is a dead battery, which you can remedy with jumper cables, and the instructions that come printed on their packaging. If jumping the car doesn't work, you may have a larger problem with your ignition system. It's advisable to take your car into the shop at this point because finding the root of the problem will likely involve removing a few parts from your engine. Whether it's dead spark plugs or electrical problems, it's better to have it dealt with by a professional. Likewise, engine surging where the revs rise and fall can mean a problem with your fuel injectors, which are fairly deep within your motor. It's unwise to drive around with a surging engine, as this burns more gas and can cause unintended acceleration. Drivetrain issues are another major issue requiring professional attention. Everybody fears the dreaded transmission repairs, so if certain gears won't engage or they shift at the wrong times you should definitely take your car to the qualified mechanics here at Crabapple Automotive.
Vibration While DrivingThis issue can be caused by damaged drivetrain components, but can also stem from misaligned wheels or unbalanced or flat tires. If you feel any vibration or shuddering as you drive along, you should get to a mechanic as soon as you can. At its worst, this issue can lessen your control over the car, potentially causing accidents. This will also wear out your tires more quickly than if everything was straight and true. Unwanted vibrations put stress on important (and costly) components like suspension and brakes while decreasing gas mileage, so it's smart to take your car in as soon as these issues develop.
Poor Braking PerformanceYour brakes are vital to keeping you safe on the road and should definitely be cared for by a professional, unless you're absolutely sure you know what you're doing. Common signs of issues with your car's braking system include squeaking or squealing when the brakes are applied, or the brakes feeling spongy and failing to slow your vehicle properly. Squealing brakes are caused by the brake pads wearing through the pad surface to the metal underneath. At this point the metal behind your brake pad is coming into contact with the brake rotor. This can be disastrous and produce unwanted heat, reduced stopping power, and cause you to have to buy new rotors as well as the relatively cheap pads. Spongey and weak brakes can mean there's a problem with your master cylinder, which converts the mechanical pressure of you pressing the pedal into hydraulic pressure to apply the brakes. In either case, it's best to have your brakes seen to by the professional mechanics here at Crabapple Automotive.
There are instances where car maintenance is simple and easy, but if you notice any of these issues developing, it's best to take your car in for a qualified mechanic's checkup so the problems can be remedied before they turn into much more serious issues. Crabapple Automotive has the tools and expertise to have you safely back on the road in no time at all.
I used to live in this area and when I returned to buy a car I was happy to see this shop was still around. They did a pre-sale inspection for me, and were able to work me into their busy day. The cost was $139, and would include up to 3 cars to be inspected. To compare, the Toyota dealer was $160 per car and it's only a visual inspection. This was a great relief to know I could look at multiple cars without paying for each one. They did a thorough inspection and talked me through the whole thing. I was super impressed with their knowledge and dedication to doing a good job. I would trust them with other needs for my vehicle.
Do you remember when mechanics were the good guys? Truly loyal to their craft of automotive wizardry? When was the last time a "service writer" smiled (without deviously licking their chops), and made sustained eye contact with you when entering the facility? In movies they are helpful, honest, and dependable. Although in real life most interactions with the auto repair industry leave one with a sense of wonder, doubt, and the ever present, possible easy deception.... Have you ever encountered a mechanic or shop that told you what you need to do, what you should do and what you should save for? I know it's an easy concept, just think about it for a second..... Automotive enthusiasts aka repair technicians/mechanics know that your vehicle is an investment, not just a transportation device. In transportation safety is always paramount, so why not trust in people who see every vehicle as an extension of the customer (it is your baby after all) and treat it more like a doctor would a patient? With doctors, you make an appointment you walk in, they ask questions, and charge you $150 dollars. Then send you off to the next place for some testing, but you trust them because they have a large building, spotless uniforms and clean floors (dealerships). Why not take your baby/ investment to an automotive Dr. and shamen, who has the equivalent education of an 3 automotive PHD's (owner/ lead tech has ~40 years of successful businesses)! Long story short... I, myself am a mechanic and frequently take my children/ cars to his shop for all repairs. There is no greater remark possible in the auto repair industry than a referral!!! I guess this is mine. Thanks Grey! And remember, diagnostic fees are expected in all industries! You are paying for Dr's visit after all!