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When You Need Engine Repair

engine repairs

Getting the repairs your engine needs

How do you know your car needs engine repair? Well, you’ll know if you have engine problems, symptoms are pretty obvious. If not, then as a car owner, you need to familiarize yourself with these symptoms, because they aren’t going to go away, in fact, they’ll only get worse. 

  • Knocking Sound: An engine should never have a knocking sound coming out from under the hood, more importantly if it gets louder and softer as you push on the gas pedal. When the increase and decrease of the RPMs is making a knocking sound, that is an indicator the engine bearings are failing. These are important part of an engine that supports the moving engine parts. When the bearing seize up, the engine seizes too, and you’ll have major engine damage that could be more than just engine repair.
  • Exhaust Smoke: If you notice smoke coming from the tailpipe more than normal, depending on the color of the smoke. White smoke, you could have problems with the combustion chamber of the engine, that will need professional engine repair.  Blue-ish smoke is the engine burning oil, which probably is minor engine repair, and black smoke means the car has too much gas usage, another minor engine repair. 
  • Check Engine Light: This light could be telling you there is something minor or major wrong with your engine and never be ignored. As soon as this light comes on, take it your mechanic. It could be a minor engine repair, or it could indicate a bigger problem.  
  • Performance Decreased: Your car’s fuel efficiency isn’t what it was, or it lags when you give it the gas, you need your mechanic to check the engine. It may not be anything more than needing a tune up, but until a professional mechanic has check it out, you won’t know. 
  • Idling Rough: If your car has a difficult time running while you’re stopped at signal light, it may have a fuel problem and should be looked at by a professional mechanic. The possible engine repair it needs could be major or minor, but either way, it isn’t running right. 

What is engine failure?

Engine failure could be anything from the engine simply dies and won’t start again or you could have run out of gas. You’ll know has happened as you’re driving because your power steering locks up, the power brakes aren’t working, and not matter how much you try to give it the gas, it won’t speed up. 

With this type of engine failure car,  what to do is important to know so that you can remain safe. As you notice losing engine power, it will take a lot of strength, steer the car to the side of the road. Coast to the safest place possible and exit the car through the door that is not in traffic, then call a tow truck or 911. 

You’ll need your car towed to your mechanic where they can inspect the engine and determine the problem. Once they have found the problem and provided you a written estimate, you can approve it and have them begin the needed engine repair. 

How do you know engine is blown?

Your car could have multiple symptoms and problems, but that won’t necessarily mean the engine is blown up. Many problems that may seem major can be corrected with some engine repair work. Some common signs that your engine may be blown are: 

  • Dense White Exhaust: White smoke coming from the tailpipe usually indicates that the coolant or water from the engine has seeped into the combustion chamber. The white exhaust will linger where normal exhaust dissipates. in the air unlike that of normal exhaust smoke.
  • A Blue Exhaust: This is often indication of an engine that is about to blow up or already has because water has gotten into the combustion chamber. 
  • Knocking Noises: When your car’s engine has noises coming from inside the engine like banging, knocking, or rattling, something is seriously wrong. If the engine hasn’t already blown, it is going to at any time. This will definitely require an engine rebuild or a new engine. 
  • Coolant and Oil Mixed: The coolant and oil should never be mixed together in a car engine. When coolant has got into the oil, the engine is blown, and the only engine repair is to rebuild it or buy a new engine. 
  • Car Wont’ Start: When your car won’t start, it could be anything from a dead battery, the starter went out, or any number of things. Among those things, it could be engine problems like the timing or heating, either one of those gets really bad, engine repair is not enough. 

What causes a blown engine?

Any of the following could be the cause of a blown engine: 

  • A Blown Piston- A common cause of blown engines and it isn’t specifically the piston, but the piston rings. 
  • Hole in the Engine Block – This is a catastrophe and is usually caused by a blown rod that literally can blow through the side of an engine block, leaving a hole. An engine repair is going to fix this. 
  • Engine Seized – When the engine doesn’t have enough lubrication, aka motor oil, the engine will seize up.  
  • Timing Belt or Chain Broken – A rubber belt or steel chain is what keeps your car engine working with the crankshaft and camshaft. When either of these break, the cylinder head valves will move by themselves instead of with the pistons. 

What are the signs of a blown head gasket?

A car engine operates in extreme heat and if it becomes too hot, it will overheat, and the head gasket will blow because that extra heat can result in too much expanding of the cylinder head and engine block. Indicators that are telling you that your car has a blown head gasket are: 

  • White smoke out of the tailpipe
  • Bubbling from top of radiator and reservoir
  • Coolant loss but no bubbling or leaking
  • Milky white engine oil
  • Engine is overheated

Does insurance cover blown engine?

No, routine maintenance and upkeep of a car is the owner’s responsibility and as such, auto insurance does not cover any mechanical failure that results in a blown engine, including but not limited to engine repair, engine rebuild, or engine replacement. 

engine repair

Can a damaged engine be fixed?

It all depends on how damaged and what kind of damage has been done to the engine. With minimal damage, yes engine repair is possible. Extensive, extreme engine damage, your only hope is the mechanic can rebuild it or you’ll have to have a new engine installed. The 0worst car engine problem you can have is an overheated engine, especially if you ignore it and keep driving it. For your engine repair needs, call 609-737-7226 today.

How does heating in a car work?

driver adjusting car ac

Why is my car blowing cold air when the heat is on?

Living in New Jersey in the winter is not the place for your car heating to quit working! Of all the things you need in this part of the country, you don’t need to run out of gas, and you need car heating in winter. If they don’t, they should review this in driver’s ed classes. 

In this article today, we’re going to answer a few questions about car heating. From this, you may be able to determine what is wrong with yours and if you need to have your mechanic inspect the heating system. Or perhaps, you simply don’t have the settings in the right place! 

The heating and cooling of a vehicle can be a complicated system. In the world of vehicles, there are 3 different types of heating systems: 

  • Water-coolant engines
  • Air-coolant engines
  • Electrical engine heating 

Most  vehicles today, the heating system is from water-coolant engines, with a basic, simple principle of how the heat is generated. As the engine gets warm, the coolant absorbs some of that heat and gets it warmed up to a certain temperature.  It then travels through a thermostat and goes to the radiator, where the temperature is reduced to keep your vehicle from overheating. 

For the car heating portion of your vehicle system, some of that heated coolant travels  through a component, the heater core, a radiator type component. From there, that heat then travels to inside your vehicle by a fan. 

If your vehicle heater is blowing cold as soon as you start your vehicle, that is because the coolant hasn’t had time to get warmed up because the engine is still cold. However, if your vehicle has been running for some time and the heater is still blowing cold, it could be one of the following reasons: 

  • The thermostat is malfunctioning: A malfunctioning thermostat could be stuck opened or closed. If it is stuck closed, the engine will overheat, and this can damage the engine beyond repair if not addressed promptly. If stuck open, the coolant will run continuously through the thermostat, and never heat up. This would cause the car heating selection in your vehicle to blow cold air. 
  • The coolant level is too low: The coolant fluid is a major part of the heating system, so if there isn’t adequate coolant, your vehicle’s heating system isn’t going to get the heat it needs to blow war air inside your vehicle. There could be a leak with the various connections, hoses, the radiator, or any of the engine’s components that work the cooling and heating system.
  • Air bubbles in the system: Cold air will blow instead of heat if the coolant has air bubbles. With air bubbles, the coolant can’t heat up and travel through the system properly. 
  • The heater core has issues: Your vehicles car heating may be blowing cold air if the heater core is stopped up. There are narrow passages in the heater core and if any of them have blockage, it will keep the coolant from passing through and warming up. 
  • The heater controls: If your car heating system is blowing cold air, make sure the controls in the right position for heat. If they are, and the possible issues we’ve covered above are all in proper working issue, then there may be a problem with the controls inside your vehicle. With time, they can break, become clogged with gunk, and get stuck. 

How do you know when your car heater is going out?

The following things are hint that your  car heating broken and needs professional mechanic attention: 

  • There is little or no heat blowing inside your vehicle, even after it has been running for a while and the temperature gauge reads in normal range.  
  • You smell coolant inside the car, a fruity, sweet smell, while the motor is running. 
  • The windows are fogged up, even with the defroster on.
  • There is a leak under the dashboard.
  • Your vehicle is low on coolant and the engine is running hot.

How can I get better heat in my car?

A few tricks to try to get your car heating fixed and heating faster: 

  • If your vehicle’s climate control system has an auto setting, set the thermostat the highest setting and you’re done. 
  • If your vehicle has remote start, start your vehicle 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to leave. This will all the coolant to start warming up and that will heat the interior of your vehicle. 
  • Turn the temperature setting to cold, then turn the fan off. This may seem like you’re doing just the opposite of heating the car, but the cooling/heating system in vehicle will get hot faster. Once you have driven the vehicle a while, move the temperature setting to hot and the fan to full blast. 
  • Drive your vehicle and as you drive, it will warm up. Most vehicles today are heated up in thirty seconds. 
heater vents in car

How can I keep my car warm without heat?

Winter temperatures in New Jersey can be brutal, but when your car heating isn’t working, it just makes it worse. While the common suggested  solution would be having the car heating fixed, sometimes that just isn’t possible financially. Here are a few suggestions that can keep you warm without car heating. 

  • Park inside a garage.
  • Cover the windshield day and night.
  • Buy hand warming packets and if you find anything in the hunting section for deer hunters, consider utilizing them in your car.
  • Buy a heater that will plug into the car cigarette lighter.
  • Keep several blankets in your car. 
  • Take a hot beverage and a thermos of hot beverage.

Does engine heating work with off?

The fan for your vehicle heating is powered through the accessory’s connection at the ignition switch. When the vehicle engine is turned off, it doesn’t get any power. Otherwise, if the fan is on and the engine isn’t running, it would drain the battery within 30 minutes. While we hope nobody is driving around during a New Jersey winter without car heating, we hope there was helpful information for you. Call 609-737-7226 today for your car heater service in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ.

How Often Should Tires be Rotated?

tires on the road

So, do you really have to rotate your tires?

To answer the question how often, what is tire rotation? Tire rotation is the having the tires repositioned on your vehicle in a specific pattern. Typically, they go from front to back and/or side to side. Okay, but Why get a tire rotation? This is an important part of vehicle tire upkeep and vehicle safety. For many tire manufacturers, it is required for warranty purpose. 

Cars are not cheap! As a car owner, there are many maintenance things that have to be done to keep your car on the road and get as long of a lifespan as you can. Still though, you may be asking yourself if a tire rotation is really necessary? Maybe the budget is a little tight this month, is the finance company going to get your car because you missed a tire rotation? 

Absolutely not, they finance company has no concern with your having maintenance completed on your car as recommended or required by the manufacturer. They’re still going to expect you to pay for the car though, whether is drivable or not, so take the time and budget for the routine tire rotation along with the other maintenance actions like oil changes. 

By following the vehicle’s manufacturer recommended tire rotation schedule, this will assure that your tires have even tread wear. What does even tread wear give you? It improves the car’s handling, reduces noises and vibrations, extends the tire’s life, and protect the tire warranty. These are things that keep you from having to buy new tires and give you the best driving experience possible. 

What happens if you never rotate your tires?

Without regular tire rotations, the tread wears unevenly, creating a rough and unstable tire surface for driving. Unevenly worn tread will decrease yours and your passenger’s safety while on the road. NHTSA reports that inadequate tread depth has been found responsible for over 25% of all car accidents related to tires. Ignored tire rotation can cause the following: 

  • Heat Buildup: When a car is moving, it creates friction between the tires and the road, generating heat.  While tires are designed and manufactured to withstand heat, they still need airflow space to cool down. When tires get too hot, they are prone for having blowouts and the tread begin separating.  
  • Hydroplaning: Tire tread’s deep grooves channel water away from the surface. This enables the tires to maintain a solid grip on the roadway. When the tire tread is inadequate, the tires can slide across the road and skim across the water, making controlling, handling, and steering the car dangerous and even impossible. 
  • Poor Traction: With tire tread that is deep, sharp, and wide, and has more irregular treads, like snow tires, it improves the traction by design to grip into packed snow. Insufficient tread makes winter condition driving risky with possibility you can spin out of control and slide on the icy roadway.
  • Blowouts and Punctures: Without regular tire rotation, the excessive strain your tires are under will create a worn spot that will start to wear thin. As tires get thinner in those worn spot, the risk of glass, nail, a sharp rock or any sharp object could puncture the tire, causing a blowout. 

Can rotating tires mess up tire alignment?

A tire rotation should not affect the tire alignment if you have the tire rotation on a routine schedule as recommended by the tire manufacturer. 

How do I know when to get my tires rotated?

If you notice any of these things while driving your car, they are indications that your car needs a tire rotation: 

  • Tires Wearing Uneven: Examine all of the tires on your car and you notice that the tread is wearing differently on each tire, a tire rotation would be a good idea. 
  • Tire Vibration: When driving 45 mph or faster, if you feel a vibration from the tires, you could have a tire out of balance, your tires could need tire rotation, or your car may need a wheel alignment.  
  • Tire Pressure Loss: If one tire is losing air pressure faster than the other three tires, it is probably a leak in that one tire. Taking your car in for a Vehicle inspections and tire rotations will allow the mechanic to check all issues like leaks and get your car secure for the road again.  
tires being replaced

How long will tires last if not rotated?

There are several factors in determining the lifespan of tires.  From how much you drive, the way you drive, the road conditions, and more.  Tire rotation is important in getting the longest lifespan though.  A sixty-thousand-mile tire that doesn’t get a routine tire rotation could get fifty-thousand miles. A routine tire rotation will give your tires a better chance of sixty-thousand miles or longer with good driving and road conditions.

It is important to have the routine tire rotation and just as important to use a service that is experienced in how to do a tire rotation properly. Keeping your tires and other important components of your car will assure safe driving for you and safe arrival for your passengers. Call 609-737-7226 today for your tire rotation in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ.

What is a transmission in a car?

transmission crosscut

How long does a transmission last?

What does a transmission in a car do?  A transmission transfers power from the engine to the driveshaft and rear wheels in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. For a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the transmission transfers engine power to the axle half-shaft and front wheels. Inside a transmission are gears that change the drive-wheel speed and torque to relate to the speed and torque of the engine. 

The automatic transmission is a complex design that is intended to make driving easier. An automatic transmission has a series of intricate circuitry with complicated electronic functions, all of which allow room for failures and malfunctions. Whereas a manual transmission is simpler by nature in operation. However, in today’s busy, ever-going lifestyles, the simplicity of the automatic transmission is a lifesaver.

The lifespan of an automatic transmission can vary based on various factors, primarily how the vehicle is driven. The typical life expectancy is approximately seven years or up to 200,000 miles. There are five things a car owner can do to extend the life of an automatic transmission: 

1. Have Services Regularly: Like your car’s engine, the transmission need its oil and filter changed in specific intervals as recommended by the manufacturer. Typically this is between 20,000 miles and 30,000 miles, or an average of every 18 months.  A newer vehicle’s automatic transmission should have a transmission flush every 40,000 miles to 50,000 miles or average every two years. 

2. Fluid Checked Regularly: The purpose of transmission fluid is to remove heat from the transmission’s internal components. When that fluid is allowed to get too low, the transmission will overheat and could damage it irreversibly. It is recommended to have your transmission fluid checked once a month. 

3. Synthetic Transmission Fluid: Use the transmission fluid type as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. However, as a car ages and is driven, the organic compounds of the transmission will  eventually break as the vehicle is driven, becoming less effective. Synthetic transmission fluid is more beneficial at this point, especially if you live or drive through heavy traffic or in hills and mountains. 

4. Install a Transmission Cooler: Transmissions do not like heat, over exposed to heat will cause a transmission to quit working and cause severe damage that can’t be repaired. There are coolers that fit a transmission and will lower the temperature as it operates so that it won’t wear out as quick.

5. Good Driving Practices: Be smart with your driving style and techniques based on these three things:  

  • Avoid aggressive driving. 
  • Let the engine and transmission warm up 
  • Don’t shift gears while the vehicle is in motion  

Can a transmission go out without warning?

Not usually, there are indicators and warning signs that a driver should be aware of signaling that their vehicle’s transmission is beginning to fail. If any of those indications or warnings are exhibited and ignored, you could be causing damaged to the transmission that is not repairable, meaning you’ll need a new transmission or rebuild the existing transmission. 

What are the signs that your transmission is going out?

Some warning signs that the transmission in your car needs attention are: 

  1. Weird Odors: A burning smell coming from the transmission could indicate it is overheated, which can overheat the engine. Other things that can cause a transmission to emit weird odors is something wrapped up trapped around the transmission or it has antifreeze dripping from it. 
  2. Unusual Sounds: The cars breaking down on television with a big clunk sound is one of the things that happens in real life. An unusual sound coming from the transmission usually means trouble. Those sounds could be clunks, buzzing or humming, or a whining sound. 
  3. Noisy: Excess noise could be indicating a problem like a bumping noise while in neutral. It may simply need transmission fluid,  but why? This needs to be checked out by your mechanic. 
  4. Check Engine Light: Too many drivers ignore the check engine light, but the purpose of that light is to let the driver know there is a problem, and it isn’t always with the engine specifically. It could be an issue with the transmission that is affecting the engine. 
  5. Unresponsive: An unresponsive transmission will not slide into gear as it is designed to do, and that hesitation or lack of response is a strong indication that something is wrong. 
  6. Transmission Fluid Leak: There are six main fluids in a vehicle that are for cooling, lubricating, braking, steering, and cleaning the windshield. If the levels are kept up to where the manufacturer suggest, there are parts of the car that won’t function correctly, and the transmission is one of the main ones. 
  7. Car is Shaking: When a car starts shaking as it switches gears, you need to get to your mechanic to have the matter checked out. 
  8. Won’t Go In Gear: If your car won’t go in gear, it is usually indication of low fluid and is usually fixed by adding fluid. If you’re having to do this frequently, you should have a mechanic check the transmission for other problems. On newer cars, it could be in the computer, which can be fixed by disconnecting the battery for 30 minutes and reconnect.  This is equivalent to rebooting a computer. 
  9. Gears Slipping: When the gears of a transmission is slipping, it can often be because it is low on transmission fluid. 

This can be dangerous if this happens in traffic, and it is damaging the engine and transmission. 

Can you still drive with a bad transmission?

No, when a transmission has begun to have problems, the only place it should be driven to is a mechanic shop. It is only a matter of mileage and timing before a bad transmission goes completely out and leaves you stranded. 

gearshifter

What causes a transmission to kick?

When a transmission or clutch  kicks or may be referred to as jerking as it shifts, there are several potential causes, the most common one being low on transmission fluid. Adding more fluid may help the kicking and jerking, but the transmission likely needs a flush and a new screen. 

The transmission of your car is as important at the engine. Keeping maintenance is needed on both to keep your car on the road efficiently and safely. Never ignore any warning signs and have all regular maintenance done as recommended by the manufacturer. Call 609-737-7226 today!

How do you know if the suspension has gone on your car?

undercarriage and suspension

The role of your suspension

It takes the engine to make your car go and the transmission makes it move, but what makes it stay on the roadway? Car suspension and handling.  What exactly is car suspension and handling and how does it work? Car suspension maximizes the friction between the road surface and tires, provides stability with the steering, and provides passengers a comfortable ride. 

When we speak of a car’s performance, the words acceleration, horsepower, and torque may come to mind. Without good car suspension though, all of that is worthless. Car suspension is necessary for the driver to have control over all that acceleration, horsepower, and torque. 

Car suspension refers to all  the following components:

  • Car axles
  • Car tires
  • Shocks 

Those three things support the car, absorb bumps, and steers the vehicle while turning.  When any part of that car suspension system is damaged, it impacts the steering and degrades the performance of the car. This can often be fixed with new shocks or struts, sometimes a realignment of the front wheels. 

What causes suspension damage?

If you’ve driven enough, you have no doubt “hit” your share of potholes and drover over rough roads. It used to be bad after winter, but these days, seems like all the roads are filled with potholes.  As careful of a driver as you may be, there is always that one huge pothole hidden by a shadow or around a slight curve that  you come across before you have time to avoid it or slow to a crawl.

 Over time, when you’ve “hit” enough of those potholes or went over speed bumps at 30mph , it can damage your car suspension. If you’ve ever hit a bump hard enough   that you “ “bottomed out” aka, the bottom of your car hit the road, you did not do your car suspension a favor.

 Why does car suspension break?

Car suspension rarely break, in fact, the cars made today have a coil spring, the chance of the car suspension breaking is one in a thousand. The suspension of an older car with leaf springs could break but it would have to be a had impact. While we say it is rare a car suspension would break, it does happen. Some factors that could cause a car suspension to break: 

  • Bumps: Hitting a really large bump at a really high rate of speed could break a car suspension. 
  • Overloaded: The springs on a car suspension can be overloaded and then hitting a bump with that weight could be more than the car suspension is designed to hand. 
  • Rust: The springs of a car suspension are made of steel, and all steel will rust, and when combined with other corrosion an oxygen from the atmosphere, it weakens the spring. Once a spring is compromised with corrosion and rust, it could break fairly easily.  The corrosion is normal after salt has been left on icy roadways. 
  • Chemic Changes: Over time, steel can have chemical changes from hydrogen molecules penetrating between the iron, making the steel crack from hydrogen embrittlement. Again, like corrosion, this is usually from salted roadways in the winter. 
  • Age: Metal won’t weaken over time unless it is abused. In the case of car suspension, that abuse is in the way of hard bangs and strong vibration. This causes cracks and the springs weaken. This can’t happen in short time, it takes probably a million bends before the steel weakens enough, but if combined with rust, this could speed up the process. 

How long does a car suspension last?

There are too many factors and variable to get a timeframe on the life of car suspension. It mostly weighs on the shocks or struts. If we’re forced to put a number on the lifespan of shocks or struts, we would give them 5 years on average.  There are cars that the shocks can last 10 years though. 

What does a bad suspension sound like?

 If you’re hearing your car suspension is squeaking, then you need to take your car to the mechanic for new shocks or struts.  If there are other issues under the front end, they can advise you then. If your car is making creaking, groaning, popping, or snapping sounds while steering it around corners, your car suspension is worn out. Same with any clunking, rattling, or popping sounds while driving over rough roads.

Can you fix suspension on a car?

Yes, and it could be fairly inexpensive, and it could be costly, depending on what all is needed in the car suspension. If it is replacing the shocks or struts, that is the cheaper repair. If the axle are bent or broken, you could be looking at $1,000 or more.  The type of car you have is also a factor in the cost of repairing car suspension. 

suspension access and disc brake exposed

Can you drive a car with bad suspension?

You could drive a  car with suspension issues, but it isn’t recommended.  A spring that is damaged or collapsed can cause sagging and will affect the alignment of the car sooner than later.  The car will have a rough ride and if you’re driving in the rain or at high rate of speed, controlling the car will be difficult, maybe impossible. 

A car suspension is as important as having air in the tires and oil in the engine.  If your car is starting to exhibit any possible issues with the frontend, have your mechanic look it over. Call 609-737-7226 today for your suspension service in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ.

What Needs to Be Replaced When Airbags Deploy?

airbag replacement

Can I Replace My Own Airbag?

Airbag replacement service is an important service, and not to be taken lightly. However, the question remains: can you actually replace your own airbag? If you are an experienced mechanic, you will be pleased to learn that there are no restrictions on whether or not you can replace airbag units on your own. As a matter of fact, you won’t need to go to any authorized dealer or mechanic except when the work is not covered by the car’s warranty. However, it is a very in-depth process, and unless you are an experienced mechanic, it is not advisable. That is because if anything were to go wrong, you would be putting your life in jeopardy in case of a collision.

What Needs to Be Replaced When Airbags Deploy?

Are you wondering what items are necessary to be replaced when your airbags deploy? If so, please review the following bullet-pointed list to discover more.

  • The airbags.
  • The airbag control module will need to be replaced or reprogrammed. 
  • The clockspring and any impact sensors that melted or were damaged in the collision will need to be replaced. This is in order for the airbag module to reset and work properly for the future.

As previously mentioned, it is important for a licensed technician to replace the damaged or deployed airbags. This is to ensure that you are safe and properly taken care of on the road.

Can I Drive Without Airbags?

If you are currently wondering whether or not you can drive a car without airbags, you may not be surprised at the answer. It is, of course, illegal to drive without airbags. Furthermore, it’s illegal to install anything other than a functioning airbag that meets federal safety standards for your car. It’s also a felony to sell, lease, trade, or transfer a car without working airbags. If your car has been deemed as totaled, then it is illegal to drive it. It is important to note that you can apply for a salvage title.

Can You Sell a Car with Blown Airbags?

As previously mentioned, it is illegal to drive or sell a car that has blown airbags. This is a very good law because it means that fewer people will be on the road without airbags. Public safety is important for car-owners especially when they are on the road. According to the presiding nomenclature, you can’t drive a car on public roads where a safety system like an airbag does not work. As it stands, you can’t sell a car to a buyer because it will not pass inspection.

Can Airbags Be Put Back In?

It’s important to note that the airbag of a vehicle cannot be fixed after an accident. A replacement airbag will need to be installed in its place. In years past, mechanics had the ability to reset some airbags. However, as advanced in technology has occurred, it has become meaningful for mechanics to replace the safety devices after each airbag deployment.

Airbag Replacement Time

If you need to get your airbags replaced, it will be important for you to understand how long the process will take. According to leading estimates, it can take about two hours for your airbags to be replaced. 

Are Airbag Repairs Free

If you need repairs for your airbags, you may want to know if they are free. If you happen to have defective airbags for any reason, the cost to get them fixed is free. This can be a relief for many car owners.

Vehicle Airbag Replacement

If you need your vehicle’s airbags to be replaced, please be aware that it can be extraordinarily expensive. For the driver’s side, you will probably need to pay in the realm of many hundreds of dollars, and the passenger’s side airbags will have correspondingly high amounts of money attached to airbag replacement. Airbag replacement is not exactly cheap.

airbag replacement

Replace Airbags In Car

Are you wondering about whether or not airbags have lifetime warranties? Unlike seatbelts, car airbags are only covered by the new car limited warranty. As a matter of fact, the only replacement airbag that can be guaranteed to be safe is an original equipment unit that was purchased from the automobile manufacturer through a new car dealership. Thus, it is important to remember that car airbags do not last a lifetime and will need to be replaced eventually. When you do have your airbags replaced, it is necessary to select an auto shop that puts your needs first. A good mechanic shop will be staffed with experienced mechanics who possess various certifications and are insured.

One of the most important things you can do for your health and the health of your vehicle is airbag replacement in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ. Please reach out to us at 609-737-7226 today!

Can You Drive with a Faulty Transmission?

Stick shift of a manual transmission car

Can a transmission go out without warning?

A vehicle needs an engine, tires, and wheels to make it move, and the transmission. What is a transmission? A transmission is a vehicle’s gearbox that turns the engine’s power to make the vehicle move. Without a transmission, your vehicle couldn’t go anywhere. So, when it quits working, you need either a transmission repair or a transmission replacement.

If a transmission fails, it rarely happens without warning. Read further to learn the ten warning signs of a transmission going out. 

How do you know if your transmission is going out?

Early detection of possible problems with your vehicle can save you inconveniences of a broke down car, money and prevent more severe damage. As a vehicle owner, it is vital to learn signs of potential problems so that you can get professional auto repair before the problem becomes a more significant issue. With the transmission, here are ten telltale warning signals that could keep you from having to pay for expensive transmission repair:

  1. Won’t Switch Gears
    When a vehicle struggles or won’t switch gears is the first warning sign, something is wrong with the transmission. It could need transmission fluid added, or you may be looking at possible transmission repair. 
  2. Burning Odor
    A burning odor coming from your vehicle, you need to take it to your mechanic promptly. Burning odors coming from any part of your vehicle isn’t good, but the transmission could be overheating or out of transmission fluid. 
  3. Noisy Neutral Gear
    Noises coming from a vehicle when it is neutral is a strong indication the transmission has problems. A transmission flush may fix it. It may need a transmission repair or replacement. 
  4. Gears Slipping
    When you feel your vehicle slip out of gear impulsively while driving down the road, it can be alarming and scary, and it can be hazardous. You need to get your vehicle to an experienced mechanic immediately.  
  5. Clutch Drags
    When a clutch drags, it can’t disengage from the flywheel when you press in the clutch pedal. 
  6. Fluid Leaking
    Transmission leaking is the most straightforward problem to identify, so when you find a red fluid with a sweet-like smell under your vehicle, have your mechanic check the transmission fluid. It will likely need some added, but if the leak is bad enough, your vehicle needs either a transmission repair or replacement. 
  7. The Check Engine Light
    A check engine light can be an indication of many different things for a vehicle and needs an experienced mechanic to inspect your vehicle.
  8. Grinds or Shakes
    Grinding and shaking transmission is often an indication that the transmission is having issues and needs to be checked by a mechanic. 
  9. Clunking, Humming, Whining Sounds
    A vehicle transmission making any of these sounds is not good and needs a mechanic inspection immediately. 
  10. Transmission Unresponsive
    If you put your vehicle in gear and it doesn’t respond, there is probably something wrong with the transmission. 

Can you fix broken transmission?

A transmission repair is when the bare minimum number of parts are replaced to get your transmission in working again. Typically, it is only fixing a specific part and is the least expensive option. A transmission rebuild is when the complete transmission is disassembled and inspected, what is included in transmission repair? Any damaged, failing, or worn parts are replaced and should be done by an experienced transmission specialist. Not all mechanics are experienced in transmission repair. 

 Why transmission repair instead of a rebuild or replacement? Because it is the least expensive way to go when possible. Some transmission problems cannot be taken care of with transmission repair as if it gets drove without transmission fluid.        

Can you drive with a bad transmission?

Yes, sometimes, but it isn’t recommended. If the only issue you’re having your vehicle’s transmission is the fluid keeps leaking out, you can keep refilling it. This service is a temporary fix, though. Eventually, it will quit working because running out of transmission fluid is hard on a transmission, just like running out of gas and oil are hard on your car’s engine. 

mechanic working on a transmission

Is it worth getting your transmission fixed?

 It can depend on the age of the vehicle, the condition of the vehicle overall, and if you can afford a transmission repair or replacement versus a new car with payment. This is a matter you should discuss with your mechanic and do some consider the cost of repair, replacement, or a new car. 

One consideration to ask the transmission specialist and your mechanic, if you have a transmission repair done: Is this a long term repair or will you be faced with problem down the road again. If it is only temporary, it can give you time to get your finances in order for a new vehicle. Call 609-737-7226 today for your transmission repair needs in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ.

Can you Skip an Oil Change?

oil change

Why is it Important to get an Oil Change?

In short, no, it is a very bad idea to just skip an oil change, particularly for long periods of time. While fresh oil is smooth and runs efficiently through your system, over time it becomes grainy and will do damage to your system by wearing it out consistently. To put it another way, oil is extremely important to your engine because it acts partly as a lubricate to all the various moving parts inside. It works in a way that also prevents the resulting created heat that is caused by your engine from burning out the majority of the functioning parts. In these two ways, oil is highly important to the duration of your car and its working lifespan. Often enough, most cars have ways of telling you when you require an oil change, examples of that can be:

  • An indicator light (generally with newer cars)
  • Greater than normal vehicle exhaust
  • Louder than normal engine
  • Lower oil level
  • Car shakes when idle
  • Oil is not normal in texture
  • Car runs differently after a long trip
  • Car ticks when it starts

To most effectively know when your oil is in need of changing, you will want to familiarize yourself with some minor car care techniques. Lifting up the hood, knowing where the dipstick is and what the result means when you check it. This sort of thing, when regularly checked, can save you many headaches and help determine when you need to take your vehicle in. When you do need to do so, trust the oil services of European Plus in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ. Call 609-737-7226 today to schedule your appointment.

Does an Oil Change Make the Car run Better?

Like any other machine that makes use of oil, adding a fresh supply will by and large make it run far more smoothly. Moreover, when applied to a car an oil change should be tantamount to getting gas and more so than a carwash. Your car will legitimately last far longer when you get regular oil changes. When practicing this, you will notice: 

  • Improved performance
  • Better mileage
  • Longer than expected lifespan
  • Fewer trips to a mechanic
  • Less trips to the gas station

To put it mildly, regularly scheduled oil changes make your car far better, having it eat up less oil and operating at a higher standard than if it were not supplied sufficient oil changes. One enormous way you can learn how to tell when you need to change your oil is to inspect the oil currently running through your engine. By doing this, you can personally tell when it needs to be changed. A misconception many run into is that you cannot just add more oil to the engine, regular oil changes are necessary. This is because the old oil, with all of the formed particles inside of it, will remain and still become worse as it runs through your engine.

What Happens if you go too Long Without an Oil Change?

Many Americans across the country do go too long passed when they truly need an oil change applied to their car, often to their detriment. As it has been addressed, oil begins to build up particles and does thin out to the point that the functioning parts can catch the growing particles, grinding them. Eventually, the liquid itself will not be able to move through your engine and do its job. While you are able to go many miles past when you should get an oil change, but it is not recommended. The maximum you should go when your change oil light comes on or you notice it is time to get your oil changed is around 500 miles. It is not recommended that you make it a point of avoiding scheduled oil changes until the last moment because this can do gradual harm to your engine, which will severely cut its working lifespan by a massive degree.

oil change

How Long Should you Wait for an Oil Change?

As mentioned, there are signs you can go off of that will inform you as to whether you need an oil change or not. When you find them, you should be all accounts definitely get one at your earliest convenience. However, when you are casually using your car and not traveling great distances, a rule of thumb is that you can generally get a regularly scheduled change every three months and be solid. To that extent, however, you should always consult your user manual that comes with your car to best determine what is best. All cars are built differently and there tend to be very few solutions that work across the board. Most vehicles these days tend to warn their users when the right time is, with an indication light. Another common rule is that you are generally able to go 5,000 to 7,500 miles without an oil change, but again it is best to read your manual and to pay close attention to the signs you yourself can notice in your car. For an expert’s option, why not stop by at European Plus in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ. Our mechanics are always ready to provide the best in car care, just call 609-737-7226 today to schedule your appointment.

How do you maintain car wheels?

Can driving down fall road

Keeping your wheels on the road

Your car is probably an important investment for you, it is for most people. We make payments on them, keep up insurance and registration, get the oil changed, and keep them washed. What about car wheel maintenance and tire maintenance though? Yes, the tires and wheels need maintenance too, they are an enormous part of what gets you from point A to point B when you drive your car. 

So, you’re probably asking, “How do you maintain tires?”, right? Driving is a pleasure, a necessity, and a danger for life these days. We are relying on four tires to keep us safe on the road, so they should get some TLC from us to keep them in good condition.

Here are a few wheel maintenance tips to follow that will give you the most from your tires:

  1. Tire Pressure Monthly Check.  Tires lose around one pound per square inch each month, more in cold weather. Don’t rely on your oil change time for the air pressure to be checked. Under-inflated tires are a key component in accidents because it decreases the ability to handle the vehicle safely. Low tire pressure can also cause the car to use more gas and the tires will wear out sooner. By checking the air monthly, you’ll get more ROI for what you paid for those tires you have now!
  2. Regular Tire Inspection and Before Road Trips. Each time you check the air pressure in your tires, inspect them for any bulges and cracks. Look for any glass, nails, screws, or stones stuck in them. If there is any of these things stuck in the tires, have it replaced immediately. This is just a flat waiting to happen! For road trips, make sure the tire pressure is at a proper level and inspect for any of the things we listed above. You don’t want to hit the highway speed with dangerous tires. Car wheel maintenance includes checking for any potential leaks that you can’t see.   
  3. Rotation. Regular tire rotation every 5,000 miles is an important car wheel maintenance step that helps maintain tread wear evenly, give your tires the most life Many tire stores will provide free tire rotation.  This is a good time to get wheel alignment maintenance too.
  4. Load Your Car with Care. There is a stated weight limit on cars for a reason, you’ll find that information on the price sticker. An overloaded vehicle put pressure on the tires, wearing them out. This is more than car wheel maintenance; it is car maintenance responsibility.
  5. Replace the Tires Sooner Than Later. Don’t wait until the tires on your car have thread showing or after you’ve had several flat tires repaired. Tires are expensive and a trustworthy wheel maintenance mechanic can advise you when the time right to buy.
  6. Mismatching Tires Are A No-No. Should I replace all 4 tires? Yes!Always buy all four tires at the same time, or if you must buy only one, get an exact matching tire.  Mismatched tires will reflect negatively on your car’s handling, making it use more gas and wear the other tires out.

How do I know if my tires are worn out?

A penny can tell you if it is time to buy new tires! How? By sticking a penny in several tire grooves, head. If you can see the top of President Lincoln’s head, then it is time!  If part of his head is covered by the tire tread, you still have over 2/32 inch of tread depth.

Why does tire tread matter with car wheel maintenance? Worn-out tires are dangerous on the road, especially wet roads. Many states have state inspection with a minimum of tire tread allowed, anything less will not pass inspection, and it is illegal to drive on the road at that point.

Probable Problem Areas with Worn Tires:

  1. Center tread with excessive wear indicates the tire has been over-inflated.
  2. Shoulders of the tire show excessive wear indicates under inflation.
  3. Unevem wear of the tread in indication your car needs a wheel alignment.
  4. One side with excessive wear is an indication there is incorrect camber angle.
  5. Knobby outer section indicates a toe-in value problem. 

How many miles should a good set of tires last?

With proper vehicle and car wheel maintenance, combined with normal driving, typical all-season tires can give you anywhere from 50,000 miles to 70,000 miles, maybe more.

different types of tire tread

Why do new car tires wear out so fast?

The tires that come with a new car may say they are Goodyear or Michelin, but they are made to the specifications as set by the car manufacturer. They will wear out faster because the car manufacturer wants you to keep new tires on your car to give you that smooth ride they promise in their ads. 

Part of responsible car wheel maintenance is to keep the tires aired as the car manufacturer recommends, which is usually 10 pounds less than what the tire manufacturer recommends. Experts recommend going with what the tire manufacturer recommends and if the ride is too rough, go with a weight between the two recommendations. 

We cannot stress the importance of car wheel maintenance enough. If your tires and wheels aren’t in good shape, then the car will not go far for long. Following the tips we provided here will keep your tires in good shape and your car on the road, safely, for a long time. Call 609-737-7226 today for your car wheel maintenance in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ

How do you know if your suspension is damaged?

suspension repair

What causes suspension damage?

Suspension repair and installation of those parts is extremely important for any car, perhaps more for European cars. Why? We know European cars for their speed and their handling, and the combination of both as they handle hairpin turns at a high speed. But then, if those two things are not in good working order, and in sync with each other, it can be disastrous, even deadly.

Therefore, it is important for owners of European cars with suspension issues, repairs they take their car to a qualified mechanic that knows European car motors and suspension repairs. They have the experience, knowledge, and suspension repair tools needed to do the job right.

We take for granted the suspension in our car, but some cars, especially European cars, that is one thing that we should be more attentive toward. The suspension provides us a smooth ride, turning corners without our car leaning over to one side, and keeps the car on the road. These are just a few reasons why suspension repair is a must.

Besides potholes, there are other things that can damage the suspension on your car. If any of the following parts of the car’s front end are broken defective, loose, even missing the suspension is at risk and vulnerable, and so is your car:

  • Ball Joints – these collect dirt, dust, grit, and other impurities inside the ball joints and make them as grease and lubrication leak out. General wear and tear will cause ball joints to go bad, and they can begin rusting if you drive in wet weather much.
  • Shocks or Struts – bad roads, aka potholes, and worn tires can wear shocks or struts out, even cause them to break when you hit a pothole too fast and too hard. Speed bumps can break or wear out shocks and struts too, causing the need for suspension repair. 
  • Springs – when persistently exposed to water, springs begin to rust and weaken. Also, constantly overloading your vehicle will weaken springs down. 
  • Tie Rods – the steering on your car relies on the tie rods every time you turn your vehicle. With that normal wear and tear, you’ll need them replaced and possibly some other suspension repairs. Bad road conditions, aka potholes, car accidents, can also damage tie rod ends.

What does bad suspension sound like?

It isn’t always easy to diagnose suspension issues on a car, but there are common symptoms that will tell you that you should have a mechanic see if your car needs any suspension repair. As far as sounds go that may hint at suspension repair, each time you turn a corner, go through a dip or pothole, hit the brakes hard or when you take off fast, you may hear a clanking or squeaking sound from the front end. If any of these are happening, or you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • The car pulls to one side going down the road
  • The rough ride going over even the smallest bump
  • The car leans to one side in the front
  • Every time you speed up, the front-end drops, the car rolls backward
  • Steering is difficult

Does suspension affect acceleration?

Yes! Consider ground zero of your car to be the suspension for abuse while going down the road. Therefore, the parts wear out or break, making the ride uncomfortable. The bad suspension is also dangerous going down the road. Remember, at the beginning of this article we discussed the love of European cars was or the motor and the handling?

So, when your suspension is broken or weak, there are multiple dangerous situations that could happen. Starting with the wheels will jump because the is less contact between the ground and the wheel. This slows acceleration minimizes braking efficiency, and most of all, slow your acceleration. With all this stated, you can see that suspension repair is a must if you want power at taking and control going down the road.

What happens if suspension goes?

Have you ever had a broken leg and tried to walk without crutches or any type of help? It is difficult may be impossible. The same is true for a car with a bad suspension. 

If your car’s suspension wears totally out, your car becomes unbalanced and unstable. This makes it difficult, even impossible, to control your car, especially going over bumps or turning corners. Before driving the car too much, we recommend suspension repair. 

Suspension and brakes exposed

How do you fix a car’s suspension? 

Taking your car to an experienced mechanic for suspension repair is the best thing you can do. They have all the equipment, tools, and access to the parts needed for suspension repair. If you are a DIY car owner, or you want to save some money, suspension repair will depend on what it needs. A non-mechanic can do shocks, struts, and springs, but they are probably the hardest thing to replace or repair. These parts are under a lot of pressure and if you don’t have the right equipment, or you don’t do it right, they can pop off and fly anywhere, including through the car or into your face or body. 

The ball joints and tie rods aren’t as precarious to replace, but it will require that you raise the front end of the car up off the ground. You must remove the wheels and possibly other parts in that area to get to the ball joints or tie rods. The engine and the tires are needed to make your car go. This is common knowledge. However, the suspension is needed for safe driving. Never take your car’s front end for granted and drive it for long distances or periods when it needs suspension repair.

When it is time for suspension repair, European Plus is the one to call. Dial 609-737-7226 today.