What Are Symptoms of Bad Brakes

Examining for Bad Brakes

Maintaining Motor Vehicles

Your motor vehicle is a major investment. Not only did you spend quite a bit of money initially, but you are likely making large payments every single month as well. The last thing you want is another payment added to your plate, but if there is any sign of damage or problem with your car, it’s better to get it fixed sooner rather than later. The best example of this would be faulty brakes. As soon as you notice anything wrong with the brakes on your car, it’s important to get it to a shop as soon as possible. If you suspect your car to have bad brakes in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ, give European Plus a call. We can start helping you today. Dial 609-737-7226 for an appointment.

Hard Press on Bad Brakes

Driving With Bad Brakes

While it can be easy to neglect your car, it is not recommended. Owning a car comes with a host of responsibilities, most of which we know, come with a steep financial responsibility as well. That being said, if you are noticing problems with your car, it’s better to get them taken care of sooner rather than later. For example, if you are noticing bad brakes on your car, continuing to drive is not only damaging but incredibly dangerous. Driving with bad brakes on cars puts you and others on the road at risk for damages and injuries. You are also knowingly putting stress on your car, which could easily be corrected by car mechanics. Rather than wait until it’s too late, it’s recommended to start paying attention to signs of bad brakes and start saving.

Bad Brakes Symptoms

Does your car really need maintenance and care? Yes, it does! Motor vehicles are not designed to work without fail. They are designed to work with regular maintenance. Depending on how old your car is, you may be in need of new brakes. How can you tell? There is, in fact, a difference between bad brakes vs good brakes. You’ll be able to tell if your brakes are failing by looking for a few signs or symptoms. 

  • Squealing/Squeaking: A sure sign of failing brakes is a squealing or squeaking sound you may hear when you pump the brake pedal. This is what bad brakes sound like. That metal-on-metal screech is not good and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. 
  • Fallen Pedal: Another clear indication of failing brakes is a fallen brake pedal. When your brakes are in good condition, the pedal will sit at the same height as the gas pedal. With bad brakes, the pedal will fall which could indicate misalignment or air in the system, neither of which is good.
  • Hitting Harder: If you find yourself having to hit or press on the brakes much harder than normal, something is wrong. When you have to press harder, there could be something wrong with the axle, which needs to be addressed immediately. 
  • Vibrations: Sometimes, things may seem totally fine with the brakes, but when you press down, the whole pedal vibrates. Don’t confuse this with the ABS, which can act similarly upon initial contact. Bad vibrations are often accompanied by a chattering sound, which is generally the indication of a warped rotor. 
  • Pulling: When pressing on the brakes, if you notice a significant pull to either the left or right, it could be an indication of something wrong. Possibly, the calipers or wheel cylinders have seized. If this happens, the pull occurs because one side is working harder, pulling the car in that direction. 

Where you could probably get away with waiting for a car ding repair, waiting for brake repairs is never recommended. Driving with faulty or failing brakes puts you and other drivers at risk. More than that, you are putting your car under unnecessary strain and damage. Don’t wait to have your car looked at. Reach out to the experts at European Plus to schedule an appointment for a diagnosis and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens if your brake pads are bad?
    • You’ll be more aware of loud, squealing sounds when you attempt to pump the brakes on your car. There are other problems, such as the inability to stop quickly, vibrations, and more.
  • What do bad brakes sound like?
    • It is generally described as a high-pitched squeal. It’s the result of the components grinding against each other since the brake pad is either worn down or completely non-existent. 
  • Is it dangerous to drive with bad brakes?
    • Yes, it is extremely dangerous to drive with bad brakes. It is never recommended and highly-encouraged that you have the brakes replaced as soon as possible. Worn-out or even a lack of brake pads on your car can cause serious damage both internally and externally.
  • How do I know when my brakes need changing?
    • The most obvious sign is an indicator light on your dash. If the brake pads get too low, if your car is newer, it will let you know that new pads are needed. You can also tell you need new brakes if you start to hear squealing or squeaking sounds when you pump the brakes. 
  • How do you know if your brakes are failing?
    • There are several indications that your brakes are failing. If you are noticing that squealing or squeaking sound when you brake, the brake pedal has fallen, you have to push harder on the pedal when braking, and other examples. These are clear indications that something is wrong with your brakes.
Repairing Bad Brakes

Dial609-737-7226 to Connect With Our Team for More

Does your car have bad brakes in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ? If so, connect with European Plus to schedule an appointment for repairs. Call 609-737-7226 to get started. 

What Happens If You Don’t Fix an Oil Leak?

Black Oil Puddle on Concrete Under a Close Up of a Car

Learn More About Your Car Leaking Oil

Your vehicle is a machine that is susceptible to changes in condition along the line. That’s why states require that you undergo an inspection annually for the safety of yourself, your passengers and others on the road. Depending on the mileage of your car as well as the model your car will be subjected to routine oil changes. Yet when you have your car leaking oil prematurely there are certain things that should be taken care of in order to ensure smooth vehicle operations. Your car leaking oil will cause damages if ignored over time and could pose potential risks adverse to your safety. Learn more about how your car leaking oil can affect you by reading below.

What happens if you don’t fix an oil leak?

When you have a car that is in need of oil change there are some things that may affect the productivity of your vehicle being operable. Your car needs lubrication in order for parts to move smoothly without scratching one another. What’s more, when this lubrication is absent you can have areas overheat and become damaged.

Can you drive a car with an oil leak?

If you’re wondering if your car leaking oil is it safe to drive, technically you can drive a car with an oil leak as it can still be operable. However, over time you are making your car vulnerable to damages and eventually, parts like your engine will need to be replaced. Another risk is that it can be a fire hazard.

Is car leaking oil dangerous?

When certain circumstance of your car collide, yes, a car leaking oil can be dangerous. Some cases can have your car engine begin to smoke with you needing to pull over on the side of the road. A car leaking oil and smoking is typically produced from the engine and will exit the engine from the exhaust. Leaking valves of a cover gasket can also cause smoke by oil dripping on the hot manifold. Ultimately on a hot day, your engine will be more prone to overheat. You may smell fumes or hear grinding noises which are a clear sign that your car engine parts are scratching against one another without the lubrication of oil to ease their movement.

Red Car In Air With Oil Puddle on Concrete Underneath

Why Does A Car Leak Oil

  • Degraded Engine Gaskets
  • Oil Pan Leaks
  • Poor Oil Seals
  • Bad Connections of Fluid Lines
  • Oil Drain Plug Worn Or Loose
  • Misaligned Oil FIlter
  • Broken Oil Filler Cap

What is leaking from my car?

There are actually many different indications of leaks that can point to different issues with your car. Leaks can encompass liquids that are different colors of the rainbow or even clear which all point to certain areas of your car. For example, a red fluid leak can point towards your power steering system or transmission being the culprit of the leak due to faulty seals or a hole in the fluid return line. Orange leaks can indicate rust in the radiator which will have the antifreeze or condensation appear orange. Depending on the age of your transmission its fluid can also appear orange as well. A yellow fluid will mean your radiant coolant is having issues. A green fluid will point to antifreeze which can occur in your hoses, water pump or radiator when fittings are worn or loose. A blue fluid will point towards your windshield wiper reservoir or tubing. A clear fluid will mean there is condensation from your AC system (which is no cause for alarm as this is normal.) Dark brown fluids will point towards an aged motor oil or your brake fluid. Light brown will mean that there is a leak with new motor oil or gear lubricant. Finally, a pink leak means that there are worn seals, holes in the return line of your transmission fluid or power steering.

Do I need an oil change if my car leaks oil?

Simply getting an oil change will not fix a leak if you have a car leaking oil. That is to say, the puncture, cracks or other damage on the oil line will still be there and an oil change is not the same as getting areas sealed or fixed. Depending on how much oil you’ve lost you may or may not need an oil change after car repairs.

How do you stop a car from leaking oil?

You can stop a car leaking oil with a range of products available through auto retailers which can assist an engine’s seals to become more flexible and stop a car leaking oil. They are typically added to a car’s oil case and will begin working within several hundred miles of normal driving.  Some even claim that in two days or less any seeping or dripping oil will be permanently sealed. Get in touch with an expert to gauge their opinion if you’re in doubt.

Can car oil leaks be fixed?

With a car leaking oil it can be fixed. There are several methods that can be taken from products that claim to seal leaks after driving, to standard car repairs or part replacements. Some fixes will simply call for new synthetic oil while others could require collision repair as the car leaking oil is only one of many problems with the vehicle. Be sure to contact a professional for assistance whenever you are in doubt of what should be done with your vehicle when you have an issue with your car leaking oil.

If you’d like to get help with your car leaking oil in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ call 609-737-7226 with European Plus! 

How do you know if your suspension is damaged?

Mechanic Working on Car Suspension Repair

Car Repairs and Other Services You Need

Your car is a high-demand, high-investment machine. It requires constant care and attention. More so than most car owners even realize. The care and attention isn’t just making sure the interior looks good, but that every part of your car is optimized for performance. For example, your car suspension is necessary, but can easily be damaged. Actually, it can be difficult to diagnose, but suspension repair and installation should not be neglected or taken lightly. If you need more information regarding your car suspension in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ, contact European Plus at 609-737-7226

Causes of Suspension Issues

When you need suspension repair on a car, there can be a variety of reasons for that. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to hone in on exactly what caused the problem or issue with your suspension. That being said, there are several things you can pay attention for that may indicate suspension problems.

  • Pulling to One Side: While you are driving, if you find the steering wheel pulling to the left or right, it could be an indication of suspension problems. Unfortunately, your wheel pulling could be for a variety of other reasons, but more than likely it is the suspension.
  • Rough Riding: If you can feel every single bump while you are driving, your struts are most likely worn out. Struts contain shocks, among other things, which help absorb a great deal of the impact when you are driving. When they are worn out or damaged, they won’t be able to effectively absorb shock, making your drive uncomfortable.
  • One Corner Sitting Low: When your car is parked on level ground, but you notice that one side is sitting lower than the others, it could be an indication of several things. Of course, it could just be a low tire, but it could also be a damaged suspension. Test this by pressing down on the trunk and listening to how the suspension reacts. Creaking sounds are a definite indication of suspension issues.
  • Diving or Rolling: If you notice your car diving forward when you break or rolling back when you press the gas, your suspension is damaged. Specifically, you struts are damaged. Basically your shocks aren’t able to absorb the momentum to stop or propel your car forward. 
  • Difficulty Steering: While you are driving and you notice that you are having to force the steering wheel left or right, you probably have a suspension problem. Again, it could be from a whole host of other reasons, but it will likely be due a damaged suspension or struts

The major problem with diagnosing suspension problems is that the issues listed above could be the result of so many other things. Not everything can be traced back to a damaged suspension, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss or neglect it. If you are ever concerned about anything you are noticing with your car, don’t be afraid to schedule suspension service. It is possible to get your hands on something like a suspension repair kit, but there is a big warning that we want to express. Unless you have experience working on or repairing a car suspension it is not recommended to attempt any repairs. Otherwise, you can risk further damage that may ultimately cost more.

Full Shot of What a Car Suspension Looks Like

Preventing Future Problems

In order to prevent future issues with your suspension, there are actually a couple of things you can do. The most important step is to schedule regular maintenance for your vehicle. Have a technician go over things like:

  • Wheels or Tires: Your tires are very much a part of your suspension. Regularly checking the air and tire pressure will help reduce potential damage.
  • Struts and Shocks: Shocks are a key component of the struts, which are a key component of your suspension. The correct suspension repair tools will be able to fix problems with either. 
  • Steering System: Just like the tires, your steering wheel is a part of the suspension, since it is needed to direct the front tires. Checking the hydraulic fluid for your power steering and other connections can help prevent issues, or at least make diagnosing them easier. 

The ultimate piece of advice that can be given, really, is to schedule regular maintenance. Keeping up with maintenance will help your car last significantly longer. Another way to help keep your car lasting longer is through the exhaust. Consider the Magnaflow exhaust systems when you want a truly reliable and long-lasting vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I drive with bad suspension?
    • Technically, you can but the drive will be very rough. That being said, it is not recommended that anyone drive with bad suspension. Doing so can result in further damage that will encompass more than the suspension, which could cost even more money.
  • What causes car suspension problems?
    • Driving on roads with a lot of potholes or just generally driving on roads that will require your suspension to compensate for a lot of shock absorption. 
  • How long does it take to replace suspension?
    • Depending on the level of experience of you mechanic, it could take anywhere from 2-3 hours. That is also assuming the suspension has minor damage. If the damage is more extensive, then it could take longer.
  • What happens if you don’t fix your suspension?
    • You could end up with a completely broken suspension, a broken tire rod, a broken spring, or even a broken control arm. All are necessary components to safe driving in a vehicle of any kind.
  • How long does a car suspension last? 
    • It’s hard to put a number of years or miles on how long a suspension will last because there are so many variables. Generally speaking, though, struts have a tendency to last about 4-5 years, but again that can vary based on many other factors.
Image of Shock and Strut Which Are Both Part of a Car Suspension

Connect With European Plus for Any Car Repair Needs

Learn why so many clients choose European Plus when they need help with their car suspension in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ. Give us a call at 609-737-7226 to learn more today!

Why Car Maintenance Is Important

Close up of the headlight of a black vehicle with a blurred mechanic that's polishing the rear siding of the car in the back.

Get Better Performing Vehicles!

When you’re looking to improve the performance of your vehicle it’s recommended to try to have auto maintenance check-ins so you can stay afloat of any changes that may have occurred with your vehicle either naturally through time or by the influence of external factors. Annual vehicle state inspections are helpful in determining any problems you’re having with your car that can prevent it from passing as being safely drivable. Yet inspections are different from say tune-ups, oil changes or making adjustments with your EVAC emissions. These must all be done as a separate service as inspections will simply inform you or give you an idea of what should be done. If you’re curious as to what you need to do as time progresses and the miles add up with your vehicle consider the following auto maintenance points.

How often should I service my car?

Your car should have automotive scheduled maintenance at least once a year or every 10,000-12,000 miles. Some cars may even come with a self-diagnostic system which will notify you when it’s time for a car service.

What is scheduled maintenance on a car?

When you’re wanting to know more about your car’s specific auto maintenance recommendations take a look at the owner’s manual. Here you’ll find a routine auto maintenance schedule that will guide you on appropriate times to engage in routine changes or car services These schedules or guides are typically based on engine mileage thresholds that have passed. In general, try to have oil changes and air filters changed regularly as they are essential parts of an engine. During inspections make sure the cooling, engine, transmission, suspension, and brakes are checked for performance capabilities.

When should you schedule car maintenance?

Many car manufacturers have created auto maintenance schedules based on mileage thresholds that will recommend that certain parts or systems of your car may need to be updated or maintained. Generally, there are scheduled car maintenance by mileage for each car that follows a 30-60-90 schedule. These schedules may recommend either inspection, replacements, tune-ups, and more every 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles. Essentially these checkpoints have been studied to be necessary based on observation of car performances over time. Therefore they are helpful in maintaining the health, performance, and durability of your car based on expected reactions.

Check car air conditioning system refrigerant recharge.

Scheduled Car Maintenance Checklist


  • Air Filter
  • Fuel Filter
  • Oil Filter
  • Brakes
  • Battery
  • Transmission
  • Coolant
  • Radiator
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Wipers
  • Tires
  • Exterior Lights

What should you do to your car every 30 000 miles?

Every 30,000 miles you should have a few auto maintenance responsibilities that should be taken into account. Namely, you will want to replace your power steering fluid as well as your air filters. You will then conduct inspections of your radiator hoses, coolant, brake pads, your entire HVAC system as well as all components of the suspension. These are simply the general changes noticed overall, you may have additional needs based on your car’s owner’s manual.

Is a car service necessary?

Yes, a car service is important under general auto maintenance manufacture guidelines found with your owner’s manual.  A full service is recommended for those who don’t service as often as they should while a basic service can be gotten away with if your vehicle is regularly serviced. A car service is essential in ensuring that your vehicle will run smoothly without any hassle or hiccups.

Whenever you’re questioning the reliability of your vehicle go and get your scheduled maintenance service so your car can have a longer life span with cleaned, adjusted, replaced, refilled or tuned car components. When you’re considering parts replacements take a look at options that will match with your manufacturer, make and model as there are many different types of options for each part of your vehicle as can be seen with other areas such as types of plumbing pumps. The vehicle market today has undergone many improvements in durability and longevity with vehicle features so when you’ve scheduled car maintenance services make sure you’re aware of upgrades and other options! Depending on how often you get your car serviced with auto maintenance you may not even have a need for changed parts. However, remember that after a certain mileage point certain parts are expected to be replaced; as can be seen with oil filters, brake pads and more! Contact your local auto shop for answers to any questions you have regarding your vehicle’s auto maintenance timeline. Relying on the skilled services of trained auto technicians will ensure that your auto maintenance is handled with professionalism. The more regularly you keep up with your car the more you’ll get out of it! Get the most optimal performance out of your car for years to come with auto maintenance and vehicle services!

If you’re interested in reliable auto maintenance in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ call 609-737-7226 with European Plus!

What is the Wheel of a Car?

We can help you take better care of your car wheel to minimize your risks of a breakdown.

Sometimes, vehicle owners will start to have problems with their wheels. Sometimes you’ll get a flat. Other times you could accidentally When most people talk about their tires, there is a good chance that they are speaking about the car wheel. Car wheels are made up of several components. The tire is just one part of this, even if it is a crucial component. Some people get confused about what a wheel is when compared to other components. But what is the difference between wheel and rim? Knowing the different pieces and components of a wheel can save you some trouble at the garage, and knowing the proper preventative maintenance can save you some money on your wheels in the long run.

Parts of a Car Wheel

Every component in the wheel of your car works together to achieve one large goal, to keep the rest of your car off the ground and give your car what it needs to move smoothly from one area to another. But what are the different components in a car wheel? If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a car wheel vs tire, of if you’ve asked someone “What is the center of a wheel called?” then this list will help you better understand how your car wheel works. Keeping an eye on what part does what will help you understand why your wheel may have problems.

Proper car wheel maintenance can keep your vehicle from having a massive breakdown.
  • Center Bore This is the hole that allows the vehicle to be mounted to the axle. This is what distributes and holds the weight of your vehicle. This is usually covered by a center cap with a logo or design on it for style.
  • Center Disc The center disc is the inside portion of your wheel. This houses the lug nuts and the center bore. Anything that attaches your car wheel to your vehicle in some form or fashion is housed here. The spokes also connect to the center disc.
  • Lug Holes These holes are where the lug nuts from your wheel hub assembly attach to your car wheels. These essentially hold your wheel on your car, and keep it operational. The lug nuts are the answer to the question “What holds a wheel on your car?” If something happens to the lug nuts or the lug holes become damaged, you could lose a wheel and have a serious accident.
  • Spokes These connect the barrel to the center disc. Spokes give the wheel most of its stability, and are one of the key features in wheel customization.
  • Barrel This is the outside of the wheel. The spokes connect this to the center disc. The barrel houses the tire, which is what gets worn down instead of the wheel itself.
  • Flanges/Rims The flanges connect the tired to your car wheel.  Many modern flanges are one solid piece that run the entire length of the tire, called rims. Many people confuse the wheel and the rim, since wheels and rims are usually manufactured as one solid piece. The rim is just one component of the wheel.

Car Wheel Maintenance and Problems

The most common problem vehicle owners experience with their car wheel is a bent rim. If you hit one pothole that is too deep, you can bend your rim and warp your wheel. It will need to be fixed to avoid future problems or further wheel or tire degradation. So you may find yourself wondering “Do bigger tires ride smoother?” or whether or not bigger tires are less prone to bending with sharp impacts. If you’re curious about “How does wheel size affect car performance?” then you should ask a professional about what you’re looking for from your tires. Lower profile wheels and tires may have a firmer grip on the ground, but be louder than regular wheels and tires. Your wheel is also prone to pitting and corrosion. Many wheels are chrome and have a clear coat over them to prevent oxidation and corrosion. If that starts to wear off, it can start to dull the chrome, or cause it to wear out completely and begin to rust. This degrades the integrity of your wheel, meaning it is more prone to structural problems and can potentially cause a big accident further down the road. Your wheels may also have a problem with uneven tire wear. If your tires are wearing down unevenly, you may have suspension problems. Take your vehicle in for suspension service to make sure everything is working properly. If your car is pulling to one direction when you have the steering wheel in a neutral position, then your wheel alignment may be off. A hard bump, hitting a pothole too hard, or just time can cause your alignment to shift. If your curious how car wheel alignment is done, your mechanic will explain it to you when you bring your car in for service, but essentially it is adjusting the suspension of your vehicle to straight the way your wheels make contact with the ground. Car wheel torque can present another problem. Mechanics use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts on your car wheel. This needs to be done properly or it can lead to warped wheels, broken studs, or distorted brake discs.  Make sure that you keep an eye out for problems with your wheels, while keeping them clean. If you suspect that you are having problems with one or more of your wheels, then you should consider taking your vehicle to a car mechanic to have your car wheels inspected. They can diagnose any problems you may be having, and help you fix them before they become bigger problems. If you live in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ and would like to know more about car wheel service and preventative maintenance, contact the expert mechanics of European Plus at 609-737-7226 today!

Are Imports Really Better?

If you grew up in an American school, chances are you probably remember that one history lesson emphasized by Henry Ford’s mass production assembly line system in the roaring twenties and his famous Model T. Back then, when thinking of buying a car there was no debate, American all the way! Well, cars have advanced, and as history tends to have it, competition and improvements of previous models and inventions are always hot under way across the globe! In the past few decades, we’ve all heard people talking as if they are import car specialist as they debate about the strong quality of Japanese cars to the high-performance of the ones from Germany. But in the the long run, what are the benefits and downfalls of having an imported car?

Great Speed & Handling

European import cars have great handling at high speeds that fit with their narrow highways & speeding laws.

Firstly, What Makes a Car Foreign?
A car is foreign if it’s parts and and assembly don’t come from the domestic country in which you reside. To Americans that would mean any cars not made from America. For the Swiss it would be any not made from Switzerland. (At least they have IKEA & chocolate, they’re not doing too bad.)

So to answer the question that’s often asked,

Is Honda an import car?
If you currently don’t reside in Osaka or any other Japanese city, than yes. Yes it is. Additionally, contrary to popular belief, the hybrid was first brought on by the Japanese in 1997. A few years ago Hybrid Imports were quite the popular car for Americans to have.

Are Foreign Cars Better?
Without boring or offending anybody, we’ll stick to what has been widely accredited in reputation in the past few decades. For example, many Japanese import cars, like Toyota and Honda, have been and still are attested as having durable quality that lasts years and are considered reliable for that reason. German cars are known for impressive high-performance quality engineering that allows for high speed stability with turns.

The Difference Between European and American Cars:
As a whole, European cars are known for their performance and craftsmanship. American cars in the past were not really known globally until a few years ago when Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning’s Tesla (Elon Musk invested in the company) became the center point of discussion. Generally, European cars operate with stick-shifts and American models with automatic transmissions. Americans build cars that are tougher whereas European cars hold more emphasis on design. For Americans, high occupancy is essential so they are built larger in size. European cars are more compact and sleek in order to fit their narrow roads.

The Benefits and Downfalls of Import Cars


  • Better handling with higher drive speeds
  • Design is more sleek
  • Cars are more high-tech
  • Longer durability
  • More fuel efficiency
  • Cars can be modified by the owner’s preferences
  • Made to last longer so repairs are not needed as often

Depending on the brand of your imported car, some are easier to maintain than others. Import Repair is often specialized in shops where import car specialists can properly assist you. Imported cars are built with durability in mind in order for repairs to be minimal. As long as you look into your car’s specifications or speak with an import car specialist you’ll be able to maintain your car diligently and efficiently.


  • Although you can drive at higher speeds, European speed limits differ than American ones which are more strict.
  • Prices are higher
  • If you do need replacement parts they may be harder to get in standard car repair shops

Are Foreign Cars More Expensive to Insure?
Oftentimes, foreign cars are harder to insure since getting replacement parts or having the special knowledge required for servicing import cars require specialists. For example, JDM import cars (Japanese Domestic market) are made specifically for the Japanese consumer and market in mind. There are however, import car repair shops who cater specifically to import car repairs.

Mechanic Performing Diagnostic

An import specialist can perform diagnostic tests to assist you with your import car repairs!

Import cars have a variety of styles and can fulfill your expectations on durability and performance. If your lifestyle matches well with the realities of having an imported car, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits as well as being mindful of the downfalls. Realistically, all cars have ups and downs, and it’s up to the owner to learn more or have conversations in order to be fully aware of how to remedy problems with solutions. Oftentimes, the answers are readily available by reaching out to your local import repair shop!

Whether you’re curious about a specific import or need car repair, contacting an import car specialist will allow you make better decisions! European Plus in the Hopewell and Pennington, NJ area is your import auto shop that specializes in European and Asian brands! Give us a call at 609-737-7226 to talk to an import car specialist today!

How a Car’s Engine Works?

Our cars are one of the most important things that we use every day. It gets us where we need to and at a relatively fast speed. With the use of a vehicle, you are able to get the necessary things done quickly. In order for us to have the luxury of using a car, all of the parts have to work perfectly. There are many parts in a car, all of them very important. However, the engine has to be the most integral component in any car. An engine is a machine in your car that converts the heat of burning gas into energy that is needed to make the car’s wheels work. Essentially, a car’s engine is the heart of the car, and while the process seems easy, there is a lot in how an engine runs. So how does an engine run? Find out more about how the car engine makes the car move, car engine problems, car engine repair, and more!

How Does an Engine Run?

Four Stroke Cycle Infographic Diagram Including Stages of Internal Combustion in an Engine

The Four-Stroke Combustion Cycle Powers the Engine To Make the Car Drive.

So how does the engine make the car move? In order for the car to drive, it needs gas to set it in motion–also called internal combustion, which is why the engine is sometimes referred to as an internal combustion engine. Internal combustion works when gas and air–or creates little explosions–that generate enough power to move the piston that sets the car in motion. For the car to drive, the engine uses four piston strokes, also known as the four-stroke combustion cycle. A lot of people ask does a car have a motor? The answer is that a type of motor is an engine. A motor converts different types of energy into mechanical energy to create motion, whereas an engine is a type of motor where thermal energy powers a machine. Whether it’s in a boat or car, if it uses combustion, it has an engine. If combustion isn’t used, then it uses a motor.

To generate power, the four-stroke cycle is repeated over and over again. The four strokes in the cycle are intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. They all play an integral part to power the engine.

  • Intake: Air and gas need to be brought in to the engine can power up, so the intake valve has to open, while the piston moves down into the cylinder with the help of the crankshaft.
  • Compression: In the compression stage, the intake valve closes and the piston moves up in the cylinder, compressing the air and gas which makes it flammable. With the flammable mixture in such a small space, an explosion will occur.
  • Combustion: After the piston makes it to the top of the cylinder, a spark will be ignited with the air and gas mixture, causing the tiny explosion. The gas and air mixture gives off power to propel the piston back down and fuel the crankshaft.
  • Exhaust: to release the gas that created the explosion, the exhaust valve opens, letting the gas go through the catalytic converter, to the muffler, and through the exhaust pipe to exit the car.

Once the cycle completes, it will continue to repeat itself over and over again.

Car Engine Problems

Before we get into car engine problems, it’s important to know the different parts of the car’s engine. The engine is made up of both mechanical and electrical components. In the engine, the mechanical parts include

  • Camshaft
  • Connecting rod
  • Crankcase
  • Crankshaft
  • Cylinder
  • Cylinder head
  • Engine block
  • Flywheel
  • Fuel Pump
  • Piston
  • Rocker arm
  • Sump
  • Valves

Of the electrical components in the engine, those are

  • Alternator
  • Electronic fuel injector
  • Ignition coil
  • Spark plug
  • Starter motor

A Close Up of a Car Engine

The Car Engine Has a Ton of Parts, Which Can Become Damaged Due to Various Instances.

The mechanical and electrical parts work together to make the engine run efficiently. While these parts are durable and manufactured to take a lot, there will be times when the engine will stop working as smoothly as it should. This is mostly due to one or more of the parts becoming damaged. Knowing what to look for can prevent car and engine damage

  • Inadequate Lubrication: We need lubrication in our engines for the parts to work smoothly. When your engine is low, it can cause parts to seize up, overheat, or cause friction in the engine.
  • Leaking Coolant: Keeping the engine at a certain temperature prevents it from overheating, which is why the engine needs coolant. If the coolant is leaking, then there is something wrong with the cooling system in the car.
  • The radiator is Clogged: In the car’s cooling system, the radiator is used to remove heat from the coolant. When the coolant in the engine hasn’t been replaced in some time, the radiator can become clogged and in turn, causes your engine to overheat.
  • Old Spark Plug: Is your engine turning over or misfiring when you try to turn the car on? This might be due to a worn out or old spark plug. The spark plug ignites the fuel in your engine, so if it’s worn out, it’s unable to power the engine.
  • Defective Oxygen Sensor: The purpose of the oxygen sensor is to provide accurate data on how much oxygen is still in the exhaust that hasn’t been burnt and how much gas is in the tank. When the oxygen sensor is broken, you will probably get lower gas mileage.
  • Old, Dirty Oil: Oil that isn’t changed periodically can become filled with deposits and turn brownish blackish. The deposits in the old oil can even cause issues with your combustion chamber, intake valves, and spark plugs, so it’s important to have regular oil changes.
  • Malfunctioning Oil Pump: The oil pump is how the engine is supplied with the oil needed for lubrication. If the oil pump is broken, the oil is unable to lubricate the engine, which can lead the engine to overheat and become very damaged.
  • Insufficient Air Compression: In order for internal combustion to take place in the engine, gas and air have to be compressed. When the engine can’t complete the combustion cycle, it’s because there air leaking in worn-out valves, cylinders, and piston rings.

If there is car engine overheating or if there is an instance when car engine shakes, it’s important to call for engine repair. With engine repair from a professional auto mechanic, they are able to diagnose the problem quickly and get your engine back in working order.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace an Engine in a Car?

An Auto Mechanic Checking a Car's Engine

When You Need Engine Repair, Call a Professional Auto Mechanic!

Many times engine repair is able to remedy any issues that you are having with your engine, but there will be times when an engine replacement is the only feasible solution. While car owners would much rather pay for engine repair, sometimes it is better financially, as well as better for your car, to get an engine replacement. When people have to get an engine replacement, the first thing they want to know is how much it costs. There are many factors that make the decision of what the cost will be. These factors include whether its a short or long block replacement, what type of car you have, what the labor costs of a replacement are if the engine is old, and where you are getting the replacement at. All in all, it’s going to cost thousands of dollars for an engine replacement. This is why it’s critical to take your car in for engine service when you think there might be an issue. A mechanic can inspect your engine and figure out if you need engine repair or a replacement. Whether you want a custom muffler or you are wanting engine repair for your car in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ, you must count on a professional. If you want to work with the mechanics at European Plus, please call us at 609-737-7226.

How To Tell You Need Engine Repair

Check Engine Light

If Your Check Engine Light Comes On In Your Car, Come Into the Shop For Engine Repair

The engine is the heart of a car, so when troubles begin to arise, repair is needed quickly in order to keep your car running. Some repairs are easy, like annual oil changes, while others are more complicated. Taking your car in to a professional auto shop to diagnose the issue and tell you how to fix it is recommended. Getting a regular oil change can prevent you from needing engine repair in Pennington, NJ. If you do need engine repair in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ, call European Plus at (609) 737-7226 today.

Signs of Engine Trouble

  • If your car sputters when driving, this is a sign of engine failure. Test for sensors and spark plugs to rule out those problems.
  • Stalling is when your car completely stops, or dies, when you are driving or at rest at a stoplight or stop sign. Come into a repair shop immediately as this is dangerous if your car suddenly stalls when you are in the middle of a busy road.
  • If you hear banging or knocking under your hood, your engine bearings have worn down.
  • No fluids should ever be leaking from your car. Identifying the color will tell you where the leak is coming from.
  • If your check engine light comes on, there is something wrong deeper within the circuitry of your car that only a diagnostics test can discover.
  • Going way over the recommended 5,000 oil change tune up can have serious consequences on your vehicle. Oil keeps your engine gears lubricated and prevents them from wearing down and rubbing against each other.
  • Excessive exhaust from your car is a sign your engine is working overdrive, wearing itself down and out faster than needed.

Driving Car Without Air Conditioning

It might not seem like a big deal, but driving your car without air conditioning can be incredibly dangerous. Not only can you get incredibly hot but there is the possibility that you will become susceptible to heatstroke. According to the Mayo Clinic, a lack of air conditioning can be a huge risk factor in why people have heatstrokes. If you are driving a car without an air conditioner, it’s important to call an auto repair mechanic for car air conditioner repair in Pennington, NJ. At European Plus we are able to help our customers by providing high-quality and reliable repairs to their car’s AC. If the cost of repairs is the issue, please contact us at 609-737-7226 and we can find an affordable solution for you.

Why My Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling?

Driving Car Without Air Conditioning

If you are having issues with your AC not providing you with adequate cooling, there are several reasons why this might be happening.

  • Leaking Refrigerant: The hose connection is where a leak is most likely to take place in your car’s AC. This could be due to it being worn or not properly sealed.
  • Condenser Problems: The condenser in your air conditioner is to change the refrigerant from vapor to a liquid, which is able to cool down the car. If there is debris clogging the condenser or the condenser is broken, it won’t be able to cool your car.
  • Defective Fan: The fan in your car’s AC blows air onto the condenser, so when the fan isn’t working, you won’t be able to get great air conditioning in your car. A fan that isn’t working can be due to electrical issues, a broken fan, or a dirty fan.
  • Broken Compressor: The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant in your car and through the evaporator in order to cool down your car. When don’t use your air conditioner very often, it can cause the compressor to stop working.

If you need car air conditioner repair in Pennington, NJ, call us today!

How Do I Fix the Air Conditioner in My Car?

You can try to fix your car’s air conditioner on your own, or you can bring your car into European Plus and get budget-friendly car air conditioner repair in Pennington, NJ! We are able to take a look at your cars AC and determine where the issue lies. Whether it’s a faulty fan or broken condenser, we have the tools, experience, and knowledge to fix it good as new. Get in touch with us today at 609-737-7226 to make an appointment.

How Often Do You Need An Oil Change?

Getting an oil change always seems like it comes out of nowhere, maybe it feels like you are always getting one or maybe you can’t remember the last time you had one, either way, keep reading and we will give you the correct info on oil changes. An oil change is important because it is the stuff that makes your car run properly. If you don’t get an oil change and you run out of oil, your engine can lock up and you will be stuck without a car. The easiest thing to do is to make sure you are asking questions and even setting reminders on your phone when it is time for your next oil change.

Getting An Oil Change

An oil change is something you will need to do every 3,000 miles or so. This is the standard rule of thumb. Most vehicles can usually go to 5,000 miles so you will want to ask at your next oil change. If you normally drive a lot or are rough on your car, you may want to stick to the 3,000 miles.

When your European car needs to have an oil change, contact European Plus at (609) 737-7226 and we can help you with your car!