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What is Oil and Filter Service?

Oil is pouring into a receptacle inside of the car engine.

The Importance of Car Oil Maintenance

Not all car owners are aware of the importance of maintenance and upkeep of their cars. With the numerous oil and lube shops around the Hopewell, New Jersey area, and around the country, there are still many car owners who ask, “Where can I get oil and fuel services for my car?”. 

There are many components and parts to a car, and all of them work together to make a  car run. But they can’t work without oil and fuel. Service for my car, or anyone’s car is important when it comes to the oil and fuel. The oil keeps the metal components and parts lubricated which keeps them operating smoothly.

In order for your car to run, it needs both oil and fuel. Oil is the black and slimy fluid that lubricates the car parts to keep them running smoothly and the fuel is what powers the engine. Most of the time, you can do your own oil and fuel services. For my car sometimes though, just as with the person reading this and thousands of others, professional services are needed.  

Where can I get oil and fuel services for my car?

For anyone who hasn’t had any of these services done, we are going to review some common questions and provide answers to “Where can I get oil and fuel services for my car?” in this post, like just what is included in a fuel system service.

First, let’s remember that while both fuel and oil are needed for every car, they aren’t always serviced together.  Even though the fuel system of cars today isn’t as complicated as it is in older carbureted systems, you still need oil and fuel services performed. Your next question is probably, “How often do I need to get oil and fuel services for my car done?”, and the answer is it depends on the age of the car and the amount of mileage on the engine. For the fuel services, most need this service when it has gone through 10,000 gallons or more of gasoline.

A full professional fuel service will include chemical cleaning and replacing certain components that are worn. Those components include: 

  • The fuel pump
  • The fuel filter
  • Fuel injectors

In most cars, the fuel filter is changed every 30,000 miles, but some car manufacturers may have different recommended intervals.  The fuel pump and fuel injectors are typically only replaced when they are exhibiting problems. 

Is a fuel system service necessary?

Your car will drive without getting the fuel portion of the oil and fuel services. But over time, it can start causing problems. The chemical cleaning process of the fuel system will remove any deposits settled and built up in the fuel system. These deposits can get into the fuel pump inlet, fuel filter, fuel lines, or fuel injectors and affect the fuel flow. This puts additional stress on the fuel pumps and keeps the fuel injectors from delivering the proper amount of fuel needed for the car to run. 

What in included in an oil service?

If you’re asking, “Where to get oil and fuel services for my car.”, you probably don’t know what should be included in the oil service portion.  This can be different between garages that do oil services, but most of them include the following: 

  • Five quarts of oil 
  • A new oil filter
  • Lubrication of the chassis components 
  • Check and top off assorted fluids including:
  • Transmission
  • Power Steering
  • Washer fluid
  • Antifreeze/coolant

Most oil and lube shops or garages will also include in the oil service portion of the oil and fuel service for my car the following: 

  • Check the tire pressure, add if needed.
  • Check and change if needed and approved by the customer:
  • Air filter 
  • Serpentine belt
  • Wiper blades
  • Vehicle exterior light
  • Battery, cables, and posts

Another common question includes: How much do oil and fuel services for my car cost?

Just like what is included in the oil and fuel services for my car can vary, so will the costs.  And whether you have them done all at once or separately can have an impact on the costs.  The typical cost of an oil and filter change service that includes a new oil filter and using conventional oil can start around $100 and go upwards.  The make, model, manufacturer’s recommendation, or customer’s request can affect the cost. 

How often should I get oil and fuel services for my car?

Thanks to the modern lubricants on the market today, and the technology of car engines has improved, you can go longer intervals between oil change services. The standard recommendation is every 5,000 to 7,500 miles and some cars that use a full-synthetic motor oil can go up to 15,000 miles.

In Closing 

Are oil and fuel services for my car worth the expense and time? Absolutely!  Both of these services are considered basic car maintenance and upkeep, and both will keep your car running smoothly for many years. If you need oil and fuel services in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ, please give our team a call at 609-737-7226!

Can Car Suspension Be Repaired?

Car next to a wheel well.

The Importance of Suspension Repair

Many of us think that ‘a car is a car’, but that isn’t always the case. When you own a European car, suspension repair is one area that needs the experience and training of a European auto mechanic.  What makes the suspension system on European cars different from American cars?  The first thing is a radical difference between the manufacturing of American and European cars, starting with the emission and safety standards. 

European cars have different designs in other areas too with distinct parts and a higher level of engineering and technology such as: 

  • The transmission – Most European cars have manual transmissions whereas most American cars have automatic transmissions. 
  • The steering and suspension – With crowded and narrow streets all through Europe, the steering and suspension must be high-performing for better control and cornering. 
  • The engine – European cars are powered by diesel fuel and American cars are gasoline-powered because fuel is less expensive in the United States. This requires the engines to be more efficient and smaller, and yes, European engines are built to last longer.

With each of these functions of a European car, suspension repairs, as with the engine and transmission are best done by a mechanic who has specific training and the required tools. For the sake of this blog, we’re going to answer questions and focus on European car suspension repairs. 

How do I know if suspension repairs are needed for my European car?

There aren’t any warning lights on the dashboard to tell you that your European car needs car suspension repairs. Some indications that will tell you include: 

  1. The car nose dives when you go over a bump
  2. Thera re clunking sounds in the front as you drive 
  3. The steering wheel shakes or vibrates as you drive 
  4. The car goes to one side as you brake or while driving
  5. The tires have excessive or uneven wear

Can car suspension be repaired?

In most cases yes, car suspension repairs are possible. An exception to this would be if the car has been wrecked in the front end. 

How much do car suspension repairs cost?

The cost of car suspension repairs can vary between the year, make, and model of the car. Other factors that can affect the cost are whether the suspension parts can be repaired or if replacement is the only option. Car suspension repairs can cost between $300 and $5,000. Some of the possible car suspension repairs or replacement parts include: 

  • Shock or struts: Shocks are hydraulic, oil-filled cylinders that work with springs. Struts are a combination of coil and cylinder in a single piece. Both shocks and struts keep the tires on the road in contact with the road and minimize bouncing upon the impact of bumps.
  • Coil springs:  There is one spring on each wheel and they hold the car’s body weight up and connect it with the suspension system. 
  • Control arm bushings: These connect the front tires to the car body and allow the tires to move up and down as you drive over bumps. There is a lower and upper control arm on each front wheel for most cars. 
  • Ball joints: These are a critical part of the suspension system because they connect the car to the suspension and hold the front suspension together. 
  • Bushings, and sway bar end links: This is also referred to as the stabilization bar. When you turn the car, it minimizes the car’s body roll by distributing the car’s weight evenly to all four wheels and keeps the car from rolling over. 
  • Tie rods: These connect the car’s cabin to the steering components and control the steering and wheels. 

Is it worth replacing the car suspension?

This is a decision made by the car owner and the advice of the mechanic. You’ll need to make the decision based on the cost your mechanic quotes and the age and condition of the car. If the car is older than 12 to 15 years, car suspension repairs or replacement parts of $5,000 may not be worthwhile. 

What is the typical lifespan of a car’s suspension system? 

Many factors can affect the suspension system of American or European-made cars. The road conditions are a key factor followed by driving style and maintenance routines. The typical lifespan is between 50,000 and 100,000 miles or between 7 and 8 years. 

On The Road Again: 

Once you have a quote for car suspension repair or replacement, you may wonder if you can keep driving the car. The answer is probably, but it isn’t recommended. As soon as you notice any of the issues with your car’s suspension, the sooner you can get it repaired, the better. 

As we mentioned, the suspension is important in keeping your car on the road and making safe turns around corners. As a side note, bad suspension affects the fuel mileage too! If you need car suspension repair in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ, please give us a call at 609-737-7226!

Common European Car Repair Issues and How to Address Them

black Audi Q7

What’s Going On With My Car?

European cars, renowned for their performance, luxury, and engineering, come with their unique set of common repair issues. Brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo, and Volkswagen have distinct characteristics requiring specialized knowledge to maintain and repair. Understanding these common issues can help owners address them proactively:

1. Electrical Problems

European cars are equipped with sophisticated electrical systems that control everything from the engine management system to the entertainment and navigation systems. Over time, these complex systems can experience issues such as malfunctioning sensors, failing power windows, or erratic lights.

How to Address: Regular diagnostics checks can identify potential electrical issues early. Using a specialized diagnostic tool designed for your car’s make can help pinpoint problems, which should be addressed by a technician familiar with your vehicle’s electrical architecture.

2. Oil Leaks

Many European cars, especially as they age, are prone to oil leaks. These can be due to failing seals and gaskets, including valve cover gaskets, oil pan gaskets, or front and rear main seals.

How to Address: Regularly check your driveway or parking space for signs of oil leaks. Early detection and replacement of faulty seals and gaskets can prevent more significant engine issues. High-quality replacements are crucial for a lasting repair.

3. Turbocharger Failures

Vehicles equipped with turbochargers, particularly certain models of BMW, Audi, and Volkswagen, may face turbocharger failures. Causes include oil starvation, foreign objects damage, or wear and tear over time.

How to Address: Ensure timely oil changes with the correct grade of oil and regular maintenance checks. Any signs of reduced performance or unusual noise from the turbo area should prompt an immediate inspection.

4. Timing Belt and Chain Problems

Timing belts and chains are critical for keeping an engine’s moving parts synchronized. If a timing belt or chain fails, it can lead to catastrophic engine damage. Some European cars are known for premature timing chain wear, particularly certain BMW and Audi models.

How to Address: Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended replacement intervals for timing belts. For timing chains, listen for any unusual noises from the engine and have a professional inspect it if you suspect issues.

5. Suspension Issues

European cars, especially those with sport-tuned suspensions, may experience quicker wear of shocks, struts, and other suspension components. This can lead to a less comfortable ride and decreased handling performance.

How to Address: Regular inspections can catch worn suspension parts early. Replacing worn components with quality parts is essential for maintaining the vehicle’s ride quality and handling characteristics.

6. Cooling System Failures

The cooling system in European cars, crucial for maintaining optimal engine temperatures, can experience failures. Common issues include leaking coolant hoses, water pump failures, and thermostat malfunctions.

How to Address: Regular checks of the coolant level and system can help identify leaks early. Any changes in engine temperature should be investigated promptly to prevent overheating.

Maintenance Tips

  • Follow the Manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule: This can prevent many common issues from occurring in the first place.
  • Use Quality Parts: When repairs are needed, using OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or equivalent quality parts can ensure longevity and reliability.
  • Find a Specialized Mechanic: A mechanic specializing in European vehicles will have the knowledge and tools to address brand-specific issues effectively.

Protect Your Investment with Regular Inspections

Being proactive about maintenance and addressing issues early when they arise are key to enjoying the performance and luxury of European cars without unexpected downtime and costly repairs. In Hopewell and Pennington, NJ, European Plus is proud to be one of the most highly rated European auto repair shops in the area. Give us a call at 609-737-7226 to schedule your service today.

How Do I Know if My Suspension is Bad?

suspension repair

Do You Need Suspension Repair?

All across the country today, everyone is complaining about road conditions needing attention by cities, counties, and states. And the Hopewell, New Jersey area isn’t any different. And if you ask mechanic shops around the area, you’ll find that there has been an increase in suspension repair jobs. 

What is considered a car’s suspension?

A car’s suspension system consists primarily of these components: 

  • Tires and Wheels
  • Springs
  • Shock absorbers

The wheels are connected by linkages to the vehicle that lets the wheels have motion. The suspension system supports road handling and holding along with the ride quality. 

Without the suspension team, these components would be fighting each other. This is exactly what happens when the components break or are worn out, leading to suspension repairs, which brings up our next question:

How do the roadways damage a car’s suspension?

The most common problem that leads to suspension repair is potholes. When a car is driven through a pothole, it rocks the suspension system, causing premature wear and tear to the components. 

How do you know your car needs suspension repairs? 

If you’re noticing any of the following, it may be easy to blame rough roads, and it may well be the cause of the bad road conditions in and around Hopewell, New Jersey. However, when most cars reach 50,000 miles, the suspension starts wearing out and deteriorating. When you consider the condition of the roadways, it is possible your car needs suspension repair. 

Four indications that you should have your car’s suspension system inspected include: 

  • Squeaking When Going Over Bumps

If you’ve noticed loud squeaking noises every time you drive over a speed bump, or go through dips or potholes, the shock absorbers or struts are worn out. The longer you drive without getting suspension repair done,  it will become harder to control your car on the roadways. 

  • Feeling Every Bump 

When you can feel every bump as you drive down the road,  this is a typical indicator that your car needs suspension repair or even replacement parts. A continuous bumpy, rough ride on smooth roads is never a good sign, and with a poor suspension system, driving over bumps and through potholes or other small furrows can make driving difficult to navigate. 

  • Weight Distribution Uneven

When a car’s suspension system isn’t making any squeaky sounds, but your car seems to be leaning to one side, in most cases, this is broken springs on the leaning side, thus needing suspension repairs. This can make turning cornering difficult, not to mention the ride becomes uncomfortable. 

  • Steering Difficulty

Another indication that your car needs suspension repair is when the steering has become difficult, especially at a low speed. Steering difficulty happens with the suspension system is lagging. The suspension repair may be nothing more than greasing the front end or replacing some parts. 

How much does suspension repair cost?

The average cost for suspension repair can be under $100 and as much as $5,000. It will depend on the year, make, and model of the car, what the problem is, and if there are components that need replacing or simply greasing the front end.

Is suspension easy to fix?

Some suspension repairs are easy, while others are more complex and require specialized tools to complete the repair. And the complexity or simplicity of the suspension repairs will have an impact on the cost. 

Can you drive with suspension damage?

You can, but it isn’t recommended. Driving when your car needs suspension repair can be difficult and dangerous for you, your passengers, and others on the road around you. For example, hitting a pothole when the suspension needs repair can ‘toss’ your car to the side, slamming you into another car or off the road. While you won’t necessarily need to quit driving your car, you should schedule an appointment sooner rather than later for a suspension repair service. 

When your car needs suspension repairs, it can be a minor issue that will have a minimal cost. Or it may be a major problem that can be expensive. Whether or not it is worthwhile for you should include not just the safety issues, but the value of your car as well. 

Will automotive insurance cover suspension repairs?

If it is normal wear and tear, no, the suspension repairs are not covered by insurance. If you can get a statement that provides exactly that the roadways may have caused the problem, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit, but this usually proves to be a hard case to win.  If your suspension is damaged during an accident, it should be covered by auto insurance.

In Closing 

If you don’t have a mechanic that you’re familiar with and can trust, before you have any suspension repairs done, you may get two or three inspections and estimates. You can check with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors about who they use for mechanical work. Sometimes word-of-mouth is the best advertising. Please give us a call at 609-737-7226 for suspension repair in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ!

How Long Do Electric Cars Last?

A talented mechanic reviewing a video monitor that has electric vehicle information

Electric Car Basics

We may not be flying cars everywhere just yet (Remember the cartoon, “The Jetsons”?), but we certainly have come a long way in powering them. Today, electric vehicles are becoming one of the more common vehicles on the road, using electrical power instead of gasoline power. 

Electric vehicles made up almost 6% of all new vehicle sales in this country in 2022. That is an increase of more than 3% from the year before. Experts are anticipating this number to increase as EVs become more mainstream.

What is an electric vehicle exactly?

All-electric vehicles are powered by an electric motor that is powered by a battery. Up until EVs were made available to the public, vehicles have always been powered by an internal combustion engine. 

How does an electric vehicle work? 

Electric vehicles use a large traction battery pack for power. This requires the car to be plugged into an electric wall outlet to charge the battery, versus going to the gas station and getting gas in a tank. This electrical power eliminates any exhaust being emitted from the fuel components typical of an internal combustible engine. 

What components do electric vehicles have instead of fuel-associated components? 

Instead of the traditional fuel lines, fuel pumps, or fuel tanks, electric vehicles have the following components that power them:

  • Battery: Electric vehicles have an auxiliary battery that provides electrical power to the vehicle.
  • Charging Port: The charging port is where electric vehicles are connected to an external power supply that charges the traction battery pack.
  • DC/DC Converter: Electric vehicles need this device to convert higher-voltage DC power from the traction battery pack to lower-voltage DC power that runs the accessories and recharges the auxiliary battery.
  • Electric Traction Motor: This motor drives the wheels on electric vehicles with the power from the traction battery.
  • Onboard Charger: Incoming AC electricity is needed to supply power via the charge port, converting it to DC power that charges the traction battery. This component also keeps communication between the charging equipment while it monitors the battery currents, temperature, voltage, and level of the charge. pack.
  • Power Electronics Controller: This component manages the electric energy flow the traction battery provides and controls the speed of the electric traction motor and torque produced.
  • The Cooling System: The cooling system needs to maintain a proper operating temperature range for the engine and electric motor as well as the power electronics, and components.
  • Traction Battery Pack: This stores the electricity that is built up during charging for the electric traction motor.
  • Transmission: The electric transmission transfers mechanical power from the electric traction motor to drive the wheels. 

What are the benefits of electric vehicles?

If you’re considering trading your combustible engine vehicle for one of the electric vehicles on the market today, you can look forward to these benefits: 

  • No more trips to the gas station! Instead of paying that ever-increasing amount per gallon, you’ll pay per kW, which is averaging 10 cents per kW for every dollar per gallon. 
  • Friendlier to the environment because there aren’t any pollutants being emitted as you drive. 
  • Less maintenance with an electric motor compared to a combustible engine. This equals less cost for operation! 
  • Electric vehicles have been shown to have better performance and faster acceleration.

What is the range of electric vehicles?

We can’t provide exact numbers to the range expected from electric vehicles just like we can’t provide the exact number on the mileage of a combustible engine vehicle. These numbers can vary based on the driver’s driving habits mainly, but at the end of 2022, electric vehicles were getting a distance range of just over 200 miles. 

What do electric vehicles cost? 

Well, we don’t have exact dollar amounts because the cost of electric vehicles can vary on the upgrades you order with your car. The same is to be said of traditional gas-powered vehicles! We can tell you they do cost more upfront, but considering what it will save you from NOT having to fill the gas tank, the ROI is apparent! And the cost of electric vehicles is getting lower and lower every year as production ramps up.

How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?

The electricity rates are subject to many factors, with the area where you live being the first factor. The time-of-day electric vehicles are charged, and the time of the year can be a factor in determining the cost of charging too. Most drivers of electric vehicles recommend charging your car at home during the night for the best rate!

What are the environmental benefits of electric vehicles? 

The obvious is less pollution from no fuel emitting fumes! There is also the noise factor – electric vehicles operate quieter than gas-powered vehicles. Some say this can be a danger for pedestrians stepping off a curb when they don’t hear a car coming around the corner. 

In Closing: Reliability and Safety

As a person who may have driven nothing but gas-powered cars, you may be concerned with the reliability and safety of electric vehicles. Just like gas-powered vehicles when they are first released, electric vehicles aren’t as reliable either. They have to work through their issues and problems, take those back to the drawing board, and improve on them. When it comes to safety, just like all vehicles, there are federal regulations to be met before they are released to the public. 

What Is the Most Common Electric Vehicle Repair?

Under the Hood of an Electrical Vehicle

Electric Vehicle Repair Different Than Regular Cars

In the early 1960s, and again in the mid-1980s, there was a cartoon, “The Jetsons”. As you may remember in that cartoon, there are many that weren’t alive during those years, and they missed the possibility of flying cars! What they are familiar with or have heard about is the electric vehicle. Repairs of these newer types of cars are much different than what flying car repairs would have, and what the ‘old style’ combustion engine cars need. 

Abbreviated as EVs today, electric vehicles made up almost 6% of all new car sales. When you consider that there were a collective 14 million new vehicles sold, six percent of that number is a lot of vehicles. As more EV models are introduced into the mainstream by manufacturers,  we can expect to see more of them on the road. And we can expect more electric vehicle repair needs too.

What are the most common repairs needed by electric vehicles?

So, as electric cars become more popular on the roadways, so will the electric car repairs. They may be considered to be more sophisticated than traditional combustion engine cars, but that new technology can be complicated. This means today’s mechanics and technicians need to refresh their training. 

But for now, with the EV-trained mechanics and technicians that are in the field today, the following are the most common issues they are seeing in regard to electric vehicle repairs today: 

  • Brake Failure

This isn’t a good thing no matter how a car is powered. The brakes on an electric car are a regenerative brake system that uses kinetic energy. Regenerative brakes are more durable than traditional brake pads, but they fail too and become warped as the driver tends to solely rely on them. If they aren’t functioning right, as the driver decelerates instead of depending on the brake system, it places them and their passengers in danger. However, the battery can be the cause of the brakes on an EV not working properly too. Only a trained mechanic or engineer can determine the problem and make the proper electric vehicle repair. 

  • Replacing the Electric Battery 

The average lifespan of an EV car battery is between 10 and 15 years or up to 10,000 miles. Once an EV battery begins to wear out or become extensively overheated, it must be replaced. Because this is an electric vehicle, the battery must be in top-notch condition. Yes, they can be jumped, but that drains the ‘juice’ inside the batter, and repeated jump-starting will deplete the juice, requiring a new battery. The bad news about electric vehicle repairs, the battery is the most expensive repair you’ll have with your EV. This only strengthens the advice to have your EV regularly inspected by a trusted mechanic or technician for diagnosing the potential problem and making whatever electric car repair is needed. 

This brings us to the question “How often should electric vehicle batteries be replaced?” While EV batteries are expensive, most EV batteries have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years before a replacement is needed. 

  • Battery Cables

Just as the battery is essential to your EV, the battery cables are essential to the battery. They are vulnerable to the weather and can erode over time. Because of this, they need to be inspected on a regular schedule to check for wear and tear that can affect the EV vehicle’s overall performance.

If the battery cables in your EV have any of the following, schedule an appointment for authorized electric vehicle repair: 

  • The lights are dim.
  • The engine is slow to crank.
  • The engine won’t stay running.
  • There is only a clicking sound and the car won’t start.

Your mechanic will make a close inspection, checking for brittle, decomposing insulation, and green or white powdery substance around the cables.  This will lead them to check the overall battery health and determine if your electric car repair will require new cables and/or a new battery.

  • Fluid Refill

No more trips to the gas pumps don’t mean your EV doesn’t have other fluids to have checked. This includes brake fluid, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid. If you take your EV to your mechanic for any issue, it is recommended to request they check all the fluids. This can minimize the chances that you’ll be back for electric vehicle repairs later.

  • Operating System 

Today’s new cars have computers on board and EVs rely a lot more on a computer which creates unique issues with their operating system.  There are several types of issues, but the most common is unresponsiveness to the touch and dead pixels. Only qualified mechanics or technicians should attempt any electric vehicle repairs when it comes to the operating system. 

How much does it cost to repair an electric vehicle? 

The cost of electric vehicle repairs can’t be guessed because it is still a new industry. While owning an EV is said to be less expensive than owning a gas-fueled vehicle. But, they still have the basic wear-and-tear of lights, tires, and windshield wiper blades. ,

If an EV is damaged in a wreck, however, it typically requires the battery to be replaced, as well as the damaged body parts. As we stated earlier, the battery on an EV is one of the most expensive parts. 

An Electric Vehicle Charging.

In Closing

If you purchase an EV, what should you do if you keep having issues? While it is under warranty with the dealership, return the car to the dealership with a list of issues. If having problems after the warranty has expired, take the car to a mechanic like those at European Plus that is trained in electric vehicle repair in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ. Schedule a service appointment today by calling 609-737-7226

Should I Invest In An Electric Vehicle?

electric car driving down a road

About Electric Cars

There are many socially conscious people that believe we are all going to be driving an electric vehicle within the next 20 years. Then there are others that believe that is not going to happen, mainly because not “everyone” can go buy a new vehicle, electric or otherwise. And a handful of us is still waiting for flying cars. 

But electric vehicles are here and aren’t going to disappear, so let’s address some common concerns and questions about this future way of life. Maybe we’ll find out it won’t be as bad as old-school car guys fear.

Do electric cars cost more?

As of May 2022, yes, an electric vehicle cost around $10,000 more than a gas-powered vehicle. Like anything new though, the more that are sold, the price will begin to drop. In the meantime, if you’re really wanting to go all-electric, there are tax incentives up to $7,500 that can ease the sticker price pain. You need to do some research on which electric vehicle will get you the most tax incentive.

Are electric cars worth the investment?

The electric vehicle market was cornered by Toyota first with the Prius, but then Tesla gave electric vehicles an appealing, sleek appearance that made them the popular “I gotta have one!” vehicles. Today, General Motors and other big car manufacturers have their own electric vehicles on the market. 

If the current administration has their way, over half of us will own and drive one by 2030. So, yes, there are some benefits to owning an electric vehicle, but do these benefits make it worth the investment? Maybe for some, but not everyone. Of course, as it has been said, you can’t please everyone. 

What are the benefits of an electric vehicle?

There are several benefits to owning an electric vehicle, with the most obvious one being, no more gas pump visits, if you get an all-electric version. With the price of gas today, this benefit may be pulling more buyers in than ever before. But there are other benefits to examine: 

  • Convenience: No worry about leaving early in the morning to get gas. Simply plug your electric vehicle in when you get home and you’ll be powered up and ready in the morning! 
  • Savings: Not only will not be paying that high cost at the pump, but the government will give you some money back for going green with an electric vehicle. 
  • No Emissions: With an all-electric vehicle, no fossil fuel is emitting toxic fumes into the environment. Even if you go with a hybrid (combustion and electric powered), you’ll still be emitting less of those toxic fumes. 
  • Popular: Back in the late 1970s, the popular kids drove a 442 by Oldsmobile. Today, the electric vehicle is taking that position in the school parking lot. Everyone will want to be ‘that cool dude’ sooner or later.
  • Safety: Vehicle manufacturers put their electric vehicles through the same rigorous testing that they do their fuel-powered vehicles. A key difference in safety is the low center of gravity of electric vehicles gives them more stability if they are involved in a wreck, i.e., less likely to roll over. And if the airbags are deployed, the electric power is automatically shut off from the battery, reducing the possibility of an explosion. 
  • Cost-Effective: So, do electric cars cost more? Yes, but because they are becoming more commonplace and the technology of manufacturing electric vehicles has improved, the cost is coming down. The batteries that were once a hindrance to purchasing these cars are mass-produced now, and the government is offering tax incentives when you purchase an electric vehicle. 
  • Minimal Maintenance: Electric vehicles do not need the same amount of maintenance as gas-powered cars because the engine doesn’t rely on being lubricated. 
  • Noise Pollution Reduced: The noise pollution of electric vehicles is almost 100% nil and void. They offer a smooth drive and higher acceleration. 
  • The Battery: Yes, the battery for an electric vehicle has been the ‘sore spot’ to keep these cars from being more popular, but they are integral for an electric vehicle. A good lithium-ion battery can last for 10 years, and with the improvements in technology every year, the cost of those will be coming down more.
charging an electric car

How do electric vehicles work?

Electric vehicles are plugged into a charge point and use electricity from the power grid. The electricity pulled from the grid is stored in a rechargeable battery that powers an electric motor that makes the wheels turn. An electric vehicle will accelerate faster than a traditional fuel engine, making them feel lighter while driving. Electric vehicles can be charged at home or at a public charging station. 

How long does an electric car have to charge?

It depends on the battery size and the charging point speed, but it can range between 30 minutes and 12 hours or longer. A typical 60kWh battery can charge in under 8 hours from a 7kW charging point when the battery is completely empty. Like adding gas when your car is at ¼ tank, most electric vehicle owners will charge up the battery before it is completely empty. For many electric vehicles, a rapid charger of 50kW can add approximately 100 miles of range in just over half an hour. The bigger the battery, the longer it takes to charge up from empty. 

What are the different types of electric vehicles?

There are three primary types of electric vehicles. They are classified by the level of electricity used for their energy source.  Those three types are: 

  • Electric (BEV)

A Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) is an all-electric vehicle, with electricity being its only power using a rechargeable battery.  

  • Plug-In Hybrid

A Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) electric vehicle has a medium-sized electric battery that powers the engine, and it has a diesel or petrol engine as well, allowing the driver to switch between power sources based on needs.  

  • Hybrid 

A Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) has an electric battery where the power is selected by the engine and doesn’t have to be recharged with an external power supply station.  

Are there any cons to owning an electric vehicle?

Yes, there are cons to the electric vehicle that you should consider before making this investment, some of which are: 

1. Recharging points are few and far between, so if you live or traveling through a rural area, electric vehicles may not be right for you at this time. 

2. The Initial cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is high, even with the tax incentive, the upfront cost is an issue for most. 

3. Recharging isn’t free, meaning it will hit your electric bill. 

4. The driving range and speed of an electric vehicle can hinder your driving style. You’ll go maybe 100 miles before you need to recharge. 

5. Recharge time take longer than filling up the tank with gas. Instead of less than 10 minutes, you’re looking up to 6 hours. 

6. The silence can be a disadvantage because nobody can hear you coming, and this has led to many accidents.

7. Two-seater only for electric vehicles, so may not be the vehicle you need for a family.

8. Replacing the battery is needed every three to ten years for all-electric vehicles. 

How long will a electric car last?

Car manufacturers claim electric vehicles can last 8 years or longer, up to 100,000 miles. Since cell phones don’t last that long for most of us, it’s kind of hard to imagine this still, but time will tell! 

In Closing – You Have To Wonder

With all this hype and push for going with all-electric vehicles, just how much money can an electric vehicle save you on gas? Because the price of gas fluctuates daily, especially right now, it is hard to quote dollars to answer this question. 
In March, in the state of California, electric vehicle owners could save up to $1200 by not needing fuel, but in other states, electric vehicles saved car owners just under $1,000. Again, these aren’t numbers to take to the bank! Again, only time will tell you what you could save.

European Plus provides assistance with an electric vehicle in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ. Call 609-737-7226 for more information.

Are Electric Cars Easier to Repair?

white car near an electric car charging station

The Electric Car Revolution

Well, we once thought we’d all be flying in small private jets like in the cartoon “The Jetsons”, but that hasn’t happened… yet. We are well ahead of the cartoon characters in “The Flintstones” running in bare feet singing “YaBaDaBaDo!” though. We’re kind of in between those two scenarios – we have electric cars now! And with that comes new worries about electric car repair

There are a few different types of electric cars, and how an electric car works will vary depending on the type of car it is: 

  • HEV: Hybrid Electric Vehicles are motorized by both an internal combustion engine and used the battery-stored energy for an electric motor. This electric car can’t be charged with a battery charge, but instead requires regenerative braking and an internal combustion engine.
  • PHEV: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles are motorized by batteries and either gasoline or diesel that powers an internal combustion engine. This type of electric car charges the batteries through both charging equipment and regenerative braking.
  • EV: All-Electric Vehicles are plugged into a charging point, using the same electricity we do for our homes and store the electricity in rechargeable batteries that make the car move. 

Do electric cars need repairs often?

The EVs cars (all-electric) require less maintenance because the battery, motor, and all associated electronics require little to no maintenance. There are fewer fluids that need to be checked or have routine maintenance, like motor oil and with the regenerative braking, less maintenance is needed. Because there are fewer moving parts, electric car repairs are fewer too. 

The maintenance needs HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles) and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) are comparable to conventional vehicles. An EV (all-electric vehicle) requires fewer maintenance needs for all the same reasons, and they have fewer moving parts than a conventional gas-powered engine. In all types of electric-powered cars, the manufacturers have designed these vehicles with safety at the core and vehicle maintenance second. 

Are electric cars expensive to repair?

Well, you know that purchasing an electric car will cost you more than purchasing a gas-powered car, But, in the long run, when it comes to electric car repair and maintenance, you’ll save money. 

A study that was conducted found that with fewer moving parts, by the 3rd year of ownership, they were the more economical choice of vehicles. Here are some numbers to consider: 

  • Fuel-powered car over 3 years ownership, $800 in service and repairs.
  • Electric-powered car over 3 years ownership, $500 in electric car repairs and services. 

That is a saving of over 30% less, however, in the first year of electric car repairs, the diagnostic costs made them the more expensive choice. 

Is charging an electric car cheaper than gas?

Like anything, when comparing costs of ownership, there are several factors to be considered, and that is true of electric cars. The following factors should be considered when answering this question: 

  • The type of engine is a key factor role.  
  • The size of the vehicle is a consideration too. The heavier the car, the more fuel to make it move. 
  • Per vehicle fuel economy as to how far it can go on a certain amount of fuel. 
  • Government regulation and the taxes you’re paying at the pump. 
  • For the electric car, home charging versus public charging stations.
  • Energy prices versus EV charging.
  • Fast charging options costs. 

What are the pros and cons between an electric vs hybrid car? 

When it comes to making the purchase, it is a personal choice, however, we have do have some pros and cons for you to consider before purchasing a hybrid car: 

The Pros: 

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Saves money
  • Quiet
  • Less maintenance

The Cons:

  • Higher upfront to purchase
  • Electric car repair and maintenance is rare but can be expensive
  • Still produces fossil fuel emission

What is the most reliable electric car?

Each year, car manufacturers are coming out with more models, giving you the choice between the average car, luxury, or even a sports style. Here are seven of the most popular electric cars on the streets for 2022: 

  • Kia Niro EV
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • Honda Insight
  • Hyundai Kona Electric
  • Nissan LEAF
  • Toyota Prius Prime
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E

What is the lifespan of an electric car?

There have been Tesla owners reporting over 400,000 miles, but every driver will have a different experience, just as with gas-powered cars. The average lifespan of an electric car has been reported to be fifteen years with over 160,000 miles on the road. 

electric car hooked up to a car charging station

In Closing 

Just like with solar panels and wind generators, electric cars and electric car repair have created new industry needs, like how to repair electric cars. For students that a 4-year college degree isn’t the way to go, technical school to learn how to repair electric cars is starting to be noticed. 

Can you repair a broken brake line?

car brake parts

Dealing With Brake Problems

You’ve got the car motor running, the transmission cranking, and the wheels turning. Things are going now, but then you hear a grinding sound, almost screeching when you press on the brakes. What does that mean? Most likely, it means you need to take your car to the mechanic for a car brake repair job. 

What are the indications that it is time for brake repair? 

While it is important for the engine, transmission, and wheels all to be in good working order, the brakes are just as important, maybe even more so. The average time between brake pads being replaced is every 25,000 miles to 65,000 miles, and brake rotors typically need to be replaced between 30,000 miles to 70,000 miles. The driving conditions and the driver’s style will cause a difference in these numbers. 

A good thing about car brakes, is there are symptoms that will let you know it is time to schedule a car brake repair appointment. The key is for you to be aware of these five symptoms and not ignore them: 

1. Squeaking or Squealing 

As brake pads near the end of their life, they will begin executing a squeaking or squealing sound when you activate them. This is usually because the brake pads are worn down. You will hear a grinding noise eventually if you keep driving, which can cause more damage and it becomes more dangerous to be driving too. Scheduling a car brake repairs appointment sooner than later is recommended.

2. Grinding

As we just mentioned, ignore that squealing and squeaking sound, you will begin hearing a grinding sound when you press on the brakes. This noise means the brake pads are worn and your brakes are what is called “metal to metal”, meaning there is no brake bad left. You need a car brake repair now; waiting is no longer an option. 

3. Vibration 

If you feel a vibration from your brakes as you press on them, the brake rotors have warped after you’ve ignored the other signs, and a professional car brake repair is your only option. 

4. Slow Stopping

As you apply your brakes, if they aren’t stopping right away, it may be because the brake fluid level is low. Take your car to the mechanic and have them check the fluid. If they add fluid and the brakes start having a slow response again, you may have a leak in the brake line, or the master cylinder may be going out. Can you repair a brake master cylinder? 

Yes, the master cylinder is a common car brake repair. It is usually a matter of replacing the seals. Once that is done, the mechanic will “bleed” the brakes, which is getting all air out of the lines. Can you repair brake hoses? The brake line will need to be replaced. Again, once the line is replaced, the mechanic will “bleed” the air from the brake system. 

5. Brake Light 

Cars today come with a warning light when the brakes need attention. There is the ABS (anti lock braking system) light, the emergency brake light, and the main brake system light. When these lights won’t go off, you need to have your car’s brake system inspected for possible car brake repair. 

Can you repair brake calipers?

Brake caliper kits are expensive car brake repairs that expand the lifespan of a car’s braking system. By 75,000 miles or a car that is 10 years old, it is time to have the entire braking system inspected and possibly rebuild or replace the brake calipers. By that time, the rubber seals have hardened with age, and the caliper could begin to leak or stick, becoming ineffective. 

Can you repair a brake switch?

Yes, and it is one of the easiest car brake repairs possible. The brake switch is found near the tip of the brake pedal, easy to reach and the new brake switch simply snaps in. There aren’t any special tools needed and many car owners can do their own for under $20. Or if your mechanic does the job, it may cost $50.00 for labor and part. 

How much is a full brake repair?

The make and model of a car will be a factor in car brake repair jobs, as well as the problem with the brake system. Some brake repair jobs can cost up to $1,000 with an average between $300 to $800. 

How much is brake repair on a BMW?

Yes, BMW car brake repairs are common, and very likely will be one of those $1,000 or more brake jobs. A BMW front brake pads and rotors repair job can range between $500 and $900 while the rear brake pads and rotors can cost between $450 and $800. 

technician providing car brake repair

How much does it cost to fix Mercedes brakes?

Yes, a Mercedes-Benz car brake repair job will average around $150 and $450 per axle. The make and year of the car and the type of brake pad installed can have an effect on this cost. The brake rotor replacement can cost between $300 and $750 for all four units for parts and labor. 

Bring It All to A Stop Any driver that has to ask, “Why do brakes need to be replaced?”, should probably take a driver’s ed course. When brake issues and problems are ignored, the brake pads and brake rotors will wear out to the point of the car not stopping. All of the components in a brake system work together, and it is in the interest of safety that you have your brakes inspected and replaced as recommended by the car manufacturer or your mechanic.

Why is vehicle maintenance important?

technician cleaning a car engine

Scheduling Your Vehicle Maintenance

Your vehicle is an important part of your life. It gets you to and from work, school, and helps you get your errands done. But did you know that it needs maintenance and upkeep too, like your HVAC system or your lawn and garden? Vehicle maintenance is necessary to keep your car running and to extend its lifespan. 

What is the most important maintenance for a car?

Any part of basic vehicle maintenance is important. Fortunately, some of these maintenance tasks can be done by you in your garage. But some maintenance tasks should be done by a professional mechanic. A vehicle maintenance checklist should include:

Taking Care of the Tires

The tires are essential to your safety and for better handling on the road. Tires in poor condition can be dangerous for you and your passengers. Things in your tires that should be maintained include: 

  • Tire pressure
  • Tire rotation
  • Tire condition
  • Uneven wear
  • Spare tire 

Checking and Changing Fluids

The following fluids should be checked and/or changed by a professional every 5,000 miles and checked for a refill about once a week: 

  • Motor oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Antifreeze or coolant 
  • Transmission
  • Power Steering
  • Washer fluids

Checking the Battery

Having a dead battery when you need to get to work is not fun. Part of routine vehicle maintenance should include checking the battery to make sure it is in proper working order. This includes checking to be certain the cables are clean and firmly connected. A mechanic can check the amount of power output the battery has stored.

Checking the Lights

One easy vehicle maintenance task you can easily do on your own is checking the exterior and interior lights. Make sure that all headlights, brake lights, blinker lights, and fog lights are in working order. Get a new light immediately if you notice a problem.

The Annual Inspection

Most states require an annual inspection, making it one of the most important parts of your vehicle maintenance. This allows a trained mechanic to check that all components are in working condition. This can be a good time to get the spark plugs changed, radiator flushed, the timing belt checked, and the fuel filter changed. 

 What needs to be changed when servicing a car?

In a proper vehicle maintenance program, the first thing that should be changed is the motor oil following the car manufacturer’s recommendations. Other basic fluid changes during routine vehicle maintenance include the following: 

  • Brake fluid
  • Engine coolant
  • Power steering fluid 

Checking the radiator for anti-freeze concentration is also crucial in keeping a car well-maintained.

What is vehicle maintenance and repair?

The difference between vehicle maintenance vs repair is that vehicle maintenance will keep you from needing vehicle repair! By having the fluids checked, changed, or added, along with taking care of tasks such as checking the tires and the different filters in a car, you can avoid most vehicle repair needs. 

If you have kept up with maintenance, vehicle repair is typically only needed when there is mechanical trouble, like the engine overheating or if you’ve noticed a knocking sound in the engine. With routine vehicle maintenance, those things are far less likely to happen.

How long can you go without servicing your car?

This can vary between different cars and how well they are built. Your driving habits and styles will also make a difference in how long a car will last, with or without vehicle maintenance. Most engines can tolerate skipping vehicle maintenance for up to 5,000 miles on average.

Does vehicle maintenance save you money?

Absolutely! With routinely scheduled vehicle maintenance, the engine will run better. ith By having the oil changed, your gas mileage will improve. With the right air pressure and a new air filter, you could see far greater fuel efficiency. 

Can you service your car yourself?

A DIY car owner that is handy with automotive equipment and tools can do most of their own vehicle maintenance. Many “shade tree” mechanics prefer to do their own. If you own a brand new car, you’ll need to keep receipts of when you take care of tasks like the oil change and other basic vehicle maintenance jobs for warranty purposes. 

mechanic performing a vehicle inspection

In Closing – Do electric vehicles require less maintenance?

While electric vehicles still need maintenance, they typically don’t need it as frequently. Parts that will need vehicle maintenance include the battery, motor, and other associated electronics, though they still do not require the amount of regular maintenance that conventional vehicles require. 

Because there are fewer moving parts, there is less to wear out, but there are still fluids, like motor oil, that need to be checked and changed – again, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.