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Important Vehicle Items to Maintain

Important Vehicle Items to Maintain

We all want our car to last for years to come and a great way to ensure this is with proper maintenance. However, your car’s owner’s manual can make you feel overwhelmed with all of the car maintenance you need to do. Although this is true, there are vehicle items that should keep your car running smoothly. Below are the most important vehicle maintenance items.

Oil

Hands down, this is probably one of the most important vehicle maintenance items. Oil keeps so many things in our cars lubricated, so it’s essential to have oil replaced, removed, and everything in between to ensure your car is operating the way it should.

Tires

You can’t exactly go anywhere if your tires are out of commission. Looking after your tires is important so they won’t go bald, become flat, or lose pressure.

Brake Pads

Squeaky brake pads is never a good thing and usually a good indicator that you need to get them replaced. Brake pads are an important component of your car, which enables you to stop whenever you want. With worn out brake pads, you are looking at stomping on your brake pedal to come to a complete stop.

Lights

This is probably the most underrated vehicle maintenance item, but it is so incredibly important. Whether it’s your headlights, turn signal, brake lights, or any other lights on your car, they are installed to let people know you are there.

Air Filter

Did you know that the air filter in your car can have adverse effects on your gas mileage and engine? Because of this, it’s really critical to change your air filter out.

If you are looking for an import mechanic and services, call European Plus today at (609) 737-7226.

When Should You Get an Oil Change?

When Should You Get an Oil Change?

The engine oil in your car is essential to the function and performance of our car. Without it, our engines would become severely damaged, amounting to a lot of repairs and money. In order to prevent engine damage, it is imperative to get your car’s oil changed. But when should you get an oil change? Below are signs you need an oil change.

The Check Engine Light Comes On

This is the most common indicator that you need an oil change. Whenever the check engine light comes on, it’s almost because a car is out of oil. Don’t want months after the fact, go to a local mechanic as soon as the light comes on.

You Don’t Remember The Last Time You Changed Your Oil

If for some reason you can’t remember the last time you changed your oil, it’s probably been a very long time. Typically, your car’s oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles or three months, so if you think you’ve gone over 3,000 or 3 months, get your car to a shop now!

Your Engine Is Really Loud

Of course, an engine is usually loud, but if you hear grinding or another unpleasant sound coming from the hood of your engine, it could be due to your engine not being lubricated enough.

Your Engine Oil Is Gritty and Dark

If you check your oil yourself, fresh oil will look almost amber in color, while old oil is black, dirty, and gritty looking. When your oil looks like that, please do yourself a favor and get an oil change.

If you need export auto services in Pennington, NJ, please call European Plus at (609) 737-7226.

 

3 Common Air Conditioner Problems and How to Fix Them

When it’s hot, just about the worst thing that can happen in your car is for the air conditioner to quit working. Fortunately, it’s often a small issue that can be fixed easily. These three common problems are comparatively simple to fix and may save you money down the road.

Strong Smells or Odors

Air Conditioner Repair

Many times, the strange odor coming from your A/C is mildew or fungi that have built up over time due to the dark, damp environment. This issue can be fixed by a technician who will completely flush out your system.

Blows Hot Air

Typically, when your car’s air conditioner begins to blow hot air, the refrigerant needs to be recharged. This can be easily done by a professional, or you can buy refrigerant at auto parts stores to recharge it yourself. Sometimes, this is a sign that your compressor has gone out which will need professional replacement.

Vents Are Barely Blowing

In many cases, lowered air volume is a case of a clogged condenser. As time goes by, dirt, dust, and other sediments can become trapped in your condenser causing it to clog. You can unclog it by blowing a quickly vaporizing flushing product into the condenser.

In many cases, when your air conditioner slows or stops working altogether, it’s a simple issue that can be fixed quickly. If you are unsure why your A/C isn’t working properly, or if it’s time for some A/C maintenance work, call the professionals at European Plus to get your A/C blowing its coldest again.

Four Summer Car Tips

Guides on how to winterize a car appear with regularity. As for summer readiness, many drivers remain unsure. The season and its heat present unique stresses for a vehicle. If you want to hit the road this summer, or simply worry about your vehicle’s capabilities, perform these four summer car tips.

summer car tips

Don’t get stranded. A few summer car tips can keep your car on the road.

Check Your Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner has begun to struggle, it needs attention before the hottest days of summer. You should at least replace the air conditioner’s filters. You can additionally have a qualified professional check the system and perform any necessary maintenance.

Check Your Fluids

Your engine’s coolant represents the most important fluid to check. Overheating causes more summer breakdowns than anything else. Ideally, you should have the system flushed and replaced once every year or so. Other fluids to check include your transmission, power steering, and brake fluids. Of course, you also want to keep an eye on your oil, and continue to change it every 4000 miles or so.

Tire Maintenance

Tires have enormous importance for both your vehicle’s operation and your personal safety. Check them for uneven wear, sidewall bubbles, or visible wear bars. If you see any of these, replace the tire immediately. You should also consider tire rotation as a seasonal habit to prolong your tires’ life.

Brake Inspection

If you are technically inclined, you should remove your tires and check your brake pads for wear. The performance of your brakes becomes especially important in the summer, as people tend to drive faster — which puts more stress on the brakes to slow or stop — and get stuck in stop-and-go traffic. A trustworthy mechanic can also check your brakes and recommend any necessary service.

At European Plus, we can perform any of the above summer car tips in Pennington, NJ. To learn more about our exceptional services and specializations, call us today at (609) 737-7226

How to Make an Emergency Car Kit

emergency car kit

A few of the necessary items for an emergency car kit.

Good drivers should prepare for any eventuality on the road. An emergency car kit stands as one item that many drivers miss from their cars. In addition to obvious equipment such as that needed to change a flat, you should have certain other items always on hand as well.

Pre-Made Emergency Car Kit vs. Homemade

Nowadays, you can go into a store and purchase a ready-made emergency car kit. The creation of your own comes with certain benefits, however. For example, you can tailor it to the weather in your area, and include extra blankets or an ice-scraper. You can also pack certain items that appeal more to members of your family.

What to Pack

If your kit only includes one thing, make sure you pack an emergency first-aid kit. Other items to consider include a small fire extinguisher, jumper cables, and road flares. You’ll also want some refreshments, including drinking water and light snacks, along with certain tools like a flashlight, multi-tool, and duct tape. To get prepared for the weather, pack a tarp, a rain poncho, and sunscreen. It also never hurts to include some warm clothing and a blanket.

Additional Tips

Aside from your emergency kit, a few additional items can serve you well in a pinch. A clean, refillable gas jug can stand as a lifesaver, as can some extra cash for gas. A portable cell-phone charger can save you a lot of hassle, and a deck of cards or book can help pass the time as you wait for help.

At European Plus, we’re here to help in the Pennington and Hopewell area. For all of your service needs with European vehicles, give us a call today at (609) 737-7226

Top 4 Common Problems Cars Face During Summer

Photo of summerSummer time is right around the corner! Summer is the time of long vacations, road trips, and getaways to have fun with friends and family. However, during this time of fun in the sun, your car can take a beating from extreme temperatures, high humidity, and long journeys. Is your car ready to take on the summer? There are always a few issues you should have your car inspected for prior to making your trip such as oil changes and wheel alignment. Have your auto mechanic take a look for these four common summer car problems!

Top 4 Summer Car Problems

#1 Overheating

This should come as no surprise. Your car is run by an engine that reaches extreme temperatures. To top that off, summer heat can adversely affect your car. Make sure to keep an eye on your engine and thermometers. If you start to notice any signs of overheating, such as strange smells or steam coming from your engine, be cautious and take your vehicle to your local shop.

#2 Flat Tires

Due to temperature fluctuations tires can lose or gain air pressure. Add to that hot roads and even small, sharp objects scattered on the road itself, and it seems like a flat tire is unavoidable. Always ensure you have a spare in your car in case you find yourself in this situation. A spare tire will allow you to get your vehicle to the shop for repair and replacement of your faulty tire.

#3 Under-performing Air Conditioning

No one likes to be uncomfortable in their car. Its important to get your air conditioner inspected before taking trips and to make sure your car is prepared for the summer in general. Failing blower motors and fuses can make this system function poorly or not at all. Take notice if your car is not cooling down like it was last summer and bring your vehicle to the shop. Remember, sitting in a hot car can adversely affect your health, giving you heat stroke.

#4 Dying or Bad Battery

Everyone worries about their batteries in winter, but summer can wear down a car battery just as quickly. Extreme temperatures cause the battery to wear and humidity can even cause corrosion. Make sure to note the age of your battery and keep an eye on it. If your car is having trouble starting, purchasing a new battery may be just what the doctor ordered.

European Plus is your local auto repair shop, providing expert service your your vehicles. Let our licensed skilled auto mechanics help you get your car road ready. Give us a call today at (609) 737-7226!

Reasons Your Car Won’t Start

Many people automatically assume that a no-start situation is because of a dead battery. However, there are actually several potential causes. Here are a few of the most common reasons your car won’t start.

Woman Starting Car

When Your Car Won’t Start, it Might Not be the Battery Causing the Problem!

Damaged Starter

Do you hear grinding noises when trying to start the engine? Do you smell or see smoke? These are signs sometimes seen when a starter motor fails. You could also have a mechanical or electrical problem causing the starter to not work properly. If you cannot identify the problem, it’s best to see a professional mechanic for help.

Clogged Fuel Filter

Before fuel reaches your engine, it passes through the fuel filter. If the fuel filter is clogged, you will not get the proper amount when you try to start your car. A clogged filter may also exhibit itself through decreased power, especially when going uphill, or the engine light turning on. Depending on your specific vehicle make and model, you should replace your fuel filter every few years or 30,000-40,000 miles.

Bad Alternator

If you have noticed your headlights seem dim or other electrical issues, there’s a chance you could have a bad alternator. Your alternator is an important part of your car’s electrical system and can leave you with a no-start situation if it fails. It actually drains your battery, which can leave you with more than one problem.

If you notice these or any other other reasons your car won’t start, call European Plus for help! Our mechanics specialize in all types of import car repair in Pennington, NJ. Call us at (609) 737-7226 today!

Tips to Build a Car Emergency Kit

You never know when something will go wrong, so the best option is to be prepared. Keeping a car emergency kit in your vehicle can help you make minor repairs, stay hydrated in case of an emergency, and more. Here are some tips on what to pack in your car emergency kit.

The Essentials

car emergency kitNo matter what kind of car you drive or where you live, there are some universally essential items to include in your car your emergency kit. Be sure that all supplies are in good shape and you know how to use them before throwing them in your trunk or glove box!

  • Jumper cables
  • Tire changing supplies (tire iron, tire jack, spare tire)
  • Car manual
  • Emergency contact info and car insurance
  • WD-40
  • Duct tape
  • Jug or bottles of water
  • Non-perishable, high calorie food (energy bars, fruit snacks, etc.)
  • Gloves
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit

Other Items

The best part of building your own car emergency kit is you can customize it however you want. Think about where you drive, what time of year it is, and who rides with you often. If you have a pet or child, pack them some food and something to drink. If you’re going somewhere you are not familiar with, bring a recently updated paper map. In the winter, keep an ice scraper and blanket in your vehicle.

Other items you might want to include are a weather radio, emergency flares, a change of clothes, spare change or cash, and an extra battery or charging cable for your phone.

If you need help from a professional mechanic, call European Plus at (609) 737-7226! We provide expert import car repair in Pennington, NJ!

Is Factory Scheduled Maintenance Necessary?

You have heard the term “Factory Scheduled Maintenance” before. Many believe that these services are not necessary and completely pointless. After all, with all the hustle and bustle of daily life, where can one fit in trips to the auto shop for service? While it may seem easy to write this service off, factory maintenance can do more for your vehicle than you may know. 

What is Factory Scheduled Maintenance?

Photo of maintenanceWhen your vehicle rolls off the line and ends up in your possession, there are recommended servicing dates for its components. These are written and designed by the factory to give you the most service and life for your car. These services keep all components running well and smoothly on the road and prevent expensive repairs down the line.

Like many of the mechanical systems, we use in our daily lives, having routine maintenance can take care of problems early. To get these services taken care of, you will need to reference your factory scheduled maintenance recommendations. 

Where To Find This Information?

While your schedule may be available online or from the dealership, the easiest way to find this information is to check your owners manual. There, factories detail the needs, specifications, and service schedule for all components of your car. This makes it very simple on both you and your auto mechanic to plan ahead for future service needs.

Factory scheduled service is very important for the life and usability of your vehicle. Need maintenance services here in Pennington, NJ? Call European Plus today at (609) 737-7226 for your auto repair service. 

Winter Car Myths

Photo of winterWith winter in full swing and a storm fast approaching, it is time to make sure your car is ready for anything that may be thrown its way. Many people have different ways of dealing with the colder temperatures and poor weather. However, some of the winter car myths can be dangerous for not only your car but you. At European Plus, we have compiled a short list of some of these myths to share.

Top Winter Myths

Myth #1: Pouring Hot Water to Remove Ice on Your Windshield

Some mornings you just don’t feel like scraping off all that ice. Hot water seems like a safe and easy alternative to scraping. This can be dangerous. First, when the hot water heats the ice, it can break or crack your windshield. Another problem could arise depending on how cold it is outside as it could cause the water to freeze on your windshield quickly. To be safe, scrape off your windshield.

Myth #2: Winter Tires are Pointless; Deflating Your Tires Slightly is Better

It may sound like a racket, but seasonal tires, such as winter tires are actually highly beneficial to your vehicle. They are designed specifically to work in snowy weather. People believe by relieving some of the air in your tires, it gives your car a greater surface area to work with and works better in snow. This is not necessarily true, as it gives you less control.

Myth #3 Warming Up My Car is Unnecessary

People have really taken to the idea that it is not necessary to heat up your car or let it idle in the morning. However, warming up your car is more beneficial than one may think. Allowing your car the time to warm up can remove that annoying ice on your windshield, warm up the interior for you, and allow the gas and oil to cycle through. If you cannot help but jump in the car and go, try a steady drive to allow your car to run optimally.

Of course, it is always a good idea to ensure your vehicle is ready for all that winter may bring. Have your fluids checked and a tune-up performed. Call European Plus today at (609) 737-7226!