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How Often Should Tires be Rotated?

tires on the road

So, do you really have to rotate your tires?

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

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

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

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

What happens if you never rotate your tires?

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

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

Can rotating tires mess up tire alignment?

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

How do I know when to get my tires rotated?

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

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

How long will tires last if not rotated?

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

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

What is a transmission in a car?

transmission crosscut

How long does a transmission last?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can a transmission go out without warning?

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

What are the signs that your transmission is going out?

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

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

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

Can you still drive with a bad transmission?

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

gearshifter

What causes a transmission to kick?

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

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

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

undercarriage and suspension

The role of your suspension

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

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

Car suspension refers to all  the following components:

  • Car axles
  • Car tires
  • Shocks 

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

What causes suspension damage?

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

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

 Why does car suspension break?

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

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

How long does a car suspension last?

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

What does a bad suspension sound like?

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

Can you fix suspension on a car?

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

suspension access and disc brake exposed

Can you drive a car with bad suspension?

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

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

What Needs to Be Replaced When Airbags Deploy?

airbag replacement

Can I Replace My Own Airbag?

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

What Needs to Be Replaced When Airbags Deploy?

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

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

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

Can I Drive Without Airbags?

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

Can You Sell a Car with Blown Airbags?

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

Can Airbags Be Put Back In?

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

Airbag Replacement Time

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

Are Airbag Repairs Free

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

Vehicle Airbag Replacement

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

airbag replacement

Replace Airbags In Car

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

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

Can You Drive with a Faulty Transmission?

Stick shift of a manual transmission car

Can a transmission go out without warning?

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

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

How do you know if your transmission is going out?

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

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

Can you fix broken transmission?

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

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

Can you drive with a bad transmission?

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

mechanic working on a transmission

Is it worth getting your transmission fixed?

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

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

Can you Skip an Oil Change?

oil change

Why is it Important to get an Oil Change?

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

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

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

Does an Oil Change Make the Car run Better?

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

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

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

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

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

oil change

How Long Should you Wait for an Oil Change?

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

How do you maintain car wheels?

Can driving down fall road

Keeping your wheels on the road

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

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

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

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

How do I know if my tires are worn out?

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

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

Probable Problem Areas with Worn Tires:

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

How many miles should a good set of tires last?

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

different types of tire tread

Why do new car tires wear out so fast?

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

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

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

How do you know if your suspension is damaged?

suspension repair

What causes suspension damage?

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

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

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

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

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

What does bad suspension sound like?

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

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

Does suspension affect acceleration?

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

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

What happens if suspension goes?

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

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

Suspension and brakes exposed

How do you fix a car’s suspension? 

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

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

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

What is the transmission of a car?

Manual transmission stick

Why does a car need a transmission?

A transmission makes your car move. Yes, the engine has the power and is part of what makes a car move, but the car transmission is the component that makes that power from the engine that makes the car move.

Without a car transmission, it would simply not go anywhere. So, car transmission vs engine, which is more important in making a car go? The car’s engine is its heart. It starts the revolutions needed to generate movement. The transmission is the brain of the car. Using the power from the engine, the transmission decides to make the car move. The engine does the hard work while the transmission does the heavy thinking. With that in mind, they are both important in making a car go.

What are signs of a bad transmission?

Sometimes it isn’t easy to identify what the exact problem is with anything, and a car transmission isn’t any different. It can be harder to pinpoint the problem because some symptoms could be a few different things. Here we share 7 signs car transmission is failing:

  • Clunks and Whines: No, that isn’t the name of a new rock band. This is a fairly apparent sign that something is wrong with your car transmission. It is also one that many people ignore, but they are both sounds that means you need a professional auto mechanic to get your car transmission checked out.
  • Car Isn’t Responding: When you change speeds going down the road, your car transmission is supposed to switch gears (we’re talking about automatic transmission). When it doesn’t, or it is slow to switch gears, schedule an appointment with your mechanic because something isn’t right.
  • Something Burning: Anytime you smell something burning from your car, it isn’t good, even your car transmission should never smell like it is burning or hot. That burning smell could be from anything. If it is coming from the transmission, a mechanic that knows even the simplest car transmission basics can check the transmission fluid. It could simply be the car transmission is low on fluid.  It could also mean the screen is stopped up, but that will take more than a quick check of fluid.  If the fluid is fine, then yes, you need to have the mechanic check your car further.
  • Fluid Leak: If there is car transmission fluid where there shouldn’t be, like on the garage floor, in the driveway, or in your parking space at work, that is the easiest symptom to know something isn’t right. If you suspect your car transmission is leaking, lay a large piece of cardboard under it wherever you park.  When you move it the next day, if there is transmission fluid on the cardboard, you need to have your transmission checked.
  • Gears Grinding: This symptom is different for automatic car transmission and manual car transmission. For an automatic transmission, a rough shift can be several things, so the best thing is to have a professional mechanic check your car transmission. If it is a manual transmission, a grinding sound when changing gears could put it in the wrong gear or could indicate the clutch is wearing out. Or a synchronizer is damaged or worn. Here, a professional auto mechanic can inspect the car transmission and advise you.
  • Neutral Gear Is Noisy: A bumping sound from your car transmission doesn’t suggest caution or trouble unless your car is in neutral gear. Often this problem can be fixed by having the transmission fluid washed out and replaced. If the sound continues, though, you need a mechanic to look at your car.
  • Light on Dashboard: There is no car owner that wants to see the light that says “SERVICE ENGINE SOON” on their car dashboard, but it is there for a reason.  There are several things this can indicate, so you need not ignore it. Procrastination could cost you dearly.

Can I drive my car with a bad transmission?

It isn’t recommended to drive with a bad car transmission, but if you need to drive it far enough to get in a safe place to call a tow truck, by all means you should. However, do not drive it any further than necessary because it can damage the transmission beyond repair and damage other parts to your car too.

What happens to a car when the transmission goes out?

When your car transmission goes out, it affects how your car handles. It will shake and vibrate; the engine will rev up like it is going 100mph but the transmission slips.

transmission gear

Is replacing a transmission worth it?

As far as if your car is worth the expense, that is a personal decision. How old is the car? Is it a special model of a car? Do you still owe on the car? Rebuilding a car transmission extend your car’s lifespan and also has some financial benefits. A car transmission rebuild can cost $2500, which is a lot of money out of pocket but compared to buying a new transmission, it is thousands of dollars cheaper to rebuild. Or if you’re thinking about replacing it with a new car, you’ll be making payments every month, so which is cheaper and easier?

Cars are wonderful things to have, we’re able to come and go, travel the country, and have some independence if we want.  They can also be an expensive nightmare if we don’t take care of them with basic maintenance, like car transmission checkups.  Dial 609-737-7226 today for your car transmission service in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ.

Airbag Replacement Service

airbag replacement

Airbag Replacement Cost

Airbag replacement services can be quite expensive. They can be more expensive than the airbag itself. That is because airbags are time-consuming to change out and the components that are needed are pricey. Automobile owners should expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 per airbag replacement. That means that replacing the entirety of your airbag system could cost as much as $3,000. At that point, it is important to consider whether replacing the vehicle, versus repairing it, is necessary. While airbag replacements are expensive, they are a critical safety component. No car is worthy of driving without airbags primed and ready. It is important to understand that if your car’s airbags have deployed, then the airbag light will remain on, and your vehicle may not pass its safety inspection.

Airbag Replacement Service

Airbag replacement services are critical for the health of the inhabitants of the vehicle. This is because an airbag deployment can reduce driver fatalities by 52 percent in a front collision. These statistics are markedly similar for passengers and for side-impact collisions. Depending on the nature of the accident, the airbag replacement cost may or may not be covered by insurance. While airbag replacement service is costly, it is necessary if you want to get your car back on the road. This is because, in the event of a collision, the instances of injury or death skyrocket. The increase in the instance of death is thirty percent. If the passenger or driver doesn’t wear a seatbelt, the fatality rate is as much as fifty-two percent higher.

Airbag Replacement Laws

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also known as the NHTSA, airbags should be replaced as soon as possible after a collision or car crash. The NHTSA also stipulates that only an authorized service center should be used to perform the service. Drivers are not advised to drive their vehicle until the airbag replacement has taken full effect, or been completed. 

Airbag Replacement After Crash

After a crash, a lot of drivers have relevant questions about the state of their vehicle. Among these questions, drivers often ask if their airbags need to be replaced after they have been deployed. The answer is, unequivocally, yes. Of equal importance is recognizing that SRS components are expensive and that they have an earnest effect on the reparability of the vehicle. The process that the certified mechanic has to go through in order to effect airbag replacement is thorough. There are many buttons and sensors involved. A remote diagnostic device is usually very helpful during this process.

Airbag Replacement Cost Ford

Airbag replacement service is valuable after a car crash. This is true regardless of what vehicle you are driving. For a Ford F150, airbag replacement has an average range of about $200 to $700 for driver-side airbags on their own. By contrast, a Honda Civic has an airbag replacement cost range of approximately $400 to $1000. This is for the passenger airbags.

Where to Buy Airbag Replacement

If you’re looking for a list of viable places to go for your airbag replacement, please review the following list.

  • Certified auto body shops.
  • Car dealerships.
  • Some certified auto repair shops.

It is recommended that customers call several different locations and compare the information with an individual over the phone. Since airbag replacement is a complicated and complex process, not all auto repair shops will offer this service. It is also important to contact a certified mechanic for this airbag replacement since it is critical for it to operate effectively.

What Cars Need Airbag Replacement

Having safe and effective airbags is critical for vehicles on the road. According to the NHTSA, there has been a Takata airbag recall that has taken effect. Apparently, long-term exposure to heat and humidity can cause Takata airbags to explode when they are deployed. For obvious reasons, this is disastrous. There was an update to this recall as of late 2019. Apparently, unlike the airbag inflators in earlier Takata recalls, non-azide driver inflators can either explode or underinflate during deployment.

How Long for Airbag Replacement

According to a nationwide survey, it takes approximately one to two hours for the airbags in a vehicle to be replaced. However, this is only true if the airbag parts that are needed are already in stock. If the parts need to be ordered, they may arrive in a matter of days. 

airbag replacement

Airbag Replacement After Deployment

As previously stipulated, it is massively important that a certified mechanic replace the airbags in the vehicle after the airbags are deployed. This is because you can never predict when a crash will occur, and it is a serious safety oversight not to have airbags ready to be deployed at any given moment. 

If your car has fallen into disrepair, you go to a mechanic to get it fixed. If you are in need of garbage disposal repair, please seek out a qualified and certified plumber. Efficiency is maximized once your home and your vehicle are running smoothly.

Do you have airbag replacement on your agenda? Our friendly staff at European Plus are ready to take your phone call at 609-737-7226. Receive quality airbag replacement in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ!