European Auto Repair & Maintenance Tips

Common Car Problems in Fall

You probably already know that intense summer heat and freezing temperatures can lead to problems with your vehicle. What you might not realize is that fall conditions can place additional stress on your vehicle as well. It’s important to learn how to properly identify and prevent potential problems.

Rain

During the summer, the intense heat causes damage to seals and gaskets. Without a proper seal, rainwater can easily seep into vehicles, affecting upholstery, carpeting, and electrical components. Water can cause connections to rust and can damage chips and motherboards. This type of damage is extremely difficult to diagnose and expensive to fix.

Problems may go unnoticed for quite some time. Typically, by the time the cause of electrical issues has been determined, significant damage has already occurred. It’s crucial to do all you can to prevent problems caused by water damage.

Inspect all seals for wear, especially those that protect sensitive equipment. Check seals on doors and windows. Replace anything that appears cracked or worn. This might cost you a little bit of money now, but it will save you on costly repairs in the future. This will also ensure that your vehicle does not experience issues on the road caused by electrical failure.

Windshield Wipers

You’ll likely use your windshield wipers a lot during the fall. Damaged wipers can limit visibility and cause scratches on windshield glass. The intense summer heat can cause wiper materials to degrade. Wipers should be checked and replaced regularly, especially after summer. If your windshield wipers leave streaks on your windshield, they need to be replaced.

Rust

Intense summer heat wears away your vehicle’s anti-rust coating. This leaves your vehicle vulnerable to rust caused by wet conditions in the fall. Rust could also indicate that water is getting into your vehicle. This should be addressed immediately to prevent damage to upholstery and electrical components.

Check your vehicle for signs of rust early in the fall. Make sure to check under the wheel wells and areas where chipping paint is a problem. Rust is much easier to deal with when spotted early. Stopping the spread of rust now can prevent future problems.

Battery Maintenance

It’s a good idea to inspect your car battery regularly for proper connections and corrosion. Cables and terminals should be snug and connections should be clean. If your car battery’s connections are dirty or corroded, you can use a wire brush to clean them. Just make sure you disconnect the battery first.

Car batteries lose power over time. You’ll want to check and replace your battery regularly. If you’re planning on storing your vehicle throughout the winter, you might want to invest in a trickle charger to keep it charged.

AutoScandia is a leading dealership alternative for the service and maintenance of European, Asian, and domestic vehicles. Our experienced team provides exceptional service to residents in and around the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. Please contact us for more information about automobile maintenance in the fall.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Wait To Perform Maintenance On Your Vehicle: Here Are Five Repair Tips To Keep You Safe This Winter

Ice and snow are on the way. Is your car prepared for the onslaught of less-than-agreeable weather?

When it comes to maintaining your safety and the safety of others on the open road, it’s better to be on the confident side. Vehicle negligence is a major issue in the United States and is a major contributor to car crashes big and small. Ignoring that engine problem or brushing off the need for winter tires can put you in a bad spot when you need help the most. Instead of hoping this year will turn out better, be proactive and look into car repair and maintenance. This can mean conferring with a car specialist or setting up a date to get all four winter tires at a special deal.

A little bit of work now will pay off big time down the road. Here are five places you can start.

Change Your Oil

Here’s a good place to get started. Changing your oil is a great way to make sure all your car’s inner components are working to the furthest of their ability. It’s recommended by most auto repair professionals you change your oil every 5,000 miles or four months, whichever comes first. You can also double-check your manufacturer’s recommendations if they have additional details unique to your brand. Today mechanical failures account for over 10% of all auto accidents, with a lack of a good oil change a more common reason than not.

Get Winter Tires

Winter is one of the most hazardous seasons for the American driver. You have to be mindful of black ice (invisible to the naked eye), slush getting on your windows and cold engines…on top of heavy snowfall and days that get darker faster. The least you can do is make sure you get all four winter tires on time. These are designed to give you more traction while on slippery roads and help you brake easier, sometimes your only barrier between an average drive and a sudden crash.

Improve Tire Rotation

Do you suspect your tires are wearing out faster than normal? Your car repair and maintenance routine might involve getting your tires tweaked. Tire rotation is necessary to make sure equal stress is being put on all four tires. Failing to do so means you can have one tire wearing out faster than the other, affecting your ability to accelerate and brake. Spring of 2017 saw nearly 40 million people using at least one auto repair service on their vehicle within a 12-month period.

Double-Check Your Brakes

Asian car repair and maintenance is your best safety tool. You don’t want to be caught with lackluster brakes when the road takes a turn for the worse or a driver passes in front of you prematurely. A recent survey found a staggering 75% of cars being in need of maintenance or repairs. While some are relatively minor issues, others are massive concerns that could see several drivers compromised during a simple run to the grocery store. When it comes to car repair and maintenance a proactive attitude is much better than a reactive attitude.

Visit Auto Repair

A good way to ensure your car is always good to go is to schedule a regular visit with your nearby auto mechanic. They can give your car a proverbial check-up and make sure all your bases are covered for the next few months. An industry survey found 75% of aftermarket auto repair is performed by independent auto repair shops, while the rest will work with specific dealerships. Which one suits you best depends on your car’s brand, age and personal taste. Interestingly enough, a recent IHS Automotive survey found the typical car on the road is 11 years old.

Be safe this winter. Reach out to European car specialist Herndon so you’re prepared for the hail, sleet and snow.

Signs Your Car May Be On Its Last Legs

You love your old car; she’s your old-reliable, your partner in crime. Unfortunately, there are some telltale signs your car might be on its last legs. Here are some of the warning signs your car may be headed to the junkyard.

You’re constantly bringing it into the shop

If your car’s auto repair costs are mounting, it might be time to kick your car to the curb. Older cars aren’t worth a whole lot to sell or trade in, so holding onto your car will cost you more the longer you hold onto it. The average U.S. car is a record-setting 11.5 years old. If your car is constantly in and out of the auto mechanic, no amount of car maintenance will keep it on the road.

You don’t feel safe

If your car is making unnatural sounds or rocks to a halt, it might just mean you need auto repair. However, if you still feel unsafe after the auto repair is complete, you should start hunting for a new vehicle. Older cars are made with old safety standards and they’re simply not up to par with the new requirements in modern models.

Your gas mileage is terrible

Not only are new cars equipped with the best in oil efficiency technology, they’re going to save you more at the pump. Older cars are simply not as fuel-efficient as their modern counterparts. If your old clunker is costing you an arm and a leg when you go to the gas station, you should think about investing in a newer model.

Your lifestyle calls for something different

As much as you don’t want to become a minivan-driving soccer mom, life changes, including parenthood, injury, health issues, a job change, or even divorce may affect the type of car you need. When you might have been happy with a two-seat beamer, your new job as a mover might be easier with a truck. For a new parent, you might need to buy a newer model with improved safety standards. If your lifestyle has changed, trading in your car or selling it can help pave the way for a new standard.
However, any vehicle needs regular car maintenance from a car specialist to run properly.

If you own a beautiful European car, consider taking it to the best auto mechanic Northern Virginia has to offer: AutoScandia.

Dissecting The Importance of Regular Car Maintenance

For many new car owners and even older car owners, underestimating the importance of car maintenance is a common practice that needs to stop. Regular car maintenance and repair is a necessity if you want to stay safe while you drive. Here are some of the most important reasons to bring your car into a car specialist today.

You could crash on the road

Did you know that mechanical failures result in nearly 13% of all auto accidents on the road? That’s right: that glowing yellow light on your dashboard wasn’t lit up for no reason. By avoiding necessary auto repairs, you could be setting yourself and other drivers up for disaster if your car fails on the highway.

Prevent mechanical repairs by getting your car inspected regularly by a car specialist.

Your car might not start

Even though a car failing to start is usually the result of a dead battery, it could be an indicator of a larger problem. This could make you late for important events, cost you your job, or cost you even more money on repairs. You might have to get it towed to a car specialist to diagnose and fix the issue.

They might not have your part

If you drive a European or Asian car model, you might have to wait up to a month to get the correct part in the event your car fails. By performing regular Asian car repair and maintenance, you might be able to diagnose the problem early on, thereby giving you more time to drive your car while you wait for the part to ship.

Your engine could fail

It’s recommended that you receive an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. If not, then the grime, dirt, and dust that accumulates in your oil could cause serious damage to your engine when the oil fails to move properly. When most parts are easy to repair or replace on your car, the engine is the one thing that needs to be completely replaced to ensure it works efficiently. This can cost you thousands of dollars, while all you needed to do to maintain your car was bring it in for a routine inspection and maintenance.

Prevent accidents by calling the best European car maintenance Herndon has to offer. AutoScandia will service and repair all European, Asian, and domestic vehicles.

Whether you need to repair your transmission or get a simple oil change, AutoScandia has the superior service you need in a car specialist.

Best Automotive Tips and Tricks!

Summer can be tough on cars, especially during high temperatures when heat can destroy batteries and stress the cooling system and tires. As a precaution, these vehicle components should be checked periodically during summer to help avoid breakdowns and car problems, according to the Car Care Council.

LIFE OF YOUR BATTERY

Excessive heat and overcharging shorten the life of a battery. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery. To get the most life out of a battery, the council recommends having the electrical system checked to make sure it is charging at the correct rate. If your car’s battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it often, especially in hot weather and add distilled water if necessary. Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt can become a conductor, which drains battery power. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator and inhibits the current flow.

THE COOLING SYSTEM.

The cooling system also works harder during hot temperatures to prevent overheating of the engine. To keep the cooling system working effectively, the coolant and distilled water mixture for a vehicle’s radiator should be 50:50. As a reminder, never open a hot radiator cap when checking the coolant level in the reservoir. As a rule of thumb, the coolant should be changed annually on most vehicles. This will keep the cooling system fresh and clean inside, which helps prevent corrosion and assures that the coolant has the proper boiling point and protection.

A pressure test, thermostat test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection for leaks and corrosion should also be done annually. Hoses and drive belts should be checked for cracks, bulges or frayed edges. The radiator should be kept clean by periodically using a garden hose and a soft brush to carefully remove bugs, dirt and debris.

TIRE CARE

Tires also need special care in warmer weather as high temperatures put added stress on them. To maximize tire life and safety, check the tire condition and inflation pressure monthly, and have the tires rotated every 6,000 miles. Summer heat will cause the pressure within a tire to rise, therefore, it’s important to check the pressure when tires are cold. The owner’s manual includes the recommended air pressure for your vehicle’s tires.

“It takes very little time and money to make sure your car runs properly during summer, and although breakdowns happen, they can definitely be minimized by taking a few extra preventive maintenance steps,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

Do I Need New Brakes? Look for These Warning Signs

Car maintenance is an essential part of keeping your car on the road, but it can be easy to overlook some important warning signs if you’re not a trained auto mechanic. Here are some of the major symptoms you should look for when your car needs new brakes.

Your brake warning light is on

This is the most obvious indication you need to go in for auto repair. A sign on your dashboard means that the problem with your car is urgent and needs maintenance as soon as possible.

Your car comes to a screeching halt

This kind of sound is only cool in the movies. If your car screeches when you stop, this might mean your brake pads are too worn to do their job properly. It’s essential to get car maintenance quickly since worn brake pads can damage other parts of your car or lead to brake failure.
Seek the help of a reliable auto mechanic to ensure your car gets the repair and maintenance it deserves.

Your car is vibrating

You’ll be able to tell when your car comes to a shuddering stop; the whole frame might vibrate or you might reach a bumpy halt even from slow speeds. This could mean that your rotor is warped or damaged due to rust or overuse. It might also mean a problem with your drum. Practice the best ways to brake, but be sure to bring your car to a car specialist to diagnose the issue.

You have to pump the brakes

If your car doesn’t react when you hit the brakes, this is a serious issue. Your car pedal shouldn’t sink to the floor or require multiple pumps of your foot to get it working. Your car should react as soon as you start to press on the brakes, and should stop about an inch away from the floor of your car in an automatic car. This could be a sign that there’s moisture or air bubbles in your brake line, but this could also be an issue with your master cylinder.

There’s a weird smell

Smells of burning, sight of smoke, pungent odors, or other unfamiliar smells could mean that your brakes have been compromised. It could mean that your brake caliper is stuck or your brake fluid has reached near-boiling temperatures. Regardless, this causes unsafe driving conditions and it’s important to get your car repair and maintenance performed by a reliable auto mechanic quickly.

Be sure to keep these symptoms of brake failure in mind the next time you go out for a drive. Contact the best auto repair Herndon VA has to offer today and schedule an appointment for a brake inspection. Checkout our discounts and specials as well.

How Do I prepare for a long trip?

A week or so before you leave, have regular maintenance done, like oil and filter change. Specifically, ask the shop to check the air filter and change it if necessary. Changing the air filter is an inexpensive way to enhance fuel economy and performance. Also have them check the tires again. If the pressure has gone down since the last check, you may have a leak that can be fixed on the spot.

HAVE  YOUR REPAIR SHOP CHECK THE RIRE PRESSURE AND ADJUST IT.

If the pressure is too low, it can cause a blowout at high speed. Also have them check the tread on the tires for excessive wear. (You can also do this yourself by placing the head of a penny into the tread of the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you probably need new tires.) Be sure to have your repair shop check to see that the spare tire is inflated and the appropriate tools are available to install it if necessary.

HAVE THE AUTO REPAIR SHOP CHECK THE COOLANT

Are you going somewhere with a warmer or colder climate? Let your repair shop know so your mechanic can adjust the mixture of water and antifreeze to ensure the car is protected against temperature extremes.

BY A ROAD ATLAS OR GPS

If you don’t have a current road atlas, get one. Hours and hours of expressway can get boring. Getting off the beaten path can add an entirely new dimension to your trip.

CLEAN OUT YOUR CAR

The day before you leave, thoroughly wash and vacuum the car. It’s much nicer to have your trip in a clean car.

MAKE SURE YOUR PAPERWORK IS IN ORDER

Make sure your license, registration and insurance are all current and accessible.

FILL THE GAS TANK.

Might as well get it out of the way now. Besides, gas is often more expensive on the road.

LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE PACKED

Open your suitcases and take one last look — do you really need all that stuff? Did you forget anything?

RELAX!

Enjoy your trip!

How often should I change my oil ?

For maximum protection, most oil companies say to change the oil every 3,000 miles or three to six months regardless of what type of driving you do.

A new engine with little or no wear can probably get by on 7,500 mile oil changes. But as an engine accumulates miles, it dumps more unburned fuel into the crankcase which dilutes the oil. This causes the oil to break down. So if the oil isn’t changed often enough, you can end up with accelerated wear and all the engine problems that come with it (loss of performance and fuel economy, and increased emissions and oil consumption).

Regular oil changes as part of preventative maintenance are cheap insurance against engine wear, and will always save you money in the long run if you keep a car for more than three or four years. If you are planning on moving or going on a long trip you should have your car’s oil, tires and all fluid levels checked.

WHAT ABOUT THE OIL FILTER ?

To reduce the costs of vehicle ownership and maintenance, many car makers say the oil filter only needs to be replaced at every other oil change. Most mechanics will tell you this is false economy.

The oil filters on most engines today have been downsized to save weight, cost and space. The “standard” quart-sized filter that was once common on most engines, has been replaced by a pint-sized (or smaller) filter. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that a smaller filter has less total filtering capacity. Even so, the little filters should be adequate for a 3,000 mile oil change intervals but may run out of capacity long before a second oil change at 6,000 or 15,000 miles. Replacing the oil filter every time the oil is changed, therefore, is highly recommended.

3 Vital Car Repairs to Get Before the Summer Is Done

While you’re having fun in the summer sun, your car might be harboring some necessary repairs. While a trip to the auto mechanic doesn’t seem like the best summer activity, if you want to survive the winter, car maintenance is a must. Here are three vital auto repair services you need to get before the summer is done.

Fix your air conditioning

While you’ve managed to get along with rolling down your windows, the peak of summer is still on its way. Before the true heat hits, get your air conditioning repaired, and your heating system checked out too. This will make the rest of your summer a breeze and prepare you for the colder months you may already be dreading.

Fixing your air conditioning is also vital if you have seasonal allergies. In order to reduce your allergy symptoms, revving the air conditioning in your car gives you cleaner air with fewer allergens than rolling down your windows. Consider calling an auto mechanic near you before the peak of the season.

Get an oil change

Summer is the perfect weather to go on a nice, long drive. Between your road trips, beach getaways, and mini vacations, your car is bound to rack up the miles. Keep it running in tip-top condition by performing regular car maintenance, including an oil change. It’s recommended you change your oil every four months or so, or at least every 5,000 miles between oil changes.
Without proper engine care, your car’s efficiency will begin to falter, thereby reducing the life of your car. Don’t delay your necessary oil change if you’ve reached the 5,000 mile mark on your car this summer.

Change your tires

With all the driving you do during the warm summer months, taking care of your tires is a necessity. If you haven’t already been using your summer tires, it’s time to rotate your wheels and utilize the energy efficiency associated with lighter summer tires. While it’s recommended that everyone keep a stock of winter tires and summer tires, not everyone has that luxury. In order to prevent excess wear and tear to your tires, you should rotate them every 5,000 miles — an easy fix if you do it each time you get routine car maintenance, like an oil change.
Car repair and maintenance is a necessity, and the easiest time to get it done is during the summer. Not only is it easier for your car specialist, you’ll regret not getting the repairs done sooner when winter hits.

Should I repair my car or buy a new one ?

Something goes wrong with your car and you’re faced with a high repair bill. It would be nice to get a new car, but is that the smartest decision? Would you be better off fixing your current ride, or is it really time to buy a new one? The answers to these questions will vary, so let me give you some information that might help you make a more informed decision.

REASON TO FIX YOUR CURRENT VEHICLE.

If you aren’t sure if fixing it is the right thing to do, here are a few reasons why it is a good idea to bite the bullet and get the repairs done.

  • It is almost always less expensive to repair a car than buy a new one.
  • Although something as severe as a blown motor or failed transmission will run you in the thousands of dollars to replace, it still isn’t enough to buy a new car. (It would certainly make a nice down payment, but then there are the monthly payments to consider.)
  • Insurance and registration fees will go up with a new car.
  • A new car typically loses an estimated 20 percent of its value the moment you drive it off the dealer lot. Your existing car has already taken that depreciation hit
  • Repairing it now will keep you on the road and give you more time to save up and get your finances in order.
  • You have a sentimental attachment to your car. Maybe it was your first car, a gift from a loved one, or a dream car you finally were able to purchase. For you, buying a new car means giving up an old friend.

REASON TO BUY A NEW CAR.

There are times when it’s time to buy that new vehicle. Here are some reasons for it:

  • You don’t want to worry constantly about future breakdowns. Your mechanic told you to expect more things to go wrong with your vehicle.
  • You’re tired of the back-and-forth to the repair shop. Some things are fixed the first time around, while others seem to need constant attention or do not get fixed right the first time. Either way, trips to the mechanic are costing you too much time away from work or family, in addition to money.
  • You’re tired of your old car. Perhaps it embarrasses you, it rattles like crazy or you have to bang on the A/C to get it working. Every morning when you walk outside and see the neighbor’s car, you long for something new. That’s perfectly normal. Just take a good look at your budget and make an honest assessment of your financial situation.
  • You want something safer. Your car is old enough where it’s simply not safe to drive.

A good rule of thumb to estimate when it’s time to throw in the towel, is if the cost of repairs is greater than either the value of the vehicle or one year’s worth of monthly payments and increased insurance payments.

GET AN HONEST ESTIMATE.

The only way to make an accurate decision, is to know what to expect. Ask your mechanic to fully inspect the vehicle and let you know what it really needs to run like new.