palmdale auto shop

An overheating car is no laughing matter.

Ignoring the situation is the last thing you want to do. Continuing to drive while your car keeps getting hotter and hotter will lead to all sorts of problems. The hotter the engine gets, the greater the likelihood that the cylinder heads will warp. When this happens, the pistons can become so hot, that they weld themselves to the cylinders which effectively destroys your engine. At this point, you’ll have to go to the massive expense of replacing the engine.

There are a few different reasons your vehicle starts overheating, including:

  • A leaking radiator
  • The radiator fan isn’t working correctly
  • The water pump broke
  • A clogged coolant hose

 

Symptoms of an overheating car include:

  • A burning smell
  • The temperature gauge in your car is at H
  • Steam billowing out from under your car’s hood

 

The most important thing to do when your car starts overheating is to act quickly. Weirdly enough, the first thing you should do is crank up your car’s heater. This might seem strange, but your car’s heater works by drawing heat from the engine block, that’s why your heater blows cold air when you first start driving on a winter’s day. Turning up the heat when the engine is overheating, pulls the heat away and decreases some of the damage being done to your car.

As soon as it’s safe to do so, pull over and shut off your engine. Shutting the engine off won’t cool it down, but it will prevent the temperature from climbing even higher and doing more damage.

Sit and wait for about 15 minutes. This is about how long it will take for your car to cool down enough for you to safely lift the hood and investigate why your car suddenly started overheating.

If the issue is something simple, like you have low coolant, you will be able to add some more and drive at least far enough to get home. The same is true if you have a minor leak, though you’ll have to stop periodically to add more coolant. However if the problem is so severe that any coolant you add simply leaks out or immediately evaporates, you’ll need to have your car towed to your favorite mechanic who will diagnose the problem and replace the damaged parts.

Whether you’re dealing with an overheating vehicle or simply need a tune-up, we’re here and ready to help. We provide outstanding service at prices you can afford.

Contact us and learn how we’ll keep your car in perfect running order.

Preparing Your Car for a Long Road Trip

Road trips are great. You get to see more of the country than you would if you simply flew from one location to another. It’s usually cheaper than flying. If you’re traveling with friends or loved ones, it’s a great way to bond.

The only downside to road trips is worrying about whether your vehicle is up to the experience. The good news is that there are some things you can do to prepare your vehicle for an upcoming road trip.

Four Weeks Before Planned Trip, Take Care of Major Repairs

About four weeks before the planned road trip you should have your mechanic look at your car and make sure there isn’t anything major wrong with it. If they do find something, you should arrange to have those issues repaired in the next week or two. Getting the vehicle checked out should happen four weeks before your trip and all repairs should be done within two weeks of your anticipated take-off day.

Check the Tires

One week before your trip, you’ll want to dedicate to your tires. Don’t just look at them and decide that they’re fine. Take them to your local tire store and have them inspected, filled up, and rotated. Don’t forget to have the spare tire in your trunk done at the same time.

Get the Oil Changed

The week before you leave, you should have your oil (and a few filters) changed. Not only does this mean your car is operating with perfect oil, but it also means that you don’t have to wonder if you have enough oil. When you’re getting the oil changed, ask that they check and top off all other fluids.

Set Up a Safety Kit

Before a road trip, you should have a safety kit in your vehicle. The kit should contain basic first aid supplies, flares, and some simple automotive repair things. Keep this kit in a location that you can easily access if you get into trouble.

Join a Roadside Assistance Program

Don’t underestimate the value of a good roadside assistance program, especially when you’re in the middle of a road trip. They can help you with everything from flat tires, to running out of gas, to locking the keys in the car situations.

Are you in the middle of prepping for a big road trip? Bring it into us for a good checkup that will identify any potential mechanical issues that would ruin an otherwise perfect vacation.

If you have pets, especially a dog or two, you likely want to bring them with you wherever you go. Having your dog with you as you travel is as much fun for you as it is for your dog.

Before you load the members of your fur family into your car, it’s important to make sure you’re vehicle is safe and comfortable for them.

Can you Keep Them Away from You?

As appealing as having your dog or cat on your lap while you drive might seem, it’s not a good idea. Not only is having a pet on your lap while you’re driving distracting, but it’s also dangerous. If something happens and your pet jumps up, it could temporarily cause you to avert your eyes from the road at a crucial moment or even bump the steering wheel, causing you to lose control of the vehicle. It’s best to have your pets either buckled up in their seat or at the very least restricted to the back of the vehicle.

There are lots of pet safety seats, vehicle barriers, and even attachments that hook to the seatbelt that you should consider. Having your pet restrained and far away from the driver is safer for both everyone driving on the road and your pet.

Do They Have Water

Set up your car so that your pet can access water whenever they want. This will keep them hydrated and allow them to enjoy the drive far more than they would if they were thirsty. Look for ways that you can set up a travel water bowl. Placing a thick towel under the bowl will take care of any water that splashes over the edge while you’re driving.

You should also consider setting your pet, particularly young ones, up with a chew toy or snack that will keep them occupied.

How Will They Stay Cool if You’re Parked

The biggest danger connected to traveling with pets is the possibility of them overheating while you’re parked somewhere. Ideally, you’ll be able to plan your day so that your pet is never left alone in a parked car. However, if for some reason you do have to leave your pet alone, park in a shaded area, and cover the windows. Crack the windows enough to let some fresh air in. Set up a battery-powered fan that blows on your pet. Provide them with plenty of cold water and a few ice packs they can lay on. Keep the amount of time they are unattended in the hot car as short as possible.

Keep Your Car Running Smoothly

The last thing you need or want is for your car to break down while you have important members of your fur family riding with you. The best way to make sure you never have to deal with a nervous dog or jumpy cat while you’re stranded on the side of the highway is to keep your car in excellent repair. In addition to routine maintenance, regularly get it serviced and repair any issues your mechanic finds.

Contact us today for an honest quote on high-quality, reliable car repairs.

 

palmdale-auto-repair-shop

The odds are pretty good that you rely on your mechanic even more than you do your doctor. They’re the person who keeps your car running smoothly so that you can stay on top of your personal and professional obligations.

Considering how much you rely on your car running smoothly, it’s easy to understand why finding a new mechanic after you’ve moved is so stressful. You know you need a mechanic that provides trustworthy repairs, who works quickly, and who honors their estimates.

While choosing a new mechanic is always going to be a daunting process, there are some things you can do to make the leap of faith a little less scary.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

The biggest mistake car owners make is waiting until there is a problem with their car before they start looking for a mechanic. This means that you are desperate and unable to do any research. Long before your car starts acting up, make a list of local mechanics and check each one out. The more research you do, the better the odds are that you’ll choose the mechanic that’s perfect for you.

The things you want to look up include:

  • If they work on your brand/model of vehicle
  • If they are fully licensed and insured
  • What they’re estimates are like
  • If they offer all-around mechanical work or if they specialize
  • If they honor warranties
  • How long they’ve been in business

 

Get Recommendations

Since you just moved to the area, you might not know many people but that doesn’t have to prevent you from asking questions and getting some recommendations for good mechanics in the area. Talk to co-workers, bank tellers, and cashiers. Not only is this a good way to learn which local mechanics have the best reputations, but also to start connecting with people in your new community.

Visit the Mechanic’s Shop

Take a few minutes to visit the mechanic’s shop. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small organization or a massive business, the place should be clean, the employees should look relaxed, and most importantly, you should get a professional and experienced vibe when you walk through the doors.

Take Your Car to the Mechanic for Routine Work

Nothing is saying you have to wait until you have an emergency before taking your car to a mechanic. If you’ve found the one you think you like, have them perform some routine procedure on your car, like an oil change. This will give you an idea about how well they work and the overall quality of the work. If you like them for routine stuff, you’ll probably be more relaxed about leaving your vehicle there when you do need emergency repairs.

Low Estimates Aren’t Always a Good Deal

Everyone loves to get a good deal, but don’t go with a mechanic solely because they gave the lowest estimate. When it comes to repairs and car work, you usually get what you pay for. Go with the mechanic that may charge a little more but who uses top-quality parts, offers excellent customer service, and provides warranties.

If you’re new to the area and looking for a mechanic, feel free to contact us.

Brake and Light Inspection in Palmdale

Going on a long road trip is a lot of fun. It’s a great opportunity to see things and gain experiences that simply aren’t possible in your hometown. However, when your car breaks down in the middle of that road trip, things quickly go from fun to stressful.

Taking the time to make sure your car is ready for the demands of a long road trip is the best way to make sure that your road trip is relaxing.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

The biggest mistake many people make when prepping their car for a long road trip is waiting until the last minute. About a month before you plan on leaving, take your car to your mechanic for a tune-up. This is a great opportunity to make sure everything is in good working order. If the belts look worn, or the battery is underperforming, your mechanic will correct the issue.

Remember, dealing with these things now instead of when you’re far from home will help you keep your peace of mind and also save you from emergency car repairs which are even more expensive.

Make sure you tell your mechanic about any strange noises or movements your car has been making.

Get the Oil Changed

A few days before the road trip, have the oil changed and all the other fluids checked. Getting this done confirms that your car hasn’t developed a leak and also spares you from having to constantly check the fluid levels while you’re traveling.

Rotate Your Tires

After getting your oil changed, drive to your favorite tire supplier and have them rotate your tires. Not only does this help keep your car traveling smoothly, but also means your tires will get a good check. If they are going bald or seem to be unbalanced, the mechanic will let you know that it’s time for new tires.
Make sure you have your brakes checked at the same time you get the tires rotated.
Don’t forget to have your spare tire looked at as well. If you do happen to blow out a tire, you don’t want to find yourself without a spare or doughnut when you’re far from home.

Make Sure Your Documentation Is In Order

A day or two before you leave, check your car’s glove box and make sure your documentation is in order. You should have your car’s registration and insurance information. If you are unable to find these things, arrange to get copies before you leave.

Right before you leave check to make sure things like jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, the number of your roadside assistance service, tire jack, and flares are easily accessible.

Do you have an extended road trip in the future? Contact us to set up an appointment and make sure your car is ready for the challenge.

palmdale-auto-shop

It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a brand new car off the lot today or you are in the middle of a long-term relationship with a twenty-year-old clunker, staying on top of your car’s maintenance needs is the best way to not only get the most out of your car but to also reduce your annual vehicle-related expenses.

How Are Your Tires

A surprising number of people don’t give their tires a second thought when they are going through their car’s maintenance needs. That’s why so many people are driving around with underinflated tires. Get into the habit of checking your tires every single week. You’ll find that it only takes a couple of minutes. Set aside five minutes one morning a week and check the air pressure in the tires, if it’s not optimal, inflate them. At the same time, look at the treads and make sure they don’t show signs of wear.

 

Every six months, have your tires rotated. 

 

Once you make good tire maintenance a part of your life, you’ll notice that your tires last longer and that your vehicle’s fuel economy improves.

Be Mindful of Your Oil

You won’t believe how much longer your car will run when you stay on top of your oil. Running low on oil can take a huge toll on your engine. Each time you check your tire pressure, pop your hood and check how much oil you have. If you’re low, fill it up, but be careful you don’t overfill it.

 

You also need to pay careful attention to when you require an oil change. If you want to extend the time between oil changes, use synthetic oil, it cost a little more at the time but allows you to drive a few thousand miles between changes. 

 

Whenever you take your car in for an oil change, check out the filters and replace any that are dirty, damaged, or old.

Don’t Ignore Your Dash Lights 

If one of your dashboard warning lights comes on, don’t cross your fingers and hope for the best. Yes, sometimes the issue is connected to the dash light and doesn’t need to be dealt with, but most of the time the warning light came on because there is something not right about your car.

 

Rather than hoping for the best, bring your vehicle in and have your favorite mechanic check it out. Not only will you get peace of mind, but the immediate repair will also save the damage from getting worse and potentially destroying your vehicle.

Tune-Ups are Important

Getting a regular tune-up is a great way to keep your car in perfect running order. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you should get a tune-up. Follow its guidelines and pay careful attention to everything your mechanic tells you. Getting repairs done during a tune-up is going to save you a great deal of aggravation in the coming months.

 

Whether your car needs a simple tune-up or a more serious repair, we’ll provide the repairs you can trust at prices you’ll love. Contact us today and learn how we’ll help your car.

palmdale-auto-shop

There comes a point in every driver’s life when they suddenly notice the steering wheel vibrating. Not only is the sensation unsettling, but it also makes driving downright uncomfortable. Here are a few reasons your ride may have started to shimmy and shake during your daily commute.

The Road is Uneven

If the vibration suddenly starts and stops, you’re in luck. This on-again-off-again vibration likely has very little to do with your car and everything to do with the road’s surface. The best way to determine if a bumpy road is causing the steering wheel vibration is driving over that same section of road again and seeing if the vibration resumes and ends at the same point.

Your Tires Need Replacing

More often than not, a vehicle’s vibration indicates that there is something wrong with one or more of the tires. The issue could stem from one tire being underinflated, an alignment issue, the tires being out of balance, or an alignment problem. In most cases, when the vibration stems from a tire issue, the vibration will get steadily worse as your speed increases.

Wonky Axel

Did you notice the vibration after your car had been involved in an accident or after you hit a bad pothole or curb? If so, it’s highly likely that the vibration is your car’s way of letting you know that there is an axel problem. Once again, in this case, the vibration will grow steadily worse as your speed increases. You really need to get the car to a mechanic so they can lift it up and see if the axle is bent.

The U-Joint is Bad

If the vibration seems okay while you’re traveling at a decent clip but puts in an appearance while you deaccelerate, you’ll want to ask your mechanic to check out the car’s u-joint. The good news is that this is a correctable problem. The bad news is that ridding your vehicle of the irritating vibration usually involves replacing the entire driveshaft.

Bad Brakes

Do you only notice the vibration when you use your brakes? If so, the problem is likely that your vehicle’s brake rotor has either worn out or become completely warped. The good news is that this is something that’s easily replaced. The bad news is that you need to do so right away. Driving with a bad brake rotor is extremely dangerous.

Engine Issues

Sometimes the vibration is caused by an engine issue. When the engine is to blame for the vibration, the issue is usually connected to bad spark plugs or clogged filters. All of these issues are easily correctable and will usually be resolved by a simple tune-up.

The next time your car develops a mysterious vibration, contact us for a diagnosis.

palmdale-auto-shop

Not only did you spend a lot of money on your car, but it’s also an important part of your life. You need it to run smoothly so that you can get to work, pick up the kids, and take weekend trips to remote getaways. An outstanding mechanic is a key component to making sure your car never lets you down. Not only will an outstanding mechanic keep your car tuned up, but they will also notice early warning signs of trouble and make the necessary repairs, this goes a long way towards preventing you from getting stranded on the side of the road.

Here are a few tips that will help you choose the outstanding mechanic your car needs and that you deserve!

Ask About Accreditations

Pick a few mechanics in your area and contact them. Instead of simply asking for an estimate, take some time to learn about their business. One of the things you should ask is about the accreditations they’ve earned since starting the business.

Ideally, the mechanic should have some local accreditations from business chambers that show they are a reputable business. They should also have accreditations from the program that trained the team. Many also have additional accreditations that show they are uniquely qualified to work on specialized systems, brands, and even models.

Check for Reviews

Reviews will tell you a great deal about the quality of work the mechanic you’re considering routinely does. You’ll need to do more than simply look at the testimonials published on their website. Look at places like Yelp and even Facebook for reviews. If possible, speak to a few people who’ve used the mechanic. When speaking to people get their impressions on pricing, the overall quality of the work, find out if the repairs were handled promptly, and how good the customer service was.

Take Your Vehicle to the Mechanic for a Test Appointment

Before settling on a permanent mechanic for your ride, schedule a test appointment. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. A basic oil change or engine flush will tell you a lot about how they handle your car, the type of feedback they provide after getting under the hood, and if they’ll treat you with respect.

Need a mechanic who not only offers great price and outstanding customer service but who will also treat your car as if it were their own? Contact us! You’ll be glad you did!

car-repair-palmdale

Buying a used car is always a tricky proposition. On one hand, you want the car to be reliable and to provide you with years of low-maintenance driving. On the other hand, you want to spend as little money as possible.

One of the things few people mention when it comes to shopping for used cars is the importance of having a good mechanic conduct a pre-purchase inspection. Many people avoid this step because they want to save money. What they don’t realize is that spending a little on a pre-purchase inspection can save them thousands of dollars down the road.

The pre-purchase inspection can be as intense or brief as you want. If you simply want to make sure that the car you’re considering is road-worthy, you won’t spend a great deal on the pre-purchase inspection. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a vehicle that’s been perfectly maintained and will provide you with years of use, you may want a more intense inspection.

The main thing the mechanic looks for during the pre-purchase inspection is that all of the vehicle’s functions are working properly and that the seller is properly representing the vehicle. In addition to making sure that the brakes, belts, and tires are in good repair, the mechanic sill also looks for potential problems with the frame and engine that you might not have noticed during the test drive.

During the inspection, the used vehicle will be hooked to the computer system so that the mechanic can see if there are any trouble codes that could indicate serious but hidden electrical and mechanical issues that will make you reconsider purchasing the vehicle.

Pre-purchase inspections can reveal some pretty important information about the vehicle that you simply wouldn’t have noticed on your own. Perhaps the most important thing your mechanic will tell you is if the vehicle has been in a flood. Recently, there has been a surge of vehicles that were flood-damaged in hurricanes that were then shipped to other states where the flood damage was hidden and the vehicles sold as sound. It wasn’t until months later that the owners started encountering the mold and electrical issues associated with flood damage.

Another thing the pre-purchase inspection will reveal is any shoddy mechanical work that was done to disguise a problem but which would later cost a bundle to fix. Not only will your mechanic see the issue, but they can also provide you with an estimate for future repairs.

If you’re in the market for a used car, contact us and set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection. You’ll be glad you did!

palmdale brake inspection

You don’t want to get casual about your car’s brakes. Not only do faulty and worn-out brakes change the way your car handles, but they are also a serious safety hazard. The better condition your brakes are in, the better the odds become that you’ll successfully avoid getting into an accident. Despite the importance of perfectly working brakes, many people don’t know when they should have their brakes inspected.

The general rule of thumb is that you should have a mechanic look at your brakes once every six months. The best way to make sure this happens is arranging to have your brakes checked each time you get your vehicle’s tires rotated. Remember, just because you’re having a mechanic look at your brakes, it doesn’t mean that they’ll actually need any work. This regular check is a basic part of good car maintenance.

The reality is that few people actually do have their brakes inspected every six months as they should. If you fall into this category, there are some signs you should look for that indicate it’s time to get your car’s brake to the shop for some work.

If your brakes are starting to squeal, thump, or rattle when you apply pressure you need to get your car in right away. In most cases, these noises indicate that the brake pad is nearly worn away and that it won’t be long before the brakes stop working.

Pay attention to how your car handles when you step on the brakes, especially if you’re going downhill. Does everything remain smooth or does the steering wheel vibrate? If there’s a vibration, book a brake check with your mechanic. The vibration often indicates a problem, often a deformation, with your brake rotors, the longer you keep driving, the worse the disfiguration will become and the more dangerous it is for you to drive your vehicle.

The last and most subtle sign that it’s time to get your vehicle in for a brake check is that it simply isn’t stopping as quickly as it should. The increasingly delayed stop indicates that your brake pads are getting worn down and that it’s likely time to get them replaced.

It’s important to have reliable brakes. Book a brake check appointment today! We offer reliable service and reasonable prices

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