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Keeping Your Transmission Healthy

A lot goes into a properly functioning vehicle. If you want to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly, it helps to have a working knowledge of some of it’s more fundamental parts so that you can keep them healthy. To help with that, we’ve gone over here a little bit about your transmission and the importance of keeping up on repairs.

picture of transmission




What It Does:

Your car’s engine can’t just pump out power at full blast all the time; it needs something to regulate it. Your transmission does this by shifting gears at the appropriate time. Most cars have automatic transmission nowadays that do this on their own.

Repairs can cost a whole lot of money; because of this, any potential damage should get inspected immediately. Take your car by our shop right away if you notice problems indicative of transmission damage, such as gear slipping.


Our mechanics give only the highest quality service. You won’t find a better auto shop around. Want to know more about us? Please give us a call at (805) 466-3236!

What You Need to Know About You Car’s Fluids

oil change Your car is an indispensable part of your daily life. It allows you to travel at your convenience with relative ease. However, without proper maintenance, your car can be vulnerable to breaking down, leaving you with expensive repair bills and no car. This makes keeping your car running all the more important and one of the most important steps you can take towards keeping your car on the road is to maintain proper fluid levels. The more you know about your vehicle’s fluids, the more able you will be to protect your car from undue wear and tear.

Brake Fluid

Without brakes, you could not stop your car while driving – making driving a truly dangerous proposition. Modern brake systems employ hydraulic pumps to provide effective braking. This means that keeping adequate levels of brake fluid in your vehicle is essential to keep your brakes working properly. Brake fluid is a golden color when it is clean but brown or discolored fluid should be replaced to protect your brakes.

Transmission Fluid

Your vehicle’s transmission is responsible for shifting gears so that your car, truck or SUV can easily navigate different road conditions as well as reverse and park. When your transmission operates without the recommended levels of fluid, it can literally grind your gears and cause expensive damage to your vehicle. When checking your transmission fluid, make sure that it is red in color. Discolored fluid that is brown or black needs to be replaced as well as fluid that smells burnt.


Check your coolant levels twice a year to ensure that your engine is protected from overheating. You should always wait for your vehicle to cool down after being turned off for a while to check coolant levels. Coolant is stored in your radiator. Inside the radiator, there should be a line that indicates the proper level to fill your radiator with coolant. If you need to add coolant to your car, make sure to add the same kind that is already in your radiator.

Motor Oil

One of the most common maintenance procedures that virtually every car owner is familiar with is an oil change. Changing your oil is essential to keep your engine running without a hitch. Old, used and dirty oil can cause wear on various engine parts that can lead to various malfunctions. Newer models of cars are being produced with better and better technology and the conventional advice that you should change your oil every 3,000 may be outdated. Check your owner’s manual for specific details about your car’s oil change intervals.

Power Steering Fluid

If, when checking your power steering fluid, you observe fluid that is brown or black in color, change your fluid. Many mechanics recommend checking power steering fluid levels as a part of a routine monthly maintenance checklist for car owners.

Achieving Optimal Mileage

cars on highwayGas mileage is a sensitive subject for many car owners and drivers. There is no denying the dread we all feel when watching the dollars spin upward at the pump. While we can’t make gas any cheaper, we can offer tips to help you increase the time between your trips to the pump by promoting fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Here we have detailed several maintenance and driving techniques to extend your mileage.

Maintenance and Safety Means Savings

Keeping your car in good shape is important for performance at the pump. Check your tire pressure monthly. Inflating your tires to the recommended pressure reduces an unnecessary extra workload on your vehicle and also reduces extra wear on your tires – this can help boost your car’s fuel economy. Using your car manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil will additionally help improve fuel economy by 1-2%.

Driving safely is a must when sharing the roads with the crazed drivers of today’s times. But safe driving can also help your fuel efficiency. Avoid weaving through traffic and passing cars in front of you – this reduces frequent braking and rapid acceleration, both of which degrade mileage. Not to mention, the safest place for a reckless driver to be is in front of you – this puts you in control of keeping a safe distance away from them.

There is no replacement for regular maintenance and professional tune ups to protect your gas mileage and the lifespan of your car. For a full range of expert car service, call us today at (805) 466-3236!

A Good Rest & Safe Driving

car wreckWe consider driving a privilege rather than a right for a reason; cars present a major threat to people when used irresponsibly. We don’t allow people to drive drunk for just this reason, but you can impair your driving in other ways as well. One of them involves driving while sleep deprived. We have just begun learning about the detrimental effects of driving tired. Here, we’ll go over the correlation between a good rest and safe driving.

Don’t Drive Drowsy:

We don’t allow people imbibing alcohol to drive because it lengthens reaction time and lessens the ability to focus. Sleep deprivation has these exact same effects. In fact, after a certain amount of lost sleep, you become more likely to crash than a moderate drinker.

National Sleep Foundation Studies:

The NSF has pointed to younger people, late night shift employees and new parents as those at the highest risk for driving sleep deprived. In a poll conducted in 2005, they discovered that over 1/3 of participants said they had fallen asleep when driving once or more in their lives.


Here at German Performance, we need our community to stay safe; stay well rested when you get on the road. If you need to make sure your car runs perfectly, take it by our shop. We’ll get it in great working order. To find out more about our services, please give us a call at (805) 466-3236.

Catalytic Converter: What Does It Do?

We could all use a little more working information about our vehicles, since almost all of us use them every day. This may seem tough, but doesn’t prove too hard if you do it in piece meal. Here, we’ll go over your catalytic converter. A lesser known part, it still plays an important role.

catalytic converter





Why do you need it?

Your internal combustion engine creates 3 noxious compounds: hydrocarbons (gasoline that hasn’t gotten burned) , carbon monoxide (burned gasoline) and nitrogen oxide (heat combined nitrogen & oxygen).

What does it do?

The catalytic converter turns these harmful chemicals into less harmful ones with a catalyst, usually in the form of platinum or palladium. Carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons becomes carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides get separated back into nitrogen and oxygen.


That covers the basics. Now you know that if your exhaust doesn’t work correctly, your catalytic converter could have sustained damage. Remember, these chemicals can harm you and your passengers, as well as the atmosphere. If you need repairs for it or any other auto part, German Performance can help. To find out more, come visit us or give us a call at (805) 466-3236.

Car Buying Guide

red car illustrationDon’t know when you’ve been taken advantage of when buying a car? That’s okay, it happens to a lot of people. We can’t all have the knowledge base of a mechanic. We’ve compiled a quick guide to help keep you from getting swindled on your car purchase.


Establish Budget:

This won’t be hard if you buy your car in one lump sum. However, if you plan to make monthly installments, you need to take all future financial possibilities into account. Any other important expenses could put you in the red.

Ask What You Need From Your Vehicle:

It might surprise you how many people neglect to do this; when they go in to look for a vehicle, they won’t even know where to start because they haven’t put any thought into it. Do you want a truck that can go off-roading? A cool convertible to attract the ladies? A spacious SUV for the kids? Think this stuff through before-hand.


Again, you need to do this before you start actually looking for potential buys. If you don’t, you won’t know where to start. With the internet, you can find any relevant information you need in a matter of minutes. After you’ve got this done, the real car search begins.

Test Drive:

This one could be the most necessary step of all; how do you know the car’s accessories even work if you don’t test drive it? Check every feature you care about, because you’ll just have to shell out money later if it turns out to have been broken.


Keep this in mind while looking for your new purchase. Here at German Performance, we offer a vast array of auto services. For more information, drop by or give us a ring at (805) 466-3236.

ABS Brakes

Your brakes are arguably the most important part of your vehicle. They’re the main thing keeping you from break-neck collisions when you’re driving. Most people are aware that ABS braking systems are installed in most cars today. But, do they know what they do? To help you understand, here’s a quick overview:

ABS Braking System






ABS Brakes help maintain traction with the road, while not allowing wheels to lock up. This keeps your car from skidding and you from losing control. The method used to achieve this traction is based on threshold braking and cadence braking, both of which are styles established by driving professionals on older braking systems.

This type of system improves vehicle control and shortens the distance it takes to stop. On snow or loose gravel, the stopping distance is actually lengthened, but better control is still maintained.


It’s important to always maintain the health of your braking system. Here at German Performance, we offer ABS brake repairs alongside a host of other auto-related services. We’ll make sure that your car is as safe and road worthy as possible. For more information, please give us a call at (805) 466-3236.

Engine Damage Signs

The engine is literally the driving force of your vehicle. Keeping it healthy is the most important part of maintaining your car’s health. Don’t ignore problems, time will only compound them. Here are a few obvious signs that your engine has sustained damage and needs to be taken into an auto shop:





Smoke coming out of your vehicle:

This could potentially be either an exhaust problem or engine damage. Engine smoke can come in 3 different colors that will help pinpoint where the damage is. Blue smoke comes from burned-up engine oil. It indicates that seals holding the oil in have cracked. White smoke coming out of your tail-pipe indicates a blown head gasket or faulty cylinder head. Its hue comes from the combustion chamber filling up with coolant and water. Black smoke means there is either too much fuel or too little air in the combustion chamber. The problems associated with black smoke tend to be less severe.

You hear loud noises:

Don’t worry, that wasn’t a gun-shot; it came from your engine. The cause of these noises can come from many places. Some of them will have high repair costs and some of them won’t.

Reduced engine power:

An engine is just a large combination of mechanical devices that work together in harmony. When one of them stops working properly, the engine’s performance is reduced. Loss of power lets you know a part of your engine isn’t working right. Don’t let the problem fester.


If you notice any of these signs of engine damage, take your car in immediately. Here at German Performance, we offer engine repairs and a host of other auto-related services from certified professionals. For more information, please give us a call at (805) 466-3236.

Tips For Maintaining Car Cleanliness For The Lazy Owner

We all get lazy on occasion; there’s no shame in it. Maintaining cleanliness with your car can be time-consuming. It doesn’t have to be, though. Here’s a few tips for keeping your car clean without too much hassle:





Keep food out:

Don’t eat in your car. While this may be an inconvenience for those on a time crunch, it’s a great excuse to sit back and enjoy your meals in more agreeable settings. You don’t want to have to spend time picking up trash later.

Wax every now and then:

This requires some effort; however, waxing keeps your car looking shiny and new and lessens the need for frequent washes later. 

Rap shoes on ground before entering your vehicle:

Knock your shoes against the ground a few times to get all the dirt off. You don’t want it building up inside your car. Vacuuming the floors can be time-consuming.

Have a trash bag handy:

Keep on top of messes. Leave a trash bag in your car so that trash isn’t dispersed around for more cleanup later.

Store car in a garage:

If you leave your car outside, especially under foliage, a lot of excess dirt is going to build up on its exterior. The goal is to reduce the necessary washing as much as possible. Your garage will also protect your vehicle from would-be “dent-and-runners”.

Get a washing routine down:

Set aside time every 2-3 weeks to take your car to a car wash. This is the quick and easy way; you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. If you want to save some cash, you can hand-wash your car. This takes a little effort, but can be quite cathartic. Get your routine down so that it takes as little time as possible.


With these tricks in mind, keeping your car clean will barely seem like a hassle. Here at German Performance, we offer a host of auto-related services. For more information, give us a call at (805) 466-3236.

Get Ready for a Holiday Road Trip

Road Trip Tips

christmas presentAre you heading out for the holidays to see family and friends? Before you hit the road, check out our road trip tips. Safety should always come first for you and your family. By preparing ahead of time you can avoid needless headaches down the road. So grab your suitcases and get ready to head to grandmother’s house!

1: Proper Maintenance

Before you head out on a long trip it is important to properly maintain your car. This usually means an oil change and a tune-up if needed. A good tune-up should include spark plug replacement, air filter replacement and a thorough check of your car. We provide tune-ups for our clients, so feel free to stop in before your next trip.

The day of your road trip check all your fluids to make sure everything is topped off and ready to go. Check your:fluid check

  • Oil
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Brake Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Windshield Wiper Fluid
  • Transfer Fluid (when applicable)

2: Tire Inspection

tire tread checkDon’t forget to give your tires a good once over before you head out. Check the air pressure to ensure everything is up to the correct standards. Remember, cooling air can lead to lower air pressure. Your car’s user manual or the inside of your door should tell you the correct PSI for your vehicle.

Check the tread on your tires too. You can use a penny to do a simple tread check. Put Lincoln head first into various spots on your tread. If you see Lincoln’s head completely every time, your tread is wearing low. If his head is partially covered, you probably still have enough tread to last.

3: Get Some Rest

sleeping dogThe night before you leave, try your best to ensure you get a proper amount of rest. Don’t plan any big events the day before and pack early. This will allow you to relax the evening before your trip and rest up for the miles ahead. Driving while fatigued is a leading cause of road accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates “100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year.” 

If you feel drowsy, be sure to pull off and take a nap or switch drivers. Remember, no amount of caffeine can compensate for a lack of sleep. A quick snack can also help boost energy. Apples are a wonderful, easy road snack that can boost your energy levels.

4: Plan Ahead

water bottleAlthough you never hope for car trouble on the road, plan ahead in case of such an incident. Check your trunk for an aired up spare tire. And bring along some extra snacks and water in case of an emergency. Having a first aid kit on hand is also a good idea. And if you are driving somewhere cold, bring some extra blankets along.

5: Enjoy the journey

Finally, relax and enjoy your trip. Although driving can have its stressful moments, try to stay calm throughout the drive. Aggressive driving can lead to accidents and put your family at risk. Bring along toys and activities for any young ones so everyone can stay happy on the road. And take breaks when you need to get up and stretch. If you can, plan extra time for your travel so you are not stressed and in a rush. A trip to grandma’s house can be the perfect time to explore quick road stops along the way.

Happy holidays and drive safely! Don’t forget your friends at German Performance are here for you if you need any help gearing up for the road ahead.