Author Archives: Rick's German Performance

What To Do if Your Car is Overheating

Engine Overheating

Engine Trouble? See if These Symptoms Ring a Bell.

Having problems with engine overheating? It’s a little more common that you realize. What’s worse, there are numerous potential causes for overheating that can leave you confused and frustrated. To help you get a grasp of what’s going on with your engine, here are some useful tips on understanding the problem and fixing it.

Engine Overheating Causes

There are some many reasons for an engine to start overheating, but the majority can be narrowed down into two common categories: low fluids and part failure. When it comes to fluids, two essential components of your car system are coolant and oil. Oil allows your key parts of your engine to generate power without creating excessive friction and additional heat. Coolant absorbs heat throughout your engine and safely expels it without harming performance. Thinks can get hot really quickly when either of these fluids is too low.

While fluid problems tend to cause a gradual buildup of heat, part failure is more likely to cause sudden engine overheating headaches. As our friends at Car Throttle previously pointed out, two frequent causes of overheating include faulty thermostats and radiator woes. Your engine thermostat serves as a mediator between your engine and the radiator, activating a steady flow of coolant when the engine starts to heat up. If this thermostat shorts out, your radiator won’t activate the coolant circulation. Basically, your engine would be in serious trouble. Many car owners also have problems with their radiator. A loose part or a leaky hose can cause coolant to gradually spill out of your vehicle. This will lead to reduced performance and (eventually) engine power loss.

How Long Does it Take for a Car to Cool Down?

When you’re stuck on the side of the road in the summer heat, you’ll probably feel tempted to drive away after just a few minutes. Stop right there! If you try driving away without giving your car a chance to cool down, you could end up seriously damaging your engine and aggravating a bad situation. According to a recent article by Esurance, who also has several helpful tips on roadside emergencies, “It typically takes a solid 30 minutes for an engine to cool down enough for it to be safe to handle.” If necessary, take a moment to top off your coolant.

Your Auto Repair Specialists

Worried about your vehicle? If you’re having problems with your engine overheating, feel free to talk with one of our experts at Rick's German Performance. You can contact us at (805) 466-3236 or bring your vehicle in for a tune-up. Stay safe!

The Benefits of a Coolant Flush

There is a lot that goes into maintaining your car. From making sure the brakes work to getting your oil changed, there are different parts and areas that need a lot of attention. One of those areas includes your cooling system, which needs a coolant flush in order for the cooling system to work properly. Not only does it make the cooling system work as it should, a coolant flush also has other benefits. Below are some of the benefits of getting your cooling system flushed out.The Benefits of a Coolant Flush

Gets Rid of Old Coolant

Coolant prevents from your water pump from becoming corroded. After a while, your coolant will lose that ability and the buildup of coolant will not be able to prevent rust. Getting your cooling system flushed can remove the old coolant and in turn avoid any rust.

Prevents Corrosion

Older forms of coolant didn’t have the ability to prevent corrosion or rust in your water pump, but now with newer forms of coolant, you don’t have to worry about your water pump becoming damaged by rust.

Protects Your Water Pump

Because of the ingredients in the coolant, whenever your cooling system is flushed out, it can help keep your water pump working as it should and keep it in good shape for a lot longer.

Flushes Leftover Particles

A coolant flush not only prevents rust, but it can also remove any buildup that has developed due to old coolant in the cooling system.

If you need a cooling system flush in Atascadero or Paso Robles, CA call Rick's German Performance today at (805) 466-3236.

Tire Rotation Benefits For Your Vehicle

Tire Rotation

There is nothing better than heading out on the road in your car, whether it be out of necessity or for a fun summer trip. Many car owners know that keeping their car road ready requires maintenance and service. However, one of the most overlooked services when it comes to vehicles is tire rotation. Rotating your tires can actually play an important role in your car health and preventing future issues with your car. When you choose to avoid a tire rotation, you can actually be leaving your vehicle open to suspension issues and tire failure. There are many benefits you could be missing out on.

What Tire Rotation Can Do For You

  • Keep You In Warranty – When you get new tires, they may come with a warranty that allows you to replace them before a certain date. However, you may not realize that keeping that warranty means rotations are required. Get regular rotations to ensure your warranty is active for when you need it.
  • Create Even Wear – Wear is natural for tires when in use. However, uneven wear can cause many different problems from weakening your tires overall to causing vibrations in your steering wheel. Tire rotation ensures that the wear on your tires will stay even, preventing damage to your vehicle and accidents.
  • Keep You Safe – Safety, especially your own, should always be a priority when operating a vehicle. Because it evens wear, tire rotation gives your car better handling, allowing for a smoother and therefore safer driving experience.

Tire rotation can help you keep your car at its best. Rick's German Performance is your source for quality vehicle service in Atascadero, CA. Give us a call today at (805) 466-3236 for your tire rotation and service needs.

Detect What’s Wrong With Your Car By What Color The Leak Is

If you pull away and notice a puddle where your car was, you have a leak coming from somewhere in your car’s mechanical system. But where? Leave the repairs to a professional, but you can figure out how much services will cost by noticing what color the leak is. Certain colors indicate fluids coming from specific locations in your car.

Brown: Engine Oil or Brake Fluid

One of the most common liquids to drip from underneath the center of cars. It often produces a bad odor when the oil is burning, which can help differentiate it from brake fluid. Brake fluid looks slimy and clearer than engine oil. If the leak looks clear brown, get it fixed immediately as brake fluid is critical to running a car.

Orange: Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid has an orange to reddish brown tint which can make it hard to identify. If the leak is under the center of your car, it is transmission fluid.

Red: Power Steering Fluid

Very similar in color to transmission fluid, the power steering fluid can be identified by its location. If it is by the front of the car, it is the power steering. If it is around the center of the car, it is transmission fluid.

Clear: A/C Water

You will see these leaks under all cars, especially on hotter days. That is because condensation from the air conditioning built up and when you turn the car off and it gets hot, it melts.

Yellow, Green, or Pink: Coolant

The most easy fluid to spot as it is neon in color, leaks often appear under the car where the hood is. Coolant is used to cool the engine off when it gets too hot.

Call Us For Repairs If Your Car Has A Leak

 

If you are having a fluid leak in your car in Atascadero , CA, contact Rick's German Performance at (805) 466-3236

Signs You Need to Get Your Brakes Checked

Our car’s brakes are important to the function of our car as the brakes help our cars from coming to a complete stop. Due to their importance, it’s critical to get your brakes checked every six months. If you don’t remember the last time you had your brakes checked, there are indications that let you know when services are needed for your car’s brakes.

Brake Warning Light Comes On

If the brake warning light comes on, that’s a clear sign your brakes need to be looked at. The brake warning light comes on when there is something wrong with the hydraulic system.

Your Car Is Pulling

Have you tried to brake only to have your car pull to the right or the left? While a car pulling from one side to the other could have something to do with your wheel alignment, it can also be a sign that the components in your brakes are damaged.

Noise When You Push On the Brakes

When you use your foot to push on the brakes, it shouldn’t make a noise. However, if you hear squealing or grinding noises, it’s important to have your brakes looked at immediately. Squealing and grinding usually have to do with your brake pads.

Your Brake Pedal Is Soft When You Push Down

When you push down on the brake, is it really soft? When its super easy to push down on the brake pedal could be problems with the hydraulic system or there is air in the brake lines.

If you need brake services in Atascadero, CA, call Rick's German Performance today at (805) 466-3236.

3 Reasons Your Battery Light is On

Check Battery Light

Call Our Office If You Need Service for Your Battery.

Having a good battery in your car is very important. Not only does it provide the electrical power for your dashboard and radio, but it also powers your headlights and all the computers inside your engine. If the battery light on your dashboard turns on, it is an early warning sign that something in your electrical system isn’t working correctly. Don’t wait until the battery is completely dead to bring it into the shop. Bring it by Rick's German Performance today and we will do a full diagnostic to determine what is wrong with your battery.

What Does the Battery Light Mean?

The warning lights on your dashboard are designed to signal you when there is a problem with something under your hood. Here are three problems that could trigger the battery light.

Dirty Terminals
The terminals on your battery provide the connection for the electric current in your car. If these get too dirty or corroded, your battery won’t be able to get the proper connection. This could turn on the battery light.

Bad Battery
Batteries don’t last forever. Eventually, they need to be replaced. If your battery isn’t producing enough juice to power your car, the battery light will come on to warn you that you need to change out your battery.

Bad Alternator
Once you start your car, the battery switches power over to the alternator, which provides the electrical current for your car while it is running. At the same time, it charges the battery. If the alternator isn’t working, it won’t be able to charge the battery properly.

Whatever the problem, if your check battery light is on, let us help. Call our office at (805) 466-3236 to schedule an appointment today.

4 Signs You Need Vehicle A/C Repairs

Car A/C

Many parts of your vehicle require regular maintenance services to stay in good condition. You vehicle’s air conditioner is not one of those things, so sometimes it can be difficult to know when to have it looked at. Today we will go over 4 surefire signs that mean your car’s air conditioning is in need of service.

Blowing Hot Air

First and foremost, the air conditioner is in place to provide cold air. If it is no longer providing cold air, there is certainly a problem. For the most part, this can be fixed with more refrigerant or a simple fan replacement, but make sure you have it looked at quickly. to make sure there isn’t a more serious problem damaging it.

Puddling Water

If water puddles underneath your vehicle when the A/C is running, that’s normal. However, the water should never puddle inside the vehicle! If your A/C is causing condensation or puddles of water inside of your car, bring it in for replacement right away.

Strange Sounds

Cars aren’t known for being quiet, but if you drive yours regularly, you recognize what is normal and what isn’t in terms of vehicle noise. With that in mind, if your vehicle’s A/C starts making strange noises it can indicate a problem.

Foul Smell

If when you turn on your vehicle’s A/C, you start to smell a foul odor, be sure to have it looked at right away. It could indicated mold or mildew in the tubes, which can lead to respiratory problems. Getting the system flushed or replaced is essential.

If you need help with your vehicle’s A/C repairs, give our team a call today at (805) 466-3236!

 

Have a Professional Car Check and Tune-Up in Winter

Like many important devices and machinery in your life, your car needs regular maintenance. At times, it may need a little extra service to combat a harsh environment, like winter weather. Winter, even a rather mild one in comparison to some, can be hard on your car. Even if you had a car tune-up in the fall, it’s not a bad idea to have it checked in the winter to make sure that it’s running as well as it can.

Winter Car Issues

Car Driving in Snow

Have a Professional Car Check and Tune-Up in Winter.

Cold weather can make a number of common issues even worse. The cold makes idling, hard starts, and more difficult. It’s important to do take care of all the little things you should be doing that often get forgotten. Filters, for example, should be replaced to help your car run more efficiently in tough weather.

If you didn’t have your oil changed near to the start of winter, have it done. It is one of the most neglected services, but it’s important to protect your engine, particularly when it’s working hard to run your car in cold weather. Sometimes, your fuel line needs some help to keep from freezing, too. A car service professional can add something for that.

Of course, your car heater works hard for you in winter. It’s important to pay attention to your heating and AC system so that it doesn’t get overworked and die on you. Not only would that be uncomfortable for you, it could affect visibility, too.

There are many details of car maintenance that are extra important during winter. Many things you can manage on your own with the help of your car manual. But, let an auto technician help, too. Keep your car running well through winter and have a car check and tune-up. Come visit the auto care specialists at Rick’s German Performance in Atascadero, CA, or call us at (805) 466-3236.

Three Winter Car Tips

Winter can present a brutal collection of circumstances for a vehicle. Between freezing temperatures, ice, and travel requirements, the season can put any vehicle through the ringer. To avoid spoiling the fun of the season, make sure you’ve attended to these winter car tips.

Winter Car Tips

If You Live Within or Plan to Travel Toward a Wintry Area, See to These Winter Car Tips.

Check Your Battery

A dead battery has provided the source for countless episodes of stress and worry. The last thing you want is for your battery to die the morning of a big trip, or before you head to work. Though you cannot check the actual effectiveness of your battery, you can keep replacement records so you know its approximate age. When the lifespan of your battery has come and gone, go ahead and have it replaced.

Check Your Tires

Winter demands the best of your tires. Before the season begins in earnest, check your treads for signs of developed or uneven wear. You should also check the sidewalls for any damage, and confirm appropriate levels of tire pressure on a monthly basis.

Fuel Deicer

A bottle of deicer added to your fuel tank once a month or so can save you a heap of trouble. In extremely cold temperatures, moisture in your fuel lines can freeze. Deicer helps prevent this circumstance. You can also ensure the proper function of your fuel lines through keeping your tank close to full.

As the cold season approaches, Rick’s German Performance can help you accomplish any winter car tips in Atascadero and Paso Robles, CA. To learn more or schedule any service needs whatsoever, give us a call today at __PHONE__.

Signs of a Damaged Heater Core

Car Heater Dashboard

Vehicle owners may or may not know about the heater core located behind their dashboard. This mechanism operates your defrost and heating functions. If you are having trouble with your car’s heating system in Atascadero, CA, Rick’s German Performance can help. We offer heater core replacement services in the Atascadero and Paso Robles area. If you are unsure if your car’s system constitute repair services, check out these signs of a damaged heater core:

Busted Heater

If your car isn’t getting any heat, you will be able to notice pretty easily. This is obviously apparent during the winter months. While other factors could be causing the lack of heat, one of the most common ones is a hole in your heater core. This sucks in the heat before it ever reaches your cabin, rendering your heater effectively worthless.

Fogged Windshield

If your windshield and windows are fogging up uncontrollably, it is a common sign of heater core damage. You will likely notice condensation on all of the windows. This indicates a leak in the core mechanism. Vaporized coolant is actually dripping into your vehicle’s cabin.

Humid Aroma

Not every sign of a damaged heater core is visible. But sometimes you can actually smell it. Leaking radiator fluid has an almost sweet smell but certainly a humid aroma. This smell can be apparent on both the interior and exterior of your vehicle. Double check underneath your car for signs of liquid. Call (805) 466-3236 for heater core repair in Atascadero, CA and Paso Robles, CA.