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What Does Anti-Lock Brakes Mean?

mechanic fixing brakes

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Remember the Flintstone’s cartoon? Fred, Barney, Wilma, and Betty all had to use their bare feet to stop their cars? That was cartoon life, and maybe if real cavemen had vehicles, that’s how they would have stopped, who knows?  In real life today, cars come with anti-lock brakes. Seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it? 

Remember the Flintstone’s cartoon? Fred, Barney, Wilma, and Betty all had to use their bare feet to stop their cars? That was cartoon life, and maybe if real cavemen had vehicles, that’s how they would have stopped, who knows?  In real life today, cars come with anti-lock brakes. Seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it? 

You want brakes to stop, but what’s with the anti-lock factor? Why get anti lock brakes? Well, there are a lot of questions about anti-lock brakes, and we’re going to start by answering what is anti lock brake system? An anti-lock braking system is a safety anti-skid braking system that inhibits the wheels on a vehicle from locking up as brakes are applied. This allows the vehicle to have traction on the road, giving the driver more control of the vehicle.

Does my car have anti lock brakes?

If you have your owner’s manual, that would be the easy and fast way to find out if your car has anti-lock brakes. There are two other ways to tell if your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes: 

1). With your key in the ignition, turn it to the “Off” position and to “On” position. Do not start the car! All the warning lights should light up on the dashboard for several seconds. If your car has anti-lock brakes, an “ABS” light will be on the dash.  

2). Drive down a dirt or gravel road at 20mph to 40mph, and slam on the brakes hard. If your car has anti-lock brakes, you should hear a groaning noise and feel a vibration in your foot. 

If you don’t have the owner’s manual and these two tests did not confirm you have anti-lock brakes on your car, you can take to any local mechanic shop and have them check. You could also ask the oil and lube place where you get the oil changed, since they will have it up a lift, it will be easy to see.

Where is the anti lock brake?

Reliant on the kind of brakes used, there five different scheme for anti-lock braking systems, distinguished by the amount of channels or valves that are controlled individually, and how many speed sensors. : that is, the number of valves that are individually controlled—and the number of speed sensors. For purpose of this article, we are going to review the two most popular ones on the road today: 

  • Two-channel, four sensor anti-brake system: 
    • This anti lock brakes installation is commonly found on passenger cars manufactured sometime in the late 1980s up through the middle of the 1990s. Each wheel as a speed sensor installed pm the front and rear each one control valve. When the speed sensor detects any of the four wheels lock up, the control module pulses the valve for both wheels.
  • One-channel, one-sensor anti-brake system 
    • This anti-brake system is commonly found on rear-wheel vehicles like pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans. There is one valve controlling both rear wheels, and one speed sensor in the rear axle. The rear wheels are monitored simultaneously, and both must lock up before the anti-brake system kicks in. One rear wheel can lock up in this system which reduces the effectiveness of the brakes. 
mechanic working on car brakes

How does anti lock brakes work?

Anti-brake system works by releasing and then pumping the brakes in heavy braking situations. The sensors on each wheel detect a ‘locking up” and the wheel stops going forward or backward and goes into a skid.

Anti-brake system systems are different, as we mentioned above, some prevent the rear  wheels from locking up and will pump the brakes multiple times in a second. That reaction stops the wheels and keeps them from going into a skid, allowing the driver to have control. 

How do I know if my abs sensor is bad?

When an anti-brake system fails, there are a few warnings advising you there is a braking problem: 

1. The Anti-brake System Light comes on

Like the oil light, the Anti-brake system light is an obvious signal your vehicle has a problem, and you should never ignore that light.  

2. Brakes aren’t stopping as fast

During heavy braking conditions the Anti-brake System should activate automatically so you can slow your vehicle down without losing traction and go into a skid. If you notice that your car isn’t coming to a stop under heavy braking situation, you need to take your car to a repair center.

3. Icy and wet driving conditions aren’t as stable

The more we drive, thee more se accustom to how our cars react on the roadways under certain conditions. Like ice slippery conditions or driving in the rain. A properly functioning anti-brake system will minimize any traction loss under those conditions. If you’re noticing that it isn’t, you need to have your Anti-brake System checked out by your mechanic, because your car many need an Anti lock brakes repair job. 

Can ABS lock up your brakes?

It is rare, but yet, if the anti-brake system on your car isn’t working correctly, perhaps a module is faulty, then yes, it could behave erratically, and your brakes would lock up even though you aren’t any heavy braking situation. 

brake repair

Closing Words and Advise

Even with anti-brake system on your car, practicing safe distance driving and stopping is always recommended. Never take something like an anti-brake system for granted that it will work.

Is a radiator flush necessary?

close up on engine radiator

Flushing your radiator

What is a radiator flush? A radiator flush is like a blood transfusion for your car’s cooling system. A technician will flush several gallons of radiator cleaner and water through your car’s cooling system. This gets all the old antifreeze and any contaminants out, then new antifreeze is added into the system. Why? What does a radiator flush do for your car?

To keep your car in prime running condition, there are several routine services you should have performed:

  • Change the oil and oil filter – monthly or by recommended mileage
  • Check the tire pressure – every time you get gas
  • Check all the fluids under the hood – at every oil change
  • Check the belts and hoses – at every oil change
  • Check the wiper blades – at every oil change
  • Change the air filter – inspect at every oil change
  • Check the battery – at every oil change
  • Have the radiator flushed 

Each of the things listed here should be done on a monthly basis. Checking each of these things allows your mechanic and you to catch any potential problems, will keep your car running at its best performance, and extend your cars lifespan, including a radiator flush. 

Do you really need to flush your radiator? 

You may have a general idea what your car’s radiator does, but do you realize how important it is to the rest of the engine or transmission? You should flush a radiator regularly to keep the cooling system in prime operating condition. 

A radiator flush removes dirt, rust, contaminants, or particles that can clog the radiator or the entire cooling system. When these things are in the radiator, it isn’t able to cool the engine and it should and can get stopped up and overheat. An overheated engine can crack the block, the head, burn up the transmission, and more. 

The coolant that is left in the radiator keeps the engine cool with water mixed coolant, keeping it from corroding with rust and scale. When this is allowed to happen, more than just the radiator becomes clogged.  The water pump stops up, the water jackets stop up, and the heater core becomes clogged. 

What does it cost to flush a radiator? 

A radiator flush cost can vary from region to region and depends on the model of the car. For example, a 1980 model Chevy won’t cost as much as 2020 BMW, but that isn’t the focus you should have.  A radiator flush will save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars by keeping your engine and the cooling system clean of debris and rust.

The typical cost of a radiator flush can start around $50 and can cost upward of $150 or more. This price will include as many as four gallons of specialized coolant, a cleaner, and a conditioner.   

Can a radiator flush cause problems? 

Yes and no. Yes, because a radiator flush is going to flush out any corrosion, debris, rust, and other contaminants.  If the flush isn’t thoroughly to clear all of that out, it can loosen up those things which could clog up the cooling system, including the radiator. No, a radiator flush won’t cause problems if it is done correctly and flushes everything out as it is intended, then your car will run the same or better. 

How do you know when to radiator flush your car? 

If you have your car in for an oil change and the technician comes out to the lobby to tell you that your car needs a radiator flush, how do they know that? Well, they look have been trained to know when radiators look corroded, dirty, and rusty. How can you tell if your car needs a radiator flush?

  • Green or orange fluid is coming out from under your car
  • Engine has a grinding sound
  • The heat gauge is showing the car running hotter than usual after you start it
  • There is steam coming out from under the hood
  • Your car smells like hot maple-syrup under the hood
water being poured in to clean engine

Can I do a coolant flush myself?     

Maybe you’re a DIY kind of person, or maybe you need a radiator flush but don’t have the $50 or so to spare.  The following steps will walk you through how to do radiator flush yourself: 

Open the radiator cap (if the car has been running, let the engine cool down before attempting this).

Using the owner’s manual or a YouTube video, find the radiator drain and place a container that can hold several gallons of fluid under the car. This will need to hold the antifreeze/water that drains out plus the flush you’ll be adding.

Open the drain and if there isn’t anything clogging up the radiator, gravity should do its thing and force all the antifreeze/water to flow out and into the container you placed under the car.

Pour the radiator flush in as directed on the package and then add water up to an inch under the radiator opening. 

Close the drain cap and the radiator cap, then start the car with the heater set at full blast, let it run like this for amount of time recommended on the flush product’s package.

Kill the engine and allow it to cool down, then repeat drain process and refill, and repeat the entire process again.

Drain again, then add the antifreeze this time.

After you are done this time, clean the area thoroughly, diluting and rinse away any antifreeze that may have spilled out. Take a shower and change your clothes. 

If you choose to do your own radiator flush, remember that antifreeze is sweet smelling and can attract children and animals.  It is important to get the area cleaned and free of any antifreeze, old or new, so that it isn’t a danger.   

This is the upside to having a radiator flush by a professional technician. They have the equipment and process that keeps these fluids that are necessary for a car out of the reach of children and animals. They also have a process that keeps it out of the environment to keep nature’s system safe. Call __PHONE__ today for your radiator flush in Atascadero, CA.

Can an ABS Module Be Repaired?

abs repair

Can an ABS Module Be Repaired?

When an ABS module goes bad, it can be difficult to know what to do first. There are a number of common ABS issues that can happen. An ABS module repair and return service is a service wherein the original part is rebuilt and does not need to be coded to your vehicle VIN. This is because it is original and it came out of your vehicle in the first place. If your ABS light is on or if your ABS pump is always running, it will be important for you to seek out a professional. 

What Happens When an ABS Module Goes Bad?

There are a number of signs that you should be aware of when it comes to ABS brakes repair. Please review the following list of symptoms to find out if your ABS module has gone bad and needs replacement or repair.

  • The brake pedal is unresponsive. Depending of the model of your vehicle, the brake pedal may become unresponsive. Naturally, this is a very serious problem. 
  • The brake pads require a lot of pressure in order to function. Brake pads should operate with very little effort. This is only possible if each part of the system is working well.
  • The ABS light is on. Commonly, the most pervasive sign of an ABS brake dysfunction is if the light itself is on. It is the equivalent of the Check Engine Light in terms of seriousness.
  • Locked up brakes. When the brakes are locking up, the ABS module is behaving erratically.

Can You Drive Without ABS Module?

Caution is necessary if you are attempting to drive a vehicle without the ABS module. The ABS control module in some cars controls the front and rear brake bias. If you are considering driving without an ABS module, please refrain if at all possible.

Can ABS Drain Battery?

If your ABS brakes have failed, then it will cause the ABS pump to consistently run. This means that the battery in the car will eventually run down or fail. If you install an improved ABS relay, it should solve the problem. The best way to find out for sure what the solution is for your ABS module issue is to consult with a verified and insured mechanic who specializes in ABS brake solutions.

How Do I Reset my ABS Module?

If you need to reset an anti-lock brake light, you will want to disconnect the positive cable from the car battery. Then you will want to hold down on the brake pedal to drain the car’s electrical system. This will reset the car’s central computer. If the ABS light comes back on, you will need to change the ABS sensor.

Where to Buy Easy ABS Repair

There are a number of different places where individuals can purchase an easy ABS plastic repair kit. Before embarking on any mechanical repair project, it is important for you to thoroughly research what procedures to use, and what tools you will need. It is always better to be safe rather than make a mistake that you can’t fix.

How Repair ABS Module

Are you wondering how ABS modules are repaired? There are lots of different ways for ABS modules to display signs of disrepair. An appropriate repair authority will be able to fix ABS issues that include a sudden ABS power loss, faulty wheel sensor codes, missing signals from the wheel speed sensor, and more. Because these issues can have different kinds of repairs, it is important to seek out a car mechanic authority for a fix.

Who Repair ABS Module

The best resource for any car owner is an excellent and qualified mechanic. With years of experience and the appropriate credentials, a mechanic will be able to get to the bottom of many if not all electrical or engine-related issues. In some cases, it will be important to find a car dealership that specializes in your vehicle if a local mechanic cannot fix your ABS module or related car issue.

abs repair

ABS System Repair

When your anti-lock brakes are failing or no longer work, it will be urgent for you to find a responsible mechanic who will be able to give you an excellent purview of your car’s repairs. It is important to select a car mechanic authority that has a good reputation and is transparent about what kind of repairs are necessary. For instance, the brake pads may need to be replaced in addition to repairing or replacing the ABS module. It is also important to consider that your car mechanic is talking to you about the repairs in addition to giving you future advice on how to take care of your vehicle.

When you need ABS repair in Atascadero, CA, you need to rely on a great company. Please give us a call at __PHONE__ for comprehensive assistance.

What does fuel injection do?

fuel injector

Keeping your car on the road

For this article, we’ll be talking about it in relation to automotive engines and how. For an engine to run efficiently and smoothly, the right mixture of air and fuel must be provided and adjusted automatically to the engine’s range of demands. This may be by a carburetor or by a fuel injection system.  

Whereas a domestic made vehicle typically runs on a carburetor-based system. In that scenario, there is a float chamber with a reservoir. With a fuel injection system, the fuel injector infuses liquid fuel into the intake air and depends on the flow of fuel to uninterrupted. A fuel injection system is the initiation of fuel to an internal combustion engine, by the means of an injector. We use fuel injection in all diesel engines, like 18-wheelers and German-made vehicles, aka, fuel injection is a carburetor in essence.

How do fuel injection systems work?

In a fuel injection system, there is a special pump that sends pressurized fuel to the engine from the fuel tank. The fuel is kept under pressure and distributed to each cylinder individually. Depending on the individual system, it fires the fuel into the inlet manifold or the inlet port by the use of an injector. 

This works almost like the water hose and spray nozzle, but with fuel instead of water. The fuel injection system ensures that the fuel is a fine mist instead of a gust of fuel. The fuel and air are then mixed as the air pass through the inlet manifold and then the mixture moves on to the combustion chamber. 

Is fuel injection necessary?

For an engine that is designed and set up based on a fuel injection system, yes, fuel injection is necessary. If the injectors aren’t working properly, the vehicle won’t run right, or sometimes, won’t run at all.

Therefore, frequent service by an authorized fuel injection system experienced mechanic is recommended. The only exception to this is if the vehicle is running perfectly with no issues like idling rough, stalling out, poor acceleration, or emissions levels are high. If it isn’t broke, don’t mess with it! However, you should follow the dealer and manufacturers’ suggestions for check-ups by an experienced mechanic or the dealer.

Is fuel injection better than carburetor?

For car enthusiasts, the debate between fuel injection or carburetor, which is best, is an age-old debate, just like the debate of which came first, the chicken or the egg. There are “old school” car enthusiasts who believe that a carburetor engine performs better than a fuel injection system. Likewise, there are car enthusiasts that have either changed with the times or were born into the world with a fuel injection system to believe that the fuel injection system is the better choice.

What is the benefit of fuel injection?

There is a good deal of fuel injection benefits, some of which have changed the thought process of the “old school” car enthusiasts to give fuel injection system more credit.  Some of those benefits are:

Less Fuel Consumption

Fuel injection system requires less fuel consumption than an engine that is carbureted because of the “new school” aka sophistication of the electronic system that monitors the air/fuel ratio and adjusts it automatically to maintain optimal conditions.

Superb starting

A major benefit of fuel injection systems is their ability to start easier no matter the weather being cold or hot.

Powerful

Because fuel injection with transmission control, fuel injection system engines typically provide higher power and torque than the carbureted engine because it can optimize air-to-fuel ratio and ignition timing.

Reliability Enhanced

Engines equipped with a fuel injection system is essentially more reliable than a carbureted engine. Fuel injection system is less susceptible to icing, and problems like random engine stoppage, oiled soaked spark plugs, and it eliminates other such problems common with carbureted engines. 

cleaning fuel injector

What are the signs of a bad fuel injector?

The following are indicators that we should have a vehicle with a fuel injection system checked over by an experienced mechanic:

  • Trouble starting
  • Idles rough
  • Emissions testing fails
  • Performance on-road is poor
  • The engine doesn’t reach full RPM
  • Using more fuel than normal
  • Bucks and surges under different throttle loads
  • Tailpipe has smoke coming out, creating pollution
  • Engine knocks

Whether a carbureted system or fuel injection system is a matter of preference for a car enthusiast, the fuel injection system has taken over the world of auto manufacturing. Just front wheel drive has replaced rear-wheel-drive, which the “old school” car enthusiast prefers the rear-wheel-drive because the car has more “get up and go” power.

In the world of auto racing, where it was once nothing but the carbureted system and rear-wheel drive on the track, the newer vehicles have inched their way into the system. While the body of the car may look the same, what is under the hood and under the rear end has definitely changed. For your fuel injector repair needs in Atascadero, CA, call (805) 466-3236 today.

What Does Car Tune Up Do?

Mechanic working in auto repair garage. Car maintenance

Learn More About a Car Tune Up

Your car will require maintenance and services along the line no doubt about it. With all the miles you drive and as time passes, your car’s parts will be affected in intricate ways that can be hard to detect for the untrained eye. That’s why the owner’s manual of cars will recommend following a schedule of basic and major services that should be taken into action after a period of time or a number of miles had gone by. A car tune up is a service that should not be taken lightly as it will save your car on performance troubles with each passing day. Get in touch with your local automobile shop to see what kind of car tune up will be right for your vehicle. Until then, here is some basic information regarding a car tune up that may prove useful to you.

What is a tune up and how much does it cost?

A car tune up is a service that can be viewed as a maintenance requirement for your car as it will ensure electrical components are replaced when necessary. A standard care tune up can cost anywhere from $40-$200 while more complex car tune ups will range from $500-$900. This is due to the fact that parts of your car won’t run forever and need to be replaced in order for the car to continue to work smoothly. You can save yourself a lot of cash by getting the services of maintenance done with your car in a timely manner as larger parts will be affected when smaller areas are ignored.

How often should you get a tune up?

A car tune up should be performed every 10,000 to 12,000 miles for older or non-electrical ignition types of cars. Newer cars with electrical ignition and fuel injection systems would be able to go for a range of 25,000 to even as high as 100,000 miles without having a need for a major car tune up.

What is a major tune up?

A major car tune up will include the replacement of many electrical components such as the condenser, rotor, all spark plug, spark wire plugs, points, and the distributor cap. The technician at hand will check the timing of these systems and adjust them to the required car specifications.

How long does a tune up take?

A car tune up will usually take about two to four hours with the amount varying based on what’s included in the car tune up procedures. Any major tune ups will consist of a longer amount of time being taken as larger systems will be replaced at this point.

What does a car tune-up include?

A standard car tune up may differ by automobile service companies however it typically includes cleaning or replacing spark plugs, the distributor cap plus rotor (for older cars,) replacing the oxygen sensor, fuel filter, PCV valve and spark plug wires. With platinum spark plugs your vehicle may not have them changed as often.

Can needing a tune up cause the check engine light to come on?

A check engine light will light up when there is something wrong with the emissions control systems. Depending on the issue it can also suggest the is something wrong with the fuel economy or engine performance.

Close up mechanical man dirty hands using tool to fix repair car engine, maintenance vehicle service concept.

How do you know if your car needs a tune up?

  • Bad Fuel Milage
  • Your Engine Is Misfiring
  • Your Car Is Slow to Accelerate
  • The Dashboard Lights Come On
  • You Hear Unusual Noises
  • You Start Stalling Out
  • You Can Feel Unusual Vibrations

Will a tune up make my car run better?

A car tune up will undoubtedly have your car running better yet it’s important to keep in mind that maintenance and regular car services are still something to have done with your car as well. If your car is experiencing any warning signs such as being sluggish or other behaviors make sure to have a car tune up implemented.

What happens if I don’t get a tune up?

If you don’t get a tune up as determined by your manufacturer’s recommended intervals then unnecessary stress can be put on parts of your ignition system and even damage the catalytic converter. Your car can slow down in functions with longer and harder starts.

Is a tune up worth it?

Any service that is done to your car as far as maintenance and tune ups are essential in the longevity of your car’s life. There are a number of service recommendations given in your car’s manual so be sure to pay attention to them. A car tune up itself in considered a major service that is given to your car with importance being placed in the electrical systems which ultimately do a majority of the work for your car.

Contact A Professional For Assistance

When you’re in need of a car tune up schedule an appointment with your local automobile shop. They will be able to best determine what type of car tune up is needed for your make model and year so that your car behaves as it should. A car tune up is a service that should not be ignored in order for your car to live a long life without premature wear. Be proactive and consult your owner’s manual or speak to an expert car technician soon to learn more. Get a car tune up today and save yourself the headache of car troubles tomorrow.

If you’re in need of a car tune up in Atascadero, CA call (805) 466-3236 with German Performance!

What causes electrical problems in cars?

Check Engine light

When the car shorts out

Imagine if you will, you’re driving to work, and your car just quits. No spit or sputter, it just quit. The gas gauge shows plenty of gas, an oil pressure gauge is in the middle, water gauge is on the cooler side of the middle. So, engine-wise, all seems okay, could it maybe the car electrical system?

Having a car with electrical problems can be just as annoying and expensive as engine repairs or front-end problems. If you hear a rod knocking, you have a pretty good idea the problem is in the engine. If you’re having a hard time keeping your car going straight, you can be 99% sure the front-end needs servicing.

Then that one question “why did my car lose all power?” can end up being something simple and inexpensive, yet it can take a lot of trying this and that to get to that conclusion. There are car electrical basics, but that can only get you so far in determining what is wrong.

Car electrical wiring repair generally will start with a look at the obvious, such as the alternator and battery. Using a car electrical circuit tester can often give a mechanic an idea of other things to check, but there is still the unknown and so many questions, for the mechanic and by the car’s owner.

How do you know if you have electrical problems in your car?

The cars today rely a lot, and we mean A LOT, on their electrical system for functioning. The alternator and the battery are just a tip to a car electrical system. The main piece to this is the computer, and just like the computer on your desk, so much can go wrong and cause so much chaos!

Mechanics today not only need to know about lifters and rods and gas flow and compression, but they need to have basic computer and electrical knowledge as well. Because, when a car suddenly quits, loses any or all its functionality, the possibilities of what is wrong are endless. When it comes to a car electrical system, here are some indicators that there is a problem:

The Motor Won’t Crank

Yes, your car needs gas, but it also requires electricity and that comes from the battery which causes a spark that provokes the fuel to go from the gas tank to the motor. If the motor isn’t cranking, the alternator, battery, or some other car electrical system issue could be why.

A distinct “clicking” sound when the key is turned, the first hint to it being the alternator or battery. Usually, it is the battery, and connecting your car to another with jumper cables can answer that quickly. It will either start or it won’t. If there is a “grinding” noise while trying to start your car, a common problem is the starter has gone out.

Sometimes, it could be the flywheel is faulty, or it can be something more detailed electrical, which in any of these situations, you need to have a professional mechanic look at your car.

Battery Problems

If your battery has had to be “jumped off” via jumper cables and another car supplying the power, have your mechanic look at your car to make sure there isn’t another car electrical system issue causing the battery’s power to drain. The average lifespan of a car battery is 5 years and in hot climates it could be less. A car electrical system issue could be the alternator or other issues within the electrical system.

Dashboard or Headlights Not Working

The dashboard, interior, and headlights all run from the car electrical system. This includes the brake lights, blinkers, taillights, etc. If there is any type malfunctioning, like lights are going from bright to dim and back to bright, or they simply dim and stay dim, this can indicate a problem with the car electrical system getting low system from the alternator, a battery, a loose belt or loose wires. This is one of those times the experience of an auto mechanic is a must.

Fuses Keep Blowing

Just like your home, every car has a fuse box too, and its job is to prevent the car electrical system from sending out too much voltage or short circuit the system. The fuses inside the box are intended to break the circuits so that the electrical system’s vulnerability is damaged by too much current.

However, there are times that a fuse blows and the reason is not obvious. You replace it and it blows again. This is when you need the experience of an auto mechanic. If replacing it didn’t fix it, then there could be a deeper problem with the car electrical system.

A Burning Electrical or Plastic Smell

If you smell something electrical or plastic burning and have one or more of the above issues with your car electrical system, your car is having an electrical malfunction and you need to get it to a mechanic promptly. Anything electrical can spark a fire and with a car being fueled by gasoline, it doesn’t take much for it to catch the entire car on fire. Have your car thoroughly checked by an experience mechanic.

What causes a car’s electrical system to suddenly stop working?

There is a maze within your car that has fuses, relays, wires, and a host of other major electrical components. If there is any trouble with these components, your car could just quit. Seven of the most common problem with a car electrical system are:

  • A Dead Battery: An obvious problem and a common signified by the motor won’t start when you turn the key. The lights and radio may or may not still work, but until you have a jump with cables or get a new battery, it isn’t going anywhere.
  • Battery Won’t Charge: Your battery died, you got a jump start, got to your next destination and it won’t start again. This indicates the battery isn’t holding a charge and is probably simply worn out. How old is it? If it’s 5 years old or older, you got your money’s worth from it.
  • The alternator is Bad: An alternator that is damaged or malfunctioning can keep a battery from holding a charge. In this scenario, your car will lose all electrical functions, including the headlights and radio.  
  • Solenoid or Starter Failure: If the solenoid or starter is the problem, the motor won’t turn over. Instead, you’ll hear a series of loud clicks.
  • Battery Cables Bad: Your car not starting could be corroded or loose battery cables.
  • Electrical Fuses Blown: If this is the problem to your car electrical system, a blown fuse is an easy and quick fix.
  • Spark Plugs Failed: Dirty or loose spark plugs affect a car’s operation. A car that has a rough idle or lurches when you take off indicates spark plugs need attention.

What controls a car’s electrical system?

Your car electrical system comprises an alternator, battery, and starter. The battery delivers electrical currents to the starter. The alternator provides the battery energy and that energy powers your car.

So, when you turn your key in the ignition, the car electrical system goes into action. If any of these components quits or isn’t working correctly, it affects how, or if, your car will run, may not even start.  These three components also determine if your accessories, like the radio or the defroster, headlights, internal lights, wipers, etc. will work.

The car electrical system is important and as the driver/owner of a car, it is important that you are informed about each of these components and be aware if there is any issue. By not paying attention and leaving things unchecked, you could have a dead battery at the worse time.

electrical wiring

Will car run on alternator only?

The battery and alternator work together and compensate for each other when needed. The car battery is the power output to your electrical system and when you have several electronic devices going at once, it is making the alternator work harder because it is supplying power to the battery.

So, you can start your car and then remove the battery and it will probably keep running because the alternator is picking up some of the battery’s share of the work. If you run it too long like that though, it will kill the alternator and could damage the whole car electrical system.

As a car owner, it is your responsibility to be aware of all things going on with your car. From the battery being slow to turn over the engine, to puddles of various liquids under the car after you’ve parked it.  Regular checkup and tune up by your mechanic recommended by the car manufacturer and getting the oil changed. If you have an electrical car issue in Atascadero, CA, call German Performance at (805) 466-3236!

How Important Is It to Change the Oil in My Car?

removing cap for oil change

Maintaining Your Vehicle

Owning any type of vehicle of any year means owning a major responsibility. Cars are important to our daily lives so when something is going wrong, it can feel like a major inconvenience. That doesn’t have to be the case, though. When you take regular care of your car, not only will it last longer, but it will operate more efficiently. If you are in need of an oil change in Atascadero, CA, contact German Performance. We are the leading experts you can rely on. Dial __PHONE__ to connect with us. 

checking dipstick during oil change

Signs You Need an Oil Change

The number one question we get asked is how do you know when to get an oil change? Changing out the oil in your vehicle is just as important as investing in an alternator replacement when needed. This service needs to happen every 3 months or every 3,000, whichever comes first. Since every car is different, though, it’s important to review your owner’s manual to know the specifics about your particular vehicle. That in mind, there are a few signs to look for when trying to understand when to schedule an oil change.

  • Engine Noise: Oil helps lubricate and protect engine parts that work together. When there is little to no oil, these parts knock together resulting in grinding, knocking, and other noises that will be obvious. 
  • Dirty Oil: Clean oil will be amber in color but as it is used, it will become filled with particles and other debris. This results in oil that will appear darker in color. If you notice this when you check the oil, it’s time to change it. 
  • Smell: If you are noticing a significant oil smell when you are in the car, even when the engine is off, you likely have an oil leak. This could also indicate the need for an oil change, but it’s more likely a larger, more significant problem. 
  • Exhaust Smoke: Transparent exhaust vapor is always going to happen when you start your car. That’s normal. What isn’t normal is dense or obvious smoke coming from your tailpipe. That is more likely an oil problem that needs to be addressed. 
  • Excessive Miles: When you have driven quite a few miles over a month or in a short amount of time, it’s important to consider changing the oil in your car. Most vehicles need an oil change around 3,000 miles.  
  • Oil Light: And of course, the most obvious indication that you need an oil change is when the change oil light appears on your dash. Most modern vehicles have sensors that will tell you well before it’s too late that you need to check something. 

If you’ve determined that it’s time to change the oil in your car, you’re probably wondering about the price. Oil change costs vary from place to place, but it will essentially cost you less than mold testing in your home. Changing, flushing, or replacing the oil in your car is incredibly important and should not be neglected. To schedule an appointment for your vehicle, contact German Performance today.

Why an Oil Change is Important

What does an oil change do exactly? Why is it so important for your car? These are great questions. When you are changing the oil out of your engine, you are taking all the old, used oil and replacing with clean, fresher oil. This is because as it is used, engine oil collects dirt, debris, particles, and more, making it less effective as a lubricant. If it remains unchanged, your engine parts can become damaged when they move together because of the lack of lubrication. More than that, your engine can lock and essentially become a block of scrap metal because it can efficiently operate. That’s why it’s so important to change your oil regularly and consistently. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does an oil change cost?
    • It really will depend on where you go and if an oil change is the only thing needed. On average, a basic oil change should cost you about $46. In general, though, the cost could range between $25 and $50.
  • How often do you really need to change your oil?
    • The best rule of thumb is to change your oil every 3 months or every 3,000. It’s best to check your owners manual to know the specific mileage because every car is different. 
  • What does an oil change do?
    • Changing the oil means you will be removing all of the existing oil and replacing it with newer, fresher oil. Doing so will ensure that your engine remains well lubricated and able to operate efficiently. 
  • How do you know when your car needs an oil change?
    • There are several signs to look for, but the most obvious indication that you need an oil change will be right on your dash. Almost all modern vehicles will have a light that will let you know it’s time for an oil change.
  • What happens if you don’t change oil?
    • Several bad things can and will happen. Multiple parts will overheat and become damaged. Ultimately, your engine will likely lock up and no longer turn over. You’ll have an engine that can’t work properly.
pouring fresh oil during oil change

Schedule an Appointment With Us Today

Rely on German Performance when you need an oil change in Atascadero, CA. Call us at __PHONE__ to schedule an appointment. 

Can a car heater break?

hand checking for heat

Don’t be left in the cold

A typical car heater is heated by the passing of hot coolant, usually a combination of water and antifreeze. That coolant is forced through the heater core by a squirrel cage fan. Once that coolant has blown through various vents in the vehicle’s cabin, it then returns to the engine.  This process is crucial during cold and rainy weather not only for warming the interior, but to defrost the windshield for visibility. 

When the car heater isn’t working properly during the dead of winter, the cost of car heater repair may not be as much of a concern as other times in the year for obvious reasons. Unless you know how to repair a car heater fan, it is important to have a trustworthy, experienced and knowledgeable of a car heater repair shop is valuable when you need car heater fan repair.

Why is my car blowing out cold air when the heat is on?

When the car heater suddenly starts blowing cold air, it can be frustrating, especially on an early morning when the temperature is below freezing. Is there anything to make the winter miserable than a car heater that doesn’t work? When your car heater isn’t heating, there are several issues that could be causing it. Taking your car to an authorized car repair center is the best way to get right to the problem and getting it repaired.  

What would cause the heater to stop working in a car?

Car issues can be simple as fixing a flat tire or as complicated as a rod knocking. When it comes to the car heater, they seem simple enough. Yet, they are complicated enough to make you scratch your head in bewilderment. There are numerous components that can potentially be the problem when a car heater quits heating, which we are going to review here:

  • Coolant Level:Cars today require a coolant, which is typically a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water. This keeps the car engine cool during the hot summer months. Through the colder months of winter, that same coolant is in the engine pulls into the heater core, warming the air that blows through the various vents in your car.
  • At first, it takes a few minutes for that coolant to become warm, thus, the air blowing through the car heater vents will be cold. If it doesn’t heat in a few minutes, check the coolant level and add accordingly.
  • Heater Core: A malfunctioning car heater can often be from the heater core. They make heater cores of either aluminum or brass tubing and are an important part of the cooling system. It looks like a compact radiator and the heated coolant is then carried in and back out through the heater core. From there is where the fan you turn on inside your car that disperses the heat from that heated coolant.
  • When a car heater isn’t heating and there is enough coolant in the radiator, this can sometimes show that the heater core isn’t working properly. As a result, the blower motor air isn’t reaching the coolant, indicating a clog in the heater core tube.
  • Heater Control: The heater control knobs can become sticky and quit working. You can locate the heater control valve under the hood and is the switch that operates the on and off car heater at the engine. If your car heater isn’t working and you’ve checked coolant levels, and the heater core appears to be working, there could be an issue with the control buttons or the heater control valve.
  • Thermostat Malfunctioning: The thermostat senses when the engine has reached a certain level of heat and sends the coolant to the heater core. After your car has been running for a bit, it the thermostat gauge doesn’t move from “C”, the thermostat could be malfunctioning. Thermostats are relatively inexpensive and simple to replace. An experienced and reliable mechanic and replace your car’s thermostat and get your car heater working properly again.
  • Water Leak: Another common problem when a car heater isn’t working is a water leak, and there are several places a car’s heating system can leak. There are hoses that can leak, the radiator, and the water pump. When any of these components are leaking, a car heater won’t function. There are various places water can leak from a car engine. It is important to have the hoses checked periodically, as well as the radiator and water pump. If any of these three are leaking, your car heater won’t work properly.

Can I drive my car with a bad heater core?

Yes, a car can still be driven with a bad heater core. Cars are often driven without the driver knowing it is bad – until their car heater doesn’t warm up one winter morning. Once you know that you have a bad heater core, experts recommended not to drive the car for a long-distance for a long time without having it repaired. A heater core also keeps the coolant/water combination at a safe temperature for the engine.

How do you know if your car heater core is bad?

What if your car heater doesn’t warm up, and you have checked the coolant level, the control knobs are working fine, and you’ve had the heater control valve checked, then it could be the heater core. A few indications that the problem is with the heater core are:

  • The windows of your car fog up inside
  • A fruit, sweet odor fills your car
  • You must add coolant often
  • The engine overheats
adjusting heat

How expensive is it to replace a heater core?

Heater core repair or replacement will vary between mechanic shops, the make, and model of your car. Typically, the parts are not that expensive; it is the labor that is the biggest part of the repair/replacement charges.

To make certain that your car heater is in working condition, any hint of a malfunction, have your car checked out by an authorized, experienced, reputable mechanic. Many times, addressing the issue early on can prevent major expenses of repairing or replacing the heater core. Call (805) 466-3236 today when you need car heater repair in Atascadero, CA!

Why is Oil Change Important?

Getting an Oil Change Can Improve the Efficiency of Your Car

How Often Do You Really Need to Change Your Oil?

Getting an oil change in Atascadero, CA is easy. When it comes to determining how often you should change your oil, the facts have evolved over the years. Previously, the recommended time allotment was every three months or 3,000 miles. Due to recent innovations in the auto industry, most cars can drive five thousand and seven thousand depending on whether the oil in the engine is synthetic or conventional. Changes in engine design and manufacturing have enabled cars to be more oil-efficient. Nevertheless, it’s important to consult your owner’s manual for your individual car maintenance.

How Much Does an Oil Change Cost?

According to pricing based on internet searches, the national average for a basic oil change using conventional oil is approximately $46. Some areas of the country have far cheaper prices for an oil change. According to the data, the minimum price was $25 and $50 was the most expensive.

How Long Can You Go Without Getting an Oil Change?

Mechanics often agree that changing your oil every three to five-thousand miles is optimal. However, there are times when a scheduled oil change falls by the wayside. While it’s important to remember that having clean oil helps your engine run more efficiently, it’s also important to be realistic about the damage that can be done. By and large, you shouldn’t experience any significant engine issues if you go one thousand miles over the recommended mileage. However, depending on the age of your vehicle, it will be important to remain under seven thousand miles. 

Just like an oil change, routine maintenance is necessary for many different parts of the home. If you have noticed that your air conditioner is operating at a less than optimal level, assistance is available. Central a/c repair can improve your home atmosphere in a limited amount of time.

Can I Just Add Oil Instead of Getting an Oil Change?

To begin with, you should top off your car immediately if you are at or below the proper oil level. This will prevent damage to your car. While adding oil in this instance will assist with your car’s health, it is not a substitute for an oil change. As previously stipulated, most mechanics recommend changing oil per five-thousand miles.

What Does it Mean When Your Oil Life is Negative?

Negative mileage means that your car has passed the maintenance required point. At that point, it is important to have your maintenance completed by your dealer or preferred mechanic. When the engine oil life is at zero percent, the oil life indicator on your dashboard will begin flashing.

Which Oil Change Should I Get?

Conventional oil and synthetic oil are very different. If your car takes conventional oil, you should get an oil change every three to five thousand miles. Synthetic oil, conversely, lasts longer. If your car takes synthetic oil, you can expect to change your oil every seventy-five thousand miles. Some premier brands of synthetic oils last 10,000 to 15,000 miles.

Why Synthetic Oil Change?

There are many benefits to switching to synthetic rather than conventional for your oil change. Synthetic oil allows your engine to run more efficiently and it has fewer impurities. Synthetic oil runs through your engine longer and better. Turbo engines and older cars may still require oil changes every three to five thousand miles, however. Consult your owners manual to ensure that you are taking proper care of your vehicle.

Your Car Will Fun Faster with A Regular Oil Change

Will Oil Change Improve Gas Mileage?

With regard to the question of whether an oil change will improve engine performance, the facts matter. Changing your oil at the proper time is the best thing you can do for the life of your engine. Mechanics recommend using fuel additives to keep the injectors clean. Using the right octane of gasoline will also incrementally assist the health of your engine. Not changing your oil often enough will allow harmful dirt, particles, and acids to deteriorate your key engine parts. Not changing your oil often enough will also degrade your oil’s ability to dissipate heat. This increases engine stress. In conclusion, changing your oil at the proper time will improve your gas mileage, or at least keep it optimal to the parameters of your engine capacity.

Oil Change is Important

There are a number of vital reasons why oil change is important. Please read over the following bullet points to learn more.

  • Oil sludge. Old oil sludge can negatively impact your engine optimization to a massive degree. If at all possible, sludge should never be given a chance to accumulate.
  • Increased gas mileage. Old oil can decrease the amount of efficiency you experience in your driving. Expect to pay more for gas when your oil change is due.
  • Increased horsepower. Sludge also can impact key engine parts. Part of the function of oil is to draw heat from engine parts. Engine parts that are covered in sludge stay hotter longer and have reduced life.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, call __PHONE__ to speak with one of our team members about your oil change in Atascadero, CA!

How to Get Better Gas Mileage in Any Vehicle

A Woman Pumps Gas in a Car.

What causes poor gas mileage?

Do you seem to be driving less, but spending more time at the gas pump? Any number of issues could be causing poor gas mileage on your vehicle. One of the most common problems is low tire pressure. For better gas mileage make sure your tire pressure matches the manufacturer’s recommended pressure levels, and regularly check the tire pressure. 

Another common problem is poor driving habits. If you are aggressive and accelerate quickly and frequently, you’ll use more fuel than needed. You also use more fuel when you rev your engine. On a related note, you also use more fuel when your car is parked and idling. If you are letting your car idle to warm it up in the winter, the engine only needs about 30 seconds to warm up.

You also use a lot of gas if you’re running your air conditioner constantly. Depending on where you live, you may want to turn off the air conditioner and ride with the windows open. At the same time, if you are driving at high speeds, you should keep your windows up to reduce drag.

Bad or malfunctioning parts like oxygen sensors, air filters, fuel injectors or spark plugs can also affect gas mileage. Repairing and replacing these parts will help you get better gas mileage. The oil you use also affects gas mileage. Oils that reduce friction, such as synthetic motor oils, will improve gas mileage.

No matter what kind of oil you use, if you have an oil leak, your gas mileage will be affected. When your oil is leaking in Atascadero, CA, for reliable repairs come to German Performance. Find out how we can help you by calling __PHONE__.

What is considered good gas mileage?

Good gas mileage depends on the type of vehicle you drive, the driving conditions, your driving habits, and the vehicle’s condition. Your gas mileage is measured in miles per gallon or mpg, which is the number of miles you can travel on one gallon of gas. That number will vary for highway driving, which typically consumes less gas, and stop-and-go city driving. In many instances cars and trucks tend to get better gas mileage than SUVs, although newer SUV models are being designed to get 20 to 25 mpg, which is the typical rating for cars and some trucks. Hybrid vehicles that switch between gas and electric tend to have higher mileage rating than standard vehicles.

What affects mpg?

As noted above, gas mileage is measured in mpg, or miles per gallon, and the mpg will be affected by a variety of things. Not only will the type of vehicle you drive affect your gas mileage, how well you maintain the vehicle, how you drive it, and where you drive it will affect mpg, as well. If you drive at high speeds regularly, you’ll use more gas than if you drive at posted rates of speed. If you don’t maintain your tire pressure or get your oil changed regularly, or keep up with other maintenance, your gas mileage will decline. Wheel alignment, for instance, can help improve gas mileage by 10%, which amounts to about 31 cents per gallon.

How to get the best gas mileage

There are ways to get better gas mileage on your vehicle. Some tips to increase gas mileage include:

  • Slow down: Maintaining your speed and not driving aggressively will save you in gas.
  • Maintain tire pressure: Driving with tires with too low or too high of pressure will lower the gas mileage and can be dangerous.
  • Use the recommended gas and oil: Using the oil and gas recommended by the manufacturer is the best choice. Premium gas or low quality oils can affect your vehicle’s performance.
  • Reduce idling time: Idling for extended periods, as when waiting to pick someone up, or warming the car in winter, uses up more fuel. It only takes about 30 seconds to warm the car.
  • Maintain parts like the air filter, plugs, and fuel injector: Many parts of your vehicle directly affect fuel consumption. Dirty air filters, malfunctioning plugs and fuel injectors can increase consumption.
  • Reduce loads: Overloading your vehicle can be problematic. It slows the vehicle down, and heavy loads can cause the tire pressure to decrease.

Will a new fuel pump improve gas mileage?

A malfunctioning fuel pump can decrease gas mileage. You may have better gas mileage when you get a new fuel pump installed, but make sure before it’s installed that you have the fuel tank itself cleaned out. Clearing the tank of debris, dirt, and contaminants will also help with fuel economy. 

Better gas mileage device

While there are products and devices on the market that claim you can get better gas mileage by using them, you have to be careful about using them for this purpose. Some of these devices can harm your vehicle rather than hurt it. Others do not work at all and are a waste of money.

A Truck Traveling Down Highway.

How to increase fuel economy in a truck

Trucks can often get low mpg ratings. As with other vehicles, you can get better gas mileage on a truck by maintaining it regularly, and especially making sure the tires are at the right pressure. Trucks are built to haul loads, but overloading the truck will make it consume more fuel. Make sure your truck can handle the weight you want to haul. Devices like bed covers may help to reduce drag.

If you want quality maintenance for better gas mileage in Atascadero, CA, rely on the professionals at German Performance. Call us at __PHONE__ to see what maintenance we have available.