Maintaining your vehicle at home is a satisfying way to keep your motoring costs down. With the right knowledge and products even someone who isn't very mechanically inclined can take care of many of the smaller issues in everyday driving. Sometimes, however, car issues can be too specialized or complex for the average motorist to take care of by themselves and it becomes time to take your car to the pros. Below you'll find three major warning signs that you need to get to a mechanic ASAP, as well as some of the potential causes behind them.
Engine and Drivetrain ProblemsLet's start at the beginning. If your car won't even turn over and start up, then the rest of the problems on this list won't come into play. The simplest cause of this issue is a dead battery, which you can remedy with jumper cables, and the instructions that come printed on their packaging. If jumping the car doesn't work, you may have a larger problem with your ignition system. It's advisable to take your car into the shop at this point because finding the root of the problem will likely involve removing a few parts from your engine. Whether it's dead spark plugs or electrical problems, it's better to have it dealt with by a professional. Likewise, engine surging where the revs rise and fall can mean a problem with your fuel injectors, which are fairly deep within your motor. It's unwise to drive around with a surging engine, as this burns more gas and can cause unintended acceleration. Drivetrain issues are another major issue requiring professional attention. Everybody fears the dreaded transmission repairs, so if certain gears won't engage or they shift at the wrong times you should definitely take your car to the qualified mechanics here at P & A Smith Auto Maintenance.
Vibration While DrivingThis issue can be caused by damaged drivetrain components, but can also stem from misaligned wheels or unbalanced or flat tires. If you feel any vibration or shuddering as you drive along, you should get to a mechanic as soon as you can. At its worst, this issue can lessen your control over the car, potentially causing accidents. This will also wear out your tires more quickly than if everything was straight and true. Unwanted vibrations put stress on important (and costly) components like suspension and brakes while decreasing gas mileage, so it's smart to take your car in as soon as these issues develop.
Poor Braking PerformanceYour brakes are vital to keeping you safe on the road and should definitely be cared for by a professional, unless you're absolutely sure you know what you're doing. Common signs of issues with your car's braking system include squeaking or squealing when the brakes are applied, or the brakes feeling spongy and failing to slow your vehicle properly. Squealing brakes are caused by the brake pads wearing through the pad surface to the metal underneath. At this point the metal behind your brake pad is coming into contact with the brake rotor. This can be disastrous and produce unwanted heat, reduced stopping power, and cause you to have to buy new rotors as well as the relatively cheap pads. Spongey and weak brakes can mean there's a problem with your master cylinder, which converts the mechanical pressure of you pressing the pedal into hydraulic pressure to apply the brakes. In either case, it's best to have your brakes seen to by the professional mechanics here at P & A Smith Auto Maintenance.
There are instances where car maintenance is simple and easy, but if you notice any of these issues developing, it's best to take your car in for a qualified mechanic's checkup so the problems can be remedied before they turn into much more serious issues. P & A Smith Auto Maintenance has the tools and expertise to have you safely back on the road in no time at all.
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We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!
We used P&A for all our automotive services when we had a Volvo, Mazda, and a VW. Over time those cars were replaced by three Toyotas (2004 Matrix, 2008 Tundra, 2016 Prius) and it became more convenient (if somewhat more expensive) to take them all to the nearer Toyota dealer. When I took the Matrix to the dealership for its NC state inspection I was surprised to hear that it failed due to "leaking steering pump return line", and that replacing all three lines (along with a long-known leaking valve cover gasket) would amount to a major fraction of the worth of the car. The dealership wouldn't clear the block on the state inspection until it was repaired. I took it to P&A and not only did they diagnose that the problem was really only the leaking valve cover gasket (which took some effort to discern) but P&A's estimate to replace the gasket was half that of the dealership. Plus, they worked it into the next day's schedule. Clint was very accommodating! As a result, we will be taking the Matrix and the Tundra to P&A from now on. (The Prius still has a little warranty left.) Very highly recommended!
Honest, quality repairs at a good price.