Our vehicle’s suspension system (i.e., shocks or struts) is something we often take for granted. However, after supporting several tons of metal year after year, eventually the shocks will wear out and suspension repair will be necessary. Some people mistakenly believe the suspension is mainly about having a smooth ride, and therefore these repairs aren’t as important as other maintenance issues like oil changes or brakes. However, having a bad suspension can greatly affect your ability to control the vehicle, especially when stopping or turning, so it’s in your best interest not to ignore this part of auto maintenance.

How do you know when it’s time for suspension repair?

Your vehicle will usually tell you. Here are six things to watch for.

1. Car rides roughly

Most people can tell their shocks or struts are wearing out when they begin to feel every bump in the road, or when every bump causes the vehicle body to “bounce.” A rough ride is an obvious sign that your vehicle’s suspension needs work.

2. Drifting or pulling during turns

With a failing suspension system, you’ll often feel the vehicle “drift” or “pull” when you’re turning. This basically means the shocks are no longer keeping the vehicle body stable against the centrifugal force of a turn, increasing your risk of a rollover. If you feel this sensation while turning, it’s time to take the car to a trusted auto repair shop for servicing.

3. Dips or “nose dives” when stopping

When the shocks are worn out, you’re likely to feel the vehicle body lurching forward and downward nose-first when you apply the brakes firmly. This can actually affect your ability to stop the car quickly (a bad suspension can increase stop time by up to 20 percent).

4. Uneven tire treads

Take a look at your tires. If you notice the tread is wearing down unevenly on your tires, or if you notice balding spots, this is often a symptom that the suspension isn’t holding the car evenly, and therefore putting uneven amounts of pressure on the tires.

5. Damaged, “oily” shocks

If you can look under the vehicle, take a look directly at the shocks or struts. If they look greasy or oily, there’s a good chance that they are leaking fluid and therefore aren’t working properly. It’s probably time to get those shocks replaced.

6. Try the “bounce test”

If you suspect your suspension is going bad (perhaps due to one or more of the symptoms we mentioned above), try this simple test. With the car in “park,” press down on the front of the vehicle with all your weight, “bounce” it a few times, then release. Do it again on the rear of the vehicle. If the car continues to rock or bounce more than 2-3 times after you release it, the suspension is wearing out.

European & Domestic Auto Care technicians are all certified technician specialists who service auto repair issues in all modern vehicles. Contact us today!

What is a Drivetrain?

The drivetrain includes the transmission, the driveshaft, the axles, and the wheels. Simply put, it works in conjunction with the engine to move the wheels. The drivetrain system is an essential component of a vehicle and the transmission is an integral part of the drivetrain.

The Drivetrain and the Transmission

The drivetrain and the transmission are actually two very different concepts. The main function of the transmission is similar to the chain on a bicycle: it keeps the engine turning in time with the wheels, regardless of what gear the vehicle is in. The drivetrain represents everything that is behind the transmission involved in propelling the vehicle. The main function of the drivetrain is basically to convey power from the vehicle’s engine, through the transmission to the drive wheels on the vehicle to control the amount of torque. “Torque” is turning or twisting force.

Parts of a Drivetrain

The drivetrain is comprised of a collection of components in a vehicle that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels/ drive it forward. These components include the driveshaft, CV joints, the differential, the axle shafts and the U-joints.

  • A driveshaft is a long tube of steel that is linked to a car’s transmission at one end and the wheels at the other. It transfers the mechanical power from the transmission to the other components of the vehicle.
  • A U-joint, or universal joint, is a flexible pivot point that transmits power allowing for varying angles of the driveshaft.
  • CV joints, or constant-velocity joints, are part of the driveshaft. These joints are designed to be able to bend in any direction while continuing to turn the drive wheels at a constant velocity.
  • The differential is where the power makes its last stop before spinning the wheels.
  • Axle shafts are a single rotating shaft, on either side of the differential, which delivers power from the final drive assembly to the drive wheels.

Driveline, Drivetrain, PowertrainTechnicians sometimes refer to driveline, drivetrain and powertrain interchangeably when referring to the drivetrain system of an automobile. This can cause confusion, but in essence, all of these terms describe the same system within the vehicle.

The powertrain in a vehicle is composed of everything that makes the vehicle move. This includes everything from the engine to the transmission to all the parts that allow the power from the engine to get to the wheels. A vehicle’s driveline consists of all of the powertrain’s components except for the engine.

The drivetrain is the part of a motorized vehicle which connects the engine and transmission to the wheel axles.

The driveline includes everything in the chain from the engine to the drive wheels, but the drivetrain consists of everything after the transmission — all driveshafts, axles, joints, differentials and wheels.

European & Domestic Auto Care technicians are all certified drivetrain and transmission specialists who service drivetrain and transmission issues in all modern vehicles. Contact us today!

Total car care experts offer the most important reasons to routinely change a vehicle’s oilEngines are made up of many moving parts, and those parts need to be properly lubricated to avoid damage. Oil in the engine provides this vital function. Over time, that oil breaks down and becomes contaminated with dust, dirt and debris from the engine as well as the environment. When that happens, oil can’t properly do its job.

Oil Changes are Apart of Routine

A recent study by the Car Care Council of the Be Car Care Aware campaign stated that 22% of vehicles have low or dirty engine oil. Proactively changing a vehicles’ oil and filter will help the engine continue to work at its best and prevent costly repairs to drivers down the road. Compare the average cost of a years’ worth of oil changes ($120) to the cost of not proactively maintaining a vehicle’s engine ($4,000)* and the benefit to both wallets and vehicle well-being is clear. The total car care experts at Meineke are sharing the top reasons oil and filter changes are so important to a car’s well-being.

  1. Maintains engine lubrication. Imagine all the moving parts, pistons, valves, and other engine parts moving at high rates of speed under the hood of a car. These components create heat and will wear down the engine dramatically without proper oil lubrication. Make sure to refer to the owner’s manual to see what specific weight and grade of oil the vehicle requires and ensure it is kept at the recommended fill volume.
  2. Cools engine components. Moving parts that lack proper lubrication create friction, which in turn creates heat. Maintaining clean and sufficient amounts of oil is the perfect solution to prevent too much friction and over-heating of the engine.
  3. Removes engine wear particles and sludge. Dirt particles are deadly to engines. Over time, dirt can cause corrosion and decrease the life of an engine. Also as time goes on, oil breaks down and turns to “sludge.” The name of the game is to keep the engine clean. Routine oil and filter changes help remove particles and sludge and keep engines at peak condition.
  4. Improves gas mileage. Poor engine lubrication can lead to increased fuel consumption, so make sure there is enough clean oil in the engine. The U.S. Department of Energy says that with routine changes and the right kind of oil, gas mileage can be improved over time by 1-2%. That doesn’t sound like much of an improvement, but for the average car, it leads to savings of an entire gallon of gas for a year!
  5. Promotes vehicle longevity. Plain and simple, routine maintenance makes your vehicle last longer. Buildup from dirty oil robs a vehicle’s fuel economy and power, and makes internal components work harder. An engine that works too hard will end up having more problems down the road as well as a shorter life span. According to Kelley Blue Book, car valuation increases at resale time if regular maintenance has been upheld.

Performing oil changes personally can be a hassle, but it is a necessary task that must be done. Come see how affordable and convenient routine maintenance and repairs at your local European & Domestic Auto Care can be!

The automobile industry has over the years witnessed tremendous improvement as a result of the technological advancement in every sphere of scientific endeavors. Every system in modern vehicles is computerized to make life more enjoyable with loads of luxury that have become handy.  As a way of passing vital signals in case of an anomaly in the car’s functionality, the manufacturer carefully installs lights on the dashboard that could blink or change color whenever there’s any impending problem with the car. Have you been ignoring any light that blinks or suddenly turns red-on your dashboard? If your answer is in the affirmative, it is time for you to take your car for diagnostic testing immediately.

You might the wondering what a diagnostic test is all about.  Without further ado, a diagnostic test is a process whereby a professional automobile technician uses a diagnostic tools or scanner to efficiently detect the cause of any malfunctions in the vehicle. This is possible since latest cars come with an OBD or On-Board Diagnostics computer system, which serves as the channel where the technician can easily connect the diagnostic tools to run a comprehensive diagnostic test and other inspection quickly.

An automotive diagnostic test has numerous importance some of which are extensively explained in subsequent paragraphs.

Early Detection of Fault

This can be likened to the routine medical checkup we-humans- do in hospitals; vehicles that are routinely diagnosed by technicians whether there’s any blinking or not, performs better and smoothly when compare to those that were never diagnosed. At every diagnostic test sessions, impending damages in the vehicle is noticed, and the appropriate measure would be taken to nip the situation in the bud.

It’s a Cheaper Option

Diagnosing your vehicle will help to quickly pinpoint where the problem lies and guide the technician in making a correct recommendation to car owners. This will make the engine of the car -as well as other component- performs at their best for a longer time. When proper routine diagnostic test is not performed on a vehicle, the cost of fixing such car will be much when compared to the cost of regular diagnostic test.  In most cases, the damages will forever impair the functionality of the vehicle.

It Is a Safer Option

Imagine you driving down a lonely stretch of road, and suddenly your vehicle breaks down in the middle of nowhere; the confusion and anxiety might not even allow you make the best decision at that particle time. You can simply avoid that stress and risk by visiting your technician for the routine diagnostic test before the trip, and you will be at higher chance of fixing the fault prior your trip.

In Conclusion

With the latest automobile technologies, making the right decisions will help you keep your vehicle in the pristine state while spending less to achieve that feat. The right choice is a routine diagnostic test of your car.

For every vehicle owner, you will agree with me that rapt attention is required to ascertain a perceived problem with your vehicle. Many thanks to the latest technologies that appropriately diagnose the fault and throws up error codes when a scan is conducted.  Read below to see how brake services can keep you from brake services.

When to Schedule for Brake Services

The brake is one of the major systems of every vehicle that solely determine the safety level of the vehicle’s occupant and that of other traffic. So, the routine servicing of the braking service is of great importance and must be done by professionals that are well grounded in the A to Z of the braking system and its servicing.  More so, knowing when to service the brake is very crucial, and it will be discussed in the next paragraphs.

Several braking issues can indicate when your vehicle is due for a brake repair work. This includes:

  • When the brake pedal seems to be spongy or presses farther to the floor than usual.
  • When your vehicle pulls to the right or left when you engage the brake.
  • When an unusual noise or vibrations is occurring during braking.

We at European & Domestic Auto Care, our specialty in brake system servicing have over the years made us the best option for many car vehicle owners. We are a team of experts that know the very need of the braking system of different vehicles at inspection. With our state- of –the- art equipment, we diagnose service, repair and give recommendations to our clients as it concerns their vehicle braking system.

Since safety is our watchword, we are ready to help you stay safe by rendering unrivaled brake service to you at an affordable rate without promising on the quality you will enjoy. Reach out to us through these details.

How to Determine If You Need Auto Repair

To many understanding if there is a problem with your vehicle isn’t the easiest, but learning some tips and tricks can help when needed. Below is a list that can help you stay away from costly auto repair services.

  1. Car Manual

Most times we ignore our car manuals but knowing where to find information quickly can help in identifying causes when trouble arises. You may even be able to avoid a trip to the auto mechanic in the first place.

  1. Transmission

Transmission problems can be solved with a range of solutions including adding more transmission fluid, replacing the transmission lines so that the fluid is circulating properly, or completely replacing or rebuilding the full transmission. Though there are multiple options, it is important to make sure that you take your car to a reputable auto repair shop that specializes in transmission repair to make sure that you are getting the proper repair to bring new life to your transmission.

  1. Headlights

It’s important to check your headlights before heading out especially at night, headlights can dim over time so replacement before burnout is suggested. When changing headlights always do it in pairs to avoid uneven field of vision.

  1. Brakes

If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, you should have your brakes inspected. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low and hard pedal feel or squealing.

  1. Battery

To get the most life out of your battery be sure the electrical system is charging correctly. Always replace a battery with one that’s rated similarly as the one originally specified. Keep the top of the battery clean, dirt usually becomes a conductor and drains battery power.

  1. Oil

Using the right motor improves your gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using your manufactures recommended motor oil grade.

  1. Air Filters

Make sure to check if your air filters are clogged. This can improve your fuel economy, acceleration and the general performance of your car.

  1. Engine

Check your engine performance to keep your engine running efficiently.

  1. Vehicle Records

Keep your records from prior service visits in order, well-kept records can be instrumental in correctly diagnosing a vehicle problem if issues still occur.

Find an Auto Repair Shop

Finding an auto repair shop you can trust isn’t always the easiest, but when it comes to European & Domestic Auto Care this company does the finest work. Not only are they experienced, but the mechanics are very friendly and honest. Contact them today and receive a free estimate on any repair.