Sunday, June 29, 2014

Keep Your Brakes Responsive With A Brake Fluid Flush

One of the most important systems on any car or truck is the one that lets us slow down and stop when necessary. Most of us take our brake systems for granted until we find ourselves in a situation where we are driving down a steep grade and need to slow down to stay safe. The brake system is made up of a number of essential components including brake pads, calipers, rotors, brake master cylinder, and brake fluid. Brake fluid has been referred to as the life blood of the system as its job has to do with both protection and facilitation. Let's get familiar with hydraulic brakes and find out why it's important to have the system flushed at scheduled maintenance intervals.

Slowing down and stopping are almost involuntary activities that most of us don't even think about when we're out on the road. However, there are a number of processes happening every time we push down on that pedal. When the brake pedal is pressed, a piston rod is pushed into the master cylinder which allows fluid to move into a hydraulic line. Hydraulic lines or hoses can be made of stiff or flexible materials. Engineers have designed most brake lines with minimum flexibility in mind. This type of construction helps to keep fluid inside the line as expansion is outward instead of flowing towards the caliper.

Calipers work in various ways. Cars with hydraulic brake systems use a disk and the caliper sits on either side of a rotor. The master cylinder connects to the caliper. When fluid goes through the line into the caliper, pistons inside it are activated and move inward to the rotor. Brake pads are located between the rotor and pistons. If your car has hydraulic drum brakes, the caliper or wheel cylinder is inside of a metal drum. Rather than pushing inward, the pistons move outward to depress brake pads on the inside of the drum instead of the outer side of a disk.

When you press down on the brake pedal, you will feel resistance as your vehicle slows down. This pressure is the result of hydraulic brake fluid which provides the required force for all the mechanical processes to take place. This means that brake fluid is also essential for your safety because without it, the brake system on your car or truck will not work properly. This specialized fluid is designed to protect metal brake system components from rust and corrosion by absorbing moisture. Over time, the fluid can absorb so much moisture that it becomes saturated. Brake fluid can also break down over time due to extreme heat. Contaminated and worn out fluid can cause the brake system to be less responsive. The solution to this problem is to have the system flushed..

The basic procedure for flushing a hydraulic brake system consists of pressurizing the brake master cylinder and adding fresh brake fluid. At the same time, the brake lines underneath the vehicle will be opened to allow the old fluid to be drained and discarded. This preventive maintenance procedure will restore braking responsiveness, stop corrosion, and help prevent unnecessary breakdowns. As a general rule of thumb, the hydraulic brake system should be flushed every 30,000 miles. You can also ask your local certified repair shop to test the health of your brake fluid. The owner's manual should also contain a detailed schedule of all necessary preventive maintenance procedures. Main Street Shell Service is a full service auto repair shop and STAR certified smog check station in Santa Maria, California. We also offer a full line of preventive maintenance services for your transmission, power steering, cooling system, and brake system. For more information on the hydraulic brake system flush, please visit us at
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

BMW History at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2014

If you like historical vehicles you should watch this video: The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is known for it's historically rich and highly exclusive line-up of historic cars and motorcycles. But it's not only about history: The BMW Vision Future Luxury study vehicle offers a preview of how exclusive driving pleasure might shape up in the years ahead.

Monday, June 23, 2014

7 Common Reasons for an Oil Change!

The lifespan of any vehicle revolves around several factors one of them is the maintenance of the vehicle. Most people neglect their vehicles and when they really need it the most, the vehicle might suddenly die. This can happen not only to old cars but to new cars as well and hence it's very important to make sure your vehicle is in for a scheduled maintenance check-up often. Consider these seven reasons why you should get your oil changed.

1. Longevity - If you are looking to increase the lifespan of your vehicle you will probably want to get this done. Getting your oil changed is not expensive and by servicing you would get a filter replacement with fresh oil that would keep your engine lubricated and perform optimally. You can either do it by yourself or you can visit a mechanic who would do it for you at a small price.

2. Sludge - Do you know that your engine parts are ruined because of dirty clogs and then an engine build up acidity which causes unnecessary damage to the internal parts of your vehicle? Damaging the engine would require a replacement or repair which is much more costly than a simple process of oil change.

3. Stress - If you are going on a long road trip or going through the mountainous terrain you will need all the possible power in the engine to get you through. Changing your oil regularly will not give you any problems and your car will run just fine. If you have not been doing a regular oil change you would find that the car will have a real hard time going up the hills and engine could get over heated.

4. Most vehicles especially during mild climate regions should have its oil changed every 3000 miles. And if you're living in an area that is particularly dirty or dusty you will want to take care of this more frequently. Do not delay, as this should not take long, especially if the mechanic is not very busy. This is a simple, inexpensive, and crucial service, so forgetting to keep up with it can lead to some serious setbacks.

5. Depending on whether you are an aggressive driver and drive in a lot of stop and go traffic, you will want to check your fluid level and regularly top it off as needed. This style of driving will necessitate changing out the engine oil more often than average drivers would need to

6. Oil constantly burns as we drive and simply adding fresh lubricant bought from a store is not good enough for your car's motor. Over time, the oil inside will turn black and accumulate dirt and other debris. After a while this will likely clog your engine and can lead to permanent damage. Once this fluid is contaminated, it can lead to some serious problems. To properly address the problem, a full oil change is necessary.

7. If you have any pinging in your engine or other unusual noises could indicate that the oil level is low or that it is dirty. Oil dampens noise and reduces friction, so when it is degraded your car will typically begin making different sounds.

The above are some of the main reasons why one should get their oil changed regularly, you can do so by having a scheduled maintenance plan with your mechanic. This will increase the lifespan of your vehicle and you will be at a lot of peace when you know you're vehicle is functioning well.

Service Plus Automotive is a family owned business since 1991. We are focused on providing the best possible customer service experience when servicing or repairing a customers vehicle. We strongly believe in customer education and regularly show the customer what needs repairing. We are very involved in various community activities and believe in giving back to the community who has supported us for almost 20 years. For more information, go to
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Introducing the All-new VW Golf GTI Mk7

We put the increased torque and 1.8 liter turbo engine of the new VW Golf GTI Mk7 to the test. The result was an incredible ride in a hot hatch that delivers top performance and great new driver features.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mobil 1 & eHow: Upgrading to Ceramic Headers

Mobil 1 & eHow team up with Automotive Improvement Expert Chris Duke to explain the benefits of upgrading to ceramic headers versus using standard steel.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Routine Vehicle Servicing: Things You Must Not Neglect

A lot of people these days consider automobiles as a sensible form of investment. Although many people see their cars as a prestigious item, some only take it as a simple transport mode. But, you must understand that, buying a vehicle is not a one-time affair. Most car owners know about the hefty auto repair expenses now. So, they always keep their vehicle under routine upkeep to curtail the repair costs.

Nowadays many people stress on their jobs, household duties or social occasions rather than anything else. Life has become too hectic and people face a lot of problems in managing their professional life and personal life together. So, one has to organize all the belongings (such as laptops, tablets and smartphones) to check everything. The same thing applies for our car maintenance schedule. Many people spend a lot of money and time for buying a new vehicle. But, some of them end up neglecting the car's upkeep demands.

Well, this is quite understandable. A car consists of several moving parts and so it is never easy to check all of them. These are some items that most car owners forget (to service). Each of these spares is equally significant and demands quality servicing.

Line alignment

If the car tyres do not have proper pressure or alignment, they will always become shaky. Apart from the frustration or irritation, they also compromise the car safety to a certain extent. They can often lead to accidents. Even though tyres wear out after a certain time, their replacement do not come cheap. Checking the wheel alignment twice a year, will certainly help you to fix a lot of issues.

Steering servicing

The power steering fluid gets dirty after a certain point of time. Cleaning the power steering regularly will help you protect the car spares from rusting or corrosion. So, if you go for a car servicing, always ask the technician to inspect the steering fluid.

Cleaning the air filters

A lot of vehicles these days have cabin air filters. Air filters generally clean and purify the air within the vehicle. The purifiers cut the dust or pollutants from the car engine. If the air filters do not work properly, air will get smelly and emit a foul odour. Timely air filter replacement will help you enjoy a clean and fresh environment, within the vehicle.

Keeping the car under regular upkeep will not only enhance its performance, but also promote its lifespan to a certain extent.

Alan J Clark writes for Yaash Motor, a premier agency offering quality car repairs wembley. No matter you need a MOT test or a complete vehicle servicing Wembley, they are certainly the best option you will ever get.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

First Global Deliveries of the BMW i8.

The world's first BMW i8s were handed over to eight lucky customers. The first BMW i8 cars also feature the ground-breaking BMW laser light. The BMW i8 will make automotive history with its laser lights, as the first series-produced vehicle to feature this completely new lighting technology.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Meaning Behind Check Engine Lights

Whenever I think of the check engine light on my car, I think of the green light featured in F.Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby; the check engine light is basically this ominous metaphor with significant meaning that people keep telling me I can't ignore but I'm just not sure what that meaning is. I know I'm not the only one out there who feels the same way. That is why I have done my research.

First off, the check engine light is telling you to do one thing: check the engine. For what, you ask? Check the engine for any signs of distress or anything unusual such as a wet engine, a blown gasket head, worn out spark plugs or even faulty oxygen sensors. However, it could mean that there is a serious problem with your engine. That is why it is best to acknowledge this indicator and bring your vehicle to the auto shop as soon as possible. The light does not mean that you immediately have to pull your car over, but you should take care of the problem during your next available free time.

The check engine light is part of you car's onboard diagnostics system (OBD), which monitors your vehicle's performance. When the OBD finds a problem in the electronic control system that it cannot correct, the computer in your car turns on the check engine light to alert you. If the light is flashing, that means there is more urgency to the problem and you should take steps to immediately get the problem solved.

When you take your car to a technician, they will connect your vehicle's computer system to a diagnostic scan tool to find the problem. This provides the technician with troubleshooting codes which indicate why the check engine light went off in the first place. With the codes, the technician can analyze the following data: the idle speed, throttle response, engine temperature, fuel system pressure, exhaust emission level and others. Once the problem is fixed, the technician will reset the OBD and tell you how to best fix the issue.

The best way to avoid the ominous check engine light is to keep your vehicle up to date. Regularly change the oil and other fluids as well as conduct any other maintenance services as they begin to emerge. The worst thing to do is to let multiple maintenance services build up onto one another until the car can't function. The trick to avoiding the check engine light is to keep your car as healthy as you keep yourself.

For more information, contact European Exchange Inc. at (201) 880-6633 or visit 240 Lodi Street, Hackensack NJ, 07601.
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

SoWo 2014 Event - Helen, GA | SoWo 2014

Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River is the quaint Bavarian-themed town of Helen, Georgia. With its striking similarities to the W├Ârthersee region, we think you will agree, it's a natural location for a stateside tribute to the Southern W├Ârthersee (SoWo) event and these wonderful cars.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Benefits of a Full-Service Automotive Shop

Chances are, you've probably taken a vehicle or two for a quick oil change at a chain auto repair shop in between major services, or used a national chain for brake or other specific repair work.

While many of these shops may be reliable and honest, their limited service menus and low pricing may compromise overall car care. Their mechanics may not be as seasoned as those in independently owned, full service shops. They may recommend more frequent servicing than necessary for low-cost jobs like oil changes, and use a cheaper, off-brand oil that might not be the best for your car.

Primary Care for Your Car

Mechanics in a full-service auto shop are sort of like primary care physicians: they see the entire car, and not just the brakes or engine. Full-service auto mechanic shops have lower employee turnover than the corporate shops, which are notorious for high turnover. At a full-service shop, mechanics are exposed to more cars, models, and technologies and are aware of performance issues that customers bring in along with their solutions.

Independent automotive shop employees receive more training about new car specs as well as services needed by older cars. They understand the impact of a particular climate on vehicle maintenance (for example, oil changes should be more frequent in extreme hot or cold climates) and can advise customers about what they can do on their own to prolong their vehicles' life-cycle and efficiency.

Do Full Service Shops Charge More?

In general, you will get the most reasonable charges at a full-service shop and individualized serviced. Independent full-service shops charge a flat rate for their work, which are often lower than dealership charges because of lower overhead. (They are not, after all, paying for extra space used to showcase new or used cars, which are very sensitive to greater market influences.) Mechanics and technicians at independent shops are paid by the hour or receive a salary based upon their skills and job performance, just like most businesses. This frees staff from pressure to maximize the number of repairs they do and the temptation to cut corners.

More Attention to Customer Service?

Independent shops live and die by good customer relations. A good word from a customer to friends and neighbors or placed on Google is essential for an independent shop to thrive.

As with any service-oriented business, customer service can make a huge difference. Independent shops understand that customers value trust and work to build relationships with their customers. They will, for example, be more likely to get customers in a routine to bundle repairs, such as oil changes (at proper intervals) with tire rotation and balancing, which can save time and money.

Surveys Show: Independent Shops Preferred to Dealerships

Consumer Reports asks car owners each year about how satisfied they are with repairs they had over the past 12 months. The most recent data from 2012 follows a long-term trend that shows overall preference for independent shops over dealerships. Not surprisingly, dealership customers complained about high prices more than customers of independent shops, 42% to 32%.

Who prefers independent shops the most? An even mix of owners of mid-range and high-end cars and include Chrysler, Dodge, Jaguar, Jeep, Nissan, Mercedes, and Volvo owners. Dealership fans tend to be owners of the most expensive cars including Porsche.

Source: Car repair shops buying guide. Consumer Reports, June 2014.

Albert Westbrook is a writer with a passion for offering useful information to consumers and the public. He recommends Tip Top Transmissions, your full-service automotive repair shop in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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