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 Pat & Chuck's Auto Repair.
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 Pat & Chuck's Auto Repair.
We were in town to vend at a show in the Rosemont Convention Center when our transmission started to have problems. We asked around and ended up at Pat & Chuck's Auto Repair. The guys there are THE BEST! They managed to work on our car on short notice, replace the transmission and even replaced a couple of supports that we weren't aware needed replacing. (They kept the broken parts to show us.) They even checked over the rest of the car to make sure everything was in good running order and that we'd be able to make it home pulling our trailer without any further problems. We fully expected to pay a "Big City" price for the work that they did -- and we were pleasantly surprised when the bill was significantly less than we'd anticipated. There were no surprises, no add-ons and the final expense was just what they'd told us it would be. We'd go back there in a heartbeat and it's a shame that they're so far away from where we live! Chuck and Rod were friendly!
I am always pleased with the work that I have had done at Pat & Chuck's, especially the most recent repair. I had been using another shop for convenience reasons, and had been told I needed my transmission rebuilt or replaced. Pat & Chuck"s could have just went ahead and did just that, but didn't; they diagnosed the correct issue, and fixed it, saving me approximately 1700 dollars.