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When to Call A Professional Mechanic For Maintenance

When it comes to owning a car, you know that regular vehicle maintenance is essential to keep it running for a long time. However, which bits of maintenance can you handle alone, and which services should you ask a professional to attend to? There is no perfect answer to this question, as your personal skill level may differ from that of your neighbor. To make things easier for our clients, we have laid out a list of services divided by difficulty, so as to help you determine what is within your own skill level.

car repair and maintenance

When it comes to auto maintenance, some things you can DIY, and other things you need professional help for!

The basic level: These vehicle maintenance requirements are great for beginners, as they require basic tools and simple procedures.

  • Washing your Car: Believe it or not, washing your car is a form of preventative maintenance. Rust builds quickly on a dirty car, so it is best to clean it often. This job requires basic tools such as water, soap, towels, and a willingness to use your muscle!
  • Changing your Oil: Everyone knows they need to change the oil in their cars every few thousand miles. For this entry level job you need a wrench or socket for the drain plug and filter, and you may need to raise the front of your vehicle to access the drain plug. You will also need to buy the right kind of oil, filter, and a receptacle to catch the old oil.
  • Changing your Windshield Wipers: No tools required for most vehicles. Just follow the directions in your vehicle user manual, or on the package of your new windshield wipers.
  • Adjusting your Tire Pressure: With a pressure gauge and access to compressed air, you can fill your own air tires with very little experience.

The intermediate level: For the following, you will need more than just basic tools. You’ll probably need a fully stocked tool box with pliers, sockets, open end wrenches, and screwdrivers.

  • Changing your Spark Plugs: All you need is some patience, a socket wrench, and a feeler gauge.
  • Changing your Brakes: Count on your repair manual for this one, but with the right tools and supplies, you may be able to handle this on your own.

The advanced level: These issues are typically too advanced for your typical residential garage, as far as tools and lifting capabilities go. Repairs in the advanced level usually require professional tools and skill.

If you need help with car repairs in Mesa, AZ,  call the auto experts at Street Automotive! 480-641-8784

Signs that You need Suspension Repair

Taking care of your car’s suspension is important, but many drivers tend to neglect it. Not only can untreated problems make things worse, they can also decrease your safety and driving ability. Stay safe and save money by watching for these common signs that you need suspension repair.

Rough Ride

Car Suspension

Watch for Signs of Suspension Wear and Damage to Prevent more Costly Damage!

One of the most common indicators of worn shocks or struts is a rough ride. If you feel like every dip in the road is an enormous pothole or your vehicle won’t stop bouncing around, you probably need new shocks or struts. Not only do they make driving on rough roads much more bearable, they help you stop quickly.

Uneven Tire Tread

Do you already see wear on your new tires? Are certain areas wearing more than others? Uneven tire wear is a common result of suspension problems. Whether your car is bouncing too much or out of alignment, you should have it checked quickly before wasting more money on tires! Often a result of worn shocks or struts or poor alignment, uneven tire wear can sometimes indicate a more serious problem.

Clunking Sounds

Do you hear clunking or knocking sounds under your vehicle, especially when making a turn? Does your car pull or steer poorly? This often indicates a worn ball joint or other suspension problem. Such problems can increase your chances of a rollover and decrease your steering ability, so don’t neglect repairs!

If you notice any of these signs that you need suspension repair, call Street Automotive at 480-641-8784 for professional suspension repair in Mesa, AZ!

Signs That You Should Check Your Oil

Do you remember the last time you changed your oil? If you skipped your last scheduled oil change, you should get to a mechanic quickly. Saving money on an oil change isn’t worth ruining your engine! Watch out for these signs that you should check your oil.

You Don’t Remember Your Last Oil Change

Signs That You Should Check Your Oil

Follow your Oil Change Schedule for Best Performance

Perhaps one of the biggest signs that you should check your oil is not remembering when you last did so. Most vehicles go approximately 5,000 miles between oil changes, though your car may differ. This roughly translates to every 6 months, but could be more or less depending on how often you drive. Where you drive and how you drive can also affect how quickly your car needs an oil change. It’s best to follow the guideline set by your manufacturer for your specific model.

Your Engine is Especially Loud

When there is not enough lubricant or oil in your engine, your engine might run louder. This comes from various parts grinding or rubbing instead of moving smoothly. If you notice that your engine seems louder than usual, take a look at your oil to see if it is low. Other unusual noises from your engine may be cause for concern and you should inspect it or take it to an auto shop.

Your Engine Light is On

No one likes to see their engine light come on, especially if they can’t figure out why. The first things you should check when this happens are the gas cap and oil level. Modern vehicles will trigger a sensor if the fuel cap is not properly secured, and some have oil lights that are separate from the check engine light. Read your owner’s manual to learn which dashboard light indicates a problem with your oil.

When you need an oil change in Mesa, AZ, call Street Automotive at 480-641-8784 for quick, professional service!

5 Signs Your Car’s Transmission Is In Need of Servicing

Having your car’s transmission in good condition is critical. In order to have your car working properly, the transmission needs to be taken care of. If you aren’t sure when you need to get your transmission serviced, there are a few signs you should look out for. Here are 4 signs you need transmission service.

5 Signs Your Car's Transmission Is In Need of Servicing

The Car’s Transmission Is Slipping

Car transmission service is inevitable if your transmission is slipping. Slipping is when you start to drive your vehicle and it feels like your car is slipping out of gear without you touching it.

Transmission Fluid Is Leaking

If you are parked and the bottom of the pavement is covered in a clear or cloudy red fluid, you need transmission service. This can mean your transmission has a leak.

The Transmission Is Making Weird Noises

When you are driving your car and you hear any whining or buzzing noises, this can be a clue that your car needs transmission service.

Gears Are Grinding

Whenever you drive your car and you shift gears, it should feel smooth. If you experience the feeling of grinding when you switch gears, you need to take your car in immediately. Grinding gears can be a sign of a worn clutch.

Odd Or Burning Smells

If you change gears or you are smelling something unusual coming from your transmission, you need to get it serviced right away. An odd smell is never a good thing.

If you need repair services for your transmission in Mesa, AZ, give Street Automative a call at 480-641-8784!

 

 

Finding a Local Automotive Repair Shop

You need to take your car in for repairs. But in Mesa, there’s a automotive mechanic on every corner, so how do you choose which one to trust with your vehicle? Here are some questions to ask before taking your vehicle in for repairs or maintenance.

Street Automotive Store

Are written estimates given prior to repairs being made?
Work with a repair business that does an inspection of your vehicle and offers and written estimate before they even start working on your vehicle. That way, you know exactly what services are being done and how much it will cost you.

Are the mechanics ASE Certified?
When you leave your car in someone else’s hands you will want to ensure they’ve had proper training. ASE Certified mechanics have gone through extensive training for vehicle repairs and quality automotive work.

Does the company have references?
It should be easy to find potential repair shops online and along with reviews of their work through popular sites like Google and Yelp. These reviews will give you a good idea of how well customers are treated, how they handle vehicles, and if they offer affordable solutions.

Your vehicle is a valuable investment, so finding the right automotive mechanic to repair it is important. For quality automotive repairs in the Mesa, AZ area, contact Street Automotive today at 480-641-8784! Our certified technicians are available to make sure your car is running at top performance.

Why You Should Check Your Tires Regularly

Checking your tires should be a part of your regular routine. Not only can they tell you when it’s time for a rotation, they can reveal other problems with your car. Here are some signs of uneven tire wear to watch out for:

Outer Edge Wear

check your tiresThis is the result of underinflation, a dangerous condition that can lead to your tires overheating and blowing out, especially in the hot summer months. Not only does this put you at risk of tire failure, it can cause you to destroy tires sooner than expected, costing you more money down the road. Pay attention to tire pressure, either by your dashboard indicator light or manually, and check your tires every month or so to avoid extreme tire wear.

Cupping or Scalloping

Resembling little hills and valleys, cupping or scalloping is often a result of damaged suspension components. The damage occurs when the worn suspension causes your car to bounce instead of traveling smoothly. This can not only be uncomfortable, but can lead to severely damaged tires that often need replacing.

Single Side Wear And Feathering

Single side wear usually signals that your alignment is off. You may also notice feathering, which occurs on the edge of the tire with a “ramp” of increasing wear closer to the edge. These could also be the result of a bad ball joint, bushing, or other worn suspension components. Bring your car in to get the alignment checked before your tires get too bad.

If you need suspension repair or alignment services, visit Street Automotive in Mesa, AZ today, or call us at 480-641-8784. And don’t forget to check your tires!

3 Indicators that You Need an Alignment Check

Your car’s suspension is responsible for its alignment, making sure it drives in the right direction. There are a few indicators that you may need an alignment check, but the best defense against alignment problems is regular maintenance. Call us at 480-641-8784 for an alignment check in Mesa, AZ! Below are a few hints at alignment problems.

Pulling to the Side

If you notice that your car pulls to the left or the right when you’re trying to drive straight, chances are you are dealing with an alignment issue. This could be a problem with the drivetrain or differential. It means that your car’s wheels are not properly aligned, so it is best to address this with an alignment check.

Tire Wear and SqueakingMesa, AZ alignment check

Rapid wear on your tires or wear only in a certain spot can indicate that your tire is rubbing against the side of the car while you drive. Tire squeaking is also a symptom of this type of wear. This  is an alignment issue with a normally simple fix. You may need to replace or rotate your tires in addition to getting an alignment repair.

Crooked Steering Wheel

A classic indicator of alignment problems is having a crooked steering wheel even as you drive your car straight. This means your wheels aren’t sitting straight parallel to the car; rather, they are sitting at an angle.

We are your local auto repair pros! Let us repair suspension and alignment issues before they require costly repairs and replacements. If you need an alignment check in Mesa, AZ, call us at 480-641-8784 today!

3 Signs That You Need Brake Service

3 Signs That You Need Brake ServiceIt’s perhaps not unreasonable to expect some degradation over time as the miles build and wear and tear takes its toll on your car, truck, or SUV. However, there are some key signs that should not be ignored.

Your vehicle has core components that are excepted to break down prior to the end of the car’s life, so it’s vital that you keep an eye on symptoms that one of these elements is ready for repair. Given how everything under the hood is interconnected, ignoring much-needed replacements can cost you far more in the long-run than addressing a single issue early on.

Let’s consider one of these components: your brakes.

Call Your Mechanic for Brake Service If…

  1. You can be heard braking from a mile away – Squealing is typically an early sign that your brakes are having a hard time slowing down like they need to, and those calipers are working extra hard to keep you out of the bumper of the car in front of you. This noise should not be ignored, as turning up the radio won’t fix the source of the problem. If you’re hearing a grinding noise, you’re likely looking at a need for new brake pads as well as repairing the subsequent damage to the rotors. A local auto shop can help you address both.
  2. You don’t stop as quickly as you used to – If you are having a few too many close calls, it’s possible that your pads are worn or there are issues in the brakeline that are causing the pedal to be less responsive than usual. Don’t simply adjust to the problem and vow to start your slow-down sooner…get it checked out!
  3. Your vehicle gets the shakes when you slow – Vibrations in the steering wheel, pedal, or whole vehicle as you slow are not normal and should be evaluated by a professional mechanic. It may be worn rotors in need of some smoothing, or it could point to other components in need of repairs.

For brake service in Mesa, AZ, call Street Automotive at 480-641-8784! There is no charge for diagnostics, and we’ll be happy to ensure that your car, truck, or SUV is safe for the road.

Fall Vehicle Prep: How To Get Ready

Photo of Fall VehicleFall is nearly upon us! The great thing is that fall means cooler temperatures, relaxing nights, and the kids all back at school. The bad thing is that fall means potentially vehicle damaging weather.  We decided to compile a short list of things you should check on or replace with your car to make sure it is good to go this fall!

  • Check: When you get a moment, check your lights, both head and tail, and make sure all of your bulbs are good to go. Test your brakes while out to make sure they are working properly. Definitely take a good look at your tires. You want to check your tire pressure and eye the wear on your tire. Take a penny and set it between the tire treads. You should not be able to see Abe Lincoln. If you do, its time for new tires.
  • Test: Always check your battery. Batteries are one of those things we never think of as needing check. Either your car turns on or it doesn’t. Make sure you get it checked out by a local shop, but you can definitely check around for any corrosion around the top of the battery. Try your defroster and your heater. Your heater will be a little easier to test, but with your defroster, wait for your first slightly cold night and check to see if it’s running.
  • Change:  There are three things you should change throughout the year but definitely for fall. Get your oil, air filter, and wiper blades changed. These are all fairly easy (albeit messy) change overs. if you don’t feel comfortable giving it a try, come by your local auto-shop.
  • Car Wash & Detail (optional):  While this is optional, who doesn’t feel great when their car is clean and ready to take on the world?

These are just a few things you can do to get ready for the fall season! If you notice anything odd or out of the ordinary during your vehicle check, the best idea is to get a full inspection for your vehicle as soon as you can. Give us a call today at 480-641-8784 to set up your inspection!

Assembling Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

 

Although stores do sell the assembled emergency car kit, it may prove to be more beneficial to assemble your own. The DIY option allows you to specialize your kit to your desire and allows you to include more. So if you’re looking into the do it yourself option, check out the list below of what to Assembling Your Vehicle Emergency Kithave in your vehicle emergency kit.

Emergency Signaling Device: This is to alert oncoming traffic of your presence on the side of the road. We recommend having either road flares or reflective triangles.
Extra Food and Water: This is a necessity. If you do get stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, who’s to say how long you will be there before actually comes. The best option is to stay in the vehicle until someone comes to help and this way you’ll be able to stay hydrated and fed.
Fire Extinguisher: This is typically a component of the emergency kit that is forgotten. There have been times that you’ve been driving down the road and witnessed someone with an engine fire and sometimes even the entire vehicle engulfed in flames. It’s something that  happens. But something that disastrous can be avoided with the help of an extinguisher.
Flashlight: Who’s to say that you’ll have the necessary light to check under your hood or to see what you’re doing while checking on your tires. This is a tool that can come in handy when wen you need to shed some light on what you’re doing.
Spare Tire/ Tire Iron: The most common roadside issue that drivers face is a flat tire. This can be a simple fix as long as you have the knowledge of changing a flat along with the necessary tools: The tire iron to hoist the car up and the spare tire to replace the flat.

So if you have any questions about assembling your vehicle emergency kit, feel free to to call the experts at Street Automotive. We’re here to help you and your car any way we can. Contact us at 480-641-8784.