Does Your Diesel Car Require Diesel Exhaust Fluid?

diesel exhaust fluid, exhaust fluidCar enthusiasts are always looking for ways to improve performance and reduce emissions output. Diesel car owners can achieve this through regular use of diesel exhaust fluid. Here’s how this simple addition to your vehicle can reduce harmful pollutants:

What Is Diesel Exhaust Fluid?

Diesel exhaust fluid is a solution consisting of deionized water and urea. Its purpose is to break down harmful nitrogen oxide in emissions and convert it into water and nitrogen. At no point does the diesel exhaust fluid come into contact with the diesel fuel. The two are stored in separate tanks.

How Does It Work?

Diesel engines operate on a precise air-to-fuel ratio. If the ratio is off and there is excess air, the combustion process produces nitrogen oxide, a harmful contaminant.

When the diesel exhaust fluid is injected into the exhaust system, the urea in the fluid produces ammonia. This element has a chemical reaction with NOx and converts it into nitrogen and H2O. Unlike NOx, nitrogen is harmless to the environment. H2O, or water, is obviously harmless.

Is Diesel Exhaust Fluid Compatible with Your Diesel Car?

Diesel cars require a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system to be able to consume diesel exhaust fluid. SCR has been a mainstay in automotive technology for many years. However, it’s still somewhat of a novelty in diesel vehicles. All diesel cars built since 2010 have a SCR system.

You can find diesel exhaust fluid in local automotive stores. Some gas stations even have a diesel exhaust fluid pump next to the regular fuel pumps.

We Service Diesel Cars

Bring your car to Bothell Way garage for scheduled auto servicing. We serve conventional, diesel, and classic cars. We believe diesel exhaust fluid is a good way to reduce harmful emissions and recommend it for diesel car owners.

Auto Servicing for Diesel Vehicles

Serving customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park, and Juanita

You Can Replace an Airbag After it Deploys

replace airbag, deploy airbagAirbags are an integral part of vehicle safety and became a federal requirement on all cars beginning in 1998. Of course, airbags don’t usually deploy unless you have been in a collision. What actions should you take to replace your airbag after it deploys? Will your car still be drivable?

Airbag Deploys: Now What?

Follow the normal steps after a collision. If there is serious injury, either to yourself or a passenger, call 911. As far as driving goes, do NOT drive the car after the airbag has deployed. Most modern cars have a safety mechanism in place that automatically shuts off the engine to prevent further operation. If for some reason the engine is still running, turn off the ignition right away. A collision can result in a fuel leak, creating a fire hazard.

The car will need to be towed to an auto repair center for an assessment and an airbag replacement.

Is the Car Totaled if the Airbag Deploys?

A prevailing belief is that the car is considered totaled once the airbag deploys. This is not always the case. States have their respective definitions of what constitutes a totaled vehicle. In most states, a car is considered totaled if damage exceeds 75% of the car’s total monetary value.

The airbag’s deploying does not automatically make the car a total loss. However, airbags are expensive to replace and can cost upwards of $1,000. This can contribute to the cost reaching that 75% threshold. This is especially true of older cars that have already undergone significant depreciation.

Let Us Service Your Vehicle

Our auto service works on all vehicle types, including diesel and classic cars. Bring your car to Bothell Way Garage for your next scheduled maintenance. Let us have a look if you suspect internal damage in a collision where the airbag deploys.

Quality Automotive Service

Serving customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park, and Juanita

Does Your Car Suspension Have Worn Ball Joints?

worn ball joints, ball joints

Ball joints are an integral part of the suspension system and are found on all modern vehicles, including retrofitted classic cars. This part is a vital component that affects steering and turning. Identifying worn ball joints early can prevent handling issues. Here are some of the symptoms of wear and tear on your ball joints.

What Are Ball Joints?

First, a primer on ball joints. A ball joint is one the pivot points that connects the spindle to the control arm. Essentially, the joint allows the front wheels to pivot as you turn the steering wheel. Without the ball joint, the wheels would be exceptionally hard to turn, especially on rough road surfaces.

Symptoms of Worn Ball Joints

When a ball joint wears, it becomes loose, causing vibration while the car is in motion. You may feel this in the steering wheel and/or the floor. You may also notice the steering wheel pull to the left or right. Additional symptoms include a clunky sound and uneven tire wear.

Of course, the above symptoms may also be signs of other suspension problems. The only way to know for sure is to bring your car to an auto repair station. While a DIY visual check is possible, it’s an intensive process that requires raising the car with a jack. Leave this to a professional.

The Solution

The ball joint is encased in a dust boot to protect it from dust and other debris. While this protects it from contaminants, it also makes it inaccessible for visual inspection. Unfortunately, if the ball joint is worn, the whole assembly has to be replaced. Repair is seldom an option.

We Replace Ball Joints on All Models

Our auto service replaces upper and lower ball joints, as well as those on rear suspension systems. Bring your car to Bothell Way Garage if you notice the signs of worn ball joints.

Ball Joint Inspection and Replacement

Serving customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park, and Juanita

Classic Car Suspension: Why Repair and Maintenance Require a Specialist

suspension repair, suspension maintenance

The suspension comprises the parts that connect the tires to the rest of the vehicle. It includes the ball joints, springs, shock absorbers, etc. Classic car suspension repair and maintenance require the aid of someone educated and experienced with older model vehicles.

Signs of Suspension Problems

The symptoms of suspension issues on a classic car are more or less identical to those of a modern vehicle. This includes:

  • Uneven tire wear and pressure
  • Difficult steering
  • Veering to one side even when you keep the steering wheel straight
  • Bounces and jerks—you feel every bump and vibration.

These indicators can even be more pronounced on a classic car. If you have ever driven a classic vehicle, you know it’s harder to handle. This is due to the lack of modern features like power steering. If the suspension is faulty, it can create a difficult steering situation on a car that’s hard to steer to begin with. This can create a dangerous scenario if the driver lacks experience handling a vehicle without modern technology.

The Solution

Classic car repair and maintenance usually require an auto service with extensive experience working on vintage automobiles. The reason is simple: repairs often require new parts. It can be difficult acquiring OEM parts on a vintage vehicle. Of course, many aftermarket parts can be retrofitted to a classic car. Some owners, though, prefer every component to be an original part.

Either way, maintenance and repair require knowledge in auto mechanics from the 1960s, 1970s, and before. They also require having connections with suppliers of original vintage parts.

We Perform Classic Car Suspension Maintenance and Repair

Not every general auto repair service has the know-how to perform suspension diagnosis on a vintage automobile. Bothell Way Garage has years of experience in classic car suspension repair; entrust your precious collector vehicle to us.

Classic Car Maintenance and Repair

Serving customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park and Juanita

Halloween Driving Safety Practices: Be Mindful of Trick-Or-Treaters

Halloween safety, driving safety

Young trick-or-treaters are warned to be mindful of motorists and strangers on Halloween evening. However, drivers must also exercise extreme caution if they’re commuting on local streets. As a driver, you have a duty to follow Halloween driving safety practices to keep neighborhood kids safe.

Be Mindful of Pedestrians

It goes without saying that pedestrians—most of them trick-or-treaters—will be out and about. Some also will be dressed in dark-colored costumes with limited visibility. Actively scan the road and drive at least five miles below the designated speed limit.

Forego the Radio

Aside from your eyes, you’re also going to need your ears. Actively listen for children who may be entering a crosswalk or traveling within close proximity of your car. If you must listen to the radio, turn down the volume. Keep the sound low enough to hear a honking horn or the nearby footsteps of pedestrians.

Be a Responsible Drinker

In a 2011 report, 38% of Halloween accidents involved intoxicated driving. We understand that adults like to partake in the festivities as well and often do so with alcohol. If this is you, then please plan to have a designated driver or call for Uber.

Inspect Your Vehicle

Fall presents multiple road hazards, such as obscured potholes and more slippery roads. Whether you drive a regular or diesel car, be sure it’s able to handle fall driving conditions. A tire check for alignment and balance is especially important.

Follow Halloween Driving Safety Practices to Keep the Community Safe

October is also a good time of year to bring your car to Bothell Way Garage for auto servicing. This is especially so if you have been holding off auto repairs for some time. Follow these Halloween driving safety practices to ensure that children and adults alike enjoy an accident-free evening.

Autumn Auto Repairs

Serving customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park, and Juanita

Brake Pad Care: How to Make This Essential Component Last Longer

brake pad care, brake pad

Well maintained brake pads are essential for achieving optimal brake function. As a motorist, your driving habits may unknowingly be causing your brake pads to wear prematurely. Here are some fundamentals of brake pad care that will keep wear and tear to a minimum.

Control Your Speed

Friction is a primary cause of brake pad wear. Friction generates heat whenever you apply the brakes. Applying the brakes hard at high driving speeds produces more heat. Only apply the brakes hard at high speeds when absolutely necessary to avoid a collision. A lighter touch, applied sooner, is a better technique.

Don’t Overload the Car

Don’t add unnecessary weight to the car if you can help it. More weight means you’ll put more pressure on the brake pads when you apply the brakes. Do not store heavy items in the vehicle on a regular basis. Your trunk should normally not have anything other than the essentials, such as an emergency roadside kit and bottled water.

Brake Fluid Change

As mentioned, heat is the enemy of brake pads. This is why brake fluid is so important. It keeps the temperature under control, especially in situations where you apply excess pressure. In an auto repair, a mechanic may suggest a brake fluid change as part of a regular car upkeep.

Pedal Control

The conventional way to drive is to use the right foot for both the gas and brake pedal. However, some people opt to use the left foot for the brake and right foot for the gas pedal. This may result in simultaneously pressing on both pedals at once. This accelerates brake pad wear.

Leave Brake Pad Care to Us

Beyond good driving habits, you should also bring your car to Bothell Way garage for regular auto servicing. We inspect all components of the brakes for all vehicle types, including classic cars. Brake pad care is a multi-step process that involves good driving habits and regular auto maintenance.

Brake Servicing and Repairs

Serving customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park, and Juanita

How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

catalytic converter theft

No car is immune to theft. If thieves can’t steal the whole car, then they will snatch some component of it, such as the catalytic converter. In fact, catalytic converter theft is on the rise. Learn why thieves target this part and how you can minimize the threat to this expensive component.

What Is the Catalytic Converter?

The catalytic converter is a part of the exhaust system and attached to the exhaust pipe under the car. The converter removes harmful compounds from the exhaust gas before expelling the fumes into the air. This is a critical component for reducing emissions. This is the part an auto service technician examines during an emissions check.

Why Thieves Target the Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is made of different metals, including platinum, rhodium, and palladium. They can be sold to scrap metal yards for up to $200 per piece.

Thieves can easily steal the catalytic converter using basic tools like a saw and wrench.

Symptoms of a Loss Catalytic Converter

Without the catalytic converter, the car will make an unusually loud roaring sound when you apply pressure on the gas pedal. You will also hear sputtering as you change speeds. The handling may also feel rougher than usual. If the converter is gone, you will also notice a gaping hole in the exhaust system.

Minimizing the Possibility of Catalytic Converter Theft

Park indoors whenever possible, or park in well-lit areas if you must park outside. Another solution is to have a mechanic weld the catalytic converter to the car’s frame. This makes the part harder to saw off.

Bring Your Car to Us After a Catalytic Converter Theft

We repair and replace catalytic converters for all car types, including diesel vehicles and classic cars. Bring your car to Bothell Way Garage for a checkup. Catalytic converter theft is a serious issue and one not to be taken lightly.

Auto Repair for all Vehicle Types

Serving customers in Bothell Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park, and Juanita

Cruise Control Failure? Find Out What’s Wrong

cruise control, cruise control failure

Cruise control is a common feature in many modern cars that increases driver comfort during long drives. However, like any other component, this part can cease to operate. Are you experiencing cruise control failure? Here are some of the common underlying causes of failure.

What Is Cruise Control?

Cruise control comes standard in many vehicle models, including retrofitted classic cars. It’s a feature that locks the accelerator at a specific speed. This allows the driver to maintain a set speed without maintaining foot pressure on the pedal. This reduces driver fatigue, especially when driving for long distances on an interstate highway.

So, what are the causes of sudden cruise control failure?

1. A Blown Fuse

Cruise control is electronically operated, meaning it requires a fuse. A short circuit can cause the fuse to blow. The cruise control function will stop functioning altogether. An auto service will need to examine the fuse and circuitry.

2. Faulty Speed Sensor

The speed sensor informs the driver of the car speed. It also regulates fuel flow and ignition timing. In order to keep the car at a constant speed, cruise control relies on readings from a speed sensor. Driving with a faulty speed sensor is dangerous; resolve this issue immediately.

3. Faulty Brake Pedal Switch

The brake pedal switch enables the brake lights to flash on when you engage the brake pedal. Cruise control automatically shuts off when you apply the brakes. However, disengagement may not happen if the brake pedal switch is faulty.

Cruise Control Not Working? Let Us Have a Look

Bring your car to Bothell Way Garage if the cruise control is not functioning properly. Our auto repair service will determine the cause of failure. If your cruise control is not working, let our auto technicians have a look.

Vehicle Cruise Control Repair

Serving customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park, and Juanita

Has Your Air Conditioning Compressor Failed?

air conditioning compressor, AC compressor

The car air conditioner can be a godsend during the summer months. However, like any car component, the AC can experience troubles, leaving you at the mercy of a baking car cabin interior. Usually, when the AC has problems, the issue is at least in part due to a failed air conditioning compressor.

What Is a Car Air Conditioning Compressor?

The AC compressor activates when you press the AC button. The AC compressor pumps refrigerant through the condenser. The dryer removes contaminants from the refrigerant, shuttling it to the expansion valve. Finally, the refrigerant moves to the evaporator where it cools the air. The air compressor is what kickstarts this entire chain of events.

Symptoms of a Failing AS Compressor 

A failing car AC can be due to a number of causes. If the issue is with the air conditioning compressor, certain symptoms will manifest, such as:

  • Unusual noises from the AC
  • Air that isn’t as cold as it should be
  • A compressor clutch that doesn’t move

An auto repair service will need to perform an inspection to pinpoint the problem. AC failure may also be in part due to the dryer, evaporator, accumulator, or condenser failure.

How to Maintain the Car’s AC

To keep your car’s AC in good condition, we recommend running it at least once a week. Do this for about 10-minutes, even if the weather is blistering cold. You should also clean the air filter. You will need an auto service to do this since the filter is located behind the glove box in most models.

We Repair Car AC Compressors

With summer here, don’t be left without a properly running AC. Bring your car to Bothell Way Garage for a checkup. We service car air conditioners for all models, including diesel vehicles. A failing air conditioning compressor can impede optimal AC performance.

Car Air Conditioner Maintenance

Serving customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park, and Juanita

Does Your Car Need an Engine Overhaul?

engine overhaul

The engine is the lifeblood of your car and requires regular upkeep. If you have an older car, your local auto service may suggest an engine overhaul. What exactly does this entail? Does this mean the engine is damaged beyond repair?

What Is an Engine Overhaul?

Many mechanics use the term “engine overhaul” loosely, so it can have different meanings. Some technicians use the term to describe a simple chassis-based rebuild. This means the engine requires a few parts replacements, such as a new cylinder liner or piston rings. 

Other mechanics use the term to describe more extensive servicing. In this scenario, the technician needs to remove the entire engine from the chassis and take apart every removable part. Each part is cleaned or replaced with factory-grade replacements.

When a Rebuild Is Necessary

Some car enthusiasts, such as classic car owners, opt for an engine overhaul every few years to keep their older car performing like a newer model. Your car may also need an engine overhaul if you notice some of the classic symptoms of engine troubles. This includes:

  • Low oil pressure: damaged valves and broken piston rings may cause an oil leak. This reduces oil pressure, and the car may use oil more rapidly than usual.
  • Irregular engine noise: you may hear rattling sounds, which may indicate broken piston rings. You may also hear engine “chattering,” which may suggest a faulty valve train.
  • Bad spark plugs: if a spark plug inspection reveals discoloration, then the valve train or piston ring may require replacement.

We Perform Engine Upkeep

Our auto repairs include engine checkups for all car years and models. Bring your car to Bothell Way Garage if the engine shows signs of wear. Depending on the extent of damage, we can perform a complete or partial engine overhaul.

Automobile Engine Overhaul and Rebuild

Serving customers in Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Brier, Kingsgate, Lake Forest Park, and Juanita