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

Maintain Your Vehicle in National Car Care Month

national car care month, car care

April is National Car Care Month. While not exactly a federally recognized holiday, it still provides you a reason to pay attention to your vehicle’s health and performance. Find out how to maintain your car to prevent failure on the road and to improve mileage.

What Is National Car Care Month?

The holiday is exactly as its name suggests. It comes courtesy of the Car Care Council, which also created a similar memorial for later in the year: Fall Car Care in October.

Why April? Because this is the peak of spring and when motorists prep for road trips. You certainly want to be sure your vehicle is up to the task. Your car may also have sustained damage over the winter. This may be damage that is not readily noticeable, such as shock or axle damage from hitting a pothole.

How to Honor Your Car

Take care of your car so it can continue to take you where you need to go. Here’s how:

  • Check all fluid levels; these include the engine, transmission, brake, power steering, and windshield oil/fluids.
  • Check all belts and hoses for fraying, brittleness, or looseness. 
  • Check the battery for corrosion. Make sure all connections are secure. If you keep a jump starter in the trunk (highly recommended), be sure to regularly charge it.
  • Check the exhaust system for leaks and broken supports.
  • Schedule a tune-up at an auto service; this will give your engine the best balance between fuel economy and power. 
  • Complete any auto repair services you have been delaying. We know from experience that people have a tendency to delay repairs unnecessarily.

Give Your Car Love

Bring your car to Bothell Way Garage this National Car Care Month. From hybrids to diesels, we service all car models. While April is the recognized time of year for this occasion, you should treat every month as National Car Care Month.

Vehicle Tune-Ups and Maintenance

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

How to Jumpstart a Car: The Do’s and Don’ts

jumpstart car, how to jumpstart

According to one estimate, roughly 90% of drivers have never jumpstarted a vehicle that has a dead battery. While the process might seem straightforward, you can get stumped if you’ve never actually done it before. We explain how to correctly and safely jumpstart a car.

The Step-By-Step Process of How to Jumpstart a Car

Before going through the steps, keep these points in mind: the red jumper cable is the positive; the black is the negative. The same goes for the car battery terminals. The positive terminal should have a red protective covering and the negative a black one.

The steps

  1. Clamp one end of the red jumper cable to the positive battery terminal of the dead car. Hook the other end of the cable to the positive terminal of a healthy car.
  2. Connect an end of the black jumper to the negative battery terminal of the healthy car.
  3. Hook the other end of the black jumper to a metal part of the dead car and away from the battery. 
  4. Start the good car and let idle for about five minutes.
  5. Start the dead car.
  6. Disconnect the cables in reverse order.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • If jumpstarting is unsuccessful, tow your car to an auto repair service. The issue might not be a dead battery.
  • When disconnecting the cables, make sure the clamps do not come into contact with each other.
  • NEVER connect to the negative terminal of the dead battery. This could cause an explosion.
  • Do not turn on the headlights or radio of either car during the process

We Get Your Car Started

Even if the jumpstart is successful, you should still come to Bothell Way Garage. Our auto service provides replacement batteries for all vehicle models, including classic cars. Jumpstarting a car is a basic roadside skill that every motorist should know how to do.

We Get You Back on the Road

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

Understanding Maintenance for Classic Cars & Antique Cars

classic car maintenance, antique car maintenance

Repairing classic cars is one of our specialties. However, classic cars are not to be confused with antique cars. Most people treat the terms interchangeably, but the automobile industry use these terms to describe different vehicle types. Here’s how maintenance for classic cars and antique cars differs.

Understanding The Two Designations

Before we explain the difference, we must emphasize that grey areas exist between classic and antique cars. For instance, where you register your car could determine whether it’s a classic or antique. Therefore, don’t take what we say as absolute truth. 

Under DMV guidelines, you may register your car as an antique if it’s at least 25 years old and you treat it as a collector’s item. Treating your car as a collector’s item means you can’t exceed a certain mileage with it. You also cannot treat it as your primary vehicle. In some instances, it may also require a special license plate.

Classic cars, on the other hand, generally refer to any vehicle more than 20 years of age. Of course, this isn’t black and white by any means. Hardly anyone would consider a 1998 Toyota Camry, for example, a classic car, even though it fits the technical definition.

What About Vintage Cars?

Vintage cars are a third category. This term describes vehicles built between the years 1919 and 1930. Others designate the year gap as 1919–1931. This includes sought-after collectibles like the Ford Model A. The year range usually does not change as time moves forward.

Vintage cars are true rarities, and we get gleeful in the rare instances a customer brings one to our shop.

We Maintain and Repair Classic and Antique Cars

Classic, antique and vintage cars all require extra maintenance if you want them to run well. We love doing this kind of maintenance; and we’re good at it. We also perform auto repair on all cars regardless of the model year. Our auto service can also retrofit the vehicle with modern parts, so it meets today’s performance standards. If you’re an automobile collector, bring your classic or antique car to Bothell Way Garage.

Classic and Antique Vehicle Maintenance

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

Four Car-Related New Year’s Resolutions

car resolutions, new year’s resolutions

Once again, we come to a new year. What will be different this time around? The usual weight loss and pay raise goals are fine. However, why not add to that with some New Year’s resolutions for your car? Your automobile is an expensive investment and deserves consideration. 

1. Maintenance

Most New Year’s resolutions include earning more or saving more money. Basic car maintenance actually saves you money. A regular oil change, for example, costs between $25 and $75. Not changing the oil at all accelerates engine wear. The cost of an engine rebuild, by the way, runs between $600 and $1,200!

2. Set Up an Automobile Account

Open a separate account, allotting the money solely to auto repairs and car-related expenses. If the year ends and no major repair expenses come up, use the money towards the purchase of a new car.

3. Be a More Alert Driver

You may be guilty of bad driving habits from time to time without even realizing it. Do you multi-task behind the wheel, such as eatngi or talking on the phone? This year, commit to staying focused on driving and nothing else. Distracted driving severely reduces your reaction time.

4. Clean Your Car

This is not really related to auto service, but you should still clean your car inside and out for pride’s sake. A clean car shows that you take care of your property and value your set of wheels. If your car is in really bad visual shape, then consider a professional detailing. 

We Help Motorists Commit to New Year’s Car Resolutions

Whether you own a traditional, hybrid, or diesel car, bring it on over to Bothell Way Garage. Make 2019 the year you keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. New Year’s car resolutions ensure that you don’t run into unexpected mechanical issues.

Year-Round Automobile Maintenance

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

Driving with the Oil Light On: Is This Safe?

oil light, engine warning light

You never want to see an engine warning light come on while driving. One of these is the oil light. This indicates one of two scenarios: the car is either low on oil, or the oil pressure is low. Can you continue to safely drive with the oil light on?

What to Do When the Oil Light Comes On?

If this engine warning light abruptly comes on, pull over and pop open the hood. Check the oil level by pulling out the dipstick. If the oil is low or appears crusted, then it needs filling. We recommend keeping a bottle of motor oil in your trunk for such situations. Be sure the formula is suitable for your car model.

If the oil level is normal, then you might have low oil pressure. This may be due to a faulty pump, which isn’t circulating enough oil. Adequate oil pressure is vital to t lubricating metal surfaces. Low oil pressure is harder to detect and requires diagnosis from an auto repair service.

Can You Drive with the Oil Light On?

If the dipstick indicates low oil, add some oil and restart the car. If the oil light goes away, then you solved the problem; you may resume driving. If this engine warning light stays on, or if you suspect low oil pressure, then do not continue to drive. While you can probably drive for a few more miles, err on the side of caution and call a tow service. Bring the car to an auto service. Driving with the oil light on may be detrimental to engine health.

We Correct Oil-Related Issues

Oil is the lifeblood of a car’s engine; this goes for all engine types, including diesels. Low oil or pressure warrants immediate professional attention. Bring the vehicle to Bothell Way Garage for a diagnosis. Driving with the engine oil light on might exacerbate engine wear.

Car Engine Diagnosis and Repairs

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