Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions Brakes
The most important safety feature on your vehicle is your brakes. Below are frequently asked questions. The answer to most of these is to bring in your car for a free brake inspection (most vehicles.) Many of our customers are surprised when the inspection results in a free brake adjustment or a diagnosis of no repair needed. At Chapman Mobil Auto Repair of Orange, we work to earn your trust and business for a lifetime.
As preventive maintenance, you should have your brakes inspected every six months or every 6,000 miles. The life of your brakes will vary with how you use them.
At Chapman Mobil Auto Repair of Orange, we turn (resurface) rotors and drums on a lathe to create smoother braking. This can be done until they have been worn to the manufacturer’s minimum specifications. If they are worn beyond this point, there won’t be sufficient metal to absorb the heat generated by the friction of pads or shoes. It is at this point that the rotors and/or drums need to be replaced.
Some manufacturer specifications call for semi-metallic or other specified materials for their brake systems. Brake Masters parts meet or exceed manufacturer specifications.
Master cylinder or power booster problems, or leaks in the system may be the cause. Bring in your vehicle for a free brake inspection to determine the cause.
It may mean that the drums or rotors are warped or that there is excessive pressure on the front brakes.
There are several components in your braking system, including rotors and pads, that could require service or replacement. Sometimes, it is a very simple and fast maintenance that is needed to get everything lined up and working smoothly. Since brakes are such an important safety feature, it’s always best to get your brakes looked at by a professional as soon as you notice something strange.
Bleeding pushes air out of the brake system. This should be done any time a component in the hydraulic brake system has been replaced. Flushing of the entire hydraulic system is recommended every 2 years or 24,000 miles. This procedure removes moisture (water), sludge, or other contaminants from your system and helps prolong the life of your brake components.
The hydraulic system is sealed. A loss of brake fluid may indicate a leak in the hydraulic system, master cylinder, or wear of the brake pads and/or shoes.
This is always advisable when parking on an angled surface. Applying the parking/safety brake also allows your rear brakes to self-adjust to proper alignment.
Frequently Asked Questions General
Sometimes, the check engine light comes on, and it turns out to be only a minor issue. In which case, we can fix it very quickly and at low cost. In other cases, the check engine light indicates a serious problem in your engine. As a car owner, the last thing you want is to let an engine problem get worse and worse over time. The longer you wait, the more expensive the repairs. So, whether it turns out to be a minor issue or a major problem, it’s always better to know what is going on with your car sooner rather than later. The best way to do that is to bring in your car and let us run diagnostics so we can tell you exactly what is causing the check engine light to come on. This preventative approach could save you a lot of money!
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Oil changes are one of the least profitable activities of an auto repair shop. The big national chains use aggressive marketing on oil changes, and they are willing to lose money on them, because they want to get you in the shop and then hopefully convince you to do a lot of other more expensive repairs. Avoid the trap! It’s a good idea to get your vehicle looked at every few months by a trusted expert. At Chapman Mobil Auto Repair of Orange, we have earned our reputation as Bradenton’s leading independent auto repair shop by dealing honestly with customers and never recommending unnecessary repairs. That’s why we get so many nice testimonials and friend and family referrals.
The bottom line is, let us get to know your vehicle so we can give you the proper advice about repair and maintenance. We won’t use aggressive tactics to try to squeeze every dollar out of every single visit to our shop! Even though oil changes are not a big money maker, we are happy to do them for you, and it gives us a chance to get to know your vehicle and makes sure there are no problems lurking under the hood!
When you sit down and do the math on new tires vs. used tires, the cost savings are just not there for used tires. While you might pay a litlte less up front, they are not going to last as long, and you don’t know that you are getting 4 tires with exactly the same amount of wear on them. This means you end up in a cycle of replacing one or two tires at a time, and are then unable to take advantage of any of the promotions that big tire companies sometimes run, like Buy 3 Get One Free. So right there, you miss out on big savings.
In addition, we have seen what happens when cheap used tires blow out on the highway and sometimes even cause wrecks. Talk about expensive! Getting used tires is penny wise but pound foolish. In the long run, you are probably going to end up paying more for tires and car repair if you are running questionable used tires all the time.
Tire materials technology has come a long way. Many of the most common tires last 40,000 miles commonly, which is a great improvement over years past. Decent tires also help with fuel efficiency, as an added bonus!
Finally, there is a safety issue. Having four of the same tires with the same amount of wear, and properly inspected and rotated by your mechanic, allows you the best handling, braking and traction. Since your tires are the only part of your vehicle that touches the road, it’s important that that connection is as secure as possible!
Over time, air conditioning systems lose their power. This is especially true in Florida, where many of us run our A/C on full power nearly all the time. Sometimes, all that is needed is a freon top off or repair of a small leak in the system. In other cases, the problem is more complex. In any event, whether you have an older car or truck or a new vehicle with a computerized A/C system, we can get your air running as cold as ever!
Transmission systems are one of the most neglected systems in cars. Since most cars are automatic transmissions these days, we often don’t think about them. But, your transmission fluid is supposed to be changed according to a specific schedule laid out by the factory. In many cases, this is every 60,000 miles, but you should consult your owner’s manual to be sure. Don’t put this off! Transmission systems are expensive to repair or replace. So, if you notice anything strange with your gear changes, please bring your car in and let us take a look. Hopefully, we can nip the problem in the bud, before it gets expensive!
In many cases, this is not an actual steering system problem. Since there is a physical connection between the wheels and your steering wheel, and your hands spend a lot of time on the steering wheel, this is often where we sense problems first. In many cases, it is a dented rim or other wheel or brakes issue that is causing these vibrations. Some of these are quite inexpensive and fast repairs, so it makes sense to have it diagnosed by a professional mechanic. We can figure out exactly what is causing that strange vibration, and get you back to a smooth driving experience.