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 Problems
Let'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 Cascade Automotive Service.
Vibration While Driving
This 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 Performance
Your 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 Cascade Automotive Service.
There are instances where car maintenance is simple and easy, but if you notice any of these issues developing, it's best to take your car in for a qualified mechanic's checkup so the problems can be remedied before they turn into much more serious issues. Cascade Automotive Service has the tools and expertise to have you safely back on the road in no time at all.
What People Say About Us
Always top notch service! On time as promised and with prices that are always better than the dealership.
I've had several cars serviced by Cascade Auto Services. They do a great job at a fair price. Perhaps more importantly, they are have shown the utmost integrity in working on my vehicles.
Jeff and his guys do a wonderful job of providing service and explaining the process behind what they are doing and why it needs to be done. I highly recommend Cascade Automotive Service!
Since moving to the Grand Rapids area I went from repair shop to repair shop looking for a place that did great work and had fair prices. Went a decade before finding Cascade Automotive and now that is where I take my vehicles. They accurately diagnose the issues, fix things right, all at the reasonable price. I trust Cascade Automotive.
Cascade Automotive has always given us top notch service on all of our vehicles! And much better pricing than dealerships. Also love that it’s close to home and can walk home after dropping off my vehicle. Very reliable service, they have our trust!
Great service at Cascade Automotive Service. They are very efficient. This was appreciated greatly. A sense of urgency when you don't have a car is very nice. They explain in detail what needs to be fixed get the job done right. They also open at 7:30 which is nice for early drop offs before work. I would recommend this service. Thank you!
Jeff, thank you for taking care of our entire family of cars. And thank you for putting on new wipers when you heard we would be driving into tropical storm remnants. You treated us like family. Amazing service!
I just relocated to the GR area and started having transmission problems... and I'm so relieved to have found this place. Jeff is an honest man! I found my new local mechanic shop.
I have never been to an auto-repair shop that truly acts as though they care about their customers the way that Jeff and his family does. Honestly, this is the most honorable, honest, and truly caring automotive repair shop that I have ever been to. Thank you.
We have been going here for a couple years now and won't go anywhere else! Very trustworthy, hardworking, and good people!
Good to know a mechanic you can trust. These guys are thorough and honest. My car was finished in less time than I was quoted and they charged me accordingly.
When I worked on the east side of Metro GR I used Cascade Auto for my personal cars and my work vehicles. Due to the downturn in the economy I wound up in a situation where I really had to start taking care of things myself. So for the past 10's I've been doing my own repairs. Just recently I had a problem that was outside of anything a repair manual or the internet could tell me. I needed help and my first thought was to take it to Cascade Auto. I'm happy to say they found the problem!!! It was something that should have never happened and could have been a defect going back to when the motor was built in the factory. The repair tech didn't give up and despite everyone and everything online telling him that couldn't be the problem he figured it out. Very happy that I reconnected with Jeff and his team.