Your car’s steering is probably one of the aspects that drew you to it in the first place – maybe you liked the sporty handling, the comfortable feel of the steering wheel grip, or the car’s accuracy as it cleanly took a turn when you test drove it. All of those elements are strongly determined by the quality and consistency of the steering shaft, as a part of the general steering system in your vehicle. If the steering shaft encounters performance issues or premature wear, it is certain that you’ll notice differences in your driving experience. In this article, we’ll discuss in more detail what it looks like when the steering shaft begins to fail or malfunction and what can be done about it.
Your steering system is made up of a series of interconnected parts that function together to create a seamless steering performance. Your steering system is made up of the steering shaft or column, wheel, and rack, all of which work together to allow your car to turn and move smoothly around corners, turns, and maneuver successfully with precision.
If the steering shaft cannot properly connect to the steering gear, turning will become a serious issue. Furthermore, the steering shaft also helps to stabilize and secure the steering column lock and wiring – critical components that perfect the steering action in your car. Not all steering systems are alike, so it’s important to hire an automotive shop that specializes in your particular type of vehicle.
Picking up on the nuanced symptoms that accompany steering shaft or column failure is essential for diagnosing and treating the issue with accuracy and immediacy. There are certainly specific symptoms you may notice in your car’s performance that indicate there’s an issue with the steering shaft, but it’s important to find a specialist who can find the isolated source of the problem and not confuse the symptoms with another specific steering system component. Here’s what to look for when you suspect the steering shaft is failing:
Turning precision and smoothness
Once again, that clean, smooth turning capacity you once noticed in your car when you first bought it will most definitely be affected by a failing or damaged steering shaft. If you find that your car is no longer turning with a smooth precision, have the steering shaft looked at right away.
Premature shaft bearing wear
Since your steering system sees a lot of action, it encounters plenty of wear and tear. Therefore, it’s to be expected that you’ll need to attend to certain steering components as time goes on. Shaft bearings take on a lot of the stress of the steering system and are usually the first to go.
Feel of the steering wheel
Most luxury high-end performance vehicles are designed to have tight, precise steering efficiency that is evident in the feel of the steering wheel. If you begin to notice that the steering wheel grip isn’t feeling as firm as it once did, the shaft may be gaining unwanted elasticity.
Concerning sounds while steering
Noises while steering aren’t unusual, but they’re certainly a cause for concern. If you notice any grinding or clicking sounds while turning, this is beyond what’s considered to be normal and you should have the steering shaft inspected.
Steering wheel misalignment
The steering wheel should always automatically go back to its natural position – with the brand emblem at dead center. If while driving straight on a flat road you begin noticing your steering wheel isn’t returning to the center position, the steering shaft could be damaged.
Your first priority when dealing with steering shaft malfunction or failure is to bring it to a trusted automotive specialist with specific experience diagnosing and servicing your particular type of vehicle. Here at Euro Plus Automotive, we specialize in a range of luxury German and Japanese imports, such as: Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagen, Infiniti, Acura, and Lexus. For over 3 decades the residents of Canoga Park, Calabasas, Chatsworth, West Hills, Woodland Hills, CA, have entrusted us with their ongoing auto care, and we have successfully diagnosed and treated countless cases of steering shaft failure – we are confident that we can help you through your automotive issues as well. Please call us to learn more about our expertise or to schedule a diagnostic procedure.
The evolution of car design has impressed us all—especially with how quickly vehicles have become technologically advanced. Perhaps one of the most notable shifts in interior design was the switch from manual, hand-rolling windows to automated window design. Power windows are no longer for the extravagant car owner, but for the majority of drivers. Most vehicles these days come stock with power windows, and a grateful nation has never looked back. However, just as hand-rolled windows faced their fair share of problems, as too do power windows.
Power windows might be more susceptible to malfunction than hand-rolled windows in some cases; however, they’re well worth the convenience they offer. Depending on the type of car you drive, your particular vehicle might be more prone to power window failure, and usually the window regulator has something to do with the cause of the issue. The window regulator is what controls the window’s ability to roll up or down. Since the regulator houses a lot of other smaller pieces, it usually requires replacement when it shows signs of malfunction. It helps to know what to look for when the window regulator begins to show signs of premature wear so you can avoid the hassle of a window that won’t roll up or down at all. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:
The window regulator, or motor, is located in the door of your car. It is common for drivers to hear a grinding or clicking noise when they attempt to roll the window up or down. With enough force, the window can come off of its “track,” which can cause it to get stuck in the door or in its current position. This might be due to dirt or debris buildup, or sometimes a small toy being lodged in the space between the window or motor—a common finding in family cars.
If the window falls back down into the car door, won’t stay rolled up, or seems crooked or off-centered, then your window regulator is likely in need of replacement. This can be dangerous and inconvenient, to say the least, as you’ll need a temporary fix to keep your window up or to at least protect your car from being broken into. When your car window can’t be rolled up, the problem should be addressed with immediacy to protect your belongings from being stolen and your interior from weather damage.
When functioning optimally, the window’s response to the button should be relatively immediate. If you notice that your window regulator is having a delayed response when the button is pushed, this can be one of the earlier signs of window regulator failure. It’s also important not to mistake this symptom as a window regulator issue instead of simply a problem with the button itself. This is where the help of a professional automotive specialist comes in handy.
One of the things your window regulator/motor controls is the speed of the window. A malfunctioning window motor can display issues with speed—usually it will roll up or down much slower than normal. This indicates that the motor is dying. Furthermore, the power windows are designed to roll up at a specific speed so that the window remains intact; if the window goes to fast due to electrical damage, it can negatively affect the window and its components.
In our 30 years here at Euro Plus Automotive, we have helped maintain and repair a diverse collection of European import vehicles from all over the areas of the San Fernando Valley, including Canoga Park, Woodland Hills and the greater Los Angeles County of Southern CA. In the grand scheme of automotive repair, power window issues are relatively simple to diagnose and address; however, that in no way indicates that it should be glossed over. We ensure accuracy with every diagnosis and repair that our clients receive so we can save them time and money in costly labor. If you’re experiencing power window issues, please call our shop to schedule an appointment. We look forward to restoring your automobile and improving your driving experience.
The various parts and systems that make cars run optimally require consistent care and attention in order to function well. Even though we may attend to our vehicle regularly, things can still go wrong. There are many reasons why car parts fail or begin to malfunction, and many of those reasons may be out of our control. However, if you can’t control all of the issues that your car may encounter, then it might be worthwhile to know a little bit about detecting symptoms of failure of the various parts in your car. Whether it be the exhaust, the oil system, or the transmission, different symptoms can tell you where to begin when dealing with part failure.
One of the systems that is especially important to pay attention to in a car is the suspension. Suspensions in various cars and models look different depending on the manufacturer, the year it was built, and the performance standards associated with the brand. For instance, the suspension on a four-wheel-drive off-road vehicle will look and act very differently from that of a luxury sedan. Air suspension is a relatively new development in the auto industry that relies on specialized air bags and an air compressor for optimal functioning. If you own or drive a car with an air suspension, it’s important to be aware of the various issues that are unique to an air suspension and how to deal with them. If your air suspension fails, it can have serious, lasting effects on your vehicle, not to mention short-term significantly reduced reliability and performance. Here is a bit more information about air suspension systems and how to detect and deal with the common issues they experience.
Air suspension is an alternative to typical suspension in a wide variety of vehicles on the road today. Air suspensions serve the same general purpose as other types of suspension: they are designed to support the vehicle and shield it from the imperfections in the road. Furthermore, it aids the car in turning and staying stabilized on uneven terrain. The air bags in the suspension fill with air via an air compressor rather than relying on fluid-filled shocks and springs for support as you may seen in a normal suspension.
The issues that air suspension typically encounters are unique to the parts that are associated with such a design. Not all cars have air suspensions, and it’s important to know what type of suspension your car has so you can recognize the signs of failure. Here are some of the common issues associated with air suspensions in particular:
Since air suspensions run off of air, it is relatively typical for air leaks to occur when there’s an issue. The various parts of the suspension offer different avenues for air to escape, which include the rubber seals that are susceptible to holes and punctures. Since there are several components of your air suspension that can be the culprit of leaking air, it’s essential to consult with a professional automotive technician who is familiar with the various parts involved in air suspension—especially with your specific brand of car.
As we mentioned before, the air bags that support the car are filled with air by way of an air compressor. If the air compressor begins to fail or malfunction, then the bags won’t fill with air, allowing the car to slam down onto other critical parts on impact. The compressor relies on a motor to generate air to fill the bags with, and this is generally where issues come up. If the compressor is beginning to fail in your air suspension, you might encounter strange noises related to the compressor motor dying. You might also experience the vehicle sitting lower than it normally does on any given day. These signs are concerning, and should be addressed immediately.
Proper air suspension repair begins with an accurate diagnosis. Because air suspension problems can arise due to a number of issues with the suspension system, it’s important that your trusted automotive shop performs a diagnosis which isolates the problem accurately. Additionally, after the problem has been diagnosed properly, the repair protocol for that specific vehicle should be followed. Whether the problem arises from the compressor or a damaged seal somewhere, suspension parts must be inspected with attention to detail to avoid overlooking the actual problem and prevent unnecessary, expensive repair work. The experts here at Euro Plus Automotive have served clients from all over Los Angeles County, including: Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, and other areas of the San Fernando Valley. Paying special attention to the diagnostic process, we provide our clients with accurate, affordable repair work for various German and Japanese imports. For more information about our services, please call us directly to speak to a professional or schedule an appointment. We look forward to tackling all your air suspension needs!
Fuel is one of the largest driving factors in buyers’ choice to buy a car or not, no pun intended. Picking the right car these days has a great deal to do with what kind of gas mileage it gets. Performance vehicles tend to have a notorious reputation for low gas mileage; however, in recent years, developers of cars such as Porsche have turned that fact around. The most current Porsche models rival the gas mileage of some of the more fuel-efficient vehicles on the market today. Although, that assumes that the Porsche in question is being cared for properly. Ongoing vehicle care should always include fuel system maintenance in order to keep your fuel efficiency at top-notch. If you own or drive a Porsche, you’ve likely invested a great deal of effort in caring for it, since most Porsche owners take a great deal of pride in their automobile, rightfully so. It’s important to stay on top of routine maintenance and care when it comes to your fuel system, and failure to do so could lead to problems like fuel pump failure. Because fuel pump issues are most common in certain Porsche models, it is essential to be able to recognize the symptoms of fuel pump failure in your own Porsche. Here are some of the signs that your Porsche might display when the fuel pump isn’t functioning properly:
The dashboard in your Porsche is the central hub for alerting the driver of the functionality of various components in the vehicle. The dashboard will let you know when you’re running out of windshield wiper fluid, when your tire is losing air, or when there is a problem with the engine. Of course, it also tells you the temperature that your engine is running at. Like all other vehicles, your Porsche should maintain a steady temperature that runs generally right between hot and cold. If you notice that your temperature gauge is on the warm side, or even hot, then there could be an issue with the fuel pump. If the engine temperature is off at all, you should bring your Porsche into a trusted automotive specialist for an inspection.
This may go without saying, but if your fuel pump is failing, you will experience a noticeable difference in the fuel economy of your Porsche. Usually this symptom is due to the ineffective ratio of air and fuel being produced, which causes a decrease in performance overall. Lowered fuel economy is simply one of the many performance-related problems that your Porsche may encounter, but it is certainly one of the most noticeable to drivers for the aforementioned reasons. Keeping track of your gas mileage can help alert you to issues with your fuel system, namely your fuel pump.
One of the most detrimental signs of fuel pump failure is difficulty starting the engine. The fuel pump supplies the engine with fuel which is combined with air to ignite the engine. Unfortunately, a Porsche that won’t start could be experiencing any number of other problems that are the root cause of the issue. Since fuel pump repair and replacement can be expensive, an accurate differential diagnosis should be performed by a professional Porsche automotive specialist to eliminate other less-expensive problems as the possible source of the starting trouble.
Perhaps second on the list of most disturbing symptoms of a failing fuel pump is a decrease in engine power. Those who drive a Porsche will certainly notice a difference in performance, as this is one of the hallmarks of the brand. A Porsche may experience a decrease in engine power if it isn’t receiving enough fuel. This could be due to a few different fuel system issues, so it’s important that your repair technician is thorough and concise with his work.
Since 1984, the Porsche experts at Euro Plus Automotive have been providing the areas of Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, the San Fernando Valley, and greater Los Angeles County, CA, with dealership-quality repair and maintenance work. While Porsche is certainly a luxury brand vehicle, we believe that all drivers should be able to provide the same quality care for their cars, which is why we offer special financing and warranty options for our clients. If you think your Porsche may have an issue with the fuel system or fuel pump, please contact us to schedule a diagnostic procedure. We look forward to restoring your car back to its optimal performance level.
Porsche Cayman image credit goes to: SusanaValera.
BMWs are fantastic, unique, and special automobiles. For decades they have remained one of the most widely purchased vehicles worldwide, and are world-renown for their spectacular performance and endurance. However, like any other machine, they tend to wear out in areas and become in need of repair and maintenance. One area that BMWs sometimes experience issues with after a period of use in is the suspension. BMWs suspension are built for high-performance use, so the daily excursions of the average driver may have unique effects. For instance, depending on the area or roads you typically drive on, your BMW might run into suspension issues before anything else. But first, it is important to be able to recognize various signs that your BMW is experiencing suspension issues. Here are some of the common signs of suspension failure and how you can best deal with them:
Your car’s wheel alignment is important to maintain, and when the suspension becomes damaged, it can show signs of drifting or “pulling” off-center. Your BMW’s alignment may become compromised after going over a bump quickly, or hitting a curb, or any intense, jolting movement. By having your alignment checked routinely, you can prevent other issues from occurring, such as uneven tire wear, which result from inadequate wheel alignment. With special equipment, your BMW’s alignment is assessed and then re-centered. Another sign that your alignment is off is if the center emblem on your steering wheel does not rest dead-center when the wheels are pointed straight. If you notice signs of misalignment, contact a trusted automotive specialist.
Your BMW’s suspension is high-quality, and you should not feel excessive bouncing after hitting a bump or going through a dip. If you notice that your shocks are not absorbing the impact of even the slightest bump in the road, you may need to replace the shocks. One of the most concerning symptoms of failing shocks is fluid leaks. Since your suspension system relies upon fluid and a complex system of parts, when any of these components become damaged it may lead to fluid leaks. Although the manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule is helpful to follow as a guideline for when to replace or service the shocks in your BMW, this is simply a guideline based on the average BMW driver’s habits and conditions. It is important to consult with a trusted car repair shop and take your own driving habits into consideration when deciding when to service your shocks or other suspension-related parts. Certainly, if you experience a fluid leak, you should bring your BMW in for an inspection immediately.
One of the most tell-tale signs that there is an issue with your BMW’s suspension is that the tires are wearing unevenly. While uneven tire wear can be caused by a number of things, often the culprit is wheel misalignment or damaged suspension parts. If your tires are wearing more rapidly on one side, in the front or back, or on one specific tire more so than others, this indicates that your vehicle is in need of service, and will eventually now also need a tire service. This is a perfect example of how general ongoing vehicle maintenance can make a huge difference in repair costs and automotive bills overall. Preventive care can save you a ton of money in the long run, and it will help your BMW perform optimally on a regular basis.
As we mentioned before, BMWs are special and unique vehicles. German engineering requires specified knowledge and skill, making it especially important for you to find an automotive shop that has specialized experience in BMW maintenance and repair. Here at Euro Plus Automotive, we have serviced a wide range of different BMW models over the years. Providing automotive care for BMW owners in Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, and nearby San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County, CA, areas, we have seen it all when it comes to BMW issues. When it comes to suspension in particular, we are fluent in diagnostic procedures and repair approaches. For more information on how we can help you maintain your BMW’s suspension, contact us directly. We look forward to helping you enjoy your fantastic BMW even more.
BMW Logo image credit goes to: vesilvio.
Routine auto maintenance sometimes escapes us—it could be a matter of money, or not having enough free time. However, oil maintenance and care is perhaps one of the most important, routine auto care tasks that shouldn’t go overlooked. The oil in your engine is critical to the overall health of your vehicle. When our motor oil isn’t clean and free-flowing through the engine, it can cause other serious problems, creating expensive and detrimental issues that can keep our car from running all together. Oil leaks are one of the more troubling symptoms of oil trouble, and it helps to have a basic understanding of how to recognize and address these issues. Here are some of the possible reasons for an oil leak and how to fix them.
The oil pan keeps oil from leaking with multiple parts, such as the oil gasket. The valve cover gasket and oil seals keep oil contained in the engine and keep it flowing through the necessary parts. When the oil gasket or seals are damaged or corroded, it can spring a leak. These issues are relatively easy to fix, given that you bring your car to the right automotive shop who won’t gouge you on pricing.
Oil pans can become damaged in a number of ways. Perhaps one of the most common instances of oil pan damage is when we accidentally run over a piece of debris in the road that can puncture it, causing a leak. When the oil pan becomes punctured, the gasket that seals the oil in becomes useless. This often results in the need for a new oil pan, depending on the level of damage that is caused.
Regular oil changes are great, but sometimes when oil is changed it can be filled improperly. When your oil is over-filled, it can cause spills or leaks quite easily. The recommended oil level should be clearly marked, and you should always be sure to consult a professional if attempting to change your oil yourself. Over-filled oil can leak, causing concerning smoke while driving or stains in your driveway.
One of the best ways to prevent oil leaks is to have the oil routinely changed, along with the oil filter. Having clean oil is essential to your engine’s health and functioning, and routine oil and filter changes give your automotive specialist an opportunity to inspect the quality of your oil and replace it with clean oil before dirt and debris causes harmful effects on your engine.
It is essential to make sure you’re using the right type of oil for your car’s engine. You can find this information in your owner’s manual—it will give manufacturer-recommended types of oil to use that are the proper viscosity for your vehicle’s particular engine. If you have your oil changed by an automotive professional, you should also check with them first to make sure they use the correct type of oil.
The symptoms of oil leaks can leave effects on other parts of your car, and signs of an oil leak may be evident in other areas first, before it may be time for an oil change. Routine inspections and tune-ups are a great way for automotive technicians to keep an eye on your car’s overall functioning.
Here at Euro Plus Automotive, we provide specialized automotive care for German and Japanese import vehicles in the areas of Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, San Fernando Valley, and the greater Los Angeles County, in California. We know that routine automotive care is not something that most people think of throughout the course of their daily lives, so we simplify the process the best we can for our clients. For over 30 years, we have continued to offer special financing, warrantees, and competitive pricing that make specialized automotive care available to everyone in the area. Our ASE certified automotive technicians are highly knowledgeable about the common issues that affect German and Japanese imports, and are skilled at accurately diagnosing and fixing issues—no problem is too simple or too difficult. If you would like to schedule an oil change, an inspection, or a consultation with our team of experts, contact us today.