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 ProblemsLet'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 Pikesville Automotive.
Vibration While DrivingThis 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 PerformanceYour 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 Pikesville Automotive.
Been going here for several years now. I've brought several different vehicles here to be serviced.
Very professional! The staff went out of their way to help me - my car needed help on a very busy weekend for me and they needed to keep it over the weekend. I had some things in the back of the car and they dropped them off at my door so I could use them over the weekend. Then they came to pick me up when my car was finished. The staff here is kind, friendly, and professional!
This is the Best Shop I have ever been to.. Top Notch staff with unbeatable workmanship and customer service... I would drive outta state to bring my car here..
I love this place! My first encounter was on an emergency basis. Tranny was in dire need of repair and costs were prohibitive. I love my little MINI and tried to prepare myself for simply letting it go. A relative recommended this shop and on my first visit a second relative (who didn't know the first) was in the waiting room. He assured me I was in the right place. That was 2 years ago. They are friendly and respectful and take the time to explain exactly what needs to be done and how they propose to do it. I recommend them to friends and total strangers and especially to other women!
Very courteous. Dependable. Always good experience.
...At Pikesville Automotive, "Doctor Tommy" (who actually came recommended to me by one of his nearby competitors) took my car on a ten-mile test drive and discovered my alternator was intermittently shutting down. He reported this to me before charging me for anything. He the replaced my alternator, test drove it again...and let my car run by itself for over an hour to see if my problem came back. It didn't, and I had my car back in two days...
Me and my family have been coming here for years and everytime I bring my car in they take me right away. Other places had me wait a week or a month to service. I always leave happy knowing they take good care of my car!
Tommy and all the workers at Pikesville Automotive always do a wonderful job repairing and inspecting my car. I have hired them to do body work on my car after it got scraped up in my building's garage. It now looks brand new! They even gave me a free estimate beforehand. I have also hired them to fix my brakes when my fluid was running low. They had my car all fixed up and ready to go in one day, which is very impressive considering how busy they are. On top of that, they keep a few cute fish in the lobby for guests to look at while they wait. Little things like that and the great service will keep me coming back anytime I have car issues or need an inspection. Keep up the good work guys!