Archive for the ‘Car Repair’ Category

Warning Signs Your Transmission Needs Repairs

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Transmission fluid can be surprisingly colorful, especially if you’ve never seen it before and don’t know what to expect. The color of your transmission fluid is one of the best early warning signs of transmission problems, so it is important to check your own fluid or have it checked as part of your regular vehicle maintenance program. Your transmission fluid should be changed every two to three years, or 24,000 to 36,000 miles.

Special transmission and power steering fluids are specified for your vehicle. Make certain you have selected the proper type and amount. If you prefer, have a Magic Auto center  technician change your oil and fluids while your vehicle’s in for service.

  • Check Engine Light.  The “check engine” light can be an early indicator that you should have a transmission service performed as soon as possible. 
  • Leaking Fluid.  To maintain a constant operating temperature, fluid is necessary to cool and lubricate the moving parts of a transmission. 
  • Grinding, Shaking, Whining, and Buzzing.  A common sign of trouble in a manual is a grinding sound that is abrupt and mechanical when you shift into a new gear. 
  • Lack of Response. With a manual, you may notice after shifting that the engine will rev up, but the car isn’t moving as quickly as the engine is running. This could be caused by a worn out clutch.

Magic Auto Center offers various maintenance and repair services that will save you money, time, and satisfy your manufacturer’s maintenance requirements.

Having a Well-Tuned Engine Equals Better Performance

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

The best way to ensure long engine life is to entrust the care of your vehicle to only highly-qualified technicians. Magic Auto Center’s ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified mechanics  know your engine like few others. Our technicians are trusted professionals who understand the complexities of modern engines. They will skillfully perform engine diagnostic service, routine maintenance tune-ups and major performance tune-ups to help ensure your engine performs at its absolute best.

Engine Performance Problems: The Warning Signs

  • Engine dash warning lights stay on
  • Loss of power
  • Noxious exhaust odor
  • Knocking when your engine is accelerating
  • Stalling when engine is either hot or cold or when using air conditioning
  • Drop in gas mileage
  • Hard starting, although the battery easily turns the engine over
  • Dieseling (the engine continues to run even after ignition is turned off)
  • Rough running at any speed
  • Backfiring

Whether you need repairs or general maintenance, tire care, safety or even how to get the best oil change, Magic Auto Center is here to help you.

Passionate & Professional ASE Certified Mechanics

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

At Magic Auto Center, we are proud of our personnel. They are dedicated individuals who have given many years to the profession of automobile service. They proudly claim the title of Automotive Technician. To them, Automotive Technician is not just a profession but a passion. That is why we are proud to display their ASE certificates on our wall.

What is ASE? 

It is an acronym for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Here is what they say about their organization. “ASE has years of experience helping the automotive industry verify the skills and knowledge of the technicians working at dealerships, independent repair shops, franchises, fleets, and more. Car owners and the service and repair industry regard ASE certification as the standard measure of competency and a guide to quality auto repairs.”  When you have service or repairs performed at Magic Auto Center, you drive with confidence knowing your vehicle was in the hands of competent, caring professionals.

How to Avoid Burning Up Your Transmission

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Regularly check your parking space for leaks. Doesn’t matter, is it the engine oil leak, power steering fluid or transmission fluid; if you discover any, get it fixed before it could cause expensive problems.

Once in a while check the transmission fluid level and condition. However, not all cars have the automatic transmission dipstick; in some cars, for example, in late Volkswagen models, the transmission fluid can only be checked by a mechanic in the repair shop. You can check your owner’s manual for instructions to check the automatic transmission fluid. If the transmission fluid level is too low, there is a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed. Change the transmission fluid as often as it’s recommended in your owner’s manual or when it becomes too dark (rather brown than red) or dirty.

Also, keep in mind that an automatic transmission can not be drained completely – there is always some transmission fluid left inside the transmission (in the torque converter, in the valve body, etc.) which means you only can change about 60 percent of the fluid at once. This is one more reason to change the fluid more often.
Use only the same type of transmission fluid as specified in the owner’s manual or on the dipstick. Many newer vehicles are very sensitive to the fluid type. For example, an Owner’s Manual for 2008 Honda Civic says “Using transmission fluid other than Honda Genuine ATF-Z1 may cause deterioration in transmission operation and durability, and could result in damage to the transmission”. Never shift to the Reverse or Park modes until the car comes to a complete stop. Don’t shift the transmission from ‘Park’ to other modes at high engine RPMs.

In many cars, the automatic transmission can be damaged if towing with the drive wheels on the road. If you have to tow your vehicle, check your owner’s manual for the proper way of doing it. If you planning to tow a heavy trailer with your vehicle, consider installing an additional transmission fluid cooler. It’s also good idea to change your transmission fluid more often when towing a trailer.

 

How To Know Your Car Air Conditioning Needs Servicing

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Your vehicle’s air conditioner makes the difference between a comfortable trip, and a miserable trip. Your car’s air conditioning unit is made up of many different components that need seasonal maintenance. You may notice one or all of the following issues with your car’s air conditioner:

Slightly Cool Air

– If when you turn on your car’s air conditioner, the air that blows out is only slightly cooler than the temperature in your car, you may have low Freon levels.Other possible causes might also be a faulty air conditioner compressor, leaks in refrigerant, or leaks in the seals or hose connections.

Erratic Cooling

If your air conditioner blows cold air for a short period, then warm air for a short period, then cold air again, there is an issue with your air conditioner. It is most likely that there is moisture trapped in your air conditioning unit, but there may be other causes such as an electrical issue that has to do with the compressor clutch or temperature sensor.

Unusual Odor –

If your car’s air conditioner is blowing cool air, but there is a musty, sour or bad odor, that is usually a sign of bacteria growing in the unit’s evaporator. If you have a bad smell coming from your air conditioning system, you need to have this serviced as soon as possible. The bacteria in the system could cause health problems. Make sure to have your air conditioning charged and repaired for the hot California weather. Our technicians can look at your air conditioner, check the hoses, lines and seals, add refrigerant and service of the compressor, evaporator, or condenser if that is needed.

Magic Auto Center in Valencia, CA wants to remind you to have your vehicle’s air conditioner serviced by a professional technician before the weather gets hot.

Do I Need Engine Repair Or Engine Rebuild

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Listen to your car — The first symptom is – silence; and the second symptom is — repeated “coughing” but no starting.  Before you call a tow truck or spend a lot of money on engine repair or an engine rebuild, determine which symptom your car has.

If all you hear is silence, then…

  • Call up that friend who has jumper cables. Most likely, you’ve got a dead battery. The starter needs electricity.  If the battery is dead, the starter has no energy source. Maybe you left your headlights or an interior light on overnight. So get your friend to jump your car.  After it starts, drive around to recharge the battery (give it 20 minutes). This simple trick may prevent an unnecessary and expensive engine repair service.  But, if this doesn’t get your car started, try checking the main electrical fuses under the hood.  Remember, it’s a good idea after jump-starting your car, to take it directly to your auto mechanic and have the battery tested.

On the other hand, if you hear coughing or similar unfamiliar sounds then…

  • Seek professional help. Have your car towed to a reliable auto service center for an engine repair service.  With older cars, typically pumping the accelerator or spraying some carburetor starter fluid into the motor could get you going.  However, with modern fuel-injected engines, that probably won’t work. There are lots of possible reasons for motor failures behind a sputtering starter: fuel pump, ignition coil, or poor or faulty electrical connections.  Ask your trained auto mechanic to perform a professional engine repair service on your car to diagnose the problem.

In any case…

  • Don’t forget! Cars usually start when they are serviced on a regular basis.  This prevents costly engine repair or an engine rebuild.  Ask for advice from your trained auto mechanic for a schedule of routine preventative maintenance, and your vehicle will be back to normal in no time.

Need a quality car battery replacement or service from car battery specialists?  Contact the ASE Certified Technicians at Magic Auto Center.  They will be happy to help you. Our auto shop in Valencia CA also proudly serves residents in the areas of Newhall and Santa Clarita.

5 Ways You Can Tell Your Car Needs Repair

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

It seems that cars are in constant need of attention and car service.  The wise motorist will have unusual symptoms addressed early to avoid more expensive car repair.

5 of the most common ways you can tell your car requires service are:

  • Steering wheel vibrates, usually between 50-70 miles/hr. This is usually caused by a front wheel out of balance. If you feel the vibration only in the seat, it’s probably a rear wheel. Schedule a car service to have all 4 wheels balanced. You will feel the difference in the drive and ride.
  • Drifting to the left or right when I let go of the steering wheel on a straight level road. If your car drifts to the right in the right lane and to the left in the left lane, it is probably normal. Most roads are banked to allow for water runoff.  However, make sure that both front tires are equally inflated, and of the same size, type and brand. If all this is true and your car is still drifting, you probably need an adjustment to your wheel alignment. If this car service doesn’t take care of the problem, your mechanic should check for bent or worn front-end parts, and to make sure there are no safety issues.
  • Tires make a humming noise on a smooth road. Check the tread for wear patterns.  Run your hand around the edge of the tread, first in one direction, then the other.  If it is smooth in one direction but jagged in the other, this could be causing some of the noise. Rotating will help reduce some of the noise. This wear pattern is common on front wheel drive vehicles with tires designed with grooves on the edges of the tread. While there is a potential for noise with this design, it does have advantages in wet weather and snow.
  • Car keeps bouncing when I drive over a speed bump or a dip in the road. This is usually caused by worn or broken shocks or struts and usually happens gradually.  Schedule a car repair for shock replacements.  You will notice that the ride and stability is greatly improved.
  • Directional signals flash on one side but not the other. This feature is designed to let you know that a directional bulb has burnt out. Check light bulbs or fuses to locate the issue.  If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, an auto mechanic can take care of this problem quite easily.

Need a quality car battery replacement or service from car battery specialists?  Contact the ASE Certified Technicians at Magic Auto Center.  They will be happy to help you. Our auto shop in Valencia CA also proudly serves residents in the areas of Newhall and Santa Clarita.

How to Get Better Fuel Economy From Your Old Car

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Gas prices have skyrocketed again. Ugh!  There are a few things you can do to make your money – and your car – go as far as possible, so, we would like to share these five tips for saving on gas.

  1. Take it Easy — Driving aggressively, rapid/hard starts and stops, and even speeding, all eat up expensive gasoline. According to government quoted statistics, driving like this can lower your vehicle’s gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway and 5% in town.
  2. Watch Your Speed — Besides being unsafe, speeding is a major cause of fuel usage. Beyond the impact mentioned in the statistic above, every 5 MPH you travel over 60 MPH is costing you an extra $0.24 per gallon of gas. Basically, you’re using more gas than you need to travel each mile.
  3. Don’t Overload — When you’re packing for a trip, don’t bring anything you don’t need for the trip or for safety along the way. Extra weight means extra work for your vehicle, and it will use more fuel to move the extra pounds. In fact, on average every 100 pounds of extra weight reduces your mileage by roughly 2%. So, if you don’t need it, take it out.
  4. Turn It Off When Not Moving — It might seem obvious, but if your car is idling and not moving, it’s using gas and yet not going anywhere. This translates to ZERO miles per gallon. Consider shutting your car off if you’re going to be sitting for awhile.
  5. Have a Pre-Trip Inspection — Before you hit the road, one of the best ways to make sure you are getting the most out of that expensive gas you are buying is to make sure your vehicle is running right. This means all the filters are clean, the oil and other fluids are in good condition, the tires are inflated properly and all major systems and components are working as they should.

Need a quality car battery replacement or service from car battery specialists?  Contact the ASE Certified Technicians at Magic Auto Center.  They will be happy to help you. Our auto shop in Valencia CA also proudly serves residents in the areas of Newhall and Santa Clarita.

When You Need To Replace Your Battery

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

It is common knowledge that all vehicles need at least one car battery to support its electrical systems.  It is also common knowledge that if you neglect it, you will not have a dependable vehicle and will need a car battery replacement.

Here are some basic facts you may want to know:

  • Check-ups – Have your auto mechanic check the load levels at every oil change if your car battery is over 2 years old.  A weak battery that is not storing enough power will cause the alternator to work harder and possibly cause premature alternator failure.  Dirty or corroded terminals can severely reduce the lifespan of the car battery and alternator.
  • Basic Health – In order to prevent a premature car battery replacement, check terminals and cables.  Loose or dirty cables are a common “no start” condition. Cable ends and terminals should be cleaned with a wire brush and light sand paper periodically to remove any corrosion build up.   Spray coatings for terminals are helpful in reducing the formation of corrosion.
  • Load – How much a “load” or drain can be placed on the electrical system before the stored electricity in the battery begins to discharge itself and needs to be recharged?  It is not uncommon for batteries to go completely “flat” without ever giving a warning signal.
  • Replacement – If a car battery replacement is necessary, the new battery should be the same size, have the same cable connections, and should be the same electrical capacity as the original.  Your mechanic can help you identify and install the proper car battery for your vehicle.

Need a quality car battery replacement or service from car battery specialists?  Contact the ASE Certified Technicians at Magic Auto Center.  They will be happy to help you. Our auto shop in Valencia CA also proudly serves residents in the areas of Newhall and Santa Clarita.