Have you ever felt sweat dripping down your back while you are driving? At West End Auto, we understand that comfort is crucial when you are driving. If you notice that your car is not cooling down as it should, it is likely that your air conditioning system needs service or repair.
At West End Auto, we do things differently. Our technicians do more than your ordinary air conditioning system check. Your car is a complex machine, and it demands a full diagnostic treatment and service. That means a full inspection to make sure we get to the root of the problem and don’t simply treat the symptoms.
When your A/C system does not cool the vehicle cabin properly, it might be time to recharge the system. Refrigerant is the liquid running through your A/C system, cooling down as it flows which ultimately converts hot air into cool. Without this liquid, your air conditioner won’t be able to do its job.
If you notice that it’s taking too long to cool down the cabin, an inspection or A/C recharge may be necessary.
Ask our service advisor to have your A/C recharged when there is a significant change in the quality of air, or there’s just no cold air coming out of the vents.
Without enough refrigerant in the system, your A/C won’t be able to create cool air in the summer and might not be able to defrost in the winter. A/C is a closed system, so a lack of refrigerant is a big sign that something else is wrong.
If ignored long enough, you might not realize the whole system is failing. From a safety standpoint there is little safety risk, but the air in the cabin can become very uncomfortable. From an environmental point of view, there is significant impact because leaking refrigerant is poisonous and could be ingested by children, pets or other animals.
Your car’s starting system, charging system and battery help ensure dependable vehicle operation. Driving habits, such as frequent engine on/off cycles, will cause more wear on the starter than a simple trip back and forth to work. Other factors include:
- Driving in extreme weather conditions (hot & cold)
- Vehicle age
West End Auto does a complimentary battery test with each oil service that we perform.
We recommend that you have your brakes inspected at least once a year, or if you experience any of the following:
- Spongy brake pedal
- Hard brake pedal
- Brake warning light that stays on
- Continuously squealing or grinding brakes
- Shimmy in steering wheel when applying the brakes
Our brake service can take an hour and a half to two hours. We disassemble the brake caliper brackets, clean and lubricate all contact points and slides. This will make sure that your pads move the way they were designed to, help to lengthen pad life and improve braking performance. Every brake service includes either resurfacing, machining or replacing brake rotors.
There are a lot of automotive shops that offer a free check engine light diagnostic. Be careful to not be misled by that service. The free reading just tells you part of the story. The check engine light indicates that something is malfunctioning, but a wrong diagnosis can lead to costly part replacement that may not be necessary.
At West End Auto, we treat your car’s check engine light with the same thorough approach that our technicians perform with our other service and repairs. The reading is used to verify the code that provoked the check engine light. The code indicates a problem on a particular circuit. West End Auto will not recommend or sell you a part unless your car absolutely needs it.
We do a thorough inspection along with the computer analysis to detect the cause of the problem and minimize the expense of your repairs. Your car is loaded with wires, sensors and computers. The check engine light indicates a problem, and problems are not resolved without attention. If the root cause of the check engine light is not accurately diagnosed, the problem will reappear, sending you back to the automotive shop.
Allow West End Auto to save you time by doing the diagnostic check correctly the first time.
Most cars today are controlled by computers. The fuel injectors, spark plugs, steering system and more are all told when to fire and when to move by an onboard computer system. Today’s vehicles come equipped with an onboard computer diagnostic system (OBDII) that monitors your vehicle’s operations.
If something is going wrong with your car or engine, your onboard computer will tell you what is going on. If the computer senses something wrong with one of your car’s systems, it will turn on a dashboard light, like “ABS Brake” or something less specific like “Check Engine.”
We provide different levels of diagnostic services using the most up-to-date state of the art diagnostic equipment.
Whether you just need a clamp fixed on your muffler or you are interested in custom performance exhaust systems, we can get the job done! West End Auto is the place to bring your vehicle for all your exhaust system needs!
- Custom and performance exhaust systems
- Catalytic Converter replacement
In most cars the fuel pump delivers a constant flow of gas to the engine. When the flow becomes less constant, your car starts acting sluggish or just stops acting all together. We have trained technicians that can diagnose your fuel system needs.
During an oil service, we will replace your engine’s old oil with new oil and replace the oil filter. We will also lubricate the chassis components of the vehicle, check the tire pressure, fill the windshield washer fluid, fill the power steering fluid, inspect all the belts and hoses and much more.
An oil service and filter replacement is one of many preventative maintenance services that help promote maximum vehicle performance and extend the life of your vehicle. Oil is responsible for lubricating the components inside your vehicle’s engine while reducing the amount of friction between them. Because the engine generates a substantial amount of heat, oil acts as a cooling agent as it circulates through the engine. Oil also absorbs other harmful particles created during the combustion process and directs them to the oil filter, which filters out the debris.
Benefits of Lube, Oil & Filter Change
Over time, as oil becomes saturated with contaminants, excessive particles are left behind in the engine where they can form deposits and cause significant wear to the engine. Oversaturated oil loses its lubrication, which will eventually lead to an overworked engine, excessive heat and engine failure. Excessive heat can also lead to thermal breakdown in your engine, causing a change in the oil’s viscosity and resulting in decreased oil flow.
The job of your water pump is to keep coolant flowing through your radiator and engine. If there’s a block or a leak, your engine can quickly overheat and your vehicle will break down.
Coolant leaks are caused by cracked or ill fitting hoses or a hole in the radiator itself. Radiator metal is thin and easily damaged, but the number one cause of coolant leaks is corrosion and the number one cause of corrosion is a lack of routine maintenance.
We recommend having your coolant system professionally inspected at least once a year. A flush and fill is a critical part of routine maintenance. Antifreeze (coolant) is very caustic, if it is left in the radiator for too long, it will begin to corrode the metal and could cause a potentially disastrous leak. If we detect any coolant leaks, we can repair them or replace the damaged part.
Your vehicle’s owner’s manual has an entire section devoted to maintaining your vehicle. Their recommendations are not to be taken lightly. If you want 200,000 miles or more from your vehicle, we strongly recommend you follow these service recommendations. In Iowa (like most areas of the country) we fall in the Severe Service category for maintenance intervals, so be sure to use that chart. We can print out the appropriate factory service intervals for you at no charge.
It is a proven fact that preventative maintenance can save money! We keep our customer’s new vehicles running like new with our special maintenance programs. We make choosing options for routine preventative maintenance easy and we keep the service affordable—at our customers’ convenience!
Preventative maintenance services include:
- Transmission fluid flushes
- Coolant fluid flushes
- Power Steering fluid flushes
- Differential fluid flushes
- Brake fluid flushes
- Fuel injection cleaning
What generates most of the electricity in your vehicle is not the battery, but the alternator. The alternator transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. It sends power to essential parts of your vehicle like the headlights, the engine fan, ignition coil and various parts of the fuel injection system. It powers non-essential, but still very important parts like the radio and air conditioning system.
It’s important to have your alternator checked regularly as it is not always apparent when it fails. It can fail in stages and even when it goes completely, your battery will take over for a short period of time.
The starter does the opposite of the alternator. It changes electrical energy into mechanical energy. The starter uses the electricity from the battery to start the crankshaft turn and that gets your car going.
We provide complete steering and suspension systems service including:
- Wheel Alignment
- Front End Parts
- Wheel Balancing
- Tire Rotation
- Shocks and Struts
- Strut Mounts
- Coil and Leaf Springs
- Steering Stabilizers
- Rack and Pinion
How do I know if my timing belt is bad?
The main indicators of a bad timing belt include a high-pitched noise coming from the engine, difficulty starting your car, poor performance on the road and an excessive amount of exhaust. An owner must never ignore the symptoms of a bad timing belt! A timing belt that breaks often causes serious engine damage.
Timing belts can fail without warning, so your only real protection is to change them at your car manufacturer’s recommended intervals. Most manufacturers advise owners to change the timing belt every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. The specific recommendation for any particular make and model is typically found in the owner’s manual.
We have all manufacturer recommended service information, and timing belt replacement is just one of the repair services that we can perform. With the use of our engine diagnostic testing, we can tell if you might need a water pump replacement at the same time, which is very common.
Rotating your tires is an easy and inexpensive way to minimize wear and extend the life of your tires. This process of moving your tires from one side of the vehicle to the other, moving them from front to back or a combination of both will minimize wear that is position specific.
We recommend regular tire rotations around every 7,000 miles as a function of basic maintenance. Tire wear can be uneven for any number of reasons. You may be risking excess or premature wear as well as a reduction in overall fuel economy by not rotating your tires regularly. Even wear is essential to ensure consistent performance and to extend the overall life of a set of tires.
From a safety standpoint, uneven tire wear can reduce the “contact patch”—the tire’s actual footprint on the road—and can contribute to vibration, shimmy or pulling. All conditions that can distract the driver and lead to an accident.
Need new tires? West End Auto carries a full line of tires from the most respected tire manufacturers, but let us know if there is a specific brand that you are looking for.
Proper working order of your tires it vitally important for safe driving. In fact, your tires are the only part of your vehicle that is always in contact with the road. We understand the importance of tires. Our expertise and latest wheel service equipment allows us to provide the best tire in services including;
- Computer Balancing
- Wheel Alignment
- Wheel and Rim Repair
- Tire Pressure Monitor System Repair
- Custom Wheel Service
Transmission repair is a major, time consuming and most often expensive auto repair. That’s why it’s so important to keep your transmission properly maintained.
The most important thing you can do is to have us change your transmission fluid. This is important because over time, as your transmission wears, bits of metal from the gears will contaminate the fluid. In addition, the extreme heat generated by an automatic transmission will cause the fluid to break down.
It’s important to have your transmission fluid levels checked every time you have your oil changed, which is a service West End Auto provides in our oil change service. Low fluid levels can seriously damage your transmission. Regularly scheduled maintenance service can help you avoid cost repairs, especially when it comes to transmission work.
Your car’s engine is made up of hundreds of complex components working together to ensure that you vehicle starts and runs properly. Over time, these components can wear out, resulting in a loss of performance and fuel economy.
A standard tune-up or spark plug replacement done at the suggested maintenance interval will make an engine easier to start, improve fuel economy, lower emissions and restore lost power.
The nature of an engine “tune-up” has changed considerable over the years, but the basics of how a gas engine works has not. We examine your vehicle’s air filter and recommend that you follow manufacturer’s recommendations for replacing such key components as fuel filter, PCV valves and spark plugs when they are no longer working at maximum efficiency.
Another (often overlooked) service designed to help your vehicle’s engine run properly is the cleaning of fuel injectors and the fuel intake system. When dirt and deposits collect on fuel injectors, the amount of fuel delivered to the engine is restricted.
Do you ever notice your vehicle pulling to the left or right? Is the steering wheel not centered when you are driving straight down the road? Do you hear your tires squealing when you turn? The steering wheel can indicate an alignment problem, but sometimes it’s so subtle you can’t even feel it.
Whether you have symptoms or not, misalignment can do damage to your tires by prematurely wearing them out. West End Auto can verify the condition of your vehicle’s steering and suspension components and set your alignment to manufacturers specifications to keep you driving right.
Windshield wipers go bad and when they do, your car’s safety suffers. You should replace your windshield wipers at least twice a year. By installing new windshield wipers you’ll be doing yourself and everybody else on the road a favor. It’s easy to do and you won’t have to wait for an oil change or brakes to replace your windshield wipers.