Car Maintenance

Don’t Get Schooled by Bad Brakes


It’s a busy time of year. Kids are back in school; chores need to get done around the house before the holidays sneak up on us. And traffic always seems to get worse! Not to mention the road hazards of wind, falling leaves, early darkness, and new potholes.

Now is the time to make certain that your vehicle’s brakes are in perfect working order. A brake inspection can give you peace of mind in knowing that your brakes are in decent shape; it can also be the best way to find out that you might need new pads or rotors, or even a brake fluid purge and replacement. We can quickly assess the condition of your braking system and help your vehicle to be as safe as possible out on the road. Just STOP in or call us for an appointment.

When Too Cool Is Not So Hot


Whether you have a heater only, heater and A/C, or a fully automatic climate control system in your vehicle, they need periodic maintenance to perform correctly. Heaters are completely dependent on the operating condition of your engine’s cooling system, as they use the hot coolant as a heat source for your passenger cabin. Air Conditioning systems use an engine-driven belt to turn a compressor, which circulates freon to take heat out of the passenger area. And both apply to climate control systems, with several sensors thrown into the mix to determine when and how to heat or cool your vehicle.

Now that the days might include both heating and cooling, come on in and let us check out these systems for proper operation.

A problem with the engine cooling system can not only leave you stranded, but it will also leave you in the cold! Call us or come on by for an inspection and review of your climate control system today!

The Elixirs of Life Belong In Your Car


Out of the blue, there’s suddenly green, red, or other color fluids under my car. WHAT’ S GOING ON!! No need to panic…yet. Depending on the manufacturer, some coolants are red, some are green, and some are yellow. Never mix colors, and always use the color your vehicle already has in the radiator. Also, many transmission fluids are red. If any of these are under your car, you have a leak, and it needs to be addressed. If it’s monstrously large, don’t drive the car, have it towed to us to avoid more damage.

The Great Pumpkin Wants You to be Safe for the Holidays


The crisp temperatures of Halloween are a general reminder that the weather is changing, and wet and stormy weather is on its way. We usually get a rush of customers right after the first cold storm wanting to “winterize,” so beat the crowd and come in now.

Fresh fluids, new wiper blades, proper tires, and any other items inspected and needing service can be addressed now so you’re ready for whatever evil weather is looming outside. There’s no need to be alarmed; our super-heroes on staff will help you to keep your service needs and budget under control. Act now…while there’s still time.

There’s a lot Riding On Your Brakes


The braking system on your vehicle is just as important as the drivetrain that moves it under power. While your engine and transmission provide the “GO”, it’s your brakes that slow you down when you’re ready to “WHOA”! On all vehicles, brakes take a beating every time they are applied. They take the rotational energy of the turning wheel, and by hydraulic pressure turn that energy into heat. This conversion of energy is what allows you to slow down a little, or a lot by pressing the brake pedal. While the pads and rotors suffer with most of the wear, there are other parts of your braking system that need inspection and preventive maintenance as well. The hydraulic fluid can get contaminated over time, making the pedal spongy. Seals can age and start to leak, which not only makes a toxic mess, but as leaks grow your brakes begin to fail.

And there are rubber lines that can be damaged by road hazards, as well as brake booster systems that can wear out over time and accumulated miles.

Whenever your vehicle is on a lift, make sure the technician takes a few minutes to inspect the braking system. Without brakes, your vehicle is a speeding missile headed for destruction! Safety demands that your braking system operate at full efficiency at all times. If you find your brakes aren’t working properly, or if you get a BRAKE WARNING light on your dash, stop immediately and have your vehicle towed to us for a brake safety inspection.

Have You Had Your Battery Checked Lately?


Your vehicle’s battery has a lot to do! It provides electrical power to start the engine. It sends power to operate all of the cabin accessories, such as the stereo, lighting, and the blower motor for the A/C and defroster. It powers the instrument panel so we can see what our vehicle is doing. And as vehicles get more complex, even more systems are added, such as navigation, engine, and transmission management, Wi-Fi, lane departure, self-driving modes and much more.

Extremes in temperature are very hard on a battery, and will reduce its lifetime. Summer can be tough, as many accessories (like A/C) are typically running at all times. There was a time when a car battery might last as long as 5 years, but with today’s demands and constant charge-discharge cycles most batteries are tired and ready for replacement in 2 to 3 years.

It’s wise to have your battery checked at each oil change, so you know if it is up to the job requirements. Our technician knows what to do, and what to look for. You need to be able to turn that key and be able to count on your battery to be up to the task and deliver you where you need to go.

Don’t Fear The Check Engine Light


Obey Your Check Engine Light

Whenever your “Check Engine” or “Check” light comes on while you’re driving, you need to pay attention to it immediately. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something drastically wrong with your car, but that IS a possibility. One thing is for sure…nobody likes seeing this light on their dash.

What Happened?
The check engine light can come on for many reasons. For example, something as simple as a loose gas cap can trigger it. Other major problems, such as failed internal engine components, can turn on the light, as well. What it means is that a sensor has told the ECM (Engine Control Module) that something is out of specification and needs attention to prevent further damage. In order to really know what it is wrong with your car, it’s best to have a professional diagnose the issue.
Why Did It Turn On?
Your car’s computer will illuminate the warning whenever it detects a problem with the powertrain (engine, transmission, and other related components) that could increase tailpipe emissions, operating temperature, or any other “out of spec” event. Sometimes you will notice your engine performing quite differently when the light goes on; other times, you may notice no change at all. No matter how your vehicle performs, though, after that light goes on, it needs immediate attention to read the saved diagnostic codes.
Why Is It Flashing?
Both a solid and flashing engine check light indicates that a problem has been detected. However, a flashing engine check light indicates that it is a serious problem that requires your immediate attention. In some vehicles, instead of flashing, the light will change color from yellow to orange or red. If you see a flashing light, or if it changes color, it’s best to contact us soon as possible to prevent serious damage.
What Are The Typical Reasons It Comes On?
Mechanical Engine Issues – There’s a multitude of sensors monitoring your engine’s emissions, and anytime a component causes emission data to go out of specification, a light will be triggered. At first, your engine might run a little rough, but as time goes on this can become critical.
Transmission Issues - Part of the powertrain, the transmission works closely with the engine to move power to the wheels. If the ECM detects a problem with power delivery that brings emissions out of spec, the light goes on.
Other Modules and Sensors – There are a wide variety of body modules, electronic sensors and other devices that work together over a vast network to keep emissions in check. If one of them begins to fail, you’ll see it on the dash.
Ignition System Issues – This is the SPARK that each cylinder needs to burn the fuel to produce power. If it fails to fire at the exact right moment, it will influence the emissions and trigger a light. If this is the source of a light, your vehicle will likely run rough, and continue to get worse.
Air/Fuel Ratio – Anytime the computer can sense the improper air/fuel ratio, the light will go on. When this happens, you might notice a slight miss, or loss of performance.
What To Do When The Light Appears
You won’t know what the check engine light truly means until you have your car diagnosed by a professional. The warning could indicate something simple and harmless – or something serious that could cause further damage to your vehicle.
If your engine light turns on, you may want to try tightening the gas cap, as firmly tightening the cap could solve the problem. If the light turns off, there’s no need to get your car serviced. If the light is still on, it could indicate a more serious problem with your vehicle. Don’t risk a serious breakdown that could cost you thousands of dollars. If your check engine light is on, have a professional diagnose and repair the issue right away.

For more information please call Papillion Foreign Motors.

A Good Tune Up Can Save You Thousands Of Dollars In The Long Run


Tune Up Your Vehicle For Maximum Performance

Fifty years ago, vehicles needed a “tune-up” about every 25,000 to 40,000 miles. Electrical systems were very simple back then, but they had many parts that would wear out very quickly. It was not uncommon to have to replace the distributor cap and rotor, points and condenser, all spark plugs and in some cases all of the ignition wires. Additionally, this was also a good time to replace the air filter, possibly the fuel filter, and clean and adjust the carburetor.

Today, with the help of modern electronics, tune ups don’t require anywhere near as much time, or as many parts, to run as good as new again. Even better, most owner’s manuals today recommend as much as 100,000 miles before you need to replace the spark plugs!

Today’s Tune Ups

For maximum performance today, a technician will give your entire vehicle an overall inspection. This can include plugging your vehicle into a diagnostic analyzer, as well as a visual inspection. Your tech will be looking for any component that might be dirty, leaking, or making any unusual noises. Of course, if the “Check Engine” light is on, that issue needs to be repaired before starting any other performance enhancing tuning.
Maintenance items are now inspected, and replaced as necessary. These might include the air filter, fuel filter, pcv valve, and possibly some or all spark plugs. Your tech will also clean the fuel injection system, followed by making sure all engine and chassis fluids are clean and full. Typically, the final item is to make sure all tire pressures are on the mark.

Benefits of Tune Up Maintenance

  • More Efficiency – When running smoothly, your vehicle is more efficient. It will use less fuel, and doesn’t have to work so hard to get where you need to go. This saves you money, and can also save you time!

  • More Power - By completing your tune up, parts that were working at less than 100% efficiency are replaced with new parts that have it operating like new (or better)!

  • Efficiency – Since a full inspection is completed on the vehicle, marginal and worn-out parts are replaced, and adjustments are made on other components. Future maintenance needs are noted, and breakdowns are averted because service and replacements have been made before those items could break.

  • $avings – Your tech will catch small problems, before they can become larger issues with more expense. Running efficiency is at maximum, so you’re also saving on fuel. You’re also extending the life of your vehicle, so there’s no need to replace it just yet.

Get your vehicle in maximum performance today. You’ll be glad you called us, and your vehicle will run at its very best!

For more information please call Papillion Foreign Motors.

Open and Honest Repairs


For many consumers, taking their vehicle in for service or repair can cause anxiety and lead them to postpone necessary maintenance and repairs. Neglecting routine service can cause more expensive repairs later. Our no-nonsense blog here provides tips and advice for motorists who need help finding and working with an auto service and repair shop. It is a must-see for everyone who owns or operates a vehicle.

  • Find a reliable shop who will tell you the upfront truth.
  • Find a reliable shop that explains the problems with your vehicle, in a way that you understand them.
  • Find a shop that reminds you to stay on a regular maintenance schedule.

We understand how important it is to change your oil on a regular basis, and we care about our customers. We want to keep you on a routine maintenance schedule, because it will help you avoid costly surprise repairs in the future. Make sure to ask us any questions that come to mind, as we believe there are no silly questions. Our team is committed to providing you with service excellence in every aspect, so you can put your trust in us.

For more information please call Papillion Foreign Motors .

Your future self with thank you for extending the life of your current vehicle


We believe a well maintained vehicle runs better, lasts longer, has a higher resale value, and saves you money in the long run. Studies show that $1 spent on maintaining your vehicle will save between $17 and $22 on unnecessary repairs and replacement costs.

For more information please call Papillion Foreign Motors at (402) 339-6460 .