Subaru is known for producing long-lasting vehicles. With the routine servicing, it’s not unheard of for a Subaru to surpass 400,000 miles. However, some models will ultimately encounter a few problems along the way. Here are the most common reasons why you may need Subaru auto repair.
Blown Head Gasket
Every modern engine is designed with a head gasket. This thin strip of metal prevents oil and coolant from leaking into the chambers. Unfortunately, some Subaru models are prone to experiencing a blown head gasket. Not only will a blown head gasket cause major performance issues, but it can also lead to extensive engine damage.
There are a few tell-tale signs your head gasket has gone bad. For starters, be on the lookout for a sudden loose of coolant and white smoke coming from the exhaust. When the coolant level drops too low, severe engine overheating can occur. The best approach is to seek Subaru auto repair right away.
Timing Belt Replacement
If you own a Subaru vehicle that was built before 2013, there’s a good chance its engine features a timing belt. Even today, the high-performance Subaru WRX STI still uses a rubber timing belt as opposed to a metal chain. According to Subaru auto repair experts, it’s advisable to have the timing belt replaced every 100,000 miles.
As a timing belt ages, it gradually begins to wear down. You definitely don’t want an old timing belt to suddenly snap while you’re driving. Aside from leaving you stranded on the side of the road, this issue can result in catastrophic engine failure. Simply sticking to your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Excessive Oil Consumption
Some Subaru models consume more oil than usual. The piston rings in the engine may prematurely fail, thus causing heavier oil consumption. To protect the vehicle’s engine, owners must check the oil level far more frequently. We all know what can happen when driving without an adequate amount of oil.
The good news is that a Subaru repair shop can permanently fix the issue. After getting new piston rings, you shouldn’t have any more trouble. Nevertheless, it’s also important for Subaru owners to always use high-quality motor oil. Inferior oil often burns up faster.
Worn Axle Bearings
Subaru produces quite a few adventurous models. These AWD-equipped vehicles come ready to take you on a journey through the rough backcountry. However, traveling on tough terrain puts extra stress on the axle bearings. When not repaired in a timely manner, severely worn axle bearings can cause issues with brakes and suspension components.
Subaru auto repair experts advise owners to monitor for the warning signs of a worn axle bearing. Humming and grinding sounds should immediately catch your attention. If you’re planning to buy a pre-owned Subaru, be sure to invest in a pre-purchase inspection.
A/C System O-Ring Failure
During the summer, the weather can become pretty hot in North Carolina. A vehicle’s A/C system can help cool things down. However, A/C failure is a common issue for Subaru vehicles. The root of the problem is typically a failed O-ring, which causes refrigerant to leak from the unit. A Subaru auto repair technician can easily replace this inexpensive part.
However, don’t wait too long to get the problem fixed. Low refrigerant levels can cause the A/C compression to overheat. It’s a lot more expensive to replace the O-ring than the compressor. Contact Creech Import Repair for your next auto appointment!
Many people look forward to enjoying the summer. It’s the perfect time of the year to take an epic road trip. However, the hot weather can put a lot of stress on your vehicle. This is the reason why top mechanics stress the importance of routine maintenance, Let’s take a look at the most common summer car problems.
1. A/C Won’t Cool
When the weather starts to heat up, the cool breeze from an A/C makes life on the road more comfortable. Unfortunately, one of the top summer car problems is A/C failure. In many instances, a lack of refrigerant is the issue. A mechanic will need to track down and seal the leak.
You could also be dealing with a condenser problem, which can become clogged with debris. In this case the air conditioner will only be able to expel hot air.
2. Dead Battery
Many people tend to associate a dead battery with cold weather. However, soaring summer temperatures may also affect the health of a car battery. The heat can deteriorate a battery’s internal parts, thus weakening its charge.
There are some ways to protect your battery from being damaged. For starters, try to park your vehicle in the shade whenever possible. Because dirt can become a conductor and drain power, it’s even more important to clean the battery posts. Also, make sure the battery’s insulated heat barrier is in good condition.
3. Overheated Engine
We’ve all seen a broken-down vehicle with steam pouring from underneath the hood. This problem often indicates an overheated engine, As soon as you notice your temperature gauge starting to approach the danger zone, pull over immediately! Extreme temperatures can destroy an engine within minutes.
Before you begin to experience any summer car problems with the rising temperatures, be sure to have your cooling system inspected by a professional mechanic. A low level of antifreeze makes your engine far more likely to overheat. It’s also important to check the condition of your hoses. Small cracks in the rubber indicate the need for replacement.
4. Tire Blowout
A tire blowout can be an extremely scary event. The sheer force of the explosion may cause you to momentarily lose control of your vehicle. Although a tire blowout can occur during the winter, driving on hot asphalt makes it more likely to occur.
To prevent putting yourself a risk, always be sure to maintain the proper tire pressure. Underinflated tires are far more likely to experience a blowout. You should also keep an eye out for signs of wear, especially bubbles and tears. The cost of a new set of tires is well worth the extra peace of mind,
5. Out of Gas
Every summer, hundreds of drivers run out of gas. Being stuck in the scorching heat is no fun. Fortunately, this is probably the easiest car problem to prevent.
Ideally, you should never allow your gas gauge to drop below a quarter tank. Not only will this help keep you from being stranded on the side of the road, but it also helps prevent your fuel pump from overheating. The gasoline actually keeps the fuel pump cool.
6. Performance Issues
Summer car problems such as performance related issues should always raise a red flag. In many instances, this problem simply stems from a lack of routine maintenance. A dirty air filter will definitely cause your vehicle to feel sluggish and underpowered. To develop full output, the engine needs a steady supply of fresh oxygen.
Worn spark plugs will also severely hinder your vehicle’s performance. Hesitation, hard starting, and rough idling can all indicate that you need a tuneup. Replacing the spark plugs could immediately restore your vehicle’s drivability.
As your vehicle ages, the wear is accumulative all over the vehicle. There are practically endless investments that you can make to keep it looking and running like new forever. Yet, when it comes down to it, it is only practical to address major wear issues.
Most vehicles will start to develop a little bit of play in the steering wheel as they age, for example. This dead spot will make the steering unresponsive until you move it a little bit more to the left or right. Rarely, do drivers decide to replace the steering rack just because the worm gear is showing some wear. Yet, they may replace other steering parts such as control arms, ball joints, tie rods, and stabilizers. Let's discuss what part replacements are the best bang for your buck on an aging auto, below.
Coolant Temperature Sensor
The coolant temperature sensor plays a critical role in fuel management. When the semiconductor material heats up, the resistance will decrease. This is the opposite of most conductor materials, which usually increase resistance when heated. By measuring the resistance of the coolant temperature sensor, your computer can approximate the temperature of the coolant circulating through the engine and adjust the fuel mapping accordingly.
When an engine is cold, the fuel management computer practically dumps fuel into the engine until it warms up. Some motors will have a special cold-start injector to add additional fuel. As the engine heats up and reaches operating temperature, it requires less fuel because the pistons are hot and sealing the pressures more efficiently, among other things.
The problem with coolant temperature sensors is that they can fail without any symptoms. Unless you monitor them, you won't know if they are sending the correct readings to the engine management computer. And if they are within a normal range of operation, they won't illuminate your Check Engine light or trigger any DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) faults. The sensor develops internal resistance from heat over time and will send the incorrect signals to the computer.
By swapping out your coolant temperature sensor every 5 years or so, you can improve the performance and fuel efficiency of your vehicle immediately. They are usually inexpensive and require very little labor to install. For $100, you may save that much in fuel in a few weeks by swapping out a bad sensor.
The fuel injectors in your vehicle are little electronic solenoid-controlled valves that open and close in micro-pulses to squirt the ideal level of fuel in the engine at any given time. The fuel injectors have very fine nozzles that atomize the fuel into a superfine mist. Over time, the injector nozzles will begin to wear. Injectors may also get gummed up or begin leaking. Replacing worn injectors can significantly increase your performance and fuel-efficiency. If your vehicle has over 100,000 miles, it may be time to replace them.
Another critical part in the fuel system is the fuel filter. Although almost every vehicle has at least one fuel filter, this maintenance item is often overlooked. Although they are inexpensive and easy to replace, drivers don't typically fix things until there is a problem. Most know to change their oil and filter regularly but may not be sure when the fuel filter is due. If your vehicle dies out suddenly or sputters, you should always check for a clogged fuel filter before you try any other repairs.
The timing belt is the most critical component on your vehicle. If this belt breaks, your entire engine can come crashing to its death in a matter of seconds. Yet, when people buy a used car, they may not know what all work was done to it. And if they aren't sure when the timing belt was changed, they may put off the repair.
Some timing belts are due at 75,000 miles while others can last 100,000 or more. If you buy a used auto and you're not absolutely sure when it was last changed, please have it checked to be certain. Larger engines typically have timing chains that require less maintenance. They may start to rattle after about 200,000 miles but are far more reliable.
Body Shop - When your vehicle incurs damage because of an accident or incident, some sort of repair work will be needed in order to restore your vehicle back to its original condition. With not everybody shopping performing high-quality work, you’ll need to do a bit of research in order to find what your best option is. Find the trusted auto body shop in your area that has the knowledge to work on a wide variety of makes and models of vehicles. You’ll want to get your vehicle repaired as soon as possible, but take the time to look into your various options. Budget is typically quite important, but the quality of work that you receive is also something to consider. Take enough time to ponder your options before you make a final decision.
It can be a stressful process, having to drop your vehicle off at a service center. During this entire process, you want to make sure that you are trusting of the people working on your vehicle. You’ll be able to sleep at night knowing that your vehicle is going to come back to you looking exceptional. Have all of your questions answered prior to making your appointment. Make sure someone has explained the entire process to you. You should also be working with professionals that will keep you in the loop throughout the process. This way, you’ll know what stage your vehicle is at. Ask people that you know for recommendations. You may also want to find out the places that you should avoid going to.
Your vehicle insurance may be covering the repair process. Because of this, you may have to choose a location based off of insurance recommendations. For the most part, this should be alright. Most insurance companies simply want to make sure that the location and professionals that you are using will be certified and reputable in your area. It might limit your options overall, but this is just your insurance company’s way of weeding out the bad shops. You can also take a look into various websites that provide you with information on a shop’s reputation. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are people in your area that have had issues with a certain company in the past.
Prevent Further Damage
There are a few different ways that a professional can fix body damage. The extent of the damage and where the damage is located is what determines the method used. Certain methods of repair require quite a bit of training. You want to make sure that you find out what type of work will need to be done on your vehicle. Then you can ask who will be performing the work. There is nothing wrong with questioning the experience of that person, how many times this type of repair has been done in that shop, etc.
If you have someone complete this work who doesn’t really know what they are doing, this could result in more damage occurring to your vehicle. You might think that the work looks fine. After a few months to a year, you could notice there is some rust forming under the paint on your vehicle where the work was performed. The work could start to deteriorate. The scratches could even begin to reappear. Make sure that the work being done is going to last, and that the work is going to be safe for years to come.
Take Care Of Necessary Body Work
Many people choose to put off necessary bodywork on their vehicles. We all have important and busy lives, this damage can actually end up harming your vehicle more than you think. A little dent or scratch can end up causing rust to spread at an accelerated rate. Make sure that you take the time to find a trustworthy and reputable body shop in your area. When you get your vehicle returned to you, it will look better than it did when you first bought it. It is important that you don't leave necessary bodywork unattended to. However, you should take those few extra days to figure out your best options.
Currently, 17 states in the U.S. require Safety Inspections. If you reside in one of these states, it is important to know what they are looking for prior to the inspection. The list below will highlight the common items that are checked during an inspection. It is highly recommended that this inspection is performed by a reputable shop such as Creech Imports.
This may seem obvious, but all of your exterior lights should be working. Also, there should be no damage to any of the lenses. If your headlight lenses are heavily oxidized, the problem should be corrected prior to the inspection. Poor or no lighting is a major factor in many accidents.
Typically, you will hear or feel when your vehicle has a brake problem, but it is a good idea to inspect them at specific intervals to prevent expensive damage or failure. The wheels should be removed to check for sufficient brake pad or shoe lining. The rotors and drums should be inspected for warpage, deep grooves, wear, or any other damage. The brake lines and hoses should also be checked for cracks or abnormalities. There should be absolutely no leaks in the system. The master cylinder reservoir should be adequately filled, and the fluid should not be discolored. Check the brake pedal for firmness. It should not push down too close to the floor. The parking brake should catch approximately at mid-travel and hold the vehicle in place on an incline.
While turning the wheel from side to side, there should be no lag, looseness, or noises from the system. The power steering reservoir should be filled, and the fluid should not be discolored. If your system has a belt, it should be free of cracks, breaks, wear or other problems. While driving the vehicle, the steering should be responsive, and the wheel should stay centered when driving on a straight smooth road. There should be no leaks in the system.
The suspension should be stable and noise free at all times. It also should have precise handling. While driving, the vehicle should not continuously bounce up and down on bumpy or smooth roads. While parked, push down on the vehicle in the front and back. It should quickly bounce back up once and stabilize. Multiple bounces indicate a possible problem with the shocks or struts. The vehicle should also be raised to inspect the suspension components for any torn boots, worn bushings, looseness, or any other damage.
If the vehicle is running well and doesn't have a check engine light, the fuel system should be in good shape. It is important to clean the fuel system regularly to prevent problems. If you smell fuel, check the gas cap and all the fuel lines to ensure there are no leaks. Sometimes faulty emissions systems can cause fuel smells. Typically if this is the case, the check engine light will illuminate.
Tires and Wheels
The tires should not have any breaks, cracks, bubbles, dry rotting, or any other abnormalities. The tread should also be sufficient and evenly worn. The wheels should not be bent, corroded, or cracked.
The horn should be functional. If not, it will have to be repaired prior to the inspection. It may not always seem like it, but the horn is an important safety item.
All of the glass should be free of cracks, breaks, or any damage that would reduce visibility. The windows and door locks should work properly. The doors should also properly open and stay closed.
The seats should be in adequate condition and securely mounted to the floor. The seatbelts should work and have no damage. If equipped, the airbag light should go out after startup.
The floor of the vehicle should not have any holes in it.
The emissions system components should be all installed and functioning properly. The check engine light will indicate if there is a problem in the system.
Engine Compartment/Undercar- There should be no major leaks of any kind under the hood or beneath the vehicle.
For more specific safety inspection guidelines for your area, check with your local mechanic or motor vehicle department.
Most drivers on the road want to keep their car running as long as possible. This is to ensure that they don't need to replace the vehicle too soon. Not all car brands are not created equal. There are still ways to keep the car running for a longer period. When you want to increase your car lifespan, there are a few important steps to take. Here are some tips to keep your car's maintenance up to date.
Drive with Care
Many people don't realize that the way that they drive their car will impact how well it continues to run. After buying a new car, you'll need to break it in with the first 1,000 miles that it's driven. Try to drive under 55 mph and avoid adding heavy loads to the back of the car. You'll also want to prevent it from idling for several minutes at a time. This can cause the oil pressure to drop quickly. Also, it will mean that the parts in the engine won't become lubricated as it runs.
After your car is broken in, avoid accelerating too fast at stoplights or stop signs. It's also necessary to avoid abrupt braking, which can put stress on the car's parts. Speeding will also cause the engine to work harder. This can cause the pistons to work at a higher speed, which can lead to excessive wear. Keep your speed as low as possible while still following the laws to reduce the wear and tear that is put on your engine.
Protect the Interior
The interior of your car may not determine how well it runs in the coming years, but it can become uncomfortable. Use weather mats that will prevent mud or dirt from staining the floors in bad weather conditions. If the car includes leather seats, use a conditioner to maintain the material and keep the windows cracked to prevent it from becoming too hot inside, which can cause the seats or dashboard to crack. It's also important to use a sun visor if you plan to park outside for several hours during the summer season to reduce the amount of heat that transfers into the car.
Tinting the windows will also prove to be beneficial and will prevent the seats from fading due to exposure to sunlight.
The car should also be detailed at least once or twice each year to remove dirt and grime that accumulates over time. Getting the car professionally cleaned will improve its overall condition and can prevent it from depreciating as quickly. While it may not affect your car lifespan, it helps to keep the appearance up.
Protect Your Car From Harsh Weather Conditions
From snowstorms to hail, several types of weather conditions can cause damage to the vehicle and affect its overall condition. Keep the car stored in a garage as much as possible to protect the paint and reduce its exposure to the sun throughout the year. If you have to keep it outside part of the time, invest in a car cover that will protect the exterior and will prevent rust from developing over time.
On cold days, you'll need to allow the engine to warm up for several minutes before you begin to drive away. The battery can have a lower charge in cold temperatures and will need time to get more juice. It's also important to drive it as little as possible on colder days of the year to ensure a longer car lifespan.
Check for Sounds and Vibrations
A typical sign that the car needs to be repaired is if unusual sounds or vibrations develop. Visit a local service center and describe noise in detail to help them. Get an idea of what may be causing the problem. You'll need to communicate how it's affecting how well the car drives and if it only occurs at certain times of the day. Avoid adding any more miles to the car until it's serviced and an expert diagnoses the issue.
Shift Gears Properly
Inexperienced drivers with manual transmissions often shift gears incorrectly as they operate the vehicle. Stay in the correct gear while you're driving to prevent it from shaking and moving too slow. Driving in a gear that is too high will also lead to excess strain on the engine. This can cause damage to the cylinder heads. If needed get training to understand how to shift gears properly.
You'll want to remain proactive with your car's maintenance.
A brand new car engine, or a brand new car for that matter, is composed of hundreds of parts that must all work in perfect harmony to get things going. The problem with this setup is that just the perfect harmony of these parts takes a while to set up.
This is where break-ins come into the picture.
Simply put, breaking in your car involves running your car at the low throttle for the first thousand miles or so. You'll want to keep your rotations per minute at low levels during this time, typically under 75 mph with precise instructions stated on your car manual. This break-in period serves to settle the gears and connections in place, allowing them to withstand greater pressure down the road. The lubricants permeate the metal while the metals and plastics expand or contract to fit right into position.
Now this is an important thing to remember for those bringing in imports from other countries - especially sports car models. You may feel the urge to find an empty stretch of road and put the pedal to the metal, but this would result in subtle but serious damage in the long run.
The materials will first warp into shapes that will be too tight or loose for other parts to fit in. Your car will function properly for the first ten, twenty, fifty thousand miles so you don't think it's such a big deal. But problems start cropping up at the sixty and seventy thousand mile mark. These could result in costly repairs and could mean your car engine expires after just 100,000 instead of 200,000 miles.
Remember to give your car the break-in it needs and you won't regret it later on! This is why we feel it is important that you spend time breaking in your car.