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When to Get Brake Service and BMW Repair in Houston, TX

Inspect your brakes yearly to make sure they are in good condition.

Do brakes need to be serviced?

Yes, it’s important to regularly maintain and service your brakes so they will operate properly. If you are hearing a squeaking or squealing noise from your brakes, it’s definitely time to service your brakes.

When should I service my brakes?

An essential part of BMW repair and maintenance is brake service. The difference between good and bad brakes can mean the difference between life and death if your brakes go out at the wrong time. Your brakes should be checked at least once a year. A yearly inspection will give you an idea of the condition your brakes are in.

What is brake service?

Brake service involves checking the condition of your brakes, including the brake pads and calipers, rotors, drums and fluid. Brake service should be done anytime you feel your brakes are not performing well. Mileage may vary on brake wear but is generally seen anywhere between 20,000 miles and 50,000 miles, depending on your driving habits and the road conditions on which you normally travel. An yearly inspection will help determine what repairs or replacements are needed.

For quality auto services in , TX, including brake services and BMW repair services, you can rely on European Service Center. Give us a call at (469) 453-5800.

What does brake service include?

Brake services may vary depending on where you take your vehicle and how comprehensive the service offerings are.

Brake services usually include:

  • Caliper replacement
  • Anti-lock Brake System diagnostics and repair
  • Brake pad and rotor replacement and resurfacing
  • Brake fluid check and exchange
  • Cleaning and adjusting brake drums and parking brakes
  • Repacking wheel bearings

European Service Center offers a comprehensive package of brake services and BMW repair services. Auto repair is an important part of your regular maintenance.

Brake service for BMW

When you have a high-performance vehicle like a BMW, you should entrust any BMW repair, especially brake service, to highly trained and qualified technicians like those at European Service Center.

Typically, brake service for a BMW will be needed somewhere between 20,000 miles and 50,000 miles. When you need brake service for your BMW, you should choose a service that has technicians trained on high-performance vehicles and has the precision tools to maintain the vehicle.

When you receive brake service on your BMW at European Service Center, not only will you receive impeccable service from our technicians, you can trust us for the best parts. The parts used in our services meet German Original Equipment Specifications.

Good brake pads will be about 1/4 inch thick.

How do you know your brake pads are bad?

There are several signs that might warn you that you need new brakes. One of the most common things you’ll notice if your brake pads are bad is a squealing or squeaking noise when your brakes are applied. Usually this noise can be heard even when the windows are up, though it might not be heard over the radio or air conditioner noise. If this noise is infrequent, you may not have a problem. Sometimes you’ll hear a squeal occasionally if your vehicle has been sitting for a long time after being exposed to water. In this case, a small layer of rust has built up on the rotors and when it comes in contact with the brake pads, you may hear a squeal after a couple of stops.

You can also check for brake wear visually. You can look at the brake pads through the wheel’s spokes. About ¼ inch of pad should be visible. Less than that and you should have pads replaced or inspected.

Brake service light

When your brake service light comes on, if your parking brake isn’t engaged, it usually means your brake fluid level is low. If you have low brake fluid, you should get the fluid replaced. Without proper brake fluid levels, you may not be able to apply enough pressure on your brakes to stop properly. A brake service light may also indicate your brake pads are worn and need replacing. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specifics on your vehicle’s braking system.

Brake service price

Brake service price will vary depending on the type of vehicle you have, what repairs are needed and where you take the vehicle to get it serviced. On average, to replace the brake pads on each axle will cost about $300 to $500. Additional repairs to components like the calipers will cost extra.

For affordable repairs on high-performance European vehicles like BMW repair, we are the experts to rely on.

How do you service a brake system?

If you plan to service your brakes yourself, you will need to begin by removing the wheels. To do this safely, you’ll first loosen the lug nuts, then jack the car up to remove the wheels and get to the brake components. Following that, you will need to remove the caliper which holds the brake pads. The pads will need to be replaced if they are less than ¼ inch thick.

Drum brakes require a similar process. In this case you will need to remove the drum to inspect the brake shoes for wear. You will also want to check the return springs for signs of wear. You should also check the wheel cylinder as well at this time.

Anytime you need auto service, including brake service and BMW repair in , TX, give our highly trained team at European Service Center a call. To schedule a service call (469) 453-5800.

What Would Make A Check Engine Light Go On?

Close-up of a check engine light.

How Much Does It Cost for a Diagnostic Test on a Car?

You car makes a particular squeaking sound when you turn on the engine. One of the rear brakes seems to be lagging. Whatever the problem with your vehicle, a diagnostic test will reveal the problems that are occurring within your engine well. Generally speaking, a car diagnostic test is going to cost anywhere from the dollar amount of zero, to approximately $120.00. Due to the fact that a car is made of thousands of parts that must function seamlessly, with a diagnostic test, your friendly mechanic will be able to tell you what is wrong with your vehicle, and what to look out for in the future.

How Long does a Diagnostic Take on a Car?

A diagnostic test performed by a mechanic, is very similar to a diagnostic test performed by a doctor. Instead of blood tests and answering questions, your mechanic tests every function of your vehicle. Due to the thorough nature of a diagnostic test, the process usually takes between two to four hours. One of the repairs your mechanic may recommend is an electrical repair service, which thoroughly repairs all of the electrical systems in your car.

Close-up of a speedometer with signals.

How do you Diagnose Car Problems?

One of the most important ways to diagnose car problems is through investigating the warning lights on your dashboard. The ‘Check Engine’ light covers a wide range of problems ranging in seriousness. There are other signs that demonstrate car needs, such as the engine temperature light, the tire pressure light, or the oil light. These lights are much easier to decipher, and should be addressed with expedience.

What is a Diagnostic Scan?

A diagnostic scan is an excellent tool for car drivers. For example, if you are traveling at high speed down a highway, and your car suddenly breaks down, a tow truck and a scan of your engine diagnostics will be your best bet for getting you back on the highway, and your car in working order. There is a high likelihood that your mechanic will use a diagnostic scanning tool to ascertain what possible problems are occurring in your car, and procedures for correcting them. The codes that the tool has will give your mechanic the proper methodology for fixing up your vehicle so it is in proper working order.

Is it Safe to Drive with an Engine Light On?

It is safe to drive with an engine light on provided there is no loss of power. Please get your engine checked as soon as possible. If your ‘check engine’ light is flashing while you are driving, then the answer is no, it is not safe to drive. Avoid heavy acceleration and driving at a high speed. Stop the vehicle and turn off the engine. Turn it on after two minutes, and see if the ‘check engine’ light is still flashing. If it is, you will need to alert your local, trusted mechanic as to the situation. He/she will know how to help. If you live in , TX, for your engine diagnostic, use European Service Center. Call: (469) 453-5800.

Engine Diagnostics Tool

A scan tool, also known as a car diagnostic tool, has a diverse range of features that help your mechanic get to the bottom of what is ailing your vehicle. Scan tools are engineered to interact with your engine’s “on board diagnostic” system. The scan tool communicates with the signals emitted by your vehicle in a fairly sophisticated manner. The other features that a scan tool possesses range from:

  • Scoring and playing back live data.
  • Displaying pending codes.
  • Graphing data.

And more!

Bosch Engine Diagnostic Equipment

A trusted brand, Bosch has one of the premiere engine diagnostic tools available on the market. These tools are compatible with all 1996 and newer import and domestic vehicles, as well as ‘94 and ‘95 OBD compliant vehicles. This scanning tool is able to decipher diagnostic trouble codes, emissions readiness monitors, and retrieve manufacturer specific, global, and pending codes. With patented TrueLink technology, Bosch scanning tools are able to connect to 99.8% of all vehicles.

Auto Diagnostics Center

European Service Center’s auto diagnostics center is available for vehicle problem diagnosis. Trained mechanics assess the varied functions of automobiles using state-of-the-art technology to determine the exact prognosis for your vehicle.

Engine Noise Diagnostics

If your check engine light is not on, but you are experiencing car issues, utilize this list to better diagram the problem. Use your sense of hearing. Different sounds that your engine is emitting can help you utilize process of elimination. Pay close attention to how your car sounds when you turn on the engine, when you are driving, and while you are parking.

  • Creaking or squeaking. If these sounds occur when turning or steering, it can indicate a problem with worn-out shocks and ball points or damaged suspension.
  • Clicking or popping sounds. If you hear clicking or popping sounds, you could have loose hubcaps or drive belts. Also at fault could be imbalanced tires or low engine oil.
  • Strange noises occurring during braking. If you hear any unusual noises emitting from your brakes, there could be serious issues with your brake pads.

Discover more with European Service Center now at (469) 453-5800 concerning your engine diagnostic in , TX.

Common Problems with Mercedes Sprinter Vans

common problems with mercedes sprinter vans, mercedes sprinter vans, sprinter vans, sprinter, mercedes-benz sprinterMercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Economy

With the economy relying heavily on e-commerce and delivery services, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will play a significant role in its continued growth. Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it will be purchasing 20,000 Sprinter vans for its new Delivery Service Partner program. That alone shows how reliable the Sprinter vans are.

In order to fulfill this order and future growth in the United States, Mercedes-Benz announced a new $500 million investment in a manufacturing plant in South Carolina. The 2019 model is full of modern gadgetry that you find in passenger vehicles and will be the model that Amazon will first start using for its new delivery program.

The Sprinter has been around since 1995, so that gives us enough time to understand what common problems drivers/owners are reporting. Also, understanding the common problems with Mercedes sprinter vans allows fleet managers to plan and budget accordingly.

Common Problems with Mercedes Sprinter Vans

While there aren’t too many problems people report with the Sprinter, these vans are constantly on the road working. So, problems are bound to arise, no matter how well they are designed. Furthermore, because of the wear and tear of the vehicles, owners can expect to pay a significant amount of money in annual repair costs. More specifically, brake pad and broker rotor replacement, brake caliper replacement, and a starter replacement. That said, here are the two most common problems with Mercedes Sprinter vans.

Mercedes Sprinter Not Starting

As previously mentioned, the Sprinter vans are worked very hard with a minimum of 12 hour days, so problems are guaranteed to arise. One of these issues is not being able to start the engine. There can be many reasons behind an engine not starting. In the case of the sprinter van engine not starting, there are 3 main culprits:

  1. Battery – A dead battery is the number one reason why your sprinter van won’t start. Replacing a battery should not be too costly, and it will get your van back on the road delivering.
  2. Alternator – If the battery is fine, then the next reason your Sprinter is not starting is the alternator. Alternators can either undercharge or overcharge your battery, resulting in electrical charges. It’s best to get it looked at to see if it can be repaired or replaced.
  3. Starter – A major sign of a bad starter is slow and difficult cranking. If you are experiencing this, have one of our ASE certified mechanics check it out immediately. A sprinter van that is not on the road is one that is not delivering, so schedule your appointment here to get it back on the road as soon as possible.

We have locations in Texas (Dallas, Uptown, and Houston) and Georgia (Alpharetta, Buckhead, Duluth), so make sure to give us a visit to help you diagnose any common problems with Mercedes Sprinter vans.

Mercedes Sprinter Van AC Not Working

Again, these vehicles are pushed to the limits and issues are expected. Another reported problem with Sprinter vans is the AC not working. And there are common reasons why this is occurring:

  1. AC Refrigerant Leak – With so much wear and tear occurring with these work vans, the probability of an AC refrigerant leak is high. And if that is the case, then the AC will not work. It is hard to spot a leak with the naked eye, so make sure to get it checked by a certified professional mechanic.
  2. Electrical Issue – In some cases, the cause of the AC not working is electrical. This can affect most component of the HVAC system, such as the AC compressor and AC condenser. Your best plan of action to is to have one of our service mechanics diagnose your Sprinter van.
  3. AC Compressor – the least common reason why the sprinter van AC is not working is the AC compressor. This the easiest one to diagnose. For example, if hot air instead of cold air is blowing from the vents, it’s a problem with the AC compressor. You may also hear noise when starting up the AC. If you do, then your AC compressor needs to be repaired or replaced.

Having an AC system that works is important to keep drivers comfortable. The more comfortable they are, the more they can deliver, so it is important to get this common problem with Mercedes Sprinter vans fixed. Schedule your appointment today.

European Service Center

The European Service Center has been servicing European vehicles for over 35 years. We serve the cities of Dallas, Uptown, and Houston in Texas. We also serve the cities of Alpharetta, Buckhead, Duluth, and Sandy Springs in Georgia. You will find satisfied customers in all of those communities, and we look forward to satisfying your needs as well. Schedule a visit here, or contact us here if you have any questions regarding common problems with Mercedes Sprinter vans.

Land Rover Range Rover Top 5 Issues

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For Both the Latest Models and Classic BMWs, You Can Rely on Our Pros for Expert Maintenance!

Range Rover – Perfect for Life in Houston

A Range Rover is perfect for Houston living. Both are spacious, powerful, and luxurious. H-Town is also one of the most populous cities in the United States and the most populous in Texas. Its economy is dominated by a very competitive oil & gas industry, which keeps gas prices low –perfect for a gas-guzzling Range Rover.

History of Range Rover

Having a Range Rover is a sign of wealth, and Houstonians, on average, make more than the average US household. So, we can see why Range Rovers are so popular in H-Town. But how did Range Rover become such a status symbol?

Range Rover is manufactured by British multinational carmaker, Land Rover, and was launched in 1970. Since the beginning, Range Rovers were designed to be luxurious SUVs and they have continued with this tradition ever since. However, unlike other luxury-SUVs, Range Rovers are engineered to be true off-road vehicles. Interestingly, according to the Range Rover’s original designer, they were not meant to be the status-symbols that they have come to be.

Top 5 Range Rover Issues

That said, Range Rovers are not free from issues with reliability and expensive parts. So, whether the original designer intended for them to be for the rich or not, they are expensive vehicles to maintain nonetheless. Here are the top 5 Range Rover issues to look out for:

5. Oil Leak from Front of Car

There have been reports of oil leaks for older and new Range Rover models. For example, a 2017 owner said that they noticed oil and fluid leaks all over their garage floor. The issue has been identified as an oil leak developing from the front crankshaft seal (pictured above). Fortunately, there is an easy fix with a repaired seal from the manufacturer, If you are having this problem, get in touch with us here and make your appointment for a visit.

intake manifold gasket, intake manifold vacuum, range rover issues, rough idle, unstable idle, houston

4. Rough or Unstable When Idle

Range Rover drivers have reported a rough or unstable experience when the vehicle is in idle. The problem has been identified as a leak in the intake manifold vacuum (pictured above). Fortunately, this is an easy fix with a repaired intake manifold gasket. If you are having this issue, make sure to bring your Range Rover to the European Service Center. You can make your appointment here.

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3. Sound From Engine Area When in Idle

A chirping type noise has been reported by Range Rover drivers when they are in idle. This issue has been identified to be coming from a faulty drive belt idler pulley (pictured above) and can be easily be fixed with a repaired pully. If you are experiencing sounds from your Range Rover engine, then bring it by our service center so we can properly inspect it. You can book your appointment here.

2. Illumination of the ABS Warning Light

Range Rover drivers are reporting that the ABS warning light is turning on. After careful investigation, the problem is caused during severe wet conditions (which Houston sees a lot of), whereby water is causing corrosion in the ABS modulator electrical connector. This issue is solved by installing better modulator ground leads which provide a better seal for the connector. Make an appointment with us today. If there is corrosion, then that has to be dealt with first before installing the new ground leads.

1. Shaking or Pulsing While Driving

Drivers of several Range Rover model years are reporting a shaking or pulsing when they press the brake or during regular driving. The problem has been traced back to a common issue of misshaped brake rotors. This is usually caused by worn out brake pads. Please make an appointment and bring your car in for an inspection. This way we can replace any worn out brake pads and warped brake rotors.

At European Serice Center, we understand European vehicles. We have been servicing them for over 35 years, and enjoy highly rated reviews from our clientele. Not only do we have the experience with Range Rover, but we can repair and service most European models. Give us a visit at our Houston service center; our ASE certified service mechanics have the tools to inspect, diagnose, and repair any issue your Range Rover might be having. Schedule your appointment today, and get our 3-year/36,000-mile warranty on all of your work for that extra peace of mind.

Lamborghini Suspension and Steering Repair

The Lamborghini brand is known for its engineering excellence especially when it comes to design and technology. Lamborghini engines are rated as one of the best performing engines in the world, a major reason why the brand manufactures engines for racing teams – with the inclusion of Formula One cars. High-end engines aside, Lamborghini’s suspension and steering are a major problem.

The Lamborghini Suspension and Steering System

The suspension and steering system is an integral part of the vehicle. The primary function of the suspension system is to allow for free movement of the car wheels while effectively maintaining the weight of the car to keep it suspended and stable. A conventional suspension system is made up of struts, ball joints, shock absorbers, springs, and tires. The steering system, on the other hand, converts the energy from the rotating motion of the steering wheel to the swiveling of the tires. The steering system is made up of a rack and pinion assembly, steering gear box, pitman arm, idler arm and tie rods.

Signs of a Faulty Suspension and Steering System

Suspension and steering problems pose a major safety risk, and if you suspect a malfunction in the system, you should have your car examined. Warning indicators that your suspension and steering system is faulty include; excessive and persistent noise when driving over bumps or making a turn, wandering or shaking wheels which could cause the vehicle to bounce, poor steering control, uneven wearing of the tires, etc. Essentially, the suspension and steering system is designed to ensure a stable and smooth ride, so if you are experiencing a bumpy and harsh drive, then it may be time to book an appointment with your mechanic.

Fixing a Faulty Suspension and Steering System

To repair a defective suspension and steering system, we will have first to determine the cause of the issue. Numerous issues could cause a suspension and steering problem such as worn out or lose components like shock absorbers and struts, unbalanced wheels, leaking shocks, uneven tire wear, a malfunctioning power steering, etc. Sometimes your suspension and steering problems could also be because of improper wheel alignment. Once we have determined the cause, we will proceed with repairs. The faulty components will get replaced or repaired, depending on the extent of the damage.

Sometimes all your vehicle may require is proper lubrication of the internal components of the system to keep the car running smoothly. If your car isn’t running smoothly because of an alignment problem, we will correct the issue by squaring the vehicle’s wheels and axles such that the steering wheel is centered, and everything is moving in the same direction. Do not take your suspension and steering system for granted, the wearing out of a single component in the system can start a chain reaction that could cause safety hazards in the future. Your Lamborghini is a superior vehicle, and regular maintenance and servicing is the best way of ensuring it stays that way.

Volvo Clutch Repair Services

Volvos are one of the most popular and oldest car brands in the automobile industry. The Swedish automakers are known for producing mid-sized station wagons. The low maintenance cost of these vehicles is one of the many factors behind their popularity in the market. Many drivers love the Volvo brand, and if you are one of them, you should know that the Volvo clutch of your vehicle may become problematic during your Volvo’s lifetime.

What Is the Volvo Clutch and What Does It Do?

The clutch is a friction disc positioned between two rotating drive components – the pressure plate and the flywheel. The clutch connects the transmission to the engine, and its main purpose is to ensure that power is transmitted from the engine to the transmission. When the vehicle is in gear, the clutch is engaged, and power is transmitted from the engine to the transmission. When the driver presses down on the clutch pedal, the clutch disc is disconnected from the flywheel; the engine is momentarily disengaged from the transmission to allow for shifting in and out of gears.

What are the Signs of a Faulty Volvo Clutch?

It is near impossible to drive with a failed clutch as the clutch will be unable to transmit enough power from the engine to put the transmission into gear, the engine may rev, but it is unlikely that the vehicle will move. A failing clutch, yet to reach a point of complete malfunction could either slip or shudder, and the driver may have trouble changing gears if the vehicle is in motion. Sometimes, you may hear clanking noises coming from the transmission area. If you observe any of these signs in your vehicle, you may have a malfunctioning clutch on your hands, and it is recommended you have it fixed before it damages another component of your Volvo.

What are the Causes of a Bad Volvo Clutch?

The clutch friction disc is made of a wear-prone similar to that of brake pads, with excessive use or after a substantial number of miles on it, it will wear out and will need to be replaced. Each time the clutch is engaged, the disc reduces in thickness just a bit more until it is completely worn out and too thin for the clamping force of the pressure plate. A loss of spring tension in the pressure plate can also cause the clutch to slip and malfunction. If there is an engine oil leak in the engine compartment or a leak in the transmission fluid from the input shaft bearing, if any of these fluids get to the clutch, then there will be the need for repair services.

How Is Bad Clutch Repaired?

A malfunctioning clutch could leave you stranded or at very least make for a very unpleasant to drive. If you need repair services for a failing clutch in your Volvo, European Service Center has shops in Dallas Texas, and Alpharetta Georgia.  All you have to do is bring in your car to our repair shop, and our certified Volvo Mechanics will get you back on the road. We will inspect the clutch master cylinders, clutch cable, clutch hydraulics, clutch fork and other related components to rule out other issues and ensure that the clutch friction disc is the faulty component before the necessary repairs.

Repairing the clutch entails removing the transmission, so the clutch is accessible, then the clutch pressure plate, the clutch disc, and the flywheel are removed and replaced with new components. Although the flywheel is serviceable, a replacement is usually recommended although that often depends on the extent of the damage. After the installation, the technician will test the car to ensure that the clutch is back to proper operation. The clutch of the Volvo does not have a recommended replacement mileage. The rate at which a disc wears out is dependent on how often it is put into use. Always ensure that you are not riding your clutch, put your vehicle in neutral when stuck in traffic or at a red light. The less you use your clutch, the more you prolong its lifespan. Nevertheless, owning a car shouldn’t be complicated or difficult, frequent maintenance and repair services will give you a driving experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.