Vehicle Safety: Common Questions and Answers

Vehicle Safety: Common Questions and Answers

As drivers in Chantilly, Virginia, we subject our vehicles to some rough roads. Regular automotive maintenance helps to combat the effects, but some busy drivers are not always able to stick to a regular maintenance schedule.

In this blog, we have put together a small Q&A about common automotive issues. Reading these will help you better to keep an eye on your vehicle’s health. The more you know which warning signs to look out for, the better prepared you will be!

Why do my brakes stink?

The most common cause for brakes giving off a burning smell is brake pads. The brake system uses a blend of hydraulics and friction to slow and stop. Given how friction causes heat to build up, overuse or aggressive braking can cause the brakes to overheat, therefore causing your brakes to generate a burning smell.

Another cause could be newly installed brake pads or components. Sometimes, new brake pads need to be worn in, like a pair of shoes. If your brake system has had recent service and you smell something, it is probably best to check in with your Sterling, VA auto repair technician.

Why are my brakes squealing?

On the topic of brake pads, let’s talk squealing brakes. The brake pads are an element placed between the metal contact and the rotor of the braking system. When the pads become worn, the metal contacts will rub on the metal rotor, causing a squealing sound. Allowing this to happen can cause expensive damage to the rotor as it will become unevenly worn.

Why does my car vibrate?

While we’re talking about rotors, let’s touch on vibration when driving at high speeds or braking. If the rotors become uneven, it can cause very noticeable shaking. Often, a driver might think their car is typical while driving into work in the morning when the weather is cold, only to feel then it shake on their way home. If your car or truck is doing this, you need to get into Casey’s Automotive in Sterling, VA, for a brake inspection.

Why does my engine knock?

There are many reasons an engine will knock, but let us cover the most typical causes. The octane of the fuel your vehicle is receiving is too low. Inside the engine’s cylinders are where the mixture of gasoline and air burns. When you have the correct octane fuel in your gas tank, the spark plug ignites the mix, and the pressure from the resulting explosion pushes the piston down. If the fuel in your tank is not an optimal match for your engine, the heat can ignite the fuel before the spark plug fires.

There might also be an issue with the computer, which controls the timing of the engine. If the timing is off, it can cause the spark plug to fire at the wrong time. The same could be said for a knock sensor that has gone bad.

Other causes include bad belts, pulleys, or worn bearings. No matter what, if your engine is making a knocking sound, contact Casey’s Automotive in Chantilly, Virginia, for a free inspection.

Why does my car pull to one side?

The typical cause for a car or truck that pulls to one side is wheel alignment. Cars and trucks require precision to function safely. When driving on rough roads with poor conditions, it is easy for wheels to become misaligned, causing unsafe driving conditions. Not only will the vehicle pull to one side, causing the driver to have to over-correct the steering wheel, but it can also cause uneven wear on the tires.

However, while wheel alignment is the most common cause, for a vehicle that pulls to one side, there are others as well. Tire pressure that is inconsistent among all four tires can cause a vehicle to pull.

There could also be the risk for a worn-out part in the steering or suspension systems. No matter what, if your car or truck is pulling to one side, you should have your vehicle inspected as soon as possible. Getting a jump on service will help you avoid costly repairs in the future.

Automotive Maintenance and Repair in Chantilly, Virginia

Automobiles are complex machines that require skilled technicians to keep them running right. Casey’s Automotive team of certified auto maintenance and repair technicians have the know-how to keep your running through regularly scheduled maintenance and superb repairs.

If your vehicle is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact Casey’s for a complimentary 42-point inspection!