Electric cars or ‘green cars’, as they are popularly known, are leaving the fuel-powered cars far behind since they offer many advantages like low gasoline costs, comparatively low maintenance costs and ‘zero emission’ factor. Lacking any combustion engine, they are operated through batteries and electric motors. However, they, too, require to be looked after. Auto provides the best electric car services.
When it comes to Mercedes, you are getting a vehicle that is a blend of luxury and performance. However, there are many who want to personalize their vehicles or take their performance to the next level. Here is a list of some of the most popular performance upgrades we perform for Mercedes-Benz here at Malone’s Service.
There are a variety of spoilers for Mercedes-Benz. There are even spoilers that you adhere to the rear of the vehicle using tape, so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of drilling any holes. A popular mod is a carbon-fiber rear trunk spoiler.
This is a popular upgrade for individuals who have Mercedes that are starting to age a bit. A big problem with these vehicles is that the headlights will begin to fog over time. Aftermarket headlights can not only add a unique look to your vehicle with customization options such as colored LEDs, but will refresh an older vehicle so that it looks much more modern.
You can take your vehicle’s sound to the next level with an exhaust upgrade. These are particularly popular for the AMG Mercedes-Benz. You can pick an exhaust note that really resonates with you.
You can pick and choose from a vast amount of custom steering wheels for your Mercedes-Benz. We personally love flat-bottom steering wheels.
Carbon accents are really in style currently. Everything from spoilers to mirrors to antennas is being covered with stylish accents that really make the vehicle’s body pop out. The rear diffuser is a particularly popular part for carbon fiber replacement.
And this only covers some of our more popular upgrades. You spend a lot of time in your vehicle, so why not customize it to suite your tastes? At Malone’s Service and Performance, we specialize in German auto repair and European performance upgrades.
The engine is the most vital part of your car and that’s why it is called the Heart of your car. If you have ever thought of cleaning your own car and save some money from car wash service then you can easily do it and make a world of difference.
Why Should I Clean My Engine?
You might have a quest that why should you clean the engine? Well, there are plenty reasons behind it. One reason is to clean all grease, leaves, grass and debris properly to reduce extra load from your engine and keep it cooler. Contrary to popular belief or whatever myth there is, engines don’t need dirt or oil on them to work properly. The more the engine is cleaner the more efficient it would be. If there are any leaks or another kind of damage, grease and grime make it harder to identify that. If you clean your own engine you can pin point those areas in need of proper maintenance.
Take the Safety Cautions First:
If you are cleaning your car engine remember to disconnect the battery. Another thing is never spraying water directly into the engine to avoid blowing fuses or other damages. Because water conducts electricity and it’s better to wrap electrical components like alternator and distributor with plastic bag or tape. You may choose to disconnect the positive terminals or if you leave the battery in the vehicle, tuck the ground cable aside and prevent it from coming contact with the terminal. Don’t forget to wear eye protector glasses and hand gloves to protect your eyes and hands from any kind of damages.
How Degreasers Work:
You can choose any brand of degreaser as they pretty much work the same. It is better to spray the degreaser from the bottom up on the engine to ensure total coverage. Be careful about over sparing degreaser as it can remove the shine from automotive paint. But if you get any degreaser accidentally on painted areas then rinse it off as soon as possible.
Engine degreasers work by eating away the stuck on grime or oil on the engine. Two to three minutes is enough to loosen up the stuck on grease and oil but it can take a couple of more minutes more if your engine is extremely dirty. In this case, it would be wise to follow the instruction of the bottle.
Brushes to Rinse the Grease:
To scrub away any large deposits of grease, burned oil or grime you can use stiff bristled or steel toothed brush. You can also use a soft nylon brush to clean more stuck on areas but you have to make sure that the degreaser does not dry out.
Choose the Effective Hose Pipe:
Now you can start power washing your car. Do not use the high-pressure hose to rinse the engine. A regular garden hose will rinse the engine more efficient and remove most of the dirt. After rinsing the engine if you still think it’s dirty you can go through the whole process again but don keeps the degreaser more than a few minutes. When you are done rinsing the engine immediately start washing the car so that if there is any degreaser stuck on any painted area you can wash it down before any damage happens.
Now you can allow the engine to dry in the air and u can wipe the car surface with dry cloth or foams. Finally start the engine and keep it on for 10 minutes to check if it’s okay or not. If something unusual happens don’t panic, give it some time and check again.
If you are a conscious car owner you have to take care of how often you have to clean your car engine. Though it depends on the environment or the place you are driving in, your engine should not be cleaned any more than once or twice a year. If you drive in heavy rain or snow your engine should be cleaned in every 2-3 months. If you are not confident enough to take so much risk with your all-important vehicle, you must see a car service center for having a safe and sound engine cleaning.
We encounter many problems dealing with Mercedes-Benz repairs in our Marietta, GA shop. From mechanical issues to electrical issues, there are many common problems that can affect these luxury European cars. Here we list some of the more common problems that occur and how you can look out for them because you will end up paying more to fix other problems if you let these persist.
Car does not start but does crank
If you find your car will crank but does not start, then the issue is most likely the crank shaft position sensor. If the sensor does not communicate properly with the engine, then the engine will not start. Most commonly, you will begin experiencing longer crank times (the amount of time it takes for the car to start when you first turn the key) before the sensor finally fails. Replacing the sensor is the only way to resolve this problem.
Shifter won’t go out of the parking gear
If you find that your car starts, but you cannot move the gear out of park, then a common problem is a failure of the selector module. This problem is most commonly found on E and S class models of Mercedes. As with many issues, you can detect signs of an impeding failure beforehand. If you notice that the shifter becomes more and more difficult to move, then this problem may be right around the corner.
Rattling when car starts (especially when cold)
If you experience a rattling from the engine during the first 30 seconds of startup, then the problem is commonly a belt tensioner that has worn out. Although this is a common issue if you keep your car out in the cold, you may have other issues if the problem persists. Water pump pulleys will give similar symptoms. It is important to diagnose and repair this issue the moment you begin noticing it, or else you may find yourself stranded without a belt.
Rattling from the rear of the car
One of the most common reasons why there might be rattling in the rear suspension is due to a break in the lower rear spring. If this spring breaks, then it will leave the coil in the rear spring pocket. The broken pieces will rattle around as you drive your car. If you notice that the ride height has changed (not always obvious), then that is yet another indication that this problem has occurred. This issue should obviously be changed as soon as possible. The repairs are usually done for pairs of springs in order to avoid future complications.
Fluid is leaking at the center of the car
This is a common problem especially on older models of Mercedes-Benz. If you find red fluid near the center, then you can be fairly sure that you have a transmission fluid leak. There are a large number of causes for these leaks. Anything from leaks within the seal of the transmission pan to the electrical transmission plug attached to the transmission itself. If you notice that only a small amount of fluid is leaking out, then you can be sure that more will come later. If you allow this to continue, then the lower amounts of fluids within the transmission can cause many other mechanical problems.
Ignition key doesn’t turn
If you find that the key will not turn, then this may be a problem with the EIS module. As with many other problems, there will be signs of wear beforehand. If you notice it becomes increasingly more difficult to turn the key before starting your car, then this issue may occur soon.
Front of the car is lowered
Mercedes S-class models will be fitted with air-ride suspensions. It is common for two corners of these cars to fail. Due to these failures, the car may lower quite a bit, even to the point where it cannot be driven anymore. The most common cause of this issue is leaking struts. These can be relatively easy to repair depending on if the shocks need to be replaced or not.
Mercedes are vehicles that are the perfect combination or luxury and performance. Here are some general tips you can follow as a Mercedes owner to ensure that you will always feel knowledgeable during your repairs and services.
Read Your Owner’s Manual
Having general knowledge of each section of your owner’s manual will go a long way. From changing oil to diagnosing and troubleshooting simple mechanical problems, this little book will help you more than any item on this list. You don’t have to go crazy here. Just learn the basics. They can save you a lot of money in the long run. Of particular importance, keep your VIN available, as this will come in handy during many times like when scheduling service for your vehicle. And speaking of service, the owner’s manual will give you detailed information on when you should get your Mercedes serviced. Whether you are looking at A service or B service, you will need to get these done regularly. Otherwise, you will risk having your parts deteriorate over time.
Keep Up With Your Records
Whenever you have a service, repair or upgrade performed on your car, keep a record. Keep your receipts and any other documents from these services. Well-kept records are not only useful for mechanics like us when diagnosing and repairing vehicles, but they also add additional value when selling your vehicle. Whenever we see well-documented histories presented to us, we know that the owner is serious about their vehicle and expects the best service from their mechanics. Cars break down, and by having all of your repairs and services recorded, then future buyers will know that you have done your part in keeping your vehicle running in the best possible condition.
If you are taking your vehicle to an independent shop or a dealership, confirm to make sure that the mechanic who is working on your car specializes in Mercedes-Benz. Cars these days are very complex machines that require specialized knowledge in the inner-workings. You don’t want a summer intern to be poking around in your valuable vehicle. Mechanics who are not certified may not be able to identify and repair all of the issues that your car may be facing. If this happens, you will face other repairs and frustration down the road. At Malone’s service, our certified technicians have been working with European brands like Mercedes-Benz for over a decade.
Always Ask Questions
The more that you know about what is going on with the repair of your car, the better. Whether you are getting your car serviced, repaired or upgraded, you should know the details of what is going on. Do not feel intimidated by mechanics. At Malone’s, we always do our best to ensure that each of our customers know that we are open to talk anytime about the services or repairs we are performing. As the customer, you should always do your part to become more knowledgeable about what is going on with your car. After all, most of us spend time every day in one!
Look For Warning Signs
Most of us drive our cars each and every day. Over time, we become used to them and we can usually tell when something is amiss. If you notice a new noise, new smell or any other oddity, then take note. What seems like it may be nothing today may cause your Mercedes to break down tomorrow. Always look for warning signs and inspect your vehicle to the best of your ability. Proper observation, especially during critical seasons like summer will help you avoid costly repairs down the road.
We talked a little about maintenance tips during the summertime in our last post. Check it out here if you didn’t already read that post. Here are 3 more summertime maintenance tips that you should take into consideration, especially if you are planning on traveling for vacation.
You may associate summertime with heat and dry weather, but depending on what part of the country you are in, the weather can take drastic turns for the worse. How many Georgians have gotten caught in big thunderstorms during their trips to and from Florida? It has happened to us all too many times. This is why it is important to check that your wipers work well. This is especially true for nighttime travel. Rain during the night can decrease your visibility to only 20 feet in front of your car. Inspect and replace your wiper blades with quality ones if necessary. If you visit any local auto parts store then they will be able to easily assist you with choosing the right blades for your vehicle.
Brakes are arguably the most important safety feature on your car. Driving long distances will put even more stress on your car’s brakes than normal. Driving on worn or faulty brakes is dangerous. You will want to have your brake’s linings inspected in order to see if you need them replaced. This can be done at any service shop in your area. There are some signs that indicate that you may need to replace your brakes:
If you notice that the brake pedal becomes softer over time.
On the other hand, if the brake pedal becomes too difficult to push down
Check out warning lights or any indicators on the dash. If this happens, then you will need to go to a service shop or auto parts store to have them examine the status of the lights to see what may be causing the issue.
Scraping or grinding sounds when you step on the brakes.
If you do notice squeaking brakes, then this may not necessarily mean that you need to replace your brakes. Have a service shop check the problem as it could be a number of issues. However, do start getting concerned if the noise starts to sound like grinding. Have your brakes inspected as soon as possible if you notice any abnormalities. Leaving this problem alone can lead to even greater damages that are much more costly than a simple brake replacement. The last thing you want is for these problems to surface during your trip across state.
Radiator & Coolant
Engines have a much more likely chance of overheating during the summertime the longer you drive them. Low coolant levels or damaged hoses can quickly lead to overheating. Similarly, problems with the radiator will also result in overheating. These parts will wear down over time. It is important that you have these parts of your car inspected per your owners manual. If you have not gotten an inspection and are planning a road trip, then it may be time to get it over with. Bring your car in for inspection and make sure that your car runs at peak performance. One of the quickest signs you will see if there are any problems with this area of the vehicle is small puddles of coolant underneath your car if you leave it parked overnight. Don’t ignore these leaks.
There sure are a lot of areas of the car to check to ensure it runs well during the summertime. These are all services that you should have done regularly. If you do, then you should be good during your travels.
Mechanics don't always get the best rep. There are a lot of negative stigmas associated with those in the auto repair industry. At Malone's, we are German car specialists who pride ourselves in our customer service. We want you to find a mechanic who is your best friend. Here are some qualities you should look for when choosing your next auto mechanic.
There are so many online channels displaying business information these days that it's hard not to find reviews or ratings for your local auto shop. Simply do a quick search and see what comes up. You should be able to, at the very least, pull up their reviews on Yelp, the Better Business Bureau or their Google Business Page. Check to make sure that their customers are satisfied with their work. A quality mechanic shop will garner many positive reviews over time. Do your research before you bring your car in to any shop.
2. Talk The Talk
Being able to communicate with customers is a skill every good mechanic should possess. Your mechanic should be able to quickly and clearly explain complex mechanical problems to you. If you find that the people you are questioning hesitate or are avoiding giving you straight answers, run the other way.
3. Diagnostic Skills
Any good auto repair shop will possess an array of sophisticated tools and equipment to quickly diagnose your vehicle. Your mechanic should be able to tell you what is wrong with your vehicle and point out any related issues.
Don't be afraid to ask your mechanic about his training and level of education. A competent auto repair shop will staff certified mechanics who are experts in one or more areas. The shop will usually proudly display awards and certifications for their customers to see. If you own a luxury or exotic vehicle, then it is especially important for you to pay attention to your mechanic's certifications. Don't just allow anyone with a title to work on your car.
Good mechanics are not afraid to look you in the eye and give you a straight answer. They are honest, hard-working individuals who understand that a solid work ethic is tantamount to their success.
Vehicles have undergone a lot of changes in recent years. The electrical components inside and around your car are growing more complex by the day. A good mechanic should be invested in constant continuing training to keep up with these ever-changed trends.
Be wary of auto repair shops that attempt to up-sell you at every turn. A great mechanic is there to do one job: get your vehicle back in working order. They understand that car repairs can be expensive and their main concern is simply getting you back into your car quickly and safely.
8. Work Guarantee
Would you trust an auto mechanic who won't back up their own work? A quality auto repair shop and the mechanics who work on your car should always give you a warranty on their work that is within reason.
9. Customer Service
You will know the moment you interact with people whether they really have your best interest in mind. The staff and mechanics at any good auto shop will listen to you, answer any of your questions and treat you with respect. The environment should not be hostile and should never make you feel uncomfortable.
Mechanics that deal with your car should be veterans in their field. Do not settle for less. A quality mechanic has earned their keep and will possess the skills only years of experience can provide.
It’s no secret that cars are put under more stress during extreme seasonal changes, and the heat is no exception. Heat plays a big role in the deterioration of parts, and this is especially true for the European model of cars that we specialize in. So before you pack up for vacation, there are a few very simple precautions you can take in order to ensure that you don’t have any problems getting to and from your vacation spot.
Very few people check their tire pressures consistently and correctly. Under-inflated tires are bad, but so are over-inflated ones. During the hot weather that comes with summer time, tire pressures will change. Check to make sure that you tire pressure is at a reasonable PSI according to your owner’s manual. You can check the pressure with a simple hang pressure gauge that you can pick up for cheap at the local auto parts shop. One of the worst-case scenarios that we see here at Malone’s Service and Performance are tires that blow out altogether. A combination of heat and an under-inflated tire can cause such an accident.
You will also want to pay attention to your tire’s tread. If you stick a penny in between the treads and the head does not disappear, then it is time to start thinking about a replacement.
Oil and Oil Filters
Oil is what keeps your engine parts running smoothly and most importantly, cool. You should change your oil at least every 7,500 miles, but you can consult with your manual again to see what the recommended amount is. Your car’s engine is a lot more likely to overheat during the summer time, especially if you are taking a long drive across the state. You can easily check the oil of your car with a few easy steps.
First, let the car run for a few moments while you have it parked.
Locate the dipstick for the oil under the hood. When you check the oil, make sure that it looks brownish-yellow and both clean and smooth while on the stick. If there is a lot of grime, then it is time for an oil change and a replacement for the filter.
And finally, make sure to check that the levels are correct. If there is not enough oil, then you can simply top it off. Consult again with your owner’s manual in order to see what type of oil the car uses. If you are unsure, then you can always bring it in to a shop and ask an expert.
If you are changing the oil yourself, please make sure to recycle it instead of throwing it away.
Hoses & Belts
There are hoses connected to the car’s radiator to help pump coolant to and from the engine block. The belt will run the fan that cools the entire system of the car. You will want to examine and check each for cracks. If you hear that your belt is squeaking, then it is probably time for a change. A quick fix would be simply to lubricate with something like WD-40. If you don’t trust your eyes, then bringing in the car for an examination is a quick way to find out if there is any damage to these parts and any others around the car.
These are three of the most common areas of headache we see during the summertime. If you are planning on doing some vacation traveling, or just being stuck in that terrible Atlanta traffic for long hours each day, then make sure that your car is running at its best or you will have to pay the price eventually. If you experience any breakdowns during the summer, you can trust Malone’s Service to do the job right. We are a car repair shop located in Marietta, GA. Our mechanics have been proudly serving our metro-Atlanta neighbors for over a decade.
If you find that your car won’t start, there are a number of troubleshooting steps you can follow in order to find out the most probably cause.
Check The Battery
If your car won’t start, then check to see if the battery is dead first. Can you turn on the lights? When was the last time your battery was replaced? A battery can run out of juice for a number of reasons, from faulty electrical components to just forgetting to turn off interior lights.
You may experience unusual activity prior to the battery dying out, like the windshield wipers going more slowly than usual, or the car starter taking seemingly longer to turn the car on. If you have a battery that is somewhat new, then you can most likely just recharge it. Have someone help you jump start the vehicle. If the battery cannot be jump started, then the battery is most likely just dead and needs to be replaced.
Ignition Won’t Turn
This is a common problem for many European models of cars. If your key is becoming difficult to turn, then it may only be a matter of time before it stops turning completely. If there is a problem with the ignition lock or the key, then you will need to bring your vehicle in for repairs. Check with a spare key first to see if this works. Sometimes, you may simply have the wheel locked in place. Try to release the steering lock and see if the key will turn then.
No Lights Turn On The Instrument Panel
If you find that you turn the the ignition but do not see your speedometer and other instruments light up, then you most likely have no power from the battery. Many times, it is either a dead battery or a faulty ignition switch. Again, test to see if the headlights come on to check the battery. If the lights do come on, then there is a good possibility that there is a problem with the ignition switch, some wiring or other issues. It is best to bring the vehicle in for a diagnosis at that point.
Starter Won’t Crank
If you hear continuous cranking noises when attempting to start the car, then this again is likely caused by a weak battery. There are a variety of issues that could cause this, from faulty wiring to a dead battery. Over time, issues can develop with electrical components that send current to these parts or the starter itself could be faulty. If you run through the simple troubleshooting steps for the battery and find no resolution, then you will need to have a certified mechanic check the vehicle out.
Engine Cranks Slow, Then Finally Only Clicks
This is usually caused by the starter motor not having enough power to turn over the engine. Like many of the problems on this list, the battery is most likely the issue. Corrosion of poor connections with cabling are culprits that we have seen aside from the battery simply needing to be recharged.
It is important to have your battery checked every few years. Batteries that are older than 4 to 5 years will start to experience more and more problems as time goes on. This can result in a number of issues. Although the basic troubleshooting steps will get many people the right answers, if you experience something you are unsure of, then have a mechanic look at it. Leaving these issues alone will only result in further headaches down the road.
Summer has officially started, and so have the car problems! This is the time of year where we get a variety of issues that only happen during the Summer. The heat is only one factor in all of this. Summer is when people tend to go on vacation and really stack up the mileage on their cars. From traveling across the state to the beach, to having fun going off-roading, there are many ways to have fun with your car. However, these all put more stress on your vehicles. From land rover and jaguar, bmw repair and audi, mercedes service and volvo, no car is immune to the increased wear and tear during the Summer months. Here are some of the most common reasons for summertime break-downs.
This is probably the one most people are familiar with. The engine is a hot place, and the car needs to keep the engine under reasonable temperatures in order to run efficiently (or at all). With warmer air, the engine can start to overheat more quickly than normal. This is especially true for longer road trips where your car is traveling further south. Many times, we will simply add more coolant to the vehicle or replace a thermostat here and there. If you notice that your car is having issues with overheating constantly, then there may be more serious problems. Only a certified European auto mechanic will be able to effectively diagnose what is wrong with your car.
The AC will work overtime during the Summer. For many of us, a daily commute to and from work in Atlanta traffic is a nightmare, one that is made worse in a hot car. With the AC running full blast for hours at a time, the added stress may eventually cause parts to fail. However, many times drivers will not even notice problems with their A/C because so few run them during the winter. When the heat starts to turn up, that is usually when we see people start coming in for repairs. Don’t get stuck in traffic without cold air. Regularly check to make sure all of these systems are in working order. And if they are not, then bring your car in for a check up and get these areas repaired before you have to deal with the heat.
Having your battery die on you is a terrible feeling, especially during the summer. Have your battery tested at frequent intervals. If your battery does die, then get a jump from a friendly nearby driver and get the battery replaced as soon as possible. Again, vigilance is key here. Have your car tested before the summer months come in to avoid any of these disasters.
It seems that during these times of the month, construction in and around the metro-Atlanta area is in full swing. Due to this, we get a lot more flat tires that need to be replaced. Make sure that your tire pressure is at the right PSI so that you can hopefully avoid having to replace a tire on the side of the road if you do end up getting a nail in one.
It is important to have your vehicle inspected regularly, and especially right before summer time. Your vehicle is a machine, a machine that needs to be taken care of, especially when you start using it a lot more during the Summer vacation months. Happy driving!
The auto repair industry is huge. Here are some of the most interesting statistics about the biz.
There Are Many Different Shops That Are Classified As Auto Repair
According to the Small Business Development Center of the University of Georgia, over 175,000 businesses in the United states are classified as mechanical auto repair shops. These include service stations, independently-owned auto repair shops, specialty shops (those dealing only in mufflers, transmissions, engines, brakes, etc.), auto parts stores like NAPA and Advanced Auto Parts, and car dealers who offer auto repair services. Over two thirds of these are general automotive repair shops that do not specialize in any one vehicle.
The Number of Employees Is Steadily Rising
The estimated number of people employed in automotive service of some kind is between 670,000 and 740,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number has risen steadily since 2001 as is expected to grow by at least 5%. Most of these individuals handle services such as inspections, maintenance like oil changes and brake replacement, and tackle repairs on cars and trucks.
Shops Are Fairly Small
Most auto repair shops are small, family-owned businesses that serve their local neighborhood. The typical auto repair shops has fewer than 5 employees on average. Over half of these are usually technicians of some sort. The total number of bays is between 4 and 5, so the amount of cars that can be services or repaired at any given time is small. Most shop owners started off in the automotive industry at an early age. Over two thirds of mechanical shops in the US are family-owned.
Shop Owners Are Struggling With Technology and Information
The average age of an auto repair shop owner is 46 years old. Many do not understand digital marketing and what it takes for businesses to succeed in the online space. A survey by Autoinc Magazine found that owners are having the most issues keeping up with changing technology trends and staying relevant in the age of the internet. The nest most pressing issue for owners was finding appropriate information for repairs, whether online or otherwise. Aside from technology, they also struggle with finding good technicians to hire.
Auto Shop Owners Still Rely On Old-School Advertising And Marketing Methods
According to Automotive Marketing, the vast majority of auto repair shop owners still rely on word-of-mouth referrals for promoting their business in a positive way. Many do not invest in any sort of online marketing efforts like social media advertising. Shop owners also rely heavily on local referrals during the hiring process. Few utilize online recruitment options such as websites, instead opting to hire individuals they know or are introduced by others they trust.
The Demand For Auto Repair Increases Each Year
With the amount of old cars still on the road, each year the average number of repairs sought out increases. With the economic troubles of the past few years, Americans have opted to drive their old cars for longer, and thus are spending more on repairs as the years go on. In 1990 alone, there were over 20 million cars and trucks on the road that were over 15 years old. This number has risen steadily over the years.
The Number of Women in the Automotive Industry Is Rising
The amount of female automotive technicians has risen dramatically in recent years, with some areas seeing spikes of as much as 3x. However impressive this growth may be, women still make up a very small percentage of the total number of technicians in this field.