Blog

Signs You Need a New Battery

new battery

To avoid getting stranded, have your battery inspected or replaced every three years.

No one wants to get stuck with an inoperable car battery. For many people, this annoyance can seem like it always comes out of nowhere. Since the car battery doesn’t give many obvious outward signs of decay, non-attentive car owners truly can get stranded. As a general rule of thumb, get a new battery for your car every three years. Otherwise, pay attention to these warning signs.

Indicators You May Need a New Battery

Low Fluid: A portion of your battery case is translucent to allow for the inspection of your fluid level. If the fluid falls below the lead plates on the inside — the location of the energy conductors — then it’s likely time for a replacement.

Check Engine Light: Your check engine light can indicate many things. Low battery life serves as one of these. When you take your car in to get it checked, make sure your battery gets some attention.

Battery Leakage: A leaky battery is one that has neared the end of its life cycle. Leakage can appear as corrosion around the battery posts. If you do not clean this off, your car may not start.

Bloated Case: When a battery gets too hot, it can swell the case. While not in and of itself a sign of a dying battery, a swollen case can greatly decrease the battery’s life.

Most encounters with a dead battery come from overhead lights accidentally left on overnight. If you can see no outward cause, but your car won’t start, then your battery may have reached the end of its life cycle. To schedule service for a new battery, or to attend to any of your car’s needs, contact Premier Automotive Service today at (515) 276-3838.

How To Tell If Your AC Needs Service

Photo of acWith summer quickly approaching, everyone is busy getting their vacation plans together and ensuring their home is prepared for the hotter temperatures. However, do you know if your car’s AC is ready? A vehicle’s air conditioning is a system that has a tricky set of rules when it comes to service. Mostly, when you are no longer comfortable in your car or your air conditioner is not blowing as coldly as it should, it is time for service. This is not a very concrete set of rules, and you may want some definitive signs to keep a look out for.

Signs Your AC Needs Service

#1 Your AC Is Not Blowing Or Sounding Funny

This is two different situations that can arise within your car’s AC. You turn on your air conditioner to cool down your car and, to your surprise, nothing comes out of the vents. Another situation is that your AC takes a while to come on, but when it does it makes a lot of strange noises. These are both strong indicators that your AC needs service. It may be a bad motor or something worse.

#2 Your AC Creates Awful Smells

When your system comes on, do you notice a yucky odor coming from the vents? This is absolutely not normal. There are a few reasons this may happen, one of which being mold growing within the system. This can be hazardous to you and the occupants of your car.

#3 Your AC Is Leaking!

Pulling out of your parking space, you notice a brightly colored fluid pooled where your vehicle once sat. This fluid is more than likely coolant, the liquid used by your radiator and air conditioner to keep you and your vehicle cool. This means you probably have a leak or a busted hose in your car.

It is important to have your air conditioner serviced as soon as you are able to ensure the comfort of you, your family, and your car this upcoming summer season. Premier Automotive Service provides you with quality auto repair services and AC inspection in Des Moines, IA. Call us today at (515) 276-3838 to speak with an expert auto mechanic about your vehicles needs today. 

The Importance of Replacing Fuel and Air Filters

Car maintenance and upkeep can become costly if you let it. That is why many people look for ways to cut down on their repair costs. A lot of the time, this leads to refusing services that seem unimportant or redundant. When you hear “filter replacement,” you may think that it is not important. However, replacing your fuel and air filters are far more important than you know.

Air & Fuel Filters

Photo of filtersYour vehicle is run by an internal combustion engine. In order to function, it needs fuel to create the energy used in vehicular motion. This fuel will either be gas or diesel, depending on your vehicle. Your fuel is then mixed in a proper ratio with air to create combustion and get your vehicle moving.

When fuel and air are put into your vehicle, many different contaminants can be pulled with them. These contaminants, like dust, dirt, worn metal flakes, and more, can travel through your car and cause immense widespread damage, even rendering your car inoperable. This is where filters come in. They allow the air and fuel to pass, giving your car the clean fuel and air needs to get going!

Replacement becomes necessary over time. Like air filters within your home, filters within your car can become laden with debris and particles, making it harder for your car to draw the right amount of fuel and air. Worse yet, they can become damaged, allowing particles to attack your engine. With a replacement, your engine becomes more efficient and extensive damage can be prevented.

Do you need filter replacement? Premier Automotive is available for you! Give us a call today at (515) 276-3838. 

4 Things That Could Be Ruining Your Transmission

Our car transmissions are essential to having our cars work properly. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can cause transmission damage. Having the proper knowledge can ensure your transmission is always in good condition. If you think your car’s transmission is on the fritz, here are 4 things that could be damaging it.

4 Things That Could Be Ruining Your Transmission

Not Servicing Your Transmission

Transmission damage can occur when we don’t get the proper servicing. By taking your car in to get serviced, a professional mechanic will be able to give your transmission the maintenance it needs.

Your Transmission Fluids Are Low

Our car transmissions need to be well lubricated in order for them to work efficiently. If there is not enough transmission fluid, then you will eventually have transmission damage.

Too Little, Too Late

Your check engine light comes on, your car is exhibiting signs of overworking, and yet you have not taken it in. If for some reason car repairs are ignored, it can lead to transmission damage that is beyond repair.

You Aren’t Coming to A Complete Stop

Before switching from reverse to drive and vice versa, you should come to a complete stop. Not stopping while you switch gears can really, really hurt your transmission.

If your transmission is acting up or you need other auto mechanic services in Des Moines, IA, give the professional auto mechanics at Premier Automative Service a call at (515) 276-3838. We want your car to be in the best condition possible, so we offer quality service that will have your car driving for a very long time.

 

Winter Safety: How to Prepare Your Car For Winter

Photo of winterWith the new year here, people are making resolutions to better or enjoy themselves more in 2017. Do you have a resolution yet? Consider making 2017 the year of road safety. Winter is not a car friendly time, so what better time to start than now? Keeping your car prepared and yourself ready during this season can protect you from the worst winter can throw your way. How do you prepare? We have compiled a short checklist of ways to keep your car in top shape this winter season.

Winter Car Checklist

Check Your Fluids

Checking everything from your windshield wiper fluid to your oil can really keep your car in top condition. Make sure you have enough in your vehicle and if fluid levels are low, have your local auto mechanic service the vehicle. You may inquire regarding winter windshield fluid and oil. Both are designed for optimal performance during colder temperatures.

Is It Time for New Tires?

Low tire pressure and wear can put you in a tight spot on the road. Make sure you verify the tread on your tires is not too worn down and that your tires maintain their best pressure. If you notice that there is a great amount of wear on your tires, it is best to get new tires instead of risking loss of control on the road later. 

Test Your Heater

Much like your home heater, you probably do not run your car heater until the winter time. Whenever you are able, try a heater test to make sure it is running. If it is not blowing hot air or not performing, have it inspected. A broken heater can not only put you in danger but signal a bigger issue within your engine.

Make A Winter Emergency Kit

Always be prepared for the worst case scenario! While it sounds morbid, packing an emergency “go bag” can help in the event of a car accident. Pack things like extra blankets, an ice scraper, first aid kit, a road emergency kit of flares and sand, and even snacks. A key tip: see if your local auto repair store has emergency battery packs for cell phones. These handy little boxes can store extra charge to give your cell phone some juice when you need to contact 911.

Of course, you should always have your car checked out by your local auto mechanic as regularly as needed. This will ensure your car is always at its best. If you need a vehicle inspection or want to get your car ready for winter, give Premier Automotive a call today at (515) 276-3838! And remember, lets make 2017 the year of road safety.

When Should Brakes Be Replaced?

photo of brake cylinder, repair, brake adjustmentBrakes are a necessary safety feature that require maintenance every once in awhile to ensure they work 100% of the time . So when should you replace the brakes? These are some things to keep in mind to determine whether your vehicle needs new brakes.

The brakes on your car are some of the most important safety features available for you to use. It is vital to keep your brakes well maintained and replace the brake pads as needed. Not sure where to start with brake maintenance? Here are some tips to keep your car running properly and safely.

Checking your brake pads typically isn’t necessary since they come with a built-in indicator that will let you know when it’s time to replace them. If your brakes make a high pitched squeal every time you use them, the brake pads have worn thin to the point that the small indicator attached them are rubbing against the rotor. Other indications that it’s time for new brake pads could be the vehicle taking longer to stop when the brakes are applied or having to push the brake pedal down further than normal to get the brakes to kick in.

You’ll find that the rotors, or brake discs, won’t wear out as quickly as the brake pads. The discs will form grooves over time as they wear. Once these grooves are prominent you’ll want a new set of rotors. Otherwise, any new brake pads you install on the vehicle will wear out even faster.

Do you need the brakes on your vehicle inspected? Call Premier Automotive Service Center! Our professional automotive mechanics can inspect and replace the brake pads and rotors in no time. Premier Automotive Service Center is available for any vehicle maintenance and repair services you need in Des Moines, IA. Call us today at 515) 276-3838.

Top 4 Reasons For A Check Engine Light

Once in awhile, you may encounter the surprise of hopping in your car and seeing an unusual light on your dashboard telling you to check your engine. Unlike the low tire light and some of the other indicators in your car, the check engine light can signal many different problems. Below are the top reasons that this light would come on.Urbandale, IA check engine light

Gas Cap

If the offending part is your gas cap, your car is letting you know that the cap is not there at all or fuel fumes are leaking out. Replacement gas caps are a cheap and easy part to replace yourself. However, if your gas cap is on tight, this may be a faulty sensor, which a mechanic can fix.

Oxygen Sensor

Your car has oxygen sensors that monitor its emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere. Not only does this handy tool save the environment, it also saves you money on gas by increasing your car’s efficiency! A licensed specialist can replace a faulty oxygen sensor and send you on your way.

Spark Plugs

The spark plugs in your engine transfer electricity that causes fuel combustion to run your car. When one of these plugs misfires, you may notice a jolting in your engine that accompanies the light. Spark plugs and their surrounding wires are inexpensive and easy for you or a pro to replace. This will help your car run its best!

Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor is another mechanism that aids in fuel efficiency. It monitors and adjusts the amount of fuel your engine uses depending on how you’re driving. You may start to notice decreased MPG when this sensor fails along with the check engine alert light.

There are many more reasons why this light could come on — these are simply a few of the most common. If your check engine light comes on, our licensed mechanics in Urbandale, IA can find the problem and address it! Call us at (515) 276-3838 for all your auto repair needs. 

What Does a BBB Rating Really Mean?

When searching for an auto mechanic, it can be tough to know what exactly to look for. Word-of-mouth isn’t as easy to come by as it used to be, and there is so much information on the internet that it’s difficult to know how to weed through search results and reviews for nearby auto shops. You may see extensive certifications and badges that seem to indicate a level of trustworthiness, but what do they really mean?

One of the most prevalent identifiers you may BBB Ratingsee when it comes to businesses is the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating. It’s almost so common that you may overlook this badge, but it’s worth pausing to consider just how helpful that insight can be as a consumer.

The Better Business Bureau has been around 1912 and essentially serves as a unbiased organization to improve marketplace trust. They offer a rating scale from A+ to F that grades business based on several factors in order to represent a level of confidence for engaging in business with that particular company. A business does not have to be accredited with BBB to get a rating (as accreditation does imply a membership of sorts with BBB), and there are certain industries that are not eligible for a rating due to the nature of the services provided.

Factors Considered in the BBB Rating

  • Advertising concerns/ complaints
  • Background information available regarding the company
  • History of failure to address complaints
  • How long the company has been in business
  • Nature of services/products provided
  • The number of unresolved complaints against the business via the BBB
  • Total volume of complaints
  • Whether the business has appropriate licensing

These are just a few of the considerations that the Better Business Bureau uses to calculate the grade a business receives, and keep in mind that the rating can change at any point based on complaints lodged or additional information received/available. For more detail on the BBB Rating system, review this helpful FAQ on their site.

While there are many ways that you can vet a potential business to work with, the BBB rating is certainly a helpful method for determining the company’s track record of resolving complaints with customers and establishing a level of trust that they deliver what they say they do (or not, in the case of a poor grade).

If you’re looking for an A+ rated auto repair shop in Des Moines, IA, be sure to call Premier Automotive at (515) 276-3838! You can review our stellar BBB record here, or come on in to get to know our trusted mechanics

Struts & Shocks: Unsung Heroes

Shocks, Struts, and SuspensionStruts, shock absorbers, and suspension are really unsung heroes of our cars. When you take a turn, they stabilize you. When driving down the road, they keep the car handling well. Even when driving over rail-road tracks, they reduce the bumps you experience. These may seem like trivial tasks, but when it comes down to it, shocks, struts, and suspension are what make your car drivable. They reduce any shocks your car receives and you may experience. Without them there would be little to no way to actually direct your car. Without them, your car would not be able to get from point A to point B without at best swaying like a carnival ride and that is the best case scenario. At worst, your car would be just a fixture in your driveway, completely unusable.

When was the last time you had the suspension checked?  There are a few ways to tell if it is time to have a professional take a look. Have you:

  • Noticed shakiness while operating your vehicle?
  • Seen any leaking fluid escaping from beneath your car?
  • Are there any damage or bends found on the struts themselves?
  • Have you traveled at most 50,000 miles?

These are all signs that your struts, shocks and suspension may need replacement. With fall around the corner and massive amounts of leaves about to drop onto the road below, now is the best time to have them inspected and replaced. Having new struts will keep your tires tread even, lengthening their life, and keep your ride even.  Give us a call at (515) 276-3838 to set up an appointment to ensure your ride doesn’t become more exciting than it needs to be. 

Top Reasons for Regular Oil Changes

Oil ChangeRegular oil changes is a essential form of maintenance for every vehicle. There is a large risk of damage to important equipment including the engine if the oil is not changed properly or not often enough. Here are four reasons for changing the oil in your vehicle:

1. Engine Performance
The motor oil keeps the engine running smoothly. Without it, friction will build up and cause wear and tear on parts in the engine until it eventually breaks down. The oil acts as a lubricant as well as a way to absorb excess heat in order to keep the engine cool. Changing the oil is a great way to maintain engine performance.

2. Prevent Oil Buildup
Oil in the engine begins to break down over time which creates a sludge as the oil starts to solidify. Replacing the oil on a regular schedule prevents the sludge from building up. If the oil is replaced often, the sludge can cause a lot of trouble with the engine. You may end up paying for costly engine cleaning or a replacement of the engine if the damage is bad enough.

3. Replacing the Filter
Oil filters help remove sediment from the oil to prevent it from causing a build up in the engine.When you have the oil replaced the filter will be swapped out for a new one. This helps ensure that the new oil in your vehicle stays clean and free of contaminants.

4. Ensures Proper Oil Level
Without the recommended amount of oil, the engine will run hotter because the amount of oil is not sufficient enough to keep the engine equipment cool. This causes what little oil is left to break down even faster creating carbon deposits that cause serious damage to the engine.

How Often Does the Oil Need to be Changed?
It is recommended that you have the oil changed in your vehicle every 3,000 miles but it is important to check the owner’s manual. Some cars can go up to 10,000 miles before needed an oil change. It depends on the car and the type of oil being used.

If you need the oil in your car changed, call the automotive service experts at Premier Automotive Service. We will get the oil changed and the filter replaced in no time. Call us at (515) 276-3838 today for more information about our reliable and affordable automotive services in Des Moines, IA.