BRAKE PAD AND SHOE REPLACEMENT
Brake pad problems can usually be identified by squealing brakes. If your brake pads deteriorate completely, you’ll hear a grinding metal-on-metal sound when braking, meaning that it’s too late and you’re ruining your rotors or drums! Those with knowledge of auto repair might be able to fix this at home, but you should always see an auto repair professional immediately if you have brake problems.
In a disc brake system, rotors are attached to your vehicle’s wheels. When the brake pads grip the rotor, they bring both the rotor and wheels to a stop. However, the friction causes grooves and cracks to appear over time. Resurfacing brings the rotor back to a “like-new” condition, reducing squealing and wobbling.
The brake caliper houses your brake pads and fits around the rotor like a clamp, pressing the pads against the rotor when you brake. A brake caliper problem could cause uneven braking, making your car continue forward when you brake. Uneven braking can also cause your vehicle to slide out of control in bad weather conditions.
A brake hose is a tube carrying pressurized brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brakes. A crushed hose can cause a lagged or slow brake, and a leak in the hose can cause the brake, or the entire brake system, to fail. These don’t need to be replaced often, but should be replaced at the first sign of cracking or wear.
BRAKE FLUID FLUSHES
Brake fluid will absorb water from the air over time, causing the brake system to become less effective and the fluid to become corrosive, possibly damaging the system. It is important to perform a brake fluid flush regularly to ensure that your vehicle is using fresh fluid.
ANTI-LOCK BRAKE SYSTEMS
Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS) ensure that the wheels don’t stop rotating during braking, preventing the car from skidding and offering greater control. If your ABS light comes on, visit Fallon Automotive where we will be happy to diagnose and fix the problem.
Tires are the single most important safety feature on your car. They are the only thing that connects the car to the road, and life-saving technologies like antilock brakes and electronic stability control cannot do their job if the tires don’t have a good grip on the pavement.
As the adage goes, nothing lasts forever. Car owners still need to replace their tires a few times or more throughout the life of a typical vehicle. Despite advances in longer-lasting tires, actual tread life will vary by car type, tire type (such as all season or high performance), driving aggressiveness, and even road and weather conditions. Proper maintenance and responsible driving can maximize the mileage in a set of tires.
WE OFFER MOST MAJOR BRANDS OF TIRES
At Fallon Automotive, we understand that tires are an important part of your car. The quality of tires and material used on them highly affects the vehicle’s performance. Their main purpose is to protect the wheel’s rims and improve vehicle performance. For this reason, we only deal with brand name tires.
Once a need for new tires is determined, it is necessary to identify the best tires for your vehicle and driving demands. Look for tires that do well in tests for braking, handling, and resistance to hydroplaning; winter traction should also be considered, if applicable. Let tread wear, ride comfort, noise, and rolling resistance be tiebreakers.
Fallon Automotive provides a three year warranty on all tires purchased from our shop as well as free tire rotations for the lifetime of the tires. For more information on our tire warranty, visit https://members.technetprofessional.com/members/s/Road-Hazard
Did you know that regularly changing the oil in your vehicle is one of the simplest, most effective and inexpensive ways to help protect its engine life? Oil lessens wear, reduces friction, and forms a seal between the pistons, rings, and cylinder walls. The oil also helps cool engine parts and even dampens the shock and noise of moving parts.
MOTOR OIL BASICS
Do you know the oil basics? Did you know that even some auto mechanics do not know the oil basics? In order for your car’s engine to do its job properly, it is vital to have clean, fresh oil. The oil used in your car has two primary ingredients: base oil and additives. The base oil allows the motor oil to perform its vital function – lubricating the engine’s moving parts to protect them against wear and tear caused by friction. The additives provide additional engine protection by helping to prevent the oil from deteriorating under the engine’s extreme temperature conditions.
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT / DASHBOARD LIGHTS
TPMS (TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM)
Indicates the tire pressure monitoring system has found tire with low air pressure or a sensor with a dead battery or malfunction. Check tire pressure. Some vehicles will allow manual reset of TPMS light - refer to owner's manual.
OIL PRESSURE WARNING
If this light stays lit, it indicates loss of oil pressure. Immediately check oil level and pressure.
COOLANT TEMPERATURE WARNING
Indicates temperature has exceeded normal limits. Check coolant level, fan operation, radiator cap, and coolant leaks.
BATTERY / CHARGING ALERT
Indicates voltage level is below normal and the vehicle's charging system is not functioning properly. Check battery terminals, alternator belt, and battery condition.
REDUCED POWER WARNING
Indicates engine computer has limited engine power output. The ECM has many levels of reduced power depending on what component has failed in its control system. Usually requires diagnostiv with a professional scanning tool.
TRACTION CONTROL OR ESP
Illuminates when the vehicle's traction control / anti-skin or electronic stability system is in use. Usually an indicator that conditions are slippery.
OIL CHANGE REMINDER
Indicates that oil life has expired. This is monitored by the ECM; the interval can be mileage or a combination of readings taken by the ECM. The reset procedure is listed in the owner's manual.
If the light stays illuminated after starting, it indicates that the vehicle has found a fault in the airbag system and the computer has set a code. Professional repair of the supplemental restraint system is recommended.
Indicates that there is a problem with the vehicle's traction control / anti-skid or electronic stability system.
This symbol indicates that the vehicle's overdrive system has been manually turned off. Typically, the overdrive system is controlled by an on/off switch.
Indicates one of three possible conditions: parking brake is on, problem with the braking system / brake fluid is low, or ABS problem. Check brake fluid, make sure parking brake is fully released.
Indicates that the transmission is operating at a higher than optimum temperature as the transmission fluid is hotter than normal. Check transmission fluid level and engine coolant level.
SERVICE VEHICLE SOON
Typically indicates a lighting or other electricl problem that is controlled by the BCM (body control module). Check all lights, headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and hazard lights. This may also warn drivers of a traction control problem.
Indicates that the anti-lock brake computer has set a code and needs professional diagnostic.
If the symbol lights momentarily, it may mean that the ignition switch is locked and will need the transponder-equipped key to restart. If the symbol is visible when the vehicle is on, it typically means a malfunction in the security system.
Indicates that the cruise control system is engaged while the vehicle is driving.
This light indicates that the gas cap is not tightened properly. If not addressed, quite often the Check Engine light will also illuminate.
Indicates that a door is not fully-closed. Open and firmly close all doors, including the hood and trunk. If the vehicle is left in this condition overnight, it can drain the battery.
Indicates that there is an exterior light on the vehicle that is not functioning properly.
GLOW PLUG (DIESEL ONLY)
On diesel vehicles, this light indicates that the engine's glow plugs are warming up and the engine should not be started until the light goes out.
Indicates that windshield washer fluid is low. Fill washer fluid reservoir - some vehicles have separate reservoirs for front and rear window washers.
Indicates that the vehicle's front fog lamps are illuminated.
VIRGINIA STATE INSPECTIONS
Some states, like Virginia, require regular safety inspections and/or emissions inspections on car and trucks. At Fallon Automotive, we are well-equipped and trained to perform these inspections. Our technicians can also perform multi-point inspection on your vehicles as needed. These are some of the inspection services that we offer:
VIRGINIA STATE CERTIFIED INSPECTION STATION
Virginia state inspection stations are privately-owned, but government-certified, stations throughout the state. Both Fallon Automotive locations are certified Virginia state inspection stations.
VIRGINIA STATE CERTIFIED EMISSIONS TEST FACILITY
Did you know that the Motor Vehicle Commission requires you to take your motor vehicle for an emission inspection every two years? This kind of testing is administered through a network of privately-owned (but government-certified) auto repair shops. Fallon Automotive is a Virginia state certified emissions test facility. At our shop, we can perform emissions testing on all eligible vehicles regardless of fuel type or model year.
VIRGINIA STATE CERTIFIED EMISSIONS REPAIR FACILITY
A state-certified emissions repair facility is a privately-owned motor vehicle repair facility, licensed to repair emission-related failures. The repair facility must employ a CERT (Certified Emissions Repair Technician) who has passed a state-required training program. Both Fallon Automotive locations are VA state certified emissions repair facilities.
To schedule a time to come into either of our shops for an inspection, contact us
A/C AND HEATING
If the breeze from those open windows just isn't cutting it, come by one of our shops to get an expert opinion on what we can do to fix your air conditioning or heating problems. We offer affordable prices and guaranteed workmanship. Call us so we can help you drive in comfort.
WHY MAINTAINING YOUR A/C SYSTEM IS IMPORTANT
Heating and A/C systems may break eventually with useage causing reduced efficiency of heating and cooling capabilities. Regular maintenance will keep your A/C system operating at peak performance!
Indications your A/C system may be having issues:
A comprehensive evaluation of heating and A/C systems includes:
if your air conditioning blows only slightly cooler air compared to outside air
air coming through vents smells damp, musty, or like mildew or mold
your cabin does not warm up in cold weather, or is only slightly warmer than outside
the defroster takes longer than typical to operate, or does not operate at all
your heater or A/C only functions while driving, not while idling, or quits blowing when the vehicle is stationary
your heating system blows cold air, or the air conditioning blows warm air
low airflow even at the highest setting
examining the internal controls and blower
checking radiator coolant operating temperature, hoses, pressure, radiator cap, and thermostat
inspecting the compressor belt
inspecting system and seals for leaks or various other damages
a cooling system pressure check
verifying the A/C pressure meets manufacturer specifications
measuring the interior vent air temperature
Any car part manufacturer will tell you that preventative maintenance is critical to the part's lifespan. Like other auto parts, car engines aren't built to last forever. However, you can increase the engine's lifespan by performing regular preventative maintenance. The easiest way to maintain peak performance and fuel economy is to provide regular engine maintenance for your vehicle.
REPAIR AND REBUILD
After years of use, your car's engine inevitably deteriorates. If you car needs a new engine and you are not ready to invest in a new car, consider having the engine rebuilt. This involves replacing or resurfacing all of the rundown parts in the engine. Regardless of your engine needs, we have experienced engine rebuilders ready to assist you.
A timing belt is a part of your car's internal combustion engine. The belt synchronizes the camshaft and the crankshaft rotation so that the engine valves open and close at the correct timings. Also, the belt prevents the pistons from striking the valves in an interference engine. Most cars we drive now have timing belts instead of timing chains and gears. Although different manufacturers have their recommended mileage, you need to have your car's timing belt checked regularly.
The cylinder block is the powerhouse of the vehicle. The solid cast part houses the cylinders and their components (gaskets, valves, and seals) inside a lubricated and cooled crankcase. Since it is one of the most important parts of your car, the block is designed to be extremely strong and sturdy; however, it is susceptible to failure, resulting in a vehicle that won't start. Cracked blocks, porous blocks, core or freeze plug failure are some of the main problems facing cylinder blocks.
A cylinder head is the closed end of a cylinder (located in the vehicle's engine block). It sits above the cylinder block, closing the top of the cylinder and forming the combustion chamber. The cylinder head coordinates airflow in and out of the engine. Since the cylinder head's chief function is to seal the cylinders properly, insufficient compression results in the car being difficult to drive.
Fuel injection is a system for admitting fuel into an engine. Since 1990, fuel injectors have completely replaced carburetors as the primary means of getting gasoline into the engine. A fuel injector atomizes the fuel by forcibly pumping it through a small nozzle (under high pressure). Failure of the fuel injection system means poor performance and ultimately destroys the engine. Make sure that your vehicle is maintained properly to maximize efficiency and performance.
An ignition system is a system for igniting (using an electric spark) a mixture of fuel and air in a gasoline engine. A properly working ignition system means a properly starting engine and high performance from your car.
A spark plug delivers electric current to the combustion chamber from the ignition system. Spark plugs that haven't been changed in a long time can cause ignition problems.
IGNITION WIRES AND CABLES
Ignition cables (also known as spark plug wires) are an important part of your car's ignition system. They transfer the spark from the ignition coil to spark plugs that ignite the mixture of fuel and air. Over time, ignition wires and cables get weak and break down. This makes it impossible for the spark to reach the engine cylinders; this results in the engine misfiring and the car will eventually fail to start. If it does start, it will run poorly. Common symptoms of faulty ignition cables and wires are: poor gas mileage, engine misfires, illuminated check engine light, or engine vibration.
In motor vehicles, the transmission usually refers to the gearbox, which uses gears and gear trains to transmit speed and torque from a rotating power source to another device. You can have your car’s transmission replaced with a new, rebuilt, remanufactured, repaired or used transmission.
REPAIR & REBUILD
When it comes to automatic transmission repair, there are several options: buying a new one, buying a remanufactured one, or having yours rebuilt. Each of the above options has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. Of the three options, rebuilt transmissions are the most economical. A rebuilt transmission involves removing the transmission from the car, disassembling it, replacing worn out parts, reassembling it, and then reinstalling it.
Automatic transmissions shift between gears automatically to optimize driving, and changes gears based on the driver’s throttle pedal, vehicle speed, engine speed, and vehicle load. Typical automatic transmissions have 4-5 forward gear ratios, a reverse, park, and neutral gear. Shifting gears occurs automatically once the car is in drive and there is no need for a clutch pedal or gear shift like there is with a manual transmission. Automatic transmission repair is complicated based on all the components that make it up, and you need to have an automatic transmission issue properly assessed by auto mechanics.
Driving a vehicle with a manual transmission requires using the clutch pedal and gear shift to manually shift gears based on the speed of the vehicle. Manual transmissions have been built with anywhere from two to eight gears. Front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive are the two main configurations for manual transmissions. Typically, manual transmissions require less maintenance then automatic transmissions.
There are clutches in both automatic and manual transmission cars, and different types of clutches. When shifting gears, the clutch engages and disengages from the flywheel and transfers the torque through the transmission. Clutches should help your vehicle start and shift gears smoothly. The clutch in your car receives a lot of wear and tear and can eventually wear out. If your clutch begins slipping irregularly or is making noises that are raising suspicion, clutch replacement might be necessary.
FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE TRANSMISSION
A four-wheel (4×4) drive vehicle has differential gears, both front and rear axles, and a transfer case attached to the transmission. Four-wheel drive vehicles demand maintenance on the transfer case, front differentials, rear differentials, and transmission fluids.
TWO-WHEEL DRIVE TRANSMISSION
If your vehicle is front-wheel drive, the engine drives the front wheels only. The power is routed through the transmission to the final drive where it is split and sent to the two front wheels through the drive axles. The engine, transmission, and additional hardware are all located in the front of the car.
A transfer case is a part of a four-wheel drive system found in four-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles. The transfer case receives power from the transmission and sends it to both the front and rear axles. This can be done with a set of gears, but the majority of transfer cases manufactured today are chain driven. The transfer case is connected to the transmission and also to the front and rear axles by means of drive shafts.
SERVICE, DIAGNOSTICS, AND REPAIR
Transmission repair is not something to take lightly. The transmission is connected to key parts of your vehicle and needs to be working properly for your safety. Transmission services include replacing filters and draining fluids to prevent transmission damage. Typical transmission issues that may lead to repair may include shifting issues, slipping, stalling, fluid leaking, and the service light turns on. If you are concerned that you may need transmission repair, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Fallon Automotive today.
BATTERY AND ELECTRICAL
Have a dead battery? Misfiring starter or alternator? For all of your auto electrical repair and maintenance needs, come to Fallon Automotive. We service your vehicle with care, providing a high level of workmanship you can trust. Our auto electrical repair and maintenance services include:
The battery supplies electric energy which powers the ignition system, the starter motor, and the lights of an automotive. If you need to jump-start your vehicle in the morning, your battery could be failing. When a battery starts deteriorating, it can either be replaced or repaired – this will depend on the severity of the damage.
A starter is a motor (electric, hydraulic or pneumatic) that rotates the internal combustion engine to initiate the engine’s operation. Starters are important parts of your car’s engine and their failure would translate to your car’s failure. When your car’s starter develops problems, seek expert help.
It is important to understand what makes hybrid vehicles different than regular internal combustion vehicles. Hybrid vehicles combine power from two or more sources. Meaning, your hybrid vehicle drives using power created from a fossil fuel and from electricity.
The increasing popularity of hybrids has made them more accessible to everyday drivers, and there are more hybrid vehicles out on the road. This means there are more hybrid vehicles appearing in car repair shops. If your hybrid vehicle is one of the cars showing up in the shop, there are a few different costs to expect.
First of all, it should not cost more to maintain your hybrid. Because most of the hybrid technologies have been out for a while, everyday mechanics have had a chance to get familiar. For those that have not spent a lot of time working on hybrid vehicles, they have had ample opportunities to read-up on the technology or take classes.
This means that the cost you accrue at a car repair shop will be based on the general repairs needed. You should not see extra costs associated with your hybrid unless it is for specific work to the battery, computer or electrical component.
When you do need to take your vehicle in to the shop, make sure you are taking it to a mechanic that has worked with hybrids before. This will streamline your process quite a bit. You will also be able to leave your vehicle knowing that it is in good hands.
Look at the recommendations of your vehicle’s manufacturer. Some vehicles require regular air filter changes. Also, remember that you are also caring for the fuel-injected engine. You will need to maintain a regular oil change schedule.
Fallon Automotive has several years of experience performing maintenance and repairs on diesel engines. If you are having any problems with your diesel, we can diagnose and repair it in a timely manner. We have certified diesel technicians,that are fully insured on staff.
Auto repair diesel services include:
Volkswagen TDI diesel repair
heating & air conditioning
fuel injector service
suspension & steering service
brakes & traction control