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AUTO REPAIR & MAINTENANCE BLOG

Maintaining your vehicle at home is a satisfying way to keep your motoring costs down. With the right knowledge and products even someone who isn't very mechanically inclined can take care of many of the smaller issues in everyday driving. Sometimes, however, car issues can be too specialized or complex for the average motorist to take care of by themselves and it becomes time to take your car to the pros. Below you'll find three major warning signs that you need to get to a mechanic ASAP, as well as some of the potential causes behind them.



Engine and Drivetrain Problems

Let's start at the beginning. If your car won't even turn over and start up, then the rest of the problems on this list won't come into play. The simplest cause of this issue is a dead battery, which you can remedy with jumper cables, and the instructions that come printed on their packaging. If jumping the car doesn't work, you may have a larger problem with your ignition system. It's advisable to take your car into the shop at this point because finding the root of the problem will likely involve removing a few parts from your engine. Whether it's dead spark plugs or electrical problems, it's better to have it dealt with by a professional. Likewise, engine surging where the revs rise and fall can mean a problem with your fuel injectors, which are fairly deep within your motor. It's unwise to drive around with a surging engine, as this burns more gas and can cause unintended acceleration. Drivetrain issues are another major issue requiring professional attention. Everybody fears the dreaded transmission repairs, so if certain gears won't engage or they shift at the wrong times you should definitely take your car to the qualified mechanics here at Giant Oak Automotive.



Vibration While Driving

This issue can be caused by damaged drivetrain components, but can also stem from misaligned wheels or unbalanced or flat tires. If you feel any vibration or shuddering as you drive along, you should get to a mechanic as soon as you can. At its worst, this issue can lessen your control over the car, potentially causing accidents. This will also wear out your tires more quickly than if everything was straight and true. Unwanted vibrations put stress on important (and costly) components like suspension and brakes while decreasing gas mileage, so it's smart to take your car in as soon as these issues develop.



Poor Braking Performance

Your brakes are vital to keeping you safe on the road and should definitely be cared for by a professional, unless you're absolutely sure you know what you're doing. Common signs of issues with your car's braking system include squeaking or squealing when the brakes are applied, or the brakes feeling spongy and failing to slow your vehicle properly. Squealing brakes are caused by the brake pads wearing through the pad surface to the metal underneath. At this point the metal behind your brake pad is coming into contact with the brake rotor. This can be disastrous and produce unwanted heat, reduced stopping power, and cause you to have to buy new rotors as well as the relatively cheap pads. Spongey and weak brakes can mean there's a problem with your master cylinder, which converts the mechanical pressure of you pressing the pedal into hydraulic pressure to apply the brakes. In either case, it's best to have your brakes seen to by the professional mechanics here at Giant Oak Automotive.



There are instances where car maintenance is simple and easy, but if you notice any of these issues developing, it's best to take your car in for a qualified mechanic's checkup so the problems can be remedied before they turn into much more serious issues. Giant Oak Automotive has the tools and expertise to have you safely back on the road in no time at all.




What Our Customers Are Saying

I cracked a cylinder head in my engine in my beloved 4Runner after initially thinking it was just a clamp accidentally left on my fuel line after a smog check elsewhere. Mike is so honest and his prices are so fair and reasonable and he even gave me a ride home and dropped me off. He also straightened out my license plate for free. What a guy!!!


-Heidi T.

This is the best place to take your vehicle for repairs. Mike is a straight shooter and made the process of dealing with my warranty company very simple and stress free. He was very responsive and kept me well informed throughout the process. I strongly recommend this place for any auto repairs you need!


-John L.

My wife and I have been taking our vehicles to Mike at Giant Oak Automotive for over 20 years. During that time Mike and his crew have consistently provided excellent service at very fair prices. He is honest, hard-working, knowledgeable, and will go the extra mile to get the job done, often without charging extra. I would recommend his shop without hesitation for anyone needing a reliable mechanic.


-Bill S.

Excellent service and the person that helped me was so helpful and honest. I will be going back to this mechanic from now on. Thank you for your help and for easing my mind by taking good care of me and my car.


-Olson R.

I did my homework...received quotes from two other local shops. I ended up here and what a great decision that was. Mike is such a great guy! His prices are more than fair and work and work ethics A+. Come to find out, my two brothers and nephew already use Giant Oak as their go to mechanic. You know the feeling when you really know you have found an honest mechanic...This is the place and Mike is the man!


-Rick S.

Best place in the world. Mike is a gem, honest, knowledgeable and a hellava,nice guy. This is the place for your car, they will not sell or fix anything that doesn't need fixing. Just like the old days, good price, great work.


-Lee J.

This is definitely an overdue review. A few months ago, my car battery was on the fritz. Giant Oak Automotive accommodated by schedule for same-day service, diagnosed the problem, and sold me a high-quality battery. Since that time, I have gone back to Giant Oak Automotive for preventative maintenance (e.g. oil changes), and have been very happy with the company's professionalism and customer service.


-Rachel A.

Mike is a great guy, does great work, and is very conservative with his treatment of your car. He doesn't take chances, and always looks out for your best interest. I trust him completely, and have been taking my cars to him for at least 15 years.


-Rob L.

Mike at Giant Oak Automotive was a huge help. We had a client in his area with a noisy belt and he was able to take care of it quickly.


-Nick M.

Love the owner, him and his team do great work.


-Tarrant R.

Very knowledgeable and reasonable. Love the way they take care of our cars.


-Nicole I.

I definitely trust these guys which has been hard for me to find in a mechanic shop. Highly recommend this place!


-Kevin T.

Guy is very helpful there. He helped me with my speedometer issues that kia would not help with!


-Kellen W.
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  • Call Us For Service: 805-375-3117