Do my breaks need repaired?

By | Diagnostic

Signs Your Vehicles Brakes May Need Service or Repair

The best way to ensure your vehicle maintenance stays as inexpensive and pain free as possible is being able to see and recognize potential issues prior to them becoming a real issue. The braking system is arguable one of the most important safety systems on your vehicle so being able to recognize issues that are slowly arising before they become a big issue is key! You also don’t need to be a braking system expert to see and identify the signs, you just have to be able to recognize some of these common symptoms.

Pulling from side to side under braking:

If your vehicle seems to want to jerk or pull in a particular direction under braking you may likely be experiencing a braking issue, your vehicle is designed to apply brake pressure evenly under normal braking conditions so if it isn’t you may need to get your vehicles brakes adjusted to correct any braking issues. In some occasions simply adding more fluid may solve the problem, having it checked out is a good idea though.

Vibration under braking:

If you begin to notice minor to heavy pulsing or vibration under braking in the brake pedal itself or in the steering wheel while under braking you may have worn our brake rotors, rotors over time can wear down or warp causing a non-flush surface to apply the pad onto, this can cause your braking system to act abnormally. This is normally a job for a technician to check out and replace worn out parts.

Noises from the braking system:

Under breaking the brake system should be fairly quiet, if you begin to notice screeching, squeaking or even grinding like noises these noises can be something as simple as a wear indicator telling you the brake pads may be low. On the flip side it could be indicating that your brake shoes or pads are improperly wearing, or seated meaning they need to be serviced. Getting your brakes checked out for this is a good idea as they may not be performing at optimal performance. as a side note waiting for brake noise is not a good indicator of break wear, breaks should be inspected periodically to ensure healthy wear, front breaks do tend to have a wear indicator which makes noise when low. Rear breaks however do not, so do not wait for noise to tell you breaks need work.

Breaks that feel Squishy or all around less effective:

If your braking system feels compromised in any way by providing a brake pedal that travels much further than usual to brake the same distance, this is an indicator of a potentially dangerous vehicle to drive. Though the issues this may represent, may be simple as glazing of the brake pads or rotors (the braking surfaces become like glass and smooth) or something more important like a failing brake cylinder or pump. This is an issue that should certainly be taken to a technician to be properly diagnosed.



Caring for your braking system is a simple process that just needs occasional maintenance and a watchful eye. As long as you keep an eye on it and keep it properly maintained your vehicle should stop on a dime every time!

Check engine light ? What does it mean?

By | Diagnostic

Check engine light and a few potential reasons why it came on

Your dashboard, a cluster of helpful dials and lights that tell you about your vehicle’s status at all time, it’s our most trusty friend while driving, that is until the dreaded check engine light comes on. Of course, our immediate instinct is to hope for something simple and that can be easily and quickly remedied, without a costly repair bill, but most importantly we begin to hope it’s a minor enough thing that we can get to where we need to go before the vehicle is no longer drivable. The good news is check engine lights tend to mean there is a starting point for a diagnosis and can help to diagnose most simple problems since they throw a code that a technician can read and help to interpret, so getting your vehicle back up and running is nothing more than a quick trip away from the mechanic. We are going to list below a few reasons why engine lights can come on to help ease your mind when potential issues arise.

Mass Air Flow Sensor or MAF:

Your mass air flow sensor is an important component for your engine’s health and proper function as it is measures the amount of air coming into your engine and helps your vehicle to determine how much fuel to mix into the combustion chamber to run smoothly. If your MAF has an issue and isn’t working as it should it can degrade your vehicles performance and begin to damage other components such as your cars catalytic converter, O2 sensors and even your spark plugs. A malfunctioning MAF can trigger a check engine light and should be checked out before it causes other issues, but is usually an inexpensive and simple fix.

Catalytic Converter

This is an incredibly common issue that vehicles face over their service lifetime. Over time a catalytic converter wears out as its main job is to help covert harmful gasses like carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide and scrubs a lot of the harmful fumes that come out of an exhaust out of the air. Many times, when a catalytic converter is going out it means theirs others issues with the vehicle as well to get checked out but a check engine light is the first place to start with them.

Gas Cap

One of the simplest and most common problems that will trigger a check engine light is a simple gas cap. The gas cap seals the tank allowing it to build up pressure to pump fuel to the engine. When the cap is loose pressure isn’t built up, meaning fuel delivery is inefficient and gas can evaporate losing your precious fuel. Simply tightening a gas cap or replacing it when its rubber seals have worn out can fix a check engine light

Spark plugs and spark plug wires

Your car has different monitoring systems, one of them is the spark and ignition system, If your spark plugs aren’t working optimally or the wires are failing your car can trigger an engine light. A bad set of spark plugs can cause your engine to run poorly, or adversely affect fuel mileage. Having a technician check out spark plugs and wires with a tune up is always good idea.

O2 Sensor

A failing o2 sensor is one of the most common issues a vehicle may face. An O2 sensor that goes un fixed may cause other issues in your vehicle along with making it run poorly, this can even lower the efficiency of your vehicle’s mileage by up to 40%. This is a common and simple issue to remedy that can also cause dirty engine parts if not dealt with early on.

Overall your vehicles engine light will often come on for very common items and should be investigated sooner rather than later. The check engine light is a wonderful tool to help diagnose simpler issues in a vehicle. A trained technician should be able to help you quickly and painlessly diagnose your vehicle. At Vibrance Automotive we have the resources to help you keep your vehicle happy and healthy and you safe on the road.