How Often Should I Have My Spark Plugs Replaced?

At Dallas European Auto, we believe information is the best way to avoid unexpected problems and huge bills at the mechanic. Although not all of us can be as knowledgeable as the experienced technicians at Dallas European Auto, all car owners need to have basic knowledge about their cars so that they can feel confident in the state of their vehicle.

What are Spark Plugs?

This month, we wanted to teach you about spark plugs. Spark plugs are an integral part of the car’s engine. They are designed to ignite the air and fuel mixture in the cylinder chambers to get the vehicle moving. While spark plugs can last for tens of thousands of miles, they cannot fire away forever without wearing down and degrading. As spark plugs are such an important piece of the puzzle, it is important to keep them in good condition by replacing them when the need arises. This will keep your car performance high and gas mileage efficient.

How Often Should You Replace Your Spark Plugs?

Many vehicle manufacturers advertise their extended-life spark plugs that last for up to 100,000 miles, but most often, spark plugs do not make it to that age. In fact, even the most robust plugs are four-fifths worn by the time 80,000 miles rolls around. To keep up with the constant wear on spark plugs, it is wise to have them inspected every 30,000 miles or so. This way you can replace them when needed, before they become too worn or even break apart. You can do this while having a routine check done on your car by just asking your technician.

When needed, you should always replace your vehicles’ spark plugs with the same kind that the car came with or using before. If your car engine also utilizes spark plug wires, these may need to be replaced. If these get too old and fried they may even fall apart when the spark plug is replaced. A quality set of new spark plugs can usually last up to 60,000 to 70,000 miles. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your car running great.

Come see us at Dallas European Auto to get all the latest information on car maintenance personalized for you. Come on in and see us in Plano, TX, or contact us on the phone or online to set up an appointment.

 

 



Where is My Engine Oil Going?

An engine oil warning light can be alarming for some car owners. It may signify that you just need to add a quart or two, but sometimes it brings your attention to more pressing issues like oil leaks. With so much uncertainty, it’s hard to know when low oil is a problem you can ignore and when it’s something that should alert you to bring your car into Dallas European Auto immediately. When your engine is losing oil consistently, that means that something is wrong with the engine. That problem can be much more serious than you think.

Why Do Engines Lose Oil?

There are two ways an engine can lose oil: an internal leak or external leak. When these issues arise, they allow oil to get into the combustion chamber and burn along with the air-fuel mixture.

External leaks are usually the best-case scenario, as many can be fixed with a new gasket and do not require any digging around to identify the problem. An external leak is easy for an experienced mechanic to diagnose and address almost immediately. Internal leaks can be much more involved. Because they are harder to spot, internal leaks can take a lot of diagnostic work to identity. Internal leaks are usually caused by wear and tear on some select engine parts, such as warn piston rings or ill-fitting valve gauges and seals.

Diagnosing Oil Consumption

The first step to diagnosing an engine oil problem is to investigate the best-case scenario. Hopefully, you will find an external leak with relative ease. External leaks often generate from the oil pan, fuel pump gaskets, and the timing chain cover. When trying to locate an external leak, look for oil dripping on the ground. The oil is dripping due to gravity, so you should be able to locate the cause with relative ease. Try investigating if the oil is dripping down from somewhere above the part where you see the excess oil.

If the leak still eludes you, the next step is to check if the leak is caused by a problem with the crankcase. The pressure in the crankcase can wear on certain engine parts like gaskets, seals, and piston rings and can often be the source of a major internal oil leak.

Keep in mind, that identifying the source of an oil leak is essential to ensure the leak doesn’t return quickly after adding more oil. When you know the exact issue causing your leak, it is much easier for both you and your car technician to repair the problem correctly to prevent further oil loss.

Are you experiencing oil loss or a mystery engine leak? Contact us at Dallas European Auto to see how we can help you get your car back up and running, leak free. We are located in Plano, TX, so stop by to make an appointment today!



Helpful Tips to Avoid Texting and Driving

In this day and age, life moves fast on and off the road. As cellphones have become increasingly prevalent in our lives, there are a thousand distractions keeping us from putting our full attention on the road. When concerns over cellphone use during driving first arose, the most you could do on your phone was take a call or maybe type out a short text. Today, your phone probably has a whole array of messaging and social media apps, all of which can send you notifications. That is not even to mention text messages and email. All together, each of us gets anywhere from dozens to hundreds of notifications a day.
Even while driving, it can be difficult to ignore notifications and focus on the road. You may think to yourself, “it’ll only take a second to respond to this text,” but everything can go wrong in just a few seconds while barreling down the freeway. In those five seconds you have your attention on your phone, the road conditions can change drastically. By not paying attention, you are putting yourself and others in extreme danger.

How to Avoid Texting While Driving

  • In order to keep yourself and others safe, try these useful tips to help keep the phone out of your hand and your eyes on the road.
  • Try putting your phone out of reach. For example, toss your phone in the glove box or backseat, or even the trunk before getting on the road. While on the road, your phone will be too hard to reach for you to get easily distracted. If you are desperate enough to pull over and take your phone out of the trunk, you might want to speak to a medical professional rather than a mechanic.
  • Put your phone on silent or Do Not Disturb mode. Not knowing about all your notifications on your drive to work will not hurt you. On most phones, this is as easy as turning on airplane mode. While on airplane mode, you will not be able to send or receive messages or calls.
  • If traveling with friends or family, choose a designated texter! They can respond to texts, talk on the phone, get directions, or find the nearest coffee shop so the driver can keep their eyes on the road.
  • Consider downloading an app designed to keep you from texting while driving. Some apps lock your phone for a set amount of time, while others lock your access to applications when they detect you traveling at speeds above 10 MPH.

Help keep yourself safe and secure by not adding any more distractions when driving. Safety is of utmost importance to us at Dallas European Auto. Come see us in Plano, TX, or contact us to see how we can help you keep your car running smoothly and safely.



Keeping Your Coolant System Healthy

With so many different words and phrases to keep track of, car lingo can sound like science fiction to car owners who are not familiar with the ins and outs of engines. Never fear, here at Dallas European Auto, we believe that information is the best medicine for unexpected problems and expensive repairs. This month, we want to talk to you about coolant and how important it is to keep your coolant system healthy.

What is a Coolant System?

As your engine runs, the rapid movement of pistons and belts causes a lot of friction. That friction produces heat. While engine oil and ball-bearings help to reduce the amount of heat caused by friction, your coolant system is designed to keep your vehicle running efficiently even on the longest of road trips. As heat builds up, your coolant system deals effectively with high temperatures.

A healthy engine works best at an optimal heat, not too cold or too hot. Just like your air conditioning on a hot summer day, the car’s coolant system works hard to keep the temperature in check. This helps prevent engine parts from wearing out too quickly, which can result in an inconvenient breakdown that warrants serious repairs.

Why is it Important to Keep the Coolant System Healthy?

If you allow your coolant system to fall into disrepair, you risk it failing and causing problems ranging from an inconvenient breakdown to a potentially devastating meltdown.

The system itself is comprised of many parts that can wear out independently of each other and need to be checked and replaced. These parts may include:

  • The fan
  • Radiator
  • Hoses and pumps
  • Caps
  • Thermostat
  • The reserve tank

At Dallas European Auto, we are proud to offer our highly trained, expert technicians to help you identify and solve all your vehicle’s cooling related problems. Come visit us in Plano, TX, to see what we can do to keep your car running cool. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.



What to Look for in a New Family Car Purchase

Shopping for a new family car is a big task. With so many makes and models to choose from, it is important to keep in mind safety when purchasing a new vehicle. From seatbelts and airbags to reactive emergency braking and other automated features, modern cars are equipped with an arsenal of tools and features to keep you and your loved ones safe as you cruise down the freeway.

By far, the most important thing you can do to keep yourself safe in a car is to strap in and use your seatbelt. Seatbelts often take advantage of advanced features to increase their protective powers. An important detail is the LATCH system, designed to make young child car seats much easier and safer to install.

Another important safety feature are airbags, which have seen their own upgrades over the years. Advanced detection systems in newer models adjust the airbag inflation to compensate for the position and weight of passengers to minimize injury in the result of a collision.

While we may not have flying cars and robot chauffeurs, powerful new features give newer cars an even greater degree of safety. Some of these systems include:

  • Brake Assist and Antilock Brakes
  • Forward-collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Lane-Departure Warning and Lane-Keeping Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Blind-Spot Warnings
  • Backup Camera and Parking Assist
  • Tire-Pressure Monitoring

All these features help keep you and your family safe in different ways, so make sure to not overlook these when making your final decision on a new vehicle for you and your family.

At Dallas European Auto, we are proud to offer our knowledgeable staff and trained experts to help find the right vehicle for you. Come visit us in Plano, TX, to see how we can get you safely back on the road. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.



Avoid These Three Common Car Maintenance Mistakes This Spring

Car Maintenance in DallasEven the most careful car owner sometimes makes mistakes that can negatively affect the well being of their vehicle for years to come. As the weather warms up and you find a little extra energy, consider taking the time to make sure you are not making these three common car maintenance mistakes.

Not Checking Your Tire Pressure

Did you know that tires can be improperly inflated even when they look perfectly fine? Some changes in tire pressure are imperceptible to the human eye. Although tires with low pressure may not always blow out, by forgetting to check your tire pressure, you are taking an unnecessary risk and negatively affecting your fuel economy. This is especially important to consider as the weather warms up. Tires lose pressure in cold weather, so you may find that your tires need air after a few months of cold nights, even in sunny Plano, Texas.

Skipping Oil Changes

Many first time car owners are surprised with how often they need to bring their car to the mechanic. Most car owners go to the mechanic three or four times a year just for oil changes. Although it may seem like a drain on your time and money, oil changes are a simple way to make sure your car runs in top condition for as long as possible. Motor oil helps cool the engine and keep it from overheating. Without motor oil, your engine could seize up and die. When oil sits in the engine for too long, the oil will break down and leave deposits of sludge in the engine, damaging the engine permanently. Routine oil changes ensure that you can avoid costly engine repairs and the stress of a dead engine in the busy streets of Dallas, Texas.

Not Rotating Tires or Adjusting Wheel Alignment

Unlike oil changes, tire rotations and wheel alignment occur less frequently and can be easy to overlook. Tires need to be rotated every 5,000-10,000 miles, depending on the make of the car, while wheel alignments occur when routine checks show the tires are misaligned. Keeping track of your tire rotations will ensure your tires last for as long as possible, as front tires wear faster than rear tires. Additionally, a wheel alignment will guarantee your tires tread evenly. Wheels naturally become misaligned over time through natural wear and tear, uneven road conditions, and car accidents. Keep up with your scheduled maintenance and your wallet will thank you in the end.



Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz Auto Maintenance in Plano, TXLuxury vehicles are revered for their grace, style, class, and power. Proper maintenance should be a top priority if you wish to prolong the life of your luxury vehicle, like a Mercedes. At Dallas European Auto, we have been working with luxury cars for over 40 years. We are dedicated to helping clients preserve cars like Mercedes-Benzes so they can last up to twice as long. A Benz can often be thought of as an investment that can boost your status, but it needs to be properly cared for, otherwise it will become a financial burden. This car is often referred to as one the best car makes available on the market. Below are some tips to help extend the life of your Mercedes-Benz.

Keep It Covered

This is a simple one – keep it covered. If you cannot park it in a garage or under an awning, opt for a parking space in a shady location. Exposure to the elements can affect the paint job and cause it to chip, rust, or streak. If you cannot park in a covered area, consider opting for a car cover. It adds an extra step to your commute, but it is worth it if you truly wish to preserve the appearance of your luxury car.

Keep Up With Regular Maintenance

It’s not just about changing the oil and rotating the tires. Full checks on certain parts of the car need to be done periodically to avoid issues down the road.

  • Brakes need to be inspected routinely. Any squeaking or trouble braking needs to be checked immediately, and any defects or worn down pads or discs need to be replaced.
  • The electric system needs to be checked by a master mechanic who is versed in Mercedes, which we have in-house at Dallas European Auto.
  • The transmission is one of the most important parts of the car, and it should be serviced within 80,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on how heavily it is driven, and definitely after five years of driving. Transmission fluid should be checked every time an inspection is done on the car.
  • Full synthetic oil is required for best driving and handling, and it should be changed every 3 to 6 months or 3- to 6,000 miles.
  • Coolant liquid should be replenished as needed, and any noticeable drop should be reported to your mechanic.
  • Brake fluid needs to be replaced roughly every 20,000 miles and air filters at 40,000 miles.

If you opt to service your vehicle with a full-scale group such as Dallas European Auto, you will be able to receive regular maintenance on all of the above as needed without having to lift a finger. We will see to it that your car is always up-to-date on any services, repairs, oil changes, and we can also offer a number of car wash options to help keep it clean and shiny.



Best Luxury Cars For Towing

Typically, when you think of a towing vehicle, many people automatically picture a truck. However, while trucks are excellent vehicles for towing heavy objects, there are many other kinds of cars that work very well, too. For consumers who prefer the finer things in life but still want to keep the ability to pull things like boat trailers, campers, or automobile trailers, there are a number of wonderful luxury car options available as well. Below is a list of some of those options.

Infinity QX80 in Plano, TX2015 Infiniti QX80

This is one of the top luxury haulers available on the market. It has equal parts class and strength, so you can pull your comfortably pull your haul without comprising style. The QX80 can pull up to 8,500 lbs of trailer and boats a 5.6-liter motor that pumps up to 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. An advanced seven-speed transmission and optional four-wheel drive make this luxury hauler a force to be reckoned with.

2015 Volkswagen Touareg in Plano, TX2015 Volkswagen Touareg

This upscale SUV comes in a hybrid, gasoline, a diesel edition and has a towing capacity of an incredible 7,700 lbs. Additionally, it comes standard equipped with a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine in the gasoline edition, and every available model come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class in Plano, TXThis elegant, full-sized luxury SUV is the true embodiment of a workhorse vehicle. The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class can pull up to 7,500 lbs. and boasts a number of powerful engines. Two V-6 engines, one with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel that generates 240 horsepower and up to 455 lb-ft of torque and one with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter with 362 horsepower and up to 369 lb-ft of torque. It also offers two V-8 engines, one with a 429-horsepower twin-turbo 4.7-liter unit and one with a 550-horsepower twin-turbo 5.5-liter that also puts out up to 560 lb-ft of torque. No matter which you choose, they all come equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

2015 Porsche Cayenne

Don’t let this luxury car fool you! This Porsche is about more than just speed and style, though you are sure to get that, too. The Cayenne can also haul up to 7,716 lbs. of trailer weight, and every vehicle comes standard with an automatic eight-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. There are 4 models of the Porsche Cayenne, and they all are just as well rounded as the last.

2015 Audi Q7 in Plano, TX2015 Audi Q7

German manufacturing never ceases to provide class, style, and power, as is evident in the Q7. The 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine is a power V-6 with 240 horsepower and up to 406 lb-ft of torque. You can also find it in a gasoline-powered engine with a 3.0-liter V-6 engine with 280 or 333 supercharged horsepower. Regardless of the style, every available model comes with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and a max towing weight of 6,600 lbs.



Top Tires on The Market

Car Tires in Plano, TXTires are easily one of the most important elements of a vehicle. After all, what’s a car without wheels? In addition to being a vital part of the overall safety of your car, they can also dictate the way it drives on certain terrain. Despite this, however, clients are still overlooking their importance when it comes to tire shopping. In many cases, finding a good pair that fits your budget can be tough. Below is a list of some of the best tire model available on the market. This can help you make an informed decision on which set of tires is best for you. Always remember if your car needs maintenance, the experts at Dallas European Auto have over 40 years of experience with cars of all makes and models.

Michelin Defender

Good For: All Season

These common tires are an excellent solution for a driver who drives a moderate amount and wants to purchase a durable set of tires that will be suitable for all temperatures. In some cases, you can expect a tread life of up to 90,000 miles. This selection offers secure handling, a quiet ride, and is a great choice for older vehicles.

Michelin X-Ice XI3

Good For: Winter/Snow

If you find yourself doing heavy driving in perilous conditions like sleet, snow, or hail, a set of sturdy winter tires will help ensure your safety on the road. These tires are the ideal choice for those harsh winter months, as they have deep treads that are specially designed to offer traction in the snow and ice while maintaining a smooth ride for the driver.

Pirelli P Zero

Good For: Summer Use

These wheels are ultra-high-performance tires with a speed rating of over 149 mph! They are available in a number of sizes so they can fit on just about any sports model coupe or sedan. These tires are intended to offer the ultimate in wet and dry handling but be advised they are not recommended for short weather. These tires are perfect for the individual who does a constant amount of driving and wants the ultimate performance tool for those summer months.

Continental PureContact

Good For: All-Season

For drivers who wants a tire suitable for every season but with a heavier emphasis on high-performance handling, the Continental PureContact is a great choice. These have a slightly high-speed rating than standard tires, and they boast remarkable dry and wet braking, hydroplaning resistance, braking, and tread life.

Michelin LTX M/S2

Good For: Trucks, All-Season

This option is specially designed to suitable the heavy hauls that a pickup truck or SUV can pull. In addition, they are created to remain durable no matter the weather, as the four-season grip in the treads can stand up to snow as well as dry condition. Plus, a smooth and quiet ride can be expected alongside long lasting tread life.



Advantages of Regularly Getting Your Car Washed

Car Maintenance in Plano, TXEveryone likes the look of a sleek, shiny clean car, right? Which is why keeping up with regular cash washes is important. But it goes beyond just aesthetics, a regular professional car wash can help preserve the exterior of your car and keep it from deteriorating over time. Plus, it can help to protect the resale value of your car. Car experts everywhere recommend a detailed car wash with a professional service like Dallas European Auto Repair regularly to help your car spotless inside and out!

Ideally, for clients who use their car often and are required to park on the street or park in uncovered areas for extended periods of time, we recommend a weekly car wash and vacuuming. We understand that this may not be a feasible or even necessary option for everyone, however. For people who use their car minimally or can park in a covered area will be just fine with a bimonthly or even monthly cleaning service. Car experts recommend regular professional car cleaning services because they are time saving, more environmentally friendly, and overall more concise than at-home car washes. Even with the most professional soaps and sponges, you can almost never mimic a professional wash at home.

Keep Your Car In Pristine Condition

It is not hard for cleaning the car to end up low on your list of priorities, especially when you have a busy schedule to attend to! Garbage seems to effortlessly pile up on your floor and between your seats, while dirt and dust from outside settle on your paint and leaves a grimy coating. All of this can be more than just an eyesore, but it can also be potentially detrimental to your car’s overall lifespan. Letting dirt accumulate inside and outside your car can lower the overall value of your car, which can affect how much you would receive if you wanted to resell the vehicle. It can also damage the paint job, the interior material, and contribute to the overall wear and tear of the car. This can all be doubled if you own two or more cars. Washing them at home can also lead to the run-off of soap, grime, debris, and other unhealthy materials into water systems and often requires an excessive amount of water. Plus, all those cleaning materials can cost a fortune and might not even give you a sparkling finish. At Dallas European Auto, you can trust the professionals with over 40 years of service to take care of your car. We put care and attention into every single vehicle we maintain to ensure a superb finish that can help to keep your car beautiful for years to come.