How To Check Your Car Before a Road Trip?

Are you planning to go on a road trip for the  Summer breaks and long weekends? Before you do, you should check on your car to make sure you don’t encounter any mechanical issues. It is one of the last problems you need after planning your short vacation you’ve been looking forward to all week! We have come up with some quick DIY step for you to follow.

1.       Check the fluids in your car. Make sure you to check the oil, coolant, brake fluid, and windscreen wash levels. This will help prevent any small accident that can affect your car in the long run. For extra help where these are located, check your user manual book in your car.

2.       Check your air tire pressure. You should find the “recommended level” printed in the owner’s manual, sticker on the body where the driver’s door shuts or inside the car flap where you put gas into the car. The recommended level should be the max, do not exceed. Also, in preparation for the worst-case scenario, add air into your spare tire.

3.       Get your oil changed. Even when it’s getting closer to the time to change your oil, get it changed. Driving to a long destination can additional stress to the motor. Adding oil yourself does seem ideal and easy to do but in fact, it is not. Consistently adding new oil will not get rid of the sludge from old oil used. Let the professionals do it, you want to keep the car maintained and longer lasting. Don’t risk it.

4.       Check your tire wear. Often drivers do not pay much attention to their tires, especially when planning on a long trip tires can heat up and can cause blowouts on worn out tires. Use the tread depth gauge to measure the tread depth. It should be 1/16th” or 1.6mm.

5.       Check all lights and signals are functioning. This is very important to check if you are planning to drive at night. Ask a friend or family member to help assist you on this one. Go through each light and signal to make sure the other person can confirm is working accordingly. You may want to carry extra car replacement bulbs, just to be safe. Unless you are a “handy with tools” kind of person, it is best to allow the professional this.

6.       Emergency equipment kit. Any emergency kit can come in handy, this could include an up to date map, cell phone, spare tire or emergency tools like flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, an adjustable spanner or medical kit can prepare you for the worst-case scenario, it may sound excessive but it is always better to be overprepared than underprepared.

Following these quick steps will help keep you prepared for any road trips you plan ahead. At German AutoSport, we advise you to take safety seriously. Don’t put your loved ones at risk for something you should check before your trip. Contact us at (978) 388-1288, and we will be more than happy to assist your car maintenance needs at Amesbury, Boxford, Haverhill, Lawrence, and Newburyport MA.

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Summer Car Maintenance Tips

Summer is around the corner! You know what that means, mini weekend breaks, taking the kids out, and road trips! But before you start making any further plans, there are still important factors you need to prepare. Just like Winter, Summer is crucial when taking your car out in the heat. Here are some quick tips to look out for.

1. Tires
We highly recommend checking your tires all year round. Keeping your tires in good condition will prevent you the trouble from the long road trips. It’s also recommended checking your spare wheel for any emergencies.

2. Fluids.
Oil, brake, power steering, and windshield washer should all be checked regularly. Some liquids may require more attention than others depending on how well you’ve maintained your car and the car model. If you noticed anything unusual with the brake, you should get in touch with your local mechanic right away.

3. Wipers.
Yes, wipers. Often neglected by car owners but it can cause an issue as worn wipers can create horrible streaks across the windshield which affects your vision while driving.

4. Air-Conditioning System
Air-conditioning is a must when it comes to summer essential. If the system has not been active during the winter, now is the time to have it fixed right away. Any leak that is left untouched will only cause more problem in the near future.

5. Dashboard Sunshade
Even when you’re not driving the car about it’s still important to protect the vehicle when being exposed to the sun during the day. A cover is inexpensive and will help protect the dashboard and keep the car to remain cool. Don’t forget the read windows for passengers and the kids.

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What to check for before buying a car

According to a survey by Cox Automotive, only 32% of consumers know the exact vehicle they want when they car shop, but 55% of the test drive only one vehicle. With technology increasingly growing, it should be imperative for any consumers who are looking to buy a car to test drive beforehand. So, what should I look out for when I test drive? We have you covered!

Tips for the test drive.

1. Research. Note down everything you need in your car and do your homework. Dig around on other consumer reviews and see if that will affect your choice of car. Maybe the car you were really hoping to buy may have many flaws.

2. Schedule an appointment with car dealers. Yes, car dealers. Not only will this help you test drive other cars available but a great way to excuse yourself when dealing with a dealership. Remember, you are just testing not buying!

3. Bring a friend. There’s nothing more tempting to buy something than going on your own, bringing a family member or a friend will keep you grounded. Sometimes we need another opinion and not just the car dealer.

4. Bring required documents. If you’re looking to test drive, you will need to bring a copy of your license. Bring two just in case, and don’t be afraid to ask the dealer for the documents back and destroy the copies. Identity theft is on the rise, don’t let this happen to you.

5. Ask questions while inspecting the car. There is no limit in asking questions, especially when checking around the car for scratches, rust, missing pieces, etc. Vehicles can be damaged during shipping so always be prepared for the unexpected.

6. Comfort and drive the car. Make the most of your drive and commute on the highway or bumpy roads whatever it takes to test the comfort of the car.

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How to keep your BMW running like new

According to Berkley news, an average American spends 101 minutes per day driving, or 37,935 hours over their lifetime, which is incredible as this clearly shows how much we depend on our vehicle from running errands to getting to work. For most people, having a car is convenient to have in their daily lives. However, for BMW owners, this is a prize possession, something to be proud of. Car maintenance is extremely important in keeping your car running like new. Here are some useful car care tips for BMW owners.

Most Important Services.

Bringing your car for maintenance can be time-consuming, but having your BMW for a regular repair by a professional will keep your vehicle running faster, better and longer and most importantly help avoid costly emergency services later.
1. Engine. The engine is considered the heart of the car; therefore, it needs a lot of attention! We highly recommend having your car checked a few times a year. The last thing you need is your car breaking down on you in the middle of the highway.
2. Brakes. You should be checking your brakes as part of your regular necessary car maintenance. Our experts at German AutoSports recommends flushing the brake system every two years or so as strong brakes are key to your safety.
3. Tires. One of the most important safety system of your care. Being able to slow down the car or stopping from any sudden incident or accident. Improper working brakes will prevent you from doing so and cause more danger than your car but others on the road.
4. Cooling system. With BMW cars, the cooling system is a critical part of your car as it needs to be kept cooled and ideal operating temperature. To prevent your car from overheating, consider flushing your system with engine coolant as this will help protect the water pump, thermostat, and other internal components from frying up.
6. Oil. The BMW owner manual recommends changing oil every 12,000 to 15,000 miles as your car’s health is vital when it comes to keeping your vehicle stay in tip-top shape.

If you are unsure about your car’s condition, schedule an appointment and allow us to provide you the best solutions to your car needs.


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Driving Tips In The Rain

Spring in Massachusetts can be unpredictable. We tend to see a lot of rainy days which can be hard to drive on the road at times because we’re not used to the amount of the rain. That being said, as drivers, we should do our best for ourselves and others on the road, and stay cautious at all times. Here are five things you should avoid while driving in the rain.

  1. Stay Away From Sides Of Roads: Roads are constructed so that the highest point is in the middle. While it may not be a significant difference, this does cause for water to drain towards the edges of the road. Standing water can be dangerous while driving in the rain which means staying towards the center of the road will keep you safest.
  2. Keep Your Headlights On But Not Too Bright: Headlights believe it or not are not only used for our benefit. They are extremely beneficial to other drivers as it helps them see us. In harder conditions of a rainstorm, headlights help everyone stay aware of there surroundings.
  3. Stop Driving If You Can’t See: If you’ve ever driven in a rainstorm to the point where it is coming down so hard, you can see then you should not be driving. It may be a no-brainer, but people continue to drive in these situations. As soon as possible, pull off the road when safe.
  4. Stay Away From Flooded Areas: If you notice water flowing across the street from one side to the other, don’t try and cross. People continue to get swept away by stronger and deeper water then they have anticipated.
  5. Slow Down: While possibly the most obvious of them all is to slow down when driving. Drive well under speed limits,  as one of the worst dangers of driving fast in rainy conditions is hydroplaning.

We can only do our best and take proper cautions when driving on the road. If you’ve recently been in a car accident, please get in touch and allow us to evaluate your car so we can get it back on the road again!

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Car Cleaning Tips and Mistakes You Might Be Making

Spring cleaning to do list can mean many things to people; home, room, closet, or even cars! We’ve experienced many occasions where car owners did not think carefully when cleaning their car. Here are the common mistakes we find out when we ask our clients.

1. Washing when it is hot.

We understand, it just seems like the perfect way to get started, nice weather, music to the side to get in the mood, but a sunny day could dry your car too quickly, which in result turns into water spots. We recommend cleaning your car in the morning or evening when the sun is not directly on your car.

2. Using Dish Soap.

Yep, you heard right. Whatever you do, do not use dish detergent as this can be harsh on your car’s paint. Use the appropriate care products as the it specializes in specific car exterior paint.

3. Separate soapy water and rising with buckets.

It may seem like a lot of work, but it makes sense. Keeping your buckets apart will prevent any used soapy water from scratching the paint with dirt.

4. Forgetting the tires.

It’s quite common to see clean cars with dirty tires, but it is essential to get everything done right. Tires collect mud and dirt on the road and fail to clean them properly may get onto other parts of the vehicle too.

5. Neglecting your antenna.

Modern cars will have their antennas retracting into the car once the car is switched off. It may come unnoticed, but when retracted, antennas can drag gunk into your interior. Use wax paper for best results as it gives it a protective coat to repel dirt.

6. Cup Holders.

Extremely handy for your morning coffees, but when was the last time you cleaned out your cup holders? After all, drinks tend to spill when driving through rough roads and such. Bacteria’s accumulate which creates an unhealthy environment to your car interior.

7. Floor Mats.

This should be one of the top priorities when cleaning the inside of the car because it’s where your shoes rub any dirt or debris on. We recommend removing floor mats and vacuum thoroughly and dirt left underneath to give it a good clean.

Car cleaning may sound simple to do, but careless mistakes can lead to further damages to your car without you knowing it. For more information about our services, please feel free to get in touch with our experts at German AutoSports at (978) 388-1288

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Spring 2018 Vehicle Maintenance Tips

It’s amazing how a couple of weeks of sunshine can change the mood here in New England, with that said, Spring is just around the corner. With Winter’s cold temperatures and icy conditions taken a toll on your car, it is likely to show some signs of wear and tear. Spring is the perfect time to bring your car in for a full inspection to identify any minor problems, before they become major ones.

Here are some tips to keep your car running safely this spring and summer:

  1. Change your oil and oil filter. Changing your oil and oil filter at the intervals recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual is one of the best ways to keep the engine running trouble free. Neglecting to replace engine oil can result in poor engine performance, higher fuel consumption and even severe engine damage.
  2. Check your fluids. When you change your oil and oil filter, you should also check your fluids. Check your power steering, brake, and transmission fluids; your windshield washer fluid; and your coolant. If the levels are low, top them up, and flush/replace them as recommended in your owner’s manual. Keep in mind that your power steering, brake and coolant systems are closed, so low fluid levels may indicate a leak.
  3. Replace your wiper blades. If they’re torn or cracked your wiper blades won’t do you much good in the middle of unrelenting spring showers when visibility is reduced.
  4. Check your charging system. Cold temperatures can do a number on your battery, so now is a good time to have it tested. You should also check to make sure that your battery is securely mounted and that the connections are clean, tight, and corrosion free. If your battery is more than five years old, you should consider having it replaced.
  5. Fix your windshield. In cities where sand and rocks are used on icy roads, motorists often end up with chips and cracks in their windshields. Although these may not seem like a big deal, any damage to your windshield can decrease the overall effectiveness of airbags, seatbelts, roof stability, and your personal safety in the event of an accident. If your windshield has a crack, it’s important to have it repaired or replaced immediately.
  6. Check your lighting. Check all exterior and interior lighting to identify any problems. When your vehicle’s lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn. The end result could be disastrous.
  7. Lubricate your chassis parts. Many newer cars are “lubed-for-life,” but some still require regular chassis lubrication so check your owner’s manual. Replacement steering and suspension components may also require periodic lubrication.
  8. Check your belts and hoses. Cold temperatures can harden and/or damage rubber, so it’s important to check your belts and hoses for damage. Check your hoses for hardening, softening, leaking, cracks, blistering, or other visual damage, and check your belts for looseness, cracks, frays, or glazing. If you have to replace one of your belts, you may also have to replace the tensioner and pulleys to keep the new belt from slipping.
  9. Check your filters. Your car has a number of filters that are important to its longevity and should be replaced regularly. Check your engine air filter, your cabin air filter, and your fuel filter for damage or clogging and replace them if necessary.
  10. Check your tires. Your tires are the only point of contact between you and road, so it’s important to take care of them. Check the pressure of all your tires (including the spare) monthly, and maintain the optimal pressure recommended in your owner’s manual. Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and for cuts or bruises on the sidewalls. Rotate your tires every 10,000 kilometers, and replace them if they are worn or damaged.

Make vehicle maintenance a priority this spring to protect yourself and prolong the life of your vehicle!

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Prepare Your Car For Spring

Even if it is a glimpse of warm weather, it still gives us hope that Spring is just around the corner. We should be thankful that this Winter was mild and our vehicle was not tested. However, to ensure your car is still functioned and safe on the road, here are some helpful tips to get your car prepped for Spring.

Check your brakes.
The winter can be rough on the road especially if you live in Massachusetts. With ice and salt on the roads, brakes can lose its functionality, so pay attention to the sound of your brakes for any unusual noises as this can indicate a sign.

Replace your wiper blades.
Make sure your wipers are in excellent condition in preparation for the Spring. They are easily neglected and if they were not treated right, can cause your windows problems.

Take care of your tires.
If you swapped out your tires for the winter season, it’s time to start planning to swap it back as snow tires are not meant to handle spring conditions, and will wear down faster if you don’t change them.

Check your coolant level.
As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to keep your car engines at the right temperature, so don’t forget to check your manual book or speak to a local car maintenance guy to help check your fluids.

Re-evaluate your insurance policy.
Spring is the best time to have your insurance checked. Since you’re having your car checked you might as well, right?

For more information about our car maintenance services, please get in touch and call us today for a free consultation!

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Increasing Your Car’s Battery Life

On average, most car batteries have a lifespan of about five years until they ultimately die. One of the most important factors that affect the battery is how you use it and the weather condition. Taking proper care of your car battery by having your car checked up is one start. Here are other ways you can do to maximize the life of your car battery.

  1. Limit your long trips. If you plan on being away from your car for a very long time, you should disconnect the battery. If you don’t, there is a good chance that you will come home to a dead car.
  2. Have the battery cleaned. Over time, battery terminal clutters, it’s important to keep them cleaned to prevent any buildup. A good tip is to scrub the terminals with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water.
  3. Older car model maintenance. As well as the steps before this, look for the level of distilled water. Check your cars manual to be sure because more recent cars don’t need this maintenance.
  4. Avoid leaving your car on. We get it; you want to make the inside nice and toasty to keep you warm as you step in. However, many car owners forget that leaving the car on for a while drains the battery power.
  5. Test The Battery Often. To keep your battery in check, keep a car battery tester with you to track how well you’re maintaining the battery life. This will give you a better idea of when you’re due for a new one.

Cold weather seems to cause a lot of automotive issues. To stay on top of many problems that people encounter during the winter, read tips for driving in the snow, and the affect of road salt on cars.

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Three common winter car problems

If you live in New England, then you know how troublesome the winter weather can be. As the temperature continues to drop, sleet, snow, and ice on the road can be dangerous to your car. Learning some of the fundamental issues can help reduce problems and get you through the winter.

1. Freezing Fluids.
When the temperature begins to drop below 35 degrees, Fahrenheit liquids start to freeze, which means other fluids in your vehicle will also freeze and can cause your car at high risk when driving on the road. Keep in mind, not all vehicle fluids are affected by the drop in the temperature but rather still thickens which causes the vehicle work extra harder than it usually does.

2. Dying Batteries.
Unfortunately, car batteries are most vulnerable during the winter. More energy is required to start a vehicle, and if the battery is nearer to the end of its lifespan, you are at a higher risk of it dying entirely in the winter.

3. Decreasing Tire Pressure.
If you have not had your tires checked recently, now is the time, it is already mid-winter, but do you want to continue risking your car and yourself on the road? Underinflated tires significantly increase braking distances and can dramatically affect steering and handling.

Don’t risk your car if it has not been checked up in a long while. Your vehicle is most vulnerable during the winter, don’t put yourself or other people on the road in danger and get your car checked!

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