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 ProblemsLet'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 SOUTHWEST AUTOMOTIVE.
Vibration While DrivingThis 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 PerformanceYour 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 SOUTHWEST AUTOMOTIVE.
Very very fast and great prices.
Rick And his staff are quite simply the best in Austin. Friendly, fast and very reasonable. I will not take my car anywhere else.
Whenever I need something done on one of my cars, this is where I go! I find them to be HONEST and PROFESSIONAL. Rick and Aaron are the best.
Wow, what a great place. Super nice and helpful guys. They're funny and easy to talk to, and explain things to you really well without talking down to you AT ALL. The shop is tidy and clean. I came in with what I thought was a simple fix, but it turned out to be catastrophic engine failure. :( SW Automotive could have made up anything in an attempt to get more work out of me, but instead, they gave me a bunch of tips about car shopping and how to get into a more reliable car. They even took a quick look at a used car I was test-driving and offered advice on that. Many thumbs up for this place.
The owner, Rick and his staff are men of integrity, ethics, honest and solid value standards. You will not go wrong with them. I most definitely recommend this automotive repair business! It is top-of-the-mark! I find it outstanding these men actually listen to a woman talk of what seems to be wrong and they take the time to check out every detail.
Have a 2009 Hyundai and engine light came on. Ran my own test and 5 different codes came up, all of which I did not have the ability to repair. Took it to SW Automotive and was prepared for the worst but also heard great things about SWA so prayed for the best. Turns out carbon build up in the fuel lines caused the error codes, $89 and I was out of there!! I am always pessimistic about repair shops as they think they can easily trick me into thinking repairs are needed when they are not. Well SW Automotive now allows me to be optimistic about my future auto repairs.
I took my car to get the oil changed and looked at for some other problems. I was pleasantly surprised at how ethical this place is. They were very honest and seemed interested in saving me money and not just lining their pockets with it. I will definitely be taking my car back there in the future.
This review is long overdue since we don't even live in Austin anymore, but I was on here for something else and had some time - that is how good this shop is! I have a 2003 Chrysler T&C van with over 120K miles on it and I think the only reason it is still on the road is bc we found Southwest Automotive through the Car Talk website. My van had so many random, different problems for the 3 years we lived in Austin and SWA helped us keep it on the road for less than a car payment every time. I think Aaron and Rick knew my voice before I said my name by the end, but they were always quick, helpful and reliable. Can't recommend this shop more.
These guys are great. They are close to home geographically, but they're also close to home in terms of integrity and values. They won't push an unneeded repair on you just to make a buck. In fact, they'll even let you know which repairs are MUST-DOs and which things can wait a bit until your budget catches up. They do quality work, they're good-natured people and they treat your car is if it were their own car. Definitely the right people to trust with your sled.
I found out southwest was near my home so I asked for a quote on a break job and Rick responded quickly after hours. Granted he couldn't get me a quote but he did state he would let me know the next morning. Rick was up front and honest. They ended up having to do a bit more than I planned but it was no surprise and I paid what I had planned. Rick was very pleasant and personable I will be going back.
Honest guys! Great work! Been coming here since 1998. Thank you!
All my trips to Southwest Automotive have been great experiences - they explain the problem without talking down to me, make rational recommendations for repair (or things to watch out for), have high standards for their mechanical work, and do what they say they're going to do in the time they said and within the estimate provided. I've recommended them to others and they've been just as pleased. Highly recommended!
I bought a groupon to get oil changes from Southwest Automotive Repair and my first experience was great. I got there bright and early got my oil changed and was on my way! I went back my second and third time and once again got in an out and was on my way. The 4th time I came in I noticed a smell in my car and figured it was an air filter. When I got there they took a look and they didn't have my item in stock but they ordered it and I came back later that day they fix it in about 30 mins it was so fast. It's nice to go some where and get the job done and go on about your day. Great customer service.
Fast, friendly, and honest!
I have used SW Auto since 1992. First with the previous owner (Bob) and now with Rick, I have never been disappointed with them. They are honest, trustworthy and reliable. If you are looking for discount service this is probably not the place for you but if you are looking for high quality work at a reasonable price, I highly recommend them.
Absolutely the best place to have your vehicle repaired. Very good service reasonable prices. Honest repairs.
Very highly recommended. We had a heater core problem driving on our way to California and not only did they get us on our way quickly, but was also very reasonable on price when they saw we had not much money left from our trip. Some of the BEST SERVICE I've received anywhere in the country.
Very very fast and great prices.