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  • 3 Sure Signs You Need Your Suspension Checked

    Mechanic Fixing Car

    At Leale’s Transmission and Auto Repair shop in San Jose, CA, we frequently come into contact with cars that have gotten damaged or wrecked because their suspension system was going out and the owner didn’t get it checked. Your suspension system has many parts that affect your steering, driving, and braking, and if you aren’t aware of the warning signs or choose to ignore them, you’re risking not only your own safety, but the safety of everyone else out on the road. We at Leale’s have developed this list of three sure signs that your suspension needs to be checked, in an effort to prevent more accidents from happening.

    Excessive bouncing

    One of the most noticeable signs of a failing part in your suspension system is how much it bounces or rides rough. Parts of your suspension system are the shocks and springs, which absorb impacts and jolts to prevent a rough road from jarring you too much. If your shocks or a leaf spring are going out, you’ll notice that roads you drive on a regular basis feel bumpier. Your car will also bounce excessively after going over a bump or pothole in the road, continuing to shake for a few seconds after you’ve passed the hole when it should normally stabilize almost immediately.

    Pulling to one side

    Another sign of a failing suspension system that you’ll notice is that your car begins to pull or drift to one side while you’re driving or turning. If it happens only when you’re driving on a straight road, it might not necessarily be your suspension, but it still needs to be checked to make sure. However, if you feel like your car is drifting or pulling to one side when you’re going around a corner, this is almost always a warning sign that your system is worn and no longer able to stabilize your car. Left unaddressed, this can cause your vehicle to roll over or flip when turning, seriously damaging your car—and yourself. This is a serious issue, and you should get this checked as soon as possible to prevent accidents and serious bodily harm.

    Dips when stopping

    The final major, noticeable sign of a failing or worn suspension system is that the nose of your car dips when you stop. This can be a sign that your shocks are going out. Shocks keep your tires on the pavement when you’re driving, which makes it easier and safer for you to steer, as well as helping your car stay stabilized. If you don’t address this issue, it can lead to your car rolling and can make it significantly more difficult to make an emergency stop, leading to accidents and possible bodily harm, potentially serious.

    Your car—and your life—is on the line

    More often than not, people experience these symptoms, find out it’s “just the shocks” or “just the suspension,” and then think that it’s a minor issue only affecting their comfort on the road. In reality, your suspension system ties into major aspects of your vehicle from the steering to the brakes, and if a part of it is worn or broken, it can have serious consequences. You’re more likely to get in an accident, roll your car, or not be able to stop in time, which can total your vehicle and/or put you in the hospital. If your car rides more roughly than normal, is excessively bouncy, dips when stopping, or pulls to one side when turning, you need to get it checked immediately. Have a shop like Leale’s Transmission and Auto Repair diagnose and repair the problem to get you back on the road safely.

    Your life is in your hands. Call a pro today!

  • How To Tell If Your Transmission Is Slipping

    Gear Shift

    If your car isn’t running as smoothly or efficiently as it used to and feels different when you’re driving it, your transmission might be going out. A faulty or slipping transmission is a serious issue that needs to be fixed as soon as possible; otherwise, you could find yourself in an accident or stuck on the side of the road. Some of the causes of a slipping transmission include poor maintenance, burned transmission fluid, clogged transmission filters, broken gears, or clutch issues. We at Leale’s Transmission and Auto Repair in San Jose are always happy to find and fix the issue for you—but first, here are some telltale signs that it is, in fact, a transmission problem.

    Slow to accelerate

    When a transmission is functioning properly, it will shift into first gear while idling. If your transmission is slipping, though, it may not shift correctly, and when you try to give it the gas, your car can take longer to accelerate as it struggles to shift properly into first gear, finally catches, and then lurches forward. While slow acceleration may not always indicate a transmission issue, if it’s coupled with any of the other signs, you should probably get it checked.

    High RPM

    On a normal day when your car is running great, your RPM gauge, or tachometer, should show that your RPMs are generally less than 2,000 when idling and less than 3,500 when accelerating. Each vehicle is different, but you should have an idea of what’s normal for your car, and if it goes above 3,000 or 3,500 RPMs while you’re driving, followed by jerking when the car seems to finally “catch up,” you need to have your transmission checked.

    Inability to reverse

    When a transmission is going out, it’s not uncommon for you to be unable to shift into reverse. Your car might even read that it’s in reverse when you shift, but when you let off the brake or put on the gas, it’ll still roll forward. This can be a serious issue that leaves you stuck in parking spots or your driveway, and it can cause you to hit other cars or objects. If this is happening to your car, it’s definitely the transmission.

    Difficulty shifting gears

    Even if your car is an automatic, you should be somewhat aware of when it’s shifting gears, such as when you stop, when you’re going up a hill, or when you’re accelerating. Shifting into a different gear should be smooth, almost unnoticeable most of the time. A slipping transmission will make your car pause or slow down while driving because it’s having difficulty shifting into the appropriate gear, putting a strain on your engine and transmission.

    Know when to go

    If your car has high RPMs, lurches when you’re driving, has rough shifts into gears, or won’t reverse anymore, it’s definitely time to go get it checked. Slipping transmissions can also be accompanied by loud clanks or knocking noises, a burning smell, and a check engine light. If your car has been acting oddly and you have two or more of these signs, bring it into a shop like Leale’s Transmission and Auto Repair so the issue causing the slipping can be diagnosed and repaired before it gets worse. Your car is important, and we’ll get you back on the road as soon as possible so you can get back to your life.

    Don’t wait for it to worsen. Call Leale’s today!