When you read your Owner’s manual or look up scheduled maintenance for your vehicle, whether it is an Audi, a Volkswagen or any other import or domestic vehicle, you will notice that a Brake Fluid service is part of the “To Do” list.  But what is really being accomplished when exchanging the brake fluid in your vehicle ?

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning that it is capable of absorbing moisture.  Moisture can enter the fluid through a variety of ways including hoses and rubber seals & exposure to air.  Moisture means that the fluid is less effective in helping you stop your vehicle = Not Good.  Brake fluid is subjected to extremely high temperatures and must have a high boiling point to keep it from turning into vapor in the brake lines.  Vapor displaces fluid and is able to be compressed so if you press your brake pedal to the floor, the vehicle may not stop.  This fluid must maintain a constant viscosity under varying temperatures, from very hot to very cold so it is very important that the fluid is correct for the vehicle and is changed on a consistent basis.   In addition to causing safety issues, water/moisture in brake fluid can lead to corrosion in brake calipers and pistons, the master cylinders, steel brake lines, and the ABS module. 

We recently had a VW customer that came in with low brake fluid.  She had been adding brake fluid to her vehicle but the level was low after a few days.  When she brought her car into the shop, we performed a visual inspection and founds all sorts of issues.  Fluid was leaking around the master cylinder and by frequently adding more brake fluid, the fluid made its way into the brake booster, intake manifold, vacuum hoses, shorted out the electronic vacuum pump and was a general mess.  Additionally, brake fluid is very caustic and degraded many of the hoses that it touched.   (*  See accompanying pics). 

As you can see, servicing the brake fluid in your Audi or Volkswagen is very important and is typically recommended every 2 years, depending on your driving habits.  Brakes and brake fluid are part of our inspection when you bring your vehicle to Das Autohaus.  What may seem like a minor maintenance item can turn into something much larger and safety-related if left untouched.

 

 

The South Carolina summer heat has arrived and is not letting up anytime soon.  With the heat comes an abundance of new things to pay attention to on your vehicle.  Here are a few items that we recommend staying on top of, particularly if you plan to hop on the interstate and take a vacation.

  • COOLANT:  Coolant (or antifreeze) affects multiple systems in a vehicle.  From keeping your engine “cool” to ensuring that your vehicle has proper heat during the winter months, coolant is a vital part of your vehicle.  Ensuring that your vehicle has the proper coolant is also important.  Volkswagen & Audi cars and SUVs are currently using G13 antifreeze, which is retroactive to previous production years.  G13 is lilac/violet in color and does NOT mix well with green coolant.  If your vehicle has a coolant leak, adding water to the coolant jug may be okay for the very short term but is not meant to be all that runs through your vehicle.  Water has no “slickness” or lubricity and will rust your engine block over the course of time.  * see above picture to visualize what water will do to an engine
  • AIR CONDITIONING:   No one wants to go on vacation and sweat all the way to your destination.  If your vehicle’s A/C is cooling intermittently but not blowing cold air, it may be time to have your HVAC system thoroughly inspected.   If your A/C system is low on Freon, you most likely have a leak.  The heat puts extra stress on cooling components so better to tend to before getting on the road.
  • ENGINE:  Check your oil to ensure that you have oil on the dipstick.  It is always a good idea to have your vehicle serviced (oil, oil filter, engine and cabin filters) and inspected before vacation.  Raising a vehicle on a lift will alert us to any oil leaks or other systems that may be failing.
  • TIRES:  Taking to the interstate with under or over-inflated tires will help you end up on the side of the road, and slick tires don’t grip the road.  Ensure that your tire pressure is proper….and don’t forget the spare !

Paying attention to your vehicle BEFORE hitting the roadways will help you stay ahead of any problems that may occur…..call us at 520-8523 to schedule an appointment to have your vehicle inspected.

 

We spent this past weekend in Helen, GA and got the opportunity to see some pretty cool VWs and Audis…..if you’ve never been, Helen is a great place to float down the river, hike up to Anna Ruby Falls, and “people watch” while you walk around a quaint Bavarian-themed town.  Enjoy the pics !