Mill Valley Auto Repair

Articles:

Get Ready for Summer Vacation

Summer is nearly here. While it seems like we are still in the midst of a wet spring, preparations are being made in our family for graduations, summer travels, and the transition from the school year to summer camps. In order to cope with the rigors of summer, I need to make sure our family car is ship-shape. I know aside from the spontaneous trip to to Tahoe, we will be shuttling kids from home to camps that will have us driving all over the Bay Area including two daily trips to Stinson Beach. Like most other families, we are always on a tight schedule and never plan for the unexpected. Our car must perform safely and reliably and get my family back and forth from these adventures without any drama. I will budget a day to bring in our car for a safety inspection and maintenance knowing that I can't afford the time for an unexpected breakdown. Many of our customers run on the same tight time schedule. My advice: look at your calendars and pick a day to bring in your car. We have ... read more

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Summer Car Care

Dynamic Ride Control Suspension Repairs

While working on one of our favorite high performance Audi models, the 2007 Audi RS4, we saw one of the braided DRC (dynamic ride control) suspension lines start to seep fluid. Once the DRC system loses fluid, the suspension becomes compromised and a repair must be carried out at once. We love the engineering behind this suspension system and thought we would include a picture of the braided suspension line in its worn state to provide a heads up as to a potential safety risk. Audi models that use the DRC suspension are : RS6, RS4, and RS7. Call us if you have any questions about your vehicle's suspension (super-car or not)

RODENT DAMAGE IN VEHICLE ENGINE COMPARTENT

We see a large amount of rodent damage occurring inside our customers' engine compartments every year, especially during the late fall and winter. Rats are to blame for most of this damage (Northern California Woodrat, to be specific) as they start looking for warm, dry places to nest during the winter.   Rats can do a lot of damage within an engine compartment in a relatively short period of time. Most of the vehicles on the road today have wiring that is insulated with a soy-based plastic covering. Once inside the engine compartment, the rats are drawn to the wiring as a food source.  The damage to vehicle’s wiring and electrical system begins.   There is a surprising amount of misinformation as to how to prevent rat infestation. We have seen vehicles with dryer sheets stuffed into various parts of the engine, we have had a customer request we sprinkle mountain lion urine in his engine compartment (he provided said urine) and we have seen chicken wire ... read more

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FLOODING INSIDE VEHICLES – How It Can Be Avoided

We see a number of cars each year in the early part of winter with water inside – sloshing around on floors, soaking the carpets and insulation, collecting in the areas of the trunk, behind the dash and under the glove box. Almost always the source of water getting inside the vehicle is backed up sunroof drains. Contrary to what most people would assume, sunroofs (or moonroofs) are not designed to be water tight. Instead, auto manufacturers equip the frame of the sunroof with internal drains that allow rainwater to be channeled down inside the vehicle and then expelled through body plugs that are located on the underside of the chassis. Leaves, small fragments of tree debris, dirt and silt can collect within these drains and create a blockage. Moderate rain will cause these drains to overflow and allow rainwater to accumulate inside the cabin. Heavy and persistent rain (like what we are seeing this season) will allow this issue to become dire. Most recently we ... read more

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