Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to your most commonly asked auto repair questions
Discover answers to the most commonly asked questions about auto repairs and services at Belly Brothers Auto Tech in Rapid City, SD. From cost estimates and repair durations to warranty information and preventive maintenance advice, our comprehensive FAQ page is here to provide you with the knowledge and peace of mind you need for your automotive needs.
Maintenance & Auto Services
The general recommendation for oil changes in cars is every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every 3 to 6 months, depending on the vehicle and driving conditions. Routine maintenance, including inspections, fluid checks, and filter replacements, should typically be performed every 6,000 to 10,000 miles or every 6 to 12 months to keep your car running smoothly and prevent potential issues. If you have further questions about the upkeep of your vehicle, you can make an appointment to meet with our experts.
The recommendations for the upkeep of your specific vehicle can be found in your owner’s manual. However, common recommended maintenance services include oil changes, filter replacements (air, oil, fuel), tire rotations, brake inspections, fluid checks and changes (coolant, transmission, brake fluid), spark plug replacements, and belt and hose inspections/replacements. Regularly scheduled maintenance helps ensure optimal performance, longevity, and reliability for your vehicle. Consider consulting with a trusted mechanic or dealership for specific recommendations based on your vehicle’s make, model, and mileage.
There are many things you can do to prolong the lifespan of your vehicle. It starts with regular maintenance. You should adhere to your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule for services like oil changes, filter replacements, fluid checks, and inspections. This helps identify and address potential issues before they become major problems. Another practice would be to practice safe driving habits. By not accelerating too quickly, you reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle’s brakes, tires, and more. However, there is no better practice to extend the lifespan of your vehicle than getting regular inspections by a qualified mechanic at Belly Brothers Auto Tech. This can help catch issues before they arise and reduce the amount of major repairs.
Heating & Air Conditioner Repair
There could be many reasons why your car isn’t blowing cold air. First off, your car might be low on refrigerant. This could be due to leaks. Another reason could be a faulty compressor. The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant and pressurizing the system. If the compressor malfunctions, it can lead to a lack of cold air. The reason you’re not getting cold air could also be that your condenser is clogged or not working. The condenser’s job is to dissipate heat from the refrigerant, and if it’s clogged, it could impede the cooling process. Our experts at Belly Brothers can help you solve all these issues and more.
There are many reasons why your car’s heating system is malfunctioning. For starters, a low coolant level could be the issue. Not having enough coolant can prevent proper heat transfer to the heater core, which could result in limited or no heat output. Another reason could be thermostat issues. If your thermostat is broken, it could cause the engine to run at a lower temperature than normal, leading to insufficient or very little heat coming out. Your problem could also be related to the heater core in your vehicle. If your heater core is clogged, it could restrict or nearly stop the flow of hot coolant through the car’s system, resulting in little or no heat.
If an automotive air conditioning system is deemed to need replacement, you could expect to spend $1,000 to $4,000, depending on the needed services, parts, and time to complete the project. You can get an official quote from our experts at Belly Brothers Auto Tech.
The first thing you should look out for in your car’s exhaust is unusual noises. If you hear rattling, hissing, or loud rumbling noises, that could indicate a problem. If you notice a strong smell of exhaust fumes inside or outside the car, that could also be an indicator of a problem with your exhaust system. Another issue you may experience is decreased fuel efficiency.
It is generally not recommended to drive your vehicle with a damaged or leaking exhaust system. Here are a couple of reasons why: it starts with safety. If you have a damaged exhaust system, it could result in toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide, entering your vehicle. Breathing in these fumes could be harmful to your health and could even result in death in high concentrations. Performance issues could be another reason to get your exhaust checked out, but more importantly, there are certain states that have laws requiring vehicles to have properly functioning exhaust systems. Perhaps the most important reason to get your exhaust looked at would be for engine damage. Your exhaust system plays a crucial role in directing harmful gases away from the engine. If there’s a leak in your exhaust system, it could cause damage to your engine or make it overheat.
There are many factors to consider when determining how and when to get your exhaust system checked. It’s generally wise to have it done during regular inspections of your car, which is at least once per year. You can trust one of Belly Brothers Auto Tech’s professional mechanics to inspect your exhaust system. If you want to inspect it yourself, in addition to listening for the previously mentioned sounds, you should look out for damage such as rust, cracks, or loose connections. If you notice anything, it’s best to have it inspected by a professional.
The first thing to look out for with your transmission is difficulty or hesitation (slipping) in gear engagement. This could mean rough or jerky gear shifts or slipping gears. Between shifting gears, you can spot the transmission slipping if the engine revs up without an increase in vehicle speed. You should watch for fluid leaks, loss of power, or strange noises like whining, clunking, or grinding.
It’s best to have your transmission regularly serviced for fluid changes and inspection. Make sure that you’re using the correct transmission fluid. Also, between shifting gears or putting the vehicle into drive, reverse, or park, come to a complete stop to allow the transmission to make the adjustment. It’s also important to allow your vehicle to warm up before directly shifting into drive or reverse. By waiting a few minutes, this allows the transmission fluid to circulate and lubricate the components of your transmission properly.
If you want to keep your transmission in good shape, it’s a good idea to get it regularly serviced. As for the question of how often, it depends on several factors including the type of transmission (automatic, manual, or CVT), the vehicle’s make and model, driving conditions, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. For automatic transmissions, it’s generally a good idea to have it serviced or inspected every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. This interval can vary, so it’s important to consult a professional mechanic at Belly Brothers Auto Tech. Manual transmissions usually require less service compared to automatic transmissions, but a good rule of thumb is to have it looked at every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. For CVT transmissions (Continuously Variable Transmissions), it’s best to have it serviced every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
Engine Auto Services
- The most common way to tell if your vehicle is experiencing engine problems is if your “Check Engine” light comes on your dashboard. Some other things to look out for are strange noises like knocking, tapping, grinding, rattling, or hissing sounds. Engine misfires are also something to watch out for. This happens when the combustion process in one or more cylinders is disrupted. Ways to tell if your engine misfired include rough idling, a loss of power or acceleration, or an uneven or vibrating engine.
It’s generally not a good idea to ignore or delay addressing the issue, especially when it comes to your engine. It’s one of the more expensive things to repair on your vehicle, so to ensure you get the most out of it, bring it in to get inspected by a professional to avoid further problems, safety concerns, and reduced performance.
When it comes to getting the most out of your engine, regular oil changes are key. They keep the engine lubricated, clean, and protected from wear and tear. It’s also important to maintain the proper coolant levels and perform regular coolant flushes. Coolant or antifreeze helps regulate your engine’s temperature and keeps it from overheating. At Belly Brothers Auto Tech, we’ll go above and beyond to make sure you get the most out of your engine.
Auto Electric Services
There are multiple reasons why your car’s battery is constantly being drained. First off, parasitic drain or the electrical load on your vehicle’s battery could be overloading it. Things like interior lights, improperly installed aftermarket accessories, or a short circuit in your electrical system could be the problem. Another thing to look out for is your alternator, which is responsible for charging your battery while your engine is running. It could also be a battery issue, a malfunctioning ignition switch, a wiring issue, or an electrical system failure. Overall, it’s best to narrow down the problem by having a professional mechanic at Belly Brothers Auto Tech look over your vehicle.
There are multiple things to look out for if you think your electrical system is failing in your car. Dim or flickering lights could be a sign of a problem. If your electrical accessories like power windows, door locks, or radio aren’t working, that could be another sign. Some other things to look out for could be a burning smell or unusual sounds like buzzing, clicking, or crackling sounds.
There are many things that could be causing your car’s electrical system to fail. The first possibility is that you may need a new battery or alternator. If you have aftermarket accessories like a new stereo, alarm, or lighting systems, they could be overloading your system. Another important factor is not ignoring warning signs, such as flickering lights, slow power windows, or dim dashboard displays. Additionally, it’s important to avoid water and moisture exposure. The professionals at Belly Brothers can inspect these issues and catch any potential future problems with your electrical system.
Alignment & Suspension Services
There are several things to look out for with your vehicle’s suspension. The first thing is a bumpy ride. If you notice that your vehicle feels excessively bumpy or rough during a drive, even on smooth roads, it could be a sign of a problem with your vehicle’s suspension. You should also look out for excessive bouncing when you drive over a bump or dip in the road, uneven tire wear, steering wheel vibration, drifting or pulling to one side while driving, or if you can noticeably see balance issues with your vehicle.
One of the most common things to get repaired is your shocks or struts. These are responsible for controlling the movement and dampening the impact on your suspension. Your springs are another part that is commonly replaced. Your springs support the weight of your vehicle to absorb road shocks.
It really depends on your vehicle’s make and model, the driving conditions, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to have your suspension system inspected at least once a year or every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.