Archives

Pre-Purchase Inspection

We charge a significant amount of money for our pre-purchase inspections. But at the same time, people frequently tell us that it’s the best money they’ve ever spent on a car! We’ll perform an extended test-drive, detailed interior and exterior inspection, meticulous engine bay and undercarriage examination, interrogation of electronic computer modules, and functionality of all vehicle systems. We look for any maintenance deficiencies and evidence of any prior vehicle damage. After literally hours of inspection time, you’ll receive a detailed vehicle report and explanation of our findings. We’ll also run a Carfax report to give you an idea of where the vehicle has been registered and how many prior owners the vehicle has had. All of this data will arm you with the tools to decide if this is the particular vehicle is right for you.

We find great satisfaction in helping our customers avoid “basket case” cars. We also love giving peace of mind to a buyer who has found a superb, well-maintained example of a given vehicle type. Or in many cases, the vehicle may be perfectly suitable for your own personal needs, but the results of our inspection may serve as a good negotiating tool with the seller. Whichever of the three it turns out to be, you can trust our pre-purchase inspection to be highly-detailed, comprehensive, and a great value!

Pre-Trip Inspection

If you’re heading out on the open highway, it’s a prudent choice to have us do a pre-trip inspection. Quantum Mechanics will provide thorough evaluation of the brakes, tires, steering, suspension, fluid levels, cooling system hoses, drive belt(s), vehicle lighting, starting/charging systems, and a test drive by one of our high-level technicians. Our pre-trip inspection will identify safety and reliability deficiencies, and then give you the chance to get them corrected before you head out for your travels!

CV Axle Replacement

A common symptom of a failing CV axle is a significant “click! click! click!”-noise from the front of the car when making sharp turns at low speeds. Another symptom of a faulty CV axle may be a vibration when accelerating, that disappears when coasting. In extreme cases, we’ve even seen CV axles completely break, which will leave your car unable to send power to the wheels, and therefore unable to drive at all. Whatever the case may be, you can bet that we’ve seen it before and are ready to take care of your CV axles!

Clutch Replacement

When replacing a clutch, Quantum Mechanics will not only replace the clutch disc and pressure plate, but the release bearing and pilot bearing, as well. And since the majority of the cost of a clutch job is labor, it makes good sense to carefully evaluate things like the flywheel, release arm, and rear main crankshaft oil seal at the same time.

Transmission Service

Quantum Mechanics is ready for transmission diagnostics, transmission repairs, and routine transmission service on your modern German or Japanese car. These may range from something like correcting a failed transmission sensor, to repairing a fluid leak, or normal filter and fluid service. Or in the worst case scenario, we’re equipped to handle complete transmission replacement. But with good preventative-maintenance practices, hopefully it won’t come to that!

Glass Replacement

Whether it’s replacing a cracked or pitted windshield that impairs your ability to get a clear view of the road, or replacing door glass following an unfortunate burglary, or even a tree limb crashing through your rear glass (happens more often than one might guess!), we can help with all of your glass replacement needs. Give us a ring or drop us an email to coordinate!

Routine Maintenance

At Quantum Mechanics, we set ourselves apart  from dealerships and other independent shops with our comprehensive, inspection-based, customized approach to vehicle maintenance. When others tend to sell bundled “one size fits all” maintenance packages, our skilled technicians test drive and inspect your vehicle from bumper to bumper for all service needs. Our Service Advisors will go over the findings with you, address any questions that you have, and if needed, help you prioritize the most critical service items to be done first.

Mechanical Diagnostics

Rattling noise when starting the engine? Roaring noise at highway speeds? Clicking noises when making sharp turns? Clunking noises when driving over speed bumps? Excessive vibration at idle? Shimmying when braking? Looseness in the steering? Difficulty shifting between gears? “Funny noise” coming from under the hood? Whatever the case may be, we can get to the bottom of it! We’ll diagnose the root-cause and work with you to come up with the best repair plan! 

Air Conditioning Service

Whether your air conditioning is not quite as cold as it should be, or it has simply quit working altogether, Quantum Mechanics has everything required to get the interior of your car cool again! We can diagnose and repair everything from a refrigerant leak, to a failed compressor or expansion valve, to an electronic control system fault. Another important, but often overlooked factor is the cabin air filter service. Cabin air filters keep dirt, debris, leaves, and pine straw out of your vehicle’s heater core, evaporator, and air distribution ducts. Keeping these items clean is important because dirty heater cores and evaporators tend to allow mold and mildew to grow within the air ducts, making the air inside the vehicle dirty and musty. Clean evaporators and heater cores will also last longer and work more efficiently at controlling your vehicle’s interior climate.

Brake Service

Nothing is more important to safe driving than effective, reliable brakes, so we evaluate them at every service inspection. We check all the common things like brake pad and brake shoe lining thicknesses, but we also continue on where other shops might stop (brake pun intended). We inspect the integrity of rubber flex-lines for signs of wear or damage, we verify parking brake function and adjustment, we inspect brake discs and drums for wear, and we measure water content within the brake fluid.

Brake fluid is a highly critical element of the braking system and has a special set of requirements: it has to have low viscosity, even at extremely low temperatures, so that it flows freely through the small lines, hoses, and anti-lock brake control components. It has to be compatible with rubber and plastic materials in flex-lines. And most importantly, it has to have a very, very high boiling point. If brake fluid were to overheat and boil, you’d immediately lose all brake functionality! Modern brake fluid is capable of filling all of these requirements, but it has one major drawback– it’s hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment. Water molecules leach through the brake fluid reservoir, reservoir cap, brake flex-lines, rubber caliper seals, etc., contaminating the brake fluid. Water contamination results in a dramatically lower boiling-point, which can be catastrophic for braking safety and reliability. But water in the brake fluid will also cause long-term corrosion damage to every metal part of the hydraulic system, including the master cylinder, metal hydraulic lines, calipers, wheel cylinders, and the anti-lock brake hydraulic control unit.

Because of this range of factors, we measure water content with every service inspection. Anything less than two percent water is considered fine, and not in need of replacement. Between two and three percent water content is considered borderline, and indicates that brake fluid should be replaced at that point, or in the near future. Three percent or greater indicates that brake fluid replacement is due immediately, for both the immediate safety of the brakes, as well as the long-term durability of the individual brake components.

There’s a few different methods for replacing brake fluid. The most common method we utilize is to raise the vehicle about a foot off of the ground, remove the wheels, remove the fluid reservoir cap, draw the old fluid out of the reservoir, refill with fresh fluid. We then draw new fluid through the lines to the wheel cylinders and calipers using a vacuum device, refreshing the brake fluid for each of the hydraulic circuits in the system until a total of a liter of new brake fluid has flushed out the old fluid. Then its back on with the wheels, the correct fluid level is confirmed, the fluid reservoir resealed, and a verification of brake system functionality is performed to round out a proper brake fluid flush.

When it comes to disc brake pads, we check them with every service inspection, too. Three millimeters is considered the minimum acceptable thickness for brake pads, which holds true for both the German and Japanese cars that we service. Where those two groups of cars differ is in the material used in the brake disc (also interchangeable with the term ‘brake rotor’). Japanese cars tend to use a very hard brake disc material, which doesn’t wear out easily, but is more prone to warping over time. German cars use softer brake disc material which is highly resistant to warping and tends to give better vehicle stability while braking at highway speeds, but the brake disc material wears much faster. What this means is that Japanese cars may be able to reuse brake discs with each new set of brake pads. German cars, however, almost always require brake disc replacement with each brake pad set.