How Do Your Brakes Work?

Brake Service in Lake Stevens, WA | StrykerBro.com

Everyone knows the safety value of working brakes. However, they are one of your vehicle’s components that are designed to wear out. So, how do you know when you might need a brake replacement? Stop by Stryker Brothers Automotive and our experts on brake service in Lake Stevens, WA, can tell you everything you need to know.

How Do Your Brakes Work?
Brakes are a system, and there is no single component in a car you can call a “brake” except maybe your emergency brake. Vehicles have two types of brakes—rear and front ones. Front brakes use rotors (big metal disks) as braking mechanisms while rear brakes are typically drums that expand. Pressing your brake pedal engages the brake fluid and pushes it under pressure through a series of tubes. When the brake fluid reaches the front wheels, it activates a caliper that pushes your brake pads against both sides of the rotor and creates friction that causes the vehicle to slow down. In the back wheels of your vehicle, the brake fluid moves to the wheel cylinder inside the drum and causes the brake shoes to move toward a rotating drum, which makes the brake drum slow down and stop.

Many of the parts inside a brake system are subject to wear. Brake pads and shoes are the most likely components that need replacement. Once they are significantly worn, the next system components to suffer damage are rotors and drums. It’s far less expensive to replace brake pads and shoes than it is to replace your whole brake system.




Common Causes of Engine Noises

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It’s always a bit scary when an unfamiliar noise starts coming from somewhere under the hood. Many of us don’t know enough about complex engine systems to know if it’s something to worry about or not. The following are some of the most common reasons for engine noises that require action:

Valve Train Noise
Valve and hydraulic lifter noise is a clicking sound that usually quiets down when you raise the engine’s RPM’s. Lifter noises can be caused by worn or sticking hydraulic lifters. Sticking lifters are caused by a varnish buildup on the lifter surfaces. The problem with a sticking lifter may be solved by adding a detergent additive to the oil. If this doesn’t do away with the noise, the job will need to be done by a trained auto repair technician at Stryker Brothers Automotive, a reputable car repair shop near Lake Stevens, WA.

Timing Chain Noise
The timing chain connects the crankshaft to the camshaft to ensure the valves open at the proper time. The slack in these chains is kept tight by hydraulic tensioners. When the chain guides are too worn for the hydraulic tensioner to take up the slack, noise is caused by the loosened timing chains.

Connecting Rod Noise
A connecting rod noise is caused by excessive clearance between the crankshaft and the connecting rod bearing surface. The noise is a knock that is heard toward the bottom of the engine. These problems require swift attention because the continued running of the engine in this condition damages the crankshaft.

Whining Noise
When an engine is running and making a whining noise, it usually indicates a bearing that is on the verge of failure. However, some of the items under the hood that can make a whining sound include the water pump, AC clutch bearing, fan-belt idler pulleys, alternator, and the power steering pump. Whining from the power steering pump gets louder when turning the steering wheel from side to side and the usual cause is low power steering fluid.

Change Your Cabin Air Filter in the Spring

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Spring cleaning isn’t just for homes. Your list of spring tasks should also include caring for your car after harsh winter driving conditions. One of the best things you can do in the spring is to have your vehicle’s cabin air filter changed. Some of the reasons why it’s a good idea not to overlook this routine task include:

The Pollen Problem
You don’t want to breathe in all the pollen from outside. While a cabin filter should normally be changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, it’s a good idea to change it at the end of pollen season as well. Changing your air filter in spring prevents allergens from blowing through your vents as the filter deteriorates.

Cleaner Air, Cleaner Car
Spring and summer mean that your vehicle’s air conditioning is sure to get a ton of work, which places more strain than ever on your filter. If the cabin filter isn’t changed regularly, crud can build up and eventually start blowing into the main cabin.

 Efficiency Is Key
Cabin filters help you breathe easier, and they also help keep things running smoothly. A dirty filter results in your heater core or air conditioner getting clogged, which reduces overall efficiency.

Visit Stryker Brothers Automotive, a leading car repair shop near Lake Stevens, WA, when it’s time to change your cabin air filter.

Ways to Get Your Car Ready for a Road Trip

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It pays to prepare your car for a road trip whether you’re driving to your relatives for the holidays or taking the kids to summer camp. There’s never a guarantee that you won’t have vehicle trouble out on the road. If you do have a breakdown, be sure to have a “roadside survival kit” and make sure it includes a blanket, flashlight, extra food, and water. You will also want to have a copy of your car’s warranty, insurance, and contact information for your emergency car care service in the glove compartment. Also,

bring along a spare set of car keys in case you lose your keys. Also, the following are some pre-trip maintenance tips to prepare your car for your next road trip:


If you notice a sweet smell when the engine is off, you may have a coolant leak. If there are green or yellow streaks on the engine-oil dipstick, you most likely have a leak. Get it checked out at Stryker Bros., a reliable car repair shop near Lake Stevens, WA.


Have the oil changed in your vehicle and be sure to have your mechanic check the brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant strength, and power-steering fluid.

Belts & Hoses

Make sure your belts and hoses are in good shape.


Have your battery checked and get a new one if there’s the chance of a problem.



Depending on the weather, you want to keep your fuel tank above half full to prevent condensation from forming, as that might result in a frozen fuel line.


Replace worn wiper blades and top off your winter washer fluid.

What Are the Different Kinds of Brakes?

Brake Service near Lake Stevens, WA | StrykerBro.com

The ability to stop your vehicle is critical to your safety and the safety of others. A vehicle’s brakes are its most used safety feature. It helps to stay informed so that you can take care of your brakes on a regular basis. There are two kinds of service brakes, disc and drum, which are the brakes that stop your vehicle while driving. Also, almost all vehicles come with emergency brakes and anti-lock brakes. The four kinds of brakes below are an overview of those within most vehicles.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes consist of a brake rotor that is attached directly to the wheel. The hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder causes a caliper to squeeze the brake pads on either side of the rotor.  It is the friction between the pads and the rotor that causes the vehicle to stop.

Drum Brakes

Drum brakes are made up of a brake drum attached to the inside of the wheel. When the brake pedal contracts, hydraulic pressure presses two brake shoes against the brake drum, which creates friction and causes the vehicle to stop.

Emergency Brakes

Emergency brakes or parking brakes are a secondary braking system that works independently of your service brakes. There are a number of different kinds of emergency brakes, but most of them are powered by cables that mechanically apply pressure to the wheels. Emergency brakes are used to keep a vehicle in place while it is parked.

Anti-Lock Brakes

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are on most new vehicles. They are meant to prevent the wheels from locking up, which causes the tires to skid, especially on wet roads.

Make sure your brakes are in the proper working order by taking your vehicle to Stryker Bros, a reputable auto shop for brake service near Lake Stevens, WA.



Prepare for an Emergency While Driving in Winter

Car Repairs in Marysville, WA |StrykerBro.com

It makes sense to carry an emergency kit in the trunk of your vehicle at all times, and especially during the winter months. If you know what to do when you get stranded, you can reduce the stress of being in an unpleasant, difficult situation. If you aren’t totally sure about where you are in an emergency situation, you don’t want to wander away from your car. Take two flares from your emergency kit and place them at each end of your vehicle to call attention to your plight. Keep yourself warm by putting on extra clothes and use a blanket to stay warm. If there is enough gas in your tank, you may want to run the engine and heater for a few minutes during each hour while you wait for help.

Make up an emergency kit to carry in your vehicle on a regular basis. Add all of the following to your car or truck so that you are prepared as much as possible for any emergency:

  • Blanket
  • Extra Boots & Gloves
  • Extra Warm Clothes
  • Water & food
  • Ice Scraper
  • Small Shovel
  • Flashlight
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Windshield Wiper Blades
  • Flares
  • Jumper Cables
  • Tire Chains
  • Tire Gage
  • Spare Tire
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Paper Towels

Stryker Brothers Automotive provides thorough car repairs in Marysville, WA, including making sure your car is prepared for extremely cold driving conditions.


How to Get Your Car Ready for Winter

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As the weather changes into winter, it makes sense to prepare your vehicle for a colder climate, especially if you do a lot of driving in freezing temperatures. The following tips are meant to remind you to keep your vehicle in good working order this winter:

  • Get the right kind of oil change. Your winter oil change should have the right thickness for your vehicle at this time of year. When it gets cold, oil tends to thicken, so if it’s too thick, it won’t be able to keep your engine properly lubricated.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades. Start the cold winter months with new windshield wiper blades. Also, be sure to fill up your windshield washer reservoir with windshield washer fluid, and also make sure that your heater and defroster are working properly.
  • Check the battery. Your battery’s posts and connections must be free of corrosion, and your battery needs to have all the water it needs.
  • Examine your belts and hoses. Check your vehicle’s belts and hoses because cold weather is hard on them, so they need to be in tip-top shape.
  • Check tire pressure. Inflate your tires to ensure you have the best possible traction as you drive in wet, snowy, or icy conditions.
  • Get the right antifreeze mixture. You want to have a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water inside your radiator to prevent the mixture from freezing even at extremely cold temperatures.

Take your car to Stryker Brothers Automotive, a leading car repair shop in Marysville, WA, when you want to have it thoroughly prepared for winter.


Tips to Keep High-Mileage Cars in Shape, Part 2

Car Care in Marysville, WA |StrykerBro.com

To continue our “Tips to Keep High-Mileage Cars in Shape,” we also focus on tires, which are essential

for the life and performance of your vehicle. Pay attention to any signs of uneven wear on the tread of your tires. The first indication that you need a tire pressure check, tire rotation, wheel balance, alignment, suspension repair is your car’s uneven tire wear.

You also want to be sure to get a tune-up twice a year to find any small problems that may grow larger without attention. With a tune-up the vital components of your engine are checked. The optimal performance of your car’s engine is critical to its lasting far into the future. Additional tips to keep your car in top-notch shape despite its mileage include the following:

  • Fix Problems Immediately
  • Choose High-Quality Replacement Parts
  • Follow the Owner’s Maintenance Manual
  • Drive Gently

Keep your high-mileage vehicle running safely as long as you can by making sure some maintenance tasks are conducted on a regular basis. For comprehensive car care in Marysville, WA, visit Stryker Brothers Automotive. With our help, you can avoid costly repairs by properly maintaining your high-mileage vehicle. We work on numerous high-mileage vehicles with the goal of greatly extending their usefulness and safety.

Tips to Keep High-Mileage Cars in Shape, Part 1

Car Care in Marysville, WA |StrykerBro.com

Does your car have more than 75,000 miles? If so, that shows it has been properly maintained. Now that it’s quite a bit older it may require extra attention to stay safely on the road for many more miles and years to come. Some of the best ways to ensure that your car can stand the test of time include the following:

Oil Changes:

When you change the oil in your car it keeps your vehicle lubricated, so all the parts can move the way they are designed. You want to keep the engine cooler and eliminate harmful buildup and debris from floating around the system. Also, it’s important to have other services such as fluid checks, visual inspections, and filter inspections.

Fluid Services:

High-mileage cars need fluid services so that the old, used-up transmission fluid doesn’t damage your vehicle. Transmission fluid is negatively impacted by heat and time, so having it serviced properly helps to protect the transmission and general performance.

Coolant Services:

You may also want to consider servicing out your vehicle’s coolant so that your engine can perform optimally. Coolant keeps your engine cool, as well as moving and redirecting heat around the engine, which prevents parts from overheating and becoming damaged.

Bring your car into Stryker Brothers Automotive for preventive maintenance and general car care in Marysville, WA. With our help, your car can live longer than you ever thought possible.



How to Trust Your Car Mechanic

Car Care in Marysville, WA

There are so many rip-off stories about auto repair and service shops that your search for the right one can be a bit daunting. Also, with so many different makes and models of cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans, it’s even more difficult to find the kind of car care in Marysville, WA, that perfectly suits your needs. When you are ready to start your search for a worry-free car repair shop, take note of some of the following tips:

  • Ask for a referral: Ask a friend to recommend an auto repair shop. Check with friends who take care of their vehicles the same way you do.
  • Search for auto repair shops online: Search for trustworthy auto repair shops or good auto repair shops near you. Be sure to check for reviews and awards.
  • Get to know the staff: You want to use a vehicle repair shop that is clean and organized. You can start your service with a new shop by trying them out for a small service like an oil change. That way you can learn how the shop works and check out its facilities.

Contact the reliable, trustworthy, and reputable team at Stryker Brothers Automotive in Marysville, WA, a shop that has been serving the area since 1980.