Signs You Need to Replace a Valve Cover Gasket

valve cover gasketMost vehicles have a valve cover gasket. VW and Audi models are no exception. Like any other car part, this component requires periodic replacement to ensure smooth engine performance. What happens when this part wears out and how might this affect car health?

What Is the Role of the Valve Cover Gasket?

As implied in its name, the valve cover is an encasement that protects the valves and cylinder head hardware. The gasket acts as a seal between the valve cover itself and the cylinder block. When the gasket deteriorates, it will leak oil. This will lead to damaged valves, lifters and cylinder heads. It might even lead to a cracked cover.

Symptoms of a Worn Valve Cover Gasket

One of the first symptoms is a burning oil smell. When the gasket deteriorates, compressed oil escapes. When the engine is running, the oil drips on the hot fuel intake or cylinder block, causing the burnt smell. Of course, a burning smell can indicate other problems. A mechanic will need to diagnose the cause. Continue Reading →

VW and Audi Brake Recall: What You Need to Know

brake recall, VW brake recall, Audi brake recallVW and Audi cars are notable for their smooth handling and overall reliability. However, this doesn’t mean they’re not prone to occasional problems. No car brand is immune to recalls. In fact, VW and Audi both issued a separate brake recall. How does this affect your vehicle?

Affected Models

The recall pertains to all of the following models:

For Audi: the 2018 Q5 and SQ5

For VW: the 2018 Beetle, Golf, Passat, Atlas, Sportswagen, and GTI

We recommend bringing your vehicle to an Audi and VW repair shop or to the dealership for an inspection. A technician may need to bleed the brakes. Continue Reading →

Check Out Our Pre-Owned Vehicles for Sale

Vehicles for Sale by Buttera MotorsButtera Motors isn’t just a VW and Audi repair service. In recent years, we have expanded to become an RV and truck rental service. Now, we also have a limited inventory of pre-owned vehicles for sale.

What’s in our Inventory?

As of the date of this post, we have several Volkswagen models in our inventory. These include several pre-2000 Beetles, as well as a recently-sold camper van. We understand some folks may be on the fence about older used cars. That’s why we have serviced every vehicle to ensure it runs properly. We are, after all, a German-specific automobile repair shop. That is who we are first and foremost. We specify any changes on our vehicles, such as whether it has a rebuilt transmission, has a replaced fuel line, etc.

We expect our inventory to expand in the coming months to include additional Audi and VW models. Continue Reading →

The Implications of Low Fuel Pressure in VW and Audi Vehicles

low fuel pressureSome German car owners have brought their vehicles to our shop after noticing low fuel pressure. This is especially common in certain VW and Audi models. We’ll explain the symptoms of low fuel pressure and why this occurs.

What Causes Low Fuel Pressure?

The cause for low pressure is premature wear in the camshaft follower. Subsequently, this causes damage to the drive lobe in the intake camshaft. The engine design includes a tappet or camshaft follower that rides between the intake camshaft and fuel pump shaft. Low pressure occurs when the constant friction from the pump shaft causes a hole to form on the camshaft follower.

Affected Models

Low fuel pressure is especially common in Audi and VW models with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. This engine is prevalent in the Audi A4, A6, S4, and S6. For Volkswagen, models with this engine include the Tiguan, Passat, Golf, and Jetta. Continue Reading →

Difficulties Diagnosing Problems with Your Imported Car?

diagnosing imported car problemYou may have had an auto shop experience where the mechanic told you he couldn’t diagnose the problem with your vehicle. The eventual advice was to take your car elsewhere. Motorists are rightfully baffled when an auto shop has difficulty diagnosing problems with an imported car. However, is it really a matter of can’t, or won’t? The truth may surprise you.

Why Repair Shops “Can’t” Diagnose Your Car

Here’s the truth only industry insiders know about: In most instances, they do have the capability of diagnosing problems in your imported car. However, most auto shops only charge for one hour of diagnostics. If they can’t pinpoint the problem within the timeframe, then they’re wasting their time and staff resource. In other words, it’s cutting into their profit margins.

In this scenario, the shop usually instructs you to take your vehicle to the dealership. Repairs from dealerships, though, tend to be far pricier since their technicians usually work on commission. Continue Reading →

Why Your Car Needs a Summer Pre-Trip Inspection

pre-trip inspection, summer inspectionDo you have vacation plans for summer? This is the perfect time for a road trip. However, a lengthy drive, combined with the summer’s heat, can be taxing on any vehicle. We can’t overstress the importance of a summer pre-trip inspection.

Pre-trip Inspection Basics

Most auto shops provide pre-trip inspections. What exactly does this entail? What’s included? Our inspections cover these areas:

  • Battery: we check for corrosion, and gauge its estimated remaining life. Hot weather is just as bad as cold temperatures for batteries.
  • Brakes: we examine the brake pads, bushing, calipers, and other components.
  • Belts and hoses: we look for signs of fraying, cracking, punctures, etc.
  • Tires: we examine the depths of the tread and the sidewall. We also ensure it has just the right amount of air according to manufacturer specifications. A tire check is really important; poorly maintained tires are more prone to a blowout under summer conditions.
  • Windshield wipers: we check the wipers, which are almost always overlooked. The Kirkland area does experience summer rains.

Best Cars for Summer Trips

People tend to think of SUVs and pickup trucks as ideal for cross-country trips. However, smaller vehicles actually make for a nice experience if traveling as a smaller party of two or three. The AARP actually listed the Volkswagen Beetle among its list of best cars for summer travel. Both modern VW and Audi cars have the prowess to handle long-distance travel.

If commuting with bulky equipment (e.g. an ATV, Sea-Doo, etc.), then consider renting an RV.

We Do Summer Pre-Trip Inspections

If you own an Audi or VW, then not any auto shop can conduct a pre-trip inspection. Bring your car to Buttera Motors; our crew is versed in pre-trip checkups for German models. A summer pre-trip inspection prevents a breakdown that can totally ruin the fun.

Pre-Trip Inspections and RV Rentals

VW and Audi service in Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Kenmore, Redmond & Woodinville

Oil Sludge in Turbocharged Engine: A Recurring Problem in VW Vehicles

turbocharged oil sludgeSludge is a car engine’s worst nightmare. The accumulation of heat and moisture causes the oil to gel, leading to Trouble—with a capital “T”. Oil sludge in turbocharged engines is especially common. If you’re a VW or Audi owner, you may want to take notice.

What’s Going On?

Volkswagen manufactured a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine for the VW Passat from 1997 to 2005. While such engines are renowned for their exceptional performance, they also became hot really fast. Due to the relatively low 3.7-quart oil capacity, the engine bay can quickly overheat. This is especially the case if you frequently commute for short distances or are late on an oil change. Along with VWs from the above years, the Audi A4 from years 1998-2004 have the same turbocharged engine as well. Continue Reading →

What Causes Sudden Car Electrical Failure?

Has your car’s electrical system ever inexplicably shut down, only to restart on its own? This can be frustrating to diagnose because this can be due to a number of causes. This is especially the case with VW and Audi cars, which have a more sophisticated ECU than their American-made counterparts. We’ll outline the common causes and symptoms of sudden car electrical failure. The Main Culprits Modern cars receive electrical power from the battery and alternator. The battery starts the engine, runs additional accessories when the engine is off, and powers the voltage regulator. The alternator creates electricity to power everything else, such as the headlights, when the engine is on. So, what happens when everything—from the lights to the engine itself—suddenly go dead before starting up again? To pinpoint the cause, pop open the hood and examine the battery connection. Are either the positive or negative connections loose? Do the terminals have a load of corrosion buildup? If your car has a fusible link, then you should inspect that as well. The Digital Display A faulty digital display is another sign of a compromised car electrical system. Several owners of Audi and VW models have noticed the digital display lose pixels and fade in and out. The brightness may also fluctuate or flash on and off. At other times, the display just completely goes out. A technician will need to reprogram the dashboard light system. This likely involves the car ECU, so this is beyond the scope of DIY capabilities. We’ll Fix any Car Electrical Failure Issues Leave it to Buttera Motors to diagnose faulty electrical problems with your car. Even with the sophisticated engineering of German cars, most modern models can still go haywire at times. Our story spans many years, and we are well versed in the diagnosis of German-made automobiles, including diagnosing car electrical failures. Car Electrical Failure Diagnosis and Repairs VW and Audi service in Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Kenmore, Redmond & WoodinvilleHas your car’s electrical system ever inexplicably shut down, only to restart on its own? This can be frustrating to diagnose because this can be due to a number of causes. This is especially the case with VW and Audi cars, which have a more sophisticated ECU than their American-made counterparts. We’ll outline the common causes and symptoms of sudden car electrical failure.

The Main Culprits

Modern cars receive electrical power from the battery and alternator. The battery starts the engine, runs additional accessories when the engine is off, and powers the voltage regulator. The alternator creates electricity to power everything else, such as the headlights, when the engine is on.

So, what happens when everything—from the lights to the engine itself—suddenly go dead before starting up again? Continue Reading →

The Truth About Auto Service Pricing by Phone

phone auto service pricingDo you ever call an auto service for a price quote? If you do this, you’re wasting your time. Your wisest course of action is to take your vehicle to the shop for an in-person diagnostic test. Acquiring auto service pricing by phone almost never yields the actual cost you will pay once the work is finished.

Why Auto Service Pricing by Phone Is not a Good Idea

Typically, the idea is to obtain a quote from three auto repair services and go with the cheapest one. Usually, if one quote is way off from the other two, then that one is likely a scam.

If you know the exact problem, then the mechanic may be able to give you a ballpark figure. However, we never suggest calling for the sole sake of acquiring a quote. Continue Reading →

Does Your Car Require a Multi-Point Inspection?

multi-point inspectionCars require routine maintenance; that’s a given and applies to all models, whether German or American-made. VW and Audi models, like all other vehicles, require a multi-point inspection. We wanted to discuss this because there seems to be some confusion regarding what this type of inspection entails.

What Is a Multi-Point Inspection?

You may have heard of auto shops advertise a 50-point inspection. The number in the front, though, differs from shop to shop. Some may offer a 30-point inspection, a 10-point inspection, or even as high as a 150-point inspection. What does the number mean, and is a higher number better? Continue Reading →