How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Oil Pan Gasket?

Oil is the lifeblood of your car. It keeps the moving parts lubricated and running smoothly, so you can drive with a clear mind and know that your car will make it from point A to point B, but the parts that keep oil healthy and within your engine can be just as important.

The oil pan gasket is one of these parts. The problems caused by a faulty one can start out relatively small, but eventually grow into a threat to the longevity of your vehicle. 

Despite its small size, these gaskets are vital to maintaining a healthy car and keeping the oil on the inside of your engine rather than the outside. Small oil leaks may seem insignificant at the time, but consistent leaking and loss of oil can lead to much more expensive problems down the line.

Oil Pan Gaskets: What do they do?

The oil pan is responsible for keeping the bottom of your engine covered and your oil within it. The oiling system operates at high pressure, and without a gasket, the oil pan will not seal to the bottom of the engine. The oil pan gasket is responsible for this seal. It cushions the connection between the oil pan and the rest of the engine, and prevents oil from leaking through a loose connection or uneven machining. 

Oil pan with no gasket

These gaskets are often made from rubber or cork-rubber, and this material gradually degrades overtime with wear and tear, which can lead to small (and eventually big) leaks through the gap. 

Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pan Gasket

A faulty gasket can make itself known in quite a few ways. Some of these problem can include:

  • Check engine light
  • Oil pressure light
  • Oil leaks
  • Engine overheating

How Much do Oil Pan Gaskets Cost to Replace?

The gaskets are typically inexpensive as far as parts go, but the cost of both the parts and labor vary heavily depending on the type of make and model. A domestic pickup truck will most likely cost much less for a replacement than a European sports car. 

Yellow oil jug sitting next to oil pan

The part itself can vary anywhere between $40 to $150, but the majority of the cost will come in the form of labor. 

Shop rates can also vary significantly, often depending on specialty and location, but many fall between the $50-$150 range. The real deciding factor in the cost is the difficulty in removing the oil pan and the amount of hours it takes to do so. 

Many domestic or Japanese cars can be done within 2-4 hours, while other jobs can be much more complex. A V6 Camaro from 2012 needs its front subframe to be removed prior to replacing the gasket, so that job would require a considerable amount more time and would in turn cost more. 

How Much Would it Cost for My Car?

Talking to a specialist and getting a quote for your specific vehicle will give you the best idea of how to go about the service, as each car and each area will be different.

In the end, you won’t want to wait to get your oil pan gasket replaced. While it may cost a bit right now, letting the problem linger could lead to some very pricey problems in the future. 

Oil Pan gasket replacement at Becker Service Center

Becker Service Center in Naperville is your place for jobs like this! Our ASE Certified technicians service vehicles with the highest quality standards and have years of experience. Give us a call or schedule an appointment today!

What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Purchasing a new vehicle is exciting, but the moment you drive that shiny new car off the lot, it loses value. In fact, during the first year of ownership, a new car can lose as much as 20% of its initial value. The biggest advantage of buying a new car is knowing its history, and not having to worry about how well it was treated by previous owners

Buying a used vehicle is a good option for those looking to get into a newer car without spending (and losing) money on something brand new. Used cars carry more risk, but with proper diligence, you can easily find a well-maintained vehicle that will run well for years to come. Keep reading to learn what you should look for when buying a used car!

What to Look For

Knowing where to look, what to look for, and what questions to ask will give you a big advantage when shopping for a used vehicle. Whether you are shopping at a used car dealership or looking at a private sale, be sure to check all these areas before negotiating a price.

Exterior

Examining the exterior of the car is a good way to tell how well it’s been taken care of and more importantly if it’s been in an accident.

Body

Take a look around the outside of the car. Check the body panels for scratches, dents, paint chips, or other blemishes. Depending on the age and mileage of the car, you can expect some imperfections in the paint, but anything major should be noted. Any mismatched coloring or poorly fitting body panels may be indicative that the car has been in an accident.

Keep an eye out for rust, especially on older vehicles. Make sure to check in the wheel wells, the door sills, and the underside of the car.

red hyundai in winter

Leaks

Get down on your hands and knees and take a peek under the vehicle. If you notice any fluids dripping and forming puddles on the ground, it’s a good sign that repairs are needed. The one exception to this would be condensation from the A/C, which would only be noticeable in warm weather after the car has been driving with the air conditioning on.

Tires

Tires need to be replaced periodically, but if you are buying a used car, check how much life they have left. If the tires are worn out, you can use it as a bargaining chip to negotiate a lower price.

close up of tire tread

Interior

You’ll be spending a lot of time inside your new car, so take a moment to make sure the inside is in good condition and everything works as it should

Windows

Make sure all the windows move up and down easily. Anything from a wiring issue to a failed window regulator can cause problems. Most modern vehicles have power windows, but if the car you are looking at has cranks, make sure they work properly.

Radio

Turn on the radio and turn the volume up. Make sure all controls for the radio are functioning, including seek and volume buttons on the steering wheel

camry-dashboard

Accessories 

From power-adjustable and heated seats to Bluetooth connection, sunroofs, and infotainment systems, modern cars are packed with technology and accessories. Make sure to check these systems and make sure they are working.

Test Drive

While you can ascertain a good amount of information about a car by inspecting the exterior and interior, there are some things you can only check by driving it. Any reputable seller will let you take the car for a test drive.

Engine

Driving the car lets you get an idea of how well it works mechanically. When you first start the car, listen to the engine. It should operate smoothly and quietly, free of any rattling or obvious loud noises. When you get the car out on the road, accelerate hard up to the speed limit. The amount of power will vary significantly from car to car, but you should be able to tell if it feels exceptionally sluggish.

Transmission

In addition to the engine, driving allows you to check how the transmission is functioning. Automatic transmissions should shift smoothly and be free of clunking, slipping, or delayed shifting. Manual transmission vehicles should shift easily between gears, and the clutch should engage consistently without slipping.

Check the condition of a clutch by finding a hill and putting the car in a high gear at a low speed. As you go up the hill, the engine RPMs should drop and eventually stall the engine. If the RPMs climb but the speed of the vehicle does not increase, the clutch is slipping and will need to be replaced.

Brakes

The brakes should feel firm. A spongy pedal or squealing noise can indicate brake problems. If it seems like it takes a long time to slow down, the car probably needs brake service.

brake rotor and caliper

Steering/Handling

When driving on a straight road, let go of the steering wheel briefly to see if the car pulls left or right. This will indicate whether or not the vehicle is aligned properly. When going over bumps and turning, listen for clicks, pops, or any other sound that seems out of the ordinary. Suspension and steering problems are generally pretty easy to notice after driving a few miles.

Consider a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Unless you are an experienced do-it-yourself car enthusiast or a technician, it’s unlikely you will be able to check everything on a car you are looking to buy. Pre-purchase inspections let you get a second opinion from a trusted technician so you can know for certain that the vehicle you are looking at is a good choice.

Most dealerships are willing to let you get a PPI, but it may be a little more difficult to arrange a private sale. Particularly if the owner is still driving the car every day.

Conclusion

Buying a used car is a smart choice. Taking the time to make sure the car you are buying is in good condition is even smarter. If you need a pre-purchase inspection, stop in at Becker Service Center. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

2007 [6th Generation] Toyota Camry Common Problems

In terms of reliability, Toyota is one of the best auto manufacturers in the world. A 2015 commercial stated that at that point, 80% of Toyota vehicles sold were still on the road. That is an impressive statistic, and most of Toyota’s models through the years have been pretty bulletproof.

The reliability and longevity of Toyotas mean many older examples are still available second-hand and can be purchased confidently. Toyota’s history is not spotless, and there are a few models with some serious issues. 

In this article, we will discuss the 2007 Toyota Camry, one of the least reliable Toyota’s ever produced. Read on to learn more about the common issues that plagued this vehicle.

Background

The Toyota Camry was introduced in 1983 and has been a staple in the brand lineup. The Camry offered more space and engine options than the smaller Corolla, and later incorporated hybrid technology into its drive train. Generally, the Camry is considered a safe, reliable, and fuel-efficient mid-sized car.

6th Generation Camry Problems

The 6th generation Camry, which ran from 2007 to 2011, is an exception to the model’s historic reliability. From sticking gas pedals to oil consumption and melting dashboards, there was no shortage of serious problems. While the entire generation had issues, we are going to focus on the 2007 model year.

Stuck Accelerator Pedal

This issue led to millions of vehicle recalls and made headlines in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Drivers could find themselves in a situation where their Camry was accelerating uncontrollably. The stuck accelerator issue was linked to accidents and several deaths.

At this point, most vehicles impacted by these issues have been repaired. Toyota issued a recall and a fix for the stuck pedals, in addition to paying a civil penalty.

Oil Consumption

The 2AZ-FE four-cylinder engine consumed a significant amount of oil. This engine can go through a quart of oil in 1200 miles or less. The cause of this issue is too large a gap in the piston rings. Oil consumption at this rate puts the engine at risk of damage and failure from oil starvation.

Piston rings expand when the engine gets up to temperature. This means more oil consumption occurs on cold starts. Heavier weight oil can help counteract this problem since the higher viscosity oil will not flow as freely past the rings.

Additionally, the oil should be changed more frequently, and owners should check their oil levels often.

Failed 02 Sensor

A failed downstream 02 sensor is a common issue on the 6th generation Camry. When the sensor fails, the car will likely have a P0138 code. Replacing the sensor will fix the problem, and while an OEM sensor is expensive, it is pretty easy to install.

Ignition Coil Failure

Ignition coils allow the spark plug to fire. A failed ignition coil can cause rough running, misfires, and a flashing check engine light. Failed ignition coils need to be replaced to restore proper engine operation.

Replacing a failed ignition coil can be labor-intensive on Camrys equipped with the 2GR-FE V6 engine. The 2GR-FE is mounted transversely, meaning one bank of cylinders is back against the firewall. Depending on which coil failed, the entire intake manifold may need to come off to access it. 

Coil pack failures on Camrys with four-cylinder engines happen as well, but replacing the failed coil is easy, regardless of which one fails.

Melting Dashboard

While this issue is not related to safety or reliability, it can be annoying. In hot climates like the south and southwest, the dash material can crack, melt, and become sticky. This issue was so prevalent that Toyota offered a warranty extension to repair the dashboard on affected vehicles through January 2020.

camry-dashboard

Does Your Camry Need Service? Stop in at Becker Service Center!

If you drive the 6th generation Toyota Camry, you might recognize some of the issues on this list. Given the age of these vehicles, any extended warranty coverage has likely come to an end, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep going to the dealership for service!

Becker Service Center is Naperville’s neighborhood repair shop. Our team of technicians has years of experience, which means we are your one-stop shop for everything from oil changes and brake service to engine diagnostic and transmission service! Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

What Can Cause a Loss of Power in My Car?

A lot of common automotive problems have no noticeable symptoms. Oil or coolant leaks will not immediately impact the way your car drives. A seemingly serious issue like a check engine light can even occur with no changes in drive ability.

Sometimes problems present more noticeably. Noises from your suspension when you turn or press the brakes, a new smell, or loud engine operation are common. One of the most noticeable changes in driving dynamics is a loss of power. Unfortunately, there are many potential causes for power loss, making it a tricky diagnosis. In this article, we are going to go over some of the most common causes of this complaint.

Engine Operation

Before we look at the causes of power loss, we need to understand the basics of engine operation. Internal combustion engines require oxygen (air), fuel, spark (gasoline only), and compression to run. Loss of engine power is normally a result of an issue relating to these basic requirements. The complexity of modern vehicles means the potential causes are numerous, however.

Fueling Issues

The fueling system in your vehicle has several components that can have a direct impact on engine power.

Fuel Filter

The fuel filter prevents contaminants from getting into the fuel system, protecting the fuel lines and injectors from damage. Clogged or dirty fuel filters can cause a reduction in engine power. Some vehicles have serviceable fuel filters, and some have a screen built directly into the fuel pump. Filters that can be serviced should be changed every 50-60 thousand miles. Older cars should have fuel filters changed more frequently, as gas tanks can degrade and contaminate the fuel.

Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is responsible for moving fuel from the tank to the engine and providing the pressure and volume needed for optimal operation. A failing fuel pump can result in a drop in engine power or complete engine shutoff.

Fuel Injectors

Modern vehicles use fuel injectors to spray fuel into the engine through port or direct injection. Injectors allow fuel to enter the cylinder and mix with air before combustion. When a fuel injector becomes clogged or fails, you will notice reduced engine power and even misfires.

fuel injecot out of car

Air Intake Issues

Fuel and air need to mix before combustion. Air is supplied through the intake system. Issues preventing fresh air from getting into the engine can result in a noticeable loss of power.

Dirty/Clogged Air Filter

The engine air filter keeps debris and dust out, but after thousands of miles, they become less effective and can even stifle the engine. Changing your air filter will prevent it from causing performance issues.

Throttle Body Problems

The throttle body controls the amount of air entering the engine when you press the gas pedal. If it becomes dirty or stuck, you can experience sluggish or jerky acceleration.

dirty throttle body

Turbocharger and Supercharger Problems

Some vehicles employ forced induction to provide the engine with denser, compressed air. Superchargers and turbocharges allow for more power to be squeezed out of smaller engines and can improve fuel economy. 

turbocharger

On forced induction vehicles, any issue with the turbo or supercharger can cause a significant power loss. If the air is not compressed to the correct PSI, the engine won’t make full power until it’s repaired or replaced.

Spark and Compression Issues

Lastly, inadequate spark or compression can result in a loss of engine power. There are a few potential causes of problems with spark

Coil Packs 

Most modern cars use a coil-on-plug system to activate the spark plugs. If a coil pack fails or has issues, the spark plug may not fire.

Spark Plugs 

Spark plugs ignite the air/fuel mixture on gasoline engines. If they are not changed regularly, they are not as effective at their job and can cause reduced engine power, rough running, and bad fuel economy.

Low Compression

During normal engine operation, the air and fuel mixture is highly compressed in the cylinder before combustion. Bad head gaskets, failed pistons rings, damaged pistons, or problems with valves and valve seats are some of the more common causes of low compression.

used head gasket

Limp Mode

Sometimes, a fault can cause your car to go into limp mode. Limp mode is meant to protect your vehicle from damage while you drive to a repair shop or dealership and will cause a substantial drop in engine power.

Diagnostics is Often Required

With so many potential causes of reduced engine power, it’s hard to pinpoint the cause of the issue without digging into the car. If your car is feeling sluggish, the best thing you can do is visit your local repair shop.

Get Your Car Serviced at Becker Service Center

Is your car having problems? It may be time to visit a repair shop! Becker Service Center is your one-stop for all things auto repair. Our Naperville repair shop is staffed with ASE Certified technicians with years of experience. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

What is R-1234yf?

Ever since Ford made cars accessible to the general public with the Model T, engineers have worked year after year to improve vehicles, making them more efficient, powerful, and comfortable. One of these advances that most take for granted is air conditioning. The first car that could be optioned with A/C from the factory was the 1940 Packard. Now, over 80 years later, nearly all new vehicles come equipped with air conditioning.

Since 1940, air conditioning in cars and trucks has become more efficient, environmentally friendly, smaller, and better packaged. In addition to components in the system, the refrigerant used to cool the air entering the cabin has changed. Since 2020, a new refrigerant, R-1234YF, has been used in new vehicles. This new refrigerant can provide better fuel economy and has less impact on the environment. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about R-1234YF.

What is Refrigerant? 

Refrigerant is a substance with a low boiling point that cycles between a liquid and gaseous state. The refrigerant flows through the components of an A/C system like the compressor, condenser, and evaporator, removing heat and allowing colder air to blow into the cabin of your car or truck.

auto air conditioning system graphic

A Brief History of A/C Refrigerant in Cars and Trucks

Automotive manufacturers have used a few different refrigerants over the years, changing as technology and environmental regulations changed.

R12 (Freon)

R12 was the first refrigerant used in automotive A/C systems, from 1940 until the mid-1990s when it was banned due to its severe environmental impacts. Freon is a brand name that has become a catchall term for A/C refrigerant, but only R12 was produced under that name.

Nowadays, it can be hard to find a shop with the capacity to service older R12-equipped vehicles, and many classic car owners convert the A/C system to work with a modern refrigerant.

R12 has a GWP (global warming potential) of 10200.

134a

In 1996, R12 refrigerant was fully phased out of new vehicles and replaced with 134a. 134a is far less harmful to the environment, as it is not ozone-depleting. 134a is not as effective at cooling as the R12 it replaced, but environmental regulations pushed the change.

134a has a GWP of 1300.

Why Are Manufacturers Switching to R-1234yf?

The EPA ordered a complete transition from 134a to R-1234yf by the mid-2020s. The new refrigerant is even more environmentally friendly than 134a, with a GWP of just 1. Besides the reduced environmental impact, 12134yf refrigerant systems are less likely to leak and may not require as frequent service.

A potential downside to the new refrigerant is its cost, which is significantly more than the 134a it replaces. However, with the less service required, the higher price can be mitigated.

What Does 1234yf Mean for Me?

Nothing. If you have a newer vehicle that uses it, make sure your repair shop is equipped to service A/C systems with 1234yf. If you own an older car that uses 134a, don’t worry. The transition will take place over time, and you will still be able to get your air conditioning serviced or recharged. With so many vehicles on the road still using it, 134a will continue to be produced.

Conclusion

As automakers transition to 1234yf refrigerant, you will likely start to hear more and more about it. We hope this article helped clear up any questions or concerns you may have had about your vehicle’s air conditioning system!

Air Conditioning Service at Becker Service Center

Whether you own a car with 134a or 1234yf, the technicians at Becker Service Center have the skills and experience needed to service and recharge your air conditioning system. Unsure what refrigerant you have in your car? Our friendly service advisors can tell you! If your air conditioning isn’t working as it should, give us a call or schedule an appointment online at our Naperville repair shop today!