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Getting your vehicle ready for summer driving.

Getting your vehicle ready for summer driving.

As summer comes upon us, here are a few good tips to keep in mind before traveling long distances. Nothing is worse to disrupt a vacation or any travel than an unplanned breakdown. On a day to day base, getting into a hot vehicle is uncomfortable. The inside can reach over 140 degrees. To cool the vehicle inside quickly, roll down the window for the first minute or two of driving to get some of the very hot air out. The complete interior can be as high as 140 degrees and to get it to the comfortable temperature of 70 degrees will often take 20 minutes so be patient. On this note, never leave children or animals inside a vehicle with the windows up. It’s a greenhouse in there and can kill quickly. Getting your vehicle ready for a trip during the hot weather can make a vacation much more stress free. The first stop should be your favorite repair shop, having them do a pre-trip check. This is most important for vehicles over ... read more

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Diagnosis of Modern Vehicles

Diagnosis of Modern Vehicles

Newer vehicles are getting more complicated, so much that it is the more high tech item in your life in just about all cases. Very few people have anything more complex in their life and I’m including computer networks in this theory. The most incredible thing about your newer vehicles is it drives down the road, stops, accelerates smoothly, has a very comfortable cabin and is able to operate from temperatures from -30 to 120 degrees. It can drive down very bumpy roads, go from below sea level (Death Valley) and up to 13800 feet (Mauna Kea). I have personally driven on both and not every had a problem. Diagnosis of the modern vehicle problems is as always, very challenging. It has always been getting more challenging with new twists and more advanced multiplexing and technology adding to the complexity. Somewhere, in the world of diagnosis, some customers don’t think that the perceived valve of diagnosis is worth the money. We are asked often if we charge for di ... read more

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What to do in an emergency situation.

What to do in an emergency situation.

A modern automobile is an incredible, almost unbelievable, collection of high tech electronics connected together to provide a safe comfortable ride a various conditions. The engineering of getting all these components to work together with dependability in a hostile environment amazes me daily, Most vehicle manufactures have over 500 different companies that provide the parts to make up a complete vehicle. Problems do happen and I want to give incite here to make sure the correct procedures are followed in case of emergencies. When something happens out of the ordinary, the first thing to remember is to stay calm and not panic. With a plan and thoughtful pre-planning, it may bypass panic. In panic mode, many people just freeze, not knowing what to do. Read this carefully and remember what to do. If the engine dies while driving, two driver’s controls will change. The first is you will lose power steering but all steering con ... read more

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Preventative Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

To minimize the cost of owner of vehicles, here are some tips from cradle to grave. When buying a vehicle, be sure to check with Consumers Report. It is the most un-bias area to get knowledge on vehicles. Good information at a low price. The April edition is dedicated to new and used vehicles. Not only do they have tips on what to buy but also how to buy and what to avoid buying with the vehicle, the “extras”. I have followed Consumer Reports on the last 5 vehicles I have bought and have not been disappointed. Not all vehicles are created the same. An investment of buying the magazine or on line web site with the 2-3 hours of research can and will save thousands of dollars down the road. Set a routine on how you’re going to get it serviced. The owner’s manual has great information on when servicers are due and information on the vehicle. Keep in mind that oil servers are best to do a little more often as I have stated below. One of the most over ... read more

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Car Tip #12

Car Tip #12

Increasing Fuel Mileage

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Car Care Tips

Intermittent Problems are a consistent problem

Intermittent Problems are a consistent problem

One of the daily challenges that all automotive repair shops face are intermittent problems. Noises, poor running, no starts, dying as driving, vibrations that don’t happen all the time are all in this field. In any kind of problem solving in any kind of profession, there are 4 logical steps to problem solving. Experience the problem. Theorize what the problem is. This is the time when past training and experience comes in. We consider all the possibilities that are probable. Diagnose to prove or disprove your theory. This is when test equipment is used. The most important of the steps is you repair or replace the part in question to make sure your theory is correct. The “proof in the pudding”. Is the problem solved or fixed? If the problem is not there all the time, you can lose two to three of these steps. This is where the problem lies. We have had vehicles that will crank over but won ... read more

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Newer Cars are Safer

Newer Cars are Safer

One of the most frequent questions that comes up both at my shops and in my personal life is for parents to ask what kind of vehicle they should get for their young adult when they become driving age. Most parents have the same thing in mind, “hand me down” vehicles. “As soon as my kid turns sixteen, I’m going to give them my old car and I’m going to get a new one”. Another very common story is the father is going to get there kid a vehicle they wanted or had as a kid. I’m going to get him an old Volkswagen Bug, they are really cool, or that old BMW 2002. Great old cars. There is a very serious thinking flaw happening here. When children reach driving age, they have very little experience behind the wheel. Sometimes they have an attitude of being indestructible added to little driving experience. Nationally teen driving accidents are one the leading causes of death. Cars with anti-lock brakes (ABS) or stability control will even help control t ... read more

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Winter Driving Tips

Winter fuel mileage. One of the common complaints we get going into the cooler weather is the fuel mileage decreases, up to 4 miles per gallon. This is so true for a few reasons. The first is that a cold engine is not as efficient as a warn engine and it takes a longer time for the engine to reach operating temperature. The second reason is there is a change in the fuels you buy. Yes, there is a winter and summer fuels that are used. There are many different reasons but in a nut shell it boils down to two reason. One is performance and drive-able, the other being keeping the pollution more in check. Quick check list for winter Check tires for tread depth, pressure and wear pattern. Replace wiper Check coolant, replace if over 4 years old Have battery checked, replace if over 6 years old Check and clean cowl drains under hood in front of windshield. Check a ... read more

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Winter will be here soon, be prepared!

Winter will be here soon, be prepared!

WINTER DRIVING: If you’re heading over the mountains or into snow area, be ready for the worst. Know your route, keep to major highways. They are plowed and sanded. If you do have a problem, help would be close. Be well rested. Let someone know where you are going and when you’re getting back if you’re planning to go off the beaten path in snowy conditions Always have traction tires or chains. Keep your fuel tank close to full, Carry warm clothes and blanket and some food and water, more if you going off the beaten path. Kitty liter is good to have in the trunk if you should get stuck, pour it on front of the slipping tire to get traction. If you get stuck away from cars and people, stay with your car. It is easier to find, water proof, windproof and can be started for heat. Winter preparations for your vehicle.. 1. Coolant check, 50-50 mixtur ... read more

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Buying a vehicle, New or Used?

Buying a vehicle, New or Used?

When buying a vehicle, I was always taught to buy a used vehicle by my family. “It loses 10% or more of its value when you drive it off the lot” I was told. The US has a used car shortage recently caused by two main factors. The first being that new car sales were off drastically a few years ago during the down turn of the economy. These are our used cars today. During this downturn of the economy, there was the “Cash for Clunkers” program that removed many used cars from the roads. This shortage has raised used car prices because of supply and demand. The answer is to check new and used prices before buying a newer car. Remember that a year older car sells for less when you get to sell it years from now. When buying a used vehicle, it is my recommendations that you have your favorite shop check it over before buying it. I have lots of reasons to suggest this, the difference between sales people and auto techs is that a sales person will tel ... read more

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