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Yearly Archives: 2010

The Dealer or the Independent Auto Shop?

Q: The maintenance program at the dealership that came with my new car a few years ago is running out, and I would rather not continue going to the dealer for service or any repairs. If I take my car to an independent shop, how can I be sure that my “baby” is serviced correctly and will stay healthy for years to come? And what about the manufacturer’s warranties? Will they stay intact? A: I will answer your last question first. Yes, as long as the minimum requirements stated by the manufacturer are met, no matter where you have your vehicle serviced or repaired (even if you do it yourself) the warranty will stay intact. There is, in fact, a law (The Magnusen-Moss Act of 1975) to support this. As for your car’s life span, it is more likely that your vehicle will last longer and cost less to repair and service over its lifetime if you take it to a qualified repair facility other than the dealership. The manufacturer’s dealership network is there first and foremost to sell new vehic ... read more

Categories:

Auto Maintenance

Shocks and Struts: Theyre Important!

When is the last time you even thought about your vehicle’s shocks and struts? They are a critical component of every vehicle, but often taken for granted until there is a big problem. We just had a new customer recently that was having problems with their front brakes needing to be replaced more frequently than normal, while their rear brakes stayed in good shape. They came to us hoping we could help them figure out what was going on. We did a thorough brake inspection and determined that they did not need their brakes replaced. So we got their approval to do further investigation and found that the culprit was worn shock absorbers and struts. Your vehicle’s shock absorbers or shock struts are the second most important part of your car, next to the brakes, and when worn, need to be replaced. Shock absorbers and shock struts are what help keep your car stable and allow you to stay in control while driving. As they wear, your vehicle begins to dip, sway, bounce and over-react. This ... read more

Is Your Car Winter-Ready?

Colder days, longer nights – winter is almost here! Nobody wants problems with their cars, especially during bad weather. So, to keep your car reliable and healthy for winter driving, schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable repair shop for pre-winter checking and/or servicing. Make sure that the following items are inspected: 1. Tires – should be checked for proper inflation and adequate tread depth, as well as for age (six years or older is pushing the life of your tires). 2. Battery – the battery condition, charging system operation and starting system operation are critical items to be checked. In cold conditions, batteries lose some of their ability to provide current to operate the starter. Your repair shop should be able to perform a battery load test to determine if it is up to the job. A marginal battery may start the engine when it is 60 degrees outside, but may not at 15 degrees! 3. Starter – this could also be weak and able to start the vehicle at 60 degrees outsi ... read more

Categories:

Auto Maintenance

Routine Car Maintenance Buys Healthy Car Insurance

Many people believe that once their odometer reaches 100,000 miles, their car is on its last legs and it’s time to consider purchasing a new one. That’s only true if you’re tired of your car or just have to have that beautiful, new model being promoted in the media. But if you love your car and don’t look forward to monthly car payments or higher insurance and registration fees, you can keep it for up to 200,000 miles and beyond. It’s all in the maintenance. There are two important areas of concern you can influence regarding your car’s health: 1. Keeping the car looking good 2. Keeping the car mechanically fit Looking Good: The best way to maintain your paint job is to keep your car clean. The debris that accumulates on the exterior causes the finish to deteriorate (especially bird droppings, which are acidic and chemically damage the paint). The longer debris is left on the finish of the vehicle, the more damage is done. Since it is not always convenient to wash the car yo ... read more

Categories:

Auto Maintenance

The Dealership Alternative

Did you know that you are NOT required to bring your new car back to the dealer for all maintenance and repairs in order to keep your manufacturer’s warranty valid? Many people have been told when they purchase their new vehicle that the warranty will be voided if they have maintenance or repairs performed by an independent shop, but this is not true! It is actually prohibited by Federal Law for a new car dealer to either deny warranty service or even imply that warranty service will be voided if servicing or repairs are not performed at the dealership. The law is the Magnuson-Moss Act of 1975, Title 15, Chapter 50, Section 2301-2312. Look it up for yourself! A complete version of the Magnuson Moss Act can be found at www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/warranty.htm. Look under “Tie-In Sales” Provisions. A Google Search on the Magnuson-Moss Act will also bring up many Web sites that explain this Federal Code in less “legal speak”. Your own car manual even tells you that your ve ... read more

Categories:

Auto Maintenance
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