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Category Archives: Auto Maintenance

Keep Your Air Conditioner (and Yourself) Healthy

Summer is finally making its appearance with longer and warmer days! Having an air conditioner in your car that is working the way it should suddenly becomes more important. One of our customers recently came to us because when he turned on his air conditioner, instead of cool air he got warmer air plus a foul smell. The culprit? His cabin air filter. Even though this filter is a common piece of equipment in today’s vehicles, it is often overlooked during a routine service. It’s important to understand that failure to change this filter periodically will have adverse effects on the health and safety of the vehicle occupants, reduce the efficiency of the vehicle’s heating and air conditioning system, and even hasten the demise of certain vehicle parts. This filter is located in the air intake for the passenger compartment and filters dust, pollen, dirt and other allergens from the incoming air. At the same time, it prevents leaves, bugs and corrosive debris from filtering into t ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

“Cheap” Mobile Automotive Services: Be Careful

I recently learned from one of our customers that there are ads being run in some of the online classified sites for “cheap”, mobile brake services. Apparently these ads tout coming out to your home or place of business and doing the work for you there at a “discounted price” if you provide the parts. This is one of those things that drives me crazy! Not only do these types of ads confuse the consumer, but if someone decides to respond, they are putting themselves in a position to be taken advantage of both cost-wise and safety-wise. If you’re ever tempted to take advantage of such an offer, please first keep these points in mind: 1. To meet the State of California’s requirements to run a legal auto repair business, the business must pay the California State Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) an annual fee. Most, if not all, the mobile auto repair advertisers on the Internet are operating illegally by not having paid that required fee. 2. The Bureau of Auto Repair ha ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Preventive Auto Maintenance: Fluid Changes with the Seasons

As our weather changes along with the seasons, it’s a good time to check coolant and brake fluids. Why? The fluids in your cooling system, power steering system, automatic transmission, and brake system are all products which go through temperature changes, have additive packages in them, and can be petroleum based just like your engine oil (unless you are using synthetic fluids). Each fluid requires attention at regular intervals: 1. Your engine coolant turns acidic as it ages. When this happens, it will cause damage to the engine and cooling system components. Coolant in good condition will be within the neutral range of the pH scale. A thorough service center will check coolant pH and recommend coolant changes when needed BEFORE damage occurs. 2. Brake system fluid collects both moisture from the environment and wear metal from the brake system itself. These contaminants cause damage and premature wear to the brake system component ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

Automotive Service: What Do You Expect?

Much to my surprise, I have realized that over the last 8 years I have been a student in the School of Automotive Service/Repair with a major in Customer Service. In 2003, my husband made the decision to purchase Dean’s Automotive and merge it with his then business, Warren McCord Motorsports. I had already been making some contributions to my husband’s business with my marketing skills, and it just seemed natural for me to devote myself full time to the newly formed company. I had no idea of what it would mean for me to become immersed in joining my husband as a business owner, nor did I understand how much there was for me to learn! I am inspired to begin a series of posts to share some of my experiences and how they have changed me as well as what I have learned that I know will be valuable to you who are reading this. I am guessing that most of you reading this have at least one vehicle you rely o ... read more

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Auto Maintenance

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
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