Category Archives: vehicle care and maintenance

The Value Of Brake Inspections

The moment you realize your car needs to stop, nothing is more important! Reducing your car to its basic functions, they are: start, run, go, stop. Many advanced features are layered on top, but at the time you need each of these basic functions there is really nothing more important. Brakes, by definition, are consumable items. Using hydraulic pressure and friction to stop your vehicle, they create a lot of heat in the process. Brakes wear thin over time, and we expect to replace them. Quality brakes cost money, and we don’t want to replace them too soon. That is where brake inspections come in. A proper brake inspection checks many items. It begins with a test drive to experience what you experience. We listen for noises, and we pay attention to vibrations or pulls. We check brake pedal operation, and verify that the brake lights illuminate. We remove each wheel to inspect and measure the components underneath: pad or shoe thickness, rotor or drum wear. We inspect calipe ... read more

Understanding the need for test, inspection, and vehicle diagnostics

“Vehicle diagnostics have become a necessary service to get to the root of what is going on. Here are a few things you can do to lower your costs low and keep your vehicle functioning well.” We of a certain age may have fond memories of grandpa, uncle, or dad beneath a shade tree with the hood propped open. Sleeves rolled up, rag stuffed in pocket, oil can resting on the fender on a Saturday afternoon. Have you been under your hood lately? Gone are the big carburetors and valve covers. Gone too are the up-front pulleys, fan blades, and shiny radiator caps. Likely you see a large plastic covering 90% of the engine bay. You may not even have an engine oil dipstick, and have to rely on the computer system to report oil level! The message is clear – DIY-ers, you’re not welcome here. Vehicle power plants and comfort features have become increasingly functional, and increasingly complex. Power, comfort, and fuel economy used to be mutually exclusive; now they a ... read more

Oil Change - The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Vehicle

“Why Change Your Oil?” If you drive a car, there is no doubt you have heard that you need to change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. But do you know why? Cars today are absolute engineering marvels. In recent years we have learned to squeeze more and more performance from engines by utilizing technologies such as variable valve timing and lift, cylinder deactivation, direct fuel injection and turbochargers. As consumers we have demanded more performance and more fuel economy for our dollar. Parts inside the engine move incredibly fast, generating friction and heat. Engine oil provides lubrication and cooling, allowing the parts to work together smoothly without overheating or seizing. Additionally, advanced engine technologies such as variable valve timing, employ oil pressure to activate, providing fuel economy when you want it and engine power when you need it! Driving too long between oil changes can be risky business. Fast-moving parts break dow ... read more

Smoke Gets In Your Car and Truck, Too

Smoke Gets In Your Car and Truck, Too

Smoke got you down? Just wait until your car or truck start to react to the smoke and ash. There is one and maybe even a second air filter in your vehicle. The first and most critical is the air filter which removes dust, dirt and ASH that is in the air the engine breathes. The other (and sometimes there are two) are called cabin air filters which filter the air that comes into the cabin of the car and with which we air condition and breathe. Make sure you have these critical air filters checked to ensure your car and your lungs can operate at full capacity. The last big forest fire we had here in northern Colorado we pulled out lots of really dirty, black filters and expect to see more soon. For top performance, you need all the air you can get into your engine and not have it restricted by smoke and ash residue. Same for your lungs

The $1,000 Headlamp Repair on a Lexus

A customer came with us complaining that a headlight in his 2001 Lexus IS300 was out. He stated that he had replaced the bulb (retail cost $100.00!) without success. We determined that the ballast that fires up that pricey bulb was the problem and when contacting Toyota (maker of Lexus) we were informed that the whole headlamp assembly would need to be purchased for $1,000.00. Fortunately, we were able to locate a new ballast and when installed including labor the cost was a more affordable, yet very expensive $570, half part and half labor to remove the headlight assembly, replace the ballast and reinstall the assembly. The moral is that when you see a fancy new headlight or taillight assembly, it sure looks great, but if you should bump a pillar or pole in a parking lot and break one of these, you will be singing the blues. Progress? I think not