Articles:

Why Professional Repairs Last Longer

Why Professional Repairs Last Longer

Several of our clients have had mechanically minded relatives that “repaired” their cars, only for them to end up here a few day or weeks later. When the car failed the second time, it was natural that the client was confused, since, after all, hadn’t they just fixed that problem? Quality Repairs Like any other profession, there are hundreds of details that are known as the tricks of the trade. Some have to do with diagnosing the car, others with the repair itself. But we often find that while an amateur can sometimes figure out that a part needs replacement, it is the quality of the details that make the repair permanent. there are hundreds of details that are known as the tricks of the trade Classic Example A classic example was some corroded wire in a Toyota Camry that a friend had fixed. The ends at the connections were corroded, so the friend cut the bad ends off and reconnected the wire. The car ran great…for two weeks. The friend had forgotten three ... read more

Is This Car Worth Repairing?

Is This Car Worth Repairing?

We are experts at car repair, so people will often ask a simple question of us. “Is this car worth repairing?” Here is why that is actually a very difficult question to answer. Financially, it almost always makes sense to repair a car. The average payment on a new car in 2016 was $493 (Experian) and that single number buys a lot of car repair. Even a $2,000 repair bill is only 4 car payments. But it can be much cloudier than just basic math. Older Vehicles Require More Work An older car is probably going to need more consistent work as the months and years go by. This can be emotionally draining since the car was so reliable early in its life. That it is still much less expensive than a new auto becomes less important since it feels like the car always needs work. Furthermore, the car will continue to age which will reveal failures that occur simply due to the passage of time. Plastics will crack easily, gaskets and hoses will fail, and your mechanic will be kept busy rep ... read more

Replacing The Bushings In Your Car

Replacing The Bushings In Your Car

The lady at the counter was a little exasperated. Her 2001 Honda Accord needed still another bushing replacement and she didn’t understand what was going on with her car. This was the perfect opportunity to teach a driver about her car, and being a good sport she followed us on a tour under her car. The bushings are a formed from a rubber-like compound and they are used to keep space between metal linkages under your car. all rubber products eventually get brittle and wear out Rubber Parts Fail Over Time Imagine the deafening noise of metal arms clanging together under your car as you drive. Now consider the additional hammering that you would feel as this occurred and you can see the need for the quieting effect and dampening provided by these rubber donuts. (“Donuts” as a term may be a bit misleading since bushings have many different shapes) They last years, but like all rubber products, they eventually get brittle and wear out. The bushing also serves as guides ... read more

How Long Does A Hybrid Battery Last?

How Long Does A Hybrid Battery Last?

The Toyota Prius is one of the most popular cars on the road and for good reason. It is very inexpensive to run, ecologically friendly and it has a history of excellent reliability. But when people ask us how long the battery will last, we can only say that hybrid batteries have shown excellent life. A Hybrid Battery Can Wear Out Unexpectedly The unfortunate news is that there isn’t a good way to predict the overall future life of a hybrid battery pack. The Prius comes with an extended battery warranty of 100,000 miles and that same warranty is mandated at 150,000 miles in California, so there is ample confidence in the engineering of the system. But like all components of an automobile, the battery can wear out unexpectedly. there isn't a good way to predict the overall future life of a hybrid battery pack Aftermarket Batteries May Not Be Reliable Our experience has been that the less expensive aftermarket replacement batteries are too spotty on reliability to be recomm ... read more

Getting What You Want From Your Car

Getting What You Want From Your Car

The gentleman came in with his 13-year-old Honda Accord and he needed some advice. Due to a job change, his needs for his car had changed from a basic city commuter to more of a road car. He would now be driving far more freeway miles and he was wondering if the Accord was the way to go or if he should buy a new car. It was an excellent question. Cold Engine Oddly, freeway driving is much easier on a car than city driving is. The largest amount of engine wear occurs when the engine is cold and city driving is typically a 1-3 mile trip followed by a cooling off period, only to be repeated over and over. This means that the car often operates in the temperature zone that is the worst for the car. Freeway driving involves long runs with warm fluids and little shifting, so the car is usually operating in the best zone for longevity. The largest amount of engine wear occurs when the engine is cold... Higher Speed Although the engine is operating at a consistently higher speed, the pump ... read more

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