How Much to Fix It?

Information about auto repair and preventive maintenance

How A Local Auto Repair Shop Builds Confidence

In a recent AAA survey, it revealed that two-thirds of drivers don’t trust auto repairers in general, but majorities are still able to find a shop they like. The No. 1 concern cited by AAA’s distrustful drivers was “Recommending unnecessary services,” expressed by 76 percent of respondents. Next came “Overcharging for services” (73 percent).68212_315-1

So how does a local auto repair shop gain and maintain new customers?  A local shop in Tempe, that has been in business since 2004, thinks they have a few of those answers.  Glen and RaeAnn Hayward, owners of Good Works Auto Repair, have built a reputable business in Tempe.  It hasn’t been easy.

Hayward acknowledged that being in an industry with a questionable reputation when it comes to being trustworthy can make his job tougher when trying to win over skeptics. Decades of experience has taught him that delivering exceptional service and building relationships with every repair is the best way to accomplish this. This includes doing oil changes, which Hayward said he loses money on. But, it helps maintain clients’ vehicles and gives his team a chance to look at them and offer preventive maintenance advice, which they are free to take or leave. He shows them around the shop and takes photos of what he sees as potentially costly problems and sends them to customers to evaluate.

The 3rd reason many people distrust repair shops is based on a “Negative past experiences” (63 percent). If customers are having bad experiences at your shop, that’s certainly your problem; watching and responding courteously to reviews might help detect this sort of thing and soothe disgruntled customers. If the customer had bad experiences somewhere else, there’s probably not a lot you can do other than be sensitive to that history and be night-and-day better than the other guys.

Glenn and RaeAnn understand that they need to build confidence one customer at a time.  To help do this, they have changed their warranty program.  Good Works Auto Repair has changed their previous two-year, 24,000-mile warranty for parts and labor to an unheard-of three years and 36,000 miles to further earn customers’ confidence. “That’s a part of how you win people’s trust, by offering a warranty that supersedes anything that’s out there in the industry,” Hayward said. “It’s about treating people with respect and dignity … not thinking about how much money you’re trying to shake out of their pockets.”

 

Summer Gas Saving Tips

Summer driving is here. Road trips are being planned, and the kids are busy running from activity to activity.  What can you do so that each errand doesn’t include a stop at the gas station? A few simple changes in your driving habits can save you money at the pump.petrol-996617_1280

One of the biggest factors in saving gas is taking care of your vehicle. Regular maintenance will save you time and money down the road. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%. A well-maintained engine operates at peak efficiency, maximizing gas mileage. Follow the service schedules listed in the owner’s manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended; have engine performance problems (rough idling, poor acceleration, etc.) corrected at a repair facility. Given today’s high-tech engines, it’s wise to have this type of work done by auto technicians who are ASE certified in engine performance.

Learning to drive more efficient will save you money at the pump. What exactly does that mean? Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. Driving efficient also means that you need to obey the speed limit. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.17 per gallon.

Another great way to save gas, plan ahead! Schedule your errands around dropping off and picking up kids. By combining trips, you can save both time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip covering the same distance. Trip planning can reduce the amount of time you drive with a cold engine. It can also reduce the distance you travel. Planning errands when traffic is light, also helps. You can avoid the “stop and go” of busy traffic.

You can improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average—up to 3% in some cases—by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires. When hitting the road, simply clean out your car.  Remove large heavy items from the trunk. If planning a road trip, don’t put heavy items on a roof carrier. Make sure everything fits in the car when hitting the road.

Proper Stopping and Steering Means Safer Drivers

With so many vehicles on the roads these days, Good Works Auto Repair wants to keep you safer than ever by reminding you of a few driving habits that could make a difference down the road. car-1751750_1280We know that a safe vehicle means a properly maintained vehicle, but there are a few things all of us drivers can do to protect the lives of our passengers, other motorists and ourselves when we are driving. Back in 2011, there were an estimated 240.5 million cars and light trucks on the road and today, that number is even higher! Manage your vehicle properly and avoid contact with any of them.

According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, steering and stopping are two things that when done a little better, could save lives.  Safe driving is something we all can do a better job at; we can all pay more attention to the task at hand, increase the distance we follow another vehicle and make sure we get the proper preventative maintenance to prevent accidents due to our vehicle breaking down or creating a dangerous situation.

It’s simple enough to brake sooner or keep two hands on the steering wheel, but what else can drivers do to improve their steering and stopping habits for safer driving?

  • Pay attention to roads in need of repair. Major potholes or cracks in some of our older roadways could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, cause someone to swerve and hit another vehicle, or simply cause damage to your vehicle.
  • Don’t put off the little auto repairs your vehicle needs now to save a few dollars. This increases your risk of a safety problem when driving or accident, and it will end up costing you a lot of money down the road. Good Works Auto Repair technicians are certified to work on any issue your vehicle has, big or small.
  • Find a repair shop with the best brake service you can get. Reliable shops will do better work and use better products. Likewise, make sure they inspect all brake-related parts and do not choose the cheapest materials or parts to save money there either. Quality parts and quality auto repair shops will make your vehicle safer to drive.

Skipping your vehicle maintenance has proven to cause some pretty serious issues. As one ASE article describes, “diving the unperformed maintenance amount by an assumed (and generous) average repair cost of $300 per vehicle across the entire car and light truck fleet potentially indicates that 206.6 million vehicles need some type of maintenance and repair.” Those are a LOT of vehicles needing service and creating danger on the roads. Come see the ASE certified technicians at Good Works Auto Repair and ensure your vehicle is properly stopping and steering for safer driving!

Protecting Your Vehicle from Harmful Weather

Driving Safety in Extreme WeatherThere’s no way to control Mother Nature or the extreme temperatures or weather that she brings, but when it comes to your vehicle, there are some things you should know in order to prevent some major damage. At our auto repair shop, our customers often come to us with repairs from the weather. Tires, dead batteries and such are just some of the common issues that we can have once Mother Nature has struck. We may not see them all here in Arizona, but if you travel by vehicle, you could encounter them someday.

Extreme Heat

Extreme heat could do harm to your battery, especially if it is a few years old. You see, when the temperatures rise up, the liquid inside your battery may evaporate, according to Interstate Batteries. That means if your battery is more than a couple of years old, you could end up stranded with a dead battery that won’t hold a charge. Bring your car battery into Good Works Auto Repair where we can test it or replace it for you.

Extreme Cold

Extreme cold can also impact your vehicle’s safety by changing the pressure in your tires. The air pressure will be lower in cold weather than in hot. Tire pressure typically changes by 1-2 pounds per square inch (PSI) for every 10 degrees of temperature change. Cooler air means slower molecular motion, and that causes the air pressure to drop. Invest in a tire pressure gauge or have us check your tire pressure regularly if you feel you have an issue.

Rainy Weather

Rainy weather can do damage to your exterior finish if you aren’t careful. Not only is this a cosmetic problem, but water is corrosive and oxidation in the form of rust means the weakening of your car’s frame. Plus, those tiny little droplets of water that pool on your vehicle ends up being magnifying glasses for the sun. That, too, can cause damage to the exterior of your vehicle. After a rainstorm, try to wipe off any excess water. If damage has already been done, we can help you with that, too.

Windy Weather

Extremely windy weather can also be dangerous. While it may not do much damage to your vehicle, it does pose a safety threat. When driving through a windstorm, keep both hands on the steering wheel, don’t follow other vehicles too closely, limit in-vehicle distractions, watch for objects blowing onto the roadways and in extreme situations, pull off the road and wait it out.

For all of your vehicle needs, see Good Works Auto Repair. From preventative maintenance to specific auto repairs we do it all!

 

Check Those Brakes!

Brake inspections are one of the more important maintenance items you can perform on your vehicle. Even if you don’t notice anything wrong with your brakes, yearly brake inspections can ensure that all of the components are in good shape or if you’ll need replacing or repairs in the near future. We understand that sometimes vehicle maintenance isn’t at the top of your list of things you want to do with your time, but if you follow the recommendations and have your brakes inspected regularly, you will be driving a MUCH safer vehicle.GWAR break inspection

It’s not rocket science to know that your brakes are necessary to stop your vehicle – yet drivers around the country still fail to have them monitored on a regular basis. Some minor maintenance and inspections each year could save you money, time and maybe a collision down the road. Your brakes are the top safety feature on your vehicle – doesn’t that make you want to ensure they’re in tip-top shape?

It’s important to know the warning signs of brake problems. Besides an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing are also signs that something could be wrong. Something could also be wrong if you notice that the car pulls left or right when braking, or if the front end shakes as those are both signs of excessive brake wear.

A proper and thorough brake service should include inspections for brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, check hardware to make sure it is working properly and that it is adjusted properly, condition of hoses and brake lines, look for leaks or fluids, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

If you haven’t done so recently, come on in and have your vehicle’s brakes checked here at Good Works Auto Repair. We want to ensure that you and your family are safe and secure out there on the road!

What auto maintenance should you budget for?

 

automotive preventative maintenanceWhen you own a vehicle, the car payment, insurance premiums and gas costs are not the only things you should consider for your budget. There are some pretty important auto maintenance items that you can expect and need to budget for. In doing so, you’re maintaining your vehicle so that it will last longer and you’ll likely face fewer major auto repairs down the road. By putting in money over the course of owning the vehicle, you’ll save yourself a lot more eventually.

 

So what exactly are these maintenance services that we should budget for?

 

We have listed them out on our site, but here is a brief rundown of what you can budget out:

 

  1. Those major mileage-based services 30K, 60K, 90K, etc… – There are some fluid changes and inspections that you won’t want to miss. Same with oil changes, hose inspections, and other common services that will simply ensure that everything is healthy under the hood.

 

  1. Tire Maintenance – Even though most tires can last between 40K-60K miles, too many other factors can accelerate their wear, such as lack of rotation, incorrect air pressure, weak shocks/struts, poor alignment, and road hazards. Properly inflated tires are safe tires.

 

  1. Oil Changes – This deserves a category of its own. You need to make sure to perform routine oil changes, so that it is lubricating the engine and keeping it healthy. This also gives your auto repair shop an opportunity to check for clogs and other issues with engine components.

 

  1. Fuel Injectors – Today’s vehicles need to watch their fuel injectors and throttle plates more than in the past. Spark plugs and carburetors aren’t as big of issues anymore, but be sure your auto mechanic cleans your fuel injectors and throttle plate every 30K miles or so.

 

  1. Struts and Shocks – These degrade over time and often go unnoticed until an issue occurs. They aren’t cheap to replace and it won’t be something you need to do regularly, but failure to invest in new ones after your mileage gets high could mean more issues around the corner.

 

Budgeting is hard!

 

We know that you have a lot on your plate already, especially when it comes to budgeting for your vehicle. We hope that this blog and our expertise at the repair shop can help keep you and your vehicle feeling a little better. It’s important to remember that a properly maintained vehicle is the best kind of vehicle.

Simple Car Maintenance Tips for Summer Road Trips

summer auto maintenancePacking up the car and hitting the road is on everyone’s calendar right now. Before you hit the road however, it is important to have your local auto repair shop perform a few basic car maintenance items.

Tires

Let’s start with the tires that hit the pavement. Bald, slick tires are hazardous on the road. If your tires are showing signs of wear, and the tread is worn down, it’s time to invest in a new set. Don’t chance a flat, or even worse, and blow-out on the highway.

Your auto technician will also check your tire pressure. The pressure in tires will change with the rising temperatures. Changes in tire pressure can affect fuel economy and the way your car handles on the road.

Engine Belts

Your auto repair shop should also check under the hood. They will begin by looking at the belts in the front of your engine. There are a series of rubber drive belts that loop around various pulleys, driving everything from the alternator to the a/c compressor. Rubber will break down over time, and even more so in extreme conditions, like those found in an operating engine bay in the heat of summer. It’s important to have your timing belt and accessory drive belt checked every 25,000 miles, preferably replacing it every 50,000 miles.

Engine Fluids

While your technician is under the hood of your auto, they will check, and refill/flush the fluids in your vehicle. Your car relies on several major fluids to keep it running smooth. Oil changes are a basic preventative maintenance item that should be performed on a regular basis. The technician will also check the coolant levels, and if low, will fill them to the appropriate levels. Your engine can’t run without engine coolant.

Battery

Another big item to check before a road trip, the battery. Your auto repair shop will check the connections and cables of your car’s battery. It is important to check for loose connections and corrosion with the cables. Also, batteries, can lose their charge in the hot summer months.  The heat of summer can suck the life right out of your battery. Make sure it is checked so you don’t end up stranded on the side of the road.

Electrical System

The electrical system of your car is complex. The good thing about it however, is that you will be notified with all sorts of “warning” lights if something is wrong. Your auto mechanic will be able to find the problem and fix it quickly even though there are thousands of electrical systems in your car.

Every new car now comes with OBD-II – On Board Diagnostics 2. This is a fault-registering system connected to sensors all over the car, including the engine, fuel and emissions system. When the check engine light comes on, it can mean many different things. There is something like 4,000 unique OBD2 codes that can be stored. Handheld OBD2 diagnostic tools can be plugged in to the OBD2 port which is normally under the dash on the driver’s side. These tools can read out the fault code and/or reset the system to contain no codes.

Wipers

Last, but not least, don’t neglect your wipers! You never know when you might drive into a nice summer thunderstorm. Take care of your car and be safe on the road.

The Benefits of Handing Over Fleet Maintenance

Fleet maintenanceIf your business handles a fleet of vehicles, Good Works Auto Repair can help lift some of the burden when it comes to the preventative maintenance and auto repairs that your fleet of work vehicles may encounter. When your fleet of vehicles – even just one – is out of commission, we know that it can cost you time, money and customer satisfaction. Our goal is to allow you to outsource your fleet maintenance to our technicians and manage your vehicles so you can get back to focusing on what is really important to your business. Providing OUR customers with the best solutions and service is what is best for YOUR customers.

 

When it comes to handing over your fleet maintenance, so we can maintain your vehicles rather than repair them, there are numerous benefits that you will enjoy over the course of our relationship. Some of them are obvious and others are a bit more subtle, but when combined, they can add a lot of value and ease for your business.

 

What benefits are there to outsourcing with GWAR?

 

  • Fiscal benefits due to improved fleet safety, increased availability and reliability, greater cash flow, and enhanced productivity.
  • Improved company focus and less time worrying about the condition and maintenance of your fleet vehicles.
  • Reduced fleet operating costs due to optimal preventative maintenance and avoiding major breakdowns and repairs.
  • Improved human resource productivity with fewer persons to manage, resources going directly to the business and better fleet services.
  • Improved fleet performance because the vehicles are properly maintained.
  • Access to constant fleet expertise.
  • Quick turnaround on fleet maintenance and repairs as well as warranties on parts and service.
  • Improved quality of repairs.
  • Reduced capital investment because you won’t have to purchase backup vehicles or non-core business purchases.
  • Increased cash flow.
  • Increase in control by telling us what you need.
  • Reduced overhead.
  • Reduced risk because we follow OSHA, EPA, DOT as well as various federal, state and local laws.

 

Your fleet of vehicles is essential to the success of your business. Utilizing our fleet maintenance service will make things a lot easier for you and a lot better for your customers. Learn more here.

Car Maintenance Schedules made Easy

GWAR Auto Vitals 2Although most good quality cars are built to last for at least 10 to 16 years, you can prolong the life of your vehicle if you follow a car maintenance schedule.  To find out what maintenance and servicing issues you need to address, read your car’s owner’s manual.

Though you need to read and follow the instructions listed in your owner’s manual, there are a few things you must do on a regular basis. You need to perform regular oil changes and the oil filter to prevent engine problems.  Also replace the spark plugs and refill the coolant after flushing out the old fluid. As a general guideline, the engine oil and the oil filter should be replaced every 3 months or for every 3,000 miles it is driven.

There are several other things you need to be doing at least once a year. For instance, you will need to schedule a transmission flush and replace it with the right fluid that’s recommended in your owner’s manual every 12 months. In addition, get the brakes and brake pads inspected once a year, to prevent any mishaps.

If your vehicle has been driven over 60,000 miles, you need to be extra diligent to keep on top of your preventative maintenance schedule. If any part of the vehicle begins to malfunction, get it fixed at the earliest signs to avoid expensive repairs in the future. You must also change the timing belt and refill the power steering fluid. Preventive maintenance not only prolongs the life of your car, but it also ensures the reliability and safety of your vehicle.

We want to help you keep track of all your car services. Visit our website at www.goodworksautorepair.com to view our new web based Service and Rewards Program! It calculates your personalized service schedule and helps you earn and track points with every maintenance visit. In one location, you can view your service history online and earn loyalty points for every visit.

Pre-Purchase Inspection Means Post-Purchase Confidence

GWAR Pre Purchase Inspection 2When you make the decision to buy a used vehicle, you’re making a financial investment no matter how big or small. Whether it is a high-mileage or low-mileage used vehicle, this vehicle has some sort of story behind it. If you’re not looking for surprises or other repairs that come up once the keys are in your hand, a pre-purchase inspection makes a lot of sense. It can take the surprise out of owning this vehicle and could save you a lot of money down the road on the things that the seller “forgot” to tell you or that you may have overlooked.

Consumers don’t take advantage of pre-purchase inspections enough in our humble opinion. At Good Works Auto Repair, a pre-purchase inspection will only cost you $89.95. Investing a little bit of money before you purchase a used vehicle could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Knowing what is wrong or what needs to be repaired can help sway your decision, or at least give you leverage when bartering for a better price. Then, you can use those savings to have the auto repairs done by a trusted repair shop.

According to an article from Trusted Choice, there are several things that your pre-purchase inspection checklist should include. At our repair shop, this is exactly what you’ll get and then some! Make sure you have the following systems or parts examined:

  • Tires
  • Frame and axle
  • Suspension
  • Windshield and other glass
  • Lights
  • Brakes
  • Radiator
  • Hoses
  • Wiring
  • Belts
  • Fluids
  • Battery and alternator
  • Body condition

Ready to buy that “new” used vehicle? Come on in and get your pre-purchase inspection done by us. You’ll be glad you did. A little knowledge and awareness will make you a better consumer and better car-buyer for the future!