How Much to Fix It?

Information about auto repair and preventive maintenance

Keep Your Engine Clean with Air Induction Service

Air Induction ServiceWhen is the last time you checked to see how clean your engine was? Is it clogged with dust, debris or gunk? If you’ve never had an air induction service, then it very well could be. Over time, as you drive road after road, your fuel system can get dirty. Deposits accumulate on intake valves, injectors, ports, fuel injectors and combustion chambers causing loss of power, rough idle, hesitation, misfire, pinging, knocking, mileage and hard starting. These small issues could turn into major engine problems down the road.

As you’ll learn from one of our recent auto repair videos online, all internal combustion engines combine fuel and air to be burned in the engine.  With some types, fuel and air get mixed outside of the engine and with others, they’re mixed right in the cylinder. The fuel and air induction systems bring the components of combustion together and both get dirty over time. An air induction service is important because it will keep your fuel system cleaner which equates to better fuel economy and improved engine performance.

During the air induction service, our Tempe auto repair technicians will flood your engine with gasses that contain special cleaning agents into the intake manifold while the engine is running. This agent actually removes and dissolves the deposits emitting them out of your car’s tail pipe. This is important because the deposits that build up crusted on form a barrier and act as a sponge, soaking up fuel and restricting air flow. The service takes care of this buildup, letting your engine breathe and do its job – and well.

We can perform the air induction service on all vehicles and you’ll enjoy a boost in fuel efficiency, a reduction in harmful pollutants emitted from your vehicle and a longer engine life because it can perform with less stress. If you aren’t sure of the condition of your engine, now may be the perfect time to contact our auto repair shop and schedule this service. If you’re interested in learning more, take a minute and enjoy our short but informative video right here on our website. We hope to see you soon!

 

Your Tires Are Heating Up

flat tireWe always see a strong correlation at the repair shop between hot summer temperatures and increased tire blowouts.  Here in Arizona, during the heart of summer, the average temperature is a scorching 104 degrees, with many days soaring way above that. These extreme heat conditions are exceptionally hard on vehicles – the engine, batteryfluids, leather, consoles and especially the tires are all susceptible to heat damage. Today we are going to focus on the tires, how does heat affect them, should they be replaced and how can you minimize the damage as the temperature soars?

Tires are made of rubber, and while that means they have some great heat tolerance properties, they are still vulnerable to extreme heat. Tires obviously produce friction as they propel your vehicle down the road, and as we all know, friction produces heat. Tires are engineered to withstand the normal heat produced from tire friction, however, when the temperature soars well over 100 degrees and the pavement begins to boil, the heat produced can become so extreme that it can have some disastrous results on underinflated or already damaged or compromised tires.

Heat affects tire pressure, so it is even more important during the summer months to monitor your tire’s air pressure. Your vehicle’s optimum tire pressure recommendations are typically found inside the driver’s side door jamb, but they can also be found in your owner’s manual. Most auto manufactures recommend checking tire pressure once a month, usually in the morning when they will be the coolest.  Underinflated tires allow more surface area of the tire to come into contact with the road, causing more friction and heat. This is why underinflated tires are one of the leading causes of blowouts.

It is also extremely important to check the integrity of your tires before the heat soars out of control. If you notice any bulges, cracks, uneven wear or low tread, it is vital to have your tires replaced as soon as possible. Driving on damaged tires, especially during the summer when tires are already subjected to abuse, can easily lead to a blowout. Also, if you notice that your car isn’t handling as well as normal, feels like it might be drifting a bit on the road or you squeal your tires easily, have them checked out because they most likely need to be replaced.

When replacing your tires, you might want to consider buying a higher quality tire with a better heat rating as well. All tires are given a temperature rating from A to C. Tires with an A rating are able to dissipate more heat under load than a C rating. Tires with lower heat ratings are more prone to heat-induced failure, especially in hot weather climates or if the vehicle is regularly driven at high speeds. A vehicle’s tires might not seem all that exciting, but they are probably one of the most important safety components on your vehicle, and as such should be inspected often and replaced as soon as they start showing any signs of damage.

 

 

Tips for a Vehicle That is Summer Ready

Summer is here! We know you must be as excited as we are. If you’re like most people, then you probably have some road trips and exciting travel in your future. But will you be able to rely on your vehicle to get you there safely and easily? Knowing how to prepare your vehicle for the demands of summer – additional miles, high temperatures and so on – can help reduce your risk of a breakdown or anything else that could hinder your plans. Here is a list of checks to make before you hit the road.

1. Get an oil change. This simple service typically comes with some important and free checks of tires, fluids and so on which we’ll get to below. The other option is to get an oil change at your destination before you head home. Check what your interval schedule states and compare that against your current mileage. 

2. Check your engine and cooling system. Your cooling system has an important job – to keep your engine from overheating. In addition, additives in the coolant protect the radiator and internal engine components against wear and corrosion. Without proper cooling system maintenance, the odds of long term engine damage, and a summer time boil over, definitely increase. Older engine coolant can become dirty and contaminated, more likely to lead to problems that could put a damper on your plans for driving.

3. Have your tires checked. Driving on under-inflated tires not only affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, it also can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high. When is the last time you checked your own tire pressure? More than half of vehicles on the road were found to have at least one under-inflated tire, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, and 85 percent of motorists do not know how to properly inflate their tires! Good Works Auto Repair offers a variety of tire services to ensure that when your rubber meets the ground, you’ll be safer and ready to go. Don’t forget to ask them to check the spare tire, too!

4. Check your vehicle’s fluids. Your vehicle utilizes many different types of fluids – windshield washer, brake, power steering, motor oil, transmission to name a few. All of these do a job to keep your car running smoothly so be sure to have a repair technician top them off or check the levels. Brake fluid is extremely important to have checked before you hit the road. Degradation of that fluid can lead to reduced braking performance or, in extreme cases, complete brake failure.

5. Check your car’s air conditioning system. A cool passenger is a happy passenger, especially during extra-long road trips in the summer heat. Maintaining a comfortable driving environment also reduces fatigue, which can play an important part in driver alertness and vehicle safety. A/C filters could also benefit from being checked so that they properly filter debris which could enter your vehicle cabin.

6. Be prepared for something to go wrong anyways. A summer emergency kit should include things like water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit. For summer weather, we also recommend including a reflective emergency blanket, sunscreen, a hat, a phone charger, a clear plastic bin, tire pressure gauge, duct tape, rags, gloves, and even a tow strap.

Good Works Auto Repair is ready for you and car. We love a good road trip – we know you do too! Don’t let your vehicle shut down your summer plans. Give the shop a call today to schedule your appointment!

Driverless Technology – The Future of Automobiles?

driverless-carThere’s no question about it, technology is fascinating, and with each technological advance there seems to be another one right behind it, pushing the boundaries of conventional wisdom. We have long dreamed about the day that automobiles would drive themselves, and while this technology seemed to be somewhere in the nebulous future, the reality is that it is here now.

Google’s driverless cars have made headlines as they take to the streets, however Google isn’t the only company who is researching and developing this technology. Currently, there are thirty different corporations who are working on driverless cars; Ford, GM, Apple, Audi, BMW and Tesla are just a few of the big name corporations who are looking to develop this technology.

Autonomous driving isn’t just limited to cars either, Daimler piloted a test in Europe this month testing truck convoys, called platooning. They successfully tested six different convoys in real traffic, across borders and over several distances with no issues. The thinking is that by letting the truck do the work, it will result in quicker braking, less passing and a 10 percent fuel savings for the subsequent trucks.

While this technology is exciting, there are still a lot of practical and ethical dilemmas to consider. Car Buzz put it this way, “Humans aren’t consistent enough to any degree for a computer’s assumptions to be accurate.” One example of this was back in February when Google’s self-driving car was involved in an accident. It was pulling away from the curb in front of a bus and the computer determined that the bus would slow down, unfortunately the bus driver didn’t, which resulted in an accident. When human reasoning is involved, it makes computer programing that much more complicated.

While most of us would enjoy the convenience of just sitting back and letting our cars chauffer us around, there are more practical applications of this technology to consider as well. For one thing, drivers who are sleepy or who had a few too many drinks at dinner could certainly benefit from a driverless car. Google happened to give one of their driverless vehicles to a blind man to use, and the video of him being able to get around town on his own was amazing. Giving back some independence to those unable to drive would be a truly remarkable gift.

There are undoubtedly some kinks that need to be worked out, but actually seeing the application of this technology on the road is thrilling. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next few years as more companies unveil their prototypes and start putting their vehicles into real life situations. This is the day and age of automotive technology and we are loving every minute of it!

Common AC System Problems You’ll Want Repaired

auto air conditioningWhen you take your vehicle for routine maintenance or a scheduled check-up, the priority is typically with the engine, or other essential vehicle systems. Consequently, this means owners often overlook any issues that could develop with their air conditioning system and fail to have it routinely inspected. This could dramatically impact the vehicle with any of the common A/C system issues costing heavy fees to be fixed or replaced. Good Works Auto Repair recommends an A/C service inspection annually before the hot Arizona temperatures rise too high.

At Good Works Auto Repair, some of the most common problems we see range from clogged hoses to major leaks. For example, a clogged hose from debris over time can mean that your system may lead to moisture in the cabin which means foggy windows and an inefficient cooling. If moisture or debris contaminates the air conditioner installed in the car, it will fail to cool the surroundings. Then there are leaks, also very common when it comes to an AC system. Leaks can lead to other AC components being overworked and breaking down – and that means money out of your pocket. Because so many little things are potential repairs waiting to happen, just run routine checks so that when something does crop up, you can tackle the issue promptly.

Your auto AC system is meant to cool, condition and circulate the air inside your vehicle. But what happens without an efficient system? Sick car syndrome can occur. This means that bacteria, fungi, and micro-organisms can develop when the air conditioning system is not in use, especially during winter. The dark and damp interior of your car’s AC is the perfect breeding ground for them, and they often make themselves known in the form of pungent odors. These germs can grow quickly behind your dashboard and without inspection and a flush, you may be breathing in cabin contamination each time you drive the vehicle. Yuck!

If you haven’t had an A/C inspection in quite a while, it may be the right time to get your car serviced by Good Works Auto Repair. During your AC service, they’ll inspect the system pressures, vent temperatures, belt tension and air volume to make sure your air conditioning system is working properly and efficiently. Don’t take for granted your cool, clean air any longer.

To watch a quick video on automotive air conditioning, click here:  http://www.goodworksautorepair.com/auto-ac-service-tempe-mesa.php#air-cond-autonettv.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you Increasing or Decreasing Your Investment?

When you buy a car, you’re making an investment. But along the way, what you add to your vehicle or how After Market Partsyou maintain it could add value or decrease the value of your vehicle. Preventative vehicle maintenance and routine service can add value to your vehicle in the end as you preserve the condition and quality over time. By spending money on maintenance and some upgrades, you can improve your car’s reliability and overall life expectancy. You can also reduce safety risks and expensive repairs. Regular oil changes, replacing worn-out tires, and getting your wheel alignments periodically are vital. Yet, adding other upgrades could actually reduce your car’s value.

A recent article from Autoblog shares some expensive (really expensive!) upgrades that don’t increase your car’s value at all though many think they would. Putting money into these upgrades could actually hurt your car’s value or performance.  What are they? Keep reading…

First, aftermarket wheels. Sure, they can make a car look more sporty, expensive or maybe even luxurious and will turn heads, but the thousands of dollars you’ll spend on them won’t add to resale value. Some even make the ride less comfortable. With larger wheels, the low-profile tires reduce the cushion between the car and the road. You will feel more vibration as your travel over cracks, potholes and road debris. Sounds like you won’t be paying for comfort in this case!

Second, a custom paint job. Go ahead and be creative. Be original. But don’t be surprised when this expensive paint job doesn’t match up to factory originals or the resale value isn’t what you expected. The next owners may not be as brave as you.

Third, dark tint. Spending money on tinted windows makes your vehicle look sleek but be sure that you know your state’s legal limits before wasting money. It gives you privacy and shade, but in many states dark tint is also illegal because it obstructs the driver’s ability to see the road. If the film is too dark, you could be paying several hundred dollars more to remove it without damaging your vehicle.

Fourth, custom seats. Again, you may want to be original and different when it comes to your car’s interior as well, but this can reduce your car’s weight. It can also change sophisticated safety features that protect drivers in all sorts of different collisions. You don’t want to mess with important sensors and electronics that activate  airbags and other safety devices. Removing the factory seats can diminish the effectiveness of potentially life-saving technology.

Fifth, exhaust systems. Looking for a growl or more noise? That’s fine, but can be risky because some of these don’t meet the same quality standards as the vehicle’s manufacturer. Poor-quality exhaust systems can emit excess heat and corrode prematurely. Failing an emissions test due to a poor-quality exhaust modification can be very costly.

Spend your money wisely on things like preventative maintenance, oil changes and other routine services. It will keep your vehicle running smoothly, safely and efficiently while you have the pleasure of driving it and this alone will increase resale value due to its performance and condition. To read the full blog, click here http://www.autoblog.com/2014/03/28/the-five-worst-car-investments/.

Invest in Your Car the Right Way

When you buy a car, you’re making one of the biggest investments of your life, usually second  only to a house. After spending all that money, you want to make sure it lasts and you get your money’s worth, right? Putting thousands of dollars into repairs, maintenance and problems along the way ruins your investment. Proper routine maintenance and regular oil changes go a long way. Finding a trusted auto repair shop who will maintain your vehicle rather than just fix it will help you spend less and drive more.

A recent article from AutoBlog discusses the five worst car investments. By spending money on maintenance and some upgrades, you can improve your car’s reliability and overall life expectancy. It may help you avoid costly, major repairs instead. Their top five worst investments include:

1. Buying aftermarket wheels. Sure, they may look sporty or luxurious, but they can come with a price tag of thousands of dollars and really don’t add much value to your vehicle. Instead, maintaining your tires and keeping them properly inflated and aligned will help your vehicle drive better as well as the rest of your components. Plus, they say when you install larger wheels, the low-profile tires reduce the cushion between the car and the road. As a result, you can expect to feel more vibration as your travel over cracks, potholes and road debris.

2. Custom paint jobs. You may look original and cool, but it will cost you thousands of dollars to do. Then, there is the resale. It may be hard to find someone who wants your “one-of-a-kind” piece of… art.

3. Dark tint. We’ve all seen people who spend hundreds of dollars for dark tinted windows. You add privacy but not resale value or equity. You may be reducing the sunlight, but some shops will do it too dark and it ends up being against state laws. You may end up having to pay extra money to have it fixed.

4. Custom seats are also one of the worst investments because they cost a lot and could change the car’s weight. It could also be a safety issue. Modern cars come with sophisticated safety features to protect drivers from all sorts of different collisions. Often, the seats contain important sensors and electronics that activate airbags and other safety devices. Removing the factory seats can diminish the effectiveness of potentially life-saving technology.

5. Changing out the exhaust system. Installing a different exhaust system can be risky because some of these don’t meet the same quality standards as the vehicle’s manufacturer. Poor-quality exhaust systems can emit excess heat and corrode prematurely. Failing an emissions test due to a poor-quality exhaust modification can be very costly.

Want to make a good investment? Preventative maintenance and regular visits to your auto repair shop are the best ways to spend less money on repairs and more time enjoying your vehicle. Come see us and get on a service interval schedule so that we can maintain your vehicle rather than fix it.

Safe Driving Starts with Vehicle Maintenance

There are many safe driving tips out there, and they are excellent to follow, but many drivers don’t realize that safe drive safelydriving actually starts with the car itself! If a vehicle is not safe, then the driver and those around them are not safe either. In fact, at least five percent of all accidents could have been avoided if the driver had taken better care of their vehicle. This is an estimated two billion dollars’ worth of property damage, medical payment and lost wages that could have been avoided if the vehicle had been properly maintained.

The biggest offenders, and most dangerous, maintenance items to put off during auto repair are the tires and the brakes. In one study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), they determined that underinflated tires were the cause of accidents by a three to one margin, when the accident was linked to tire issues. Tire pressure was also a cause of accidents; when the tire pressure either too high, too low or uneven, it can cause a blowout and the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Brakes are obviously a huge safety item in a vehicle and brake issues should NEVER be ignored. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) shared some great safety tips when it comes to brake service and they include the following:

  • Invest in top-quality brake pads.
  • If any rotors are marginal for continued service after refinishing (too thin or very close to the minimum thickness specification), have them replaced. An ASE-certified technician can compare the specification dimension and your rotors’ actual thickness for you on request. If you own an older vehicle equipped with original equipment (OE) rotors, be prepared to replace them at this time.
  • Have the brake calipers inspected to ensure that any moving parts, such as slides and bleeder screws, haven’t corroded and frozen up.
  • Don’t always jump at the lowest quoted price for your brake job. A low price quote can mean that you’re not getting the complete brake system serviced.

They also cautioned against using lower quality parts; sure, they might cost less, but sacrificing quality for price doesn’t exactly make sense when your safety is on the line. Investing a bit more up-front will help ensure not only the safety of the vehicle but also the safety of the driver and the other drivers on the road around them. So while it is a great idea to follow safe driving tips, don’t neglect vehicle maintenance or else your safe driving tips will be useless.

 

 

Spring Maintenance Brings Summer Fun

Have you ever planned a road trip or vacation only to be let down by your vehicle? Summer is a popular time to hit the road, but you won’t go very far if your vehicle isn’t ready… even though you may be. You and the kids have been waiting all year to enjoy time together and nothing puts a damper on that then breakdowns.  Good Works Auto Repair offers important preventative maintenance services to have your vehicle road-trip ready this spring. Avoid costly breakdowns and repairs and spend your hard-earned cash on what you really deserve – a vacation! Our service interval schedule can help you determine just what routine maintenance your vehicle would benefit from to help you to avoid problems on the road. Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of medium temperatures and sunshine – weather both we and our cars love.

In a recent Car Care article from ASE, they offer these tips on how to get your vehicle summer-ready and help avoid breakdowns and costly repairs:

  • Read the owner’s manual and follow the recommended service schedules.
  • Have hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc. corrected before hot weather sets in.
  • Flush and refill the cooling system radiator according to the service manual’s recommendations. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.
  • If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified automotive technicians.
  • The tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a qualified auto technician.
  • Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a qualified technician to reduce the likelihood of more costly repairs.
  • Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner’s manual. Properly dispose of used oil.
  • Replace other filters air, fuel, PCV, etc. as recommended.
  • Check the condition of tires, including the spare. Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold.
  • Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs.
  • Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer solvent on hand to combat summer’s dust and insects.

Have you done any of these yet? If not, get your vehicle into Good Works Auto Repair and ask about preventative maintenance services like those in this Car Care article. These simple services are worth every penny yet are often overlooked. Sometimes issues with your car occur with little or no warning, and other times we just ignore the signs. By having Good Works Auto Repair’s trusted mechanics maintain your vehicle this spring, you can feel good knowing your vehicle is driving at optimal performance, ready to take you wherever you want to go this spring and summer. Enjoy!

Are Cheap Oil Changes Really a Good Deal?

oil change videoHopefully, you all know the importance of a regular oil change in your vehicles. It is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective preventative maintenance items you can perform on your vehicle. Not only will it help maintain your vehicle for the long haul, it will ensure that your engine is continuously protected from the daily wear and tear that driving puts on it. But are all oil changes equal? Is it just as effective to go to a quickie lube joint instead of a certified auto repair shop to have your oil change done?

The answer to that is an unequivocal NO! Most of the pop-up quickie oil change places out there don’t hire certified mechanics, which means that you have an inexperienced tech working on your vehicle. The web is full of stories of people who have gone the cheap oil change route and have lived to regret it.

We read a story about one customer who took his one-month old vehicle in for its first oil change only to have his engine seize up a block down the road after leaving. The problem – the technician drained his oil but forgot to put new oil back in. That is more than an oopsie – he had to have his brand new engine replaced! There are stories of people whose oil filters fell out because they weren’t installed properly, new filters getting cross-threaded, new filters put on without noticing that the gasket from the old filter was stuck to the engine and even drain plugs that were not tightened properly or were cross-threaded.

Glen did a video a while back where a customer came in to us for an oil change and we discovered that during the previous oil change, done at a car wash, they had used the wrong oil. Fortunately, our customer didn’t have a problem, however if a vehicle owner uses the wrong oil in their vehicle and there is any sort of lubrication failure in their vehicle, it will completely void the warranty.

In the long run, going to a quality auto repair shop, where you can trust that certified mechanics are doing your oil change, is going to be the best value. Sure you might spend a couple more dollars – literally a couple more – but that couple dollars will ensure that you can trust the work being done. When we perform an oil change here in our shop, we not only change your oil, but we will change your oil filter, top off all of your vehicle’s fluids, lubricate the chassis, doors and hinges along with performing a 24-point inspectionNow that is an oil change worth paying for!