How Much to Fix It?

Information about auto repair and preventive maintenance

Why You NEED to follow an Oil Change Schedule!

When it comes to getting an oil change, follow the rules and DON’T be a rebel. Putting off an oil change for thousands of miles over what is recommended is a bad move! It will cause your engine to become clogged, reduce or eliminate oil pressure and have a detrimental impact to the rest of the components and your fuel system. It may not always be convenient, but it is certainly worth it!

Want to know WHY you shouldn’t to put off that oil change? Well check this out – here at Good Works Auto Repair, the proof is in the pudding – or oil as this video shows!

 

This video clearly demonstrates what will happen if you put off an oil change for too long – sludge, gunk and debris that make it impossible for the oil to pass through the engine. As you can see from this woman’s experience, she finally brought her vehicle in for service, not because it was time for an oil change, but because her check engine light was on and she had some drivability issues with the vehicle.

ONE oil change actually ended up turning into FOUR! That included THREE cleanings and THREE oil filter replacements. That is a lot more time and money than anyone would have anticipated. It had gotten so bad, and the oil so thick, that it couldn’t even be pumped throughout the engine.

Once we got it where it needed to be for her to drive away, the check engine lights were off and there were no drivability issues left – everything was resolved by a simple oil change which could have turned out much, much worse.

As it was, this simple oil change turned in to over $600! For an oil change! To be honest, she is fortunate that it didn’t cost her thousands of dollars for a new engine. We have seen that happen before too with these modern-day engines. With so many sensors and components to them, it is important that you regularly monitor your oil change intervals as set by the vehicle manufacturer.

We would much rather help to maintain your vehicle, than to have to repair it, or fix issues caused by one simple service – an oil change. Ready for yours? We’re here for you!

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Do Your Headlights Let you See at Night?

Car HeadlightsNone of us really have the power to see what’s ahead of us in life, but we do have the power to see what’s ahead of us on the road. Making sure your headlights are working properly is an important safety feature of your vehicle. Here at Good Works Auto Repair, we believe strongly in maintaining your vehicle, rather than having to repair it. To help you do that, we’ve provided you with some helpful tips when it comes to maintaining your headlights all year round. See better, drive better!

We all tend to do some nighttime driving – if not a lot, then at least some. And with the days shorter at this point in the year, now is the best time to have your local repair shop provide you with some important preventative maintenance and check the state of your headlights and other important safety features on your vehicle.

Basic Headlight Maintenance

  • Replace your headlights before they burn out. Can’t remember the last time they were changed? It might be time.
  • Swap them out in pairs. Uneven brightness is a distraction for other drivers.
  • Upgrade to better bulbs which will help you see better. Go for ones with a whiter light and maximum clarity. You’ll notice a difference.
  • DIY where you can, but if you don’t feel comfortable changing your headlights which does take some basic knowledge, our repair technicians are ready to help.
  • Restore your headlight lenses or replace them if your vehicle is older. Sometimes, older vehicles have lenses that are faded or cloudy which don’t allow the bulbs to do their job. A good restoration kit can enable up to three times more light to shine on the road! Whoa!
  • Have your headlights properly aiming at the road and not into the eyes of oncoming drivers. If the aim is off, it can decrease nighttime visibility by quite a bit.

Whether you’re simply cruising around town or you’re heading out for a long road trip, your compromised driver vision at night makes this very important. According to a 2016 survey from SYLVANIA Automotive, 28 percent of motorists have difficulty seeing hazards and 62 percent of drivers try to avoid driving after the sun goes down.

Properly working headlights are an important safety feature of your vehicle and something you use often when driving. Nighttime driving and bad weather driving are dangerous enough – give yourself better visibility and a little bit of attention. We’re ready to help!

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Has your vehicle been affected by water?

flooded vehicleThe flooding this year around the country has been devastating, and we have seen what damage it can do to homes, businesses and human lives. It can also affect your vehicle, and lead to some serious auto repairs, and if you’re not careful, can put your safety at risk on the roads.

Residents of Texas, Florida and so many other areas have seen their homes and vehicles under water and the aftermath of what that causes. While everyone tries to put the pieces of their lives back together, we wanted to share some car care tips with you to ensure your vehicle is safe after a flood.

Think your vehicle needs repairs? We can help! Use these guidelines to check for water damage. Whether all or part of your vehicle has been under water, you should:

  • Check the interior carpets, seats, door and trim panels and other components for dampness. If they seem wet, you should have a professional dry and treat them. Simply letting them dry on their own, could create mildew and a nasty smell! Seat brackets, motors and modules should also be checked for rust.
  • Check the fluid dipsticks for your engine oil and transmission fluid – if the fluid appears milky, diluted, is no longer its original color or is beige in color, then it is likely the pans contain water. Don’t drive it! Have it towed to a trusted auto repair shop where an ASE-certified technician can check internal parts which may require extensive auto repairs.
  • Check the air filter for water. Wet air filters should be replaced. Then, change the motor oil.
  • Check your undercarriage, bumpers, radiator area and frame for mud, grass, dirt, debris and rust. Wash and clean them if there is any sign.
  • Have your repair shop check the state of your brake system. Safety first!
  • Check exterior lights for moisture or water. Replace headlights and bulbs that contain water.
  • When your engine is running, listen for weird noises. Note where, when and what and take your vehicle to a certified repair technician.Pay particular attention to the alternator, serpentine belt, starter, power steering unit, air conditioner and wheel bearings.
  • Check the suspension joints. They may need lubrication. Always check them for rust.

As with anything, the amount of water your vehicle took in will impact the severity of it’s needs. Just by being aware of the potential damage will make your vehicle safer down the road. Don’t wait for something to go wrong; let us check your vehicle for water damage. Make an auto repair appointment today.

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Is a Cheap Car Battery Worth the Money?

Considering today’s economy, most of us are looking for ways where we can cut a few corners here and there. While there is definitely some wisdom to this way of thinking, there are some costs you just don’t want to skimp too much on. A car battery is one such example. While you might think you are saving a few bucks by buying a cheap battery at your local big box store, you could soon regret that decision when you are faced with a huge repair bill in a short amount of time!

Don’t believe us? Well check out this video of one unlucky client here at our Tempe auto repair shop, who found out why buying a cheap car battery isn’t always the best buy out there.

Isn’t that a crazy story? Spending up to $700 just to save 10 bucks – that just doesn’t make sense! So when the time comes, what should you consider when purchasing a car battery?

What’s The Difference?

The most common battery (and the oldest type of battery) is the lead-acid wet cell battery. There are also lead-acid dry cell batteries and absorbed glass mat batteries. Your auto mechanic can help you determine which one is the best for your vehicle.

Since many cars on the road today have lead-acid wet cell batteries, let’s concentrate on those today.

These types of batteries consist of lead plates which are separated by a material that is good at slowing the flow of ions from the positive to negative plates. While high quality car batteries will use rubber between the plates, many of the cheaper batteries consist of PVC separators, which don’t last as long. Cheaper batteries can also consist of lower quality components as compared to higher quality batteries, such as subpar cables and wires.

Does it Really Matter?

Well, like anything else, the quality of an any particular item comes down to its internal components. Just like you saw in the video above, cheaper parts can lead to acid sweating out of the battery, which then can result in a chemical reaction causing corrosion on the battery. That corrosion can grow like a cancer and seep down into the cables, which then leads to even more problems. So yes, purchasing a quality battery really DOES matter!

What Else Should You Consider in a Car Battery

car battery replacementWell first and foremost, look beyond the PRICE of the battery and make sure you are purchasing a QUALITY battery instead. Check for manufacture dates, warranties, Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) ratings and the Reserve Capacity rating.

You don’t want to purchase a battery that has been sitting on the shelf for months on end, so check to make sure it was manufactured not too long ago. You can find the manufacture date listed as the month and year – 01/18 means it was manufactured in January, 2018.

The CCA rating shows how many amps need to be delivered to the starter at 32 degrees F for 30 seconds to maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell. In other words, the CCA determines how much power you will have to start your vehicle in cooler climates. If you happen to live where it gets really cold you will want a battery with a higher CCA rating.

The reserve capacity rating shows how long the battery can keep the electricals of the vehicle operating, in the event that the charging system fails. This measurement is indicated in minutes on the battery. A car battery with a reserve capacity rating of 90 means that the battery is able to keep the vehicle operating without the support of the charging system for an hour and a half.

The average car battery warranty is 3-4 years. If the car battery you are considering purchasing is anything less than that – put it back! Some batteries have even longer warranties which is great, but definitely don’t go less than 3 years.

Remember, we are always here to help you determine the best car battery for your individual vehicle. Our auto technicians can discuss the pros and cons of several different batteries with you, so you can make the most informed decision.

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There’s Nothing Worse Than a Car That Won’t Start

You’re in an empty parking lot and your car won’t start. You’re already late for work and you can’t start your vehicle in your driveway. You’re trying to leave the grocery store with items that need to get in the freezer and your vehicle won’t start. It’s frustrating and stressful! Sure, many times these situations can be due to a dead car battery, but there could also be an issue with your car starter failing or in need of replacement.

Car starters today are attached to the rear of your motor, where a gear aligns with the vehicle’s flywheel, the place where the ignition process begins. When the engine turns over, fuel is delivered to the combustion chamber where it is ignited, and the ignition system is activated. This is basically how your engine comes to life. When the car starter begins to wear out or is broken in some capacity, your motor won’t start and you’re stranded.

This can happen over time and is not uncommon. Most people hope for a dead battery instead of the starter, but there are some symptoms to look out for so that you may be able to determine if a faulty starter is to blame, and you can get help from your trusted auto repair shop. Issues with your starter are best left to the expertise of a mechanic.

How can you tell if your car starter is failing? Look out for these symptoms!

  • You turn the key and nothing happens. This is the most common symptom – your engine simply won’t turn over.
  • The starter engages but doesn’t spin the motor. This could mean a problem with the gears not connecting with the flywheel.
  • There is a grinding noise when trying to start the motor. This could mean worn gears.
  • You see or smell smoke when starting the motor. This could be due to a short circuit, a blown fuse or a problem with the ignition switch.

All issues with a faulty car starter are best left to be repaired by a trusted auto repair shop. Our mechanics have the tools and knowledge to fix any and all components of your car starter or ignition system and can diagnose and repair the issue without taking too much time or it costing you too much money. We know you have places to go and things to do!

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How to Get your Vehicle Road Trip Ready!

Holiday Travel Preventative MaintenanceAre you one of the 45.5 million Americans who are estimated to be on the road this Thanksgiving weekend? That’s right, AAA has estimated that of the anticipated 51 million travelers this weekend, 89% of them are planning a road trip – there are going to be a LOT of cars on the road. So, the next question is, if you are one of those holiday road-trippers, is your vehicle ready for the journey?

We preach preventative maintenance all year round, which is the way it should be, however, when you are getting ready to hit the road, your car maintenance needs to really be in tip top shape. This is where we can help.

If you’re in the Tempe or Mesa areas, we want to see you BEFORE you head out on your trip, not because your vehicle has broken down in the middle of it. Here at Good Works Auto Repair, we offer a complete preventative maintenance check-up to help you avoid breakdowns along the way. We will be sure to check lights, fluids, wipers, tires, belts, hoses and everything in between, so you can be confident that your vehicle will make it to your holiday destination safe and sound.

Getting Your Vehicle Road Trip Ready

If you are one of those guys or gals who likes to take care of your own automotive maintenance, check out these tips to help ensure a road-ready vehicle:

  • Check all your fluid levels, including your oil, transmission, brake and power steering fluids, engine coolant, windshield washer fluid etc., If it is about time for an oil change or a transmission flush, you should seriously consider having that done before you leave.
  • Inspect your tires and check your tire pressure. If your tires are showing signs of wear and tear, you might want to consider replacing them. It is also a good idea to have your tires rotated and the alignment checked before heading out on your trip as well.
  • Run a battery test on your car battery. Both extremely hot and extremely cold weather, can have negative effects on your battery. If you feel that your battery’s cranking speed is slower than before, it is probably time for you to replace it.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and your windshield washer fluid is topped off – you never know what kind of weather you might run into.
  • Make sure your car is equipped with a first aid kit and an emergency car kit – your emergency car kit should include: two roadside flares, a quart of oil, extra fuses, a flashlight, a multipurpose tool commonly containing pliers, wire cutters, a knife, a saw, a bottle opener, screwdriver, file, and an awl, a tire inflator, some rags, and a pocket knife.
  • It is also highly recommended to inspect your brakes and suspension before getting on the road.
  • Change the air filter if you haven’t done so recently.
  • Look for anything irregular, including worn hoses, loose clamps and leaks.
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Preventing Transmission Problems thru Maintenance

Transmission RepairsWhen your transmission goes, you know you’re in for some major trouble.  Not only are you going to be out of a vehicle for a period of time, the resulting bill is most likely going to make you want to pull out your hair! The best way to prevent a transmission breakdown is to properly maintain it with the help of a trusted auto repair shop in the first place. Don’t wait until your transmission goes completely and the repairs become too big to handle. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure your transmission is working properly before the worst case scenario.

Knowing how to spot the first signs of transmission problems could save you a LOT of time and money in the long run. Experts suggest that you follow these tips to prevent a transmission breakdown;

  • Check the level, color and smell of your transmission fluid regularly.
  • Use the correct transmission fluid, as they vary from vehicle to vehicle. Cost isn’t always the answer.
  • Don’t overfill your transmission fluid. That could lead to erratic shifting, loss of internal lubrication and potential transmission damage.
  • Avoid excess heat with your transmission – this is one of the most common reasons for a damaged transmission.
  • Remember not to tow in overdrive.
  • Consider installing an auxiliary cooler. This can help with the dangers of excess heat that we warned about before. When properly installed, they may help your transmission to run 30% to 50% cooler when towing. It could really save you a lot of money on transmission repairs in the future.
  • Don’t overload your vehicle and make it work too hard, too often.
  • On cold mornings, let your vehicle warm up before taking off.
  • Avoid rocking between gears if you ever get stuck on ice or in mud. The wheels should stop moving before changing gears.
  • Avoid high performance starts, or spinning your tires, in any situation other than an emergency.
  • Use your emergency brake when parked on an incline.
  • Play it safe and get potential problems looked at by a certified mechanic who has the knowledge and expertise to properly maintain or repair your transmission and its related components.

It’s no surprise that transmission repairs cost a fortune. However, we hope these tips can help to save you time and money someday!

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Protecting your Vehicle Investment

With approximately 17.6 million new cars on the road this year, and the average price of a new car at $34,000, how do you make sure that your vehicle stays in top shape? Modern vehicles are wonders of engineering. In just the past decade, maintenance intervals for things like spark plugs, emissions, and cooling systems have been stretched out to 100,000 miles in some vehicles.car-1751753_1280

But the need for periodic maintenance hasn’t changed. In fact, given the longer life expectancy of today’s vehicles, the need for periodic maintenance has never been greater if you expect to get the most from what has become the second biggest investment most individuals will ever make.

To protect this investment and to get the maximum reliability and safety from the vehicle you depend upon daily, you need to establish and follow a maintenance plan and have a reliable auto repair shop you can trust with your investment.

ASE technicians can be found at every type of repair facility: new car dealerships, independent garages, service stations, franchised outlets, collision shops, tire dealers, parts stores and more. There are more than 360,000 ASE-certified professionals at work nationally. Repair facilities employing ASE professionals usually display the distinctive blue and white ASE sign on the premises and post their technicians’ credentials in their customer service areas.

Keep in mind that the engine is the heart of your vehicle and probably the costliest to repair when something goes wrong. Modern electronic controls have eliminated a lot of adjustments, and what we used to call a “tune-up” has evolved into something akin to a complete physical, where most of the work involved is designed to verify proper operation of computer control systems.

While it’s true that new cars and trucks run cleaner than ever before, the engine and all its related control systems must be kept operating exactly as designed to prevent increased engine emissions and a host of other problems. Keep in mind that it is better to find a reliable auto repair shop before you need one.  Do some research, ask for referrals, and read the reviews online.

If you think you found a dependable shop, take your car in for a simple oil change.  This will give you great insight on customer service, pricing, and performance.  Now is the time to ask questions about warranties, check for professionalism and customer service.

Following a regular vehicle maintenance program is the best insurance you have against unexpected breakdowns and expensive repairs. It also pays dividends by allowing you to get the most out of your transportation investment. Finding the right auto repair shop will make taking care of your investment that much easier.

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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.”

 

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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.

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