Customer Service

Today’s cars, light trucks, and sport-utility vehicles are high-tech marvels with digital dashboards, oxygen sensors, electronic computers, unibody construction, and more. They run better, longer, and more efficiently than models of years past.

But when it comes to repairs, some things stay the same. The following tips should help you along the way:

Do your homework before taking your vehicle in for repairs or service.

  • Read the owner’s manual to learn about the vehicle’s systems and components.
  • Follow the recommended service schedules.
  • Keep a log of all repairs and service.

When you think about it, you know your car better than anyone else. You drive it every day and know how it feels and sounds when everything is right. So don’t ignore its warning signals.

Use all of your senses to inspect your car frequently. Check for:

  • Unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning lights, gauge readings.
  • Changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage, fluid levels.
  • Worn tires, belts, hoses.
  • Problems in handling, braking, steering, vibrations.
  • Note when the problem occurs.
  • Is it constant or periodic?
  • When the vehicle is cold or after the engine has warmed up?
  • At all speeds? Only under acceleration? During braking? When shifting?
  • When did the problem first start?

Once you are at our location, communicate your findings.

  • Be prepared to describe the symptoms.
  • Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give us.
  • Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair. Just as you would with your physician, tell us where it hurts and how long it’s been that way, but let the technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.

Stay involved. . . Ask questions.

  • Ask as many questions as you need. Do not be embarrassed to request lay definitions.
  • Don’t rush the technician to make an on-the-spot diagnosis. You may ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action, and costs before work begins.
  • Before you leave, be sure you understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.
  • Leave a telephone number where you can be called.

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

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Courtesy of the Automotive Service Association

According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect. The following simple and inexpensive preventive checks will greatly extend the life of the vehicle, ensure safer operation and even benefit the environment.

Always consult your owner’s manual for individual service schedules because maintenance requirements vary by manufacturer.

 

  • Always consult your owner’s manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil filter changed regularly – every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.
  • Have all fluids checked, including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.
  • Check tire inflation. Under-inflated tires can result in a loss of fuel efficiency. This is the least expensive form of preventive and safety maintenance. Tires should be checked once a month.
  • Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
  • Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle’s suspension system.
  • Check battery cables and posts for corrosion and clean them as needed. The battery fluid also should be checked and filled if it is low, unless it is a maintenance-free battery.
  • Have the lighting system checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals, and brake and taillights.
  • Check windshield washer blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them at least once a year, or sooner if streaking begins.
  • Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine performance. Look for cracks and missing sections or segments.
  • Have the air filtration system checked frequently. The air filter should be checked every other oil change for clogging or damage. This system ensures that the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.