Q: How often should I have my car serviced?
A: We recommend bringing your car in every 5,000 miles so we can service the engine, change the oil and filter, and check the tires and brakes. If we see customers every 5,000 miles, they can often avoid large repair bills that could have been prevented. If we don’t see their cars, we can’t identify something that could leave them stranded on the side of the road. We can’t predict the future, but there are obvious things we can watch for to prevent inconvenience and breakdowns.
Q: Will there be a charge to diagnose my car?
A: If we can easily diagnose the problem by looking at or listening to the car, we won’t charge you for it. But if we have to take things apart to find the problem, we have to charge a diagnostic fee. We compare it to exploratory surgery—we don’t have MRIs and x-rays, so sometimes things have to be mechanically dissected to determine the cause of the problem.
Q: Do I need to make an appointment for service?
A: Yes. We can usually take care of you that day, unless we’re extremely busy. But if it’s an emergency, we’ll definitely try to accommodate you.
Q: How will I get back home or back to work while my car is being serviced?
A: We can shuttle you if it’s local. We even provide courtesy cars if you reserve them ahead of time or if we have them available in-house. We always try to find a way to accommodate our customers.
Q: What does the warning light on my dashboard mean?
A: To determine the source of a warning light, we need to hook our computers up to your vehicle and extract that information. But if it’s something strange or something we haven’t seen, we might need to get into diagnostics. Although we have a lot of modern equipment, it still requires a human brain to pinpoint those types of problems.
Q: Will you let me know what the estimate is before you do the repair?
A: Yes, we offer a free written estimate before any work is done. We feel you should be aware of what we’re doing, what the car needs and how much it will cost to fix it.
Q: What’s the difference between my car’s air conditioning system and its cooling system?
A: They’re two totally different systems. Air conditioning systems are like little refrigerators under your car—they blow cold air into your vehicle when turned on. Your cooling system stabilizes the engine temperature and keeps your car running correctly.
Q: How can I take care of my car’s cooling system?
A: The first step is to have a professional make sure your coolant strength is potent enough. Most modern antifreezes should be changed every 50,000 miles or so. If you notice your car starting to get hot, check the coolant level (wait until the engine is fully cold to avoid injury). If it’s full and the car is still getting hot, take it to a professional.
Q: What should I do if my car is overheating?
A: If you’re driving and the temperature indicator keeps rising, pull over immediately. If you keep driving, it could permanently damage the engine, which can be very expensive to repair. A lot of people try to make it a few extra blocks and end up blowing the cylinder head. The best thing to do is stop and get your car towed into a shop to have it checked out.
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