Advantage Auto Repair

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Advantage Auto Repair
3155 N. Stone Ave.
(Intersection of Ft. Lowell and Stone Ave.)
Tucson, AZ 85705

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Automotive Repair Blog

August 2017

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New School: Automotive Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson Technician Training

Posted: Aug 28, 2017

Tucson consumers are demanding. We want a safe, reliable vehicle that handles well and is comfortable to ride in. Oh, and we want good fuel economy, too. We also want vehicle repairs that are cheap, fast and easy. Unfortunately, one usually comes at the cost of the other.

Today's vehicles have made significant improvements in reliability and performance over the last few decades. They also deliver more power to Tucson drivers more efficiently than ever before. For example, some of today's 4-cylinder engines are equal to yesterday's V-8's. Our vehicles also offer an amazing range of features that make them more comfortable and convenient than ever before.

But all of that improvement has come at a price for Tucson vehicle owners. Our vehicles are more complicated and difficult to repair than ever before. They have numerous mechanical and electrical systems. Fuel systems are so complex they have to be run by a computer. Our vehicles are covered with sensors and high-tech electronic equipment. Our dashboards rival the control panel of the first manned space flight.

With all that complicated equipment, it's no wonder we call mechanics service technicians these days. You can't learn to repair vehicles in the backyard with your dad anymore. Today's Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson technicians have to go to school. School may come in the form of classroom instruction, online courses or both. Technicians are also trained on-site at the Tucson service centers where they work (including Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson) to keep them abreast of constant improvements in vehicle engineering, diagnostic equipment and repair techniques.

Today's technicians need to be certified to work on our vehicles. They can earn a variety of certifications in AZ, but the highest of these is Master Technician. It's like a graduate degree in auto repair.

Vehicle repair at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson requires more than just training and certification, though. It also takes information and creative thought. Tucson area auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and online repair communities in order to get the information they need to: work on various makes and models of vehicles, get recommended maintenance schedules, learn about non-standard features and locate hard-to-find parts in an unusual engine. They also use this information to help diagnose rare or difficult vehicle problems. Many auto repair problems also require a bit of creative thinking for the team at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson to solve. Tucson service technicians at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson act much like doctors in these situations. They're given a set of symptoms, and they have to come up with a diagnosis and treatment that will fix the problem. This process becomes as much of an art as it is a science.

A proper diagnosis, even by a highly qualified technician, can take time. And a technician's time is going to cost us. It's just the price of progress.

Of course, the best vehicle care for Tucson vehicle owners is planned preventive auto maintenance. This is also the least costly way to keep your vehicle in good repair. Regular inspections and replacement of worn parts will prevent most repairs from ever being needed in the first place.

And with the amazing complexity of today's automobiles, isn't it good to know there's someone out there with the knowledge, training and skill to give us good auto advice? Whether we need preventive maintenance or repairs, the team of automotive professionals at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson can help us keep our vehicles on the road. We just can't do it on our own anymore.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


Automotive Tips from Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson: Knowing When Your Timing Belt Should Be Replaced

Posted: Aug 21, 2017

The timing belt in your engine controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. Tucson drivers need to replace it on a schedule to avoid failure.

Timing belts are very difficult to get to, requiring quite a bit of labor to access. Timing belt replacement is one of the more expensive maintenance services, but the cost at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson to correct an engine damaged by a broken timing belt is much, much more.

The timing belt has a tensioner to help maintain proper belt tension. The tensioner should be replaced along with the timing belt and any idler pulleys at the vehicle manufacturer’s specified service interval. Your Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson service advisor can help you with the timing belt.

Give us a call.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


Hey Tucson Drivers, How Many Miles Are on Your Car?

Posted: Aug 17, 2017



Nowadays, Tucson drivers are paying more at AZ gas pumps. For some families it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That's got to come out of the budget somewhere. This is one of the reasons many AZ drivers are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.

Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local Tucson, AZ, roads have over 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in the Tucson area can't afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a breakdown. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.

Determining what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many owner's manuals don't publish service intervals after 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers). Thus, Tucson drivers need to be better at keeping records and planning for preventive maintenance.

You can start by figuring that services with a recommended interval should still be performed on that interval, even after you're past the tables in your service manual. For example, a service might be recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers). Well, just keep doing it every 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) for as long as you have your car.

Now higher mileage engines operate under more stress. Some AZ automotive experts suggest that the severe service schedule is more appropriate and that routine service should be performed at shorter intervals. Check with your owners' manual or service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson to see if the severe service schedule is right for your vehicle.

And keeping current with your full-service oil change schedule is important for a couple of reasons. First, older engines have had more time to build up oil sludge. Skipping an oil change here and there can really compound the problem for your vehicle.

Another equally important reason is that your other fluids are routinely checked and topped off. Power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid can be kept at optimal levels even though the older seals and gaskets are leaking more than when they were new.

And speaking of older seals and gaskets: they start to dry out and become more brittle with age. You may want to consider using high mileage formulation oil and fluids. These products contain  additives to condition seals and gaskets to keep them from leaking. The high mileage formulations cost more than standard products, but they are well worth it in terms of preventing serious repair bills down the road.

Older vehicles in the Tucson, AZ, area need repairs and replacements that newer ones don't: things like timing belts, radiator hoses, suspension work, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries. That may seem like a lot of stuff to have done, but it works out to be cheaper than new car payments.

With a high-mileage vehicle, a couple of relationships will become pretty important to Tucson drivers. The first is with your service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson. You need someone you trust to take care of your car and be mindful of your needs. Ask for help to develop a plan to keep your vehicle road-worthy that works within your budget and for the Tucson, AZ, area driving conditions. 


The next relationship is with your vehicle itself. We're not talking about naming your car or tucking it in at night. We just mean - pay attention and get to know your vehicle. Notice unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Then you can describe the changes to your service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson and head off problems. We can't do anything about the price of gas, but we can properly maintain Old Faithful to keep it safely and economically on the local Tucson roads.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson Alternator Replacement Service in Tucson

Posted: Aug 06, 2017

Your vehicle alternator doesn't get enough credit. Though your battery gets your engine started, after that – it's all about the alternator. 

Driving around Tucson is a lot of work for your alternator, and as upgrades such as heated steering wheels, cooled seats, stability control and lane departure warning become more common, it will have to work even harder. Eventually this workhorse just wears out. When it does you have no choice but to order an alternator replacement because your vehicle won't run without one. 

Come see your friendly and professional service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson to learn more.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


The Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

Posted: Aug 01, 2017

The automotive professionals at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson would like to give Tucson drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, vehicles are becoming more sophisticated every day.  Fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.

The Tucson do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many AZ ] owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their vehicle and their driving habits in the Tucson area.

Let's start with engine oil. Tucson drivers who have been paying attention will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the AZ scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. The vehicle manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your Tucson service center will know what weight your vehicle manufacturer recommends - and it's important to follow those recommendations. Your service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can tell you all about conventional and synthetic oils.

Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, vehicle manufacturers only recommended a couple of different types of coolant. Now, several different formulations are needed because of the high-tech materials that vehicle manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant in your vehicle can actually void your warranty, so it's important to get that right.

Transmission fluid is becoming specialized for Tucson vehicles as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that require specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.

Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids AZ drivers need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more for Tucson drivers. Fortunately, Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you'll get the right fluids your vehicle needs. It's all part of the commitment we make to your driving peace of mind.

 Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


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