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

December 2014

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Commitment to Make Your vehicle Last at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson

Posted: Jan 01, 2015

These days many people in the Tucson area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you've got to start with what you've got. It'd be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you've had the vehicle for a while or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that's where you start.

Go through the maintenance schedule for your vehicle and see what's been done and when. Have your Tucson service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.

Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You might be pretty overwhelmed.

To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there's a failure. In a consultation with your Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you'll be prepared for it in a few months.

Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.

For advice on how to make your vehicle last longer, visit us at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson.


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


What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

Posted: Dec 23, 2014

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Tucson, AZ, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Tucson drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of Tucson customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson at 520.807.5555 for information about differential service, or stop by our Tucson, AZ, auto center at 3155 N. Stone Ave., 85705.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Tucson high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Tucson, AZ area weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds (1,400 and 2,800 kg) – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That's a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So vehicle manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

The professionals at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then they’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacture's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual. Give us a call at 520.807.5555 for more information about your differential service.

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


Training Received by Technicians in Tucson, AZ

Posted: Dec 16, 2014

When your vehicle breaks down in the Tucson, AZ, area, or just needs some routine service, it can make you a little nervous. Because your vehicle's so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible — with the problem fixed right the first time.

We've been checking into some of the training our Tucson, AZ, technicians receive, and we're very impressed. It's amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern vehicle. So it's not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over the weekend.

Today there are four-cylinder engines around Tucson that make more power than the V-8's in luxury cars did 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/97 kph.

Our engines are more and more powerful. And they're so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Tucson drivers at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

Then there are the electronics. Some vehicles on AZ roads have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Tucson drivers take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It's a real challenge for the pros at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson and other Tucson auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center. In addition to the training, there's the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

So where do Tucson technicians go for training? There are many sources. It's usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, online courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

Service centers in Tucson, AZ, have a lot of other resources available.  No one can know everything, so service centers like Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even online communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It's like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms. What's the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Tucson drivers want everything to be simple, straightforward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn't.

So, be more relaxed next time you take your vehicle in. You can trust the professionals at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson. You're in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson. 

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


Cool Breeze: Air Conditioning Service at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson

Posted: Dec 12, 2014


Most AZ auto owners know that their vehicles need regular preventive maintenance like changing the oil and filters, rotating the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your air conditioning system needs routine maintenance as well? Taking care of your air conditioning system can extend its life and prevent costly repair bills.

Why is it important for Tucson area drivers to get routine maintenance on their air conditioning system? First, the refrigerant contains an added lubricant. As the refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system, its parts are lubricated. This constant lubrication keeps the parts functioning well. But over time, this lubricant is used up, and without it, the parts will eventually seize up and fail.

Tucson folks should understand, however, that the air conditioner will continue to pump out cool air even without the lubricant, so you won't know the system is sick until it actually dies. So good vehicle care includes regularly checking the refrigerant and lubricant in your vehicle air conditioning system and replacing it if needed.

The second reason your air conditioning system needs preventive maintenance is that air and water can get into the system. Air, water and the contaminants they contain will reduce the efficiency of the air conditioning system and can cause corrosion of the system's parts. Keeping the air conditioning system clean is a practice that will extend its life and keep you from losing your cool on hot Tucson days.

How often should you get a routine car air conditioner inspection? It varies from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner's manual for the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.

Here's a good piece of advice from Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson for AZ vehicle owners that will extend the life of their air conditioning systems: You should run your air conditioner in the winter every once in a while. This circulates the refrigerant, which lubricates the seals. That way, they won't dry out during cold Tucson weather.

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


It’s About Time: Following Service Intervals at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson

Posted: Dec 05, 2014

There are a lot of things in life that Tucson residents have to do on a regular basis. We wash dishes every day, do our laundry and mow our lawns every week, and pay the bills every month. We should go to our Tucson dentist twice a year and see our doctor for a check-up once a year. When we don’t stay on schedule with these routines, it can lead to embarrassing, painful or expensive consequences.

Scheduled maintenance is also part of good car care. Tucson drivers should take their SUVs in regularly for a good check-up. But many Mount Lemmon folks struggle to remember, or actually even ignore, this auto advice. When it comes to our cars, we’re more likely to listen to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” than “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Yet it is the second adage that is the more applicable one.

Regular brushing treatments prevent cavities. Filling a cavity prevents a more painful and more expensive root canal. In the same way, replacing coolant/antifreeze, for example, vehicle can prevent cooling system leaks. Repairing leaks can prevent engine failure. So why do we procrastinate?

One reason might be that “ignorance is bliss.” We can see dirty dishes on the counter and how long our grass is getting; we can smell how dirty our clothes are; but we don’t notice how dirty our transmission fluid is getting. However, trouble in our SUVs is like trouble in our bodies—ignorance is not bliss. High blood pressure can lead to heart damage, and inadequate coolant can lead to engine damage. However, we can’t know about either one unless we take the time for a diagnostic check-up at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson.

Another reason us Tucson drivers put off scheduled maintenance for our vehicles may be that we are simply intimidated by automotive care. After all, we understand how to take care of clothing, dishes, lawns, etc. Most of us have a basic working knowledge of our bodies and feel qualified to explain how we feel. But our vehicles? What exactly does routine, preventive maintenance involve? Most Tucson car owners don’t know.

Of course, our SUVs come with owner’s manuals that do a good job of explaining what routine maintenance is and how often our vehicles need it. But how many Tucson drivers actually read them?

The good news is that all Tucson motorists have to do is remember to take our vehicles to a reputable, service center like Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson. Like a good doctor, your courteous Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson tech will be able to tell you what maintenance and service your car needs and when. The service center can track your car’s maintenance records—just as a doctor maintains your health records—so that your vehicle is getting the service it needs in a timely manner.

Here are some guidelines to help Tucson drivers understand the basics of preventive maintenance: Fluids. If it’s a liquid, it has to be replaced regularly. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often. Liquids include oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and differential fluid. There may be others. Check with your owner’s manual or your service center for specifics on your vehicle.

Tires. They need routine, scheduled care to wear well. Primarily, they need air. But they also need to be rotated, balanced and aligned.

Brakes. Brakes and shock absorbers wear out. There’s no way to avoid it. Worn parts need to be replaced.

Fuel. Obviously your SUV needs gas on a regular basis. But the fuel system also needs periodic maintenance. Air filters and fuel filters get dirty and need to be replaced. The fuel system needs to be kept clean.

These are the basics of car maintenance. Of course, there are other parts of your car that need to be inspected regularly, such as the battery, exhaust system, belts, etc. These parts have longer life cycles than your fluids, tires, brakes and filters, and so don’t need to be replaced as often.

If you are taking your SUV in for the basics, then your Tucson service center will let you know when it is time for an inspection of these other things. Or they may notice a problem when doing routine maintenance and let you know. Either way, you’ll get a heads-up when your vehicle needs more attention.

If you’re not convinced yet that your SUV needs regular service, consider this: not doing so will cost you in decreased MPG, lower performance and compromised safety. These could lead to costly repair bills and costly accidents.

Just like a good dental check-up, a good auto check-up at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson can save you from experiencing embarrassing, costly and painful situations.


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