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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

April 2013

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Transmission Service at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson

Posted: May 01, 2013

Let's talk about transmission service. It can be easy for Tucson drivers to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn't need it very often. It's easier for people in AZ to remember to change the engine oil - you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid repairs down the road.

The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you can see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually, it's much higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.

As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn't lubricate and cool the vehicle transmission as well - leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won't operate smoothly. At worst, it could lead to damage.

When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels and improves fuel economy. That's why it is recommended to change your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner's manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson can tell you what is recommended.

Hot and dusty Tucson area conditions, towing, hauling, stop-and-go driving and jackrabbit starts all begin to increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means Tucson vehicles with these types of transmission requirements need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers or two years. If your owner’s manual suggests more frequent intervals or if you're driving under severe service conditions around the Tucson area, you will need to change it more often.

Most Tucson auto service centers (including Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson) have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It's downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Our pros at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it's getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your vehicle a favor and have it done.

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

 


Economics of Maintenance for Tucson Auto Owners

Posted: Apr 24, 2013

Buying a new car in Tucson is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in Tucson who've been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let's assume you live right here in Tucson and have a five year old vehicle. It's now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there'll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don't know what to expect. For help we turned to maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They're able to use manufacturer's maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can't predict what will happen to your vehicle in Tucson, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let's look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it's actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Tucson:

  • Ford Escape - $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado - $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee - $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent - $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Tucson service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there's any particular problem in common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

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


Tucson Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Posted: Apr 16, 2013

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Tucson drivers, your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Tucson drivers follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles/six kilometers around Tucson?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles/16 kilometers in below-zero AZ temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in AZ?
Do you drive often in dusty Tucson areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Tucson?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold AZ weather?


Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Tucson on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Tucson surface streets?

Let's suppose your owner's manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles/5,000 and 8,000 kilometers. Analyze your driving patterns and Tucson weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you're closer to.

Why should Tucson residents care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Tucson or winter driving means that the engine doesn't heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn't let the oil protect it adequately. That's why AZ residents need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in AZ summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs. If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson service advisor. We can help you restore your vehicle to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

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


Tire Replacement: What Tucson Drivers Need to Know

Posted: Apr 10, 2013

Looking at getting some new tires? Maybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool. Well there's nothing wrong with that. If you make sure that you've got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.

Let's suppose you zip around Tucson in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather's good. When AZ weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most Tucson drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.

When it's time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He'll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads.

Tires are one of the biggest purchases for Tucson drivers. With so many choices, you'll be able to get what's best for you. Take your time. And don't worry about what's in stock. If you want something that isn't here at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson, we can order it. Chances are you'll be rolling on your new tires in a couple of days.

Let us know if you have any other questions!

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

 


What to Do in Case of an Accident in Tucson

Posted: Apr 04, 2013

Screeching tires, crunching metal – it's an accident! If you've ever been in a car accident in Tucson, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do.

Let's review what Tucson drivers should do in case of an accident:

When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in Tucson is considered a crime - even if it's not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your AZ driver's license or even jail time.

Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call Tucson emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.

You should always file a police report. It's tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you won't have an objective report to help defend yourself. Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don't. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the Tucson police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of the law, the other guy may be responsible.

Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as, "I was going 30 miles an hour," or, "I was going 55 kilometers per hour," not, "I wasn't speeding." Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you. Also get the officer's name and ID number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.

Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Driver's license number and expiration
  • Insurance information

Also take down a description of the other vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number (VIN). Most AZ auto insurance companies don't record license plate numbers, so the VIN is the best way to track a vehicle in AZ.

Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can't wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary. Always call your insurance agent or your insurance company. Call or see a physician if you think you may have been injured. For vehicle repairs, call Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson at 520.807.5555.

Contact Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson to learn more about what to do in case of an auto accident.
You can find us at:

3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


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