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

May 2013

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Finding Vehicle Recall Information From Tucson

Posted: May 29, 2013



No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice to Tucson residents and to fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone who owns that type of car in Tucson and elsewhere until the work is done.

If you have questions about vehicle recalls, give us a call:
Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave. Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555

These recalls always affect safety, so you need to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.

Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that you still might want to know about. In this case, manufacturers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell service centers how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

The pros receive updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. You can buy access to these for an annual fee.

Whatever your source, pay attention to vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.


Tucson Customer Detective Work

Posted: May 23, 2013

One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.

Cars in AZ are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So, it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.

Let us at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson introduce you to something we'll call 'Customer Detective Work' –  helping your technician find clues to what's wrong.

We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me; You come in to Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson and your car is making a funny sound...

    • Q: Where's the sound?
    • A: Around the right front wheel.
    • Q: What kind of sound?
    • A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
    • Q: When do you hear the sound?
    • A: When I turn and accelerate. 
  • Q: Right and left? Forward and back?

Do you see where we're going? You're gathering additional information to help your technician at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson know where to start. Based on your car and the tech's experience, he'll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.

You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says "making a funny noise."

If the tech can experience the problem personally, he's better able to make a diagnosis and repair and then test to see if the repair solved the problem.

Ask us for details.

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


Battery Basics for Tucson

Posted: May 16, 2013

It's important for Tucson drivers to know battery basics. First, let's talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold AZ weather. Most Tucson area drivers think it's cold weather because that's when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold vehicle engine.

However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Tucson trips because the alternator doesn't have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Tucson drivers can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the summer and every three months during the winter.

As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren't capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your vehicle alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.

If you're pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your friendly and knowledgeable Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson service assistant for a battery test to see if it's recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery on a AZ road, but you'll save unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle alternator.

Give us a call.

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

 


AZ Balance: Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation

Posted: May 07, 2013



Everyone in the Mount Lemmon area wants our tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to maximize tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.

When wheels are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. And they vibrate. To fix this, your service technician at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson puts weights on your wheels to balance them out. If a front wheel is out of balance you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. If it’s a rear wheel you’ll feel it through your seat.

That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a car wear out more quickly than the rear tires. As they push through turns from Tucson to Tucson, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.

Proper tire inflation will also help your tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear excessively on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Over-inflated tires wear to fast in the middle.

Four wheel drive trucks and SUV’s tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give us a call to get our recommendation on your SUV.

See your owner’s manual or ask your service technician at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It’s usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

Tires cost a lot and they are one of the most critical safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555

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

 


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