What South Windsor Automotive Service Consumers Should Know
Posted March 31, 2011 11:17 AM
There are some things Hartford consumers should know about South Windsor automotive service and repair. First and foremost, Precision Motor Coach, Llc. cares about you and your family’s safety. And we really appreciate your business. Precision Motor Coach, Llc. in South Windsor wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.
Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix cars. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The technicians that work for Precision Motor Coach, Llc. need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other technicians to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.
The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. The average Manchester / Vernon or East Windsor / Enfield driver may not realize the business and environmental regulations Precision Motor Coach, Llc. must comply with. Of course that costs money too. Like any business, overhead is a big factor.
When you go into a Hartford restaurant you don’t value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you’ll come back and tell your friends.
It’s the same for Precision Motor Coach, Llc.. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, South Windsor customers are happy to see them succeed as a Connecticut automotive business.
Contact Precision Motor Coach, Llc. to learn more about our extensive auto service training. You can find us at: 1281 John Fitch Blvd. South Windsor, Connecticut 06074 Or call us at 860-282-1118
Your South Windsor service center loves to see its customers whenever they come in, but they would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. They want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your Hartford area friends and family to go in for their scheduled maintenance too. That lowers the service center’s marketing costs and helps keep its labor rates down. That’s good for everyone.
Precision Motor Coach, Llc. appreciates this great review of automotive service from AutoNetTV.
Posted in the Service Standards
Better Service - Better Economy
Posted March 24, 2011 2:15 PM
The hottest South Windsor news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in South Windsor. But we’ve found several basic things that any South Windsor vehicle owner can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Hartford environment. You can really impact your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.
The first one is keeping your tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most South Windsor service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your service advisor. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you get gas in your car. Many South Windsor gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.
Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel efficiency. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.
The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.
One item South Windsor residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced fuel efficiency! And with current gas prices in the South Windsor area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save big bucks at the pump.
Now most people aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other key services spelled out in your owners’ manual.
Precision Motor Coach, Llc. knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Precision Motor Coach, Llc. – which may also be updated with recall notices and maintenance schedule items from your manufacturer.
Posted in the Maintenance
Introduction to Diesels for South Windsor Connecticut
Posted March 18, 2011 1:49 PM
Something you’re going to be hearing a lot about around South Windsor, Connecticut is diesel engines. We’re not talking about semi-trucks and buses – We’re talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.
Most people in South Windsor, Connecticut are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import auto manufacturers offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven’t been available in South Windsor, Connecticut. But that’s about to change.
In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in South Windsor, Connecticut so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.
Why are so many interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There’s more power in a barrel of diesel fuel than there is in a barrel of gasoline. That means better performance with better fuel economy.
Diesel powered vehicles get about 20 percent better fuel economy. And as for power – why do you think that the majority of new heavy duty pick-up trucks are being sold with diesel engines?
If you think back to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, you may shudder when you think of the diesel powered cars of the day – noisy, smoky, under-powered beasts that rattled and shook their passengers. Modern diesels are nothing like that.
They are quiet, clean – and very powerful. They’re so refined that many people can’t even tell they’re riding in a diesel powered car. In addition to fuel savings, diesels generally last longer than gasoline engines because of their heavy duty construction.
Another thing that intrigues the environmentally conscious is that it’s possible to use bio-diesel as fuel. Bio-diesel is made from vegetable oil – even recycled cooking oil from restaurants. Hybrid cars have gotten everyone’s attention these days. Look to diesel-electric hybrids in years to come to make a good idea even better.
Every year, manufacturers are planning more diesel offerings. Look for diesels in domestic light trucks, SUVs and passenger cars. Import marquees have plans to bring more of their outstanding diesel engines to South Windsor, Connecticut as well.
Now you should know that properly maintaining a diesel engine is somewhat different than a gasoline engine. Fluid change intervals are different. Emissions control devices have to work harder to filter diesel fuel and to scrub the exhaust so you will need to pay attention to that. And the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures than gas fuel injection systems, so it’s very important to keep your fuel system clean with a diesel.
The good news is that your local South Windsor, Connecticut service center is keeping up with the new diesel technology and will be able to advise you on maintaining your diesel.
When we tell you to look for more diesels, you won’t be looking for smoky tail pipes as a clue. You also won’t be listening for that familiar big rig rattle. And, you certainly won’t be waiting for them at the stoplight, because modern diesels are as quick as their gasoline counterparts.
From all of us at AutoNetTV, ten four, good buddy.
Posted in the Fuel System
Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle
Posted March 9, 2011 10:57 AM
We're living in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term "built to last" goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They're still a very big investment and we want to make them last as long as possible - and we want to make keeping them as cheap as possible. When talking cars, it's all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, "a stitch in time saves nine" and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service.
Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing - it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That's why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.
The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, don't forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.
Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don't forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs down.
Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don't forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent mechanical damage and reduce fuel consumption.
Now this is a lot to remember - too much really. But it is your South Windsor automotive technician's job to keep on top of this stuff. At Precision Motor Coach, Llc. we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which maintenance schedule you should use - the regular schedule or the severe service schedule - depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older vehicle.
Bottom line - take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent costly damage and maintain your warranty coverage.
Of course, you want your car to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you'll be proud to drive it longer.
Most of us can't afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient - and expensive - problems down the road, and can keep driving "old faithful" for years to come.
Posted in the Maintenance
Precision Motor Coach, Llc. On Your Serpentine Belt
Posted March 2, 2011 1:52 PM
Today we’re going to be talking about serpentine belts for our South Windsor Connecticut customers. Let’s start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That’s the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there’s the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you're driving around South Windsor Connecticut in the summer.
The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most vehicles. Those pumps make the pressure that assists your steering and braking.
In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around South Windsor Connecticut, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.
The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That’s really a lot of work for one belt.
But modern engine design has a single belt that snakes around the front of the engine and drives most if not all of these accessories. Serpentine belts do a lot of work, but they’re tough and can last for thousands of miles.
Just how long will they last? That’ll vary for each individual car in the South Windsor Connecticut area. Your manufacturer will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need it sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection can reveal a belt that’s getting close to failing.
Precision Motor Coach, Llc. can look at the belt: if it has more than three or four cracks per inch it needs to be replaced. A deep crack that’s more than half the depth of the belt - replace. Frayed, missing pieces, a shiny glazed look? It’s out of there.
What’s involved in replacing the belt? First the old belt is removed. Then a new one is fitted around all the pulleys for the accessories and the drive. There’s a special pulley called a tensioner.
This pulley is mounted to the engine block with a spring loaded arm. Its job is to apply the correct amount of tension to the belt to keep it from getting loose and maybe slipping off. Because the spring in the tensioner pulley wears out, AutoNetTV recommends replacing them at the same time as the belt. It just makes sense.
What are the warning signs that there’s a problem with the serpentine belt? You may hear a squealing sound from under the hood when accelerating around our South Windsor Connecticut streets. A loose belt might give you a slow, slapping sound.
What do you do if your belt breaks? If you’ve actually had that happen on our local South Windsor Connecticut freeway, it can be a little scary. Often the first thing you notice is that you have no power steering or power brakes. Don’t panic – you can still steer and brake, but you’ll have to do the work. It’ll be harder to steer and you’ll need more time and effort to stop, so plan accordingly.
Your dashboard will light up will all kinds of warnings. You’ll see a warning about your cooling system if you have a water pump that’s driven by the serpentine belt. This is very critical because without your cooling system working, your engine will overheat. If you don’t stop you’ll have massive engine damage, maybe to the point that you need a new engine. Pull over as quickly as you safely can. Open your windows and turn the heater on full blast to provide a little engine cooling and pulled over as soon as possible.
The battery light will come on because the alternator isn’t working. If your car’s water pump isn’t driven by the serpentine belt, you’re not in danger of overheating so you can drive a little further if necessary. But the battery will run down to the point where the car won’t run and will just shut off. You don’t want that to happen while you’re driving in our local South Windsor Connecticut traffic.
Remember, this does not have to happen if you replace your serpentine belt on schedule. Ask your technician at Precision Motor Coach, Llc. to check your belts and hoses from time to time so you can take care of them if they need to be replaced prematurely.