auto repair west springfield ma

Best Auto Repair in West Springfield MA

Dodge Wheel Bearing Repair

“Can you tell me how much it will cost to fix my brakes?” We received a call from a new customer late last week. His truck was making a grinding noise and a friend that works at a local dealership had told him he needed brakes and did the job for him. After the repair the noise was there and so was the need for a second opinion. He ended up finding us after asking around and searching “Best Auto Repair in West Springfield MA“.

The truck came in early in the morning. It’s always customary for one of our Technicians to take a ride with a customer to verify noises. We never want to end up in a situation where we hear a different noise, find a problem, and end up repairing a totally different noise that the customer wasn’t concerned about in the first place. That would be embarrassing…. not to mention a waste of time and money. Fortunately the Technician and the customer heard the noise before even leaving our parking lot.

The next step was to get a look at the suspension and brakes. After a short inspection the Technician found that while the brakes were new and installed correctly, the bearing that the brakes auto repair west springfield mamount to was literally falling off the vehicle. It was only held on by the axle nut. Which means that the entire front left wheel was only held on by the same nut.

Dodge Suspension Repair

Since the wheel was already off for the inspection this Dodge Wheel Bearing Repair was actually pretty simple. We just unbolted the old bearing and bolted a new one in place. Seeing as how the repair was unexpected this customer wasn’t financially prepared for the repair. Fortunately he was able to take advantage of our 90 Day 0% Payment Option for Auto Repairs.

The customer was in and out within a couple of hours and his repair came with our 3 year 36,000 Nationwide Warranty. When asked why he didn’t call us first he said “I thought it was going to cost more using a shop, looks like I was wrong.”


best auto mechanic west springfield ma best car dealership west springfield ma best auto sales west springfield maI’m literally blown away by the service! From how nice everyone was when I called, to the guy going for a ride with me, to the speed of the repair. This is the old school service I’ve been looking for! I’m still just in awe. I made a mistake trying to cut corners and have a friend help me. It ended up costing me an extra week and an extra $200 to do it my way. Precision had me fixed up in under 2 hours.

K. Jenson

West Springfield, MA

Fighting coronavirus in west springfield ma

Fighting CoronaVirus

Precision Auto Repair helps fight the CoronaVirus

The CoronaVirus is on everyone’s mind these days. Here at Precision Auto Repair we understand the fear many of you have. We have had several meetings with our staff members and local Doctors to make sure that we are taking all the proper steps to fight the virus.

We have taken aggressive steps to prevent the spread of any bacteria by sanitizing all highly touched building surfaces multiple times a day. Followed by a deep cleaning once a day. We then have logs available to the public showing what was cleaned and at what time. These logs are posted on all entrances and bathroom doors to ensure easy visibility.

Not only are all of our Technicians now required to wear a fresh set of gloves each time they handle your keys or get into your car, we will now make sure that we not only clean but also disinfect all areas of your car that we come in contact with. While also making sure that your car is cleaned and sanitized before it’s returned to you.

Deep Cleaning of Your Vents

We are also offering a deep cleaning of your vehicle’s air conditioner and heater vent system. This is an area where bacteria can grow, if untreated. We are offering this service to anyone at our cost. In general, this service takes about 30 minutes. No profit will be made as we will be doing this as a public service. 

In addition, if you’re staying home and need service performed on your car, we will gladly pick it up and make sure it’s cleaned and sanitized before it’s returned.

For more information please call 413.363.0306. To schedule, please click here.

We care about you, and want you to be as healthy as possible to fight this, and any virus.

James Stephenson / President, Precision Auto

Precision Auto Repair Boys Under The Hood

Boys Under The Hood – Banana Milk and Ferrari’s

WANT MORE BOYS UNDER THE HOOD?James Stephenson Precision Auto Repair Boys Under The Hood

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Please note that this is an automated transcription, there may be some spelling and grammatical errors

Speaker 1 (00:00):
And now, Boys Under The Hood with James Stephenson and Pat Kelly. Welcome to Boys Under The Hood. Pat Kelly along with James Stephenson, owner of Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield, Massachusetts. We’re here to talk about cars, car issues. If your Car is making a weird noise, you have questions about a repair that just had just got done with your shop. That’s what we’re here for and we’re taking your questions at or Boys Under The Hood on Facebook. Just search us and you’ll find James there. What’s going on, man? All right, man. How’s your how’s your week going so far? So far, so far so good, man. Nothing. Nothing’s bad bad’s popped up. I mean, Valentine’s day can be a little bit stressful. I saw a thing earlier about how couples who have been together for six months, they spend an average of $700 on each other. How many they, how much they spend after 10 years. Well, that’s nothing. That’s, that was the other thing. It’s funny you mention that because after 10 years it drops down to $68.

Speaker 1 (01:00):
What did you want? What’d you get for Kim? Anything extravagant? I haven’t gotten a thing. I tried to make a reservation and I did it late in the place that I called. Said they didn’t have a dinner reservation until nine o’clock and I’m not having a nine o’clock dinner. So Kim is going to hear the same words that she heard last year. Would you like to supersize that? Did she like her meal last year? She did the little toy in it like that. Good times. Awesome man, that sounds fun. You might have clocks. That’s late though. I tried to, I get the early bird, you know, like I’m, I’m asleep by eight 30 – 9 o’clock. Me also, you know, cause we get up early. Yeah. Right. And I, I’ve read something last week that said, you know, now is the time to make your reservation. I’m like, yeah, right.

Speaker 1 (01:41):
I’ll just wait until days before. Yeah, I’m not, yeah, we’re making a reservation for Saturday actually to try to just get around all of it. So yeah, it’ll be cool. Well that’s good. We’ll be in we’ll be in Florida, Florida for Valentine’s day. What are you doing? We’re going to go. So Nicole’s dad lives down there, so we’re going Orlando. We’re gonna take a flight down and hang out for the weekend and then you know, school vacations a little bit of next week. So take the girls down there. We’re going to go to Disney for a day and everything like that. It should be pretty nice. Welcome to Boys Under The Hood. If this is your first time listening to us. Thanks for downloading us. Spread the word please. We’ve got a new episode every week. James Stephenson owns Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield and we take car care questions.

Speaker 1 (02:24):
Let’s dive in. Shall we? Perfect. Dan from Elgin, Illinois drives a 2002 Ford F-150. Dan writes, my family’s been using the same mechanic forever, but I feel like there has to be a better way. Point being, I can bring my car there for an issue. Then they tell me what it is. Then they send me to go get my own parts. Then I bring them the parts and they fix it. Problem here other than the inefficiency is that a part went bad and I was stranded so I had to use another shop. They said my mechanic put the part in wrong and the parts store says the same thing, but my mechanic says I bought a cheap part. Okay, not sure how to handle this. What kind of a mechanic diagnosis is a problem then sends you to the parts through to get the bar.

Speaker 1 (03:08):
I think that’s the first red flag really is just the shop’s using, I don’t know if they’re just starting out or what the problem is, but that would probably be the first red flag for me. Like I’ve got some painting going on at the house right now. If the painter called me and said, Hey, did you go pick up the paint yet? No, I hired a painter! I want the job done. You know, it should be the same thing for auto repair. You know, you should be able to go to a shop. They should be able to tell you what’s wrong with the car, how long it’s going to take, how much it’s going to cost, take care of the job, and then you know, if something went wrong then you know they would ultimately take care of it. So I think that for me, I would probably be a little bit leery of a shop that says that you have to provide your parts. You know, common sense is going to dictate that you know, everybody else can’t be wrong.

Speaker 1 (03:55):
Right? So if everybody else is saying that, Hey look, this thing is put in wrong and you know, it’s a faulty part, whatever, I don’t know. We would just at at, you know, my shop, we would want to eliminate any of that finger pointing. And the easiest way to do that is just, we don’t take customer supplied parts at all for any reason. You know, because you can’t guarantee that the customer ain’t got the right part. Right. Because they may get up a wheel bearing, but a one has Antilock Brakes and one doesn’t. So maybe they get the cheaper one because it doesn’t have antilock Brakes and now you’ve got, you know, light on the dash or you can’t now the cars apart and it’s just sitting on the lift. So there’s a lot of different variables there. And aside from that, yeah, I mean you can’t control quality when the customer, you know, brings their own stuff in.

Speaker 1 (04:35):
Right. And so the, the restaurant, right. What if they said, yeah, we can take it at nine o’clock and you know, you just need to bring your meal with you. They would just would never happen. You know what I mean? You bring the steak, we’ll cook. Yeah, yeah, we’ll cook it anytime you want to show up sometime around nine, we’ll have a table for you. Just bring your beer and bring your you know, stop it at, you know, whatever the supermarket would be and take care of that before you get here. That would be insane. Right. It’s hard to complain about the toughness of a steak if you’re picking it out and then they’re cooking it. Right. I’m with you, man. I like, and maybe putting them on a hook is the wrong way to put it. But I like putting businesses on the hook, especially people who know more than I do, pay them to do the job right.

Speaker 1 (05:13):
And that way if something goes wrong, you know who to go after at least and say, Hey, let’s go man. I think I think it’s, I think it’s it would be crazy. I just wouldn’t do it. You know, you’ve got a roofer coming over, he tells you to go buy the shingles, you know? Aw man. Like I hired, I hired you to do a job. You know, you just would never, it’s crazy that sometimes the, the things that some are realistic, right? Sometimes the things that people would, would say or think that they can, should be doing in an auto repair shop, you know, cause there’s so much misinformation out there, but you know, if you can save a few bucks and that’s the, the amount of nonsense that you would want to deal with, then great. Then go ahead and you can do that.

Speaker 1 (05:53):
It’s totally up to you. How much leg work you want to do, but I can tell you that if I just paid for a part and I paid for somebody to put it in and it failed, I’m not telling you I’m going to be mad because it would fail. Right. Cause I understand things happen. But then from there people judge you more on how you handle your mistakes and you’re pointing fingers at this one and everybody else’s. But you know it just, I don’t want to deal with a lot of nonsense. Right. I want to bring it there, I want to get it fixed and I want to be done with it and if something fails then I want to just bring it back and I want to be done with it. Right. Does that make sense? Yeah, it does. Perfect. You’re listening to the Boys Under The Hood.

Speaker 1 (06:25):
James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield joins us. You can send your questions to or just search boys under the hood on Facebook and submit your questions there before we get to the next question. Here we are in February. What are some common things that you see at the shop? I mean we’re in new England so you know, we haven’t really had all that much like cold, you know, but the first thing that we start to see going into fall is my Tire Pressure Light came on. Right. Cause you know, as it gets a little bit colder about every 10 degrees you lose maybe about one pound of pressure. So you start to get that stuff right. Tom Brady wasn’t in your garage deflating your tires. Right. They just, they typically just tend to get a little bit lower and pressure aside from that, when we start seeing now is a lot of actually overheating.

Speaker 1 (07:10):
Once it starts getting a little bit colder, even though we haven’t really had that. But you see a lot of overheating, which sounds crazy because it’s so cold you shouldn’t Overheat. But what happens is this cold new England weather, it’ll kind of exploit weaknesses and cars and you know, create cooling system leaks or you know, just exploit a leak that was already there. It will make things a lot worse. We see a lot of that. When you see snow and ice and things like that, which we didn’t see a lot of. You’ll typically find that people are sliding into curbs and no starts right batteries when they get really, really cold, some of them can fail and just a lot of these different little things like that. But we just haven’t seen a lot of that seasonal stuff this year cause we haven’t had that frigid cold, cold weather or that would create a lot of these problems.

Speaker 1 (07:52):
So it’s good for the consumer, you know, for sure. Thank you for joining us today for boys under the hood. You can send your questions into the boys’ under the hood website. It’s or to search Boys Under The Hood on Facebook and please spread the word to your friends. You can download the Boys Under The Hood podcast wherever you find your favorite podcasts. Our next question comes from Sam in Elmira, New York. Sam drives a Mercedes Benz E350 nice car. And Sam writes, I got this warranty when I bought my car like a month ago. Now there’s a problem with the engine and the warranty company says they can’t pay for it because I haven’t gone in for normal service, but I’ve only had the car for about 60 days. So I haven’t even had a chance to get service yet. It’s not due.

Speaker 1 (08:33):
The warranty company also said that the shop would need to take the Engine apart to find out the problem, but the shop says they already know that the engine is bad. Somebody has got to steer me in the right direction here. James. All right, so I mean, there’s a couple of answers to this, right? So first, I never really recommend these aftermarket warranties. I think that for the cost of them, I think that you know, when you purchase the car, if you’re able to put that 2,500 or $3,000 into a, some type of, you know, maybe an investment account or something like that where you could pull the money back out without penalty being like a money market account or something like that, you’re probably better served than putting all of that money into a warranty and then paying interest on that because most people will roll it into the car loan and then they’re going to pay anywhere between three and six, seven, eight, 10, 12, depending on how bad your credit is, right?

Speaker 1 (09:25):
Percent on, on top of that. So I personally don’t, I just don’t like them. Right? I, most insurance companies, their job is to not pay claims, right? They make money by not paying claims. They don’t make money by paying them out. So they want to find a reason not to pay the claims. And it’s really in this situation for you, Sam, you’re going to want to try to find you know, find your rep, right? And call them up and say, Hey, look, explain the story to them because you might’ve just gotten whoever you, you call them, that might not help. So you might have to run it up the ladder. From there, I would go back to the, the dealership that you bought it from that sold you the warranty. And I would tell him, Hey, look there, they’re not willing to honor this thing and here’s why, you know, and they might be able to give you some records based on when they had the vehicle and they serviced it and that might suffice.

Speaker 1 (10:12):
But what you’re describing, I’ve personally never seen only with people that have had vehicles a much longer time. Let me kind of elaborate on that. Your, your 60 days in your warranty probably went 30 or 60 days. You have a problem, right? So your initial warranty went 30 or 60 days through the dealer, 100% free if something went wrong, as long as it’s a covered component. Now they’re saying 60 days has gone by, they’re not gonna cover it because you don’t have maintenance records. It’s asinine. It just wouldn’t, doesn’t make sense. The dealership might be able to help you with that. If not, you’re going to probably want to run that up the ladder cause it sounds like you have a very valid concern. Now as far as it goes for you know, them tearing the vehicle down. That is correct. A warranty company will want to know exactly what part or parts have failed inside the engine.

Speaker 1 (10:59):
And then from there they can determine, you know, kind of why it failed if they’re willing to cover it or not. And sometimes they’ll have a list of what they’re willing to cover inside the engine should something fail. So no, do they cover the labor that it takes to take an engine apart and put it back together? And that’s a a potential problem that, that Sam can run into because they could tear the, he could bring it to to right. Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield. Right, right. And we could tear the engine apart and we figured out exactly what failed. And let’s just hypothetically say it took us 10 hours to remove the engine, tear it apart, itemize everything. Now we still have to call the warranty company. They send out an adjuster, the adjuster comes out, he determines, okay, the engine has failed, but it’s not a covered part.

Speaker 1 (11:42):
After 10 hours of service, after 10 hours of service, now the customer, the warranty company will tell the shop you need to get the customer to authorize the 10 hours. Should the insurance company not not cover it, The customer will be responsible. Okay. And at that point, the customer can be responsible for that. You know, it’s not the shop’s fault, right? The shop knew what was wrong in the first couple of minutes, right? Some, some engines, you hear them knocking and rapping and you know that they’re bad incident. You know what you’re going after. No need to go further on this one. You know what I mean? We, we’ve heard enough of it, you know but I can understand the warranty’s point of view or you know, the warranty company’s point of view. But from the customer’s point of view, if I paid $3,000 for a warranty, it took 10 hours to take it apart.

Speaker 1 (12:22):
And the shop calls me and says, Hey look, warranty company’s not gonna pay for this thing and you know, we need you to now pay us this 10 hours in the engine’s entirely apart and out of the vehicle. You bet your butt I’m going to be, I’m going to be upset. I would be hot at the shop. You know what I mean? It’s not the shop’s fault. No, it’s my own fault. I bought that silly warranty. Now certified pre owned warranties are something that you would buy when you purchase. Sometimes like a, a lightly used off lease vehicle. Those are, those are great. That’s just an extension of your Factory Warranty. Those are, those are good. It’s these aftermarket ones that you want to stay away from. I’m glad you brought up the part about insurance companies not wanting to pay and I don’t want to cast a blanket over the whole industry, but we see these commercials on TV, right, of insurance companies.

Speaker 1 (13:03):
They look so helpful until you file a claim. No. And then I see that out of experience. I remember I totaled the car a long time ago and I actually rolled it into a salt Marsh. So salt water got up all into the engine, all into the components and a lot of body damage. They wanted to fix it. I’m like, I don’t want it fixed. Like I’ll never be the same. Don’t bother. Like, right. Because there was saltwater in the engine. So you know, you’ve got all those connections under your floor mat and computers and all that, stuff like that. That really adds up very quickly when you get a vehicle that’s been in some type of a flood, nevermind, you know, saltwater and everything when they had hurricane Katrina and AEs, you know, unfortunate natural disasters, you start to see a slew of these cars making their way, you know, North to us that have had significant water damage.

Speaker 1 (13:55):
You know, and some will show up on say like a Carfax or something like that, but others don’t, you know, and it’s up to the buyer to ultimately, you know, kinda discover that stuff. It’s it’s crazy, you know, but that, like you said, that’s, I would rather him total the car to know. Thank you for listening to boys under the hood today with us. If you’re a first time listener, thanks for the downloads. Please spread the word. We’re trying to spread it. You can send your car questions to or just search Boys Under The Hood on Facebook and submit your questions there. James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield, Massachusetts joins us each week and we tackle different car issues. How many chickens do you have now at your house? We have about nine, nine chickens and, and so I know nothing about chickens.

Speaker 1 (14:39):
So there’s a hen and a rooster and we have just hands. Okay. Because if you have a rooster, then he’s going to want to have the, who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy with another chicken. And then they have eggs, right? Obviously suddenly the eggs are fertilized, right? So we have just hens, so they lay unfertilized eggs so we can eat them plus roosters are rude. Really? Like they’re bad. Yeah, they’re mean. It’s that they’re not making love when a rooster and a hen, you know, does their thing, cause they just, they scream in the morning, they’re there. Cock-A-Doodle-Doo they got a claw, the claw them, they, it’s, they Peck them. It’s not plow really. And plus they’re annoying in the morning like that too. And this time of year, the chickens, they kind of eased back when it gets cold and the days get shorter. We only get like one to two eggs a day, you know, once it’s warm, six, seven, eight eggs every single day. And it doesn’t sound like it’s a fun per chicken or accumulative [inaudible] all of them, like one, one each basically. And it doesn’t sound like fun either because you’ll hear them out in the hen house going right.

Speaker 1 (15:44):
They hate it. Oh my God. Well how can you imagine laying an egg? No, me either. I would lay one and be like, okay, I’m, I’m probably done with this. How do we go see a chicken doctor or something to get fixed? I don’t know how that would happen, but what else? You have to get the two dogs. Yeah, we got the dogs get along with the chickens. Oh no, they would love to get a hold of the chickens. They’re border collies. They know we got the dogs fenced in. They would love to spend some time with the chicken legs and there wouldn’t be a very long relationship with the eggs. All the eggs, aren’t you? You gave us some eggs before. I think Nicole 8:00 AM. I didn’t eat them. They’re awesome. They’re they’re more tasty. They’re like orange. The, the yolk is like orange ish and they’re much bigger.

Speaker 1 (16:28):
Like you go to the store, get jumbo eggs. Those are like the smallest eggs that we get from our chickens. Our eggs are huge. Oh wow. So, and I, I can taste the difference and it’s kind of love having them around. Like it’s kind of a neat hobby. You don’t have to do a whole lot with them. Just got to close them in at night and feed them during the day and walk them through the day. And they seem like they’re happy to me. Hope a Fox doesn’t get to him. Nah. That’s another story. We’ve, we’ll save that for another day, but when we’ve had issues, forgetting to close the chickens and then the door’s left open and then some things like, Hey, Oh, live chickens. Those things we’ll dig under the fence to, to get to the chickens. Oh yeah. Yep. They’ll do whatever they can do to get in. Wow. Maybe we should talk more about cars and less about chickens. I watched a movie last night for Ford versus Ferrari. Have you seen that yet? Is that a movie? Yeah. Yeah. It’s a movie. It’s gotten Matt Damon and then a Batman. Batman’s in it. Like the real Batman now. No. Michael Keaton. No, no, no, no, no. He’s not. I don’t consider George Clooney a real Batman. No, he’s not. No, absolutely not. Michael Keaton was the real bad and Christian bale, Christian bale, I thought wasawesome.

Speaker 1 (17:33):
I’m not wearing a hockey mask. What did he say to those guys? I don’t even know who those kids, the guys on the roof dressed up as him. I’m not wearing hockey pads. Yeah, that’s what he said. That should be in like a, a billionaire. He just went out and just beat the crap on criminals all day long. How cool that be. Love that. I get you jacked up. Have you heard, would you, have you ever driven a Ferrari? I mean so I’ve driven a couple. I have some friends that have some. I, I don’t know. I don’t think I would ever buy one. It doesn’t [inaudible] what would you, would you ever buy one? Why would you want, and of course I’m not judging anybody. Some people like the thrill of having this stuff, but if I had a car that really performs its best at 200 miles an hour, where am I going to drive that thing in the USA?

Speaker 1 (18:18):
Anywhere you want. You can’t beat the radar though. That’s right. You can’t beat the radar. Yeah, I don’t know. I just think that I would be so worried going anywhere you don’t like when do you take it? Do you just take it on a drive? Cause then you don’t want to put miles on it depreciates. Right, right. You know, it’s kind of a, I don’t know. I, I don’t think I would want it to you. What are you gonna to spend $200,000 on one of those things about the raid around there. Yeah. So you spent $200,000. You want to buy a used one right year or two old. So you let somebody else take the, the other hundred thousand dollar hit on the thing and then you can’t even drive it. It just sits there. I don’t know man. I get it like from a collector standpoint, like just to pull it out and, and you know, if you want to be a big shot or whatever, I totally get that part.

Speaker 1 (19:00):
But for me, this guy, I wouldn’t buy a car that, like I said, that performs like 185 miles an hour. Where the hell am I going to drive that in my neighborhood? You could, once you know how fast you can get to the store and get some banana milk, that’s a straight shot right down the middle. My three song metal straight shot. I want to mention the second I want to mention this. If for for you listening right now, if in your area you can find banana milk, it’s served bananas, makes it, they make the chocolate banana milk as well. It will change your life. How will actually give you $1,000 if you can find some and mail it to us. That is not true at all. I’m not paying anyone, but they stopped carrying it around here and it kind of hurt our relationship a little bit early on.

Speaker 1 (19:46):
James and I, we weren’t talking for a couple of weeks, sir. Bananas was was it’s excellent if you haven’t had banana milk. It’s a, it’s like the consistency of milk. It’s a liquid, but I don’t know how much milk you would get from a banana. Bananas are pretty dry. It’s banana flavored milk. It’s, it’s not like, Oh no. I thought it was real bananas just squished up. No. Yeah. Yeah. The, the milk, the bananas, banana like almond milk. Almonds are pretty dry and I hate to even envision that somebody milking a banana. That stuff is a, it’s excellent. I enjoy it. I love it too. They got chocolate and then just a straight up, you know, straight up banana. You don’t, I love to do with it too. When we had it is the chocolate. If you put a little bit of vanilla ice cream with that in a blender and mix that up. Yeah. You pronounced Kahlua wrong.

Speaker 1 (20:37):
Thank you for listening to Boys Under The Hood. James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield joins us every week and appreciate you listening today. Please spread the word on our podcast. Tell your friends you can download Boys Under The Hood wherever you get your podcasts. Send your questions into us at boy’s under the hood. Dot biz or search boys under the hood on Facebook and find us there. Kelly and East long meadow drives a Subaru Baja. Kelly writes, I’m looking for a car to buy my daughter to give her for graduation when she goes to college. And I feel that a four wheel drive might be best for new England weather. You’re right. Problem that I have a, I only have $5,000 to spend every four wheel drive I find needs a ton of work. Then the cars in that range are really hairy too. What should I do or know about this?
Speaker 1 (21:26):
And can you recommend a place for me that’s a tough price point for a four wheel drive. Really tough price range, you know, especially four wheel drive, right? You know, I think, I think, but what we typically find with cars in that price range is that you’re, you’re going to have to sacrifice something, right? So you’re going to have to sacrifice body, like so appearance, right? Aesthetics, right? It’s going to be dinged up, scratched up. Maybe it’s got a little bit of rust on it or something like that, right? In new England. Or you’re, you’re going to typically find that you maybe have some type of a mechanical issue. Stuff that’s on the horizon, you’re not going to get that long term solution like you’re looking for. It’s just a very difficult price range. I don’t know. I, I think if it were me and I was buying a car in that price range for, you know, a young girl, young boy, whatever son, daughter I would probably look at maybe just front wheel drive that might open up your your, your search a little bit.

Speaker 1 (22:21):
And it’s probably going to be a little bit less expensive as well. You know, given, given that $5,000 budget. But if it’s me, I’m probably gonna take cosmetic stuff over mechanical issues really any day of the week unless I have, you know, a relative that unfortunately passed and I can, you know, get a hand me down car. You know, if you’re getting a four wheel drive vehicle, you want the four wheel drive is the most important part of it. Especially here in new England. You never know what’s going to happen. Like, so we, last week we were up around 50. We’ve, we’re looking at snow into another 20 degree day. Tomorrow tomorrow is, yeah. Oh boy. I can’t wait for that. That’s really exciting. Thanks for, thanks for letting me know. You’re going to love that Florida trip, Valentine’s weekend, aren’t you? It should be nice.

Speaker 1 (23:03):
We’re, we’re all very excited. But you know, I don’t know. I, I think if it was me, I think that’s what I would do. I’d probably try to broaden my search a little bit. And then from there, whatever it is that you find you know, you can take it into us at Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield or you know, whatever other shop that you feel comfortable with. There’s a lot of really good shops out there, but just make sure that you have like a, a certified licensed actual repair facility. Take a look at that vehicle, whatever it is. Don’t take somebody’s word for it. Especially if you’re buying it from Pat. Right. You don’t, Pat tells ya everything’s good. I just, I just had it serviced. He’s lying. He didn’t, he didn’t do that. Wow. That’s a harsh look. I had that same experience I just picked up my Tacoma.

Speaker 1 (23:44):
Yeah. And there was a couple issues I could feel that the steering was tight to begin with, but before I gave the guy a penny, I brought it over to your shop, you put it on a lift, checked it out. Most of it checked out and there was like, we had a minor thing with the steering, but then he had it repaired and we’re fine, but that’s how it should be. It is how it should be. You know, if you’re trying to purchase a car and they say, no, you’re you, you can’t take it to a another shop. You can’t take it somewhere that, you know, the car can’t leave our, our care and control or whatever it would be. Just walk away from the car right there. You should be able to get that vehicle inspected by, you know, somebody totally impartial that knows what they’re talking about.

Speaker 1 (24:22):
Before you would purchase that thing and then should again, you have a problem. You can go back and say, Hey, look, you know, how come you didn’t see this? How come you didn’t know that the tires were bald? How you didn’t know that there was a suspension issue or the exhaust was falling down or you know, whatever you know, could potentially happen. So if it’s me, I’m in that price range, I’m probably gonna open up my search a little bit, right? I’m gonna try to take some options away maybe. And then and definitely 100% have a licensed repair facility. Take a look at it before, you know, and it may be, it may cost you a hundred, 120 bucks, 150 depending on the shop that you go to, but it’s going to be well worth it. You’re going to save all of that in the long run with, you know, less headaches.

Speaker 1 (25:01):
You’re listening to the Boys Under The Hood Podcast. Appreciate you joining us today. Please spread the word if you’ve got a question about car repairs or an issue about your financing or your dealings with your mechanic, send the questions into us or a search Boys Under The Hood on Facebook. I’ve got a question for you because I’ve seen this new business now where you basically go online, tell them what kind of car you’re looking for and they deliver the car to you. Have you seen this? Yeah. How do you w my first thought was who in their right mind would buy a car without driving it? A lot of people, really, a lot of people and I, I’m not exactly sure of all the details how that works, but I think they give you like a week and they let you drive the vehicle around for a week and make that determination whether you want to, to purchase it or not.

Speaker 1 (25:53):
I’ve heard some positives from people that have had some good experiences and I’ve heard some like negatives, very, very real, very serious negatives about them. But you know, I, I don’t really have any experience with them. With that, I know that I got like, I’ve got to touch the car, see the car, feel the car, look around, like, you know what I mean? I got to get into it. It’s a, a car is a terrible investment to begin with. You know, like why rush it and make that terrible investment even worse, you know? So I’ll throw this out there. If anyone’s had an experience with that service send us an email, drop us a message, a boy’s under the We’d be interested to know what your experiences, but I, if they do offer the week, I like that. I mean hopefully he’ll, depending on how happy they are to get the car back, I don’t know how that process goes, but now that’s making more sense to me because I didn’t know that they gave you like some time to drive it around or whatever.

Speaker 1 (26:43):
I know one person that actually returned the car and from what she said it was semi painless. But yeah, I mean if, if any of the listeners have experiences, please, you know, let us know so that you know, we can form a more educated opinion about it because I don’t, you know, the other thing too, sometimes you hear people complain about something and their, their complaints are are just a little bit of actually what happened. And then the rest of it is all made up details that they have in their, in their head. Right. You know, so who knows what actually happened, right? There’s three sides to every story. So, you know, we’d, we’d like to hear it from a couple more people. You know what they think about that every week. James Stephenson, owner of Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield, Massachusetts. And I present a new episode of Boys Under The Hood.

Speaker 1 (27:28):
I’m Pat Kelly and Kelly the chicken harvester. Pat Kelly, Kelly chicken harvester, Pat Kelly, the chicken harvester. That’s my experience in Auto Repairs. If you’ve got a question about chicken, sends it in and we might address this here on poison at the hood. But don’t ask me about cars one time Pat put gas in his car all by himself. One time. One time, just one time. And then it was diesel and I put it into a gas car. That’s how that worked out for me. I should call it diesel diesel. What do you call it? Diesel. There’s no Z in that word. Diesel. Diesel. Diesel. Ah, ah, go on for days. You know, we could Derrick diesel, Derrick, Derrick from fear of battery. Duracell, Duracell there. It takes, it only takes Duracell. I’m going to Duracell battery. That’s fine with you. Let’s get back to our questions here. This is our final one of today’s podcast.

Speaker 1 (28:15):
Derek from Fairfield, Connecticut drives a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. Derek rates, my car was overheating, so I brought it to a shop. They said a sensor and a Thermostat were bad when they replaced them. They said that they then drove it further and they found that the Water Pump was also bad but not leaking or causing the overheating. Shouldn’t they cover this? I was fine with the first stuff, but I feel like I said yes to the water pump. Next, it would be the whole engine. Any height Z will happen if I don’t replace it. So let me just be clear. So they said that something wrong with the Water Pump, but there’s really no symptoms that there’s anything wrong with the water pump. Water pumps can fail without leaking the they spin. There’s a bearing inside there. The bearing can fail. It can start actually leaking right through there.

Speaker 1 (29:00):
The bearing can also fail in a way that it actually locks up. And what that does is, so some, some water pumps are driven by something called a Timing Belt, right? A vehicle has to run in time. And what that means is the upper end of the engine and the lower end of the engine, two separate pieces or in some cases three separate pieces or whatever. But just for argument sake, two separate pieces will run in perfect sequence and those, that upper end and the lower end are attached by in some cases a rubber belt or a chain. Okay. On some cars the water pump is actually driven by that Timing Belt or Timing Chain. If it were to lock up and, and fail, you’d have yourself a very, very large problem there. Catastrophic new engine problem. Yeah, exactly. Some are external meaning that all the belts and everything that you see in there that make your steering nice and easy, right?

Speaker 1 (29:51):
You have power steering runs your AC Compressor. So you have that nice cool, you know, air, you know, works your defroster or alternator works. So you’ve got power when the vehicle is running. If that alternate are, sorry. If the old water pump were to fail, that bearing where to lock up, it could destroy that belt. It could leave you totally stranded, you know, so if they’re telling you it’s bad, you know, you want to figure out why it’s bad and you know, make sure that they know that it is and it’s not just a another pulley or attention or something right next to it. Cause sometimes things will in noises, vibration, right? Man, a lot of these engines are all some sort of form of metal, aluminum, steel, whatever. And everything’s all bolted up to the same stuff. So sometimes noise being that is just vibration will transfer from one component to the other.

Speaker 1 (30:33):
So in some cases you can get tricked a little bit as long as they’re sure that that’s what it is. They removed the belt, they felt the pulley. They, you know what I mean? They, they, they took it all apart, they grabbed the pulley and they kind of spin it back and forth. So you can feel for any movement or roughness in that bearing. As long as they properly inspected it and you’re, you’re confident with their decision, then fine. But I don’t think that they should pay for something else additional that’s wrong with your vehicle. Especially if it didn’t cause the vehicle over heat. And in some cases maybe even if it caused the vehicle over heat, you probably would still pay for it. Right. But let me explain why. In some cases, some repairs are like onions. You have to peel back the layers.

Speaker 1 (31:10):
In this case, I can’t really tell you why they said that or whatever, but it doesn’t sound crazy to me that the water pump is bad. Just make sure it is. And in any case, if you are not like onboard with everything and they haven’t explained it to you perfectly so that you fully understand it, you know, there’s no harm in getting a second opinion or even having that shop give you pictures, videos, walk you out to the car. Just say, Hey, look, I’m at work right now. I want to come down and see the car so you could show me what you’re talking about. Shop should, should do that. If they try to mask it. Oh, I don’t want to show ya. We don’t have time for that. There’s no need to, they’re offended by it. Yeah. I don’t know. Maybe it’s time for a new shop.

Speaker 1 (31:50):
You know, we have people all the time that come in, we send them videos, we send them pictures. And in a lot of cases, if the customer’s there, we’ll just walk them right out and show them exactly what’s going on with the vehicle because it’s, it’s better that the customer understands exactly what is being replaced and why and why it failed. Right. And educated customers, a happy customer so they can make a very informed decision as to what they need to do or not do. In this case, it just sounds like maybe they’re not fully informing you, if that makes, you know. And just in, in fairness to shops, and this is a theme that you’ve talked about here. Sometimes you need to do some exploration to find out what the real problem is. You, you’ve got a problem right in front of you and you fix that and you’re like, Oh, that affected this thing and then that affected this thing.

Speaker 1 (32:37):
I think a lot of people look at that and be like, Oh, the mechanic’s trying to screw me over. But it’s really the nature of the beast that you’ve got to dig into it. And like you said, kind of peel back the layers of the onion. Yeah, exactly. I mean, and that could be at too, in this case, Derek, it really sounds like the shop has kind of not failed you in terms of repair but failed you in terms of communication. Right. Maybe because it said it wrong or it could, could be any of that stuff, you know, but they should explain it to you. They should show you, you should leave their understanding what got done and why it got done and what you can do in the future to potentially prevent it. In this case, a water pump, they typically fail just because they, you know, it’s spinning all the time.

Speaker 1 (33:14):
The car is running however many miles you have on the car. That’s how long that thing’s been spinning. So sometimes they just fail. But the shop should really do a much better job for you, Derek, to, to, you know, I’m not saying it’s a bad shop or anything like that, you know, we don’t want to hate mail, but I’m just saying that maybe that, you know, maybe the shop could just do a better job explaining it, you know, or maybe you know, you just ask them, ask them a couple more questions. You know, cause most people don’t really want to know what the repair processes. They don’t want to know a whole lot of what’s going on and why it’s going on. It’s just, here’s my car, tell me how much it’s going to be and when I can get it back. You start explaining everything to them and they’re like, I know nothing about cars.

Speaker 1 (33:49):
I don’t want to know. I just need to know how much it is. We’ll see. That’s why. That’s why I love this that we do here. The Boys Under The Hood Podcast, when we first started this, I knew nothing about cars and just like as an average Joe, I get insight from it, from you, from having done this with you. I learned stuff and as a result of that I can, I can kind of pass it on to, you know, friends, people that I come in contact with who they’ve got an issue. And I said, I’ll say to them, well, you know, I talked to James about that just a couple of weeks ago. It might be this, you know, take it in, take, have a look at it. And I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about either though. So I wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t listen to me, but I’m not diagnosing you to ever.

Speaker 1 (34:25):
I always, I always point them to you. I’m not trying to be any part of a automobile repair. Yup. Well, I mean, I don’t know. Communication is key in any relationship. Right. And your, your relationship with your, your mechanic, automotive technician, whatever it would be, garage dealer, all that stuff is very important too. But you’re not going to have a long and lasting and strong relationship in any walk of life if there is no communication there. So just make sure you communicate with them and you know, I’m sure it’s on the shop send to, you know, it happens sometimes and it’s not intentional. It just things happen. You know. Thank you for joining us for today’s podcast. The Boys Under The Hood. I’m Pat Kelly, joined by James Stephenson, owner of Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Send your questions in and we’ll answer them right here on the podcast. is the website or if you just search Boys Under The Hood on Facebook to submit your questions. They’re awesome man. I feel like this is probably a probably the best show we’ve ever done in, in the history of really any podcast, the world. Yeah. I’ve really easily the world. I’ve taken that part out. Get out of here. Let’s see.

Boys Under The Hood Podcast 1/21/2020

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Transcription of Boys Under The Hood

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00:00                     And now Boys Under The Hood with James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield, MA and Pat Kelly. So James, how’s the shoulder doing man. It’s awful. It’s terrible. So if you missed it, James I guess it was about three, four weeks ago was visiting the Bronx zoo with his family and one of the one of the gorillas was able to get his arm through the cage and grabbed a little toddler. James flew into action, saved the kid, who is a little girl, I don’t know if the gorilla is still hurt, but in the process, you, you did something to your shoulder. I did. I put a beating on that girl. But that was a big gun. That was a big day. But even that kind of guy who steps up for that too. That was, yeah, that gorilla didn’t stand a chance. How’s it heeling up? As good as a shoulder surgery could, you know, I’m out of the sling finally so that’s, that’s good. Is there any support at all you have on it now that are just, no, just it’s, it’s normal now and there’s just just limited, just don’t, don’t move it a lot, you know. Cool.

We can continue to talk about that if you want. No, I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Good to keep talking going on about that. If you want or we could talk about your fire stick that has all the channels and every, does that pick up local all the local channels for you to or is it just the just the bigger games. Welcome to boys into the hood. James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield joins this every Tuesday morning at eight o’clock. And we take your car care questions a couple of ways you can get a hold of us and send the questions in on James’s Facebook page. and I also had someone email me, And that’s one of the questions we’re going to address today. So many ways you can get a hold of us if you old car questions. James is the expert man. He runs the business. So definitely send them into us. A lot of times too, what we do is we you know, we’ll get a lot of similar questions, you know, based on time of year, like, Hey, I’m tire pressure, right? My light came on, it’s gotten cold or something like that. So, you know, we’ll really try to target that type of question two, if we begin to get a lot of like bulk of one type of question. Does that make sense? Yeah. Oh yeah. You know, so yeah, I mean just ask, there is no such thing as a stupid question. We get people that even asked to just please, please don’t use my name cause I know that this is a dumb question.

02:05                     Don’t worry about it. We’ll won’t pick on you unless you’re rude and then maybe we will a little bit.

Our first question comes from Ellie in Hampden. Elliott, she maybe she drives a Toyota land cruiser. She’s chosen the Shriners hospitals for children as her charity. They’re doing just wonderful work. They’re very well done. Ellie writes, I’m new to maintaining my own car after losing my husband last fall to his personal trainer. Yikes. That’s a lot of information right off the bat. In a car and a car question, my brakes started making noise. So I took it into the shop he always used and they started asking me a ton of questions. I got so confused. I ended up leaving. My main question is about the Brake Rotor, which is the biggest cost. What is a machined rotor? Can all rotors be machined? And what determines if they can be machined?

02:59                     So this is the part that the Brake Pad pushes up against. If you look inside your your wheel, you to stand next to your car, look at your wheels. There’s like a, a big metal disc inside there and that’s called your Brake Rotor. Now when you step on the brake pedal that’s in the car, the Brake Pads press against that metal disc and that metal disc it just gets incredibly hot, right? Friction will create heat. So it just gets incredibly hot. Now that metal disc needs to be able to hold the pressure of that stopping force of the pads pushing against it. And it also needs to be able to dissipate that heat that the the Brake Pads and that friction will generate. So Brake Rotors have something called a minimum thickness. Okay. So what machining a rotor means is you’re basically just shaving down the outside edge of it to make the surface nice and new and clean. You want a nice true flat surface. Okay. So there’s a couple of other things you do. You measure the minimum thickness, but you also want to measure what something called runout, right? Every rotor, even though it’s perfectly true as it’s mounted on the hub. When you step on the brake and then the pedal releases, what actually pushes the caliper back, it’s, the rotor actually has a little bit of wobble, but it’s usually the way that the, the hub sits into the steering knuckle or spindle area. So everything all kind of sits in there and there actually is just a very, very minor wobbling. It’s called runout. Every car is supposed to have that. You don’t feel it, you don’t know it as you begin to drive the vehicle. And sometimes if you go, when you step on your brake and you feel the whole car begin to kind of shake, that’s something called excessive runout or a Brake Pulsation.

04:36                     So you would measure for run out and then you would measure a minimum thickness and then you would make just a very quick calculation to determine how much you have to shave that rotor down. And does it sit outside of the minimum thickness? Does that make sense? And what we’re talking about to quite literally shave it down. So if you, if you, if you look at like a record, an album, okay. And imagine that you’re looking across the top of it. There’s the little bumps on it. That’s what the process does. It shaves, literally shaves down those bumps to make it flat again. And the, exactly, something like more or less like that. Now if it, if it looks like a record, the surface, you’re going to hear that when you step on the brake. So it’s gotta be perfectly machine.

05:18                     So it looks almost like glass. It’s a perfectly smooth surface, but you’re, you’re 100% like the back side of a CD almost makes it a better analogy. Yeah, exactly. It just, it shaves it right down. It just takes off that top, top couple of layers. And then you’ve got your surface there. Replacing a rotor is just, you get a brand new rotor, you put it on the car. And you know, when we put rotors on cars, we’ll check them just for for that run out to make sure that that run out is within spec. Cause nothing worse than putting on a brand new rotor that’s got a pulsation already, you know, built into it. Now, some cars some cars actually don’t allow you to machine the rotors. They’re just called discard only white performance. You know, they’re, they’re already thin enough or they’re drilled or crossroad or slotted or something.

06:05                     You know, there’s all kinds of different, different reasons. But some manufacturers just don’t even want you to to machine them. They just want you to just replace them. So cause it used to be, it used to be a very common thing and they used to call it turning of the rotors turning. Yeah. And I remember like I remember seeing the machine it was on, it basically looked like a record player with the hard needle and it just slowly turns it. And as it turns it, the needle moves into the center and eventually it’s flat again. That’s it. But now, so are they thinner? Are they made thinner now? So that’s not as common or will be thinner? Yeah, I mean some, some will be thinner, some are just you know, just the, the way that they’re made you, you can never properly machine them.

06:43                     So some higher performance cars, they’ll have little holes all drilled in there. You can’t machine those, you know, the, the, you’d destroy the tip on the lave and would snag in it. It would just, it would, yeah. Would get caught. Cause you’re, you’re literally pressing that, you know, that tip of that lave into that. So you can grind down that surface. If there’s, you know, major imperfections or holes within it, you’re, you’re not going to be able to machine that. So, you know, some just want to make sure it’s a cleaner job, you know. Now is that something that a mechanic would know right away, whether they can be a good one? Yeah. A good one. Yeah. You know somebody on Facebook that has no idea about cars, but they’re just trying to give you advice cause they’re an expert on everything. They’re probably not gonna know.

07:26                     But somebody that has actual knowledge of a car can look all that stuff up too. Some are owners actually used to have the minimum thickness written right on there. You know, it’d be kind of stamped in there. But other than that, it’s very easy to find you know, any licensed repair facility that has the, you know, all of the proper specs and things like that, that we look up online. You would you’d be able to quickly find that that’s never been a problem. Determining that. It’s just,what’s the best course of action for the customer because you’re going to have a little bit more labor machining the rotor, but you’re gonna have the lower part cost or you’re going to have a higher part cost and then less labor if you replace the rotor.

08:05                     For me personally, I like replacing rotors. I think it’s a cleaner, better, easier to warranty job. It’s also faster, especially if the customer’s in a little bit of a hurry. Not to say that you don’t Machine Brake Rotors, but you don’t do it as much as you used to. Years ago. Like when I started working on cars, every Brake Job for the most part got machined, you know now it’s just, it’s not that way, you know? And then with the cost of rotors and everything coming down significantly over the years, it it really kind of the same. You know, you’re listening to the Boys Under The Hood. James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair is here every Tuesday morning at eight o’clock. Did you like the the egg carton that I propped the door with, so I was going to bring that up.

08:46                     That’s really nice. Yeah, it’s high tech. Is that like a two, two dozen carton? That was the most, that’s the big one. That’s a dozen and a half. One a dozen and a half. That’s a really, that was a professional carton. Well we need those when the chickens get crazy in the spring and summertime cause they just start popping off eggs everywhere. I don’t even know how they do cause it’s not a big animal. Yeah, right. I don’t you hear him in the hen house too. Like, you know when they’re laying an egg, it’s like [inaudible] and I’m like, you’re damn right. That hurts. Oh my God. I mean, come on. Can you integrate chicken? So the chicken sitting there just minding its own business, being a chicken, then all of a sudden it’s like, Oh, ah, but then every single day they just go crazy. Yeah. They just, I don’t know, man.

09:35                     They were watching the chickens hatch at the the biggie. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re wicked cute. The chicks have fewer things forever. Since I was a little kid, I go there, I’ll stand there for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, just waiting for one, you know, staring at an egg hole, like willing it to have a little bird pop out of it, lets you see the look for the first crack in it. Like that. That’s it. Then I’m there. I’m stuck. I don’t care what’s going on in the rest of the day. We’re gonna talk about the the chicken show. The it’s not the poultry, is it the poultry show? A show just of chickens, chickens and roosters and ducks. It really is, you know, your kids would love it. What do you do? You just walk around you. Are you buying chicken? Some chickens?

10:10                     Yeah. Some people sell their chickens, but a lot of them, I wouldn’t buy a chicken. I just go to your house and steal a couple more. Well, when it gets the kids closer, I’ll tell you about it. I went there, I went there last year and I couldn’t believe it that it was as big as it was hundreds of. And some of them, like some of the roosters, they stay like three feet tall. Dude. Really? You do not want to mess with some of these, these birds, but it’s your Brookie and Maddie would love it. They would be beside themselves. Oh yeah. It’s, it’s really, really interesting. I think you’re overestimating their attention span. [inaudible]

10:47                     Well maybe I am. You’re listening to your mom, man. We’d be in the parking lot just getting there and they’d be like, can we go to Chipolte now? Send your questions into us at Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield. Last week we received an email asking us to stop talking about the sales process for dealers. Mainly to stay away from talking about financing because this one salesman lost a commission when the buyer chose their own bank.

11:27                     So, yeah, I guess the what did we talk about? What was it that we talked about last week that this was not even know what I talked about today so far? You know, last week there was a question from a woman that was ultimately buying a car and we ended up segwaying into talking about, you know, how dealerships, if you go in there with cash, right, this isn’t, you know, the, the mid eighties anymore, a cash deal isn’t going to get you a cheaper price on a car. All right. So they actually, the dealership will make more money if you finance, right. Was the, the premise behind that conversation and since this guy is upset about it, I guess we could just talk about it again for those that didn’t, that didn’t hear it.

12:18                     So then if you go in and you buy a car years ago used to say, you know, well, what’s your, what’s your cash price? And you, you probably could get a cheaper price, but says also a tax implication there as well. So it used to be, Hey man, how about if I paid your cash and save the tax? And so then you’re counting on the other person to misrepresent what they sold at four. So because cash is not traceable, basically that’s the in and out. I don’t like to live in the shady world that you live in. And I like to think that the dealer would know that it was probably going to be an easier transaction now, the guaranteed sold unit. Now that would be the way that I would look at it, Patrick. But you know, you’re free to have your own, your own point of view on that.

12:56                     Judging. I just, I’ve, I’ve done cash transactions before. Absolutely. You know, the the, the, the dealership will make money on the financing and that’s not always a bad thing because in some cases there’ll be a promotional rate that will be less than you know, what you could get from your bank if your bank is at like 3%. Maybe this promotional rate is 0% or 1%. So it’s not evil to finance with a, a dealership. But you know the dealership, yes, they, they make money on the financing. They’ll make you know, a couple percent on the financing and on top of it they’ll try to sell something called gap insurance. So if you are trying to purchase a car and you basically don’t want to put any money down or you don’t have any money to put down you would purchase a gap, right?

13:41                     Because the second you register that brand new car, it’s going to lose what, like 15, 20% value. Then you drive down the street, somebody smashes into you and the car is only worth what it’s worth. So gap would cover the loan to value amount. Does that make sense? It does cause they’ll come after you for the extra money the insurance won’t cover. Right. And then the biggest scam out there is the not that gap, this or any of that stuff. It is a scam. It’s just this is the biggest scam probably in terms of car-buying is the aftermarket. Warranties just there. Just don’t buy them. They’re terrible. They’re absolutely terrible. You know, they, they limit what kind of parts can go in your car. So they only want some type of like lower quality aftermarket or used part. They don’t pay all of the labor in all cases.

14:26                     They just build ad it’s, it’s terrible. I’ve seen, we actually have one at our shop right now that’s been tied up for three weeks, three weeks, just sitting there waiting on an inspector. Three weeks. This customer is not allowed to drive the vehicle. They can’t take it. They can’t do anything. Right. Warranty company wants to make sure it’s in our possession the entire time and the customer can’t mess with it. Customer didn’t mess with it to begin with. They drove it, it broke, and now it’s sitting there for three weeks waiting for an inspector. I’d be crazy, right? Think about how you would feel if you just paid $3,000 for this warranty. I think this person’s had this car for about a year, paid $300 for this warranty. Now finally you need to go use it for a stupid issue and three weeks later you’re still waiting on an answer.

15:07                     And they’re not, you know, the warranty company hasn’t agreed to pay for anything. So this person now has this rental for three weeks waiting on approval. How much does the rental cost? I’m at 30 35 $40 a day or something. You know what I mean? That’s insane. That also speaks to, and let’s face it, that’s insurance, right? When you find that and that speaks to any insurance company and you see them on T V right? I’ll act in like they’re your friends. Oh, where are your buddy? Insurance companies do not stay in business paying out claims. Insurance companies make money by denying claims. It’s how they make money. Yeah. So don’t expect that when something happens that they’re going to show up at your house. You know, homeowners is a good example. If you have to file a homeowners claim, good luck to you. You better have everything documented.

15:48                     And I mean like your clothes, your belongings. And that’s why they say, you know, a good idea to kind of go around your house with a recorder and record your belongings so that if the time comes, God forbid it does, you’ll have proof for it because the last thing they want to do is pay out a claim. That’s a great tip. Go around and just record it periodically, once every couple months or something. I had some friends of mine, man, and they lost the house. Remember the tornadoes rolled through here, lost everything all the way down to the foundation and what they had to do to get their money back for their stuff cause they hadn’t documented their clothes, their stuff. You know, you got to do it. We had ’em so our building got hit directly. My, our old shop was in the footprint of the the MGM casino.

16:30                     Yes. So where that parking garage is, where you exit onto union street, that was where my my old shop was. And you know, obviously since torn down now that they couldn’t fit the building on top of him. Right, right. So thanks for that. But when we got hit by that tornado down there, my my experience actually was just the opposite. They the insurance, we got hit with a tornado on Wednesday, on Thursday, the adjuster came out to kind of take a, like a preliminary list, but we didn’t know what we had lost or had at all. And he just said, if you think you lost it, just write it down. He goes, if you didn’t, we can just deal with it later. Okay. So Friday I took an inventory. I had a check by Monday. Wow. Yeah. My first check by Monday, I don’t think they ever, like, they never gave us any pushback or anything like that.

17:14                     We provided receipts and then, you know, what we had or didn’t have or lost or was damaged or whatever. So, you know, I, I had a as good an experience as you could possibly have in such a bad situation. You know, job well done there by whoever the adjuster was because we use I don’t know who the adjuster was. Our agent really went to bat for us, Bob Proulx out of a Berkshire Insurance in Longmeadow. Great team over there. But yeah, I mean back to the back to the question. Yeah. I mean, you know, one of the ways that I will if I’m going to purchase a car and a, I’m going to finance, sometimes you’ll have rebates that are only available if you are to finance so you can get a cheaper price on the car that way.

17:59                     So there may be new car incentives or something like that. In that case, what I have done in the past is I will ultimately finance the car at that rate, get the cheaper price, and then you have like a 30 day period where you can’t pay off the car and then I’ll just pay it off after that, that period so that the dealership can get those rebates and everything. And then once the transaction is settled, so to speak, you can just pay it off that way if you want. If you’re, you know, if you’re purchasing a car in cash. Does that make sense? Does, you know? So take whatever they’re willing to give you, let them make their money however they need to and then, you know, just pay it off the way that you initially intended to. So, you know, dealerships aren’t evil.

18:36                     They’re, they got these big, huge places so that because they, they make money, you know you know, sometimes the rate can be, can be less, you know, at the dealership. If you need gap insurance, you honestly, you’re buying a car that you can’t afford. So you probably should just look at another car if you’re in a situation where you need gap and then the warranties just stay away from them unless they’re a, they’re certified pre owned. There’s a big difference there. The certified pre owned is essentially an extension of the factory warranty. And in some cases even better where the aftermarket warranties that you would buy from some bigger dealerships. But you know, mainly smaller dealerships, never use them. Never buy one, ever totally stay away from ’em. Just put maybe $20 a week aside into a savings account. And then if you don’t need the money to repair your car or if you need it, it’s there at some point and if you don’t need it then you just use it to go on a vacation or you use it for a down payment on the next one.

19:29                     Right. Boys Under The Hood. James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield sits across from me. I’m Pat Kelly, appreciate you joining us today and submit your car questions to or James’s Facebook page or however you can get them through as get them to us and we’ll answer them here on the radio. Let’s jump right back into it.

Denise in Longmeadow drives a Volvo XC 70. She’s chosen the Shriners hospitals for children. Denise writes, I was leaving my favorite restaurant the other night in Hamden and my check engine light came on. I was alarmed. So I called the repair shop the next day. I wanted to have it looked at but was appalled that they needed to charge me to look at the vehicle. Body shops never charged for repair estimates.

20:20                     They told me what was wrong and the, the car is broken. Even after fixing the car, what should I do now? They told me what was wrong. She was at, and the car is still broken. Hampden House, you ever go there? Oh yeah. At the eggplant tower. They do a nice job there, man. That thing will fatten you up. Nice. We went down there. We’re there for a thirsty, thirsty. I think we scared them and him that house. Yeah. This was a couple of years ago. It sure Lois. I mean we brought a ton of people so they, they had to be thrilled from that respect that it’s not sure if they were ready for the music to be blaring and they’re like that. But I love the Hampton house. LA Cucina. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. We go there a lot.

20:58                     I like it. They made great espresso martinis, spry espresso martinis. Real good. That’s the second time you you, you turn the whole conversation over to alcohol today. How are you doing? You all right? Long week already. A little bit shaky this morning. Honestly, I mean I’m not going to lie to you. Martin Luther King day is a like your st Patrick’s day. Yeah, that’s what it is. Yeah. That’s funny. So you know what Denise in the past eight months, one of the the, the most asked questions and we kind of touched on this earlier is why do people have to want to pay to have their car look that? And the reality is cause it’s expensive to, to have all of the equipment and training tools and everything that you need to be able to properly diagnose your car. Plus it takes time, right?

21:46                     So if you go to a body shop and you want an estimate on something or just going to do a visual inspection of it, okay. If the car is a got a scratch on the bumper of a newer car, it’s probably pretty easy to estimate that damage that you can physically see. Correct. An engine has about a thousand pieces to it. Okay. And you are now supposed to, as a technician, determine which one of those thousand pieces is malfunctioning internally causing a Check Engine Light, even though that part is internal as well. Right. How would you know that? No, you wouldn’t. You can’t see it. You know, and even even a, a, a diagnostic scan tool that maybe will put you in the area, but that’s not going to tell you exactly what’s wrong with it. There’s no such tool that exists. There’s no tool built in the world today that will tell you exactly what is wrong with your car by plugging it in.

22:41                     And it does not exist on any level of auto repair. Whether it’s basics or the best dealership around it just does not ignore it. It doesn’t exist. It’s nowhere. And that makes sense. I’m glad that she actually, she’s the one that brought up the the body shop stuff, right? Cause it’s crystal clear to you there’s, there’s no digging around. I mean I’d imagine if the car had like a crap load of damage, like it’s close to being totaled, it’s gonna take him more time to go over it. Whatever. What happens is the body shop will pull it apart. So body shop will say, okay, your initial estimate is, is $2,000 for this major, major front end collision collision. Now they take everything apart and they do something called a supplement. Okay. Now that we’ve got it apart, we’re able to see all the additional damage.

23:21                     And then, you know, now you have your, your true estimate. Right. Does that make sense? And they’ll send it off to either you or your insurance company or, or whoever. In the end, the insurance company ends up paying for that anyway. Right. So yeah, but they’ve got to have their initial estimate and then so that’s what they don’t charge for. But it’s totally, it’s different. You know, it’s different. So if you you know, if you allowed me to take your car apart and you are going to definitely pay for it, I can tell you exactly what was wrong inside as well, you know, so I don’t, I don’t know. It’s kind of apples and oranges. You know, you’re, you’re comparing something that you can physically see that’s on the outside of the vehicle and, and very visible in most cases. Versus something that’s internal, a moving component that’s causing something else.

24:08                     Like it’s just, it’s apples to rocks. And this isn’t just precision. I mean this, this is every place you take. She never brought the car to us, but the, the thing that I can say is that I, I know the shop that she brought the car to and cause people will, the, we typically will leave the name of the shop out of wheat. Not typically. We always leave the name of the shop out of the person’s question. Just because we don’t want anybody to think negatively of somebody based on somebody else’s negative or perceived negative experience or interaction with that shop. If I have a friend that owns a shop and somebody asks a question, I always call that shop and I ask them, Hey, what happened? Or be aware of this. Maybe you could call that customer and try to make it right or something right.

24:52                     Because in some cases, good customers, they just, they don’t complain to the shop, they’ll just, they’ll never come back and you know, that doesn’t help the shop. So, you know, if the shop doesn’t know that there’s an issue, they can’t fix it. So you know, in a lot of cases I will call that other shop as long as I know them and I’ll tell them, Hey, look, this happened in this case, this woman was given a list of things that she actually needed to repair. And then she told, chose to repair one and she said she had another Mechanic that could do the job cheaper. And she chose not to do the majority of the list of things so that, that would be, in this case, why her car is still broken. She just never actually wanted to repair the car. But then she took some time to ask us this question and that’s great.

25:32                     I’m glad we were able to clarify what the difference is between a body shop and a repair shop. Well, can you imagine if your whole day was just looking at cars and diagnosing them and just like not getting paid at all because all the diagnosis were free if you break down, you know, the, the time, the tools, the training, everything, you know, last week I think we touched on this, you know, one of our main scan tools for Check Engine Lights is about $20,000 and we’ve got to have at least four different scan tools, different ones because there is no like one size fits all scan tool either. You’ve got to have some that only work on certain European Cars and then some that only work on certain Asian or domestic or you know, whatever. And then you’ve got special ones that are just for programming tires and all this other stuff.

26:15                     So with all of that comes updates at a thousand couple thousand dollars a year per tool. On top of that. Now you’ve got to train your technician and your tech or your technician has to have a bunch of other little tools that he needs to be able to diagnose all that stuff on top of it, you need electricity in the shop, right? I need all that stuff. So without even getting into the business lesson of all of that, it takes time, right? It takes a lot of time. And what happens with diagnosis is people will think, and not all people, but just some people will think and it’s just cause they don’t know, they’ll think, well there’s a computer you just plug it in and that’ll tell you what’s wrong with it. Auto zone does that auto zone, you know if you want to buy some parts there, that’s great.

26:54                     But auto zone is a part store and their job is to sell you parts. So when they plug in their, you know, whatever they plug in, right? Whatever their basic, very generic scan tool is. What it does is it spits out a list of common parts that typically get replaced for that repair. Could be this. It could be one of these 10 things right now, Patrick has to go inside the store, purchase the part, and then he has to what? We’re going to look up on YouTube, how to replace it, right? And then you’re going to probably screw it up, right? And you’re going to need to go back to the parts store and buy another tool or whatever. You’re going to turn this 10 minute job into an all day project because you don’t know what you’re doing and I’m not going to do the job right then the light’s still going to be on.

27:33                     So now you need to go back and they’re going to clear it for you, and then you’re going to drive around for a couple of days and then the light is going to come back on and you’re going to have the same exact code and now what are you going to do? You can go back to the park store and you’re going to go through this whole gamut again and now it’s going to be a month and few hundred dollars and however many wasted days that you’ve spent trying to work on this car, all to replace what they said were common failure parts, right? The difference that you get at a repair shop is the repair shop will say, okay, this is the exact part that is bad and this is why it’s bad and this is how much it’s going to cost and this is how long it’s gonna take.

28:08                     And they’re going to tell you all of that stuff. And the other thing that repair shops gonna do is they’re going to obviously do the work for you, but they’re going to re they’re going to warranty it. So should that part go bad? Should something not be right. Then you’ve got somebody you can go back to and say, Hey look, you know, you guys are supposed to be the experts. Prove it. You know? Does that make sense? It does make sense. You know? So the, there, there’s a huge difference there, right? And we’ve used this analogy before, and I stole this from somebody else. A customer actually gave it to me. Diagnosis is like a high rise building, alright? Empire state building, and you’ve got however many floors are in the empire state of how many floors are in there? 80 a hundred. 100. Let’s just call it a hundred.

28:46                     I don’t even know. But there’s a lot of floors. All right? Every floor, let’s say, has a hundred rooms. What diagnosis is gonna do is it’s gonna put you on the 82nd floor, okay? And it’s going to say, figure it out now. So the technician is going to have to check every single room, all 100 rooms on that, that floor, and figure out where the problem is. All right? What a part store does is they say, all right, you’re on the 82nd, the 41st, and the the 93rd floor and just go by all of this stuff and something in here is going to fix that issue. Good luck. You know? And if you need more parts, we can sell you more parts. Right? Does that make sense? It’s asinine. You know, that’s the difference between a part store and then diagnosis part stores are great if you want to buy parts, you don’t want a part store trying to diagnose your car because it’s going to cost you a lot of time, aggravation, you know money and I’m, you know, I’m glad you bring up time.

29:45                     That’s one of the things that I’m always talking with Kim about when we don’t, we don’t debate it a lot, but anytime there’s like a do a DIY project, right? I, I always look at how long it’s going to take me on my day off or how long it’s going to take us on our day off. And I say to her, is it worth putting in 10 hours on your day off to save 100 bucks? Cause it’s not me, not to me it’s not. I’d rather have somebody who knows what the hell they’re doing. I’d rather pay a guy to do my landscaping then for me to do it half assed at twice as much time on my day off. So the bottom line is you want a pro to look at your car because you’re wasting a lot of time in addition to the process of trying to chase down the right part, if you’re getting that basic diagnosis from a parts shop.

30:34                     Sure. And I do love our local Napa here by the way. Napa is great. Yeah. Napa does an awesome job. All right. You know, all these, these parts stores do an awesome job sourcing and selling parts and they’re helpful, you know, very helpful and they can give you a lot, a lot of great information. All right. They’re just not, don’t use them as a diagnostic tool. Like that’s just not what it is. Use them to tell you, Hey, you can continue to drive the vehicle with this light on until you can get to an actual shop that can repair the car. And then the shop will in some cases buy the apart from them and then put it in the car if they choose to use that vendor. But that would be really the only capacity that I would use them to. I don’t know, scan your car in any, any way, shape or form.

31:19                     Does that make sense? It does. You know, we do offer Free Diagnosis at a Precision Auto to for existing customers. You just have to roll in a, sorry, enroll in our what’s called Precision Pride Program. It has stickers on my truck first. First hour diagnosis, always free forever. And then you also, or you would get 5% off repairs, so one or the other. So if you come in for diagnosis today, we will do the diagnosis for free. Or if you just came in for, you know, just service or something, you get 5% off, but it’s a totally free program. You give the shop a call, three, six, three zero three zero six, we get you enrolled. Takes all of a minute, not a big deal. And it’s totally free. You’re listening to the Boys Under The Hood. James Stephenson, owner operator, Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield.

32:05                     So did the guys listen to the show? The guys in the shop? They listen in the shop too. Yeah. I love those boys. They work hard. They’re a good group of guys. Yeah. They’re, they’re a, a, a very, very good group of guys. We we’re blessed.

Our next question comes from Eric who’s chosen the open pantry and this is one that came to me last week and I start laughing because this has happened to me. My question concerns rodents living inside the chipmunks or mice. I know that they may be attracted to eating wires or bringing in their own NES. What’s a good way for an automobile to keep these pests out? I’ve used mothballs and netting over the intake before.

32:53                     Any ideas or thoughts? Thank you. That’s a good question. It is, you know, very relevant to this time of year seat [inaudible] all the little critters will want to go find a nice warm place to hide in the wintertime. It’s what, one degree out two degrees out today, right? It’s, it’s probably warmer in your, your garage and nevermind next to your nice warm car in that. Nice warm engine Bay so the critters will want to find a place to go inside there. Moth by, I’ve heard a lot of really great suggestions over the years and, and mothballs are a mothballs I, I’ve heard are, are great. And you know, when you actually break it down, I’ve heard that they’re not so great. And the reason being is that the amount of of naphthalene that you would need to be able to deter a mouse is roughly the same that you would need to determine a human or deter, deter.

33:42                     Not determined. I’m sorry. Deter a human. So it would have to be such a large amount that it would, it just would be, no, wait a minute. What do you naphthalene what do you, what kind of words he tried to throw up my listener, I can’t even spell it. Is that what’s in mothballs that makes it smell like that? Yeah. Yeah. So that’s your, that’s your, your active ingredient there. That that keeps everything in the, in the, in the mothballs naphthalene it’s called here right now. Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t know that. I thought the main ingredient was mothballs a show on Google right now. Now one you a dollar. I’m right. I mean I bet I could look it up. You know you’re right. It’s just, you say it like it’s matter of fact like you’ve, you’ve said naphthalene a lot. One of us works on cars all the time. I’m supposed to know this stuff. Hence expert on this side of the desk. I got to know these things.

34:34                     I had something living in my, it was living inside of the fan. Like it was in the, it was inside of the rotor where the inside where the fan, like the, the cabin fan. Yeah. And he had built a nest in there but I couldn’t like, he must have had a really bad last day because that thing spins. Yeah. You know when you turn the car on it spins and next thing I know my heater is like spitting out pieces of grass. It’s coming through the, the vents. And then finally I figured out what was going on. Did it, was he would want to know how was the porno idea? He, he must’ve bolted before I started it because he would have been doomed. Yeah. There’s no getting out of that. And here’s how I know that I almost took my finger off trying to fix it with it on.

35:22                     That wasn’t wise. Don’t stick. Shut the power off to stick your finger in a fan. No, I don’t want to do that. No, it wasn’t good cause I, you know, I tried to do, I tried to spin, spin the stuff out. I had the, I had the glove box open. I’m all up in there and like, Oh I can’t, I couldn’t get my big fat arm in there. So I tried to spin it out. So I’m like, okay, I’ll turn the car on, turn the fan on, it’s spinning. And I’m like, okay, now I’m gonna stick my finger in there. It’s a logical, quite a thought process. I mean, it made sense at the time. Did you pull back a stump of I pulled back a bloody finger. Oh my goodness. You know what that happened to ’em it’s pretty common. You know that you’ll get a you know, rodent or something in their room, had that happen to them from a Romeo Athletics in Enfield.

36:14                     He had like maybe two inches deep of a, of acorns all in his fan. You know, cause the fan looks like a little basket. Yeah. You know, and he had maybe a couple inches of, of acorns in there. He comes in, he said, what the heck is going on? Something’s wrong with this fan and you know, won’t get up to speed and it’s making a ton of noise. You just totally destroyed from all the the acorns and everything. You know, something was living in there, but you know, the, the mothballs, I mean you could try it if you want. Peppermint oil is a really a good deterrent. So the first thing you want to do is you want to make sure that you don’t have any holes or exposed areas where critters and things can get in. You want to try to remove them from your garage first and then from there you can begin to kind of treat the car.

36:59                     So I can tell you what I do. Everybody, you can do a quick Google search and you could find a bunch of really cool you know, tips and things like that. But for me, when I store, you know, I have a, a, a classic car that I store for the winter. What I do is I treat the inside of the garage with a like a peppermint oil, like a natural peppermint oil. The reason I use that is because we have a little dog and he goes around sniffing for everything and chewing on crumbs and dirt in the garage. She’s such a stupid little beast, you know, but he just, he’s handsome, but he just, he eats her. You’re like, what are you eating dust for? Why are you talking with the dog? He’s listening to us right now. Cause you probably just because he fell under his see your dog.

37:39                     Right. Because that dog knows now I’m going to go home and he’s going to pee in one of my shoes or something. I would, I know I would too. But he, you know, he’s a, he’s a good little dog, but you know, he’s going to try to eat any little crumbs or anything that he might find on the ground. You know, so I don’t want, I don’t want a meeting poison. Right. You know so that peppermint oil is good. I’ll set some like mouse traps around the outside of the garage on, not that we have a problem with it, but just in case, right. We don’t have a problem with, because we’re always treating for it, you know. So we’ll set two mousetraps humane ones so you can, you know, catch and release if you want to. And then from there I’ll spray that same peppermint oil right around the car and I’ll spray some kind of underneath, you know, on, on the, the body of the car underneath so that they, you know, they just, they don’t want to come near it.

38:25                     And I’ll repeat that like maybe once a month, once every week, every couple weeks or something like that, as needed. And in the car, I like to put dryer sheets in places where the critters might be able to get in and it seems to determine, plus it smells pretty nice. Wow. Yeah, they never thought about that. I have found that they are more deterred by dryer sheets than mothballs and the mothball smell mop all smell like mothballs, you know, like it’s awful. It’s a terrible, it’s like a very unique, terrible odor. I’d rather my car smell like fresh linen or lavender or something. Right. And that night, again, it smells like it was just smells like a fresh T shirt right out of the dryer. Right. It was someone got that on record you say? I just would love it if my car smelled like fresh linen.

39:06                     It’s a more pleasant, a pleasant aroma now than mothballs. Yeah. I know some people like to put steel wool in different areas too, but fresh linen or steel wool, you know, you listen while you’re listening to voice under the hood. We field all sorts of car questions. We’d talked about rodents today. Look if you have a problem with your car, it’s making a funny sound. Do you have any questions about repairs? Maybe you took your car somewhere, you feel like you weren’t treated well. You know what? If you took your car somewhere and you weren’t treated well and you want to talk about it, these send a question into us. Precision Auto Repair on Facebook or We needed a question of the week here and we need to make a donation. I’m going to yell at ’em the land cruiser. She had a question about brake rotors, machining, brake rotors and she wants to donate to Shriners hospitals for children. So James going to cut a $25 check to the Shriners boom. Done. Very well done. That’s it. Good luck with the road and senior. Carmen, you do want any ice fishing today or anything? No. Hell no. I don’t ice fish. It’s too cold. It’s too cold. Just light a fire on the ice. These two, that seems safe. I don’t know what could go wrong that I changed. Thanks for coming in, man. I thought I’ll talk to you next week.


free check engine light diagnosis west springfield ma at precision auto repair

Check Engine Light Diagnosis

The difference between Paid and Free Diagnosis

“Why do I have to pay for you to tell me what’s wrong with my car?” With all of the information available online these days this is becoming a more frequent question. When your Check Engine Light comes on it can be a scary sight. An immediate reaction might be to seek Free Diagnosis to get some answers to your questions and hopefully cut the already unknown costs.

Going online to research the specific problem you’re having is no better than going online to Web Md when you have a sniffle. You’re going to leave the internet after a few hours unintentionally misinformed and thinking you have a much worse issue than you probably really even have.

The short answer as to why we charge to tell you what’s wrong with your car is because it’s worth it! Free diagnosis of any issue is worth every penny you pay for it.

Back in the 1970’s and early 80’s cars were much more basic. 90% of issues causing them to run rough or stumble could be fixed with a basic Tune Up. Now approaching 2020, cars drive themselves. With such complex systems a common misconception is that there is a super computer that we can plug in and it tells us exactly what’s wrong with your vehicle in a matter of seconds. The reality is, that’s just FALSE! It simply doesn’t exist.

What is vehicle diagnosis?

Check Engine Light Diagnosis at Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield MAThink of your car as the illustration of the buildings. Every floor represents a system and each window represents a different part in each system. What paying for diagnosis does is put us on the floor of the correct building. It’s up to our Technicians to use their training and a host of specialty tools to determine exactly which room has the problem. In most cases, this takes time.

If we didn’t do it this way we would end up replacing a  lot of parts that didn’t need to be replaced and it would end up costing a whole lot more than when we properly diagnose issues. Not to mention it would take a whole lot longer too.

In general you will want to prepare for each concern you have or each light you have on your dash taking us about an hour. Not that it always takes that long, but it’s a great rule of thumb. Some issues do overlap. So in those cases when one issue is causing another, we go after the largest issue first. Again, a lot of training goes into how to properly diagnose not only to ensure accuracy but to also ensure we don’t waste time going after the wrong things.

To make it even more simple, think of it this way. If you come in with 3 specific issues, plan on it taking us 3 hours to determine what has failed and why. Time you request us to spend is time you will be billed for. If we don’t use it, you don’t pay for it.

This is the only way we can comfortably stand behind what we’re requesting to replace. If this is not for you and you rather we simply guess based on information you or a friend found online then you will never be happy with us or the service we provide. While there are a whole host of reasons to come to us, none of them include us repairing cars based on guesses. We prefer to fix cars based on facts and replacing parts that we know are bad.

If that doesn’t work for you, please do not leave your car with us for service. We either perform the job properly, or we don’t do the job at all. Your safety is depending on us and we won’t let you down.

“Why do part stores diagnose my car for free?”

That’s simple, they don’t diagnose. They GUESS!!

Think of it as spear fishing or fishing with a net. Diagnosis is spear fishing, we’re targeting a fish. Part stores throw out a net and hope to catch something but in reality they pull back a bunch of junk.

Our goal is to fix your car, theirs is to sell parts. When they scan for codes they sell you common parts. If it doesn’t fix the car, they sell you more parts that you need to put in.

Still want Free Diagnosis?

Perfect! We want to give it to you. We have quite a few Customer Loyalty Programs that either discount services such as diagnosis or they Precision Auto Repair West Springfield MA Customer Loyalty Cardallow you to get services totally free.

Below are the 3 main programs that we offer.

  • Precision Pride Club / (easily our biggest plan)
    • $0 to enroll
    • Free Diagnosis FOREVER or
    • 5% off any Service or Repair
  • Precision Exclusive 4 Season’s Card
    • $0 to enroll
    • Allows you to save up to $100 per year
  • Precision’s Quick 10
    • This is a totally free 10 minute inspection.
      • Please note: This will not diagnose issues, it’s a quick (10 minutes max) and free inspection designed to tell you if your issue is going to keep you from being safe or not.

All Customer Loyalty Programs cost $0 to enroll and are for Existing Customers Only. Please use the following link to learn more about the programs we offer and how to be enrolled. Customer Loyalty Program Details

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No one is cheaper than me!! No one! I just ran out my factory warranty and about a week later my ABS Light came on. Fearing the worst I did a ton of research online and went into the guys at Precision with my own part and clearly insisting that I knew what was wrong because, I know everything. The guys insisted that I try it their way. Boy was I on the wrong track before them. Not only was all the research I did totally wrong, the issue I was having wasn’t even related to anything to do with my brakes like I thought. They were able to make a few basic adjustments and I was back to work in under an hour and for way less than I would have paid if I did it my way. These people are true professionals and I’m very pleased with their process. I’m also more pleased with the fact that they didn’t make me feel dumb for wasting my time before I asked a professional for help.

Derrick M.

Feeding Hills, MA

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Boys Under The Hood August 28, 2018

precision auto repair greater springfield habitat for humanity tommy house Lazer 993Today we had some great questions. James explained what to do if you end up with an issue with a car you just purchased. He also explained about Precision’s 100 Day Same as Cash Payment Option.

Greater Springfield Habitat For Humanity Tommy House

Then Dianne Mullin stopped by to talk about The Greater Springfield Habitat For Humanity Tommy House and how the community can get involved.

They’re looking for cash donations as well as in kind donations. If neither of those work for you, then they would love it if you could come out and help build the home. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.

Click here to learn more about The Greater Springfield Habitat For Humanity

Click here to donate to The Greater Springfield Habitat For Humanity

Brakes For Homes

To help with the project James announced that we are bringing back Brakes For Homes. The program is very simple:

  • You need brakes
  • We give you the brake pads for $0
  • You pay for any necessary labor and any additional needed parts (ie: rotors, hoses, fluid, calipers, etc)
  • Precision takes 10% of the sale and donates it to The Tommy House project!

Don’t need brakes? That’s ok

  • $99.99 / 4 wheel alignment special
  • Then we donate 10% of the total to The Tommy House Project

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If you missed it, you can check out the entire show below!

Listen to Boys Under The Hood Live Here/ Every Tuesday at 8am

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2013 Mercedes Benz C300 4 Matic Luxury

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102,000 miles. 3.5L V6 engine

  • Automatic
  • Fuel efficient
  • Navigation
  • Back up camera
  • Harmon/Kardon Sound
  • Power windows and locks
  • Full Leather Interior!!
  • CD/MP3/Bluetooth
  • and much more……

NADA Price / $15,600

Our Price / See below

Car Assurance Warranty

  • 30  day Precision Auto Sales in house Warranty
  • VIN: WDDGF8AB7DR263847

The Precision Difference

Before any car hits our lot they receive a very thorough 120 point Safety and Maintenance Inspection that we have developed through years of being one of the Best Auto Repair Shops in Western, MA. We call this our Precision Inspection.

Service and Maintenance Prior To Purchase

After the Precision Inspection our Expert Technicians perform any repairs or services that are past due, due, or due in the immediate future. We don’t want you to have to worry about a single thing.

No Lemon’s here!!

At minimum all cars get an oil and filter change, new wipers, and all fluids topped off. From there if anything else needs to be done, it gets done!

Then the vehicle gets fully detailed so it looks like new.

“Feel free to ask for the service record for your vehicle when you take a test drive! We want you to make a well informed purchase.” – James Stephenson / President Precision Auto Repair & Sales


Warranties vary based on mileage so please look above at the vehicle details for your specific warranty.

All Precision Auto Sales vehicles come with:

Free Diagnosis For LIFE

While we hope you never have any issues with your New Car after the warranty expires, in the event something does go wrong we’ve got you covered with Free Diagnosis for as long as you own the vehicle.

5% Off Any and All Services For Life

When the need arises for any scheduled services or repairs (if needed), you can rest easy knowing you will save 5% off any and all services or repairs for as long as you own the vehicle.

Call Sales Direct Line at 413.301.9974 today for more details

Financing Available, click here for more details


NADA Price / $15,600

Asking $11,822

Call Sales Direct Line at 413.301.9974 today for more details

Financing Available, click here for more details

best used car dealer west springfield ma best car dealership west springfield ma best auto sales west springfield maUnlike my new car I have a few miles on me so it’s easy to see that  I’ve bought a few cars in my time. I just want to tell you that it was a very pleasant process and we are both very pleased with our new car. We will be buying one for our grand daughter soon. So we will be back and will be sure to recommend.

Lance M.

East Windsor, CT

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2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI S

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Only 47,000 miles. 2.0L Turbo Diesel!!

  • 2 years or up to 60,000 Factory Powertrain Warranty remaining
  • Fuel efficient 31 city / 43 highway mpg
  • Back up camera
  • Push button start
  • Power windows and locks
  • Full Leather Interior!!
  • CD/MP3/Bluetooth
  • and much more……

KBB Price / $13,800

Our Price / See Below

Car Assurance Warranty

  • 2 years or up to 60,000 remaining on the Factory Powertrain Warranty
  • 60  day Precision Auto Sales in house Warranty
  • VIN: 3VWCA7AU6FM501353

The Precision Difference

Before any car hits our lot they receive a very thorough 120 point Safety and Maintenance Inspection that we have developed through years of being one of the Best Auto Repair Shops in Western, MA. We call this our Precision Inspection.

Service and Maintenance Prior To Purchase

After the Precision Inspection our Expert Technicians perform any repairs or services that are past due, due, or due in the immediate future. We don’t want you to have to worry about a single thing.

No Lemon’s here!!

At minimum all cars get an oil and filter change, new wipers, and all fluids topped off. From there if anything else needs to be done, it gets done!

Then the vehicle gets fully detailed so it looks like new.

“Feel free to ask for the service record for your vehicle when you take a test drive! We want you to make a well informed purchase.” – James Stephenson / President Precision Auto Repair & Sales


Warranties vary based on mileage so please look above at the vehicle details for your specific warranty.

All Precision Auto Sales vehicles come with:

Free Diagnosis For LIFE

While we hope you never have any issues with your New Car after the warranty expires, in the event something does go wrong we’ve got you covered with Free Diagnosis for as long as you own the vehicle.

5% Off Any and All Services For Life

When the need arises for any scheduled services or repairs (if needed), you can rest easy knowing you will save 5% off any and all services or repairs for as long as you own the vehicle.

Call Sales Direct Line at 413.301.9974 today for more details

Financing Available, click here for more details


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KBB Price / $13,800

Asking $13,489

Call Sales Direct Line at 413.301.9974 today for more details

Financing Available, click here for more details

best used car dealer west springfield ma best car dealership west springfield ma best auto sales west springfield maBuying a car from James and the guys was pretty simple because I have been using them for years to service my old Volkswagen. When I finally was ready for a new one James gave me a few choices and I got the one that was right for me and at one heck of a price. They all just know their stuff and genuinely care. Thanks guys!

Casey B.

Ludlow, MA

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2011 BMW 328i X Drive

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Only 122,000 miles. 3.0L 6cyl, All Wheel Drive, Automatic, power windows, power door locks, Ice Cold AC, CD/MP3 Player, Navigation, full Leather interior, and much more…

The vehicle was recently serviced including full tune up, all major fluids, recent brake job, newer tires, and much more.


Call 413.301.9974 today for more details

Financing Available, click here for more details

Asking $9,448

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David A.

Holland, MA

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2015 Honda Civic LX

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Only 49,000 miles. 1.8L 4 cyl, automatic, front wheel drive, Ice Cold AC, back up camera, CD/MP3 (w/ bluetooth).

This vehicle has had all services performed, new brakes, and 4 brand new tires. It’s ready to for you to take it on some road trips and love it for many years to come!

VIN: 19XFB2F50FE702502

Call 413.363.0306 for more details!

Financing Available, click here for more details

Asking $11,978

best used car dealer west springfield ma best car dealership west springfield ma best auto sales west springfield maI have no clue why I’ve been going to the dealer all these years. I absolutely love my new car and can’t believe how easy the entire process was from beginning to end. Highly recommend for sure!

Evelana K.

Agawam, MA