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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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.

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

best auto mechanic west springfield ma best car dealership west springfield ma best auto sales west springfield ma


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

Brake line repair

Car Repair Fails

We all make mistakes. Some more frequently than others….. We’re human, it’s normal. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn and get better. We see a lot of customers monthly/ yearly and sometimes they make mistakes too. We get a lot of e mails and requests from customers about what they want us to write about so today I’m going to give a few examples of Car Repair Fails and then explain how to prevent them from happening to you.


Coolant Leak

This was a first time customer. He was actually here a few weeks prior applying for a job… (spoiler alert, we didn’t hire him). He had been experiencing a coolant leak on his wife’s vehicle and Thermostat repairdecided to fix it himself. This leak was causing the vehicle to overheat when the car would get up to operating temperature so it was really causing a headache for them.

When he reached out he said that he was “having trouble getting the gasket to seal”. As you can see from the picture, it’s pretty obvious to see why. What happened was that one of the bolts that hold the thermostat housing in place had broken when coming out. So him and his friend figured that they could just use vise grips to hold the flange in place.

We removed the flange, drilled out the broken bolt, replaced the gasket, replaced the bolt, and properly filled the cooling system. It took about 2 hours.


Exhaust Repair

exhaust repairThis was another first time customer. They were having trouble with their exhaust system. It seemed loud to them and they just wanted it fixed. We took a look at it and found that there were some rot holes throughout the system and it had been repaired a few times previously so we recommended replacing the entire system to eliminate the chance of any further issues. We didn’t want to just “patch” the immediate issue because they would start to notice the other leaks further back in the system and a “patch” just wouldn’t be a proper repair.

The customer declined the repair and ended up returning about 1 month later. They had a “friend” that “works on cars” replace the catalytic converter for them. The problem was that they noticed that after a few days the exhaust seemed louder than the original noise. They also had a significant loss of power.

When our Technicians took a look we not only found that the catalytic converter was completely missing but there were no signs of the clamps that should have been installed to hold the catalytic converter in place. You can actually see one of the factory clamps that’s welded to the front pipe still on the pipe. That may be the reason it fell off… We ended up replacing the entire system. It took about an hour and a half.


Pre Purchase Inspection

frame rotThis was a long time customer that had problems with their previous vehicle. It ended up needing more work than the car was worth so we suggested they start looking for a new car. About 3 months later they came in for normal service with their new car and were shocked at what we found.

The front support that connects the left and right sides of the front frame section and supports the radiator had a huge rot hole in it. The hole was just about big enough to put an entire fist into. When they bought the car they had the dealership that sold it to them look it over prior to purchase. The vehicle also had a myriad of other issues. The customer ended up getting rid of this vehicle and purchased another one. We performed a Pre Purchase Inspection on the new vehicle and they have been worry free for roughly 1 year since they bought it.


Brake Line Repair

Brake line repairThis is actually an older story from a few years back. This customer reached out after having a neighbor that worked at another local shop replace his brakes for him. The story is that the brake pedal felt soft and he was told that he needed new brakes. Sounds simple enough… The brakes were replaced by the neighbor and when the owner of the car started to drive the car he felt that the car didn’t stop like it used to and the brake pedal still felt soft. He was told that it was just an adjustment.

He actually drove the car for about 6 months before contacting us for a second opinion. We immediately found that while the brakes in the rear of the vehicle were in fact replaced they weren’t working at all. The main issue the customer initially had was due to rotting and leaking brake lines. So instead of repairing the lines the Neighbor just used Vise Grips to clamp off the fluid to stop it from leaking. Unfortunately this won’t allow any fluid to the rear brake system, so they weren’t working at all when the brake pedal was pressed. Not to mention that this was very unsafe.

We ended up replacing most of the brake lines in the vehicle. While this section was the major source of the leak, there were other problem areas. The brakes themselves were actually good quality parts that were installed correctly. So after replacing the lines we just needed to adjust the brakes and bleed the system of any air. This job took about 2 days. Mainly because the customer requested pre bent factory lines that needed to be ordered.


Coolant Leak

This customer was also having trouble with her cooling system. The car was overheating and there was a large puddle of coolant on the ground where she parks at work. Her boyfriend had a friend Coolant leakthat “fixes cars” so they took this car repair to him because he gave them a price to repair the issue before even seeing the car when we unfortunately could not do the same (here is why).

The repair ended up being pretty simple. The car developed a leak at the upper radiator hose and the hose really should have been replaced because it was swelling under pressure and hoses really do have a shelf life on them. But this “Friend” had another fix… electrical tape. Rather than replace the hose or even the clamp(s) he just poured crazy glue around the end of the hose, reinstalled the clamp, then covered the connection with electrical tape. Clearly the hose continued to leak.

The customer called us that day. We were able to get her right in, replace the hose, both clamps, and properly fill the system. It took about 45 minutes,  we had the hose in stock, and it cost less than the friend initially quoted them.


How can you prevent this from happening?

The common denominator here for most of these stories is the quality of the repair. It’s no secret that some Auto Repairs can be expensive. But in all of these situations the customer paid for the car repair elsewhere then ended up paying to have the same repair performed again correctly later. So how much did they really save? The simple answer is nothing at all. They actually paid more and in some cases had to pay to have the same parts replaced again by our trained Technicians.

Now I’m not saying that good Technicians don’t make mistakes. Even with experience and training, I assure you that mistakes still happen. But these situations are clearly not mistakes. They are Car Repairs that were performed to intentionally deceive the customer. It’s sad.

When your car needs repairs do yourself a favor and give us a call or schedule online. Our staff has the training and experience to get you back on the road quickly and safely at a reasonable price. Then we back our repairs with a 2 year 24,000 mile Nationwide warranty and 12 month roadside assistance at no additional cost.

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

Subaru head gasket replacement

Subaru Head Gasket

Subaru Head Gasket

Those of us that live in Western MA were pretty lucky this year when it comes to cold weather (if you don’t like snow or cold that is). We only had a few weeks of really cold weather, but other than that the temperatures have stayed pretty warm. A long time customer had come in a few weeks back concerned about a loss of heat in his Subaru. When he would warm the car up in the morning the temperature coming out of the vents would stay icy cold no matter how long he ran the car. Sometimes the fix can be something simple such as a loose clamp or a faulty thermostat. Unfortunately for this customer he needed a Subaru Head Gasket Replacement

Subaru Coolant Leak

It’s very common in the winter to see cars coming in with heat loss and in the summer we see cars come in overheating. Both concerns are typically (but not always) caused by the same issue, a Coolant Leak. For this Subaru Repair we road tested the car to verify what was happening. When we pulled the car into the shop we found that there was a significant loss of coolant. This will most definitely cause the customer’s concern.

We then applied some pressure to the cooling system to help us identify where the coolant is leaking and hoist the vehicle on a lift to check for any obvious leaks. Coolant was actually leaking out of the driver side Subaru Head Gasket. When inspecting the passenger side of the engine there was a large amount of coolant staining that indicted there was a small leak from that side of the engine. If left untreated this small leak will most definitely turn into a larger leak. It was determined that both cylinder heads would need to come off this engine to be checked for warpage or cracks.

Subaru Head Gasket Replacement

Subaru Head Gasket replacement
This is one of the cylinder heads after being cleaned up and serviced at the machine shop

We removed both Subaru Cylinder Heads and had one of our Certified Technicians look them over. There were no obvious issues but to be safe we sent them to a machine shop to have them properly cleaned and serviced. The machine shop makes the mounting surface perfectly smooth so that the gasket can seal properly. Then they clean all of the valves and replace any seals in the cylinder heads. The heads always come back a day or so later looking and functioning like brand new Subaru Cylinder Heads.

Subaru Head Gasket Replacement Tip

A few months back we put a picture of another Subaru Head Gasket Replacement on our social media. There were some question as to how we were doing the job. For those that don’t know, most shops that do this job once or Subaru head gasket replacementtwice a year will remove the entire engine from the car, then disassemble and reassemble the engine. We average a few every week so we found a slightly better way to do the same job. What we do is leave the engine in the car and disassemble and reassemble the engine right in the car. The outcome is exactly the same in terms of the quality of work. But the bonus is that it saves about 2-3 hours doing it our way. What this means for the customer is that they save almost $300 and get their car back sooner!!!

The trick is using some special tools that we have had specially fabricated to make this job go much smoother. You can also achieve the same result without the special tools by using carefully positioned wedges of wood that will give you the proper angles to remove the heads while keeping the intake out of the way. Doing this puts no stress or strain on anything in the engine compartment and allows plenty of room to remove and reinstall the cylinder heads. There really is no need whatsoever to remove the entire engine. It’s just a wasted expense that the customer really doesn’t need to incur.

Now it’s time for the whole job to go back together. Because of the mileage on the vehicle we installed a new timing belt and water pump too. The vehicle was roughly 10,000 miles away based on the service history but the customer decided to replace them while the engine was going back together instead of reinstalling the old ones, then have to take it all back apart again in a few months when he hits the required mileage. It saved him quite a bit of money doing it this way. After all parts were installed we performed all the necessary scheduled maintenance so that this customer can just enjoy their car for a while and not have to worry about anything.

Subaru head gasket leak
It’s important that when cleaning the block to make sure none of the metal shavings get into the cylinders, oil passages, or coolant passages. We plug them all with shop towels while prepping them

We see a lot of Subaru Repairs that require the replacement of the Head Gaskets. Unfortunately it’s a very common issue on these cars. But the repair process is pretty quick and the price is reasonable. We then back the repair with our 2 year, 24,000 mile Nationwide warranty and Free 12 month roadside assistance. It’s all about giving the customer the best service possible at the best price possible. Peace of Mind!






Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA2 Days! My car was in and out of there in 2 days!. That’s unbelievable! This car is my life. I need it for shuttling around family and I’m in it all day for work. When Precision told me I needed to have the engine taken apart I was in disbelief that they we’re going to have it back to me the next day. But I’ve been going to them for years and they have never put me in the wrong direction yet. Sure thing the next day around 4 o’clock they called to say it was done. They even came to pick me up. Over the years I’ve used other area shops, I’ve used 2 area dealers, and I’ve used chain repair places. I’ve never seen the high quality and empathy that the staff at Precision always brings to the table. These guys are good. Like really darn good! Do yourself a favor and take your car to these guys. Not only do they care, they know what they’re doing.

Matt M.

Westfield, MA

Kia Repair frame rust

Cheapest Auto Repair

It’s very common to receive phone calls from individuals asking for quotes to repair certain issues on their vehicle. The majority of the people ask this question because they simply just don’t know the right questions to ask. From here we try to get some more information about what’s going on with their vehicle and book an appointment to properly diagnose their concern so that we can provide an accurate quote and ultimately fix the issue. Then there are some that are only shopping for the Cheapest Auto Repair they can find. With almost 20 years of experience in this field I assure you that if you’re making your decisions based solely on price, you’ll end up paying much more to fix the issue in the long run. Allow me to explain.

Here are 3 separate stories from the past few months where the customer was ONLY concerned with getting the Cheapest Auto Repair they could find.

Pre Purchase Inspection

The first customer was buying a new vehicle for his wife. Apparently his friend that’s a “Mechanic” has owned the car since it was new. He wanted us to look the car over prior to him purchasing it but insisted that “any shop will do it for free”. Then got upset when we informed him that there would be a charge. Well he found someone to check it over for free…… and he was back to our shop 1 week after purchase with a very loud noise when driving over bumps;

This mount essentially holds half of the differential in place. It's completely rotted out
This mount essentially holds half of the differential in place. It’s completely rotted out
Here's another view of the same mount
Here’s another view of the same mount











Unfortunately this story didn’t have a silver lining. The rest of the underneath of this vehicle was just as rotted out as this mount. The person that checked the vehicle over for him for “free” was the previous owner of the vehicle and the guy that sold it to him (this has to be a conflict of interest). He paid $4,000 for the vehicle, just to fix the immediate rot damage would be about $1,500, and he still has a myriad of other issues. If he had us perform a Pre Purchase Inspection we would have caught all of this prior to him purchasing the vehicle. At the end of the day we ended up choosing not to repair the issues on this vehicle because the repairs would far exceed the value of the vehicle.


BMW Check Engine Light

This customer came in with a BMW for a Check Engine Light issue. We quickly diagnosed the concern but the customer had a “friend of a friend” that could fix the issue cheaper (read more about this one here). The customer wasn’t even remotely concerned with the quality of parts or that Trained Technicians would be working on the vehicle. She just wanted the absolute Lowest Price Auto Repair she could find. Well the “friend of the friend” not only failed miserably at fixing the one basic issue but he successfully created many more issues.

This is a picture of the heater core hoses. These are under pressure with 180 degree coolant while the car is running. Zip ties are not an acceptable way to secure them in place
This is a picture of the heater core hoses. These are under pressure with 180 degree coolant while the car is running. Zip ties are not an acceptable way to secure them in place
We installed proper clamps on the hoses. The proper repair literally cost the customer about $1.25 in parts
We installed proper clamps on the hoses. The proper repair literally cost the customer about $1.25 in parts












The issue with the hoses was just one of many problems. The “Cheaper Shop” had her car for 7.5 weeks and wanted to charge her 2.5x what they initially quoted her. She was able to get her BMW back over to us in pieces and we had the car running like new within a few days for what we initially quoted her even with some additional repairs that were needed to fix what the “Cheaper Shop” messed up and hacked.

Subaru Brake Job 

Brake jobs are very common. Every car is going to need it done at some point. When you drive the vehicle and step on the brake pedal, the brakes wear. This customer brought his Subaru in to have us look over the brakes. They were making a very loud grinding noise and it was pretty simple for one of our Master Technicians to quickly spot that the pads were just about completely worn out and the brake rotors were rusted too badly to be machined. So we recommended replacing the brake pads and rotors. The customer insisted that the rotors were fine and to just replace the brake pads. Then he informed us that the most he would pay was $20 because that’s what his “Mechanic” would charge.

Just so we’re clear, to perform this job properly it takes a Trained Technician about 1.5 hours and the parts alone are almost $180. Then we back the repairs with our Warranty. There’s no possible way we could have done the job for $20. So the customer took the vehicle to his “mechanic”…. and the vehicle came back to us about 2 days later making the same noise.

The brake rotor on the left is brand new and the rotor on the right is the rotted out old one
The brake rotor on the left is brand new and the rotor on the right is the rotted out old one. You need ZERO automotive experience to see that there is a problem here








His “Mechanic” replaced just the brake pads with the lowest quality part available. They weren’t even the right pads for the car and he put them over these rotted rotors. That’s not even remotely taking into consideration the safety of the customer or anyone else on the road. We fixed the brakes, properly, in about 1.5 hours, and for the price we initially quoted. The customer was happy that his noise was gone.


We can all agree that price is one of the deciding factors for all of us when purchasing goods and services, but it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. With that said, we’re not the cheapest. We don’t want to be, we want to be the best and make sure that you’re safe. But we’re also not even close to the most expensive…. If you’re only concerned with finding the cheapest repair possible, I assure you that we’re not the right shop for you.

But if you want your vehicle fixed properly the first time, unparalleled customer service, peace of mind, top quality parts, all of the conveniences we offer, and have that all backed by our 2 year 24,000 mile warranty AND 12 month Roadside Assistance. Then give us a call today, we won’t let you down.


“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

BMW heater hoses fixed incorrectly

BMW overheating repair

A few months ago we saw a new customer come in. She drives a 2004 BMW 325i and was looking for help diagnosing his Check Engine Light.

We quickly diagnosed the issue as being related to a vacuum leak (simply put is an air leak) in her intake system and the intake would need to be removed and resealed to clear up the issue. Unfortunately the customer declined the repairs because she found that he could get the “same” BMW Repair performed somewhere else cheaper……. (wait for it…)

The car came back in this week overheating and in pieces…… Literally in pieces and what was put back on the car wasn’t even close to anything that would be considered a “BMW Repair“. Take a look at some of what we found;

This is a picture of the heater core hoses. These are under pressure with 180 degree coolant while the car is running. Zip ties are not an acceptable way to secure them in place
This is a picture of the heater core hoses. These are under pressure with 180 degree coolant while the car is running. Zip ties are not an acceptable way to secure them in place
We installed proper clamps on the hoses. The proper repair literally cost the customer about $1.25 in parts
We installed proper clamps on the hoses. The proper repair literally cost the customer about $1.25 in parts












While we would like to say that was the worst issue we found, it wasn’t. We understand that price is important and we also understand that sometimes BMW Service is costly. But these vehicles are built to very specific specifications that require a great deal of training, equipment, and technical information to be able to properly repair them. Improper repairs like this not only create a major inconvenience for the customer but now she has to pay for the work to be done by someone that blatantly lied to her about their abilities and then she has to pay for us to fix all of their mistakes.

Fortunately for the customer we ironed out all of her issues in about 2 days. The overheating concern was fixed when we repaired the leaking hoses and filled the cooling system properly. Then we just removed and reinstalled the intake the right way while fixing any other “new” issues caused by the previously inferior quality repair. The car is now running the way it did when she bought it at the BMW Dealer in West Springfield MA and she was able to take advantage of our payment options for her repair that allowed her to pay over time for a proper BMW repair that’s warrantied for 2 years or 24,000 miles nationwide and comes with free 12 month roadside assistance. We gave her peace of mind!

There’s no added cost to having your BMW Service performed correctly, just added value.


5 Star Rating


James and his staff are the best! I feel like at first I was more concerned with having the job done cheaply and that’s what I got. The other shop I went to not only tied up the car for 7.5 weeks while this was my only form of transportation but when they gave me the bill the price they wanted me to pay was 2x what they initially quoted me to get me in the door and hundreds more than Precision wanted to charge a few months ago. When I went back to precision with my tail between my legs practically begging for help they were very welcoming and considerate. They got my car right in and I had it back within a couple of days. Since I had to pay the other shop I didn’t have much money and Dave set me up with financing for the job so I didn’t have to worry. I love my car and I won’t trust it with anyone but the staff at Precision. Thank you all so much for all that you have done.

Meghan A

Longmeadow, MA

Subaru coolant leak

Subaru Coolant Leak West Springfield, MA

Subaru Coolant leak

We see a lot of no heat concerns this time of year. While the cause of the no heat can vary from vehicle to vehicle (and most of the time it’s caused by a Coolant Leak ) one thing we see a lot of is misdiagnosis from other shops that are calling for repairs that aren’t necessary and ultimately won’t fix the customer’s concern. In the case of this Subaru Coolant Leak the outcome was very good for the customer.

Subaru Repair

In the case of this Subaru Repair the customer called us and asked for a price to replace Head Gaskets on their Subaru and were told by an area dealer that their Subaru Forester needs them to fix a Coolant Leak. They were quoted roughly $3,800 and would be without their vehicle for about a week and an half. Unfortunately we don’t provide quotes for repairs when we haven’t properly diagnosed the concern and here’s why (take a minute to read up on this policy).

The green is coolant leaking down from behind the timing cover
The green is coolant leaking down from behind the timing cover

Fortunately the customer had us look into the issue and properly diagnose it because it wasn’t the head gaskets causing the coolant leak. After a short visual inspection one of our Master Technicians quickly found that the head gaskets were fine. On this vehicle Subaru recommends replacing the timing belt and water pump between 90,000 and 100,000 miles. In this case the customer went just under 140,000 miles (yikes). In this time the water pump just went bad and needed to be replaced along with the timing belt.

Here's a slightly better angle. The left of the picture is the front of the engine
Here’s a slightly better angle. The left of the picture is the front of the engine

For this Subaru Repair we replaced the timing belt and water pump. The customer had their vehicle back to them by the end of the day, saved herself about $3,000 UNDER what the Subaru Dealer said she “needed”, and she didn’t have to be without her vehicle for a week and a half.

5 Star Rating  I have always bought Subaru’s and have always felt that the dealer knew the vehicle best because they’re the dealer. I’m humbled to say that’s not the case. Precision Auto Repair’s Service Manager David had phones ringing all around him and other customer’s that were there but still took the time to walk me out to my vehicle and show me what was going on then give me a plan to fix it. I’ve never received this sort of service at the dealer in my 25+ years of going to the dealer. Great job and thank you for not allowing me to tell you what was wrong with my vehicle. It would have been a very costly mistake made by me. You earned a new customer and I’ll tell everyone!

Kayla B.

West Springfield, MA

Auto Repair Springfield MA, Car Repair, 8 Steps To A Safe Car This Winter

Okay, so here’s the thing.

Winters in Western MA are very tough on cars.

We have had a very warm Fall season but the cold weather is right around the corner and I want to make sure you and your car are ready.

I’ve listed 8 simple steps you can follow. If you have any problems or if I can answer any questions, please give me a call.

Step 1: Check your battery. During the cold, your engine requires more power to get going. A mechanic can run a battery load test to see if you need to replace it and clean the posts and add distilled water if necessary.

Step 2: Stock your car with emergency supplies. There are many long, lonely roads in Western MA and being stranded anywhere could cause major problems while you’re waiting for assistance. Some good supplies to have are: a fully charged cell phone, flashlight, jumper cables, blankets, ice scraper, first aid kit, tow strap and a folding shovel.

Step 3: Check your belts and hoses. Cold weather can weaken belts and hoses, any signs of wear and tear and they should be replaced.

Step 4: Change the oil. Cold weather reduces oil’s effectiveness and the colder it gets, the thicker the oil gets. As oil is used, it gets thicker which can make it difficult for the oil to circulate through the engine.

Step 5: Check your antifreeze. Antifreeze and water mixture should be about 50-50. This will prevent the coolant in your radiator from freezing.

Step 6: Check tire pressure. Cold weather causes air pressure in your tires to drop. For every 10 degree drop in temperature, your tire’s air pressure will drop about one psi. Your tires need to be properly inflated to make sure they are getting the proper contact with the road, which is important during wintry conditions.

Step 7: Snow tires are always a good idea. Snow tires are made with a softer rubber which allows them to stay flexible during the coldest weather. The tire is made with tread patterns designed to grip in snow and ice.

Step 8: Check wiper fluid and change wiper blades. We all agree that we need a clear windshield, but worn wiper blades and an empty wiper fluid reservoir can quickly lead to an accident. Replace worn or frayed blades and top off your wiper fluid with a brand that has a lower freezing temperature.

Before taking off, one more thing.

Precision Auto Repair is always here to help and we do provide winterization appointments. You can schedule online by going here next:

Schedule Online Today!

Thank you.