Volvo grinding noise

Volvo repair differential replacement

Volvo Grinding Noise While DrivingVolvo repair grinding noise while driving

About a week ago we received a call from a long time customer saying that he hears a noise coming from the back  of his Volvo XC90 when driving down the road. We didn’t think much of it because wheel bearings are a common Volvo Repair and they could give him the noise that he was describing. We definitely had the wrong assumption.

When the vehicle came in the customer said that there had been a warning light lit up on his dash for about a month but since the vehicle seemed fine he didn’t bother to call for an appointment. We attempted a road test the vehicle but the noise was a loud grinding that could be felt throughout the entire vehicle as the wheels turned. One of our Master Technicians immediately pulled the vehicle into the shop rather than take the standard road test. We just didn’t want to potentially do any further damage than was already done. When we pulled the Volvo into the shop we hoisted it on the lift and saw a large amount of fluid all over the rear portion of the underside of the vehicle.

Volvo Repair

It didn’t take long to see that the rear differential (in short, a differential is the gears that turn the wheels) was literally split in half. Since there wasn’t any way to know what caused the damage Volvo repair broken differentialwithout removing and disassembling what was left of the Volvo Rear Differential and it had to be removed to be replaced, we went ahead and removed it. It was fairly involved but we got it out without much of an issue at all.

Once we got it out we took it apart for inspection to find out what had failed. There is a bearing in the rear differential called a “Pinion Bearing”. This bearing started to go bad and over time completely failed. This caused the gear that the bearing guides to move around allowing the main gear in the differential to rub on the inside of the differential housing until it eventually banged against it hard enough to break it in half.

Since the housing and gears were all completely destroyed we ended up replacing the entire differential unit. Then we performed an alignment because most of the rear suspension had to come apart to remove the old differential and to install the new one. The part was special order and took a few days to come in but the customer ultimately had their vehicle back in their possession within 2 business days.

When warning lights show up on your dash, it’s never a good idea to ignore them. This differential is equipped with a fluid pump on the differential that’s controlled by a computer that’s also mounted on the differential. The computer had shorted out internally causing the pump to malfunction. This caused a great deal of heat which ultimately caused the pinion bearing to fail.

Do you have any lights on your dash that need to be addressed? Give us a call today or schedule online 24/7.

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA Best auto repair shop near me

Volvo repair differential noise

 

I’ve been going to James since his first shop opened over 10 years ago. I was happy to use him then and I’m happy to use him now. Always professional and honest. The pricing is also more than fair considering the service you get with anything that they do. Great spot and great people.

Matt R

Longmeadow, MA

Noise Over Bumps

strut replacement west springfield ma

Clunking Noise Over Bumpsstrut replacement west springfield ma suspension noise over bumps

We feel that there’s nothing better than a nice smooth riding vehicle. Today we met a new customer that feels the exact same way but was going crazy because his vehicle was making a Clunking Noise Over Bumps. Rattles and clunks can almost feel like a form of torture to someone that’s sensitive to them. Not to mention that in most cases a noise can mean that there is a component in the suspension that is loose and could pose a safety concern for the driver.

Suspension Clunk

The first step in any diagnosis is verifying the problem. With this vehicle the customer was a little bit frustrated because he had been going to another local shop that replaced a few suspension parts in an attempt to remedy the issue but unfortunately never got to the root of the noise. When the vehicle came in we took a ride with the customer. The goal is to hear the same noise he is hearing so that we’re not chasing a “normal” noise or another noise he’s not concerned with.

After a short ride together is was very obvious that the noise was coming from the front suspension. Next we had one of our Technicians inspect the vehicle on a lift. We found that the suspension was tight and everything looked normal so we had to go a step further. We opted to use chassis ears on this vehicle. Chassis ears are like little microphones that Strut replacement west springfield mathe Technician can hook up to various spots in the suspension and listen to certain areas to isolate the noise while driving on the road (it sounds complicated but it’s really not).

Strut Noise

After a short road test the Technician found that the noise was coming from the front struts. The struts on this vehicle are filled with an oil that helps dampen vibration in the road. While the struts appeared to be in good shape and full of oil, they had developed a bit of play internally causing the clunk. To fix his concern we needed to replace both front struts.

Strut Replacement

We removed the old struts and replaced them with new ones including new strut mounts and strut bearings. The reason we do this is that the mounts are a solid rubber and compress over time Strut West Springfield maand the bearings take quite a bit of abuse over the years from turning and hitting large bumps. Since they have to be removed from the old strut anyways, it’s best to put new ones on the new strut to ensure the best possible end result that will last for years to come without any issues. There would be nothing worse than putting the whole job back together only to find that there is still a small noise from the mounts or bearing.

In this and every case the customer is given options. We ended up replacing everything because that’s what the customer wanted. The additional expense was only about $100 and the customer was able to take advantage of one of our Payment Plans so he could defer payment for a few months. We also backed the repair with our 2 year 24,000 mile nationwide Warranty and 12 months of roadside assistance.

The end result was a smooth running vehicle without any rattles and one very happy new customer. If you have a noise that’s bothering you it may not necessarily be a safety concern, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Noises like this can also cause some uneven tire wear that will result in a second noise. Feel free to give us a call today or schedule online. We’re happy to help.

 

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MAThis noise was driving me nuts to the point of wanting to get rid of the vehicle. I was thinking there was something wrong with the frame or something major. David was great! He set me up with one of the guys over there and they had me in and out in a day. I think the price was very reasonable and frankly the car has never driven better. I’m happy I gave them a shot and will be back for all services whether minor or major.

Matthew A

West Springfield, MA

Jeep Axle Repair

Jeep axle

Jeep Axle Repair

Most us can look back at a time when we got stuck in the snow or mud. It’s a horrible feeling. For me personally I get mad at my car when I’m the one that got it stuck…. Last week we saw a customer come in with a really nice Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. He was passing by someone that was stuck and decided to help pull them out. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to pull the vehicle out and the whole ordeal ended up with the need for a Jeep Axle Repair.Broken Jeep axle

“No good deed goes unpunished” – Clare Boothe Luce

Jeep Repair

When the customer brought the Jeep in he was holding a large piece of the axle in his hand and there was a puddle of differential (gears that help move the wheels) fluid under the right front of the vehicle. It didn’t take much time to see where the problem was. The only potential issue here is that when the axle breaks there is a large possibility that the remaining portion of the axle can damage other components when it spins free, or the piece that broke off could damage things on the way out.
Jeep axle

One of our Master Technicians checked the whole front suspension and the damaged area. The customer was pretty lucky because the only major problems were the axle being broken and the axle seal. We also noticed an ABS light on the dash that was caused by an improper alignment (the skid light will come on if the steering wheel is off center because the vehicle thinks it’s sliding sideways down the road sideways and the driver has turned the steering wheel to correct course). So we recommended replacing the axle, the seal, and an alignment.

Jeep Service

It was a pretty simple fix. The broken portion of the axle was removed. Then the front differential had to come apart to replace the seal. There are special tools that are “supposed” to make replacing this seal easy but we have the tools and the seal never goes in correctly… So we access the seal by going into the differential. After we put everything back together we performed an alignment.

Jeep U joint repair

In conclusion, this was a pretty simple repair. The only problem was that we had to wait a few days for a new axle to come in. Other than that the customer was out the door as quickly as possible and he won’t be towing anyone out of the snow anytime soon. A somewhat happy ending to a good deed that went wrong.

 

Cheapest Auto Repair

Kia Repair frame rust

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

Subaru Axle Replacement

Subaru CV Axle Replacement at Precision auto repair and sales west springfield ma

Today we had a new Subaru Service customer that called up concerned about a vibration and noise when they were on the highway. They were told by the local Subaru Dealer that the belts in the tires had shifted that that they need 4 new tires and an alignment.

One of our Master Technicians drove the vehicle with the customer to verify the concern. The noise sounded like a very loud thumping that vibrated right through the seat of his pants around 55 mph right up through 65 mph. He then pulled the Subaru into the shop for inspection. We found that the tires are newer but worn a little unevenly due to lack of service. The tires should be rotated about every 8-10,000 miles. In addition the Tech found that the left inner CV boot is torn completely open and has no grease lubricating the inner joint.

The boot that somewhat resembles an accordion is called the CV Boot.
The boot that somewhat resembles an accordion is called the CV Boot. You can clearly see the tear right in the center of it

Since this joint depends on grease for lubrication, the grease needs to be sealed into the joint with the use of a rubber “CV Boot”. These CV Boots wear and sometimes tear. If spotted early enough the boot and grease can be replaced. But unfortunately in this case the issue was present for an incredibly long time causing the axle shaft to freeze up in the joint where it should be able to slide in and out freely.

We ended up just replacing the entire left front axle, rotating the tires, and performing an alignment. Then we road tested the vehicle again to verify that the Subaru Repair fixed the customer’s concern. We’re happy to say that this vehicle drove straight and smooth just like the day it came off the Subaru Dealer’s lot when it was new. Fortunately this is another case where we’re happy that we took the appropriate steps to properly verify and diagnose the customer’s concern. Otherwise we would have unnecessarily replaced parts that were perfectly “Ok” based on someone else’s incorrect diagnosis.

 

In need of Subaru Service? Feel free to call 413.363.0306 or schedule online today.

5 Star Rating

I love my Subaru and have always been loyal to the brand. It’s actually my 5th one and I wouldn’t drive anything else. It’s important that the car drives properly and is safe because I’m constantly traveling for work and can’t afford to be without it. I heard good things about Precision and I’m happy that I finally gave them a shot. One of their mechanics went for a ride with me to make sure that he heard the noise and then they checked it over to figure out the problem. I only had to wait a few hours and was able to get right back to work. Precision also saved me $327 under what I almost paid at the Subaru Dealer and the repair at the dealer wouldn’t have even fixed the issue. So who knows how much I would have ended up spending. You have a new customer for life. I love my Subaru and I can’t say enough great things about the entire staff at Precision Auto.

Samuel D.

Hampden, MA

 

BMW noise when braking while turning

BMW transmission support

Noises can be a tough issue to diagnose. I always tell the staff “90% of diagnosing any issue correctly is verifying the customer’s concern”.

In this case this customer had an issue with a loud banging noise from under the vehicle when turning and braking. They had an initial BMW Repair performed at another local shop that ultimately just replaced all 4 wheel brakes and performed an alignment. None of which fixed the customer’s issue and cost him somewhere around $2,000. He went back to them again and the shop suggested replacing shocks and struts for another $2,000 (sounds fair INSANE).

The customer ended up bringing his BMW Service to us based on some positive reviews that he had read and a recommendation from a co worker (spoiler alert, we didn’t disappoint). We took a ride with the customer to actually verify the noise. Then one of our Master Technicians pulled the car in for inspection. This is what we saw in about 1 minute:

Broken transmission support. It's literally broken right in half
Broken transmission support. It’s literally broken right in half

That’s a picture of the portion of the frame that supports the entire transmission. When the customer would step on the brakes and slow down the car would downshift and the entire transmission would bang against the body of the car. We replaced the support and mount within 1 day and had the customer back on the road with the problem resolved.

Fortunately for this customer the story ended well. Our only regret for them is that they spent $2,000 prior to coming to Precision Auto Repair to replace things that were perfectly fine and almost paid another $2,000 to replace shocks and struts on their BMW 335 for no reason whatsoever. Yet another reason we don’t trust diagnosis done by anyone except for our skilled and trained Technicians.

5 Star Rating  “It’s all true, they took me right in, took care of the problem, and it only cost a few hundred bucks. The staff was really friendly and everyone seemed to know what they were talking about at all times. It put me right at ease and it’s not a bad feeling when you actually get what you’re paying for. I’ll never go anywhere else. Thanks for all of your efforts.

Don T.

East Longmeadow, MA

James Stephenson

President/ Precision Auto Repair and Sales