Subaru Timing Belt Replacement

Broken Subaru Timing Belt West Springfield MA

Subaru Timing Belt Replacement

Broken Subaru Timing Belt West Springfield MA
As you can see the belt literally just snapped

A well maintained timing belt is essential in making sure that your vehicle will last for years to come. They don’t need to be replaced too often and the cost to replace the belt is fairly inexpensive. In most cases it only takes a few hours and should be done roughly every 100,000 miles. The trick here is to replace the timing belt as Preventive Maintenance and not as a repair like this customer had to do. Today I’ll tell you about a Subaru Timing Belt Replacement that ended up being a much larger job than the customer had hoped.

Subaru Check Engine Light

This customer started using us about 1 year ago. They needed an oil change and we were happy to help. With our oil change we perform our complimentary 55 Point Precision Inspection. This Inspection checks over the entire vehicle as well as pointing out any past due maintenance that the customer might need. This customer had roughly 145,000 miles on their car at the time and was told that it may be time to replace the timing belt as it appeared as if the belt had never been replaced. The rest of the car was immaculate.

When we suggested it to the customer she immediately said “That’s a myth, I was told that it lasts forever and replacing them is a scam”. We assured her that it’s not a scam and she told us she would think about it and get back to us. Last week she was driving and had her Check Engine Light come on and about a mile later there was a “bang” and the vehicle simply shut off. She tried to restart it but unfortunately needed to be towed. Fortunately she was able to take advantage of our Free Roadside Assistance.

Subaru Head Gaskets

Subaru Timing belt and head gasket replacement
After the engine was repaired and put back together it is ready to be reinstalled in the car

The vehicle came in and it was obvious what had happened. The timing belt had snapped causing some internal engine damage. The purpose of the timing belt is to keep the upper and lower ends of the engine moving in sequence. Should one of them find themselves out of sequence there can be some serious internal engine damage. In this case when the lower end (pistons and crank) spun free they hit the upper end (valves) causing some big problems.

The only way to repair valves in a cylinder head is to remove them by removing the entire cylinder head(s). When removed we found significant damage that was fortunately very easily repaired. The technician repaired the cylinder heads by replacing all of the damaged valves and reinstalled them along with new seals and a new timing belt.

The job only took a few days to complete but cost the customer roughly $3000 more to perform this repair due to the engine damage than it would have been if she just replaced the belt as preventive maintenance rather than as a repair after it snapped. Like many others that have unexpected repairs, she wasn’t prepared to spend that kind of money so she was happy about being able to take advantage of one of our Payment Plans.

Need your timing belt replaced? Not sure if your vehicle has a timing belt or a timing chain? Give us a call or feel free to schedule online. We’re happy to help.

 

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MAIt’s frightening to have your car shut off on the highway. It’s even more frightening to know that all of this could have been prevented if I just listened to their advice. While I take full responsibility for what happened I’m just happy that James and David were able to get me right in and take care of the issue so quickly. I have a few friends that use this shop and everyone raves about them. Now I see why. I’ll be sure to take their advice more seriously going forward and can’t sing more praises about how professional all of them are and how well my car is running. For anyone considering this shop I can say that they’re not cheap, but they’re GOOD!! Like really good! I find that they’re cheaper than the dealer and blow the dealer away in terms of quality and professionalism. I would rather know my car is fixed properly than cheaply. Highly recommended by me.

Cathy L

West Springfield, MA

Mercedes Benz Engine Replacement

Mercedes Benz Repair

Mercedes Benz Engine Replacement

Mercedes Benz oil change needed
You can see some of the metal chunks in the bottom of the pan

Recently we had customer buy a new vehicle because their last one literally fell apart from lack of service. He had always wanted a Mercedes Benz so he was finally ready to make that dream come true. The car was only a few years old and he was concerned about potential Mercedes Benz Repair bills so we checked it over first and gave it a clean bill of health (it just needed a set of tires). He went back to the dealership, made the purchase, and got an Extended Warranty (something we do not recommend purchasing) just in case something major went wrong he wanted to be covered. Well something major did go wrong and it wasn’t covered. Want to know why?

If you have ever been to our shop or read any of our other posts you’ll know that we’re huge advocates of servicing your vehicle regularly. We actually cover this in great detail in another post. The way this benefits us is that if you use us for service and your car runs properly without any major issues, the chance of you returning to us in the future are greatly increased. It’s also not a huge secret that by performing K Services on time it will dramatically lower your chances of small and large unexpected issues.

Mercedes Benz Repair

So when this customer bought the car we gave him the full maintenance schedule for his vehicle. Then we explained how following this schedule will keep his

Mercedes Benz Repair
Here’s another picture. You can clearly see the large metal pieces that came out of his engine

factory and aftermarket warranties current. Last we pointed out how important this car is to him and if he didn’t want to have what happened to his old car happen to this one, he would need to service it. Well his neighbor is a “Mechanic” somewhere and told him that he doesn’t need to follow maintenance schedules because (exact quote) “Those cars use synthetic oil, that stuff lasts pretty much forever. They’re trying to rip you off”. Well…..His engine literally came apart internally about 11 months later and he wasn’t covered….

This customer is constantly driving around the Northeast. He also idles quite a bit. Between mountains, excessive idling, temperature change, road conditions, etc he would fall under a Severe Service Schedule. But even if he followed Normal Service he would still need to service the car at minimum every 13,000 miles. In this case he went almost 1 year and 34,876 miles. That’s 21,876 miles overdue. Kaboom!

As you can see from the pictures the bearings in the lower end began to come completely apart. When the warranty company came out to look at the engine the first thing they asked for were maintenance records, which the customer didn’t have. Claim bounced immediately! They didn’t even want to inspect the engine. His $3,000 warranty is now only as valuable as the paper it’s printed on and he has NO recourse.

Mercedes Benz Repair
Out with the old engine, in with the new one

This Mercedes Repair now turned into a $6,500 engine replacement bill + the cost of the warranty that he can’t use for $3,000. So he was in for $9,500 after all is said and done. The service he missed that his “Mechanic” neighbor said he didn’t need was only $125. That would have brought his vehicle right up to date and the warranty would have covered the whole repair.

In closing I want to ask this one question. If you went to the doctor and she told you that you need to lose weight and lower your blood pressure then suggested a nice clean diet and exercise. Would you tell her “No, my neighbor said I can do the same by watching Netflix and eating pizza all day”? Then why would someone in their right mind bring their expensive car to trained Technicians for advice then completely disregard the advice given to them?

Need service? We make scheduling online very easy.

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA

 

I can’t believe I did this! James told me too but I didn’t listen and I paid for it. He really is great at what he does over there. Everyone that works there is. They got me right in and tried to get me covered but it was my mistake so I had to pay. The car was done in 3 days and I got back to work. It’s been about a year since they replaced the engine and it’s still running great. I also now follow the e mails and updates James sends that tell me when I’m due back in there. Sorry I didn’t listen guys and thanks again for the great work. I love this car!

Terrence W.

East Longmeadow, MA

 

Oil Change Part 2

Audi Oil change west springfield ma

In Part 1 of this post about Oil Change intervals and/or Scheduled maintenance we covered how to properly check your engine oil as well as detailing what is classified as Factory Scheduled Maintenance and/ or “K Services”. In Part 2 we will cover K Services based on driving habits, how “K Services” are the new “Tune Up”, and how performing these services not only adds value to your vehicle but it will help save you money and time by keeping the car running like new while maintaining the factory warranty.

Normal Service vs. Severe Service

The easiest way to explain this is to point out that clearly some people are harder on their vehicles than others. To piggyback on this, there are also areas of the country that are harder on vehicles than others. Below is what Acura describes as “Severe Service”. This is a pretty industry standard description and applies to most vehicles;

oil change severe service description
Do these match the conditions your vehicle sees or your driving habits?

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your driving habits and geographical location don’t apply to that description, then you fall under “Normal Service”. The difference between the 2 is basically that Severe Service schedules are a little shorter. They do this because if the vehicle is exposed to harsher conditions it’s only natural that your vehicle will need a little bit more attention to stay running like new.

Acura scheduled maintenance chart
The chart breaks down mileage and specific services based on the exact mileages
Oil change severe service schedule
As you can see, the Severe Service Schedule doesn’t allow as much time between services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the side by side comparison. Vehicles that are driven in Severe conditions will see almost twice as much maintenance than “Normal condition” vehicles. Just a small hint, everyone of us living in New England fall under Severe Service based on temperature change alone from day to day.

Tune Up

Every single day we get a few calls from people that are asking for a price for a “Tune Up”. The problem here is that years ago a Tune Up would fix about 90% of the issues a vehicle could have, but that’s no longer the case. When these people are calling it’s typically because they have fallen behind with their K Services and have developed an issue that needs to be addressed and most people are under the impression that a “Tune Up” will fix whatever is broken. The K Service Schedule will lay out an exact plan as to when to change all fluids, filters, spark plugs, timing belt, and any other serviceable components. In addition it allows our Factory Trained Technicians a chance to properly inspect a list of other areas detailed on the Schedule. If your Service has lapsed the process is still simple, we figure out what’s been missed and bring it up to date. How does this benefit you?

“What’s in it for me?”

This is a question we all ask ourselves when making any decision. By performing these K Services and following the schedule laid out by the manufacturer of your vehicle it does a few things for you.

First, it keeps your factory warranty current. that’s correct, You do not need to go to the dealer to keep your factory warranty current. plus our average customer saves about 20% under what the dealer charges for the exact same service.

Next, you get a safe running vehicle. With all of these mileage based services there are various points of inspection on the vehicle that we check. We can quickly assess the immediate condition as well as being able to spot any other issues on the horizon before they become a problem. This way it allows you to plan.

Last, is that when your vehicle is running it’s best not only are you going to have many miles of worry free driving but you’ll also have better fuel economy. In addition when you decide to sell or trade your vehicle, having all of the up to date maintenance records will really help the resale value.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have any other questions just feel free to reach out to us at anytime. We’re here to help. Or to schedule an appointment you can do so here.

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA

 

I started going to James back when they first opened about 10 years ago. I was definitely skeptical when he told me what needed to be done and when basically because I had never heard anyone else tell me this. How could he predict the future? My Audi had 5,000 miles on it and he was telling me how to get to 200,000 miles. I literally left the first visit with a schedule and prices for services broken down all the way up to 200,000 miles. I had to admire his passion but I also have to admit that I never thought I would get this far or own the car this long. 10 years and 240,000 miles later I can honestly say that the only issue I had that James didn’t tell me about was when my starter went bad. It worked one day and didn’t the next, oh well. This is also the first car I’ve ever owned that didn’t give me a heap of trouble around 80,000 miles. I’m happy to see how much Precision has grown over the years and based on my first and many interactions with James I can definitely see why. They are fair, honest, caring, and transparent. If you want your investment to last you’re going to want to take it to Precision. These guys know their stuff!

Karen P.

West Springfield, MA

Oil Change Part 1

Audi Oil change west springfield ma

It’s no secret that we all want to drive our cars as long as possible, staying as safe as possible, while spending as little as possible, and ultimately have no breakdowns. The truth is that with very little planning this is a very realistic goal for every one of you. But if you are one of the many that think by just getting an Oil Change a few times every year that is going to help you reach this goal, I’m sorry to say that you won’t. Our experience shows that the customer that only gets an Oil Change once or twice every year and doesn’t perform any other maintenance will pay up to 5x more (based on ownership up to 150,000 miles) to keep their car running safely than someone that follows the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

In this 2 part post I’m going to explain what Factory Scheduled Maintenance is, how to properly check your engine oil, how performing these services actually cover what some call a Tune Up, the difference in services based on driving habits, and why you need to use this schedule if you don’t want to pay for expensive and unexpected repairs and keep your factory warranty current.

Checking your oil level

Cars are definitely built a lot better than they were years ago. They’re much more efficient and are built to much stricter specifications which typically means that they won’t burn through fluids, last longer, and can go longer between services. With that said, the life blood of your engine is the oil. I typically check my oil every other time I fill my gas tank. This helps me monitor the condition and level of the oil regularly so I can spot an issue before it becomes a major problem. Here’s how;

Factory Scheduled Maintenance

The manufacturer that built your vehicle came up with a plan for your vehicle. This plan was laid out to ensure that all essential systems in the vehicle get checked or serviced at specified times. The plan was also made to ensure that you will have worry free driving so that you will stay loyal to the brand you drive and ultimately buy another one in the future. The example below is actually the plan for an Acura RL (your plan will vary based on the vehicle you drive, this is just an example. If you need information for a specific vehicle, feel free to call us and we can get that for you);

The chart breaks down mileage and specific services based on the exact mileages
The chart breaks down mileage and specific services based on the exact mileages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see the plan is broken down into specific mileage based sections that point out exactly what needs to be checked and/or replaced as well as when. These services are commonly referred to as “K Services”.

In Part 2 of this post we will cover K Services  based on driving habits, how “K Services” are the new Tune Up, and how performing these services not only adds value to your vehicle but it will help save you money and time by keeping the car running like new while maintaining the factory warranty.

Follow me over to Part 2 now.

or

Schedule an appointment today

 

Subaru Fuel Pump Repair

Faulty fuel pump

Subaru Stalling

As you can see the connector is melted in one spot and scorched in another and the power wire is burned and melted
As you can see the connector is melted in one spot and scorched in another and the power wire is burned and melted

About 2-3 months ago we received a call from a man that was having trouble with his car. In certain situations he would lose all power and the vehicle would just shut off. He wanted a price for a Tune up but based on what he was telling us, a Tune Up wasn’t going to help him. It was actually going to just waste time and money. We told him that it sounded like an issue with his Subaru Fuel Pump and that we would need to check a few things to be sure.

He said he would call us back and a few hours later called to tell us that his buddy is a mechanic that used to own his own shop (here we go again….) and can fix it for him cheaply (and again…). Then thanked us for the help. Now fast forward 2-3 months to this week.

Subaru Fuel Pump Replacement

Here's another view of the same 3 spots on the fuel pump
Here’s another view of the same 3 spots on the fuel pump

 

It turns out that in this case the mechanic friend almost killed him….. literally! Those are pictures of the Subaru Fuel Pump. The friend verified what we said and that there was an issue with the Fuel Pump. What was actually happening was the pump was just worn out internally and it needed to be replaced. This “friend” just ran more power to the pump by running a wire from the battery right down to the pump. The only way to explain how much more power that is would be to say, it’s like lighting a birthday candle in a bonfire. It’s WAY too much power. So what happened?

The power wire to the pump got so hot it melted itself, the connector to the pump melted from heat, and the pump got so hot internally it began to melt the cap of the pump. Remember, not only is this pump hot and melting but it’s submerged in gasoline….

If you don’t know what happens when fire and gasoline mix check this out.

(In his defense there was a Spider)

The customer only realized that there was a problem because the “Friend’s Fix” didn’t work and actually made the problem worse. He had no idea that he was driving around in a rolling bomb. We took care of all of the issues and had the customer back on the road safely within a few hours and backed our repair with our 2 year 24,000 mile Nationwide warranty and 12 month roadside assistance.

 

5 Star Rating

 

It’s tough to find a good mechanic and one that you can trust. I thought my friend knew what he was talking about because I’ve known him for years. I was almost in disbelief to see what Precision found but I’m thankful that they found it. They kept me informed the whole time my car was there and even sent me pictures and e mails showing me everything that was going on with my car. It’s tough to find transparency like that in this day and age. For anyone looking to get their car fixed I want you to take it from me. I’m cheap! I’m as cheap as it gets. I tried to take the cheap way out this time and it almost killed me. That’s not cool. Leave the car stuff to the professionals at Precision auto. They know what they’re doing and they’re really not all that expensive when compared to the dealer. A+++++ guys.

Henry D

West Springfield, MA

Subaru Service Scheduled Maintenance

Subaru Service west springfield ma

The most frequently asked question we hear day to day is “How much for a tune up?”. While this was a very easy question to answer in the 70’s and 80’s, cars have become much more complex and the term “Tune Up” ultimately doesn’t have a ton of bearing on ensuring that your Subaru runs it’s best for years to come.

So I want to take a few minutes to explain what a “Subaru Tune Up” used to be, what it currently is, and also explain  the benefits of having your vehicle serviced properly. A “Tune Up” used to essentially be an oil change, spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, and a distributor cap and rotor. The owner of the car did this pretty much whenever the car started to run rough or about every 20-30,000 miles based on driving habits. This would solve most issues a vehicle could develop back then. Now the manufacturers have changed over to what is called a “K service”. A “K Service” is a mileage based service (you can find this schedule in your owners manual or just call us if you’re unclear on your vehicle’s actual schedule and we can e mail it to you) that ensures that your vehicle is in our shop at specified mileages. During these specified mileages we check various areas of the vehicle and perform some required services such as fluid changes, computer resets, air filters, timing belt replacement, and even spark plugs. It is very rare however that if you have a “Check Engine Light” lit up on your dash that this service or a “Subaru Tune Up” will resolve the issue. You may need to have that issue looked at as well.

One of our Master Techs performing a Subaru Service
One of our Master Techs performing a Subaru Service

The benefit here is that with all of the new technology in vehicles these days we find that the required replacement of parts is minimal and the benefit to the consumer is that since your vehicle is in the shop at such regular intervals the chance of a major part failure or break down that will leave you stranded is lowered by roughly 90%. That’s correct, by performing your mileage based service laid out by the manufacturer we have found that you are 90% LESS likely to break down than someone that just wants to change their oil every 3,000 miles. In addition, by performing these services on your vehicle it keeps the “Subaru Factory Warranty” current and on average our customer’s pay about 20% less for the same service than the “Subaru Dealer” will charge.

So in short following your Subaru Dealer’s Service Schedule will help ensure years of enjoyable driving and safety for you and your family. Rest assured that when it comes to Subaru Service in West Springfield MA, we’ve got you covered.

 

 

In need of Subaru Service? Call us today at 413.363.0306 or schedule online today.

5 Star Rating

 

I was always under the impression that I needed to go to the Subaru Dealer in West Springfield or my warranty would be void. I was under this impression because that’s what the dealer told me. After a few minutes of research I found that it’s not true and then started to question other things I was told such as, Why do I need a major repair every single time my car is in for service? So I looked for other options. I found Precision Auto Repair in an online search and decided to give them a shot. They got me right in, gave me a ride to work, and the price was more than reasonable. I also enjoyed the personal interaction I got from the staff there. They make me feel like a friend and not a customer. My husband and daughter both drive Subaru’s and we all currently take our vehicles to Precision and have been for the past 3 years. They’re the best.

Mary Beth W.

Southampton, MA

 

Western MA Auto Repair – Tune Ups

When is the last time your car had a tune ups? Engines are very complex today and need to be checked to make sure everything is running correctly. A basic tune up will check your air and fuel filters, spark plugs, fluids and more. Precision offers a maintenance program for all of our customers to help you maintain an efficient running car which will lower overall cost of ownership.

The longer you wait to have your car serviced it can create much larger and more expensive issues. Call today or schedule online by going here:

Get Your Car A Tune Up!

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.

James