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

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

Derrick M.

Feeding Hills, MA

Broken Subaru Timing Belt West Springfield MA

Subaru Timing Belt Replacement

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.

[coupon couponid=”815″ coupon_align=”cctor_aligncenter” name=”Save 10% off a Timing Belt Repalcement”]

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 Repair

Mercedes Benz Engine Replacement

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


Audi Oil change west springfield ma

Oil Change Part 2

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

Audi Oil change west springfield ma

Oil Change Part 1

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.


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Faulty fuel pump

Subaru Fuel Pump Repair

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 west springfield ma

Subaru Service Scheduled Maintenance

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.