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brake pad wear indicator light

“When should I get new brakes?”

It’s safe to say that the brake system is one of the most serviced systems in your vehicle. Between regular adjustments, periodic inspections,  Brake Fluid Flushes (yes this is a real thing), and pad replacement the average driver can expect to be performing some type of maintenance or inspection on their Brakes about once per year. With that said, one of the most askbrake pad wear indicator lighted questions is “When should I get new brakes?”. The next question is “How much for new brakes?”. Today I’m going to take a few minutes to address both of those questions so that you have a better
understanding of what’s involved and why.

“How do I know if I need a brake job?”

A lot of new cars come with a Brake Pad Wear Sensor. This is a sensor that is located inside the brake pad that gets cut when the brakes wear down causing the wear light to come on. When the light comes on, you’re ready for brakes. Simple! The most common way to know you are due for a Brake Job is during periodic inspections. These inspections are performed regularly when you come in for normal Scheduled Maintenance. Aside from simply changing the oil and filter we perform a visual inspection of roughly 55 key areas on your vehicle. From here we can tell you pretty decisively what will need to be replaced and more importantly, when.

Click here for more information on Brakes and different types of Brake Systems.

“How much for a brake job?”

When the brake pads wear down most cars simply need Brake Pads (or Brake Shoes, read more about this here) and to either machine the Brake Rotors (shave them down just a little to get a nice clean and true surface for the Brake Pad to contact when stopping) or replace them. When everything is being replaced there are a few other things that go into ensuring that the brakes will function as designed for many years to come that are generally overlooked when someone replaces brakes on their own or at a place advertising  an “$89 Lifetime Brake Job”…..

The thing that’s most commonly overlooked is part quality. Yes, you can probably get brake pads for your Mercedes for $29, but when they literally fall apart or fail in a few weeks or months you’ll be replacing them again and again and again. We only use top quality parts. If I wouldn’t use it on my car I’m not putting it on your car, there’s really no other way to say it.

The second most overlooked part  to a Brake Job is actually one of the most simple pieces and we see it every single day. It’s lack of lubrication on the contact points (not to be confused with friction contact points). Friction Contact points are where the Brake Pad contacts the rotor. The brakes create friction so you don’t want any lubrication there. Contact points are anywhere that the Brake Pad touches the caliper or the bracket where the pad sits. The brake pads are constantly moving when braking, sliding back and forth (good movement). Without proper lubrication the pads will eventually stick in the bracket and when you release the brake pedal the pads stay rubbing on the rotor. This causes the brakes to wear out sooner, pulsate, or make noise. You also want to have all of the slides that go into the caliper bracket removed, cleaned, and lubricated. We do all of this during every single brake job as well as a bunch of other things so that you don’t have to worry about any issues until you need your next set in 30-40,000+ miles.

Price for brakes

A few months back a woman called for the first time. She said her regular mechanic didn’t have the “right tools” to do her front brake job (literally any basic set of tools has about everything you brake jobneed). I asked her what she was told needed to be replaced so I could properly quote the job. She told me that the brakes aren’t making noise, need to be replaced soon, and pads and rotors will suffice. She also said that her regular mechanic had been properly servicing and inspecting the vehicle regularly. I explained the importance of properly inspecting the brake system so we could be sure the price we give includes each and every single thing she will need to make sure that everything that needs to be replaced gets replaced. She insisted that she only needed “Pads and Rotors” then began to get pretty upset that I wouldn’t just give her a price. Since I didn’t know the exact brake system on the vehicle (there were 3 choices for this vehicle), I gave her a general quote of “$350-$500 if it’s just pads and rotors” then stressed the purpose of the brake inspection again. Big mistake!!

She scheduled the appointment based on the price that I gave her. When she came in the next day we saw that the brakes not only had been grinding for quite a while (months at minimum, take a look for yourself) but the calipers were also damaged beyond repair because she wore completely through the brake pads and the only thing stopping her were the caliper pistons pressing on the rotors (You can see from the pictures that they’re completely destroyed). Since there was no brake fluid in the system there was also no brake pedal, when you pushed it with your foot it just went to the floor. The car had to be stopped with the emergency brake. Her rear brakes were also grinding. In short she needed both Front Calipers, Front Brake Pads, Front Brake Rotors, Rear Brake Pads, and Rear Brake Rotors. Then the entire system needed to be purged of any air (bled). So I explained it to her and showed her. Clearly since the scope of work changed significantly, the price was going to change. More parts + more time = Brake calipermore money than we initially quoted. We would have known all of this if we inspected the brakes before quoting. Well she wasn’t happy….

This story doesn’t have a happy ending although it is slightly comical. She demanded that we fix the brake system within the quote I gave her. When I said that wasn’t possible she got very upset (this is an understatement). She ended up screaming that I must be a “Trump supporter” and accused me of trying to ruin her family’s Christmas because we wouldn’t fix her car. Then she took to social media (using our WiFi) to tell everyone how horrible we are and how our staff broke her car because it was “perfect” when she brought it in.

So this was the last time we ever gave a price for brakes without first seeing the vehicle.

I don’t know about you but if I have to pay for a brake job I don’t want to find out the hard way that the one time I need to stop quickly when going 60 mph that I should have paid an extra $40 – $50 to get my brakes done properly by someone that knows what they’re doing.

If you have a brake issue and want us to check it out for you, we would love the opportunity. Simply schedule an appointment by giving us a call 413.363.0306 or feel free to schedule online 24/7.

-James

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

 

You want it done right then you go to Precision. I have 4 vehicles I use for my electrical contracting company and each of them have never seen a dealer except for the day I bought them. If my vehicles are down then I can’t do my job. The people at Precision understand that. Top notch service from James and the guys over there for all of the 9 years I’ve been using their service.

Devon R.

Agawam, MA

Precision Auto Repair 4 Seasons Savings Card

2018 Customer Loyalty Plans

Precision Auto Repair Customer Loyalty Programs

If I could tell you a low cost way to make sure your car ran like new while lowering your chances of unexpected break downs, would you listen? Of course you would! You’re in luck because I’m going to tell you. The secret is “Preventive Maintenance”. You can read more about this here. You’re probably used to calling this an “Oil Change” or a “Tune Up“. The only difference is that over time as technology has improved the name has changed slightly to encompass a variety of services that need to be performed based on your current mileage. Oil change severe service schedule

Even with our years of training and experience, it’s safe to assume that the manufacturer of your vehicle knows more about it than any of us. That’s why they designed this maintenance chart to ensure that your vehicle can run like new as long as possible. Our Technicians use this as a guide to tell us what will need to be checked, reset, and serviced as well as when.

Based on our historical averages for 2016 we found that our customers that follow their Preventive Maintenance Schedule are 86.4% LESS likely to have unexpected issues. In other words, if you perform services on time then the need for an unexpected Car Repair will be significantly lower.

auto repair appointment west springfield ma

2017/2018 4 Seasons Savings Card

Precision Auto Repair Customer Loyalty cardOur average customer makes 3 visits to our shop per year. So we developed a loyalty plan that will allow them to save up to $100 per year for doing nothing more than returning to us for service when they’re due.  The program is designed to give you $25 off during each of the 4 seasons of the year. Getting your savings is pretty simple.

In the fall of 2017 we’re happy to say that we use the same criteria to determine who we give the cards to. Having said that, if you received a card last year it doesn’t mean that you will receive one this year. One of the most major criteria we use to determine who receives our Customer Loyalty Card is by determining if he/she is in fact a Loyal Customer. So without a recent visit (within the past 12 months) you will not be receiving a card.

To use your card:

  1. Bring your card in with you when you come in for a repair or service
  2. We then deduct $25 off your entire bill

It’s exactly that simple!

The only restriction is that we don’t allow you to use this card AND other promotions at the same time. But based on what the other promotion is, we always give the discount that benefits you the most.

We mail these cards out periodically and also hand them out after certain services or repairs. If you do not have one and want one, please feel free to call or e mail us.

 

Last Minute Booking Discounts

We always have and always will operate using an appointment calendar. The reason we do this is pretty simple, we want to make sure that we have enough time to fix your vehicle so you can get back to driving it. The only problem with this is that sometimes when we end up waiting on a part, we get a cancellation, the Big E is going on (if you’re from Western Mass you will understand), or when someone reschedules we end up with a last minute hole in our schedule.

Last year we started a new e mail program that will e mail a select few customers and offer them a Significant Discount if they want to take that last minute slot. This is great for someone that’s been putting off a needed repair for quite some time. The size of the hole in our schedule typically determines the size of the offer . The average last minute offer is typically 15-20% off and the offer has to be used during select dates that are always last minute. These slots are also first come, first served and always fill up fast.

So if you’re in need of a repair and see this e mail come through, take it. Also, if you haven’t seen this e mail and would like to be added to the list please send us an e mail and we will just have our staff reach out directly when we have an opening like this. It’s typically 2-3x per month.

Payment PlansAuto repair payment plan

If this was a perfect world a Car Repair would always come up exactly when you knew it was going to and when you were financially prepared for it to happen. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world. So for those of us that don’t always prepare for the worst and hope for the best, we have partnered with some of the best lenders in the business to bring you payment options for pretty much every income level, credit history, and situation imaginable. We have plans for;

  • Great Credit – some plans as low as 0% for 12 months (most popular)
  • Good Credit
  • Bad Credit
  • No Credit Check…..

*All Payment Plan approvals, terms, and conditions are subject to 3rd party lender approval. 

These are very simple to apply for. Simply go to our Payment Option page and fill out the application. Someone will be in contact with you shortly.

**Please you must be an existing customer of Precision Auto Repair to benefit from any of these programs.

Talk to you soon!

– James

Jeep check engine light repair

Jeep Check Engine Light

Jeep Check Engine Light Transmission Repair

A Check Engine Light can definitely give you an uneasy feeling when driving down the road. Just about every single working hour of every single day we get calls fromJeep transmission repair people asking how much for a “Tune up” or “How much to replace” a specific part (you can read more about that here). The reality is that when that light comes on most people think a Tune Up or a gas cap is the problem and just want a price for either. The problem here is that based on our experience less than 2% of the customers that call or just come in requesting a certain part replacement or ‘Tune Up” actually need that part or service to repair their immediate concern. Seem like a low number? We agree!

Jeep Repair

Today I want to tell you about a customer that absolutely insisted we replace her Jeep Transmission because she was told it needed one. Our first interaction was when she called us about a week ago. She said that her Jeep Check Engine Light had come on and the dealer told her she needed a new transmission. She looked for a second opinion at another local shop that confirmed that her Jeep Transmission needed to be replaced but they “don’t have the equipment” to handle the job for her (Tip; With the exception of computer reprogramming, in most cases if a shop “doesn’t have the equipment” to perform a repair then they most likely don’t have the proper training or tools to properly diagnose the issue in the first place). She was quoted roughly $4000 to replace the transmission and was hoping to get it done cheaper. The woman basically dropped the vehicle off and said “Don’t let the bill go over $4,000”.

Jeep check engine light repairNow it’s important to point out that all of our repairs start with having one of our Trained Master Technicians properly diagnose the vehicle before we give any quotes for repairs or  replace parts that may not need to be replaced (we go more into detail about this here). The main reason is that we want the customer to leave happy and that wouldn’t happen if we were replacing parts that didn’t fix customer concerns.

So as usual the repair process started with a road test. We found that the vehicle was stuck in 2nd gear. When we scanned the computer for codes (Code is a sequence of numbers that lead us to a troubled area, no scanner will tell you the exact issue without a little bit of testing). The codes were leading us to an issue inside the transmission. So we decided to take a look inside. When we lowered the pan on the bottom of the transmission that holds all of the fluid we found a couple of broken screws and when we started inspecting we found that the metal plate that holds the accumulators into the valve body was bent and broken. The broken screws in the pan were clearly used to hold the metal plate in place but when they broke it allowed the plate to bend.

Jeep Valve Body Repair

This Jeep Repair was actually pretty simple. We lowered the valve body, replaced the seals on the accumulators, replaced the metal plate, the screws that hold the plate in place, and filled the transmission with new fluid. After that we cleared the codes and took it for a road test to verify that everything was working like it should. Jeep check engine light repair

The entire repair took a few hours and only cost the customer a few hundred dollars. While replacing the transmission would have definitely fixed her issue, it also would have cost her about $3,600 more than our repair and with the exact same result. Replacing the transmission would have just been unethical.

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

I must say that I was pretty annoyed that they wouldn’t just give me a price. Like how hard can that be to look up? But once I picked up my vehicle I realized why they do things that way. I was absolutely insistent on getting a price and wanted them to just go ahead and order the transmission. If “the customer was always right” I would have had to pay over $3,000 more for my Jeep to get fixed. These guys are the best! They really are. I went in because of the reviews and they were spot on. From beginning to end this group of people really know how to treat people and they know how to fix cars. I suggest checking them out. Great place and great people.

Melissa A.

Feeding Hills, MA

 

 

Volvo repair differential replacement

Volvo grinding noise

Volvo Grinding Noise While DrivingVolvo repair grinding noise while driving

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

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

Volvo Repair

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volvo repair differential noise

 

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

Matt R

Longmeadow, MA

Audi check engine light repair clogged vacuum line

Audi Check Engine Light Repair

Audi Check Engine LightAudi repair for a clogged vacuum port

On a daily basis customers bring cars in concerned that their Check engine Light is on. So Check engine light repair is nothing new to us. While there is no computer on the market that can pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with a car just by plugging it in (which some people seem to think..), our Master Technicians have the tools and training to get to the root of the problem in a timely manner. What makes this particular Audi Check engine light unique is what we found.

Outstanding Customer Service

A few months back we received a call from a new customer. She was concerned that her Audi Check Engine Light had come on and felt that every shop she went to was “ripping [her] off” (she had been to 4 other shops….), but she heard great things about us from friends and co workers. Her ultimate goal was to get the Check Engine Light fixed as “cheaply as possible” so that she could get an inspection sticker and insisted that she already knew what was wrong and that we give her a price on an “Audi Mass Air Flow Meter” (spoiler, this wasn’t the problem).

Tip: Now this may sound like a simple issue and in some cases it really is. But we don’t know what will fix the car when we’ve never seen the it. Diagnosing an issue takes on average about 1 hour. Not to mention the tools, training, and software that goes into it. While vehicles do have “common” issues, that doesn’t mean that a common issue applies to every single situation. The only way for us to know what’s going to be needed to repair a vehicle and how much it’s going to cost is to properly test until we find what failed and quote accordingly. Without following these simple steps, we would be guessing and anyone that quotes over the phone without ever seeing the vehicle is doing just that. Feel free to read more about our case study on how much you actually save by having a professional properly diagnose issues on your vehicle rather than guessing.

Audi check engine light repair clogged vacuum lineShe called us back a few times and was very persistent about getting a price to replace the “Mass Air Flow Meter” or look at her car for free. We declined and she went elsewhere. Over the next few months she would call every few weeks (this story does have a silver lining) asking us to give her information about the Check Engine Light as it was still not fixed even after spending “Thousands” elsewhere. We took the time to educate her about the difference between having someone “pull a code” (process of having someone pull a sequence of numbers from your car’s computer that leads to a problem area in the vehicle) and properly diagnosing an issue (figuring out exactly what part failed and why).

Tip 2: Think about the difference between pulling codes and diagnosing an issue like this. Let’s say I needed directions to 11 Main Street in St Paul Minnesota. Pulling codes / “Just drive to St Paul Minnesota, you’ll find it…”. Diagnosis / (insert exact directions to the doorstep here). See the difference? Puling codes will lead to a troubled area, but there are a lot of parts in that system and not all of them are necessarily bad. The other issue is that sometimes you can have a code for one area but the problem is in a completely different system. Save yourself time, money, and aggravation by leaving it to trained professionals.

Audi Repair

Finally after a few months and 7 or 8 phone calls she made her way in with an expired Mass State Inspection Rejection Sticker on her windshield and a batch of fresh baked cookies in hand. One of our Master Technicians took her vehicle for a road test (to get milk… j/k) and quickly verified that the vehicle was running a little bit rough and that her Audi Check Engine Light was in fact on. Fortunately for this customer it didn’t take long to spot the problem.

The first issue was that the Secondary Air Injection pump was filled with water and completely seized internally. The shop(s) that she brought the vehicle to before us must have found an issue

Audi check engine light repair combination valve
Old “repaired” valve and the new valve

with the Audi Combination Valve and tried to “fix” it rather than replace it. This valve is an essential component in the Secondary Air Injection System (in short, it helps with emissions) . Rather than replace the valve they tried to glue the faulty piece of the valve back together which caused a blockage in the supply vacuum line going into the valve. Why such an obviously faulty part(s) wasn’t seen is baffling.

We ended up replacing the faulty valve, pump, and cleaning all of the lines. The total repair took about 2 hours (including the diagnosis). Then we went ahead and got her a valid Mass State Inspection sticker so she wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. If we would have taken her suggestion about replacing the Mass Air Flow Meter we would have wasted about $500 of her hard earned money on a part that was fine.

Now I promised a silver lining and here it is. Not only did the customer get her car fixed that day and leave with a valid Inspection Sticker. The customer is also an AWESOME baker!!! She brought in cookies the day of the repair and stocked us up on all sorts of homemade cookies, pies, and treats. Who doesn’t love cookies, pies, and perfectly running vehicles…..?

We also backed our repair with our 2 year 24,000 mile nationwide warranty and 12 months of roadside assistance at no additional charge. Is your Audi in need of Service or a Repair? Give us a call today or schedule online 24/7.

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

 

I know that not everyone can do an Audi repair so when I started having issues with my – new to me – Audi I freaked out. I called everyone but there aren’t many shops that work on Audi and I was lost. I had a few people tell me that James is awesome and that Precision is where I need to go but I guess I was fixated on knowing the total cost prior to bringing my car anywhere.  After a few lengthy conversations with James and David I felt that they were really trying to help and seemed very honest. I was definitely surprised with how quickly they took care of my car. I was back on the road in only a few short hours. Their waiting room is nicer than my living room so I was very comfortable and everyone was accommodating. In total at other shops I spent $2,400 and roughly 3 months taking it back and forth to them. When I wised up and went to Precision they fixed it that day and in a few hours. The bill was also much less than I had initially anticipated. If you want your Audi fixed right the first time by guys that love cars, cookies, and helping people. Precision is the place for you.

Anna O

Agawam, MA

BMW repair broken spring

BMW noise over bumps

BMW Making a Noise Over BumpsBMW noise over bumps repair

Noises are the worst. From squeaks that drive you crazy all the way through to clunks that make you question the safety of your vehicle. This week we saw a long time customer concerned about a BMW making noise over bumps. His main concern was that the vehicle just didn’t feel safe to him anymore. It’s a good thing that he brought it in… Allow me to explain a little more about this BMW Repair.

BMW Noise

The first step was to have one of our Master Technicians drive the vehicle. During a short road test it was obvious that the noise was coming from the rear of the vehicle. The next step was to physically inspect for any defects in the suspension that would cause this. We inspected the entire suspension system in the front and rear for any potential issues and eventually saw that both rear BMW springs were broken at the bottom of the coil.

This wasn’t particularly hard to figure out, especially since both springs sit in a a cup-like seat and the broken pieces were rattling around in there.

BMW repair suspension spring brokenBMW Repair

The BMW repair process was actually pretty straight forward. The vehicle is in great shape with minimal rust on any of the bolts so it was just a matter of removing some suspension components to access the springs and then install the new ones. The springs sit on little rubber cushions that insulate the spring from rubbing on anything metal that could cause a squeak. These pads are on the top and bottom of both springs. The old ones some cracks where they were showing signs of age, so we went ahead and replaced them.

When we remove suspension components, some have adjusters on them. Even tough we carefully mark everything and put everything back as we found it, sometimes the vehicle will still end up out of adjustment. That being said, if the vehicle was out of alignment just a little prior to service and we put everything back perfectly then the vehicle would still leave out of alignment. So to ensure that the vehicle drives down the road perfectly without any pulling or irregular tire wear, we performed a 4 Wheel Alignment.

Once the repair was finished we took it for another road test to verify that the noise was gone and we’re happy to say that this BMW noise over bumps is fixed.

The total repair took about half a day. All of the parts were in stock and come with our 2 year 24,000 mile nationwide warranty and 12 free months of roadside assistance at no additional charge.

Need your BMW serviced or repaired? Give us a call today or feel free to schedule online 24/7.

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA Best auto repair shop near meBMW repair rear spring replacement

I’ve been coming to Precision for about 8 years now. I first found them by doing a simple search online and asking around to see if anyone else had used them. Based on overwhelming positive feedback I decided to give them a shot. I’m happy to say that after 8 years I now have all of our family cars serviced there. Not to mention most of my friends and co workers use them. They are easily The best BMW repair shop anywhere in the area. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for top quality work and service.

Tom B

Longmeadow, MA

air conditioner not working

Air conditioner not working

“Why isn’t my air conditioner working?”

air conditioner not workingWhile most of us wanted the warm weather to arrive, not everyone is happy about it. Especially if you’re one of the many that has a problem with their Air Conditioner not working in their car. This week we saw a long time customer concerned that there was No cold air coming from the vents of her Honda Civic. This Honda Repair was a pretty funny situation because naturally the customer assumed the worst but the repair was pretty simple and inexpensive.

 

Honda AC not working

The customer called in a bit of a panic because she had just taken her car out of storage so she could enjoy it for the summer and was planning a long road trip. The problem was that when she went to get gas before the trip she found that the air coming through her vents seemed to just trickle out and it was hot. She was incredibly worried about what the repair was going to cost because she had been reading through some online forums on the issue and was lead to believe that the Honda AC Compressor needed to be replaced. One thing I can tell you is that reading online forums about issues with your car is like going to WebMD when you have a headache. The self diagnosis will always scare you.

When she brought it in one of our Master Technicians quickly verified the concern. We also noticed a loud humming noise when the fan was turned on. The first step we decided to take was removing the blower fan that actually creates the air flow moving through the vents. This way we would be able to see if there was a restriction in the vents or a problem with the motor for the fan.

[coupon couponid=”836″ coupon_align=”cctor_aligncenter” name=”FREE AC System Efficiency Check”]

When we removed the fan we were able to quickly spot the problem. When the vehicle was left in storage some mice had found their way into her car, chewed up a blanket she had in her trunk, and made a little nest inside her dash. When she got in the car for the first time in a few months and turned on her Air Conditioner the fan spun all of the blanket pieces creating a blockage that Air conditioning repairwouldn’t allow air to pass through. So even though the fan was moving, it was completely clogged.

Honda AC Repair

Since the fan was already out in the open we just cleaned it out. There was really nothing wrong with it at all. After we cleaned it, we vacuumed out all of the vents to remove any remaining blanket pieces (and mouse “debris”). After cleaning everything out we simply put everything back together and verified that the AC is operating properly. Problem solved!

This is the time of year when we see a lot of rodent related repairs. The reason being is that when cars sit during the winter it gives the rodent a nice warm place to live.  This can happen whether you drive the vehicle daily or store it. The pests will chew insulation, wiring, interior, and anything else they can make a nest from.

Wondering “How can I keep mice out of my car?”

There are several ways to make this happen for you. While I haven’t tried all of them myself, these are the ones we know about;

  • Mothballs
    • I can say from experience that they stink up the vehicle. I’ve found the smell lingering for months while some people never notice it…
  • Traps
    • This can be messy depending on which type of trap you useHow to keep mice out of a car
  • Dryer Sheets
    • This is actually what I use. It just deters the rodents from entering rather than killing them. I blanket any large areas with them and the mice seem to hate the smell. While I happen to really enjoy the smell when I get around to taking it out of storage.
  • Steel wool
    • This method is helpful for blocking up large areas or spaces such as exhaust and air intake pipes
  • D-Con
    • We have a customer that has a large garage with 35 classic cars in it. Some of the cars are upwards of $200,000. He swears by this stuff. It’s available at most home improvement stores.

Have a problem with your AC? Don’t stress yourself out trying to research the problem on a forum. Give us a call or schedule online today. We generally pinpoint the issue in under an hour and most repairs are pretty simple allowing you to drive your vehicle home the same day.

 

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA Best auto repair shop near meThese guys are the best. They could have easily replaced all of the expensive stuff and I most likely would have paid. It’s tough to find good quality work these days and it’s even harder to find honesty. I keep coming back because I find both at Precision Auto. Thanks for taking care of my car once again and thanks for the advice.

Claudia C.

Westfield, 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.

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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

strut replacement west springfield ma

Noise Over Bumps

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

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

Suspension Clunk

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

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

Strut Noise

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

Strut Replacement

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

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

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

 

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

Matthew A

West Springfield, MA

Porsche repair technician

Porsche Vibration Repair

Porsche Vibration Repair

In my opinion, Porsche makes one of the nicest vehicles on the road today. But there’s nothing worse than driving one that has squeaks, noises, and vibrations. We saw one today where the customer was concerned about an aggressive vibration when accelerating. While there are many things that can cause this issue, this one was pretty simple to identify. Today I’ll tell you about this Porsche Vibration Repair, what happened, how it happened, and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

Porsche repair driveshaft replacement
You can see from this picture that the housing for the bearing support is just hanging on the shaft. It’s not connected to anything.

Porsche Vibration while accelerating

This customer’s concern was a vibration while accelerating. The back story is that he called a few other shops and went to one that wanted him to replace the front brake calipers (spoiler alert, the brakes and calipers are perfect). The first step for any customer concern is to first verify it. This is done with a simple road test by one of our Master Technicians. In this case when accelerating normally the vibration was so violent that it felt like someone was under the vehicle hitting the bottom of the driver’s seat with a hammer. The next step was to put the vehicle up in the air to take a look and inspect for the exact cause of the vibration.

The Technician checked all of the tires, brakes, suspension, and drive line. While most everything was in great shape it was obvious that there was a problem with the drive shaft. A drive shaft is a rotating shaft that transmits torque in an engine. More simply put, when you step on the gas pedal the engine turns, the engine turns the transmission, the transmission turns the drive shaft, the drive shaft turns the gears that make the vehicle move forward or backwards.

On this Porsche Cayenne the drive shaft is pretty long so in the center of it there needs to be a support to hold it tight while rotating so there is no vibration. This support is called a “Carrier Bearing”. The carrier bearing just sits in the center of the shaft and the shaft rotates through the center of it.  There were a few problems here.

First, the customer recently purchased the vehicle second hand. The drive shaft in the vehicle was replaced somewhat recently with a used part from a junk yard. This was obvious due to faulty installation, missing bolts, and yellow writing all over the shaft indicating a stock number from a junk yard. The second issue was that the bearing wasn’t just faulty, it was completely destroyed. It literally wasn’t connected at all. So when the drive shaft would spin to turn the wheels, it would vibrate and essentially hit the floor of the vehicle causing the aggressive vibration felt while driving.

Porsche repair technicianPorsche Repair in West Springfield, MA

The repair was actually pretty simple. Since the carrier bearing is part of the drive shaft and has to be purchased as one unit, we simply removed the old shaft and installed a new one. While putting the new one back up, we installed any and all missing hardware to ensure this one lasts. The total repair took a little over an hour and the customer had the vehicle back the following day because we had to order the part.

After the repair we took a second road test with the vehicle to be sure that the vibration was gone. We’re happy to say that this Porsche Cayenne Repair fixed the issue and the vehicle is back to

rolling down the road as smooth as silk.

How can you prevent this from happening to you?

The reality is that if you drive a vehicle, things wear and eventually break. If a vehicle sits and doesn’t get driven, things break down and need replacement. In this case the bearing was pretty bad. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst) this bearing was about a 12. There was nothing left to it. Which leads us to believe that there was a significant noise and smaller vibration for a while before the bearing came completely apart.

The first step towards preventing this level of failure would have been to have the vehicle properly inspected by us prior to purchase. Whenever buying any used vehicle you always want to have a trained and impartial set of eyes check it over for you to spot any apparent problems or anything on the horizon (like a faulty drive shaft….). Our Technicians see Porsche Repairs all the time so it’s  very easy for us to spot common problems before they fail.

Porsche repair carrier bearing replacement
This is how the bearing should look without the bracket in place.

The next option is to have your vehicle serviced regularly. I say it all the time, “Scheduled maintenance is the key to avoiding costly and unexpected break downs.” By following the service schedule for your vehicle we would see your vehicle roughly every 3-5,000 miles. During each of those visits the vehicle gets a full 55 point inspection for FREE. This inspection is specifically designed by our staff to spot safety and mechanical issues before they cause major issues or put you in harm’s way. If we had seen this vehicle, we most definitely would have seen this so that the customer would have time to prepare and budget for the repair.

In this case since it was unexpected and the part was pricey, he took advantage of one of our Payment Plans. Approval took about 10-15 minutes and he had the funds available the same day. His repair is also backed by our 2 year, 24,000 mile Nationwide Warranty and 12 months of Roadside Assistance at no additional cost. This customer can rest easy knowing that he received a quality Porsche Repair and peace of mind at a fair price that he can pay for over time.

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MAI’m new to Porsche ownership. I always wanted one and finally had a chance to get my dream Porsche Cayenne. When I had this issue I just din’t know where to turn. Some co workers recommended James so I gave him a shot. I was not even slightly disappointed. They got my baby in right away and had the issue pin pointed in a few minutes. The pricing was very fair and the financing was a breeze. I got 0% for 6 months, my car back the next day, and they even washed it for me. I’ll most definitely be returning for future service here. Great job James and staff. My family and I are very appreciative.

Adam R.

Suffield, CT