Auto Repair for Charity

Western Mass News and Melha Shriners at Precision Auto Repair and Sales

One of our passions here is giving back to the community that supports us. We will never be a business that takes and takes without helping as many people as we can along the way. So a few times every year we are presented with an opportunity to help someone without looking for anything in return. When we’re presented with this opportunity we go big. With all of the causes we have helped through the years and continue to support such as Brakes For Breasts, Repair it Forward (this is actually our own charity that my wife and I fund), Brightside for Families and Children,

Western Mass News and Melha Shriners at Precision Auto Repair and Sales
A great group of people all helping with an awesome cause

Shriners Hospitals for Children, Melha Shriners, Open Pantry, and many more. Today presented us with an opportunity to partner with The Western Mass News Big Y SurPRIZE Squad and give an Auto Repair for Charity. I’ve got to say that this was my favorite of anything we’ve ever done!! There’s a twist at the end, Allow me to explain;

Western Mass News reached out to us about a week ago and told us that they were interested in surprising 1 customer by paying for up to $500 of their bill. We thought that this was a great idea! So we took it a few steps further….. First, we decided to match the $500 from Western Mass News and The Big Y SurPRIZE Squad. The reason being is that most people that are REALLY in need of repairs have put off issues for so long that there is subsequent damage (issues created by other issues) and the bill can get out of control quickly. We felt that $1,000 was a good number (It gets much better).

Ricardo Cumba

We first met Ricardo a few months back. We see a few thousand customers every year and this class act stood out among the rest because of how genuinely polite he was. He brought in his 2009 Honda Civic for a major issue and ultimately didn’t have all of the money to address all issues with the vehicle. Like many people he was left in a situation where he had to prioritize by repairing the issue that was causing the car not to run at all and push aside some other issues until he could get some more money together. The hardship comes in because Ricardo is Active Duty in The US Army National Guard, has 2 children (1 of which turns 5 today), and a baby on the way. He’s doing everything he can to make ends meet for his family and to provide for them, so even though there are issues with his car he just has other priorities that top that list. Which we can all relate to. Ricardo puts his butt on the line for us protecting our country, the least we could do is fix his car for him. To learn more about this repair process you can find it here.

Take a minute to watch the story;
Western Mass News – WGGB/WSHM

So as promised, there was a twist at the end. Ricardo’s bill came out to $1,000 (slightly over actually). We took the $1,000 ($500 from us and $500 from The Western Mass News Big Y SurPRIZE Squad) and gave it all to Shriners Hospitals for Children. Then we paid the remainder of his bill for him. The hospital is in need of an EOS Imaging x-ray machine that will help assess the needs of children by using Ultra-safe low dose radiation technology that reduces the risk of cancer for patients who receive repeated x-rays. It uses Nobel-Prize winning technology. This machine will cost just under $900,000.

shriners hospital for children donation
I could probably use a lesson in handwriting, or just print checks like other businesses do.

Thanks to Western Mass News, Brittany Decker, The Big Y SurPRIZE Squad, Melha Shriners, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and our wonderful staff that fixed Ricardo’s car. Today was a great an awesome day!!!

If you’re interested in donating to Shriners Hospitals for Children you can click here. Every bit helps….

Are you or do you know an Automotive Technician that shares the same passion for helping the community and fixing cars as we do? We’re looking to hire 1 more Superstar Technician. Learn more here.

 

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA

 

“I can’t believe this happened to me and my family. I do my job because I love it. I’ve never looked for any recognition and never will. But to be noticed in this way and receive a gift like this… It’s really special. This is something I will never forget. Thank you to everyone that made this possible for me and my family. You don’t know how much it means to us.”

Ricardo Cumba

Westfield, MA

Honda Brakes

New Honda brakes

Honda Brakes

This week we had a customer come in concerned about his ABS light being on and his Honda Brakes were causing the entire car to shake when slowing down. The first step was verifying the concern. This is done through a simple road test where the Technician will drive the vehicle and see that the ABS Light is in fact on and that the brakes are pulsating (causing the car to shake when the brakes are pressed).

Honda ABS Light Repair

From there we use a factory scan tool to access the ABS module. This tool will pull a sequence of numbers (code) that leads us to a troubled area in the system. Then we diagnose accordingly. In this case the right front ABS Sensor was broken off and hanging down. The purpose of this sensor is to measure wheel speed at each individual wheel. There are 4 ABS Sensors in total.

Broken Honda ABS sensor
As you can see, the magnetic portion of the sensor is completely missing. It would appear to be a somewhat recent break

The next issue to address was finding out where the brake pulsation was coming from. In this case it was obvious to the Technician that the pulsation was coming from the front brakes. What happens here is the brake rotor (metal disc that the brake pads press against) should be a nice flat surface. Unfortunately over time the rotor has become a little bit “wavy”, the technical term is “excessive run out”. It’s a very common issue caused by the heating and cooling of the brakes during normal operation and sometimes by a driver that’s a little bit hard on their brakes.

After we were able to identify the cause of each customer concern the Technician performed a 55 point inspection on the vehicle. The point of this inspection is to make sure we have a firm grasp on the overall condition of the vehicle. If we call a customer and tell them they need “$xx.xx amount in repairs”, their next question is always “Is there anything else wrong with the vehicle?” So the inspection will check all safety items, maintenance items, and other systems that allow the vehicle to function like new every single day. We perform a 55 point inspection on most vehicles (unless the customer tells us otherwise) and this is always complimentary.

New Honda brakes
Nice and new top quality Honda Brakes

Honda Brake Repair

We ended up replacing the front brake pads, front brake rotors, changed the engine oil, and replaced some filters. For the ABS concern we had to drill out the broken portion of the ABS Sensor so a new one could be installed. After all repairs were completed we took the vehicle for a road test to ensure that we addressed all of the customer’s concerns. It came out perfect!

From start to finish the job took about half a day and the customer had the vehicle back later in the afternoon. It wasn’t a particularly difficult repair but it was definitely necessary. When the ABS light is on there is always a possibility that the brakes will malfunction. The ABS light will also cause the car to fail State Inspection. So if this or any other warning light is lit up on your dash, it’s always a good idea to have it checked and properly diagnosed by trained Technicians sooner rather than later.

If your vehicle is in need of service or repair feel free to schedule here or give us a call at 413.363.0306.

Brake Job

Brake pad replacement at Precision Auto Repair and sales west springfield ma

“How do I know when I need brakes?”

Brake pad replacement is something we see overlooked regularly. When we survey customers that come in with major brake system failures we ask them all the same question. “What made you wait so long?” The resounding answer is that they typically didn’t know they needed a Brake Job because the Brakes simply weren’t making noise.

Today I want to give you a few examples of what happens when you wait too long for to perform a Brake Job, the Cost To Replace Brakes sooner vs. later, and a fool proof way to know exactly when you will need Brake Pad Replacement.

Brake Job West Springfield, MA

This was a case where the customer performed their own Oil Change about every 10,000 miles (which is far too long on conventional oil). They thought that by changing the oil and filter every 10,000 miles that the rest of the vehicle would be “Ok”. The problem here aside from excessive time between oil changes was that the vehicle sat quite a bit and it took the customer about 2 years to hit the 10,000 mile intervals. What ended up happening was that the Brake Pads froze up in the Brake Pad Slides which wouldn’t let the brakes fully release when releasing the Brake Pedal. It was like driving with the brakes engaged at all times. This caused the outer Brake Pad to wear not only through the pad, but completely through the backing plate so that the caliper was rubbing on the outside of the rotor. This vehicle was very unsafe.

The discoloration on the surface of the rotor is actually just built up rust and rot.
The discoloration on the surface of the rotor is actually just built up rust and rot.
You can clearly see that the brake pad and backing plate are completely missing
You can clearly see that the brake pad and backing plate are completely missing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this Subaru Repair we had to replace 1 Brake Caliper, the Brake Pads, and Brake Rotors. It cost the customer roughly $775. If this issue was spotted in advance it would have cost him about $300. Not to mention some other issues that we found with the vehicle when initially checking it over for the Brake Job.

Additional cost/ $475

Brake Job Longmeadow, MA

This Nissan Brake Job was one of the worst we’ve ever seen. The customer had their Oil Changes done at a local quick lube place regularly. One day they said that the brakes just felt “Soft”. One of our Master Technicians drove the vehicle to verify the concern and never even made it out of the parking lot. He pulled the vehicle into the shop for inspection and found that the brakes were grinding for so long that the customer wore through the pads completely and ground through the entire surface of the rotor. There was literally no rotor at all….. nothing….

The brake pad backing plate wore directly through the disc portion of the rotor
The brake pad backing plate wore directly through the disc portion of the rotor

For this Nissan Repair we had to replace the Brake Pads, Brake Rotors, and both rear Brake Calipers. In addition one of the emergency brake cables was frozen and rotted so that was replaced as well. The total job cost the customer $1450. If the brakes were replaced on time he would have spent $315.

Additional cost/ $1,135

How to know when you need a Brake Job

The guaranteed way to know when you will need brakes BEFORE you need them is…… Having your vehicle serviced regularly by us. When you bring your vehicle in for Scheduled Maintenance we check various areas on your vehicle. You’ll leave knowing what needs to be done now, what needs to be done later, and the overall condition of the vehicle. It’s much more than just performing an Oil Change and the additional 55 Point Inspection is Complimentary. That’s right, having one of our Certified Master Technicians perform this 55 Point Inspection is Complimentary when performing Scheduled Maintenance with us.

Schedule your appointment today, don’t wait.