Subaru Head Gasket

Subaru head gasket replacement

Subaru Head Gasket

Those of us that live in Western MA were pretty lucky this year when it comes to cold weather (if you don’t like snow or cold that is). We only had a few weeks of really cold weather, but other than that the temperatures have stayed pretty warm. A long time customer had come in a few weeks back concerned about a loss of heat in his Subaru. When he would warm the car up in the morning the temperature coming out of the vents would stay icy cold no matter how long he ran the car. Sometimes the fix can be something simple such as a loose clamp or a faulty thermostat. Unfortunately for this customer he needed a Subaru Head Gasket Replacement

Subaru Coolant Leak

It’s very common in the winter to see cars coming in with heat loss and in the summer we see cars come in overheating. Both concerns are typically (but not always) caused by the same issue, a Coolant Leak. For this Subaru Repair we road tested the car to verify what was happening. When we pulled the car into the shop we found that there was a significant loss of coolant. This will most definitely cause the customer’s concern.

We then applied some pressure to the cooling system to help us identify where the coolant is leaking and hoist the vehicle on a lift to check for any obvious leaks. Coolant was actually leaking out of the driver side Subaru Head Gasket. When inspecting the passenger side of the engine there was a large amount of coolant staining that indicted there was a small leak from that side of the engine. If left untreated this small leak will most definitely turn into a larger leak. It was determined that both cylinder heads would need to come off this engine to be checked for warpage or cracks.

Subaru Head Gasket Replacement

Subaru Head Gasket replacement
This is one of the cylinder heads after being cleaned up and serviced at the machine shop

We removed both Subaru Cylinder Heads and had one of our Certified Technicians look them over. There were no obvious issues but to be safe we sent them to a machine shop to have them properly cleaned and serviced. The machine shop makes the mounting surface perfectly smooth so that the gasket can seal properly. Then they clean all of the valves and replace any seals in the cylinder heads. The heads always come back a day or so later looking and functioning like brand new Subaru Cylinder Heads.

Subaru Head Gasket Replacement Tip

A few months back we put a picture of another Subaru Head Gasket Replacement on our social media. There were some question as to how we were doing the job. For those that don’t know, most shops that do this job once or Subaru head gasket replacementtwice a year will remove the entire engine from the car, then disassemble and reassemble the engine. We average a few every week so we found a slightly better way to do the same job. What we do is leave the engine in the car and disassemble and reassemble the engine right in the car. The outcome is exactly the same in terms of the quality of work. But the bonus is that it saves about 2-3 hours doing it our way. What this means for the customer is that they save almost $300 and get their car back sooner!!!

The trick is using some special tools that we have had specially fabricated to make this job go much smoother. You can also achieve the same result without the special tools by using carefully positioned wedges of wood that will give you the proper angles to remove the heads while keeping the intake out of the way. Doing this puts no stress or strain on anything in the engine compartment and allows plenty of room to remove and reinstall the cylinder heads. There really is no need whatsoever to remove the entire engine. It’s just a wasted expense that the customer really doesn’t need to incur.

Now it’s time for the whole job to go back together. Because of the mileage on the vehicle we installed a new timing belt and water pump too. The vehicle was roughly 10,000 miles away based on the service history but the customer decided to replace them while the engine was going back together instead of reinstalling the old ones, then have to take it all back apart again in a few months when he hits the required mileage. It saved him quite a bit of money doing it this way. After all parts were installed we performed all the necessary scheduled maintenance so that this customer can just enjoy their car for a while and not have to worry about anything.

Subaru head gasket leak
It’s important that when cleaning the block to make sure none of the metal shavings get into the cylinders, oil passages, or coolant passages. We plug them all with shop towels while prepping them

We see a lot of Subaru Repairs that require the replacement of the Head Gaskets. Unfortunately it’s a very common issue on these cars. But the repair process is pretty quick and the price is reasonable. We then back the repair with our 2 year, 24,000 mile Nationwide warranty and Free 12 month roadside assistance. It’s all about giving the customer the best service possible at the best price possible. Peace of Mind!

 

 

 

 

 

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA2 Days! My car was in and out of there in 2 days!. That’s unbelievable! This car is my life. I need it for shuttling around family and I’m in it all day for work. When Precision told me I needed to have the engine taken apart I was in disbelief that they we’re going to have it back to me the next day. But I’ve been going to them for years and they have never put me in the wrong direction yet. Sure thing the next day around 4 o’clock they called to say it was done. They even came to pick me up. Over the years I’ve used other area shops, I’ve used 2 area dealers, and I’ve used chain repair places. I’ve never seen the high quality and empathy that the staff at Precision always brings to the table. These guys are good. Like really darn good! Do yourself a favor and take your car to these guys. Not only do they care, they know what they’re doing.

Matt M.

Westfield, MA

Subaru Fuel Pump Repair

Faulty fuel pump

Subaru Stalling

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

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

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

Subaru Fuel Pump Replacement

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

 

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

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

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

(In his defense there was a Spider)

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

 

5 Star Rating

 

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

Henry D

West Springfield, MA

Cheapest Auto Repair

Kia Repair frame rust

It’s very common to receive phone calls from individuals asking for quotes to repair certain issues on their vehicle. The majority of the people ask this question because they simply just don’t know the right questions to ask. From here we try to get some more information about what’s going on with their vehicle and book an appointment to properly diagnose their concern so that we can provide an accurate quote and ultimately fix the issue. Then there are some that are only shopping for the Cheapest Auto Repair they can find. With almost 20 years of experience in this field I assure you that if you’re making your decisions based solely on price, you’ll end up paying much more to fix the issue in the long run. Allow me to explain.

Here are 3 separate stories from the past few months where the customer was ONLY concerned with getting the Cheapest Auto Repair they could find.

Pre Purchase Inspection

The first customer was buying a new vehicle for his wife. Apparently his friend that’s a “Mechanic” has owned the car since it was new. He wanted us to look the car over prior to him purchasing it but insisted that “any shop will do it for free”. Then got upset when we informed him that there would be a charge. Well he found someone to check it over for free…… and he was back to our shop 1 week after purchase with a very loud noise when driving over bumps;

This mount essentially holds half of the differential in place. It's completely rotted out
This mount essentially holds half of the differential in place. It’s completely rotted out
Here's another view of the same mount
Here’s another view of the same mount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately this story didn’t have a silver lining. The rest of the underneath of this vehicle was just as rotted out as this mount. The person that checked the vehicle over for him for “free” was the previous owner of the vehicle and the guy that sold it to him (this has to be a conflict of interest). He paid $4,000 for the vehicle, just to fix the immediate rot damage would be about $1,500, and he still has a myriad of other issues. If he had us perform a Pre Purchase Inspection we would have caught all of this prior to him purchasing the vehicle. At the end of the day we ended up choosing not to repair the issues on this vehicle because the repairs would far exceed the value of the vehicle.

 

BMW Check Engine Light

This customer came in with a BMW for a Check Engine Light issue. We quickly diagnosed the concern but the customer had a “friend of a friend” that could fix the issue cheaper (read more about this one here). The customer wasn’t even remotely concerned with the quality of parts or that Trained Technicians would be working on the vehicle. She just wanted the absolute Lowest Price Auto Repair she could find. Well the “friend of the friend” not only failed miserably at fixing the one basic issue but he successfully created many more issues.

This is a picture of the heater core hoses. These are under pressure with 180 degree coolant while the car is running. Zip ties are not an acceptable way to secure them in place
This is a picture of the heater core hoses. These are under pressure with 180 degree coolant while the car is running. Zip ties are not an acceptable way to secure them in place
We installed proper clamps on the hoses. The proper repair literally cost the customer about $1.25 in parts
We installed proper clamps on the hoses. The proper repair literally cost the customer about $1.25 in parts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The issue with the hoses was just one of many problems. The “Cheaper Shop” had her car for 7.5 weeks and wanted to charge her 2.5x what they initially quoted her. She was able to get her BMW back over to us in pieces and we had the car running like new within a few days for what we initially quoted her even with some additional repairs that were needed to fix what the “Cheaper Shop” messed up and hacked.

Subaru Brake Job 

Brake jobs are very common. Every car is going to need it done at some point. When you drive the vehicle and step on the brake pedal, the brakes wear. This customer brought his Subaru in to have us look over the brakes. They were making a very loud grinding noise and it was pretty simple for one of our Master Technicians to quickly spot that the pads were just about completely worn out and the brake rotors were rusted too badly to be machined. So we recommended replacing the brake pads and rotors. The customer insisted that the rotors were fine and to just replace the brake pads. Then he informed us that the most he would pay was $20 because that’s what his “Mechanic” would charge.

Just so we’re clear, to perform this job properly it takes a Trained Technician about 1.5 hours and the parts alone are almost $180. Then we back the repairs with our Warranty. There’s no possible way we could have done the job for $20. So the customer took the vehicle to his “mechanic”…. and the vehicle came back to us about 2 days later making the same noise.

The brake rotor on the left is brand new and the rotor on the right is the rotted out old one
The brake rotor on the left is brand new and the rotor on the right is the rotted out old one. You need ZERO automotive experience to see that there is a problem here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His “Mechanic” replaced just the brake pads with the lowest quality part available. They weren’t even the right pads for the car and he put them over these rotted rotors. That’s not even remotely taking into consideration the safety of the customer or anyone else on the road. We fixed the brakes, properly, in about 1.5 hours, and for the price we initially quoted. The customer was happy that his noise was gone.

 

We can all agree that price is one of the deciding factors for all of us when purchasing goods and services, but it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. With that said, we’re not the cheapest. We don’t want to be, we want to be the best and make sure that you’re safe. But we’re also not even close to the most expensive…. If you’re only concerned with finding the cheapest repair possible, I assure you that we’re not the right shop for you.

But if you want your vehicle fixed properly the first time, unparalleled customer service, peace of mind, top quality parts, all of the conveniences we offer, and have that all backed by our 2 year 24,000 mile warranty AND 12 month Roadside Assistance. Then give us a call today, we won’t let you down.

 

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

Subaru Axle Replacement

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

5 Star Rating

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

Samuel D.

Hampden, MA

 

Subaru Service Scheduled Maintenance

Subaru Service west springfield ma

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

5 Star Rating

 

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

Mary Beth W.

Southampton, MA

 

Subaru Coolant Leak West Springfield, MA

Subaru coolant leak

Subaru Coolant leak

We see a lot of no heat concerns this time of year. While the cause of the no heat can vary from vehicle to vehicle (and most of the time it’s caused by a Coolant Leak ) one thing we see a lot of is misdiagnosis from other shops that are calling for repairs that aren’t necessary and ultimately won’t fix the customer’s concern. In the case of this Subaru Coolant Leak the outcome was very good for the customer.

Subaru Repair

In the case of this Subaru Repair the customer called us and asked for a price to replace Head Gaskets on their Subaru and were told by an area dealer that their Subaru Forester needs them to fix a Coolant Leak. They were quoted roughly $3,800 and would be without their vehicle for about a week and an half. Unfortunately we don’t provide quotes for repairs when we haven’t properly diagnosed the concern and here’s why (take a minute to read up on this policy).

The green is coolant leaking down from behind the timing cover
The green is coolant leaking down from behind the timing cover

Fortunately the customer had us look into the issue and properly diagnose it because it wasn’t the head gaskets causing the coolant leak. After a short visual inspection one of our Master Technicians quickly found that the head gaskets were fine. On this vehicle Subaru recommends replacing the timing belt and water pump between 90,000 and 100,000 miles. In this case the customer went just under 140,000 miles (yikes). In this time the water pump just went bad and needed to be replaced along with the timing belt.

Here's a slightly better angle. The left of the picture is the front of the engine
Here’s a slightly better angle. The left of the picture is the front of the engine

For this Subaru Repair we replaced the timing belt and water pump. The customer had their vehicle back to them by the end of the day, saved herself about $3,000 UNDER what the Subaru Dealer said she “needed”, and she didn’t have to be without her vehicle for a week and a half.

5 Star Rating  I have always bought Subaru’s and have always felt that the dealer knew the vehicle best because they’re the dealer. I’m humbled to say that’s not the case. Precision Auto Repair’s Service Manager David had phones ringing all around him and other customer’s that were there but still took the time to walk me out to my vehicle and show me what was going on then give me a plan to fix it. I’ve never received this sort of service at the dealer in my 25+ years of going to the dealer. Great job and thank you for not allowing me to tell you what was wrong with my vehicle. It would have been a very costly mistake made by me. You earned a new customer and I’ll tell everyone!

Kayla B.

West Springfield, MA

Auto Repair Springfield MA, Car Repair, 7 Habits Of Highly Successful Car Owners

We get a lot of questions here at Precision Auto Repair.

And we like to answer and help car owners, so we decided to sit down and share “7 Habits Of Highly Successful Car Owners.” These simple tips are easy and will prolong the life of your car.

Feel free to share with friends and family.

7 Habits Of Highly Successful Car Owners

by James Stephenson

1. Buy gas at reputable stations – A great habit to start is going to reputable gas stations for your gas. If you ever see a tanker filling the tanks while you are there, move on. Come back the next day or go to another station.

The gas going into the tanks can stir up sediment which can clog fuel injectors and filters, causing poor performance.

2. Choose a good car insurer – Not all insurance agents are created equal and like any other profession, there are good ones and bad ones. The last thing you want is to get into an accident and be stuck with a bad one. Taking the time to find a good insurer and making sure you have the right coverage is an important habit for a Highly Successful Car Owner.

3. Auto Log – Keeping a log is good for a lot of reasons. Repairs, oil changes and other maintenance logged into a log book can make it easier for selling if you ever want to. It also is good to log gas fill ups and track mileage. If you ever notice that your gas mileage worsens, you can mention it to us and we can see if there is a problem.

4. Park in the shade – Your engine, tires and gas mileage are important but so is the exterior and interior of your car. The weather in Western MA can be brutal on your car. Blazing hot temperatures in the summer and the snow and ice from winter can wreak havoc, so parking in a garage is always the ideal situation. If a garage is not possible, a car shade may be the answer.

5. Regular tune ups – Very important for car owners to perform on a regular basis. A regular tune up will result in better performance, improved gas mileage, fuel economy, minimized emissions and it can prevent major car repairs.

6. Regular oil changes – One of the easiest things to do with care is also one of the most important. Changing your car’s oil every 3000 miles will result in better engine performance, better gas mileage, extended engine life and lower emissions.

7. Rotate tires and check treads – Here are three good reasons to rotate your tires: a.Tire rotation can keep the right balance that helps maintain traction when roads are wet with rain or snow. b. Many tire manufacturers require regular rotation in order to keep their warranties valid. c. It helps even out tire wear. If your tire is used in each of your car’s four positions it will wear evenly across your tires prolonging, their life.

And here’s the good news.

You can follow any of the steps listed above and we can help. If you have any questions, please call our office at 413-363-0306, or you can schedule an appointment online by going here next:

Schedule Appointment Today!

Have a great day!

James