Subaru Timing Belt Replacement

Broken Subaru Timing Belt West Springfield MA

Subaru Timing Belt Replacement

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

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

Subaru Check Engine Light

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

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

Subaru Head Gaskets

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Cathy L

West Springfield, MA

Audi RS6 Engine Replacement

Audi Repair

Audi RS6 Engine Replacement

A few weeks back we posted a picture to our Facebook page showing us starting an Audi Repair that consisted of us replacing an engine on an Audi RS6. Within a few days I received some texts and e mails asking me to update people on the progress. So I didn’t want to leave everyone hanging.

Audi Repair

The customer that owns the car absolutely LOVES it. Him and his wife bought it when it was new and at the time it really was one of the top cars out there, in my opinion it still is. It’s called an Audi RS6. This car was made for the person that wants a nice car to cruise on the highway with during the week, then turn around on the weekends and take it to the track. It’s really the best of both worlds.

About a month ago it was towed in. They were driving on the highway and the vehicle just shut down and wouldn’t restart. I personally took a look at this one because Audi and Porsche are 2 of my favorite brands to work on. I quickly found that the vehicle had low compression and I suspected a bent valve(s). I performed a compression (internal engine pressure created by the engine) test and as expected there was no compression but only on the left side of the engine. So I removed all of the covers that sit over the timing belt to check the timing and the timing was perfect. The belt was also relatively new. So I had to dig a little further.

Audi timing belt
As you can see there is an internal chain and an external belt. The belt was removed for proper inspection of the movement in the camshaft.

On this and many Audi and Volkswagen engines there are external and internal timing components. The external timing component would be the timing belt. This is replaced around 90-100k miles (always replaced with the water pump, tensioner, rollers, seals, and thermostat). The internal component(s) would be the timing chains and tensioners. On this and a lot of Audi and Volkswagen engines they have 2 camshafts (simple explanation would be to call it a long metal bar that has lumps in it that open and close valves in the engine) in each cylinder head. The timing belt spins just one of the cams and the internal timing chain(s) spin the other camshaft in sequence. Make sense? Well if it doesn’t that’s “ok”. Just know that these are vital components and if there is a failure, it’s pretty bad.

To access the chains I had to remove the valve covers. Since there was a major failure on just one side I wanted to start with that side. Once removed I was able to check the internal timing. I found that the left bank was off by roughly 180 degrees. In layman’s terms… Kaboom!

Audi repair
When any major work is done on these cars the front portion of the car needs to be removed to allow access to the engine.

Now to find out why it happened. The tensioner was removed and I found that the tensioner that holds pressure on that chain had an issue, it was just compressing with one finger and shouldn’t do that. When the car is off there is a spring inside that holds a good amount of tension on the chain. It also requires oil pressure to keep pressure on the chain while it’s running. The problem here is that the passage the oil goes through to get to the tensioner was plugged solid with engine sludge. Sort of like a varicose vein. Without proper oil pressure the tensioner would allow the chain to bounce around and eventually jump timing.

Audi Repair Options

The customer was ultimately given 5 choices.

  1. Start looking for a new car
  2. Remove the engine, take it apart, fix what’s broken
  3. Remove the engine, completely rebuild it
  4. Replace the engine with a brand new one
  5. Replace the engine with a used one

The customer chose option 5. There weren’t a lot of these engines available so we went with a low mileage option. When it arrived it was in great shape but we wanted the customer to be completely worry free so we resealed the entire engine, replaced all external timing components, and brought it up to date on any other maintenance. There were a few minor hick-ups along the way but nothing even remotely major. It was by far the most cost effective and time sensitive option available.

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Audi engine replacement
The engine and transmission come out together. Then they are separated outside of the car.

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Volkswagen engine replacement
After the engine and transmission are removed the old engine comes apart. Some of the parts of the old engine end up on the new one. It’s much easier to do this with the engine out of the car

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Audi Repair
After the job is complete the engine and car are washed and returned to the customer. As you can see the engine fits in there pretty tightly.

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This really isn’t all that difficult of a job if you know what you’re doing and you have the proper tools…. but it does take a long time. The total time spent was somewhere around 45 hours.

So after about a week and a half the new engine was in the car and running perfectly. The customer really loves the car so for him and his wife it was money well spent. They’re great people and we really hope they enjoy all of the time they can spend in it once again.

-JS

Oil Change Part 2

Audi Oil change west springfield ma

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

Normal Service vs. Severe Service

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Tune Up

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

“What’s in it for me?”

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

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

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

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

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

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA

 

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

Karen P.

West Springfield, MA

Oil Change Part 1

Audi Oil change west springfield ma

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

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

Checking your oil level

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

Factory Scheduled Maintenance

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Follow me over to Part 2 now.

or

Schedule an appointment today

 

Subaru 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