Category Archives: Maintenance

Maintenance or Payments?

Making the decision to keep your vehicle long term can be a wise one.

After your vehicle is paid off it can give you a return on your investment that is not available to consumers who simply trade their vehicles off. Not having a car payment can open the door to some new monthly revenue that was previously going out the door. This new-found money could be a lasting resource if you make the right decision to preventatively maintain your vehicle. This means that giving a little money back will keep your vehicle in dependable and eye-pleasing condition.

The common pitfall for many consumers who pay off their vehicles is that they forget to invest any money into their automobile. This scenario will certainly result in a major breakdown or a vehicle that is not eye-pleasing or comfortable. In these cases the owner usually trades the vehicle off and starts on a new payment book. There is no capital to be gained in this case.

It is a well known fact that most automobiles can be maintained at a very dependable level to over two hundred thousand miles. An approximate cost to maintain the average vehicle is about $1,200 to $1,400 per year. These figures can vary depending on the present condition of your vehicle. Doing preventative maintenance should result in 3 to 4 visits to a professional repair facility. Yes, this is a commitment but if you do the math it is well worth it.

To take the guesswork out of preventative maintenance, Factory Maintenance Schedules are available for your vehicle at our service counter, free of charge!

Frosty the Windshield

Have you seen my ice scraper? This phrase is rapidly spreading through local homes as hundreds of Oregonians awake to the realization that a credit card and hair comb are not the most efficient tools for cleaning a frosted windshield. Winter has arrived! Those ice scrapers may never surface, but you can be prepared for the next wave of frosty winter weather.

A Street Automotive and Collision can’t help you find your ice scrapers, but we can offer you a Pre-Winter Service Package to increase your vehicle’s cold weather dependability.

The A Street Automotive Pre-Winter Package offers the following services for light vehicles:

  • Coolant Condition & Freezing Level Test
  • Starter Amperage Draw Test
  • Alternator Output Test
  • Battery Load Test
  • Chassis Lube
  • Oil & Filter Change
  • Check & Fill All Levels
  • Non-Freezing Windshield Water Fluid Added
  • Clean & Protect Battery Terminals
  • 27-point Vehicle Inspection
  • Coolant System Pressure Test
  • Inflate Tires To Proper Pressure
  • Heater Output Test
  • Wiper Blade Replacement

Cosmetics

Believe it or not, cosmetics are almost as important as the mechanical condition of your vehicle.

Not having cosmetic defects in paint and interior will not leave you stranded on the road, but they will cause you to loose the warm fuzzy feeling that keeps you from trading for a new vehicle.

We understand that your perception of how others view you in your vehicle is important. This is the reason we like to see cosmetic repairs performed as they crop up. Most cosmetic repairs such as broken knobs, torn upholstery, cracked glass, worn hinges & latches etcÉ are much less expensive to repair than most owners perceive.

Exterior cosmetics are no different from interior cosmetics. Paint buffing, waxing and touch up should be done once or twice per year. External eye appeal is high on the warm and fuzzy list, as it should be. We recommend a good interior and exterior detail on an annual basis. Having this done professionally is great but if you donÕt mind applying some elbow grease in conjunction with good products you can achieve long lasting professional results.

Self-satisfaction will be your reward for a job well done. If you are in need of product knowledge we can give you some great advice. If you just want your vehicle detailed beautifully, just call and make an appointment anytime with our friendly and expert crew.

A Dab of… Cleaner?

Try one of the new cleaner waxes!

Let’s say that you haven’t gotten around to waxing your car for a while (like years?) and your paint is oxidized or faded. Maybe you feel waxing would be a waste of time. Perhaps there is an alternative for you besides the heart stopping cost of a quality complete paint job! Cleaner wax is a wax that has mild abrasives formulated in to it. Cleaner wax can be found in all popular car care lines.

Meguires or 3M Products are our personal favorite. Using mild abrasives in conjunction with a little elbow grease will remove oxidation and build up which inhibits paint´s shine and clarity. A thorough application of cleaner wax, followed by a coat of premium finish wax can restore some pretty poor looking paint. If cleaner wax does not seem to be doing the trick you can always bring your vehicle by and let us evaluate the paint condition. Buffing or spot painting may be needed in some areas. Our collision repair facility can also do what we call an exterior makeover. This includes a combination of spot paint, touch up painting, buffing and waxing. A makeover can make your vehicle´s exterior look practically new again at a fraction of the cost for a new paint job.

Car Washing 101

A Street Automotive & Collision’s refresher course on how to properly clean your vehicle.

Now that the sun is shining you might want to think about washing your vehicle. We know that is has been a while so the following is a refresher course on how to properly clean your vehicle.

Always begin with the proper tools:

  • A clean 2-5 gallon bucket
  • A soft clean auto wash mitt
  • Auto wash soap (any biodegradable, spot free brand will work)
  • A soft terry cloth towels or a clean chamois

Put a small amount of soap in your wash bucket. [This will minimize water spotting if you choose not to dry your vehicle.] Thoroughly rinse the vehicle, letting the water sheet off (rather than spray off) before washing. This will remove as much dirt as possible to decrease the amount of abrasive materials during the scrubbing process.

Starting on the roof, scrub lightly in line with the vehicle. Working your way down, scrub each panel along its manufactured lines. Scrubbing in line will help blend scratches into the style lines of the vehicle. Be sure to keep your wash mitt soapy and rinse as you go. Do not let the soap dry on your vehicle´s finish as this will cause severe water spotting. It is best to wash when it is cool out to avoid water spotting too. When the washing is finished you can dry your vehicle with soft terry cloth towels or a clean chamois. Do not forget to clean your tools when finished to prepare for the next washing.

Now go enjoy your beautifully clean vehicle!

Pre-Vacation Vehicle Checklist

Before you head out on vacation, run through this handy checklist to make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the trip.

  • Have your vehicle inspected, if possible at least two weeks before you are ready to leave. This will help you to avoid last minute problems.
  • Take phone numbers and insurance papers.
  • Remember to keep your fuel tank full whenever possible. This will help avoid vapor lock during hot weather driving.
  • Remember to take any necessary maps. Pack extra snacks and drinks in case of unexpected delays.
  • Pack a flashlight with fresh batteries, glass cleaner, paper towels, and extra oil (know your brand of oil to avoid mixing brands).
  • Lock you car at all stops. Hide an extra set of keys on your vehicle. There´s nothing more frustrating than locking your keys in you car in unfamiliar territory.
  • Make reservations ahead of time, especially during the summer months and holidays.
  • If you are leaving the U.S.A. it is a good idea to have notarized birth certificates for children.
  • Make sure you know where your locking lug nut key, socket wrench and/or hub cap key are located.
  • If it is getting close to time to rotate your tires, make sure and do it before you leave. Check tire pressure too.
  • Check you oil at least every other time you fill your gas tank and visually inspect everything under the hood.
  • Do not use your cruise control during rainy weather. Wet roads increase your chance of hydroplaning.
  • Should you experience vehicle problems on your trip, the first place to call is A Street Automotive & Collision. We can refer you to a reputable facility close to you.

Floorboard or surfboard?

Now that the rainy season is here you may have already gotten a big surprise on your vehicle´s floorboard or trunk area. You open your door, climb in and find out your feet are in water. The seasonal rain the night before had left a generous deposit of water through a leak somewhere in your vehicle. Your subconscious mind tells you that it is just condensation, but the reality of your wet feet tell you it´s time to get professional help.
Although we have many tests for finding body and seal leaks, they are very time consuming to correct. The blacklight test, pressurized cab test and the dollar bill test are all tests that we may perform at A Street Automotive when we are trying to pinpoint body leaks. Technicians must be able to recreate the leak conditions to fully see the leakage patterns. Consequently, recreating the wind speed and raindrop angles is often the key to making an interior leak appear. Often we cannot even get a leak to appear until we simulate the correct leak conditions. Multiple leaks may even appear under different test conditions.
Please remember when you bring your vehicle in to get the leaks corrected that thy didn´t begin overnight and must be carefully and completely corrected to solve your problems. Using professional methods make body and seal leaks repair seem an easy fix but re-creating leaking conditions and accessing the area may be very time consuming.

Now that the rainy season is here you may have already gotten a big surprise on your vehicle’s floorboard or trunk area. You open your door, climb in and find out your feet are in water.

The seasonal rain the night before had left a generous deposit of water through a leak somewhere in your vehicle. Your subconscious mind tells you that it is just condensation, but the reality of your wet feet tell you it´s time to get professional help.

Although we have many tests for finding body and seal leaks, they are very time consuming to correct. The blacklight test, pressurized cab test and the dollar bill test are all tests that we may perform at A Street Automotive when we are trying to pinpoint body leaks. Technicians must be able to recreate the leak conditions to fully see the leakage patterns. Consequently, recreating the wind speed and raindrop angles is often the key to making an interior leak appear. Often we cannot even get a leak to appear until we simulate the correct leak conditions. Multiple leaks may even appear under different test conditions.

Please remember when you bring your vehicle in to get the leaks corrected that thy didn´t begin overnight and must be carefully and completely corrected to solve your problems. Using professional methods make body and seal leaks repair seem an easy fix but re-creating leaking conditions and accessing the area may be very time consuming.

Fishy Facts: Avoid the Silicon Nightmare

When cleaning and protecting your vehicle’s interior vinyl and rubber, try to avoid the use of products containing silicon.

Using silicon products can make any future paint work a virtual nightmare. Surfaces that have been impregnated with silicon will cause paint to be repelled, causing small round paint blemishes called fish eyes.

You can find a large number of non-silicon products on the shelves of any car care product retailer.

If you prefer old fashioned remedies, wiping down your vinyl and rubber with baby oil does a wonderful job. Baby oil will leave a slightly greasy feeling that will disappear shortly after it is applied.

If you have any questions on what products to use for any area of your car just call us and we will gladly give you sound advice.

Windshield Haze

After washing your vehicle this spring you may notice that the haze on your windshield isn’t just dirt after all.

Most drivers get so used to driving their vehicles with the haze that they don’t notice it. The haze is caused from abrasives such as sand and small pebbles colliding with your windshield. The windshield becomes etched and pitted. This process usually happens over a long period of time so the driver does not immediately notice that the haze is affecting their vision while driving.

Springtime is when we routinely get questioned by many customers about a haze or film on their windshield. Etching is always the answer. At close inspection you can see and feel the thousands of micro sized pits in the windshield. Using a magnifying glass to look at the etching will give anybody in doubt a fully understandable picture of just how bad the hazing on a windshield can be due to etching.

Although etched windshields may not be that noticeable on bright days it can impair vision at night and stormy conditions. Sometimes it´s the little things that make a big difference. If your vision is a little better in bad driving conditions it may be the edge you need to avoid an accident. If your windshield is etched we definitely recommend replacement.

Most insurance policies will cover glass replacement but coverage varies between companies and policies. If your windshield is etched and needs to be replaced call your insurance agent and ask about glass coverage. You may need to visit your agent for a windshield inspection and to fill out a glass report. Windshield replacement procedure is critical to the structural integrity of most vehicles so be sure that a certified professional installs your windshield.

If you have any questions about windshields please call us. We can evaluate your auto glass concerns and replace if necessary. We can also assist you with any insurance claim concerns that you may have.After washing your vehicle this spring you may notice that the haze on your windshield isn’t just dirt after all. Most drivers get so used to driving their vehicles with the haze that they don’t notice it. The haze is caused from abrasives such as sand and small pebbles colliding with your windshield. The windshield becomes etched and pitted. This process usually happens over a long period of time so the driver does not immediately notice that the haze is affecting their vision while driving.

Springtime is when we routinely get questioned by many customers about a haze or film on their windshield. Etching is always the answer. At close inspection you can see and feel the thousands of micro sized pits in the windshield. Using a magnifying glass to look at the etching will give anybody in doubt a fully understandable picture of just how bad the hazing on a windshield can be due to etching.
Although etched windshields may not be that noticeable on bright days it can impair vision at night and stormy conditions. Sometimes it´s the little things that make a big difference. If your vision is a little better in bad driving conditions it may be the edge you need to avoid an accident. If your windshield is etched we definitely recommend replacement.
Most insurance policies will cover glass replacement but coverage varies between companies and policies. If your windshield is etched and needs to be replaced call your insurance agent and ask about glass coverage. You may need to visit your agent for a windshield inspection and to fill out a glass report. Windshield replacement procedure is critical to the structural integrity of most vehicles so be sure that a certified professional installs your windshield.
If you have any questions about windshields please call us. We can evaluate your auto glass concerns and replace if necessary. We can also assist you with any insurance claim concerns that you may have.