Category Archives: Tips

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.

The Ups and Downs of Emergency Brakes

Emergency brake failure is usually not a problem unless the vehicle is parked facing UP a steep incline.

Have you ever heard of a vehicle that slipped down a hill even though the emergency brake was on? This can happen when the following 3 conditions occur:

  • The vehicle has rear drum brakes
  • is not in gear
  • and is parked with the nose of the vehicle pointing up a steep incline.

You can test your vehicle by setting the emergency brake and trying to back up. Most likely your vehicle will back up with a little more effort than usual, but when you try to go forward it will not move.

Emergency brakes are designed to keep most vehicles stationary while the vehicle is pointed down inclines or going forward. Emergency brake failure is not usually a problem unless the vehicle is parked on a steep incline. Avoid the slim chance of having your vehicle creep away by pointing the nose downhill and turning the wheels into the curb.

Using the emergency brake the proper way will always bring safe results.

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.

Factory Finest, Not Aftermarket After-Thoughts

Installation of anything other than factory body parts on your vehicle could result in doing harm to your vehicle.

Professional collision repairs using factory parts can restore a vehicle back to pre-accident condition, however, a word to the wise is the installation of anything but factory body parts on your vehicle could result in doing unspeakable harm to your vehicle.

Factory body parts are engineered to exact specifications and created by the same machinery and tools as the original parts. Exact fit, gaps between panels, textures, metal thickness and corrosion protection are all taken into account by car manufacturers when creating the original body parts.

Collision damage to today´s vehicles can be extensive, expensive and long term so make sure that factory quality body parts are used on your vehicle.

Please be Gentle with the Environment.

We can help! We recycle and dispose of waste products in the most environmentally friendly way.

It is no secret that almost any liquid or expendable material used in a automobile is in someway harmful to the environment. At A Street we are sensitive to this issue and willingly take all necessary steps to recycle and dispose of waste products in the most environmentally friendly way.

The products that can not be recycled or reused must be hauled away for proper disposal at heavy expense. To offset this expense we must charge a hazardous waste fee to our customers. Proper handling of waste will always assure that there is a stable environment for the future of us all.

We would like to thank our customers and the auto industry for assuring that all waste is disposed of properly.

Collision Q&A

You can choose your repair shop.

Question: I recently informed my insurance agent that I had collision damage on my vehicle and it was in need of repair. My agent informed me that I needed to take my vehicle to my insurance company´s recommended repair shop or they would not guarantee the repairs to my vehicle for life. Do I have to take my vehicle to their shop and who guarantees the collision repairs: the shop or my insurance company?

Answer: No you do not have to have your vehicle repaired at your insurance company´s “Pro Shop” or DRP, “Direct Repair Facility”. Oregon law protects all consumers from this kind of practice. In the collision industry, trying to direct a consumer to a certain shop this is called steering the customer and it is definitely a form of manipulation. The Oregon law reads as follows:

Pursuant to Oregon insurance law, an insurance company may not require that repairs be made to a motor vehicle by a particular person or repair shop.

You can have your vehicle repaired by any shop that you choose. Ultimately the repair shop is responsible for the guarantee of repairs not the insurance company. At A Street Automotive, we warranty our paint and bodywork for life and we put it in writing. Your vehicle is an investment; don´t let substandard workmanship diminish its value. If your vehicle is in need of repairs, simply hand us the keys and let us do the rest. Professionalism, unparalleled craftsmanship and timely repairs are what all of our satisfied customers have come to expect.

Collision Decisions? We Can Help.

A Street Automotive offers all phases of auto insurance claim assistance.

From the receiving end, an automobile accident can be a less than pleasant experience. It starts with the traumatizing ordeal of having your vehicle damaged. You are then bound to dealing with insurance companies and repair facilities. The proper approach in this area is the key to experiencing timely, professional repairs with less stress for you.
At A Street Automotive & Collision we offer all phases of Auto Insurance Claim Assistance. Our policy is to work FOR YOU, our customer, WITH your insurance company in a friendly and productive fashion.

Not only will our professionally trained collision repair and automotive refinishing staff carefully bring your vehicle back to its pre-accident condition, but we also offer the following services:

  • Immediate Towing
  • Rental Car Arrangements
  • Pick-up And Delivery
  • Full Insurance Claim Processing
  • Guaranteed Craftsmanship

Check Engine! Light

You’re driving along and notice that an amber light in the dash is illuminated. The light indicates that you need to check your engine. You pull into the first convenient tire and service center to have your engine checked, although it seems to running fine.

The staff at the service center is more than willing to check your engine on the spot. A few minutes go by and the manager comes back with a flyer telling about their tune up special. He goes on to tell you that the special is probably all you need and they could get it done for you right away.

This is a common scenario that you might experience. Many high profile service facilities and franchises will offer coupon tune ups and cut rate under the hood services on an ongoing basis. It seems attractive to many automotive consumers because it is quick and convenient.

The question is do you really need a tune up or any other service being offered? And what parts and labor operations are they offering for your vehicles tune up?

The only way to properly maintain your vehicle is to use the manufacturer´s maintenance schedule as a guide line. A certified technician, prior to servicing the vehicle, should review these schedules. The schedules include the parts and fluids to be replaced as well as service points to be inspected and maintenance procedures to be performed. A professional shop will also review the manufacturer´s service bulletins to assure that you are aware of updated parts and procedures for your specific vehicle. Many service bulletins pertain to safety issues that should not be overlooked.

An illuminated Check Engine Light is no cause for a tune up. The Check Engine Light is programmed to illuminate any time that one of the engine or fuel injection sensors works outside of its normal parameter. Any time the Check Engine Light is on the engine´s computer control system is most likely in backup mode due to a failing or misadjusted component. Backup mode is intended to allow the vehicle to get to a destination where it can be properly serviced. If you continue to drive your vehicle in backup mode for extended periods it can cause complications, which will add to the cost of repairs.

Diagnosing and replacing a failed component is most likely all that is required to allow your vehicle´s engine to run and perform properly. Tune up items should be performed as a preventative maintenance item and serviced according to mileage. We understand that most drivers are not technicians so you can always expect that anytime we inspect your vehicle, necessary preventative maintenance recommendations will be made at that time. This way you can budget keeping your vehicle in top condition.

The final step before performing a tune up is checking vehicle maintenance records to see if any items have already been replaced. Many tune up related items and services can not be identified as being worn out by inspection. Maintenance records save money by allowing all components to serve their full wearable life expectancy before replacing them. This is a good reason to establish a relationship with a professional repair shop that employs certified technicians.

From Check Engine Light to preventative maintenance tune-ups, our A Street ASE Certified technicians will analyze your vehicle and make it sing to a very fine tune. We back it with one of the best guarantees in the industry. So beware of cut-rate services and coupon clipping tune-ups. You wouldn’t buy a cut-rate parachute would you?

Extended Warranty Notes

Over the past years extended warranty contracts for new and used vehicles have become popular. The purpose of these contracts is to cover needed vehicle repairs that are not covered by factory warranty.

These contracts also continue warranty coverage on the vehicle after the factory warranty has expired. Customers buy extended warranty contracts to eliminate unexpected, out of pocket automobile repair bills. Like an insurance policy, extended warranty contracts can vary greatly according to cost vs. coverage.

At A Street Automotive we have dealt with many extended warranty contract repairs over the years. We have found extended warranty contract coverage can range from excellent to very poor at the time of need. We find that most of our customers purchased their extended warranty contracts under the assumption that the contract will cover all unexpected repairs to their vehicle wherever they choose to have it serviced. Many times this is not the case and the customer ends up paying an unexpected repair bill.

Making an informed consumer decision up front is the best way to be sure the contract will cover your auto repair needs and protect your money investment. Contract sales persons make a commission and they will want to sell you an extended warranty contact at the time of a vehicle purchase.

Before purchasing any contract you should be completely aware of Cost vs. Coverage, also the conditions under which the repairs can be performed. We have found that warranty contracts are very complicated with coverages and exclusions intertwined within. Many contracts only cover certain components under certain conditions. We have also found that some contracts are only valid for repairs at the dealership, this can be extremely inconvenient and untimely. Many contracts also require a deductible payment that customers may not be aware of.

Although there are many extended warranty contracts that are cost effective and user friendly it may be next to impossible to tell if the contract is worthy of your investment unless you are a master auto technician with a degree in law.

At A Street Automotive we gladly deal with all extended warranty contracts to answer your contract questions. We have found that calling in mock repairs to specific warranty companies is a productive way to verify contract coverages and circumstances. We invite you to bring in any extended warranty contracts before purchase so we can help you evaluate contract coverages at no cost to you. A small amount of investigation up front can save you the disappointment of a bad investment when you need repair coverage.