Category Archives: Automotive

Warning Light Insight

Ignoring Warning Lights Could Cost You more In The Long Run and Raise Safety Issues.

          Check Engine, Maintenance Required, ABS, SRS, various symbols and even warning  chimes. What does it mean when they illuminate? and is it necassary to have your car checked out by a professional?

Even if the Engine is Running OK ,You Need to Get it Checked

             In many cases the engine still seems to run fine with the light illuminated so the driver chooses to ignore it.  We see this scenerio at our service counter often. In many cases the warning light can simply be reset but in others it indicates a computer system malfunction or a mechanical system fault that needs professional service to assure continued reliability.

Don’t Gamble On Your Car’s Safety & Reliability

             Yes, we always recommend having your car checked out as soon as possible when any warning light illuminates. Warning lights illuminate to alert the driver that there is a system malfunction. Any system malfunction will quickly illuminate the corrosponding warning  light and instantly put that particular system into backup mode.

Your Cars Computer is Very Smart

Backup mode is a “fail safe” designed to allow the vehicle to be safely driven to a service center within a reasonable distance. Continuing  to drive the car may cause down stream problems and lead to greater repair costs.

We Are Glad to Sort  Out Any Lightmare Your Car May Have

             If you are confused about what a warning light or symbol means, check your vehicles owner’s manual or call us, we can give you some insight. We can also make repairs, if needed and turn off that annoying light. Waning  lights always come on for a reason, have them checked out earlyon to save on long -term repair costs  and arssure continued reliability of your car.

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!

Vehicle Inspections

For most auto buyers, purchasing a used vehicle can feel like entering a Black Hole. One wrong move and there will be no “Return On Investment.”

We offer a comprehensive used vehicle inspection that will ward off even the deepest of Black Holes! The problem that we have found with vehicle inspections is that many people will not take the time to bring in a used vehicle for proper pre-purchase inspections. We are also aware that many purchases develop very quickly.

In an effort to give consumers some piece of mind we have a do-it-yourself used vehicle inspection form. Our form will allow you to ask the right questions and quickly inspect the critical areas of a used vehicle before purchasing it. This form will not take the place of our comprehensive inspections but it will allow you to hit all of the hot spots and make a much more informed decision to buy.

We have seen too many consumers go into the used vehicle Black Hole without any protection. The result can be a devastating automobile budget blow. Don’t let this happen to you: Stop by and pick up our inspection form, or call to have one faxed.

Fuel Miser? Be Wiser!

Tips on choosing the right octane for your vehicle duty.

The cost of gasoline is on the rise again. Why you ask? We won’t go into that, but what we will go into is fuel octane versus vehicle duty. With the rising cost of fuel many consumer are switching back to lower octane fuel to help offset the price. This is a more economical way to get you from point A to point B but can lead to costly repairs in some cases.

Higher octane fuels have more additives in them for cleaning and providing your engine with the potential to make more power. A more even and controllable flame front in your engines combustion chamber is what enables it to produce power well beyond the limits of standard unleaded fuel.

Before you fill you gas tank with low grade fuel the vehicle and the conditions under which it will be driven should be considered. Heavy duty towing vehicles should always use a higher grade fuel, without it costly internal engine damage can occur when the engine is under load. Light duty trucks and passenger cars should use a higher grade fuel whenever they are used under load conditions. Extra weight in the vehicle and steeper road grades can put a tremendous power demand on the engine, which makes it vulnerable to internal damage.

Here are some driving tips to help with your fuel economy:

[Actual fuel mileage is best determined by calculating the fuel consumed and mileage driven over three tanks of fuel or more.]

  • Fill your tank fully each time, get your fuel at the same station each time (if possible) and use your normal driving habits.
  • Cold weather and the use of oxygenated fuel will increase your vehicleÕs fuel consumption on a seasonal basis.
  • Taking short trips of three miles or less will decrease your fuel mileage.
  • Prolonged engine warm up periods and excessive engine idling will increase fuel use.
  • Stop & go city driving will decrease fuel mileage appx. 17% below freeway driving.
  • Freeway driving over the posted speed limit will decrease average fuel consumption by appx. 2.4 MPG for every 10 MPH increased above 40 MPH.
  • Loading down your vehicle with extra passengers or weight will decrease fuel mileage, especially if you are driving on hilly terrain.
  • Increasing the frontal area of your vehicle with even a light load will increase wind resistance, which will decrease fuel mileage accordingly.
  • Installing bug deflectors and other add-on items increases wind resistance and decreases fuel mileage by approximately 1 to 2 MPG. Faster speeds have a greater effect on mileage when these components are installed.
  • Driving your vehicle with the Check Engine Light in the instrument panel illuminated will cause poor fuel mileage and driveability issues.
  • Driving with your left foot resting on the brake pedal even lightly will cause decreased fuel mileage and premature brake lining wear.
  • Under-inflated tires will increase rolling resistance and cause a loss of up to one mile per gallon.
  • Tires should always be inflated to manufacturer’s specifications.

Remember, with the high price of fuel even a small change for the positive in your driving habits could make a significant difference in your fuel bill each month.

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

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.

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.

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?