Monthly Archives: January 2004

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.

Cool it!

Did you know? Your vehicle’s cooling system system is equally important in hot and cool weather.

Providing protection for your engine on both ends of the thermometer is a job for both science and physics. A close relationship between the coolant´s physical make up and pressure on the system are the keys to successfully meeting the needs of your engine.

Without pressure coolant cannot adequately control engine temperatures. Most cooling systems operate with 13 – 16 pounds of pressure on the system. Each pound of pressure applied to the cooling system drops the coolant´s boiling point approximately three degrees. For example: A cooling system with a fifteen-pound radiator cap will have a reduced boiling point of about 45 degrees. This is why we closely monitor radiator caps, hoses, hose clamps, radiator condition and any coolant leakage from gaskets. Any loss of pressure or coolant can be devastating to the cooling system. There are currently four types of coolant available: ethylene glycol(standard coolant), propylene glycol(Sierra coolant – less toxic), 100,000 mile formulas (new technology formulation), and recycled coolant.

If your coolant system has standard or Sierra coolant the recommended coolant system intervals are once every two years or 30,000 miles. If your system has 100,000 mile coolant then the intervals may be extended to once every five years or 100,000 miles. Recycled antifreeze may need servicing on a yearly basis depending on the recycling process. Most vehicle manufacturers do not endorse the use of recycled coolant.

If you desire to switch your older vehicle over to one of the 100,000 mile coolants you need to read the manufacturer´s recommendations. Mixing coolant types can cause problems with some brands. Using 100,000 mile coolants with any system that does not have an aluminum radiator can also cause problems with some brands.

Whether your vehicle is new or older, its cooling system is a high technology blend of science and physics. Regular inspections and servicing are important for vehicle reliability.

Bumper Stickers

Bumper stickers were invented back when all automobiles had big chrome bumpers. Today, most vehicles have plastic color-matched bumpers. The problem with putting a sticker on a painted bumper is that you (or your vehicle’s next owner) will probably want to remove it someday!

Taking stickers off chrome is no problem, but removing a sticker from a painted bumper can be a real challenge. If a sticker is left on a painted bumper cover for any length of time it will typically require a costly repaint to remove it.

We have many methods for removing stickers, but they are expensive. Save yourself a lot of money and apply the sticker to the lower back window (where it doesn’t obstruct your view) and it can be easily removed at anytime without damage to your vehicle. This way you can easily change bumper stickers.

Gas-Can Safety

Metal gas cans and pickup bedliners do not mix.

The insulating effect of the plastic bedliners found in the back of many pickup trucks prevents the static charge generated by gasoline flowing into a metal can from grounding.

As the charge builds, it can create a static spark between the can and the gas nozzle, resulting in an explosion or fire. Chevron USA recommends placing the cans on the ground when filling to minimize the danger.The insulating effect of the plastic bedliners found in the back of many pickup trucks prevents the static charge generated by gasoline flowing into a metal can from grounding.

As the charge builds, it can create a static spark between the can and the gas nozzle, resulting in an explosion or fire. Chevron USA recommends placing the cans on the ground when filling to minimize the danger.

ASA Code of Ethics

A Street Automotive is an ASA shop, and employs the ASA Code of Ethics.

The ASA is the largest non-profit trade association of its kind serving approximately 12,000 businesses and more than 55,000 professionals from all segments of the automobile service industry.

  • To perform high quality repair service at a fair and just price.
  • To use only proven merchandise of high quality distributed by reputable firms.
  • To employ the best skilled technicians obtainable.
  • To furnish an itemized invoice for fairly priced parts and services which clearly identifies any used or remanufactured parts. Replaced parts may be inspected upon request.
  • To have a sense of personal obligation to each individual customer.
  • To promote good will between the motorist and members of this Association.
  • To recommend corrective and maintenance services, explaining to the customer which of these are required to correct existing problems and which are for preventative maintenance.
  • To offer the customer a price estimate for work to be performed.
  • To furnish or post copies of any warranties covering parts or services.
  • To obtain prior authorization for all work done, in writing or by other means satisfactory to the customer.
  • To notify the customer if appointments or completion promises cannot be kept.
  • To maintain customer service records for one year or more.
  • To exercise reasonable care for the customer’s property while in our possession.
  • To maintain a system for fair settlement of customer’s complaints.
  • To cooperate with established consumer complaint mediation activities.
  • To uphold the high standards of our profession and always seek to correct any and all abuses within the automotive industry.
  • To uphold the integrity of all members of the Automotive Service Association.The ASA is the largest non-profit trade association of its kind serving approximately 12,000 businesses
and more than 55,000 professionals from all segments of the automobile service industry.
This establishment subscribes to the following business practices
To perform high quality repair service at a fair and just price.
To use only proven merchandise of high quality distributed by reputable firms.
To employ the best skilled technicians obtainable.
To furnish an itemized invoice for fairly priced parts and services which clearly identifies any used or remanufactured parts. Replaced parts may be inspected upon request.
To have a sense of personal obligation to each individual customer.
To promote good will between the motorist and members of this Association.
To recommend corrective and maintenance services, explaining to the customer which of these are required to correct existing problems and which are for preventative maintenance.
To offer the customer a price estimate for work to be performed.
To furnish or post copies of any warranties covering parts or services.
To obtain prior authorization for all work done, in writing or by other means satisfactory to the customer.
To notify the customer if appointments or completion promises cannot be kept.
To maintain customer service records for one year or more.
To exercise reasonable care for the customer’s property while in our possession.
To maintain a system for fair settlement of customer’s complaints.
To cooperate with established consumer complaint mediation activities.
To uphold the high standards of our profession and always seek to correct any and all abuses within the automotive industry.
To uphold the integrity of all members of the Automotive Service Association.

An Apple A Day

Like an apple a day for your vehicle: Preventative maintenance keeps the tow truck away!

As your vehicle gets older and racks up the miles, it requires more frequent inspections and maintenance to continue operating reliably and efficiently. This is very much like us making more frequent visits to our doctor as we get older. Preventative maintenance is easily put off, but early detection is what is best for you and your vehicle. Although breaking out of your comfort zone and daily routine for your automobile is hard, it does have some great advantages:

  • Optimum vehicle reliability
  • Better overall performance and fuel economy
  • Your vehicle runs better over a much longer period
  • Budgeting for repairs can be spread out, not lump sums for surprise breakdowns
  • Repairs are less expensive if mechanical problems are corrected before they escalate.

Air it Out.

Keeping your car fresh inside during Oregon’s rainy season can be a challenge.

Oregon’s cold, wet winters use your vehicle to prove that the laws of physics are constantly at work. Condensation is taking place and you may not even be aware of it. Not only are water and debris tracked in and out of the vehicle’s interior, but interior moisture is attracted naturally. This moisture hides behind your vehicle’s interior panels, and in the trunk area. Condensation is always taking place: that equates to mold and mildew.

Combat the moisture during sunny spring days by opening all of the windows, the doors and trunk so the outside air and sun can evaporate those moist areas.

Be sure to pull your floor mats, trunk floor mat and spare tire cover (If the cover is floor mounted). Let the vehicle air out as long as possible. Do be aware of stray cats or dogs looking for a temporary home in your vehicle. Airing out your vehicle will dry our any condensation, minimize molding and increase the life of your interior. Nature adds the bonus of a fresh Spring scent throughout your car.

Oregon´s cold, wet winters use your vehicle to prove that the laws of physics are constantly at work. Condensation is taking place and you may not even be aware of it. Not only are water and debris tracked in and out of the vehicle’s interior, but interior moisture is attracted naturally. This moisture hides behind your vehicle’s interior panels, and in the trunk area. Condensation is always taking place: that equates to mold and mildew.
Combat the moisture during sunny spring days by opening all of the windows, the doors and trunk so the outside air and sun can evaporate those moist areas.
Be sure to pull your floor mats, trunk floor mat and spare tire cover (If the cover is floor mounted). Let the vehicle air out as long as possible. Do be aware of stray cats or dogs looking for a temporary home in your vehicle. Airing out your vehicle will dry our any condensation, minimize molding and increase the life of your interior. Nature adds the bonus of a fresh Spring scent throughout your car.

Airbags

Let’s dispel some of the myths about airbags by providing the facts about them.

There have been many recent reports on a few unfortunate accidents involving airbags and children. Although air bags have saved thousands of lives, the media has chosen to amplify the few negative accidents that have occurred.

Automotive manufacturers have made airbag systems very smart. There are a number of criteria that must be met before an airbag system will deploy. It is virtually impossible to deploy an airbag system in anything short of a serious front end impact. Airbags are, of course, designed to decrease injury to the driver as much as possible.

After thousands of accidents and thousands of airbag deployments, there have been only a few unfortunate situations involving small children in the front passenger seat. A word of advice would be to never, ever seat small children in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with an airbag. Always buckle them up in the back. We have repaired several vehicles with deployed airbags and the vehicle owners all agree that they would have surely been seriously injured without the airbag deployment. If you have any concerns or questions about airbags, we openly invite you to stop by. We have deployed airbags and information on all makes and models of vehicle airbags. Furthermore, we love to show and tell.

Airbags may not be the perfect answer to America’s road fatalities, but at present there isn´t another automobile safety device which can compare to the combination of seatbelts and airbags. Drive safely, buckle up and always place small children in the back seat. Rest assured that if you are ever in an unfortunate accident situation an airbag may just be the thing that saves your life.There have been many recent reports on a few unfortunate accidents involving airbags and children. Although air bags have saved thousands of lives, the media has chosen to amplify the few negative accidents that have occurred.

Let´s dispel some of the myths about airbags by providing the facts about them.
Automotive manufacturers have made airbag systems very smart. There are a number of criteria that must be met before an airbag system will deploy. It is virtually impossible to deploy an airbag system in anything short of a serious front end impact. Airbags are, of course, designed to decrease injury to the driver as much as possible.
After thousands of accidents and thousands of airbag deployments, there have been only a few unfortunate situations involving small children in the front passenger seat. A word of advice would be to never, ever seat small children in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with an airbag. Always buckle them up in the back. We have repaired several vehicles with deployed airbags and the vehicle owners all agree that they would have surely been seriously injured without the airbag deployment. If you have any concerns or questions about airbags, we openly invite you to stop by. We have deployed airbags and information on all makes and models of vehicle airbags. Furthermore, we love to show and tell.
Airbags may not be the perfect answer to America’s road fatalities, but at present there isn´t another automobile safety device which can compare to the combination of seatbelts and airbags. Drive safely, buckle up and always place small children in the back seat. Rest assured that if you are ever in an unfortunate accident situation an airbag may just be the thing that saves your life.

Car Trouble Along the Way…

When you’re on the road and your car acts up, it’s often stressful to know who to call.

In September, two of our good customers were traveling in California when the engine in their Suburban died and they coasted to the side of the road.
Luckily they had two things in their favor: they had a cellular phone and they had read our traveling tips in the previous newsletter.
They immediately called our office when problems arose. Within fifteen minutes we had located the nearest A.S.A shop, called that shop for an immediate appoint-ment and had a tow truck on the way. Our customers received prompt courteous service at a fair price with only a small interruption in their vacation. We can provide this service for any of our customers no matter where they may be driving. Who ya gonna call if you have a breakdown while on the road? A Street Automotive and Collision! Keep our phone number and newsletter in your glove box.

Recently two of our long-time customers were traveling in California. The engine in their Suburban died and they coasted to the side of the road.

Luckily they had two they had cel-phone service, and had read our travel tips in a recent newsletter. They immediately called our office. Within fifteen minutes we had located the nearest A.S.A. Certified shop, arranged for an immediate appointment and had a tow truck sent their way.

Our customers received prompt courteous service at a fair price with only a small interruption in their vacation. We provide this service for any of our customers no matter where they may be driving. So what to do if you have a breakdown while on the road? Call A Street Automotive and Collision! Keep our phone number (or latest newsletter!) in a convenient location in your vehicle in case emergencies arise while you are traveling.

Wiper Surprise!

Don’t be surprised if your wipers streak and squeak the first time you really need them.

As our nice hot summer winds down into Fall and Winter it is inevitable that the rains will come. Don´t be surprised if your wipers streak and squeak the first time you really need them. After sitting dormant on the hot windshield all summer the rubber wiper blades can become hard and brittle. In this condition the wiper blades will not conform to the curvature of the windshield well nor will they seal and blade water off the surface. We recommend that you at least inspect your wiper blades to see if the rubber is soft and flexible, you can also run water on the windshield while the wipers are operating and check to see if the blades are clearing the water off without streaking.

If your wiper blades are hard and brittle they will need to be replaced but if they seem only slightly dry or stiff they probably just need to be rejuvenated by wiping them with conditioning pads. You can purchase conditioning pads at most department stores or parts stores for a small cost. There are several brands and we have found that they all work excellently. If you follow the easy instructions on the package anyone can easily rejuvenate their rubber wiper blades.

Don’t let the dark rainy days of fall and winter take you by surprise. Clear vision may be the edge you need to drive safely in a dangerous situation. Wiper blades are cheap. Replace or recondition them if needed before driving in rainy conditions.