I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement In Kissimmee
Posted August 30, 2011 10:36 AM
About 90% of our Kissimmee Florida driving decisions are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.
Everyone in Kissimmee Florida has experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 motorists from Saint Cloud and across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.
It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Saint Cloud area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.
We need to change our thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as an important safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.
You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of Florida, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.
Winter blades are designed to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can just shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.
Your wiper blades live outside; freezing cold and blistering sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire windshield – a big cost for such a little part.
AutoNetTV recommends you replace worn blades right away. Your local service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. They cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included at the service center.
Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Don's Complete Auto Service will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle in the car if you’re on a road trip.
Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t do as good job of cleaning your windows.
This fuel saving tip is so simple, no one from here to Oak Ridge will believe it. It has to do with your gas cap.
The first thing is to make sure it's screwed on tight. If it's loose, gas vapor will be constantly leaking out; wasted gas.
And air will get in and that can cause your oxygen sensor to read incorrectly and the oxygen sensor will tell the engine management computer to adjust the fuel-air mix and, well, you get the picture; you'll be burning more gas around Oak Ridge than you need to.
This could cause the check engine light to come on as well.
A worn gas cap can have the same effect. If you constantly smell gas when you walk by your tank, you might need a new gas cap.
So, twist your cap until it clicks three times – that means it's on tight. Have your Oak Ridge area service advisor at Don's Complete Auto Service inspect the cap to see if it needs to be replaced.
See, I told you it was simple.
Don't forget to call Don's Complete Auto Service at 407-847-3427 for an appointment to optimize your Automobile for better fuel economy. Ask us about Auto Repair.
Posted in the Fuel System category
Ethics of Automotive Repair in Kissimmee
Posted August 16, 2011 11:24 AM
We're going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the Kissimmee automotive service and repair industry hasn't been given a pass either.
Unfortunately, every profession in Kissimmee has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.
Yet some people remain uncomfortable with Kissimmee automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.
If we understand what's recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off – we'll have more trust in the recommendation. So communication is key. It's like going to the doctor; If she's using medical jargon and takes a lot of basic medical knowledge for granted, we have a hard time following her train of thought. It can be like that with your Kissimmee service advisor too. He's so familiar with all things automotive, he may forget you don't know a PCV from an EGT.
If you don't understand what your doctor's talking about: ask some questions. If you don't understand what your Kissimmee automotive advisor's talking about: ask some questions.
Let's go back to those ethical standards; when we hear a repair recommendation, we always ask ourselves, "Is this really necessary?" Well, here's the industry standard:
If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:
The part no longer performs its intended purpose
The part does not meet a design specification
The part is missing
For example, it you take your car in for a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, you may just think you need new brake pads. After the inspection, the technician at Don's Complete Auto Service says that you have a cracked rotor and need to replace it.
If you tried to get him to simply put new pads on, he would say that if you didn't want to replace the rotor; Don's Complete Auto Service would ethically have to refuse the repair.
To just put pads on a cracked rotor would have been very wrong. The brakes could've failed at anytime and needed to be repaired – not just have a band-aid slapped on them.
Now, looking at something not so serious, the technician may suggest repair or replacement if:
The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle's manufacturer
Based on the technician's informed experience
Of course, the technician has the burden of making ethical recommendations and properly educating their customers. For the customer, if you are uncomfortable with a recommendation, ask some questions. More information is always a good thing.
Posted in the Service Standards category
The Harm In Skipping An Oil Change For Kissimmee Drivers
Posted August 12, 2011 2:25 PM
People in Kissimmee have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you're wondering: What are the key issues?
Some new vehicle manufacturers in Kissimmee are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new car manufacturers announced that owners like those in Kissimmee were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.
The manufacturers' standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.
What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.
Severe driving around Kissimmee includes short trips under four miles or trips under ten miles in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn't get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.
Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.
The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Kissimmee just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule, or to the standard schedule.
Some types of Automobile will give oil change reminders. But it's important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It's programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.
For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Kissimmee service advisor at Don's Complete Auto Service and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it's a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what's needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.
If you're realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.
So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.
Posted in the Maintenance category
Which Item is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Kissimmee?
Posted August 2, 2011 11:53 AM
Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Kissimmee?
Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Kissimmee – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Kissimmee.
Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.
Contact Don's Complete Auto Service for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced. Find us at 508 E. Vine Street , Kissimmee, Florida 34744 You can reach us by phone at: 407-847-3427
There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.
That is definitely one car part you don't want to take a chance with, so Don's Complete Auto Service recommends following these guidelines:
Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Don's Complete Auto Service).
Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.
You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.
For more information, contact Don at Don's Complete Auto Service by calling 407-847-3427.