With a slow and gradual economic recovery, today’s consumers are more careful about spending their hard-earned money, even if it means putting the performance of their vehicle at risk. The average age for most vehicles in the United States is more than 11 years according to automotive research firm R.L. Polk and Co. Most consumers would rather hold on to their current vehicles while hoping the performance and functions of the vehicle hold out long enough to avoid the purchase of a new vehicle. Proper maintenance of the current vehicle will go a long way towards ensuring the vehicle stays on the road longer.
The Real Dangers of Vehicle Neglect It may be tempting to avoid vehicle maintenance due to the associated high costs, but you may be doing more damage in the long run. A recent survey conducted by Automotive Service Excellence showed that a properly maintained vehicle not only lasts longer, but will also retain much of its resale value compared to a vehicle that was neglected. Improper management of a vehicle results in components wearing out faster or becoming damaged through extensive and hard use. The problems will only continue to grow from easy repairs that don’t require much to fix, to more difficult and costly to fix. The aim for vehicle maintenance is to keep the current vehicle on the road longer while avoiding costlier repairs. Regardless of if you’re a do-it-yourselfer or would rather drop the vehicle off at our shop, it’s highly recommended every savvy motorist reads and becomes familiar with the handbook provided with almost every vehicle (unless you bought your vehicle second hand). Inside the manual you’ll find a wealth of information including how to do most maintenance tasks at home and how often you should complete such tasks as well. For those motorists that don’t feel comfortable completing the maintenance themselves, its recommended you take your vehicle to a certified technician who knows what they’re doing.
How to Find a Reputable Mechanic
Finding a reputable mechanic who is well educated may seem like a time consuming job that warrants a whole afternoon to itself, but it doesn’t need to be. Most of the stress has been eliminated by a nationally recognized program: ASE or Automotive Service Excellence. ASE conducts regular tests and certifies technicians in all aspects of vehicle maintenance and repairs. There are over 360,000 qualified professionals located across the United States who are working in dealerships, collision repair shops, colleges, and even independent shops. And that’s just the kind of technician you’ll find here at Elite Auto Repair. Unlike most programs, ASE tests the competence of individual technicians instead of the repair shop as a whole. This means incompetent technicians are filtered through so you don’t have to worry about the financial strain or stress. Technicians are required to attend regular training and classes in order to pass national tests. The program is completely voluntary to join, and most reputable technicians are all too happy to add the credential to their list of educational accomplishments. The Certification Process The certification involves completing 40 tests, which test the technician’s skill and knowledge level in all segments of service and repair. The tests may be completed during an 8-month time span at select training centers. A technician must complete one exam and fulfill the two-year work experience requirement before they can be officially certified by the ASE. Technicians who pass a series of exams as well as the work experience requirement, acquire the Master Technician credential. ASE encourages continuing education for all technicians by ensuring all credentials have expiration dates. An ASE certified technician is required to retest every five years to maintain their credentials. The tests are configured based on industry expert input and some in-house professionals from the Automotive Service Excellence organization themselves. A range of tests is offered depending on the technician’s specialty area. For example, there are tests available for engine machinists, parts specialists, and bus technicians. How to Locate A ASE Certified Tech Look no further than Elite Auto Repair for a shop full of ASE certified technicians! Any repair establishments that employ an ASE tech are permitted to display the familiar blue and white ASE sign on the front of their establishments. The tech usually identifies themselves by wearing an appropriately labeled lapel pin or shoulder insignia that indicates their particular specialties. The tech may also display specific certificates within public viewing at the establishment. Like many professionals, technicians often choose to specialize in certain areas of vehicle maintenance and repairs. A lot of frustration and hassle can be eliminated by requesting the maintenance or repairs to be performed by a mechanic or tech who specializes in your particular area of concern. Ask us about our ASE Certified Technicians today! You’ll be glad you did!
I’m often asked questions about the cooling system, the system that cools your engine and keeps it at the proper operating temperature. I like to divide the topic into two areas. First, the coolant itself, and second, the parts that make up the cooling system. The coolant is the mix of water and antifreeze that circulates through the engine to draw off heat.
While our mild weather makes it attractive to many, it’s important to remember weather can be unpredictable regardless of where you’re located. Preparing your vehicles for winter and cold climates can be essential to the performance of your car. During the winter you don’t have to drive very far from the Valley of the Sun to find yourself in the pines, and in winter driving conditions.