Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Love Your Car Month

It's that time of year again where love is in the air.  Let that love spill over onto your vehicle.

One way to help keep your vehicle bills down is to bring you car or truck in for regular maintenance.  Regular maintenance can help you avoid more costly repairs.

Some types of maintenance your vehicle will need are:
  • Fluid Changes
  • Tire Checks
  • Filter Changes
  • Tune-ups
  • Change Spark Plugs
  • Replace Belts and Hoses
  • Brakes
  • Air Condition Service
  • Cleaning the Outside 
  • "Check Engine"/"Service Engine Soon" Light is on
  • 30K/60K/90K Services
Just as you take care of those you love, remember your vehicles(s). Regular maintenance will keep your vehicle reliable and running smooth. Which will save you time and money in the long run.

Have You Hit Any Potholes Lately?

The month of February usually brings various temperatures.  It might be freezing and snowing one week, and the next it will be sunny and 60 degrees.  With fluctuating temperatures come freezing and thawing, freezing and thawing.  The result...potholes!

Nobody likes a pothole, unless you are splashing in rain puddles.  However, your car definitely does not appreciate the sudden jolt it receives as you unknowingly (or sometimes knowingly, but nothing you can do) drive over the huge hole.  Sometimes the pothole seems to appear out of nowhere.

You may or may not be able to avoid hitting a pothole.  If you happen to hit one, the first item of business should be to pull over, just as you would in an accident.  Take a picture of the pothole, and then walk around your vehicle and inspect it. You are going to be looking for visual damage to the vehicle, tires or the rims.  If you can see damage, call a tow truck.  You don't want to add to the damage by driving it, if there's already a problem.

Call the non emergency police number to report and document the pothole. Inform them of any damages to your vehicle.  If you've hit the pot hole, chances are someone else has too.

If you don't see any damage, pay attention to the way your car handles as you drive it after hitting the pothole. The wheel alignment, tire balance, suspension and steering systems are sometimes damaged, and you may not be able to see it.  Here are some helpful warning signs to look for:
  • Is your steering off-center?  If so, have your wheel alignment checked.
  • Is your steering wheel shaking? If so, have your wheel balance checked.
  • Is your car pulling to one side?  You may have an alignment problem or component damage.
  • Is the car ride rough? You may have damaged springs, shocks, or struts.
It's always a good idea to have your car checked after hitting a pothole.  It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Love Your Service Advisor

The first person you speak to or see at Jake's Auto will usually be one of our service advisers, and the rest of us couldn't do our jobs without them.  February 17th is Service Adviser Appreciation Day at Jake's Auto.  We want them and you to know how much we appreciate all that they do.

We want to give you a little peek into the day of a service adviser and how much effort goes into their job.

First of all, our service advisers really are the middle man.  They have excellent customer service skills that help each customer feel as if they are part of the family.  They look for solutions and have great problem solving skills whether you've called them on the phone because your car won't start, or if you've brought your vehicle in for regular maintenance.

Our service advisers also have great communication skills. When you bring your vehicle in, they pay close attention to any concerns you have, and then are able to explain it to our technicians. Our technicians then inspect the vehicle, relay their findings back to the service adviser who then puts a quote together and calls you.  They have to understand automotive procedures, and technology to be able to explain what work your vehicle is in need of, and what parts need to be ordered to fix the problem(s).

Not only do our service advisers have the knowledge, they also have to have organizational skills as they schedule and assign work to each of our technicians.  They keep our technicians busy.  They also remember our customers.  They always put the customer first, being sure to follow our motto as the "Friendliest Little Repair Shop in Draper."

Winter Driving Series...Should You Warm Up Your Car?

We've had a wide range of temperatures, and finally winter snow this last month! A few times I've been sure my car was made of icicles as I climbed in first thing in the morning.

Many people will start the car before leaving in the morning to allow it to warm up in their driveway or garage.  Many have grown up warming up their car because it was necessary.

Most vehicles made prior to 1995 were built with carburetors, which needed to run for a bit to ensure proper engine function. Vehicles today are now fuel injected which eliminates the need to warm up for better engine productivity.

No one wants to climb into a freezing cold car, and so most warm up their vehicle for passenger comfort.  On top of that, it's also very important to make sure that you can see through the windows and through the frost and snow. Scrape your windows, and run your defrost before pulling out.

At this time of year we hear a lot of reports of stolen vehicles that were warming up. If you do need to warm up your vehicle, be sure to stay with it.  Never leave valuables or children in an unattended vehicle.

Also emissions increase when your vehicle is idling.  Consider air quality, and try not add to the inversion we usually get this time of year. Your gas mileage also decreases as it sits and warms up.

We hope you are able to stay warm and safe as you drive through town!

Summer Driving Series: Don't Leave Your Kids in the Car!

Summer is here!  You are hopefully enjoying your air conditioner as you drive through town. (If not, make sure you call Jake's Auto to h...