What Makes a Good Auto Repair Business?

San Auto Auto Repair is the best stop shop for your car whenever you need any help.
Car shop owners have a lot to juggle when it comes to running an auto repair business. As a customer, an improperly run repair shop can lead to inflated pricing, extended turnaround times and faulty work. While the majority of auto shops these days have a good handle on balancing servicing and pricing, it’s always good to know what to look for when it comes to identifying a well-run auto repair business.

Customer-Friendly Auto Repair Policies

The best auto repair shops strive to exceed the service expectations of the average customer. As such, finding a shop that happily offers customer-friendly policies is a great way to minimize the chances for reduced customer service or unsavory business practices. For example, most reliable shops these days offer free vehicle inspections that result in a comprehensive price estimate. This estimate allows customers to review pricing structures and compare potential costs against rival companies. If an auto shop offers competitive pricing and is confident about their repair skills, then a free price estimate should only serve them favorably in the eyes of potential customers. San Jose Auto Repair always makes sure that the customers are totally satisfied and can count in us every time they need any service.

Other customer-friendly policies may include loyalty discounts, money-back guarantees and guaranteed turnaround times.

Auto Repair Business Recommendations

Good auto repair shops know that word of mouth is an important tool when it comes to operating a profitable business. Because of this, the best shops go above and beyond to make sure each and every one of their customers are happy. As such, asking friends, family or co-workers for recommendations on repair shops will likely yield several trustworthy and reliable car shops in your area. When talking with your friends, be sure to ask for details on why they liked or did not like a particular shop. This will help you make a more informed decision when faced with recommendations for several different shops.

Experience and Longevity of the Auto Repair Business

Has that auto repair business around the corner from your house been in the neighborhood for decades? If so, then this may be a good sign. An auto shop that has been in business for years indicates that they satisfy the needs of customers in such a way that they want to keep coming back. Of course, that’s not to say that new shops are not to be trusted. Within the shop itself, experience level of the mechanics themselves is just as important. Asking questions about ASE certification and training specializations can help identify the most qualified shops for your specific repair.

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Is Cheap Gas Bad For Your Car?

Is Cheap Gas Bad For Your car?
Gasoline is expensive and you’re looking for every way possible to save money at the pump. You already shy away from premium fuel, knowing that your car doesn’t require it. You’d like to save a few pennies per gallon more by going to an off-brand gas station. But you can’t get rid of the nagging fear: Is the cheap gas going to damage your car’s engine?

Edmunds.com put this question to experts in several fields, including an automotive engineer at a major carmaker, gasoline manufacturers and two engineers with the American Automobile Association (AAA). It boils down to this: You can stop worrying about cheap gas. You’re unlikely to hurt your car by using it.

Because of the advances in engine technology, a car’s onboard computer is able to adjust for the inevitable variations in fuel, so most drivers won’t notice a drop off in performance between different brands of fuel, from the most additive-rich gas sold by the major brands to the bare-bones stuff at your corner quickie mart.

Still, spending a few extra pennies per gallon might provide peace of mind to someone who just purchased a new car and wants to keep it as long as possible. People with older cars might not be as concerned about their engine’s longevity. They can buy the less expensive gas and still be OK.

Steve Mazor, chief automotive engineer with the Automobile Club of Southern California, summed it up this way: “Buy the cheapest gas that is closest to you.”

Recipes for Performance — at a Price
But this doesn’t mean that all gas is the same, even though it starts out that way. The fuel from different filling stations comes from a common source: the “base gas” from a refinery. Workers there mix additives mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency into the base gas in order to clean a car’s engine and reduce emissions. Then, the different gas companies — both off-brand and major brands — put their own additive packages in the gas to further boost both cleaning and performance.

A key difference is that the major brands put more additives in their gas and claim to have some secret ingredients. This extra shot of additives provides an additional level of cleaning and protection for your engine.

But is this extra helping of additives, which jacks up the price, really necessary? And, if you don’t use more expensive, extra-additive gas, how soon will your engine’s performance suffer?

“It’s not like any of the fuels are totally junk,” says John Nielsen, director of engineering and repair for the AAA. “If you buy gas from Bob’s Bargain Basement gas station because that’s all that’s available, it won’t hurt your car,” he says.

The real difference is the amount of additives that are in the gas, Nielsen says. More additives essentially afford more protection — but they also cost more.

Some automakers and oil companies believe that the amount of government-required additives isn’t enough to protect engines. They have created a Top Tier gasoline designation. It means that those gasoline brands sell fuels that provide more and better additives.

Nielsen recommends that drivers look in their car’s owner’s manual to see what the carmaker recommends and, when possible, follow that guideline. People who are still concerned about gasoline quality can ask a specific oil company if it has performed independent testing to substantiate its claims.

Selling the Secret Sauce in Gasoline
The major oil companies spend millions of dollars convincing buyers that their gas is superior by creating ads that feature smiling cartoon cars, lab-coated nerds and sooty engine valves. Buy Shell’s nitrogen-enriched gas, for instance, and you won’t get a buildup of “gunk” in your engine, company advertising promises.

Is all this just a marketing gimmick?

“I am a Ph.D. chemist, a nerdy guy who wears a white coat,” says Jim Macias, Shell Oil Company’s fuels marketing manager. “We really believe there are differences in fuels. We can see it, feel it and measure it.”

Macias says the gunk caused by fuels with insufficient additives can foul fuel injectors and even trigger “Check Engine” lights in as few as 10,000 miles.

But not everyone is keen to talk about gasoline quality and whether additives really make the difference.

Edmunds sought comment from one well-known seller of low-price gas: Arco. Arco also often finds itself targeted as being a lower-quality product. BP, Arco’s parent company, did not respond to Edmunds’ interview request.

The American Petroleum Institute provided background comments about fuel additives and promised to provide an expert for an interview. The API spokesman never called back.

Finally, Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, an independent, nonprofit testing facility, also declined to comment on the question of gasoline quality.
Source: Edmunds

San Jose Auto Repair Springtime Tips

Springtime Auto Repair tips by San Jose Auto Repair
Springtime Auto Tips

Spring is one of the prime times for auto maintenance. That first wash-n-wax on a warm Saturday afternoon is liberating. Winter’s gloom (to say nothing of grit and road salt) is literally washed away. Take out the snow shovel, the gloves, and heavy boots and store them ’til next season. Surely summer can’t be far away.

Some preparation now will help ensure that your summer driving plans go as smoothly as you envision then now. ASE offer the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer. For any kind of auto repair or services, visit us at San Jose Auto repair in San Jose, Ca 95116.

  • Read the owner’s manual and follow the recommended service schedules.
  • Have hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc. corrected before hot weather sets in.
  • Flush and refill the cooling system (radiator) according to the service manual’s recommendations. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.
  • If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified automotive technicians.
  • The tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a qualified auto technician.
  • Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a qualified technician to reduce the likelihood of more costly repairs.
  • Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner’s manual. (Properly dispose of used oil.)
  • Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended.
  • Check the condition of tires, including the spare. Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold.
  • Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs.
  • Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer solvent on hand to combat summer’s dust and insects.