Archive for August 2010

Are There Blind Spots in Bristol?

Posted August 26, 2010 11:00 AM

All Bristol drivers have blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around Bristol.

First let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others...

To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your vehicle before you start to drive.

First, Bristol drivers should adjust their rear view mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their vehicle. Bristol folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty obvious, the rear view mirror should reflect the rear.

Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of the car and adjust the outside mirror so that you can barely see the right side of the car.

When Bristol drivers adjust their mirrors this way, they'll have maximum coverage. Of course driving is a dynamic process – things change every second on Connecticut roads and busy highways. So it's wise to take a quick look to the side when passing to make sure that another vehicle hasn't moved into an area you couldn't see in your mirrors.

As you drive around the Bristol area, avoid staying in others' blind spots. You can't count on them to be watching their mirrors and looking out for you.

Here are some tips for passing a heavy vehicle on Connecticut roads:

Avoid the blind spots. If you can't see the drivers face in one of his mirrors or in a window, he cannot see you!

Don't follow too close. If you can't see one of the truck's mirrors, you're too close.

Make sure there is plenty of room to pass. Trucks are long and take time to get around. If you're on one of our local two-lane highways, wait for a passing zone.

Don't linger when passing. Because the blind spots are so big on the sides, you want to get through them quickly. If you can't pass quickly, drop back.

Pass on the left whenever possible. A trucks' blind spot is much larger on the right.

The team of automotive professionals at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair want you to watch those blind spots – but feel free to sing in the shower all you want.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Deciphering the Economy Transmission and Auto Repair Menu Board

Posted August 20, 2010 12:00 PM

Let's talk about deciphering the auto service menu board. Bristol, Connecticut, service centers like Economy Transmission and Auto Repair have a board that lists the routine services they provide. But some people don't know what these services really are unless they ask. Let's go down a typical list, in alphabetical order, starting with air conditioning service.

Feel free at any time to give Economy Transmission and Auto Repair a call at (860) 589-1255 to learn of the many services we offer, or stop by our Bristol, Connecticut auto center at 201 Terryville Road, 06010.

First remember that all of these services are recommended by vehicle manufacturers. They set how often or at how many miles/kilometers the service should be done.

Air conditioning service involves purging the old refrigerant and capturing it for proper disposal. Then fresh refrigerant is installed. The fresh refrigerant will lubricate the system and will also help it cool better.

Alignment. Service centers like Economy Transmission and Auto Repair make sure all four wheels are lined up and track with each other. This reduces tire and suspension wear and improves safety and handling.

Battery service. Service centers like Economy Transmission and Auto Repair inspect the battery for corrosion, leaks or damage. Test the battery's ability to hold a charge. If the battery's still strong, clean it up. If not, replace it.

Brake service. This could be two things. A brake inspection to see if the brakes are working well mechanically and to see if the pads are still safe. If not, replace the pads and make any repairs that might be in order.

The other thing is to evacuate the brake fluid, clean out the system and replace it with fresh fluid. This is important, but often overlooked.

Cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is the filter that cleans the air that comes into the passenger compartment. It works like the filter on your furnace at home. It gets dirty and needs to be changed often.

Cooling system. This is the cooling system for your engine. Replace the old coolant with fresh to protect your radiator and other cooling system components from corrosion.

Differential service. Every vehicle has at least one differential. They don't require service very often, so people don't think of them much. The differential transfers power from the drive train to your wheels. Drain the old fluid and add fresh lubricant.

Engine air filter. This filters the air that's burned in the engine. It also gets dirty and needs to be replaced often.

Fuel filter. This filter cleans the fuel before it gets to the engine. Like the other filters, it too gets clogged and needs to be replaced in order to maintain good flow.

Give us a call.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255





Ethics of Automotive Repair in Bristol

Posted August 11, 2010 3:00 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 Bristol automotive service and repair industry hasn't been given a pass either.

Unfortunately, every profession in Bristol 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 Bristol 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 Bristol 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 Bristol 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:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. 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 Economy Transmission and Auto Repair 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; Economy Transmission and Auto Repair 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:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle's manufacturer
  4. 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.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Why a Trip Inspection Is a Good Idea

Posted August 6, 2010 2:00 AM

At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair we get a lot of Bristol drivers asking about vehicle trip preparation. That's a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas around Connecticut, so it's important to know that the vehicle is up to the task and won't leave you stranded.

Smart Bristol drivers plan ahead for a major road trip – and there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Bristol to see if you can feel any vibrations: Are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? Come to Economy Transmission and Auto Repair for a peace-of-mind trip inspection.

201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255

The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles/120,000 km, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. 

How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?

How are your wiper blades? There's nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from Bristol.

Check your owner's manual for any other recommended services, and have Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol do the multi-point inspection before you head out on your trip.

Consider also having the coolant system serviced at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair – you want to stay within the vehicle manufacture’s recommendations. If you're towing a trailer around Connecticut you'll want to be keep in mind that you'll be going a long way under severe conditions.

A lot of Bristol drivers overlook severe conditions like towing, Connecticut summer heat or driving on dirt roads. Plan ahead for your next road trip – Economy Transmission and Auto Repair wants you to get there and back.



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