Archive for January 2011

Check Your Shocks and Struts at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted January 26, 2011 12:00 PM


 

Today we're talking to Bristol drivers about shocks and struts. They're so easy for Connecticut folks to forget about because they last so long and wear out so slowly. But your shocks are really responsible for keeping your tires on the road – so they're very important.

Without shocks, your wheels would be bouncing over bumps and lifting on corners. The shocks push the tire down to the road to maximize traction. Good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling for Bristol drivers.

There's a difference between shocks and springs. Springs support the weight of the vehicle, keeping it suspended up off the axles. The shocks moderate the rebound motion as wheels hit bumps. Now a strut combines a shock and a coil spring in one compact unit.

It's best to replace all four shocks at the same time. That way you'll have even, predictable handling at all four corners. Anything less could be dangerous.

Visit Economy Transmission and Auto Repair to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional.


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



Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft in Bristol, Connecticut

Posted January 18, 2011 12:00 PM



Every car in Bristol, Connecticut, is at risk for theft. So it's up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:

  1. Common sense
  2. Visible and audible devices
  3. Immobilizing devices
  4. Tracking devices

Let's review each of these. One is common sense; you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in Connecticut where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it's against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.

And don't leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Bristol drivers would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.

People in Bristol should know that it's important to roll up their windows completely and avoid leaving their car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.

Keep valuables out of sight; purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive "smash-and-grab" targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.

There are lots of visible and audible devices available for Bristol drivers. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what's going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.

Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don't approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.

And here's a great one - immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car's electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can't drive your car away.

Finally, drivers can also get a tracking device that allows Bristol police to track their car down and recover it quickly.

Remember, where you live, work and drive around Bristol, Connecticut, has a great impact on your decisions. If you're in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.

Of course, the common sense suggestions from Economy Transmission and Auto Repair don't cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves.

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



Maintaining Your Older Car in Bristol, Connecticut

Posted January 11, 2011 3:00 AM



The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Bristol, Connecticut: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Bristol motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new vehicle.

Because new vehicles are more expensive, people in the Bristol area are driving their old vehicles longer. The average vehicle is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Connecticut have more than 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today's cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin'.

Give Economy Transmission and Auto Repair a call at (860) 589-1255 to schedule your next maintenance.

Some owner's manuals don't specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn't mean it doesn't have to be done. In fact, it's more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles (120,000km).

First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that's recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles (24,000, 48,000, 72,000 and 96,000 km) and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule; ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks; seals and gaskets dry out over time and don't hold the fluids as well as they used to.

It's also time to make sure you have a good technician, like those here at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble's brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.

And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car's appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles (80,000 km), consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it's way cheaper than a new car payment!

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



Keeping Your 'Old Faithful' Auto Running

Posted January 5, 2011 1:00 AM

At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair we've had a lot of Bristol customers asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that's been building for several years in Connecticut. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. It looks like it's going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of Connecticut folks are putting off buying a new car. 

So let's say you're one of the average in the Bristol area; you've got a nine-year-old car with 80,000 miles (130,000 km) on the odometer. What can you do to make it last another year or two?

Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care in Bristol. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there's no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if Bristol drivers stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some vehicle manufacturer's owner's manuals runs out at 60,000 miles (100,000 km) or so: how do Bristol vehicle owners know what to do when they're way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) for the first 60,000 miles (100,000 km), you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) after you hit 60,000 miles (100,000 km). But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it's very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol, for example, leaves an opportunity for sludge to build up. Talk to your service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair for more details.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Bristol are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it keeps efficiency from decreasing;
  2. it prevents repairs, and;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most important thing Bristol drivers can do. A full-service oil change at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your friendly and knowledgeable Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service advisor a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get worse. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren't scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the Bristol area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner's manual and talk with us at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, the team at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair strongly encourages Bristol drivers to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They're fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some Bristol auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles (80,000 km) as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Bristol. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

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



Search



Archive

February 2010 (2)
March 2010 (4)
April 2010 (3)
May 2010 (4)
June 2010 (4)
July 2010 (4)
August 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
October 2010 (1)
November 2010 (5)
December 2010 (5)
January 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
March 2011 (5)
April 2011 (4)
May 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
July 2011 (4)
August 2011 (21)
September 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
November 2011 (5)
December 2011 (4)
January 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
March 2012 (4)
April 2012 (4)
May 2012 (2)
June 2012 (3)
July 2012 (1)
August 2012 (1)
November 2012 (1)
December 2012 (2)
March 2013 (1)
April 2013 (3)
May 2013 (2)
October 2013 (5)
November 2013 (2)
January 2014 (2)
February 2014 (3)
March 2014 (2)
July 2014 (3)
August 2014 (7)
September 2014 (4)
October 2014 (5)
November 2014 (4)
December 2014 (4)
January 2015 (5)
February 2015 (4)
March 2015 (4)
April 2015 (5)
May 2015 (2)
June 2015 (6)
July 2015 (2)
September 2015 (2)
October 2015 (5)
November 2015 (3)
December 2015 (3)
February 2016 (1)
March 2016 (5)
April 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
June 2016 (4)
July 2016 (5)
August 2016 (4)
September 2016 (4)
October 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
December 2016 (4)
January 2017 (5)
February 2017 (4)
March 2017 (4)
April 2017 (4)
May 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
July 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
September 2017 (3)
October 2017 (5)
November 2017 (4)
December 2017 (3)
January 2018 (5)
February 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
April 2018 (5)
May 2018 (4)
June 2018 (4)
July 2018 (5)
August 2018 (4)
September 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
November 2018 (4)
December 2018 (5)
January 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
May 2019 (2)
June 2019 (5)
July 2019 (2)
August 2019 (2)
September 2019 (4)
October 2019 (5)
November 2019 (4)
December 2019 (5)
January 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
March 2020 (5)
April 2020 (1)
May 2020 (2)
July 2020 (2)
August 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
October 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
December 2020 (4)
January 2021 (6)
February 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
April 2021 (4)
May 2021 (2)

Categories

Air Conditioning (12)Alignment (16)Alternator (3)Auto Safety (6)Automotive News (8)Battery (13)Brakes (14)Cabin Air Filter (7)Check Engine Light (2)Cooling System (15)Customer Detective Work (1)Dashboard (3)Diagnostics (5)Diesel Maintenance (1)Differential Service (3)Drive Train (9)Emergency Items (1)Engine Air Filter (2)Exhaust (9)Fluids (17)Fuel Economy (8)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)Fuel System (46)Headlamps (4)Inspection (7)Keys to a long lasting vehicle (4)Maintenance (55)Monitoring System (3)Oil Change (3)Older Vehicles (4)Parts (9)Safe Driving (1)Safety (5)Serpentine Belt (3)Service Intervals (9)Service Standards (13)Shocks & Struts (8)Spark Plugs (1)Steering (13)Suspension (2)Timing Belt (8)Tire Rotation and Balancing (1)Tires (4)Tires and Wheels (41)Transmission (8)Warranty (2)Water Pump (1)What Customers Should Know (45)Wheel Bearings (1)Windshield Wipers (9)Winter Prep (1)