Archive for February 2012

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted February 28, 2012 12:00 PM

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A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Bristol people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Bristol motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their truck,suvs for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Bristol drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own truck,suvs on the road in Connecticut.

Bristol drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change. Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Economy Transmission and Auto RepairThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your truck,suv's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine.

There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Bristol car owners. It’s simple – a Economy Transmission and Auto Repair professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Economy Transmission and Auto Repair technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.

Your Economy Transmission and Auto Repair advisor will also visually inspect your truck,suv for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your Economy Transmission and Auto Repair advisor will be able to remind you of other services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Bristol dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your truck,suv gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost money, but they are far cheaper than new truck,suv payments. With proper service at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.



Economy Transmission and Auto Repair Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

Posted February 21, 2012 12:00 PM

Welcome to the Economy Transmission and Auto Repair automotive blog. Today, let's talk about the effect of tire wear. drive

Let's focus on stopping in wet Bristol conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can't move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.

That's called hydroplaning. If it's really bad, Bristol drivers can actually spin out of control - endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won't stop as fast.

So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your vehicle tire and you'll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They're designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.

And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Economy Transmission and Auto Repair tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your vehicle on wet Bristol roads.

So that's why it's so important for Bristol drivers to replace their vehicle tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.

At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Bristol streets. A safe stop from Connecticut speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.

There's an easy way to tell when a tire's worn to 4/32 of an inch.

Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn't cover George Washington's hairline, it's time to replace your vehicle tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Many Bristol residents have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln's head - the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, vehicle tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Bristol want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there's a real safety trade-off. It's your choice.

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



Questions to Ask Your Bristol Service Advisor

Posted February 14, 2012 12:00 PM



We find that a lot of Bristol drivers are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions but don't want to be embarrassed or seem pushy. Vehicles are very complicated and there's more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it's because vehicles have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn't need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.

You know, your local hospital has a Patient's Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our Bristol automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.

It's all about the communication. It's a little harder when you're trying to find the right service center in Bristol. But once you've developed a relationship, the communication should come easier.

What are some of the barriers to communication? Well, let's go back to the medical example. When your doctor's explaining something to you, it's something that she understands very well and is very familiar with. So she may use jargon you don't understand or that you don't have the education and training that's foundational to understanding what she's trying to explain.

So you fall behind and get frustrated.

It can be the same with your Bristol automotive service advisors. Most of them are very busy trying to service and fix cars to get their customers back on the road. So, just ask when you feel you need more information.

Financial related issues seem to be most frustrating to customers. If you're not sure, ask what the payment policies are. For example, there's a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Diagnosing a problem may take quite a while. Make sure you know what's done as a courtesy and what has a fee. Remember, you still have to pay for the office visit even if the doctor says you only have a cold.

Communication is a two way street. If you have some real budget concerns, ask your Bristol service advisor what he can do. He can give you priorities and options. He can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons. Then you can work out a plan for when to get the rest done. He can also help you with options on the parts. The preference is to always use a high-quality part with a reputation for reliability. But if money is tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt or a used part. He should tell you the difference in the guarantee for the part so you can make a good decision.

Ask about warranties for parts and labor. Be sure to get all the paperwork you need to make a possible claim in the future. Your service center and its technicians stand behind their work and want you to understand precisely what that means.

Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed explanation of all the work that's done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.

Give us a call.

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



Fuel Saving Tip: Gas Caps from Here to There

Posted February 7, 2012 12:00 PM



This fuel saving tip is so simple, no one will believe it. It has to do with your gas cap.

The first thing is to make sure it's screwed on tight. If it's loose, gas vapor will be constantly leaking out; wasted gas.

This could cause the Check Engine light to come on as well.

A worn gas cap can have the same effect. If you constantly smell gas when you walk by your tank, you might need a new gas cap.

So, twist your cap until it clicks three times – that means it's on tight. Have your Bristol area service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair inspect the cap to see if it needs to be replaced.

See, I told you it was simple.

Don't forget to call Economy Transmission and Auto Repair at (860) 589-1255 for an appointment to optimize your vehicle for better fuel economy. 

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



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