Archive for July 2018

A Stitch in Time at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted July 31, 2018 9:41 AM

You probably have heard that expression, "A stitch in time saves nine." In other words, if you fix an issue at its early stages, it will prevent a much more difficult problem later. That's certainly the case with your vehicle, and here's a true story to demonstrate it.

A driver noticed his vehicle was due for an oil change, so he took it in to his service facility early in the morning so he could wait while the work was performed. The technician routinely checks the battery on vehicles just before extreme weather is approaching (cold or hot), so with winter coming up, he hooked up the load tester (it measures voltage while a load is put on the battery). It showed the battery wasn't holding a charge well.

The technician checked the manufacturing date on the battery, too (most batteries have a date stamped in code somewhere on them). The date showed it was five years old. While batteries can last more than five years, many technicians say you should expect to get anywhere from three to six years out of them, depending on what they go through.

So, this battery was getting a little long in the tooth, and it wasn't holding a charge particularly well. But how much current was it being sent by the vehicle's alternator? If it wasn't getting enough, that might be a factor. A test of the charging system showed the alternator was putting out the correct amount of power. The technician recommended replacing the battery, and the driver agreed.

That was the stitch in time. Had the technician not checked the battery, that driver likely would have been stranded the next time he tried to start his vehicle on a very cold day. What originally was supposed to be just an oil change led to a technician's sharp diagnosis and a little preventative maintenance for one fortunate driver. Sometimes timing is everything.

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



Make your Service Visit at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair a Good One

Posted July 23, 2018 3:26 AM

Most people don't love going to get their vehicle serviced, but it's one of those things you just have to do. So you might as well get the most of out of it. There are some steps you can take that will likely help you get the best results possible.

For one thing, it's important to describe your problem (or problems) to the service advisor accurately and clearly. If your vehicle is making a noise, for example, take time to really listen to it and think of the best way to describe it. Does it increase in speed when you go faster? If you feel a vibration somewhere, where in the vehicle does it seem to originate? Some service advisors recommend writing things down. That way the driver won't forget any important clues that could lead to a successful resolution of the problem.

Another thing is to make sure your vehicle is cleaned out and free of junk. That way the technician can access those nooks and crannies where some vital components may be. If your vehicle is full of strollers, boxes or your collection of fast food containers, it won't be easy for the technician to reach some of those parts. Oh, and if your vehicle is neat, it does send a signal that you really care about it.

Finally, stay out of the way of the technician. A recent survey of technicians reveals they work more efficiently and do a better job when they don't have someone hanging on their every move. Can you imagine how you'd feel if someone hovered over you all day while you were trying to get your work done?

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



Don't Stack the Mat

Posted July 17, 2018 1:28 AM

In the sloppy cold weather months, you might be tempted to pick up an all-weather mat and throw it on top of the mats you already have in your vehicle. After all, double protection is better, right? In this case, wrong. Here's why.

It's important to keep the accelerator and brake pedals clear so they can function the way they are supposed to. Stacking mats in the driver's side footwell can make them sit up too high on the floor. That can, in turn, jam your accelerator pedal forward, causing your vehicle to unintentionally speed up; it may get stuck in that position. Same thing applies to the brake pedal. The mats can get caught underneath it and prevent you from stopping.

Here are some other good practices when it comes to mats. It's best to get those designed for your vehicle. They are shaped to fit your specific car, truck, van or SUV. Ill-fitting mats can have the same untended consequences as stacked mats.

Good mats will have either a Velcro-type fastener on the back of them or a hook that fits into a hole in the mat. That way, the mat stays affixed to the floor so it doesn't slip and cause problems.

One more thing to keep in mind. If you have objects rolling around your vehicle, let's say under the driver's seat, just think about what happens when you jam on the brake. That object is thrown forward and can get caught in a pedal. You might find the accelerator stuck or the brake pedal inoperative.

Your service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair can recommend the right mat for your vehicle. The right mat may save your carpeting, the wrong one may cost you an accident.

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



Wheel Balancing at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted July 10, 2018 12:59 PM

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Bristol drivers can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on Connecticut roads. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat.

Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kph, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration.

Most people in Bristol are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.

Most high-quality tires sold in Bristol hold their balance pretty well. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better fuel economy.

Some Bristol area drivers have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owner's manual for your requirements, or ask your friendly service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.

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

 



How Do You Save Gas in Bristol, Connecticut?

Posted July 3, 2018 11:35 AM



No one in Bristol, Connecticut, likes to spend a chunk of change at the gas pump. Rising Connecticut fuel prices, however, have spurred Bristol drivers to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles/kilometers less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we love our vehicles, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let's look at a real life example. This man has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his costs.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here's a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Bristol, Connecticut. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost fuel efficiency. If it's time for a tune-up, git'er done at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. That's a big item.

If your Check Engine light is on, have your service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair figure out why and fix it. Check Engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Bristol drivers as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra 100 pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Bristol folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on Connecticut roads and Bristol streets: don't speed, and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven't mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That's because there aren't any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of "miracle fuel saver" scams in Connecticut. Don't shell out any to swindlers; you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol before spending your hard earned cash.

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



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