Who Certifies a Technician?
- ASE stands for National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
- ASE is a non-profit national program with no affiliation to any manufacture that has industry-wide acceptance and recognition.
How is ASE Certification Beneficial?
- ASE certifies the technical competence of a technician, bypassing a national competency test; much of the mystery about how good a technician is can be eliminated.
- Passing an ASE certification is not an educational or training event, but rather a demonstration of technical competency.
Why has your Service performed at Stang Auto Tech?
- Anyone can guess what a vehicle may need and then work on it. However, only a competent technician can accurately diagnose the root cause of concern and then address it correctly. Guesswork is costly; proper diagnosis and service are very cost-effective.
- It takes more than a competent technician. Diagnosis, Service, and Repair take a team of competent people to deliver a valuable final product. It takes an organization with synergy to support that technician along with ongoing training and appropriate resources for them to accomplish true quality, and an exceptional warranty to back it up.
Keeping It Green — Getting in-tune with the environment
While we would all like our cars to be plugged in, go out and buying a new car may not yet be an option. In the meantime, there are some things that we can do to make our existing rides a little bit more green and environmentally friendly for a lot less money. Keeping our cars well-maintained and operated vehicle not only helps it run more efficiently, will be safer, and will last longer-up to 50% longer, it helps the environment too.
- Easy on the throttle – Yes keeping the speed down and going easy is the single most important technique to making your car more fuel-efficient.
- Keep your engine tuned – A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30%. High MPG Tires – Yes, keeping those tires inflated matters. Underinflation wastes fuel-your engine has to work harder to push the vehicle. Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder, too. Properly maintained tires will last longer, meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
- Sun Block and A/C – Air conditioners contain CFCs-gases that have been implicated in the depletion of the ozone layer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, almost one third of the CFCs released into the atmosphere come from mobile air conditioners; some simply leaks out, but the majority escapes during service and repair-so it’s important to choose a qualified technician. Keep your air conditioner in top condition and have it serviced only by a technician certified competent to handle/recycle refrigerants. Smart solutions are sometimes the simplest. Sun reflectors will keep cabin temperature down while the car is parked, easing the load on the AC when you return. Lower temperatures will soften the sting on your wallet as well as on the sensitive flesh next to it. Research has also found that extreme summer heat can cause more air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds to be released from upholstery, plastics, and other components, so reflecting the sun can be good for your health, too.
- Do-it-yourselfers: Dispose of used motor oil, anti-freeze/coolant, tires, and old batteries properly. Many repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local municipal or county government for recycling sites. Please, don’t dump used oil or anti-freeze on the ground or in open streams!
- Avoid excessive idling – Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family. Today’s vehicles are designed to “warm-up” fast, so forget about those five-minute warm-ups on cold winter mornings.
- Keep the weight down – Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Store luggage/ cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.
- Plan trips/RideShare – Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. Not only will you save money but you will save time. The internet offers RideShare programs that are easily accessible on today’s smartphones. Erideshare.com is one of the top sources for carpooling.
Getting your vehicle ready for winter and summer’s harsh conditions: Summer’s heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance. . . Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!
Keeping dry in Colorado cold and heat:
- Engine Performance – Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters-air, fuel, etc.
- Brakes – Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly
- Fuel – Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture from forming.
- Oil – Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual-more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.
- Cooling Systems – The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
- Windshield Wipers – Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent-you’ll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.
- Heater/Defroster – Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Battery – The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
- Lights – Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
- Exhaust System – Checking the exhaust system for leaks is an important step for health. The trunk and floorboards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly!
- Tires – Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don’t forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.
- Carry emergency gear: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flashlight. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in your glove box.
- Air Conditioning – A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Has the system examined by a qualified technician? Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner’s manual for location and replacement interval.
Are You Ready For The Road?
An average of 13,000 Americans is killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, some as a result of unperformed vehicle maintenance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year, neglected maintenance leads to more than 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.
Most mechanical failures can be traced to neglected maintenance. For example, the U. S. Department of Transportation reports the leading cause of mechanical breakdown on our nation’s highways is overheating, an easily avoidable condition. Other deficiencies that are simple to detect include low antifreeze/coolant, worn or loose drive belts, and defective cooling system hoses.
Checking tire pressure and inflating a tire costs nothing, yet an average of 21 percent of cars inspected in check lanes during National Car Care Month have under-inflated tires. This can lead to a blowout and a serious accident.
When you are paying over $3 a gallon you want to be able to use every drop.
The Car Care Council offers these FUEL-SAVING TIPS:
- Gas Cap — About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose, or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
- Under-inflated tires — When was the last time you checked your tires? When tires aren’t inflated properly it’s like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
- Worn spark plugs — A vehicle can have either four, six, or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Dirty air filters — An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust, and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture — too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 20 cents a gallon.
- Fuel-saving driving tips include:
- Lighten off the gas pedal– Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 10 to 66 cents per gallon. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.
- Avoid excessive idling — Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
- Wipers – Do you have wipers that smear, streak, or chatter across the windshield. Although climates vary, wipers generally need replacing every six months. An easy reminder is to change wiper blades in the spring and fall when you change your clock. With Colorado weather changes make sure you have all-weather fluid.
- Lighting – Vehicle check lanes revealed an overall failure rate of over 25 percent in the lighting category. Turn on headlights both day and night. This helps define your car’s position on the road and its distance from other drivers.
10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off
- Time to hit the road! Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a Traveler’s 10-minute pre-trip checklist:
- Check all fluids. There are several fluids, in addition to antifreeze, that require attention, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced.
- Check the tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also, look for bulges and bald spots. Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one’s own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind.
When you think about it, you know your car better than anyone else. You drive it every day and know how it feels and sounds when everything is right. So don’t ignore its warning signals. Do your homework before taking your vehicle in for repairs or service.
- Take a minute to read through the owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with how it works
- Follow the recommended service schedules.
- Take a written list of the symptoms that you can give us.
- Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair. Just as you would with your physician, tell us where it hurts and how long it’s been that way, as long as you have a trusted shop, the mechanic shouldn’t recommend more to you than you actually need.
- Ask as many questions as you need. Do not be embarrassed to request lay definitions.
- We know you need your car as quickly as possible but a good mechanic won’t rush the technician to make an on-the-spot diagnosis. Taking the time to analyze the problem correctly the first time, will help to prevent a second repair.
Use your senses to check for things out of the ordinary:
- Unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning lights, gauge readings.
- Changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage, fluid levels.
- Worn tires, belts, hoses.
- Problems in handling, braking, steering, vibrations.
- Note when the problem occurs. Is it constant or periodic? When the vehicle is cold or after the engine has warmed up? At all speeds? Only under acceleration? During braking? When shifting?