Automobile Brake Rotor Repair in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care an automobile was in our Framingham MA shop for a brake rotor repair. As you can see in the picture , the front brake rotor was completely rusted which caused brake pulsation. The  vehicle’s head of the rotor had a snapped off intake valve which hit the piston and caused a bad motor. Don’t wait to have your vehicle’s brakes serviced before it’s too late! Our expert auto technicians can diagnose the state of your car’s brakes and determine their shape if save to drive or in need of a replacement or repair. Give us a call today if you live in Framingham MA or Greater Boston & local Metrowest Massachusetts area!

1965 & 1966 Corvette Tune-up For The Summer

This week at Absolute Car Care a customer brought in his 1965 and 1966 Corvette’s to get them tuned-up for the summer! The vehicles have been parked in his garage for 20 years so our expert mechanic completed a diagnosis to ensure the vehicle is ready to drive safely on the road! If you own any older vehicles that you would like to see restored or tuned-up give Absolute Car Care of Framingham MA a call today!

Rotted Out Spring Perch Repair – Framingham Auto Repair

This week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham MA we repaired a customer’s rotted out spring perch.  If you are worried any of your vehicle’s steering or suspension parts are old and rotted out our expert mechanics can perform a vehicle diagnosis to inform you what your vehicle needs! Give us a call today 508-820-9323 to schedule an appointment.

 

Old Truck Engine Repair in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham MA our expert technicians restored life to an old truck in need of an engine repair.  The truck received a new engine under it’s 3 year 100,000 mile parts and labor warranty.  If you live in Framingham or the local Metrowest MA area and have any questions regarding your truck or vehicle give Absolute Car Care a call today! (508) 820-9323

  

2010 Lexus Rx350 Oil Change and Tire Rotation in Framingham Massachusetts

Last week at Absolute Car Care a customer brought his 2010 Lexus Rx350 into the shop for service. He scheduled the service appointment for an oil change, tire rotation, and new windshield wiper arm.  Our expert mechanic diagnosed which oil best suits the vehicle and efficiently finished up the oil change.  Next up we safely prompted the Lexus up on our lift and performed a much needed tire rotation. The customer’s windshield was slightly cracked and scratched from a broken wiper which we replaced and also recommended he repair his windshield right away! If you live in the Framingham MA area and your vehicle is in need of a service check or you just have a question about your vehicle give us a call or stop on by!

Rear Brakes Repair – Framingham MA Auto Repair

This month at Absolute Car Care a local customer here in Framingham MA scheduled an appointment to have their vehicle’s brakes checked.  They had been putting off examining the health of their car’s brakes and had been noticing many of the symptoms that their brakes were worn out. Our expert mechanics were able to replace the rear brakes so that our customer could safely get back on the road! If you have any questions regarding your vehicle, the health status of your vehicle’s brakes or any other questions about your automobile don’t ever hesitate to give Framingham’s auto repair experts a call! 508-820-9323

 

2010 Jeep Transmission Repair in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham MA our expert mechanics successfully completed a transmission repair for a 2010 Jeep. Our customer’s jeep has over 200+ miles under it’s belt, and is now safely back on the road after receiving a new transmission! No matter if your vehicle has an automatic or manual transmission, this is a component of your car that experiences excessive wear and tear.  A vehicle’s transmission sends power from your car’s engine to the tires which can cause a lot of stress on the vehicle itself. The two consistent issues often occurring wth transmissions are mechanical and electric problems. If you have any questions about your vehicle’s transmission or overall condition give the experts at Absolute Car Care in Framingham MA a call! We’ll conduct a thorough examination of your car and provide a clear and always honest diagnosis of what the issue with your transmission system could be and what is required to properly fix it. Our transmission repairs are always reasonably priced and performed in a timely manner. Our expert technicians share their pride in your ride and will make sure your car is safe and performing at its best!

4 Tips For Safer Driving In The Winter

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Let’s face it – no matter how many years of experience you have on the road… driving in Massachusetts during the Winter is no easy task. The combination of rain, ice, snow and freezing temperatures can cause a major spike in risk while driving, making it extra important to put safety first when on the road. Here are 4 tips for safer driving in the Winter!

#1. Don’t Text and Drive.. It can wait!

Our phones are one of the biggest conveniences in life but it’s also important to remember that they can be a hazardous distraction while driving. Some helpful tips and reminders regarding using your phone behind the wheel are: NEVER text and drive, utilize hands free calling, and if using your phone as a navigation device always put the address in beforehand and place the phone in a safe spot with the volume turned up. Remember – Your Facebook , e-mails or Snapchats can wait until later!

#2. Always wear your seatbelt.

A seatbelt is a direct line of defense in the case of accident and should always be worn in the proper fashion. Nobody looks any cooler for not wearing a seatbelt and they are easily adjustable for comfort so there is no reason to ride in an automobile without one.  

#3. Don’t play music too loud!

It’s always nice to drive around with the windows down and the music up but be mindful of the volume. Playing music too loud in your vehicle may impair your ability to hear surrounding noises, like another vehicle or children playing on the road.

#4. Do NOT drive under the influence.

Many of our tips may seem like common sense but that’s because they’re important. Our final tip is one that is tragically ignored too often. Driving under the influence not only directly impacts yourself but the safety of those around you. Uber, Taxis, and a sober designated driver are options to turn to rather than getting behind the wheel.

Vehicle Fuel Pump Replacement in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA we replaced a customer’s rotted out fuel pump.  As clearly pictured in the before & after , the vehicle’s fuel pump was completed rotted out, and began to cause a fuel leak.  Our expert mechanics were quickly able to diagnose the vehicle’s issue – and replace the fuel pump with a brand new part. A build up of dirt, rust, and other hazardous materials can contribute to a breakdown of your car’s fuel pump system, which dramatically accelerates the rate of wasted gas.  If you have been noticing your vehicle’s fuel tank or gas milage acting strange, give the experts at Absolute Car Care a call today! 508-820-9323

 

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Vehicle Radiator Leak Repair in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care we had a customer’s vehicle in the shop for a radiator leak.  The green crust shown in the featured photo is dried up antifreeze. Our expert mechanics were quickly able to identify the problem, fix the leak, and save our 90 year old customer a major potential breakdown on the road. If you have any questions regarding your vehicle’s safety or any potential leaks with your car give the check engine light experts of Framingham MA a call today! 508 – 820 -9323

Vehicle Air Conditioning Repair in Framingham, MA

If the air conditioning in your vehicle is not working as well as it did last season don’t hesitate to call the mechanics at Absolute Car Care in Framingham, MA. We go through a multi-point check of your AC system to ensure that you will stay cool during the heat of the summer. Compressors can wear out, Freon can leak, fans can break. These are just some of the things that we make sure are in tip top condition to keep you cool all summer long. It’s also fairly common for your car to need a coolant top-off every so often. No matter what your automotive air conditioning repair needs may be we have the materials and experience to get your vehicle working at peak performance before the heat of the summer. In our featured image you can see the difference in a customer’s recently replaced A/C clutch!

Call (508)-820-9323 for all your automotive air conditioning repair needs in Framingham Massachusetts!

 

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Pre-Owned Vehicle Inspection in Framingham MA

Thinking about purchasing a preowned vehicle in Framingham?

Purchasing a pre-owned vehicle can be quite the stressful process for the consumer.  No matter how much research conducted a pre-owned vehicle only presents so much available reliable information. It’s always a good idea to get the opinions of an expert – Absolute Car Care offers customers a thorough bumper to bumper pre-owned vehicle inspection prior to purchasing the vehicle. Not only will we inspect the vehicle but also drive it on the road to ensure it’s safety so the customer knows exactly what they are buying.

Within the past year we have completed many pre-owned vehicle checks for customers and each time the car tells a different story. We have seen vehicles in great shape and some needing quite a bit of work. One vehicle in particular had so much rust on the subframe we we recommended the customer not to go ahead with the purchase because of safety concerns.

Pre-Owned Vehicle Inspection Framingham MA

Cabin Air Filter Replacement in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care we serviced a much needed cabin air filter replacement for a 2009 Toyota Prius in Framingham MA. The cabin air filter is responsible for filtering and cleaning the air that enters the vehicle. Various forms of debris such as pine needles, dust, leaves , and even animals can get caught in the filter, making it very  important to check the cabin air filter at each service to avoid inhaling these disgusting unhealthy fumes while driving. If you live in Framingham Ma and have a question regarding your vehicle’s cabin air filter give us a call today 508-820-9323!

Check Engine Light Experts in Framingham MA

Your vehicle can alert you to many different service related issues via notifications on your dash. While these lights can range in importance, it is critical to not ignore the warning signs your vehicle is providing you. Whether it be a check engine, oil or tire light if ignored these can lead to more serious issues.

Many drivers tend to ignore the ‘check engine light’ when it turns on in their car fearing a costly repair in the near future. The good news is that most of the time it’s not a major problem. In fact, the most common cause of the check engine light turning on is due to a loose gas cap. If your gas cap is not tightened down, it can cause an error in the vehicle’s vapor recovery system. Often simply tightening the cap will fix this problem, even if it takes a little while for the light to turn back off. However, sometimes the check engine light is also a warning of bigger problems. The experts at Absolute Car Care have the latest diagnostics equipment that will allow us to quickly and easily determine why your light is on and what we should do about it. Absolute Car Care can instantly retrieve your car’s Diagnostic Trouble Code, fix the problem, and get you back on the road at a reasonable cost.

It is very common for people to ignore their oil change notifications or put off the service. Ignoring the oil change service can drastically negatively impact your engine and it’s performance. Oil changes don’t cost a lot and don’t take very much time, so why avoid them? Absolute Car Care will make sure that the correct premium oil is used in the service of your vehicle and that your oil change is done right and on time.

Framingham MA Auto Repair Spotlight: Absolute Car Care

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Conveniently located just outside of downtown Framingham, Mike Forman and John Lincoln of Absolute Car Car have been providing the MetroWest area with trustworthy and thorough auto repair and maintenance for over 25 years. Mike and John, both Framingham residents, have spent their lives under the hood helping clients and friends alike with all their automotive needs. At Absolute Car Care we pride ourselves in the relationships we have built with our customers over the years and are always striving to continue to grow and build new relationships. The experienced mechanics at Absolute Car Care truly love the work they do; and are motivated to complete each job thoroughly and in a timely manner to provide our clients with the satisfaction and peace of mind that they, along with their car, were taken care of by friends each visit.

Our mechanics are well-versed in both domestic and foreign vehicles and have the experience to tackle any job. We are always continuing to stay up-to-date with the ever changing technology in the automotive industry. Known as the “Check Engine Light Specialists”, the experts at Absolute Car Care have the latest diagnostics equipment that will allow us to quickly and easily determine why your light is on and what we should do about it. We can instantly get your car’s Diagnostic Trouble
Code, fix the problem and safely get you back on the road!

Whether you’re in the market for a pre-owned vehicle and would like a pre-purchase car inspection or need advice on which new car to purchase we are here to give our insight and honest opinions. If any automotive repairs are needed we offer our customers several different options when the decision comes to replace parts on their vehicle. We have access to most factory, aftermarket, and used car parts; and now also install customer supplied parts. If your vehicle needs drivetrain work,
transmission work, engine work, brakes, exhaust, tires or anything else let Absolute Car Care be your destination for trustworthy auto-repair on your terms with the parts you choose!

Need to schedule an appointment? Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA offers car service maintenance and repairs for some of the most competitive prices in the Framingham area. We offer foreign and domestic auto repairs and our services range from a simple tune-up to full engine servicing. Give the experts at Absolute Car Care a call at 508-820-9323 the next time your vehicle needs to be serviced!

3 Safety Tips For Driving In The Snow

If you currently live in Framingham, MA you are aware that driving around town over the last week has not be easy! Dangerous conditions on the road such as snow and slippery ice makes driving scary, and potentially hazardous.  Check out these 3 safety tips for driving in the snow to stay safe on the road!

  1. Accelerate and Decelerate With Caution – Quick changes of speed on wet slippery roads can cause your tires to skid out of control.
  2. Drive Slowly -Do NOT speed! If you have an appointment to make, give yourself extra time to arrive. Speeding will increase the risk for not only yourself, but others on the road.
  3. Check Your Brakes – Make sure your brakes are in good condition before driving in the snow! Give yourself extra space between other vehicle’s on the road to avoid any accidents due to faulty brakes.

If you live in Framingham or the Metrowest MA area and have any questions regarding safety on the road or the condition of your vehicle don’t hesitate to call the experts at Absolute Car Care!

Absolute Car Care Now Installs Customer Supplied Parts

Absolute Car Care takes pride in offering our customers several different options when the decision comes to replace parts on their vehicle. We have access to most factory, aftermarket, and used car parts; and would like to announce that we now also install customer supplied parts! We pride ourselves in offering the best customer service possible, and that means working with our customers in any way we can. This means using our expertise to ensure that the correct parts are used and installed in a timely fashion. Whether it be brakes, exhaust or anything else let Absolute Car Care be your destination for trustworthy auto-repair on your terms with the parts you choose! Give the experts at Absolute Car Care a call at 508-820-9323.

Vehicle Maintenance During The Holidays in Framingham MA

Are you or your child traveling back home to Framingham for the holidays? Does your vehicle have a light out? How about a maintenance light you’ve been ignoring? Is your vehicle making any strange noises? How long have you put off your last oil change for?

This upcoming Thanksgiving or winter break are both great times for students returning home from school to get their vehicles serviced. Everytime a vehicle comes into Absolute Car Care for an oil change we make sure that the correct premium oil is used, and that your oil change is done right and on time while also checking lights, filters, and any other safety concerns. Give the professionals at Absolute Car Care a call if you’re home for Thanksgiving or winter break and we are happy to help with any of your automotive needs!

3 Tips To Get Your Vehicle Ready For The Winter In Framingham MA

Last winter proved to be one of the worst in recent memory for the MetroWest. As the days get shorter and weather gets colder Absolute Car Care has several preventative maintenance tips for drivers in Framingham preparing for the inclement weather.

#1. Check your windshield wipers – Nobody wants to be stuck in a storm with poor visibility! We stock winter wipers of all sizes for a large range of vehicles.

#2. Check the tread on your tires – The New England roads and weather can take a toll on tires. It’s important to know how much tread your tires have before the winter arrives. Absolute Car Care can provide you with an honest assessment of tread life on tires and offers a wide selection of both all season and snow tires for all vehicles.

#3. Check brakes for safety – The peace of mind knowing that you have plenty of life left on your brakes is invaluable in the wintertime. Absolute car care offers brake inspections and replacement brake parts for all makes and models.

Auto Service For A Toyota Corolla in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care we provided auto service for a toyota corolla in Framingham MA. It’s that time of year again here in Framingham – Halloween displays are in full effect, the roads are beginning to get slippery with falling leaves, and snow is right around the corner. Our expert mechanics conducted a thorough examination of the vehicle, and also swapped out the vehicle’s worn out tires with a new set of winterized snow tires to ensure safety while on the road these upcoming months. If you have any questions or concerns about your car heading into the dreaded New England winter give the auto repair experts of Absolute Car Care in Framingham MA a call 508-820-9323 or submit the contact form on our website to set up an appointment!

Auto Repair Brake Service in Framingham MA

This week one of our expert mechanics performed a brake service job for a local Framingham MA customer. If you are on the road and hear any unexpected noises coming from your vehicle such as grinding or clanking pull over and give Absolute Car Care a call to schedule an appointment! Driving on worn out brakes can be very dangerous, and cause further damage to your car.  Annual check ups of your vehicle’s brakes and tires is recommended- safety is the most important function of your vehicle!

 

New E-Brake Shoes for Framingham Vehicle

This week at Absolute Car Care a customer brought his vehicle in for a MA state inspection, however failed the inspection due to a failed E-brake.  He was very surprised the vehicle failed inspection because another local repair shop had recently sold him $500 worth of rear brakes, but they did not replace the e-brake shoes and the old pads had rotted off.  At Absolute Car Care of Framingham , MA – we share our pride in your ride and always take full measures to ensure your vehicle is safely operating to pass inspection.  Our expert mechanics replaced the worn out e-brake shoes, and the customer was able to pass MA state inspection!

3 Signs Your Car Needs A New Battery

Not sure when it’s time to replace the battery in your vehicle? Here are 3 signs that your car needs a new battery:

1. Not Starting: The most obvious sign that your car needs a new battery is if your car is dead!

2. Check The Dashboard: Look to see if the battery light appears on your dashboard. This is a clear indicator that it’s time for a new battery.

3. Lights Appear Dim: If the internal lights in your car are dimmed or not working, it’s usually related to the lack of power left in the battery.

If your vehicle has been continuing to die on you, or your worried that it’s time to replace the battery- give the experts at Absolute Car Care in Framingham, MA a call!

3 Things To Do Before Purchasing A Pre-Used Vehicle

Looking to purchase a used car in the Framingham or Metrowest MA area? Here are 3 things to do before purchasing a pre-used vehicle from the experts at Absolute Car Care!

1. Do Your Research: Don’t just go out and buy a used car based on the picture you saw on the internet! It’s extremely important to conduct full research on all of the functionalities of the car to ensure it’s a good fit for you and your lifestyle.

2. Check The Glove Box: It’s extremely important that the vehicle you want to purchase has all of it’s required documentation. Documents such as registration, maintenance and service history, and any other vehicle information from the dealership is helpful in validating all the car facts.

3. Examine The Car: This is the most important aspect before purchasing a used vehicle! Before investing in a new car, the owner must know that the vehicle is safe, and all of it’s parts are functioning properly.

If you live in the Metrowest MA or Framingham area and are considering purchasing a used car, contact the experts at Absolute Car Care to schedule a pre-used vehicle diagnosis!

 

 

3 Tips To Avoid Pothole Damage

Winter may have left the building but those dreaded potholes are bigger than ever. Sick of your car hitting the pavement and popping a hole in your tire? Here are 3 tips to help avoid potholes.

1) First things first, SLOW DOWN​. While driving slow is not only safe for you but also the world around you it will also save you an extra buck. The faster the car is going when hitting potholes the worse the damage.

2) Keep Distance​! Keeping distance between you and other cars not only prevents accidents from happening but will give yourself more time to dodge potholes.

3) Look Out For H2O​! With all the snow melting, potholes are now disguised with water. Avoid driving through puddles of rain especially on the sides of the road. Be safe driving always. It’s not just your life ­ but everyone else’s!

Oil Change For New Resident Of Natick MA

This past week at Absolute Car Care we helped service an oil change for a new resident of Natick MA.  The customer just recently moved to the area and was in need of a quick oil change.  Our expert mechanics safely got his 2013 Nissan Altima up on the lift, completed the oil change, topped off all the fluids, and the customer was happily on his way! If you are a new resident to the Natick, Framingham, or Ashland area and are in need of trustworthy and reliable auto service & repair for you’re vehicle don’t hesitate to give the experts at Absolute Car Care a call! 508-820-9323

2006 Lexus ES 330 Cabin Air Filter Replacement

Today at Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA we replaced the cabin air filter of a 2006 Lexus ES 330.  The cabin air filter is responsible for cleaning the air that enters the interior through the heating and air conditioning system. It’s job is to catch hazardous particles such as dust, pollen, and other materials that are unhealthy to inhale. If you’re driving in the Framingham or local MetroWest area contact Absolute Car Care to have your cabin air filter cleaned or replaced!

Transmission Repair Framingham MA

Last week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham MA we examined a customers vehicle who had been complaining about a series of noises from their engine.  Also, she mentioned that the vehicle felt less powerful and a bit shaky when changing gears.  Right away our mechanics were able to spot the problem with the car- it required an immediate transmission repair. The transmission fluid was extremely dirty, which can be very hazardous to your vehicle.  Ensuring that you’re engine is running on clean fluids is essential for all parts of the vehicle to work properly. Give us a call or fill out our contact form if you need to schedule an appointment to have your engine or transmission examined; Our expert technicians always make sure your vehicle is safe and performing at it’s absolute best!

Engine Repair at Absolute Car Care in Framingham MA

Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA specializes in vehicle engine tune ups and repair.  This past week, a customer was in desperate need of a new engine and had absolutely no idea! Some common symptoms that it’s time to have your car’s engine checked out  include noises such as clanking, rumbling, or grinding; or an increased emission of gas or other fluids.  The roads around Framingham, MA in the winter can really take a toll on your engine and vehicle; so have one of our experienced mechanics examine your vehicle’s engine today! Call now for an appointment (508) 820-9323 and make sure to LIKE us on Facebook!

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Maintenance Your Vehicle at Absolute Car Care

No matter what year your vehicle was manufactured, or what shape it’s engine is currently running in; Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA can provide you with maintenance to get it up and running again! Our expert mechanics will thoroughly examine every angle of your car, and make a complete list of recommendations to ensure your vehicle is operating smooth and safely.  This week we had a customer tow in a vehicle that was no longer running. The battery was dead, but we noticed a lot of rusty old parts that needed to be upgraded.  After a few hours, the vehicle was up and running again and ready to pass Massachusetts state inspection! If you need to have a vehicle diagnosed in the Framingham or Metrowest area, schedule your appointment on our website: https://www.absolutecarcare.com/contact/

Tire Service and Repair in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA; a customer scheduled an appointment to have their tires serviced. They complained about one of the tires not feeling smooth on the road, which is extra dangerous now that the roads are wet due to rain and snow.  After carefully inspecting the vehicle’s tires;  our expert mechanics found that the back left tire was not only low on air, but also had steel belts showing! Whether your worried about the life of your tires, need to have a minor hole plugged , add some extra air for tire pressure, or need to order new tires for the winter or summer don’t hesitate to give Absolute Car Care a call! 508-820-9323

Fall Driving Safety Tips from Absolute Car Care

Here are 3 safety tips on Fall driving from the experts of Absolute Car Care in Framingham, MA!

 

1. Check your tires: Driving on worn out tires can be very dangerous in the Fall when the road gets congested with wet slippery leaves!

 

2. Monitor your brakes: Weather conditions such as fog play a major factor on what you can see or can’t see on the road, especially early in the morning on your way to school or work. Don’t stop short and find out the hard way that your brakes were not properly working!

 

3. Upgrade your wiper blades: You never know what the Fall can throw at you or your windshield, so make sure you’re able to keep your vision on the road clear at all times!

 

 

2005 Subaru Legacy Check Engine Light

This week at Absolute Car Care, a local resident of Framingham, MA scheduled an appointment to have their 2005 Subaru Legacy GT inspected.  A few weeks prior, the customer took their vehicle to the dealership after the check engine light turned on.  The customer spent over $2000 at the dealership, however after a few days the check engine light reappeared!  The customer returned to the dealership to have the issue resolved, however they were unable to diagnose any problems with the car.  Once the customer brought their vehicle into Absolute Car Care, we found that the downstream O2 sensor mount was not welded on the pipe.  We were able to fix the issue by properly welding the mount in place, clear the check engine light codes, and allow the vehicle to successfully pass Massachusetts state inspection for the first time in two years!

Tire Service in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care we were able to help out a local resident of Framingham, MA in need of tire service.  The tire was sinking low due to a leak associated with the tire pressure monitor.  The driver had brought their vehicle to another garage that was unable to find the leak, and was nervous about having a flat tire during their busy schedule! If you are in the Framingham area and need to have your tire pressure checked, or ever find yourself stranded on the side of the road don’t hesitate to give the experts at Absolute Car Care a call! 508-820-9323

Blown Head Gasket in Framingham MA

Today at Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA, a customer scheduled an appointment to have their vehicle diagnosed. Our expert mechanics took a look and found a blown head gasket, with a major hole in the vehicle’s piston that requires a major engine repair to properly be fixed. Major problems in your vehicle’s engine can cause both short and long term damage when ignored, so schedule a diagnosis with Absolute Car Care if you think your car needs a check up!

 

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Bad Wheel Bearing Repair in Framingham – Auto Repair

This week at Absolute Car Care, a customer living in Framingham, MA scheduled an appointment due to a loud grinding noise coming from their vehicle.  Also, an ABS light had just turned turn on, so the customer brought their vehicle into our shop to have the problems diagnosed.  Our mechanics found a bad wheel bearing, which is a problem that if ignored can become a serious risk when continuing to drive. If you are driving around the Framingham area and are worried about a noise coming from your engine, tires, or brakes; don’t hesitate to give the experts at Absolute Car Care a call at 508-820-9323 or visit our website www.absolutecarcare.com

Back To School Framingham State University Student Discount!

It’s almost time to welcome all of the local students back to school at Framingham State University and Framingham High School Students! At Absolute Car Care, located in Framingham MA, we offer all students a 10% or $10.00 discount on any auto service or repair! We are located just minutes from Framingham State University’s campus, and also offer a vehicle pick-up & drop-off service for our customers in the local Framingham area! Give the experts at Absolute Car Care a call at 508-820-9323 the next time your vehicle needs anything from an oil change to check engine light diagnosis!

Brake Rotor Replacement in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA, a customer scheduled an appointment to have their vehicle’s brakes diagnosed. Right away, our expert mechanics noticed that the vehicle’s brake pads and rotors were almost completely worn out! The brake system is one of the most important mechanisms in your vehicle, and also plays a dominant role in vehicle safety. Timing is everything on the road, and it’s important that your vehicle’s brake system is completely functional and up to date! If you need to schedule a brake rotor replacement in Framingham, MA give us a call or visit us online!

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Absolute Car Care Voted #1 For Auto Service & Repair in Framingham MA

We are proud to announce that Absolute Car Care has been voted the #1 choice for auto service and repair in the Framingham, MA area by the 2014 Wicked Local Reader’s Choice Awards! Customer satisfaction has always been our top priority, and we have operated in the Metrowest area for over 20 years! Thank you to everybody for voting on Absolute Car Care for auto service and repair, and please see what our happy customers have to say about our automobile maintenance and repair!

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4 Wheel Alignment in Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA, a customer scheduled an appointment for their Dodge pick-up truck to receive a 4 wheel alignment. Over the 4th of July weekend while traveling, our customer was concerned about their car veering off to the left at high speeds on the highway. Our expert mechanics pulled the vehicle up on the lift to perform a 4 Wheel alignment, and used the latest auto repair technology that helps measure and project a perfect alignment of the vehicle’s wheels on a digital monitor. If you live or work in the Framingham or Metrowest area and would like to have you vehicle diagnosed for an alignment, please visit our website www.absolutecarcare.com or give us a call at 508-820-9323!

Cooling System Leak & Auto Repair For a Customer in Ashland MA

This week at Absolute Car Care, we got a call from a customer who works in Ashland, MA about a problem with his car. We retrieved his car from his office, and drove it back to our garage in Framingham, MA to begin a vehicle diagnosis. Right away our expert mechanics were able to find a cooling system leak; a very common problem cars face due to the heat of the summer. All vehicles run hotter in the summer, which stresses out the vehicle’s cooling system, water pump, hoses, and belts. If your car needs a summertime check up to ensure all of your fluids are properly restored, give us a call to schedule an appointment or fill out the contact form on our website! www.absolutecarcare.com

Framingham Auto Repair Services

With over 30 years experience in the auto repair industry of Framingham, MA, Absolute Car Care technicians have the experience and reputation to guarantee your car maintenance check up or repair runs smoothly. We pride ourselves on providing our customers honest automative expertise, repair turnaround time, and customer service. We offer a wide variety of auto repair services for both foreign and domestic models. Regardless if you are in urgent need of an oil change, tire rotation, or transmission repair; We consider ourselves the “Check Engine Light Specialists” and will diagnose and repair any problem you may have with your vehicle!

Framingham MA Vehicle A/C Repair

This week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA we have been working on fixing a customer’s A/C system. As we all know, the summer can be very hot and humid; and driving in the heat can be extremely uncomfortable. If you are experiencing any issues with your vehicle’s air conditioning system, let the experts of Absolute Car Care solve the problem! Aside from your A/C not properly working, you can over-use your car’s A/C. Too much A/C can cause a build up of water and condensation from clogged pipes connecting to your air conditioning, which results in a build up of fluid under your floor mats. If you live in the Framingham or MetroWest Boston area any have any questions about your vehicle’s A/C system- give us a call today at 508-820-9323!

Brake Repair For Customer in Framingham MA

Today at Absolute Car Care, we worked on a brake repair job for a customer in Framingham, MA. Our customer had been experiencing loud grinding noises while braking at stop signs. Continuing to drive on worn out brakes can do long term damage to your car, so it’s important to be safe and have them examined by an experienced mechanic before getting back on the road. If you are ever in the Framingham, Ashland, or Natick MA area and are concerned about your vehicle’s brakes- give us a call!

Engine Tune Ups and Repair in Framingham MA

Depending on the history and wear and tear your vehicle, your car may be in desperate need of a tune up. When Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA tunes your engine; we make sure she’s running smoothly and efficiently. If you’ve been driving with loud clanks or grinding noises; your engine is not running at its best, and it is probably causing extra damage to the engine.

Our expert mechanics will adjust your engine’s timing, fluid levels, inspect and replace any components like spark plugs that are part of your ignition system, inspect/replace air filters as needed and more!

If you need to schedule an appointment- call us today at 508-820-9323.

Commercial Auto Repair and Service in Framingham MA

At Absolute Car Care, we work with a number of local businesses in Framingham, MA to ensure that their commercial vehicles are receiving the necessary routine maintenance. Many commercial vehicles drive hundreds of miles each day or week; and need consistent maintenance to ensure that the engine, tires, brakes, and fluids are up to date. Many businesses rely on their vehicles to deliver products on time to their reliant customers; and don’t want to risk tarnishing the reputation of their business because of automobile problems, undelivered goods, and most importantly- angry customers. There is nothing worse than telling your customers that you can no longer deliver the product to them as promised because of automobile issues; so let the experts at Absolute Car Care make sure your commercial vehicles are always safe on the road!

Fuel System Cleaning In Framingham MA

It’s very important to have a clean fuel system for the benefit of your personal health, the environment, and last but not least- your car! You need fuel to go, and the cleaner your fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That also means more power and better fuel economy. Check your vehicle’s manual to see which gas is recommended, because using cheaper gas can cause damage such a clogged fuel filter, irritated fuel injector, and ultimately a dirty engine air filter. Keeping your fuel system clean will help your engine’s air and fuel stay as clean as possible. Contact the specialists of Absolute Car Care in Framingham, MA for a fuel system check up!

Brake Repair In Framingham MA

Today at Absolute Car Care in Framingham MA, our mechanics are currently working on a customers brake repair. If your vehicle’s brakes are making loud squeaking and grinding noises, we can provide a diagnosis to determine whether your car needs new brakes or just a cleaning of the rust on the brake pads. Ignoring the symptoms of worn out brakes can also result in further long-term damage to your vehicle’s drums, calipers, rotors, and most importantly; the responsiveness of your brakes and overall safety on the road! If your in the Framingham area and would like to have your vehicle’s brakes inspected, give us a call at 508-820-9323.

Auto Repair Service In Framingham MA

Here at Absolute Car Care of Framingham, MA we offer a wide variety of car repair services for both foreign and domestic models. We consider ourselves the “Check Engine Light Specialists” and will diagnose and repair any problem you may have with your vehicle. Our services include brakes, tires, shocks, tune-ups, exhaust, electrical, all-wheel alignments, transmission, air conditioning and more! We also offer a small selection of used automobiles available for purchase.

Pre-Owned Vehicle Check Up In Framingham MA

Before purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, let the experts of Absolute Car Care in Framingham MA examine the car’s condition. Many people think they are getting a bargain when buying a used car, until they are forced into expensive repairs within weeks! We provide our customers a complete vehicle check-up and diagnosis on used vehicle’s to ensure them of the vehicle’s true condition before purchasing. If there happen to be any issues with the car, we’re always happy to provide you with the different options available to safely get your car back on the road!

MA State Inspection Sticker

At Absolute Car Care in Framingham MA, we always make sure our customers are prepared to pass their yearly state inspection. Although we don’t perform the state inspection firsthand in our garage, we do offer to take each customer’s vehicle for the inspection so that you don’t have to! Prior to your vehicle’s inspection, we conduct our thorough safety checklist which may include a check-up of your car’s brakes, steering and suspension, horn, windshield wipers, seat belts, airbags and much more. If there is an issue prohibiting your vehicle from passing the MA state inspection, we always diagnose the problem right away so that we can get your vehicle a new sticker!

 

 

Vehicle Roadside Service in Framingham MA

At Absolute Car Care in Framingham MA, we’re always happy to help our local customers when they need care on the side of the road! Whether it’s a blown tire or overheating engine, it’s always safer to pull over on the side of the road and make sure your vehicle is OK before continuing to drive. If your vehicle needs more serious attention, tow it to our location at 91A Grant St. in Framingham & we`ll diagnosis the problem!

Vehicle Transmission Repair in Framingham MA

This past week at Absolute Car Care, we have been working on repairing a vehicle’s transmission system. Regardless if you have an automatic or manual transmission system, transmission’s face a lot of natural wear and tear from constantly transmitting power from your engine to wheels. At Absolute Car Care of Framingham MA, we are able to properly diagnosis if the transmission problem is mechanical or electrical; and we always provide our customers the best options to help preserve their vehicle’s engine!

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Vehicle Electrical Problem In Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care, we have been working on resolving an electrical problem with a customers vehicle. The customer brought their car into the shop with the complaint that their seat would no longer move, so we proceeded to diagnose the issue to find out it was electrical. The issue was a rotted connection between the wiring and the seat. If you have a vehicle in the Framingham MA area facing electrical problems, leave it up to the experts at Absolute Car Care to solve the problem!

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Used Cars For Sale In Framingham MA

Are you currently in the market to purchase a used automobile in Framingham MA? At Absolute Car Care, we have a small selection of used cars for sale! Our used vehicles were previously owned by our local customers here in the Framingham MA, Natick MA, and Ashland MA area; and have been routinely serviced throughout the years by our experienced technicians. Give us a call today at Absolute Car Care if you are looking for a used car in Framingham, or the local Metrowest area!

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Tire Service in Framingham, MA

Are your tires worn out from driving around Framingham, Natick, or Ashland this winter? How many potholes did your vehicle hit intensifying your tire’s wear and tear? At Absolute Car Care of Framingham MA, we’ll make sure your tires are always safe and in great condition! During an Absolute Car Care tire service, we first examine how worn out each tire is, and provide recommendations on expected tire life duration or tire replacement options. Each customer’s vehicle has different needs for their wheels and tires, and we always educate them on all tire options and attributes such as price, quality, and overall value. Give us a call today if you’ve recently thought about replacing your tires, or wondered if winter tires are suitable for your vehicle!

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Auto Repair Framingham MA

This week at Absolute Car Care, we examined a customer complaint regarding their heat not working. During our vehicle diagnosis, we examined the car’s engine to learn that the motor that changes temperature had died. In order for our customer to regain heat this winter, we replaced the vehicle’s temperature motor, which took about an entire day of labor! If your vehicle’s heat or A/C isn’t working properly, bring it to the experts at Absolute Car Care in Framingham, MA to solve the problem!

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Suspension Repair in Framingham MA

A Car’s suspension is the system of springs, shock absorbers, and linkages that connect a vehicle to it’s wheels. Suspension systems help contribute to a vehicle’s handling and braking; while protecting the car from vibrations, bumps, and road noise. This week at Absolute Car Care, we encountered a worn out suspension on Pete’s jeep that needed to be repaired!

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Oil Change in Framingham MA

How often should I change my oil? What’s the best oil to use for my car or truck? How many miles can I drive between oil changes? If you find yourself asking these questions, it’s time to turn to the pro’s at Absolute Car Care for an oil change in Framingham! We`ll select the premium oil that best suits your vehicle, set your tire pressure, and make sure that all your fluids are topped off!

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Internal Engine Repair for Nissan Altima in Framingham MA

Having your vehicle scheduled for regular maintenance and diagnosis can help prevent costly repairs down the road! This week at Absolute Car Care of Framingham MA, we have been working on diagnosing and fixing a major internal engine problem for a customer’s Nissan Altima. Scheduling your vehicle for a consistent routine service check will help keep your car running in good shape for the future!

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Cabin Air Filter Replacement In Framingham MA

Many customers complain about having bad smells emitting from their heat or A/C systems, but don’t realize that having your vehicle’s cabin air filter checked out should be part of your routine maintenance! A cabin air filter replacement provides you with clean, healthy, quality air while you heat up in your vehicle this winter, or need the A/C blasted over the summer. You won’t believe what Absolute Car Care has discovered in dirty cabin air filters!

Natural Gas For Transportation

Natural Gas for Transportation

Cheap natural gas is leading us to reexamine how America’s fleet is fueled.
Motor Age — It seems like we’ve been here before. Natural gas is coming back into focus as a transportation fuel in North America, despite a false start from 20 years ago. There were numerous reasons for it’s initial failure, including a lack of fueling infrastructure and less-than-durable natural gas engine technology. While natural gas vehicles (NGVs) have advantages over liquid-fueled vehicles, their disadvantages are not insignificant. So what is different now, and are we witnessing the beginning of a long-term trend?
Worldwide, there are 14.8 million NGVs in operation, but only 112,000 of those travel on American roads. Natural gas is used extensively for heating and power generation in the U.S., but only one-tenth of 1 percent is currently used for transportation. It would seem that NGVs are almost starting from zero in the United States, but the numbers are currently increasing and are projected to continue upwards.
Probably the major driver in the NGVs’ recent growth curve is the price difference between gasoline and natural gas. According the federal Department of Energy Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report (July 2012), the national average price for a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of compressed natural gas (CNG) is $2.05. This is quite attractive when compared to an average price of $3.52 for a gallon of gasoline, or $3.75 for a gallon of diesel. With the potential for significant fuel cost savings, fleet managers and consumers alike are taking a closer look at natural gas as a transportation fuel.
Advantages of Natural Gas
Natural gas is a fossil fuel, often produced simultaneously with crude oil. However, it is also common for natural gas to be produced by itself as “dry gas.” Natural gas is comprised mostly of methane (CH4), which is the simplest and lightest hydrocarbon. Natural gas has varying amounts of methane, but will also contain small amounts of ethane, propane, and butane along with numerous other gases. The rule of thumb is that there should be a minimum of 90 percent methane in the natural gas for it to be considered a high quality vehicle fuel.
Click here to read the complete article at Motor Age.
Source: Motor Age

Fall and Spring Checkup

When I was a kid in FRAMINGHAM, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it’s about time to get into ABSOLUTE CAR CARE for my checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don’t need seasonal service.

My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.

Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family suv, most cars used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today’s modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.

Your owner’s manual or FRAMINGHAM service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE can tell you the right oil to use.

Of course, you’re concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don’t want to overheat in the MA summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against both of these things. And modern coolant, or as it’s sometimes called; ‘antifreeze’, is up to doing both very well. It’s designed to last for more miles than most people drive in a year or two.

So how does a Spring and Fall check-up fit in? Let’s start with Spring. Summer is coming. That means heat, more miles driven and road trips. It just makes sense to check your fluid levels and do a visual inspection to see that everything is up to snuff.

You may not be scheduled to drain and replace the coolant for some time, but you need to make sure you have enough coolant, and that you don’t have any leaks or hoses that are about to fail.

That’s pretty practical; a check-up to see if there are any problems or emerging conditions that could later become a problem, like a cracked belt.

And the same principle applies for getting ready for winter. Cold weather means lots of failed batteries. It takes more power to crank up a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available.

So a battery test in the Fall could tell you if you’ve got a battery that is running on its last legs. And of course, if you live where winter temperatures get below 45 degrees or you have ice and snow, you’ll want to consider changing to winter tires.

Buying the Right Tires And Wheels

Buying the Right Tires and Wheels In FRAMINGHAM MA
Posted on February 5, 2013

Everyone in FRAMINGHAM MA eventually replaces their tires, whether it’s because they’re worn out or they’re just looking for something different. There are so many great tire choices in FRAMINGHAM MA, it can be difficult to sort them out. Let’s group the broad spectrum into several categories that will help in the selection process.

One category is often referred to as “summer tires”. Summer tires are designed to be driven on the road when temperatures are generally above 45 degrees. Their tread design is optimized for traction on dry roads in FRAMINGHAM MA and they’re also able to effectively displace water on rainy roads.

Now the rubber compound gets a little hard and stiff as temperatures drop below 45 degrees as it occasionally does here in FRAMINGHAM MA. And the tread which handles dry roads so well, can get packed with snow or mud – which provides very little traction in those conditions.

So if you live where its summer all year round, these tires will work well for you. If you like maximum performance in warm weather, but still live where it gets cold and snowy, you’ll want to change your summer tires for winter tires as the weather starts to change.

Summer tires can be purchased with an emphasis on handling performance, smooth ride or long life. Your FRAMINGHAM MA tire professional at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE can help you find the right tire for the way you drive.

As you can imagine, winter tires are designed to work very well in snow and ice. Their tread is designed with many channels and grooves that throw the snow out of the tread as the wheel turns. This means the tire is always be able to bite into the snow.

The rubber compound used in winter tires is specially formulated to be flexible at temperatures below 45 degrees. This maximizes cold weather traction. When it gets warmer, the softer rubber will wear faster on warm dry pavement than summer tires, so change them out once the weather has turned.

There’s a range of tires within the winter tire category. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, look for the mountain and snowflake icon that signifies a severe snow rating. If you have milder winters and still want a performance component, they make a winter tire for you as well.

For many people, an all-season tire is the answer. You will give up some of the performance at the extreme ends of the summer tire/ winter tire spectrum, but you will find a long wearing tire that gives both good highway performance and winter traction on our FRAMINGHAM MA roads.

Within the all-season category, there are many choices that you tire advisor can help you evaluate.

ABSOLUTE CAR CARE
91A GRANT ST
FRAMINGHAM, MA 01702
508-820-9323

Outside of these three main categories, some people in FRAMINGHAM with trucks and SUVs like a tire that is designed for both on-highway and off-highway use. They can handle the rocks and bumps off-road, but still work well on the street. Again, many options depending on the relative emphasis on on-road verses off-road.

You may want new wheels to go with your new tires – well, there are hundreds and hundreds of styles to choose from. That’s a matter of personal taste. If you want to change the size of your wheels and tires, do get some professional help.

The computers on your vehicle are programmed to the size of wheel and tire combination that comes from the factory. Tire size affects various computer controlled functions like anti-lock brakes, traction and stability controls, speedometer and odometer. Of course, you want these systems to work properly. The computers can be re-programmed for different tire sizes.

And if you want to increase the size of your wheels and tires, you’ll want so help to make sure they’ll fit in the wheel wells of your vehicle without rubbing during turns or over bumps.

Timing Belt

Timing Belt
Posted on January 24, 2013

Ever heard the sad tale of a staggering repair bill from a broken timing belt? Bad news. Let’s take a lesson from their woes and remember to think about our timing belt.

First, let’s review what a timing belt does. The top part of the engine, over the cylinders is called the cylinder head. The head contains the valves. There’s at least one valve that lets the fresh air into the cylinder. This air, mixed with fuel, burns to create power. Then another valve or two open to allow the exhaust out of the engine. Each cylinder has 2 to 4 valves – that’s 12 to 24 valves for a V-6, up to 32 values on a V-8. The opening and closing of the valves is done by a camshaft. The timing belt uses the rotation of the engine to drive the camshaft which opens and close the valves. It’s called a timing belt because it has to be adjusted to rotate the camshaft to keep proper time with the engine so that everything’s in sync.

The timing belt is a toothed rubber belt . But some cars use a timing chain or timing gears instead of a belt. Timing chains and gears are much more durable, but manufacturers are using belts more because they are quieter – and cheaper. If you have a small or mid-sized passenger car, crossover or mini-van, chances are you have a timing belt.

Unfortunately, timing belts fail without any warning. That shuts you down right away. A technician can inspect your timing belt and look for cracks and looseness. But getting to the belt to take a look can be almost as much work as changing it on some cars. That’s why manufacturers recommend replacing the belt from time to time. For most vehicles it’s from 60,000 to 90,000 miles or 95,000 to a 145,000 kilometers. If your owners’ manual doesn’t specify an interval ask your service advisor.

One AutoNetTV producer has had two timing belts fail. The first was while he was waiting at a stop light – that repair cost several thousand dollars. The second was while driving on the highway – that one cost more than twice as much. Both had the cars out in the shop for three weeks. His cars had what we call “interference engines”, meaning that the valves and pistons are very close to each other. If the timing belt slips even one notch, the pistons will slam into the open valves. That’s why our friend’s highway failure was so much more expensive – his engine was traveling so fast that the valves were smashed and they chewed up the cylinder head.

A non-interference engine will just shut down if the timing belt breaks. You’re stranded, but the engine doesn’t suffer permanent damage. In both cases, our hapless friend was just a couple oil changes past the recommended interval for changing the timing belt. This is one of those things that you just cannot put off. Now replacing a timing belt is not cheap – but repairs for a broken belt can be many times as much.

Check your owners’ manual right away – especially if you have more than a 60,000 miles or 95,000 kilometers. You may need to get that belt replaced right away. And on many cars, the timing belt drives the water pump. So, it may be a good idea to replace the water pump while you’re at it because 90% of the work required for the new pump is already done with the belt change. Doing both at the same time saves you a lot of money because as they say, “timing’s everything”. Parts, Timing Belt

Fuel System Cleaning

Is your car sometimes hard to start on an early FRAMINGHAM morning? When you turn the key, does it hesitate or stutter? If so, the problem could be the result of a dirty fuel system. Your car’s fuel system starts with the air filter and ends in the top of your engine. Over time, different parts of the system get dirty, which robs you of performance and hurts your fuel economy.

ABSOLUTE CAR CARE
91A GRANT ST
FRAMINGHAM, MA 01702
508-820-9323

Most of our suv in FRAMINGHAM have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. Fuel injection systems have fewer problems and require less adjustment. But they still need to be properly maintained. This is why your owner’s manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Some people are interested in buying fuel system cleaners that you can pour into your gas tank. You can do that – and there are lots of great products available that can help maintain an already clean fuel system – but these products cannot do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see your service center at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE. ABSOLUTE CAR CARE has the professional tools and chemicals to really do a complete service.

Your service center at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE in FRAMINGHAM MA uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. You need to remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently. After a professional fuel system cleaning, you’ll notice more power, better fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions.

The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate vital engine parts.

Fuel system cleaning is just one of those recommended service items that helps keep your vehicle running strong. As with all maintenance, it can help avoid costly repairs that often result from not taking the right preventive steps. And you will notice the difference in how well your car runs. Check with your service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE in FRAMINGHAM MA to see when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.

An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

Absolute Car Care and Maintenance Mindset

ABSOLUTE CAR CARE

When it comes to their vehicles, some Boston people don’t have a maintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Boston drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance, but just may have not applied it to their suvs.

For example: the lawn. You water it and mow it every week. And weed the flower beds and rake the leaves.  There are other things that Boston people are good about maintaining. Going to the dentist twice a year. Clothes to the dry cleaner. Flu shots. Taking the kids to your Boston doctor for a checkup before school starts.

So Boston people really are maintenance minded. They just have to learn to apply that mindset to cars. I mean, if you never brush your teeth or go to the dentist, you’ll become painfully aware of your neglect when you get a big cavity. Once the damage is done, we learn our lesson and start to take better care of things.

Unfortunately, Boston suv owners too often learn the hard automotive lesson when they bring their vehicle to ABSOLUTE CAR CARE on a tow truck. So many times a little routine maintenance would have prevented a breakdown.

So how can Boston drivers get into the habit of taking care of their suv? It’s so easy to forget. If you skip cutting the grass, you see it every time you pull in the driveway.

Here’s something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your ABSOLUTE CAR CARE tech will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason why. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he’ll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they’ve got you covered. And at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE, we check to see if your suv manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.

The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done. The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you’ve got to remember that suvs are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their function. Without them, the suv won’t run at all.

So when you come in to ABSOLUTE CAR CARE for an oil change, you get a visual inspection from your friendly service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your ABSOLUTE CAR CARE service advisor can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and avoid expensive breakdowns.

Deep Clean Your Fuel System At Absolute Car Care

Today we’re talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. You need fuel to go, and the cleaner your fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better fuel economy.

A clean fuel system saves money at the pump. We guess you could say, it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things you can do to keep your fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.

So buying cheaper gas can actually cost you in the long run. Now, most cars on the road are more than five or six years old. That means they’ve had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your engine. That’s the fuel filter’s job.

When the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. That could do some damage. So you should have your fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor if your fuel filter is due for replacement.

The fuel then goes up into the throttle body. This is another area where varnish and gum can accumulate. A professional fuel system cleaning will use a combination of special cleaning chemicals and old fashioned swabbing to clean out the throttle body. Now, the fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel delivery system.

It’s real important to keep those fuel injectors clean. The fuel injectors need to deliver a precise amount of fuel, at exactly the right time, in a particular spray pattern. They just can’t do that if they’re dirty. Dirty fuel injectors really rob power and waste fuel.

It is important for the fuel system proper, but there are a couple other things that will help keep your engine clean as well. Of course, air is mixed with the fuel before it’s burned. Dirty air means dirt gets into your engine, so you need to replace your engine air filter when it’s dirty.

The PCV value routes unburned fuel that escapes into the lower engine back up into the intake system to be burned. A sticky PCV valve needs to be replaced to make sure that system is working properly and the breather filter needs to be replaced if it’s dirty as well.

Do all these things and your engine’s air and fuel will be as clean as possible. You’ll get much better fuel economy and better power

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Service Intervals For High Mileage Vehicles

Nowadays, everyone in FRAMINGHAM, MA is paying more at the gas pump. For some families in the greater Boston area, it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That’s got to come out of the budget somewhere. Throughout North America, people are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.

Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local FRAMINGHAM, MA roads have over 75,000 miles on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in Boston can’t afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a break down. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like our personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.

Knowing what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many owners’ manuals don’t publish service intervals after 60,000 miles. It just means that you need to be better at keeping records and planning your preventive maintenance.

You can start by figuring that services with a recommended interval should still be performed on that interval, even after you’re past the tables in your service manual. For example, a service might be recommended every 15,000 miles. Well, just keep doing it every 15,000 miles for as long as you have your car.

Now higher mileage engines operate under more stress. Some experts suggest that the severe service schedule is more appropriate and that routine service should be performed at shorter intervals. Check with your owners’ manual or service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE to see if the severe service schedule is right for your vehicle.

And keeping up with your full-service oil change schedule is important for a couple of reasons. First, older engines have had more time to build up oil sludge. Skipping an oil change here and there can really compound the problem for your suv.

The second benefit is that your other fluids are routinely checked and topped off. Power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid can be kept at optimal levels even though the older seals and gaskets are leaking more than when they were new.

And speaking of older seals and gaskets: they start to dry-out and become more brittle with age. You may want to consider using high mileage formulation oil and fluids. These products contain special additives to condition seals and gaskets to keep them from leaking. The high mileage formulations cost more than standard products, but they are well worth it in terms of preventing serious repair bills down the road.

Older vehicles in the FRAMINGHAM, MA area need repairs and replacements that newer ones don’t. Things like timing belts, radiator hoses, suspension work, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries. That may seem like a lot of stuff to have done, but it works out to be cheaper than new car payments.

With a high-mileage vehicle, a couple of relationships will become pretty important. The first is with your service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE. You need someone you trust to take care of your car and be mindful of your needs. Ask for help to develop a plan to keep your vehicle road-worthy that works within your budget, and for the FRAMINGHAM, MA area driving conditions.

The next relationship is with your vehicle itself. We’re not talking about naming your car or tucking it in at night. We just mean – pay attention and get to know your vehicle. Notice unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Then you can describe the changes to your service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE and head off problems. We can’t do anything about the price of gas, but we can properly maintain Old Faithful to keep it safely and economically on the local FRAMINGHAM, MA roads.

Questions to Ask Your Service Advisor

Questions To Ask Your FRAMINGHAM Service Advisor

We find that a lot of FRAMINGHAM service and repair at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions, but don’t want to be embarrassed or to seem pushy. Cars are very complicated and there’s more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it’s because cars 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 FRAMINGHAM 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 FRAMINGHAM. 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 FRAMINGHAM 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 FRAMINGHAM 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 real tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt part 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.

Call ABSOLUTE CAR CARE to make an appointment.
91A GRANT ST
FRAMINGHAM, MA 01702
508-820-9323

The Fallacy of Cheap Tires

Do you ever shop for shoes in one of our Boston area shoe stores?
When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pair of lower quality shoes at the same price?

Is the warranty important when buying tires?

When you choose new tires in FRAMINGHAM, what’s the most important factor for you?

Give us a call at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE at 508-820-9323 for tire recommendations.

You know, buying tires in FRAMINGHAM is a big deal. It’s a big ticket item so you know you’ll be spending a lot. You’re not only concerned about the price, but you want to know that it’ll be a long time before you need to buy new tires again.

And of course there’s the safety aspect as well. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. They need to be up to the task. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer, the tires need a high load rating to be up for the job.

As a tire professional, I think it’s important that people understand the effect of price on a tire’s performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad had a saying. He said, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many”.

Dad applied that to a lot of things. He thought that one high quality suit would last longer and look better than two cheap suits. The saying really seems to hold true when it comes to shoes and boots, too.

I buy high-quality work shoes because I spend a lot of time on my feet. They’re more comfortable, have important safety features like steel toes and non-slip soles – and they last at least twice as long as cheap shoes. I feel I get very good value for my money.

I apply the same thinking to tires. The major tire brands that you’re familiar with are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are well-engineered and very high quality. Comparable tires are usually in the same price range from brand to brand.

Stepping down in price you come to private label tires. Some large tire store chains carry tires with the chain’s own brand. It’s important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 brands that you are familiar with – so they are a quality product. You can ask your tire professional who makes their private brand.

The lowest priced tires on the market are Tier 3 tires. These tend to be imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can’t expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.

So let’s say you need new tires. You’ve determined the features you need. So you have several options, including price options. Now, you’ve probably heard the term ‘it’s a 40 thousand mile tire’ or ‘it’s a 60 thousand mile tire’. Simply put, the manufacturer warrantees the tire for ‘X’ number of miles. If that’s important to you, look for the warranty.

What’s the difference in the tires with higher mileage warranties? It’s the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you’ll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.

Now the cheapest tires you can find won’t have a manufacturer’s mileage warranty or if it does, it’ll be relatively low. That brings us back to dad’s saying; if you buy the cheapest Tier 3 tire you can, you will likely go through two sets in the time it would take to wear out one set of good quality tires. And the good tires won’t cost twice as much, so you’ll end up paying more per mile driven with the cheap tires.

Hey, I realize that sometimes the budget will only allow for a Tier 3 tire. I make them available for my customers who need them because I would rather see them driving with safe, new tires than pushing their old tires beyond their safety limits. But I always counsel my customers to buy as much tire as they can afford, because it will be much less expensive in the long run.

Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that touch the road. You’re only as safe as your tires are well built.

Buy value – not price.

Check your Shocks and Struts

Check Your Shocks and Struts at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE

Today we’re talking about shocks and struts. They’re so easy 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 in corners. The shocks push the tire down to the road to maximize traction. Good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling.

Visit ABSOLUTE CAR CARE to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional. You can find us at 91A GRANT ST, FRAMINGHAM, MA 01702
Or give us a call at 508-820-9323 to make an appointment.

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.

When your shocks are worn out you may notice degraded handling as you drive around our FRAMINGHAM streets. Your vehicle feels squirmy around corners and floaty over bumps.

You may notice the rear end squatting when you accelerate or the front end diving when you brake. Your car might even be sagging at one corner.

Uneven tire wear can also be a sign of worn shocks. Of course, if your shocks are leaking or have a big dent, they need to be replaced.

Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to replace the shocks and struts on your vehicle. It’s usually between thirty and fifty thousand miles. Of course, if you tow a lot, regularly carry heavy loads or do a lot of driving on poor roads, your shocks might wear out faster.

If those driving conditions apply to you, you can get special shocks that are better suited to your driving.

The shocks that come from the factory are designed for the way most consumers are expected to drive that particular vehicle. If you have different needs for your driving around FRAMINGHAM MA, you can get premium shocks that improve performance handling, off-road abilities or towing comfort. Your FRAMINGHAM MA service consultant at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE can help you determine your needs and then give you some options.

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.

Car’s Maintenance-Free Myth

There’s a segment of the Framingham population that’s not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Mistaken perceptions have crept into the MA area over time. Many Framingham motorists think the root lies in the fact that modern cars are so reliable. Reliability has improved dramatically in recent years. Quality surveys report fewer problems with new cars than ever before.

Back when cars spent more time in the repair shop, Framingham drivers were more mindful of routine service. Now, it’s much easier to put it off.

Take tune-ups for example. In the days of mechanical ignition systems, an engine needed to be tuned-up every couple of years. The ignition points had to be replaced, spark plugs and coils replaced and the timing adjusted. If your engine was out of tune, you knew it. It ran poorly and got bad fuel economy.

Now, the ignition system in your suv is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as a hundred thousand miles. So tune-ups used to force you in to ABSOLUTE CAR CARE for service and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.

Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new cars in Framingham have been leased. These folks plan on turning the car in after two or three years, so they haven’t focused on the maintenance that helps your car last longer.

Given all that, what’s the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your suv will perform better and return better fuel economy.

Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren’t just repairs that are a long ways off. Modern suv engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.

And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.

For example, your suv engine coolant could actually become so corrosive that it eats holes in your radiator or other cooling system parts. Of course, that could lead to massive engine damage, all for the want of replacing the coolant on schedule.

Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At ABSOLUTE CAR CARE, we have been taking care of all those little things for 18 years. Your suv still needs to be taken care of – it’s just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in Framingham did not go away.

How Do You Save Gas in Framingham Ma

No one in FRAMINGHAM MA likes high fuel prices. But if one good thing has come about, it’s that people are really focused on how to reduce their fuel consumption. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive, so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let’s look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He 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 value 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 ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he had turned in the best fuel economy he had ever gotten on that vehicle. 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 FRAMINGHAM MA. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can save you some fuel. If its time for a tune-up, git’er done. That’s a big item.

If your check engine light is on, have your FRAMINGHAM MA service center at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.

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

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most people is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy, 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 are scams.

Do some research and check with your service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE before spending your hard earned cash.

On Board Diagnostics For Framingham Automobile Check Engine Light

Some FRAMINGHAM motorists are confused by ABSOLUTE CAR CARE charges for diagnostic services for a vehicle repair. Many services at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE and other FRAMINGHAM automotive repair shops include diagnostic fees.

When you take your laptop into a Boston computer repair shop for a problem you’ll likely have to leave a deposit for diagnostics. When we visit our Framingham doctor for a medical problem, we’re paying him to diagnose our ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.

So receiving a diagnostic charge at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Boston area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your suv brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy MA expressway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your suv engine, ABSOLUTE CAR CARE diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Boston public’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There’s a common misconception among Framingham, Ashland, and Natick drivers that the trouble code tells the ABSOLUTE CAR CARE technician exactly what’s wrong. Why then is there a diagnostic charge, the scanner just gave the diagnosis?

Reality is more involved than that. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.

The suv computer’s trouble code just tells the ABSOLUTE CAR CARE technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the symptom.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for ABSOLUTE CAR CARE FRAMINGHAM customers. The ABSOLUTE CAR CARE technician makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem.

Boston service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for a given trouble code. They outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented fix. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved and difficult. Of course ABSOLUTE CAR CARE wants to figure out what’s wrong with your suv and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Auto Services Overlooked in Framingham

10 Overlooked Services In FRAMINGHAM
Posted on October 2, 2012

We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over FRAMINGHAM. Some days it’s all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That’s why you’ve gotta be organized. Lists, PDA, calendar- we have to keep track of it all.

So let’s talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.

We have a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked. They’re all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.

1. Power Steering Service
Be honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your power steering parts are protected from corrosion. Ask your service advisor if it’s time for a power steering check-up.

2. Wheel Alignment
When your wheels are out of alignment your car pulls to one side. It’s pretty annoying, but it’s also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast; which is expensive! Most owners’ manuals suggest you get your alignment checked once or twice a year.

3. Differential Service
Okay, did you even know you had a differential? Well you do. One, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they’re part of the drive-train that transfers power from the engine to your wheels. They don’t need service that often, but you can’t just ignore them. Check with your service advisor.

4. Cabin Air Filter
More and more FRAMINGHAM cars these days have cabin air filters to clean the air in the passenger area where we sit. They filter out dust and pollen. When they’re clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.

5. Timing Belt Replacement
Most cars and some vans and trucks around the FRAMINGHAM area have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let’s just say that your car won’t run without it – period. And if it breaks while you’re driving it can do thousands of dollars worth of engine damage. Check your owners’ manual or with your service advisor. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles; absolutely look into it right away.

6. Transmission Service
Transmission service is very basic, but it’s often forgotten. Your transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep running efficiently and avoid costly repairs. And it can improve your fuel economy too.

7. Air Conditioning Service
Most of us don’t think about our air conditioning until it doesn’t work. Then if you’re lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you’re not, some of the components may have been ruined. Those components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.

8. Brake Service
No we’re not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We’re talking brake fluid. Over time the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won’t work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your service advisor for recommendations.

9. Coolant System
Another thing that’s so easy to forget about: When you don’t change your antifreeze on schedule it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the pH balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you’re stranded.

10. Fuel System Cleaning
In times of high fuel prices, fuel system cleaning is so important. Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule will really help your fuel economy.

And there we have it; 10 services that are often overlooked. Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn’t been performed? Based on our busy lives, we’re not surprised.

We know it takes some thought and effort to actually maintain your vehicle; but it not only saves money in the long run – it saves time too. And we can all use a little more time.

Is your Framingham Driving Severe?

Is Your FRAMINGHAM Driving Severe?
Posted on September 7, 2012

People near FRAMINGHAM MA often ask ABSOLUTE CAR CARE how often they should have a particular service done. It’s a great thing to ask. You can look at your owner’s manual, or have your FRAMINGHAM MA service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE look up your vehicle in a service database. What you find is often a surprise to people – there are actually two service schedules.

One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe service schedule. When asked, most folks in FRAMINGHAM MA will say that their driving is normal and that the ‘regular’ schedule probably applies to them. ‘Severe service’ sounds pretty extreme – ‘I don’t drive like that’.

Well, here is what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions; you can draw your own conclusions.

Most of your trips are less than four miles.
Most of your trips are less than ten miles and outside temperatures are below freezing.
The engine is at low speed most of the time – not on the highway. You operate your vehicle in dusty areas.
You regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads.
Drive with a car-top carrier.
Stop and go driving.
Driving in very hot or very cold weather.
If that’s severe driving, what constitutes regular driving? Well, it would look something like this: I live somewhere with moderate temperatures all year round – I’m thinking San Diego here. And I live close to a freeway on-ramp. Everywhere I need to go is right off the freeway, at least four miles from my home. I can drive at a steady 60 miles per hour when I’m on the freeway.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like my normal driving. It sounds more like ideal conditions. I live where it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I run short errands around FRAMINGHAM. Occasionally we load up for family trips.

For me, normal driving includes elements of severe service driving. So here’s what I tell people: think about how you drive, where you live, where you go and what you are expecting to with your vehicle in the near future.

Picture a line with ‘regular’ on one end and ‘severe’ on the other, and make a judgment on where you fall. If your regular oil change recommendation is 5,000 miles and the severe service recommendation is 3,000 – when should you change your oil? For me, it’s closer to 3,000 miles. For my wife, it’s closer to 5,000 miles. Your FRAMINGHAM MA auto service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE will be happy to have this discussion with you and help you sort it out.

Just a quick word on why severe service intervals are shorter. One has to do with heat. That can either be external heat from the weather or engine and transmission heat from stop and go driving or working extra hard moving heavy loads or towing. The heat causes the fluids like oil and transmission fluid to break down more quickly and then they aren’t as effective.

Another factor is water. Moisture naturally collects in fluids as they cool. In your motor oil, for example, if you don’t drive long enough for the oil to fully heat up, the water won’t evaporate. Water in the oil can lead to the buildup of damaging sludge.

If you live where the air is dusty or polluted, fluids will become contaminated and filters will get dirtier more quickly.

So make an honest evaluation of your driving conditions. You’ve made the commitment to take care of your vehicles, so it only makes sense to follow the right schedule.

Tire Tread Depth

Tire Tread Depth for FRAMINGHAM MA
Posted on August 30, 2012

So, when are your tires actually worn out? This is a question a lot of us in FRAMINGHAM MA ask ourselves. For many, the answer is ‘when they no longer pass a safety inspection’. But waiting that long can have a serious impact on your safety.

The U.S. Federal government doesn’t have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider two-thirty-seconds of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider one-thirty-second to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE (just call 508-820-9323) to find out what your requirements are in the FRAMINGHAM MA area.

Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there’s just 2/32” of tread left. But does that older standard give you enough safety?

Well, Consumer Reports issued a call to consider replacing tires when tread reaches 4/32”. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the big issue is braking on wet surfaces.

We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but you also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it’s wet or snowy in FRAMINGHAM MA, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires actually need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a condition known as hydroplaning. When there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

This is where the studies come in. We think you’ll be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.

A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32” of tread were tested – this is the depth suggested by Consumer Reports

When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph with the worn tires.

Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That’s a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. Obviously this is really a big safety issue.

The tests were conducted with the same vehicles, but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable, was the tires.

So, how do you know when your tires are at 4/32”? Well, it’s pretty easy. 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 tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But a penny gives you 2/32” of an inch to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32”.

Tires are a big ticket item and most people in FRAMINGHAM MA want to get the most wear out of them that they can. But do you want that much more risk just to run your tires until they are legally worn out? For us, and we would guess for many, the answer is “no”.

Well, Mr. Washington, let’s go out and look at my tires.

Why People In Framingham Hesitate to get their Vehicle Serviced

Why People In FRAMINGHAM Hesitate to Get their Vehicle Serviced
Posted on August 10, 2012

A recent report stated that over 80 percent of the vehicles on our FRAMINGHAM MA roads have one or more service or repair that’s needed, but hasn’t been taken care of. Now that’s a lot of undone service. That translates into something over 160 million vehicles in the U.S. alone. Some of the neglected items are minor. Others are serious safety concerns.

There are several reasons why we hesitate to take care of recommended services; especially services that our FRAMINGHAM MA automotive advisor recommends when we’re in for something else, like an oil change.

The first issue boils down to comfort with car care. We don’t always feel we know enough to make good decisions. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that vehicles are so reliable these days. They almost become an appliance. Of course you love your family car, but if you don’t have to worry about it breaking down all the time, you’re not forced to think as much about preventive maintenance.

Perhaps your dad knew a lot about cars and always made sure they were taken care of. He was very comfortable dealing with his local FRAMINGHAM MA service advisor. People who don’t know as much about cars hesitate to ask questions because they don’t want to look ignorant.

It’s human nature. But, there’s so much to know in this world, we can’t all be experts in everything. So we specialize. It’s very important to ask questions of any specialist, whether it’s your doctor, financial advisor or your automotive technician in FRAMINGHAM, MA.

Your auto technician at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE wants your questions. We want you to understand the recommendation and why it needs to be done.

That brings us to the next issue; people say that they don’t always know if they really need the service or if they are just being sold something.

At the heart, it speaks to trust. Do you trust your FRAMINGHAM service center and your service advisor? Trust has to be earned and that takes time and experience. But you can shortcut the process when you realize that most of the recommendations are based on manufacturer’s maintenance schedules.

In other words, “you don’t have to trust me, you can trust your owner’s manual”.

Your FRAMINGHAM service center has computer databases that contain the manufacturer’s recommendations for almost all vehicles, so they don’t need to rummage through your glove box to look for your owner’s manual to know what to do.

Basically, the engineers who designed the car say “here’s when you need to have it serviced”. That’s who makes the recommendation, not the technician. He’s just reminding you.

Now you do need to trust your FRAMINGHAM technician’s experience and judgment from time to time. When he inspects your vehicle, he may find problems or concerns. He will explain things so that you can prioritize the concern and make a good decision about whether or not to have something done.

That brings us to the third issue; money. Often the concern is about spending the money to take care of a recommended service. Our money has many places it needs to go. And we have another list of places we want it to go. Auto maintenance isn’t usually on either of those lists.

Look, everyone who works at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE has a family budget, too. They can relate. Maybe a little look behind the scenes would be helpful.

Service centers like ABSOLUTE CAR CARE invest heavily in training, diagnostic equipment and tools so that they can make repairs and perform services as efficiently as possible. And like any other business, they have labor costs, insurance, rent, utilities, shop and office supplies, taxes and so on.

We work hard to make sure that we diagnose the problem correctly and fix it right the first time. That’s the only way we can maintain our reputation and remain in business. If we’re not satisfying our customers and providing a good value, you won’t come back and the service center won’t be around for long.

When there is a real budget concern, your FRAMINGHAM service center can help you prioritize the work that needs to be done and come up with a plan for taking care of it that works within your budget.

Let’s say you have a serious problem with your brakes. That’s a safety concern so a technician can’t ethically say, well, let’s put that off for a couple of months. What they can do is take care of the brakes now and address the cabin air filter or transmission service next month.

Right To Repair Passes

 

RIGHT TO REPAIR PASSES MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE IN HISTORIC VOTE!

Last night the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed Right to Repair legislation by a vote of 153-0 followed by unanimous passage in the Senate. This historic vote and the Governor’s expected signature are all that’s needed to make our state a model for the nation when it comes to helping consumers get their cars fixed when, where and how they want. Massachusetts has led the way through the years on a range of issues; now providing added convenience and value for car owners is now on that first-in-the-nation list. With Right to Repair now real, it’s a big win for consumers and independent repair shops across the state.

Why did this pass? It was because of supporters like YOU who have passionately advocated for Right to Repair over the past three years in Massachusetts. With our Question 1 ballot question polling out at 88% in favor according to a recent AAA poll, legislators took a great vote to pass Right to Repair in advance of the ballot.

The bill requires auto manufacturers to provide ALL repair and diagnostic information for a fair and reasonable price to car owners or their choice of repairer. In short, it’s everything we hoped for to deliver to car owners and their repairers.

In the coming days we will keep you up to date on when Gov. Patrick is expected to sign the bill and we will be doing extensive public education on the law’s benefits.

Again, we thank YOU, the 2000 independent repairers who stood up for their customers, and the 120,000 people who signed the Right to Repair initiative petition. Your support and advocacy culminated in last night’s historic, first-in-the-nation vote.

Thank you

Art Kinsman
Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition

Are There Blind Spots In FRAMINGAHM MA ?

Are There Blind Spots In FRAMINGHAM MA?

 

Everyone in FRAMINGHAM MA has blind spots – and no, I’m not talking about the fact that you really don’t sing like Jessica Simpson. I mean the areas of the road that you can’t see when you’re driving around FRAMINGHAM.

First let’s talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others…

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

First, adjust your rear view mirror to give the best possible view directly to the rear of your car. You don’t need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or your dazzling smile. The rear view mirror should look to 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.

ABSOLUTE CAR CARE
We’re on 91A GRANT ST in FRAMINGHAM, MA (01702)
Call us to make an appointment at 508-820-9323.

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.

With your mirrors adjusted this way, you’ll have maximum coverage. Of course driving is a dynamic process – things change every second. 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.

Depending on the kind of vehicle you drive (family car?), you may still have some blind spots. All vehicles have an area behind them that’s blind when backing up. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. A pick up or SUV can hide a small child – an RV, bus or tractor-trailer can hide an entire vehicle. So be careful around our FRAMINGHAM streets!

As you drive around the Westborough area, avoid staying in other diver’s blind spots. You can’t count on them to be watching their mirrors and looking out for you.

Let’s talk about safely sharing the road with heavy trucks and buses. In crashes involving a truck and car, the car causes about 40 percent of the accidents. But 78 percent of the fatalities are with the car. The laws of physics are against the smaller vehicle, so it pays to take extra precautions around trucks and buses.

Heavy vehicles have huge blind spots: to the rear, on both sides and up front. They also can’t maneuver like a car. They take twice as long to stop and need twice as much space as you do in your family car or other type of car. You need to keep wide margins when driving around one of these big rigs.

Here are some tips for passing a heavy vehicle in the Westborough area:

  • Avoid the blind spots. If you can’t see the driver’s 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 FRAMINGHAM MA two way 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.
  • Be attentive and wear your seat belts while driving anywhere around FRAMINGHAM, even short drives.
  • Don’t be aggressive when driving around trucks. Because of their size, they appear to be going slower than they really are. Cutting it short around a truck could be disastrous.
  • Use your turn signals when starting to pass. Once you can see the full truck in your rear view mirror, it’s safe to signal and move over. Don’t cut it short or slow quickly when you pull in front of a truck.
  • Be careful passing a truck at an intersection. Trucks need to turn wide to maneuver through city streets. Squeezing between a truck and the curb could put your car in the FRAMINGHAM body shop. Look for the truck’s turn signals.

We at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE want you to watch those blind spots – but feel free to sing in the shower all you want

Timing Belt Replacement

Timing Belt Replacement

Today we want to talk about timing belts. They’re something that many FRAMINGHAM drivers don’t know much about and yet your vehicle won’t run if it’s broken – and it could cause many thousands of dollars damage if it does break. A broken timing belt is usually a tale of woe. Even though timing belt replacement is scheduled in the owner’s manual, it’s not the kind of thing that most Westborough car owners remember because it’s not well understood.

Let’s review what a timing belt does. As you know, the engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. A piston rides up and down in the cylinder. During the first down stroke, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder opens and air and fuel is drawn into the cylinder. Then the piston returns to the top, compressing the fuel and air mix. At the top, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston once again returns up in the final stroke of the cycle, an exhaust valve opens at the top of the cylinder and the exhaust is pushed out. The timing belt is what coordinates the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. It’s called a timing belt because the valves have to open and close at just the right time.

Now, not all Framingham and Ashland vehicles have timing belts. Some have timing chains. Like the name implies, they use a chain rather than a belt to perform the function. It used to be that most engines used timing chains, which are extremely durable. Manufacturers started using belts rather than chains to save money in the manufacturing process. So now we’re left with a component that can break. They sort of shifted the problem to us. There are two broad categories of engine design: interference and non-interference. If the timing belt on a non-interference engine breaks, the engine simply stops running. That could be very dangerous depending on where you are at the time, but it causes no internal engine damage.

Interference engines, on the other hand, will get real messed up when the timing belt breaks, because the valves will actually fall down into the path of the pistons. Things get chewed up when that happens and it’ll cost thousands to repair the engine.

So, what are the warning signs? Unfortunately, there really aren’t any. There aren’t tell-tale sounds. In some vehicles, a technician from ABSOLUTE CAR CARE may be able to see part of the belt for a visual inspection, but many have a cover that’s in the way. The reality is that if the belt slips even one notch, it might as well be broken for all the damage it’ll cause. There’s no middle ground.

So how can we avoid these problems? Simply replace the timing belt when your owner’s manual calls for it. It can be 60,000 miles; it might be 90,000 or 100,000 miles. The point is, if you have 60,000 or more miles, ask your ABSOLUTE CAR CARE service advisor right away if your manufacturer requires a timing belt replacement.

Contact ABSOLUTE CAR CARE to learn more about your car’s Timing Belt
You can find us at:
91A GRANT ST
FRAMINGHAM, MA 01702
Or call us at 508-820-9323

Sometimes you can go quite a while without a failure, but we’ve seen them happen within a couple of oil changes of being due. It’s not worth the risk.

What does it cost to replace a timing belt in Ashland or Fayville? Well, that really depends on what kind of car you have. I can tell you that it’s usually not very easy to get to the timing belt – you often have to remove some accessories to get at it. It isn’t a cheap procedure, but it’s a fraction of what it could cost to repair the damage caused by a failure.

At ABSOLUTE CAR CARE we’re all about trying to prevent costly repairs, keeping you and your passengers safe and increasing your driving enjoyment. Thanks to AutoNetTV for their great auto video tips.

Emergency items For Your Family Car

Emergency Items For Your family car
Posted on July 3, 2012

Local Westborough roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip.

Your close-to-home kit for around FRAMINGHAM would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You’ll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools.

Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card.

People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies.

For trips away from home, consider the weather and geography as you assemble your emergency supplies. You’ll need to have a source of light and heat and will want to provide protection against the elements as well as adequate food and water for everyone in the car.

Always tell people where you are going and have a plan for checking in at waypoints. Then if you run into trouble, you can be reported missing as soon as possible and rescuers will be able to narrow the search area.

The key to safe travel is to keep your vehicle properly maintained, plan ahead, and let others know your itinerary.

Risk of Extended Oil Change Intervals

Risk of Extended Oil Change Intervals
Posted on June 22, 2012

Nothing in your engine workers harder than your oil. With hundreds of moving parts, and thousands of explosions every minute, it’s no wonder that engine oil needs to be changed frequently!

You’ve probably heard the old rule of thumb: Change your oil every 3,000 miles/ 5,000 kilometers or 3 months, whichever comes first. But some car manufacturers have introduced extended oil change intervals. They figure that a modern vehicle driven under the right conditions can go for 5,000 miles/8000 kilometers or more between an oil change.

The key phrase here is “under the right conditions”. If you look at your owner’s manual, you’ll see two different maintenance schedules: one for “normal” driving conditions and one for “Severe Service”. Severe service driving conditions include stop and go, short trips, towing, hauling, hot, cold, and dusty driving. That’s why at AutoNetTV we often refer you to the severe service schedule in your owners’ manual, because, for most of us MA car owners, that’s the way we use our vehicles in everyday life.

Recently, four of the largest auto manufacturers in the world have extended engine warranty coverage for engine damage caused by oil sludge resulting from longer oil change intervals. They found that real-world conditions require more frequent oil changes than the 7,500mi/12,000 km interval they were recommending. They subsequently recommended more frequent oil change intervals and proof of timely oil changes in order to qualify for the extended warranty.

Oil sludge is the culprit. Sludge is oil that has turned to a thick, jelly-like consistency. Sludge can block passages in the engine, preventing oil from lubricating vital engine parts. Parts wear more quickly and may fail prematurely.

Sludge is caused by several factors. The first one is simply – time. The engine oil is contaminated by exhaust gas that eventually leads to sludge. That is where the recommendation to change your oil at least every three months comes from. Sludge can also come from oil that gets contaminated by water from normal condensation. A few minutes of driving at MA freeway speeds allows the oil to heat up enough for the water to evaporate. The problem is we often run errands or take other short trips that don’t allow the engine to warm up enough for the water to evaporate. This is especially true in winter. Sludge also forms when the engine gets too hot, causing the oil to breakdown. Stop and go summer driving, towing and hauling are all prime conditions for creating harmful sludge. And every engine has hot spots that create sludge.

Given all of these factors, estimating when to change your oil is pretty complicated. A couple of manufacturers have computer programs built into their vehicles that record the number of cold starts, how many times the cylinders fire, engine temperature and other factors. From that, the computer estimates when you should change your oil and flashes a warning. But what if you do not have a vehicle with this feature? How do you know when to change your oil? We’re not sure you really can. Which is why it is better to be safe than sorry. 3,000 mi/5,000 km or three months – whichever comes first – talk with a service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE in FRAMINGHAM and see if that’s a good recommendation for the way you drive.

Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles

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Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In FRAMINGHAM MA Posted on May 11, 2012 by absolu715 Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the FRAMINGHAM MA area (zip code: 01702) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At ABSOLUTE CAR CARE we hear repor…

May 11 at 10:41pm via ListPipe Link

Wheel Bearings

Let me start by saying that your wheel bearings keep the wheels on your vehicle. Did that get your attention? In this article we’ll discuss more about wheel bearings and how you can keep them doing their very important job while you drive around Framingham MA.

Come see us at: 91A GRANT ST FRAMINGHAM, MA 01702

Wheel bearings are pretty simple parts. They’re made of high quality steel and are engineered to last 100,000 miles or more if properly cared for. The bearings do two very important jobs: First they allow the wheel to freely rotate with as little friction as possible. Second, they support the weight of the vehicle. For example, if your car weighs 3,600 pounds, each wheel has to support approximately 900 pounds. That’s a lot of heavy lifting over many, many thousands of miles.

Even though wheel bearings are relatively simple, they need to be in near perfect condition to do their job. The bearings are packed with heavy grease to lubricate and protect them. A seal keeps the grease in and water and dirt out. It’s when the seal starts to leak that problems begin. The grease can become contaminated; causing the wheel bearings to overheat and ultimately fail.

The first sign that your wheel bearings are in trouble is an unusual noise coming from a wheel. It could be a chirping, growling, rumbling or a cyclic sound. The noise could get louder or even disappear at certain speeds. Your technician at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE can inspect for bearing wear by lifting the vehicle and checking for play in the wheel.

Now some wheel bearing assemblies are factory sealed. That means that they cannot be serviced – they can only be replaced. Those that aren’t sealed can be serviced on schedule. The bearings are removed, cleaned and inspected. If the bearings are still good, they’re re-installed – if not, they’re replaced. They are then packed in grease and a new seal is installed.

If your vehicle has a factory sealed wheel bearing assembly, the entire assembly needs to be replaced when trouble arises. Unfortunately, the parts are pretty pricy – but they usually last about 150,000 miles as long as the seals hold up.

Now, even a good seal cannot keep out water that’s exerting pressure on the seal. So if you’ve driven through hub deep water your bearings should be cleaned and repacked if they’re serviceable. If you have factory sealed bearings, you just need to watch for signs of premature failure.

If your wheel bearings can be serviced, your owner’s manual will recommend an interval, usually around 30,000 miles.

Now, if you have any sort of trailer, don’t forget its wheel bearings. They probably need to be serviced even more frequently. This is especially true for boat trailers that are used to launch the boat by backing it into the water. These should be serviced every year, usually at the end of the season so that the bearings don’t have the opportunity to sit and rust all winter.

So what happens if wheel bearings fail? Well, the wheel can literally fall off the vehicle. I don’t need to tell you how bad that could be. So check with your service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE and see if your vehicle’s wheel bearings can be serviced and when it’s recommended. Listen for warning signs. If you’ve been fording streams or puddle surfing after rainstorms, be especially vigilant.

Come by ABSOLUTE CAR CARE for a wheel bearing inspection, or for headlamp service. Call for an appointment at 508-820-9323

Check engine light Doctor

It’s a scenario that’s befallen drivers everywhere: They turn on the car and start to fiddle with the radio and the air. They glance left and right over their shoulders while buckling up to check whether they’re clear to back up. They put the car in gear, ease it down the driveway and go on their way. Then suddenly they glance down at the dash and notice with horror — the check engine light is still on!

What does this mean? Well, for starters probably a pretty annoying day. If your check engine light is illuminated, it’s best to take it in for diagnostic testing, which can feel like a hassle. Because while the lights vary in appearance from vehicle to vehicle, all have the same basic meaning: There’s a problem with the car’s emissions system. The on-board diagnostics system and engine control unit are in charge of monitoring a bunch of different parameters, and if they get a reading that’s a little out of whack, up pops the check engine light.

The list of things that can trigger the check engine light is pretty lengthy. For example, anything from a loose gas cap to a faulty fuel injector can be to blame. Some other potential culprits that can cause that malevolent glow include:

  • A wet engine
  • A blown gasket head
  • Faulty oxygen sensors
  • Worn-out spark plugs or spark plug wires
  • Loose or cracked hoses and manifolds
  • Sticky exhaust gas recirculation valves
  • Pinched or deteriorated fuel injector O-rings

So first thing first: Check to make sure your gas cap is on and give it a few more clicks to tighten it up. If that doesn’t work, head to a mechanic or an auto parts store — it’s always a good idea to get a professional to diagnose the problem, and some will even perform this service for free. A few of the above items are inexpensive to fix. While others are more expensive, it’s still important to get them taken care of. Even though the car could be driving just fine, you may be wasting fuel, putting out lots of pollution and damaging the engine. In some states, you won’t pass your annual emissions test if the light is on — especially if the vehicle is a 1996 or newer — so that’s another good incentive to get it checked out.

Whatever you do, don’t lazily slap a piece of black electrical tape over it and go about your business. Cars just need a little love from time to time to stay in good shape, and neglecting a minor issue could lead to bigger problems down the road.

Staff Absolute Car Care

How often do you really need to change motor Oil? Yahoo 3/27/12

How often do you really need to change motor oil?

By Brandy Schaffels, Senior Editor | TrueCar – Thu, Mar 29, 2012 4:12 PM EDT

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(Photo: Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr)
Do you change your oil every 3,000 miles? The majority of drivers on the road have been bombarded by advertising that recommends changing their car’s oil every 3,000 miles, but the truth is that interval is no longer really necessary. Yes, engine oil does get dirty, and when that happens, it can clog engine parts, but if you’re driving a car that’s less than five years old, you’re probably wasting money — and oil — if you change it as frequently as that. Yes, knowing when to change oil is not as simple as some ad campaigns would have you believe.
Changing the oil in your car every 3,000 miles was necessary in the 1970s, when most cars used 10W-40 oil, which tended to wear out within about 3,000 miles. Thanks to improvements in high-quality lubricants and tighter tolerances in the assembly of automotive engines, the 3,000-mile baseline simply does not apply to many cars on the road today; in fact, automakers now recommend you change oil at 5,000, 7,000, 10,000 or even as high as 15,000 miles for newer models under ideal driving conditions. For example, Toyota recommends you change oil at 5,000 miles for a 2005 Tacoma pickup, Honda recommends 7,500 miles for its 2002 Odyssey, General Motors suggests 7,500 miles for its 2007 Chevrolet Malibu, and Ford recommends 10,000 miles for its 2011 Fiesta. A 2008 Porsche Boxster can go 12,000 miles between changes, and a 2010 BMW 3 Series can go up to 15,000 miles before you change oil under ideal conditions; with this kind of complexity, it’s easy for consumers to be confused.

Almost 15 million Californians change their motor oil every 3,000 miles or more often, using more than 150 million gallons of motor oil each year – enough oil to fill 255 Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to a recent study by CalRecycle. CalRecycle spokesperson Jeff Danzinger says their studies indicate the state could reduce total motor oil consumption by as much as 10 million gallons per year if motorists were to change oil according to manufacturer recommendations. “If you’re changing your oil too soon, you’re needlessly creating waste oil and putting a strain on the system and supply,”
And that’s just California — wonder how much oil is being wasted across the entire United States by people who have fallen victim to advertising and don’t follow the intervals recommended in their owner’s manual? Across the country, reprocessors treat about 1.1 billion gallons of used oil yearly according to the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Unless you’re driving a car that’s more than ten years old, or under super extreme conditions, there’s really no reason to change your oil at 3000 miles anymore. Let’s put that amount into dollars: Changing motor oil according to manufacturer specifications would reduce motor oil demand in California by approximately 10 million gallons per year, and could halve the amount of money those drivers spend on oil changes, which average about $25 at quick-change facilities and can cost significantly more if your vehicle uses long-life synthetic oil. Under normal driving conditions, following the automaker’s recommended intervals will not affect your car’s engine, its performance, or your warranty.

What Is Considered Severe Use?

Severe use involves extensive idling or driving frequently in stop-and-go traffic; operating in cold temperatures below 10 degrees or extreme temperatures above 90 degrees; extreme humidity; repeated short-distance trips of less than five miles; towing a trailer or hauling heavy materials; or using E85 fuel more than 50 percent of the time. If you do drive in any one of these conditions in a typical week, you are driving in severe conditions, and may need to change oil more often.

What Happens if you Don’t Change Oil in Your Car?

As Alina Tugend of the New York Times says, “It just gets dirtier and dirtier. It’s like mopping the floor with a bucket of water and detergent. The water starts out clean, but the more you use it, the filthier it gets. Eventually, you’re making the floor dirtier if you don’t change the water.” Dirty oil no longer lubricates properly, increasing friction, operating temperature, and causing the engine to wear faster.

Do You Know When to Change Oil?

Your vehicle’s owners manual will tell you how often you need to change your oil. If you drive a newer model, the car may just tell you when you need to change your oil. Since 2003, General Motors has equipped nearly its entire North American lineup with the GM Oil Life System; in fact, since the 2010 model year, nearly half of American carmakers now offer Oil Life Monitoring Systems to tell drivers when their car actually needs its oil changed, including Acura, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and Mini. These Oil Life Monitoring systems automatically monitor engine characteristics, driving habits, cold starts, short-distance trips, and the climate in which the vehicle is operated, and then notify the driver when it is time to get an engine oil change with an signal on the dash indicating it’s time for service.

If you are an extremely low-mileage driver you should change oil at least once a year. Otherwise, if your vehicle is equipped with an oil life monitoring system, you can trust the info/alert in your dashboard to tell you more accurately when you need a change. Don’t have an Oil Life Monitoring System? Consult your owner’s manual, your auto manufacturer’s official website, or authorized dealer for more information. Curious about your car right now but don’t have an owner’s manual handy? You can find suggested oil change intervals for many makes and models all the way back to the 2000 model year on the nifty widget at www.checkyournumber.org.

Tired Of Changing Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles?

Then trade in that beat-up 1970’s jalopy for something newer! Consider these new models that boast 10,000 to 15,000 oil change intervals:

All 2012 Audi models suggest you change oil at 10,000 miles
All 2012 BMW models suggest you change oil at 15,000 miles
2012 Ford Fiesta, Flex, Focus, and Mustang models suggest you change oil at 10,000 miles
All 2012 Jaguar models suggest you change oil at 10,000 miles
2012 Lincoln MKT and MKX models suggest you change oil at 10,000 miles
All 2012 Mercedes-Benz models suggest you change oil at 12,000 miles
All 2012 Mini Cooper models suggest you change oil at 12,000 miles
All 2012 Porsche models suggest you change oil at 10,000 miles, though some can go as far as 12,000 miles between oil changes
Nearly all 2012 Toyota models go 10,000 miles between oil changes
All Volkswagen models can go 10,000 miles between oil changes

Go to Absolute Car Care @Facebook for complete Video

ABSOLUTE CAR CARE
91A GRANT ST, FRAMINGHAM, MA 01702 508-820-9323

Sometimes it seems in FRAMINGHAM we live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away.

New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in FRAMINGHAM, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without.

We couldn’t afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us FRAMINGHAM penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.

Is it really that bad to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled and they start to wear out faster.

Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It’s also even more important for older vehicles in the FRAMINGHAM area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re a bit more stressed anyway. But it’s never too late to get back on track with your maintenance and to hold off further damage.

It’s just another example of our parents being right. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let your service advisor at ABSOLUTE CAR CARE in FRAMINGHAM help you keep track of the rest.

Of course, some things are going to wear out along the way, stuff like alternators, water pumps and such. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It’s like having high cholesterol; you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

ABSOLUTE CAR CARE
91A GRANT ST
FRAMINGHAM, MA 01702
508-820-9323

Suggested Maintenance

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Having a hard time getting your vehicle the proper service? Is it not fixed right the first time? Lets see if the Unlimited Service team can help. Between us we have 30+ years of automotive experience and know how. This page  is dedicated to helping you get your vehicle on the right track;

SUGGESTED MAINTENANCE

BENEFITS FOR KEEPING YOUR VEHICLE MAINTAINED WITH SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE:

Prolong the life of your vehicle
Increase Re-Sale value
Reduce the risk of breakdowns
Prevent frequent and costly repairs
Reduce gas consumption
Reduce emissions
Maintain your warranty
Keep your vehicle safe
Save money
Keep your vehicle in top running condition
In the old days when you went to the gas station to fill up your gas tank there was someone there who would “pop the hood” and check a few things for you such as oil level, inspect belts & hoses and tire pressure and other maintenance items.

Today, with self serve gas stations their isn’t a person pumping your gas and inspecting under the hood for you. And most people believe, due to misleading adds by the automobile manufactures, that they don’t need to “pop the hood” until they have 100,000 miles on the car. Because of this motorist are paying the price.

The price of breakdowns and high cost emergency repairs due to un-performed maintenance. Most breakdowns and high cost emergency repairs can be avoided. When you keep your vehicle properly maintained by a certified technician who is trained to look for potential problems you can avoid the breakdowns. If you are told the fan belt is cracked and needs replaced you are looking at about to repair it. If you don’t then one day as your driving down the road thinking all is well, guess what, the belt breaks, your car overheats and your stranded. I sure hope you have a car phone because now your looking at a tow bill, a possible overheated engine and the original belt that needed replaced, and what time were you supposed to pick up the kids?

The following suggested maintenance items and intervals are a basic guideline. You should read your vehicle’s owners manual for more specific details on keeping your vehicle properly maintained. Yes, your vehicle does have suggested maintenance items even if the salesman told you otherwise.

There may be other items depending on your vehicle-as always we suggest you refer to your vehicle’s owners manual for specific maintenance guidelines.

OIL CHANGES:

The single greatest factor extending engine life is regular oil changes. Most vehicle manufactures recommend having the oil and oil filter replaced every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. There are two sources of oil contamination, external & internal. External contamination includes dirt that gets into the engine from many sources. Internal contamination is the by-product of combustion which includes soot, fuel vapors, and other solid & liquid contaminants made worse by heat.

Our oil change service includes replacing the oil & filter, lube chassis, inspect and top off all applicable fluids, and a 10 point safety/maintenance service.

COOLING SYSTEM:

The cooling system is one of the most important systems in a vehicle. Preventative maintenance includes periodic flushing of the cooling system, thermostat replacement, and new antifreeze/coolant in correct proportions every 3 years or 36,000 miles. Flushing the cooling system is necessary because antifreeze looses it’s ability to protect against freezing if it’s diluted. Additives prevent rust and corrosion breakdown and silicates form granules that can be abrasive to water pump seals and also clog the radiator and heater core.

BELTS & HOSES:

Belts & Hoses should be replace every 4 years or 40,000 miles. Over time belts get brittle and cracked and stretched. Belts never break while your car is sitting in the driveway, they break when you are driving which means you will be stranded. Hoses wear out from the inside out. If a hose burst you loose coolant and the engine will overheat causing major engine damage.

POWER STEERING:

The power steering system should have the fluid flushed every 30,000 miles. A powerful cleaner will dissolve and suspend the varnish and gums in your car’s power steering unit. Flushing the entire system will remove all old fluid and suspended debris. This will help keep the power steering pump and rack & pinion in good condition longer.

BRAKES:

The brake system should be inspected annually or every 12,000 miles and have the brake fluid flushed every 36,000 miles. Brake systems have become more sophisticated but they still need proper maintenance. Brake fluid absorbs water which deteriorates the electric solenoids in the ABS system and the wheel cylinders & calipers. When brake fluid gets hot the water in the system boils and creates air pockets which give you a low brake pedal and reduce braking. Today’s ABS brake systems are very sophisticated which makes them very expensive to replace. A little maintenance now will save you big bucks later. Not to mention your safety.

TRANSMISSION:

Automatic Transmission fluid flush & filter change should be replaced every 36 months or 36,000 miles. Clean transmission fluid is critical to an automatic transmission because the fluid serves three important functions, transmitting energy, cooling, and lubricating. Clean, cool lubricant is critical to prevent heat buildup that hardens seals and gaskets and causes valves to stick and metal parts to warp. Most of the contaminates in the transmission come from the inside due to normal wear of the band and clutch materials, all of which are made worse by heat. It is much less expensive to have your transmission fluid and filter changed than to replace your transmission.

FILTERS:

Your vehicle is under constant attack by dirt and other contaminants that can destroy your engine and transmission. Today’s high performance engines and transmissions are extremely precise, with clearances between moving parts measured in the thousands of an inch. Several filters in your automobile help to trap these contaminants from enter your engine and transmission and to filter out contaminants produced internally as well.

Oil filters should be changed with the oil every 3 months or 3,000. Air filters keep the air coming into your carburetor or fuel injection system clean. This allows your engine to get the air it needs with little resistance, while making sure the air is as clean as possible. Air filters should be inspected monthly and replaced 10,000-15,000 miles. Fuel Filters keep the fuel clean for your engine to run properly. Dirty fuel can lead to erratic engine performance and even a complete shutdown. Contaminants in the fuel can result in costly repairs, excessive engine wear or even a complete overhaul. The fuel filter should be replaced every 10,000 miles. Transmission Filters are the most neglected filter on most vehicles. Most of the contaminants in the transmission come from inside due to normal wear of the band and clutch materials. Transmission Filters should be replaced every 12 months or 12,000 miles. See Transmission Service. PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) filters vent harmful contaminants like fuel and air vapors back into the engine where they can be burned as part of normal internal combustion instead of escaping into the environment. PCV filters should be inspected at every oil change and replaced every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. When you replace your vehicles filters be sure to use those only recommended by your vehicles manufacturer. Get the best filter available. Two filters may appear to be the same, but there will be differences that can result in systems failure.

BATTERY/CHARGING SYSTEM:

Your battery needs routine care to keep it in top condition. In cold weather the battery looses half its strength while the demands on the battery increase. Oil is thicker so the engine doesn’t turn over as easily. All components of the charging system must be in good working order to ensure dependable starting performance. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. You should have your battery & charging system inspected annually or when you notice the “charge” light come on and you experience hard starting problems. Replace your battery before the end of its life so you don’t end up stranded with a dead battery.

EXHAUST SYSTEM:

Your vehicle’s exhaust system may have six or more components: the manifold, exhaust pipe, muffler, resonator, tail pipe, and catalytic converter. These items need regular inspections to make sure their are no problems developing like exhaust leaks, holes in the muffler, a plugged converter and so on. Allowing these problems to continue can cost you several hundred dollars in repairs if not taken care of early. Have your exhaust system inspected annually.

TUNE-UP:

Definition-An adjustment to bring an engine, motor or other device into proper operating condition.

Yesterday’s tune-up consisted of replacing the points, condenser, and sparkplugs, adjustment of the carburetor, ignition dwell, and timing. Today the points & condenser have been replaced by an electronic ignition system. Timing in most cases is now computer controlled along with almost all parameters of the engine’s operations, through sensors and actuators. Today’s tune-up is a combination of diagnosis and maintenance. Don’t expect a “Tune-up” with yesterday’s definition to fix your driveability problem. If your vehicle hesitates, is missing or doesn’t have the power it used to a new set of spark plugs probably won’t make it better. Your vehicle needs to be diagnosed by an expert diagnostician to find the cause of your vehicle’s driveability problem since malfunctions may be camouflaged by computers whose function is to keep the engine running as efficiently as possible. When the computers can no longer compensate for mechanical discrepancies, they may just fail and need replaced along with repairing the original cause. Periodic diagnostic services and maintenance can prevent this situation. Follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule for replacing the spark plugs and other “tune-up” items. We recommend an annual comprehensive inspection of your vehicle if you don’t follow the maintenance schedule.

SHOCK ABSORBERS/STRUTS:

If shocks and struts were like air filters or tires you would immediately know when they had gone bad. But they’re not. Shocks and struts can wear out gradually over time from normal use. Shocks and struts primary purpose is to maintain constant contact between the tire and the road, as well as ride comfort. You should have your shocks and struts inspected after 25,000 miles for the original shocks and struts and every 6,000 miles thereafter. Shocks and struts cannot be repaired, they must be replaced. You should have them replaced if an inspection identifies the following symptoms: roll or sway on turning, front end dive when braking, rear end squat when accelerating, bounce or slide on a rough and winding road, bottoming out on bumps, fluid leakage from the shocks and struts, or any defect of the component. Keeping your shocks and struts in good working order can prevent costly and unnecessary wear and tear on your tires, steering linkage, ball joints, springs, and C.V. joints and could also prevent undercarriage damage to the oil and transmission pan, exhaust system and more.

TIRE ROTATION:

Your tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles or twice a year. This helps to avoid uneven wear on your tires making them last longer.

FUEL INDUCTION SERVICE:

It is important to have your fuel system serviced to help remove combustion and chamber deposits on internal components which reduce fuel economy and cause driveability problems such as missing, stalling, hesitating and so on not to mention saving you from having to replace expensive parts like fuel injectors. A Fuel Induction Service will clean the fuel injectors, clean the throttle body, clean plenum an air intake system and clean the intake valves of combustion and chamber deposits. You will see better performance and fuel economy almost immediately. You should have this service performed every 30,000 miles or annually.

AIR CONDITIONING:

You should have your vehicle’s air conditioning system serviced annually by a professional who is certified to do so. An annual service can help you save money by detecting problems early before major damage has occurred to the air conditioning system. It is normal for freon to escape the system very slowly causing the temperature of the air to slowly get warmer. That’s why when the warmer months get here and people start using the air conditioner again, they notice it is not as cool as they remember. There may be other causes of freon leakage such as loose fittings or cracked hoses, leaks at the evaporator and compressor. All these items should be inspected when it is serviced as well as using the original type of freon the vehicle was manufactured with. We strongly recommend avoiding so-called “Drop-In” refrigerants. Unapproved blends are dangerous and may cause costly damage to your vehicles air conditioning system or maybe even fires under the hood.

CF5 YOU will notice the differance

BG 203
BG CF5®
BG CF5® gasoline supplement is a unique, high-tech formulation designed to provide deposit control throughout the life of the engine. Added to vehicle fuel tank every 5,000 miles, BG CF5® will keep intake manifolds, intake ports, intake valves and combustion chambers clean and free of damaging deposits. Maintains “like-new” engine performance. It prevents rust and corrosion and provides long-term storage stability. Protects against the harmful effects of ethanol. One 11 oz. (325 mL) can treats 15 gallons (57 Liters) of fuel. Catalytic converter and oxygen sensor safe.

Vehicle Maintenance: 7 car Maintenance tip’s for spring and Summer

Spring fever is upon us and summer is rapidly approaching.  Even with the current gas prices, taking that family road trip is still a popular seasonal activity.  In addition to packing up a cooler, sunscreen, and your beach gear, taking the time to get some proper vehicle maintenance on your car, truck, or RV, will make your road trip all the more pleasurable and carefree.  Here are just 7 things you can do to get your vehicle in tip-top shape for that long-awaited for (or maybe even unexpected) road trip.

1. Tire Checks – Make sure the treads on your tires are adequate for rainy weather or you could be in for a nasty surprise when that unexpected spring or summer storm hits.  You also should check your tire pressure as it will improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and ride.

2. Check Headlights – It’s easy to overlook a burned out headlight, or any of your other lights (brake lights, back-up lights, blinkers).  Enlist the help of another person to walk around your vehicle to physically look and see that all of your light bulbs are working and bright.

3. Replace Windshield Wipers – Make a habit of replacing windshield wipers at the beginning of each spring or summer.  You’ll be happy you did when those spring and summer rain storms come.

4. Make sure Brakes are working properly – Inspect your vehicle’s brakes twice a year to be sure you can stop on that proverbial dime.  Part of a normal brake inspection or car maintenance check should always be to make sure that brake fluids are clean and at the right levels.

5. Radiator Flush – Radiator coolant doesn’t last forever.  If the coolant becomes dirty, the radiator itself will begin to break down and corrode.  A once-a-year radiator flush is good car maintenance that will enhance your safety and all the features of your vehicle functioning properly.

6. Air Filter – Replace the air filter at least twice a year.  This is excellent preventive car maintenance to keep your vehicle running smoothly and quietly.

7. Battery Check – In the winter, corrosion can build up quickly in your car’s battery.  Each spring or summer, check the battery’s posts and cables so that your car will start quickly for you every time you use it.

Go Pat’s

Found this Article Engine Sludge

By CHRISTOPHER JENSEN
Published: February 4, 2007
FOR people buying a used car, there is a very important but rarely checked factor to consider that goes beyond kicking the tires: original sin.

Enlarge This Image

Cheryl Gerber for The New York Times
Jeff Meckstroth of New Orleans with the 1999 Lexus RX 300 that led to the lawsuit.
Multimedia

Graphic
How Some Automakers Are Handling Complaints
Some best-selling models appear to have an increased risk of serious mechanical problems, particularly if scheduled oil changes were not made during the vehicle’s formative years. The threat is the buildup of sludge — gooey tarlike deposits — that reduces or shuts off oil circulation and can mean thousands of dollars to repair or replace an engine that has seized.

Sludge is a thickening and breakdown of the oil as it deteriorates, as moisture and contaminants build up. This causes the oil to gel, resulting in excess wear as friction increases or, in extreme cases, a stop-right-now failure.

Worse, experts warn that there is no foolproof way subsequent owners of a trouble-prone vehicle can protect themselves. And if there is a problem caused by sludge, an automaker may reject a warranty claim because the new owner may not be able to prove that previous owners made the required oil changes.

Dean Tomazic, director for performance and emissions at FEV Engine Technology, a consulting firm in Auburn Hills, Mich., said the owner of a used car could conscientiously change the oil every 3,000 miles and still have a problem if the previous owner neglected the maintenance. The engine may be so damaged from the past abuse, he said, it could “eternally cause sludge formation.”

Thousands of owners of vehicles of popular brands like Chrysler, Dodge, Toyota, Lexus, Volkswagen, Audi and Saab have had sludge problems.

On Wednesday, a state judge in Louisiana is scheduled to give final approval to an out-of-court settlement of a class-action suit against Toyota covering 3.5 million vehicles. Under the settlement, Toyota will repair vehicles with sludge damage if owners can prove a reasonable effort at maintenance.

Chrysler has a serious sludge problem with the 2.7-liter V-6 engine used on some of its Concordes and Sebrings and also on some Dodge Intrepids and Stratus in the 1998-2002 model years, said Clarence M. Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. Mr. Ditlow said the center’s Web site (autosafety.org) had about 2,800 complaints of failures from sludge.

Sam Locricchio, a Chrysler spokesman, said the center was exaggerating the problem. He said the center received many duplicate complaints as well as cases in which it could not be shown that the vehicle had been properly maintained.

A lack of adequate oil changes is the explanation for damage given by Audi, Lexus, Saab, Toyota and VW. Yet unlike Chrysler and Dodge, those automakers have formal compensation programs for sludge damage, although in some cases consumers must provide detailed service records — and in the case of Saab, must have used oil filters sold only by the company.

Used-car owners are not alone in having sludge problems. The class-action suit brought against Toyota was started by Jeff Meckstroth of New Orleans.

Mr. Meckstroth was so impressed with the high marks earned by Lexus in quality studies by J. D. Power & Associates that he replaced a Mercedes-Benz with a new 1999 Lexus RX 300 sport wagon.

In October 2000, at about 42,000 miles, the engine failed because of a sludge problem. The RX 300 was still under warranty, and though Mr. Meckstroth had receipts showing he had made all the oil changes, Lexus refused to cover the $8,000 repair, asserting poor maintenance was to blame.

A Better Business Bureau arbitrator later ruled the car was properly maintained and that Lexus should repair it under warranty. But there were other expenses Lexus would not cover, and Mr. Meckstroth was angry about the way he was treated.

“Toyota knew they had a defect and didn’t want to admit it,” he said. “That’s when and why I sued.”

Toyota denied there was a problem with the engine. The company said the settlement was similar to a repair program it started in 2002 to fix engines damaged by sludge. But Gary G. Gambel, one of the New Orleans lawyers who brought the Toyota class-action suit, said the settlement went beyond the 2002 program by, among other things, reimbursing owners for the reduction in the vehicle’s value.

There is no national database on sludge. Still, problems seem to be increasing, said Mike Caruso, a technical specialist with the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association, a trade group in Buffalo Grove, Ill.

Mr. Caruso said he suspected that two factors were combining to gum up the internal-combustion works. He said that people might be more lax about changing oil and that oil changes had become very important as engines have become more sophisticated.

Yet, given the millions of engines in the United States, the number of sludge-related failures is microscopic, said Robert J. Last, vice president of operations at FEV.

Consumer Reports magazine has said “the problem rate as reflected in our reliability data is very low.”

That is little consolation to owners who suddenly find themselves with a bill of $5,000 or more to replace an engine on a vehicle with only 60,000 miles, Mr. Ditlow said. He said that if poor maintenance alone were to blame, virtually every engine from every automaker would have a serious sludge problem. He finds it impossible to believe that maintenance scofflaws are all attracted to certain engines. The logical explanation is that poor maintenance affects some engines more than others, he said.

If the Toyota case had gone to trial, said Joseph M. Bruno, another lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the Toyota suit, expert witnesses would have asserted that the problem was related to design changes made by Toyota to meet emissions standards.

Toyota has denied any design problem with its engines. The proposed settlement (posted at oilgelsettlement.com) notes that it does not mean that “Toyota or Lexus vehicles are predisposed to develop oil gel.”

It is difficult to say why some engines would be more vulnerable than others, although regular oil changes would be more important with turbocharged engines, Mr. Last said. Engines with turbochargers are more highly stressed.

VW and Audi officials have noted that proper maintenance is crucial with the turbocharged 1.8-liter engine used in the 1998-2004 VW Passat and 1997-2004 Audi A4. VW also said that the 1.8-liter engine used in the New Beetle, Jetta and Audi TT was not as likely to have a problem because that engine contained more oil.

Oil capacity may also be a factor with Chrysler’s 2.7-liter V-6. The automaker decided to use a smaller oil sump so consumers could save on oil, giving the engine a five-quart capacity instead of six, a Chrysler engineer, Burke Brown, said in a 2005 interview with The Plain Dealer newspaper of Cleveland.

“In retrospect, that took away the margin,” Mr. Brown told the paper. “If you don’t change the oil on schedule, they don’t tolerate a lot of abuse in that regard,” he said, referring to the 2.7-liter V-6 engine.

What all this means to consumers looking for a used car is that they need to get the vehicle’s record of oil changes and other maintenance. Then, they need to make sure those records match up with the automaker’s requirements as listed in the owner’s manual.

But the automakers’ extended sludge warranties are still good for only eight years after the vehicle was first sold. So some experts said the smartest thing for consumers was just to stay away from engines with sludge reputations.

“It is almost like clogged arteries,” said Mr. Caruso of the engine rebuilders association. “You look good on the outside, but you don’t know what is on the inside.”

I have pictures from car in our own shop contact me and I  will forward a copy

Top Ten New Year Resolutions

Most of us share the Top Ten New Years Resolutions

The same Top Ten New Year resolutions crop up every year. Why? It’s obvious. Because they’re just so hard to keep!

I have trouble keeping my resolutions, but this time I’m determined to finally do better.

Success is not an accident, it begins with a well-conceived plan. You can and will achieve more in the next year than you have in the past ten with a disciplined plan of action. By investing your efforts into a New Years Resolution, you give yourself a launch pad for starting your new year and your new life.

My list includes many of the items listed below, but this Lens is not about my New Years Resolutions, but the Top Ten Resolutions.
The Top Ten Resolutions List
1. Stop Smoking
2. Get into a Habit of being Fit
3. Lose Weight – the Battle of the Bulge
4. Enjoy Life More.
5. Quit Drinking
6. Organise Yourself – this is one of the keys to reaching your goals
7. Learn Something New
8. Get out of Debt
9. Spend More Time With Family
10. Help People.
Make those Resolutions stick! Set your Goals

Have A safe and Prosperous 2012

 

 

Happy Holiday’s

Auto Maintenance

Auto maintenance describes the act of inspecting or testing the condition of car subsystems (e.g., engine) and servicing or replacing parts and fluids. Regular maintenance is critical to ensure the safety, reliability, drivability, comfort and longevity of a car. During preventive maintenance, a number of parts are replaced to avoid major damage or for safety reasons, e.g. timing belt replacement.
The actual schedule of car maintenance varies depending on the year, make, and model of a car, its driving conditions and driver behavior. Car makers recommend the so-called extreme or the ideal service schedule based on impact parameters such as
number of trips and distance traveled per trip per day
extreme hot or cold climate conditions
mountainous, dusty or de-iced roads
heavy stop-and-go vs. long-distance cruising
towing a trailer or other heavy load
Experienced service advisors in dealerships and independent shops recommend schedule intervals, which are often in between the ideal or extreme service schedule. They base it on the driving conditions and behavior of the car owner or driver.
Common car maintenance tasks include:
Car wash
check/replace the engine oil and replace oil filters
check/replace fuel filters
inspect or replace windshield wipers
check or refill windshield washer fluid
inspect tires for pressure and wear
Tire balancing
Tire rotation
Wheel alignment
check, clean or replace battery terminals and top up battery fluid
inspect or replace brake pads
check or flush brake fluid
check or flush transmission fluid
check or flush power steering fluid
check and flush engine coolant
inspect or replace spark plugs
inspect or replace air filter
inspect or replace timing belt and other belts
lubricate locks, latches, hinges
check all lights
tighten chassis nuts and bolts
check if rubber boots are cracked and need replacement
test electronics, e.g., Anti-lock braking system or ABS
read fault codes from the Engine control unit
Some tasks that have equivalent service intervals are combined into one single service known as a tune-up. In modern cars, where electronics control most of the car’s functions, the traditional tune-up doesn’t apply anymore. Maintenance jobs like a tune-up used to mean getting the engine’s performance back on track. Today embedded software takes care of it by constantly checking thousands of sensor signals, compensating for worn-out spark plugs, clogged filters, etc. The so-called limp-home function allows driving on limited power when the engine is in trouble. In the old days this might have meant a breakdown.
In some countries, the completed services are recorded in a service book which is rubber-stamped by the service center upon completion of each service. A complete service history usually adds to the resale value of a vehicle.
[edit]See also

Auto mechanic
Automobile repair shop
Italian tuneup
Mechanical engineering

Understanding Winter Ride control (Winter-Tires)

But Do I Really Need Winter Tires?

The primary concern that our customers express is that they don’t want to get “stuck” in the snow (or in the ditch) during the winter.

While in cities like Atlantic City, Memphis and Seattle located at the extreme edges of the snow belt, relatively new All-Season tires will probably work just fine. But the odds change as you move further into the snow belt or the All-Season tires have a few years of wear on them. And who wants to gamble…especially when their collision deductible and future insurance premiums are on the table.

We all know that tires are a compromise. One tire can’t be the fastest on the track, most controllable in the snow, and longest wearing. The Ultra High Performance tire that grips the track with tread temperatures of 200° is incompetent as its tread compound becomes like “hard plastic” at below 32°. Today’s 80,000-mile tires require tread designs and compounds that maximize long, even wear… not winter traction. And while many of today’s all-season tires (Original Equipment, touring and performance) address some of these issues, they still emphasize longer wear, a quieter ride or greater performance…not winter traction.

Only winter tires are designed to excel in the colder temperatures, slush, snow and ice that many parts of the country experience for three or more months a year.

It’s also important to note that the recent advancements in electronic driver aids, such as ABS and traction control don’t provide more traction. They only help prevent drivers from over braking or overpowering the available traction of their tires. The only thing the driver can do to increase traction…to actually get more grip and control… is install better tires.

Read Why Electronic Driver’s Aids and Four-Wheel Drive Systems Aren’t Enough

Won’t All-Season Tires Work Just Fine?

By design, All-Season tires are a compromise intended to provide acceptable traits under a wide variety of conditions. However, that compromised goal prevents them from being a master of any one of them. The All-Season tire tread designs and compounds that are engineered to provide extended mileages and durability under the summer’s sun are less effective in winter’s freezing temperatures, and through snow and on ice. Specific winter tires deliver much better snow and ice performance than All-Season tires because their tread designs and tread compounds are engineered to master those conditions, while summer tires are engineered to deliver better handling in the rain and on dry roads. Why not have the best tires for each of the conditions you’ll encounter?

Why Four Winter Tires? I Thought I Would Only Need Two.

Today’s winter tires are better at providing ice and snow traction than ever before. The technology used to develop the tread designs and tread compounds has evolved beyond what you may have used previously. Every one of our tire manufacturers and 7 out of 10 vehicle manufacturers recommend four winter tires be used on rear wheel, front wheel or four wheel drive vehicles. This is because if you use two dissimilar types of tires on your vehicle, you’ll have a vehicle that has a “split” personality. One end of the vehicle won’t react and perform the same as the other in the dry, wet, slush and snow conditions you’ll encounter before the end of winter. Especially in emergency situations, you’ll find that your vehicle will probably understeer in one condition and oversteer in another. It is preferable to keep your vehicles handling as consistently as possible by “matching” all four tires. Our customers who have matched their tires tell us they’re glad they made the extra investment in four winter tires (and wheels) so they can accelerate, brake, handle and better control their vehicle through winter’s challenges.

What If My Car Has Traction Control?

While traction control will help keep you from overpowering your tires, it doesn’t actually improve your tire’s traction; it simply limits your car’s acceleration to the traction level of your tires. The only way to maximize your vehicle’s winter performance is to provide your traction control with more grip to work with by using tires specifically designed for your driving conditions.

What If My Car Has ABS Brakes?

While ABS brakes will help keep you from locking up your tires, it doesn’t actually improve your tire’s traction; it simply limits your cars braking to the traction level of your tires. The only way to maximize your vehicle’s winter performance is to provide your ABS brakes with more grip to work with by using tires specifically designed for your driving conditions.

What If My Car Has Front-Wheel Drive?

Front wheel drive is certainly an advantage…but its advantage can be multiplied by using winter tires designed for the road conditions you’ll encounter. Part of a front wheel drive car’s acceleration advantage is because it has 60% of its weight over the drive wheels. And while this helps you get started, it does nothing to help you stop. And a front wheel drive car’s weight distribution is not the best for handling and cornering. Many of the reasons that encouraged you to select a front wheel drive car are the same reasons that dedicated winter tires will make your winter driving more enjoyable and enhance your car’s braking, handling and cornering traits.

What If My Car Has All-Wheel Drive?

All-wheel drive is certainly an advantage…but its advantage can be multiplied by using winter tires designed for the road conditions you’ll encounter. While more tires share the torque of your vehicle, think of the ice and snow performance that winter tires provide. All of the reasons that encouraged you to select an all-wheel drive car are the same reasons that dedicated winter tires will make your winter driving more enjoyable and enhance your car’s braking, handling and cornering traits.

Isn’t It Better To Stay Off the Roads If It’s Really Bad?

While it’s great to have the luxury of staying off the roads when it’s snowing, it’s even better to have the freedom of movement that winter tires provide. Because it is difficult to accurately predict winter storms just ask any weatherman if he’s willing to place a bet. How do you know where you will be when one hits…maybe at home…or at work…or out of town visiting relatives for the holidays. And who ever had an emergency that they could schedule around the weather?

Won’t It Help If I Just Drive Slowly and Carefully?

That very question verifies that you recognize the risk you feel when you don’t use winter tires. Why not take some of the tension out of your winter driving and provide yourself with a greater margin of control to avoid the unexpected…or dodge an accident. And if you aren’t able to keep up with the flow of traffic as you accelerate from a traffic light or up a hill, you pose a risk to yourself and all of the other vehicles around you.

Aren’t Winter Tires Expensive?

Winter tires and wheels may be one of the most economical purchases you can make.

We have excellent prices on tires, alloy wheels, steel wheels and complete Winter Tire & Wheel Packages. Using winter tires will extend the life of your summer tires. The summer tires won’t “wear out” sitting in the garage or basement while the winter tires and wheels are on the vehicle. Using winter wheels will protect Original Equipment or aftermarket alloy wheels from the harsh realities of winter…the salt, slush and grime that attack the alloy.

Snow Tires what you need to know

Snow tires

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Winter Tire

Studded winter tire

Snow tires (winter tires) are tires designed for use in winter conditions, such as snow and ice.[1] They are an alternative to the use of snow chains.

Snow tires are usually tires with a different rubber composition from all-weather tires. Cold-weather tires include a greater percentage of natural rubber and silica so there is not as much hardening as found in synthetic rubber in cold conditions:[2] they provide better traction at lower temperatures. Snow tires provide more small-tread areas, increasing traction on snow and, in wet conditions, allowing water to escape from under the tire more easily. This reduces the risk of hydroplaning. In much of Scandinavia, snow tires have metal studs to improve grip on packed snow or ice, but such tires are prohibited in most other countries for the damage they cause to the road surface.[3] Snow tires do not eliminate skidding on ice and snow, but they greatly reduce the risk.

Tread depth Test Out with the Penny in with the quarter?

According to a recent test completed by online tire retailer The Tire Rack, the famous “penny test” method;of checking minimum tire tread depth just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Famously, the penny test (pictured) involves inserting a penny into the tread of a tire with President Lincoln’s head upside down. If any part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, there’s at least 2/32 inch of tread depth left — the minimum legal amount required. The Tire Rack now recommends using a quarter instead. Inserted the same way, if any part of President Washington’s head is covered by tread, there’s at least 4/32 inch of tread depth left.

To test the effects of tread depth on wet stopping distances, The Tire Rack used a;2006 BMW 325i and a;2006 Ford F-150 Supercab 4×2;for a comparison at a wet-testing facility. Three sets of OEM tires were used for each vehicle: a brand-new set, a set shaved to 4/32 inch, and a set shaved to 2/32 inch. The;test area was then dampened to simulate moderate rain conditions. After multiple stops from 70 mph were conducted with both vehicles on all three sets of tires, average stopping distances were calculated and conclusions were drawn.

The;testing indicated that for both vehicles, braking distances from 70 mph to a standstill were nearly doubled with the 2/32-inch tire set over the brand-new set;– from 195.2 feet to 378.8 feet in the BMW sedan and from 255.9 feet to 499.5 feet in the Ford truck. With the 4/32-inch set, distances were nearly split between the previous two sets, resulting in a 290.0-foot stop in the BMW and a 377.8-foot stop in the Ford.

The Tire Rack concluded that with 2/32 inch of tread depth left, there’s simply not enough area for water to be evacuated by a tire, resulting in increased stopping length due to hydroplaning. Of course, any test conducted by a tire retailer recommending the accelerated replacement of a tire must be taken with a grain of salt; nevertheless, we can’t say we’re surprised by the results. In wet conditions, it’s fairly clear that the more tread depth available, the;easier it is for;the tire to do its job.

Would we recommend ditching the penny for the quarter? If you live in a area with frequent or heavy rainfall, we just might. Here in sunny Southern California, we’d suggest you have an adequate set on hand for the few wet days we have over the winter and spring.