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  • 10 Items Your Auto Mechanic Wishes You Wouldn’t Neglect

    Posted on 24, February, 2016

    The importance of Preventative Maintenance can’t be stressed enough. It will help your car last longer, lower big bills caused form neglect and keep you safe. Regular maintenance will help you avoid most of these, but we thought you could use the reminder, or gift this list to a new driver, so they don’t get caught neglecting the potentially most dangerous car care items.

    1. Tires
      Tires are your contact to the road and with how simple tire care is, there is no excuse not to do a quick safety check. A five minute check of your tires each month, including the spare, is a good habit to get into for your safety and is recommended by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). Check the air pressure, wear pattern irregularities and tread. If you are driving and hit something, including a curb or pothole or notice a vibration, it is a good idea to have your vehicle checked by an auto mechanic.
    2. Rust
      If the integrity of your car is damaged by rust there could be a significant safety concern in the case of an accident as the body of the vehicle is meant to offer protection. Likewise, if components of your vehicle are exposed due to rust, they can’t perform properly. Exposure to the environment can cause faster deterioration of parts, therefore rust should be taken care of early or prevented with car washes and protectants/ sealants.
    3. Timing Belt
      “Timing belts must be replaced at the manufacturer's recommended distance and/or time periods. Failure to replace the belt can result in complete breakdown or catastrophic engine failure… typically every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.”
      SOURCE: Wikipedia
      If you don’t replace your timing belt as recommend, it can break and ruin your engine and damage pistons and valves, which is a serious safety concern that could cost you your vehicle, especially if you are traveling at high speeds when your timing belt snaps. It is one of the items listed in your owner’s manual as a required service, so don’t put it off.
    4. Brakes
      Bad or good brakes can literally be a life and death difference. Your brake pads wear thin over time while they are being used. The pads should be at least 2mm thick to work properly, and if not, they need to be replaced to keep you safe. If you notice a vibration, pulling, or a brake pedal that goes all the way to the floor without adequate braking, see an auto mechanic as soon as possible.
    5. Rotors
      Along with brakes, are rotors. Rotors are the disk the brake pads will come in contact with in order for the braking system to work properly. Failure to replace the brake pads can cause a grinding sound which is actually the sound of the worn out pads rubbing against the rotors. This will cause the need for one or both of those to be replaced as well, which means more money out of your pocket. Your rotors should have a relatively smooth surface, but if you notice dips or grooves, they should be replaced. If they are damaged, they can cause uneven wear on the brake pads, causing stopping problems.
    6. Windshield Wipers
      This may seem like a funny thing to bring up in a safety list, but you have to see out the window in order to keep you safe when driving in rain, snow or a freak bug storm. Windshield wipers are inexpensive and can be replaced simply- you can likely do it yourself. The auto parts store, as well as your auto mechanic will be able to tell you the right size for your vehicle as well as offer a brand recommendation, if needed. Also make sure your windshield washer fluid is full, especially before long trips or bad weather conditions.
    7. Fuel Lines
      Check your fuel lines as with age, leaks can appear, and as with anything dealing with a flammable liquid, it is important to have them in check. Over 200 people a year die in car fires, and it is reported there are over 150,000 car fires per year.
      “Forgetting or neglecting to properly maintain your car can indirectly lead to a vicious car fire.” SOURCE: Top 10 Causes of Car Fires
    8. Ball Joints
      Like a hip joint with a ball and socket design, a ball joint connects your car’s control arms to the steering knuckles to allow for safe, accurate and smooth turning. The ability to have our cars go the direction we need them to is top of the list in safety. That means faulty ball joint can cause your tire to collapse under the weight of the car. Ball joints can be checked when you get an oil service, or when you hear any creaking or knocking, or if you notice uneven tire wear.
    9. Lights
      Faulty lights can be a safety concern similarly to windshield wipers. Your vision needs to be clear when driving and bad lighting can cause problems both in the cab as well as outside your vehicle. Sometimes, it can mean you aren’t seen by other drivers, causing a safety concern. Other times, dim lights can cause you to miss obstructions. If you are having lighting issues, talk to your auto mechanic about your options which could include a simple bulb replacement, headlight restoration service or even an electrical repair.
    10. Fluid Levels
      Ignoring fluid levels can cause small problems to become large ones. Neglecting your oil levels can cause your engine to seize up. Transmission fluid should be replaced about every 30-60k miles and checked every month. If it smells burnt, is low in its level or is brown, it needs to be replaced. Anti-freeze/ coolant levels should be checked at service intervals and ignoring that could cause you to be overheated and stalled on the side of the road.
      By taking time each month to check your tires and fluid levels and getting regular preventative maintenance by an auto mechanic, you can keep your vehicle lasting longer and keep yourself safe behind the wheel. If you have questions about auto repairs, recommended services or general automotive safety, give us a call, we are happy to help you understand your vehicle and make better informed decisions.

    Looking for our next car care clinic? Call today for information.

  • 7 Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Tasks to Schedule This Year

    Posted on 01, February, 2016

    Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Checklist

    As a car owner, preventive maintenance is the single most important thing you can do. Regular maintenance is akin to getting regular doctor checkups. They keep your car healthy and give car experts a chance to catch small problems before they become big ones. Auto care preventative maintenance includes regular services, inspections and repairs that prevent potential problems, such as lubrication, adjustments, cleaning, testing, and replacement of worn parts.

    Overall, there are two types of auto owners: Proactive and Reactive. Reactive will service their vehicle when there is a breakdown, light or noise. Sometimes those all just happen or are a result of an accident of some sort, like hitting a pothole. Being reactive can be more costly, sometimes to the point of complete vehicle failure. Proactive owners will schedule auto care preventative maintenance usually based on time or mileage.

    It is important to know what you should be doing for auto care preventative maintenance, so you can be proactive in your approach which prolongs the life of your vehicle and reduces your long term cost of ownership. The very first thing to do is to review your owner’s manual. Your owner’s manual is designed to give you the recommended services for your specific vehicle and how often those services should be performed. The only exception to this rule is if you live in an environment with extreme temperatures. In those cases, you auto mechanic may suggest a different oil type or additives. If you don’t have a copy of your owner’s manual, you can usually find one online.

    This Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Checklist is generic for all vehicles.

    There are some you can do yourself, however, there is a time and place for a professional. Know yourself, and if you don’t the time, talent or interest in doing it for yourself, find a reputable auto mechanic.

    Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Checklist #1: Oil Changes

    Check your owner’s manual to determine how often your oil does indeed need to be changed. Many people believe it is every 3,000 miles, but that may not be true in your case. It will also tell you the right type of oil to use as well as filters and other parts. This can be helpful for you, more than the auto mechanic, who likely already has access and knowledge about these things.

    Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Checklist #2: Fluid & Belt Inspection

    Have an inspection performed, or do it yourself if you are able. Check your fluids including:

    • Antifreeze/ Coolant
    • Wiper fluid
    • Power Steering
    • Transmission Fluid

    Check your timing and serpentine belt. Most vehicles need these replaced every 60,000 and 40,000 miles respectively. Your owner’s manual will give you a specific range for your vehicle, and if you don’t do the preventative maintenance on these, you will break down and the belts can cause additional damage to other areas.

    Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Checklist #3: Check your Tires

    Check the tread on your tires to see if it is low and wearing evenly. If the tread is low, replace the tires- they are not something to wait on. Worn tires are very dangerous to drive on. Getting tires rotated and balanced will help them last longer. Your manual will tell you how often to get that done. An alignment on your car is needed if the tread isn’t wearing equally on the tire.

    Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Checklist #4: Change Filters

    Your engine’s air filter needs to be replaced according to your owner’s manual and is based on mileage. Likewise the type of driving you do and the location of where you are driving can impact how dirty the air filter gets and how often it will need to be changed.

    Replacing a dirty air filter in the cabin is something easy you can do yourself. Get a replacement filter at your auto parts store and check your manual for the replacement instructions. This won’t cause your car to break down, but it does keep your car more comfortable.

    Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Checklist #5: Inspect & Clean Battery

    Take a look at your battery and notice if there is any mineral buildup on the contacts. Clean it with a battery cleaning brush. Make sure your jumper cables are in good working order and consider purchasing a battery tester. Automotive shops as well as auto supply stores can test your battery level as well.

    Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Checklist #6: Spark Plugs

    Worn or damaged spark plugs can lead to a breakdown, therefore they need to be checked and changed regularly. Ignoring them causes your engine to not work efficiently, about every 30,000 miles, or in accordance with your manual.

    Auto Care Preventative Maintenance Checklist #7: Keeping it Clean

    Replace windshield wipers if they are not doing a good job of clearing your windshield. This can become very dangerous quickly if not. They are rather inexpensive and are easy to replace. Keeping the exterior of your vehicle clean is important to prevent rust. In the case of an accident, anything in the cab of your vehicle can become a projectile, therefore not having unneeded items, is good. Remove or discard anything that doesn’t need to be in the car or isn’t secured.

    Auto care preventative maintenance can save you money and keep you safe on the road. It’s not just some blathering by auto mechanics to get you to spend your money, it really is a benefit to you as an auto owner. Give Airport Automotive a call today to get your services scheduled.

  • How do I choose a good auto mechanic in Colorado Springs?

    Posted on 15, January, 2016

    Whether you are new to Colorado Springs or just are looking for a new auto mechanic in Colorado Springs, Airport Automotive would like to earn your trust. Unfortunately, vehicle owners have had to find a new auto mechanic when they have had a bad experience, or their dealership warranty has expired and they want to save money, or even when they change vehicle makes.

    Specialties and Certifications

    One option is to find an auto mechanic in Colorado Springs who focuses on the brand of vehicle you drive. Some shops specialize in certain brands. This means their mechanics may have special training and proprietary tools or equipment for your type of vehicle. This is part of the reason why many people stick to the dealership for repairs, even after their warranty is done. However, Consumer Reports said:

    “Based on annual surveys, we find consumers generally have a higher level of satisfaction with independent shops over car dealerships.” Source: Choosing a good auto mechanic.

    And whether or not they specialize in a brand or make, a good auto mechanic in Colorado Springs will be ASE Certified, which means they are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Other shops will be registered with the Better Business Bureau and/or AAA. These third parties add to the legitimacy of the shops in terms of length of time in business, how they handle customers and the resulting customer satisfaction. Auto repair shops are in the top 20 most complained about businesses, so checking their site can be very helpful in determining which shops to avoid.

    Airport Automotive is a premier auto mechanic in Colorado Springs. We specialize in all domestic brands and all Asian and European imports. We are AAA Approved and carry an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and are ASE Certified.

    Check their reviews and ask around

    Search the internet for reviews. There are plenty of consumer sites that offer objective reviews for an auto mechanic in Colorado Springs. Angie’s List, YELP, Google and Facebook all offer consumer reviews that can help you make a decision. When reading reviews check for the overall ranking as sometimes reviewers can be overly harsh in their assessment. Look at similarities in complaints and praise and see if those fall in line with your expectations.

    Ask your friends who they recommend for an auto mechanic in Colorado Springs. Ask in person or online and see what responses you get. By asking people you already know, like and trust, you are likely to find a mechanic shop that you will be happy with.

    Pricing, value and warranties

    “How much does XYZ cost?” is the most common question auto mechanics receive. Repairpal.com has an estimator tool that is based on your location to help give you a range of expected costs of a repair. The trick here is in knowing that sometimes when XYZ needs a repair, it also requires the adjustment or repair of ABC. Prices can vary significantly and it is ok to get a few quotes on large repairs to see how they compare and to determine where you are getting the best value.

    Sometimes, you may pay a small bit more yet have greater convenience in hours or availability or in a shuttle service or loan car. These things need to be considered in addition to price alone. Is the value there? Do you feel the mechanic is trustworthy? Helpful and kind?

    Also in relation to value is the warranty that is offered on the work done. Ask the auto mechanic in Colorado Springs what their warranty is and compare that to others. Again, for a small price increase, you may receive a significant difference in how long the warranty is.

    At Airport Automotive we offer a 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty. Give us a call today to schedule your oil change or automotive repair with us. Our reviews from customers ranks us among the top for an auto mechanic in Colorado Springs, let us show you why.

  • Happy Independence Day!

    Posted on 03, July, 2014
    Airport Automotive - Auto Repair Colorado Springs, CO 80915 - Colorado Springs Auto Repair Shop & Service Center (8)

    We'd like to wish you a Happy Independence Day! We will be closed this Friday, July 4th in observance of the Independence Day Holiday.

    Please have a safe 3-day weekend, and enjoy your time with family and friends while celebrating the birth of our great country.

  • Welcoming a New Member of Our Team

    Posted on 02, July, 2014

    We are pleased to announce the hiring Of Dan Tabar, formerly of Japanese Automotive here in Colorado Springs.

    Dan brings his extensive experience in the asian auto line to Airport Automotive and will be a valued addition to our company.