Q. Will having my vehicle serviced at an independent repair shop void or interfere with my vehicle warranty?
A. Absolutely not. In fact, in order to keep the warranty intact, the factory recommended service intervals must be strictly adhered to. Most vehicles require minor and scheduled service intervals every 7,500 miles. An intermediate service every 15,000 , and a major service every 30,000 miles. Any competent shop with an up-to-date electronic information system such as ALLDATA will have the maintenance schedule available for your convenience, or consult your owner's manual. Also make sure your independent repair facility utilizes ASE certified techinicians.
Q. How is Friendship Complete Auto Care better than a dealer?
A. We have the expertise to perfrom the same work as the dealer. We know your vehicle just like the dealership does. We have the same or better equipment to perform your services. We are a smaller, more personal company that get sto know you and your car. We are usually faster and easier to deal with. Our shuttle service is faster, and usually only shuttles one or two customers at a time. And most importantly, it's always been our goal at Friendship to save you money.
Q. What does it mean when my "check engine" light comes on?
A. The inception of the electronic engine management systems have created a lot of paranoia among the motoring public with their use of "check engine" and "service engine soon" warning lamps. As a general rule of thumb, if the warning lamp stays on, there is no cause for panic. The vehicle is just telling you to seek attention soon. If the light is blinking, a severe engine problem such as a catalys-damaging misfire is occuring and should be addressed as soon as possible. You can still drive safely, but should minimize your time on the road. Try not to drive the vehicle at high speed or with excess weight (such as towing or carrying heavy equipment). Seek out a modern and up-to-date repair shop that has an OBD scan tool to diagnose the cause of your vehcile's problem. The techinician's with proper tools and training will know best how to diagnose and repair your vehicle.
Q. What should I do, if anything, to prepare my vehicle for a road trip?
A. A pre-trip vehicle inspection is highly recommended, especially if your vehicle hasn't been serviced for a while. Care trouble, usually a result of neglecting preventative maintenance, can bring an abrupt end to vacation The situation usually means more than just a repair bill. It can involve towing charges, lodging and possibly a rental car. Add to that the cost of extra phone calls, meals, and general inconvenience, and the ordeal becomes expensive. This scenario usually can be avoided with a pre-vacation inspection performed by a qualified automotive technician. The "physical" for your automobile should highlight the following systems:
- Cooling System
- Steering & Suspension
- Fuel System
- Electrical and Ignition Systems
In addition, the tech should evaluate engine performance, tires/wheels, air conditioning, heater, defroster, instruments and gauges, windshield wipers, horns, lights, mirrors, and all safety restraint systems. Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possible dangerous trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one's own technician who knows the vehicle. Even more important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspectioncan guarantee a car's performance, it's comforting to know that proper precautions were taken.
Q. When do I need to replace my battery?
A. Battery replacement may be necessary if you experience any of the following: loss of power in cold or extended starts, slow or interrupted turnover of the starting motor, or if the battery discharge light on the vehicle instrument panel is lit. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should have your battery and/or electrical system checked.
Q. What can cause battery failure?
A. Heat and vibration are the most harmful elements to an automobile battery. However, many other factors can cause battery failure, such as: corroded cables and terminals, lack of electrolyte maintenance, sulfating, alternator/regulator malfunction, and electric shorts.