Category Archives: Tips and Advice

The Most Expensive Car Repairs and How You Can Prevent Them

It’s impossible to completely eliminate car repairs, but you can lessen the chance of having to replace some of the more expensive car parts. We have written about it many times — The best way to reduce the probability of having to deal with major vehicle repairs is to make a commitment to regular maintenance. Properly maintaining items and replacing worn parts before they fail is the most cost-efficient way to take care of vehicle expenses. By doing so, you will have peace of mind about the safety and reliability of your vehicle and you’ll save money in the long run. Read on to find out how you can maintain some of those higher ticket components on your auto.

Is your vehicle turbocharged?

Turbocharged cars are definitely fun to drive, but they can also be a challenge. A turbocharger takes the exhausts gases and uses them to push additional air into the cylinders. In doing so, your car’s engine is able to burn more fuel to increase power to the engine. When running at full capacity, the turbocharger spins around 200,000 rotations per minute. If you have to replace a turbocharger, it could cost upwards of $6,000. That said, you can see why it’s important to make sure you take care of it properly to avoid problems.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • Your vehicle is accelerating poorly.
  • You notice irregular or excessive exhaust.
  • The dreaded Check Engine light comes on.
  • You hear a loud, shrieking noise coming from under the hood.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

The first line of defense to prevent a problem with the turbocharger is to have the engine oil and filter changed regularly. When you do, it’s a good idea to use a high-quality synthetic oil – one that’s recommended by the manufacturer for your particular vehicle. Equally important is allowing the engine to warm up before running it at full capacity. You also want to make sure you cool down the turbocharger before shutting off your car.

Fuel Injection

Your vehicle engine requires the proper mixture of fuel and air to operate properly. The fuel injectors have the job of sending the fuel to the engine. Because of normal wear and tear, eventually you will have to replace fuel injectors.  The key to extending the need to have them replaced comes with proper and regular vehicle maintenance.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • The Check Engine light is on.
  • You notice the engine is misfiring.
  • There’s a decrease in gas mileage.
  • You smell gasoline.
  • Severe engine problems like stalling, hesitating, the engine idles roughly and/or the engine fails to start.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

It’s important to periodically clean the fuel injector system. We recommend a fuel injector system cleaning be done about every 3 years or 36,000 miles.

The Head Gasket

When your car is operating, fluid from the cooling system is circulating around the engine to protect it from overheating. The head gasket seals the engine so the coolant doesn’t enter into the engine with the motor oil. If the head gasket cracks, engine damage will occur. Not only will you have to replace the head gasket, which is difficult to access, but you will have to repair the damage to the engine.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • Coolant may leak from below the exhaust manifold.
  • Your vehicle’s exhaust will be white in color.
  • The engine will overheat.
  • You may find bubbles in the radiator or the coolant overflow reservoir.
  • There may be a loss of coolant with no signs of a leak.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

Avoiding problems with the head gasket comes down to maintaining the cooling system. Flush and replace the coolant every 2 to 3 years or 24,000 miles. You will also want to make sure the hoses and belts running the cooling system are replaced before they fail.

The Timing Belt

As you can imagine, the timing belt endures a lot of wear and tear. If the belt breaks, you’ll end up with major engine damage. Replacing the timing belt can be expensive, but the repair bill for a broken timing belt will be much higher. You may even have to replace the entire engine. Read more about timing belt replacement here.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • The belt is missing some teeth.
  • There are signs of cracking on the belt.
  • The belt looks glazed.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

You can prevent major engine damage from a broken timing belt by replacing it according to the schedule recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

The Fuel Pump

The fuel pump sends the gasoline to the carburetor and is located on either the inside or the outside of the gas tank.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • There’s a noise coming from the gas tank.
  • You may have problems starting your car.
  • Engine power is reduced.
  • Poor acceleration.
  • Decreased fuel efficiency.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

 First and foremost, you should have the fuel filter changed regularly. In addition, never let the level of fuel in the gas tank fall below ¼ of a tank and use only a high quality fuel when filling up.

An Engine that has Seized

If something happens that causes your engine to seize, you’ll either have to buy a new engine or a new car. With proper maintenance, you can prevent this from happening.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

If you oil warning light and/or engine temperature light come on, immediately pull over and turn off your car. Do not drive the car. Instead, you should have it towed to Shade Tree Garage’s auto repair shop located in Morristown, New Jersey. Once you do, give us a call and let us know what happened.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

Your car’s engine must maintain proper lubrication to operate efficiently. Regular oil and filter changes will extend engine life. Always make sure you have enough oil in the engine by checking the oil level once a month. If you notice that you have to add oil on a continual basis, schedule an appointment to have the car engine checked. It’s also important to have the cooling system serviced regularly to avoid engine overheating.

Automatic Transmission

The transmission can be quite tricky. It’s better to deal with a transmission problem when you first notice symptoms than to wait. Failing to properly maintain the transmission or ignoring transmission problems can result in an expensive transmission repair. Click here to read more about your automatic transmission.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • The transmission fluid is dirty and has a black or dark brown color. It may also smell like it’s burnt.
  • Low transmission fluid.
  • Evidence of red-colored fluid leaks under your vehicle.
  • The transmission overheats.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

Like any other engine component that is lubricated, you should change the transmission fluid and filter on a regular basis. You should also check the level and condition of the transmission fluid once a month. If you find you have to add more transmission fluid or that it has a dark color or a burnt smell, have the transmission checked. If you have never had the transmission fluid and filter changed and you are approaching 80,000 to 100,000 miles on your vehicle, ask us before you have the fluid and filter changed. In that situation, it may be better to not change the fluid as doing so may cause transmission problems.

The Best Way to Avoid Expensive Engine Repairs – Bring Your Vehicle to Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, NJ

Regular maintenance is the key to avoiding all of these major engine repairs. The certified technicians at Shade Tree Garage can handle all your auto maintenance needs. Every time you bring your vehicle to our shop for service or repair, we perform a 27-point courtesy inspection. That way we can alert you when a part is showing wear so you can have it replaced before it fails. Click here to schedule your auto maintenance or repair with Shade Tree Garage.

Powered by WPeMatico

This is why the family-owned auto repair shop is better than the dealership

At Shade Tree Garage, we understand that where you bring your vehicle for service and repair is an important decision. After all, the safety and reliability of your car depends on it. A common question for car owners… Should I bring my car to a family-owned auto repair shop or back to the dealership?  We think there are some very distinct advantages to working with an independent, family-owned shop like Shade Tree Garage. We can summarize it all in one sentence – You have more options when you bring your vehicle to a family-owned auto repair shop.  Here are a just a few of the benefits:

  1. Maintenance Services – Let’s demonstrate this for you by comparing a family-owned restaurant vs. franchised fast food chain. When you walk into a fast food chain, they always ask if you want to “biggie size” your order. It doesn’t matter whether you need it or not, the goal is to get you to buy the larger serving of food. This is similar to the dealership, where you’ll be prompted to purchase more expensive maintenance packages, whether you need the services done or not. As an independent auto repair shop, we base our service and repair recommendations on the 27-point courtesy inspection we complete each time we service your vehicle. We aren’t looking to “biggie size” you on repair or maintenance work.
  2. Replacement Parts – When it comes to any repair work, you’ll be limited to the parts supplied by the dealership. You may think that’s good, after all, they are putting on parts that are meant for your vehicle. But, is it really a good thing? What if we told you that a family-owned auto repair shop can offer you more choices for replacement parts and the ones we can provide might actually be of higher quality and a better price?
  3. Tires – Here again, we can offer you more options. We are able to shop many different brands of tires and will help you select the right tires for your vehicle and budget. If you want to order your tires from someplace like Tire Rack and have us install them, that’s okay, too.
  4. More Experience – You may think the technicians at a dealership would be more knowledgeable than those at an independent repair shop. However, you’ll find that our ASE-certified technicians provide a higher level of service than most dealership technicians. Not only do they know your vehicle, inside and out, they have broader knowledge and experience. They possess superior diagnostic skills that can only be gained from years of servicing many different makes and models.

If these benefits alone aren’t enough, check out our list of 25 Reasons to Choose Shade Tree Garage. If you have never brought your vehicle to any place but the dealership, we invite you to give us a try. We promise, you’ll receive only the best in customer service. Click here to schedule an appointment with Shade Tree Garage.

Powered by WPeMatico

Here are all the facts you need to know when buying new tires

There comes a time when every car owner needs to buy a new set of tires. With so many brands and types of tires on the market, you may be wondering how you select the best ones for your vehicle. That’s what this blog post is all about. We’re going to give you all the facts you need to know about buying tires.

How do you know when you need to buy new tires?

First and foremost, it’s important to know when you need to buy new tires. Remember, they are what holds your vehicle to the road. If your car’s tires don’t have enough tread, your vehicle won’t have a lot of traction. It actually becomes quite dangerous as heavily worn and balding tires put you at greater risk for blowouts and accidents. You need that tread depth to help keep you from sliding all over the road during inclement weather.

Once a month, make a habit of checking the air pressure in your tires and inspecting the tread depth and wear. The best way to measure tread depth is with a gauge. If you don’t have one, you can use the old standby… a penny. Simply insert a penny into a tire tread groove making sure Abraham Lincoln’s head is facing down and toward you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tires need to be replaced.

What kind of tires should you buy?

It all depends on what you are looking for in a tire and your budget. If you liked the way your current tires performed on your vehicle, you can always buy the same brand and model. If you think you want to try a different brand or you have some budget constraints, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Load Index – In simple terms, the load index is the amount of weight the tires car support at maximum air pressure. Passenger car tires have a load index that is less than the load index you would need for a light-duty truck (found on pickups and SUVs). Very important to remember is that you should never install tires that have a lower load index than the tires that were installed on your vehicle at the factory.
  • Rim Diameter – You’ll want to make sure the tires fit properly on the rims.
  • Speed Rating – As you drive your vehicle, the tires heat up. The speed rating determines the tire’s ability to prevent heat build-up. A tire heats up more when you are driving long distance on the highway than it does when you are driving around town. If you will be doing a lot of highway driving, you may want to select a tire that has a higher speed rating.

The easiest way to select new tires is to ask your Shade Tree Garage auto technician. All of our team members can help you select the best tire for your driving needs and your budget. If you have your auto maintenance done at our shop on a regular basis, we will also let you know when it’s time to replace the tires.

What is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and why do I need it?

Your vehicle is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System that is designed to let you know when the air pressure in your tires is too low. When your tires are being replaced, the TPMS will need to be reset. If your vehicle’s dashboard is alerting you to the fact that the TPMS is faulty, you will have to have this part replaced when you replace your tires. To learn more about this safety feature, click on this link (link to TPMS blog article.

Should you have the wheels aligned when the tires are replaced?

Yes. It’s a good idea to have the wheels aligned when you have new tires installed. If you don’t, bad alignment will cause your new tires to wear out quicker than they should. When we install your tires, we will mount and balance them using our state-of-the-art Hunter equipment. We can also perform an alignment for you.

Remember, we can answer all the questions you may have about purchasing new tires for your vehicle. You can buy them through us – we carry Michelin tires. If you buy them on-line, like Tire Rack, you can have the tires shipped to us and we can install them for you. Click here to schedule an appointment to have your tires replaced at our auto repair shop in Morristown, NJ.

photo credit: Clearly Ambiguous Tired via photopin (license)

Powered by WPeMatico

What does it mean when my car’s brake warning light comes on?

If your car’s brake warning light is on, you should bring your vehicle in to have it checked out immediately. Your vehicle may be unsafe to drive. Find out why the brake warning light may have come on and what you need to do about it by reading on.

Vehicles are equipped with several lights that deal with the braking system: 1) the parking brake (this one is typically “red” or “yellow”), 2) the anti-lock braking system (usually “yellow – click here to learn more about the anti-lock braking system), and 3) the brake system warning light (“red” in color). The first sign that the situation is a critical issue is the fact that the brake warning light is “red” in color. A red dashboard warning light always indicates a serious problem. If you are driving and the brake warning light comes on, you should safely pull over and call for a tow. If it comes on and stays on when you start the car, don’t drive. Again, call for a tow.

Note: For cars with only one brake warning light, first make sure the parking brake isn’t engaged before calling for a tow.

Why did the brake warning light come on?

When there is low brake fluid, the brake warning light will come on. Here is a list of some of the more common reasons this happens:

  1. The brake pads are worn. When the brake pads are worn out, the fluid level will go down. When the brake pads are replaced, you may need to add the proper amount and type of brake fluid for your vehicle. If we are doing the brake repair work on your vehicle, we will check to see if you need brake fluid and add it for you. The type of brake fluid your vehicle requires will be stamped on the top of the reservoir and is also listed in your owner’s manual.
  2. There is a leak in the braking system. A brake fluid leak is a very serious concern. If all the fluid leaks out, you won’t be able to stop your vehicle. Brake fluid can leak anywhere in the braking system, from the brake lines to the master cylinder.

If the light isn’t on, but you think you are having problems with your brakes, bring your vehicle in for a brake check (click here to read more about your car’s braking system). If you are concerned about driving it, you can have your vehicle towed to our auto repair shop in Morristown, NJ. Click here to schedule an appointment for brake repair with Shade Tree Garage.

 

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Tell if There’s a Problem with Your Car’s Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter in your vehicle plays an important role in reducing exhaust emissions and pollution. It looks like a simple metal canister but it is filled with a mixture of precious metals, typically platinum and palladium, that act as a chemical catalyst. Its job is to covert the gases coming from the engine combustion process into non-harmful gases. Typically, a catalytic converter that is failing will begin to produce a number of symptoms.

As with any type of major engine component, it’s important to have it checked out right away. When it comes to a catalytic converter, here are some of the symptoms to look for:

  • Poor engine performance is one of the first signs there may be a problem with the catalytic converter. A catalytic converter can sometimes clog because of a problem in another part of the fuel system. When it becomes clogged, you will begin to notice a decrease in fuel efficiency and an inability to accelerate properly. The engine may even misfire or stall.
  • Is the Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light on? This could be the result of a simple problem but it could also indicate an issue with the catalytic converter. Failure to correct this problem will eventually lead to issues with the catalytic converter, including having to replace this expensive part. Read more about the Check Engine light here.
  • You may notice a rattling noise. As the chemical catalyst ages, it begins to break down into smaller pieces. These pieces of catalyst will cause a rattling noise under your vehicle. If the catalyst breaks down into pieces that are too small, it can block or restrict the flow of exhaust from your vehicle.
  • There’s a rotten-egg smell coming from the tailpipe. This smell occurs because the catalyst has broken down too much and leads to the emission of sulfur dioxide.

What Can I Do to Prevent Problems with the Catalytic Converter?

  1. Make sure your vehicle is tuned up regularly. If you aren’t sure how often you should have a tune-up done on your vehicle, no need to worry. Our certified auto technicians will let you know when your vehicle is due for a tune-up.
  2. Take care of Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light problems right away. It could be as simple as replacing a faulty gas cap or an oxygen sensor. If you continue to ignore this warning light, you could cause serious engine damage, including having to replace the catalytic converter.

If you are noticing any of the symptoms we mentioned here, bring your vehicle to the trusted auto professionals at Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, NJ. Click here to schedule an appointment for catalytic converter repair in our auto repair shop.

photo credit: follettmotors_com Audi A4 1.9 TDI Catalytic Converter via photopin (license)

Powered by WPeMatico

What’s wrong with my car’s heater?

No one wants to find out their car heater isn’t working when it’s cold outside. If you have cold air or no air blowing out of your car’s vents, there’s a problem with the cooling and heating system. This blog post will address what might be happening with your car’s heating system and will also outline the steps to take to make sure it’s properly maintained.

Your car’s heater is actually part of the cooling system. The radiator, thermostat, belts, water pump and hoses circulate water through the engine to cool it down from the combustion process. As the water/coolant mixture flows through the system, it is heated. The hot water is sent to a heater core where a fan blows the warm air into your car through the vents.

Important Tip: If the heater in your car isn’t working, it’s important to have it checked out by a professional. Because it is part of the engine’s cooling system, a non-working heater could indicate a problem with the cooling system itself. If left unfixed, you could end up with an engine that overheats and becomes damaged. 

Why isn’t my car heater working?

There are any number of issues that can cause a problem with your car’s heating system.

  1. There’s not enough coolant in the system. If the coolant level is low, it could be the result of a radiator cap that is leaking or a slow leak in the cooling system. When the engine has cooled down, check the level of the antifreeze in the radiator. If it’s low, fill it back to the proper level with the appropriate mixture of coolant and water. You’ll also want to schedule an appointment to find out from where the coolant is leaking.
  2. There’s a pocket of air in the heater core. Warm water flows into and out of the heater core through hoses. Both the inlet hose and outlet hose should feel warm when the engine is at operating temperature. If the outlet hose doesn’t feel warm, there could be a pocket of air minimizing the flow of water out of the heater core.
  3. The thermostat isn’t working properly. A bad thermostat could prevent the engine from heating up properly which means your car’s heater won’t work.
  4. The heating system has a defective heater control valve. When the heater control valve is open, hot coolant will pass through the valve and into the heater core. When the valve isn’t working properly, the heater won’t produce warm air, it could leak coolant, or the heater will operate erratically.
  5. The heater core is clogged from debris in the cooling system. If debris has caused a clog in the heater core, it will need to be replaced.
  6. The blower motor isn’t working. If no air is coming out of the vents, electrical problems or a faulty blower could be the culprit.
  7. There could be a kink in a heater hose. 
  8. The water pump stopped working. If the coolant isn’t flowing properly through the system, the heater won’t work properly. 

How can I prevent problems with my car’s heating system?

When you properly maintain your car’s cooling system, you are helping to keep the heater in good working order. Proper maintenance includes flushing and replacing the coolant on a regular schedule. Equally important is the need to replace worn belts and hoses. You will also want to repair any leaks in the cooling system. Our certified auto technicians can assist you in this area. When you bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop in Morristown, New Jersey, we conduct a 27-point courtesy inspection on the major engine systems. If we notice a problem with your cooling system, we will alert you so you can have it taken care of before it becomes a major repair issue.

The best way to keep all the components of your car running properly is to trust its care and any repairs to the automotive professionals at Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, NJ. Our certified technicians can quickly diagnose and correct any problems with your vehicle’s heater. Click here to schedule an appointment for car heating system repair in our auto repair shop.

Powered by WPeMatico

8 Tips to Make Your Vehicle Last Longer

Imagine driving an older car that is safe and reliable and not having a car payment. Who wouldn’t want to stash away the cash that would be spent on car payments? Think it’s not possible? Think again. We are here to tell you that by doing these 8 things, you can make your vehicle last longer… and avoid the expenses associated with purchasing a new vehicle.

Making a vehicle last longer takes deliberate effort. A car owner must do more than have the oil changed every now and then, and the tires replaced when they wear out.  By following a proper preventive maintenance schedule, you can easily double, if not triple the useful life of your vehicle. In fact, we recently replaced the engine on a 2007 Chevy Suburban that had more than 250,000 miles on it. (check out our video on YouTube) The owner obviously took excellent care of the vehicle or replacing the engine would not have made sense. By making the commitment to regular maintenance, you will be able to do the same. You will also spend less at the pumps and on automotive repair. Here are some more ways to help make your vehicle last longer:

  1. Use high-quality synthetic oil, fluids and replacement parts. When you bring your vehicle to Shade Tree Garage, we already take this into consideration and will use high-quality fluids and parts. Doing so doesn’t necessarily mean you’re spending more, but it does mean you will get more life out of your vehicle. If you have to bring your vehicle somewhere else, make sure they do the same.
  2. Take care of your vehicle’s cooling system. Have the coolant/antifreeze replaced on a regular schedule. Inspect hoses and belts and have them replaced at the first sign of excessive wear and tear.
  3. Service the transmission regularly. This doesn’t have to be done as often as you replace coolant, but you shouldn’t wait too long either. If your vehicle is approaching 100,000 miles and you never had the fluid and filter changed, check with us before doing so. At that point, you may end up causing more problems than if you left the transmission alone.
  4. Replace the timing belt and other important belts before they break. Click here to find out why this is important to change your timing belt.
  5. Don’t neglect your tires, brakes and suspension system. Regularly rotate and align your tires. Watch for signs of excessive wear and tear. If you notice any signs of problems with your brakes or suspension system, have your vehicle inspected right away (click here to read more about your car’s suspension system).
  6. Know the signs and symptoms of potential car problems so you can have them fixed before they become major repairs. While you are driving, be on the alert for odd noises from your engine, suspension and braking system. We have a lot of articles in our blog that identify the signs for different car problems from brakes to suspension. When in doubt, have us check your vehicle out.
  7. If possible, keep your vehicle in a garage. When exposed to the elements, a vehicle’s parts will degrade faster. Sun can fade the interior. Snow and rain will oxidize the paint, and over time, will cause parts to undergo rust and corrosion. A garage-kept vehicle will not only boost its longevity; it will bring you more buyers and a higher price if you decide to sell your vehicle.
  8. Keep the interior and exterior clean. Regular washes and waxes help preserve the paint and prevent rust on your car, truck or van’s body. When washing your vehicle, make sure you clean the under-carriage, too. Don’t neglect the interior! Vacuum and clean the interior of your vehicle once a month to prevent premature wear.  By taking care of the exterior and interior of your vehicle, you will be in the position to notice and fix scratches and replace or repair loose or broken parts.

Shade Tree Garage can help you keep your car on the road for many years to come. We will also give you peace of mind about the safety and reliability of your car. Click here to schedule your next maintenance or repair with Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, NJ.

Powered by WPeMatico

Car Repair: Maximize Your Experience by Knowing these Four Things

At Shade Tree Garage, we take the customer experience very seriously. Your satisfaction is our utmost priority. We want to make sure your car is fixed right. We also want to make sure your experience is top-notch. The way we do that is by communicating with you throughout the car repair process. As it is with any type of business, there are common questions that come up when car owners bring their vehicles in for repair. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have about your vehicle and its repair. This blog post will focus on providing answers to the most frequently asked questions about car repair.

Question #1 – Why is there a charge for diagnostic testing?

Your vehicle is a sophisticated machine and can have 6 or more computers controlling how each component in your engine operates. Diagnostic testing goes beyond taking a look under the hood and reading the codes from a scan tool. Our certified auto technicians combine their years of experience along with the use of specialized equipment to determine what is causing your vehicle to operate less than optimally.

To demonstrate further – A customer brings her vehicle in because the check engine light is on. The scan tool lets our technician know there is an issue with the oxygen sensor. If we stopped there and replaced the oxygen sensor, you may drive out and a few days later the check engine light will come back on. Because an issue with the oxygen sensor could be coming from a number of faulty parts, we need to continue with the diagnostic process. We check the output of various electrical signals and analyze the data against the symptoms this customer described when she dropped off her vehicle. It can sometimes take an hour or more to diagnose a problem with the engine.

This video from the Car Care Council explains it perfectly > https://youtu.be/08Jy-w06ZSU

Question #2 – I already know what’s wrong with my car. Why can’t you just give me a repair estimate?

Our highest priority is to fix your vehicle right… the first time you bring it in to our auto repair shop in Morristown, NJ. Because we want to make sure any estimate we provide is as accurate as possible, it would be unprofessional for us to give you a price without looking at your vehicle, especially if the repair work is complicated. Let me ask you a question. If your dentist provided you with a quote for some dental work, would another dentist provide you a quote over the phone without taking a look at your teeth first?  It’s in your best interest to have us look at your vehicle before we provide you with a written estimate.

Question #3 – What can I do to help facilitate the repair process?

The more you can tell us about what you are experiencing with your car, the better able we will be to diagnose the problem. The easiest way to do this is to write down any symptoms ahead of time. If you notice any odd sounds, funny sensations or strange smells, let us know. Does your car hesitate? Are you having problems starting your car? Make note of it and tell us when you drop off your vehicle. It’s equally important to make sure you leave the best phone number on which we can reach you. If we aren’t able to get in touch with you, the repair work on your car will be delayed.

Question #4 – How long will take to complete the repair on my car?

It all depends on the complexity of the problem and when we receive your approval to do the work. As soon as we get the go-ahead from you, we will let you know how long we think the job will take. And remember, if transportation becomes a problem, we can provide free local transportation to your home, office or the train station. If you prefer, we can make arrangements to pick up your car from your home or place of business. We also have rental cars on site.

The best way to avoid car repair issues and their associated expenses is to make an investment in preventive maintenance. Don’t delay any repair work. Doing so, could make a small problem turn into a big one. Need to schedule service or repair with Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, NJ? Click here.

Powered by WPeMatico

Replacing an Evaporator in a Car Air Conditioner

This video shows the work being done to replace a leaking evaporator in a car’s air conditioning system. As you will see, it’s a major undertaking.

 

Powered by WPeMatico

Is a tune-up really necessary?

Years ago, it was much more common to hear about someone having a tune-up done on their vehicle. Now, with more sophisticated computer-controlled engine, it may seem like tune-ups aren’t a necessary part of car care. The fact is, tune-ups are an important part of vehicle maintenance and should not be overlooked.

If you look through the owner’s manual for your vehicle, you’ll notice a number of service intervals. The simple service is the regular oil and filter change and tire rotation. After that, the service intervals become more extensive. A tune-up is identified as a major service and includes replacement of the spark plugs and spark plug wires. We used to change spark plugs at regular intervals, but with today’s vehicles, manufacturers have extended those intervals to as long as 100k miles.

We see a lot of miss-fire codes when the check engine light comes on, and all too often, the failure is an ignition coil.  Nowadays, instead of a large robust coil with wires delivering a spark to the cylinder, modern engines use a “coil over plug design” which means there are many small coils.  Great design, great engineering… with one exception.  When a spark plug wears, the voltage demand rises exponentially. These new coils don’t have the reserve to meet the extra load and overheat to the point of failing. So while you may not think you need to change the spark plugs, it’s prudent to do it earlier than to wait until the recommended service interval.  If the coils don’t need to be replaced, you’ll save time, money and avoid the inconvenience of looking at that pesky check engine light.

What do we do when we tune up your car?

In addition to changing the oil and filter, there are a number of other services we perform when we tune up a vehicle. These include:

  1. Replacing spark plugs and wires. The spark plugs are a vital part in the engine combustion process and ignites the fuel. When one or more spark plugs becomes dirty, the engine will begin to misfire and you’ll experience a definite decrease in fuel economy. Your vehicle may even feel sluggish, especially when it comes to accelerating.
  2. Correcting the timing. The proper timing is important to engine performance. When the timing is off (which happens from regular wear and tear), spark plugs can fire and/or fuel can be released at the wrong time. If you have an older vehicle, timing becomes an even more important issue to the efficient operation of your car’s engine.
  3. Scanning the onboard diagnostic (OBD) system. We use a special scan tool to see if the computer is identifying any problems with the engine. Our ASE-certified technicians will also check and adjust the idle speed (if needed).
  4. Replacing the fuel filter, PVC valve and engine air filter. The combustion process requires the proper mixture of air and fuel for your engine to operate properly. Replacing these filters will allow for optimal performance.

When was the last time you had your vehicle tuned up? Have you been noticing any problems with engine performance or poor gas mileage? It may be time for you to have a tune-up done on your car. Trust your tune-up to the car care professionals at Shade Tree Garage. Click here to schedule your appointment at our auto repair shop in Morristown, New Jersey.

Powered by WPeMatico