Overland Park Auto Repair

Mon - Fri: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Category Archives: Repair & Service Questions

To fix or not to fix, that is the question

In my last installment we began discussing what to tell a customer who wants to know if his or her vehicle is worth fixing. This was prompted by an excellent email exchange that went on between me and some of my independent car repair shop owner friends. Here’s a summary of that lively exchange: “How should I respond when a customer asks whether the vehicle is worth investing the money for repairs?” We began by agreeing that no technician can answer that question for a customer. It’s our job just to provide them with a thorough inspection, all the facts, and let them decide. The vehicle inspection sheet should include what looks great and what may be needed in a year or two, or in the next 20,000 miles. It’s especially important not to insult a customer who is driving something we would consider nearly worn out, as it may seem like a part of their family! Start by researching the current value of the vehicle on a website like kbb.com or edmunds.com. Would the needed r ... read more

Cadillac romance and other shop tales

Cadillac romance and other shop tales

In my last installment we began discussing what to tell a customer who wants to know if his or her vehicle is worth fixing. This was prompted by an excellent email exchange that went on between me and some of my independent car repair shop owner friends. Here’s a summary of that lively exchange: “How should I respond when a customer asks whether the vehicle is worth investing the money for repairs?” We began by agreeing that no technician can answer that question for a customer. It’s our job just to provide them with a thorough inspection, all the facts, and let them decide. The vehicle inspection sheet should include what looks great and what may be needed in a year or two, or in the next 20,000 miles. It’s especially important not to insult a customer who is driving something we would consider nearly worn out, as it may seem like a part of their family! Start by researching the current value of the vehicle on a website like kbb.com or edmunds.com. Would the needed re ... read more

A shameless plug (Part I)

Our AAA regional representative recently engaged New Concept Auto Service and some other local shops in a conversation about policies regarding cross-threaded oil pan drain plugs. A cross-threaded drain plug is when the threads on the plug and pan are not aligned, causing a bad fit. It just gets worse as it is tightened. It seems like such a minuscule part to create such a firestorm of policy, but keep in mind one tiny leaking plug can drain a whole pan of oil and create need for a multi-thousand-dollar engine repair or replacement. There are several scenarios for assessing a damaged oil pan or drain plug threads, including the rare instance of a drain plug cross-thread. Other times the drain plug is over-tightened and has pulled or damaged the threads on the plug and requires a new plug. In this instance, if the pan threads are only slightly damaged they may only need to be chased or rethreaded. Sometimes the pan has to be replaced or over-drilled if possible. And sometimes the head ... read more

Terrific transmission tips (Part I)

Terrific transmission tips (Part I)

I have been reading up on automatic transmission fluid (ATF) lately and changes are on the horizon. Twenty years ago, there used to be just three types of ATF-one each for Ford, Chevy and Chrysler-and transmissions only had three speeds. Today, transmissions have up to six speeds, and run at higher temperatures for better efficiency. Most automatic transmissions have replaced mechanical parts with electronic solenoids, all with tighter clearances. There are many more types of ATF to keep track of from manufacturer to manufacturer. It can get confusing, so a shop needs accurate information. Incorrect fluid can cause shifting problems and premature wear. We are careful to use only OEM-supplied information to select the correct type of fluid for each particular vehicle. We also use either synthetic blends or full synthetic ATF, which are better than mineral-based fluids. The main difference between types of transmission fluids is in the viscosity and additives. ATF ... read more

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