Articles:

Never Do These Four Things to Your Car

Never Do These Four Things to Your Car

Ignore the fluids. Fluids—oil, transmission fluid, engine coolant—are the lifeblood of your car. Regularly monitoring of fluid levels and condition will help keep your car’s innards properly lubricated and cooled. No matter how tempting it is, never skip an oil change. We recommend changing your oil every 4,000 miles for synthetic blend, and every 8,000 miles for full synthetic oil. Familiarize yourself with the various warning lights on your dash. If your oil warning light comes on, take it very seriously. Pull over as soon as possible and when safe to do so and turn off the engine, or you risk catastrophic engine failure and the expensive repair bill which comes with it. One other thing to keep an eye on is corrosive buildup on your battery terminals. If you notice any foreign substances on your battery, don’t try to clean it yourself as it can be very corrosive and even dangerous without proper protection. Ignore tire warnings. Thousands of a ... read more

A great day at our Overland Park auto service

A great day at our Overland Park auto service

We just hosted our very first open house at New Concept Auto Service on October 13. The event was a fun success for both our visitors and employees. We invited customers, Overland Park AAA members in the area, folks from my BNI networking group, and our church. My wife Polly did a masterful job of planning this first-time event, with help from our social media right arm, Traci Matt. Newton Graves showed up with his 1988 Mustang GT convertible that we have been servicing since 1997. Dennis Engel brought his high visibility orange 1970 VW Super Beetle. We literally rolled out the red carpet. As people arrived, they saw the new, colorful, full-size shop scenes which filled the front windows. They were greeted by Service Advisor Phil Perez, who gave them nametags and entered them for door prizes. He also gave each person a “Name That Part!” game form to win a prize if they correctly identified a specific car part, along with a New Concept pink pen in honor of National Breast ... read more

Categories:

Classic Cars

Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire! (Part I)

Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire! (Part I)

Recently a customer brought in a 1990 VW Jetta, which was experiencing complications from a cobbled-together aftermarket electrical wiring harness. These complications included dangerous arching and burning. The very week we rewired the vehicle properly, the customer encountered a scene which reinforced the life-and-death importance of proper vehicle wiring. He agreed to let us share it here: Paul, Thanks very much for your tenacity, endurance, diagnostic skills, and long-suffering stick-to-it strengths. It has brought great success. The little VW runs very, very well. Cold or warm starts are perfect. Engine runs without any hesitation, stuttering, sputtering, backfiring, exploding, fire-balling, etc. That is all good. Absence of fireballs is especially good! Three days ago, we were out driving around in that automobile and were eastbound on Blackfish Parkway, approaching Pflumm. Ahead we saw smoke, flames, and a Shawnee FD pumper truck. The Shawnee police had the stre ... read more

Categories:

Wiring Issues

Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire! (Part II)

Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire! (Part II)

Last time we shared the eye-opening experience a customer of ours had while witnessing a vehicle fire. He was kind enough to take time to thank us for fixing the dangerous wiring system in his car to ensure he and his family are safe while traveling. So just what could have caused that car to go up in flames? Faulty wiring can cause a fire. When any combustible material gets hot enough, it will burn. This can happen to a car that typically has some type of aftermarket add-on electrical device which has been improperly wired. When an automotive engineer designs a circuit, the circuit must be protected from damage with a fuse. A fuse is simply a small piece of wire designed to melt when a given amount of excessive amperage goes through it, thus stopping the flow of electricity. A wire (or any conductor) is made up of many, many atoms. An electric current (electricity) is a literal flow of electrons from atom to atom. It starts at one side of the battery and is constantly try ... read more

Categories:

Wiring Issues

It’s official: New oil change standards

For many years, I have been recommending that people change engine oil every 3,000 miles with traditional mineral based oil. Recently I decided to adjust that standard. Today New Concept Auto Service officially recommends an oil change every 4,000 miles using our now standard synthetic blend oil or every 8,000 miles using our full synthetic oil. This was a tough decision to make, so I would like to explain how I reached it. I started with some research–simply asking other independent shops, franchise oil change places and dealerships what they did and why. I was surprised to find many people saying, “Keep it at 3,000 miles; your customers are used to it.” I even heard, “Don’t change it, people don’t like change, they might go elsewhere.” Others said, “I agree, why don’t you be the first and see what happens.” The oil change places did not really have an interval, but rather, they let the customer decide. I personally think mo ... read more

Categories:

Oil Change

How to prepare your classic car for winter storage

How to prepare your classic car for winter storage

This year in Overland Park we have been fortunate to have a warm, dry fall and the ability to stretch out the classic car season. However, freezing precipitation came within a few counties of us this week and it’s time to get those special classics tucked away for a long winter’s nap. How do you make sure your classic is stored properly? Here are my top ten tips: 1. Don’t overlook scheduled maintenance, such as changing the oil and filter. Resist the urge to put it off until spring, when you will have a thousand other things to tend to as you bring her out of hibernation. 2. Give her a thorough wash and wax, as well as vacuuming and cleaning of interior surfaces. Use a good conditioner of your choice to seal and protect leather, vinyl and plastic. 3. Add fuel stabilizer (like Sea Foam or Sta-Bil brand) to protect from rust and other issues, then fill the gas tank to the brim. 4. Take her out for one final spin to get it good and warmed up. This will allow the oil a ... read more

Categories:

Classic Cars

Car maintenance by the numbers

Car maintenance by the numbers

A recent study conducted by the non-profit Car Care Council confirmed what any car repair technician could have told you – almost every vehicle on the road is need of some sort of maintenance. During last year’s car care events a full 84 percent of vehicles failed at least one aspect of the inspections. For some reason, that number is up five whole percentage points over the same study done the year before.Here are the top culprits when it comes to overdue car maintenance: Low washer fluid Low or dirty motor oil Low, leaky or degraded coolant Low or dirty power steering fluid Low or dirty brake fluid Low or discolored transmission fluid Dirty air filter Worn belts and hoses Corroded battery cables, terminals and clamps Worn out windshield wipers Burned out lights Worn and improperly inflated tires In addition, 13 percent of cars inspected had a “check engine” light on which was being ignored by the owner.W ... read more

How to avoid life-and-death airbag scams

How to avoid life-and-death airbag scams

If you are in the market for a used car, one vital component to ensure is functional is also impossible to inspect with the naked eye—the airbag system. More often than you would believe, people who prep used cars for resale will use all sorts of creative methods to avoid the extra expense of properly replacing a deployed airbag. There have been reports of airbags simply being jammed back into the steering wheel (rendering it useless), and airbag compartments being stuffed with everything from packing peanuts to beer cans. Dozens of deaths occur on our roadways each year because of airbag fraud. So what are the best ways to avoid an injury to yourself or a passenger from such danger on the road? Here are some red flags to watch out for when shopping for a used vehicle: The seller is reluctant to or even refuses to provide a vehicle history report from a reputable source like CARFAX. The seller cannot produce inspection documents verifying (if the vehicle has been i ... read more

Categories:

Airbags

Avoid costly repairs by budgeting for car maintenance

Avoid costly repairs by budgeting for car maintenance

One thing which seems to sneak up and ruin many budgets is car repair. While you still have a clean financial slate in front of you for 2015, why not add regular car maintenance as a budget line item. Regular maintenance increases the safety and reliability of your vehicle, as well as prolonging its life. It doesn’t guarantee a lack of problems, but can reduce the likelihood of major repairs. So what items should be on your maintenance schedule and why? Engine oil is as vital to your car’s health as blood is to yours. Conventional engine oil lubricates, removes heat, prevents corrosion and sludge, and keeps the inside of the engine clean. Full synthetic oil does an even better job at all this. However, all oils eventually wear out over time, losing their ability to perform as needed. Regular oil changes help prevent various, and varying degrees, of engine damage. You know it’s time to change your oil either from a lube oil window sticker or your gauges. Fluid ... read more

Five reasons to have your car repaired where it was diagnosed

Five reasons to have your car repaired where it was diagnosed

We don’t guess. We diagnose. This New Concept Auto Service motto grew out of the increasing number of customers who come to us because they can’t get an accurate diagnosis of their vehicles’ problems elsewhere. We are proud to be the “go-to” source for diagnosis. It wouldn’t even dawn on most of them to take their car to a place which can quote a cheaper price for repair. After all, they trust us for accurate mechanical or electrical troubleshooting, why not fixing the problems we find? From time to time we do have to deal with this issue. Here are some things we tell those who want to take their car to another shop: Price should only be one factor of your decision.We do not aim to be the cheapest shop in town, we aim to be the best. It’s important to us that we use only the highest-quality parts for your vehicle, because we want you and your family to be as safe as possible. At New Concept Auto Service, we invest heavily in our technicians’ training and test equipm ... read more

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