Category Archives: Other

Four easy ways to prepare for a road trip

Four easy ways to prepare for a road trip

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating—it is not difficult to make sure your family is as safe as possible before you take off for your summer vacation. Ideally, we want you to schedule an appointment well in advance with our super auto repair mechanics here in Overland Park. But even if you don’t think anything needs to be inspected, the Car Care Council has some great tips for a 10-minute driveway look-see you can perform yourself. Check all fluids, including engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer solvent, and power steering, brake and transmission fluids. (Your owner’s guide will tell where each of these reservoirs is located.) Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose, or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicate ... read more

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Celebrating collector cars

Celebrating collector cars

…“the collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States.” – Senate Resolution 452 Today, collector car lovers all across the country are celebrating the third annual national Collector Car Appreciation Day! What a great way to bring out the classics—people are being encouraged to drive their collector cars to work and gather to recognize our nation’s automotive heritage. SEMA and other industry organizations have worked hard to bring attention to the “high-skilled jobs which are supported through vehicle restoration and customization.” In case you haven’t noticed, automotive restoration is at an all-time high! The Baby Boomers and younger enthusiasts are connecting with their roots by searching out their first cars and making them new again. At New Concept Auto Service we have done a ton of electrical and mechanical restoration work in recent years and there is no ... read more

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Our classic ’60s project

Our classic ’60s project

If you are a Twitter or Facebook fan of New Concept Auto Service, you know that I took a little 2,880-mile road trip in my 1966 El Camino a few weeks ago. Here’s the story to go along with the photo album: Last year, I built a small block Chevy 383 Stroker engine for a customer’s 1968 Chevelle. This customer, Rich, actually drove this Chevelle during his high school years. He re-acquired it and it was partially restored in his garage in Durham, N.C. The frame had been cleaned and repainted and most of the lower hard-to-get-to body work had been done, like the floor pan and trunk. Rich cut out the rust and welded in new metal, ground it smooth and primed and painted it all. The body main shell had been cleaned and primed. The doors, fenders and rear quarter panels were yet to be completed. Rich planned on taking the final body and paint work (the parts you see) to a professional as one of the last steps in the restoration. I arrived late afternoon on a Wednesday ... read more

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Team New Concept: Saluting our superb staff (David Stainbrook)

Team New Concept: Saluting our superb staff (David Stainbrook)

David Stainbrook is one of our shop’s certified master technicians. If he is working on your vehicle you can be sure it is getting the most accurate diagnosis and careful repair possible. When you add the fact that David is just a nice guy, it’s hard to imagine how we ever got along without him. What is your professional history? Before coming to New Concept I worked at a Ford dealer as a line technician. What is your role at New Concept? ASE Master Technician. We are proud to be a shop where everyone is ASE certified. I have earned all eight ASE certifications. What’s the best thing about working at New Concept? Paid training with good equipment, and good pay based on my efficiency and productivity. What do you like to do on the weekend? Catch up on my sleep and spend time with family, girlfriend Angie, and mutt Winston. What’s your dream car? I am fortunate enough to own my dream car. It’s a 69 Firebird which I am currently restoring. So I guess that is p ... read more

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Team New Concept: Saluting our superb staff (Polly Rupp)

Team New Concept: Saluting our superb staff (Polly Rupp)

Our next profile features a face you may not encounter every time you stop by. Marketing Manager Polly Rupp (who also happens to be the owner’s wife) is usually busy in the back room or offsite juggling all of the print and online advertising that goes on around here. The efforts of Polly and her marketing team help Paul keep up with his paperwork—and even allow him to get his hands dirty in the shop from time to time! What is your professional history? In the 80s and 90s I worked in middle management and as an art director for an in-house art department. For the past 20 years I have been publisher and editor of a newspaper for small automotive electrical rebuilders. Most recently Paul has been calling on my media background to help build a bigger presence for New Concept Auto Service both online and in our local community. What is your role at New Concept? My title is marketing manager. I suggest the marketing plan, develop and design work, and coordinate with my team wh ... read more

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The sleek Saturn sedan saga

We recently had a Saturn towed to our shop with very low power and an engine making a tapping noise. The customer was referred by an existing customer who trusts us. The customer stated he recently bought the car from a coworker who had taken great care of it. The car was clean and looked great—a sleek black sedan. The car was heading north out of KC when it slowly began to lose power and finally just quit. It was towed to a Saturn-qualified dealership. The dealership told him the catalytic converters (CATs, part of the exhaust used to keep the air clean) were plugged up and the replacement cost would be great. They actually recommended (for unknown reasons) that he take it to a local chain store exhaust shop where he could save some money. The exhaust shop replaced the CATs as requested by the customer. The customer then paid his bill, drove the car a short distance, just to find the same problem of low power and now a few more lights on the dash, and a tapping noise. Th ... read more

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Is dealer service always best?

Is dealer service always best?

We operate in a pretty affluent area of suburban Kansas City where, for the most part, people can afford the best of everything. Many customers assume that dealer service is the best thing for their cars. Some believe they must use dealer service centers to keep warranties in place. Some even presume their car salesman is looking out for them when they return to the dealer for service. Don’t get me wrong. Most dealers provide fine service. But there are some things that simply must be pointed out so you can be sure you’re making the best choice for your situation. Let’s do a little fact checking: 1. Independent service does not void your warranty. Be federal law you are allowed to have an independent technician service your vehicle for issues not covered by your warranty (Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975). The law states that “no warrantor may condition the continued validity of a warranty on the use of only authorized repair service and/or authorized replacement parts fo ... read more

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What’s so special about your technician?

An auto repair shop consists of two main parts—the front end and the back end. The front end houses the service advisor who interacts directly with the customer and is the face of the business. The back end is where the technicians operate. Auto technician is the modern title for the person actually working on your car (traditionally called a mechanic). When it comes to your car, the modern independent shop technician must be technically savvy, careful and consistent, and respectful to customers and their cars. I am a shop owner and a technician. I began on the technical end and learned about business. I have been thinking about cars ever since I learned how to get my little red wagon to go 25 mph down the hill on Easter Ave. in WaKeeney, Kan. I recognize cars I have worked in grocery store parking lots and struggle to remember who the driver is. I stare at bouncing tires on the highway, trying to judge if the strut is worn out or the tire is just out of balance. I belie ... read more

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Emotions drive parts purchasing decisions

I have learned over the last 15 years that who I decide to buy parts from simply boils down to an emotional decision. That has not always been the case. I buy all kinds of auto parts. About half come from aftermarket companies and the other half from local dealerships. When I first started in business for myself in 1994 I looked for the lowest price, best quality, and quickest service. Other things I considered were warranty, the ordering process, and payment terms. How I make the decision now is not that cut and dried. Price Price is like a funny piece of art in the middle of your coffee table. Guests look at it and ask because it’s there, then the conversation goes elsewhere. I order most all my parts online now. It is very easy to look up the part and see who has availability and price. This Internet stuff was a great idea. The accuracy of selecting the correct part is as good as the computerized catalog you have to pick from and my ability to use a mouse. The errors are ... read more

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What to do when your car overheats

What to do when your car overheats

Most cars have a temperature gauge on the dash. Some just have a warning light. The normal reading for a gauge is usually just below halfway. If your temperature gauge should read abnormally high, which I call near or in the red zone, there are some important steps to take to keep from damaging your engine and to keep you safe. It is not unusual to hear a little gurgling sound from under the hood, especially on a very hot day with your air conditioner on. However, puddles of green fluid under the engine are not normal. It does not take long to damage an engine when it overheats. If your gauge never quite reaches the red zone, then generally you need not worry about damage. However, if it is operated in the red zone while driving or idling,even for a few minutes, you can potentially damage or weaken the engine. First off you should form a habit of glancing at your gauges periodically. I usually look at all of them when I check how much gas I have. If you are dri ... read more

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