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Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day

. I’ve never served in the Military and will never be a Veteran of the same, so I often wonder what a service person thinks, or feels when a stranger says to them, “Thank-You for your Service”? While I recognize it as one way for those of us who’ve never served to acknowledge a member of the armed services whether retired or currently serving, I sometimes wonder if it’s stated sincerely. Some say it to be cordial or strike up a conversation because they are truly thankful and want to express their sincere appreciation and gratitude to those who elected at some point in their life to join the Military ranks. Some say it because they see someone in uniform and feel it’s the “right” thing to do. Some say it just because they’ve heard others say it and aren’t sure why.    Many who join the service do so with a full head and heart with the intent and fervor of a person on-a-mission. They apply themselves and work hard a ... read more

Back to School Auto Maintenance Tips - What does that mean to you?

Back to School Auto Maintenance Tips - What does that mean to you?

It feels like summer just  started, but back to school is just around the corner.  Are you, or someone you know, going to begin shuffling children between school and school activities? Are you yourself taking night classes, or someone in your household going off to college? Here are a few tidbits to consider: Probably the most important item you can do is maintain your vehicle. Keep in mind that just because your vehicle passes its safety inspection(Virginia State Inspection), that doesn't mean it's properly maintained. Several maintenance items include: brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine coolant(antifreeze), power steering fluid, differential and transfer case fluids, windshield wiper fluid, and in some cases other fluids. Pay attention to your owner's manual and have the scheduled maintenance performed in a timely manner and your car will reward you for it. When was the last time your vehicle had a DMA(digital maintenance advisory) performed? This is a go ... read more

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maintenance

How Long is a Labor Hour (BrakeandFrontend magazine June 2017 by Scott Weaver)

Did you ever try to define a labor hour? I’m not talking about time ticking away on a clock. I’m referring to the actual time spent on a repair vs. the labor guide’s suggested time.Any tech will tell you that a labor hour can stretch to half a day if a lot of research is involved. Conversely, it can last 15 minutes if you know what you’re doing. Most labor guides typically don’t take into account how much research, diagnosis and equipment setup is neededf or a given job — not to mention the time it takes to recover your 10 mm socket that just fell down into the engine compartment. Even with all of the technically advanced diagnostic tools professional mechanics have at their disposal, there are still people who can’t understand why diagnostic time should be included in the labor estimate, even though it’s not part of the R&R for the component. On the other hand, there are the stopwatch aficionados who count the seconds of every repair ... read more

Freedom is never Free

Freedom is never Free

Memorial Day is fast approaching. Many of us are looking forward to the official beginning of summer and the first three-day weekend off in a while. But how many of us really stop to think about why or how we are able to enjoy our time off and do pretty much whatever we like and go wherever we please within this great country?  For those who are serving or who have served in the military in the past, there is a distinct understanding and appreciation for all who’ve served before them, especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice; their lives for our freedom. For those of us who have never served, but are the children of those who have, we have a responsibility to remind our children and grandchildren as well as others what this day is truly about. Whether you visit the grave site of a departed veteran, or a war memorial, or museum this Memorial Day, remember; This would not be possible if we as a country had laid idly by and allowed those who sought to oppress our freed ... read more

Mother's Day 2017

This Sunday is Mother’s Day once again. Most of us who were fortunate enough to grow up in a family environment never realized what it meant to grow up without a mother and thus, unknowingly, tended to take our mothers love and nurturing for granted. Thankfully most of us were raised to become self-sufficient productive members of society.  To lead a good life accepting the good and the not-so-good along the way. This didn’t happen by accident. The values we know today were the values instilled in us by our parents and generally most notably by our mother- if you happen to be from the baby-boomer generation. In me and my wife’s case, our fathers were military and, in many instances, deployed a large part of our childhood.  Therefore, our mothers played the greater part of our child rearing into adulthood. Not enough can be said about the values instilled in us as a result of our mother’s influence and we are thankful for that each and every d ... read more

De-coding vs. Diagnostics

There is no end of Auto parts stores willing to DE-CODE your Check Engine Light fro FREE with a slant toward selling more parts.  Many will say "de-code" is "diagnosis". It is not! All vehicles sold in the United States after 1994 were required to have a vehicle information port (OBDII port).  This port enables anyone with a device to read trouble codes stored in the computer. This might include the primary computer or ECU(electronic control unit), the BCM(body control module), the TCM(transmission control module), and others.  Each of these units can store a multitude of codes. Some codes are related and some are indicating other switches and sensors throughout the electronic control systems. Most are connected to a dash warning light, CEL(check engine light), SES(service engine soon), and in some cases a symbol that resembles an icon or action. Other warning lights in the dash may include SRS(safety restraint system), TCS(traction control syste ... read more

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maintenance

How to Prepare your vehicle for Back-To-School

How to Prepare your vehicle for Back-To-School

If you have children getting ready to return to classes, one of the most important things to be sure of is that your vehicle is prepared for the extra travel time. Whether you are a working single parent, or a working married couple, you will be relying on your vehicle to get you where you “need” to go. In Virginia we are required to have an annual Virginia State Inspection. This not only insures the vehicle is safe for the owner to drive it protects other motorists as well.  While everything associated with a Virginia State Inspection has to be checked off in order to receive a valid sticker, the primary items involve the following: 1) Tires should be in good condition with correct manufacturers specified tire pressure (usually found on driver’s door jamb) adequate tread, no cords showing, and no worn edges so that in the event of heavy rain they are able to pass water between the treads to avoid hydroplaning and not slide when turning. All tires have date code ... read more

When 'Do-it-yourself' isn't such a good idea

5 Tips for how to know when “not” to fix it yourself 1) You find too many varying opinions on internet forums on what will fix the problem you are having 2) The same applies to the various ways to “fix” the problem on the web (YouTube)  3) You decide to fix the problem yourself anyway without professional assistance and                                                   something that was not mentioned in the forum, or any of the videos, goes terribly wrong 4) The information and/or parts that the forums mention will “fix” the problem don’t 5) You have discovered after all your effort, the amount of $$ the forums suggest you will save by “fixing” the problem yourself is not goin ... read more

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maintenance

March 2016

March 2016

It's March 2016, and the blizzard of January(if that is what you want to call it) is a distant memory for those of us on the East coast, as least so far.  The Holidays of 2015 are behind us and we are all looking forward to a year full of political maneuvering (NOT!)  Well it is a Presidential election year, so we'd better get used to it. What we are really looking forward to is a year that is more fun, more prosperous, and more enjoyable, with less headaches, health issues, and stress.  Yes, we could all use more of this! It will be anybody's guess how the year will shape us financially.  I don't do much in the stock market, but all indications are it's getting off to a very rocky start. Some might wonder how this affects a small business like ours, or anybody else's, but it does.  We all feel the tightening and constriction of an economy posed to affect the bottom line.  And after the "Great Recession" of ... read more

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maintenance

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day

We’ve been together for some time now and I have been very faithful in bringing you to all the places you need to go.  I like being your car and I would like to be around as long as you'll have me.  We have a special bond and I want to keep it that way.  I will take you any place you steer me. I will try with all my engines power and power accessories to be the safest vehicle I can and to protect you while in traffic with my other motorized relatives. I promise to use my ABS brakes to stop on a dime when urgently called to do so. I will do all of these things and more, because I want you to keep me for a long, long time.  I enjoy the daily commute and the road trips where we can get away from it all once and a while.  I know you don’t have a choice some times when you have to park me outside in the winter and it’s very cold, but I will always do my best to start right up no matter how icy. In the summer I get blazing hot all over when onc ... read more

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maintenance
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