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GLOVE BOX TIPS FROM TED THE TECHNICIAN
 

How to Communicate for Better Automotive Service

 

     Today's cars, light trucks, and sport-utility vehicles are

high-tech marvels with digital dashboards, oxygen sensors,

electronic computers, unibody construction, and more. They run

better, longer, and more efficiently than models of years past.

 

     But when it comes to repairs, some things stay the same.

Whatever type of repair facility you patronize--dealership,

service station, independent garage, specialty shop, or a

national franchise--good communications between customer and

shop is vital.

 

     The following tips should help you along the way:

 

 

Do your homework before taking your vehicle in for repairs or

service.

 

 

Today's technician must understand thousands of pages of

technical text. Fortunately, your required reading is much

less.

 

 

 

   * Read the owner's manual to learn about the vehicle's

     systems and components.

 

   * Follow the recommended service schedules. Keep a log of

     all repairs and service.

 

 

When you think about it, you know your car better than anyone

else. You drive it every day and know how it feels and sounds

when everything is right. So don't ignore its warning signals.

 

 

 

Use all of your senses to inspect your car frequently. Check

for:

 

 

 

   * Unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning

     lights, gauge readings.

 

   * Changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage,

     fluid levels.

 

   * Worn tires, belts, hoses.

 

   * Problems in handling, braking, steering, vibrations.

 

 

Note when the problem occurs.

 

 

   * Is it constant or periodic?

 

   * When the vehicle is cold or after the engine has warmed

     up?

 

 

 

   * At all speeds? Only under acceleration? During braking?

     When shifting?

 

   * When did the problem first start?

 

 

Professionally run repair establishments have always recognized

the importance of communications in automotive repairs.

 

 

Once you are at the repair establishment, communicate your

findings.

 

 

   * Be prepared to describe the symptoms. (In larger shops

     you'll probably speak with a service writer/service

     manager rather than with the technician directly.)

 

   * Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give to

     the technician or service manager.

 

   * Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of

     repair. Just as you would with your physician, tell where

     it hurts and how long it's been that way, but let the

     technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.

 

 

 

Stay involved... Ask questions.

 

 

   * Ask as many questions as you need. Do not be embarrassed

     to request lay definitions.

 

   * Don't rush the service writer or technician to make an

     on-the-spot diagnosis. Ask to be called and apprised of

     the problem, course of action, and costs before work

     begins.

 

   * Before you leave, be sure you understand all shop policies

     regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods

     of payment.

 

   * Leave a telephone number where you can be called.

 

 

A Word about ASE

 

 

     Perhaps years ago, a shade-tree mechanic whose only

credentials were a tool box and busted knuckles was enough.

But today's quality-conscious consumers demand more.

 

     The independent, non-profit National Institute for

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducts the only

industry-wide, national certification program for automotive

technicians.

 

     Consumers benefit from ASE's certification program since

it takes much of the guesswork out of finding a competent

technicians.

 

     ASE certifies the competency of individual technicians

through a series of standardized specialty exams (brakes,

transmissions, engine repair, etc.)

 

ASE

CERTIFIED

 

 

 

     We employ technicians certified by the National institute

for AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE.

Let us show you their credentials

 

     Certified technicians are issued pocket credentials

listing their area(s) of expertise and usually wear blue and

white ASE shoulder insignia, while employers often post the ASE

sign on the premises.  There are over a quarter million ASE

technicians at work in every type of repair facility.

 

      This publication has been reviewed by the Environmental

Protection Agency. Distribution of this document does not

constitute or imply EPA endorsement of any ASE service.

 

 

National Institute for

AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE

13505 Dulles Technology Dr.

Herndon, VA 22071

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Don't Leave It To Chance!

 

 

 

             Choosing the Right Repair Shop for Your Vehicle

 

 

 

                          Glove Box Tips from

                          Ted the Technician

 

                                 EPA

 

                         National Institute for

                      AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE

 

 

Choosing the Right Repair Shop

 

 

     No matter what you drive--sports car, family sedan,

pick-up, or mini-van, when you go in for repairs or service,

you want the job done right. The following advice should take

much of the guesswork out of finding a good repair

establishment.

 

 

I. Preliminaries

 

 

Don't just drop your vehicle off at the nearest establishment

and hope for the best. That's not choosing a shop, that's

merely gambling.

 

 

 

   * Read your owner's manual to become familiar with your

     vehicle and follow the manufacturer's suggested service

     schedule.

 

 

 

   * Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one;

     you can make better decisions when you are not rushed or

     in a panic.

 

   * Ask friends and associates for their recommendations. Even

     in this high-tech era, old-fashioned word-of-mouth

     reputation is still valuable.

 

   * Check with your local consumer organization regarding the

     reputation of the shop in question.

 

   * If possible, arrange for alternate transportation in

     advance so you will not feel forced to choose a facility

     solely on the basis of location.

 

Once you choose a repair shop, start off with a minor job; if

you are pleased, trust them with more complicated repairs later

 

 

 

II. At the Shop

 

 

   * Look for a neat, well-organized facility, with vehicles in

     the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern

     equipment in the service bays.

 

   * Professionally run establishments will have a courteous,

     helpful staff. The service writer should be willing to

     answer all of your questions.

 

   * Feel free to ask for the names of a few customers. Call

     them.

 

   * All policies (labor rates, guarantees, methods of payment,

     etc.) should be posted and/or explained to your

     satisfaction.

 

   * Ask if the shop customarily handles your vehicle make and

     model. Some facilities specialize.

 

   * Ask if the shop usually does your type of repair,

     especially if you need major work.

 

 

 

   * Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service

     area: civic and community service awards, membership in

     the Better Business Bureau, AAA-Approved Auto Repair

     status, customer service awards.

 

 

 

The backbone of any shop is the competence of the technicians.

 

 

 

   * Look for evidence of qualified technicians, such as trade

     school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work, and

     ASE certifications--a national standard of technician

     competence.

 

 

III. Follow-Up

 

 

   * Keep good records; keep all paperwork.

 

   * Reward good service with repeat business. It is mutually

     beneficial to you and the shop owner to establish a

     relationship.

 

 

 

   * If the service was not all you expected, don't rush to

     another shop. Discuss the problem with the service manager

     or owner. Give the business a chance to resolve the

     problem. Reputable shops value customer feedback and will

     make a sincere effort to keep your business.

 

 

A Word about ASE

 

 

     Perhaps years ago, a shade-tree mechanic whose only

credentials were a tool box and busted knuckles was enough.

But today's quality-conscious consumers demand more.

 

     The independent, non-profit National Institute for

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducts the only

industry-wide, national certification program for automotive

technicians.

 

     Consumers benefit from ASE's certification program since

it takes much of the guesswork out of finding a competent

technicians.

 

     ASE certifies the competency of individual technicians

through a series of standardized specialty exams (brakes,

transmissions, engine repair, etc.)

 

ASE

CERTIFIED

 

 

 

     We employ technicians certified by the National institute

for AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE.

Let us show you their credentials

 

     Certified technicians are issued pocket credentials

listing their area(s) of expertise and usually wear blue and

white ASE shoulder insignia, while employers often post the ASE

sign on the premises.  There are over a quarter million ASE

technicians at work in every type of repair facility.

 

      This publication has been reviewed by the Environmental

Protection Agency. Distribution of this document does not

constitute or imply EPA endorsement of any ASE service.

 

 

National Institute for

AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE

13505 Dulles Technology Dr.

Herndon, VA 22071

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        Don't Get Stuck Out In The Cold

 

 

 

                     Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter

 

 

 

                     Glove Box Tips from Ted the Technician

 

 

 

                                      EPA

 

                             National Institute for

                         AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE

 

 

 

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter

 

 

     Mechanical failure--an inconvenience any time it

occurs--can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is

a must. Besides, a well maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to

drive, will last longer, and could command a higher resale

price.

 

     Some of the following tips can be performed by any

do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of an auto

technician.

 

 

 

First things first. Read your owner's manual and follow the

manufacturer's recommended service schedules.

 

 

 

   * Engine Performance--Get engine driveability problems (hard

     starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.)

     corrected at a good repairshop. Cold weather makes

     existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters--air, fuel,

     PCV, etc.

 

   * Fuel--Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a

     month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel

     line. Note that a gas tank which is kept filled helps keep

     moisture from forming.

 

   * Oil--Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your

     manual--more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is

     mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

 

   * Cooling Systems--The cooling system should be completely

     flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level,

     condition, and concentration of the coolant should be

     checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and

     water is usually recommended.)

 

          DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the

     engine has thoroughly cooled!

 

          The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps,

     and hoses should be checked by a pro.

 

 

 

 

 

   * Windshield Wipers--Replace old blades. If your climate is

     harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice

     build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent--you'll be

     surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.

 

   * Heater/Defroster The heater and defroster must be in good

     working condition for passenger comfort and driver

     visibility.

 

 

 

   * Battery--The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is

     with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away

     corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all

     surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are

     removable, check fluid level monthly.

 

          Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery

     acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

 

 

 

   * Lights--Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out

     bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses.

 

          To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

 

 

 

 

 

   * Exhaust System--Your vehicle should be placed on a lift

     and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and

     floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust

     fumes can be deadly.

 

 

Cold weather will only make existing problems worse. A

breakdown--never pleasant--can be deadly in the winter.

 

 

 

   * Tires Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather.

     Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing,

     and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check

     tire pressures once a month. Let the tires "cool down"

     before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended.

 

          Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in

     good condition.

 

 

 

 

 

     Carry emergency gear: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a

small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash

light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.

 

 

A Word about ASE

 

 

     Perhaps years ago, a shade-tree mechanic whose only

credentials were a tool box and busted knuckles was enough.

But today's quality-conscious consumers demand more.

 

     The independent, non-profit National Institute for

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducts the only

industry-wide, national certification program for automotive

technicians.

 

     Consumers benefit from ASE's certification program since

it takes much of the guesswork out of finding a competent

technicians.

 

     ASE certifies the competency of individual technicians

through a series of standardized specialty exams (brakes,

transmissions, engine repair, etc.)

 

ASE

CERTIFIED

 

 

 

     We employ technicians certified by the National institute

for AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE.

Let us show you their credentials

 

     Certified technicians are issued pocket credentials

listing their area(s) of expertise and usually wear blue and

white ASE shoulder insignia, while employers often post the ASE

sign on the premises.  There are over a quarter million ASE

technicians at work in every type of repair facility.

 

      This publication has been reviewed by the Environmental

Protection Agency. Distribution of this document does not

constitute or imply EPA endorsement of any ASE service.

 

 

National Institute for

AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE

13505 Dulles Technology Dr.

Herndon, VA 22071

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 It's Up to You: Dirty or Clean

 

 

 

         Keeping Your Vehicle in Tune with the Environment

 

 

 

                       Glove Box Tips from

                       Ted the Technician

 

                                EPA

 

                      National Institutes for

                   AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE

 

 

Keeping Your in Vehicle in Tune with the Environment

 

 

     Car care is definitely a win-win situation. Besides

helping the environment, a properly maintained and operated

vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer, and will last

longer--up to 50% longer, according to a survey of

ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians. The following tips

should put you on the road to environmentally conscious car

care.

 

   * Keep your engine tuned up. A misfiring spark plug can

     reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%. Follow the service

     schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters

     and fluids as recommended.

 

   * Check your tires for proper inflation. Underinflation

     wastes fuel--your engine has to work harder to push the

     vehicle. Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by

     uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work

     harder, too. Properly maintained tires will last longer,

     meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.

 

 

Every ten days, motorists who drive with under-inflated tires

and poorly maintained engines waste 70 million gallons of

gasoline.

 

Car Care Council

 

 

   * Keep your air conditioner in top condition and have it

     serviced only by a technician certified competent to

     handle/recycle refrigerants. Air conditioners contain

     CFCs--gases that have been implicated in the depletion of

     the ozone layer. According to the Environmental Protection

     Agency, almost one third of the CFCs released into the

     atmosphere come from mobile air conditioners; some simply

     leaks out, but the majority escapes during service and

     repair--so it's important to choose a qualified

     technician.

 

   * Do-it-yourselfers: dispose of used motor oil,

     anti-freeze/coolant, tires, and old batteries properly.

     Many repair facilities accept these items. Or call your

     local municipal or county government for recycling sites.

     Never dump used oil or anti-freeze on the ground or in

     open streams.

 

 

Each year twenty times the amount of oil spilled by the tanker

Exxon Valdez in Alaska is improperly dumped into America's

environment by do-it-yourselfers.

 

Automotive Information Council

 

 

   * Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases sharply above 55

     mph.

 

   * Drive gently. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky

     stop-and-go's. Use cruise-control on open highways to keep

     your speed as steady as possible.

 

   * Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting

     for friends and family. Today's vehicles are designed to

     "warm up" fast, so forget about those five-minute warm ups

     on cold winter mornings.

 

   * Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means

     better mileage. Store luggage/ cargo in the trunk rather

     than on the roof to reduce air drag.

 

   * Plan trips. Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate

     unnecessary driving. Try to travel when traffic is light

     to avoid stop-and-go conditions. Join a car pool.

 

     Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it, and how its

fluids, old parts, and tires are disposed of all have serious

consequences on the environment.

 

 

A Word about ASE

 

 

     Perhaps years ago, a shade-tree mechanic whose only

credentials were a tool box and busted knuckles was enough.

But today's quality-conscious consumers demand more.

 

     The independent, non-profit National Institute for

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducts the only

industry-wide, national certification program for automotive

technicians.

 

     Consumers benefit from ASE's certification program since

it takes much of the guesswork out of finding a competent

technicians.

 

     ASE certifies the competency of individual technicians

through a series of standardized specialty exams (brakes,

transmissions, engine repair, etc..)

 

ASE

CERTIFIED

 

 

 

     We employ technicians certified by the National institute

for AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE.

Let us show you their credentials

 

     Certified technicians are issued pocket credentials

listing their area(s) of expertise and usually wear blue and

white ASE shoulder insignia, while employers often post the ASE

sign on the premises.  There are over a quarter million ASE

technicians at work in every type of repair facility.

 

      This publication has been reviewed by the Environmental

Protection Agency. Distribution of this document does not

constitute or imply EPA endorsement of any ASE service.

 

 

National Institute for

AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE

13505 Dulles Technology Dr.

Herndon, VA 22071

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                   Don't Get Hung Up In the Heat

 

 

 

                Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Summer

 

 

 

                        Glove Box Tips from

                        Ted the Technician

 

                                EPA

 

                       National Institutes for

                    AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE

 

 

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Summer

 

 

     Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take

their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and

you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of

mechanical failure through periodic maintenance...Your vehicle

should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!

 

     Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require

a skilled auto technician.

 

 

Getting Started--The best planning guide is your owner's

manual. Read it; and follow the manufacturer's recommended

service schedules.

 

 

 

 

 

   * Air Conditioning--A Marginally operating system will fail

     in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified

     technician.

 

   * Cooling System--The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is

     overheating. The cooling system should be completely

     flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level,

     condition, and concentration of the coolant should be

     checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and

     water is usually recommended.)

 

          DIYers, Never remove the radiator cap until the engine

     has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive

     belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

 

 

 

   * OIL--Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your

     manual--more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make

     frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of

     luggage, or tow a trailer.

 

   * Engine Performance--Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV,

     etc.) as recommended--more often in dusty conditions. Get

     engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling,

     smiling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.

 

 

 

   * Windshield Wipers--A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue

     and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get

     plenty of windshield washer solvent.

 

 

 

   * Tires--Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles.

     Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires "cool

     down" first.

 

 

 

          Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in

     good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven

     wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and

     nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread

     wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.

 

 

 

   * Brakes--Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your

     manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing,

     noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems

     should be corrected promptly.

 

 

 

   * Battery--Batteries can fail any time of year. The only

     accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional

     equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts

     and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all

     connections. If battery. caps are removable, check the

     fluid level monthly.

 

 

 

          Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery

     acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

 

   * Lights--Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out

     bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all

     lenses.

 

 

 

     To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

 

 

 

   * Emergencies--Carry some basic tools--ask a technician for

     suggestions. Also include a first aid kit, flares, and a

     flashlight. Consider buying a CB radio.

 

 

A Word about ASE

 

 

     Perhaps years ago, a shade-tree mechanic whose only

credentials were a tool box and busted knuckles was enough.

But today's quality-conscious consumers demand more.

 

     The independent, non-profit National Institute for

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducts the only

industry-wide, national certification program for automotive

technicians.

 

     Consumers benefit from ASE's certification program since

it takes much of the guesswork out of finding a competent

technicians.

 

     ASE certifies the competency of individual technicians

through a series of standardized specialty exams (brakes,

transmissions, engine repair, etc.)

 

ASE

CERTIFIED

 

 

 

     We employ technicians certified by the National institute

for AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE.

Let us show you their credentials

 

     Certified technicians are issued pocket credentials

listing their area(s) of expertise and usually wear blue and

white ASE shoulder insignia, while employers often post the ASE

sign on the premises.  There are over a quarter million ASE

technicians at work in every type of repair facility.
 

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