- Read the owner's manual and follow the recommended service schedules.
- Correct problems with hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc. before hot weather sets in.
- Flush and refill the cooling system (radiator) according to the service manual's recommendations. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.
- If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, call FRED'S COMPLETE CAR CARE.
- Have a a qualified auto technician check the tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses.
- Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a qualified technician to reduce the likelihood of more costly repairs.
- Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner's manual. (Properly dispose of used oil.)
- Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended.
- Check the condition of tires, including the spare. Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold.
- Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs.
- Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer solvent on hand to combat summer's dust and insects.
Spring is one of the prime times for auto maintenance. That first wash-n-wax on a warm Saturday afternoon is liberating. Winter's gloom (to say nothing of grit and road salt) is literally washed away. Take out the snow shovel, the gloves, and heavy boots and store them 'til next season. Surely summer can't be far away.Some preparation now will help ensure that your summer driving plans go as smoothly as you envision them now. ASE, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, offers the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer.
Even as politicians argue over how to create or keep "good jobs" in the U.S., a recent National Federation of Independent Businesses survey reported that the percentage of small businesses saying that they get no or few qualified applicants for available jobs has hit a 17-year high. This is especially true in Auto Repair.
Much of the problem is that career training in the U.S. hasn't evolved to keep up with the economy's transformation. Schools have cut vocational funding, while parents, guidance counselors, and even politicians keep pushing students into college programs. Meantime, jobs in traditional blue-collar trades — from manufacturing to automobile repair — have grown more sophisticated and demanding.
Although formal vocational education has been a part of American schooling since the early 20th century, career training has developed into something that teachers and guidance counselors encouraged only students of low academic achievement to pursue. Though the robust post-World War II American economy provided them solid middle-income living, vocational school became stigmatized. That only intensified as American industrial jobs, battered by global competition and automation, started to disappear during the early 1980s.
Unfortunately, many students wound up instead enrolling in four-year colleges who weren't suited for it. These days, only 55% of college students graduate within six years. Meanwhile, student-loan debt has swelled to a monstrous $1.3 trillion.
Many of the students would have been better off receiving vocational training. Plenty of good trade jobs exist, especially in a category known as middle-skilled, meaning jobs that require some post-secondary education — for instance, a certified apprenticeship or a two-year associate degree from a technical college. These jobs are found in health care, information technology, manufacturing, construction, and automobile repair.
Annual incomes in Auto Repair in St. Charles County, Missouri range from $30K for the newly appointed Auto Technician to as high as $75K and higher for the expert, diagnostic technician. And these incomes are often in independent shops with full benefits packages, no weekend hours, and a wide variety of vehicles on which to use your skills.
Sound interesting? Visit an Independent Auto Repair Shop like Fred's Complete Car Care. Contact Ranken, Vatterot, Missouri Technical or other local Vocational / Technical school to learn more about the Automotive Career field, and ask about scholarships. Although cars may be self-driving some day soon, humans will still need to know how to work on them.
There's a reason why you should take your car to a professional to get worked on, especially if you're not particularly handy. While many people try to save a few bucks by doing their own work on their car, there are certain differences between how a professionally trained mechanic will work on a car versus someone who does not work in the industry. Here are the top 5 things mechanics do differently when working on a car than you do at home:
1) Torque to spec - Most people don't even understand what this means. Essentially, it means tightening bolts etc. to specifications. This means both making sure they're tight enough and not over-tightened. A bolt that is over-tightened can be just as lethal as one that hasn't been tightened enough. A bolt tightened beyond recommended torque specs can easily break when the vehicle is in use. Torque specs will be different on different parts of the car, and specs will be less for bolts that have oil or lubricant on them than for dry, clean bolts. Your mechanic knows this and has the proper tools, like torque wrenches to make sure everything is done to spec.
2) Computer calibrations - Modern cars are controlled by computers, and these computers are used to make sure everything in the car is functioning properly. When a part is added, tweaked or replaced in your car, in most cases it needs to be calibrated with the car's computer system. Mechanics have the proper software to calibrate parts being added to your car properly. More importantly, they have the training to properly operate the software in conjunction with the car's computer. This is why most mechanics call themselves and each other "techs" as their jobs have evolved so much with technology, they're no longer just basic mechanics.
3) Safety Precautions - Part of a mechanic's training is learning proper safety procedures for different jobs. This has two purposes. The first one is to protect the mechanic's safety at all times. A shop can be a dangerous place, with thousands of things that can kill and maim in the shop on a daily basis. A trained mechanic knows how to navigate the minefield that is the modern automotive service shop. A mechanic also knows what parts of the car can be the most dangerous to work on, so they usually don't have to swallow a pint of oil when changing the oil filter. Mechanics also know how to keep a car safe, so if you don't want your precious BMW 3-Series to end up on its axle in the driveway, you should take it to a professional tech.
4) Offer a Warranty - No matter how competent you are technically, one thing you absolutely can't offer yourself is a warranty on parts and labor. This is arguably one of the best reasons to see a mechanic. If you buy a part and install it yourself and something goes wrong with it a few months down the line, the only thing you'll be able to do is walk to your bathroom, look in the mirror and say "You did a bad job on my car." But if you go to a professional shop and have work done, a reputable shop will offer a warranty on parts and labor, so if you something goes wrong, you don't even need to get upset as you won't have to pay for it twice.
5) Know What To Look For - The most competent professionals in any industry typically have either a combination of education and experience, or just a whole lot of real-world experience. There is no alternative and no short cuts. Mechanics work on thousands of cars in a year and with every job, they learn what to look for, what to do, what not to do and every little idiosyncrasy about a particular make, model, and repair job. A mechanic with enough experience can sometimes even diagnose an engine problem just by listening to it for long enough, while you scour online forums hoping that the person on the other end is actually old enough to drive. Unless you spend every single day around cars and are able to absorb all of the information and experience that a mechanic does after years of work, there is no possible way you'll know what to look for the same way a mechanic does.
OH, AND HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!
The following is an excerpt from IMPORT CAR, October 2017 by Andrew Markel, Director of Content
Volumes of Technical Service Bulletins Requiring Reflashing & Reprogramming
While doing some research for a recent webinar on the Top TSBs of 2017, I noticed so many of the fixes involved software and not parts. Also, some of the updates were not just for emissions problems, but rather for systems like HVAC, ABS and entertainment.
As an example, for one model launched late in 2016, I counted 10 different TSBs on software updates for different modules that were issued in just the first eight months of 2017. I also found a TSB for a software update on a 2008 car to improve the performance of a catalyst efficiency monitor. The parts market is shifting from updated parts to updated software.
If Original Equipment Manufacturers are going to be issuing software updates for vehicles at their current pace, they need to make it easy and affordable for independent shops to update a vehicle's modules, and not just those related to emissions. Pass-through reprogramming needs to be improved or done away with altogether. Why can't a file be downloaded first and then installed on a vehicle?
What is keeping you up at night?
Taking a long trip by car is an adventure. It's the best way to see America and a wonderful way to learn a little about the country and its highway culture. You'll experience it all, too, from the ambiance of a truck stop to small town diners to the swank of five-star restaurants. Each city, town or wide spot in the road has its own character and culture.
Before you head out to experience America, make sure that your vehicle is up to the task. Nothing can spoil a trip faster than car trouble, especially if it could have been prevented. Keeping your regularly scheduled car maintenance up to date can help keep your vacation from becoming a mechanical nightmare, complete with bills for several thousands of dollars in car repair work.
There are steps you can take before going on the road, like replacing worn-out windshield wipers or checking your alignment, but many important parts in your car, such as the brakes and suspension, should be inspected by a professional mechanic. So you should make an appointment with your auto service center before you leave, and ask for a "maintenance package," which usually includes an oil change, tire rotation, and inspection by a mechanic.
There are also some things under the hood that you should take care of before you start out on your trip:
It's just a matter of time before Old Man Winter comes to call. Here's a few Winter Safety Tips to keep you out of the cold.
Did you know that there are typically seven fluids found in your car which need to be checked regularly in order to stay safe on the road? We are going to go through a two part series to talk about all the different fluids in your vehicle and share important information on how to check them while on the road. In this article we’ll discuss the most familiar fluid people think of which is gasoline, followed by motor oil, and wrap with brake fluid.
Within the first week of driving you will no doubt learn how to check the level of gasoline and add it to your vehicle, if not, by your second week you won’t be doing much driving at all. This may give you more time to familiarize yourself with your automobile’s owner’s manual. In your owner’s manual you can find important information such as what the recommended fuel is for your vehicle as well as where to check and add fluids to your vehicle. If you’ve lost your owner’s manual, most manufacturers have copies available for download on their website. A quick web search can help you find exactly what you need.
Once you’ve mastered adding the recommended gasoline to your vehicle, you’ll want to get under the hood and learn how to check your oil, one of the most frequently checked fluids.
To check your oil, first locate the dipstick and remove it from its cylinder. Next with a clean, lint free rag, wipe the excess oil off the dipstick. Next reinsert it into the cylinder and remove it again. On the stick you will see markings that identify the level of oil. There should be a range in between “Add” and “Full” that lets you know you have a proper level of oil. If it is in the “Add” area you should add oil. Also, if the oil is no longer a clear amber color, but black, it’s time for you to get an oil change. If the oil level is above the “Full” mark, too much oil has been added and you’ll need to visit the shop to have this remedied.
Keep in mind, older cars can begin to leak small amounts and even burn oil, so you might not notice losing oil in between oil changes.
Next you’ll want to check your brake fluid level. Using your owner’s manual locate the brake fluid reservoir. The reservoir is typically a translucent plastic that lets you see the fluid level inside. There will be markings on the side that indicate if the reservoir is full or needs fluid added. Also brake fluid is clear with a slight yellow tint, if it looks dark in color, it’s time for you to have your lines flushed and new brake fluid added.
To ensure the life of your vehicle and your safety, you should routinely check your oil and brake fluid, or we’d be happy to check and change them for you at Fred's Complete Car Care. Check back next month for Part 2.
The high temperatures of summer can be tough on a vehicle - everything from the paint down to the tires is subjected to harsher than normal conditions. Gone unchecked, some issues could leave you stranded in the heat. Here are a few tips to help make sure you and your vehicle are protected against the hazards of summer.
Fluids like coolant, motor oil and windshield washer fluid are things motorists can regularly check on their own. Engine coolant, sometimes called antifreeze, is the number one thing motorists should stay on top of in the summer months. Since modern cars have a closed system for coolant, checking or adding coolant is easy. This is generally done through the coolant reservoir located under the hood. Consult your owner's manual for a specific location. Be sure the coolant level is between the minimum and maximum markings, adding more if necessary. But never open the radiator cap or coolant tank lid when the engine is hot.
Tire pressure is also important, especially in summer months. As the outside temperature climbs, the air in your car's tires expands, so check your tire pressure when the tires are at a normal temperature - before you set out on a road trip. Also, be sure to use the proper tire pressure for your car, not the maximum pressure listed on the tire sidewall. Check the recommended tire pressure label in the door jamb or glove compartment, or consult your owner's manual.
Tires that are over- or underinflated can reduce the vehicle's handling capability or generate excess heat, causing a blowout. Although most newer cars have an on-board tire pressure monitoring system, get a good quality tire pressure gauge - a dial-type analog unit or digital gauge, not a straight, pen-type one - and check them yourself every few months. Don't forget to check the pressure in your spare tire, too. It's like an insurance policy. You never know when you might need it.
Along with the heat, summer also means more long-distance road trips that reveal the high cost of poor fuel economy. So it's a good time to keep up periodic maintenance like oil and filter changes and inspection or replacement of the air cleaner and fuel filters. Not only are these essential to the durability of your engine in the long term, but neglecting them will cause poor fuel economy in the short term, too. Performing regular maintenance means it will take less fuel to make that long highway trip. Maintaining proper tire pressure and using cruise control on the highway can further improve fuel economy, keeping your summer fuel costs down.
While air conditioning can be a drag on fuel economy in stop-and-go driving, keeping the windows up and the a/c on improves aerodynamics and is ideal on the highway. Plus, it will keep the driver and passengers comfortable and reduce driver fatigue. Have your air conditioning system checked annually. If your car's a/c is not getting cold, chances are you have a leak in the system. Adding refrigerant will only solve the problem temporarily, so invest in a proper repair. Some a/c systems have a cabin air filtration system. Check your owner's manual to see how often the filter should be changed. And if you see a little water dripping from your car, don't worry. The a/c system drains condensation when it's working properly.
Keeping your car cool when you're not driving is important, too. The heat of the summer sun can cause cosmetic damage to your car and make it harder to cool off inside when it's time to drive. Protect your paint and interior by parking in a garage or under an awning when possible. Regularly wax your vehicle using a polish with UV protection to reduce sun damage and paint fading. Protect the interior, too. Purchasing a $10 sunshade that keeps sunlight from coming in the windshield can reduce fading, drying and cracking inside your vehicle, and keep you cooler when you sit down behind the wheel.
Preparation is a key to handling harsh summer heat. Following these simple tips will help your vehicle to perform its best this summer. Not only will you and your vehicle be better prepared to survive the heat, but you'll also make the most of your summer by enjoying the freedom that a well-cared-for car can offer. That certainly beats being stranded in the heat.
Spring is one of the prime times for auto maintenance. That first wash-n-wax on a warm Saturday afternoon is liberating. Although the winter of 2015/16 was an easy one, it's always liberating to wash away that winter grit and road salt. Surely summer can't be far away.
Some preparation now will help ensure that your summer driving plans go as smoothly. Read the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer.
Do you want to excel in the automotive repair industry? Do you enjoy a challenge? Would you like to become an ASE Master Tech? Then Fred's Complete Car Care might be for you!!
Fred's is seeking a full-time general services automotive technician. Candidate must have 2+ years experience in brakes, suspension, and general maintenance services. Experience with tires and alignments a plus. Safety and Emission certifications desirable. We are a fast-paced shop with a loyal customer base so efficiency PAYS! Our benefits include: Health, Dental, 401(K), Paid Vacation, Paid Holidays, Uniforms, Paid Training.
We're looking for a team player with a positive attitude, professional appearance, and a desire to excel. Opportunities at both St. Charles and Wentzville.
Send your resume or application to email@example.com today !
YES there really is a Fred.