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Best Auto of Longmont loves to share auto repair and service tips and other news worthy information, as we are truly passionate about what we do best! Thanks again for visiting our website, and we hope to see you down at the shop sometime soon!

Save Big on New Shocks or Struts this Fall!

new shocks or struts LongmontShocks used to be installed solely on full-frame cars and trucks, while struts were exclusively used on unibody vehicles. This is not the case anymore, with the wide variety of suspension designs available today. If you’ve noticed your ride has become more jarring lately, bring your vehicle into Best Auto Repair of Longmont for a quick diagnosis and repair of your shocks or struts.

Shocks or Struts- What’s the difference?

  • The main difference between shocks and struts is their external construction. Shocks are not an integral part of a vehicle’s suspension system, meaning that it could still be driven (although it would be an uncomfortable ride) if the shock-absorbers were removed. On the other hand, struts are a critical part of suspension and without them, the car would be immovable on the ground.
  • The way both shocks and struts absorb energy is through a series of internal valves and oil: the valves restrict how fast the oil flows, thereby making the jarring bumps in the road feel much smoother.
  • Struts also have a coil spring, with an upper strut mount above and bump-stop below. All of these individual parts, including some cartridges housing the internal “shock” section, are replaceable but usually replacing the entire strut is easiest.
  • Once oil starts leaking from shocks or struts, their dampening function deteriorates quickly and the vehicle will start bouncing off the street surface, creating a dangerously unstable condition.
  • Another way struts can deteriorate is if their coil springs get rusty and lose their shape, which could potentially cause them to pierce the tire.

 

You may also be wondering about aftermarket air suspension parts. Usually, the only time air shocks are recommended to replace non-air types is on the rear axles of trucks to assist with heavy loads. It’s more common for owners of a vehicle equipped with an air ride system to replace it with a conversion kit once the air suspension has failed. This is because it is difficult to diagnose whether there is just a bad seal, damaged hose or a totally burned out compressor, and a traditional design eliminates future hassles of complicated air ride suspension.

New shocks or struts make an older car feel new again, and right now Best Auto Repair is running a special on new shocks or struts– so make an appointment today for a smoother ride tomorrow!

Source: https://www.1aauto.com/content/articles/shocks-and-struts

Regular Car Fluid Check is Good Practice

car fluid check Longmont“One of the easiest- and, perhaps, most important- ways to maintain your car is by regularly checking fluid levels” says Tom Moor of Angie’s List. Whether your vehicle is due for an oil change or you are planning a road trip, trust the experienced mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont to conduct a thorough fluid check to keep your car in optimal driving condition.

Car Fluid Check

  1. Oil– After wiping the dipstick and removing it again, the level should not be below marking and the oil should not appear dirty- if it is, then it’s time to schedule an oil change.
  2. Transmission fluid– Unlike engine oil, newer cars often do not have a transmission dipstick for owners to check the level themselves. Mechanics can assess the level and state of transmission fluid as part of an oil change- if it is dark brown or smells burnt, it needs replaced. Typically transmission fluid lasts for 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
  3. Power steering fluid– Some tanks have a dipstick while others are designed to be assessed by just removing the cap. Consult your vehicle’s manual to know when to change the power steering fluid- the recommendation can range from every two years to every 100,000 miles.
  4. Coolant– The coolant reservoir is transparent so you can easily assess the amount remaining. If more is needed, make sure the coolant is premixed and does not need to be diluted by half with water.
  5. Windshield wiper fluid– Especially important to maintain during the winter, windshield washing fluid is also stored in a transparent tank for instant visible assessment. And just like when checking the oil or coolant, it is important to wait until the engine is cool before checking wiper fluid level.
  6. Brake fluid– Also housed in a translucent reservoir, the master cylinder for brake fluid is located near the back of the engine. Brake fluid should be changed every 45,000 miles on average.

If you suspect any of the above fluid’s are running low in your vehicle, bring it in for a thorough car fluid check by the ASE-certified technicians at Best Auto Repair in Longmont.

Signs a New Fuel Pump is Needed

new fuel pump LongmontThe fuel pump is a simple but essential component of internal combustion engines: its job is to deliver gas from the tank to the engine at a specific pressure for performance needs. Usually fuel pumps can be relied on to last for many, many miles- unless, you regularly put in less than a quarter tank of gas in your car. So if you start to notice performance issues, strange whining or difficulty starting bring your vehicle into Best Auto Repair of Longmont to check if it might be time for a new fuel pump.

Signs Your Car Needs a New Fuel Pump

  1. Loud Whine- A smoothly operating fuel pump emits a quiet hum so if you start hearing a loud whining noise coming from the tank, something is wrong.
  2. Slow Start- If the fuel pump is wearing out, the pressure it creates will be weaker so the engine may take a few more cranks to get started.
  3. Poor Engine Performance- When the pump is not sending enough gas into the engine to maintain the proper air-fuel ratio for combustion, then all sorts of problems can occur. Possible performance issues from a failing fuel pump are misfires, stalling, and decreased acceleration, power or fuel efficiency.
  4. Failure to Start- If the pump is totally defunct and not able to provide enough fuel to get the engine running, it will still crank but not start.

Hopefully you won’t have to think about replacing your car’s fuel pump until it reaches high mileage but, unfortunately, all mechanical parts are susceptible to breaking unexpectedly or wearing out prematurely. If you suspect your fuel pump may be failing, have the ASE-certified mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont run a quick diagnostic test to pinpoint your vehicle’s trouble. No matter if just a new part or more extensive repair is needed, we’ll have your car up and running again fast for a very reasonable rate!

Source: https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/symptoms-of-a-bad-or-failing-fuel-pump

Save Now on a New Alternator, Starter or Battery

new alternator LongmontUsually a vehicle’s alternator lasts for 7 years or 100-150,00 miles so it’s not a part that car owners have to think about much, but when it starts to fail you will notice! That’s because the alternator is essential in powering all the electrical systems of a car from the headlights to battery. The experienced mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont can quickly diagnose any alternator, starter or battery problem and if a replacement is needed, you can save on a new part during our current special!

Signs You Need a New Alternator

  • Warning Light: Most dashboards display a light in the shape of a battery to indicate a problem, but some will say “ALT” or “GEN”, for alternator or generator issues. If the alternator’s output goes outside the normal operating range, usually between 13-14.5 volts, then the car’s computer will illuminate the warning light.
  • Dim Lights: When the alternator is on its way out, electrical systems in the car may start to act up- for example, dim headlights, slowed power windows or weak heated seats. Many vehicles are programmed to switch off electricity to non-essential components first so the radio will quit before the headlights go.
  • Burning Smell or Growling Noise: If the alternator’s pulley is out of alignment or getting stuck, then you will smell burnt rubber. If the alternator is overheating, then you’ll smell hot wires. And you might also hear a growling or whining noise if the pulley is not in correct alignment with the belt or the bearings are worn out.
  • Dead Battery: When an alternator starts to go bad, the battery will act as a capacitor by by taking in constant electrical power. However, batteries are not designed to provide power for very long so if they try to make up for a failing alternator, they will eventually give out.
  • Bad Connection: If the alternator is still producing electricity but there is a loose connection or faulty wire, then you will sometimes notice abnormally bright cabin or headlights when the alternator tries to overcome the resistance by surging more energy through the lines.

 

If your car is showing any of the above symptoms or you suspect something is wrong with its electrical system, bring your vehicle to Best Auto Repair in Longmont for a quick test to pinpoint if the problem is due to a bad alternator, starter or battery. And now through August, receive a $15-25 Visa card with the purchase of a NAPA new alternator, starter or battery!

Common Myths about Your Car Battery

car battery LongmontA car’s battery can be compared to the heart of the vehicle, responsible for all its electric systems. The experienced mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont understand the vital role of the car battery and can expertly diagnose and solve any problems with it. Alex Leanse of Popular Mechanics examined some myths about the car battery and clarified the hugely important part it plays in our vehicles.

Facts vs. Fiction About Your Car Battery

  • The average life of a car battery is 6 years.
  • Using electronic components when the engine is off will shorten the life of the battery so take care to turn off the headlights and interior lights when you turn off the car. Also be sure to unplug devices like cell phones & GPS units that are plugged into the charger!
  • The liquid electrolyte solution used in most batteries is affected by extreme outdoor temperatures. Parking your vehicle in a garage will extend the life of its battery.
  • Cold weather will limit the amount of power that the solution is able to transfer. A battery heater can reduce this problem but beware that buying a battery with a high CCA (cold cranking amp) will NOT help because the car’s computer sets the amperage for ignition.
  • Hot weather causes the solution to evaporate faster, which means its ability to hold a charge is lowered. Replacing lost solution with deionized water is an acceptable short term fix but do NOT use tap water because the cells could be damaged by impurities.
  • Even a dead battery is full of environmentally-harmful chemicals so always take old ones to a mechanic or auto supply store to be recycled properly instead of just being thrown away.

Most drivers assume the battery is dead when their car won’t start but there are a number of other possible reasons. Some potential problems are a faulty starter motor, clogged fuel injectors, worn spark plugs, a failed alternator or corroded battery terminals. So if your vehicle starts showing signs of a low battery, such as a sluggish startup, failing interior lights or a battery warning on the dashboard, then bring it in to Best Auto Repair of Longmont for a quick diagnosis before you hear that dreaded click of a dead car battery.

Coolant Leak and Other Reasons for an Overheated Engine

coolant leak LongmontDo you know what your engine’s temperature should be? A normal operating range is between 195 to 220 degrees F. When the temperature rises above this limit, the engine overheats and problems ensue. If your engine has overheated due to a coolant leak or other reason, the experienced mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont will quickly diagnose the problem and resolve it.

Causes of an Overheated Engine

  • Coolant leaking from the water pump, radiator, hoses, freeze plugs, heater core, thermostat housing, head gasket, automatic transmission oil cooler, cylinder heads and block.
  • Failing thermostat that does not open when needed, thereby blocking release of coolant.
  • Clogged radiator, either externally with debris or internally with sediment, that restricts airflow.
  • Broken cooling fan or malfunctioning fan clutch that also causes inadequate airflow through the radiator.
  • Worn or loose water pump impeller that interrupts circulation of coolant.
  • Blocked catalytic converter or exhaust pipe preventing heat from exiting the system and causing a build up in the engine.
  • Defective radiator cap- without being properly kept under pressure, coolant will boil at 225 degrees while a functional 15 PSI cap will allow the coolant to reach 265 before boiling.

 

Overheating can cause serious damage to most engines. Possible problems caused by overheating include: overhead cam breaking, hoses bursting, damage to exhaust valves, blown head gasket, abrasion to pistons and cylinders and damage to rings, pistons and/or rod bearings. All car owners want to avoid these costly repairs caused by overheating and the best chance of doing that is by turning the engine off, letting it cool down, then having it assessed as soon as possible.

A coolant leak is the most common cause of an overheated engine, and having Best Auto Repair conduct a pressure test of the cooling system and radiator cap will quickly pinpoint the problem and have you back on the road in no time. Call us today so you can plan a summer road trip without worrying about your car staying cool under pressure!

Source: http://www.aa1car.com/library/overheat.htm

When to Repair Transmission or Replace Car

transmission rebuild LongmontYou know there is a major problem with your car if it won’t shift or move forward or reverse, but everyone still hopes the transmission isn’t the source. If you need to repair, rebuild or replace your vehicle’s transmission, come to Best Auto Repair in Longmont for quality work at a reasonable price.

5 Choices When Your Car’s Transmission Needs Repair

  1. Junk it– If faced with a costly problem, like a transmission failure, it makes sense to compare the cost of repair to the current value of your vehicle. In most cases, it isn’t worth fixing the transmission if the car is over 20 years old or has more than 200,000 miles.
  2. Sell it– Dealers, repair shops and junkyards are always in the market to buy vehicles with bad transmissions to either fix and resell, or part out. Keep in mind that you will typically only receive a few hundred bucks for a car that is not running.
  3. Buy a used or remanufactured transmission online– A used unit runs from $400-$1,600 online and a remanufactured one about $1,400- $3000. You also will need to find an auto repair shop that is willing to install it and factor in their labor costs. Getting a used transmission online is the cheapest option but also riskiest because shops will not warranty it. However, a reman usually comes with a 3 year or 100,000 mile warranty.
  4. Get a used or remanufactured transmission thru a repair shop– If you would prefer the shop find and purchase a used unit for you, the price will generally run from $800 to $1,500 including labor and a short warranty (3-6 months). A remanufactured transmission will cost $2,500-$3,500 to source and install but gets the extended warranty. Repair shops do charge a slight markup but having them handle the whole process with installation is a very convenient option.
  5. Have an auto repair shop rebuild/repair the transmission– Rebuilding a transmission involves completely disassembling it to thoroughly clean and replace any worn parts, then putting it all back together! The cost of a rebuild depends on what part failed, and that can only be estimated until the unit has been taken apart. An honest mechanic will give you an estimated price range because of the uncertainty in diagnosing the problem. It will typically cost between $1,500 to $2,500 and come with a 1-2 year warranty.

If you get the dreaded failed transmission diagnosis and you’ve decided fixing your car makes more sense than getting rid of it, trust the expert technicians at Best Auto Repair in Longmont for a quick and reasonable transmission repair!

Source: https://www.transmissionrepaircostguide.com/transmission-has-failed/

Limited-time Offer on New Brake Pads

replacement brake pads LongmontEach manufacturer of replacement brake pads offers a wide selection so choosing which to go with can be confusing. In a 2014 review of replacement brake pads by Consumer Reports, upgraded or severe-duty pads were only recommended “if you tow, carry heavy loads or numerous passengers often, live in hilly or mountainous areas, or have a daily commute down a steep grade”. While price and performance or important considerations, choosing certified replacement brake pads, like NAPA’s line offered at Best Auto Repair in Longmont, is the most important factor.

Types of Brake Pads

Semimetallic: Pros of this type of pad are their durability and heat transfer; cons are that they tend to wear down rotors more quickly and may not do as well at lower temperatures, and can also be noisy. Semimetallic brake pads are mad up of inorganic fillers, friction modifiers and 30-65% metal, which could be graphite, copper, iron powder or chopped steel wool

Low-metallic NAO: These pads only contain 10-30% metal (usually copper or steel) mixed with organic matter. The metal component increases brake performance and heat transfer, but creates more dust and noise as well.

Nonasbestos Organic: Also known as just organic or NAO, this type contains glass, rubber or carbon fibers mixed with high-temp resins and other filler components. Being softer, they are quieter but also wear faster and create more dust.

Ceramic: The most expensive kind of brake pad because they are cleaner, quieter, don’t accelerate rotor wear and offer optimal braking performance. As you probably guessed, ceramic pads are made of ceramic fibers, bonding agents, nonferrous filler and maybe a bit of metal.

According to Consumer Reports, it’s most important to look for certified replacement pads; the most expensive or upgraded options may not be the best choice for your vehicle and driving habits. The Dual Dynamometer Differential Effectiveness Analysis, or D3EA, is voluntary, conducted by an independent laboratory and the hardest certification to receive. NAPA was among only three other companies to pass the stringent D3EA test when it was first introduced in 1996!

From now through June, Best Auto Repair is offering $50 off qualifying NAPA brake products– so if your brakes are squealing, make an appointment today to take advantage of this great deal!

Special on AC Recharge or Service

recharge car ac LongmontDid you know that the refrigerant used in your car’s air conditioner can damage the environment? That is why the EPA requires technicians to be certified and use approved recycling equipment when working on a motor vehicle’s air conditioner. Interestingly, the “EPA does not require leak repair before refrigerant is charged into a vehicle” but anytime a car’s AC system is opened for repair or just maintenance, the refrigerant should be recycled (which means cleaned of impurities). Best Auto Repair in Longmont has certified technicians and EPA-approved equipment to recharge your vehicle’s air conditioner, and can also handle all necessary repairs should any leaks be detected.

3 Options to Recharge Your Car’s AC

  1. Adding more refrigerant– Although topping off the system will result in a noticeable temperature improvement inside the car, it could also actually impair the air conditioner’s performance. Mechanics cannot precisely measure how much refrigerant your vehicle currently has when brought in, and guessing how much to add can result in either undercharging or overcharging it.
  2. Draining and refilling– An evacuation and recharge service removes any guesswork because the technician is able to refill the system to the exact manufacturer recommendation. All of the existing refrigerant is drained and impurities are removed through a cleaning process before being introduced back into the AC along with any needed new amount.
  3. Repair leaking components– Although an electronic leak detector is usually successful in locating the problem, small leaks are sometimes difficult to pinpoint. However, although topping off or recharging a system are effective approaches, they provide short-term benefits and only repairing a leak will improve your vehicle’s AC for the long-term.

Now through the end of June, Best Auto Repair of Longmont is running a special for $15 off a recover and recharge service for your car’s air conditioning system! And should your vehicle’s AC system still use the outdated and increasingly expensive CFC-12, or chlorofluorocarbon, refrigerant, our shop can retrofit it to use the newer HFC-134a, or hydrofluorocarbon, refrigerant as well. Call us today before the hot weather hits!

Squealing Signals Brake Check and Repair

brake repair LongmontThe most common clue that alerts drivers to a problem with their brakes is hearing a high-pitched screech when stopping. If you hear this sound frequently (and not just after your car has been sitting in wet conditions), then an appointment with a mechanic is in order. Best Auto Repair in Longmont can make any necessary brake repair in a short amount of time and at a competitive rate.

Signs that Your Car Needs Brake Repair

  • Pulls to left or right when braking. If this happens, the brake linings may be unevenly worn or the brake fluid might need replaced if a contaminant has gotten in.
  • Less resistance when pressing on pedal. Reduced responsiveness is usually a symptom of a fluid leak or air leak in the hose. Another sign of a brake fluid leak is a puddle accumulating under your parked vehicle.
  • Grinding sound when braking. This jarring noise is caused when the disc and caliper rub together because the pads have worn away. The rotors may then need to be evened out or replaced if they have become too deeply scratched.
  • Vibrating feedback when stopping. If the pedal shakes when depressed, most likely your car’s rotors are warped. The rotors surface becomes uneven from extended periods of intense braking, like when towing or on a steep downhill. This sensation is just like what happens with anti-lock brakes on a sudden stop.

 

In addition to the above warning signs, you can also visually inspect your brake pads through the wheel’s spokes to make sure there is at least ¼ inch remaining. Most drivers assume that their vehicle’s brakes are in good working order unless they hear or feel something amiss but regular brake maintenance should not be overlooked. Best Auto Repair of Longmont can help prevent expensive future bills and ensure that your car is in safe-working order by conducting a thorough inspection and doing any needed brake repair.


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720.652.7272

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Best Auto Longmont
1840 Delaware Place Unit C
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 720.652.7272

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