Welcome to our News & Tips Blog!


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 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.

Save on a New Air Filter & Enjoy Better Performance

air filter LongmontDid you know that your vehicle’s engine uses up to 10,000 gallons of air for every gallon of gas consumed? Having a clean air filter is vital for your car’s ability to function optimally: it improves gas mileage, acceleration, and overall performance while also reducing emissions and prolonging engine life. Best Auto Repair in Longmont is offering a deal now through the end of April when you install a NAPA air filter with an oil change, you’ll get $15 instant savings!

5 Reasons to Change Your Car’s Air Filter

  1. Extends Engine Life– The function of the air filter is to prevent dirt and other particles from entering the system. The internal components, such as the pistons and cylinders, are especially prone to damage from small pieces of debris.
  2. Better Fuel Efficiency– One study claims that regularly changing the air filter will boost your vehicle’s gas mileage by 10%. Another showed that acceleration increased 6-11% when a clogged filter was replaced.
  3. Decreased Emissions– When air flow to the engine is reduced, the emission control system may inaccurately calculate the proper air-fuel ratio which could also lead to increased engine deposits. The spark plugs could also begin to fail should they become too dirty.
  4. Valuable Prevention– Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will state the recommended schedule for changing its air filter, usually between every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. Swapping out an old filter for new is a quick fix for preventing many potential problems.
  5. Inexpensive Maintenance– Replacing the air filter is low-cost upkeep and is even more affordable now with the current air filter coupon available at Best Auto Repair through the end of the month.

Take advantage of extra savings on a new air filter this month at Best Auto Repair in Longmont and enjoy your car’s increased performance!

Source: http://www.carsdirect.com/car-maintenance/5-benefits-of-changing-your-air-filter

A Spring Tune Up will Save You Money & Keep You Safe on the Road

tune up LongmontWe all want our vehicles to be safe and reliable, and the best way to ensure that dependability is with regular maintenance. Keeping your car in good shape with regular tune-ups following the manufacturer’s recommendations will also keep its resale value high. Best Auto Repair in Longmont offers a thorough and affordable tune up for your car or truck that will ensure it is running optimally this spring!

Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council, points out that there are economic, safety and environmental benefits to performing regular vehicle maintenance and stated that “Neglected vehicles do cause accidents, or a breakdown on a highway, which in itself can be dangerous.”

Basic Spring Checklist to Tune Up Your Car

  • Check the air filter– a dirty filter will not keep as much dust and dirt out of the fuel system, which results in poorer gas mileage.
  • Measure the tire pressure– under-inflated tires wear out faster and use more gas.
  • Assess the lights– make sure the front, rear and brake lights are not burned out or defective.
  • Check the level of fluids– low transmission or brake fluids can decrease performance but also cause bigger problems with other engine components.

 

According to the National Car Care Council, “Neglected vehicle maintenance leads to more than 2,600 of the approximately 43,000 deaths each year…and nearly 100,000 disabling injuries.” There are 3 major reasons why preventative maintenance is worthwhile: first, your car will run more efficiently, second, it is better for the environment, and most importantly, it ensures that it is safe to drive! Regular vehicle maintenance definitely saves money in the long run, but with the top quality tune up provided by Best Auto Repair in Longmont, it is also affordable now! Call today for an appointment to get your car in tip-top shape for spring!

Role of Catalytic Converter in the Exhaust System

exhaust system LongmontThe function of a catalytic converter is to convert engine emissions into non-hazardous gases through a chemical catalyst. It is a vital part in the exhaust system to prevent pollution. A damaged catalytic converter will need to be replaced to make emissions safe, and the highly trained technicians at Best Auto Repair in Longmont have the experience to thoroughly evaluate your vehicle’s exhaust system and return it to maximum efficiency in a jiffy.

Signs a Failing Catalytic Converter Needs an Exhaust System Check

  • Exhaust Problems: A clogged converter will restrict output and a crack will cause leaks. If dark smoke is being produced from the muffler or it smells like rotten eggs/sulfur, a faulty catalytic converter is most likely to blame.

  • Rattling Noise: The inside of a catalytic converter contains a honeycomb structure that can start to break apart due to age or damage. These pieces will rattle around internally causing a noise that will be more noticeable when turning on the car and will also become progressively louder.

  • Poor Engine Performance: If you notice a decrease in your vehicle’s acceleration, power or fuel economy, a damaged catalytic converter may be to blame. Since the converter is a vital component of the exhaust system, any problems with it will reduce overall engine performance.

  • Check Engine Light Illuminated: The sensors that monitor oxygen and fuel ratios will turn the check engine light on if they detect that exhaust gases are beyond the recommended levels. This is a strong indication that the catalytic converter is becoming inefficient, but there are many other possible reasons for a check engine light alert that only a computer scan will disclose.

If you suspect your vehicle’s exhaust system needs repair or if it fails an emissions test, bring it to the ASE-certified mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont for a quick diagnosis and solution.

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


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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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