1. My check engine light came on, what should I do?

If the car is running fine, then make sure the gas cap is present, properly installed and tight. If it is not, install the gas cap properly, give it about a week and see if the light resets. If the gas cap is installed properly, call us for an appointment as soon as possible to diagnose why the check engine light is on. A check engine light is a malfunction indicator telling us that something is wrong in the fuel, ignition, emissions or fuel tank evaporative system. It is usually something that should be looked at right away but not so critical that the car should be towed. Please note that the check engine light is different from a service reminder light, which is tripped by the odometer and indicates a mileage interval has lapsed since the light was reset at the last major service. This light indicates that it is time for routine maintenance. Please call us so we can schedule this maintenance at your convenience.

2. My oil light is on, what should I do?

This light is red for a reason. It means shut off the engine immediately. If the light is still illuminated upon restarting the vehicle, call us, and we will help arrange a tow. If the light blinks when you go around a corner or when you go down a steep hill, it usually means that your oil level is low. Check the level of your oil, and top it up as necessary. When the light is on bright and steady, it usually indicates an oil pressure problem. If the engine is run with low oil pressure, it will do major damage very quickly. Please note that you may have plenty of oil in the engine but still have an oil pressure problem.

3. What are the advantages to ceramic brake pads?

Ceramic brake pads are the best thing that has happened in brakes during the more than 28 years that we have been in business. Ceramics are clean and do not emit black dust onto your wheels. This is usually most apparent on the front wheels. In our experience, they usually last twice as long as any other pad. They are available for most of the cars we service, and we prefer to use them whenever possible.

4. My car is still under factory warranty. Does the warranty require that the dealer do all the service on my vehicle?

In a word, no. Any reputable shop can service your vehicle, even while the car is under warranty. It is actually prudent to have an independent shop thoroughly inspect the car prior to the warranty’s expiration so that any warranty issues can be taken care of while the car is under warranty.

5. Should I purchase an aftermarket warranty when I am buying a used car?

These warranties often pay off but can also be a little tricky depending on the company. We recommend you do your due diligence on whatever warranty is being offered and then make a decision. Realize that these warranties will rarely fully cover you on repairs, often covering 50-80% of the bill. We often do see customers getting more money back than what they paid.

6. Why should I stop filling my tank when the filler clicks?

Overfilling your fuel tank may cause fuel to flow in to your charcoal canister, tank vent, and/or purge valves, causing your check engine light to illuminate and requiring repair. It is best not to top off your tank.

7. Should I set my emergency brake during freezing weather?

If you set your e-brake during freezing weather it may freeze and lock the wheels. This is very common on the SAAB 9-5 model and may happen on other cars as well. It is especially bad to set the emergency brake after driving from rainy sea level up into freezing temperatures in the mountains. In freezing weather, it is best to park on level ground and to leave the emergency brake unset.