Maintenance

Two Guys Auto Service And The Maintenance Mindset

When it comes to their vehicles, some Orillia auto owners don’t have a maintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Orillia drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance, but just may have not applied it to their SUVs.

For example: the lawn. You water it and mow it every week. And weed the flower beds and rake the leaves. Two Guys Auto Service And The Maintenance MindsetThere are other things that Orillia residents are diligent about. Going to the dentist twice a year. Clothes to the dry cleaner. Flu shots. Taking the kids to your Orillia doctor for a checkup before school starts.

So Orillia auto owners really are maintenance minded. They just have to learn to apply that mindset to cars. I mean, if you never brush your teeth or go to the dentist, you’ll become painfully aware of your neglect when you get a big cavity. Once the damage is done, most of us learn our lesson and shape up.

Unfortunately, Orillia auto owners too often learn a hard automotive lesson when they bring their vehicle to Two Guys Auto Service on a tow truck. So many times a little routine maintenance would have prevented a breakdown.

So how can Orillia auto owners get into the habit of taking care of their SUV? It’s so easy to forget. If you skip cutting the grass, you see it every time you pull in the driveway.

Here’s something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your Two Guys Auto Service tech will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason why. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he’ll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they’ve got you covered. And at Two Guys Auto Service, we check to see if your SUV manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.

The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done.
The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you’ve got to remember that SUVs are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their operation. Without them, the SUV won’t run at all.

So when you come in to Two Guys Auto Service for an oil change, you get an automotive analysis from your helpful service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your Two Guys Auto Service technician can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and helping you avoid expensive breakdowns.

The Importance Of Bracebridge Drivers Following Service Intervals

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Today in our Two Guys Auto Service blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your SUV isn’t the only aspect of your life in Bracebridge with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

The Importance Of Bracebridge Drivers Following Service IntervalsClearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Bracebridge takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our SUVs? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Bracebridge neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, Bracebridge people don’t need to memorize their SUV owner’s manuals. You can let your Two Guys Auto Service advisor remind you of the guidelines established by manufacturers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your SUV. You really can rely on Two Guys Auto Service professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

For Bracebridge drivers who want to be more proactive with their SUV care, here are some simple ways for Bracebridge motorists to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your SUV go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Bracebridge car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Two Guys Auto Service for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy gas mileage, your SUV doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Two Guys Auto Service

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Bracebridge people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Bracebridge motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their SUVs for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Bracebridge drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own SUVs on the road in Ontario.

Bracebridge drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change. Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Two Guys Auto ServiceThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your SUV’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine.

There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Bracebridge car owners. It’s simple – a Two Guys Auto Service professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Two Guys Auto Service technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.

Your Two Guys Auto Service advisor will also visually inspect your SUV for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your Two Guys Auto Service advisor will be able to remind you of other services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Bracebridge dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your SUV gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost money, but they are far cheaper than new SUV payments. With proper service at Two Guys Auto Service and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.

Synthetic Oil For Bracebridge Autos

If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Bracebridge vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.

Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Bracebridge, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.

Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.

The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most of us here in Bracebridge have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?

Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

Give us a call at 705-646-2297 to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Two Guys Auto Service website.

Keep Your Bracebridge Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

This is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your Bracebridge car burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to costly problems. Of course, your manufacturer recommends intervals for changing your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions in and around Bracebridge or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your Two Guys Auto Service technician can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your car needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters cost a little more, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

So have your air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel economy before your next oil change.

Stop by Two Guys Auto Service at 440 Ecclestone Drive, Unit 5, Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 1Z6, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 705-646-2297 to make an appointment.

Economics of Maintenance For Bracebridge Auto Owners

Buying a new car in Bracebridge is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in Bracebridge who’ve been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you live right here in Bracebridge and have a five year old vehicle. It’s now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there’ll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don’t know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They’re able to use manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can’t predict what will happen to your vehicle in Bracebridge, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let’s look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it’s actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Bracebridge:

  • Ford Escape – $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado – $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent – $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Bracebridge service advisor at Two Guys Auto Service. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there’s any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions:
Two Guys Auto Service
440 Ecclestone Drive, Unit 5
Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 1Z6
705-646-2297

Two Guys Auto Service Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

Today’s Two Guys Auto Service auto maintenance article focuses on your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your SUV air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Orillia.

Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your SUV’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Two Guys Auto Service Maintenance Tips The Belt Goes OnAll Orillia drivers know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And, on many SUVs, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures for Orillia drivers. (On some SUVs, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)

So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why car makers and your service advisor at Two Guys Auto Service have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail.

Your
Two Guys Auto Service service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Two Guys Auto Service, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s a critical part for the function of your SUV.
And it’s not that expensive to replace at Two Guys Auto Service – so bring in your vehicle if it hasn’t been checked in a while.

I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement In Bracebridge

About 90% of our Bracebridge Ontario driving decisions are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.

Everyone in Bracebridge Ontario has experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 motorists from Orillia and across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Orillia area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

We need to change our thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as an important safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.

You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of Ontario, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

Winter blades are designed to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can just shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

Your wiper blades live outside; freezing cold and blistering sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire windshield – a big cost for such a little part.

AutoNetTV recommends you replace worn blades right away. Your local service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. They cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included at the service center.

Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Two Guys Auto Service will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle in the car if you’re on a road trip.

Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t do as good job of cleaning your windows.

So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road.

Find us at:

Two Guys Auto Service
440 Ecclestone Drive, Unit 5
Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 1Z6
705-646-2297

Keeping Your SUV Young

Sometimes it seems in Bracebridge we live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away.

New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in Bracebridge, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without.

We couldn’t afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us Bracebridge penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.

Is it really that bad to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled and they start to wear out faster.

Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It’s also even more important for older vehicles in the Bracebridge area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re a bit more stressed anyway. But it’s never too late to get back on track with your maintenance and to hold off further damage.

It’s just another example of our parents being right. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let your service advisor at Two Guys Auto Service in Bracebridge help you keep track of the rest.

Of course, some things are going to wear out along the way, stuff like alternators, water pumps and such. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It’s like having high cholesterol; you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

Two Guys Auto Service
440 Ecclestone Drive, Unit 5
Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 1Z6
705-646-2297

Finding Vehicle Recall Information From Bracebridge

No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice to Bracebridge residents and to fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone who owns that type of car in Bracebridge and elsewhere until the work is done.

If you have questions about vehicle recalls, give us a call:
Two Guys Auto Service
440 Ecclestone Drive, Unit 5 Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 1Z6
705-646-2297

These recalls always affect safety, so you need to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.

Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that you still might want to know about. In this case, manufacturers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell service centers how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

The pros receive updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. You can buy access to these for an annual fee.

Whatever your source, pay attention to vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.

440 Ecclestone Drive - Unit 5 - Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 1Z6 Phone: (705) 646 2297
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