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Maximize the life of your Asian, European or American Car. We're just off Snowden River Pkwy in Columbia.  Call us at 1-410-381-2700

Pamper Your Car with A Little Pre-Holiday Vehicle Servicing

by Sandi Weaver on Thu, Dec 01, 2016

With the holiday season underway, squeezing shopping to an already crowded schedule can be a challenge, not to mention adding other "must do" errands such as getting your car serviced before a holiday road trip.  

As a reminder, we offer 3 levels of oil change services and the smallest two can be done while you wait, within 60-90 minutes. For our most comprehensive oil change service, we ask that your vehicle be in by 8:30 a.m. and left with us for the day, through 4:30/5 p.m. This way we have the time to give it the necessary attention to report on any upcoming preventive maintenance items or potential issues to address.

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Topics: oil change, vehicle servicing, holiday car trips, preventive maintainence, while-you-wait

Is this Car Haunted or Is it Just an Intermittent Car Problem?

by Brian England on Mon, Oct 31, 2016

Recently, I stood in as the courtesy van driver. It's always a fun job; I hear so many stories and my first trip out was not an exception. One of the customers described the problem he was having with his car. He said it felt like it was haunted! It had symptoms that came and went in no particular pattern. He asked me how we diagnose something like that, and I explained how we approach this type of "intermittent" problem.

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Topics: car radio problems, intermittent car problems, diagnostics

My Car's Remote Failed. How Do I Open My Rear Hatch?

by Brian England on Mon, Oct 24, 2016

I would have never thought I would be doing repair diagnostics at our local JCPenney at the Columbia Mall, but I find myself answering auto repair questions in some of the oddest places. The other day I was standing in the check-out line at JCPenney and ran into one of our British American Auto Care customers.  As it turns out, her car remote wasn't functioning properly. It wouldn't open her rear hatch, so she asked me what the problem could be, what would be involved in fixing it, how much it would cost.

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Topics: car remote failure, hatch lock

Online Car Care & Pet Care ... Something in Common

by Brian England on Mon, Sep 26, 2016

Some mornings, we have high demand for our free courtesy shuttle van. When this happens, and the van is at capacity or out on a run, we also use the MINI Cooper to get customers where they need to be in a timely manner.

One morning I helped out. Not only did I give a customer a ride to work in the MINI Cooper, but I gave her dog a ride too! A very well behaved dog sat right in-between the two of us. The customer I gave a ride to owns  Countryside Veterinary Clinic in Ellicott City. On this particular morning, she was upset about an experience she had had with one of her Countryside Veterinary customers, and she had been up all night worrying about how to respond. It turns out; the Countryside Veterinary customer had given them a bad review because she found a cheaper antibiotic online and felt that Countryside Veterinary was over charging. The customer did not want to hear about why there was a difference between the online price and her local service provider's price.  She simply felt that the price differential was not justified.

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Topics: free courtesy shuttle, online auto parts, original equipment manufacturer parts, Countryside Veterinary Clinic

My Car Hit a Median Strip.  What Should I Do?

by Brian England on Tue, Sep 20, 2016

There are a lot of distractions for drivers these days -- from GPS systems to mobile phones to all kinds of computer display panels.  Get distracted long enough and you just may end up hitting a road obstacle -- it could be a median strip, a pot hole or some debris in the roadway.

If this happens to you, there are some things you should check out right away after accidentally hitting a road obstacle.  Don't just keep on driving!

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Topics: under car damage, median strip, pot hole, road obstacle, insurance coverage

My SRS (Air Bag) Warning Light, is On!

by Brian England on Tue, Sep 06, 2016


SRS stands for supplemental restraint system, but the more common lingo for the SRS warning light is the Air Bag System Warning Light. This light typically comes on for a few seconds when you start your car, but if it stays on, it signals that there is a problem. 

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Topics: airbag, warning lights, srs warning light, supplemental restraint system

You Can Save Money by Buying Automotive Parts Online, but...

by Brian England on Thu, Sep 01, 2016

This blog post was originally published in 2011, but has been updated to reflect the fact that beginning September 1, 2016, British American Auto Care began covering all major repairs for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.

It is very easy to find automotive parts online at great prices but I would only recommend doing this if you are going to install the parts yourself.

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Topics: auto parts, quality auto service, online auto parts, parts warranty, service warranty

Buying a Car at an Auction? Buyer Beware!

by Brian England on Tue, Aug 30, 2016

"Going. Going. Gone!"  

That's it. You have "gone and done it!" You've purchased a car at an auction.

It's yours for better or worse!

Buying a car at an auction is a very risky business. We have seen very few cases where it has turn out well.

We were reminded of just how risky car auctions can be a couple of weeks ago when a customer brought in a 2014 Mercedes Benz that had been purchased at a car auction.  The customer requested that we "just" fix a couple of electrical problems.

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Topics: buying a used car, car auction, pre-purchase inspection

Why Did My Car's New Alternator Fail?

by Brian England on Tue, Aug 23, 2016

When people have their car alternator replaced, the expectation is that the repair will last at least as long as the expected life of the new alternator, four to five years or anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Plus, like many auto repairs, replacing an alternator is not cheap. A quick check online shows the cost to replace an alternator in the Columbia, Maryland market on a Subaru Outback, for example, can range from $345 to $585.  It makes sense that when a new alternator fails after only a few months, any car owner would want to know why!

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Topics: alternator repair

Retiring an Old 2001 Saab to the Junkyard

by Brian England on Tue, Jul 26, 2016

When is the right time to retire an old car versus repairing it, and what exactly happens when you decide to retire an old car to the junkyard? 

Here is the story of an old car we retired a while back.

A couple of years ago, an old 2001 Saab had been abandoned at our Columbia auto repair shop. It sat there for six months before we made the decision to get rid of it. It looked great and was still driveable, but it drove horribly! It smelt of burning oil. The brakes hardly worked. The handling was awful. The electronic dash was a mess of scrambled information, and when I put the heating system on, dog hair filled the air.

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Topics: abandoned vehicles

About this blog

When it comes to auto service we believe that excellent customer service is all about information and relationships. The more you know about automotive services, the easier it is to have a good relationship with your auto shop because you understand exactly what's happening with your car. We hope this blog will help to facilitate a good relationship with your auto shop, whether it's British American Auto Care or any other shop. We're happy to provide you with great information about auto service, repairs, and a few other topics we love.

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