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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

Mercedes Owner's $1000 Cup of Coffee

by Brian England on Mon, Feb 13, 2017

When our cars are new, many of us limit consumption of food and drinks in the car.  We want to keep them clean for as long as possible.  Then, as time passes, those of us who aren't sticklers lighten up and allow a cup of coffee, maybe a little candy or trail mix.  Well, we know of one Mercedes owner who is likely regretting his decision to allow that cup of coffee. Here's the scoop.

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Topics: preventive car care, Mercedes, prevention, diagnostics, contigo, travel mug

Why Do I Even Need An Oil Change?

by Brian England on Mon, Feb 06, 2017

It's interesting; so many things that we use today just don't require much maintenance.  When we purchase something like a television or a toaster oven, we don't ever expect to have to take them to a repair shop. They may require a bit of cleaning now and then, but that's just about all the maintenance we expect to do.  If things stop working, we just replace them.  It hasn't always been that way, but with advances in technology and automation, repair costs can easily surpass purchase costs on many common household items. 

Maybe there will come a day when even cars don't need maintenance, but we aren't there yet -- even though automotive technology has changed a lot in the past several years. There are a lot more electric vehicles on the road that don't require oil changes. But, if you are like most people and are driving a traditional gasoline or hybrid vehicle you need an oil change to protect your engine from damage. 

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Topics: oil change, auto maintenance, engine oil

Maximize Winter Driving Visibility With These 10 Tips

by Brian England on Wed, Dec 21, 2016

 

Here we are at the winter solstice, December 21, 2016.  It's the shortest day of the year.  We are commuting in the dark or driving when the sun is low -- at dawn in the morning or dusk in the evening -- making visibility difficult.  Couple this with fog, mist, ice and snow and driving becomes a real challenge. Here are ten tips or reminders that will help you see better and stay safe.

  1. Check your head lights. Are they both working? Are they aimed correctly? 
  2. Check the condition of the headlamps. They should be sparkling clear. When a car gets older, the plastic can turn yellow and dramatically cut down on the power of the headlights. The plastic actually can be restored. Check out this video.
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Topics: cloudy headlights, winter auto safety tips, windshield wipers smearing, winter driving

Why Did My Brake Caliper Fail After Only 18 Months?

by Brian England on Tue, Dec 13, 2016

One fall weekend, my wife and I were driving north on Interstate 270, going from Urbana to Frederick, Maryland, when we spotted a sign saying "Scenic Overlook." We had some time to kill so we took the exit. It was a nice place to stop because there's a great view of the city of Frederick, tucked into this valley that's bordered by the Catoctin Mountain, the eastern most ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As we were walking back to the parking lot, I noticed a group of people gathered around a small truck. My curiosity got the best of me, and I wandered over and found an elderly couple explaining a problem they were having with their vehicle. They had pulled off of the road, not for the view, but because the left front brake was staying on all the time making the wheel very hot (and very dangerous to touch). They clearly had honed in on the problem because each time the wind shifted and blew in our direction, the distinct smell of burning brake pads flooded our nostrils. 

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Topics: brakes, burning smell, rebuilt brake calipers, brakes sticking

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

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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