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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

Why is My Car Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air?

by Brian England on Mon, May 15, 2017

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting hotter. In fact, here in Columbia, MD we are expecting the temperature to hit the 90's this week.  If your car's air conditioning system is blowing hot air, don’t sweat it out. Take care of it now

WHAT CAN GO WRONG WITH A CAR'S A/C SYSTEM?
Car air conditioning systems are complex, and many things can cause the system to fail.  In the illustration below, you can see the some of the parts that make up an automobile's air conditioning system.

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Topics: auto air conditioning, condenser, AC leaks, air conditioner, refrigerant, AC, car air conditioner, compressor

New Hybrid Battery Service Offerings Save Owners Money

by Brian England on Mon, May 01, 2017

Chances are, if you are driving a hybrid vehicle, you care about what happens to the environment. It used to be that after several years of driving a hybrid, the battery would need to be replaced with a new one. That's because, just like any battery, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) batteries eventually wear out.  The problem is that HEV battery replacement is not only an expensive proposition, costing as much as $5000 or more, but also, that old battery becomes just one more addition to our waste stream.

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Using Auto Diagnostic Check Sheets to Speed Your Auto Repair

by Brian England on Thu, Apr 06, 2017

When you hear a noise coming from your car, what do you do?  Do you try to determine where the sound is coming from? Do you pay attention to when it happens (e.g. do you hear it when you first start the car, only after you exceed 50 mph, when you brake, during acceleration...)? Do you notice how often it happens?  

A diagnostic check sheet highlights important things to look for, things that will help in determining the nature and source of a car problem. It is one of the most important tools we utilize for delivering high-quality auto repairs. Proper diagnostics are vital in achieving speedy and less costly repair service.

Partnering in diagnosing car problems is one of the most important relationships we have with our customers. When good quality, relevant information is gathered by the customer, it allows the technician to do quick searches of the industry internet data bases. Checking special internet data bases is an important step in the diagnostics process because auto service providers do not want to spend a lot of time identifying a problem that someone else has already diagnosed.

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Topics: auto repair diagnostic forms, diagnostic forms, auto cooling & overheating, electrical system problems, drive-ability assessment, noise and vibration problems, automatic transmission problems, heating and cooling system problemsblems

Is Your Car a Victim of the MINI Cooper Low Oil Level Epidemic?

by Brian England on Wed, Mar 29, 2017

ep·i·dem·ic
epəˈdemik/
noun
1.  a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.
2. an outbreak or product of sudden rapid spread, growth, or development

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Based on the above definition, #2 to be exact, there is no doubt that we are experiencing an epidemic. Over the past year, we have seen dozens of Mini Coopers coming into our facility with a very low oil level. This is serious because it can dramatically reduce the life of a Mini Cooper engine!

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Topics: Mini Cooper, low oil level, carbon build up, fuel pump failure, oil consumption test, oil level check

Why Can't I Have a Maryland Vehicle Safety Inspection Performed on a Rainy Day?

by Brian England on Wed, Mar 22, 2017

You schedule a safety inspection, wake up to find it's pouring down raining, and the auto shop says it can't perform your inspection! At first, this seems unreasonable -- bureaucracy gone wild and unfair. Let's take a closer look at the reason why. 

The Maryland Safety Inspection is very complex. The standards are documented in a thick volume for the auto mechanic. Facilities performing safety inspections are also required to have the key items being inspected on a large poster for the customer. The goal is to deliver a high-quality vehicle inspection that people can rely on. That way, when someone purchases a car in Maryland, they will know they are buying a safe vehicle.

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Topics: MD Vehicle Safety Inspection, mva inspection, wet days, safety inspection

Brakes and the Warning Systems That Help Us Monitor Them

by Brian England on Mon, Mar 06, 2017

How do you know what condition your brakes are in?  Do you wait until you hear them squealing a bit as you stop? Do you wait for a warning light to come on?  Do you wait until the brake pedal feels low? Do you take your car in for preventive maintenance inspections every six months or every 5,000 miles?  Well, if you didn't answer yes to that last question, you may be placing yourself and other riders in you car at risk.

Our cars can provide us with a lot of information about the condition of the brakes. There are systems in place to warn us about:

  • The parking brake being left on.
  • The brake pads wearing out.
  • A hydraulics failure or brake fluid leak.
  • A computer controlled anti-lock brake system failure.
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Topics: ABS, brakes, brake service, brake inspection, anti-lock brake system, brake light

Auto Repair Dilema - When to Blame the Mechanic vs. When to Blame the Car

by Brian England on Tue, Feb 28, 2017

So you are all set. You booked an appointment in advance and arrived on time. Everything seems like it's going to go smoothly, and then you get 'the call'. It's the service adviser saying, "We need your car for another day!"

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Topics: rusted parts, repairing older cars, auto repair delays,, quality repairs

6 Things You Need to Know Before You Get Your Punctured Car Tire Repaired

by Brian England on Tue, Feb 21, 2017

Need an automobile tire repaired?  Know what’s acceptable when it comes to repairing your tires.  Not all tire punctures are created equal; some can be repaired, and some can’t.  Car tires that are improperly repaired can fail and result in an accident.  For example, this photo shows an example of a repair that should never have been done.


What is an acceptable tire repair?  Here are some guidelines.

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Topics: tire treads, car tires, car tire punctures, car tire repairs, auto tire punctures, auto tire damage, auto tire repairs, tire plugs, tire patches

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

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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