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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

Avoid Getting the Used Car "Lemon Blues"

by Brian England on Mon, Nov 16, 2015

Have you ever purchased a used car before?
 Did you feel comfortable while negotiating?
Did you know the right things to look for? 
There's a saying:  "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade", but making lemonade from a used car lemon is something we would all like to avoid. 
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Topics: used car evaluation

Our Acura's 1st Service at the Dealer - A 100 Minute Wait

by Brian England on Thu, Nov 05, 2015

A couple of months ago a card arrived in the mail to remind us to take our new Acura RDX in for its first service. I had a few questions.

  • The car was three months old and had only 2000 miles; did I really need a service?
  • If I needed a service, what sort of service were they going to perform?
  • Did I really want to drive it all the way to the dealer when I could take it right over to our service center?
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Topics: oil change, waiting room, while you wait auto service, Acura, 1st Service

Can't Get Your Tire Pressure Indicator Light to Go Off?

by Brian England on Thu, Oct 29, 2015


You hop into the car, ready to head out and notice a new light shining brightly on your dashboard, the tire pressure indicator light.  Being conscientious and concerned about safety, you stop at the nearest gas station, ensure all your tires are filled to the right pressure and hop back into the car -- only to notice that that tire pressure light is still on.  You assume the pressure gauge was probably off, recheck the tires at another gas station, but the reading is the same.  Every tire appears to be filled to the right pressure.  

What could be the problem?

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Topics: tires, tire pressure monitoring system, auto tire pressure

Car Wheel Almost Falls Off Due to Unsafe Maintenance Practices

by Brian England on Tue, Oct 13, 2015

When your car isn't properly maintained a lot of things can go wrong. The other day I ran across a Facebook post that caught my eye.  A fellow auto shop owner, Ken Quasney of Auto Sense, posted a picture of a ball joint that had separated from the lower control arm. In the text of the post, Auto Sense summarized this problem and its probable cause. 

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Topics: preventive maintenance, ASE certified auto technicians, wheel safety, steering problems, ball joint

Top 10 Things MINI Cooper Owners Should Know

by Brian England on Tue, Sep 29, 2015

Over the past few years we have written many blog posts on the MINI Cooper.  If you are familiar with our auto repair center, you may know that when we first opened our auto shop back in 1978, we focused on servicing British and American cars -- hence the name, British American Auto Care.  Since that time we've expanded to cover most vehicles on the road today, but we still hold a special spot in our hearts for the cars with British origins like the MINI. 

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Topics: Mini, preventive maintenance, car repairs, Mini Cooper

British American Auto President, Brian England, Inducted into WMDA Hall of Fame

by Sandi Weaver on Wed, Sep 16, 2015

This year several members of the British American Auto Care family headed down to Ocean City, MD for the annual WMDA/CAR Service Station and Automotive Repair Association convention. The association represents independent business professionals of auto repair facilities, service stations, convenience stores and other automotive industry related businesses.

At the Saturday, September12th award breakfast, British American Auto Care President, Brian England, was inducted into the WMDA Hall of Fame.  Inductees into the Hall of Fame are selected by the executive committee. The committee identifies individuals who have contributed substantially to shaping the dealer and automotive aftermarket industries and the association.  We are proud of Brian for his tireless efforts toward creating an exceptional example of top tier performance in the automotive service industry. 

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Topics: WMDA Convention, WMDA Hall of Fame, Ocean City, MD

Self Driving Cars a.k.a. the Totally Cool Future of Autonomous Cars

by Brian England on Wed, Aug 19, 2015

It seems that articles about self-driving cars (autonomous cars) have been all over the press lately.  What you may not realize is that you don't have to wait another five to ten years to experience what it's like to sit behind the steering wheel and have the car drive itself.  In fact, my wife Jen, who is not extravagant when it comes to cars, recently decided upon a 2016 Acura RDX.  

She upgraded from a 2000 Acura TL, one of only two cars she's had in the last 32 years -- the 2000 Acura and a 1983 Chevy Caprice Wagon.  Both of those cars had over 100,000 miles on them, and they were in good condition when she upgraded to a new vehicle.  (Of course, as you would expect, they were very well cared for, safe and reliable, helped along by regular preventive maintenance from the staff at British American Auto Care!) So, this year, it was my wife Jen's turn to purchase a new car.  We change our cars like clockwork, every 15 years. Waiting 15 years between car purchases means we see giant leaps forward in technology with each new car. My turn to switch cars comes in 2019, and who knows what kind of great technological advances will be available by then.  Already a lot more 2016 cars have an advanced electronic package that includes adaptive cruise control, lane deviation warning, and lane deviation assist. 

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Topics: preventive maintenance, high mileage vehicle, collision driver assist systems, self drive cars, collision avoidance systems, Volvo

Columbia MD Auto Shop Goes Solar Again

by Brian England on Wed, Jul 29, 2015

When it comes to conserving the environment, we not only talk the talk, we walk the walk.

Back in 2010 we implemented a solar light tube and automated lighting controls project which has already paid for itself.  A brief description of this prior project, is noted in the video below.

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Topics: auto shop, going green, living green, energy efficiency improvements, solar panels, daylighting, solar tubes

Getting a Car Repair Estimate in Columbia MD

by Brian England on Wed, Jul 08, 2015

Like so many other things in life, preparation, attention to detail, and good communication go a long way toward getting the best service for your car. How an auto shop handles the car repair estimate and authorization process is a key part of delivering good auto service, and you can help to make this process work even better.Here in Columbia, MD, like in other places, getting the best car repair estimate begins before you even get to the auto shop. If you are having a problem with your car, download a diagnostic form and complete it before your service, or if you are having a factory scheduled maintenance service, check your manual before you drop your car off. Once that's done develop a list of items you want to address as part of the service or repair.
When you take your car in for servicing, be sure to review each item with the auto service adviser or the auto technician who will be coordinating service on or working on your car. You will want to understand whether a service you want to have performed is included as part of a auto service or repair "package deal". For example, auto shops may advertise fixed price "Brake Specials", "Oil Change Specials" or "5K Service" packages -- be sure you understand exactly what's included. Also, you will also want to ask about any charges associated with diagnosing a problem you may be experiencing. Many shops may offer a free initial scan, but often more diagnosis is needed to get at the root cause of the problem. You can be charged for this diagnosis even if you don't decide to have the car services performed at that shop.

Once the auto shop has had a chance to diagnose the problem, they will give you a call back with your service estimate. Pull out your list to make sure that everything you've asked for is being addressed in the estimate. Additionally, be sure they provide you with the total price for the auto service including labor and parts. At times, your auto repair shop may call you back to indicate that they will need more time to diagnose a repair problem. If this happens, wait until you have a complete picture of the needed auto services before authorizing any work.

When the shop is reviewing the recommended service or repair plan with you, be sure to ask that they prioritize the work based on the following:
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Topics: car repair estimate, service authorization

7 Great Spots to Grab a Bite to Eat Near our Columbia MD Auto Shop

by Brian England on Mon, Jun 29, 2015

Some of the things we love about Columbia, MD -- the georgeous parkways and fabulous greenery -- can also make it a bit hard to spot a particular businesses you're looking for. If you’re ever leaving our auto shop around lunch time or are waiting here, and feel like walking out to take a quick bite...here are seven great spots that can satisfy your grumbling tummy. 

Our first three picks are hidden treasures. Each is tucked away in a business park or shopping strip that you can’t quite spot from the street. 

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Topics: Columbia, MD, lunch spots

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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