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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

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

Car Won't Shift into 1st Gear? You May Not Need a New Clutch.

by Brian England on Mon, Jun 20, 2016

Sometimes knowing a little can get you into big trouble. We have all done it. We start what seems like a small job, like plumbing, and have it turn out to be a major issue --the kind of problem that makes you wish you had called the plumber in the first place.

Not long ago, I received a plea for help from an owner of a Mini Cooper via a comment on the British American blog. The Mini owner was having an issue with 1st gear. He would select 1st gear, release the clutch, and nothing would happen. He got advice from two friends who were mechanics, talked to a local dealership technician, and did some online research -- lots of advice from lots of resources.

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Topics: Mini Cooper, do-it-yourself, clutch

What Would the Best Auto Service in Howard County Look Like?

by Brian England on Mon, May 16, 2016

When running a small business, it's hard to know sometimes if you are doing the right thing from the perspective of the customer. So we asked our customers to:

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Topics: Howard County, best auto service, free WIFI,, free shuttle, service excellence

Daytime Running Lights - Some Things You Should Know

by Brian England on Wed, Apr 27, 2016

Daytime running lights have been around for a while, but many people still don't know exactly how they function as well as the benefits to drivers.  Here is a question we have gotten on occasion:

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Topics: auto safety, daytime running lights

Clutch Failures: 5 Ways to Avoid Them + 2 Case Studies

by Brian England on Mon, Mar 28, 2016

Over the past month or so we had two customers whose vehicle experienced an extreme clutch failure only months after having the clutch replaced. Clutches should last over 100,000 miles, and these two clutches failed in a very dramatic way! They had been entirely burnt out. All the frictional material had been torn away from the clutch disc. This is rather like someone driving with their foot on the brakes until all the brake frictional material burns away.

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Fixing Aluminum Wheel Corrosion Without Replacement

by Brian England on Thu, Mar 10, 2016

Does your car have aluminum wheels or steel wheels?  Do you know?

Aluminum wheels are installed on many cars today.  Sometimes referred to as alloy wheels, they are made from an aluminum/nickle alloy and are lighter than steel wheels. Because of this, they can offer better acceleration and braking performance, however, they can also add signigicantly to the cost of the vehicle. Steel wheels cost $60 to $80, while aluminum wheels can cost from $400 to over $1000 each!

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Topics: restoring aluminum wheels, tires losing air pressure

Maxi Noise From a MINI

by Brian England on Thu, Feb 25, 2016

Are Noises coming from your MINI Cooper engine compartment keeping you up at night with dreams of another "sticker shock" repair?

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Topics: Mini Cooper, car noises, timing chain, timing chain tensioner, engine, engine noises

Local Auto Repair Shop Hits Over 1 Million Page Views

by Brian England on Tue, Jan 19, 2016

Milestones are great.They signal an achievement -- progress toward a goal.

Wondering about the significance of 1,083,026?  Well that's the number of page views we had achieved when I sat down to write this blog.  Achieving over one million page views signals that sometimes we hit the mark and deliver exactly the content you are looking for.  

That's what we aim for.  Delivering value!

When I first started blogging back in March of 2010, I couldn't have imagined hitting over one million page views on the British American Auto Care website. Now that we are here I want to thank you, our customers and friends for getting us there.  I also want to thank our marketing agency, Asage Marketing. I work in partnership with Ros Williams, the Marketing Director at Asage, on all of our online marketing projects including the blog.  We started using Hubspot back when we began blogging and it really helps us to deliver articles and content that's aligned with what our customers are looking for.  

Successful partnerships are what help us achieve success -- whether it's with customers, suppliers, or friends -- and we appreciate that!

Here's the content viewed most in 2015:

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Topics: auto service, auto repair, page views, Asage Marketing, auto service questions, Hubspot, million

Top 10 Handbrake Questions a.k.a Parking Brakes 101

by Brian England on Tue, Jan 05, 2016

We often get questions on handbrakes.  Some of our customers aren't sure when or how to use them.  We thought it would be a good idea to do a Q&A on the top 10 questions asked related to the handbrake. Importantly, on some cars the "handbrake" is actually a foot pedal. It's also called an emergency brake or parking brake.  So, here are our most frequent questions.

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Topics: parking brake, handbrake, manual transmission

How We Helped Save a BMW Owner over $9000

by Brian England on Tue, Dec 29, 2015

We love it when we can save our customers' money.  Recently a customer called about a 2012 BMW X3 with 112,000 miles on it.  She wanted a second opinion on a transmission.

The customer had taken her BMW to the dealer for a whining noise.  The dealer told her that the transmission needed to be replaced, and that it would cost about $10,000.  Since it was such an expensive repair the customer took the vehicle to a transmission shop to get a second opinion.  The transmission shop told her the noise was coming from a pulley in the engine.  Realizing it may not be the transmission and that she may not need a transmission expert, she then decided to drive it over to us at British American Auto Care.  Our automotive technician, Stephen, brought it in the shop and within 1 ½ hours determined it was a bad belt tensioner assembly. The final bill was $505.00 including the diagnostics and the repair. Sounds a lot better that $10,000; wouldn’t you agree?

Needless to say the customer was ecstatic! The worst part about this story is that when the transmission shop told her the transmission was good, she called the BMW dealer.  He said he would call her back, but never did!  

The customer assured us, we have another car to take care of for her for another 100,000 miles.

Thanks to Zane, our service manager, for sharing this story, and to Stephen for the expert diagnostics and repair!

Need a second opinion on your BMW?  Make an appointment to have us take a look at your vehicle.

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BMW X3 photo courtesy of M 93: „Dein Nordrhein-Westfalen“ 's photo stream. Some rights reserved.


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Topics: BMW service, auto transmissions, tensioner belt

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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