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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

Ten Annoying Habits That Damage Your Car

by Rachael Everly on Tue, Oct 10, 2017

Buying a car is a significant investment. Most people want to make sure their car keeps running and functioning smoothly for as long as possible. To some, a shiny vehicle is merely a few thousand pounds of metal used for commuting while others consider their car as a superhuman extension of their personality. No matter what your vehicle means to you, it is important that you understand that it is like any other machine. Various components of your car will wear out at some point and will, therefore, require repairs.

Some people complain about their vehicle incurring problems even after regular visits to the mechanic. Well, changing the oil, air filters, various drive belts, etc. on time will not do much good for your car if you do not drive your vehicle with care.

Most drivers, including experienced ones, have habits that cause unnecessary wear and tear. If you have any of these driving habits, try correcting them or be prepared for a hefty repair bill.

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Topics: parking brake, hard braking, reversing without stopping, driving on fumes, down-shifting, carrying excess weight

Is a Certified Mechanic Servicing Your Brakes?

by Brian England on Tue, Sep 26, 2017

Brakes are one of the most critical safety systems in our car. They keep us from plowing into objects and people. Keeping your brakes in working order requires they be checked at least once a year. But just having them checked isn't enough; who you choose to service your brakes matters. When it comes to brake repairs, it's critical that you select a service center that hires qualified, experienced mechanics. Failing to pick the right repair facility puts your safety at risk!

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Topics: brakes, AAA, hydraulic brake system, quality brake service, hydraulic system, mechanical brake system

To Tow or Not to Tow -- Which Car Problems Require a Tow?

by Brian England on Thu, Aug 10, 2017

When you have a car problem, sometimes it is hard to know whether to have the car towed, whether to get the repair done on the spot, or whether it's safe to drive your car to the shop.  Here are some tips to help you decide what to do when faced with this situation.

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Topics: stalling, when to tow a car, flat tires, repairing flat tires, auto service companies, motoring services, car battery problems, check engine lights, auto fluid leaks

Do Self-Driving Cars Increase Your Chances Of Vehicle Theft?

by Ralph Goodman on Mon, Jul 31, 2017

Self-driving vehicles were once depicted as parts of some cool or dystopian future in which everything was automated. Now, you can find a whole fleet of them in Silicon Valley. The world is gradually moving towards this future. Advancements are being made everyday in the hopes of automating many aspects of our lives. According to most of these movie depictions of the future, we should be flying around with jetpacks and cars by now, but even though the world has not yet lived up to Marty Mcfly’s expectations, we are still close to breaking new ground in the automotive industry.

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Topics: self drive cars

Land Rover Oil Change Quiz

by Brian England on Tue, Jul 25, 2017

Here is a quick Land Rover Oil Change Quiz.

  1. How often should you check the oil level on a 2016 Land Rover, Range Rover, or Sport?
  2. Where is the oil level dipstick?
  3. How do you check the oil level?
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Topics: oil changes, preventive auto maintenance, car manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule, Land Rover, low oil level, car engine damage, oil level check

Trust + Experience + Checks + Balances + Respect = High Quality Car Repairs

by Brian England on Thu, Jun 22, 2017

A few weeks ago I was approached with three different questions.

A customer asked me:  "What do think about installing a code reader in my car?  I want to know the shop has repaired the right system." 

One of our technicians asked me:  "Why didn't the customer respect my decision? He asked questions that showed that he didn't understand the complexities of repairing his BMW, yet he still didn't trust me." 

Another technician mentioned: "I tried to explain why I needed to replace these additional parts, but it's highly technical. Why doesn't he [the service writer] just take my word for it?

Though somewhat different on the surface, all three questions have something in common; they all relate to TRUST.

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Topics: trust, auto repair shop you can trust, code readers, experienced auto mechanics, checks and balances

Understanding the Ten Step Auto Diagnostic Procedure

by Brian England on Tue, Jun 13, 2017


How do we diagnose complex "issues" when they go wrong?

Often, when an appliance stops working, we don't even think about repair; we simply purchase a new one -- there is limited or no diagnosis involved. We may check to make sure everything is plugged in, that a circuit breaker hasn't tripped, or even check the internet to see what we find, but that's typically the extent of it.  Think about it. For example, many microwave ovens can be replaced for less than $100, while the average cost of a repair (according to Angie's List) is about $133.  That's because repairing one typically takes a technician up to an hour to diagnose and repair the problem. Plus on top of the cost for the technician's time, there is the cost of the replacement parts. Combine this with the sheer inconvenience of the repair process like schedule coordination or shipping, and it becomes clear why this type of repair process only works for more expensive items.

When our gas fireplace stopped working, we called a company that specializes in fireplace service and repair. The process was interesting because it brought to light an interesting concept of what they consider "diagnosis." For this particular company, "diagnosis" was simply "calling the manufacturer hotline and having them identify what should be replaced."

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Topics: auto repair diagnostic forms, proper auto diagnosis, car diagnostics, auto diagnostic hot lines

My Brake Pedal Sunk to the Floor. Are My Brakes Failing?

by Brian England on Tue, May 30, 2017

One of the scariest moments that can happen while driving is when you try to stop and your break pedal sinks to the floor. When customers are experiencing this issue their descriptions of the problem resemble the following.

  1. While I was stopped at a traffic light my brake pedal’s hardness seemed to fade away, but the next time I stopped the brakes seemed fine. 
  2. I heard a humming noise in my vehicle for most of the day. Finally, after turning a sharp corner, my brakes sunk to the floor.
  3. The road outside of my daughter's dance class is very steep. While waiting to pick her up one day, I was holding the car with my foot brake. Suddenly, the pedal started to sink. I quickly put on the emergency brake, and that held fine. Today, my brakes are working normally again. What is going on?
  4. A few weeks ago I had a "complete brake job" done, but now, at times, my brakes are very low. Did they do a bad job?

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the type of things we hear from customers who have had the unfortunate experience of having their brake pedal sink to the floor.

Among the four examples listed above, three of them are most likely caused by the same culprit: the brake master cylinder.

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Topics: brakes, brake failure, master cylinder, wheel bearing replacement, brakes sinking, brake pedal

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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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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