Is a Hybrid or Electric vehicle right for me?

Is a Hybrid or Electric vehicle right for me?

If someone asked you, in 2001, if you would ever own a hybrid or electric vehicle in your lifetime, you may have answered, “No Way.”  Fast-forward 20 years, and it is much more likely that a hybrid or electric vehicles will take up space in your driveway, at some point. Nearly every auto maker has a hybrid lineup, and many have even set dates for phasing out traditionally fueled vehicles. I receive regular phone calls from customers who are preparing to purchase a vehicle. They want a mechanic’s perspective on what type of vehicles are reliable or if the car they are excited about is a “good car.” As fuel prices continue to rise, I have noticed that more people are considering the shift to hybrid or electric platforms. However, they often share the following comments and questions: “is it really worth it to by a hybrid vehicle?”  “I’ve heard the batteries can be worth more than the whole care” “With all of the ... read more

How to Make an Informed Decision on Your Next Car Purchase

Have you ever stretched yourself to buy a car that is near the top of your budget, only to find that it needs major repairs?  Buying a pre-owned vehicle can be stressful and daunting but I would like to share a few tips that are sure to help. Before you embark on your pre-owned car adventure, ask yourself a few questions... Do you want a simple car, one with high MPG, 4x4, or driver-assist features?  Knowing what you do and don’t want, will keep you from being swayed by sales-people. What features are important to you? There are pros and cons to every feature on a vehicle.  All the bells and whistles on a vehicle are nice when they work but they create additional maintenance and repair costs.  A few years ago, I had a customer bring in a 10-year-old BMW X5 that she had recently purchased.  She was concerned about a clunking noise that she heard.  We inspected it and found that her sway bar was damaged which is usually a simple fix.  The BMW s ... read more

Vehicle Extended Warranties… Are they worth it?

If you have purchased a vehicle in the last decade, you have probably been asked if you would like to add an extended warranty.  Do you remember how you felt when that question was asked? Did feel like you knew exactly what you were getting?  At Modern Auto Service, we deal with extended warranties on a regular basis and they are definitely not all created equal.  I squirm a little bit when people come in and say “go ahead and take care of anything you find… I have the extended warranty on it, so it should be covered.” In my opinion, extended warranties can be beneficial, but consumers need to have a clear understanding of what they are getting. What questions should you ask before choosing a policy? - Does this policy have a maximum contract value? - This is a critical question to ask! The sales pitch most people use for an extended warranty goes something like this…”engines, transmissions, and computer modul ... read more

Preventative Maintenance vs Reactive Repairs

Does performing preventative repairs like flushes and fluid replacement save you money in the long run? Vehicle components are getting more sophisticated and expensive.  Although it was common to replace an engine for a few thousand dollars in the past, many complete engine replacements reach $7,000-10,000 for gasoline engines and $15,000-$20,000 for diesels. Replacing engine oil regularly and periodically performing services to remove carbon have never been more important to protect your vehicle. How do I know when to perform maintenance on my vehicle? There are two ways to identify your maintenance needs. The first way is to simply inspect the fluid or component for signs of wear or degradation, the second is to follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle.  I recommend that people use their manufacture’s maintenance schedule as a base line, and then adjust, to meet the needs of their driving conditions.  For example, if you tow a trailer consi ... read more

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