What To Know When Dealing With An Auto Technician
The average age of vehicles on the road today are about 10 years old.
Consumers are choosing to keep their existing cars and trucks longer rather than buying a new model. Consumer Reports also revealed a survey that many drivers are postponing needed maintenance or repairs as a cost-saving measure.
Delaying maintenance or needed repairs can compromise your car’s integrity and ultimately your safety. The car-care experts at M&J Truck & Auto in Madison, Wi, and the surrounding areas believe the best way for consumers to save money and keep their vehicles longer is choosing a full-service, high-quality and well-respected repair shop, schedule regular check-ups, and trusting them to do the necessary maintenance and repair work. This will prevent your vehicle from breaking down unexpectedly, and in the long run, saves the consumer money having small repairs done when needed rather than waiting and having a big repair later.
How to deal with your technician is important.
- It’s just the beginning when you finally make the decision to bring your vehicle in for service. You will also need to know how to get the best service for your maintenance and repair dollar. And you’ll need to know how to deal with your technician so that your experience there will be a good one.
- Set realistic expectations. When it comes time to repair your auto, price, quick, and good are terms that are usually thought of together when you talk with your technician at M&J Truck and Auto, he will give you a quote on the cost which should include the cost for parts and labor. Plan on leaving your vehicle at the repair shop for a good part of a day, maybe longer, to get the necessary service done. Even if it is a quick repair, you should realize there may be other vehicles ahead of yours, the technician should let you know that ahead of time so you can arrange for transportation if needed.
- Clean up your car before taking it in for service, be sure to clear the back seat and the trunk of things like golf clubs, strollers, and equipment. Not only is it common courtesy, it could affect the quality of your auto repair. The technician may need to remove the items to gain access or perform a repair in that area, or the items could weigh down the vehicle to the point that it may affect the performance.
- Make sure to be available. Always leave your phone number with the technician in case he needs to reach you. If your technician is unable to reach you for your approval on a repair, your car will sit until you can be reached. You will also want to know when your vehicle is ready and how much the cost will be before heading back to the repair shop
- Leave your technician alone. Just about every survey conducted on auto technicians disliked customers hovering over them while they are working on your auto. While it’s appropriate to explain the problem to your technician, it’s distracting to them and can be dangerous. If you want to hang around for a diagnosis or that quick repair, a waiting room is provided, relax and let the professional do their job.
What is the Cooling Fan Motor all about?
The engine in your vehicle is constantly burning fuel, while getting very hot. A car’s cooling system is responsible for transmission of heat away from the engine to the outside air. The cooling fan motor powers the cooling fan, in turn, keeping the engine from overheating. The cooling fan is located at the front or rear of the radiator. This fan is designed to cool the coolant as it circulates to the car’s engine from the radiator. Coolant flows through the entire engine and has the responsibility of absorbing extra engine heat, thus preventing the engine from overheating. When the fan blows the air from the outside and passes it through the radiator. When the cooling fan motor is defective and stops working, the fan will also stop working, causing the coolant to remain hot and cause the engine to overheat.
Keep in mind:
- When you replace the cooling fan motor, you should inspect the cooling fan blade as well.
- Whenever maintenance is conducted on the cooling system, the fan motor should also be inspected.
How it’s done:
- The mechanic should scan the cooling system or perform a diagnostic to detect any trouble codes.
- Test all fuses and relays.
- Test the electrical system for power and ground going to the fan.
- Remove or replace the radiator cooling fan motor.
- Make sure the fan is operating properly.
- The radiator cooling fan motor is electrical and it resides in a high temperature environment. At some point over time, it may fail. If you notice that your engine is overheating (check the temperature gauge on the dashboard), and you cannot hear the fan(s) working, get your cooling system inspected right away.
- Typically, your mechanic will check the coolant and fill, if needed.
- Follow your vehicle’s maintenance service manual for scheduled replacement of the coolant. Typically, it is recommended to change the coolant every 25,000 to 40,000 miles.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Cooling/Radiator Fan Motor?
- Vehicle overheats.
- The Check Engine light may come on.
- The Cooling Fan fuse may need replacing.
How important is this service?
If the cooling/radiator fan motor is defective and not immediately replaced, it will lead to engine overheating and then you’ll be unable to drive the car. In addition, overheating may result in permanent damage to your vehicle’s engine.
At M&J Truck and Auto Repair we treat our customers like family. We know that your vehicle is one of the most important assets you will ever own. That is why we service your vehicle using the latest in automotive technology and we stock only the top quality part. M&J specializes in:
- Road Service Trucks and Heavy Equipment
- Roadside Service Heavy Truck Repair
- ASE Certified Technicians
- Medium and Heavy Duty Truck Repair
Whether routine maintenance or emergency roadside service let our top professionals help solve your problem.
What is ASE?
ASE is the acronym for the National Institute for “Automotive Service Excellence”. Since 1972 this independent non-profit organization has moved to improve the quality of automotive repair and service thru precise testing and certifying of automotive professionals.
What Does ASE Do?
ASE advocates excellence in automotive repair and service. There are over 300,000 Automotive Technician and Service Professionals who hold ASE Certification. ASE Certified Technicians work in every aspect of the automotive service industry. It certifies automotive technicians and vehicle service professionals. It does not certify the auto repair shop.
Why Does ASE Exist?
Specifically, ASE exists for the protection of the automotive service consumer, auto repair shop owner and the automotive technician. They test and certify automotive professionals in order for the shop owner and service customer can better gauge the technician’s level of understanding and expertise before contracting the technician’s services. They certify the automotive technician professional in order to demonstrate their technical knowledge. ASE Certification testing will result in peace of mind for service managers and customers.
How Does ASE Certification Work?
In conjunction with passing an ASE Certification test, technicians must have at least two years of “OJT” or on the job training or one year of OJT and a two-year degree in automotive repair in order to qualify for ASE Certification.
The exams are very difficult. On average, only two out of every three test-takers pass this certification exam on the first attempt. To remain an ASE certified professional service technician must be retest every five (5) years. The obvious reason for the retesting is to keep up with ever advancing automotive technology.
Who Writes The ASE Certification Tests?
ASE Certification tests are written by a national panel of veteran automotive industry professionals and executives, including technicians currently working in the automotive industry, auto manufacturers, aftermarket manufacturers, and educators.
Exams are categorized by sub-specialty such as automobile, medium and heavy truck, truck equipment, school bus, collision repair, and more. There are over 40 exams each designed to address the automotive service technician’s knowledge of job-related skills.
M & J Truck and Auto Repair take the lead in serving customers in the Madison, Wisconsin and the surrounding areas. Our automotive and truck repair services are performed by knowledgeable and highly skilled professional ASE Certified mechanics. Our mechanic shop uses superior quality truck and car repair equipment when working on each vehicle.
When you bring in your automobile, truck, mini-van or SUV, our expert mechanics will make every effort to ensure that your vehicle is running at peak performance before it leaves our service bay. Our shop has experience with servicing a wide variety of makes and models. Our exceptional standards show how our mechanics will make every effort to satisfy you the customers. If you need a one-stop repair shop, stop in and let us provide you with an accurate estimate for any repair issue you are experiencing.
Our most important goal is to achieve total satisfaction for our customers in the Madison, Wisconsin area. Our car repair shop has an established reputation for quality repair work. You can contact us for routine auto and truck maintenance services or any necessary repairs. We welcome your business and look forward to serving you.
Airbag Technology for saving lives
Airbags are significantly contributing to the ongoing decrease in car crash fatality rates. Frontal airbags became required in 1999 and side bags are now standard in over 90% of vehicles. Side air bags were created to increase protection from side impact crashes. Most new cars are equipped with an abundance of airbags, such as frontal, side torso, side curtain, and even rear-passenger airbags.
Engineers are working on even newer types of airbags for added protection. These include:
- Knee Airbags: Small knee airbags are fitted in the foot well, beneath the steering wheel and under the glove compartment to reduce damage to lower limbs.
- Front Center Airbag: This airbag inflates from the driver’s right side near the center of the seat. This new model was pioneered to offer adequate restraint during passenger side crashes when the driver is alone, and absorbs energy between the passenger and driver in in collisions on either side. The airbag was also created to decrease rollover injuries.
- Inflatable Seatbelts: Ford developed inflatable rear seatbelts in 2011. Ford contends that its inflatable seatbelts to aid in diminishing chest, neck and head injuries of rear passengers who are more vulnerable to these types of injuries.
If an airbag light goes on in your vehicle, be sure to get it checked out at M&J Truck and Auto Repair in Madison, WI. You want to be certain you airbags will work when you need them.
Improve Your Semi’s Efficiency
There is a lot more to consider with modern Semi truck than in the past. Many of these advancements can improve the overall efficiency and performance of your truck. There are upgrades you can make regardless of whether you have been using your semi for some time or whether you are interested in elevating the feature of a new one.
A Radiator Upgrade
A radiator upgrade is useful for driver older trucks in warmer weather. Overheating can halt a load instantly and threaten your deadline goals. New radiators are created to achieve better airflow. Newer radiators are designed for increased airflow reliability and optimal cooling capacity. If there are seasonal heat, humidity or dust concerns, updating your radiator will safeguard your semi
Upgrading Steel Axles
To ensure your steering base is precise enough travel through any location update these axles. Modern services incorporate axle configuration. Axle upgrades include brake fitting so there are no service barriers in future. Like other components, high end axles decrease shaking and road clatter as a result of pioneering new resources and fitting adjustments.
Glider kits enhance the performance image of all semi-trucks. If your frame is showing signs of wear from weather or minor dings, investing in a glider kit is a worthwhile way to boost your truck’s appearance.
Semi-truck upgrade features at M&J Truck and Auto Repair can make your semi-truck a genuine highway workhorse.
Common Diesel Clutch Problems and Repairs
Modern diesel technology has advanced to the point that your clutch can operate at ideal performance for roughly 80,000 miles. While truck owners are thankful their clutch is good for such a long haul, also keep in mind that the lifespan of your clutch depends on your commitment to maintaining and caring for your vehicle.
A clutch exposed to the elements or driving a truck in rugged conditions can start displaying signs of wear and tear at as low as 35,000 miles. It’s a good idea to be familiar with and identify issues your clutch may be presenting and take it in to M&J Truck and Auto Repair Madison, Wisconsin for an accurate diagnosis.
Clutch Function and Problem Signs
The clutch in your diesel truck transfers power from the engine power to the wheels. If you experience insufficient power while driving you should consider the following clutch issues.
Clutch cable stretched and worn down: A clutch cable requires the proper amount of tension to operate suitably. Its effectiveness will be reduced when it is worn out.
Hydraulic line leakage: A leak presents itself when clutch engagement is poor.
Stripped clutch material: If your clutch elements are completely stripped the clutch will not engage and gets this gets worse quickly.
Linkage incorrectly adjusted: If you depress the clutch pedal and an incorrect amount of power is transmitted to your clutch, you’ll notice insufficient force transferred to the wheels.
If your clutch ever experiences a slip get an immediate professional diagnosis at M&J Truck and Auto Repair because this problem, over time, will cause the mechanism to grind and completely break down.
Call M&J Truck and Auto Repair today at 608-221-0526 in Madison, WI to set up an appointment if you have questions about the way your clutch is operating. Taking early action will ensure that your diesel truck maintains its functionality. When it comes to the life of your vehicle, a professional inspection is a must.
Common Causes for Irregular Tire Wear on Trailers
Irregular tire wear can trigger other problems with your trailer. Uneven suspension knocks the alignment out of balance, which in turn puts extra stress on your trailer and its bearing. Undercarriage units, such as springs, bushing, load equalizers and bearings keep the tires properly in line. Putting extra strain on one area creates problems for other components. It is important to be aware of signs of unusual wear on your trailer.
Uneven tire wear negatively affects their performance. Overinflated or underinflated tires can bend the wheels, which upsets overall balance and may cause wobbling or vibration. Having your tires aligned at all times makes a big difference in the life of the tire. Common problem patterns are disproportionate shoulder wear, scalloped feathering when a single wear pattern creates raised edges of other sections. Strange tires noises are a good warning to indicate tire issues.
Tires that wear more in the center are usually overinflated, while some will wear more on the shoulder due to under-inflation. Bent wheels produce irregular spot wear. A wobbly wheel is usually an alignment problem and causes a tire to vibrate.
Give M&J Truck and Auto Repair in Madison WI at 608-221-0536 if you think your diesel is wearing unevenly.
Semi Truck Fun Facts
The source of the word “semi” essentially comes from the trailer. No front wheels are present on trailers and can only travel when connected to the tractor. This generated the phrase “semi trailer”. Most people observe a tractor and trailer connecting to each other on the highway and perceive the entire set-up as semi truck, and that phrase took off.
Most semi-truck fleets are smaller operations
According to Popular Mechanics magazine there are estimated 1.9 million semi trucks in operation in the US. Approximately 30% of these are registered in Florida, Texas and California. Yet, 90% of all trucking enterprises have fewer than 6 trucks.
Since we frequently see large image brands on the trailer, we presume most semis on the road are owned and operated by big corporations. Surprisingly, though, that’s not the case. Cargo is handled throughout the United States by mostly by small businesses.
Impressive pulling capacity
The average 18-wheel maximum pulling capacity in the US is 80,000 pounds. A large number of large could even pull more, but other road conditions and making tighter turns is not as safe.
In countries with vast areas of flat land, such as in Australia, trucks can form “road trains” by connecting sets of four tractors and following each other in a cargo line the length of a train. Each tractor in a road train can move in excess of 300,000 pounds!
When your job calls for power, bring your truck to M & J Auto Repair in Madison, Wisconsin. Our experienced technicians are trained using the latest technologies.
Better Gas Mileage Tips from M&J
Everyone would undoubtedly prefer improved gas mileage. It puts less wear and tear on the vehicle and environment, in addition to lowering your driving budget. With increased attention to maintenance and following some simple tips, you can reduce your expenses at the pump.
- Proper tires are a must to maximize grip to the road. Oversized and racing tires are created especially for certain uses and should not be used as everyday tires. Make sure you properly inflated tires in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations also.
- Wheel Balance is also important to ensure full contact with the road surface. Get your wheels balanced with each rotation for optimal gas mileage.
- A correctly aligned vehicle generates less resistance, thus consuming less gas, as well as putting less wear on your tires.
- Routine oil changes are a valuable way to boost gas mileage. Your vehicle operates more smoothly when well oiled.
- Examine your air filter so that combustion is mixed with clean air and less fuel is wasted. Be especially observant if you live a more polluted location or often drive on dusty roads.
- Regular tune-ups and overall maintenance will result is much less gas consumption in the long run. You’ll also increase your chances for driving safely.
- Erratic driving and excessive speeding brings down gas mileage due to inconsistent and forced acceleration.
- Fuel with the correct gas. Don’t spend more on premium fuel if it is not required for your truck or car.
- Even though it’s necessary in very hot temperatures, drive with your windows down if possible to reduce the extra cost of air conditioning.
See us at M&J Truck and Auto Repair to keep your vehicle properly maintained at all times and to help cut down on your automotive expenses. Call us today at 608-221-0526 to schedule an appointment.
Don’t Neglect Tire Pressure Maintenance on Your Commercial Truck
Measuring tire pressure routinely is imperative because air pressure in tires fluctuates. Air molecules escaping directly through the sidewalls cause diffusion, or a loss of tire pressure. Tires will still leak air even when right after they are purchased. Microscopically, tires are comprised of a mass of long and stringy molecules similar to a net. Air molecules are smaller than tire particles. Semi-truck tires may deflate by as much as 2psi each month, and pressure can easily decrease by 10 psi if you don’t check it every 4 months.
Diffusion from a Dirty Bead
If bead surfaces or the wheel itself are corroded or grimy, you will probably lose more air pressure. If your mounting lubricant doesn’t adequately cover the bead or wheel the loss intensifies. You want to make sure to have Block Diesel replace your tires – we always take always take appropriate precautions to safeguard against unnecessary diffusion.
Tires that aren’t inflated enough cause irregular wear, which shortens their lifespan. When your tires wear out unevenly, they have a much shorter lifespan. When this happens, retreading is often impossible. Rolling resistance will be greater, increasing the possibility for other damage. Exposing more surface area of your tires also makes your problems worse because they are picking more road debris when they make additional contact with the road. In addition, your truck will consume more fuel because of the extra resistance. We all know extra expenses lead to fewer profits.
It’s important to pay close attention to the condition of your semi tires. Don’t let a tire blowout cause unwanted downtime for your semi. Call M & J Truck and Auto Repair in Madison WI at 608-221-0526 to schedule an inspection and avoid an inconvenient and expensive roadside service call.