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Choosing the Right Car Repair Shop: Factors to Consider

car repair shop interior

Things to Look for in a Car Repair Shop

Your car is a large investment and an important asset. Choosing the right car repair shop is crucial for ensuring the quality and reliability of the services provided. Here are several factors to consider when making your decision. And if you need a car repair shop in Inglewood, CA, look no further than L.A. NTX Transmissions. We have decades of experience and will treat your vehicles as if they were our own. Call us or connect with us online to learn how we can help.

When choosing a car repair shop, you want to pick a company with a strong reputation in the community. Check online reviews and testimonials from previous customers to gauge their satisfaction levels and overall experiences. You’ll also want to verify that the technicians at the repair shop are certified and have the necessary qualifications to work on your vehicle. Look for certifications from reputable organizations such as ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence).

You should also consider the repair shop’s experience and specialization. Some shops may specialize in certain makes or models of vehicles, while others may have expertise in specific types of repairs (e.g., engine diagnostics, electrical systems). Before scheduling your appointment, it’s important to visit the repair shop or check their website to assess the cleanliness, organization, and quality of their facilities and equipment. A well-equipped shop with modern diagnostic tools is more likely to provide accurate and efficient repairs.

More Things to Consider When Choosing a Car Repair Shop

You should also inquire about the warranty and guarantees offered for parts and labor. A reputable repair shop should stand behind their workmanship and offer warranties to provide peace of mind to customers. You’ll also want to choose a repair shop that provides transparent pricing and upfront estimates for the cost of repairs. Avoid shops that give vague or ambiguous estimates, and ask for explanations of any additional charges or fees.

Customer service is just as important as the service to your car, so look for shops that are responsive to inquiries, provide clear explanations of repairs, and keep you informed throughout the repair process. Finally, consider the location and convenience of the repair shop, especially if you need to drop off or pick up your vehicle regularly. Choose a shop that is easily accessible and offers convenient hours of operation.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select a reputable and reliable car repair shop that meets your needs and provides high-quality service for your vehicle. L.A. NTX Transmissions is proud to be one of the leading car repair shops in Inglewood, CA. We service a variety of makes and models and stand behind all our work. If you’re interested in learning more about our services or are ready to schedule your appointment, connect with us online, or give us a call. We look forward to serving you.

How Often Should Fleet Vehicles Be Serviced?

An array of fleet vehicles

Fleet Maintenance Management

For the everyday car, whether you drive it multiple times a day or once a month, maintenance and upkeep are important. And for a business with a fleet of cars, it’s the same amount of maintenance and upkeep, for multiple cars. It is to the advantage of a company with a fleet of cars to find a fleet management service that includes not only basic maintenance and upkeep but car fleet repairs too. 

Are there different types of car fleet management plans? 

Yes, there are two types of fleet car maintenance programs: 

  • Corrective Maintenance: This type of fleet car maintenance is corrective maintenance which is typically unscheduled maintenance in reaction to a vehicle failure. 
  • Preventive Maintenance: This type of fleet car maintenance is a proactive approach to regularly scheduled maintenance to prevent unexpected (and expensive) failures.

What is car fleet management?

A car fleet service can be in-house or an outside party. The car fleet management service will oversee all the fleet maintenance and upkeep, and some will provide car fleet repairs too. An in-house fleet car management will handle the following tasks:  

  • Manage drivers
  • Basic vehicle maintenance and car fleet repairs
  • Find, negotiate, and setup suppliers
  • Plan mechanics routes and schedule
  • Manage fuel budget by overseeing fuel consumption
  • Decrease waste

Today, most managers and operators utilize software designed for car fleet repairs, maintenance, and more. 

How often should fleet vehicles be serviced?

Depending on a company’s fleet, the maintenance requirements can vary. The standard fleet car basic maintenance is every 3,000 miles, but a company may choose to have their fleet car repairs and maintenance every 30 days or even bi-monthly.  

Whether the car fleet repairs and maintenance are done by in-house or a third party, it is important to collect and keep the service records, a copy in each vehicle, a copy in the office, and the service department should keep a copy as well. 

 What does a fleet car maintenance program cost?

A fleet car maintenance program can vary based on the year, make, and model and can be priced per car and/or per month, plus any parts needed for car fleet repairs. 

What is the life expectancy of a fleet car?

When a company car has routine maintenance and professional car fleet repairs, it will typically have a longer lifespan. That lifespan can be affected by the age, mileage, safety features, and the driving style and usage of the cars in the fleet. With car fleet repairs done by the fleet management team, light-duty vehicles can give a company up to 4 years of use, or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

What are the benefits of a car fleet repair and maintenance program? 

Having a company’s fleet of vehicles maintained and serviced, including car fleet repairs, done on-site will provide the following benefits: 

  • Productivity is increased
  • Efficiency and operations are streamlined
  • Security of cars being safe and operable
  • Car fleet repairs are less expensive

Are there policies that a company should put in place with fleet cars? 

Yes, there are things that can be done by fleet car drivers to extend their lifespan and minimize the need for car fleet repairs: 

1. MAKE SURE VEHICLE AND PURPOSE MATCH

It is important to have every fleet vehicle adequately equipped for the employee driving it.  Start by determining what is being hauled in the vehicle and under what conditions the driver will be operating under.

2. PRE-DETERMINE PURCHASING REQUIREMENTS

Pre-determine what requirements you need for your fleet vehicles and find the right source to purchase the cars from. This allows you to create a standardized list of requirements, allows you to have control and your dealer to have easy access to additional or replacement cars as needed. 

3. SET AND ENFORCE POLICIES

Set up clear policies and requirements for the staff driving these fleet vehicles. 

4. PREPLAN & STICK WITH MAINTENANCE SCHEDULES

Keep a proactive fleet car maintenance schedule so there aren’t any unexpected car fleet repairs.  

5. OPTIMIZE DRIVING ROUTES

Require fleet car drivers to optimize their drive routes and style. Including minimizing idling time. 

7. REQUIRE DRIVERS TO LEARN & RECOGNIZE ISSUES

In addition to watching for warning lights on the dashboard, instruct the fleet car drivers to learn other potential indicators and when they need to schedule a car fleet repair appointment. Set strict requirements for the drivers to keep the vehicles clean inside and out.

Do fleet cars lose value?

The business world is more competitive today than it ever has been, making a challenge to a fleet car repair manager. Each year a fleet car gets older, it depreciates, and its value declines. Depending on the type of business, fleet cars typically have more miles, and often that mileage is highway mileage. That alone can affect the value of a fleet car. 

For an individual, is a fleet car a good value?

For an individual on the market for a used car, a fleet car can be a reasonably priced car. By being a fleet car, you’ll have access to all service records, especially fleet car repairs done while it was in service. A downside to purchasing a fleet car is the high mileage, and for that reason, you should have your mechanic inspect the car before making the purchase and don’t expect the interior to be in ideal condition. Fleet cars are often sales or service personnel who use their car as their office. Our team is ready to provide your car fleet repair in Inglewood, CA. Call us now at __PHONE__!

Do Box Trucks Have Automatic Transmissions?

Box truck

Learn More About Box Truck Maintenance

If you own a company in or around the Inglewood, California area that offers delivery service, you may have one, two, three, or even a fleet of box trucks. Keeping them maintained and rolling is important to the survival of your business, and that includes getting quality box truck transmission service when needed. 

Are box truck and pickup truck transmissions different? 

Yes, and for a good reason.  A box truck is heavy-duty and able to transport heavy, large loads. Whereas a pickup truck may be able to handle moving your best friend from an apartment to a house.  With this in mind, when box truck transmission service is needed, it requires a mechanic who is experienced and trained in heavier-duty transmissions and engines. 

Are all box truck transmissions automatic? 

No, they come with either automatic or manual transmissions. Anyone with a valid Class D driver’s license can drive a box truck. A Class D driver’s license allows a person to operate a vehicle that has a gross weight rating of up to 16,000 pounds. This is the same basic driver’s license needed to operate any car, pickup truck, or SUV.

What is included in a box truck transmission service?

Before you have problems with your box truck’s transmission, a box truck transmission service will typically consist of the following: 

  • Flushing the transmission
  • A new transmission screen 
  • A new oil pan seal
  • Fresh transmission fluid
  • If needed, a new transmission pan

With regular box truck transmission service every 30,000 miles, or every 2 years, you will minimize any chances of the transmission going out and keep your team on the go. Consistent service is key to having smooth-running vehicles, which can also help the gas mileage as well. 

Are there different types of transmissions for trucks?

The transmission has gears and mechanisms that connect the engine to the drive axle. Three types of transmissions are available for box trucks: 

  • Automatic
  • Manual
  • Semi-automatic

Each of these may require a different type of transmission fluid, and the mechanic performing a box truck transmission service will know the right one. 

Is a box truck and a semi-truck the same? 

No, a box truck is also referred to as a straight truck. They are designed to carry heavy, large items like appliances and furniture. There is a single chassis connecting it which makes it easier to drive and operate than a semi-truck. 

A semi-truck is larger in overall size and provides the driver with heavier and more cargo loads. Both types of trucks can have an automatic, manual, or semi-automatic transmission, but the semi-truck will have a larger, heavy-duty transmission and engine. With that in mind, the semi-truck transmission service is different than a box truck transmission service.

How is the transmission fluid checked on a box truck? 

A box truck transmission service will start by checking the transmission fluid level. This is done in the same way as with a basic vehicle.  A dipstick going to the transmission is located on the back side of the engine, close to the firewall. The mechanic will wipe it clean and re-insert it into the transmission tube, pull it out again, and check the markings on the stick. This reading will tell them if there are specific problems that need to be addressed.

What does a box truck transmission service cost?

This service can cost up to $400 or $500 depending on the complexity of the transmission system. The amount and type of transmission fluid that is used will have an impact on the cost of a box truck transmission service. 

How long can you skip a box truck transmission service?

It will depend on the type of transmission.  A box truck transmission service on a manual unit should be between 30,000 and 60,000 miles. An automatic transmission can go between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. In either case, having a box truck transmission service done sooner won’t harm the truck or its transmission. 

What are the signs a box truck transmission service is needed? 

If a box truck is showing any of the following, a box truck transmission service should be scheduled immediately. 

  1. Transmission fluid leak. This can indicate the gearbox is leaking or the seal has a hole.
  2. Unusual movement with the transmission. This can indicate gearbox problems as well.
  3. Strange sounds are never a good thing coming from any transmission and should be inspected immediately.
  4. Transmission slipping when taking off or going down the road. This can be caused by low transmission fluid, which could be leaking from the gearbox or seal.
  5. An illuminated CEL is an indication something is wrong with the transmission, motor or computer system. 

In Closing 

In most cases, if your box truck is part of a fleet, you have more leeway to have a box truck transmission service done sooner than scheduled. The cost of the service is often included in the annual contract payment. You can reach us now for box truck transmission service in Inglewood, CA! Call us today at __PHONE__!

What is Proper Tire Care?

Tire Service

When you get your engine running and you’re ready to head out on the highway, take the time to take your car in for professional tire services first. Not only do you need a tank full of gas, but make sure all the other fluids are checked and ready and the tires are aired up and ready to go. 

What is included with tire services? 

Because they don’t require daily attention, like the gas gauge, it is important to have professional tire services performed regularly, and before you head out on the highway. Yes, it is boring and time-consuming. But for the sake of the safety of your passengers and others around you, and the sake of your car’s well-being, they are essential. 

Tire services should be considered part of the basic maintenance of your car, like the oil change. Included by most garages that provide tire services include: 

  • Tire and Wheel Balancing

Tire and wheel balancing are important to ensure the car’s weight is evenly distributed. This should be done between every 3,000 and 6,000 miles for most cars. The balancing process is done by the tire services mechanic using counterweights. It is important to check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation. If your car is misaligned, it could be due to the tires and wheels not being balanced. 

  • Wheel Alignment

As we mentioned above, if your car’s wheel alignment is out of line, this can be from the tires and wheels not being balanced. This can also cause the tires to wear unevenly and make your car difficult to steer and keep on the road as it vibrates. 

  • Tire Pressure 

Basic tire services include checking the air pressure, ensuring they are all the same, and meeting the tire manufacturer’s recommendation. Proper tire inflation will keep the tires healthy longer, make the ride better, help the fuel economy, and help with braking and traction. 

  • Tire Rotation

Last but not least, too many drivers don’t even consider tire rotation one of the important tire services their car needs. This is just as important as the other tire services we’ve listed. Like the alignment and balance, tire rotations will help the tires wear evenly and last longer. 

How long should tires last?

The average lifespan of tires is between 12,000 and 15,000 miles annually, which means you can expect to get between 3 years and 5 years for most.  This can depend on the quality of the tires and your driving habits. There isn’t a set schedule for replacing the tires on any car. 

What factors affect the lifespan of tire services? 

As we mentioned above, multiple factors have an impact on tire services’ lifespan. The main factors include: 

  • Aging vs. Wearing

The more you drive, the tires will wear, reducing their traction with less tread. This can be dangerous, especially on roads affected by adverse weather conditions.  When the tire tread is at 2/32” or less, it is time to schedule tire services for new tires. If the car isn’t driven much, this doesn’t spare the tires. They can rot with the car just sitting in place. 

  • Hazards: Curbs, Potholes, and More

If you hit curbs frequently, you’ll knock your car out of alignment, and damage the suspension, and all of that wears the tires faster. The same holds if the roadways you drive regularly are riveted with broken pavement, and potholes, and have poor grading at railroad tracks. With these driving conditions, you should have tire services performed every 3 to 4 months to make sure the alignment and tire tread are in good condition. 

  • The Weather

When you have to drive in the rain, on ice, or snow, it wears the tires down faster because they are using the tread to maintain traction. It is important to purchase tires for your car that can handle the common weather in the area and professional tire services can help you with that selection. 

  • Driving Habit

Your driving habits can have a big impact on the lifespan of your tires. Avoid quick accelerations, hard braking, and hard cornering. An aggressive driving style can wear the tread down quicker. 

  • Neglected Tire Services

If you neglect to get the recommended tire services performed, you’re driving at risk of the tires going flat. This includes balancing, alignments, rotations, and proper air inflation.

In Conclusion

When it comes to the maintenance and upkeep of your car’s tires, it is important to have those professional tire services performed as recommended (between 3,000 and 6,000 miles). Again, check the owner’s manual for the car and tire manufacturer’s recommendations, they may recommend having tire services performed more frequently. New tires are not cheap, so taking care of them with professional tire services will give you a longer lifespan from them, and keep you and your passengers safe.

How Do I Know My Car Needs a Tune-Up?

car mechanic diagnostic

Maintain Your Car

California is known for its strict laws when it comes to emissions, and with regularly scheduled car tune-up services, you can keep your car in top condition, and safe for the roads in and around Inglewood, California. 

What services are included in a tune-up?

During car tune-up services, a professional will inspect the car engine for any defective or worn parts, replacing them as needed. They will clean the intake region which improves fuel, making the emissions clean in accordance with California law. Other steps taken during car tune-up services include: 

  • Replace spark plugs, wires, and coil boots. 
  • Adjust the engine timing if needed. 
  • Replace the air filter and fuel filter. 
  • Clean the fuel system with a fuel cleaner poured into the gas tank. 
  • Inspect and replace the distributor cap and rotor if needed. 
  • Inspect and replace the PCV valve if needed. 

These things can vary with different makes and models of cars. The technicians performing the car tune-up services will be well-versed in what details should be adhered to that keep the car within the state regulations and requirements. 

Are tune-ups necessary to keep my car running in top condition?

Absolutely!  Without regular car tune-ups services, as we discussed above, fuel economy and performance begin to decrease. The drivability of the car can be compromised. d performance and fuel economy. You may even begin to experience drivability issues, which could lead to extensive damage to the motor, or worse, leave you stranded on the side of the road.

Is there a difference between car maintenance and car tune-up services?

With cars today, car tune-up services are considered ‘scheduled maintenance’ and are a preventive step, not a reactive action. A service call by a mechanic is for making any repairs, installing replacements, or installing new components.

What are the benefits of regular tune-ups?

Regular car tune-up services will keep your car in line with California’s emission standards, which is perhaps the number one benefit. Other benefits include: 

  • Helps avoid major breakdowns.
  • Reduces possible major repair bills.
  • Helps keep your vehicle resale value.
  • Keeps your car performing at an optimal level.
  • Helps with fuel efficiency, saving you money at the gas pump. 
  • Maintains your car’s reliability in starting and running.
filling in car coolant

How often are car tune-up services recommended?  

The car tune-up services schedule can vary based on the make, model, and year. Every owner’s manual will have recommendations that should be followed for manufacturer warranty and lifespan of the car. Newer cars have a fuel injection system and electronic ignition. The recommended service schedule is between 25,000 miles and 100,000 miles. This will eliminate the need for more serious repairs. 

With older cars, the ignition is non-electric and the recommended car tune-up services have a more frequent schedule recommendation. The schedule recommended is between 10,000 miles and 12,000 miles, or once a year, whichever comes first.

What should I look for when choosing a car tune-up service? 

Well of course, your first concern will probably be the cost of car tune-up services, but keep in mind, the cost of that is much cheaper than replacing the engine! The next thing you want to check is that the mechanic performing the service is certified and trained with the make of your car. A BMW or Mercedes car tune-up services are different from a Chevrolet or Ford. 

Next, depending on your vehicle’s needs, the time it will take for the car tune-up services could make a difference. If you can spare your car for a week, then an estimate of 3 to 4 days to complete the service won’t be a problem. And last but not least, make sure the garage is fully insured!

What kind of warranty is offered on car tune-up services?

This can vary between mechanic shops. Due to publicity today like social media, you have a better chance of a shop making good on any issue you have with their car tune-up services. In the years past, the warranty pretty much expired once you drove off their property.  

How much does a tune-up typically cost? 

Again, there are several factors that have an effect on the cost of car tune-up services, like the make, model, and year of the car. Pricing isn’t one set price across the board either. Every car mechanic shop will have its own rate plans and what is included in its service package.

Keep Your Money! 

Instead of paying for professional car tune-up services, you may wonder, why can’t I do a tune-up on my own? Well, you can if you have the ability, equipment, tools, space, and time to do this. Back before cars were computerized and had electronics installed, a car tune-up on a Saturday afternoon was normal for many car owners. 

Today, cars are more complicated, but there are still the basics like changing the oil and spark plugs. With multitudes of YouTube videos, you can probably walk yourself through most of the steps that professional car tune-up services would cover.

L.A. NTX Transmissions provides professional car tune-up services in Inglewood, CA. Call __PHONE__ to get scheduled.

What Does Fleet Maintenance Mean?

Mechanic reviewing information on a tablet opposite a large white semi-truck

The Benefits of Fleet Repair Services

Fleet maintenance and fleet repair services are the processes of maintaining and repairing a company’s fleet of vehicles. Are there benefits for a company to have fleet repair services? 

Absolutely! Benefits include but are not limited to:

1. Ensures Safety

Fleet management and fleet repair services help a business or organization to stay on top of the safety of its fleet. Routine inspection minimizes the risk of those vehicles breaking down or having an accident.

2. Lowers Fleet Repair Costs

A fleet maintenance program and fleet repair services provide the business or organization performance data of their vehicles that help to determine when it is time to trade the vehicles in for a new vehicle. With these routine maintenance programs and fleet repair services, the cost of repairs is minimized, keeping the vehicles on the road longer.

3. Operational Costs Reduced

The cost of operating a fleet of vehicles is increased by downtime and idling vehicles. Fleet repair services allow a company to assess a driver’s behavior and driving patterns. With this information, they can train the drivers to better habits that will save on fuel expenses and reduce emissions.

4. Control Centralized

Whether a company is looking to control costs, minimize downtime and administrative burdens, or track expenses, a fleet repair services and maintenance program puts everything in one place where it can be reviewed. 

5. Resale Value Maximized 

When a company is ready to upgrade its fleet, many will sell the existing vehicles. With a record of fleet repair services and maintenance, it makes it easier to make sales. 

What is Typically Included in Fleet Repair Services? 

The fleet services for a business or organization are typically set up in two different time frames: short-term and long-term. Included in those time frames are: 

Short-term fleet inspections include:  

  • Oil and Filters: Just like our personal cars, it is important for fleet repair services to include changing the oil and filter. This maintains optimal levels for lubricating moving parts, preventing debris inside the engine, and keeping the engine cool and running properly.  
  • The Tires: Again, just like our personal cars, keeping the tires well-maintained with fleet repair services and maintenance maintains better fuel efficiency and keeps the occupants of the car safe with proper tire pressure, tread depth, and routine rotation. 
  • Air Filters: The air filter is just as important for fleet repair services and maintenance as it is in a personal car. This keeps the cabin air healthier and keeps the engine healthier, improves fuel efficiency, and reduces emissions while extending the engine’s lifespan.  
  • Coolant: Routine fleet repair services include checking the coolant level. Too low of a coolant can cause major engine problems. 
  • Brakes and Lights: The short-term fleet repair service is vital to the fleet’s safety. 

Long-term fleet inspections include: 

  • Transmission: A technician will check the transmission fluid to ensure the moving parts associated with the transmission are lubricated. 
  • Transfer Case: The transfer case shifts power from the transmission to the vehicle’s axles. One step in fleet repair services and maintenance is to ensure the fluid level is adequate.
  • Shocks & Struts: An important step in long-term fleet repair service and maintenance is checking the shocks & struts are adequately performing to provide a smooth ride and safe steering control.  
  • Coolant Fluid Flush: A basic fleet repair service and maintenance includes flushing the coolant system to keep the engine clear of any contaminants and the radiator functioning properly. 
  • Spark Plugs: A long-term fleet repair service includes changing the spark plugs. This keeps the engine at full power and minimizes other repairs. 
  • Serpentine Belts: The serpentine belt has an important role in how a vehicle is powered. It can affect the operation of the alternator, peripheral devices, air compressor, and power steering pumps. 
  • The Differentials: The front & rear differentials are important in a car’s functioning. The technician will check the differentials to ensure the lubrication that assists with the transfer of power from the motor to the tires. 

Fleet repair service and maintenance can vary from area to area to match the demands of the driving conditions, season, and weather. This includes the battery and windshield wipers. 

What Happens if You Eliminate Fleet Repair Service and Maintenance?

Every business and organization must watch its budget, and many will do that by halting routine fleet maintenance and fleet repair services. But are they saving money? 

By eliminating these things, the fleet is at risk of more breakdowns. This increases downtime, meaning there is money lost in most cases. Often, a company or organization will move their fleet repair services and maintenance done “in-house”, meaning, they have a mechanical staff doing the work. The goal is to save money by giving the company or organization control over expenses. 

This can work if the company mechanical staff is knowledgeable and on top of the problems, adjusting and repairs as needed. If anything is overlooked, however, this can cause them more expenses in the long run. 

Is repairing a tire worth it?

flat tire close up

Tire Maintenance

“The wheels on the bus go round and round, round, and round ….”. You most likely are familiar with the nursery school song. And you probably know that the wheels on the bus can’t go round and round without good tires, right? Yes, tire maintenance is important, whether it is on that bus or your personal vehicle. 

Should tires be serviced regularly?

The tires on your car have constant contact with the road. So, yes, you should check your tires yourself once a month. A regular routine of checking your tires is an important step for your safety and protecting your investment.  The tires affect the handling, the ride, and the safety of you, your passengers, and those around you. For the best performance in these areas, including braking, routine tire services are a must. 

Tire services include maintaining the correct air pressure and tread depth. Keeping them balanced and the wheels properly aligned. This is even more important if you’re planning a road trip, and hopefully, you can avoid having unexpected flat tires or blowouts. 

But what if you do have an unexpected flat tire, or you run over something in the road that causes a blowout? A mechanic may suggest just patching the tire, but what is a tire patch. 

Of all the tire services available, a tire patch is probably the least expensive. A tire patch is when a tire technician sticks a piece of adhesive-backed rubber to the inside of a tire that has a hole. Another option for inexpensive repair tire services is a tire plug. 

With a tire plug, the tire technician pushes a sticky object from the outside of the damaged area. It expands and is adjusted until holds air. Of these two types of tire services, the tire patch is the stronger one. Well, can you drive with a damaged tire, or should I just replace a damaged tire?

First, never drive on a flat tire! If absolutely necessary, drive the shortest distance possible that gets you to the safest place to pull over. If a tire is damaged, such as having a chunk of rubber missing, you can keep driving, but you’re putting yourself, your passengers, and other cars on the road at risk. 

Driving on damaged tires reduces the ability to handle your vehicle on the road. It can damage the front-end structure of your vehicle, like the alignment, brakes, wheel balance, and more, including the steering. It is not worth delaying getting proper tire services to keep driving a vehicle in poor tire condition.

tires being replaced

What types of tire damages can be repaired?

Whether you drive every day or just once a month, your car is at risk of hitting a pothole or running over broken glass, a nail, a screw, or any number of other materials that can damage or destroy a tire. Professional tire services can repair a damaged a punctured tire with the following condition:  

The location and severity of the puncture will determine what tire services are possible, or if the tire needs to be replaced. A puncture in the tread area that is ¼” or smaller in diameter can usually be repaired.

What types of tire damages cannot be repaired?

To the untrained eye, professional tire services of repairing a tire with these two issues cannot be done: 

  • A RUN-FLAT TIRE?

A flat tire with 15psi or less is not repairable. 

  • SIDE BUBBLES 

A bubble in the sidewall is typical of a high impact, like running over a curb, hitting a pothole, or driving too fast over railroad tracks and speed bumps. No matter how small the bubble is, repairing tire services is not possible, it will need to be replaced. 

Other times that repair tire services are not possible is if there are two punctures that are a minimum of 16” apart. A tire with a puncture larger than ¼”, or 2 punctures, or the puncture is in the sidewall, replacing the tire is recommended. 

How do you repair a tire, what is the process to repair a tire?

Repair tire services can be completed within 90 minutes using the following steps:

  1. Identify & Assess Damage
    • Unmount the tire and thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of the tire.
  2. Prepare the Area
    • If repair tire services are possible, if the item that caused the puncture is still in the tire, remove it (nail, screw, etc). Then prep the interior surface using a rubber buffer and pre-buffer cleaner. Then scrape off any debris.
  3. Remove Damages Cords & Stabilize Area
    • Using the low speed on a carbide cutter and drill into the punctured area from the interior so that the damaged cords can be removed.  Repeat the process from the exterior and lean the rubber and steel dust/shaving with a vacuum on both the interior and exterior.
  4. Apply Rubber Cement
    • Apply rubber cement to the interior at the puncture area.
  5. Install Rubber Plug and/or Tire Patch 
    • Plug the hole from the interior side, pulling the plug through the puncture area. Cut off any excess amount of the plug from the exterior side, making it flush with the tread.
  6. Apply Sealer
    • Apply sealer to the lining on the buffed area.
  7. Mount and Rebalance 
    • Mount the tire and inflate to proper air pressure, then rebalance. Check for any leaks before driving. 

In Summary

In addition to your own monthly tire check, having them inspected by professional tire services is recommended. Requesting tire services while having your routine oil change service should become a routine for every car owner. 

L.A. NTX Transmissions helps with tires in Inglewood, CA. Call __PHONE__ for services.

Can I Drive My Car if the Transmission Light is On?

close-up of a modern car gearshift

What Does the Transmission Do?

What is the purpose of the transmission in a car? A transmission enables the gear ratio between the drive wheels and the engine, which makes your car move, slowing it down or speeding it up. If all else is looking okay with your car, check the transmission fluid. If it is full, then you need to schedule an appointment for a possible car transmission repair

Where is the car transmission located?

It will depend on whether your car is a front-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive car, but generally, it is just below and somewhat under the engine. It will be mounted to the motor on either side or level position with the oil pan. In a rear-wheel-drive car, the transmission is positioned just behind the engine, near the dashboard.

What are the types of car transmission?

There are 4 types of transmission in a vehicle. Those types are: 

  • The Manual Transmission: This is the oldest type around and it is the simplest, and most trustworthy. It uses a friction clutch that is modulated by the driver pressing a pedal that is connected to the rotational energy of the engine. 
  • The Automatic transmission: Universally, automatic transmission is the most common today. It has a highly complex torque converter that transmits the rotational energy of the engine as it shifts gears which are controlled by a computer. 
  • CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission): The CVT is like an automatic transmission but uses a different mechanism that doesn’t have any gears. Instead, it uses belts and pulleys and produces an endless range of ratios with the computer deciding how the pulleys need to adjust to create the best ratio for the situation. 
  • Semi-automatic and DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission): Semi-Auto and DCT transmissions are the cutting-edge transmissions, and the most expensive and commonly used in high-end sports cars and race cars. 

Just like checking the oil, every car owner should know how to check car transmission fluid too. By checking the transmission fluid level, and noting the color and smell, you can often tell that you need car transmission repair or just more transmission fluid. The dipstick for the transmission fluid is like the dipstick used for checking the motor oil. Start by making sure your car is parked on a level surface and then proceed: 

  1. Star the car and leave it in the park gear. Let it run for a few minutes to warm the engine and transmission. This allows the transmission fluid to expand for an accurate result. 
  2. Locate the transmission dipstick. On a front-wheel-drive car, it is usually toward the front of the motor and for a rear-wheel-drive car, it is near the back of the motor. Most manufacturers will use a colored handle in pink, red, or yellow.
  3. With the engine still running, pull the dipstick out, and with a clean rag, wipe the dipstick clean, and put it back into the transmission reservoir. 
  4. Remove the transmission dipstick again, and using the imprinted indicators on the stick, read the level markings. 
  5. If the dipstick shows full, replace it in the reservoir. If it shows low, either add transmission fluid yourself or take it to a car transmission repair show and have them add fluid. 

Can transmission problems cause a car not to start?

It can be a problem in newer cars. In older cars, the gears were cycled by putting the car in neutral or pushing the neutral switch. In cars today, that is disabled when the car is in gear. You can bypass that by unplugging the start circuit while in neutral or park.

Can a bad transmission cause a car to jerk?

It isn’t a common problem, but yes, your car could have a jerking reaction due to the transmission control module malfunctioning. This will happen as your car is shifting gears, causing delays in the shifting process. It is certainly worthy of making a car transmission repair appointment to have it checked out. 

How much is it to repair car transmission?

For a domestic manufactured car, a car transmission repair job can cost between $1500 and $5000. With newer transmissions having computer chips, these repairs can take longer and may cost more than these prices due to a chip shortage in the car industry during 2020 and 2021. 

How much does it cost to replace a car transmission?

Well, this will depend on the make, model, and year of the car as well as what type of transmission the car has.  The ballpark cost runs between $2,000 and $3,500 for a brand-new transmission. If the car transmission repair shop offers a rebuild, that could save you a few hundred dollars. Either way, there is the additional cost of labor that can start around $100 and reach $200 or more.

close-up of a car's engine

In Closing – The Expense of Car Transmission Repairs! 

Like a new roof on your home, you’d like for your homeowner’s insurance to pay for the cost, same is with the transmission on your car.  So, will car insurance cover transmission repair? Sadly, the answer is no, basic auto insurance, including full coverage, will not cover a car transmission repair job. 

What is included in a tune-up?

mechanic using a laptop for diagnostics

Taking Care of Your Car

You put gas in your car as needed, and have the oil changed every 5,000 miles, get the tire pressure checked. And that’s all that a car will need, right? What about a car tune-up? What is the purpose and why is a tune-up necessary?

The purpose of a car tune-up is to have your mechanic check all the mechanical and computer systems of a vehicle that can have an effect on the combustion process and to adjust them as needed. A car tune-up keeps a car in top running condition and ideally eliminates any breakdowns. Having a car tune-up is just as important as keeping the tires rotated and the air pressure checked. 

Does a tune-up make your car run better?

Just like you have regular dental appointments, eye exams, and medical check-ups to stay healthy, a car tune-up does the same thing for your car. And just like your eyes grow weaker with age and your body changes over the years, the engine in your car can begin to lose its efficiency. A professional car tune-up can catch these minor issues and adjust things to slow that degression down or stop it altogether. 

So if your car has been getting sluggish, then yes, you’ll likely notice an improvement in how it runs and in its gas mileage. However, if you get regular car tune-ups as recommended, you may not notice any change. In addition to improved gas mileage, your car will be safer on the road, and this is an investment that protects you, your family, and others around you while driving. However, the biggest benefit of a car tune-up is the extended lifespan of your car! And when you do get ready to trade it in on a new car or sell it outright, having the paperwork to show you’ve had regular car tune-ups, oil changes, and tire rotations just adds to its value.

What are the signs you need a tune-up?

To determine when to tune up your car, the following are the basic tips: 

  • Follow the recommendations for car tune-ups; the manufacturer will typically provide a suggested timeline by mileage. 
  • Keep track of the mileage and review the owner’s manual that came with your car. Monitoring the miles per gallon can show you when there is a dip in fuel efficiency. When the MPG (miles per gallon) drops by 10%, it is time to get a car tune-up, even if the manufacturer’s suggested mileage doesn’t agree.  This could indicate there is something going on within the engine or fuel system that should be inspected and addressed. 
  • If your car is acting or sounding different, stalling when you stop, or is hard to start, it is time for a car tune-up – again, regardless of the manufacturer’s mileage recommendations. 
  • If you notice anything different in the braking system or steering, your car should be taken in for the mechanic to examine your car. While these are not necessarily car tune-up matters, they are safety issues and should be addressed and fixed as soon as possible.

It should be noted that while the manufacturer’s recommendations should be followed, how you drive your car can also affect it. If you haul heavy loads or put a high number of miles on the car in a short period of time, it will need car tune-ups more frequently than the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

How will a tune-up improve gas mileage?

While every auto shop will have a different process and routine to performing car tune-ups, the basics are pretty much the same. You should make sure to let the mechanic or service writer know of any issues or problems you’re having so they can make a special note to check certain things. 

  • The basic routine is to thoroughly inspect the car engine from top to bottom, front to back. This includes replacing any parts that are faulty or worn.
  • For newer vehicles, the mechanic will reset the computer that controls the fuel-to-air mixture.
  • They will replace the spark plugs, spark plug wires, and coil boots.
  • They will clean the throttle body and intake area, and replace the air filter and fuel filter to improve the fuel flow. 
  • Some vehicles will get a new Gasoline-Direct-Injection if applicable. 

Additional things that may be addressed by some auto shops are the oil change, transmission flush, and changing the windshield wipers. 

How long does a car tune-up take?

This can vary from car to car, but the average time can range from two hours to four hours. If any problems were found, it could take longer to make any repairs or replacements needed. Newer, modern cars that are computerized do not take as long for a car tune-up as older cars with more mechanical parts.

Does a tune-up include tire rotation?

No, this is separate from a car tune-up, but you can request the service be done while you’re there. While most auto shops can do a tire rotation, there are some that may not be equipped and recommend that you take the car to a tire center.

Is an oil change the same thing as a tune-up?

No, the oil change is something that should be one every 5,000 miles for most cars. A car tune-up is typically done one once a year, or more frequently under certain circumstances. 

mechanic testing a car's battery

In Closing – Where can I get a tune-up for my car?

Most auto shops offer car tune-up services, and if you have a regular mechanic, that would be the best place to take the car.  Many oil and lube shops offer car tune-up services, and you can always take it to the dealership where you purchased the car as well.

Does my car need a tune-up?

open hood showing the engine of a red sedan

Keeping Your Car in Shape

To get the best gas mileage possible and the most power from your car, tune-ups are a necessity.  Every manufacturer, make, and model of car should have a regular car tune-up. The behind-the-scenes advantages that aren’t visible to a driver have a lot of value. A car tune-up should be considered an investment in preventative measures for your car just like your annual physical is for your health. 

What is a car tune-up?

There is a lot that happens during a seemingly simple car tune-up. It makes sure important components are functioning correctly and thoroughly so that your engine is running at optimum capability. 

What services are included in a tune-up?

The basic car tune-up procedures will vary from car to car based on the make and model. Each garage has a different process in performing car tune-ups, but the basics are the same at the end of the day. Those basics include: 

  • Checking that all parts are in place and functioning
  • Cleaning, repairing, and replacing parts as needed
  • Inspecting belts, distributor cap, filters, fluids, hoses, rotors, and spark plugs 
  • Performing a visual inspection or applying a simple test to those items

Some mechanic shops will include in their car tune-up additional services like: 

  • Analyzing exhaust emissions
  • Adjusting ignition timing 
  • Adjusting idle speed control
  • Thorough maintenance and inspection 

The filters and spark plugs are usually a part of any car tune-up regardless of who performs the task. Each of these are essential for keeping a car engine clean and running properly, which also helps the emissions and minimizes pollution. 

The air filter, fuel filter, and oil filter catch contamination and keep parts of the car engine from becoming clogged with impurities like air, dust, and unclean fluids. When these items aren’t addressed with routine car tune-ups, the oil pressure gets high, the fuel pump could fail, and other issues become bigger and more expensive problems. 

The spark plugs handle the “combustion” functions of the engine, and because they are made of metal to create that spark, they tend to wear out. They are under high pressure and high engine temperature the entire time your car engine is running. 

Does a tune-up make your car run better?

Absolutely – a car tune-up will help your car give you the optimum experience in power while improving its gas mileage and extending the lifespan of the engine. If you’re asking yourself, “how do I tell my car needs a tune-up?” the following are basic guidelines and rules-of-thumb to follow: 

The first guideline in determining when to get a car tune-up is the mileage on your car. With tens to hundreds of thousands of miles collected on a car, there are parts that begin to wear. A car tune-up will allow a professional mechanic to check those crucial parts and replaced them if needed. The owner’s manual that comes with each vehicle will have a detailed schedule for maintenance, including a car tune-up. 

Among that maintenance schedule and something usually included in a car tune-up is the oil change. This should happen based on the mileage or around every three to six months. The computer on newer cars will advise you via an indicator on the dashboard.

If your car hasn’t had a tune-up in a while and you’re having any of the following issues, it is time to schedule one now:

  • Soft or spongy brakes
  • Electrical malfunctioning 
  • Engine running warmer than normal
  • Abnormal sounds or vibrations

When abnormal issues are left unaddressed, it can lead to potentially expensive problems later, including needing a new engine or transmission. 

How often should you tune up your car?

As we stated above, the mileage on a car is the key indicator of when a car tune-up is needed. However, if you don’t put a lot of mileage on your car, getting a car tune-up every three to six months is a basic rule of thumb. 

How long can a car go without a tune-up?

Newer cars are built better today, and some can go up to 100,000 miles before needing a car tune-up, but the average is around 25,000 miles. An older car that doesn’t have an electronic ignition like newer cars should have a car tune-up between 10,000 and 12,000 miles, or on an annual schedule for those that don’t put a lot of mileage on their car. 

How long does a tune-up take?

There are varying factors that can determine how long the car tune-up process takes. The average is between two and four hours. For a car tune-up on a car that is equipped with computers, the tune-up is typically quicker. An older car that has more mechanical parts that need adjustment can take longer. 

Can you tune up your own car?

Yes, there are basics a car owner can do for their own car tune-up, like changing the oil and spark plugs, or checking and adding fluid as needed. However, a professional car tune-up by a mechanic will be more comprehensive and come with a guarantee that your car engine is at full capacity. 

computer being used for diagnostics on vehicle

At The End of The Road

So is it worth getting a car tune-up? Definitely, especially with an older car – tune-ups keep a car running correctly and smoothly. This improves the performance of the engine overall as well, which in turn helps the overall gas mileage.  All of this equates to protecting and extending the life of your car’s engine.