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Car Care Tips

Here, at Jim's Auto Repair, we want our customers to be in the know. We want you to understand why and how your tires wear, how to get the best gas mileage, and overall how to get the most out of your tires. Hopefully, with these helpful tips you will be able to improve gas mileage, reduce tire tread, and understand when and why your car needs to be serviced.


Let’s divide the car-buying world into two camps: those who keep a car until it drops, and those who think a new car will change their lives.

To the first, a round of applause. There’s nothing short of riding a bike that’s cheaper than keeping a car until it crumbles into a pile of rust. Almost any car can be driven to 200,000 miles or more without endangering your life.

To the second, another round of applause, because the millions of new cars they buy every year instantly become used cars, soon available at a considerable discount to those in Camp One. And a moment of silence, because a new car will change their lives in ways never forseen on the dealers lot.

Several independent studies have shown the financial benefits of keeping your old car. The following table from Runzheimer International, a management consulting firm, compares keeping a 4-year old car another 4 years versus buying a new one, showing savings of $10,894!

New vs. Used Vehicle Costs 4-Year Total 4-Year Total
  Old New
Car Payment Principal $0 $14,501
Fuel Cost $7,764 $6,936
License, Registration, Tax $696 $796
Insurance $4,192 $4,634
Maintenance $3,896 $3,224
Total Expenses $16,548 $32,258
Minus Resale Value $3,759 $8,575
Total Costs $12,789 $23,683
Difference +$10,894

This table from Consumer Reports compares keeping a Honda Civic for 15 years versus a new Honda Civic every 5 years. Savings of $20,500!

Buy Or Keep 15 Years Every 5 Years
Total Price of New Vehicle's $19,000 $66,400
Depreciation $14,900 $35,500
Maintenance & Repairs $18,300 $6,200
Financing & Interest $3,100 $8,500
Fees & Taxes $2,200 $4,800
Insurance $18,500 $22,500
Total Costs $57,000 $77,500
Total Costs $57,000 $77,500
Difference +$20,500

So if those repair bills seem to be adding up, do the math. Does the cost of repairs exceed the cost of a new car? A typical new car is $21,000, about $350 a month for 5 years after 20% down. A major engine repair might run $1,500, a huge outlay in one chunk, but far less than the $4,200 a year you would spend on new-car payments alone. If you can’t afford repairs twice a year, it’s unlikely you can afford a new car payment every month. In any case, anyone with a car older than three years old should be saving $100 a month for repairs and maintenance . With a little luck, you’ll never use most of it and you’ll have a tidy sum to spend on your next car.

The above information has been provided by Gary Gunn


  • Buy a safe, reliable car. Pick a car with a good track record and then have a pre-purchase inspection done by an independent automotive shop. Many times a pre-purchase inspection can help avoid a poor choice or at least offer an estimate of repairs and maintenance needed in the near future. There are no perfect used cars on the dealer's lots and the cost of an inspection is easily recovered by using the results to negotiate a price.
  • Make repairs promptly. The most important thing in keeping a vehicle performing properly is to make necessary repairs promptly. Postponing needed repairs often costs more. For example, ignoring a fluid leak can lead to a low fluid level causing premature wear on expensive mechanical components or preventable breakdowns.
  • Do regular inspections. Problems can arise at any time and for inexplicable reasons. Whether you do it yourself or rely on your repair shop, exterior, under hood and under vehicle visual inspections can prevent roadside emergencies
  • Follow your maintenance schedule. The vehicle owner's manual is your first source for maintenance information. Recommended fluid changes, inspections and part replacements such as sparkplugs and timing belts can be found there. Wide variations in mileage intervals are often found so good judgement should be used to determine what intervals are best for your driving habits.
  • Keep it clean. Get out the cleaning products periodically or have your vehicle professionally detailed. Regular cleaning inside and out can make the car a more pleasant place to be as you roll up the miles. Washing and waxing can help preserve the paint and keep the sheet metal from rusting. Vacuuming sand and dirt out of the carpet and seats can minimize wear that leads tears and holes.

The recommendations above come from a combination of sources including our real world experience at Pella Car Care. We see vehicles over 200,000 miles every day in our shop. The results of proper care and/or neglect become apparent which contributes to our expertise. We believe it is our professional responsibility to inspect vehicles carefully, keep records of all your vehicle maintenance and repair needs, and keep you informed. Our mission is to help you save money on the cost of vehicle ownership by performing the best maintenance and repairs possible with the most convenient and hassle-free service.

The above information has been provided by Gary Gunn


York Tire Tread Depth - Washington vs. Lincoln

Filed under: Tires - jimsau308 @ 6:34 pm

Today's Jim's Auto Repair article discusses the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, York drivers tend to focus on brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn't enough. York motorists have to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.

Let's focus on stopping in wet York conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can't move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water. That's called hydroplaning. At Jim's Auto Repair we want our customers to know that if it's really bad, you can actually spin out of control. At best, you won't stop as fast.

So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at a tire and you'll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They're designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better. And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop on wet York roads.

So that's why it's so important for York drivers to replace the tires on their trucks when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it. By comparison, you've probably seen the wear indicator that's molded into tires. When tires are worn 3/32 of an inch, the tread wear bar is visible. So the recommended standard has twice the tread depth as a completely worn out tire. And that little bit of additional tread makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet roads. A safe stop from PA freeway speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.

There's an easy way to tell when a tire's worn to 4/32 of an inch. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn't cover George Washington's hairline, it's time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp. You've probably heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln's head. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch - half the suggested amount.

Of course, tires are a big ticket item for York car owners. Most of us want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there's a real safety trade-off. It's your choice.

At Jim's Auto Repair in York PA (17404) we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 717.848.2749. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

Severe Driving In Dallastown

Filed under: Severe Service - jimsau308 @ 9:14 pm

Most Dallastown motorists know that their owner's manuals have schedules for preventive maintenance. Things like oil changes, transmission service and so on. They say you should change your oil every so many miles or after so many months. Dallastown people understand this very well. What they may not know is that there are actually two service schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. The mileage and time intervals are lower on the severe service schedule.

Now when you hear "severe service", you may think it doesn't apply to you because you don't feel your driving conditions are severe or extreme - it's just normal everyday driving around Dallastown. At Jim's Auto Repair, we discuss the conditions that manufacturers classify as severe so that you can make the judgment on your own driving.

  • Most trips are less than four miles
  • Most trips are less than ten miles and outside temperatures are below freezing in Dallastown
  • You drive in very hot PA weather
  • Driving at low speed most of the time (under 55 mph)
  • Stop and go driving
  • Operating your vehicle in dusty, polluted or muddy conditions
  • You tow a trailer, regularly carry heavy loads or carry a car-top carrier on your truck

Most Dallastown drivers operate under severe driving conditions at least some of the time. How do you know which schedule to follow for your truck?

Carefully think about your driving conditions and decide if you should do your preventive maintenance closer to the severe service recommendation or the regular recommendation. Of course, your Jim's Auto Repair advisor can help you with your decision.

At Jim's Auto Repair in York PA (17404) we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 717.848.2749. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

What Customers Like About Us At Jim's Auto Repair in York

Filed under: Inspection - jimsau308 @ 8:31 pm

At Jim's Auto Repair in York, a big part of the service we provide for our customers is education. We want you to feel confident with your service decisions. And we're always open to questions. Even though we try to be proactive in our education, we sometimes get busy fixing cars and need a reminder. Please, just ask.

We've found our York customers like the service reminders. This is especially true of our returning customers. They've grown to trust that our recommendations are based on the truck manufacturer's published maintenance schedules and that we're not just pulling them out of the air.

We know that you live a busy life in York with a lot more to think about than wondering if it's time to replace your PCV valve. Part of our process when you come in to Jim's Auto Repair is checking the manufacturer's schedule to make sure we don't overlook an important service for your truck.

We hope you appreciate your courtesy inspection when you come in to Jim's Auto Repair for service. If we find something unexpected, it's good to know and if we don't find anything wrong, you get a little peace of mind. You know, customer satisfaction is very important to us at Jim's Auto Repair. We want to run a knowledgeable and professional York automotive service operation. If we do, you'll keep coming back and recommend us to your friends.

At Jim's Auto Repair in York PA (17404) we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 717.848.2749. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

Technician Training At Jim's Auto Repair; You're In Good Hands

Filed under: Diagnostics - jimsau308 @ 9:27 pm

Your truck's so important to your life in York: when it breaks down, you need it back on the road as soon as possible - with the problem fixed right the first time. If you've ever check into some of the training technicians at Jim's Auto Repair receive, you may be surprised at how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car in York.

Our engines are more and more powerful, fuel efficient and reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. Modern cars in York are so much more complex from a mechanical and electronics standpoint that it makes your head spin. Vehicles have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. York motorists take all of this sophistication for granted - but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technician and Jim's Auto Repair as well. In addition to the training, there's the financial commitment by Jim's Auto Repair to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well. The ability to repair your truck requires a strong combination of training and resources. So try to relax next time you bring your vehicle in to Jim's Auto Repair. You're in good hands.

Give us a call:
Jim's Auto Repair
108 E 11th Avenue
York, PA 17404

At Jim's Auto Repair we install quality NAPA replacement parts. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

Customer Detective Work In York PA 17404

Filed under: Diagnostics - jimsau308 @ 5:20 pm

One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician in York is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.

Cars in York are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the York vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.

Let us at Jim's Auto Repair introduce you to something we'll call 'Customer Detective Work' - that is helping the technician find clues to what's wrong. We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me; You come in to Jim's Auto Repair and your car is making a funny sound.

  1. Where's the sound? - 'Around the right front wheel'.
  2. What kind of sound? - 'Kind of a clunk, clunk sound'.
  3. When do you hear the sound? - 'When I turn and accelerate.
  4. Right and left? Forwards and back?

You see where we're going. You're gathering additional information to help your York technician at Jim's Auto Repair know where to start. Based on your car and the tech's experience, we'll know where to look on you truck and can start with the obvious suspects.

You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says "making a funny noise".

When you think you need to bring your truck in, make some notes about the problem it's having. Rather than just saying "it's leaking", tell the tech the color of the fluid, and approximately where under the car you see the puddle. Things like 'the car is stalling or sputtering' are often very hard to diagnose because they're intermittent. They may not happen every time you drive and may not be happening when you actually bring the car in. So, it is a big help for you to describe what's happening in as much detail as possible.

Your York technician at Jim's Auto Repair will need to be able to duplicate the problem if possible so he needs to know details, like "It stalls after it's been driven for about 20 minutes and I go over 50 miles an hour". If your York technician at Jim's Auto Repair can experience the problem personally, he's better able to make a diagnosis and repair. And, then test to see if the repair solved the problem.

Give us a call if you need to do some customer detective work in York PA 17404!

Jim's Auto Repair
108 E 11th Avenue
York, PA 17404

At Jim's Auto Repair we install quality NAPA replacement parts. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy Emigsville car owners until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment from the rest by hitting a curb or pothole on Emigsville roads.

The tires will wear out very quickly and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to suspension damage. Conversely, worn suspension or steering components can lead to alignment problems for Emigsville motorists.

But the big issue for Emigsville motorists is safety. When your truck wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you're out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Jim's Auto Repair.

Signs of alignment problems are: Your car pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your technician at Jim's Auto Repair look it over.

If you've been in an accident in Emigsville that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked. A big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but Emigsville drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up. Worn steering or suspension components can also lead to alignment problems for Emigsville drivers. That's why your truck manufacturer recommends periodic alignment checks.

If your truck owner's manual doesn't specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Jim's Auto Repair Bankos or your service advisor at Jim's Auto Repair in York. He'll also be able to tell you if your vehicle requires a four wheel alignment or if just the front wheels can be aligned.

One thing's for sure: the cost of the alignment at Jim's Auto Repair is cheaper than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.

At Jim's Auto Repair in York PA (17404) we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 717.848.2749. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com

February 22, 2012
Schedule A Suspension Inspection At Jim's Auto Repair
Filed under: Suspension - jimsau308 @ 10:31 pm

Today's Loganville car care article focuses on your suspension system. After many years and tens of thousands of miles, your truck suspension system components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive. As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth Loganville highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads.

In addition to just wearing out, Jim's Auto Repair customers need to know that suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact - like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in the road.

Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your truck manufacturer and Jim's Auto Repair recommend periodic inspections. During an inspection, your Loganville service technician will check for worn, broken or missing parts.

Signs that shocks or struts are wearing out: The tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly as you drive around Loganville. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your truck dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it's definitely time to replace them.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, come into Jim's Auto Repair for a suspension inspection. Same if you've been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. Worn or broken shocks can cause premature wear or failure on other truck suspension parts such as ball joints and other steering components as well. If your suspension actually fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so let us take care of your suspension components at Jim's Auto Repair.

When you replace your shocks, it's usually a good idea to replace all four at the same time. That'll give you more even handling. Talk with your service advisor at Jim's Auto Repair because you don't want a big difference between the performance of your shocks from wheel to wheel, and replacing all may be the safest bet.

At Jim's Auto Repair in York PA (17404) we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 717.848.2749. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

Car Maintenance and Care

  • Change your fluids on time, every time.
  • Change your oil every 3,000 miles for regular, 5,000 miles for synthetic oil
  • Change antifreeze fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Change brake fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Change transmission fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Schedule a maintenance check every 15, 30, 60, and 90,000 miles.
  • Replace your air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first).
  • Replace your fuel filter every 2 years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first).

Tire Maintenance and Care

  • Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles or every 6 months.
  • Check your tire pressures approximately once a week. Low tire pressures can affect fuel economy, handling and comfort. To accurately measure your tire pressure, check tires when they are cold. Wait at least three hours after driving.
  • Always make sure that your wheels are properly aligned. Badly aligned wheels will again lead to dragging of the car on the road.
  • Check your spare tire each month and keep it properly inflated so it¹s ready to go when you need it most.
  • Use the penny trick to determine if the tread on your tires is worn to low. Take a penny and put Abraham Lincoln's head into one of the grooves of the tread. If part of his head is covered by the tread, you're ok. If you can see all of his head, it's time to replace the tire. When the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch, tires must be replaced.

Gas Mileage Tips

  • Check and/or change your air filter every 6 months to improve fuel economy and keep your engine running smoothly.
  • Don't top off. Don't bother topping off when filling your car's gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out.
  • Tighten up that gas cap. Gas will evaporate from your car's gas tank if it has an escape. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year.
  • Go for the shade. The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also evaporates fuel from your gas tank.
  • Use the right oil. You can improve your car's gas mileage by 1 percent to 2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil.

And most important of all……

  • Always check for potential problems before they happen.
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Jim's Auto Repair

Jim's Auto Repair is located at 108 East 11th Avenue - York, Pennsylvania 17404. We provide tire services and car repairs for customers living in or near the following York PA, North York PA, East York, PA. Tire Brands: BFGoodrich, Continental, Cooper, Dayton, Dean, Dunlop, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Michelin and Uniroyal. Auto Repairs: Tires, Wheels, Axle / CV Joint / Driveshaft Repair, Belts and Hoses, Brakes, Cooling System / Radiator, Diesel Engine Systems, Differential Repair, Electric: Electrical and Electronic Systems, Electrical: Starting / Charging / Batteries, Engine: Diagnostics and Performance, Exhaust Systems, Four Wheel Drive Systems, Heating & Air Conditioning, Lube and Oil Change, Nitrogen Inflation, Preventive Maintenance, State Inspection, Steering and Suspension, Towing and Roadside Assistance, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS), Transmission and Wheels Alignment.

Contact Us

Phone: 717-848-2749
Fax: 717-845-3649
Address: 108 East 11th Avenue
York, PA 17404

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