Auto Maintenance Professionals
State-of-the-Art Expertise /
Personal Neighborhood Service
communication is important to our business, check back
frequently for up-dates to these FAQ's:
LAST UPDATE 28 MAY 2015
Click on the
links below for FAQ topics:
A/C SYSTEM REPAIRS
Q: My air
conditioner does not get cold enough, can you just recharge it?
Federal and state regulations prohibit us from
installing refrigerants into a system with a known leak. We
required to perform certain steps to locate a leak. If no
found we are allowed to install a fresh charge of refrigerant.
a leak is detected, it must be repaired before refrigerant can be
added. For the smallest leaks, a re inspection after 7-10 days may
be necessary to detect the leak. We do not charge for this
Q: I can buy an inexpensive battery at my local 'big-box' store, what are the pitfalls in doing this?
A: Battery quality between manufacturers and brands can very widely. As with most things, you get what you pay for. In order to cut costs,
cheaper batteries may not contain as much lead (compare weights), may
have a thinner or weaker case, or may have less substantial
bridging bars between the plates . It has been our
experience that less expensive batteries do not provide reliable
service over an extended period of time. The batteries we
recommend, have a life expectancy of at least 5 years (typically 6
years or more). Our criteria is that a good quality, 4 -1/2
year old battery should start your car reliably in -30 Deg. F.
Q: Should I buy a battery with the highest CCA rating?
A: No, it is very easy for low cost battery
manufacturers to inflate this number at the expense of battery life.
You should purchase a battery that meets the size and capacity
specifications published by the vehicle's manufacturer, with the
strongest and longest life warranty. Our best batteries have an
MISC. CAR QUESTIONS
Q: Why is
timing belt replacement so important?
A: If it
breaks it can damage the engine. When a timing
belt brakes, the valves stop opening and closing. On a large
number of engines, a broken belt can result in one or more pistons
colliding with an open valve, causing expensive damage to the piston
and valve and other engine components.
Q: What is
A: We apply a
product like Rain-X tm
the window as a preventive maintenance service. It provides
enhanced water beading and flow while driving in rain. The
is dramatically improved visibility, especially in heavy rain.
Re treatment is recommended with each routine engine lubricant
Q: Do you work
on older cars?
A: Although we
specialize in maintaining and repairing vehicles
that have the latest technology, we love older cars! We have
sources for classic car parts, and we have a regular clientel that
makes use of our services. Call ahead if you need classic car
work and we will reserve a maintenance bay to secure your vehicle
indoors while it is with us for services. We have enthusiasm
vehicles built from 1926 to the present!
Q: Do you inspect used cars?
A: Yes. If you are
planning a used car purchase, a pre-purchase inspection will give you
confidence in your prospective purchase, and/ or bargaining leverage
with your seller. EAC offers three levels of prepurchase
inspections, the most comprehensive involves over 200 points of
inspection and includes a 5page inspection summary! Most
reputable sellers are familiar with our inspection process, and are
more than willing to allow an inspection on our premises.
Q: How do I know I can trust EAC?
A: We are a small neighborhood business that relies on repeat
customers. We operate by a simple mission statement that
that we exceed expectations in satisfying our customers, from first
contact to long term follow-up. Read it here:
Q: Will my bill ever be for more money than I authorize?
A: NO! If additional parts or labor operations are
required to complete a repair, your authorization will be sought.
Q: Do you perform unneeded repairs and services?
A: NO! If our inspections indicate that no repairs
needed, we will recommend that they not be performed. We DO
recommend parts and services be included in the job that are
necessary to insure the reliability of the vehicle and our warranty
Q: What is your mission statement?
A: Erin Auto Care is committed to serving you, our customer, with
professional automotive repair at a reasonable cost with qualified technicians.
We use quality parts, guaranteed coast to coast. We stand on sound
business principles and uphold high ethical standards. Our goal is to make your
automotive repair experience friendly and successful.
Q: Can I keep my old parts?
Yes, you are entitled to retain your old parts. Just let us
know and we will box them up for you or bring them to the counter for
your inspection. NOTE: If we install re manufactured or
reconditioned parts, there will be a 'core' charge if you wish to
retain your old parts.
Q: Can my son or daughter authorize repairs?
A: A minor is able to repudiate a contract in Wisconsin.
For this reason we require confirmation from a parent or
guardian, for any repair or service over $50, that is authorized by a
Q: I would really like to bring
my car to Erin Auto Care for routine service and repairs, but the
salesman at the dealer where I bought it said that doing so would void
my warranty, is this true?
A: NO!! According to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of
1975 (15 U.S.C. ti15 ch 50 #2301 (c) ) you have the right to take your
car to any repair facility that you choose, AND it is illegal for your
dealer to say otherwise. This topic is covered in depth here:
Q: I took my car to another shop and the bill was way more than the estimate, is this legal?
A; NO!! You are entitled to a written estimate for any repair over
$50. A shop may not go over the estimate without obtaining your
approval for a specific additional amount. (Wisconsin ATCP 132)
My car failed its emissions test, what do I do now?
A: Your car
did not pass because the "Check Engine" lamp was
illuminated with an emissions related fault. You must have
underlying fault repaired at a recognized repair facility and have the
system reset prior to retesting. Emissions repairs can
something as simple as a leaky fuel seal, or be caused by a defective
engine component, or involve expensive renewal of the catalytic
Why are maintenance services so important?
most customers, regular maintenance services are the only
occasions their vehicles will be exposed to a qualified service
technician. Maintaining this level of familiarity, is vitally
important in allowing our technicians to monitor the condition of
your car and recommend services and repairs that will tend to insure
the longterm safety and reliability of your vehicle. Everyone is
familiar with the need
for regular engine
lubricant service, but your owners manual will detail several other
important maintenance services which should be performed on a regular
basis. These services were established by your vehicle's
manufacturer to insure a long and reliable life for your vehicle.
Q: Do you work
A: Yes, we can
refurbish, repair, or restore most makes built
between 1965 and 1985, including British and European classics as well
as most Japanese makes. We have good sources for new and used
parts and perform most major services. We have a
for this era of late classics, but our motorcycle work is a sideline
for us, as result space and time are limited so call ahead for an
appointment. See more details on the Motorcycle Page.
Q: What does EAC charge per hour?
A: EAC does not charge by the hour, for most services, but
charges a fixed menu price. If you are comparison
shopping, our effective
rate is competitive with most shops in our local area and our
workmanship and attention to detail is second to none!
Q: What does EAC charge for diagnostic services?
A: We charge a standard flat rate, depending on the issue
investigation, for computer and instrumented diagnostic tests.
Removal of components for access or inspection will involve
an additional charge depending on the circumstances.
We perform complete diagnostic procedures, not only to
identify and verify
the root cause of a concern, but also to rule out other causes, thus
complete reliability in our repairs.
Q: How can parts stores offer free diagnostic services?
A: Many parts stores will provide free diagnostic services.
What they offer is basic code reading ability, without
the many supplemental diagnostic tests that are necessary to
specifically pinpoint the cause(s) of a problem. Because they
in the parts selling business, they routinely recommend all possible
parts that might be involved in a repair, without identifying
the root cause of a
Q: What warranties do you offer?
A: Our standard
warranty is 12mo 12,000mi on labor, and up to
lifetime on parts. Our warranty is available nationwide, in case
a customer needs repairs while traveling away from our area.
Q: Do you provide free estimates?
A: Conditionally, Yes. All of our estimates are
upon inspection of the vehicle. Most inspections are free.
In cases where specialized equipment is involved or in cases
where removal of components is necessary to gain access for inspection,
we charge a modest fee.
Q: Can you guarantee an estimate?
A: Conditionally, Yes.
Repairs to your car are based on the premise that all intervening
components and fasteners are in serviceable condition to be reused.
Very frequently, these components cannot be inspected or
evaluated, until the repair process is underway. As a result, it
is not unusual for a completed repair to involve additional parts and
labor that were not appearant at the time of the initial diagnosis or
inspection. We do our best to give our customers a 'heads-up'
about this possibility during the initial inspection and diagnosis.
Q: How can I save money on diagnostic service?
prepared to help! Your technicians will want to discuss the following issues:
- The driving circumstances when the concern first
if the symptoms are intermittent, know the circumstances most likely to reproduce them, if possible
- Other abnormalities or concerns
might have developed over the same time period; such as unusual noises,
changes in fuel consumption, unusual odors, warning lights, or fluid
- The diagnostic activity or repair will
include a test drive, the vehicle should be adequately fueled prior to your appointment
- Any prior services or repairs on the
- Ample time to reproduce the symptoms, complete diagnostic tests, and test drive after repairs
- Any systems or features of the vehicle that are not currently functional
REPAIR OR NOT
How long will my car last?
vehicles that are regularly maintained, garaged, and
regularly driven, can be expected to exceed 200,000 miles without
extensive drive line repairs. Several of our customers are
vehicles with more than 300,000 miles.
Q: My car is
old, should I spend more on repairs than it is worth.?
It is a
misconception to use the 'worth' of the car in
evaluating the value of a repair. The worth of a car will not be
enhanced by repair efforts. However, if a repair will
provide another 10,000 to 50,000 miles of reliable transportation , for
substantially less expense than any other alternative, this
transportation value may may be worth a
lot, and may be worth
Q: What type
of maintenance expenses can I expect after my car reaches 100,000 miles?
A: It has been
our experience that maintenance and repair bills
will typically total between $3000 and $5000 for the 'second' 100,000
miles of a vehicle's life. Large SUV's and specialty vehicles
will be more.
TIRES AND WHEELS
Q: Can you
plug a tire?
A: The only
applicable tire repair that is endorsed by the Tire
Industry trade groups is a mushroom plug patch, that is installed from
inside the tire. This type of repair involves dismounting the
tire from the rim. The plug patch like its name implies,
the puncture as well as provides a patch on the inside of the tire.
This type of repair preserves the load and speed ratings of
tire. An older repair system involving inserting a rubberized
from outside the tire, is no longer recommended for highway
Q: Why can't a
tire that is punctured near the sidewall be repaired?
flexing of the tire tread in and near the sidewall will
damage the repair site and cause the plug patch to fail. The
of rapid deflation is considered an unacceptable safety hazard, and the
tire should be replaced.
Q: Why are
routine tire repairs and wheel services costing more?
sold in the US for model year 2007 and newer are
required to have a tire pressure monitoring system. This
includes a panel display which can indicate the location of a tire with
low inflation pressure. These systems now involve expensive
components including wireless pressure transmitters in each wheel
assembly. Any time tire and wheel service is performed, these
devices need to be inspected and tested, and if the wheel is
repositioned on the car, steps must be performed to allow the car's
computer to 'relearn' the new wheel location.