ERIN AUTO CARE
Your Auto Maintenance Professionals   ASE LOGO
1835 Highway 83
Hartford, WI 53027-9774
Phone (262) 673-9900
(262) 673-9915
    State-of-the-Art Expertise / Personal Neighborhood Service
Home Inspections Preventive Care Services About Us
F.A.Q. Tips & Tricks SPECIALS! Location Map Contact US


Good  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 BATTERIES
CODE OF ETHICS CONSUMER GUIDANCE


EMISSIONS REPAIRS MAINTENANCE SERVICES
MISC. CAR QUESTIONS MOTORCYCLE QUESTIONS
NATIONWIDE GUARANTEE PRICES AND WORKMANSHIP

REPAIR OR NOT
TIRES AND WHEELS


A/C SYSTEM REPAIRS
Q:  My air conditioner does not get cold enough, can you just recharge it?
A:  No.  Federal and state regulations prohibit us from installing refrigerants into a system with a known leak.  We are required to perform certain steps to locate a leak.  If no leak is found we are allowed to install a fresh charge of refrigerant.  If 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 re inspection.

BATTERIES
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. conditions.

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 85mo. warranty.

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 window treatment?
A:  We apply a product like Rain-X tm to the window as a preventive maintenance service.  It provides enhanced water beading and flow while driving in rain.  The result is dramatically improved visibility, especially in heavy rain.  Re treatment is recommended with each routine engine lubricant service.

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 many 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 for 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.

CODE OF ETHICS
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 insists 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 are 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 expectations.

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.


CONSUMER GUIDANCE
Q:  Can I keep my old parts?
A:  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 minor.

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)


EMISSIONS REPAIRS
Q:  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 the underlying fault repaired at a recognized repair facility and have the system reset prior to retesting.  Emissions repairs can involve something as simple as a leaky fuel seal, or be caused by a defective engine component, or involve expensive renewal of the catalytic converter.

MAINTENANCE SERVICES
Q:  Why are maintenance services so important?
A: For 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.


MOTORCYCLE QUESTIONS
Q:  Do you work on motorcycles?
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 passion 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.


PRICES AND WORKMANSHIP

Q:  What does EAC charge per hour?
A:  EAC does not charge by the hour, for most services, but rather 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 under 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 insuring 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 are 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 specific problem.

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 conditioned 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?
A:  Be prepared to help!  Your technicians will want to discuss the following issues:



REPAIR OR NOT
Q:  How long will my car last?

A:  Modern 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 driving vehicles with more than 300,000 miles.

Q:  My car is old, should I spend more on repairs than it is worth.?
A:  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 residual transportation value may  may be worth a lot, and may be worth 'investing' in.

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, plugs 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 the tire.  An older repair system involving inserting a rubberized plug from outside the tire, is no longer recommended for highway applications.

Q:  Why can't a tire that is punctured near the sidewall be repaired?
A:  Normal flexing of the tire tread in and near the sidewall will damage the repair site and cause the plug patch to fail.  The risk 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?
A:  Vehicles sold in the US for model year 2007 and newer are required to have a tire pressure monitoring system.  This system 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.