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Steve’s Auto Repair becomes V3 Certified Company

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

With its proximity to Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fort Belvoir, Northern Virginia is full of military members and veterans.

Veterans not only had a role in the security of our country, they also have an active part in the running of our auto repair shop.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has been named a V3 Certified Company. The designation is provided through the Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ Virginia Values Veterans V3 Program. This program seeks to help employers carry out practices based on recruiting, hiring and retaining veterans.

To become certified, staff members completed training that focused on a variety of topics, including information about the United States military, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Skills offered by those who served and strategies for employing and keeping veterans were covered, as well.

A few Steve’s Auto Repair employees are veterans.Apprenticeship program

We have staff members who have served in different areas, like the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, active Army Reserve, Marine Corps and Navy.

One of our technicians, who was in the Army, now participates in our apprenticeship program.

 

“We appreciate all veterans for their service. Those we have the privilege of working with are an important part of our team,” Steve’s Auto Repair Co-Owner ST Billingsley said. “We are proud to be a veteran owned and operated business and are honored to be a V3 Certified Company.”

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located near Lake Ridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

 

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How to tell when you need new tires

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

A good set of tires can provide traction in different weather conditions, enable drivers to maintain control, and decrease the chance of hydroplaning. 

Eventually, there comes a time – whether it’s because of age or damage – when a driver needs to purchase new tires.

How often this process takes place is determined by several factors, including how a tire is designed, the quality, its producer, and driving conditions. 

How long tires last and flat repair

When it comes to tires, you get what you pay for. If you decide to save money and go with the cheapest option, you may be changing them more frequently than if you were to choose a high quality tire. 

Some tires have a longer lifespan. Certain ones from Goodyear come with a 50,000 mile warranty, while others can go as long as 85,000 miles.

If this is an important characteristic you’re looking for, then it would be a good idea to research different options or talk to an automotive expert.

Those who travel through a lot of construction areas and on roads that have potholes are more likely to get a flat tire or face tire damage. Here’s what you should do if you have a flat tire.

Depending on the location and angle, we may be able to repair them with a plug patch. However, we aren’t able to fix certain injuries – like those on the inner or outer shoulder.

When should you get new tires?

Blown out tire.Sometimes you can determine if you need new tires just by looking at them, especially if the tire blows out, there are cracks in the sidewall, or you can see the chords.

Tires also wear out overtime and, as they do, they aren’t able to perform the way they are intended to.

The tire tread can tell you if the time to replace them is drawing near.

A tire must measure at least 2/32 of an inch to pass the Virginia state inspection. Because some tires need to be changed sooner, we may start recommending new tires when they reach between 3/32 of an inch and 5/32 of an inch.

You can do a quick measure of the tread through the penny test. The tire should be changed if – as you’re holding the penny upside down on the grooves – the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head is visible.

Taking care of tires

You can ensure that your tires last by having wheel alignments and tire rotations performed regularly.

Tire alignments, done yearly or when new tires are purchased, help prevent uneven tire wear. During this process, various settings are checked, like caster, camber and toe.

Our Woodbridge mechanics conduct tire rotations as part of our oil change service, which is typically every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Tire rotations prolong a tire’s lifespan and fend off feathering.

If you’re in the market for new tires, Goodyear Tire is a great brand to look into. It produces durable ones, like the Goodyear Assurance MaxLife Tire and the Goodyear Assurance All-Season Tire. The tire manufacturer also owns Kelly Tire and Dunlop Tire, which offer more economical tires.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Environmentally friendly actions we take

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

We believe in helping our community. Part of that support includes doing our part to help protect the place we live and work in.

From the services we offer to the parts that are replaced, Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire follows several environmentally friendly procedures.

Old brake rotors.

Recycling products, environmentally friendly tires available

For example, many of the products we replace are recycled. A company is hired by us to process old oil and coolant. Car batteries, brake rotors, and other scrap metal are picked up and recycled, as well.

Recycling these fluids and parts enables us to reduce waste and discard them in a safe and appropriate way.

Tires also play a part in our goal to be eco-friendly.

On top of having tires recycled, we sell and inform customers about eco-friendly tires, which weigh less and require less force in order to move.

You can determine which tires are environmentally friendly by taking a look at the tread depth, which are going to start at a lower number.

When repairing flat tires, our technicians use plugs rather than Fix-A-Flat, which is bad for the environment. Anyone who uses this product is charged a hazmat fee. That way, we can have it recycled like our oil and coolant.

Vehicle next to Emissions Inspection Station and Certified Emissions Repair Facility signs.We offer emissions inspections and repairs

Steve’s Auto Repair is an emissions inspection and repair facility.

When performing Vehicle Emissions Testing – which is managed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) – inspectors ensure that a vehicle isn’t leaking oil or has any audible exhaust leaks. They also make sure it has a catalytic converter, which is responsible for reducing how much air pollution is produced.

Conducted every two years, an emission test is required on vehicles that are parked in certain localities. Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park are among them.

We can repair problems that would prevent a car from passing the emissions inspection. The numerous issues that would cause a vehicle to fail include engine malfunctions, catalytic converter problems, misfires, and the check engine light turning on.

Our business’ emissions inspection program was recognized earlier this year for following license requirements and completing inspections in a “dedicated and commendable” manner.

Other ways we try to be eco-friendly

To keep our car repair shop clean, our staff uses biodegradable cleaning products. They contain natural substances and aren’t harmful to the environment or animals. 

When the building isn’t in use, we avoid wasting electricity by turning off computers and almost all lights – our security lights are the exception.

Even though we are already taking environmentally friendly actions, our company is considering other options for the future. Installing a waste oil heater is one idea we are looking into.

We are also planning to upgrade our lights, as they burn out, to energy saver lights.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Apprenticeship program offered for automotive technicians

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Training is very important at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire in Woodbridge.

Not only does it allow our staff members to strengthen their skills, it also enables us to better assist our customers.

We recently embarked on another training opportunity. Some of our employees are now participating in an apprenticeship program that was established by NAPA Auto Parts. The program seeks to help prospective automotive technicians get their foot in the automotive industry door.

For each employee who is taking part, Steve’s Auto Repair is purchasing $2,500 in tools through Carlyle Tools. The cost of tools are often pricey, especially when a mechanic is just beginning their career.

Technician in apprenticeship program next to tool box and Steve's Auto Repair co-owner.Participants are also receiving a mentor and can watch videos, and take classes and tests using the NAPA online training center.

Four ASE certifications must be completed during the two year program. Classes are available to help prepare them for the ASE tests. By earning these certifications, the technicians will be able to increase their income.

Performing oil changes and installing tires are some ideas that many people think of when it comes to auto repair. However, our work isn’t limited to those tasks. As technology has changed over the years, we have focused more on electronics. Electronics are used for all sorts of functions on vehicles today, including opening the windows, power steering, and ensuring the tire pressure is at a safe level.

Our employees who are going through the apprenticeship program will learn about electronics as well suspension, performing diagnostic testing and driveability.

Working in the automotive industry is a great option, especially if someone isn’t planning to attend college or they are looking for an evolving career. Those who work hard have the opportunity to move up in the field. A lot of training is also offered online, allowing for more flexibility.

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that some automotive programs do not provide participants with the needed experience. Even people with associate degrees may find themselves learning new things.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Changing the air conditioning condenser on Mazda

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Is your car still feeling warm, even though the A/C is running?

If so, there may be a problem with the air conditioning.

The system wasn’t working properly on a 1996 Mazda pickup truck. It ended up receiving a new air conditioning condenser.

The condenser, which is one component of a car’s air conditioning system, is responsible for turning refrigerant from a gas to a liquid.

They can leak or become clogged.

Condenser maintenance and other possible problems

Overtime, bugs, leaves and debris can collect in the condenser. So, it’s a good idea to clean it regularly.

You can do this by using a shop vacuum to get rid of debris and spraying it with air conditioning cleaner. Make sure to rinse off the cleaner afterward.

It’s important to be careful when cleaning this component. If it isn’t done correctly – or if there’s an impact – the fins can become bent, blocking the airflow. 

A constricted condenser is among the common air conditioning problems. The vehicle could also be low on refrigerant or experiencing Electronic Climate Control System issues. Other possible culprits include a bad expansion valve and user error – hey, we all make mistakes.

Why you should replace the air conditioning condenser

When changing the condenser on the Mazda pickup truck, the technician saw that refrigerant and oil had started leaking. If the leak becomes serious enough, a pool of oil can form underneath the vehicle.

Choosing not to replace a bad air conditioning condenser can cause the A/C system to stop working. This is because the correct amount of refrigerant isn’t reaching the compressor, which has a pressure sensor.

Other air conditioning services

Replacing the condenser is one type of air conditioning repair we offer. Our technicians can also look for air conditioning leaks and replace other components, including the drier and thermostat.

They perform basic EVAC and recharge, as well. This service is done on vehicles that have lost refrigerant. The process consists of removing refrigerant, applying a vacuum to the system, and adding dye and oil. To work, we need to recharge the system, which is serviced by the oil.

We are also able to change cabin air filters and spray BG Frigi Fresh, a disinfectant, into the vent system.

We are able to work on older and newer vehicles.

Last year, Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire invested in a new air conditioning machine for refrigerant 1234yf, which is being used in a lot of cars that are being manufactured.

During the hot months, having a malfunctioning air conditioning system can make long car rides almost unbearable. 

If you notice that it isn’t working the way it should, reach out to an automotive professional. That way, the problem can be addressed early on and you can stay cool this summer.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.