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Auto parts shortage: Why you shouldn’t put off car repair

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Some auto parts have been more difficult to find since the Coronavirus outbreak started.

For example, Goodyear was slowing its tire production, meaning that there could be a shortage on certain types of tires as the country gets moving again. You may be able to get a tire that fits your car, but it might not be the right speed rating or load rating.

Auto parts shortage problem

Many of the parts we use are made by companies located in other countries. With countries around the world shut down, not as many people are working, which has cut down on the production for these products.

We recently needed a new computer for a Ford F150. Normally, we can receive one the next day. This time, there was one located in the United States, and it took five days for us to get it.

From what we’ve been told, the part stores and manufacturers have done a good job of tapping into each other’s resources to move products around. However, with the factories being closed or reduced production, we could see a drop off of supplies being produced.

While parts are still readily available, it’s probably a good idea to have something repaired that you’ve been putting off. If you wait a month or two, it may be more difficult to get it completed.

Our pickup and drop off services

If you need work done on your vehicle, we have a scheduled pickup and delivery service. A few drop off options are also available.

Anyone who doesn’t want to come into the building can bring their cars using our “After Hours” drop off slot. They can also give us a call at (703) 670-8005, and a staff member can meet them outside to get their keys and information.

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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Is your car’s state inspection due?

In Inspection by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Is the due date for your car’s state inspection sticker or emission test coming up?

Now is a good time to bring it in and have them completed.

Why you should get your state inspection now

Last month, Governor Ralph Northam directed the Virginia Department of State Police to not enforce state inspections for 60 days. The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) has closed its customer service centers until at least May 11 and extended certain credentials, according to the DMV website. 

Once given the OK to return to work, many Virginia residents will rush to the DMV to have their tags renewed, which will require an updated emission test. They will also head over to an auto repair shop for their Virginia Safety Inspection.

You can avoid the rush and bring your vehicle to have the emission test and state inspection completed.

Customers who don’t want to come inside can drop it off by using our “After Hours” slot. They can also call us at (703) 670-8005 and a staff member will come outside for the keys and information.

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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Coronavirus and car problems

In Battery, Cabin Air Filter, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

We hope everybody is getting through this time of staying home. We know it’s been tough on a lot of people. 

As people are starting to go back to work over the next few weeks, it’s a good idea to go out and check your car. There are some car problems you can expect.

Car problems to be aware of

Dead car battery

Vehicles have a lot of electronics on them, including the radio, clocks, alarm systems, and computers. Over a two week period, that can drain the battery. These are other factors that can cause a car battery to fail.

Jump start your car using jumper cables or a jump box have it run for at least 30 to 40 minutes.

Low tire or TPMS light on

Having a low tire or flat tire, or the tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light turning on are some other issues that could come up. 

While a vehicle is sitting, its tires can lose air over time, or there may be a small leak that wasn’t noticed before.

TIP: Be careful when using gas station air pumps. Most of the time, the gauges are wrong.

Brakes

Once you get on the road, you might notice a rotating grinding noise, especially when you step on the brake. Most likely, this is from rust building up on the rotors and drums. Most likely, it will go away between 12 and 15 minutes. If it doesn’t, you may want to have it looked at.

Check engine light

The check engine light could also turn on. We have been getting a code for the Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) and finding that the gas cap seals are the culprit. We recommend clearing the code, top off the car with some fresh gas, replacing the gas cap, and driving it to see if the light comes back on. If it does, we know that we need to do check engine light diagnostics.

Cabin air filter

We also suggest having your vehicle’s cabin air filter changed — not just because of the Coronavirus, but because of pollen season.

This is a perfect time to change the filter, which purifies the air that goes into the front of a car

Part of our replacement service includes using BG Frigi Fresh, a disinfectant that gets rid of viruses and bacteria.

If you have any problems, call Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire at (703) 670-8005.

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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Diagnosing problems on BMWs and Mercedes

In Diagnostics by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Diagnosing problems that come in through an auto repair shop can be tricky and time consuming. 

Technicians at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire are using OPUS IVS AUTOLOGIC DrivePro to identify problems sooner and more accurately.

We have invested into this diagnostic platform for our BMW and Mercedes customers. It also has very good capability for other European vehicles, including Volkswagens and Land Rovers.

How this tools helps us with diagnosing problems

For many auto repair shops, using a scan tool that has limited functions becomes a roadblock.

Not only does DrivePro give near dealer capability, it also enables us to access the computers of vehicles. 

We are able to use the tool to code modules and reprogram vehicle computers, as well.

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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Servicing vehicles with driver assist

In Alignment, Maintenance, Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Today, many vehicles use Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS).

For the automotive field, servicing vehicles with driver assist has started to become a challenge, even when it comes to regular maintenance.

Parts of the ADAS system can include: adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, pedestrian detection, collision avoidance, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, cross traffic alert, surround view, blind spot detection, park assist, rear collision warning, and rear park assist/back up park assist with surround view.

Some of the things that work with the sensors are: long range radars, LIDAR, cameras, short-medium range radars, and ultrasound.

Driver assist features graphic.

Driver assist

Driver assist resets

Depending on the vehicle, there are different levels of ADAS system resets — some of them are passive, some are hard resets where you have to use targets.

Some vehicles have different radar set ups and blind spot detection, which require different targets on certain vehicles, and they can be kind of tricky to reset.

Replacing a windshield with the incorrect kind of windshield may not allow the ADAS system to work correctly. Even body shops putting metallic paint on a car can impact the sensors located on the front bumper.

An ADAS system reset may also be needed after a wheel alignment or if technicians remove the bumper to replace the timing belt.

Why ADAS system resets are important

Another challenge is that a lot of people don’t know that a reset is needed. There’s no direct warning light for ADAS, unless you have a driver’s information center. So, you could be driving the car and not know the system isn’t set up correctly to help you in an emergency situation. 

In extreme conditions of the ADAS system not working correctly, the car may try to compensate for your regular driving.

So, if your vehicle has an ADAS system and you bring it to a repair shop, you may want to ask them if the work will affect your driving assist system. That way you can make sure that it does get reset.

What we see is a lot of people in the industry don’t even know that they’re supposed to do it.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has invested in the complete ADAS system — everything from Fords, Chevys, Subarus, Mercedes, BMWs. We even can do the camera systems and the targeted systems.

It’s quite an investment, but we know that we need to make sure that we’re fixing these cars correctly, and we’re keeping your family safe on the road.

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.