These days, we walk to our cars, open the door and, after checking for robbers lurking in the backseat, jam the key into the ignition. With that three second crank of the ignition the expectation is that the car will turn over and we will be off, braving the streets of Mira Mesa. If that does not happen, it is a big deal. Some call a friend or their Dad, others may call an auto service and many simply bang their heads on the steering wheel and cry. We simply do not have the time to deal with car problems in this fast paced world. Our cars provide us with a way to get to work, shuttle around our children and utilize the drive-through. Even though the DMV classifies the ability to drive a car a “privilege, not a right”, as Americans we are born into driving — heck, how many babies are born in the car on the way to the hospital? For us driving is a necessity and our cars are part of our identity. At Miramar Automotive and Transmission, we support your vehicle borne “birthright” and strive to keep your car running no matter what the trouble is. We are transmission experts, sure, but we also offer a wide variety of services that can keep you on the road for years to come.
Stay In Sync With Your Vehicle
When our vehicles don’t start, it is a major problem and can be almost life altering. That being said, many of us drive vehicles that may start every key cycle, but are a problem waiting to happen. You see many drivers assume that if your car starts every time, it is ready to hit the road. In this era of exceptionally reliable engines, the other parts of our vehicles simply do not get as much attention. We are so used to cars that run like a Swiss watch and are incredibly reliable, making us complacent and not as in-tune with how our vehicles are performing.
Manufacturer’s Recommended Maintenance
If you are a good car owner, you will follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance in the owner’s manual. This will spot non-engine related problems and hopefully prevent catastrophic component failures. The manufacturer’s recommended maintenance specifications are not an arbitrarily designed system to get your vehicle into the dealership, they are actually scientifically designed based on vehicle testing data. Before a vehicle is released to the public, it is put through a rigorous testing process. Basically they beat the snot out of it until something breaks. Sounds like fun right? This vehicle testing is used to pinpoint the ideal life span of a component on a vehicle. For instance, a front wheel drive vehicle will have what is known as a C/V joint. (C/V joint stands for constant velocity joint.) A C/V joint is basically a flexible drive shaft, designed to flex with your car’s suspension while providing power to the front wheels. These underappreciated little engineering marvels will still function when damaged and last right up to the point they explode – like a pumpkin chucked off of a bridge. Ok, maybe not that dramatic but you will not be going anywhere unless it is on three wheels.
The engineers who design these components are very aware of the historical failures that have occured to critical components, like C/V joints, on you model of vehicle. It is this research that the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is built around. Through the testing period, parts that break before a reasonable period of time are either redesigned or are destined to become the subject of a dreaded recall after the vehicles are on the road. The recall is not always a direct result of haphazard testing but many times it can be part supplier issues of material problems. Automakers want to avoid a recall at all costs, but there is inevitably a recall on almost every vehicle. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and many times it is due to information gleaned from the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and warranties. Recalls actually increase the reliability of our vehicles and can be seen as a symbol of the manufacturers actually taking pride in their product. So be sure and have a recall installed whenever there is one issued; after all, they are free!
Warranty is a funny word in our culture. Many times we want to believe that warranties are in place to placate the consumer and make the manufacturers look good. This may be part of the story, but it is not the whole story. Warranties actually provide the engineers back at the factory with valuable information about parts failures. We all know how nice it is to have a warranty; it is like getting your car fixed for free. Incidentally, Miramar Automotive and Transmission offers a nationwide two-year/24,000 mile warranty on select service — contact us for more details.
Warranties benefit the consumer immensely in the fact that they can be thought of as a extension of the vehicle testing process. Every part covered under the warranty that exhibits a failure is returned to the original manufacturer. This provides the engineers with data about longevity of certain parts over a much wider cross section of the model line. Of course, warranty return parts are also inspected for any tampering or excessive abuse, both of which will void a warranty claim. If you are dodging potholes around San Diego and happen to drop a tire in one and throw the C/V joint, that damage may not be covered under a manufacturer’s warranty.
What Do You Do When The Warranty Is Up?
There are people out there who refuse to drive a vehicle that is not under warranty.This means they are overpaying for services not covered. When your warranty is up, head over to an independent shop like Miramar Automotive and Transmission for your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance. The ASE Certified professional mechanics will get to know you and your vehicle. We pride ourselves on our hands-on approach to our customers’ vehicles. We get in there and dig for potential problems, you know those little issues that can cause big headaches later on. We will remind you when it is time for your scheduled maintenance like oil changes and C/V joint inspections. At Miramar Automotive and Transmission we take pride in being your hometown dealer alternative and cherish all of our customers. So next time you have that creepy feeling your car is not driving the way it should or if you are hearing a funny noise coming from under your feet, give us a call and we can help. We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your business.