FAQS

Questions You May Have About Your Vehicle

? What is that whining noise?

Do you drive a rear wheel drive vehicle like a pickup truck that whines at you under steady cruise and light throttle conditions? Chances are you are having problems with the bearings in the rear differential. The best thing you can do is have it inspected for this type of problem before it gets to the growling stage. If caught early you can avoid the expense of additional components that make up the differential; like the ring and pinion, spider and side gears as well as the carrier. Dickerson Automotive is very proficient in helping with this type of problem. We have replaced hundreds of differential bearings and have the proper training to set the pinion depth and back lash properly on all types of vehicles. If you are having this type of problem, give us a call, we would love to help you.

? What is the best oil for my car?

To sum it up in two words, CLEAN OIL. . The photos are of two identical Toyota engines with approximately 110,000 miles on each of them. One has obviously been hit or miss on its oil changes, the other has obviously had its oil changed on a regular basis. These engines are capable of 300,000 miles plus with proper maintenance. The more consistent you are with following a regular maintenance plan the longer your car will last. That goes for all of the fluids in your car. Over time the chemical composition of the fluids in your car will change and not for the better. As far as what type of fluid or oil is best is generally a matter of opinion. Just be sure that the oil or other fluid being put into your car meets the manufacturer requirements. You will be fine, don’t let this very costly experience happen to you. Invest money into maintenance and your overall cost of ownership will be much less. We help people setup maintenance plans to get the most out of their car every day, we also take pride in helping people keep track of it so you don’t have to. Feel free to contact us anytime.

? Why are my headlights cloudy?

Are you finding it harder to see at night? We have an affordable solution; we can recondition your headlights and make your night time driving experience much less stressful. We use a process of removing the oxidation from the plastic lenses followed by polishing to a like new clarity and shine. Please keep in mind that results vary depending on the severity of the oxidation. Give us a call today; we would love to help you.

? How much does it cost to replace my timing belt?

Here is some food for thought when replacing a Timing Belt. There are many other items to consider replacing that if not replaced could result in premature failure of the timing belt. Those Items are the Belt Tensioner, Tensioner Pulley, Idler Pulley and in most cases the Water Pump that is driven by the Timing Belt.

You may also want to consider replacing the Accessory Drive Belts as there would be no additional labor to do so. If this is the first timing belt replacement for your car, it is fair to say that the other related components mentioned above will continue to do their job without failing until the next replacement interval. However there is no guarantee that they will. Keep in mind that if one of them do fail along the way, it could allow the timing belt to fail and in many cases cause severe engine damage. With so many different vehicles on the road, there is no set price for this.

For the most basic of cars the expense is generally in the $300.00 to $400.00 range. In the more complex vehicles, prices range from $800.00 to $1,500.00 depending on whether you replace the above mentioned additional items that can contribute to premature belt failure. Please feel free to call us anytime and we will be happy discuss options with you and explain the pros and cons. If your car is due to have this service performed? Don’t ignore it, if ignored it could lead to extensive engine damage when it does fail. Eventually it will fail.

? What is ASE Certification?

Automotive Service Excellence, a nonprofit organization promotes excellence in vehicle repair, service and parts distribution. Almost 300,000 Automotive Technicians and Service Professionals hold ASE Certifications. However it is not required by law in the state of Utah for Professionals in our industry to be certified in any way. Basically anyone that can land a job working for a shop can call themselves a Technician or Mechanic. You should be aware that not all mechanics are equal. The Technician or mechanic that volunteers to take these tests is proud of their ability’s and are willing to prove it.

Dickerson Automotive is the first shop in Utah County to be awarded the Blue Seal of Excellence; this requires that 75% of your staff have ASE Certification and at least one that is a Master Certified Technician.

We currently have two Master Certified Technicians, we also actively promote training and opportunities for our employees to advance their skill set. Many shops and parts stores like to use ASE Certification in their advertising. However next time you go into a shop, look for the certificates to be placed on the wall. Believe me if a Technician goes to the trouble to become certified, they want you to see it. We proudly display our technician’s certifications in our waiting room.

? How much does it cost to have my car fixed?

This is the most common question we get asked, especially from perspective first time customers. In today’s age it is extremely hard to do this over the phone with any real accuracy.

The Service Consultant generally is very well educated on what it takes to tackle a repair, however it takes a trained technician to list out the specific procedures and prepare list of necessary parts and materials to complete the job properly based on manufacturer recommended service procedures.

How frustrating is it to be quoted a price over the phone only to have them call you back and inform you that their are additional items and expense required to complete the repair?

Today’s vehicles are built very differently from one manufacture to another and require very different procedures and materials to complete the same repair or part replacement from one vehicle to the next. Problem is many repair facility’s give out inaccurate estimates over the phone usually as inexpensive as possible hoping to get the job by being the cheapest. In many cases they will be calling you back to get further approval once their technician has a chance to inform the service consultant the about additional items the service consultant was not aware of when they gave you the quote.

The best advise I can give: whenever possible please take the time to take your vehicle into the shop for repair estimates.

? Why does my car shake when I step on the brakes?

This problem in most cases is referred to as warped rotors; warped rotors can be the case. However the more common cause is thickness variation in the rotors. Thickness variation is basically something that happens over time due to the fact that the rotor does not rotate on the axle in a true manner allowing the rotor to wobble slightly as it rotates.

At one position the rotor will make slight contact with the inside brake pad and at exactly 180 degrees of rotor rotation it will make slight contact with the outside brake pad. Over time the steel on the rotor will become thinner at the locations that are making slight contact with the brake pads, thus devolving two locations on the rotor that are thinner than the rest of the rotor.

When you step on the brake the brake and you feel the vibration, it is due to constant changes to the pressure applied to the brake system while it is constantly compensating for the thinner and thicker areas of the rotor. To resolve this, the rotors will have to be resurfaced or replaced. It is always best to resurface the rotors with a quality on car brake lathe. This type of lathe will actually provide the lowest amount of lateral run out “wobble” in the rotors.

When replacing rotors, best practice is to position the rotor in the bolt pattern location that provides the least amount of wobble. This is done with a dial indicator and can be somewhat time consuming.

? What does it cost to do a differential service?

The real question is how the service is performed, over time metal fillings will accumulate in the differential fluid. The more fillings in the fluid the more the wear on the components are compounded, so servicing the differential on a regular basis will prolong the wear of the components over time. There are generally two ways to service a differential, draining and refilling a differential is possible on many vehicles while others require removal of the cover. Drain and refill is generally half the price of removing the cover. Regardless of which way it is done, Removal of the cover allows you to actually clean the internal components out of it. It also allows for cleaning of the magnet that is intentionally installed to collect the filings from normal differential wear. This will result in fewer fillings in the new fluid that is being put in. With so many manufactures and so many different fluids that are specified by the manufacturers it is impossible to have a set price for this service. Please feel free to call us and we will be happy to give you the options and pricing to do it either way that best fits your needs.

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