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RepairPal Blog:

 Mechanic's Corner

Advice from experts concerning automotive parts, repairs, and services

Now that winter is in full effect, questions have been pouring in from all over the country regarding heater performance issues. In the second installment of the RepairPal Diagnostic Series, we will be providing you with a diagnostic tool to help address heater performance problems, as well as A/C issues for all of you in South Florida! If you are experiencing problems, print out the Heater and A/C Diagnostic Assistant worksheet below, fill it out and take it in to the repair shop and present it to the service writer, they will be impressed with your pro-active approach! If you have a request for a questionnaire that you would like to see in the future, please drop us a line at feedback@repairpal.com

Check Engine Lights...many of us have seen them, some have had the "privilege" of trying to get rid of them, and others choose to ignore them all together. No matter your approach, it's becoming more and more likely, due to state emissions regulations that you will have to address this warning light issue before you can pass your vehicle inspection, so it's important to address them properly. We here at RepairPal have been working on providing information that addresses some of the most commonly seen reasons for the Check Engine Light to come on, and some of the most commonly misdiagnosed problems as well.

This is the latest in a series of blog posts that our Honda expert, Robert Isbell, is writing for RepairPal. Robert has worked at Honda dealerships for over 22 years as a technician, shop foreman and service manager. He has developed and led new owner clinics that educate new owners about their cars and he will be contributing to  our blog to educate our visitors about the methods for getting the most out of your service experience. Missed the preceding post? Click here.

I have worked in the California Smog and Emissions Testing program for over 22 years. I have worked in the Gold Shield Program, which helps to certify Gross Polluter vehicles (vehicles that fail their Emissions Inspection by a wide margin) since 1995.  Sometimes the Gold Shield Shops and Technicians that do this work do not get paid for all the time and work they put in when they are bringing an older vehicle, that may have high mileage, back into spec so it can pass an Emissions Test.  That said, there is a feeling of satisfaction in knowing that you are cleaning the air and helping someone who usually does not have a lot of money.

This is the latest in a series of blog posts that our Honda expert, Robert Isbell, is writing for RepairPal. Robert has worked at Honda dealerships for over 22 years as a technician, shop foreman and service manager. He has developed and led new owner clinics that educate new owners about their cars and he will be contributing to  our blog to educate our visitors about the methods for getting the most out of your service experience. Missed the preceding post? Click here.

The issue of trust and Automotive Repair Shops has been in the news for years.  I live in the SF Bay Area and about every 6 months one of the major, network-affiliated TV stations will do an undercover sting-like "expose" about Auto Repair Shops "ripping off" the public. AutoNation conducted a poll and found that for over 70% of the consumers called the number one complaint was a lack of trust in the process of having their vehicle serviced and repaired.  

This is the third in a series of blog posts that our Honda expert, Robert Isbell, is writing for RepairPal. Robert has worked at Honda dealerships for over 22 years as a technician, shop foreman and service manager. He has developed and led new owner clinics that educate new owners about their cars and he will be contributing to  our blog to educate our visitors about the methods for getting the most out of your service experience. Missed the preceding post? Click here.

This is the second in a series of blog posts that our Honda expert, Robert Isbell, is writing for RepairPal. Robert has worked at Honda dealerships for over 22 years as a technician, shop foreman and service manager. He has developed and led new owner clinics that educate new owners about their cars and he will be contributing to our blog to educate our visitors about the methods for getting the most out of your service experience. If you missed the preceding post about finding a shop, click here.

As of January 2, 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being sued by The State of California in the hope of overturning a denial for a waiver under The Clean Air Act to set stricter Emission Control standards.  There are potentially another 13-15 States ready to join California in this lawsuit.  What this means is that the Automakers, who are struggling to stay alive, will have to make several different Emission Control Systems for new vehicles so that they can be sold to the States that have adopted the new California Standards or the Federal Standards. For many years, there have been Federally Certified Emission Control vehicles and California Certified Emission Control vehicles.  In the 1980s there were some real differences in these Emission Controls, but as time has passed, the Federal Vehicles became much less common and the real differences in their Emission Control Systems are basically zero. (For more, see our Check Engine Light article.)

This is the first in a series of blog posts that our Honda expert, Robert Isbell, will be writing for RepairPal. Robert has worked at Honda dealerships for over 22 years as a technician, shop foreman and service manager. He has developed and led new owner clinics that educate new owners about their cars and he will be contributing to our blog to educate our visitors about the methods for getting the most out of your service experience. What you should do before you make your first service appointment