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Lifetime Transmission Fluid....lol

Lifetime Transmission Fluid....lol

Hey Fans! I just had a conversation with a customer about the "lifetime transmission fluid" in their Toyota. They have about 40,000 miles on their Prius and the ATF is black and burnt. The transmissions of today are fairly complex inside, and hybrid vehicles typically have high voltage electric motors in them. The goal of fluid maintenance is to keep the quality of the lubricating oil/fluid as clean and debris free as possible.  Most vehicles now DO NOT have a serviceable filter inside the transmission, making it even more crucial to keep the fluid clean. The cost to include fluid servicing in a factory scheduled maintenance is relatively inexpensive. What it does for you is keep the burnt and dirty fluid that is naturally starting to occur to a minimum. It does not all not come out of the transmission at once, it is typically only going to be a slight dilution at each fluid change interval. You can maybe see how if it is allowed to get&nb ... read more

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Maintenance

Fabrication Fun!

Fabrication Fun!

Hello Fans! It has been a bit since I have written anything for you (at least worth reading), but I wanted to tell my story of novice welder to super fabricator (in my own mind)! Sorry for the length, I am chatty today. Those of you who are local or follow us on Facebook know the Toole’s Garage truck. It was a project that started out in 2009 to be just Dave Toole building an old truck to use as a shop vehicle, durable, versatile, and a road rescue machine. Well, I started out by disassembling all the wiring to put in a new multi-circuited harness and instrumentation (nothing worked in there anyway).& This of course led to a new steering column and my first attempt at welding. I bought a welder and started to weld up all the holes on the firewall. Well, needless to say, after melting holes on the firewall and spending hours grinding off the lumps of metal filler used to weld the plugs ... read more

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Garage Blogging!

My Prius Hybrid Battery is dying!

My Prius Hybrid Battery is dying!

This is something that we are starting to hear more often. The great news is that we, as The Hybrid Shop Bay Area, are able to bring your existing battery back to life. If caught early enough, we may not even have to replace any cells within that battery. Be careful to all who are looking to find a replacement battery. There are a lot of places selling used batteries, or remanufactured batteries. The process to condition a single battery is fairly simple, but to condition a complete hybrid battery takes the proper equipment and scientific process to keep them balanced. There are but a handful of shops that have this capability. We have performed our battery conditioning process on many of these “other” batteries, as the failure rate is very high. Don’t pay twice, take your vehicle to The Hybrid Pro’s to have it done right, the first time. So if your Prius Hybrid Battery is dying, The Hybrid Shop has the necessary skill and equipment to effectively p ... read more

Home Town Customer Service with Concierge treatment???

Home Town Customer Service with Concierge treatment???

In your day to day dealings with companies, do you ever find yourself asking in your head, "Wow, were did customer courtesy go?" Well, it is alive and well at our San Carlos Auto Repair, Toole's Garage. We know that your day to day can be filled with errands, school, shopping, school sports, commuting, cooking, going to the gym, and oh yeah....work! Well, at Toole's Garage, we have very low cost rental cars, shuttle, and even concierge service! That's right! Concierge service! Many of our clients have so much on their plate, that we will come and pick up their vehicle from the home or office, perform the work they need, and return the vehicle back to them! This is a service that we have been doing for some time, but have accumulated more demand for. All you have to do is give us a phone call, email, online appointment, text, Tweet, or Facebook post! Whether you drive a Honda, Acura, Nissan, Infiniti, Toyota, Scion, Lexus, Hyundai, Mazda, Subaru, Prius, or any Hybrid, when you are ... read more

The Hybrid Revolution

The Hybrid Revolution

With all the cars of today coming out with a Hybrid version and some manufacturers coming out with all electric cars, we wanted to help clear the air in regards to the longevity of the HEV batteries. These Hybrid vehicles have been out since year 2000. They have now been starting to experience the joy of "Battery Module Deterioration". Well, the truth is, there is no battery that lasts forever. If there is, the cost to manufacture it must be astronomical. The HEV batteries from most manufacturers are under warranty for 10 years 150,000 miles in California, so there is some sweat off the brow, and they seem to survive that long before the trouble light comes on. The concern is, that well before that time, the battery is deteriorating, thus causing some performance loss and MPG loss. Our philosophy is that we should be able to service, or "condition" the pack before it goes "bad", which you will understand in a bit. You can now purchase replacement "remanufactured" HEV batteries wh ... read more

Maintenance....truth....or lies!

Maintenance....truth....or lies!

Hello all! This is our first Blog post. We just wanted to touch up on our theory/opinions on true maintenance of a vehicle. Since we are Honda vehicle specialists, our view on maintenance goes back a long way. When most vehicles were taken into the shop to be "fixed", certain manufacturers had a "maintenance schedule" for their vehicles. This brought about statements like.."Wow, they last forever".. and "It has how many miles on it?" To say that fluid maintenance and adjustments are important is an understatement. The cleaner you can keep a fluid, the less wear will occur, period. It cost approximately 10 cents less per mile to drive a maintained vehicle as opposed to the exact vehicle non maintained due to premature repairs. If you let your quality repair shop maintain your vehicle on average 3 to 4 days out of the 365 days in a year, you should have a vehicle that runs well with a high reliability factor. A simple approach that we take to help maintain our own cars is setting up a ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Dealer or Independent????

We are asked this question quite a bit, so we decided to write down our OPINION on this subject. Firstly, a dealer is a great option if you do not have a solid "independent specialist" within reasonable distance of convenience. The dealer offers all high quality OEM (original equipment parts). Their skill set is generally good. There is however a big curve of skill set at a dealership. There are "just started today" low dollar apprentices all the way to high caliber/paid diagnosticians or Masters of their trade. When you take a car in for routine maintenance at a dealership, the odds that your vehicle lands in the "masters" or high cost bay is usually pretty slim. They are working on more complex work. Everyone needs to start somewhere, but at a solid independent specialist, the owner is usually one of those "masters" that went out on their own, so if they are training a newbie, you still have the "masters" eyes on your vehicle when even the simplest of tasks (oil changes, etc.) are ... read more

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Garage Blogging!

Conventional oil vs. Synthetic oil...THE CONTROVERSY!

A question that our customers ask is “What do you think about synthetic oil?” Our OPINION goes a little something like this..... We like synthetic oils. It is a better quality oil by far. Molecularly it does not break down like petroleum based or conventional oil, which means it is fighting against metal wear. We would suggest that everyone convert to synthetic oil. That being said, there is the idea that it lasts twice or three times as long in there as conventional oil, which molecularly is true, but it still will burn away because it is oil. When oil is new, it is a beautiful golden liquid, if you pour a little bit in a dish and try to light it on fire, it is not easy to do. Anyone who has changed their own oil, knows that when it comes out....it is anything but beautiful looking. It is black and stains anything it gets on. This blackness is a combination of fuel and carbon which is a naturally occurring event inside a combustion engine. If you pour this into a dish and attempt to ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

My car is not worth that much!!...Is it?!?!?!?

Hello readers, it is a sad time in a car's life when it reaches that 8 and 10 year old mark (so young) when the inevitable replacement of items starts to happen. If your shop has not been proactive in the recommendation of wear items, they can start to add up. $900 for struts, $600 for hoses, $500 for ball joints, etc. If that is all recommended at once, with some fluid maintenance, you are sitting at $2,100. The question we get asked, mostly by newer customers of ours is...."The car is not worth that much, is it?" In all fairness, some are not, but most are, depending on how you look at it. If you have a car that selling value is only $2,500 but needs $2,100 worth of work, what questions do you need to ask yourself? We have a couple. How has the reliability been? Do you still like the car? If the answers are good, and yes, the answer is "yes" it is worth it. Here is why....if you go to buy a new car, let's say 30K or so, the dollars lost are $2,400 in sales tax, not counting the imm ... read more

Categories:

Garage Blogging!

The Power of Steering...

Today's blog is about the power steering fluid and system. This fluid is very often overlooked. It resides in a reservoir and runs through a little "blender" called a power steering pump every time the engine is running. This fluid is an oil, just like any other. It does have some special additives and characteristics that are unique, but still, just another fluid. The power steering fluid will slowly populate with fine aluminum/metal shavings from the power steering pump, much like when you sharpen a knife on a stone with oil. These shavings will eventually work their way throughout the system and find a place to call home. They usually will embed by seals and o-ringed areas. Since the fluid is pressurized from the pump to operate, the seals in the system are important to keep the fluid from leaking out. All seals, over time, will harden up and not seal as well. Once a piece of the shavings gets between the seal and whatever it is sealed against, a leak will occur. When the power st ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance
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