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Archive for November 2012

Training Received by Technicians in Lansing, Michigan

Posted November 28, 2012 12:00 PM

When your vehicle breaks down in the Lansing, Michigan, area, or just needs some routine service, it can make you a little nervous. Because your vehicle's so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible — with the problem fixed right the first time.

We've been checking into some of the training our Lansing, Michigan, technicians receive, and we're very impressed. It's amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern vehicle. So it's not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over the weekend.

Today there are four-cylinder engines around Lansing that make more power than the V-8's in luxury cars did 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/97 kph.

Our engines are more and more powerful. And they're so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Lansing drivers at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

Then there are the electronics. Some vehicles on Michigan roads have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Lansing drivers take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It's a real challenge for the pros at AutoSurgeonInc and other Lansing auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center. In addition to the training, there's the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

So where do Lansing technicians go for training? There are many sources. It's usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, online courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

Service centers in Lansing, Michigan, have a lot of other resources available.  No one can know everything, so service centers like AutoSurgeonInc subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even online communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It's like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms. What's the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Lansing drivers want everything to be simple, straightforward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn't.

So, be more relaxed next time you take your vehicle in. You can trust the professionals at AutoSurgeonInc. You're in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at AutoSurgeonInc. 

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



Your Well Trained Technician at AutoSurgeonInc

Posted November 22, 2012 12:00 PM

When your vehicle has a problem or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your vehicle's so important to your life in Lansing, you need to get back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you've ever checked into some of the technician training AutoSurgeonInc professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8's. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/100 kph.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Lansing gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern vehicles driven around Michigan are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some vehicles have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Lansing motorists take all of this sophistication for granted, but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It's a real challenge for AutoSurgeonInc in Lansing technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Lansing service centers as well.

AutoSurgeonInc technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at AutoSurgeonInc by parts and equipment manufacturers, online courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there's the financial commitment for AutoSurgeonInc to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications held by the pros at AutoSurgeonInc. The ability to repair your vehicle requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Lansing auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even online communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It's like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what's the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At AutoSurgeonInc, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn't.

The next time you bring us your vehicle, don't worry. You're in good hands at AutoSurgeonInc.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



Is Your Lansing Driving Severe?

Posted November 14, 2012 12:00 PM



People near Lansing, Michigan, often ask AutoSurgeonInc how often they should have a particular service done. It's a great thing to ask. You can look at your owner's manual or have your Lansing, Michigan, service advisor at AutoSurgeonInc look up your vehicle in a service database. What you find is often a surprise to people – there are actually two service schedules.

One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe service schedule. When asked, most folks in Lansing will say that their driving is normal and that the 'regular' schedule probably applies to them. 'Severe service' sounds pretty extreme – 'I don't drive like that.'

Well, here is what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions; you can draw your own conclusions.

  • Most of your trips are less than four miles (six and a half kilometers).
  • Most of your trips are less than ten miles (16 km) and outside temperatures are below freezing.
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time – not on the highway. You operate your vehicle in dusty areas.
  • You regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads.
  • You drive with a car-top carrier.
  • You do a lot of stop-and-go driving.
  • You drive in very hot or very cold weather.

If that's severe driving, what constitutes regular driving? Well, it would look something like this: I live somewhere with moderate temperatures all year round – I'm thinking San Diego here. And I live close to a freeway on-ramp. Everywhere I need to go is right off the freeway, at least four miles (six and a half km) from my home. I can drive at a steady 60 miles per hour (100 kph) when I'm on the freeway.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like my normal driving. It sounds more like ideal conditions. I live where it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I run short errands around Lansing. Occasionally we load up for family trips.

For me, normal driving includes elements of severe service driving. So here's what I tell people: think about how you drive, where you live, where you go and what you are expecting to with your vehicle in the near future.

Picture a line with 'regular' on one end and 'severe' on the other, and make a judgment on where you fall. If your regular oil change recommendation is 5,000 miles (8,000 km) and the severe service recommendation is 3,000 miles (5,000 km), when should you change your oil? For me, it's closer to 3,000 miles (5,000 km). For my wife, it's closer to 5,000 miles (8,000 km). Your Lansing, Michigan, auto service advisor at AutoSurgeonInc will be happy to have this discussion with you and help you sort it out.

Just a quick word on why severe service intervals are shorter. One has to do with heat. That can either be external heat from the weather, engine and transmission heat from stop-and-go driving or working extra hard moving heavy loads or towing. The heat causes the fluids like oil and transmission fluid to break down more quickly, and then they aren't as effective.

Another factor is water. Moisture naturally collects in fluids as they cool. In your motor oil, for example, if you don't drive long enough for the oil to fully heat up, the water won't evaporate. Water in the oil can lead to the buildup of damaging sludge.

If you live where the air is dusty or polluted, fluids will become contaminated and filters will get dirtier more quickly.

So make an honest evaluation of your driving conditions. You've made the commitment to take care of your vehicles, so it only makes sense to follow the right schedule.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



Nitrogen Fill For Tires in Lansing Michigan

Posted November 9, 2012 12:00 PM



So, everyone in the Lansing Michigan area knows how great helium is – you know, party balloons, squeaky voices. But a lot of people around Lansing still haven't heard about the benefits of nitrogen in your tires, and how it can help your tires. Here's some great advice from AutoNetTV, brought to you by Auto Surgeon Inc.

Nitrogen has actually been around for a long time in the Lansing Michigan commercial sector, but it's just starting to catch on for private vehicles in the 48912 zip code area.

Why nitrogen in your tires? Air is air, right? Actually, it turns out there is a difference.

Contact Auto Surgeon Inc to learn more about nitrogen in your tires
You can find us at:
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
Or call us at 517-374-8940

The heart of the matter is maintaining proper tire inflation. When your tires are properly inflated, they last longer, handle better and more safely, and save you money at the gas pump.

The problem is that tires filled in Lansing with regular air can lose a pound and a half of air pressure every month. This just happens as the oxygen in the tire seeps out. So if you don't check your pressure for a month or two, well, you can be significantly low – low enough to actually affect your handling, shorten tire life and waste money at the fuel pump.

How does nitrogen help? Regular air contains about 78% nitrogen. Nitrogen is the largest molecule in air. It's dry and non-flammable. Air also contains 21% oxygen, which is smaller and seeps out of the tire three to four times faster than nitrogen.

So, a tire filled with nitrogen at Auto Surgeon Inc will take about six months to lose as much pressure as regular air does in just one month. So it's more forgiving for those who don't check their pressure every week.

Also, when oxygen is at higher temperatures – like those inside your tire when you've been driving for awhile – it oxidizes the inside of your tire. Getting the oxygen out of your tire means that it'll last longer.

Who's using nitrogen? Well, let's start with NASCAR and Indy. These racers like nitrogen's ability to maintain consistent tire pressure and reduce tire temperatures under very demanding conditions. The US government requires all commercial aircraft to have nitrogen in their tires. NASA and the US Military use nitrogen. The mining industry has been filling those "humongous" tires with nitrogen for years. And semi trucks and trailers are starting to use nitrogen extensively.

You may have heard some detractors of nitrogen. But the studies and white papers from tire and vehicle manufacturers demonstrate that the technology really works.

In fact, a prominent consumer research group did a study where they filled some tires with air and some with nitrogen and stacked them outside for a year. They observed that the nitrogen filled tires did hold their pressure better, but they couldn't see the economic benefit. But that particular test has very little to do with the real world. Most tires are actually holding up cars and they also get driven around and do a lot of work. So if nitrogen helps them last longer, saves gas and gives safer handling, it's worth considering.

Learn more about nitrogen in your tires by watching our attached auto tips video from AutoNetTV.



Tire Rotation and Balancing

Posted November 1, 2012 12:00 PM

You can make your vehicle tires last longer with regular tire rotation and wheel balancing.

Let's start with tire rotation. In normal driving around Lansing Michigan, your front tires wear more on the shoulders because they handle much of the cornering forces in turns. Front-wheel drive vehicles have even more force on the front tires.

We rotate the tires so that all of the tires do some duty on the front end as well as getting a little break on the back end. That way, all four tires wear more evenly over their life and last longer.

For most vehicles in Lansing Michigan, tires are rotated front to back. Some manufacturers recommend a cross rotational pattern that includes the spare tire, and some high-performance vehicles have different size tires on the front and rear and may even have uni-directional tires that can only be on the left or the right side of the vehicle. Your Lansing Michigan service advisor at AutoSurgeonInc can help you sort that out and will perform the right tire rotation for your vehicle.

Your tire manufacturer will have a recommendation for how often you should rotate your tires. It's usually somewhere around 5,000 to 8,000 miles, or 8,000 to 13,000 kilometers.

Let's move on to wheel balancing. That's when there are heavy spots on the tire and wheel that cause it to wobble.

Balancing adds weights to the wheel to balance it out. Now, we are talking about very small weight differences. Variations in the tire and wheel manufacture can cause a slight imbalance. The valve stem, and now the tire pressure monitoring sensors in the tire, also play into the equation.

Even small differences can cause annoying vibrations at speed: the wheel is essentially bouncing a bit as it goes down the road. For example, at freeway speeds, an out of balance wheel can be slamming into the road 14 times a second. That's annoying and can cause your tires to wear out more quickly.

If a front wheel's out of balance you'll feel the vibration through the steering wheel. When it's a rear tire, you'll feel the vibration through your seat. If you're getting bad vibes from your vehicle, bring it in to see if it's a balance issue or something else. You should balance your wheels whenever you get a new tire or remount a tire like when it's been removed for a flat repair.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940

 

At AutoSurgeonInc we install quality NAPA replacement parts.



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Just a word of thanks for the top notch done to Wema's Carolla and for the thoughtful communication with our Tanzanian exchange student. Not only did you fix her car, but also handled arranging towing, all in a narrow window of time. Wema is delighted to have her car back, running better than ever. Couldn't be more happy with your service! quotes-image
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My son limped his vehicle into Auto Surgeon's parking lot . The vehicle is on its last leg and we just needed to get it up and running for a few more weeks til my son graduates. The proper repairs were out of the budget so Bill came up with a solution that made sense for this vehicle, Bill didn't have to adapt for us but he did, and the price was more than fair. Don't hesitate to call Auto Surgeon for any repair.quotes-image
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