Facts about the Auto Repair Industry

14. 01. 09
Last Updated: 21 May 2014

What am I paying for when I have my vehicle serviced?


As a consumer you look at the end result of a visit to the auto repair shop and  the cost of that service.  The idea of spending money to fix a car is probably the last thing you want to do.  When you hear the service provider tell you that it's going to cost several hundred dollars to correct the problem, it may not sit well with you.  You may be concerned as to why is it so expensive to fix your car.  Let me talk a little bit about what the expense entails.  


Vehicles today are highly technical and loaded with computer controlled systems that require competent maintenance and diagnostic technicians.  To meet the increased competitive salaries, due to a shortage of technicians, we must provide a competitive compensation package.  This  requires a  competitive pay scale including state and federal taxes, that are over and above the basic hourly wage of the technician.


The technician and the shop have thousands of dollars in tools and equipment to meet the increased high technology requirements to service your vehicle.  Comprehensive diagnostic equipment, on-going computer equipment with continuous software upgrades and vehicle technical information and internet subscriptions.  It's an on-going process of modernizing the shop facilities in order to hold all the high-tech equipment required today to service a modern vehicle.  An on going training program is necessary to serve you efficiently and professionally.  


The upkeep of the facility to provide a safe work environment for our staff, including proper air ex-changers to eliminate poisonous fumes, effective shop lighting and proper climate control.  Ensure all environmental policies for disposal of shop material are adhered to.  The utilities necessary to keep the facility operational.  General maintenance of the grounds and the buildings.  


The auto repair  industry is very complex and the consumer must rely on the information given to them by the service provider to make an informed decision.  A  highly skilled technician using  the latest testing equipment and data programs can make  a conclusive resolve to the customer concerns,  in a timely fashion.  To answer the question above “What am I paying for when I have my vehicle serviced”:  Skilled labor, state of the art diagnostic tools, internet data programs, continuous training, and professional staff.   


The choice is yours as to who you select to perform the service on your vehicle.  Trust plays a huge part in this decision and that trust has to be earned by the provider.   A recommendation by a friend will ease the process, but the final conclusion is yours.  Unfortunately, cost may be the deciding factor on who you have do your service.  If this is the case take into consideration some of the things listed in this article.   


Jim Carpenter, Owner 

Auto Inspection Service




13. 10. 28
Last Updated: 28 October 2013

Halloween Witch

Ford Focus Heater Control Cable Function

13. 10. 21
Last Updated: 22 October 2013

I want to give you the findings of the cause of the continuing problem with the heater controls on your Focus.  When Client picked it up the last time, I explained to her that there was resistance coming from the heater box blend doors  when the knobs were operated.

Ford Focus with dash removed

I order to manually operate the the blend doors the dash needed to be removed.  What we found is exactly what I suspected,  the blend doors are getting hung up on the foam that seals the door when they are closed.

The heater box is a sealed unit and must be replaced as a new assembly.  One of the attached pictures illustrate what must be removed to obtain access to the heater control box.  The other picture is the actual heater box that needs to be replaced.

At this point if you do not wish to repair the defective part, I will have my Technician put your car back together, at no charge to you.  This procedure was necessary to confirm the cause of the continuing problem of the knobs breaking. Unfortunately, I can no longer  warranty the cable assemblies, unless the heater box is replaced.

The heater box includes a new heater core and evaporator.  Should either one of these components fail at a later date,  the dash would need removed again to replace them.   All in all it is not only going to fix the control knobs, but you will get two other vital components replaced at the same time.

Ford Focus heater box

Engine Oil Change Frequency

13. 10. 21
Last Updated: 22 October 2013

My question is how many miles should I go between oil changes.  I have heard from 3-7 thousand. 

Engine Oil Sign

Very controversial question and with that in mind I will give you my opinion on how often engine oil should be changed.  First, understand that oil is the lubricant for the internal moving parts of the engine.  As the engine runs, carbon created by the internal-combustion engine along with condensation due to the heating and cooling down of the engine contaminate the oil.  The contamination breaks down the oil's ability to lubricate the bearings and other moving parts inside your engine. The amount of contaminate in the oil is directly proportional to the longevity of your engine. The more miles you drive,  the dirtier the oil gets and the faster the engine wears out.  I hope you have the necessary information to make your own decision.  Personally, I recommend every 3,000 miles for standard engine oil and every 5,000 for fully synthetic engine oil.  On vehicles with 4 and 5 quart capacities, vehicles with higher capacities can go more miles between changes. 



Customer Appreciation Day

13. 10. 21
Last Updated: 22 October 2013

AIS Customer Appreciation Day

Customer appreciation day was a great success! The turn out exceeded my expectations, the accommodations were more than acceptable, the food provided by Crowbar & Grill was a big hit.  Again a big Thank You to all our clients for your continuing support of our business. It is our goal to provide you with the best possible service, quality work, and a friendly atmosphere. 

AIS Customer Appreciation Day