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Exhaust Tips: How Do I Know Something is Wrong?

As a general rule, it’s always more efficient to make car repairs early before small issues turn into large ones, but your muffler can be tricky. Sometimes, it’s tough to tell if you have an issue or if something is just stuck beneath the vehicle causing a ruckus. The exhaust system in any vehicle is critical to safety, both for the engine’s health as well as your own. It not only keeps the car quiet, but also serves to ensure that fumes stay outside of the cabin where they belong. Not only does it keep the engine running smoothly, but your exhaust system lowers harmful emissions into the environment, maintaining a clean vehicle in all respects. Equally as great, it works to maintain maximum fuel efficiency, keeping your costs down at the pump!

The main causes of potential exhaust problems stem from the following, instrumental parts of your system.

Catalytic Converter – When the catalytic converter needs replacing, you know it. A noise similar to shaking a can of rocks can be heard whenever driving. This becomes a distraction, both due to the volume and the sensation of knocking below the car. If you suspect an issue with your catalytic converter, contact your neighborhood repair shop right away, as it may be something that if caught early could save you a substantial expense!

Fuel Efficiency – Have you noticed that the tank needs filling more often than before? Increased fuel use is an indicator of a problem. If your vehicle requires more fuel to perform at an average level, it is an indicator of a leak somewhere within the exhaust system. Leaks of this nature cause the engine to work harder, a condition that may have detrimental effects on the rest of your vehicle.

Volume Level Increase – The most obvious sign of an exhaust issue remains to be increased volume while driving. This increase can often be felt as a deep and loud resonance throughout the engine. If your car is significantly louder than usual, bring it by Quality Auto Care for a check. The issue may be a leaky muffler or damaged catalytic converter and catching any problem early is better than letting it carry on to cause more extensive damage.

Excessive Rust – Consider the look of the muffler and exhaust system. If corrosion has reached levels that appear unsafe, it’s time to have the system checked. This may not be a massive issue, but it doesn’t hurt to be overly cautious especially if any of the indicators above are coupled with excessive rust.

Different parts of your car’s exhaust system show separate and distinct signs of wear and a need for replacement. If there is any doubt, call to make an appointment or just bring your car by your friends at Quality Auto Care – your neighborhood repair shop. Our experts will identify any issue and point out the many options you will have for either replacement or repair. Relax while we perform a diagnostic check of your exhaust system. Feel free to enjoy a cup of coffee while you wait. If time is a concern, ask about our shuttle service. Auto repair doesn’t need to disrupt your entire day. We understand that schedules must be kept and are happy to offer solutions to get you where you need to be.

Summer Road Trip Checklist

With Memorial Day weekend being the unofficial kick off for summer, there are several summertime maintenance tips that come to mind. Summer is the time for travel. The kids are off from school, weather is beautiful, and everyone wants to pile into the car to head off somewhere new. Before you pull out of your driveway, consider the following tips to ensure that you have a safe, trip-ready vehicle! You might even save some money at the gas pump along the way.

1. Simple tire check – It’s easy to overlook tires because they are reliable, do not give much of an indicator when service is necessary, and generally get the job done with little regular maintenance. Checking the tire pressure prior to leaving on any trip is essential and most people overlook it. Driving on both under-inflated and over-inflated tires is dangerous in any season, but moreso as the weather becomes hot. Pressure changes as temperatures rise, putting your vehicle in danger of a blow out or misalignment issue.

2. Check the oil – While most vehicles require an oil change every 3,000 miles, our cars burn more oil over the summer months when long road trips are in the itinerary. Take the time to check the oil prior to any road trip to ensure that levels are appropriate. If the oil is low, top it off before heading out onto the open road.

3. Fluids are your friends – Checking the fluid levels in your vehicle prior to a road trip is essential. Running out of wiper fluid when it’s needed is never a good experience. Neither is being low on coolant because chances are, it’s going to be hot out there when the AC stops doing its job. Best to prepare your vehicle for the road ahead before even starting the engine.

4. Air filter check – Give your air filter a look before any road trip because it’s your car’s first line of defense against debris. A clogged air filter also lowers fuel efficiency and no one wants to pay more than they have to at the pump.

5. What’s that squeak?– The brakes are your first line of defense in an auto emergency. Heading out on a trip with worn brake pads or grinding puts both you and your family at risk. If either squeaking or grinding is noticeable, bring your vehicle in for a quick diagnostic. It doesn’t hurt to check before you are on the road for hours at a time.

6. Clean the battery – A battery weighed down with corrosion can cause a multitude of problems, first being losing its charge. Couple this with hot weather and the opposite effect is possible – overcharging. This could dramatically shorten the lifespan of your battery. Keeping your battery clean can reduce the possibility of overcharging significantly.

For more tips on preparing for a summer road trip, come in to Quality Auto Care. Our expert technicians are happy to advise on this and all car care related matters. It’s our pleasure to help out those in our community and our friends who drive from neighboring communities. We look forward to seeing you!

Quality Auto Care Supports Wounded Warrior Project

Quality Auto Care is proud to support Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). Wounded Warrior Project serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001. With the mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, WWP is the hand extended to encourage warriors as they adjust to their new normal and achieve new triumphs. Offering a variety of programs and services, WWP is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury – from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.

Here at Quality Auto Care, we could not be more passionate about supporting our unsung heroes and their families through Wounded Warrior Project and to do so, we will participate in several fundraising events over the course of the next several months:

Wheat Ridge Carnation Festival – Join us for our annual Customer Appreciation Day during this year’s Carnation Festival! Stop by on August 16th for special events, delicious food, and hours of fun for you and your family! This is our day to thank you, the customer, for everything you bring to Quality Auto Care. Your business and friendship have always gone hand-in-hand and that is something to celebrate. Thanks for being a member of our extended family and please consider supporting Wounded Warriors on this special day.

Don’t forget to take in the festival fully with friends and family. From Friday, August 15th to Sunday, August 24th, Wheat Ridge will be in full Carnation Festival swing. From the 45th Annual Parade to the Zoppe’ Circus, the Carnation Festival has entertainment for people of all ages! Come out and celebrate with your friends and neighbors, take in the sights and sounds, and most of all, enjoy being a part of our community.

Tough Mudder 2014 – Come and support your Quality Auto Care family at Tough Mudder! This September, the Quality Auto Care team will be participating in Tough Mudder, an obstacle-based 10-12 mile run. This race has physical challenges, strength-testing obstacles, and an endurance busting course designed to inspire both camaraderie and achievement of personal goals. Quality Auto Care has accepted the challenge of running Tough Mudder this year in the name of Wounded Warriors. Please consider either donating or sponsoring our team, as these contributions will go directly to a cause everyone here at Quality Auto Care is fully invested in. Join us as we celebrate and support these true American heroes on September 6th.

Keep an eye on our website for updates regarding special events for Customer Appreciation Day and the Tough Mudder. More details will be available as the dates approach. As always, contact us with all of your automotive needs. From questions to repairs, we are here to guide you through any automotive issue. We will always offer several options keeping both budget and time in mind. Don’t forget to take advantage of our free shuttle service, so you will never miss a beat in your busy day. Auto repair should not derail your daily plans. Let us make your day shine with superior service.

Choosing the Right Auto Mechanic for Your Needs

No one enjoys having to contend with an auto repair issue, but here at Quality Auto Care & Tire Center in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, we try to make what’s traditionally a hassle an enjoyable, relaxing experience. Our expert technicians look forward to making you as comfortable with their work as possible. That being said, here are several steps to guide you in finding the right, reliable auto mechanic.

1. Take Your Time – It shouldn’t matter what kind of car you drive. Your best bet for quality auto repair is a fully researched shop. Take the proper amount of time to check out any shop you are considering by first asking around. Are the people in your neighborhood partial to any auto shops? Have they had good experiences? Poor ones? What types of services have they needed? Being familiar with what is available in your neighborhood and the reliability of those options is critical.

2. Brush up on Your Vehicle’s Needs – Read the user’s manual. This is the greatest source of detailed information on your particular make and model. The user’s manual often states how regular some forms of service need to be (oil changes, maintenance, etc.) Making a decision on a service provider for simple, routine maintenance to start is far less stressful than doing so in a panic because a major repair has put your vehicle on probation.

3. Give it a Try – If there are a few contenders, try them out with minor jobs. How are they handling the task? Is their staff courteous? Are they considering you an active participant in the servicing of your vehicle or do they simply want to move forward without consulting you on cost or decision-making? Is the facility neat and organized? Do they seem open to questions regarding service or simply just the state of your repair?

4. Get an Estimate – A quality auto shop will always furnish an estimate upon request. If you are receiving push back regarding documentation, walk away. Providing clear and thorough estimates for work or even suggested, future repairs is critical, as you may need to budget accordingly. Ask about labor rates and be sure to understand how they impact the costs of repairs.

5. Document, Document, Document – When you pick up your vehicle, are you provided with a receipt of service? Does this receipt include the hourly labor rate, cost for parts, and cost for the actual repair? It should. Any reputable auto shop will be happy to provide you with an explanation of service and should do so without prompting.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are in the process of deciding on an auto mechanic, allow us to win your trust! Here at Quality Auto Care & Tire Center, there’s a reason why the word CARE is in our company name. We consider you, our customer, not only as a customer, but as a member of our extended family. We want to provide you with top notch service so that you will consider us for your next scheduled routine maintenance appointment or even major repair. If your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road, call Quality Auto Care & Tire Center and we will have you up and running in no time! Just sit back and relax with a hot cup of coffee as we diagnose and repair your vehicle.

We will always consult you once a diagnosis has been determined on your vehicle to ensure that both service and budget are considerations. There will be no bullying here. It’s okay if you are not sure about your best option as far as car repair is concerned. We’re happy to help by breaking down your issues very clearly and offering possible solutions. Contact us at Quality Auto Care & Tire Center today and let us show you why we are the #1 Auto Service Shop in Wheat Ridge, Colorado!

Maintaining Your Battery

No one wants to walk out to their car after work to find that it will not start. After a long day, a dead battery is the last thing anyone needs. Most of us here at Quality Auto Care are simply ready to return to our families as the day comes to a close and even though we look forward to offering the best customer care for all of your automotive needs, surprise battery maintenance issues can sneak up on us too. We know that towing services can be expensive and often a wait is required. This can all be avoided by performing seasonal battery checks on your car. Now that Spring is in full swing here in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, it’s time to pay attention to the health of your car battery. The following three examples are ways of keeping your battery healthy as we transition from season to season.

First and foremost, keep your battery clean. Cleaning the battery at the start of each season helps to remove any build up of corrosion or dirt. Build up of corrosion around the battery’s connectors can disconnect your battery’s power supply and cause the battery to become unreliable. Be sure to check the tightness of all terminals. Not only will this ensure that the connections are secure, but it also gives you the piece of mind that there are no leaks – a surefire cause of damage both the battery and the interior of the engine.

Second, disconnect the battery when you will be away for long periods of time. If the car isn’t being driven, a slow drain on the battery continues as the car stays dormant. When a battery remains idle for too long, the typical charge suffers from a lack of use. This battery neglect may also effect the alternator, causing an unreliable start-up and intermittent responsiveness. If going on vacation for more than two weeks, disconnecting the battery is highly recommended. This will keep even those small battery drains such as the clock or automatic locking system from draining the battery of life and damaging the alternator. Once you return to regular, every day driving, be sure to reconnect the battery tightly to avoid a loss of start up in the future.

Most importantly, be sure to drive regularly. It is the job of the alternator to recharge the battery while your vehicle is being driven, but that charge may suffer if the vehicle is not driven regularly or, in some cases, if your vehicle only makes short trips as opposed to driving for longer than a half hour. When opening up the vehicle’s engine for at least thirty minutes, it gives your car the ability to recharge its battery the way it was intended to.

On average, a car battery will last between three and five years. To get the most life out of your battery, proper maintenance is required and that’s where we come in. Bring your car in to Quality Auto Care for a regular maintenance appointment and we’ll be happy to check your battery during our comprehensive diagnostic. If you have noticed a lagging, or simply wish for peace of mind for your family, give us a call today. We will be happy to make you comfortable while you wait for service. Have a cup of coffee on us while our expert technicians diagnose any issues. Once our diagnostic is complete, one of our experts will speak with you personally about any suggested repairs to ensure that you feel fully informed of all of the options. If time is an issue, please take advantage of our complimentary shuttle service. We’d be glad to get you back to the pace of every day life even if your car needs a time out.

Keep in mind that our Winter Maintenance Special is valid through April 30th, so take advantage today!

The Importance of Regular Oil Changes

Few things are guaranteed to extend the life of your vehicle, but keeping up with regular oil changes is most assuredly one of them. For a relatively small amount of time and money, regular oil changes will significantly reduce the risk of engine trouble for the entire lifespan of your vehicle. They are the very definition of preventative maintenance – a routine service that helps one avoid often costly future fixes. Ever wonder why regular oil changes are important for the safe operation of your vehicle? The following are just a few reasons why ignoring this preventative maintenance could damage your engine and ultimately kill your car.

  • Oil Stress – When oil is not changed regularly, it will eventually break down due to both temperature and the stress our vehicle puts on the lubricant daily. This breakdown degrades the quality of the oil until it no longer acts as any kind of lubricant at all, the result being friction within the engine that will eventually damage both its effectiveness and the parts within. Ignoring oil changes persistently will result in eventual engine failure.
  • Filter clogs – During your oil change, one of our service experts will replace your oil filter. This is key for the proper distribution of oil throughout your vehicle. Not only does it allow clean oil through, but this filter keeps build up and sludge out of the engine. If this filter becomes completely clogged, the engine will seize and ultimately fail.
  • Corrosion – Old oil circulated throughout the engine again and again also spreads corrosion thanks to dirt, dust, and even water accumulation over time. These outside influencers may break down the internal parts of the engine after constant abuse. This is another catalyst for future engine failure.
  • Cracks or Leaks – Repeat use of old oil may cause cracks or leaks within the engine due to debris circulation. The end result could cause additional coolants or even gasoline to leak into the oil, a mixture which is toxic to the engine’s performance and could vastly shorten the life of your car.

During your oil change at Quality Auto Care, not only will we ensure that you have the top quality oil your vehicle requires, but we will also perform a complete review of your vehicle to ensure that you are safe on the road as we transition into spring. It is recommended that you change your oil every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever comes first. Allow our team of experts to service your vehicle with the utmost care as you relax with a hot cup of coffee. If you need to get back on the road while we work, take advantage of our complimentary shuttle service to get you to and from either work or home. Let us minimize any interruption to your typical daily schedule with flexible transportation options. It’s our goal to make any service as easy as possible for you, our most valued customer. Contact us today to schedule your next oil change. We look forward to your visit!

Brake Maintenance for Safe Driving

After a long, Wheat Ridge, Colorado winter, the importance of brake maintenance cannot be understated.  Here at Quality Auto Care & Tire Center, we understand what your car goes through all winter and are ready to help with an easy transition into Spring driving.  Icy conditions cause erratic and often forceful use of your brakes.  Hitting an ice patch can be terrifying and our natural reaction is to go for the brakes immediately.  Months of this behavior can cause brake pads to wear thin, the result being grinding and misalignment of the front and back end of your vehicle.  If these symptoms are ignored, the possibility of brake failure becomes a reality.  Allow Quality Auto Care to restore your confidence in your vehicle’s brake system with a service appointment.

Often, preventative brake maintenance can ward off costly future repairs simply by being proactive with your car care.  If grinding occurs while braking, this can do damage to the rotors and drums.  If only squeaking occurs while you brake, this could simply be due to friction in the brake lining.  A slight alignment could save you the cost of complete pad and brake replacement.  This can be properly diagnosed by our helpful and courteous staff when you come in to Quality Auto Care & Tire Center.  Will would be glad to put your concerns at ease with a proper inspection of your car’s braking system. While we’re at it, we will ensure that your vehicle is aligned correctly to avoid additional wear on your tires.

If you notice that your vehicle is pulling to one side while braking, this could be caused by a damaged brake line or uneven brake pad wear.  Sometimes, this symptom may occur without squeaking or grinding of the brakes.  It is something to take note of regardless, as it puts the safety of your vehicle in question as the snow and ice of winter turns over to the rain of Spring.  Another brake-related symptom is the brake pedal sinking to the floor at a full stop.  If either of these are occurring, reach out to us to get your car into tip-top shape for Spring.

As always, we hope to wow you with our customer service and general automotive expertise during your time with us.  The offer of coffee or tea upon arrival is always extended, as is the ability to sit back, put your feet up, and leave the job to us.  If you require transportation, take advantage of our free shuttle service, which aims to keep your day as free of disruption as possible.  We all know that car service sometimes requires an extra trip – one you may not have planned for.  Let us make it up to you with our friendly technicians and expert advice – neighbor to neighbor.  Call today to set up a service appointment and keep your vehicle in the best shape for the safety of you and your family.  Remember, your family is our family here at Quality Auto Care & Tire Center and you will be treated as a most valued member!

Auto Care and Customer Care Go Hand-in-Hand

Many important questions come to mind when considering a repair specialist in Wheat Ridge, Colorado:

  • Will my auto issues be discovered and addressed in a timely, cost-effective way?
  • Can I trust the advice of those creating my estimate?
  • Will I be valued as a customer?
  • Will I have to schedule time off to accommodate my need for service?

Here at Quality Auto Care, your business is not just important to us, it is why we come to work every day. You are a part of our extended family and will be treated as such upon arrival. If any auto concerns have you troubled with your vehicle’s performance, trust that everyone at Quality Auto Care will investigate the issue, find its source, and be there to guide you on what your service options are. Each member of our staff is educated in the field of auto repair and will speak with you not only as a technician, but as a fellow car owner. Chances are, we’ve come across similar issues with our own personal vehicles, know how a car will respond, and we will proceed with care.

After being greeted by our friendly and courteous staff, enjoy a hot cup of coffee while you wait. If time is a concern, we understand. Unexpected auto repair can cause a disruption in an otherwise scheduled workday. Feel free to take advantage of our shuttle service so you can stay in step with your current demands either in the office or at home with the kids. Keeping your visit as easy for you as possible is what we strive to achieve here at Quality Auto Care because we know if you are pleased with our service, we will be at the top of your list should a future repair be necessary.

If questions arise during the process, no problem! At any time during your service appointment, our highly skilled team would be happy to discuss what steps are being taken to address the repair and answer any questions that may come to mind during your time with us. Schedule an appointment for routine maintenance today and consider it preventative care for your vehicle. Remaining up-to-date with your factory recommended, routine maintenance is akin to a yearly physical. It ensures that everything is in order and can serve as a means to prepare your vehicle for the demands placed upon it. Whether seasonal changes require an update to your vehicle, or a basic oil change and fluid check are in your near future, we are up to the task and looking forward to assist during your time with us.

Looking for an auto repair specialist in Colorado can be daunting, but with Quality Auto Care, the decision is an easy one. With stellar customer service, a knowledgeable staff, and all of the amenities to keep you returning year after year, Quality Auto Care is ready to make your next service appointment an enjoyable one and remember, it’s our goal for each customer to drive off with a smile!

The Importance of Fuel Filter Maintenance

Your vehicle needs clean fuel to perform well. When your fuel is dirty, your fuel injectors can get clogged. If this happens, your engine might not get the correct amount of fuel to run well. Not only can this hamper your fuel economy driving around Wheat Ridge and surrounding areas, but it can also damage the valves in the combustion chamber due to harmful buildup.

This is the reason that all cars, trucks and SUV vehicles have a fuel filter that sits between the fuel tank and the engine. It is the job of the filter to keep dirt and other contaminants out of the fuel stream. Given the fuel filter’s role, it will get clogged with debris over time and need changed.
If your vehicle is sputtering at high speeds or when you accelerate quickly, it is quite possible that you need your fuel filter replaced.

Also, you may discover that you need more regular fuel filter changes as your vehicle ages. Over time, more rust and sediment will accumulate in the fuel tank and will find its way into the fuel system. It’s the fuel filter that helps to protect the expensive parts of the engine and you’re your fuel economy so it’s worth being proactive before you are stuck with a more costly, unanticipated repair.

Customer Testimonial
Quality Auto Care has the friendliest staff and I have enjoyed everyone that I have met! - Emily H.
Trust Quality
We have been family owned and operated since 1986. We are a AAA approved auto repair facility. We hope you will bring your SUV, 4x4, or car to our mechanics and become part of the Quality family!
Our Goals
- To provide you with the best quality car maintenance and repair service experience in the Wheat Ridge area
- To provide you with a good value for the services we perform and to respect your budget
- To be an active member in the Wheat Ridge community