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Honest, Reliable and Informed Auto Repairs & Services Since 1979

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115 Chestnut St., Clinton MA 01510

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Quality work

Take a Look At Our Frequently Asked Questions

Serving Clinton, MA and the surrounding area. You can count on the professionals at Guaranty Auto Sales & Service. We'll provide you with quality automotive services. Trust in our experienced professionals for a customer friendly and refreshing experience!

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Q: Can't you just hook the vehicles' computer to that machine that tells you what is wrong with it?

 

A: Modern vehicles are complex and have dozens of components and sensors to detect various problems your vehicle might have. These sensors discover that there is something amiss. When our technicians hook up the solar sensor to your vehicle's computer, we are given a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC). While these codes simplify diagnosis, they often do not pinpoint exactly what is wrong but rather give the technician a general 'area' in which the trouble code came from and a place to start. The technician must then physically and visually examine the area to detect the problem!

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In addition, we may notice during a repair that there is something else that may need replacing or, another common circumstance would be rusty/frozen parts.  For example, when replacing leaking brake lines, it is quite common in New England to have frozen/locked/rusted bleeder screws.  Sometimes we can lube and/or heat them but not always and sometimes they break when trying to get them out, thus having to be replaced.

 

It’s no surprise; rusty bleeder screws (and other under carriage parts such as calipers, wheel cylinders and suspension parts) usually get rusted from being exposed to salt. In northern states affected by snowy winter conditions, these parts quite often come into contact with salt on roads used for de-icing and can make replacement necessary to complete a job.  It's precisely situations like these that can drive a repair bill up.

 

Estimates are given on "ideal" replacement conditions of the parts being replaced.  The older your vehicle, the less service it may or may not have had over the years, the more time on the roads all are contributing factors to the cost.

 

If your repair is going to vary significantly (more than $50) from our initial estimate every attempt is made to contact you before proceeding with the additional repairs.

 

You should know that under Massachusetts Law, the actual repair bill may vary up to $50.00 from the estimate received for incidentals mentioned in the first paragraph.

 

Q: What does the "Check Engine" Light mean?

 

A:Your "Check Engine Light" comes on when a sensor in your vehicle alerts the computer that there is a problem somewhere with the vehicle. Most people panic when they see this light and think their vehicle is going to have a major break down when realistically, the light can come on for any number of reasons and does not necessarily mean your vehicle will break down. When this light comes on, it's a good idea to take the vehicle to a reputable repair shop to have the Diagnostic Trouble Code read. If your vehicle seems to be running fine, it probably is and isn't an emergency to take it right away but do have the DTC read in a timely manner to avoid complications or more costly repairs due to ignoring the light.

 

Q: Why are my brakes squealing / making noise?

 

A: Simple answer? I don't know. Sounds funny doesn't it? The truth is, until we take a look we can't tell you. What we can tell you is that there are many reasons brakes will make noises and not always do you even need any repairs to your brakes because they make noise.

 

First, understand that a high-pitched scraping or squealing noise that goes away when you step on the brake may be telling you that the brake pads are worn - but only with brake pads that have wear sensors attached. Note that a grinding, metal-against-metal sound when braking indicates that it's too late: Your brake pads or shoes are completely worn away, and you are now ruining the rotors or drums. You should have gotten the brakes checked earlier! Now, Feel the brake pedal. If it is soft or mushy or gets harder and higher when you pump it, you might need to bleed the brakes (which gets air bubbles out of the brake lines). Note that if the brake pedal slowly sinks to the floor when you step on it (or intermittently), you might be in need of a new brake master cylinder. Drive the car at low speed, braking as needed. If the brakes squeal, you might need new brake pads, or the brake rotors might need to be resurfaced or machined. Understand that if the car pulls to one side when braking, you might have insufficient hydraulic pressure in one part of the brake system, or one brake might be sticking. Front-end problems can also cause this symptom. Consider your rotors if you feel a pulsation when stepping on the brake pedal, particularly when braking at higher speeds. This symptom may indicate warped brake rotors. The rotors will need to be either machined or replaced. Remember that smoking brakes, usually accompanied by a very bad smell, indicate a stuck brake caliper or wheel cylinder. This symptom may also be caused by driving with the hand brake on or by a stuck hand-brake cable.

 

Q: The Dealer told me told that I am required to bring the car back to the dealer for all maintenance and repairs or my manufacturer’s warranty will be voided. Is this true?

 

A: NO! It is actually prohibited by Federal Law for a new car dealer to either deny warranty service or even imply that warranty service will be voided if servicing or repairs are not performed at the dealership.

 

The law is the Magnuson-Moss Act of 1975, Title 15, Chapter 50, Section 2301-2312.

 

A complete version of the Magnuson Moss Act can be found at www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/warranty.htm. A Google Search on the Magnuson-Moss Act will also bring up many Web sites that explain this Federal Code in less legal terms.

 

The new car owner manuals also tell you that your vehicle’s maintenance, replacement or repair of the emission control devices, etc. may be performed by any automotive repair establishment or individual without invalidating the manufacturers’ warranty. Look under Vehicle Maintenance and Care, Maintenance Providers, Where to Go for Service and Replacement Parts, just to name a few areas in the manuals where you will find this confirmed.

 

Have you ever wondered how well a vehicle is being serviced at a facility whose primary purpose is to sell you a new car every 3 – 5 years? You may prefer a service provider such as Guaranty Auto that wants to develop a long-term relationship with you and help your vehicle stay healthy for 10 years or more.

 

Q: What is a Tune up and what is included in one?  Is it different from vehicle to vehicle?

 

A: The term "tune-up" dates to the time when Henry Ford was making his first automobiles. In Ford's ignition system, there was one ignition coil for each spark plug. If there were four spark plugs, there were four ignition coils, which needed to be adjusted to provide the same spark intensity for better idle and acceleration. As these ignition coils worked, they made a buzzing sound, and when they were adjusted properly, they all buzzed in "tune."

 

The term "tune-up" stuck and became associated with replacing spark plugs and wires as well as correcting rough idle problems affecting the engine performance.

 

Once the distributor was developed, the term "tune-up" had no meaning, but consumers and Technician's still use this term and it is still associated with poor running quality and the need for a "tune-up."

 

Today's automobiles do not require "tune-ups." The term indicates the need for routine maintenance.  Automobile manufacturers have developed recommended routine maintenance schedules, which specify intervals for replacing spark plugs, PVC valves, fuel filters, Distributor Cap and Rotor, etc. These schedules also specify intervals for checking or adjusting ignition timing, idle speed and other items related to engine operations, as well as emission control related devices.

Q: Why is my bill more/less than my estimate?

 

A: Often technicians run into situations when repairing a vehicle that can add dollars to our estimate. Consider that during a repair a clamp, bolt or other miscellaneous part(S) may be necessary. When filling fluids, we cannot estimate the exact amount of fluids that a particular vehicle will take. All sorts of small 'incidentals' can arise when replacing parts.