K.C. Martin Auto Repair Blog
Spring has sprung everyone and although "Spring Cleaning" is the cliche, it's also a great time to "wake your car up" after the harsher weather of Northwest Winter. Here are 6 checks that you can make, or have your car repair specialist make. If you come in for any oil change or service KC Martin goes through and checks out all these areas for you. Do these yourself or at least double check that your service pro has checked off all these areas too!
- Price Of Diesel Vehicles - Simply put, diesel engines cost a bit more to manufacture as compared to gasoline-powered engines. Diesel's require a higher level of durability, they include some higher level technology, and also do more to keep cleaner emissions. Therefore, the cost of the diesel version of the same model of car or truck is typically more expensive.
- Fuel Efficiency and Costs - Diesel fuel is no longer cheaper than gasoline, as it once was. Now, unless you consistently purchase premium gasoline, you would see a difference in cost at the pump. That said, diesel engines are known for their fuel efficiency, and you should get 20-30 percent more miles per gallon on diesel fuel. In the end, a diesel owner will save money on fuel costs. Remember though, not ALL gas stations offer diesel fuel.
- POWER, Speed, Noisiness and Smoothness in the Ride - Here's where you can see that Diesel engines were so popular with commercial needs like towing, and trucking/hauling. The level of torque and thus power is greatly increased, and although acceleration is wonderful, speed is sacrificed. As the development of passenger vehicles has progressed, these things are being balanced and the differences are being evened out more and more. This is also the same with the traditional concern of diesels being noisy and the ride not being smooth enough. The ride continues to be increasingly smooth and less noisy, yet there is still a difference to be noticed in most vehicles.
- Maintenance and Repair Costs - It's probably best to keep thinking it's all about the same, when it comes to maintenance. Technically, diesel-fueled engines require less maintenance, mostly due to the lack of spark plugs and need for ignition tuneups. But repairs are generally more costly, so you cannot afford to procrastinate on the care of your diesel vehicle. It's best to be on-schedule and that is hard enough for people to do with any car or truck. Be prepared for that higher repair cost on diesels, but it's not drastically more money.
- Environmental Impact and Emissions - In general, it's about equal on environmental impact. You are using less non-renewable resources with diesel, but there are more pollutants (like soot and nitrous oxides) expelled when it comes to accelerating from a stop, like in city driving. The emissions though, didn't used to be able to pass US emission standards, but now run much more cleanly than they did just a few ears ago. Bio-diesel is an option, but it does affect your diesel engine's performance.
As we roll on with the New Year, there's still time to make one more set of New Year’s Resolutions—some important ones for your car. Every day you use and depend on the functionality of your car; a well-maintained car will keep you moving and save you money over big repair and overhaul costs. Are you ready to take good care of your car, so it can take great care of you in 2016?
How does a responsible car owner find the repair shops that can be trusted? We're lucky to have repeat customers and their families who have used us for generations. What about those that are newer to the Lynnwood area, how would they know that ours is a Lynnwood auto repair shop that they can trust and depend upon? Another major need of auto repair customers is checking on the "going rate" or proper charge for a particular auto repair job?
Well, for both concerns there is Repair Pal, and their site at repairpal.com. The site can give you a list of certified auto repair shops in your are (just put in your zip code and car make). But, even if you have repair shop in mind, you can get a head start on knowing what your repair may cost you. Enter the applicable information into their estimator, and you'll be on your way to finding a fair price range for that job.
KC Martin will appear on their list of certified repair shops for our general service area. We are proud of this certification, and we encourage our customers to look into using their estimator program. We've found that most of our prices are well within the price range that Repair Pal suggests as fair. Many of our job prices are on the low end of that price range that they've established, based upon national averages. If you should ever need to use another auto repair shop (say, on a road trip or something of that nature) it's a great tool to have. There is even a mobile app that you can download!
You may say, "I trust KC Martin, so I don't think I even need this site". Well, we'd first say thank you, but we'd add that for your friends and family in other parts of the state or other states, Repair Pal could be a valuable site to share with them. Also, we are offering an AARP discount as part of their program. Be sure to check out RepairPal.com today!
Thank you again for reading and we can't wait to see you at either of our wonderful shops - Auto Repair Mill Creek, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Shoreline, and Mount Lake Terrace can really trust!
It's time to talk about RELATIONSHIPS. Bet ya didn't see that one coming from this auto blog! Well, we're not talking about your love life. We're talking about the importance of looking for a mechanic or auto repair shop that you can stick with for the long haul. Why? Because the health of your vehicle and it's ability to last longer, with fewer breakdowns, has everything to do with keeping your repairs, servicing, and advising with a single trusted source.
In this day and age, folks get used to bidding out every single price for everything. We might be getting a little too used to approaching each need and in the case of our cars, each repair, with a "start from scratch" mentality. The truth is that your car mechanic is a lot more like a "family doctor" for your vehicles. Sometimes second opinions are necessary, sure, but most of the time it will benefit you to stick with one trusted source for the health of your family.
This is how KC Martin Automotive & Transmission has approached business for the past 65 years. In fact, the biggest factor in our 65 years of success, has been the creation of long-standing relationships with customers, their vehicles, and even their families. If you choose to follow us on Facebook or read comments on some of the review sites out there, you'll see a running theme---you will see more than a few comments about how they are second or even third generation customers of KC Martin. Of course we're proud of that, but more importantly it demonstrates the ability for an auto repair facility and staff to show savings and reliability over time.
Most other great auto repair shops out there (I'm sure we're not the ONLY good one--haha) would likely agree that you should find a mechanic that performs well, for a reasonable price, and build a level of trust. If they are not trustworthy, well, then you move on and try another shop/mechanic.
Ultimately, when you find that trustworthy expert who takes care of you correctly each time, and watches out for the long-term care of your cars and trucks, you will save yourself a ton of money. The right auto repair guys are the ones who you should be bringing your car to for every issue your vehicles have, unless it is a service they do not offer. In our case, we handle everything from wheel alignment, transmission repair, and even an oil change Lynnwood drivers have been trusting us with for decades. Over time, you should notice that your cars need less "fixing" and you will also have a tendency to be ahead of problems so they cost less than the big issues that may develop.
KC Martin Automotive feels that we win a ton of customers by our expertise and trustworthiness, providing maximum value. We want your business if you are looking for a dependable mechanic for the long haul, so we'd love for you to give us a shot. Who knows? Maybe we'll earn the business of your family for generations to come as well.
( In case you were wondering, we have folks come from all around, and outside of the Lynnwood area to use our service. So, whether it's Auto Repair Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds, or Shoreline folks are looking for, we're here to treat you and your car right!)
Oil changes are one of the first things we learn about when learning about maintaining our cars. Oil changes are right up there with learning how to change a flat tire, how to put fuel in the car, and keeping your vehicle clean. This basic act needs to happen for your car between 3,000-5,000 miles or every 3 months for the health of your engine.
Years ago, many folks changed their oil themselves. If you've priced the oil, the filter, and the tools/materials it takes, plus the time and disposal effort, you've seen that there is not even much savings to be had in going to all that trouble. How do auto shops charge so little for an oil change? The secret is that most shops are performing your oil change as a friendly service, and making nothing on the service.
It's great news for you in a sense. How nice of us all to offer this kind of pricing to the public. The other part of that secret, though, is that auto repair facilities are doing this to give you a reason to have your car seen and looked over by a trained professional. Many times vehicle-owners wait until something breaks or is significantly damaged to consider bringing their car in to the mechanic they trust. This way, your favorite mechanic gets the opportunity to save you money by recommending a "preventative" maintenance, which is usually much cheaper than waiting until something completely stops working.
Honestly, it's a double-win for customers. An oil change that they don't have to do themselves, and a chance to catch something before it becomes a problem. That's the secret! That's all. BUT, this news isn't nearly as great if you don't have a mechanic you can trust, if you're afraid that they will suggest work that doesn't need to be done, or if you simply take it to an under-qualified "quick-lube" place.
Our customers have come to know KC Martin for our straightforward approach, and a mindset that is interested in the long-term value for the customer. This is how we have kept folks coming back for over 65 years now.
Sometimes even our own customers look for an oil change in Edmonds WA or in Lynnwood and settle for a place that can do a quick and "easy" oil change. You must know that their motives are the same and they want to prescribe more work if they see anything that needs to be replaced. We must caution you, though, that these places are not usually qualified and certified like a true auto repair facility. In some cases, there are reports of these places attempting to suggest work or replacements that are not even necessary.
KC Martin simply wants to establish a COMPLETE relationship with our customers, so that you can get all of the value out of our service and your vehicle for years to come. Scheduling your oil change with us gets you FAR MORE than a simple lube, oil, and filter. It gets you a full inspection and the assurance that we will take care of problems before they become too costly. A cheap oil change may end up being just a little TOO cheap, if you remember that the secret about oil changes is that it's a big opportunity to inspect and understand your vehicle.
As we've mentioned, 2013 is KC Martin Automotive's 65th year in business. It would be a huge understatement to say that the world has changed a lot since 1948. Yet, KC Martin has continued to offer top quality products and service throughout the years. We've also grown with the times adapting to new methods and technology.
We thought it would be fun to look back at how the world has changed during the past six and a half decades.
For instance, in 1948,
- The average Cost of new house was $7,700.00
- Average wages per year: $2,950.00
- Cost of a gallon of Gas: 16 cents Average
- Cost of a new car: $1,250.00
- Loaf of Bread: 14 cents
- 1 lb. of Hamburger Meat: 45 cents
- The average Cost of new house: $12,750.00
- Average Monthly Rent: $92.00
- Average Yearly Wages: $4.600.00
- Cost of a gallon of Gas: 25 cents
- The average Cost of new house: $14,950.00
- Average Income per year: $7,850.00
- Average Monthly Rent: $130.00
- Gas per Gallon: 34 cents
- Average Cost of a new car: $2,822.00
- Movie Ticket: $1.50
- The Federal Hourly Minimum Wage: $1.60 an hour.
- The average age cost of new house: $54,800.00
- Average Income per year: $17,000.00
- Average Monthly Rent: $260.00
- Cost of a gallon of Gas: 63 cents
- 1LB of Bacon: $1.20
- Dozen Eggs: 48 Cents
- The average Cost of new house: $91,600
- Median Price Of and Existing Home: $90,600
- Average Income per year: $24,450.00
- Average Monthly Rent: $420.00
- Average Price for new car: $10,400.00
- 1 gallon of gas: 91 cents
- Movie Ticket: $3.50
- US Postage Stamp: 24 cents
- Dozen Eggs: 65 cents
- Average Income per year: $38,100.00
- Average Monthly Rent: $619.00
- Cost of a gallon of Gas: $1.15
- Average cost of new car: $17,200.00
- US Postage Stamp: 32 cents
- 1 LB of Bacon: $2.53
- 1 LB Hamburger meat: $1.40
- Loaf of Bread: $1.26
- Dozen Eggs: 88 cents.
- Average Cost of new house: $238,880.00
- Average Income per year: $40,523.00
- Average Cost for house rent: $800.00
- Average New Car: $27,958.00
- Cost of a gallon of Gas: $3.39
- US Postage Stamp: 42 cents.
- C Average Cost of new house: $234,500.00
- Average Income per year: $47,000.00
- Average Cost for house rent: $800.00
- Average New Car: $30,748
- Cost of a gallon of Gas: $3.38
- US Postage Stamp: 45 cents.
Also, here's a very interesting list of some of the advances since 1948. Gosh, some of these didn't seem like that long ago, but OH, how the time flies!
- 1948 Velcro ® invented
- 1949 Cake mix invented
- 1950 First credit card (Diners).
- 1951 Video tape recorder (VTR).
- 1952 The first patent for bar code issue
- 1953 Transistor radio.
- 1954 Ray Kroc started McDonalds
- 1955 Optic fiber invented.
- 1956 The first computer hard disk used
- 1957 Fortran (computer language) invented
- 1958 Computer modem invented
- 1959 The microchip invented
- 1960 The halogen lamp invented
- 1961 Non-dairy creamer
- 1962 Audio cassette
- 1963 Video disc
- 1964 Acrylic paint
- 1965 Compact disc
- 1966 Electronic Fuel Injection for cars
- 1967 Handheld calculator
- 1968 Computer mouse
- 1969 Barcode scanner
- 1970 Floppy disk
- 1971 VCR
- 1972 Word Processor
- 1973 Ethernet cable
- 1974 Post-it notes
- 1975 Laser printer
- 1976 Ink printer
- 1977 MR I
- 1978 Artificial heart
- 1979 Cell phone
- 1980 Vaccine for hepatitis B
- 1981 MS – DOS invented
- 1982 Human growth hormone
- 1983 Soft bifocal invented
- 1984 Apple Macintosh invented
- 1985 Microsoft windows
- 1986 Disposable camera and
- 1987 3-D video game
- 1988 Doppler radar
- 1989 High definition TV
- 1990 World Wide Web (WWW)
- 1991 Digital answering machine
- 1992 Nicotine patch
- 1993 Pentium processor
- 1994 Netscape navigator
- 1995 JAVA programming language
- 1996 Web TV
- 1997 Gas powered fuel-cell
- 1998 Viagra 1999 My Space introduced
- 2000 Transformer fluid from vegetable oil
- 2001 iPOD
- 2002 Bluetooth introduced
- 2003 Hybrid car
- 2004 Google enters stock market
- 2005 You Tube
- 2006 Pluto loses planet status
- 2007 iPhone
- 2008 HULU movie site introduced
- 2009 3D camera
- 2010 iPad
- 2011 The print brush
- 2012 Assisted walking device
- 2013 GPS luggage locating device
A lot has changed since 1948 but our commitment to providing the best auto repair and service has only improved with age. And, we continue to believe that we have been kept in business by the best collection of customers an auto repair shop could hope to have. KC Martin thanks all of our customers who have helped us grow our business over the years.
It's happened to all of us. You're driving along minding your own business when "K-THUD" you hit a pothole in the road. You didn't see it coming or you would have tried to avoid it. The first thought that races through your mind, "did anything break?"
As you move on, you eventually relax thinking that everything must be fine, you're still rolling along, right? There's no point in worrying, it was just a pothole, right?
Here's the problem, potholes often cause damage to cars ranging from knocking your car out of alignment to serious damage in the drive train or suspension. What makes matters worse, is that it could ultimately place you and your passengers at risk at some point if you don't make repairs.
[Read about the most state of the art Wheel Alignment Lynnwood WA offers!]
But how do you know whether your car as been damaged? Unless you have the knowledge and a shop to examine the underside of your vehicle, you won't know. Just because your car didn't stall or come to a halt, doesn't mean that everything is fine.
There are some warning signs that the Car Care Council has provided for you to consider (we found these on the carcare.org website: http://www.carcare.org/2013/03/potholes-pack-a-powerful-punch/ ). Loss of control or swaying when you drive, the vehicle pulling in one direction instead of remaining straight, and also low tire pressure with bulges or blisters in the sidewalls of your tire, are all warning signs that could hint at an issue, but until a professional looks at it, you won't know for sure what is going on.
Potholes can be dangerous. When you hit one, the tendency is to ignore the possibility of damage. Why? Because it's a hassle to take it in to be checked out, and it's probably expensive to do. The answer to both of those concerns is that it doesn't have to be that way. If you are diligent about getting your car in for oil changes and factory recommended service, then you can rest assured that we are examining your car for these types of issues, every time we get a chance to look at it.
KC Martin offers expert service in detecting damage due to potholes or other objects that may damage your car from below. We can do it without a hassle and without great expense. And, usually we do this for our customers when they are in here for anything else---mufflers, brakes,....whatever! If your car has sustained damage, we'll provide you with a complete estimate at a reasonable price.
If you hit a pothole (or many of them) and notice issues with your wheel alignment, steering, or suspension, consider bringing your car to us the next time and avoid the subtle danger they present And, at very least, make sure you get your cars into us regularly and stay up on your oil changes and servicing, so that we have the opportunity to run all of these kind of regular checks for you!