K.C. Martin Auto Repair Blog
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!
As a member of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), both KC Martin auto shops in Lynnwood WA are participating in their special "Don't Drip & Drive - Fix that Leak!" program all through the month of April. The program allows all of our customers the opportunity to come in and get a free Leak Check (by appointment), and also, there is a printable 10% off coupon (up to $50), should you need any leak repair work! Click here for this and many more Auto Repair Coupons Lynnwood!
On the ASA of Washington website, there is a full explanation of what the leak check program is about: "Not only does fixing vehicle leaks help you care for your car, over the long run, it also is good for our environment. Our cars and trucks release an estimated 7 million quarts of motor oil into the Puget Sound basin every year. Think about it, 7 million quarts of oil wasted each year!
"The Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities (STORM) consortium has taken the lead on communicating 'fixing vehicle leaks' as a best practice as a part of the Puget Sound Starts Here campaign. The STORM consortium includes members from 80+ local jurisdictions, with supporting efforts by another 400 agencies and organizations through the Puget Sound Partnership's regional ECONetworks."
KC Martin is glad to help our customers, the ASA, and the environment by performing this amazingly FREE service for the month of April. You can feel free to combine this with an oil change service, tune-up, brake repairs, alignment, or whatever your car may need when you decide to make an appointment. Remember to print off the 10% coupon, and we can make sure to keep ahead of any major repairs that a leak in your system could cause.
Everyone is trying to save money these days. When it comes to car care and maintenance one of the first casualties of cost saving is the oil change. Most people realize that there are good reasons for changing their oil on a regular basis, but do you know exactly why it's so important? Here are five good reasons:
1. It increases engine lubrication: Imagine all those moving parts, pistons, valves, and other engine parts moving at high rates of speed. It creates intense heat and without proper lubrication, your engine wear increases dramatically.
2. Regulates engine operating temperature: Again, moving metal parts creates heat. Proper lubrication helps to absorb engine heat.
3. Removes engine wear particles: Dirt is deadly to engines. Over time dirt can cause corrosion and decrease the life of your engine. Regular oil changes help to eliminate particles. Obviously, replacing the filter helps as well.
4. Removes engine sludge: Oil breaks down over time and turns to "sludge." Again the name of the game with oil changes is to keep your engine clean. Regular oil changes helps remove sludge and keeps your engine running at peak engine operating efficiency.
5. Reduce engine friction: Heat is the enemy of every engine. Moving parts that lack proper lubrication create friction, which in turn creates heat. Oil is the perfect solution to prevent over heating of the engine.
BONUS REASON!!! If you like and trust your mechanic (as we know Lynnwood and Edmonds WA Auto Repair cutstomers do with KC Martin!), every oil change is an opportunity to have your mechanic check all of your vital systems and recommend small repairs before they turn into BIG repairs. So, give us the chance to show you full service with your Oil Change Lynnwoood WA !
(Read more: Why Change the Oil in a Car? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_5084190_change-oil-car.html#ixzz2LMTAHsPX )
Oh, by the way, there's a lot of debate over when to change your oil. The American Auto Association (AAA) recommends changing your oil every 5,000 miles or so. That's good news for your budget. AAA says the recommendation for changing oil ever 3,000 miles by oil servicing businesses is unnecessary. The best "middle-ground" plan might be to note 3,000 miles and start thinking about scheduling an oil change at KC Martin Auto Repair. That way you have a little "grace period" for you and your car. In the case of an older model care you may choose to change your oil at the 3,000 mile mark, but for newer cars it isn't quite as necessary. (For more info go to: http://www.fenderbender.com/FenderBender/October-2010/AAA-Change-oil-every-5000-7000-miles/ )
So, in Lynnwood Auto Repair, Edmonds Auto Repair, and Mill Creek Auto Repair shops do some blogging as well. Most sites provide safety info for drivers like we do. Driving tips for emergencies, education on areas of your vehicle to maintain, and materials/supplies to make sure you have at all times.
Well, to switch things up a little, we thought about turning to the other side of things, and something we ALL have to do from time to time--Walking. Most of us are "drivers" but ALL of us have to be pedestrians from time to time. Are there any good tips on Pedestrian safety? There sure are!
We found a great list that we wanted to share and give credit to. You can find the original list at Walkinginfo.org. On their site, they group us all together, pedestrians AND drivers as "road users"---it makes sense. It's a great list, especially if you want to go over it with little ones. We usually only see these lists around Halloween for Trick-or-Treaters and such. But we wanted to give it some attention for the rainy dusky times still ahead.
Here are their safety tips for pedestrians (with a few notes from us):
Be safe and be seen: make yourself visible to drivers.
- Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
- Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Cross in a well-lit area at night.
- Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
(Making sure you can be seen is SO important, and yet, probably the most overlooked concept. Don't assume you can be seen and avoided easily--take every precaution you can!)
Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behaviors.
- Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
- Don't assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
- Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road.
- Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
(Gotta reiterate how important "making eye-contact" with drivers really is. Doing so will let you know right away if the driver is truly attentive to you or not. Once again, DON'T EVER ASSUME! Also, don't assume that you can stop being careful at crosswalks with crossing signals either, stay alert.)
Be careful at crossings: look before you step!
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
- Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON'T WALK signs.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
- Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
- Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Just because one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
- Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
Here's hoping you will read and follow these guidelines. KC Martin hopes to continue to help keep Snohomish County drivers safe, but also to make our communities safer as well. And, for Auto repair Snohomish County drivers have been using for years.....we're not bad at that either---haha. Give us a call if you need anything! 425-778-1177 (Oil Changes, Brakes, Alignments,....nothing we don't want to take care of for you and your car!)
As a dependable Auto Repair Shop, it's a dilemma we see a lot. When faced with major repair estimate, many folks are forced to begin thinking about abondoning their current vehicle altogether. Everybody knows that the economy has been less-than-favorable for the past few years. You may, though, want to consider some other factors before you decide to "jump ship" on your current car. Repairing your car and keeping it running just might be a more economical option.
In an article from earlier this year (find it at: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/05/why-used-car-prices-will-stay-high-for-years/1 ) entitled, "Why used-car prices are going to stay high for years", the author outlines a number of reasons why good used cars aren't quite as inexpensive as they once were. Generally, there are fewer cars in circulation now, and this was even before Hurricane Sandy destroyed thousands of cars in the northeast. Also, less car-leasing, means less used cars going out there, but reasonable new car prices started pushing the demand for used cars back down.
It all ads up to high used car prices for now and the foreseeable future. Other sources are hopeful that used car prices will come back down, but no one is certain. Our point would be that the most economical choice may actually be to repair your current vehicle, instead of looking for a used car somewhere. PLUS, you know the history and what IS NOT wrong with your current vehicle. There's always a chance that your next major repair is the last one you'll need for many years. Getting a used car from somewhere else always has the possibility of turning into another major repair situation.
Of course, taking care of your vehicle on a regular basis is always going to be the best way operate. Avoiding major work, means that you don't even have to consider being back "in the market" for a car. Our Lynnwood and Edmonds WA Auto Repair customers have come to expect that we are looking out for what's best with our customers' vehicles. In fact, we'll usually let you know if we think that your car may not be worth repairing--and if you ask, we're honest enough to tell ya. Bringing your car to us on a regular basis for all of your servicing, oil changes, alignments, brakes and more, is the best way to ensure you get all of the life you can out of your car and avoid major repairs.
On the other hand, if you DO plan to buy a used vehicle, you can always bring it to us to have it inspected before the sale is final. We'd love to be of service to you.
Are you noticing your car pull to one side or are you experiencing uneven wear on your tires? You may need a proper wheel alignment. On average, you should have your alignment checked every 6 months to a year. Proper wheel alignment is important for getting the most life out of your car's tires. K.C. Martin Automotive handles wheel alignment Lynnwood WA customers can depend on. We're happy to provide Wheel Alignment Services along with our complete Auto Services. We'll Align your wheels to keep your tires in good shape!
Many of our customers forget that we can take care of the "smaller" vehicle maintenance jobs like oil changes, brakes, and alignments, and that is a real tragedy. For us, it's about being able to ensure the maximum performance and maximum life of your vehicle. This is why our auto repair shop in Lynnwood WA has purchased State of the art Wheel Alignment equipment.
K.C Martin makes sure to check tire pressure, check tire wear, and inspect your current alignment via proper testing. We can provide alignment readings that will let us know exactly what to adjust and fix when it comes to the camber, caster, and toe angles. It's important to get your car back to manufacturer specifications and the we can get you back on the road. Getting your vehicle aligned properly gets all of your wheels pointing in a straight line, which reduces resistance, vibrations and irregular tire wear, which will increase your car's fuel efficiency.
We always Road Test your wheel alignment and make sure we've got it right. If you're going to anyone for wheel alignment service, you need to make sure that they are taking it for a drive before they tell you it's "done". For us, we even rotate your tires, properly inflate your tires, and perform a quick brake check while we're at it.
Don't hesitate, call today and make sure you get the kinds of wheel alignment service Lynnwood WA customers have been receiving from KC Martin for over 60 years!
Emissions tests are a frustratingly necessary part of our lives as vehicle owners in Washington State. Thankfully, it only comes around every two years, and if you have a mechanic that you can trust to keep your vehicle operating successfully, then you should have no concerns.
If you happen to fail an emissions test, you will have to find a certified repair shop to take care of the emissions repairs, or at very least, to do enough work to qualify for a waiver. Our shop is approved by the State of Washington to repair your vehicle after a failed emission test. If you have failed an emissions test, please, call us and schedule an appointment right away! Preferably before your tabs have expired.
VERY IMPORTANT. PLEASE READ: If you have not yet had taken your vehicle through emission testing, but you have a "check engine" light on, you SHOULD NOT bring your vehicle to anyone just yet. What you need to do is go ahead and put your vehicle through testing and expect it to fail. THEN schedule service with us to have the vehicle's issue corrected and get your emissions repairs right after.
The reason you need to have it tested first is because any repairs made BEFORE the first test cannot be applied toward the waiver amount ($150). But, after an initial fail and that waiver amount (or more) is paid to an approved auto repair company, you are "waived" through, even if you still have a check engine light showing. Ultimately doing this in this order gives YOU more options for how you want to handle your vehicle.
If it happens that you try to get an issue corrected BEFORE you go to get your test done, and THEN your car fails that emission test, the amount you already spent on emissions repairs will not allow you to qualify for the waiver. We don't want anyone to be "kicking themselves" out there due to this common misunderstanding. KC Martin kinda prides itself on being a source of valuable information for drivers in our area. Lynnwood folks have been bringing their vehicles to us for years, of course, but we have also repaired cars and help customers who have failed Edmonds WA emissions testing, and Mill Creek isn't too far away from our two shops.....we've have MANY customers drive to us from Mill Creek emissions repairs!
We hope that bit of advice has helped, and maybe you would consider giving us a little credit for the friendly tip. We're always here for you and your vehicle concerns, and we really love to help, even if you just have some questions about the emissions test process. Go ahead and give us a call!
Lastly, If your vehicle is NOT due for an emission test, but the "check engine" light is coming on, please follow the directions highlighted on our Warning Lights Page, and try to get it in to us as soon as possible to avoid any further damage.
Sure, we're all used to going back to the dealership to get our regular servicing these days. And, for shops like ours that have a long history of performing quality auto repair for Lynnwood folks, it's time that we let you in on a little secret.....
KC Martin Automotive can service any make or model of vehicle, but when it comes to Honda Service, we can be considered a Honda Specialist of sorts. Lots of people think that if they own a Honda under warranty that they need to take it back to the dealership for service in order to maintain the warranty. That simply isn't true. We can Lynnwood Honda owners have been bringing their cars to us for 30K, 60K, or 90K servicing for many years! We KNOW Honda Auto Repair!
With well over 60 years in business and many long term mechanic employees, we have become just as fast and efficient with Honda Auto repairs as any Honda specialist in Lynnwood WA. Even Lynnwood Japanese Auto repair places aren't going to outperform KC Martin on Honda Auto Repair.
Not convinced that you should just bring your car by? Well, if you have any questions about our ability to service or repair your Honda Car, just give us a call. We can show you that we know what we are talking about. Lynnwood Honda Auto Repair may be only one of the many brands we service, but we promise to keep you moving with just as much expertise as any other Lynnwood Auto Shop.
If you already have used and enjoyed our service, this is great news, because it mean that you don't have to work with a totally different shop. Take your Honda in to us the next time you need something fixed or a regular maintenance service, and we will demonstrate how we can be your mechanic for Honda and any other Make of vehicle.
Are you a AAA member? Did you know that October is Car Care Month? Well, if you ARE a member, but didn't know it's a special month for car care, then hurry up and get with the program before time runs out!
You should have received a $30 off coupon in the mail from AAA that can be used at participating shops. Well, we're a participating shop, and in case you missed your coupon in the mail, we wanted to make it easy for ya to get back in on this special deal. Just head to our site and print off this coupon . Then bring your car in before the end of October to receive you savings.
Come and get your car looked-over and be even more prepared for the cold, wet months ahead. We look forward to seeing ya, but get movin, car care month is almost over and this $30 offer will be tossed away, like an old Jack-O-Lantern.
We, in the Lynnwood and Edmonds areas sure have been blessed with an extension on our summer weather, and even as the temperatures get a little cooler, we are continuing to keep sunshine in the regular forecast. That's a little rare for us to be experiencing this well into October. Pretty nice, right?
Well, cold weather isn't going to stay away too much longer, and the months ahead are an especially tough test for your car or truck. There are quite a few things you can do to get your car ready---better yet, bring your car to us to help! We didn't want you to simply take OUR word for it, so we found this article on The Today Show's website (link to by clicking here) , and we will summarize what contributor Laura T. Coffey writes.
Remember that most or all of the maintenance and readiness measures for your car are easily handled by professionals like us who do this for a living. We usually have a special for keeping your car up to par for these things. Check our Coupons and Specials page for our latest offer. We commonly do an oil change combined with everything you need to cover the needs and tips listed below---how perfect, huh?!
Tip #1: Get The "right kind of oil change". Laura points out that you cannot afford to procrastinate on any 30K, 60K, or 90K mile full servicing. KC Martin Automotive can provide that for any make or model of car---and we'll be able to do it to factory standards, so that your warranty is not voided. She also bring up the great point about making sure to us the right viscosity of oil for your car and your climate. We'll be able to double check this with you and get it right every time.
Tip #2: Make sure you can see. Windshield wipers are hardly ever replaced as often as they should be. This is such an important safety measure. Also, making sure you have plenty of washer fluid---not just plain water--is very important. KC Martin checks all fluids when we service your car, and we are always glad to replace your wiper blades for you.
Tip #3: Give your batter a little TLC. Check the posts and connections and make sure they are corrosion-free. They also suggest having a repair shop test it's ability to hold a charge if you’ve had it for more than 3 years---great advice! We can do that for you.
Tip #4: Examine your belts and hoses. This one is HUGE, but we think it's better to have a professional look these over. We've saved many of our customers a lot of hassles by examining and warning them of issues with these before they become a disastrous problem.
Tip #5: Check your tire pressure. We’ll check them for you when you come in---every time you come in, but you should know how to check the pressure and how to inflate them properly, when necessary. This is a safety AND a fuel-efficiency tip.
Tip #6: Think about switching to snow tires. Self explanatory, but you've got to think about traction and if you can survive the conditions and hills you normally drive. All-season tires may be enough, but there are cases that you may need to look into studded tires and such.
Tip #7: Check the status of your four-wheel drive system if you need to. Be sure to test out if it engages and disengages easily.
Tip #8: Get the antifreeze mixture just right. This can be critical. If you're unsure of what to do to get this correct, you can always call KC Martin to help. We check and fill this on most services as well.
Tip #9: Prepare an emergency kit. (We will do a blog post on this later on---if you want to see what they suggest for a kit, then follow the link to their main article above) Mainly, you need to make sure you can survive a breakdown in the cold, in the dark, and possibly out on country roads and such.
Tip #10: Know what to do if you get stranded. We will provide more safety tips for these situations in some of our later blog posts. The tips we wanted to outline are those that you need to prepare your vehicle for.
We've been serving the Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mill Creek, and Mukilteo areas with quality auto repair for over 60 years. Transmission problems, Engine issues, alternators, etc. are areas auto repair that our customers, their parents, and their grandparents even, trusted us to handle for them.
Recently, we overheard a customer say, "Oh, I didn't know you guys could do my oil change too!" Yes sir, we can do your oil change for you too! Many of the "quick change" places offer a "cheap oil change" but really, they're going to inspect and try to fix other things on your vehicle. There's nothing wrong with giving you an honest inspection, but wouldn't you rather have an experienced and prepared AUTO REPAIR place handle those bigger fixes? Wouldn't it be better to bring your car to ASE certified technicians, as opposed to folks that really are only trained to change your oil and top of your fluids "in a jiffy".
Bring your vehicle to us for your next oil change and we will do a complimentary inspection, fill your tires, check and fill your fluids, but on top of that, we'll be prepared to check for the bigger issues. If you've come to us for any past fixes at all, you'll know that we want to do only what's necessary to keep you safely and efficiently on the road. We keep all of your records in our computer, and why not keep your oil change service on record with us as well?
In this day and age, we know that you don't have a lot of time to worry about your car, but we think one way to make that easier for yourself is to have ONE car specialist that you can trust. We've been that car specialist for families all over the Lynnwood and surrounding areas for over 60 years. Trusting your oil changes to us isn't really a big step at all, just a very logical one. And we repeat, YES we do oil changes as well! (ha, ha, ha!)
We commonly have specials where we throw a few extra things in (check our coupon page here!). Our seasonal specials throw in tire rotation, battery tests, brake inspection and some extra inspections for one low price! So, get much more for your appointment at KC Martin!
Why settle for JUST an oil change Lynnwood WA? Bring your car to us for an oil change and let an auto repair professional make sure that you are TRULY GOOD TO GO!
We've noticed a little trend with some of our valuable customers over the past few years. For some reason, there seems to be a higher demand for auto service to be done "quickly". It's understandable, I guess. We've all got busy lives, and heck, these days we get things faster than ever---everything is on-demand and we rarely have to wait for anything anymore. Even we wish we could have your car figured out accurately in a moment and have it fixed as fast as possible. Unfortunately, it's not so simple, and good, accurate diagnosis takes time. We've got to be accountable for the work we do on your car and do the work that is necessary to fix the problem. If we rush.......lots of issues could arise.
It's a tough subject, so we went and found another auto shop (in Montana) that had a blog post on the same subject. Loren's Auto Repair Posted an article (Link to it here) entitled, "Why rushing Diagnosis is a Bad Idea". Their article states that patience is important when it comes to repairing a car. There's a lot that goes into getting a proper diagnosis, and that takes time. Donna Wagner, President of the Car Care Council has a great quote in this article, stating, "While it's true that today's vehicles are equipped with computers, digital dashboards, oxygen sensors and more, there's still a lot of old fashioned patience that goes into repairing a car." Well said.
This article goes on to mention that it is important to give your auto mechanic accurate information about the problem and what service or repairs have recently been done on that area of the car.
Our hope and our goal is to make the right fix, the first time. Sometimes that takes and extra road test, and at times there is a process to repairing a vehicle that requires stages and letting a vehicle cool down after testing it, for instance. Trust us, making you wait is not something we want to do if we can help it. Hopefully, after using our shop for a repair to your vehicle, you'll admit that it is well worth the wait to be absolutely DONE with the problem you were experiencing.
As a side note, if you are having a rough time getting around without your vehicle while it is being fixed, you might want to check into using one of our courtesty rental vehicles. We offer this rental service, because we want you to be able to wait while we do what we do best.
Remember, we are on the same team. You need your car running right, and we're in business to get it there----it's better for both of us if it's done correctly, and we'll do our best to get it done in a timely manner, but please, be patient with the process.
So, it's nothing flashy, but here we are starting a brand new blog over here at K.C. Martin Automotive. You may have already checked out the blog for our Transmission Repair shop. If not, you can see the Transmission Repair Blog site here!
Both blogs will express similar core values to how the K.C. Martin family seeks to serve you and will give tips on all types of auto care topics. Sometimes, we even take questions that we get from our customers and blog about them here, so that our auto repair customers can be even better informed!
We are proud to served Lynnwood, and surrounding areas, like Edmonds, Bothell, Shoreline, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, etc with dependable auto service AND NOW this blog as well. We hope you find something interesting to make your reading time worthwhile.
Stay Tuned, we will have a new blog post up VERY SHORTLY! Thanks for following us here!