Saturday, April 30, 2016

Be in Control of Your Steering and Suspensions

The most important control mechanism in your car, as a driver, is the steering wheel. The cozy and smooth ride that you enjoy is usually the product of good steering and a good suspension system. Many people also don't know that a broken suspension system can affect the steering wheel which means the problems you're experiencing with the steering wheel might have originated from the suspension system.

More importantly, both of these parts play a critical role in your car: good steering ensures that a car is safe for the occupants, while the suspension makes the passengers comfortable and keeps the car from falling apart a lot faster. This is why the steering and the suspension should be checked regularly.

Steering Wheel Problems

When there are problems with the steering wheel, the car may pull itself in a particular direction. The wheel can also shake as you drive which can make it harder for you to keep the entire vehicle along your intended path. At other times, the steering may completely get locked in a single position, making it impossible to steer. This, of course, can result in immediate and catastrophic disaster in cases where the car ends up veering off the road at high speeds. A steering wheel that is in perfect working order will make steering more accurate, safe and reliable. Other steering wheel issues include fluid leakages and overly tight belts.

Steering problems can be caused by a broken suspension system. A vibrating wheel is also usually the most obvious indication that the wheels are loose or unbalanced. This is why a steering problem requires such immediate and serious attention. It is usually a sign that things are terribly wrong in another part of the car.

Suspension Problems

When the suspension system has issues, your car will not handle bumps and rough roads as well as it generally should, and the tires will wear out unevenly. You might also hear noises when you go over bumpy surfaces. You might ignore the problem thinking that your car can hold out for some time before you visit the garage, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. A suspension problem often causes problems in other parts of the car. In general, your car will wear down much faster, which means ignoring suspension problems will eventually result in more visits to the garage than necessary over time.

If you are someone who expects the very best performance from your car, there is no choice but to have your car undergo a thorough inspection of the suspension and the steering wheel to ensure that they are in perfect condition. Essentially, steering wheels and suspension systems are important for cars because they ensure safety and comfort for the passengers, longevity for the car, and a considerably reduced maintenance budget. Be in control of your car's steering and suspension system through regular inspections, and you will be certain to enjoy its life of service.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What Our Customers Our Saying

"These guys are great! Customer service is tops. When I left my car for service they drove me back to work, AND they picked me up when my car was ready.

Even more important is they know what they're doing, and they're honest.

My car had been making a quiet tapping noise that would come and go. It had been doing this for years. I was told by a Nissan dealership that my car needed work on the axle bearings, which would cost $600 plus. When the noise suddenly became loud and grinding I took my car to Alex's. They took a look under the car and quickly discovered the problem. The toggles holding up the parking brake cables were gone, and the cables were hitting against the drive shaft. Marks on the drive shaft showed this had been going on for a long time. The repair cost less than $100!

I found Alex's on Yelp and went there because of the 5 star reviews. Well deserved. So I'm adding another five star review. I will never take my car anywhere else"

Peg J., Feb. 23, 2012

“I had my car brought in after I was surprised with a check engine light. They were kind and courteous.

The good stuff is all true. Been in Benicia and going here for 20 years. Since the "Alex" retired there has been no drop off in service or integrity. They are very honest. I brought in a broke down beater. The fix would have been $800. They suggested it was not worth it. Rather than charge for the diagnostic and toss me the keys, they offered to facilitate car donation to KQED! They took care of everything. I saved $200 in taxes"

Mikey M., April 22, 2012

Sunday, April 24, 2016

April's Adopt-a-Pet Service

Adopt a pet during the month of April, 2016 and receive a FREE oil service from Alex's Automotive. Be sure to bring your adoption papers in during sign in and we will be happy to provide an oil service.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

5 Common Auto Repairs To Expect

In this technological age, cars are advanced and have a lot of modern parts that involve electronics as well as the standard parts. While considering all the advantages of a new or used car purchase, you should at some point think about the long-term maintenance costs that will arise if you choose to keep the vehicle.

According to a variety of auto manufacturers, ranging from Chevrolet to Mercedes-Benz, there are some auto repairs that are more likely than others. Some of these auto repairs are costly, so it is better to slowly save for these eventual repair instead of being caught off-guard.

Common Fixes That You May Encounter

Tires - Yes, tires do have to be replaced on occasion, and they can be quite expensive. The average set of tires last two to four years, so you will actually replace them more often than any other car component. A good set of tires can cost anywhere from $400 to $600, with larger tires or truck tires costing more. Damaged rims from potholes or hitting curbs are also common, and they are not a cheap replacement either.

Brakes - Brakes are an essential part of your vehicle and do require periodic replacement. Replacing front and rear brakes can cost several hundred dollars, depending on the vehicle, it can even reach into the thousands. If you can do it yourself, you'll save you a lot of money.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) - Like any advanced technology TPMS can be helpful. But it can also be a thorn in your side. If the light comes on for no reason, it is usually a sensor problem. The sensor itself can cost $100 or more, especially if you order the part from a dealer.

Timing Belts - While they don't require frequent changes, they are expensive replacements. The part doesn't cost much, but the cost of labor often hurts.

Suspension components - While they don't require frequent replacements, they can wear out after tens of thousands of miles or after absorbing many potholes or bumps while traveling. Your suspension does not involve just shocks or struts. It also consists of several smaller pieces that can break or wear out, including bushings, tie-rod ends, and bearings. The kind of vehicle you have often impacts the lifespan of these parts.

Getting these items repaired at a dealership service center usually raises the price of the repair significantly. If possible, check a local repair shop for pricing. Lastly, don't feed into the myth that your vehicle's warranty is voided if a repair is made by an independent shop. Instead, read the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

For More Than 40 Years, Alex’s Automotive has Proudly Served Benicia and the Surrounding Area

Our family owned and operated business is based on family values and treating our customers with the upmost respect. The team at Alex’s Automotive believes that customer satisfaction is our top priority and feel it is the key to our success.

Day in and day out, our dedicated team of professionals put forth every effort to provide the best service we can and eliminate problems before, during and after the repairs are made. Our goal is to make your visit to Alex’s Automotive positive and we promise to never lose sight of it.

In addition to our 24 month/24,000 mile in-house warranty and Napa Auto Care nationwide warranty, we offer local car pick up by arrangement, as well as, free local customer shuttle service. Alex’s Automotive - proudly serving generations of customers in Benicia and the surrounding area since 1969.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Only 1 Pickup Earns Top Safety Rating - IIHS News

Ford F-­150 is the only pickup to earn top safety rating for small overlap protection

RUCKERSVILLE, Va. — Three out of seven large pickup trucks evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in a new round of crash tests earn an acceptable or higher rating for occupant protection in a small overlap front crash.

IIHS evaluated two body styles of each 2016 model-­year pickup — crew cab and extended cab. Crew cabs have four full doors and two full rows of seating. Extended cabs have two full front doors, two smaller rear doors and compact second-­row seats.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April's Adopt-a-Pet Service

Adopt a pet during the month of April, 2016 and receive a FREE oil service from Alex's Automotive. Be sure to bring your adoption papers in during sign in and we will be happy to provide an oil service.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Standard Safety Gear Makes Early Debut | Consumer Reports

Acura and Toyota take the lead by providing forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking as standard equipment well ahead of the voluntary deadline in 2022.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Is My Car In Alignment?

Bad roads can be your alignments worst enemy. If you live in an area with poorly maintained roads, with many pot holes, your alignment can be affected in a negative way.

Even the smallest alignment issue can cause uneven and premature tire wear. Be sure to have your alignment checked every few thousand miles. Uneven tire wear can become an expensive issue if not dealt with and fixed.

Keeping your car in alignment will help your tires last much longer, and help your vehicle drive smoother. In addition your car will require less energy to keep rolling down the road, potentially saving fuel depending on how out of alignment the vehicle was.

If a car is in alignment the tires should wear evenly across all the tread. If you're noticing excessive wear on the rear inside tires, you may need an alignment or adjustment. Uneven tire wear can also result in worse gas mileage and more expense at the gas station.

There are some tell tale signs that could indicate a your wheels are out of alignment. Using your eyes, ears and hands are good ways for noticing poor alignment.

Here are some signs that you are dealing with poor alignment:
  • Your cars pulls to the left or right
  • uneven tire wear
  • fast tire wear
  • Steering wheel is crooked
  • tires that squeal easily

If you notice any of the above issues or even just want to check to make sure, schedule an alignment check at your local shop or repair facility. Making sure that your car or trucks alignment is good is well worth the cost of an inspection, as it can possibly save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in tire and suspension wear and problems.

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Why Choose Alex's Automotive?

If someone asks, “Why Alex’s Automotive?” we believe the answer is simple. We stand behind our service with a 24 month/24,000 mile in-house warranty as well as a Napa Auto Care nationwide warranty.

In addition, for your convenience we offer local car pick up by arrangement as well as free local customer shuttle service.

At Alex’s Automotive, we believe being a family owned and operated business is also a plus for our customers because of the strong family values that we base our business around. We put customer service at the forefront of our business and treat every customer like a member of our family. Our team realizes that your most precious cargo relies on having a vehicle to keep your life running smoothly and safely. We promise to service your vehicle just as we would our own. Stop by our clean, professional shop at 3190 Bayshore Rd. in Benicia and meet our team.