Sully’s Auto Repair

Providing Huntington Beach car owners with quality automotive services and repairs since 2003

Sully’s Auto Repair - Providing Huntington Beach car owners with quality automotive services and repairs since 2003

Ethics of Automotive Repair in Huntington Beach

We’re going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the Huntington Beach automotive service and repair industry hasn’t been given a pass either.

Unfortunately, every profession in Huntington Beach has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.

Yet some people remain uncomfortable with Huntington Beach automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.

If we understand what’s recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off – we’ll have more trust in the recommendation. So communication is key. It’s like going to the doctor; If she’s using medical jargon and takes a lot of basic medical knowledge for granted, we have a hard time following her train of thought. It can be like that with your Huntington Beach service advisor too. He’s so familiar with all things automotive, he may forget you don’t know a PCV from an EGT.

If you don’t understand what your doctor’s talking about: ask some questions. If you don’t understand what your Huntington Beach automotive advisor’s talking about: ask some questions.

Let’s go back to those ethical standards; when we hear a repair recommendation, we always ask ourselves, “Is this really necessary?” Well, here’s the industry standard:

If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. The part is missing

For example, it you take your car in for a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, you may just think you need new brake pads. After the inspection, the technician at Sully’s Auto Repair says that you have a cracked rotor and need to replace it.

If you tried to get him to simply put new pads on, he would say that if you didn’t want to replace the rotor; Sully’s Auto Repair would ethically have to refuse the repair.

To just put pads on a cracked rotor would have been very wrong. The brakes could’ve failed at anytime and needed to be repaired – not just have a band-aid slapped on them.

Now, looking at something not so serious, the technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  4. Based on the technician’s informed experience

Of course, the technician has the burden of making ethical recommendations and properly educating their customers. For the customer, if you are uncomfortable with a recommendation, ask some questions. More information is always a good thing.

Saving Lives In Huntington Beach With Tire Pressure

All new passenger vehicles on our Huntington Beach CA roads now have tire pressure monitoring systemsTPMS for short. They are designed to alert you if your tires are under inflated. Since they are fairly new, a lot of people have questions about TPMS.

First off, the most important thing is that you still need to check your tire pressure every week – or at least every time you gas up. The TPMS system alert comes in when your tire is twenty percent below the factory recommendation. So if the recommended pressure is thirty five pounds per square inch, the TPMS warning won’t come on until the pressure is at twenty eight pounds. That’s significantly under-inflated. Enough to raise safety concerns.

The worst is tire failure. A severely under inflated tire can overheat and fail. Also, handling degrades to the point that you may not be able to steer out of trouble. Also under-inflated tires wear out faster and they waste fuel. So it’s costly to not stay on top of proper inflation.

What’s the practical value of the TPMS system? Well, it’s twofold. First, it can alert you when your tire is losing pressure due to a puncture or a bent rim. That’s an important warning that you might not have gotten until next time you gassed up.

The second is that we all occasionally forget to check our tire pressure. So it’s a failsafe system to let you know there’s a problem brewing.

Other things can cause your TPMS system to go off. The system also monitors itself. The sensors that are mounted in the wheels have little batteries that send a signal to the monitor. The batteries go dead over time and the TPMS system will let you know. And the sensors could break. Also road salt from our Huntington Beach CA roads can ruin them.

There’s also a hassle factor that your Huntington Beach CA tire center has to contend with. For example, when you have your tires rotated in Huntington Beach, the TPMS system has to be re-calibrated so that it knows which tire is on which corner of the car. Same is true for when you have new tires or winter tires installed. Flat repairs, as well.

That takes extra time. And it requires the right equipment and training. Special – and expensive – tire change machines need to be used with some sensors. It’s all complicated by the fact that there are a number of different TPMS systems in use so the tire professionals at Sully’s Auto Repair need equipment and training for each kind. Tire centers have had to raise the price of some of these basic services to offset their increased costs.

Also if you add custom wheels on your SUV, you need to put in new TPMS sensors if your originals won’t work on the new rims. If you don’t your TPMS light will be on constantly and you won’t have the benefit of the warning system.

All in all, the mandated TPMS systems will save lives, so they’re worth the added hassle and expense.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information In Huntington Beach CA

No matter how well they’re made, vehicles in Huntington Beach, CA will have design or manufacturing problems.

And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Huntington Beach, CA, they require the automobile manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The car maker then tries to contact everyone in Huntington Beach, CA who owns that type of car to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall issue on your car. Because these recalls always affect safety, Huntington Beach drivers should take them seriously. This isn’t difficult to do because it’s easy to see if a vehicle’s being recalled.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links. There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There’s CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.

Recalls are serious, but not all that common. But sometimes there are less important issues, and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Sully’s Auto Repair how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost. So when auto manufacturers recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.