Videos and articles designed to help you diagnose and maintain your vehicle.
E-85 Fuel Safety Advice From Valley Auto Care
Date: November 27, 2012 11:00 AM - Category: Warranty
Today at Valley Auto Care we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You’ve probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the Apple Valley area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not.
Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Valley Auto Care at 7125 151st St. West, Suite 105 in Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124 to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling 952-431-2700.
E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower harmful exhaust emissions to our local Apple Valley community.
All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol and in fact a lot of gasoline sold in the Apple Valley Minnesota area does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning people without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.
At a 15% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles in Apple Valley Minnesota. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.
You can imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. Fire fighting experts caution consumers to only use E-85 if they know they vehicle is certified to handle it. They expect vehicle fires to increase because of using the wrong fuel in non-Flex Fuel vehicles.
So are people who don’t have a Flex Fuel vehicle but use E-85 to help the environment actually putting themselves at risk? Yes. In fact, service and repair centers in Apple Valley Minnesota are being warned to purchase fire extinguishers that use the special foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution in case starting-up an ethanol damaged engine leads to a fire.
Obviously, this isn’t something you want to have in your Apple Valley Minnesota garage at home, either. If you have a Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, feel free to protect the environment by using E-85 gasoline. If not – please do not use E-85 in an engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. At Valley Auto Care we are concerned about your safety. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if your vehicle can safely use E-85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.
Getting Your Car Serviced in the Real World of Apple Valley
Date: April 20, 2011 12:22 PM - Category: Warranty
We get a lot of questions about servicing your car at AutoNetTV. One that we get asked the most is: Do you have to take your car to the nearest Apple Valley dealer for service and repair? We’ve all asked ourselves that at one time or another. Of course, any new car dealer in Apple Valley would like to have your service business, but there are a lot of reasons to turn to the automotive aftermarket for routine maintenance services as well as repairs.
First, let’s get some terms straight. New car dealers and manufacturers are referred to as Original Equipment – or OE providers. Everybody else is in the automotive Aftermarket. That includes auto parts stores, quick lubes, tire and service, and repair centers.
It’s important to know how the automotive industry works. Most car manufacturers don’t actually make their own parts and none of them make all of the parts they use. Instead, there are over 5,000 manufacturers that make the parts used to build new cars as well as to repair used cars.
We get a little steamed when a new car dealer pushes the myth that you need to go to them to get “genuine parts”. The fact is that your independent service center (Valley Auto Care) can install the exact same original equipment parts from the same parts manufacturer that supplies the dealer.
One of the advantages of the aftermarket is that they’re free to innovate and improve. The aftermarket is quick to step in and fix design problems in Original Equipment parts. They’re also able to improve on reliability and performance.
When you use your independent aftermarket service center you’ll get parts that meet or exceed manufacturers’ specifications. You‘ll also have the freedom to choose replacement parts that meet your budget, improve performance or are the same as what the factory uses.
This freedom of choice is protected by law. You’re not required to use the dealership for service or to use the manufacturer’s brand of parts or fluids in order to maintain your vehicle warranty. Your local service center knows what products are recommended for your vehicle and can help keep you safely and economically on the road.
It’s like when you go to the hairdresser. They have a wide range of products you can choose from. You can buy something that’s less expensive when your budget’s tight, or kick it up a notch if you want. That’s the freedom of choice you get in the Apple Valley, Minnesota automotive aftermarket.
Some new car dealerships lead you to believe that only their technicians are able to properly service or repair your make of vehicle. That may be true if you drive a Ferrari, but for the rest of us, the training our local Apple Valley, Minnesota technicians receive is transferable to our cars.
Your Apple Valley, Minnesota service center invests heavily in training its technicians and in making sure that they have all of the high tech diagnostic and service equipment to take good care of you. Hey, we live in the information age – aftermarket service centers have access to the latest specifications, problem reports and repair solutions for your vehicle.
Like your hairdresser – she probably knows you. She knows your personality, all about your family, and maybe even a few secrets. Your Apple Valley, Minnesota automotive technician should also know you, and your car. You can’t underestimate the value of that relationship.
Your vehicles are a big investment and you rely on them so much. You have to have someone you can trust to take care of you. Valley Auto Care can get the right parts, has the training to fix your vehicle and has a very strong commitment to your satisfaction. And for most of us, they’re more conveniently located and can usually perform maintenance services with less wait and hassle.
Now if your car needs a repair that’s covered under its new vehicle warranty, you’ll want to visit the dealership. But for everything else, consider your local aftermarket service center. Options, freedom, convenience – and with labor rates that are nearly 20% lower than the dealership – why go anywhere else?
Date: July 26, 2010 1:19 PM - Category: Warranty
If you own a Minnesota vehicle with a warranty, beware! Many dealers and manufacturers suggest that you need to get your maintenance services at a dealership in order to keep your warranty. That simply isn't true! You can have your vehicle serviced at your trusted, local service center without affecting your warranty. A federal law, called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, prohibits a manufacturer from voiding your warranty just because you got parts or services from a non-dealer. In fact, a manufacturer can't require you to use their brand of oil filters, lubricant, or any other part in order to maintain your warranty protection. This protection is true for aftermarket extended warranties purchased on new or used vehicles. This protection also applies to leased vehicles. There are similar laws in Canada as well.
If a manufacturer can prove that the replacement parts or service lead to a vehicle failure, they can void a portion of the warranty. Of course, Valley Auto Care uses quality parts and fluids that meet or exceed manufacturers' specifications. (See http://www.valleyautocare.com/contact.php.) A lot of people do not know that service centers subscribe to data services that tell them exactly which parts and fluids meet manufacturers' specifications. These services are updated constantly so that your Apple Valley automotive service center always knows what you need for your car. You can be assured that your vehicle will receive high quality replacement parts that'll keep you safely on the road.
Proper maintenance is so important to safety. It can also prevent costly repairs and save you money over the long haul. Just because you don't have to go to a dealer to get your maintenance service performed doesn't mean that you don't need to have it done at all. In fact, some protections from your warranty require that scheduled maintenance be performed. If you miss having important work done, you may lose some warranty coverage. Refer to your owners' manual and vehicle warranty for more details. And keep good records of the work you've had done.
The protection you receive under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act can save you hundreds of dollars each year. The average hourly labor rate for service is nearly twenty percent lower at independent service centers such as Valley Auto Care. We are conveniently located at 7125 151st St. West, Suite 105 in Apple Valley. So why go anywhere else?
Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley MN helps people and their vehicles throughout Apple Valley and along Cedar Ave, County Rd. 42, Galaxy Ave, and 160th St. We work on all vehicles including the following manufacturers: Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Ford, Mazda, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, GMC, Cadillac, Mercury, Lincoln, Infiniti, Acura, Lexus, Buick, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Plymouth with most auto service needs including: Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Transmission, Tune-Up, Computer Diagnostics, Engine Codes, Suspension, Shocks, Struts, Alignment, AC, Clutch & more.