Member Blogs
Is Your 'Check Engine' Light On?
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: automotive diagnostics engine light auto parts store auto repair

car repair diagnosticsIs there really a good reason to pay an automotive shop to have your check engine light diagnosed? If you Google “check engine light” you can find a lot of advice recommending you simply go to a local parts store, some of who will “scan” the code in the computer for free.  Sounds like a good deal but is it really?  

The problem I have with this method is that what you will get is a code number and a description of the code.  For us technicians, the code leads us to further testing where we prove what is really wrong so that we can guarantee our repair and know that the check engine light will not come back on.  The parts store might sell you the part that is mentioned in the description text, with the warning that it may or may not fix the problem.  (I have to give them credit, it’s a great way to increase sales!)
For example, I once had a customer go to a parts shop and pull a code that read “EGR system low flow”.  They suggested a likely cause was a defective EGR solenoid, and that they had one the shelf that cost about $350.  My customer declined buying the part and instead came to me to have it diagnosed.  The reality was that the EGR solenoid was a possible cause.  What we found was that the EGR hose had come off the valve and this was the cause of low flow.  In this case the cost of diagnosis and repair was less than the cost of the recommended part. 

Another example is code P0174 – oxygen sensor stuck lean bank 2.  The oxygen sensor could be defective, but it could also simply be responding to something as simple as a leaking vacuum hose and be stuck lean for that reason.  Replacing the oxygen sensor in this case will result in the light coming on again with the same code.

Don’t misunderstand me, I think its fine to work on your own car.  In fact it’s how I got started in this business as a young person. You must simply accept the fact that there is a learning curve and you may replace perfectly good parts accidentally.  The key is that to learn how to fix a system, you must first learn how the system works.  We do not yet live in a world where an inexpensive code reader will tell you what part to replace with any degree of certainty. 

Brons Automotive has been repairing the true cause of why check engine lights come on for years in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, and Thurston County and backs their work with a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty.   

How To Stop Pipes From Freezing
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: freeze break winter cold how to stop pipes from freezing leak water

You can’t do anything about the weather this winter, but you can become aware of things that can go wrong with your plumbing system to save you from getting a headache (or brain freeze!) If you turn on a faucet and no water comes out, chances are the pipes have frozen. Don’t panic! This happens when pipes are exposed to cold air such as in well houses, attics, or crawl spaces. If you have access to the pipes that have frozen you can warm them up using a heater, hair dryer, or warm damp rags. Exposing the pipes to warmer air by opening cabinets or the access panel to your attic is also an easy way to get them to thaw faster (or not freeze at all.)

As water freezes it expands, much like when you put a can of soda in the freezer and it explodes. If water is allowed to remain still in a pipe exposed to the cold air, the water may freeze solid and the pipe may burst. If the water continues to flow, even in a trickle, it won't have the opportunity to freeze and the pipes should survive until the air temperature warms above freezing. So open up a faucet or two when you know it is going to be a cold night. If your pipes froze over completely, we recommend doing the same thing to allow a place for the extra pressure to release. The faucet does not need to be turned on full bore; just enough to allow a trickle to come out once the pipes start to defrost.

If you do experience frozen pipes, make sure you know the location of your main water shut-off valve. In the unfortunate event that a pipe does burst it is crucial to be able to shut your water supply off as quickly as possible to prevent water damage.

Typically, here in the Northwest, we do not see homeowners have much trouble with frozen pipes until temperatures hit about 20ºF or less. Keep in mind that pipes exposed to colder air (especially flowing air, as on a windy day) because of cracks in an outside wall or lack of insulation are vulnerable to freezing at temperatures above that threshold.

Stay warm out there!

Welcome to The New Year!
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: new years plumbing resolutions 2013 maintenance

We hope you have had a successful start to 2013 so far! Have you made any New Year's Resolutions this year? We make New Year's resolutions to improve our diet and health, our relationships with friends and family, our occupations, finances & the list goes on.  Resolutions for better plumbing in the New Year may not come to mind as easily. 

One great way to tackle improving the health of your plumbing system this year is to check in to joining a preventative maintenance program.  If you have never had a plumbing technician check out your pipes, water heater, and other fixtures before, you are definitely overdue. Even if you perceive nothing is wrong, it's a good idea to have somebody come in once year to check out everything. The cost of the program is a tremendous value and includes a water heater flush which is important to have done annually to preserve the life of your water heater. 

Springer Plumbing offers a yearly plumbing maintenance plan that is simple and effective, we will remind you when it is time for your yearly check-up and come out whenever it is convenient for you. This way we can catch problems before they arise & we also offer a "value rate," or discounted rate, to customers that are on our maintenance program. This can provide homeowners with savings and peace of mind.

We hope you have a happy and healthy 2013!




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