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Picking the Right Tires in Pleasant Hill

2017-05-23 10:49:03

Shopping for tires in Pleasant Hill can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let's simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.

First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in Pleasant Hill are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on CA roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn't set up for snow and ice.

Next comes winter tires. Pleasant Hill people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it's cold and slippery on CA roads, so they need a tread design that'll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter tire spectrum are tires designed to handle well in severe ice and snow conditions.

The third category is all-season tires. Most new cars in Pleasant Hill showrooms come with all-season tires. This is a tire that is designed to be used all year round. The tread design and rubber compound is a compromise that won't give you the extreme capabilities of summer or winter tires; but if you're driving and weather conditions aren't at the extreme ends of the range, all-season tires might suit you just fine.

The last category is what you might have on your SUV or pickup. All-terrain or off-road tires are designed for both highway and off-road use – a tire that gets good traction in the dirt and on off-road obstacles, but still performs well on paved Pleasant Hill roads.

Choosing the right tire is important for Pleasant Hill car owners. Talk with your Timmons Vehicle Service tire professional about your driving requirements and receive valuable guidance on tires that will meet your needs.

Give us a call.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Coolant/Antifreeze Service in Pleasant Hill, CA

2017-05-14 07:36:04

Pleasant Hill auto owners may know that most automotive failures in Pleasant Hill, CA, are tire related, but do you know the second most common cause of vehicle failure? Nope, it's not teenagers. It is the coolant system. But if you take good care of your vehicle coolant system, it will take good care of you.

A vehicle's engine creates a lot of heat - so much heat, that if it is not properly cooled, the engine can lock up, resulting in massive damage and repair bills. But when everything is working right, your vehicle engine operates at the proper temperature and all is well. Without antifreeze in your cooling system, the water could freeze and cause vehicle engine damage. This could be very expensive, not to mention inconvenient.

The right mix of water and antifreeze protects the engine against damage from freezing and overheating. Antifreeze also protects the coolant system against corrosion that could cause the system to fail. The thing to remember is this: coolant system failure is very common, but it is also very easy to prevent. Your Pleasant Hill service center knows the manufacturer's recommendations and can tell you when the coolant needs to be changed. At Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill, we can perform a coolant system service.

Pleasant Hill auto owners can add water or antifreeze to the bottle themselves but should be careful. First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. The steam could severely burn you. Second, try to get to Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your owner's manual. Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze or you will damage your engine. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with a service advisor at Timmons Vehicle Service where they can make necessary corrections. Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze.

Pleasant Hill technicians will need to check their vehicles owner's manual to make sure they use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the manufacturer’s warranty on your vehicle cooling system. If you're not sure, ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Timmons Vehicle Service for guidance.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

New Life for Your Older Car in Pleasant Hill

2017-05-07 03:02:03

Isn't it amazing how much of our stuff is disposable these days? Clothes, electronics, housewares, furniture.

Remember the days when Pleasant Hill families mended their clothes, polished their shoes and neatly put away their toys every night? If something was lost or ruined through neglect, your parents just told you to do without, that you should have taken better care of it. They considered the loss a “life lesson.”

But today many Pleasant Hill drivers tend to neglect one of the more expensive and important purchases we make: our vehicles. Vehicles are a lot more reliable today than back when we polished our shoes, and that reliability can sometimes make us take them for granted. Drivers in Pleasant Hill neglect good vehicle care practices and procrastinate when it comes to preventive maintenance. What we're really doing is heading straight for one of those dreaded “life lessons.” Eventually we'll pay for our neglect in repair bills and a shorter life for our vehicle.

Is procrastinating on routine maintenance really so terrible? Consider what happens when you procrastinate on brushing your teeth, washing your clothes or getting the dishes done. Gunk builds up, makes the job harder and ultimately damages your teeth, clothing or dishes. It's the same with your vehicle. Some of the best auto advice out there for Pleasant Hill drivers is to stay on top of routine oil changes by bringing their car into Timmons Vehicle Service. Even a little extra interval between oil changes can result in oil sludge, which can clog passages in your engine. This means oil can't get to some of the engine components, and they'll wear out faster without lubrication. Every time you put off an oil change, the problem gets worse, eventually cutting years off the life of your engine.

The same is true if you skip cooling system service. Corrosion inhibitors in the fluid become depleted over time, opening the system up to damage. Consistent neglect will lead to holes in your radiator. Talk to your friendly service advisor at Timmons Vehicle Service for suggestions and feedback.

Neglect of other fluids can also result in engine damage. Brake fluid, transmission fluid, differential fluid—all of these need to be serviced on a regular basis. In addition, your fuel system needs periodic cleaning or it can start to break down and cause permanent damage to your engine.

The good news is that it's never too late to get on track and start getting good, regular preventive maintenance for your vehicle at Timmons Vehicle Service. You may not be able to reverse damage that's already been done, but you can prevent further damage.

It really does all start with an oil change. With a full-service oil change at Timmons Vehicle Service, your fluids will be checked and your car inspected for wear and tear. Our pros at Timmons Vehicle Service can also advise you of other inspections and maintenance items that are coming due. If you're on top of oil changes, your service advisor will keep track of your maintenance schedule and remind you what needs to be done.

Older vehicles are going to need repairs. But with good maintenance, those repairs will involve fairly routine stuff like alternators, water pumps, belts and batteries. The cost of these replacement parts at Timmons Vehicle Service is much cheaper than the repair bills that come with serious engine damage, and they're certainly less than the cost of a new car.

We may not need to polish our shoes anymore, and tossing out that outdated cell phone may not be such a loss. But when it comes to our vehicles, they're just too valuable to be treated as disposable. Let's take a step back, listen to our parents and take care of our stuff. If we don't, we could be on our way to a “life lesson” involving our bank account and a bus pass.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

The Economy of Maintenance for Pleasant Hill Drivers

2017-05-01 09:27:03

Do I keep my old vehicle or buy a new one? It's a question most Pleasant Hill drivers ask themselves at some time or another.

Generally, what it comes down to is the choice between a car payment and the possibility of repair bills. Most of the time, we want to choose the car payment because we don't like the inconvenience and uncertainty of vehicle repairs. But that payment has a detrimental effect on our budget and bank account.

Edmunds.com is a great website to help you with your decision. This site uses repair histories to calculate the average repair bills for specific makes and models of cars. You can plug in the information for your vehicle and get an estimate on what it will probably cost you to continue owning that vehicle.

Now, Edmunds.com isn't a crystal ball. It can't know what will happen to your specific vehicle. But it can guide you in knowing how much money to budget for the repair and maintenance of your vehicle. Ultimately, that can help you in your decision to buy a new vehicle or wait a few years.

For example, a five-year-old Camry V-6 is projected by Edmunds.com to cost about $96 a month, on average, to repair and maintain (at the time of this writing). Remember, maintenance costs are part of vehicle ownership, whether it's a new vehicle or an old one, so the projected cost for repairs on your five-year-old Camry average out to only about $50 a month. That's a whopping lot less than a new car payment.

If your vehicle is older than five years, you should also talk to your friendly and knowledgeable professional at Timmons Vehicle Service about its future. They are more familiar with the average cost of repairs for vehicles in your area and of specific problems they commonly see in particular vehicles. More importantly, they know you and they know your car. They can give you a heads-up on what repairs you may be facing in the near future.

Remember, the older your vehicle gets, the more important preventive auto maintenance becomes. Over time, vehicles accumulate wear and debris, and we just have to give them a little more attention. Getting to know your vehicle and its peculiarities is also good auto advice for Pleasant Hill drivers.

If you decide to keep your older vehicle, you may want to talk with your Timmons Vehicle Service service advisor about fluids specially formulated for older engines. These motor oils, transmission and other fluids are designed to clean older engines and automotive systems and recondition their seals and gaskets.

Good care at Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill will keep your older vehicle on the road in CA. And that may be just the boost you need in this uncertain economy. It may even save you enough to be able to afford that new vehicle you've been dreaming about.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

 

New School: Automotive Timmons Vehicle Service Technician Training

2017-04-25 08:03:03

Pleasant Hill consumers are demanding. We want a safe, reliable vehicle that handles well and is comfortable to ride in. Oh, and we want good fuel economy, too. We also want vehicle repairs that are cheap, fast and easy. Unfortunately, one usually comes at the cost of the other.

Today's vehicles have made significant improvements in reliability and performance over the last few decades. They also deliver more power to Pleasant Hill drivers more efficiently than ever before. For example, some of today's 4-cylinder engines are equal to yesterday's V-8's. Our vehicles also offer an amazing range of features that make them more comfortable and convenient than ever before.

But all of that improvement has come at a price for Pleasant Hill vehicle owners. Our vehicles are more complicated and difficult to repair than ever before. They have numerous mechanical and electrical systems. Fuel systems are so complex they have to be run by a computer. Our vehicles are covered with sensors and high-tech electronic equipment. Our dashboards rival the control panel of the first manned space flight.

With all that complicated equipment, it's no wonder we call mechanics service technicians these days. You can't learn to repair vehicles in the backyard with your dad anymore. Today's Timmons Vehicle Service technicians have to go to school. School may come in the form of classroom instruction, online courses or both. Technicians are also trained on-site at the Pleasant Hill service centers where they work (including Timmons Vehicle Service) to keep them abreast of constant improvements in vehicle engineering, diagnostic equipment and repair techniques.

Today's technicians need to be certified to work on our vehicles. They can earn a variety of certifications in CA, but the highest of these is Master Technician. It's like a graduate degree in auto repair.

Vehicle repair at Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill requires more than just training and certification, though. It also takes information and creative thought. Pleasant Hill area auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and online repair communities in order to get the information they need to: work on various makes and models of vehicles, get recommended maintenance schedules, learn about non-standard features and locate hard-to-find parts in an unusual engine. They also use this information to help diagnose rare or difficult vehicle problems. Many auto repair problems also require a bit of creative thinking for the team at Timmons Vehicle Service to solve. Pleasant Hill service technicians at Timmons Vehicle Service act much like doctors in these situations. They're given a set of symptoms, and they have to come up with a diagnosis and treatment that will fix the problem. This process becomes as much of an art as it is a science.

A proper diagnosis, even by a highly qualified technician, can take time. And a technician's time is going to cost us. It's just the price of progress.

Of course, the best vehicle care for Pleasant Hill vehicle owners is planned preventive auto maintenance. This is also the least costly way to keep your vehicle in good repair. Regular inspections and replacement of worn parts will prevent most repairs from ever being needed in the first place.

And with the amazing complexity of today's automobiles, isn't it good to know there's someone out there with the knowledge, training and skill to give us good auto advice? Whether we need preventive maintenance or repairs, the team of automotive professionals at Timmons Vehicle Service can help us keep our vehicles on the road. We just can't do it on our own anymore.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Hey Pleasant Hill Drivers: How Do You Save Gas?

2017-04-17 06:27:03

Higher Pleasant Hill fuel prices aren't going away any time soon. That's not good news for our wallets. A lot of Pleasant Hill drivers are trying to find ways to cut down on fuel consumption and hang on to some of their hard-earned money.

North Americans drive billions of miles less during months of high fuel prices. That's right, billions. Of course CA vehicle owners can't stop driving altogether, so we still need to find other ways to cut fuel bills.

Preventive maintenance at Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill and good vehicle care can actually pay for themselves by lowering our fuel consumption. Here's a real-life example of how that can work.

A family planned a four-day camping trip. Before leaving, they took their SUV into Timmons Vehicle Service for an oil change. They flushed the cooling system, serviced all three differentials and cleaned the fuel system. They replaced the PCV valve and breather element. Then they checked the tires to ensure they had enough air.

This was several hundred dollars in maintenance and repair. You may be thinking how the family could possibly recoup the cost in gas and save money. First of all, the repairs all needed to be done anyway. Even if the costs aren't recouped, many of them will pay for themselves by preventing even more costly repairs later. Also, the family had planned and budgeted for the routine maintenance, so it didn't cut into their trip allowance.

The SUV pulled a one-ton trailer and hauled everything the family needed on their camping trip. At the end of the trip, the owner was surprised to learn the SUV had actually gotten better gas mileage than it ever had before—even with that heavy load. The repairs and maintenance at Timmons Vehicle Service had improved the gas mileage by 25%! The family saved $48.00 in gas on their four-day trip. And they are continuing to reap rewards from the improved mileage.

So what can you do to save fuel? First, stay caught up on routine maintenance at Timmons Vehicle Service. Almost every maintenance item listed in your owner's manual will maintain or improve your fuel economy. Second, take your vehicle into Timmons Vehicle Service for scheduled tune-ups. And third, take care of needed repairs. You may be surprised at how much you save at the pump and probably with the improved vehicle performance as well.

If your Check Engine light is on, find out why and take care of it. Some of the problems that set off that warning light can seriously reduce fuel efficiency.

As you schedule preventive maintenance, don't forget your tires. Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment are both essential to good fuel economy.

Here's some more auto advice about some simple things you can do to improve fuel economy, beyond maintenance and repairs:

Dump the junk. More weight in your car equals more fuel. You'd be surprised how much stuff people carry around in their cars. That adds up to a lot of extra fuel. One hundred pounds of extra stuff in your vehicle can add up to the loss of one mile per gallon of fuel.

Get the lead out. No, don't speed up, slow down. Get the lead out of your right foot. The single biggest drain for most Pleasant Hill vehicles is speeding or sudden accelerations. Slow down and go easy on turns and lane changes, and don't treat every stoplight and stop sign like a green flag. These small changes can add up to quite a bit of change in your pockets.

We haven't mentioned the pills you can drop in your gas tank or special devices you can hook on your fuel line in order to increase fuel efficiency. There's a simple reason for that: they don't exist. There may be some truth behind some of these claims, but most of them are full-out scams. And if any of these things do actually help, it's not nearly as much as the things we've listed here.

Be smart. Your vehicle and your wallet will thank you for it.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down in Pleasant Hill

2017-04-11 07:32:03

There’s not much Pleasant Hill drivers can do about the price of gas in 
CA, but we can control - up to a point - how much we use. Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

The first thing we can do is watch the go-pedal. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year in improved gas mileage.

Go a little slower on CA expressways. Pleasant Hill drivers who go more than 65 miles an hour (105 kilometers per hour) will see their gas mileage drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speeds use less gas.

Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands around Pleasant Hill.

Hey at current Pleasant Hill gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.

Give us a call

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665


At Timmons Vehicle Service we install quality NAPA replacement parts.

Distracted Driving

2017-04-02 01:25:03

When asked, most people think they are good at multi-tasking. Scientific studies, however, reveal that only around 2% of the population can truly demonstrate the capacity to effectively multi-task. For the rest of us who are not so biologically wired, no amount of practice can increase our effectiveness at multi-tasking. Turns out, multi-tasking is almost a superpower. Think of fighter pilots: capable of maintaining their orientation in three dimensional space and performing specific and highly complicated functions while accessing life threatening situations and coming up with an appropriate response. Admit it – you can’t do that.

Yet when it comes to driving, we seem to think we are very capable of safely operating a motor vehicle with myriad distractions. 77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive while 55% claim it’s easy to text and drive. Can they possibly be right? Let’s look at some statistics.

Nearly 23% of all accidents in the United States involve cell phones. Every day, 11 people are killed and over 900 are injured in texting-related accidents. In fact, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated. Just think back at your own experiences: how many of your “near misses” as a pedestrian or in a vehicle have involved a driver with a cell phone in their hand?

There are three types of driving distractions:

  • Visual (eyes off the road)
  • Manual (reaching for something or manipulating an object)
  • Cognitive (mind off the task of driving)

Of course, texting or using a cell phone involves all three. Eating, applying make-up, arguing and working on-board features like the stereo and navigation system are all very real distractions. You may be interested to know that hands-free cell calls are not substantially safer than using a handheld phone. Any time you glance away from the road (like looking at a text or incoming phone call) your eyes are off task for at least 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour/90 kph, you will cover the length of a football field in that time. Would you ever consent to strapping on a blindfold and driving off down the road for that distance?

So what do you do? First, accept the fact that you are not part of the 2% of all the people on the planet who can truly multi-task (if you are one of the lucky ones you would know by now because your performance does not degrade no matter how many additional tasks are added). Next, don’t EVER drive distracted. Incoming text: it will wait for later. Juicy hamburger: eat it in the parking lot. No exceptions, ever. And don’t accept anything less from drivers of vehicles in which you are a passenger.

Another way to avoid distractions is to keep on top of scheduled maintenance and necessary repairs so that your vehicle itself doesn’t become a distraction. We can help you with that.

Give us a call.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Hitting the Brakes in Pleasant Hill

2017-03-26 11:24:03

Safety should always be an element of your vehicle care. So even if you don't care about how your vehicle looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other Pleasant Hill drivers — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

Brakes need a regular inspection. There are  parts that wear out or wear down, and it's best to replace them before you have serious problems.

Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that's a good sign that you need your brakes checked. You can also tell something is wrong with your brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate serious problems. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is to get your brakes checked.

Brakes come in two basic types. With disc brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor and close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the vehicle's wheels, from turning.

When Timmons Vehicle Service services your brake system, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at Timmons Vehicle Service compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be expensive. But if your vehicle brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

Brake pads come in several different grades such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more expensive, but they also work better. CA drivers who want better and smoother braking should consider upgrading. However, Pleasant Hill drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than their vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.

After your brake pads are checked at Timmons Vehicle Service, it's also wise to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will decrease your braking power. The pads just won't be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your vehicle. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to an accident in Pleasant Hill.

Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause corrosion in your braking system. Eventually this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So Pleasant Hill drivers should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your vehicle owner's manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced, or you can ask a service advisor at Timmons Vehicle Service. 

Remember, Pleasant Hill folks, safety first. It's auto advice for all Pleasant Hill drivers on the road. You're not just protecting others; you're protecting yourself.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Automotive Tips from Timmons Vehicle Service: Wiper Blades – Signs of Wear

2017-03-19 07:12:03

90% of our driving decisions are based on vision. Anything that impedes your vision can affect your driving safety – including a dirty windshield. In that sense, your wiper blades are an important safety system. Most Pleasant Hill drivers will wait until their wipers have failed before they replace them. Then they find themselves in a driving situation around CA when they really need forward visibility only to discover that their wipers are worn or maybe even torn and can’t clear snow or rain from the windshield.

As an important safety system, wiper blades should be replaced BEFORE they fail. Test your wipers at least once a month. If they are not doing the job, your friendly and professional Timmons Vehicle Service service advisor can replace them for you.

Give us a call.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

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