AUTONET TV


Archive for November 2016

Tracking True in North Kingstown: Wheel Alignment

Posted November 30, 2016 10:55 AM

At Hans Imports, we occasionally see severe tire damage that could have been prevented with proper wheel alignment. During a Hans Imports alignment service, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are inspected for problems. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the vehicle factory settings. Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels moving in precisely the same direction.

If you don't remember hitting a pothole, how do you know if your wheels are out? The most obvious sign is that your vehicle pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you're in the habit of checking your tire wear regularly, you may notice the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down. You should have your North Kingstown auto service center look it over. Of course, if you've been in an accident, you should get your alignment checked.

It's not surprising that a forceful impact can seriously knock tires out, but remember that a series of smaller ones can add up. That's why your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic alignment checks. If your vehicle owner's manual doesn't advise a specific interval, once a year might be appropriate. Check with your Hans Imports service advisor. As with most other preventive maintenance services, the cost of the alignment is a heck of a lot cheaper than having to purchase new tires earlier than expected.


Give us a call.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Keeping Your 'Old Faithful' Auto Running

Posted November 23, 2016 11:42 AM

At Hans Imports we've had a lot of North Kingstown customers asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that's been building for several years in RI. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. It looks like it's going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of RI folks are putting off buying a new car. 

So let's say you're one of the average in the North Kingstown area; you've got a nine-year-old car with 80,000 miles (130,000 km) on the odometer. What can you do to make it last another year or two?

Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care in North Kingstown. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there's no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if North Kingstown drivers stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some vehicle manufacturer's owner's manuals runs out at 60,000 miles (100,000 km) or so: how do North Kingstown vehicle owners know what to do when they're way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) for the first 60,000 miles (100,000 km), you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) after you hit 60,000 miles (100,000 km). But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it's very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Hans Imports in North Kingstown, for example, leaves an opportunity for sludge to build up. Talk to your service advisor at Hans Imports for more details.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around North Kingstown are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it keeps efficiency from decreasing;
  2. it prevents repairs, and;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most important thing North Kingstown drivers can do. A full-service oil change at Hans Imports means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your friendly and knowledgeable Hans Imports service advisor a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get worse. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren't scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the North Kingstown area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner's manual and talk with us at Hans Imports. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, the team at Hans Imports strongly encourages North Kingstown drivers to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They're fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some North Kingstown auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles (80,000 km) as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around North Kingstown. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Diagnosing Your Vehicle at Hans Imports in North Kingstown

Posted November 13, 2016 7:47 AM

When we North Kingstown residents get a car repair bill, we really shouldn't be surprised to find “diagnostic fees” as one of the line items. When we get a computer fixed, there is usually a charge for the time it takes to diagnose the problem. When we go to a medical doctor, most of his fee is for his ability to diagnose what's wrong. It's no different with our vehicles.

Some diagnoses are fairly simple. Brake repairs at Hans Imports usually require only a visual inspection, for instance. But other problems are much more difficult to diagnose. An intermittent engine problem, for example, takes time and expertise to pinpoint.

Modern vehicles have multiple computers that monitor a variety of sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of those sensors has a reading that is higher or lower than the standard parameters, the computer turns on the Check Engine light. Technicians at a service center such as Hans Imports in North Kingstown can scan the engine's computer for a trouble code. This code tells the technician which reading is too high or too low.

That's where some North Kingstown residents get confused. They think that this reading concludes the diagnosis, and they don't understand why the diagnostic fee is as much as it is when all the technician did was to scan the computer. But the truth is the trouble code is only the beginning of the diagnostic procedure.

Remember, the trouble code only tells which reading is out of parameter. It doesn't say what is causing the reading to be too high or too low. Your Hans Imports service technician still has to find the underlying problem. It's a lot like going to the doctor. He can take your temperature and discover that you have a fever, but that doesn't tell him what is causing your fever.

Automotive diagnostic technology can cut down the time it takes to figure out what's wrong with a vehicle that isn't running right. But it doesn't do away with the need for your friendly and knowledgeable Hans Imports service technician to make a proper diagnosis. Car care, like medical care, still requires the human touch.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Blind Spot Safety for North Kingstown Driving

Posted November 6, 2016 9:27 AM

Blind spots may be a good thing when it comes to a spouse's annoying habits, but when driving an automobile in North Kingstown, they are definitely to be avoided. So, while it's not good marital advice, it's good auto advice to minimize your own blind spots and stay out of other North Kingstown drivers' blind spots, especially when it comes to large, heavy vehicles like trucks and buses.

First, minimize your own blind spots. Do this before you pull out of the driveway or parking space. Adjust your rearview mirror so that you see as much of the area behind you as possible. And, no, this doesn't include the passengers in the back seat. The rearview mirror isn't designed to be a baby monitor.

Next, lean to the side until your head almost touches the driver's side window. Now adjust the driver's side mirror so that it just catches the side of the vehicle. Then, lean to the middle of the car and adjust the passenger's side mirror in the same way. These adjustments will ensure you the widest possible view behind your vehicle.

Of course, you can't eliminate blind spots entirely. There is always an area behind any vehicle where the driver just can't see what's there. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Toddlers are just the right size to hide in a pickup's or SUV's blind spot. The blind spot on an RV or tractor-trailer can actually hide your crossover! You should always check behind any vehicle before getting in and backing up. And if you sit in the vehicle for a few minutes before backing up, it is best to get out and check again, especially if you are pulling out of a neighborhood driveway in North Kingstown. No precaution is too extreme if it saves the life of a child.

Trucks may cause about 60% of the accidents involving a truck and a car, but 78% of fatalities in such accidents are with the smaller vehicle. The number of fatalities in RI, as well as the number of crashes, could be cut significantly if North Kingstown drivers learned to properly share RI roads with trucks.

While learning to share RI roads and freeways with trucks and other large vehicles may not seem like preventive auto maintenance, it does, in fact, go hand-in-hand with good car care. Keeping your vehicle out of the body shop can save you big bucks and prevent the stress of a major accident, along with the injuries that could come with it.

The team at Hans Imports in North Kingstown urges you to stay safe, and stay on the road!

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



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What our clients are saying about us

We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!

Very impressed with Han's Imports. Did a nice job with maintenance on my BMW and my wife's Benz. I also appreciate the thorough check of the rest of the car as part of their 1st look at the cars. I'll be back. quotes-image
, 02/01/2024
reviewicon
Anyone who dumps on this auto repair shop should literally start driving a horse and carriage. What people don't understand is that when you bring in older import vehicles from the north east United States they are prone to rust deterioration do to climatic factors. As a result, many parts are harder to replace, many need to be fabricated and even more common is the rarity of older European models (which drives the price of parts up as well as renders low availability). I've been an automotive repair technician (ASE certification, various big name certifications and even fabricated parts whilst working in small shops) for quite some time. As well, I've even taught Automotive Repair as a core coarse at the secondary level. All of that said, I'm quite certain my opinion holds merit. Thus, I can honestly say that Omar is an absolute genius. I run a small shop in a rural area and seek advice from the owner of Hans Imports (Omar). This goes beyond the scope of older European models. I often probe Omar for repair strategies, knowledge and diagnostic information on newer Imports. For what its worth, you're in good hands with Hans Imports in North Kingstown. Any of the negative cockamamie complaints are clearly the result of someone thinking they are above the knowledge, experience as well as expertise of the working man!quotes-image
, 06/25/2023