AUTONET TV


Archive for February 2017

Watching Your Check Engine Light

Posted February 27, 2017 2:48 AM

Did you know that most of the cars driving around North Kingstown, RI, carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969?

New cars sold in the North Kingstown area have as many as 12 networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, auto computers have been controlling about 85 percent of your vehicle's functions.

Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do North Kingstown drivers know when there is a problem?

It's simple; the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in the computer.

It can be pretty disturbing for North Kingstown drivers when the Check Engine light comes on. We wonder just how urgent it is. Generally speaking, it is not critical like a temperature or oil pressure light. When you get one of those it means STOP NOW! When the Check Engine light shows up, you should come in to Hans Imports in North Kingstown to find out what the matter is as soon as possible.

Since 1996, there has been a strong emissions control component to the Check Engine diagnostic. But if your Check Engine light flashes on and off, you know that it is more urgent and you need to get it checked immediately to prevent damage. You should slow down and avoid towing or heavy loads until you can get it checked out.

Your friendly and knowledgeable technicians at Hans Imports have special diagnostic equipment that will retrieve the trouble code from the computer and help him determine what is wrong. From there, we can fix it and get you back on the road.

Stop by if you're Check Engine light is on.

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



RI: What Is the Risk of High Oil Change Intervals?

Posted February 20, 2017 3:29 AM

RI residents may have heard that vehicles don't need their oil changed as often as they used to. That's true. But it's not the whole story.

Owing to improved engine technology and higher oil quality, most newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes than their older counterparts.

So what is a good time interval for oil changes? How do RI residents know when to change it? And why do we change it in the first place?

Oil lubricates a vehicle's engine, which protects it from friction damage. Over time the oil can collect dirt and contaminants that inhibit its performance. But dirty oil isn't the only problem for RI residents. What you really want to avoid is called oil sludge.

Oil sludge is caused by moisture in the oil and by hot spots in your engine that burn off oil. This sludge is a gooey gel that can clog engine passageways, which can block lubricants from reaching vital engine parts. The result can be engine wear or even engine failure.

Sludge forms rapidly in an engine that is driven under what are termed “severe conditions.” A vehicle's owner's manual includes recommendations for oil change intervals under both normal and severe conditions. Severe conditions include towing a trailer, driving in polluted or dusty conditions, hauling heavy loads or using a car top carrier. Also, extremes in climate such as very hot or very cold temperatures constitute severe conditions for vehicles.

Some people may be tempted to overlook the severe conditions preventive maintenance schedule in their 's owner's manual because of the word “severe.” But consider this: the most common form of severe conditions is stop-and-go driving, rush hour commuting or only driving your vehicle on short trips around the area.

When a vehicle only makes trips under four miles/six kilometers, or under 10 miles/16 kilometers in freezing conditions, the engine doesn't get warm enough for condensation in the oil to evaporate. The result? You get oil sludge build-up. If your driving patterns are the same as any of the conditions that count as severe, you should be changing your oil more frequently under the severe conditions schedule. 

The team at Hans Imports in North Kingstown can help you understand what type of oil to use in your vehicle and how it can affect your oil change schedule. Some vehicles are filled with synthetic or synthetic-blend oil at the factory. The owner's manual will recommend that this oil continue to be used in the vehicle, and oil change intervals will be based on this type of oil.

Also, if your vehicle uses conventional oil, but you have some of those severe driving habits we talked about, you can switch to a premium-grade oil to give your vehicle extra protection. The answer to why we change our oil is fairly simple: to protect our engines and make our vehicles last longer and run better. But the answer to how often to change our oil is more complex: it depends on our vehicle, our driving habits, where we live and what kind of oil we use.

When it comes to oil changes, a little information can go a long way to helping people save money and extend the life of their vehicles. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785



Make Your Vehicle Last

Posted February 14, 2017 2:27 AM


We live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days, RI folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough - they had to do without. Most North Kingstown drivers couldn't afford new vehicles very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It's a good thing that vehicles are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us RI penny pinchers is that a modern vehicle can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us North Kingstown vehicle owners making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a little farther between recommended oil changes, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and for clogged passages. Then some vehicle parts don't get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted; the radiator starts being damaged - one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning - really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in North Kingstown at Hans Imports, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It's like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your service advisor at Hans Imports help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Hans Imports is cheaper than a new car  payment for North Kingstown drivers. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol - you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

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



Gas Savings in North Kingstown: Sharpen Your Pencil

Posted February 7, 2017 2:25 AM

High gas prices in North Kingstown increase the cost of living for RI drivers. You've probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some North Kingstown vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to RI news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

In this area, we can take a lesson from professional North Kingstown vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, North Kingstown folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their North Kingstown business in the red.

So what does this mean to North Kingstown drivers? Well, there's a 90 percent chance that you're missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here's a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most North Kingstown vehicle owners honestly say that there isn't at least one thing on the list that hasn't been done?

Let's suppose you chose to spend $150 and get caught up on some of these services at Hans Imports. Figure that they combine to improve your fuel efficiency by 15 percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in North Kingstown is driven about 12,000 a year. If you get 20 miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the $150 worth of service and save an additional $165 dollars if gas is at t$3.50. If gas is $4.50, you would save $255. And you'd rack up savings of $345 dollars with gas at $5.50.

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50

20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in North Kingstown for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A 15 percent improvement in fuel economy can generate huge savings – $650 a year if gas is $4.50 a gallon in North Kingstown. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

 

GAS PRICE

A) $3.50, B) $4.50, C) $5.50

10 MPG: A) $480, B) $660, C) $840

20 MPG: A) $165, B) $255, C) $345

30 MPG: A) $60, B) $120, C) $180

 

So catch up on those services you've been neglecting at Hans Imports. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you'll save a lot of money at North Kingstown gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

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
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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