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Archive for March 2018

North Kingstown Car Owners Ask: Why Do I Need to Change My Serpentine Belt?

Posted March 25, 2018 5:44 AM

Any North Kingstown driver who understands preventive maintenance knows that “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” is bad auto advice. Replacing a part before it breaks is much less costly for North Kingstown residents than repairing the engine damage that comes after a part breaks or fails. A good example of this is the serpentine belt.

The serpentine belt gets its name because of its circuitous path around the engine. The serpentine belt is driven by the engine and powers a number of systems, as follows:

1. The serpentine belt spins the compressor that generates the cool air for the air conditioning system.
2. The serpentine belt powers the alternator. The alternator generates electricity for use in the vehicle's electrical systems and to charge the battery. Without the alternator, the battery wouldn't last more than a few miles.
3. In many North Kingstown residents' vehicles, the serpentine belt runs the pumps for both the power steering and the power brakes. In other vehicles, the power steering pump may be electric and the power brakes may use a vacuum boost.
4. On many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump keeps coolant circulating through to maintain appropriate operating temperatures. In some RI vehicles, a timing belt runs the water pump.

When a serpentine belt fails, all of these systems fail as well, which can lead to engine impact.

Replacing parts before they break saves money for North Kingstown residents by preventing more repairs and the frustration of having your vehicle in the shop for an extended period of time. If you're looking for an adage to apply to good car care, you might remember the old story of how “for want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.”

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



What to Do After You Buy a Used Vehicle in North Kingstown

Posted March 18, 2018 8:30 AM

So you've bought a used vehicle in the North Kingstown area. Do you know what you're getting? It is hard to know what you're getting because people in the North Kingstown area sell vehicles for different reasons. Think about why you've sold vehicles. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from? Maybe it was a little of both.

Used vehicles in RI with 25,000 to 35,000 miles/40,000 to 55,000 km on them are often lease returns, corporate program cars or rental fleet vehicles. Most North Kingstown buyers feel pretty confident about these because they're newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained?

North Kingstown drivers who are planning to own a vehicle for a long time will keep up on auto maintenance so that they can avoid repairs down the road. But, if you know you're only going to have the vehicle for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenance. It would be easy to think that skipping an oil change here and there wouldn't ruin a brand new engine. Then it'll be someone else's problem when it comes time to pay for the damage.

It is very tempting for North Kingstown drivers to skip the 30,000 mile/50,000 km service if they know they'll be turning in their leased vehicle in a couple of months.

If the vehicle didn't come with maintenance records, North Kingstown used vehicle buyers need to assume the worst. Most likely the coolant system and transmission have never been serviced. The cabin air filter has probably not been changed and a fuel system cleaning at Hans Imports may be in order.

You'll want Hans Imports to check the A/C, battery, engine air filter, serpentine belt and hoses. A used vehicle inspection at Hans Imports is well worth the cost.

And if your “new” used vehicle has been driven an even longer distance, an inspection is even more important. Check your owner's manual or talk with your service advisor at Hans Imports about what should have been done. Please don't forget the timing belt; that can be very expensive if it fails.

Hans Imports will help you with a plan to take care of services and get the rest caught up. If your budget won't allow you to take care of everything right away, we can help you prioritize your needs and get it taken care of over the next several months. And remember to keep your maintenance records. They'll help you get top dollar on the RI used vehicle market when it's time for you to sell.

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



Maintenance on My Mind

Posted March 11, 2018 12:08 PM

Ask any North Kingstown man or woman if they've taken their vehicle in for preventive maintenance lately, and the answer may well be “no.” Surveys indicate that over 80% of vehicles on the road today are in need of some kind of repair or maintenance. Now, ask that same person why he hasn't taken his car in for care. The answer will probably be that he forgot or that he just didn't think about it. Most North Kingstown residents seem to have a hard time remembering about scheduled maintenance for their vehicles.

Funny, because most of us in North Kingstown have no trouble remembering to wash our clothes, mow our lawns or brush our teeth. It isn't that we can't remember to take our vehicles for service; it's a matter of making it a priority.

When it comes to our vehicles, North Kingstown drivers like myself, need to be a little more maintenance-minded. The fact is, we can choose to do it, or we might find ourselves being compelled to do it.

For example, when we consistently forget to brush our teeth, a major consequence usually follows. The pain of that experience usually compels us to be more mindful of our teeth and take better care of them.

The same goes for our vehicles. If we ignore them long enough, a painful experience is sure to follow—painful for our pocketbooks, that is. People in North Kingstown who have gone through that experience are usually more conscientious about proper car care.

So, if you're not a fan of the school of hard knocks, at least when it comes to vehicle maintenance, remind yourself to look after your car. Pay attention to the little oil change tag on your windshield. When it's time take your car in, do it. But don't just change the oil. Get a full-service oil change at Hans Imports. Your technician will then check all of your fluids. He can advise you if any of them need to be changed or if any of them are low.

Low fluid levels can indicate leaks or a worn hose or seal, so they can check those for you as well. Other signs of wear are also immediately evident when you get a full-service oil change, such as a cracked serpentine belt or corroded battery cable. Your Hans Imports technician will also check the vehicle manufacturer's service recommendations for your vehicle and advise you of any other routine service that is coming due.

It's like a one-stop shop for auto advice that will keep you on top of your vehicle's maintenance.

If there is more to be done than the budget allows, you can get a picture of what needs to be done.  Then, create a plan with your Hans Imports service advisor and budget for it during the coming months. It's a whole lot less painful than unexpected car repairs.

Vehicles are more reliable than they ever have been. They can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But they're also expensive and complicated machines. North Kingstown drivers can't expect them to run forever without proper fluids and filters. Preventive maintenance at Hans Imports in North Kingstown will improve the reliability and life expectancy of your vehicle, as well as ensuring your safety on the road in RI.

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



Maintaining Your Older Car in North Kingstown, RI

Posted March 7, 2018 1:34 AM



The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in North Kingstown, RI: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the North Kingstown motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new vehicle.

Because new vehicles are more expensive, people in the North Kingstown area are driving their old vehicles longer. The average vehicle is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in RI have more than 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today's cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin'.

Give Hans Imports a call at (401) 295-7785 to schedule your next maintenance.

Some owner's manuals don't specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn't mean it doesn't have to be done. In fact, it's more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles (120,000km).

First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that's recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles (24,000, 48,000, 72,000 and 96,000 km) and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule; ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks; seals and gaskets dry out over time and don't hold the fluids as well as they used to.

It's also time to make sure you have a good technician, like those here at Hans Imports. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble's brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.

And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car's appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles (80,000 km), consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it's way cheaper than a new car payment!

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