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Archive for November 2019

Budget for Maintenance in North Kingstown

Posted November 24, 2019 8:09 AM

Sometimes busy North Kingstown residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around RI in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time North Kingstown residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's North Kingstown drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's North Kingstown drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at North Kingstown area auto service centers.

North Kingstown drivers certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Vehicle care in RI  simply costs more than it used to. So if you think about it, North Kingstown drivers can avoid many vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Just a bit of auto advice from Hans Imports: If you like new vehicles and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new vehicle every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and RI auto insurance with an older vehicle and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for preventive maintenance you have done at Hans Imports, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less!

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



Alternative Fuel Vehicles in North Kingstown, RI

Posted November 17, 2019 7:09 AM

Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our RI environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for North Kingstown drivers very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the North Kingstown area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits to North Kingstown drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and when gas prices are low, E85 can be more than straight gasoline.

North Kingstown drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around RI  for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our North Kingstown roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It's less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our North Kingstown area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our RI roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that's assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It'll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

A quick word from Hans Imports about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your North Kingstown service technician at  Hans Imports is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you're specifically trained on hybrid systems.

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



Hans Imports Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Posted November 10, 2019 7:10 AM

Today's Hans Imports post focuses on using coolant. drive If you pour in the wrong kind, it won't protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your vehicle owner's manual. Of course, your Hans Imports service advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.

Brake fluid is confusing for some North Kingstown drivers. Back when we opened Hans Imports, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some North Kingstown residents mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That's not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your vehicle.

Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Hans Imports: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in vehicle automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.

Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to Hans Imports professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today's high-tech vehicle engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances.

That's where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those vehicle engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.

At Hans Imports in North Kingstown, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as impressive as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, make sure you always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.

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




Diesel Maintenance for RI

Posted November 3, 2019 8:38 AM

At Hans Imports we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV's. But our RI friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there're nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.

Here's who's announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in RI.

You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to RI and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that RI diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Recent government mandates to remove sulfur now opens up RI to the engines the rest of the world's been enjoying for a long time.

Why are diesels so popular worldwide? Well, for starters, diesels get up to 30% better fuel economy than gas engines. And they last a lot longer. And modern diesel engines are refined, quiet and powerful – and there's none of that black smoke we used to see.

Some people may think that diesels create more pollution. But, you need to rethink diesels. Environmental pollution standards for diesel cars and light trucks are scheduled to be as strict as they are for gasoline vehicles. A modern diesel engine is as clean as a gas engine.

Repair costs are similar to vehicles with gas engines. As with gasoline engines, proper maintenance is the key to long engine life and to avoiding repairs. So pretty much what we have come to expect with gas vehicles; coolant system service, transmission service, power brakes, power steering, differential, filters, fuel system and so on. And the payoff for you, if you're the kind that likes to keep your vehicles for a long time, is that a properly maintained diesel engine can last for many, many years.

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