Q: How often should I have my car serviced?
A: It varies from model to model, but as a general rule you should change your oil every 3 - 4 thousand miles with standard motor oil, and 7-8 thousand miles with a fully synthetic motor oil. We recommend a fully synthetic oil be used in your Volvo and in all European car line models. If you choose to use a standard non-synthetic motor oil, we recommend an oil additive be used to reduce friction and sludge build-up that occurs more in European engines. Precision follows a very strict service schedule, and this is for the benefit and longevity of your car. We are known for doing things differently from the dealership, and we will always continue to stand by that. We understand your manual may say one recommended time for certain things and sometimes not recommend other things that we at Precision recommend. However, we do what is best for your Volvo based on your driving habits and what will result in the longevity of it. We are not tied to what the manufacturer tells us to pass along to you. It is our job to inform you and educate you as to what is the best course of action to take with your car. We greatly stress for you to keep in mind that stretching your major service intervals longer than previously recommended in years past by Volvo may not be what is best for the longevity of your car. It is very appealing to the new buyer to think they do not have to maintain their Volvo as much as models past (and in most cases comes free to the customer up to a certain mileage), but if your into your Volvo for the long haul, we urge you to take more aggressive service care. We recommend all major services, as well as oil changes, be performed in a timely, scheduled manner. Just call or email us to find out what your Volvo is due for.
Q: The man at the dealership I purchased my new car from said that if I have you work on my car, it will void my warranty. Is this true?
A: False! Consumers are entitled to have their cars serviced wherever they choose. Always read your warranty to understand what constitutes a covered service item. As long as detailed records are kept (as we do here for all of our customers) and the service intervals are met with Genuine parts, your warranty will never be void.
Q: What is your policy on customer supplied parts?
A: Do you bring your steak to a restaurant? But seriously, we prefer not to install parts that a customer brings to our facility. There are several reasons for this. First, how does the customer know what part to supply? Who diagnosed what is wrong with the vehicle? Is the part the correct application? (i.e., correct chassis number, or engine number). Many parts are different - based on whether the car has ABS brakes, etc. Is the part supplied up to our quality standards? We pride ourselves on quality work and that includes quality parts. In our opinion, bringing your own parts is the same as taking your own food to a restaurant. However, that being said, we will install your parts but we do charge additional labor and offer no warranty on customer-supplied parts.
Q: What makes Precision stand out as different from the competition?
A: Well, where would you like us to start? Just ask any of our loyal customers, both from sales and service. Our customer service and drive to make the customer happy-no matter what-is why we have grown the way we have. We have a very different way of conducting business and our reputation speaks for itself. We have a small crew of devoted employees that pride themselves on every car that leaves their hands. Our technicians are not paid by the individual job, as with most dealerships. So there is no urge to pressure you into replacing something that the vehicle may not need at that time. We know you will be back, so if that item on your car has some more life left in it, why not wait? Do not worry. We will let you know when you need to do it. Bottom line is we at Precision feel it a privilege to be able to service your Volvo for you and your family. We will never take that for granted. We do not have the big fancy facility or the huge sales inventory, but we do have the right tools, training, equipment and - most of all - the right caring attitude that gets thejob done right and makes you feel better about your service experience.
Q: WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY TIMING BELT, AND WHATS INVOLVED IN REPLACING IT ?
A: According to Volvo's recommended service, on models 1999-2002, your timing belt should be replaced every 10 years or 105,000 miles. On 2003-current model year (depending if your engine has a belt), the interval is 120,000 miles or 10 years. This is under normal driving conditions according to your owner's manual. Keep in mind, we live in the Northeast and there is nothing normal about it. Changes in climate, driving conditions, and customer driving habits all factor into the wear and tear of your car's timing belt. Remember -- it is only rubber. If your belt breaks on a 5 cylinder engine, it will cause engine damage and become very costly.
That being said, allow us to explain how we view belt replacement as to when it should be done and what should be replaced in conjunction with it. We at Precision believe in advanced inspection of the belt and its componets. We start checking them around 90k and go up from there. We have found that many belts develop severe external cracking of the outer shell of the belt, which is the core strength of it. It seems every one cracks differently and at different times, so we have decided to just check in advance for all. We will look, advise, and show you what we mean if we think it is needed earlier than your owner's manual states.
With regards to the 120k replacement belts, we HIGHLY advise you to not wait this long to replace your timing belt. It is the same part number as older belts and is the same that previously required replacement at 105k. We have seen some of these belts break earlier than 120k and it has resulted in a hassle and a big expense to our customer, and a loss of faith in the product. When it comes time to replace your timing belt, it is necessary to replace the tensioner pulley, and we recommend the idler pulley be replaced as well. With a new tight belt on the vehicle, we have found the idler pulley becomes loud and can seize at higher mileage, (but with many miles left till next belt replacment) and this will cause the timing belt to be thrown off resulting in engine damage. We recommend the water pump be replaced on the second timing belt replacment, unless it is leaking antifreeze. We have not seen any water pumps seize earlier than second timing belt replacement is due.
All of these recomendations and precedures we do at Precision are a result of what we have experienced through the years from various customers' cars. We have found that these methods have served our customers very well and have prevented costly repair bills for them. Some other repair facilitiess may not recommend what we do, or if they do not know the product well enough, may not know exactly what should be replaced with it. Feel free to call, or email us with any questions you have about this.