Kim's Auto and Body Repair
8035-15th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Fair and Honest Service
Dealing with auto repairs can be stressful. We've included answers to some frequently asked questions to help you feel more prepared.
How often should I get a tune-up?
Most cars require regularly scheduled tune-ups yearly and require major maintenance at 60,000 miles.
Kim's Auto and Body Repair • (206) 524-6005
Once a Customer, Always a Customer
Oil change recommendations
How often should I change my oil?
It depends on how you drive. If your car always (or nearly always) gets warmed up, and you don't drive it very hard and keep the revs down, the manufacturer's recommendation is probably fine. If, however, you drive it hard, drive it at high revs, or alternatively, if you only drive it to and from the supermarket so that it doesn't get up to temperature, then you may wish to change oil much more often, perhaps at 3000 mile intervals (given that most manufacturers are now specifying 7500 mile intervals.) If you don't drive your car much at all (say 7500 miles a year), then you probably want to change oil every six months anyway.
Brake job expectations
What should be included in a "complete brake job"?
A complete brake job should restore a vehicle’s brake system and braking performance to good-as-new condition. Anything less would be an incomplete brake job. Brake components that should be replaced will obviously depend upon the age, mileage and wear. A complete brake job should begin with a thorough inspection of the entire brake system; lining condition, rotors and drums, calipers and wheel cylinders, brake hardware, hoses, lines and the master cylinder.
Belts and hoses
How often should belts and hoses be replaced?
Most hose manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every four years. With V-belts, replace them every three years or 36,000 miles. The incidence of failure rises sharply after the fourth year for hoses and third year for belts. A typical serpentine belt lifespan is about five years or 50,000 miles. Serpentine belts are thinner and more flexible than V-belts. They run cooler and last longer, but they cost about twice as much to replace.
Do I have to go to the dealership for regularly scheduled maintenance?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Your new car warranty can be applied to any independent automotive shop. We often hear dealership horror stories where customers have to keep going back to the dealer time after time to complete a simple repair. Why waste time and money? At Kim's Auto and Body Repair we have qualified, ASE-certified technicians that listen to you and most importantly, GET THE JOB RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!
What should I look for when purchasing a used car?
If you do not have a used car thoroughly checked out by a professional you could be making a big mistake. The cost is very minor and we always give a buyer more ammunition for bringing the price down. Money spent on having a qualified mechanic check out a used car is well spent.
My car is making a pinging sound. What does that mean?
Most likely, a pinging sound coming from your engine indicates timing problems. Sometimes pinging is caused by poor quality or low octane fuel. Pinging can cause damage. We strongly advise that to have your car checked out by a professional to determine whether it’s causing damage.
What can make a car overheat?
Overheating is caused by anything that leads to a loss of coolant, prevents the cooling system from getting rid of heat, or causes excess heat in the engine itself:
• Coolant leaks (water pump, radiator, heater core, hoses, freeze plugs, head gasket, engine internal).
• Weak radiator cap (does not hold rated pressure and allows coolant to boil over). Pressure test the cap to check it out.
• Cooling system clogged (deposits built up in radiator or in engine due to maintenance neglect or use of hard water). Use a cleaner, then
reverse flush system to clean it out. A badly clogged radiator may need to be rodded out or replaced.
• Thermostat stuck shut (replace).
• Inoperative electric cooling fan (check fan motor, relay and temperature switch for correct operation).
• Bad fan clutch (replace if slipping, leaking or loose).
• Missing fan shroud (reduces cooling efficiency of fan).
• Slipping fan belt (tighten or replace).
• Too low or too high a concentration of antifreeze (should be 50/50 for best cooling).
• Bad water pump impeller (eroded or loose - replace pump).
• Collapsed radiator hose (check lower hose).
• Debris in radiator (remove bugs and dirt).
• Late ignition timing (reset to specs).
• Restricted exhaust system (check intake vacuum readings and inspect converter, muffler and pipes).
• Radiator and/or fan undersized for application (increase cooling power by installing larger and/or auxiliary cooling fan).