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Japanese Automotive Professional Service
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There are times when a trip to the dealership versus your trusted home shop is necessary. Maybe there’s a warranty recall. Maybe your vehicle requires special tools. While it’s a decision you may have to make at some point in your life, having some more information will empower you to make a decision you feel great about.

Dealership technicians are highly trained in specific vehicles. They have a lot of experience in a few makes and models and can efficiently identify common defects, especially on later models. Although dealership technicians can quickly diagnose vehicle problems, the savings in their efficiency are not passed on to customers. With all the costs associated with running a dealership, repair bills tend to be higher.

Independent repair shops care about your experience, Staff at independent shops will take the time to educate you, follow-up with you, and keep a relationship with you. Their relationship with you is their greatest asset so they will do everything they can to maintain it. You have the ability to form a genuine working relationship with an independent shop and have opportunities to learn about your car and how vehicles work.

Independent shops depend on technicians who know how to fix cars they service. Since independent repair shops are not huge profit centers, they cannot afford to make many mistakes, lose consumer trust (i.e. “up-sell you”), or hire incompetent staff.

Here at Japanese Automotive Professional Service, our relationship with our customers is really important. We want you to be happy! It's just good business.

If you smell gasoline when driving your vehicle, you may feel a bit anxious about how to handle the situation. Since gasoline is flammable, driving your vehicle could be hazardous, so you should stop driving it right away and try to determine the cause of the odor. Here are some reasons you may smell a gas when driving your vehicle:

- Your gas cap may be unsecured. If you failed to turn it tight enough the last time you filled your vehicle, there's a good chance the odor is coming out of the tank where the cap should be placed.

- You may have a fuel tank leak. To check for a fuel tank leak, take a look underneath your vehicle after it's parked for several hours. Take a look at the tank itself, as well, to look for stains or moisture spots. If your tank is leaking, have an auto repair shop repair or replace it immediately. Even leaving your vehicle parked could be a hazard, as the gas fumes could ignite easily.

- You may have a leaking fuel line. Fuel lines can become rotted over time because of weather and because the lines are not protected by a covering underneath a vehicle. When a fuel line leaks or breaks the result will be a misting of the line under your vehicle. It's extremely dangerous for this mist to be near a running exhaust, so it's best to have your vehicle towed to a repair shop.

- You may have a fuel injector leak. The fuel injectors under the hood of your vehicle help push the gas into your engine, allowing it to run. If an injector is leaking, it will be able to be seen and smelled when your vehicle is running. Locate your injectors by looking at your vehicle manual for the specific location. If one seems wet, it's most likely the seal or ring on the top or bottom of the fuel injector that needs replacing. Have a repair shop replace the seals and rings on each one so you do not need to worry about repeat occurrences.

And as always, if you have questions or concerns about a gas smell in your vehicle, bring it to us for a thorough check up!

Day in and day out, you step on your vehicle’s brake pedal with little to no thought. One day, you step on the brake pedal, only to notice that it’s gotten much softer than you’re used to. A soft brake pedal could signal any number of common brake system maladies. A worn-out or defective brake master cylinder is one. The master cylinder can fail to hold enough pressure to maintain firm pedal travel. In some cases, the brake pedal may even sink to the floor, creating an extremely dangerous failure mode for your braking system.

Master cylinder replacements should be left in the hands of a skilled and properly trained brake repair mechanic. This way, you’ll have peace of mind that the job was done correctly. If your brakes are feeling a little iffy, call for an appointment and we'll be glad to check them out and recommend the best solution!

Are you getting ready to shop for a used car? If so, you probably have some idea of what make and model vehicle you want to purchase, as well as how much you want to spend. Besides just selecting a car to shop for, there are many factors to keep in mind when buying a used vehicle, as you'll want to be certain that you're getting the most for your money. A great way to protect your investment is to have your repair shop assist you with your car buying.

There are many benefits to having help from a mechanic, as he or she can help you avoid vehicles with frequent problems and give advice on the most reliable makes and models. It's also wise to have a car you're considering purchasing inspected by an independent repair shop to make sure there are no hidden problems that will cost you a lot of money later.

Of course there's no guarantee that the vehicle will be flawless, but having an informed technician look it over and run some diagnostics on it will give you some peace of mind and perhaps help you avoid a costly mistake.

If your vehicle’s automatic transmission isn't working correctly, you may notice certain issues while you're driving. If you notice any of these four common signs that your vehicle’s automatic transmission is malfunctioning you should bring it in for a check up:

1: Transmission Fluid Leaking
Transmission fluid leaks are often caused by a failed seal that can easily be replaced. However, if the seal is not replaced in a timely manner, then the transmission fluid can all leak out and the transmission will be ruined.

2: Slipping into Neutral While Driving
If your vehicle shifts at what appear to be the wrong times, or if it slips into neutral while driving, then it needs to have its transmission serviced. Not replacing the linkage cable soon enough will result in it breaking and ruining the gears of the transmission in the process.

3: Vehicle Not Accelerating
When the clutch in an automatic transmission begins to fail, the vehicle won't properly shift during acceleration. Instead, the engine will increase its output, but the transmission will hesitate before shifting into a higher gear. We can easily replace the clutch and solve this problem.

4: Jerking or Clunking During Shifting
Finally, if you notice your vehicle making any jerking movements or clunking noises, then the gears within the transmission are wearing out. If you find yourself saying; “What was that clunk?” when you car shifts, then it likely has worn gears in the transmission.

Bringing your car in for servicing quickly when you notice the first signs of a transmission problem can save you a lot of money by catching small problems before they become major issues.

Correctly preserving and regularly replacing the belts and hoses that control many important functions can save you money and time over the life of your vehicle. To prevent some of the most typical causes of breakdown it's recommended to have them checked every 3,000 miles or with every oil change.

When performing a belt/hose assessment, our professionals examine each belt for glazing, breaking, peeling and softening, correct tension, and appropriate drive pulley alignment. Our trained professionals also look for leaks and fractures, hardening, splitting and softening. A cooling system pressure examination inspects for holes and loose or worn clamps.

Call us or stop in today for an assessment if you experience any loss of power. hear squealing or grinding sounds, and if you feel vibrations, 'slips' or 'catching.' An ounce of prevention is worth the cost of a tow!

A happy and safe Memorial Day weekend to all our friends and customers! We honor our veterans and those who have served our country.

During the hot summer months, the one thing that we don't look forward to is the heat inside the car. Starting your car and cooling it down before getting in is a great way to make sure your vehicle is comfortable. If the air conditioner isn't cooling enough, it may be low on refrigerant. Most cars hold 32 ounces or less of refrigerant, so if it runs low it can cause slow cooling issues. Too make sure you stay cool, bring your vehicle in to Japanese Automotive Professionals to have the refrigerant levels checked before we enter the dog days of summer!

If you enjoy a leisurely drive, there is nothing more frustrating than a car that is under performing. You start the car, rev the engine, and put the pedal to the metal, but as you begin to drive off, you feel as slow as your grandma on a Sunday afternoon. What gives?
There could be many reasons why your vehicle is not living up to its performance standards. Your vehicle might be in need of a tune-up or a check-up, if it has any of these telltale signs:
- A rough idle
- Low gas mileage
- Starter trouble
- Slow acceleration
Your vehicle is important. Maintaining its health is important to its longevity and operation. Be sure that you have routine maintenance performed so that you can continue to enjoy cruising.

Summer vacation time is approaching! If you're planning a road trip, a week or so before you leave, have regular maintenance done, like oil and filter change, or routine maintenance. Specifically, ask the shop to check the air filter and change it if necessary. Changing the air filter is an inexpensive way to enhance fuel economy and performance. Also have them check the tires again. If the pressure has gone down since the last check, you may have a leak that can be fixed on the spot.

We want you to have a safe and happy time on your vacation, and not spend it in some auto shop waiting room in a strange city!
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