Cans of refrigerant are readily available in the auto parts stores. We don’t recommend using them. Here’s why: the A/C system has an optimum low-side pressure and a high-side pressure. The can attaches to the low-side service port and the gauge only tells you the low-side pressure. Meanwhile the high-side pressure is probably wrong. You might get lucky and the system will blow cold air. More often than not, one or both of the pressures are off. The system might partially work, or not work at all. Furthermore, excessive pressure on the high side may damage the system. So why waste your money?
Our A/C service starts at $60.00. It’s way better than a can! A basic recharge takes about 45 minutes. Contact us for details.
A code scan is step 1 of the diagnostic process. Sometimes, a code points to the actual problem area. That's great - when it works. However - a code may be caused by other codes, or a fault may exist and trip a code that appears unrelated to the problem area, or problems may exist in more than one vehicle system. If you want to scan your vehicle yourself, or get a free scan from a local parts store and come in with the results, we are fine with that. It is a good starting point for discussion.
Rocky does his own code scans. Here's why: results from aftermarket code readers often do not match up with results from Rocky's scan tool. Rocky is confident that the results of his code scans are accurate - this saves his time and your money.
Diagnostics are the foundation for a successful repair. Rocky combines the code scan with his diagnostic expertise, vehicle symptoms (if any), a visual inspection and/or test drive to verify the problem. It takes time to get the right answer. That is what you are paying for.
When the diagnostics are complete, Rocky maps out what is needed to repair the vehicle and we call you with an estimate. Then it is your choice to proceed with the repair, or not. Either way, the diagnostic process we use provides you with the the information you need to make an informed decision. We believe that is worth paying for.
The short answer is, brake pads and rotors work together to stop your car. Having new rotors and pads with a proper break-in will maximize the life of the parts. We believe this is the best value for your money.
More Info (the long answer)
Pads - in years past, brake pads used to be relatively soft. They were made of asbestos and they would wear out quickly, where the hard metal rotors would last through several sets of pads. That's all changed. Today’s brake pads are manufactured out of much harder materials -- namely, metal and ceramics. Now, the hard pads grind against the metal rotors, and they wear out at almost the same rate.
Rotors - today’s brake rotors are thin (to save on cost and weight) compared to rotors from years ago. The main issue with replacing pads is that putting new pads on worn/old rotors is risking brake vibration and noises. Sometimes it works, that’s true. You could just have the brake pads replaced - but because the rotors are already worn, it may be a short time until the rotors cause trouble (remember that shuddering vibration?) and you end up doing a brake job again six months down the road. Only this time you’re spending money replacing pads and rotors.
We want you to be 100% satisfied with your new brakes the first time, and that is why we replace the rotors and the pads together.
It is NOT OK!
When the Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light starts blinking, this means that damage to your catalytic converters may be happening. Usually you will be able to feel a noticeable difference in the way your vehicle is running. When the light flashes, you should pull over safely and shut the vehicle off as soon as possible. Have the vehicle towed in for diagnosis and repair. Continuing to drive the vehicle in this condition risks more damage and will cost more to repair.
Many people have never heard of changing the brake fluid. Some people think it’s not needed. Some people think it’s just another way for a mechanic to inflate the bill. If that sounds like you (and we aren’t judging!), here are the symptoms of contaminated brake fluid and some facts about brake fluid that might change the way you think about it.
Symptoms of Contaminated Brake Fluid
You might experience a spongy brake pedal, or (worst case) a complete loss of braking.
Brake Fluid Facts
· Brake fluid (DOT 3 and DOT 4) absorbs moisture. A vehicle can accumulate 2% to 3% water in the brake fluid every 18 months.
· Every 3% of water contamination affects brake fluid by lowering its boiling point by 25%. (Why is this important? Keep going…)
· Under heavy braking, the heat generated can boil and vaporize the brake fluid (turn it from a liquid to a gas). Gases are compressible (liquids are not).
All of that is the scientific explanation for why DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluid should be periodically changed. We follow the manufacturer recommendations.
When to Change the Brake Fluid
You experience symptoms such as a spongy brake pedal, or “it doesn’t stop like it used to”, or (worst case) a complete loss of brakes.
Clean brake fluid is clear. Cloudy brake fluid has absorbed a large amount of moisture and should be changed. Dark brake fluid is dirty and should be changed.