The VW Scandal

Many of our customers have asked me to clarify of what, exactly, the German car company has been accused. I’m not an expert on the case, but I’ve certainly read my fair share on the recent events and hope to offer a bit of clarification.[Continue Reading]

Skilled Labor

The automobile technician of today’s world is changing quickly. Not only must the tech be able to use their body to perform repairs to the machine, but they must use their experience and education to see into the mind of a computerized machine which is increasingly autonomous. How do they do it? Sometimes I don’t even know. How do we find these guys, and what do we look for? As an owner, I’m looking for technicians who possess a college education in automotive technology. They will be required to be master certified once properly trained.[Continue Reading]

Timing Belt Costs

One important function of our shop is education. I really enjoy talking about these machines we love so much. Customers commonly ask questions about timing belts. Some cars and trucks use timing chains, but today we’ll stick to the belt.[Continue Reading]

Environmental Impact

We all know cars pollute. Besides driving less, there are things we can do to reduce the impact our car has on the earth. Let’s start with a bit about the Check Engine light. If your Check Engine light is on, the “root problem” needs to be diagnosed and repaired by a professional repair facility. This light can come on for hundreds, if not thousands of different reasons. The U.S. government mandates this light to come on when a failure occurs which may result in higher than allowable tailpipe emissions. The problem may or may not affect how the car runs or drives, but the problem will likely have an impact on fuel economy. Either way, the problem should be fixed.[Continue Reading]

Solid Battery Connections

Cars. They’re so darn complicated, and like our bodies, the various systems work together and depend on each other. One particular system, the starting and charging system, is often overlooked. With modern vehicles utilizing separate computers for nearly every function on the vehicle, the starting and charging system plays a critical role in the proper operation of all other systems.[Continue Reading]

Teens & Cars

As many parents begin the daunting task of choosing a car for their teen, they turn to their trusted repair shop for answers. As the parent of a 15-year-old, I too ask myself “What is the best car for my child to learn to drive?” There are so many cars to choose from, the decision is understandably overwhelming. However, this I know to be true—my son will drive a car with airbags. When used in conjunction with seatbelts, airbags save lives. No doubt about it.[Continue Reading]

Fixing Cars is Hard

Fixing cars is hard. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a downright difficult job. And the most challenging aspect of it may surprise you. It isn’t spending hours diagnosing an engine problem only to discover a transmission is to blame, or the frustration of finding more repairs are needed after performing $1500 of work. It’s actually cutting through the pervasive misperception that as auto repair professionals, we are somehow inherently engaging in unethical or dishonest business practices. We’ve been called every name in the book, accused of thievery, and even accused of sabotage! Believe me, cars don’t need any assistance with breaking; they break just fine on their own. As a business owner who lives and works in Ashland, I take this to heart.[Continue Reading]

Ask Zach from Ashland Automotive

Q: I’m shopping around for different estimates for scheduled maintenance. Why do the costs vary so much? A: Let’s use one of the most common estimates as an example—one that often needs explanation—the ever-looming timing belt job. Many car owners call and ask about the cost of a timing belt replacement, and the estimates can vary from just a few hundred dollars to over a thousand. A bit of education will help explain the wide variance in cost.[Continue Reading]

Used Car Buying Tips from Zach at Ashland Automotive Inc.

People often ask me what type of “used” car I recommend they buy, and I usually respond with a different question. “What is it you’re looking for?” Surprisingly, many of us aren’t completely sure what we’re looking for when shopping for a new or used vehicle. Do we need a station wagon, a truck, a 2WD, 4WD, or AWD? What will be the primary use for this vehicle?[Continue Reading]

Winter Driving

For many of us, holiday travel is fast approaching. We’ll soon pack our cars, pour a thermos of coffee, download our audiobooks, and go the distance to spend time with our loved ones. The drive can be a fun part of the vacation, so long as we’re prepared.[Continue Reading]