31 March 2008

New reminder service and free maintenance inspections during April's National Car Care Month

April is National Car Care Month, the time of year to focus on taking better care of your second largest investment. To celebrate, Coppell Tire & Auto is offering free maintenance inspections throughout the month. The 41 point inspection, recommended by the Car Care Council, checks components on vehicles that typically get overlooked, including tires, air filters, lubricants and fluids, belts and hoses, battery cables and lights.

In addition, the company is introducing Car Care Reminders, an email based service that provides customers with friendly maintenance reminders specific to their vehicle and driving habits. The service compares the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule with the vehicle's actual service history and mileage to calculate customer and vehicle specific reminder dates. Customers may also specify the components or services they want to track.

Asked why he felt the need to invest in the computer technology and free check-ups, Coppell Tire & Auto's owner/manager Shannon Schmittou quipped, "Our repair service is booming, but that's not necessarily a good thing, especially when many of the repairs are avoidable. It's all about keeping our customers happy. They're much happier when they stop by for low-cost maintenance, than towed in for high-cost repairs."

In 2007, results of car care events nationwide showed that consumers are neglecting their cars, with eight out of 10 vehicles failing at least one component of the vehicle inspection process. Consumers are relying more and more on quick oil change services and onboard computers for their maintenance information, often with undesirable results. Something as simple as tire inflation can dramatically reduce tire life, decrease gas mileage, and impede braking and handling performance critical for accident avoidance. Other components, if left unchecked, can have a similar or worse affect on performance, safety, and repair costs.

To schedule a free maintenance inspection and sign up for Car Care Reminders, call 972-393-2521 or stop by the shop.

13 March 2008

Spring Break or Breakdown?

It's spring break, time for many families and students to hit the road. If your vehicle hasn't had a check-up lately, please come in before you go.

Each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, neglected maintenance leads to more than 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.

This statement is not intended to scare, but if it makes you stop and think when your car or truck last had a check-up by a trained mechanic, that's a good thing! If you, or your son or daughter, are in town for the break, don't put it off any longer. Come in for a free maintenance inspection. We'll tell you if anything needs immediate attention and when you should come back for the rest.

If you don't have time for a full check-up, please take just 10 minutes to check the basics. The Car Care Council offers a quick three step self-check:

  1. Check all fluids. There are several fluids that require attention, including engine oil, power steering, brake, and transmission fluids, windshield washer solvent, and antifreeze/coolant.
  2. Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced. Give them a good squeeze. If you hear or feel them crack, or see bulges, they need replacing.
  3. Check the tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.
Not only can a maintenance inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with your own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car's performance, it's comforting to know proper precautions were taken.

09 March 2008

Save gas and the environment

With gas prices hovering around $3 per gallon, and spring break road trips planned, many of our customers are asking what they can do to squeeze out a few more miles per gallon. Depending on how well you maintain your vehicle, you might be pleasantly surprised with just how much you can save.

The Car Care Council published the chart (below) that lists some commonly neglected maintenance items that, if addressed, could squeeze out another 11 miles per gallon! Now we doubt that everyone will see this kind of improvement, but if you don't remember when you last addressed these items, it would be a good idea to come by for a check up.

Condition Effect

MPG Penalty
(up to)

Under-inflated tiresIncrease rolling resistance1-2 mpg
Dirty air filter Causes excessively rich fuel/air mixture 2.0 mpg
Worn spark plugsCause inefficient combustion, wasted fuel 2.0 mpg
Worn O2 sensorUnable to detect and adjust air/fuel mixture3.0 mpg
Dirty or substandard engine oil Increases internal engine friction .4 mpg
Loose gas capAllows fuel to evaporate 2.0 mpg

Potential loss in fuel economy
if all of the above were neglected

11.4 mpg
Courtesy of the Car Car Council

Another way to improve your vehicle's mpg, sometimes dramatically, is by changing your driving behavior. Unfortunately, like most habits, it's a lot easier said than done. Again, the Car Care Council offers some tips...

  • Don't be an aggressive driver: Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 10 to 66 cents per gallon.
  • Avoid excessive idling: Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Today's cars don't need to "warm up" before driving, and if you really want it to warm up or cool off in the cabin, you'll get to your preferred temperature faster by driving.
  • Observe the speed limit: Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.

Keep in mind that these tips not only save you money, they also save the environment. So here's to a safe and greener spring break!

08 March 2008

Bigger, faster and more comfortable

Last year a few of our loyal customers started hinting that our service was slowing down, especially for the quick preventive maintenance, like an oil change or tire rotation. We figured a lot more of you felt the same way, but were just too nice to tell us. So, we decided to fix the problem by adding some more space...a lot of space.

  • Nearly twice as many bays to get you in and out faster

  • A new customer service area with complimentary wireless internet

  • More display space to show off our great tire deals

  • An employee break room (happy technicians means happy customers!)

  • More storage for more on-hand parts and quick service

  • Expanded office space for the boss

  • And brand new, sparkling clean bathrooms!

The office moved, but we're still next door to Coppell Middle School West, just one door down from our old entrance. Feel free to park in the main lot off of Crestside Drive or along the west side accessible from Wrangler Drive.

We hope you like it. And if you have any other ideas or concerns, keep them coming. Thanks for your business!