Fun Creates Amazing Things

When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things. Joe Namath

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Road Trip Check List

PreTripCars use for local commutes or around the corner grocery shopping rarely push the engine’s abilities like a road trip. While Hi-Tech Addison Auto Repair covers its customers with a 24,000-mile/24-month nationwide warranty, everyone is encouraged to get a Pre-Trip Check.

The Pre-Trip Check package reviews the items most likely to be stressed on a trip and informs the driver on the state of his or her car. When educated on the car’s condition, the driver can face unknown mechanics with confidence and protect himself or herself from being taken advantage of.

To reduce the possibility of visiting a repair shop on vacation, Hi-Tech’s vacation inspection consists of the following:

• Full Service Oil Change (Synthetic Blend)
• AC/Cooling Systems (performance & Freon check)
• Tires Balance, and Alignment
• Wipers
• Belts and Hoses
• Brakes and Lines
• Lights
• Batteries
• Filters and Fluids

To protect our customers, Hi-Tech’s 24/24 Nationwide Warranty is a part of a large network of like-minded auto repair shops who honor our warranty. They are also price competitive and believe in keeping our customers happy. The best news is that it only takes one phone call to Hi-Tech and the driver is immediately connected with the right roadside assistance team or nearby shop.

The complete Vacation Pre-Trip Vehicle Check package is only $49.95 until September 1, 2017 and includes a full service oil change with synthetic oil (a $59.95 value).
This vehicle inspection/review will boost the driver’s confidence in his or her coming trip. It will also provide backup from Hi-Tech’s nationwide sister shops—an invaluable resource for road trips.

© 2017 Hi-Tech Automotive Specialists, Inc.
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Cracking the Secret Tire Code

Have you ever been told to read the tire pressure off of the sidewall before filling the tire with air and noticed lots of codes? This article will help you crack the codes and understand the dimensions and performance standards of the tires you drive on.

DOT NUMBER
All tires have a Department of Transportation number indicating the tire passed all minimum DOT standards for sale in the U.S.

DOTAfter the “DOT,” the first two digits are the manufacturer and plant codes. The next two digits are the tire size code. The next three digits are the manufacturer ID code. The last four digits are the week and year the tire was manufactured. For instance, the number 3216 means the tire was manufactured in the 32nd week of 2016.

TIRE SIZE MARKINGS
The tire size code starts with a “P” for passenger car tires, an “LT” for light truck and SUV tires, and a blank for European tires.

MeasureThe number that follows is the width of the tire in millimeters. A P225 is a passenger tire that’s 225 millimeters wide.

Sidewall Hieght: After the forward slash symbol is the aspect ratio of the sidewall height (the percentage of the tire width). A 60 after the P225 would mean the sidewall is 135 millimeters tall.

Tire Speed Rating: The tire speed rating follows the aspect ratio with a single letter. If it is a “Z” it means the tire has the highest tested rating and will have an additional letter at the very end of the tire size markings that reveals the detail of the tire speed.

measure_zMany times a “Z” will have at the end of the tire size markings a “w” or a “Y” to represent speeds of a 168 mph or 186 mph. The below chart shows what speeds the letters represent.

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* Any tire with a speed capability over 149 mph can be listed as a “Z”.
** Although the tires have no upper speed limitation listed, the tires have limited rated speed capabilities.

The testing for the speed chart measures high-speed tire durability under controlled test conditions. These tests do not take into account under-inflation, tire damage, road conditions, all of which could lead to sudden tire failure or loss of vehicle control at lower speeds than what the tire is rated at. The letter “M” indicates that the tire can handle speeds up to 81 mph under test conditions. The more severe the road conditions, the slower the car must be driven.

Construction: The next letter represents the type of construction used to make the tire.

MeasureAn “R” is the designation for radial tires. Radial tires have layers of fabric whose cords run at right angles to the circumference of the tire and whose tread is strengthened by additional layers around the circumference making it the most common type of automotive tire.

Wheel Diameter: The wheel diameter is next and measured in inches. A “16” inch diameter notes that the tire will fit a 16” wheel. A space or gap follows.

Load Index: The next number is the Load Index number that indicates the load-carrying capacity of the tire. The load capacity includes passengers and items in the trunk. The load index assigns a number that corresponds to the maximum load-carrying capacity of the tire. For instance, if your tire is rated with a “97,” the chart indicates a load-carrying capacity of 1,609 lbs. at maximum inflation pressure.

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Some tires don’t use the load index number and instead publish the maximum load number on the tire sidewall.

LoadFor example the words “MAX. LOAD 580 kg. (1279 LBS)” puts the carrying capacity at 1,279 lbs.

ADDITIONAL NOTATIONS
Some tires have additional notations or symbols. A diamond at the end of the DOT code means that the tire was manufactured in the 1990s or 1980s.

MS

In another spot on the tire might be a M+S notation, which represents that the tire is good for mud and snow.

© 2017 Hi-Tech Automotive Specialists, Inc.
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Research on Searching for an Auto Shop

ASE_CertifiedA national marketing group recently released research on “What to Look for when Searching for an Auto Repair Shop.” Here is the summary of the results/recommendations with information about Hi-Tech Addison Auto Repair inserted.

  1. Look for a Repair Facility before you need one.

When a person is in the throes of getting their car fixed, time is of the essence, which detracts from a methodical and logical approach to finding the ideal repair shop. The ideal is to learn what shop has ASE Certified Mechanics that have experience repairing your specific model of car. Also review the company’s warranty so you know what is and what’s not covered.

Hi-Tech has ASE Certified Mechanics and specialists that have experience on hundreds of makes and models of vehicles, so feel free to ask which mechanics are qualified to work on your car. Hi-Tech also offers a limited 24,000 miles, 24 month comprehensive warranty.

  1. Conduct a Social Media Search.

Social Media is a buzz with real and fake reviews. The longer the negative review (long rants crossing back and forth over several issues), the more likely it is to be fake. Also, short negative reviews that lack any form or give any sense of a real event or specifics are likely false.

Rarely will you see a true negative review at a quality shop because the person would feel they could talk to the owner and get the issue resolved to their satisfaction. Only those issues that don’t get full resolution based on circumstance or unrealistic expectations end up with a bad review.

Real positive reviews typically reflect at least one specific thing that stood out as being fantastic for the customer. Sometimes a specific mention of a person or an amazing act of kindness might be raved about. The price being fair or the warranty actually being of value are also common. The positive reviews might be story based, as the customer wants to share their great experience as it unfolded.

False positive reviews are rare, as most systems (Google, Yelp and Facebook) can pick up on the fake items, and either lower their weight of importance to bury it within the numerous reviews or reject its inclusion. Most positive fake reviews come from the same IP address and are quickly distinguished by the systems.

  1. Conduct a BBB Search.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates companies based on consumer experiences. Any company with an “A” rating is worth looking into. There are also a few “A+” companies that provide a higher standard of ethics and better customer service.

Hi-Tech won the Honorable Mention out of 4,000 companies competing in four categories for Marketplace Ethics. We were thrilled that we successfully met all the criteria, scrutiny and reviews required for the Torch Award. To be among the dozen companies that were awarded in 2017 is truly an honor and speaks highly of our efforts to run a healthy business.

  1. Search for a Decade or More of Certified Experience.

Today’s laws allow anyone to open an auto repair shop without any form of training or certification. However, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) has created voluntary standards for all member companies to follow.

In addition, the National Association of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) created a certification program to protect consumers from the scam shops that open for a few years and then disappear. The ASE tests each mechanic’s knowledge and execution of specific work, giving those who excel a certificate of excellence for each specific skill. Once a complete series of certificates are achieved, the ASE awards the mechanic the ASE Master Mechanic Certificate.

Hi-Tech opened in 1993 and has numerous certifications and multiple ASE Certified Mechanics. The team is made up of three mechanics with 10-40 years of experience and three mechanics in training who are in the process of being certified. In addition, each mechanic has earned status with areas of specialty. For instance, Corey holds numerous certifications and is known locally throughout the industry as the specialist that can troubleshoot any and all wiring and computer system issues.

  1. Find a Dependable Shop.

There are too many shops that will fix just the part of your car that needs to be fixed instead of making sure the car’s drivability level doesn’t bring you back within the next month with progressive problems. Finding a shop that will explain the condition of the car’s performance, drivability and safety is essential to extending the life of the vehicle.

Hi-Tech inspections provide customers an idea of what work needs to be done immediately and what can be put off without speeding the further deterioration of the car. Some non-critical repairs are able to wait 6-12 months in order to spread out the expenses, but for those immediate issues, Hi-Tech offers the Synchrony interest free (when paid in full within the payment period) extended payments program.

  1. Avoid Overcharging Shops.

The marketing group found five types of add-on charges that consumers need to be careful about.

  • Un-Needed Repairs: Replacing a part that works or fixing an item that isn’t necessary.
  • Phantom Repairs: Saying they replaced a part like a working fog light without touching it.
  • Bait and Switch: Advertising a great special to draw you in and talking you into a different package based on “your car’s real need.”
  • Extensive Periodic Maintenance: The only periodic maintenance needed is outlined in the car’s owner’s manual. Anything beyond those items is not necessary. It’s important to check the manual before purchasing a periodic maintenance package.
  • Warranty Items: Charging for work covered by warranty is the latest of scams. Knowing what your warranty covers is important and how long it’s good for based on mileage and months. Be weary of companies that state they have the longest warranty at 12 months when Hi-Tech offers 24 months. Most shops offer 30 – 90 days warranty.

Hi-Tech is the recipient of the BBB’s Honorable Mention Torch Award for 2017 for marketplace ethics. We have been investigated and proven to be a company that operates ethically, avoiding the above games that some companies play. All of the recommended work we suggest is explained. For those who require pictures or need a walk-around, we provide whatever the customer requires to understand the legitimacy of our recommendations.

  1. Ask Around for Recommendations.

Asking to hear about auto repair experiences from friends, family and associates will help you determine what companies are worth looking into. However, be cautious of those who only say great things about their mechanic, as everyone is human and makes mistakes. The “perfect” mechanic doesn’t exist, so a defensive friend might be covering for his or her own lapse in judgment or investigation.

The amount of vehicles coming in and going out at Hi-Tech suggests at some point Keep in mind that how an auto shop responds to a mistake speaks volumes about their integrity. The shop that sees value in their customers will look for a fair resolution in order to win a second chase to serve them in the future.

  1. Check with the Chamber of Commerce.

A company’s reputation precedes them on a local level. The hard working effective companies are always asked to support or help with community events. The more people in the community that know the company name, the more likely they are to have generated good will with hard work for their customers and giving back to their community.

Hi-Tech has sponsored several high school level sports programs, the Park District’s Youth Obstacle Course Program, and Rock ‘n Wheels Thursday night summer program. Come every week during the summer and visit our booth at Friendship Plaza on Thursday nights. This year we’re extending our reach to summer activities in surrounding cities as well.

  1. Review Facility and Professionalism.

Auto Shops are always dirty, but a quality shop works daily to counter the affects of the grimy process. Most of the time a person can tell if effort was given to improve the cleanliness of the environment, even when it’s a losing battle. The kindness and professionalism of the workers can also be assessed. How the person greets you and answers questions will reveal a lot about the shop.

Hi-Tech is known for its sense of community. Its approachable family style with professional expertise salted in attracts a lot of new customers. The team knows each customer and happily looks after the care of his or her vehicle. In between vehicles, the team chips in to clean the shop before the next set of cars comes in.

  1. Don’t Judge Location Convenience.

Costs and new laws have forced a lot of great shops away from prime retail locations and located them in industrial areas. Some cities like Schaumburg purposely moved all “dirty” industries away from the main traffic patterns of consumers.

To keep costs down for its customers, Hi-Tech set up shop in an industrial area. This cuts overhead in half and allows for more competitive pricing. While the shop is harder to find for first time, customers appreciate the highly competitive pricing.

  1. Start with a Small Job.

Testing out a new shop is best done with small projects that allow you to get to know the team servicing your vehicle. A simple oil change might be too small, as the work may be given to the rookie mechanic. It’s best to pick projects that could call upon the shop’s veteran mechanic like a tire inspection, air conditioner analysis, or battery cleaning and inspection.

In all cases you’ll get a feel for how you’ll be treated and educated, if at all. You’ll also be in a position to ask about wheel alignments, brake jobs and other more significant and common maintenance work.

At Hi-Tech you’ll get the same level of service regardless of what work is being done. The only difference might be in the amount of education and decision making you might face.

© 2017 Hi-Tech Automotive Specialists, Inc.

 

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Happy Easter!

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Man’s Best Friend

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Is It Possible?

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