Thursday, October 20, 2011

Are Your Lights Dim?

The purpose of the charging system is to maintain the charge in the vehicle's battery, and to provide the main source of electrical energy while the engine is running.  A compromised  battery, alternator or generator can have many adverse effects on your vehicle.  Today's vehicles rely heavily on the proper operation of it's electrical system.  Stop by 60 Minute Tune for a complimentary charging and starting system analysis today.

If your battery, alternator or generator fails it can be a serious problem that can leave you stranded, without warning. This system is crucial because it keeps your battery charged. It also provides power to run your lights, air conditioning, radio and other electric accessories on your car while it is running. A failed or malfunctioning charging system can ruin a battery by over or under charging it.

If your battery is dead, keeps running down or cranks your engine slowly, you may have a charging system problem.  Please call 60 Minute Tune today and take preventive measures to avoid being stranded.  Stop by for a complimentary charging/starting system analysis.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Is your O2 sensor bad or is it something else?

A common sign of a bad oxygen sensor (O2 sensor) is a decrease in fuel economy. O2 sensors usually last between 60,000 miles and 100,000 miles depending upon the vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for recommended mileage replacement or call 60 Minute Tune, we are here to help.

A decrease in fuel economy does not automatically mean your O2 sensor is bad, it's just a symptom. Before replacing an O2 sensor, your vacuum hoses, spark plugs,  and ignition system should be checked.  A vacuum hose could be leaking which can also cause a bad oxygen sensor symptom even though the sensor is functioning correctly.

A professional shop will use a diagnostic tree to eliminate all other issues to ensure the suggested repair is the right repair for your vehicle. This will save you time and money. Oxygen sensors work by constantly measuring the oxygen content inside the exhaust manifold and comparing it to the air outside the engine.

A bad O2 sensor will usually cause the check engine light to illuminate. Remember a bad O2 sensor diagnostic code is not always the root of the problem. A check engine light may also illuminate due to a fouled plug, bad ignition switch, or a vacuum leak among other problems. All of  these symptoms can return a bad O2 sensor diagnostic code. Be safe have it checked at a professional shop before you spend a fortune on home repair.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Emergency Road Kit

Putting together an Emergency Road Kit is essential because you never know when an emergency will arise. The team at 60 Minute Tune cares about your safety; which is why we suggest carrying the following items in your vehicle at all times:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or reflective devices
  • First-aid kit
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Blanket
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Change of clothes
  • Automobile registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • Cell phone
  • Copy of your health insurance card
  • Marker and message pad
  • Emergency contacts
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Copy of your motor club membership card
  • Shovel
  • Window scraper/brush
  • Window washer fluid
  • Sand or rock salt
  • Thermal packs
  • Energy bars
  • Hat and gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Disposable camera
  • Road maps

Monday, September 19, 2011

What Do Brake Noises Tell You?

Some brake noises are normal, while others indicate problems requiring service. This is what the noises could mean:

  • Grinding When caused by rust building up on the rotors, it's of little concern. The buildup can usually be removed, or sometimes it disappears after a few stops. If grinding persists, the problem could be more serious and should be addressed immediately.

  • Loud squeals Disc brakes with wear indicators may produce a squeal,
    indicating it's time to change the pads.

  • Trace squeaks or squeals Semi-metallic brake linings can emit sound. Rain, humidity or cold brakes could be the source. If the problem persists, have the brakes checked.

  • Clicking Sometimes accompanied by a slight pulsing in the brake pedal at low speeds, it's most likely the Anti-lock Braking System performing a harmless self-check.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Brake System is Your Car's Most Important Safety System

When you think about your vehicle, what is the most important role your vehicle must play in your everyday life? Safety. When you are driving it is very important to be able to stop quickly and safely, yet many people put off replacing their brakes because it does not hamper them from driving in their mind. At 60 Minute Tune your safety is our number 1 priority.

Brakes are a normal wear item for any car. Eventually, they're going to need to be replaced for both performance and safety reasons. Planning can also save you money —your brakes won't get to the "metal-to-metal" point, which usually means accelerating expensive rotor or drum replacement.

In between replacements we recommend the BG Brake Service.

Brake fluid becomes oxidized and contaminated over time and use. Heat and moisture cause corrosion on parts and brake fluid failure. This causes a spongy brake pedal and shows up in discolored brake fluid.

The entire brake system is inspected for leaks, master cylinder corrosion, worn pneumatic parts, harmful varnish build-up, broken or rusted bleeder valves, worn rotors and drums and air in the brake lines. All old brake fluid is replaced with BG Heavy Duty DOT 3 or DOT 4 Brake Fluid. The result will be a longer lasting, more efficient and safer braking system.

Your Brake System:
The brake system is your car's most important safety system. Never put off routine brake inspections or any needed repair so that your car can continue to operate as designed. Brakes often have wear indicators that produce noise when it's time to change the pads. Brake noise may sound like high pitch squealing or a grinding noise. Or your brakes may feel different when you press on them. If you think there may be a problem with your vehicle's brakes, have them inspected at 60 Minute Tune in Granada Hills. Our automotive shop features quality ACDelco parts, with a safety rating you can depend on.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Belts and hoses are essential to keeping your vehicle on the road

Your belts and hoses are essential to keeping your vehicle on the road for years to come. Perhaps among all the preventative maintenance services on your vehicle, belts and hoses are the most important because they have the shortest lifespan.

Due to constant exposure to heat, hard driving conditions, and changes in temperatures,  these components crack, leak, fray, and peel. Worn belts and hoses are much more affordable to replace than an engine which can be destroyed if a belt or hose breaks. At 60 Minute Tune we recommend having a visual inspection done on your belts and hoses annually.

A visual inspection of belts includes:
  • Search for clear indications of damage (cracking, glazing, softening, or peeling)
  • Test for correct tension
  • Test for correct alignment
  • Record belt condition for future reference
A visual inspection of hoses includes:
  • Search for clear indications of damage (leaks, cracks, hardening, or softening)
  • Test cooling system for leaks using state-of-the-art pressure technology
  • Record hose condition for future reference
Here are a few key items that affect the replacement intervals for belts and hoses:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Potholes are the Pits

Potholes are serious business and can cause some very expensive repairs! We have all seen them in the road, and we try our best to avoid them but sometimes it's impossible. Potholes cause untimely damage to suspension, steering, tires and rims. Your shocks and struts take the biggest impact because they compress and expand using hydraulic oil to ease the effects of driving on uneven surfaces and make for a smoother ride.

Depending on the depth of a pothole, your shock and strut could actually bottom out. Braking while hitting a pothole can cause even more problems. We suggest braking before a pothole and after if necessary but not during.

Besides the suspension components, other parts such as control arms, ball joints and axle shafts are also prone to pothole damage. Your rims can bend or even crack causing poor tire inflation which can also lead to premature tire replacement.

Potholes are the number one cause for premature tire wear, alignment problems and poor vehicle drivability. Our advice is to avoid potholes whenever it is safe to do so. We want to help prevent this damage to your car, and keep you safe. The following resources came up when we searched for information regarding reporting potholes. Have your brakes and suspension checked to prevent premature replacement.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Keeping it Cool

Your air conditioning system in your vehicle consists of a few components that require annual attention. The compressor is the heart of your AC system and is operated by your engine belt. It also includes an electronic clutch that turns the system on and off as you change the level of cool air you require in your car. While the condenser and the evaporator act like miniature radiators to transform R134 from air to a liquid and then back into a gas.

The thermal expansion valve allows you to decide just how much cool air you want in your car, so you are not always freezing. Lastly the drier or accumulator is a safety catch for your AC system. It protects your compressor from fluids that could damage or even ruin your compressor.

Even though your AC may work perfectly when you buy your car over time the bumps and jolts in the road can cause your AC seals to loosen which will cause leaks to occur. If your Freon leaks out your AC will simply blow hot air, and let's face it, none of us like to be hot and sweaty!

Having your AC serviced once a year can help you avoid costly repairs like replacing your AC system. As your vehicle ages, adjustments need to be made to assure proper, efficient and maximum use of your AC system. With all this summertime heat it's important to remember, you don't have to be hot all the time, Call 60 Minute Tune today and find out how we can make your AC system work like new again.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Don't be left on the side of the road with a dead battery

Standing around?
Over time, extreme temperatures can wear on the life of your battery.  Over time corrosion accumulates on your battery posts and terminals, after awhile this build-up begins to drain power from the battery which can leave you stranded. 

With 60 Minute Tune's BG battery service, our tech's will clean your battery and detect a leak if there is one present. Leaks, evaporation and overcharging are all contributors to send your battery to an early grave.

With 60 Minute Tune's BG service, our techs install anti corrosion terminal protectors once the battery has been tested and cleaned. Lastly the battery posts, terminals and case are sealed to continue to maintain and extend the life of your battery.  We recommend replacing your battery every three to five years for trouble free starting!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Fuel Misconceptions

There are three main misconceptions regarding improved fuel economy:
  • Fuel additives purchased from a retail automotive store are just as effective as a fuel additive like BG’s 44K only available at professional automotive shops. (44k was tested against a variety of other products and was the only one proven to work effectively.)
  • Buying more expensive fuel regardless of grade will reduce nasty build up in your vehicle. (The grade of fuel can make a marginal difference, but the dollar amount has no effect on your fuel effectiveness)
  • Cutting out preventative maintenance will help balance the additional pennies spent on fuel because preventative maintenance is only suggestive. (This is the worst misconception, without proper preventative maintenance, your fuel economy may decline, and your vehicle will need additional repairs.
After much debate as to whether the BG Fuel Induction Service including the 44k additive was cost effective. We put a pen and paper to it so we could measure dollars and sense! Below are the results:

The average driver drives 120,000 miles during the life of their vehicle, this driver will save an average of $500 to $800 in fuel expense over the life of their vehicle just by using BG. Call 60 Minute Tune for details.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Battery Tests

It seems like it always happens when you are in a hurry or on a Monday morning. You jump in your car and turn the key...but  nothings happens. Car troubles can cause immediate frustration because your daily life depends on reliable transportation. At 60 Minute Tune we want to help you avoid this disappointment.
Here are some signs your battery may be headed for the graveyard:
  • Slow starting
  • Long cranking
  • Dim lights
  • Failure to start

Your battery should be tested once a year. 60 Minute Tune can perform this test for you at anytime. Batteries last anywhere between 2-5 years. Many times the median age of a battery is 3 years. Batteries range between $95 and $160 depending on the year make and model of your vehicle. Be prepared always have jumper cables in your car, or better yet have your battery tested so you are not left stranded.
You can extend the life of your battery by:
  • Allowing your car to run longer than twenty minutes at a time
  • Avoiding extreme heat
  • Keeping your battery posts clear of corrosion
  • Avoid short trips
You can learn more about your charging systems at Follow us on Twitter for help hints and car tips.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dirty Injectors

You know your car probably better than anyone else. So when you feel like something is off you are probably right. Dirty injectors can cause a variety of symptoms with little or no warning. Without the proper care these symptoms can turn into a very expensive repair bill at the wrong shop. Your auto repair shop should always use a diagnostic tree to ensure they are recommending the right service for you. This will save you time and money in the long run. One more reason to choose a professional repair shop.
Here are a few symptoms to look for, poor fuel economy, sputtering, slow start, miss fire. Over the counter injection cleaners can cause even more problems. Call your repair shop and always ask for BG. Increase your return on your car by preforming proper maintenance according to your manufacturer's recommendations. Why BG? We recommend BG products because of  their effectiveness, warranty, and the results they deliver. Depending on your current mileage, BG offers a lifetime warranty just for doing what you should be for your car.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Benefits of Synthetic Oil

There are thousand's of moving parts in your engine, these parts can become worn out without proper preventative maintenance. Synthetic oil flows easier in cold weather, so your engine starts up quick without hesitation.
Synthetic oil is highly resistant to viscosity breakdown caused by heat, friction, and/or chemical contaminants. If you are busy and most of us are, synthetic oil changes make your life more convenient because it allows you to go farther on an oil change up to 2,000 or 3,000 miles more! Talk to your service advisor about synthetic oil, this can extend the life of your car and save you valuable time. Make an appointment today to extend the life of your car.

  • Synthetic oil provides better lubrication for all of your engine's moving parts
  • You can drive more miles between your synthetic oil changes

Monday, March 14, 2011

Preventative Maintenance

Since mechanics are educated in preventative maintenance, you may find yourself paying a larger bill at 30,000 mile intervals. Not to worry, if your service manager is not recommending preventative maintenance (because he wants to save you money today) he's costing you much more money tomorrow.

Preventative maintenance, such as coolant flushes, can extend the life of your vehicle, and reduce your expense of radiator replacement or even an engine overhaul. Yes, it's really that important! A simple service that could cost as little as $60, could save you $1000 or more in major engine repairs.

In the weeks to come we will continue to educate our customers about preventative maintenance, because we want your vehicles to last as long as you want them to last. A vehicle purchase is considered one of the largest purchases you will ever make. Let us help you protect your investment.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Costly Mistake in Automotive Repair

A costly error that many consumers’ make is signing the service ticket without asking questions. If you are taking your vehicle to a shop you should feel comfortable enough with the shop to ask questions. Regardless, of whether, it’s about price or service.  It’s important to understand the services you are receiving and why your vehicle needs preventative maintenance or repairs.  Understanding the services may increase longevity of the life of your vehicle; because you will be able prevent costly repairs.
As consumers, I am one myself, we feel a little uneasy, when asking too many questions sometimes when we are purchasing a service. Avoiding questions creates an underlying communication issue in the future. Without communication, there is no foundation for long term working relationship.  An automotive shop is not someone you should call on when it’s an emergency, it’s someone you should know you won’t have to call on in an emergency, because they are preventing unexpected emergencies.