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37-Special Offer for PacBrake Products

Sturken Automotive and RV A proud re-seller and installation facility for PacBrake Products www.pacbrake.com. Purchase a Pacbrake PRXB exhaust brake or a LoadLeash engine brake and receive 10% off the purchase price! Contact your Service Advisor at Sturken’s RV to schedule your installation. You will be glad you did! Offer valid until June 1, 2013

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36- Are Factory Parts Always the Best Options for my Car?

The answer is no.There are times when they are and times when they aren't. The parts supplied by the car companies while of good quality, are often more expensive than what they could be if supplied by other manufactures (aftermarket). Many times the new car makers contract with the aftermarket to make their new car products. But, when they do so, they stamp them with the original equipment (O.E.) stamp. The ultimate seller of these parts, the new car dealers, has to mark up the prices substantially to make their margins. This of course makes the parts more expensive to the end user. If that same part if sold by the same supplier without the O.E. stamp and without the dealer mark-up, to the local parts store the end cost is substantially lower. This is the identical part at a much lower cost. This usually happens with faster moving and popular parts such as brakes, water pumps and radiators. In another scenario such as the case of shock absorbers, the factory p ... read more

35-Insurance Companies Using Spy Devices

Insurance companies keep finding new ways to make us pay. Now some are giving you an incentive to let them hook up a spy-device to your car. They obviously are going to charge you more if you drive more miles. But some monitor how often and for how long, you exceed 80 mph. They can even monitor how aggressively you drive including how fast you take corners and brake to a stop. When they get more sophisticated, I can see them determining your location by GPS to see if you are exceeding the posted speed limits. State Farm says that people who have signed up for their program get
about 10 percent off their bill. My question is: Can this data be used against you in an accident? If they monitor your speed and turning data, can’t this be used against you? The airbag computers already store some incriminating evidence of what was going on just before they deploy and
the courts are having to sort out when this data can be used. Is it worth 10 percent to give up your pr

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34- Class C Motor Home Wheel Alignment

We have been doing a lot of wheel alignment work on Ford (www.ford.com) E-350 and 450 chassis. When our technicians are doing their inspections we are noticing that many of these coaches have feathered wear on the inside of the front tires. This happens because of how the load is distributed on the chassis. When Ford sends a chassis to the coach manufacturer the wheels are aligned. When the body of the coach is built, thousands of pounds of weight are added.Most of this weight ends up over the rear wheels. When the coach enters service, the owners add fuel, water, accessories, personal gear and their families. This causes more weight to go to the rear of the vehicle. More weight in rear means less weight on the front axle. Because wheel alignment is
predicated on weight distribution, it is important that the alignment is done after all the weight has been added. In reality, this is not taken into consideration. So in ma
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33-How Much Does It Cost…?

…to fix my (fill in the blank)? This is a question we get all too frequently in the automotive repair business. The first question that any competent service writer would ask is, “How do you know that is the problem?” The answer to that question can vary quite a bit but it usually involves a friend or family member’s opinion. Or, sometimes it’s “that’s what the guy at the parts store said it was,” or my favorite is, “that’s what the tow truck driver said.” How do these folks know these things? Are they highly skilled, trained automotive technicians? Perhaps they just moonlight as tow truck drivers or counter
salesmen. Modern automobiles have so many systems and sub-systems that even problems that seem simple, aren’t. The modern technician needs to have as much input from the vehicle’s daily driver as possible. This conversation can last from 5-15 minutes and then add on a test drive. And, this is before anyone lays a hand on the car. From there the c
... read more

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32-Auto Insurance Anyone? Part One

If you asked the average person to tell you about their Auto insurance policy what do you think they would say? Probably something like: “Oh, I’m fully insured,” or “I have 25/50/100,” or “I only have liability insurance,” or “I am not sure.” Maybe even,“I just know that I have insurance, I trust my agent.” It is a small group that actually knows the basics of their insurance limits and coverage. Rarely does anyone take the time to read and truly understand the definitions of their insurance policies. That is unfortunate. It really is important to know what you are, or in most cases, are not buying. So let’s start with the basics. By far the most common response I hear is, “I’m fully covered.” What exactly does that mean? Who knows? And that my friends, is where the puzzle begins. What is insurance, and why should we have it anyway? Great question. Insurance by definition is an arrangement by which a company gives customers financial protection against loss or harm ... read more

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31-Sturken Automotive Is Thankful

We at Sturken Automotive are grateful for our clients that have allowed us to service
or repair their most precious wheeled possession, their cars. For well over fifty years, tens of thousands of individuals and families have entrusted us to take care of their vehicles. Let it be known that we at Sturken’s do not take this honor for granted! There are literally hundreds of places in the Santa Clara Valley to get your car or truck repaired. Yet, you chose us. We thank you for that. We pride ourselves in creating a great repair experience. This means not only repairing vehicles properly and professionally but also treating our clients with respect and empathy. How do we know if we’re doing a good job? We ask! And, we have a company attempt to call or contact all of our clients after their visit. We do this because we care about your experience. With today’s social networking sites and customer experience sites such as
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30-How Much is a Brake Job?

How long is a stick? That really is how ambiguous that question is! There are no legal definitions of a 'brake job'. So anyone that uses that term can define it any way they want. Professional automotive organizations such as the ASCCAwww.ascca.com have been working for years to develop legal definitions. You see there are numerous factors that come into play when working on the brakes of a modern automobile. Without a thorough brake inspection there is no way anyone is going to tell you what your car needs unless they already know your car, its condition, mileage, and how you drive it. The better question might be, 'I want my car to stop like itdid when it was new. What needs to be done to get to that condition?' After all, isn't that what you want? A car that stops? A set of brake pads or shoes can be replaced on your car or truck. But it may not stop any better than it did before. In some shops (especially thos ... read more

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29-Fall is the Time for Car Care

As autumn comes we should focus some of our Fall thoughts on
the weather that is about to visit us.Typically October brings a change of the seasons-virtually always rain,and in some areas snow and ice. This means that drivers should pay extra attention to the parts of the car that are affected by changes in conditions. Things such as wiper blades, coolant/antifreeze, heater and defrost operation, and perhaps tire-tread depth and rubber conditions, should be inspected before the winter is upon us. Any or all of these parts or systems can wreak havoc on yourwallet or your family’s safety if they fail at the wrong time. Believe it or not, as the operator of a motor vehicle, it is possible to almost ensure that your safety and well-being are guaranteed with proactive maintenance. By simply having the various systems and parts of your vehicle inspected proactively, you are helping to keep repairs as well as the chance of an accident to a minimum. A lot of folks balk
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28- How often should I have the A/C charged in my car?

The short answer is: when the vent air goes from feeling cold to feeling cool. Often times in moderate climates, such as we have in the Bay Area, one can go for several months without using the air conditioning in the car. Meaning, if there is a problem at the end of summer or fall, we may not notice it until the first warm day of spring, when we turn it on for the first time of the year and not too much happens. The air conditioning system in a car is a closed loop system filled with Freon. The Freon is pumped throughout the car’s a/c system of various pipes, hoses, condensers, and various other devices at high pressures. Over time some of the seals and hoses may develop small leaks. If enough Freon leaks out, the system will not be as efficient at cooling or it may stop working altogether. Unless you develop a large leak or blow a hose out altogether, the first notice you will get is the feeling that it’s just not as cold as it used to be. Now this can happen for a s ... read more

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