Posts Tagged ‘cheap brake pads Indianapolis’


I left the dealership this past Friday, and hadn’t gone a mile until my “low tire” light came on. Don’t know how you would react, but my heart sank. So, I thought I would provide some insight about this feature. I had not given it any thought, but vehicle manufacturers began to phase in TPMS beginning in the 2006 model year and were required to install it in all vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2007.  I talked to one of our Service Advisors and asked for him to explain to me how the feature works: There are two kinds of monitoring systems direct and indirect. To keep it short and sweet, the direct system monitors the actual pressure in the tire while the indirect system uses existing sensors in the ABS system which watches wheel speed to detect smaller tire diameter caused by under-inflation.

So, the culprit that caused my light to come on? When the temperature outside the tire changes, it will affect the pressure inside the tire. In the fall, the colder weather will significantly lower your tire pressure. If your tire pressure has been set during the hot summer months, the first major cold wave will cause the air to contract inside your tire, lowering the pressure, thus setting off your TPMS.



Word of advice: To alleviate that annoying tire light, check your tire pressure monthly, during the morning, when tires are cold. During this time, make sure all tires are at the PSI indicated in your manual. Additionally, you might consider replacing the air in your tires with nitrogen. My Service Advisor explains: by using nitrogen the molecules are larger than oxygen molecules. Seepage is thus reduced through the tire walls and where the tire meets the rim. Any moisture in the tire is also eliminated, which can affect inflation.

Questions about using nitrogen vs air in your tires? Check with one of our Service Advisors at your next Express Lane Service visit – no appointment needed!

Or, Schedule your appointment today…. CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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So, what does this light mean? The “check engine” light is part of your car’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. Since the 1980’s, computers increasingly have controlled and monitored vehicle performance, regulating such variables as engine speed, fuel mixture, and ignition timing. In some cars, the computer also tells the automatic transmission when to shift. When this onboard diagnostics system finds a problem that it can’t correct, the computer turns on a yellow warning indicator that is labeled by either “check engine,” “service engine soon,” or “check powertrain.”

Don’t you wish the alert could be a little more specific? Nope, it can’t. Unfortunately, the check engine light comes to life if anything, and I do mean anything isn’t 100% under the hood. This means that you could be staring at a major repair; or, your gas cap could be too loose (no kidding).

The most common problems that trigger the light are emission control malfunctions. The emission control system is what your car uses to try to keep our air a little cleaner. Here are a few of the more commonly occurring issues:

  • Your gas cap isn’t on tight enough. — Obviouosly, if this is what triggered the light, this is an easy enough problem to fix. Tighten the gas cap, and usually after 4 normal “global starts and cool downs”, the light will go off. (In layman’s terms: Drive the car as normal and after it has been driven 4-times, with the car being shut off and the engine gets cold between the starts / equals a “global start”)
  • Your engine got wet where it didn’t like it — Any electrical burp under the hood can cause one of your car’s gazillion sensors to take a funny reading. When it does, you can expect to see the Check Engine light. More common than rain water getting in there is the overzealous owner who sprays his engine down at the high pressure car wash, shooting water into every crevice of the engine, thus lighting the light.
  • Your spark plug wires are bad — As your spark plug wires start to get old, they may develop tiny cracks which can let little bursts of electricity out. This electricity was supposed to be going to a spark plug, and since it didn’t, the engine will misfire slightly, meaning one of the spark plugs didn’t spark enough.

What happens when I ignore the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT or put off the recommended service? There are two kinds of CHECK ENGINE LIGHT alerts. A non-flashing, but lit CHECK ENGINE LIGHT, is usually a less severe problem that shouldn’t cause immediate problems but needs to be checked as soon as possible. There is also a flashing and illuminated CHECK ENGINE LIGHT means your vehicle senses a critical system error (such as a major cylinder misfire ) and you need immediate attention before potentially breaking down and possibly damaging other critical and expensive parts. In this case, continuing to drive can lead to further damage rather quickly or can leave you stranded.

Bottom line; when the “check engine” light comes on, It’s like someone saying “My leg hurts a little,” or “I get out of breath when I climb stairs.” A doctor — or, for your car, a mechanic — still has to figure out what’s really causing the problem.

Schedule your appointment today…. CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.
Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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It’s a hassle, but you really do have to maintain your car properly if you want it to run well. So where to go? Below I’ve outlined some of the pros and cons of the dealers versus the corner garage. Bear in mind that when I say “corner garage”, I mean smaller, independent repair shops; not the chains like Midas, Jiffy Lube, Meineke or Pep Boys. Those chains, which often specialize in one “area” of the car, fall in a middle ground between the dealerships and the mom-and-pop repair shops.

Why consider the dealership?

  • Technicians at the dealer level are specialists; they are manufacturer-trained and typically work only on your make of vehicle. Also, dealers have an ongoing training program for the service staff.
  • Dealer service departments most generally provide a shuttle back to your office or home, provided it’s no farther than five miles or so.
  • What about warranties? There, the advantage definitely goes to the dealer. First, a dealer will perform repairs for free if your car is still under warranty. Even if you have to pay for repairs outside the warranty period, dealers back up their repairs with a warranty that is good nationwide. Thus, if the repair doesn’t hold, it can be fixed free of charge at any other dealer.
  • The dealer also offers manufacturer-backed extended warranties for both new and used vehicle purchases. The manufacturer-backed extended warranties makes service easier because there is a large network of dealers; this is especially important if you plan on moving or do a lot of traveling in your vehicle.
  • Because the dealership represents the manufacturer, service departments are required to measure up to corporate standards of customer satisfaction.
  • Dealer service departments have a distinct advantage when it comes to manufacturer recalls and technical service bulletins.
  • Manufacturers and their dealers offer only OE (Original Equipment) parts, which represent a standard of quality and engineering that only the manufacturer can authorize. A 12-month/12,000-mile warranty on parts and labor for repairs and/or service is not uncommon at the dealer level.
  • Dealer facilities are often cleaner, more organized and better maintained than smaller shops. At a dealer facility, you will usually find a waiting room, clean bathrooms, a place to buy car accessories, even the availability of drinks, snacks and television.
  • Online appointment scheduling; making the service department available 24 / 7!!

Why the independent shop?

  • Many technicians at independent shops are both manufacturer- and A.S.E.-certified, don’t be afraid to ask about their certifications.  Although A.S.E. training is less “make” specific than the manufacturer’s training, the technicians at these facilities can be just as expert in their knowledge, depending on their experience.
  • If the repair or service that you need isn’t major, it may be more convenient to drive a short way to your neighborhood repair shop than it is to go to the dealer, especially if you need to leave your car for servicing.
  • Small shops can offer warranties on service or repairs, but may not offer the same length of coverage or may cover only the parts or the labor, but not both. If you travel with your vehicle, your warranty may be worthless wherever it is your car decides to give you trouble.
  • Local repair shops report to no one but you.
  • Automotive service software such as Alldata and Mitchell OnDemand5 allows independent garages to get manufacturer information on recalls and TSBs, updated on a monthly basis. But keep in mind that these are paid memberships and not every corner garage has the software at their disposal.
  • The advantage of aftermarket parts is that, like generic prescription drugs, they are supposed to perform the same function for a lot less money. There are times, though, when aftermarket parts are inferior to OE parts.
  • So how can small repair shops compete with dealers on facilities? The short answer is: They can’t. .

With all this said … what is my opinion? Obviously, from my perspective, I prefer and have always used the services at a dealership that represents the brand of auto that I drive. That is my comfort zone — and at 60+ years of age, I still have my “Dad in my ear” with his advice —  “Why would you want to put your second most expensive lifetime purchase in the hands of just anyone?”. However, the decision has to be one that you are comfortable with. Bottom line, find a facility (either a dealership service department or an independent) that you are comfortable with and one that suites your individual needs. Make sure they are highly qualified to do the work. Develop an ongoing relationship with them (don’t hop from shop to shop looking for the next “deal”).

This topic ALWAYS generates differing opinions, we would love to hear yours! Feedback always welcome:)

Schedule your appointment today….
CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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On my drive into work today, I noticed more “road gators” (my father’s nickname for blown tire treads on the roadway) on the road than normal and wondered why? My search results found that tires can fail during periods of excessive heat – and we have certainly had plenty of that lately! Due to increased friction, high-speed driving, excessive cornering and frequent braking during periods of very high temperatures tires tend to heat up beyond their design ratings. Once this happens, a blowout can occur.

Additionally, improper tire inflation can cause a blow-out. So, I ask you, when is the last time you checked the air pressure in all four of your car tires? If it’s been more than one month, auto technicians in the area say you’re past due and the heat could be putting your tires at risk for a blowout; triple digit temperatures beating down on the hot pavement are taking a toll on your tires.

In my research on the subject, I found out that not all tires are created equal. Tires have separate ratings for climate temperature, tread wear, load capability and speed. Under-inflated tires will run hotter than tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendation. In addition, under-inflated tires will result in poor gas mileage. You can reduce the risk of blowouts by slowing down on the highway and taking curves or corners more gently. Excessive heat can cause badly worn or old tires to fail even in careful driving.

In case of a blowout…what should you do? Here is a great video that gives you tips on what to do should you have a blow out! During any roadside emergency, it is always a good idea to have the appropriate supplies such as jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, flashlight, hazard signs, water and a charged cell phone.

AAA recommends the following tips to keep tires running smooth during the hot summer months:

* Check air pressure regularly especially before long trips. A survey by the Rubber Manufacturers Association in 2010 found that over half of all vehicles have at least one tire that is under inflated. Make sure to. Remember, use the correct inflation pressure that is found on a label on the driver’s door or check the owner’s manual.

* Examine all four tires. When checking tread take a penny, insert upside down into tread groove. If you see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.

* Misaligned wheels can cause premature tire wear. Have alignment checked periodically or if you notice your vehicle “pulling” to the left or right. Hitting a pothole or curb could affect your wheel alignment.

* Inspect valve caps. Metal caps in scorching heat can be hard to remove. Consider a cap made out of heat tolerant material. While you are checking this out make sure it is screwed on tightly.

If you are unsure of the status of the tires on your vehicle, take it to a professional for inspection. Our ASE Certified Technicians are available on a non-appointment basis for basic services. (Greenwood location / Indianapolis location) Questions about tires? Give us a call today! (contact information for our Service Centers)

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

Read Full Post »

Under 35,000 miles, most new cars are still under warranty, so anything that breaks prematurely, such as a leaking brake caliper or a burned out wiper motor, should be fixed at no cost. However, warranties don’t generally cover wear and tear items like brake pads and wiper blades, so it is important to check those regularly and replace as needed for proper function and safety. The dealerships that comprise the O’Brien Automotive Family can make sure your vehicle is safe and all the different parts are working properly. Regular maintenance is important to protect your investment and prevent problems later, after that new-car warranty expires.

First and foremost, when you hit that 35,000-mile mark, it’s probably time for an oil and filter change. Oil change recommendations vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and some vehicles have systems that monitor your driving style and conditions, as well as the condition of the oil, and then send a message when it’s time for an oil change. Our world-class service technicians can change your oil quickly (no appointment needed) so that you can get back on the road without the hassle of waiting.

When a vehicle is used in a lot of stop and go driving, a dusty environment or in heavy load conditions like towing a trailer, the system may suggest more frequent oil changes to protect the engine. On the other hand, drivers that do a lot of highway commuting at constant speeds may be able to go longer between changes. Drivers can check the maintenance section of their owner’s manual or call our Service Department and speak with an advisor.

Another part of any car or truck that benefits from regular maintenance is the tires. Like the oil in the engine, tire life will depend a lot on how the vehicle is used, but it also varies depending on the type of tire. High-performance, speed-rated tires often found on sportier cars tend to wear out faster because the soft rubber treads that enhance traction also get shaved off during hard cornering. Our Service Department has various brands of tires available including BF Goodrich, Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, General Goodyear, Hankook, Michelin, Pirelli, Uniroyal, Kumho and many more!

Whether your ride is rolling on summer performance tires, all-season radials or off-road specials, the tire pressures should be checked at least once a month and the treads should be examined while you’re down there at the corners. Tires showing less than the manufacturer-recommended tread depth should be replaced (use the penny test). Always have your tires rotated according to manufacturer recommendations so that they wear evenly and last as long as possible. Call us today to set up an appointment.

While the wheels are off for rotation, it’s a good idea to take a look at the brakes. The brake pads (special offer / rebates), particularly those on the front corners, will probably be substantially thinner by 35,000 miles. Many brake pads will have a visible metal wear indicator clip that will scrape against the rotor and squeal when pads are too thin. If the clip is touching or very close to the surface of the rotor, it’s about time to change them. At the same time, check the surface of the brake rotors where the pads grip. They should look clean and free of deep grooves or discoloration that indicates overheating. If the rotors have grooves or other signs of uneven wear, strange colors or dark areas, the rotors should be either machined or replaced.

Brake line connections, drive-shaft seals and various hoses should be checked for signs of leaks and then corrected. Suspension and steering links should be examined to make sure everything remains tight. If the air filter hasn’t already been replaced by 35,000 miles, it is almost certainly time to put in a clean one so that the engine can breathe properly. Also under the hood, fluid levels for the brakes, power steering, coolant and washer fluid should all be checked and topped off as needed, and accessory drive belts should be inspected for cracks or other signs of wear. In some cases, transmission or differential fluids may also need to be replaced at 35,000 miles.

Drivers should also turn on headlights, turn signals and warning flashers to check for burned out bulbs and replace them as needed. Since different vehicles have varying levels of equipment, drivers should always check their owners manuals to determine what other items might need service such as pollen filters in the ventilation system or filters for vented seats.

These things take less time than you think, and we are always there to help. Considering the tens of thousands of dollars you probably paid for your new car or truck, it’s definitely worth spending a small amount of time to keep it running like new for many years to come. Our Service Department is world-class. Let us show you why we have been in business in the Indianapolis area for over 70 years; we put our customers FIRST. Check out what our customers are saying about us! (Greenwood / Indianapolis)

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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My goodness, how time flies! Has it really been a week since my last post? Ooooppss 🙂 Well, here goes, my 3rd  ‘tid-bit’ that will help you keep your auto in good running order:

Per the Car Care Council…..”Why should you change windshield wiper blades regularly? The most important aspect of driving is vision. If you can`t see what`s in front of you – it doesn`t matter if you have traction control, anti-lock brakes, dynamic stability control, or all of the advanced features. What you will end up using is the air bag because you will crash into what you can`t see.”

Knowing When to Change Your Blades: The National Highway Transportation Board recommends that U.S. drivers change their wiper blades every year (they suggest that you mark your calendar on the anniversary date of the vehicle`s purchase as a reminder). Studies show that the average vehicle owner replaces his / her wiper blades only once every 2.5 years.

Are you a ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of person? Need a little help in changing your blades? Here is a video with simple-to-follow instructions!
How to Replace Your Windshield Wipers — If you are a more visual person, and would like step-by-step instructions…here ‘ya go!

At any rate, don`t wait until it`s too late to change your wiper blades! If you are not the type to do the task yourself….visit one of our service departments / purchase the recommended wiper blades for your particular automobile….and we will install them at no charge!
Greenwood CJDR / Indianapolis CJDR / Toyota Scion Indianapolis

I hope you are enjoying the series of “tid-bits” that will help you keep your auto in good running order to help minimize your overall driving expenses. Keep an eye out for the next topic — Miracles for increasing fuel efficiency don`t exist!! Questions? Don’t hesitate to ask! And, by the way, we LOVE feedback…please don’t hesitate to let us know how we are doing.


O’Brien Automotive Family – “Our family works for you. Since 1933”

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