Posts Tagged ‘oil changes’

Check Engine Light On_Round jpegThe first step is not to panic! Realize that this is your car’s way of telling you there’s a problem that might just be a loose gas cap, but could be more serious and costly. Even if your car is driving OK, the problem won’t go away and could get worse and cost more to repair. To minimize further damage to your vehicle, it is important to have the problem diagnosed ASAP!

Here are the top 5 most common “check engine” light repairs, according to CarMD’s repair database. Most of these repairs have more to do with durability problems than faulty parts. Let’s face it, drivers are holding onto their cars longer than ever before, which is why it’s so important to fix small problems before they result in more expensive repairs.

    1. The no. 1 most common fix is “replace Oxygen Sensor.” The O2 sensor monitors the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust and tells your car’s computer when there is either too much, or not enough fuel. So what’s it mean to you? A faulty O2 sensor costs less than $200 to fix but can lead to as much as a 40% reduction in gas mileage if ignored. At the price of gas today, this can cost you more than the actual repair over time.
    2. The no. 2 most common repair is “replace loose, damaged or missing gas cap.” Simply tightening the cap for free or replacing it for a couple dollars is the fix, but if left unchecked can result in a 0.5% decrease in gas mileage and harm the environment.
    3. “Replace catalytic converter(s)” is now the no. 3 most common car repair, but it shouldn’t even be in the top 10. A catalytic converter usually won’t fail unless a related part – such as a faulty spark plug – is ignored for too long. This is a great example of why it’s so important to address small problems early. A damaged catalytic converter will cost approximately $1,000 or more to fix.
    4. The no. 4 most common repair is “replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor.” The MAF sensor is responsible for calculating the air coming into your car and determining how much fuel to shoot into the engine. When malfunctioning, it can lower MPG by 10 to 25%. It costs about $375 to fix, but is vital to saving dollars at the pump.
    5. The small but mighty spark plug is no. 5. Responsible for igniting a car’s air/fuel ratio, spark plugs are essential. When they fail, they can cause a “misfire,” reduce gas mileage, and ultimately melt/ruin your catalytic converter. Having the repair done by certified mechanic costs a couple hundred dollars, but can save you thousands.

Whatever you do, don’t lazily slap a piece of black electrical tape over it and go about your business. Cars just need a little love from time to time to stay in good shape, and neglecting a minor issue could lead to bigger problems down the road. Here are the reasons why the ‘ole black electrical tape is not the best idea: Check out this video!

I hope you found our “Check Engine” Light Is ON…So? tips helpful! We would love to hear from you with your ideas and suggestions for future posts!

From our family to yours: be “safe on the road, and happy motoring”!

OBrien Automotive Family Celebrating 80 Years in the Business_small“Our family works for you.
Since 1933.”

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

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Yesterday was “one of those days” and Tuesday slipped right by me! This is the type of day I had….

….does this scene look familiar to you? But today is another day!

The topic I had intended to talk about yesterday is just as important today …. nitrogen in your tires, or not?

One big proponent of switching to nitrogen in your tires is Jay Leno. Yes, that Jay Leno…check out this video , he gives LOTS of reasons why it is a smart move!

(click on the picture to view the video)

So….If you are one of the 85% of Americans who don’t regularly check tire pressure, you need nitrogen. Proper tire pressure is a big deal! Maintain it with nitrogen, and you’ll see these three primary benefits:

Increased Fuel Efficiency – Correct tire pressure keeps the manufacturer’s recommended “contact patch” on the road. This lessens the rolling resistance and maximizes fuel efficiency. With gas prices going up each day, every little bit helps! In fact, properly inflated tires can improve your gas mileage by about 3.3 percent.

Longer Tire Life – When it comes in contact with other materials, oxygen causes oxidation. Oxidation can make rubber brittle and cause it to lose tensile strength. In addition, at high temperatures and pressures, oxygen reacts and damages inner tire liners and belt packages; nitrogen does not.

Increased Safety – Under-inflated tires cause 90% of blowouts. Nitrogen provides more reliable pressure for reduced blowout potential. If you’re not constantly watching your tire pressure, escaping oxygen leads to under-inflated tires. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation, approximately 41,730 people were killed and 3,031,000 were injured on the nation’s public roads and highways in the year 2001. NHTSA estimates that proper tire inflation could help save 50 to 80 lives and prevent 6,600 to 10,600 injuries each year.

Additionally, you might also find yourself coming in to the service department less frequently due to tire pressure readings:

Improved TPMS Performance – If you have a new car, you likely are plagued by a flashing light telling you your tire pressure is low. For example, one of our customer’s had their tire pressure light going off every four to five weeks. After inflating with nitrogen, her light didn’t reappear for 53 weeks!

Race teams use nitrogen in their tires for better handling, longer tread life, and improved fuel economy. Now you can too! Right now, at any of our service centers. For “pennies a day”……..you can improve your miles per gallon….Only…….$29.95

Benefits of Using Nitrogen

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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As we pause to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of O’Brien FIAT, our “new baby” in the O’Brien Automotive Family, we also want recognize our employees, suppliers and partners in business, and most importantly – YOU – our customers! Our mission, since 1933, has always been more than giving the customer what they expect; it’s about exceeding their expectations. We strive to create customer loyalty and to consistently deliver a high standard of customer service.

With our newest venture, the O’Brien FIAT Studio, we hope to build the type of loyalty that we have seen at our other locations! A great example of an O’Brien raving fan is the Kessing family!

The Kessing family has purchased cars from The O’Brien Automotive family for 4 generations! The 4th generation – Bo Kessing – just purchased a beautiful 2012 Chrysler 200.The picture includes: Bo Kessing, Bob Kessing Jr, and Bob Kessing Sr. The Kessing’s grandfather (not pictured) purchased from our grandfather on Virginia Avenue in the ’30’s. This is the type of loyalty that we strive to build each and every day, one family at a time…since 1933! Our sincere thanks to the Keesing family!

Our employees help us to make a difference as well! It is a well-known fact that in the automotive industry, there is a high turn-over rate. Not so with the O’Brien Automotive Family! We take pride in the fact that most of our employees have been with us for 20+ years! So, the Service Advisor, Business Manager, or Salesman that you see today, will most likely be here to take care of your needs tomorrow!

The business started with Thomas J. O’Brien in 1933 (check out our company history and our story about the watermelons) and has grown to include two Tom O’Brien Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram locations, O’Brien Toyota Scion, a stand-alone Service Center that takes care of all makes and models, a full-service Automotive Collision Center, and in 2011 the O’Brien FIAT location.

The O’Brien Automotive Family is now in the fourth generation of automobile sales and service! This family knows that getting customers the first time is easy. It’s getting them to come back time and time again that takes a lot of work. The O’Brien family knows that no matter how big you are or how loyal your consumers are, you constantly have to work to nurture those relationships to have continued growth. We listen to what our customers are saying about us and make the necessary adjustments to continue to meet their needs. We welcome client reviews, and are proud to show off what they have to say, check them out!

So, do you have a story to share about a good customer experience? Doesn’t have to be with our family of dealerships, we LOVE to hear what other companies do to encourage customers to return to do business with them!


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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Ten Tips For Maintenance…

Where has 2012 gone? It is SO hard to believe that May is just around the corner! Putting together my game plan for spring cleaning around the house, and my husband reminded me that on my way to work, I should stop and take my car through the local car wash; made me think….hmmm….maybe I should create a ‘honey-do’ Spring Cleaning list for our cars:)

Check Brakes
Brakes are one of the most used (and often abused) components. A thin layer of the brake pad disintegrates every time the brakes are applied. It’s vital to replace pads or shoes before drums or rotors become damaged. Check pads, shoes, drums, rotors, calipers, fittings, brake hardware and parking brake to prevent problems.

Check Tires
A smooth and safe ride starts when the rubber meets the road. Check air pressure on all tires, including the spare, as improper tire pressure leads to premature wear and a decrease in fuel mileage. The entire surface of the tire, both tread and side-wall, should be inspected for uneven or irregular wear. Excessive edge wear, center wear and shoulder wear may be signs that other maintenance is required.

Check Wiper Blades
Be prepared for spring showers and summer storms. Properly functioning wiper blades increase visibility in all conditions. Mopar all-season wiper blades are made from an all-metal superstructure that provides durability and reliable performance, featuring an innovative wear indicator that gradually turns from black to green to yellow as the blades wear.

Check Headlamps, Tail Lamps, Turn Signals and Hazard Lights
Properly functioning headlamps and tail lamps play an important role in safe driving, especially at nighttime, or in rainy or foggy conditions. Inspect and test all exterior lamps and lights, including turn signals and hazard lights to ensure they are in proper working order and alignment.

Check Air Filter
The air filter is one of the unsung heroes of a vehicle, as it protects the engine from airborne contaminants. Poor air flow within the engine hinders performance and can lead to greater fuel consumption. Replacing a dirty air filter allows clean, unrestricted air flow into the engine and helps ensure proper performance and longer life.

Check Oil
Oil is the lifeblood of the engine. Engine oil level should be checked often, with the oil being changed and replenished regularly. Low or dirty oil may have dire consequences on how the engine and its components perform, especially under the extreme heat and conditions of summer driving.

Check All Fluid Levels
With the increase in miles driven during warm-weather months, vehicle fluids and lubricants should be checked often and changed at factory-recommended intervals to make sure they’re fresh and filled. Dirty fluids and low fluids may affect the performance of a vehicle and can lead to breakdowns if not properly monitored and filled.

Check Engine Belts, Hoses and Fuel Filter
Belts and hoses under the hood play an important part in the proper function and performance of the engine. Prevent breakdowns or serious engine damage by replacing belts and hoses at recommended intervals. Quality-tested Mopar belts and hoses offer precision fit, optimal service life and original-equipment performance. Checking and replacing the fuel filter is also key to ensuring that the engine is running at its optimal level and maximizes fuel economy.

Check Battery
Following a winter full of cold-morning starts, definitely check the battery. Having reserve power to run the air conditioning and other vehicle accessories in the summer is priceless. When checking the battery, be sure to look for corroded terminals, and inspect for a bulging or cracked case.

Check Shocks & Struts
Following the traditional cold-weather pothole season, shocks and struts should be checked. Shocks and struts are vital to a smooth ride and may also affect a number of related parts on your vehicle. By the way, OEM recommended shocks and struts optimize vehicle handling, tire life and keep vehicles riding smoothly.

If you don’t have a handy-man around the house or you are not a “do-it-yourself” kind of gal; click, call, or visit one of our Express Service Lanes. Most of these “get your car ready for warm weather driving tips” — or, Spring-Cleaning ideas for your autos — can be handled with no appointment, AND we do have Saturday hours! Greenwood, IN location / Indianapolis, IN location. Looking for service specials? Check out our ever-changing list of service offers!

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”

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

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Even though we had a mild winter, I think most of us are itching to get out of the house and ‘take a road trip’! So…what to do? Canoeing? Hiking? Bird watching? Are you a wildflower enthusiast? Indiana has you covered! Here is a snap shot of some of the lesser known parks and recreation areas in Indiana you might want to consider.

Let’s start out by talking about Charlestown State Park, located in southern Indiana. This park is one of the best places for hikers and wildflower enthusiasts to go in the spring. The topography and trails in this relatively new 5,100-acre state park provide some rugged challenges, but a visit in May to see wild geranium, trillium, and other spring wildflowers is worth the walk. By the way, bird watchers will enjoy the 72 species of birds, including bluebirds, black vultures and an occasional bald eagle.

Next stop, Monroe Lake! This park is an awesome place to watch migrating waterfowl and to hear returning warblers and other woodland nesting birds. This 13,952-acre property includes a 3,000-plus acre lake and several marshes.

Into wildlife watching? The best way to enjoy this passion is to grab an oar and paddle the waters at Chain O’Lakes State Park. This park  is a great place to enjoy the outdoors from the seat of a canoe. Named for the chain of seven lakes that are linked by channels, the 2,718-acre park features camping, hiking, a seasonal interpretive center in a historic schoolhouse and, of course, great places for quiet canoe trips.

Bottom line, Indiana is blessed with a park to fit everyone’s wishes. Visit this website that covers all that Indiana has to offer, and start planning your day trip!

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”

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

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Is a Dirty Cabin Air Filter Preventing You From Breathing Easily in Your Car?

Almost everyone knows that home heating and air conditioning systems have a filter to help trap airborne particles. Did you know your vehicle may have a similar filter? More than 80 percent of new domestic and import vehicles sold in the U.S. today (model years 2000 and newer) come equipped with cabin air filtration systems or a slot where one can be installed. If you get headaches, allergic reactions or breathing problems riding in your car, it’s probably time to change the cabin air filter.

During the hot summer months, contaminants, such as pollen, dust, mold spores and smog, can easily enter a vehicle`s passenger compartment through the air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems, making the air in the car six times dirtier than the air outside, cautions the Car Care Council.
Motorists can protect themselves and their passengers from these containments by replacing the vehicle`s cabin air filter annually (every 12,000 miles) or more often in areas with heavy containments, or whenever heating or cooling efficiency is reduced. Here is a quick video on how to replace your cabin air filter. Cabin air filters clean the incoming air and remove allergens – especially beneficial to people who suffer from allergies.

If the cabin air filter is not replaced, it can cause musty odors in the vehicle, and over time, the heater and air conditioner may become damaged by corrosion. A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can also cause containments to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe in more fumes and particles when riding in the car compared to walking down the street.

By the way, most of this information was reprinted from the Car Care Council’s site. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to ask! 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”

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

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Maintaining and Servicing Today`s High-Tech Cars and Trucks…time for another “tid-bit” that will help you keep your auto in good running order to help minimize your overall driving expenses.

Each year, cars and trucks seem to get more and more complicated. Today`s vehicles have as many as 50 micro-processors under the control of a central computer. From sophisticated engine controls to high-end electronic systems, it takes sophisticated training and specialized equipment to service and maintain “your ride”. As your dealer, it is our job to confirm these complex systems are working properly, discover when they aren`t and fix them properly. The days of the conventional “tune-up” are long gone!

So….how do we know what`s going on in there when you bring your vehicle in for service? Well, we tap into the “communications bus”, the method by which each component, module and sensor communicates its status to a central memory module that stores the information, compiling both the nominal (good) and the faults (bad). There is a multi-pin information port in each vehicle where we plug in our computers. We download this information to our diagnostic equipment in the service department.

Geez…sounds confusing, doesn`t it? As any “shade-tree mechanic” will tell you, today`s cars and trucks are too complicated. We agree they are complicated, but having the right diagnostic systems and tools makes all the difference. Cars and trucks still have service intervals recommended by the manufacturer.

…..as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Bottom line? Today, we figure out the problem using systems analysis with the help of our specialized computers. Once we understand the problem, fixing your vehicle is still based on the basic principles of mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems. If it`s broke, we can fix it!! Or, if you are a “do-it-yourselfer” — for newer automobiles, here is a detailed gameplan you might consider. Driving an older car, truck, or van? Check out this article.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to ask! 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”

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

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