Frequently asked Questions

Specific automotive questions should not be answered generically. Here we have provided some informative answers to various customer concerns that are brought to us regularly.

 

Dealer Maintenance:

We can perform "dealer" service on new vehicles and provide customers with recommended oil change intervals based on the oil grade and requirement of the vehicle. Following maintenance recommendations and saving the records adds to the resale value and keeps the cost of ownership down.

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Seasonal Tips:

Properly caring for your car isn't just a once a year inspection or maintenance check, prolong the life of your vehicle with regular maintenance checks from qualified technicians and by following a few of our seasonal tips...

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Frequently Asked Questions

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All information provided on this site is for educational reference only, contact a qualified technician to meet your the specific needs of your car.

 

  1. Will I void my vehicle's factory warranty by having routine service performed at a more convenient independent repair facility?
  2. I am purchasing a used vehicle from an independent seller who claims the factory warranty will still exist after sale, is this true?
  3. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) versus Aftermarket parts, what is best for my car?
  4. Synthetic vs. Conventional engine oil, what should I know?
  5. My car's maintenance light is on, what does this mean?
  6. My car's check engine light is on, what does this mean?
  7. My car's ABS light is on, what does this mean?
  8. My car's Airbag light is on, what does this mean?
  9. My Vehicle's plastic headlights are faded from rock chips, what should I do?
  10. My vehicle pulls in one direction but doesn't wear out the tires abnormally, should I be concerned?
  11. My vehicle makes a rattle, squeak, clunk, tick, whirring, thud or squeal noise, should I be concerned?
  12. I'm thinking about buying a used car, however I don't know much about cars to go shopping, what should I do?
  13. Do most Auto Repair Shops recycle?
  14. How much does an oil change cost?
  15. Is a generic oil change okay for my BMW or Audi?
  16. My brake pedal feels low, sinks, drops, feels stiff or my brakes aren't very responsive, what does this mean?
  17. What kind of education do most Automotive Technicians have?
  18. What are Run-Flat Tires?

Will I void my vehicle's factory warranty by having routine service performed at a more convenient independent repair facility?

  • No, regular maintenance can be done at any independent shop and you can still keep your existing manufacturer's warranty so long as the manufacturer's maintenance schedules are satisfied.
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I am purchasing a used vehicle from an independent seller who claims the factory warranty will still exist after sale, is this true?

  • Factory Manufacturer warranties are only transferrable from the original owner to the 2nd owner in most cases. It is best to get copies of the previous owner's maintenance records in any used car purchase. It is especially important when the vehicle warranty hasn't expired.
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OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) versus Aftermarket parts, what is best for my car?

  • Widely debated, but in most cases you can't go wrong with replacing a failed component with the original component that the manufacturer intentionally designed the car to be equipped with. There are numerous cases in which replacing a vulnerable component with a heavier duty aftermarket replacement may be the better option for the intended purpose of your vehicle.
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Synthetic vs. Conventional engine oil, what should I know?

  • This has become a more frequently discussed topic in the past 10 years. This is due to the changes in engine efficiency technology that greatly depends on engine oil quality. Higher output engines equipped with Turbochargers and Variable Valve Timing Control are very sensitive to incorrect oil quality and viscosity. Conventional engine oil is commonly used in older cars and in fleet vehicles but requires changing more frequently. Synthetic oil can typically protect crucial bearings and seals in a larger range of temperatures and provide a more consistent operating environment for sensitive valves and passages. Synthetic and Conventional oils both initially start off as the same crude oil in the refining process. Conventional oil is only refined and enhanced with detergents to the point that it can provide lubrication in your average production car. Synthetic oil undergoes a much more involved process which makes the oil much more consistent and pure on the molecular level. The solvents that are added to synthetic engine oil allow it to maintain its viscosity at different temperatures.
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My car's maintenance light is on, what does this mean?

  • It is not uncommon for people to confuse the maintenance light with the check engine light. A maintenance light is reset by the technician at every oil change so that the driver information cluster will inform the operator when the vehicle needs routine maintenance. The timeframe varies from car to car depending on the components and technology that the vehicle is equipped with. If you are unsure of your specific vehicle's required maintenance interval, it is listed in the owner's manual.
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My car's check engine light is on, what does this mean?

  • When a check engine light turns on solid, it means that an engine computer has identified a problem with equipment that would affect it's drivability and emissions. Most cars on the road are equipped with multiple computers, and it is common in complex European cars that they have multiple computers monitoring the engine alone. When a computer identifies a malfunction, it requires an experienced and well educated technician to designate the correct component to replace or repair. Vehicles built 1996 and later are required by the EPA to be equipped with OBDII (On-Board Diagnostics II) electronics. This means that all vehicles 1996 and newer are required to inform the operator of certain component malfunctions and that certain diagnostic information is granted to all technicians who have an OBDII scanner. When a check engine light blinks on and off, it means that the vehicle is identifying the effects of a faulty component at the very moment. This is more severe because neglecting a check engine light can potentially result in an expensive snowball effect that requires replacing more components than originally necessary. An illuminated check engine light will cause a vehicle to fail its yearly Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Inspection.
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My car's ABS light is on, what does this mean?

  • This means that the Anti-Lock Brakes control module has identified a malfunction. This can greatly affect the control you have of your vehicle in low-traction conditions such as rain, snow and dirt. Your brakes will still operate otherwise if the ABS light is illuminated, however the ABS computer will not enhance the vehicle's braking properly. An illuminated ABS light will cause a vehicle to fail its yearly Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Inspection.
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My car's Airbag light is on, what does this mean?

  • This means that the Airbag Control Module has identified a malfunction. Although the supplemental restraint system in modern cars is designed to be fail-safe, there are still unintended airbag deployments on rare occasions and specific circumstances. It is never good to take the benefit of the doubt that the equipment malfunction that your vehicle's airbag control module identified couldn't cause injury to you and your vehicle's passengers. An illuminated Airbag light will cause a vehicle to fail it's yearly Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Inspection.
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My Vehicle's plastic headlights are faded from rock chips, what should I do?

  • Many shops would recommend replacing the entire headlight which consists of the lens and refractor integrated in one housing in most newer cars. In most cars this is very expensive and time consuming. In numerous European cars, it can cost over $1,000 for parts alone, and even then the front bumper needs to be removed to access certain bolts. At Precision Motor Werks, we have tested many different 'headlight lens restoration' products on the market and developed our own efficient and affordable method of returning your headlight lens back to its crystal-clear look that doesn't disappoint.
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My vehicle pulls in one direction but doesn't wear out the tires abnormally, should I be concerned?

  • This is usually a sign of a vehicle's steering out of alignment but can also be attributed to unequal weight distribution or asymmetrical tire pressure. When you have concerns for your safety and control of your vehicle, it never hurts to have the car inspected by a suspension and steering specialist. The technicians at Precision Motor Werks have over 100 years of combined experience in diagnosing the most difficult vehicle problems, we are constantly credited for restoring the confidence our customers have in the safety of their car.
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My vehicle makes a rattle, squeak, clunk, tick, whirring, thud or squeal noise, should I be concerned?

  • There are so many components in modern cars that can cause similar noises from completely different sources, it is best for a vehicle owner to attend a test drive with the technician. The squeak that the technician is concerned about could be different from the squeak that the vehicle owner hears. At Precision Motor Werks, we have the diagnostic equipment for tracing "impossible to detect" noises to one pinpoint component.
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I'm thinking about buying a used car, however I don't know much about cars to go shopping, what should I do?

  • Most independent sellers have no problem with letting you take their vehicle to a repair facility to have a thorough inspection. It is especially difficult to know whether or not to purchase a car when the seller has little or no maintenance records. It is our policy to thoroughly inspect all vehicles that visit for routine maintenance. The majority of essential repairs that we make at Precision Motor Werks were first discovered by the Technician during a routine vehicle inspection. Schedule an appointment with one of our Automotive Consultants in order to have a vehicle inspected in which you are interested in purchasing.
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Do most Auto Repair Shops recycle?

  • For years, most repair facilities would simply throw away broken car parts, empty plastic bottles, cardboard and any other recyclable item. Recycling as many materials as possible has become the most energy, time and cost efficient way to manage the Precision Motor Werks facility. We recycle various metals separately including catalytic converters. We recycle corrugated cardboard and paper separately. Junk tires are collected by a tire recycling company on a regular basis. One could assume that a lot of plastic bottles and containers find their way into a trash barrel at most auto repair shops. Not at Precision Motor Werks, our technicians make a point to put all empty recyclable bottles in their designated bins. Most impressive of all is that during the winter months, the Precision Motor Werks building is heated 100% by the waste engine oil collected from oil changes throughout the year.
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How much does an oil change cost?

  • The cost of an oil change varies from shop to shop and greatly depends on the vehicle you are driving. Some of the larger franchises can offer "$20 oil change service", but what does the customer get? How often is your vehicle thoroughly inspected by an experienced technician? Many of our customers at Precision Motor Werks are automotive enthusiasts just like us. They care about their car, they care about their personal safety, and they want to be able to talk directly to their mechanic. Many of the big name auto service companies just roll your car in literally identifying it only by the license plate number, change the oil with their "fleet" oil (same cheap oil used in all cars that enter the shop) and hand your keys back to you. The "$20 oil change" consists of an oil change and a generic one at that.
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Is a generic oil change okay for my BMW or Audi?

  • No, it is not recommended at all. Putting conventional oil in a car that specifically requires synthetic may void the warranty. This is for good reason too. Using the incorrect oil type is comparable to wearing someone else's contact lenses. Some vehicles won't even "feel" right with the wrong oil in them. If one were to maintain a turbocharged engine with conventional oil, it could suffer damage due to any number of coking or sludging effects that happen when an engine oil exceeds its temperature range.
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My brake pedal feels low, sinks, drops, feels stiff or my brakes aren't very responsive, what does this mean?

  • Modern braking systems consist of many different pistons and valves and can sometimes have more than just 2 brake pads per wheel. Brake concerns are never a good thing to neglect or assume as being an insignificant problem. Our technicians are experienced with many different brands and how different cars operate. On some days, a single technician might drive 3 similar Volkswagen Passats or 3 similar Ford F-150s. A seized brake caliper has the potential to provide multiple different symptoms on different cars which would make it difficult to diagnose for technicians who are unfamiliar with the particular vehicle. Our technicians know how to properly diagnose and replace the failed component that was the source of your concern.
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What kind of education do most Automotive Technicians have?

  • Education or experience required by the technician performing the repair. Many franchises can cut costs by hiring teenagers for easier tasks like oil and tire changes. Most diagnosis and repair technicians extend their education far beyond high school whether it is online courses, manufacturer training, weekend seminars or technical colleges that specialize in producing some of the nation's best technicians. Precision Motor Werks has a great selection of technicians with diverse rosters in education and work experience.
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What are Run-Flat Tires?

  • Run-Flat tires are tires supported by a more rigid sidewall so that when a tire becomes flat due to a puncture, the vehicle is not immobilized. The car can still be driven but only up to a certain speed and distance before the tire must be changed. Due to the fact that it is relatively new technology, most "mom and pop" repair shops aren't equipped with the necessary tools and machinery to replace a Run-Flat tire when it is worn out. Precision Motor Werks constantly invests in the newest auto repair technology so that we can provide more solutions for our customers. We have the newest state-of-the-art equipment for changing run-flat and low-profile tires which have become more common in regular production cars.
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