Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Expensive Car Repair Mistake #3 - Ignoring Vehicle Symptoms

We pay attention to symptoms that our bodies give us when something is wrong. If we ignore these
symptoms, we can end up paying thousands in medical bills. Your vehicle works the same way. Your vehicle has many different ways to tell you if something is not operating as it should in one of its many systems.

When something doesn't sound, smell, or look right, check under your hood first. Your mechanic will thank you for knowing more about your vehicle and you can potentially save a lot of money, too.

Never ignore a constant symptom with your vehicle!

The most important things your vehicle needs are regular oil changes, automatic transmission flushes and brakes. By having these services performed at regular intervals by a qualified technician, your vehicle can also be checked for any symptoms you may have missed or other services needed before they turn into large repairs needed.

In between these services, it is important to listen to what your vehicle is telling you, so you can identify a simple problem before it turns into a major problem! For example, if your is pulling to the left while you are driving, you could have low tire pressure in one of your tires. An easy fix of removing a nail in your tire and having it patched could prevent a flat tire and even an accident.

Is your check engine light on? It could be a simple problem such as a bad oxygen sensor or just a loose gas cap.

You should be checking the following regularly without any abnormal symptoms from your vehicle:
  • air filter
  • wiper blades
  • fluid levels (brake, power steering, coolant, oil, transmission)
  • Battery terminals (Are they corroded?)   
  • Belts (Are there any visible cracks?)

If one of the above items are mentioned when you bring your vehicle in for service, ask the mechanic to show it to you or to keep the old parts if you approve the repairs when given an estimate. If you want to wait to have the repairs or service completed, ask the shop these questions: 
  • What are the downsides of waiting for the repairs? 
  • Does it need to be completed right away? 
  • Is it a safety issue? 
  • Will the part fail and leave me stranded if I wait?

Mastermind Enterprises Auto Repair in Denver will offer you suggestions of what the most important service your vehicle will need in the next 10,000-20,000 miles. We want to give you time to decide how and when you want to service you vehicle. By offering you recommendations, you can make the best plan for repairing your vehicle. We realize every vehicle has different needs based on driving conditions and the driver, that's why we customize a plan that works for you and your specific vehicle needs.

It's true that noises are part of operating a vehicle, 
but not all noises are normal.

If you have a question about your vehicle, we are happy to help. Sometimes the answer will be, "We will need you to bring your vehicle in for a diagnosis before we can give you an accurate estimate." If you already know what is wrong with your vehicle, we are happy to provide you with a free estimate on repairs.

Abnormal Vehicle Symptoms to Pay Attention To Right Away
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Vehicle Dash Warning Lights On
  • Abnormal Sounds (See List Below)
  • Unusual Smells (including a maple syrup smell)
  • Unusual Visible Symptoms (Leaks, Smoking)
  • Lack of Power
  • Intermittently Starting Vehicle
  • Incorrectly Marking Gauges (Temperature, Gas, Speedometer, etc.)

Abnormal Vehicle Sounds to Pay Attention To Right Away
  • Loud bang or Thumping 
  • Flapping or Whining
  • Any sound when turning a corner
  • Clunking when braking 
  • Scraping, Grinding or Squealing wheels when applying brakes
  • Grinding manual transmission when shifting
  • Hissing or sizzling under the hood
  • Knocking, Popping, Tapping, or Clicking from the engine compartment
  • Low-pitch humming or Rattles from under the car
  • Squealing, Chirping or Roaring that increases with acceleration

Ignoring your vehicle's abnormal symptoms will not make them magically go away. Fixing the problem as soon as you notice something is wrong can save you from bigger, more expensive repairs down the road.

Call Mastermind Enterprises Today at 303-297-2886 with questions you have about your vehicle or bring your vehicle in anytime using our 24 Hour Key Drop
Thank you for your business!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Expensive Car Repair Mistake #2 - Ignoring a Check Engine Light

Ignoring your check engine light or service engine soon light can mean major repairs for your vehicle, possibly even an engine replacement. 

One of the most critical warnings that your vehicle can give you when it is not functioning properly is to illuminate your check engine light or service engine soon light. The main function of a check engine light is to alert the driver to a variety of existing potential problems, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally. At Mastermind Enterprises Auto Repair Shop in Denver, we offer you a FREE computer scan and diagnosis* in our shop.

Don't Just Turn Off Your Check Engine Light - 
Fix the Problem!

The check engine light means that you need to get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. You don't necessarily have to pull over to the side of the road immediately and call a tow truck. There could be a problem from something as simple as a loose gas cap to a seriously misfiring engine to a faulty catalytic converter.

Your Check Engine Light May Signal a SERIOUS PROBLEM!
  • Failures that can leave you stranded
  • System malfunction(s) that can damage other systems
  • Up to 40% decrease in gas mileage
  • Catastrophic damage that can cost you more later
  • Emissions test failure
There are numerous systems that turn on the check engine light including the ignition system, fuel injection system or the emission control system. The light will also let you know if there is a simple problem with your engine that is affecting your gas mileage.

Let Mastermind Enterprises diagnose your Check Engine Light!
Call us today at 303-297-2886 or send us an email

Check Engine Lights come in different colors including orange, yellow or amber (depending on the vehicle manufacturer). If your check engine light or service engine soon light is flashing, it is telling you there is a more serious problem like a misfire. A misfire can overheat the catalytic converter that could create a fire hazard if it is malfunctioning.

Common malfunctions that illuminate the Check Engine Light are:
  • a loose gas cap
  • faulty oxygen sensors
  • faulty mass air sensor
  • faulty spark plugs or wires
  • faulty catalytic converter(s)
  • poor gas mileage
When you take your vehicle to a shop for a check engine light diagnosis, make sure they have professional ASE Certified technicians who are trained in OBDII diagnosis and repair. The technician needs to understand and examine the data streams including the idle speed, throttle response, engine temperature, fuel system pressure, manifold vacuum, exhaust emission levels and many other symptoms that point to what is causing the problem when plugging in a diagnostic tool to your vehicle's computer.

Your vehicle's computer can also be scanned by an inexpensive code reader or at a local auto parts store for free, but this will not necessarily tell you the problem your vehicle is having. It is a common misconception that the code given by the vehicle's computer instantly "diagnoses" the vehicle. The code simply gives the technician looking at your vehicle a starting point of where to start looking for problems. If you know the codes your vehicle's computer is producing, it is always helpful to the technician servicing your vehicle.

Turning off your Check Engine Light does not repair the underlying problem and the light will come back on later, possibly leading to larger, more costly repairs later. 

If your "Service Required" light comes on, this is different then the Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon Light. This simply means your vehicle is due for an oil change or other scheduled maintenance. This light is a friendly reminder that it is time bring your vehicle in before you have bigger problems to worry about. It does not tell you that there is a problem with your vehicle.

For any questions you have regarding your vehicle's Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon Light, call Mastermind Enterprises today at 303-297-2886. We are happy to help you with your vehicle's needs every mile of the way!

* Diagnosis up to 1 hour. Excludes Electrical Diagnosis. With approved repairs in our shop.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Expensive Car Repair Mistake #1 - Neglecting Oil and Filter Changes

Not paying attention to simple maintenance could mean thousands of dollars in auto repair bills down the road. This includes changing your oil and filters, changing fluids, or having small car repairs, such as a timing belt replacement, completed now instead of later. Mastermind Enterprises Auto Repair in Denver offers a free visual inspection with all oil changes in our shop. We offer a 5,000 mile oil change with BG MOA to give you peace of mind and more time between oil changes.

At Mastermind Enterprises Auto Repair Shop in Denver, our goal is to save you money for the life of your vehicle. We provide you with recommendations and an estimate for your vehicle's specific needs when we inspect it in our shop.

Always check your owner's manual for the manufacturer recommendations for your specific car and follow them. It is VERY important to change your oil regularly. Oil keeps your engine lubricated, clean and reduces friction that can wear down your engine parts. It also decreases contaminants in the oil that will shorten the engine life.

If oil changes are not performed regularly, you could be looking at an engine replacement for your car, too. Changing your oil on your own can cost you approximately $25 or cost you approximately $56 at the shop, but an engine replacement can cost more than $3,000! For example, on a 2005 Expedition with a 5.4L V8 Engine, if the oil is not changed regularly or run low (even one time), you will be replacing an engine very soon at a cost of over $6,000!

Save yourself money, time and problems by having your oil changes and services performed at our friendly, family auto repair shop in Denver. Back by popular demand is our $29.99 Oil Change Special. Ask for the special or use the coupon below through October!

Call Mastermind Enterprises at 303-297-2886 
to schedule your next oil change! 
We look forward to serving you soon!
Thank you for your business!