Monthly Archives: July 2017

Motoring Minute - Buying a New Vehicle vs. Maintaining Your Vehicle

Motoring Minute - Buying a New Vehicle vs. Maintaining Your Vehicle

Good morning everyone this is Mary Ellen with your Motoring Minute. According to research from Edmunds the average new car price in 2016 was a record $34,077. That is 2.7% higher than in 2015 and 12.6% higher than it was in 2011. This year, Edmunds expects that price to jump even higher, to about $35,000. Statistics released by Experian Automotive show the average auto payment is $493 per month on a new vehicle loan, with the average lease payment being $412 per month. As the price of vehicle is rising, the length of the loans is also changing. Long term financing now extends to as many as 73 months or longer. Think about that…6 or more years to pay off a vehicle! Wow that’s a lot of interest to pay! Now don’t get me wrong. There is definitely a time to replace your favorite wheels. But think abo ... read more

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Motoring Minute

Motoring Minute - Spark Plugs!

Motoring Minute - Spark Plugs!

Today’s Motoring Minute with Mary Ellen is about spark plugs. We had a customer bring in her 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan with over 177,000 because the check engine light came on last night.  The staff used a scan tool to perform the tests necessary to determine the cause of the check engine light.  Their testing found the check engine light was caused by an engine misfire.  Further inspection found that the spark plugs had never been replaced and you can even see the difference in the photo below.  The two spark plugs on the left are from the vehicle and the one on the right is a brand new spark plug. See the large gap between the top two metal pieces?  The “gap” should be .040 inches or 40 thousands as the boys call it.  That gap is the distance the spark must jump.  These spark plugs are worn out and the gap is more than double the specification. Make sure you follow the scheduled maintenance for your vehicle. These spark plug ... read more

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Motoring Minute

Motor Minute - Serpentine Belt

Motor Minute - Serpentine Belt

Good Monday Morning everyone and welcome again to Motoring Minute with Mary Ellen (MM with ME)   Last week I received a call from a stranded motorist. She was driving on the interstate just south of Sioux Falls and this is what she said,   We got it towed to J & M and as you can see by the pictures below there was definitely a problem with the Serpentine belt. The Serpentine belt drives most of the vehicle functions such as the water pump, power steering, the A/C compressor and alternator. Hot temperatures are very hard on the belts on your vehicle. It is very important to have them checked with your oil changes so you too don’t get left alongside the road. I have included a picture of the belt that came off this vehicle. The first picture is of the whole belt as we found it in the vehicle.  The second picture is a close up. See all those cracks? They are not supposed to be there! Share this post with your friends and family so they too are prepared for sum ... read more

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Motoring Minute

Motor Minute - A/C Tips

Good Monday Morning everyone and welcome Motor Minute with Mary Ellen: Last week I talked about the importance of using the recirculation button on those very hot days.  It really does help cool the vehicle faster so give it a try! This week I want share a few other tips about you’re vehicles A/C. When customers call wanting a price on what it will take to “fix” their A/C, it is something we are not likely able to do without seeing the vehicle. Even just to say “My air condition is not working.” Is not as simple as you think. The first questions we have to ask are: Is the fan blowing air or not                   or Is it blowing cold, warm, or hot air? Each of these symptoms will lead us down different paths and the cost differs greatly even within each of them. It could be as simple as fuses or cooler lines but as complicated as needing a new A/C compressor. The ne ... read more

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Motoring Minute

Monday Morning Motor Minute - Recirculation

Monday Morning Motor Minute - Recirculation

My name is Mary Ellen and for those that don’t know me I am the “M” in the J & M Transmission and Auto Service. I left nursing after 20 years and join my husband, Jerry here to help him build the business. Well that was 15 years ago and boy, have I learned a lot. So much so that I thought I would share a few tip of the trade. So please join me for Motoring Minutes with Mary Ellen!! Today's Motoring Minute-Recirculation! Given that Wednesday 21st was the first day of summer; I thought I would share a summer tip about your air condition in your vehicle. On those really hot days, are you tuning on the recirculation button on? For those that don’t know what that looks like, here is an example. When you use recirculation button, it draws the inside air to cool instead of trying to cool the outside air. You will find that if you use that when your vehicle is really hot inside, it will cool the vehicle faster and make you feel cooler!! Howev ... read more

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