Insight Automotive has a full-service automotive shop that can take care of any of your automotive maintenance needs. We do everything from basic oil changes to engine replacement, and everything in between. Alignments, brake replacements, suspension work, drivetrain repairs, preventative and regular maintenance, and more can be performed in our highly qualified and customer-centered 6-bay service shop.
At Insight Automotive we employ highly qualified technicians for our service department. From regularly scheduled oil changes to transmission replacements, we are dedicated to maintaining top tier customer service. Our technicians are here to provide you with exceptional service in a timely matter.
We know how hard it is to find a shop that will be straight with you about what’s wrong with your car, and that doesn’t just throw your money at supposed "solutions" that never fix anything. We have tested diagnosticians and can zero down on and repair problems in a timely manner. Our technicians are very experienced and hold professionalism and work ethic above all else. When you choose to service your vehicle at Insight Automotive, you can rest assured that you will always know exactly what is going on with your vehicle. Don’t worry about extra items or parts being tacked onto your bill, we will never add something to an invoice unless you’ve given us the green light to do so.
Regular oil changes are the most important routine maintenance. Regular oil changes remove dirt and wear particles, reduce sludge and improve longevity. Old oil breaks down and wears out, making it less effective at lubricating the engine. We recommend changing oil at 3,000 miles for conventional oil or 5,000 miles for synthetic oil. Many newer cars call for synthetic oil. Some people prefer synthetic oil so they can go further between changes. Manufacturers are changing to GDI ( gasoline direct injection ) in modern engines. This system uses much higher fuel pressure than previous fuel injection and this is causing a dilution of the oil. Many maintenance schedules say oil changes at 10,000 miles or more. Seeing the oil that comes out of an engine that has run too many miles leads us to stick with our recommendation of 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Checking the oil at least once a month is also advised.
When talking about tires, first and foremost is safety. Driving on worn or bad tires puts you and your passengers at risk. Tires are constantly in contact with the road and provide a great deal of stability and reliability to the driver. Bald or improperly inflated tires can blowout causing loss of control or even an accident. They can slip and slide, have poor braking and even leave you stranded. Good tires have better traction which is even more important in bad weather, as the tread displaces water and dirt to keep in contact with the road. Tires even act as part of the suspension to absorb bumps. It is important to perform tire rotations to keep the same amount of wear on the tires, even more so for all wheel and four wheel drive vehicles because mismatched tires can cause gearbox wear.
Alignment of your vehicle can affect tire wear, tire performance, handling and maneuverability. It also affects steering response and even fuel economy. Alignment can change by hitting a big bump or smacking a curb. Obvious signs are pulling to one side or the steering wheel is no longer centered. It is a good idea to have an alignment performed if you are getting new tires to prevent uneven tire wear and prolong the life of the tires. We have modern equipment and skilled technicians.
Just like tires the big issue with brakes is safety. If you are having a problem with your brakes it is something you cannot ignore. Common concerns are noises or a light on the dash that says BRAKE or ABS. Many times the noise is a squeak or squeal. This could be a matter of odd wear pattern on the disc causing the pad to chatter or a glazing on the disc and pad caused by heat and the pad is having a hard time gripping the disc. Many pads have a steel spring tab that will rub against the rotor and squeal when the pad is getting thin indicating it is time for replacement. Another noise is a grinding which can sometimes be dirt or rocks stuck in the brake caliper area, but usually means the brake pad friction material is gone and the metal plate of the pad is pushing against the disc, often referred to as metal on metal. Another issue is a pulsation of the brake pedal or steering wheel when applying the brakes. This can be caused by the brake discs being out of round or warped. The disc needs to run true and if it wobbles back and forth it is pushing the caliper and pads around causing the pulsation. Sometimes brakes will emit a smell of burning if something is binding or not releasing, there might even be smoke from the affected wheel. A red BRAKE light could indicate that the brake fluid is low or that the parking brake is engaged. A yellow ABS light might be caused by a bad wheel speed sensor or another concern with the anti-lock brake system. If the brake pedal feels hard or stiff there could be a problem with the power assist. If the pedal travels too far or goes to the floor there could be air in the system or worse, a fluid leak. If you are having a problem please have your brakes checked.
Vehicle suspension is about comfort and safety. The ability to smooth out the bumps on road surfaces. When a tire hits a bump there are large springs designed to react so that the frame does not take the full hit of the bump. Shocks and struts act like dampers on a screen door so that up and down motions don’t happen too fast. Ball joints allow the control arms to move up and down, but still allow the spindle to pivot for turning. Shocks and struts are usually connected to the control arm on one side, and the vehicle frame or body on the other. On many vehicles the strut is the upper suspension with a large bearing on top for turning and the lower part bolted to the spindle. Others have upper and lower control arms, and the shock or strut does not turn. Common issues are noises going over bumps, the vehicle bounces excessively, pulling or wandering, and uneven tire wear. If loose enough, the steering may react funny after hitting a bump. Shocks and struts are hydraulic cylinders filled with oil and if the oil leaks out it can cause the excessive bounce and even noises over bumps.Ball joints carry a lot of the load in a suspension system, and if worn enough they can break causing the tire to disconnect from the control arm. Control arm bushings can also wear out, causing clunks and steering issues. It is a good idea to have a suspension check at least once a year.
Steering is, of course, the connection between the steering wheel and the tires. The steering wheel turns a shaft in the column, which connects to a rack and pinion gear or a conventional steering gear. Both designs use tie rods to connect to the spindle, and the wheel and tire are bolted to the spindle. The spindle is where the wheel bearing is, and it pivots on the ball joint. Excessive play in the tie rods, linkage, or steering gear can cause the steering to feel very loose. Sometimes a bad ball joint or loose control arm bushing can be the culprit as the linkage has to take up their slack before changing direction. In rare cases there could even be a problem with the shaft in the steering column. Many newer cars with traction control have a sensor on the column to monitor the turning of the shaft.
Power assisted steering is common and it uses a pump and fluid under pressure to assist in turning the wheels, especially at low speed parking lot maneuvering. This system works well but if it develops a leak in the pump, hoses, or gear the steering can become very stiff and hard to turn. The pump will whine because there is not enough fluid to keep it lubricated and air is getting into the system. Manufacturers have started using electric power assist steering. This design does away with pumps and hoses in favor of electric motors. This design requires sensors and a module to control the power assist.
The dreaded check engine light. The problem could be as simple as a loose gas cap or as serious as an internal engine problem. If the light is flashing it indicates a misfire which could damage the catalytic converter, an emissions component in the exhaust. A scan tool can be used to retrieve the trouble code from the engine control module giving an idea of where the problem lies. The code can indicate the area of the fault but a diagnostic check is often needed to make sure there is not a different problem such as rodents chewing through the wires or a sensor reading incorrectly because of another problem. Today’s engines have variable valve timing, ignition coil on spark plug, and gasoline direct injection. It’s better to verify the problem before installing unnecessary parts. A misfire can be caused by tune up parts like a spark plug, but can also be the result of a valve not opening or a compression loss.Our technicians can pinpoint the problem and recommend needed repairs.
The climate control system in a car greatly enhances comfort while driving. It also helps with being able to defrost windows. Whether having the air conditioning blowing cold on a hot sweltering day or the heater keeping hands and feet toasty on a chilly winter morning, many people rely on this system for comfort. The A/C system uses a compressor to circulate refrigerant, while the heater uses the coolant from the engine which is usually near 200 degrees.An engine thermostat or water pump leak can cause poor or no heat. A coolant leak can prevent the hot fluid from getting to the heater core in the dash and might even cause the engine to overheat. A/C problems can mean the system is low on refrigerant or the compressor is not turning on. A/C leaks can be minor and hard to detect. When recharging the system it is a good idea to add a fluorescent dye to help locate the leak in the future. Recharging should only be done by a certified technician, and have a leak test performed. The compressor might not come on if there is a bad relay, or the magnetic clutch could be defective. Monitoring the pressures with the compressor running can also help diagnose the problem. There are other parts to the system such a doors inside the dash that control temperature, and what vents the airflow comes out of. Many cars even have a filter to clean the air entering the cabin.
It is a sinking feeling to get into your car, turn the key and nothing happens. A dead battery can leave you stranded when you have places to go. There might have been warning signs such as the engine turning over slowly, or the headlights were dim last time you drove at night. The starting and charging system should be checked. There is a battery for electrical power storage, a starter to crank over the engine, and an alternator to recharge the battery and provide power for the vehicle while the engine is running. A weak battery can fail on a cold morning, but even the heat of summer is hard on batteries. Jump starting a vehicle is not like it used to be. Modern vehicles have a lot of onboard modules that can be damaged by hooking the cables up backwards so please be careful.
The lights, wipers, blower motor, and even the radio all get power from this system. Power windows, power locks, and power seats all have motors that rely on battery power.
Sometimes an issue can arise from wiring problems. We have access to schematics that will help trace down those problems.
Automobile engines have become very complex over the years. Dual over camshafts, variable valve timing, even cylinders that deactivate at cruising speeds. Common issues are overheating, lubrication problems from oil pump failure or low oil level, and detonation, a problem in the cylinder caused by too much heat.
Overheating is often caused by low coolant. Water pumps and hoses wear out over time and are typical repair procedures. A stuck thermostat, a failed cooling fan, or a plugged radiator can also cause an engine to run hot. The important thing is to stop the vehicle when this occurs because to keep driving an overheating vehicle can cause serious internal engine damage such as a blown head gasket.
Oil provides lubrication to moving parts for reduced friction, but also to carry away heat. Oil is the main way that rod and main bearings are cooled. So any reduction in oil flow can cause these parts to overheat, gall, and seize. Low oil pressure can be caused by a bad oil pump, or excessive clearance in the bearings as a result of high mileage or neglect. A plugged pickup tube in the oil pan or even just a low oil level can also cause oil starvation. Overhead cam engines are even more vulnerable to starvation because it take longer for the oil to reach the camshaft and valvetrain. Low oil level can be due to leakage or the engine is burning it. Worn valve seals or piston rings can cause oil consumption. Look for blue smoke on start up or under heavy acceleration. Leakage is usually obvious and should be looked at by a technician to confirm the problem area.
Detonation is a form of abnormal combustion that results from too much heat and pressure in the combustion chamber. The fuel ignites spontaneously causing a sudden rise in cylinder pressure. The result is a sharp hammer like blow on the piston the produces a metallic knocking or pinging noise. Heavy or prolonged detonation can crack pistons and rings, smash rod bearings or blow a head gasket. Causes for detonation are excessive compression, elevated engine operating temperature, preignition, lean fuel mixture, and low octane fuel.
So whether you need a water pump or a complete engine we are here to help. Most engines come with a 36 month warranty to insure many more miles from your car.
There are several different types of transmissions these days. Manual and automatic, DCT, and CVT. Manual transmissions use a clutch disc that wears out after years of use and will need replaced, but as long as the gearbox is full of fluid, it does not usually need to be replaced. The clutch pedal is connected to the transmission either by a cable or hydraulic cylinders. The cable can break or the cylinders can leak, but generally manual transmissions are less expensive to repair. Automatics have come a long way. Todays units have shifting controlled by a module and as many as 10 speeds. Manufacturers are claiming the fluid is good for the life of the transmission. But servicing the unit and flushing the fluid might help it go further than 100,000 miles of “life” they are referring to. With all the electronics involved a scan tool is needed to diagnose most problems. It might just need a sensor or a solenoid instead of replacement.If a transmission does need replacement we can handle that as well.
DCT stands for Dual Clutch Transmission or Automatically Shifted Manual Transmission. Basically it is a manual gearbox that is shifted automatically by a module. There is a manual mode where you can shift the gears yourself, but all shifting and clutch activation is still controlled by a module using your input.
Many cars now use a CVT or Constantly Variable Transmission. This unit uses pulleys that seamlessly change their size to vary the gear ratio but do not really have any “gears” to speak of. Some vehicles have manual mode but it only puts the pulleys in a preset size to simulate shifting. There is some speculation that a CVT does not have the same lifespan as most automatics, but as time goes on they are improving. Proper maintenance and changing the fluid helps.
Vehicles have a maintenance schedule that indicates when certain services should be performed. It should be in or with your owner’s manual. We have these schedules as well. It will indicate when filters, fluids, or spark plugs need to be changed. As we have discussed routine oil changes and tire inspections should be performed. Belts, hoses, and wiper blades are also important. A visual inspection of all the lights can find a burnt out bulb that you didn’t know about. Checking fuel economy to make sure it has not dropped is also a good idea. We would be happy to look at your vehicle, the maintenance schedule, and make recommendations.