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The Dallas Morning News
April 3, 1998
By John H. Dockerill
The 100,000 Mile Tune Up and Low Maintenance Myth
The automobiles being produced today are the best that have ever been manufactured. These computerized electronic mechanical marvels are vastly improved over their predecessors. These cars are significantly safer, pollute the environment less, get better mileage and have more convenience features. They are also vastly more complex.

The wizardry that makes up today's cars is designed to obtain maximum performance out of the least amount of mass. Brake rotors used to weigh 25 pounds and last through 3 or 4 sets of brake pads. Today's rotors are less than 10 pounds and it is not unusual to replace them with the first or second brake job.

Although the daily maintenance requirements have been reduced, it has become more critical to actually have them performed. Most owners' handbooks mention two levels of service; "severe" and "normal." When you examine the criteria defining "severe" it describes driving conditions common in the D/FW metroplex. After all, very hot weather with high humidity is common. Many trips are less than 5 miles and traffic is frequently stop and go. If any one of these conditions are true, then your automobile should be serviced according to the severe schedule.

Automobile manufacturers have spent millions of dollars trying to convince the public, that their particular brand of vehicle requires less maintenance then the competition. Phrases like "the first tune up isn't until 100,000 miles" are seen daily. Words like "permanent" and "long life" are attached to items like engine coolant and automatic transmission fluid. So, what is a person supposed to believe?

Let's face it, everyone in the automobile business is bias in some direction. The manufacturers advertise low maintenance, and want less maintenance. If your car wears out sooner, they get to sell you another one. The dealer makes money both ways, less maintenance equals new cars, more maintenance equals more service work. Independent auto repair facilities are bias toward repair work.

The President of The Auto Shop, Jerry P. Kezhaya, believes that consumer awareness and preventive maintenance are the key to cost effective, long term, and trouble free ownership. It is less expensive to service and replace parts in a timely manner than it is to wait for a breakdown. "We see cars every day that require huge repair bills because they didn't have regular scheduled maintenance performed by qualified automotive technicians" says Kezhaya.

Kezhaya recommends the book "What Auto Mechanics Don't Want You To Know" by Mark Eskeldson (Technews Pub. 3rded. ISBN 0-9640560-3.) This book should be required for every vehicle owner. The author describes how to find a reputable repair shop and how to avoid the pitfalls. He suggests that all owner's should at least follow the severe maintenance schedule. This means performing a chassis lube, oil and filter change every 3 to 5,000 miles or months using quality brand name products.

The Auto Shop conforms to all the recommendations made by author Eskeldson regarding what you should look for to find an honest reputable repair facility. Our Technicians are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Many are certified at the Master Level or higher. The parts purchased meet or exceed original equipment specifications and frequently carry a lifetime warranty.

Mr. Eskeldson devotes several pages to the American Automobile Association (AAA) and their certification program for repair facilities. The Auto Shop is proud to have been continuously certified by AAA since 1985. In addition, The Auto Shop was awarded the "Top Shop" in the metroplex by AAA Texas for 1995 and just recently for 1997. It should be noted that AAA Texas only certifies about 100 shops in all of Texas.

The Auto Shop is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The 35,000 sq. ft. facility is located at the SE corner of Plano Parkway and Jupiter Road. A shuttle service is available and discount rental cars are available. The phone number is 972-578-0588 and their website is Kezhaya encourages customers to drop by and tour the facility. Check out The Auto Shop before committing to your next service.


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