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Van Nuys Auto Repair & Service Center

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My Car is Smoking Under the Hood. What Should I Do Now?

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid A customer called our shop the other morning. “I can’t believe it! I just drove to the corner of my street, and I noticed smoke coming out from under the hood. What should I do now? It’s difficult to assess what is going on under the hood unless I can see, hear and smell it. I told him that if he hadn’t already pulled off the side of the road, to do so now. I wanted to make sure he was safe. I then asked him if any lights on the dashboard indicated a problem? For example, did the temperature light or gauge indicate the engine was hot? Or was the oil icon indicating a leak? I also wanted him to note what it smelled like—different smells are associated with various issues. In addition, I asked him to tell me how dense the smoke is, how far away he was from the car at the time, and if he had an auto club membership. It turned out that he did have a membership with a road service company that included ... read more

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When Was the Last Time You Went to a Car Mechanic Who Heard a Word You Said?

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid When people think of getting their car fixed, they focus on the mechanic, and true enough that person is responsible for repairing their car. What they don’t factor in is their own experience with the car: the noises it makes, odd smells, weird sounds or the feel of the ride, and a technician who listens to their concerns. We approach your vehicle much like a doctor does an ill patient. When was the last time you went to a car mechanic who heard a word you said? Months? Years? EVER? We understand the importance of listening to our customers and of our customers being heard. We’ve been your neighborhood repair shop since 1979. We Save You Time, Money & Aggravation We begin by asking questions, running tests and making observations, and only then do we prescribe solutions. By asking, testing and listening to your answers, we get the best possible understanding of the mechanical failure. To make sure there is no miscommuni ... read more

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Flying Out of Burbank or Van Nuys and Desperately Need Your Car Serviced? Call AutoAid! It Will Be Done Before You Return!

You’re busy flying here and there for work or leisure and trying to fit a multitude of other tasks, including your car maintenance, into a very tight schedule. If you can get your dry cleaning picked up from your home or office and delivered back to you, your groceries ordered online and brought to your home, and can hire someone to stop by your house to walk and feed your pets while you are away--why can’t you find someone to service your car, van or truck while you are traveling? AutoAid Concierge Service You can! As part of AutoAid’s Concierge Service, your vehicle can be retrieved from Burbank Airport or the LAX Flyaway in Van Nuys and brought back to our shop in Van Nuys to have any maintenance or repair performed on it while you are gone. Upon your return, your car will have been serviced and will be back in a parking space at either of those two destinations. Not taking your car to the airport? We can pick it up directly from your home or office and service ... read more

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Is My Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Really ON? It's So Quiet.

YES, your car is on, and NO, you aren’t the first person to ask us this question. Unlike the loud gas-powered engines that can be heard from blocks away, hybrid and electric cars have a much more stealth-like approach. AutoAid customers tell us their cars are so quiet they forget to turn them off! They only realize it when trying to lock the doors. Luckily, car manufacturers have figured this out and installed a safety device that won’t allow you to lock your vehicle if the engine is running. Extremely quiet car engines have also become a concern for pedestrians, especially those who have sight issues or are blind. If they can’t hear your car, then they don’t know your car is coming their way. What to Do About the Quiet If you already own an electric/hybrid car with no alert system, don’t be too concerned. But be aware of your surroundi ... read more

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Auto Insurance and Rebuilt/Salvaged Titles

So you just got in a wreck and your engine is beat up. You love your car with all the nostalgia and memories that come with it and you don’t want to give it up. However, your car insurance provider has deemed your car totaled and won’t let you get back on the road until you get a salvaged or rebuilt title. If you wish to keep your car, you will first need a professional like AutoAid to get the job done correctly to make sure your insurance company will accept the salvaged or rebuilt title. It’s important to know what these titles mean to you in order to make the best decisions moving forward. There’s a clear difference between a salvage and rebuilt title. A salvage title means the vehicle was totaled. A rebuilt title means that the car has been rebuilt from a totaled state. If a car is damaged to the point ... read more

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The Hidden Costs of Auto Service and Repair

The Hidden Costs of Auto Service and Repair

If you’ve visited a car dealership recently, you’ve probably been blown away by the comforts and conveniences that many offer - some nicer than a luxury home! With putt-putt courses, computer lounges, bakeries, fancy drinks, and courtesy rental car programs, these large dealerships look like they're taking great care of their customers. In the end, however, you might end up footing the bill later for a lot of things you don't want or need. Someone will need to pay for all those lavish perks - and they usually end up boiling over into the costs of auto service and repair. Adding Up The Costs of Car Auto Service and Repair Would you rather spend a lot less... or pay for someone else’s perks? Here are just a few of the things that look free, but might actually end up inflating your repair or service bill:   Multi-Million Dollar Facilities Huge franchise fees Fancy, plush computer lounge Courtesy cars Children’s play area Entertainment areas wit ... read more

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