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Van Nuys Auto Repair & Service Center

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Having Car Problems at College? Call the Mensch with the Wrench.

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid One of the most common situations clients call me about is not knowing what to do when their college-age son or daughter has car problems at their out-of-state school. Why do my clients call me with these issues? Because I’m willing to get on the phone with a mechanic or car dealer and ask them the questions that your son or daughter may not know to ask. I can make the entire experience much more pleasant. That’s why so many of my clients tell their kids, “no matter what, if you’re having car problems at college, call the Mensch with the Wrench.” Take Alice, for example. I’ve been working on her family’s cars since she and her husband were married 30 years ago. Before her son, Keith, went to college in Arizona, she came to me and asked, “Jack, what is he going to do without you? Since he started driving two years ago, you and ... read more

After It's Repaired: What Should Consumers Ask Before Leaving the Shop with Their Car

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid You’ve just had your car repaired. It had been a while since you took it in for maintenance. The brake pads needed changing, and so did a couple of belts. But it was the rotors that really cost you. You had a list of questions you wanted to ask the technician when you picked up your car, but quickly forgot after signing the paperwork. You realize you didn’t see the parts that had been replaced (and you had asked when you brought the car in) nor did anyone review the final bill and associated costs with you. What do you do? Call the automotive repair shop, and ask for the needed information. Both these items are required under California’s Automotive Repair Act of 1974. If for some reason you can’t do this, either because they are out of the area or you feel too embarrassed to go back, call AutoAid. Our family-owned and operated business believes that educati ... read more

Your Car’s Health Check In the Palm of Your Hand

Your Car’s Health Check In the Palm of Your Hand

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid If you’re like most of us, every few months you receive a report from your healthcare provider giving you an update on your test results, or suggestions on how to improve your overall health. AutoAid prepares a similar report that we text or email following our Car & Truck Courtesy Check, which looks at 38 vehicle points including the wipers and washer system, exterior lights, air conditioning, and battery, filters, oils and fluids, belts, hoses, tires, brakes, steering, and suspension. Our dedicated team of technicians then prioritize the maintenance or replacement of parts based on their diagnoses of your vehicle. Your car’s health report is one of the many value-added perks that we give our customers throughout the greater San Fernando Valley area. How We Evaluate Your Car’s Health We’re not th ... read more

When You Are in Charge of Servicing Your Car for the First Time EVER

By Jack Bulko “My husband always took care of this and now he’s just dropped it into my lap! And if you think you’re going to take advantage of me because I’m a woman, you have another thing coming. I have been burnt more than once and it is not going to happen again!” All I had said to her up to that point was “How can I help you?” I could have raised my voice too, but I sensed the frustration in her voice and knew that her anger wasn’t directed toward me, at least, not exactly. I knew that she just wanted someone to listen to her and to help her solve her car issues in a fair way. So, I listened. I wanted to make her experience at AutoAid as pleasant as possible. After bringing her to our customer service waiting area for some coffee, we talked about the knocking noise she heard in her engine and what it might be. I explained that we perform a free ... read more

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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Courtesy Car vs. Rental Car: What’s the Difference?

By Jack Bulko If you own a vehicle, no matter the make or size, there will come a time when it must go into the shop for repairs. Sometimes the visits are for a routine check-up such as an oil and filter change or belt replacement, not anything that will put your car out of commission for more than a day. And other times your car requires far more work and parts may need to be ordered. You feel lucky because unlike your friend who goes to a local, family-owned repair shop and has to rent a vehicle when his car, truck or van needs repair, you get off cheaply. You have all your repairs done at the dealership. Not only do they offer a free courtesy car and shuttle service, you also get to wait in their luxurious customer service lounge replete wit ... read more

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Your Car and Truck Doctor: Asking the Right Questions

You bring your car or truck into a service station for maintenance or repair. Then what? Do you rely entirely on the mechanic to alert you to any problems and fix them? Most people realize that their car’s health depends on a discussion between themselves and the mechanic, similar to a conversation you might have with your physician about your physical health—what’s working, what isn’t and why. The questions posed during your doctor’s visit and the answers you give allow the physician to make a more accurate diagnosis of your health. Our auto service technicians are the doctors for your car. And as your automobile or truck’s health professionals, we need as much information as you can supply to determine what is going on under the hood or the chassis. What Our Technicians Need to Know When you bring your car or truck into AutoAid, whether it is for a routine checkup or a speci ... 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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Five Tips from AutoAid for Fall Car Care Month

This October is Fall Car Care Month, and here at AutoAid, we want to remind you to take a little bit of time to be “Car Care Aware,” as the team at CarCare.org put it. Every year in April and October, CarCare.org celebrates a month of vehicle maintenance awareness, in the hopes of reminding drivers like you that taking a few simple steps now can save you the trouble of an emergency breakdown – not to mention more than a few bucks on the cost of repairs – down the road. Whether you handle some of these tasks yourself or prefer to trust Jack, David, and the expert team at AutoAid of Van Nuys, CA for your auto service & maintenance needs, we recommend these important steps to take this Fall Car Care Month to ensure your vehicle performs well all year long. Battery. Check your connections, and make sure they are tight, clean, and free from cor ... read more

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