Monthly Archives: October 2019

How to Choose the Right Auto Repair Shop

With the sophistication of today’s vehicles, it has become more important than ever to choose an auto repair facility that has the knowledge and ability to take care of your car’s specific needs. When it comes to selecting an auto shop, there are three very important things to consider: Know who’s working on your car. Ask the shop about the technicians it employs. What’s their level of expertise? Do they have the proper training and certifications? How long have they been working for the company? A well-run shop that’s dedicated to excellent work will retain its employees for a long time, but a shop with high employee turnover is unlikely to foster an environment where technicians care about doing a good job. Make sure the shop knows how to work on your particular vehicle. Some cars have components that are specific to a particular manufacturer, so make sure the shop’s mechanics are aware of your vehicle’s needs b ... read more

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Regenerative Braking: A Beneficial Prius Feature

If you own a Toyota Prius, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the features it provides. One beneficial feature is regenerative braking, an automotive innovation found in most modern hybrid and electric vehicles. To utilize this feature in your Prius, simply put your gear shifter into “B” mode. When in “B” mode, you’ll notice that you don’t have to apply the brake pedal as much. That’s because your car is now set to automatically slow down each time you let off the gas. This reduces the amount of wear and tear on your brake pads, especially in stop-and-go traffic. The other benefit of regenerative braking is that each time you let off the gas, it actually charges your Prius’ battery. How? As a car slows down, kinetic energy is created. Regenerative braking captures this energy and repurposes it to charge or “regenerate” the battery. Interestingly enough, this energy-efficient process has little to do with the brakes themselves—it actually takes place w ... read more

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Taking the Long Road

A lifelong veteran of the automotive industry, Dave Erickson has traveled a long and storied road to arrive at professional success. It all started when he was just a boy. “I grew up on a 100-acre ranch, where we had lots of tractors and other vehicles that needed to be maintained,” he remembers. “My dad was gone a lot for work, so I was the one who had to keep all the equipment running. I pretty much taught myself by reading books and tinkering around from a young age.” When Dave was a teenager, he took a step further down the road when he got his first proper job. “When I was 16, I got hired as a technician at a Volkswagen repair facility. Later, I became a shop foreman for a Mercedes-Benz dealership. After that, I worked at several different auto shops in the Bay Area before I finally ended up at Automotive Excellence. When the owner, Mike, announced his plans to retire, I saw it as an opportunity to take the next step in my career. My wife, Terri, and I purchas ... read more

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