auto repair Chamblee auto repair shop  GA auto shop repair Chamblee repair shop GA
3667 North Peachtree Road Chamblee, GA 30341
Monday - Friday: 7am to 5pm Saturday & Sunday: Closed

770.457.4676

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“Before You Leave Chamblee, Get A Trip Inspection”

You know, at J&L Auto Service we get a lot of people asking about how to prepare their car for a trip. That’s a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas outside of Chamblee so you may be anxious to know that the car is up to the task and won’t leave you stranded.

You really do need to plan ahead for a major road trip – there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Chamblee to see if you can feel any vibrations: are the wheels are in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok?

Come in and see us for trip inspection.

J&L Auto Service
3667 North Peachtree Road
Chamblee, Georgia 30341
770.457.4676

The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. You may also need a new PCV valve and an engine air filter.

How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?

How are your wiper blades? There’s nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from Chamblee.

Check your owners’ manual for any other recommended service and have J&L Auto Service do the multi-point inspection before you head out.

Consider also having the coolant system serviced – you want to stay within the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re towing a trailer you’ll want to be keep in mind that you’ll be going a long way under severe conditions.

A lot of folks overlook severe conditions like towing, or summer heat, or driving on dirt roads. Plan ahead for your next road trip – we want you to get there and back.

A Cold Day In Chamblee

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Most Chamblee motorists worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy Georgia highway but don’t worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown at the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during Chamblee rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot sedan.

A lot of Chamblee drivers judge their vehicles’ air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keeps the sedan running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very expensive in Chamblee.

Dunwoody auto owners should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system’s components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing pricey repairs, and keep it at peak performance.

Inadequate refrigerant indicates a leak in the air conditioning system. Over time, seals in the system can crack, causing the refrigerant to leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system. Replacing these seals will keep your sedan air conditioning system at its best, and, again, will help you avoid more costly repairs.

At J&L Auto Service, we advise our Chamblee customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.

Check with your sedan owner’s manual or with your Chamblee tech for information about how often your sedan air conditioning system should be serviced.

Another piece of good auto advice: if your sedan air conditioner isn’t working or is starting to show signs of breakdown, NOW is the time to get it fixed at J&L Auto Service in Chamblee. Waiting will only increase the chances that you are in for major repairs and a steep repair bill.

On a final note, if you own an older vehicle, you should check into upgrading the air conditioning system. Vehicles manufactured before 1993 often contained a refrigerant known as Freon. The manufacture of Freon was outlawed in 1993, leading to an ever-dwindling supply, which leads to an ever-steeper price for Chamblee car owners in Georgia. If your vehicle still uses Freon, you should have it retrofitted to use the new, EPA-approved R134A refrigerant. The retrofit will actually pay for itself by reducing the cost to recharge the refrigerant in your sedan.

Remember, preventive maintenance — of your entire car — will keep you on the road. And, in this case, it will help you keep your cool!

A Cool and Smooth Transmission in Chamblee

When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Chamblee auto owners remember to get our oil changed. But J&L Auto Service services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is an important part of car care for Chamblee motorists. A poorly maintained transmission will cut down MPG and lead to costly repairs.

The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it’s clean and well – lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your fuel economy will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.

Transmission fluid has two jobs: to cool and lubricate the transmission. The transmission operates at high temperatures. It can get 100-150°F degrees hotter inside your transmission than inside your engine. Transmission fluid transfers some of the heat away from the transmission. Transmissions work hard. Their parts need constant lubrication to prevent excessive wear and keep them running smoothly for Chamblee motorists.

The constant shifting and movement of gears inside the transmission cause bits of the gears and clutch material to wear off. These bits of harmful grit get into the transmission fluid. This grit increases friction inside the transmission and causes even more wear – it’s like liquid sandpaper. Also, the high temperatures inside the transmission cause the transmission fluid to break down over time, making it a less effective lubricant. The fluid can actually become sludgy, which can gradually plug up the maze of passages inside the transmission. Gradually, the transmission loses efficiency and stops operating smoothly. Eventually, the transmission will be damaged or fail altogether.

This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner’s manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this essential service. Or, you can meet with your honest J&L Auto Service service advisor. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your sedan may be shorter or longer.

Of course, if you give your transmission a real workout, you’re going to have to change the fluid more often than the auto manufacturer recommends. If you drive in hot, dusty Georgia conditions, if you tow a trailer around Chamblee, if you haul heavy loads or if you do a lot of stop-and-go Atlanta driving, then you need to change transmission fluid more often. Also, if you demand frequent bursts of speed from your engine — especially shooting away from stops — your transmission is working harder and will need more frequent care. Check your owner’s manual for the “severe conditions” service interval.

Transmission fluids vary from vehicle to vehicle, so you’ll also need to check your owner’s manual to know what kind your sedan needs, or meet with your honest J&L Auto Service service advisor.

At J&L Auto Service in Chamblee, transmission fluid can usually be changed while you wait and is simple and not particularly expensive. Compared to the cost of costly transmission repairs or a new transmission, it’s downright cheap! So take some good auto advice from the team at J&L Auto Service and take care of your transmission. It will pay you back in improved fuel efficiency and a longer, smoother ride.

A New Battery In Chamblee

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Hello Chamblee drivers, let’s talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in Chamblee, here’s some auto advice to help you.

There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.

The Atlanta weather also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the sedan engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold Georgia weather reduces the electrical efficiency of the battery, which reduces the amount of energy available in the battery to start the engine. Thus, in freezing temperatures, you need more power to start an engine, but you have less power available to get it started.

So if you live in a cold climate, or in an area in Georgia where winters can get really chilly, it is essential to have a battery with more cold cranking amps than if you live in a more mild or warmer climate.

The battery that was installed in your sedan at the factory may not have the appropriate number of cold cranking amps for your area. It is important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and get at least that number of cold cranking amps, but you may want to upgrade if you live in a colder climate.

Reserve capacity is the number of minutes your battery can maintain essential functions in your sedan without being recharged. There are two things that affect reserve capacity. The first is referred to as parasitic drain. Your sedan has power systems that must be kept running while the engine is off. These may include the security system, the remote start systems, and any computer systems. The number and power requirements of these systems has greatly increased over the last few decades. As a result, the need for reserve capacity in vehicles’ batteries has also increased. Very short trips around Chamblee and Sandy Springs do not allow a vehicle’s battery to recover the energy that was used to start the car. So these trips require reserve capacity as well.

Again, the reserve capacity in the battery installed at the factory may not be what you need for your Chamblee lifestyle and driving habits. Again, use the manufacturer’s recommendation as a minimum, but consider upgrading if your sedan has a lot of parasitic power drain or if you frequently make very short trips around Atlanta.

Your honest service advisor at J&L Auto Service in Chamblee can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or a need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure it fits into your sedan. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it’s a serious safety hazard if the terminals come into contact with other parts of the vehicle.

Car batteries aren’t cheap in Chamblee, so you may want to consider the warranty when purchasing. Pro-rated warranties will give you credit for a portion of the battery if the battery fails during the warranty period. The amount of credit will depend on how long the battery lasted. A free replacement warranty will replace your battery if it fails during the warranty period. Before you purchase a battery, make sure you know what you are buying.

Keep in mind that preventive maintenance and good car care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits is essential and can help you get the most out of your battery.

Air Conditioning Maintenance At J&L Auto Service In Chamblee

Warm weather or cold, Chamblee drivers still need to think about their sedan’s air conditioning. Most Chamblee people don’t service their air conditioning until after it fails. At J&L Auto Service, we can advise you on your ‘s preventive maintenance schedules for air conditiong service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.

air conditioningMaintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the sedan’s air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can’t cool the air as well. We see that a lot at J&L Auto Service in Chamblee.

The refrigerant also contains a vital oil that lubricates air conditioning components, and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Chamblee car owners know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. At J&L Auto Service, we recommended that the air conditioner be run regularly, even during winter months, to keep the parts and seals lubricated.

Corrosion is what leads to many air conditioning system failures for Chamblee motorists. The small leaks mentioned earlier also mean that air and water can leak into the air conditioning system. This can lead to rust and dirt in the internal workings of the air conditioning components. This greatly accelerates wear and, ultimately, failure.

Air conditioning service at J&L Auto Service starts with a visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks. The compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it’s inspected for cracks or wear. The air conditioning compressor and other components are checked for proper operation. Then comes the leak test. If a leak is detected, often in a hose or connection, it’s repaired and the system is retested.

Then the old refrigerant is evacuated and the system is recharged with clean, fresh refrigerant. A final test insures that the sedan’s air conditioner is working, and you’re on your way.

How often this should be done varies from vehicle to vehicle. Your sedan owner’s manual will have the manufacturer’s recommendation and, of course, your J&L Auto Service service advisor can tell you. It’s typically every two years.

If you’re not getting enough cool air out of your AC you know something’s wrong. Also, if you hear strange sounds when you turn the air on, there might be a problem with the compressor and you should get it checked out at J&L Auto Service. Replacing a bad A/C clutch in a sedan is cheaper than waiting for it to ruin the compressor.

Chamblee drivers need to be aware that there’s one more thing that isn’t directly related to air conditioning service, but does impact the quality of the air in your sedan. And that’s your cabin air filter. This filter cleans dust, pollen, pollution and other impurities in the air that comes from the heater and air conditioner. The cabin air filter needs to be replaced when it’s dirty. If you don’t it’ll start to smell. Not all vehicles have one, so ask your J&L Auto Service service advisor to check your cabin air filter at the same time they’re doing your air conditioning service.

Air Conditioning Service In Chamblee

Hey Chamblee, Georgia Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it is time to get your air conditioner checked. It’s real easy to take your car’s air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool.

When most people in Chamblee hear the words “air conditioning problems”, it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it’s broken, it’s expensive to repair.

What things can we do to prevent air conditioning breakdowns?

A common cause of air conditioning failure is leaks. Water and air can leak into the system. The system doesn’t work as well with air in it. And water can cause rust that leads to damage of the A/C components. Also, refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system, making it work harder to cool the air. Periodically evacuating the air conditioning system and recharging it keeps the proper amount of clean refrigerant in the system so it cools better and lasts longer.

You should also run the air conditioner regularly, even in a frosty Chamblee winter, so that it lubricates itself and keeps the seals from drying out, which leads to leaks. Your owner’s manual will have recommendations for how often to service your air conditioner. Of course, if it’s not working right, now is the time to get it checked. J&L Auto Service can inspect and test your air conditioning and offer evacuation and recharge services. This goes a long way to avoiding having to bring your air conditioner in for major repairs.

New environmental laws have stopped the manufacture of Freon, a refrigerant that was common in cars made before 1993. There is a very limited supply of Freon so the price is very steep. It may not be worth its weight in gold, but it probably is worth its weight in silver. If you have an older vehicle that uses Freon, you may want to consider having it retrofitted to use the new R134-A refrigerant. It will pay for itself in the long run. So, if your AC is just a lot of hot air, bring it in to J&L Auto Service for an inspection.

J&L Auto Service
3667 North Peachtree Road
Chamblee, Georgia 30341
770-457-4676

All About Your TPMS In Chamblee

Chamblee auto owners know that under-inflated tires wear out more quickly. Under-inflation is also a major cause of tire failure for Georgia auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of under-inflated tires.

It’s hard for many Chamblee auto owners to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your vehicle manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under-inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

Uncle Sam to the rescue! A recent federal law required car makers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System – or TPMS system – in all vehicles. The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25 % below the car maker’s pressure recommendations.

The law covers all passenger cars, SUVs, mini vans and pick-up trucks. The system must also indicate if it has a malfunction. This technology has been used in race cars for years. They are able to head off problems from under-inflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track. It’s up to your car’s auto maker to determine which of many TPMS systems available they use to comply with the law.

Obviously, all of this doesn’t come free. Government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.

The costs are partially offset by savings in fuel and tread wear. There is also a saving in property damage and travel delay. Also, the government predicts fewer fatal accidents. They estimate there will be between $3,000,000 to $9,000,000 for every life saved.

Your safety is our priority at J&L Auto Service. We want you on the road and accident free. We’ve traditionally provided things like tire rotations, snow tire mounting and flat fixes at a very low cost. We’ve been able to quickly and cheaply provide the service, and we pass the low cost on to our valued Chamblee clients as an expression of our good will. That’s why we’re concerned about how you perceive the changes that this new law has required.

Every time a tire is changed: taken off to fix a flat, a new tire installed, or a snow tire mounted, the service advisor now has to deal with the TPMS system. Sensors need to be removed and reinstalled. The sensors have to be reactivated after the change. And, unfortunately, the very act of changing the tire damages some sensor parts from time to time – it’s inevitable and can’t be avoided.

Even a simple tire rotation requires that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system needs to be reprogrammed. TPMS sensor batteries must be replaced periodically along with failed parts.

Chamblee service centers have purchased new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and updated expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems.

Georgia service specialist have been trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to the service center to perform what was once a very inexpensive service. So if you’ve noticed the cost of Chamblee flat repairs, tire changes, and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it’s because of government mandated safety equipment. Your Chamblee service center just wants to keep you safely on the road – and it’s committed to do so at a fair price. Rememer, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

All Lined Up: Wheel Alignment Service At J&L Auto Service

When all of your vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in Chamblee can cause your sedan’s wheels to be out of alignment.

Driving for an extended time in Chamblee when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded Georgia expressway. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early.

Here are some alignment basics from J&L Auto Service:

The first adjustment is called toe or do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire.
The next adjustment is called camber or do the wheels tip in or out at the top.
And finally, there is castor. Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle.

The ideal alignment for your sedan was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at J&L Auto Service starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then your friendly J&L Auto Service technician will look at tire condition.

From there, the sedan is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to sedan vehicle manufacturers’s specifications.

Your sedan owner’s manual probably has a recommendation for how often your alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem, get it checked at J&L Auto Service before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At J&L Auto Service

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Chamblee people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Chamblee motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their sedans for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Chamblee drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own sedans on the road in Georgia.

Chamblee drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change. Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At J&L Auto ServiceThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your sedan’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine.

There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Chamblee car owners. It’s simple – a J&L Auto Service professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your J&L Auto Service technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.

Your J&L Auto Service advisor will also visually inspect your sedan for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your J&L Auto Service advisor will be able to remind you of other services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Chamblee dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your sedan gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost money, but they are far cheaper than new sedan payments. With proper service at J&L Auto Service and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.

Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

In our auto video today we’ll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that “modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free”.

Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Chamblee Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn’t so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.

Here are some examples for our friends in Chamblee.

  • Some cars in Chamblee no longer require chassis lubrication. They’re made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There’s literally is no way to grease those joints.

-Chalk one up for the myth.

On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn’t even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.

  • So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.

-A point to maintenance.

  • Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.

-Myth gets a point.

  • Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.

-Point for maintenance.

I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they’ve always been.

So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Chamblee if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there’ll always be a check list.

Let me mention a couple of items on modern vehicles that folks need to be aware of. One of the most of the most important is timing belt replacement. Used to be that all engines had timing chains – you know, metal chains. They rarely broke.

It’s cheaper to make engines with timing belts rather than chains, so replacing the timing belt is on most engines’ maintenance list. The money the manufacturer saves by using a belt is more than off-set by what the vehicle owner has to pay to replace the belt. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of repairing the damage if the timing belt breaks.

So make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced. You don’t want to miss that. If you have 60,000 miles or more, break out your owner’s manual or ask your Chamblee service advisor at J&L Auto Service to check on the recommendation right away.

Another is sealed wheel bearing assemblies on some vehicles. As you might have guessed, it’s cheaper to make a sealed unit than one that has access to inspect or service the wheel bearings. The problem is that when the bearings fail, you have to replace the entire unit, not just the bearings. That’ll cost 5 or 6 times as much.

For our friends in Chamblee, we hope this has underscored the importance of knowing and following your maintenance schedule. Come in and see us at J&L Auto Service. You’ll find us at 3667 North Peachtree Road in Chamblee, Georgia 30341. Just give us a call at 770.457.4676 .


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