Honda Repairs: When to DIY and When to Take It In

Honda Repairs Independent Auto Care DenverAre you wrestling with the idea of performing DIY repairs on a Honda vehicle?

Honda vehicles are well known for their exceptional reliability.

In an industry-wide survey, three Honda models ranked in the top 10 for reliability. With an emphasis on preventative maintenance, Honda owners can drive for over 200,000 miles.

The challenge is deciding which preventative maintenance actions are DIY or need professional service. Read on to learn which Honda repairs need a certified mechanic. 

DIY Honda Repairs

If your neighborhood association, landlord or rental company allows it, many simple Honda repairs can be completed in a home garage. In today’s digital age, there are a ton of standard repair procedures on the web.

Also, YouTube videos provide Honda owners with a visual maintenance aid. Below are a few DIY maintenance items that might help you save some cash.

Replace the Brake Pads and Rotors

Many people are intimidated by this repair, after all, there’s no margin for error when it comes to your stopping power. If you can change a tire, however, you should be ok replacing brake pads and rotors.

The parts are available at a wide array of retailers, just make sure you get the right fit for your Honda. Besides the lug wrench that is used to change a tire, the only tools you need are a C-clamp and an adjustable wrench.

Removing the brake caliper is as simple as removing a bolt. Then use the C-clamp to tighten the brake piston and place the caliper back over your new brake pads. You may want to take photos of what things look like before taking it all apart so you know what it should look like when you’re done.

Replace Drive Belts

This is a super important maintenance action. If a drive belt snaps, it can cause expensive damage to major parts, such as the cooling system.

Drive belts are easily attainable at an auto parts store. The vehicle’s manual includes a drawing or schematic to help you. This visual aid shows you how to route the belt through the critical components.

Before you get started, make sure you truly have a solid understanding of how to DIY this repair. Otherwise, you’ll also end up paying for the repair as well as a tow to a Honda mechanic like Independent Auto Care.

Other DIY Tasks

The list of potential DIY tasks is extensive. Every couple of years you will need to replace the vehicle’s battery. Cleaning the battery terminals extends the service life of the battery.

Replacing air and fuel filters are simple and effective ways to extend engine service life. Swapping out spark plugs is vital for fuel efficiency and maintaining engine performance. Performing oil changes is another easy, but necessary, task that may be done at home.

When to Take Your Honda to a Certified Mechanic

If you feel uncomfortable performing a maintenance task or would rather not spend your free time crawling around under your car, you should feel free take it to a professional.

Any repair that may void the manufacturer warranty fits this category as well.

As a general rule of thumb, take your vehicle to a mechanic if the check-engine light comes on. This typically means you need a diagnostic reader to read and clear the failure code.

Lastly, repairs on major components should be performed by a professional. Items that fit this classification are the engine, transmission, and cooling system.

Wrapping It Up

DIY Honda repairs are a great way to save money. However, some tasks are too complicated and important to perform in your garage. You don’t want to leave yourself stranded or wind up with a more expensive repair on your hands just because a YouTube video skipped a step.

When knowledge and experience are lacking, you should always enlist the help of a professional to get the job done right. If you require professional assistance, please contact us to schedule an appointment at Independent Auto Care today.

The Best Way to Tell if Your Honda Needs an Alignment

Here at Independent Auto Care in Parker, we know the best way to tell if your Honda needs an alignment. It all comes down to paying attention to how your Honda handles on the road, especially at higher speeds. If you notice some of the changes we discuss here, you can learn to tell when an alignment is in order.

Drifting or Pulling

When you drive your Honda on a flat, straight surface, you may feel your vehicle tug to one side or another. If you don’t feel such a tug, you can let go of the steering wheel for a very brief moment and find out if your vehicle wants to drift to one side or the other. Take care to notice if the road is slightly sloped on the shoulder because this would help your vehicle drift that direction and may mean that your alignment is fine.

In more prominent cases of misalignment, you may find that you need to steer slightly in the opposite direction at all times. This is the classic sign that your Honda needs an alignment.

Off-Center Steering Wheel

If your steering wheel always looks like it is not centered or if you always feel like you are slightly turning the steering wheel, this may indicate that your Honda needs an alignment. Sometimes this occurs when you have a front-end alignment done instead of a full four-wheel alignment. The result can alter not only your overall alignment, but it can cause issues for your car’s performance, handling, and fuel economy.

Steering Wheel Vibration

If your steering wheel vibrates while driving, you would be best served by getting your alignment checked soon. Vibrations can be a warning of bigger troubles to come, so it is important not to ignore it.

If you have steering wheel vibrations or think your Honda is showing other alignment troubles, contact us here at Independent Auto Care in Parker. We can get your Honda’s alignment straightened out quickly before you encounter more serious trouble.

Loose Steering

Your Honda’s steering should feel responsive. If your steering feels loose or like it wanders while you are driving, it is probably time to get your alignment checked. Also, if you turn the steering wheel more and get very little wheel response, you likely have an alignment problem.

Uneven Wear

Visual inspection of your tires is a great way to figure out if you have a potential alignment issue. If you can spot uneven wear, your tires likely need to be aligned. For a more thorough inspection, you can measure the different treads. If they measure differently then your alignment needs attention.

The best way to tell if your Honda needs an alignment is to pay attention to your car and how it handles. Paying attention to your vehicle’s alignment can save you big trouble in emergency situations that require good handling. If you need to get your alignment checked, contact us here at Independent Auto Care in Parker. We will get your alignment corrected so that your car handles better and you are safer while you are driving.

How Do I Get My Honda Serviced Without Voiding the Warranty?

How do I get my Honda serviced without voiding the warranty? Here at Independent Auto Care in Parker, we hear this question all the time. Many people believe that you have to go to your dealer for service or you’ll cancel out the warranty. That’s simply not true. Today we’ll shed a little light on what you need to know.

Warranty Basics

Warranties are promises, usually by a manufacturer, that include fixing defects or failures that occur within a specific period of time. The warranty pays for those repairs or parts that fail during the warranty period as long as it meets certain conditions.

Must I Use a Dealer to Keep My Warranty Effective?

It is a common misconception that you must use a dealer to get a Honda serviced without voiding the warranty. In fact, independent mechanics, retail repair shops, and even you can perform repairs and routine maintenance on your Honda or any vehicle while keeping your warranty valid. It is illegal for dealers or manufacturers to deny coverage because someone else did the work.

However, dealers and manufacturers can require that your Honda repairs be performed at certain facilities if the repairs will be free of charge under the warranty.

Then there are situations where a repair is not covered under warranty. For example, if you replaced a belt on your vehicle but didn’t install it correctly and this caused the belt to fail, your warranty would not cover it. It’s then up to the manufacturer to demonstrate that the improper installation caused the belt to fail, not some other problem.

If you need a repair or routine maintenance contact us here at Independent Auto Care in Parker to have your Honda serviced without voiding the warranty.

Are Aftermarket or Recycled Parts OK?

It is acceptable to use an aftermarket part or recycled product on your Honda and still keep your warranty in effect. However, if your dealer is replacing a part for free, as part of the warranty, they can require that certain parts be used.

Also, if an aftermarket or recycled part damages any parts that normally would have been covered by the warranty, a manufacturer has the right to deny the claim because their product/workmanship was not responsible for the damage. In our experience (and our ASE certified techs have decades of it), we typically recommend not taking any chances while under warranty and primarily use OEM parts for the auto repairs we perform.

Ways to Avoid Warranty Issues

To get the most out of your Honda warranty, it is helpful to read and understand it first. If you have any questions, we have answers! Also, be aware of your warranty period, so that if you have an issue, you get it checked out before your warranty expires. Additionally, it is helpful to get your Honda serviced regularly to be sure that your Honda warranty is kept intact. Keep all your service records and receipts so that you have proof of maintenance if needed.

So, how do I get my Honda serviced without voiding the warranty? Just bring it to us here at Independent Auto Care in Parker. We can make sure your Honda is well cared for with high quality repairs and maintenance.

Misconceptions About Honda Auto Repair

Misconceptions About Honda Auto Repair Independent Auto Care DenverHere at Independent Auto Care in Parker, we want to clear up a few misconceptions about Honda auto repair. Many people believe some of the myths floating around out there, so it is always a good idea to separate fact from fiction.

Every Auto Shop Wants to Rip Customers Off

The misconception is that mechanics take advantage of customers, particularly those who are less knowledgeable or more vulnerable. The idea is that a mechanic knows how to use their vast knowledge of the vehicle’s complexity to exaggerate issues and manipulate data to rip off customers.

The truth is that the auto repair industry is built on good relationships and the majority of auto repair businesses are hardworking and honest. Most auto repair shops understand that even the appearance of taking advantage of the customer damages the relationship and harms the repair shop in the long run. Particularly in today’s world, unhappy customers put their opinions on public forums and social media, making auto repair shops more aware of even the slightest issue. Keeping customers happy is the best way for a repair shop to keep a customer’s loyalty.

Here at Independent Auto Care in Parker, we are only looking to help our customers by providing excellent service and honest repair. If you need a repair on your Honda vehicle, you can trust that we’ll never exaggerate the issue or inflate costs. Just take a look at what customers have to say about us on Yelp.

Only the Dealership can Perform Certain Repairs

Another of the misconceptions about Honda auto repair is that certain fixes require a dealer. Some people even think that a dealership is better for some specific repairs or will offer discounts that a repair shop will not be able to provide. This misconception seems to be particularly strong among foreign car owners.

The reality is that repair shops have all the tools to perform repairs, particularly if they specialize in specific vehicle brands. Additionally, many repair shops offer coupons and discounts. Some even offer free courtesy services and so the dealership is not the only place for a good deal.

Only Dealerships Employ the Best Auto Mechanics

The misconception is that dealerships have better tools, better customer service, and even better mechanics. People believe that you when you take your car to a dealer, you are paying for the best service available.

The reality is that every auto repair shop, including dealers, are going to have a range of skill and experience available. Taking your Honda to the dealership is not going to ensure that anything is better. Dealerships are not the exclusive owners of excellent repairs. In fact, dealerships can and sometimes do perform poor repairs at a premium price.

Here at Independent Auto Repair in Parker, our ASE certified technicians have over 65 combined years of experience specializing in Honda and Acura auto repairs. Any year, make or model, we know your vehicle inside and out. We provide quality repairs without the hassle and cost of going to your dealership. Give us a call and put our expertise to the test.

Don’t fall victim to misconceptions about Honda auto repair. If you need repair on your Honda, contact us here at Independent Auto Care in Parker. We have the experience you can trust.

Signs You Need Honda Fuel Injection Repair

Signs You Need Honda Fuel Injection Repair Independent Auto Care DenverHere at Independent Auto Care in Parker, we want to share some of the signs you need Honda fuel injection repair. The creation of fuel injectors has helped make cars more fuel-efficient and more environmentally friendly, but they can cause a few problems that will need to be addressed to ensure your car is running properly.

Fuel Injection Basics

To understand some of the common problems with fuel injectors, it is helpful to know more about the basics of how the system works. The internal combustion process generates the power needed for your vehicle’s engine using a mix of gas and air, plus spark plugs for ignition. The air intake system delivers air to the engine and the fuel injection system is how the gasoline gets delivered. For peak efficiency, the engine combines the correct amount of gas to the appropriate inflow of oxygen. The oxygen supply can also fluctuate, so the fuel injection system ensures that the gasoline provided also changes appropriately.

Fuel Injector Role

Fuel injectors are responsible for delivering the exact amount of gasoline needed by the engine, in the midst of dramatic changes and differing requirements. The injector is an electronically controlled valve that gets signals from the engine control unit. There is a gas pump that delivers pressurized gasoline into the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors open a valve to allow pressurized gas to pass based on indications from the engine control unit. A fine mist of gasoline is sprayed into the engine’s intake manifold. The manifold then delivers the gas to the engine where it is combusted with the oxygen also being delivered.

Understand Common Problems

Understanding common problems with fuel injectors can help you identify when your fuel injection system may need repair.  If you notice any signs you need Honda fuel injection repair, contact us at Independent Auto Care in Parker. We can get your Honda repaired quickly so you can get back on the road fast.

  • Dirty Fuel Injectors: Sometimes fuel additives can leave a residue on the fuel injectors. The residue burns and forms a crust. Such a crust on the fuel injectors can result in a weak and uneven spray.
  • Clogged Fuel Injectors: Microscopic foreign objects, which are often rust, can cause fuel injectors to be clogged. The rust comes from further up the gasoline supply. It can come from the fuel rail or the fuel supply line. It can result from a car sitting for long periods of time without maintenance. When a fuel injector is clogged gasoline doesn’t make it to the intake manifold.
  • Fuel Injector Fails to Open: If there is a build up of rust or additives, the fuel injector may not be able to close. Additionally, a faulty spring could cause this type of problem. If the valve is unable to close, the fuel injector will leak gasoline.

Now that you understand some of the signs you need Honda fuel injection repair, come see us at Independent Auto Care in Parker if you have a fuel injection issue. We provide great service and quality work, all at prices lower than most dealerships.

When to Replace the Brakes on Your Honda or Acura

When to Replace the Brakes on Your Honda or Acura Independent Auto Care DenverHere at Independent Auto Care in Parker, we know how vital it is to know when to replace the brakes on your Honda or Acura. Brakes are so important to keep your vehicle safe and functioning at optimal levels. If you notice any issues, please come see us right away for a full inspection and service if needed.

Brake pads, calipers, and brake rotors are the main components of car disk brake systems. These parts will eventually wear out with time. Being able to tell when to replace the brakes on your Honda or Acura will ensure that you get repairs made before one failing part affects any of these other components which will compound the complexity and cost for a fix.

Factors that Change Your Brake Lifespan

 There are a few factors that will change how long your brakes last. Knowing these factors may help you understand how to affect the life of your brakes.

  • Driving: If you stop suddenly often and spend time riding the brakes, your brakes’ lifespan is going to be shorter. Gentle and smooth braking helps the pads last longer. Everyone needs to slam on the brakes on occasion, but the less often you need it, the better.
  • Environment: City driving takes a toll on brakes because of the constant stop and go. Areas with lots of mountains or steep elevation changes are difficult on brakes as well because more brakes are needed to control the downhill speed.
  • Brake Pad Hardness: Harder compound brake pads generally last longer. Softer brake pads do better in urban areas because they work well under low-speed conditions. Choosing a brake pad that is right for your conditions will be important.
  • Materials: Different materials have different life expectancies based on usage. Carbon-ceramic brakes generally last longer than regular metal brakes but they are expensive and are often used on high-performance sports cars. Carbon-ceramic brakes also need to be warmer to work well. Regular metal brakes are still the standard for most cars and are generally the most effective for the money.

When You Might Need to Replace Your Brakes

Most brake pads should be replaced at around 50,000 miles. Depending on the type of brakes and the kind of driving you do, some brakes may need to be replaced at as little as 25,000 miles, while others will last up to 75,000 miles. If you are not sure how long your brakes are expected to last, check your owner’s manual.

Of course, if you hear your brakes squeal or scrape, you may need to have them changed no matter your mileage. Brake pads have small metal hairs at the bottom to let a driver know when it might be time to get the brakes changed. It is a sign your brakes have used most of the softer pad material. If the brakes feel jittery, you may need to replace the brake rotors.

If you need to know when to replace the brakes on your Honda or Acura, contact us here at Independent Auto Care in Parker. One of our certified technicians can take a look at your brake system and take care of any repairs needed. Let us keep you safely on the road.

All About the 2018 Honda Accord

All About the 2018 Honda AccordHere at Independent Auto Care in Parker, we’re excited to tell you all about the 2018 Honda Accord. This has been one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. for good reason, but fans have been wanting a more substantial update to modernize this rather ubiquitous vehicle. From what we’re seeing and hearing, the latest model is really standing out from other sedans.

Let’s get to know all about the 2018 Honda Accord.

New Engine and Transmission

The V6 is no longer. Honda is using the I4 engine for the 2018 Accord. It will be available in a 1.5-liter base engine with 192 hp and 192 lb-ft. torque and in a 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder with 252 hp and 278 lb-ft. torque. Though it has a little less power than the V6, it’s close. Thanks to turbochargers, in-line 4 cylinders are comparable, so the demise of the V6 is no surprise.

The six-speed manual transmission will be available for both engines, though the automatic will also continue. A new 10-speed automatic will be an option for the 2.0-liter engine.

Change in Size

The 2018 Accord will have a longer wheelbase and the stance of this vehicle will be wider. Overall, the length and height will both be shorter to improve driving dynamics as well as style. There will be an increase in rear legroom which will please passengers. The wider stance of the vehicle should make it feel better on the pavement and smooth out the ride.

Hybrid Version

The new Accord will have a hybrid option with a 2.0-liter engine. Further details are pretty scarce. Honda is keeping quiet on the hybrid for the most part, though they did share plans to further increase the mileage and place the battery under rear seats to save trunk space.

Driver Assistance

A number of electronic driving aids will be included in this Accord: adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane-departure warning, collision mitigation braking, a driver awareness monitor, as well as blind-spot monitoring.

We’re hoping the latter proves to be an improvement over attempts by other automakers, which have been buggy. It is not a good sign if the system reacts to a row of parked cars or is delayed in braking for actual cars blocking the road. The systems are improving though, and we expect Honda to have one of the better versions.

New Look, Better Interior

As we mentioned, both the body and the interior are also changing in the 2018 model. The new design direction buys more room for backseat passengers who don’t want to sit with their knees tucked up to their chins. And a sleek, new interior dashboard, along with other interior upgrades look to be improvements over previous design choices.

Now that you know all about the 2018 Honda Accord, keep it in mind if you are thinking about buying a new car. In the meantime, if you need your current Honda serviced, contact us here at Independent Auto Care in Parker. We will take good care of your car.

Getting Your Honda or Acura Ready for Fall

Getting Your Honda or Acura Ready for Fall at Independent Auto Care DenverAt Independent Auto Care in Parker, we want to share some tips for getting your Honda or Acura ready for fall. As the weather starts to get colder, it is an easy time to get your car ready for the potential deep chill of winter. Fall is a great time to take care of some rather easy car maintenance that will save you trouble on the road.

Wiper Blades

Changing your blades annually in the fall is a great move for helping you prepare for stormy weather. A fresh set will be up to the task of cleaning your windshield and replacing wiper blades is a simple and inexpensive task. Be sure to get the correct size for your vehicle (use the in-store buying guide) and remember to replace a blade on the back of your car as well, if you have one.

Check and Fill Fluids

For the colder temperatures, be sure that your windshield wiper fluid is good for freezing temperatures and that it is full. Now is also a great time to check your anti-freeze as well as your brake fluid. As your brakes wear, some fluid loss is normal; however, if you notice a large drop in brake fluid volume, that could indicate a problem. If so, you could give us a call at Independent Auto Care in Parker and we can figure out if there is a larger problem that needs to be addressed.

Spare Tire Check

No one wants to get a flat tire only to be faced with a flat spare. When getting your Honda or Acura ready for fall, now is the perfect time to check the inflation on your spare tire. If your spare is located under your vehicle, be sure that the raising and lowering mechanism is also in working order.

Replace Your Air Filter

Properly getting your Honda or Acura ready for fall includes checking on your air filter. Typically, you need to change your engine’s air filter at least twice a year. So if this hasn’t been done in the last six months, now is the perfect time to do it. A dirty filter will reduce your car’s fuel economy, emissions, and affect vehicle performance. With a car tune-up, your air filter will be changed and other upkeep performed.

Check Your Lights and Battery

A good number of electrical problems and ignition issues stem from corroded or loose battery connections. Making sure that your battery is connected properly is an easy way to ensure that your battery will not cause you engine or electrical trouble. Also be sure that your lights are all in working order, now that the days are getting shorter it is important that you be able to see properly and that people can see you when you are driving.

If you want help getting your Honda or Acura ready for fall, get in touch with the experts at Independent Auto Care in Parker. We’ll help keep you safe on the road this winter and all year long.

Get to Know the 2018 Acura TLX

Get to Know the 2018 Acura TLXOur technicians at Independent Auto Care in Parker, Colorado keep up on the latest car models and think you should get to know the 2018 Acura TLX. Acura clearly still wants to pursue the sport-sedan market by bringing us a revitalized version of the 2015 TLX. We think it is worth your time to take a look at the new TLX too.

What’s New?

The 2018 Acura TLX engine offers the same amount of power, and the “A-Spec” TLX arrives with a firmer suspension and more responsive steering. It also includes an exhaust that is less restrictive and better looking. These are all fine points to be excited about. The A-Spec also comes with more road noise and looks more visually aggressive. It will make this car stand out a bit more without increasing your car insurance as a result.

Outstanding Value

The 2018 Acura TLX is a great value. The FWD is offered at $42,800 while the AWD stands at $44,800. This undercuts most of the competition while including some extras like wireless phone charging and ventilated front seats in the A-Spec version. This excellent value is even cheaper than the Acura MDX sport-utility vehicle, giving those who want to steer their spouse away from the wagon look an extra advantage. The TLR also offers mileage that beats the standard 35 mpg, an added selling point.

Tasteful Restraint

The TLX offers two surprisingly good Acura engines. The TLR 4-cylinder offers torque that is unexpected for a 4-cylinder. At the same time, the V6 revs up and sounds like a much more expensive car when it is at full throttle. The TLR offers a reasonable size with a certain style and elegance that is eye-catching yet reserved. We like it better than many of the chrome decorated breadboxes on the road today.

The Drawbacks

If the 2018 TLX were the perfect vehicle, we think it would offer options for larger brakes and a 6-speed manual. These options were available on the TL predecessor but weren’t purchased in enough volume to make them worth offering again.

Early Acura offerings like the Legend coupe and the Integra GS-R also had a youthful exuberance that some say has been missing from the Acura lineup. Acura has turned a bit more conservative over time and could perhaps loosen up. From what we understand, the TLR A-Spec is an early statement of a coming departure from these more reserved offerings of the recent past. We’ll be keeping an eye on future models that could bring an infusion of much-needed excitement to the Acura line-up.

Now that you have had an opportunity to get to know the 2018 Acura TLX, if you are on the hunt for a new vehicle, you certainly have a head start on what to expect from this new model. And if you already have an Acura that needs some attention, call us at Independent Auto Care in Parker to make an appointment. Since 2006, we’ve specialized in Honda and Acura car repairs and can give your vehicle the quality auto care it deserves.

5 Great Reasons to Love a Honda

5 Great Reasons to Love a HondaAt Independent Auto Care in Parker, our Honda-enthusiast customers have inspired us to share this list of 5 great reasons to love a Honda. Though there are so many new brands in the market today, many customers prefer to stick with a more tried and car company. Honda is a brand that remains popular over time because of the quality offered and the trust the company has earned over the years.

  1. Quality

A good number of Honda owners stick with the Honda brand once they have purchased their first Honda vehicle. Honda has manufactured some of the best quality vehicles available over the years. A number of highly satisfied customers report being able to put over 300,000 miles on their Hondas before needing any engine work. Also, the comfort and excellent quality of Honda’s vehicle interiors make their cars some of the best cars on the road today, both inside and out.

  1. Excellent Gas Mileage

With rising gas prices, many buyers want vehicles that have great gas mileage. Honda vehicles have some of the best gas mileage rates in the industry. For those who commute long distances, great gas mileage is a key factor in being happy with their vehicle choice. Having great gas mileage helps more than a Honda owner’s bank account, it also helps them be more environmentally responsible. 

  1. Outstanding Safety Ratings

The majority of Honda’s models earn 4 or more stars for safety. Given their excellent safety ratings, it really is no wonder Honda is such a popular brand.

Hondas offer great features: anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability assist (VSA), all-around airbags, lane change assist features, and active head restraints are some of the many features that ensure the safety of passengers and drivers on the road. Additionally, Honda is offering more and more of these features as part of its standard package on more models.

  1. Keeping the Kids Safe

Honda pays special attention to the little ones that travel with us on the road. Their vehicles include the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system. This system keeps child safety seats secured during an accident.

Honda also includes an Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), which stops the deployment of airbags on the front passenger side if the passenger does not weigh enough to be helped by an airbag. This reduces the chance of unnecessary and potentially dangerous injuries.

  1. Nice Looking

Honda takes pride in producing vehicles that are affordable and practical, but Honda also prides itself on having good-looking vehicles. Not only are they good looking, but also some of their vehicles are also unique and distinctive, which is nice when so many cars on the road are practically indistinguishable from each other.

So, there’s our list of 5 great reasons to love a Honda. Many of our customers have even more. Regardless of your reasons, if your car needs some TLC, come see us at Independent Auto Care in Parker for all your Honda needs, oil changes to AC repairs and so much more.