Tag Archives: Automotive

For Immediate Hire

Hiring ASAP

Axleboy is creating a new introductory position for a full time porter/general shop helper.  The person in this position will primarily be responsible for keeping the service bays and other working areas in and around the shop clean and organized.  At times this person may be called upon to assist mechanics with minor tasks pertaining to work in progress (transporting large parts, bleeding brakes, etc.) or for transporting parts and occasionally clients throughout the greater St. Louis area.

As Axleboy continues to grow, this position may lead to future opportunities working as an apprentice mechanic.

Requirements

The ideal candidate will:

  • Be self motivated, requiring little or no direct supervision to complete tasks
  • Have a valid drivers license and a clean driving record
  • Have reliable transportation to and from work
  • Be familiar with basic hand and power tools
  • Express a willingness to learn through experience
  • Express interest in the automotive industry and basic mechanics
  • Be available to work during normal business hours (M-F 8am-6pm)
  • Be an independent thinker, willing to suggest and implement process improvements
  • Value and demonstrate punctuality

Benefits

Full time employees enjoy many benefits, including:

  • Employer sponsored medical and dental benefits
  • Paid holidays and vacation time
  • Set schedules with weekends off
  • Bi-weekly pay schedules
  • Opportunities to attend organized Jeep and off-road events

Interested Candidates Should:

For consideration e-mail a resume to rob@axleboy.com, hand-deliver a resume to Axleboy: 1935 E. Terra Ln. O’Fallon, MO 63366, or submit information through the online form on Axleboy’s careers page.

Parts & People Features Axleboy

As Economy Improves, New Demographic of Enthusiasts Enter ‘Jeep Lifestyle,’ as Segment Continues Rebound

BY: DUSTIN HOLLAND, Parts & People
St. Peters, Mo.—Scott Carline, owner of Axleboy Automotive, has been in or around Jeeps for a long time. He began his career working as a Chrysler and Jeep technician but felt the need to take advantage of a business opportunity within the Jeep Community.

“I really started to get into the Jeep Lifestyle after working as a mechanic,” he said. “When other people in that subgroup found out I was a mechanic and word got around, I saw a great opportunity to start my own business.”

In 2004, Carline opened the doors at Axleboy Automotive. “I wanted my shop to be a step above what people were used to receiving when they had work done on their Jeep,” he said.

What began as a small 3,000-square-foot shop has grown to 9,500 square feet. It is equipped with six lifts and an abundance of open floor space.

Jeep owners and dealerships have been relying on Axleboy’s expertise to service their every need, Carline said. “We do a lot of customization jobs. If it was up to us and money was no object, all we would do is build custom Jeeps for clients. We know repair work is necessary also though.”

He also added that as a business it is important to have multiple revenue streams going to stay afloat. The shop also does axle and differential remanufacturing for industrial and light truck applications and sells Jeep accessories. It also performs a small percentage of all makes/all models service and repair.

The shop bounced back from the recent economic downturn, as customers have more disposable income. Low gas prices and credit availability has also helped.

Carline said the shift in the economy and recent Jeep redesigns were bringing in a new clientele than had previously been its core. “Some of my best clients are now doctors, lawyers and bankers, as opposed to the ‘average Joe.’”

Since the economic upturn, Axleboy has also cultivated relationships with dealerships that seek customizations, he said. “Some dealerships just want us to put bigger tires on a stock Jeep so they can put it back on the floor and sell it. Others are more interested in helping people live the Jeep lifestyle. “We will go to the dealership and put together a package custom to the needs of that customer. We sit down with them and really break down what it is that they will need to live the type of Jeep life that they are looking for.”

Carline and his staff are actively involved in several Jeep clubs or communities, including The Midwest Jeep Thing and Jeeping Mid-Rivers. Carline and his full-time marketing director, Mike Carter, take opportunities to set up at their various events throughout the year to showcase products and services. “It is important that I am actively involved in the Jeep community. If a current or potential customer can see my passion first hand and know that it is genuine, it really helps to build relationships which ultimately lead to sales,” Carline said.

He added, “Like most small repair businesses, marketing usually falls on the owner. The problem is, most of us are mechanics by trade and marketing doesn’t come naturally, which leads to a neglect in marketing,” Carline said.

Marketing strategies include increased social media presence, Web design and customer relations, Carter said. “The use of social media in the auto repair industry as a whole has come a long way but there are still shops going about it the wrong way. We stay away from putting generic posts and ads on our sites and focus on interacting with the customer on a more personal level.”

Axleboy is a distributor and installer of TeraFlex aftermarket parts, lift kits and accessories. Recently, the shop has become certified installers of GenRight, which has high-quality suspension and body armor options, Carline said. Other parts and accessories are provided by Keystone Automotive. In addition to lift kit and tires, LED lights are presently popular sales items.

“We get our tires from US Autoforce. They have fast delivery and, in a pickle, they are real close, so we can run up and grab what we need,” he said, adding that the most popular option for Jeep owners right now is the Cooper STT Pro for mud and the Cooper ST Maxx for dual purpose applications.

Carline offered advice for other Jeep and 4×4 shops — take the time to get to know your clients. “Don’t just be their go-to for repairs. Some of the best times I can remember as an owner are the weekends I spent on the trails with my customers living the Jeep life with them.”

 

Click here to see this article in its original format at PartsAndPeople.com or copy and past the following link: http://www.partsandpeople.com/river-valley/axleboy%E2%80%99s-jeep-clientele-expands

Job Opening at Axleboy

Now Hiring: Porter/Helper

Axleboy is looking for a part-time porter & general shop helper.  Whether you are a student just looking for “play” money or you’re thinking about a career in the automotive industry, this is an opportunity worth looking into, so give us a call at 636-939-5337.

Qualifications:
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Responsible
  • Willing to work
  • Ability to lift 25 lbs.
  • OK with dirt and grease
Duties may include any combination of the following types of work:
  • Parts delivery and pickup
  • Keeping the shop & storefront clean and orderly
  • Light technician assistance (no experience necessary)
  • Restocking office supplies
  • Minimal office work (scanning documents)
Benefits include:
  • Flexible weekday hours between 8:30am-5:30pm
  • No weekend/holiday hours
  • Insiders look at the automotive industry
  • Bi-weekly pay schedule

 

If you, or someone you know is looking for part-time work. We’d like to talk.

 Click here for an application form.

 

Axleboy Automotive 4150-A Ehlmann Rd, St. Peters, MO 63376: 636-939-5337

 

New Parts Policy

Axleboy: Parts Policy

Experiencing a vehicle breakdown can be both stressful and expensive.  One way that some folks attempt to alleviate the financial burden of paying for repairs is by ordering and supplying their own parts.

It’s nearly impossible for local shops to compete with the majority of prices found on sites like Amazon, Ebay and Northridge4x4. For the DIY or shade-tree mechanic, this offers an easy way to cut costs, but we’re finding more and more legitimate businesses are turning down work to install “customer supplied” parts.

Work is work, right? So who cares where the parts come from?  There was a time when we would have agreed and gladly taken any type of work that came through the door.

For the past couple of years, we have struggled to find that perfect balance between quantity and our commitment to quality.  At long last, we have reached the determination that quality is truly our primary corporate social responsibility.  With that being said, Axleboy no longer installs “customer supplied” parts.

This decision was reached based on the following factors:

  1. Axleboy has spent years developing and maintaining vendor relationships.  This is significant because when our technicians have problems with how a part installs or performs on a vehicle, we can obtain technical support, send it back and/or negotiate product upgrades.
  2. Incorrect parts cost too much time and money for everyone involved.  If we are doing anything on a vehicle related to suspension or drivetrain, once we put that vehicle on the lift, it tends to stay there until the job is complete.  When a customer supplies their own parts and things don’t match up perfectly, production comes to a halt until correct parts are ordered, shipped to the customer and eventually make their way to our mechanic.  In the meantime, our customer may go days without his/her vehicle and we are able to service fewer vehicles which may drive other aspects of our schedule out of alignment.  By contrast, we stock several parts, so if one component of a kit is not perfect, we can generally replace it pretty quick. Even when we don’t stock a particular part, we can almost always source replacements from one of our local suppliers or have it overnight shipped directly to us, which helps to reduce the delay time.
  3. Liability.  When an auto shop installs parts that were supplied by the customer, and those parts do not work properly, who is held responsible?  Even when the shop installs everything correctly and the part itself fails, from a legal standpoint, the shop is held accountable for the complete job (service and parts).  We’re not saying that everybody is trying to “pull one over” on the automotive shop, but you know there’s always that one bad apple that sets a precedent.
  4. Ultimately we are committed to providing total customer care.  What this means to us is: When customers have questions, we answer them.  When we quote a price, we stand beside that quote.  If something we installed or worked on doesn’t function properly, we’ll do what it takes to make things work right.  Taking care of our customers is our top priority and when we provide parts, we can confidently stand behind their quality before, during and after installation.

 

How much was your free estimate?

FREE Estimate vs Diagnostic Service

Estimate vs Diagnostic




When does a FREE automotive estimate become a billable diagnostic service?  Each auto shop could probably answer this question differently.

At Axleboy, free estimates typically take place at the service counter.  Whether your vehicle needs repair services or you’re trying to discover the next step in off-road modifications, you can call or walk in and one of our service writers will be more than glad to take the time to understand your vehicle needs.

A classic example of a free repair estimate would look something like this: A customer breaks an axle while wheeling over the weekend and would like to know what it will cost to replace both front and rear axles with Tera 60 axles.  Our service writer would then provide an estimate that includes the cost of all parts and book-labor time. At that point the customer could then make an educated decision to proceed or pursue an alternative option.

By contrast, when a customer comes into the shop with either a check engine light or a mystery noise, we can speculate only so much before the vehicle needs to come into the shop for further clarification or discovery.  It is at this point, that a free estimate typically becomes a billable diagnostic service.

Most shops bill diagnostic services based on an hourly rate, so we recommend that before you hand over the keys, first review with the mechanic or service writer their diagnostic plans, including estimated cost.

For a quick reference to the differences between a free estimate and diagnostic services, just check out the infographic to the right.

10 Quick Tips

10 Quick Tips For a Healthier Ride

Thanks to technological advancements and mobile connectivity the world seems to be moving at a faster pace than ever before.  According to a Gallup data collected from 2013 and 2014 nearly the average full-time employee works 47 hours a week.  Chalk up another 3.7 hours each day spent on social media, along with all the time spent running errands, eating, sleeping, hanging out with family/friends and countless other things going on day after day…and suddenly we’re surprised when our vehicle develops an odd noise, blows out a tire or the check-engine light comes on.

Does any of this sound familiar?  Don’t be too hard on yourself if it does.  Life is legitimately busy and full of distractions that constantly compete for our attention, so we often adopt the mantra “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Unfortunately, when it comes to automobiles, neglecting routine maintenance can turn into an expensive game.  For example, on average, vehicles need 3-4 oil changes annually to maintain optimal engine performance.  At $30 per change, we could expect to spend $90-120 per year on this service alone.  If, on the other hand, we just drove the vehicle until the engine burned up (no oil changes), our $100-200 short-term savings would suddenly become either a $4,000-6,000 expense to swap out the engine or a $250 monthly payment toward a new ride. Ouch, right?

Our suggestion: If you own any type of vehicle, set aside a little time to become familiar with more than just the fuel tank.  Here are 10 things you can do to help extend the life of your vehicle.

Every Week

  1. Check the tire pressure.  Most pressure gauges are the size of a pen and fit conveniently in the glove box. This 5 minute task will help your tires wear evenly, extending their useful life and giving you better stopping distances.
  2. Check for pooling oil and other fluids on the driveway or in the garage where you park.  Really, this is a daily type of thing and doesn’t require you to do anything other than be observant.
  3. Pay attention to the trouble-lights. Vehicles today are set up with some pretty awesome technology that is programmed to notify you when something is not working properly.  When your check-engine light or any other trouble light comes on, get it checked out by a professional asap.
  4. Check/Top off windshield fluid. Driver visibility is a vital component to safe driving and while we can’t speak for every windshield, ours certainly seem to collect dust, pollen and bug guts that all need to be washed off.  Checking the windshield fluid should take less than 2 minutes once you know what you are looking for under the hood.
  5. Clean out the interior.  Did you know that clean vehicles can last 25-30% longer than messy ones?  Drivers who take time to de-clutter their vehicle are more likely to notice when things do not sound, smell or feel right…like having enhanced “spider senses.”

 

Every Month

  1. Check your oil once a month. Even though that sticker says you don’t have to get an oil change for another 8 weeks, go ahead and check your engine oil anyway. It only takes 4-5 minutes and can let you know if your engine is burning oil or how serious a leak may be. The dipstick handle to check this is typically yellow.
  2. Check transmission fluid levels.  Next time you go for a drive, try counting how many times your vehicle shifts gears. In order to work properly, those gears require a specific type of transmission fluid.  The transmission dipstick handle is typically red and not always convenient, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic to point you in the right direction.
  3. Check coolant levels.  Just like people, engines don’t run for very long when temperatures get too high.  Metal expands when it gets hot, and at about 245 degrees Fahrenheit different parts of an engine can begin to distort.  Coolant, also called anti-freeze helps to regulate temperatures inside the engine so you cave dependable performance.
  4. Visually inspect turn signals and other exterior lighting. External lighting doesn’t have an impact on engine performance, but it can increase your visibility to other drivers and they only take a minute or two to check.
  5. Give your vehicle a bath at least once a month depending on the season.  Dirt, debris and especially salt buildup on your vehicle create an ideal environment for corrosion to take root. And by corrosion, we mean rust, which could easily be prevented with a 10 minute trip to the local car wash.

We’ve noticed that if these simple things don’t get put on the ‘To do’ list, they just won’t happen.  So what we’re suggesting is, put down your smart phone or your tablet and take 20-30 minutes, once a week to become a little more familiar with your car, truck, Jeep, SUV, boat, motorcycle, train or whatever you drive.  Social media and the internet will still be there when you get back (maybe)…and this will give you something interesting to share with all your Facebook friends.  Brb gtg chk my oil, u shd chk urs 2.

Icy Windshield

Icy Start to the Morning?

Dealing with winter weather can be a real pain in the “you-know-what”, especially when you’ve got to get to work or school in the morning.  I’m not a big fan of showing up late, and I’m sure you aren’t either, but waking up to a car covered in snow or ice can really put me behind schedule.  How do you deal with a frosted or ice-covered windshield?

If you have a garage or some other covered parking, the easiest solution to dealing with sinter weather would be to pull your vehicle in.  Presto!  No need to worry about frost or ice on the windshield.  Just jump in the vehicle and go.

 

But I Don’t Have a Garage…

The other morning I woke up at my usual time and went through my normal routine, but when I went out to the car, it was completely encased in ice.  So what did I do?  I cranked up the defrosters, whipped out my trusty ice scraper and started “going to town” on the windshield.  Ten minutes later, the neighbor lady came out, sprayed some homemade mystery solution on her windows and had her entire car done in less than five minutes.

Don’t you just hate it when someone else comes up with a great idea!  Thankfully my neighbor came over and sprayed some of her mystery solution (vinegar and water) on my windows too and I was quickly on my way to work.  That got me thinking about what other tricks people have come up with to deal with winter weather.

The following is a list of solutions I heard from various folks around the neighborhood and in the shop:

Vinegar Spray

Rubbing Alcohol

Warm Water–  Be careful not to crack the glass if you use this one.

The Salty Towel-  I couldn’t find any support online for this idea, but apparently you can soak a towel in salt water and lay it on the windshield overnight.  This idea sounded a bit over the top, and I really don’t think leaving salt water on your car is good for it, but to each their own.

Tarp ItFollow the link for instructions…if you need them.

Heated Ice ScrapersThere are plenty of varieties.

Commercial De-Icer- You can get this at any Car Quest, Auto Zone or NAPA Auto Parts.

 

Whatever method you use, the guys at Axleboy encourage drivers everywhere to make sure they have a clear view of the road ahead and on either side before they pull out of the driveway this winter.

Winterize Your Car

Winter Preparedness

Getting stranded on the side of the road is never a pleasant experience, but as fall fades into winter, frosty weather and icy roads are on the way.  With just a little preparation, you and your family can be prepared for the possibilities that accompany this change in the seasons.

The guys at Axleboy know that snow, ice and sometimes just plain old bad luck can leave you stranded on the side of the highway or out on a trail.  That’s why we’ve put together a short list of things you might consider adding to your vehicle this winter.

In addition to the standard items that should be kept in your vehicle (i.e. Spare tire, jumper cables, first aid kit, etc.) these are the items that made our Winter Preparedness List:

 

  • An ice scraper (or two)
  • A bag of sand, salt or cat litter to improve traction
  • A warm blanket or sleeping bag
  • Additional warm clothing for each passenger
  • Snow gloves
  • Road flares for increased visibility
  • Nutrient rich snacks
  • Tire chains or tow straps

 

Hopefully you never find yourself in a situation where you need to use these items, but as the saying goes, “Plan for the worst, hope for the best.”  How prepared are you for winter this year?

 

Check Engine Warning

The Check Engine Light

The Light is On

You’re ready to leave work, so you go out to your car and turn the key…or push the button.  Typically all of your dash lights will turn on for a second and then turn off.  This time however, you notice an obnoxious yellow light continuing to illuminate your dash…the dreaded “check engine” light.   What the heck, right!?

If you’re like me, seeing that check engine light on can initially feel pretty aggravating.  Once the realization sets in that the light is still on, one of two very different personalities tend to emerge.  Personality ‘A’ will call or text family and friends, and vent their frustration all over social media.  Personality ‘B’ on the other hand will feel upset by the light but ultimately ignore it in the hopes that it will turn off on its own.

Just because the check engine light comes on, doesn’t mean that you have to immediately stop whatever you are doing but by the same token, ignoring the light altogether is a good way to make things worse.

 

At Axleboy, we want to help alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding the check engine light.  To do that, we’ll do our best to answer two questions:

 

What’s the deal with the check engine light?

Ever since the 80’s, onboard diagnostic (OBD) systems, inside the vehicle, have monitored and controlled more and more going on under the hood.  The OBD system checks things like engine speed, ignition timing, and fuel mixture.  Whenever one of these things isn’t working just right, the OBD is programmed to bring things back into balance and optimize engine performance.

The check engine light doesn’t trip unless the OBD has identified a problem, attempted to correct it and the problem persists.  This light can come on for something as little as a loose gas cap (easy fix) or as big as an engine that is misfiring (not so easy to fix).

 

What should I do now?

Take a couple of deep breaths…you’ll be okay.  Now, if the light just came on, and it’s not flashing, there’s no need to panic.  You might even try tightening the gas cap just to see if it’s an easy fix (this actually happen quite often).  If the light doesn’t go off after a few miles, consider making an appointment at Axleboy.  Our OBDII certified technicians can read the trouble codes stored in the vehicle and tell you what will correct the problem.

If, however, the check engine light is flashing, something may be critically wrong inside the engine and it would be in your best interest to get your vehicle checked out ASAP.

 

When you need auto service, you know who to call.  Axleboy, (636)939-5337.

Wheel Alignment

Caster. Camber. Toe.

Do you ever get the feeling that your mechanic is speaking a different language than you?  It might sound like English, but the average person could easily be lost after the first sentence or two?

We’d like to shed some light on a handful of mechanical terms you are likely hear if you’ve recently hit a pot-hole, a curb, been involved in a collision or taken your vehicle for some off-road joy-riding.   Terms like: wheel alignment, tire balance, caster angle, camber angle and toe.

 

Wheel Alignment vs Tire Balancing.

You probably already know that these are two very different things, but people often get the two mixed up.  Any time you get new tires mounted (put on), the mechanic will typically add some adhesive weights to the inside edge of your wheel.  Believe it or not, those little weights help reduce vibrations or wobbling of the steering wheel.

Wheel alignment also has a significant impact on a vehicle’s driveability.  Unlike balancing, which focuses on the individual tire and wheel, an alignment looks at how a set of wheels tires on each axle interact with each other and the axle itself.  Your typical alignment looks to see if tires run parallel to each other, if they are set perpendicular to the road and if they are positioned in front of or behind the upper ball joint.

 

Caster Angle.

Technically the caster angle is determined by the position of both the upper and lower ball joints.  A simplified way to look at the caster angle on a vehicle would be to examine the shocks.  Are your shocks straight up and down or do they appear to lean toward the front or rear of the vehicle?  Acceptable caster angle can be anywhere from zero to slightly positive.

Caster Angle Image

Camber Angle.

Camber angle refers to the resulting angle of the tires as they sit on a flat road.  When the tires appear to lean away from the body of the vehicle, they have a positive camber.  Tires that lean in, toward the body, have a negative camber.  A slightly negative camber can help to enhance stability when cornering, however, to maximize straight-line acceleration a 0 degree camber angle will provide the best traction.Camber Angle Image

 

Toe.

In this case, your mechanic is probably not referring to the phalanges on your feet…or your vehicle’s capacity to pull (tow) a trailer.  Rather, he is likely talking about the difference in distance between the front of the tires and the rear of the tires (ideally they will be either parallel or have a very small amount of toe in).

According to Greg, Shop Foreman at Axleboy, “As your vehicle moves down the road, the tires create a certain amount of “rolling resistance” which basically means that they naturally pull outward.  Bigger tires experience more rolling resistance, so it is important to align them properly to avoid fighting a floating steering wheel.”

Vehicle Toe ImageFront of Vehicle

Proper wheel alignment plays a critical role in vehicle handling and performance, and is one of the primary factors in determining life expectancy of tires.  So next time you take a little off-road detour or just happen to notice your vehicle drifting to one side or the other, give us a call and set up an appointment for a wheel alignment.

Axleboy Automotive

 

Convert From Halogen to HID?

The sun has set and you’re driving home on a 4-lane highway.  Although your headlights are on, the road ahead appears dimly lit- so you’re playing it safe and rolling a little slower than normal.  Frustrated by your lack of visibility, you can’t help but notice the piercing blue glow of another vehicle’s oncoming headlights.  Then comes the idea… “Maybe I should make the switch from Halogen to HID Xenon.”

Better visibility seems like a practical idea, so you search online for a halogen to HID conversion kit and find all sorts of options ranging anywhere from $45 to $165 on eBay.  You place your order and within a couple of weeks you’ve got night time visibility that has improved 200-300% over the old halogen bulbs.  Pretty awesome deal right?

Pros and Cons of Converting to HID Xenon

Pros:

The most obvious advantage for converting to the HID bulb is increased driver visibility.   With greater road visibility, drivers should be able to identify hazards (like potholes or bigfoot crossing the road) earlier and avoid collision.

In addition, the HID Xenon bulbs can last anywhere from 2-3 times longer than traditional halogen based bulbs.  How is that possible?  Quite frankly, there are fewer breakable parts in the HID design.

Traditional halogen bulbs rely on a sensitive filament suspended at the center of the bulb.  Hit a bump just right and that tiny little wire is likely to break, leaving you in the dark.  With HID bulbs, electricity heats a chamber filled with xenon gas and metal halides which react by producing light.

Cons:

Selling/using a “halogen to HID xenon conversion kit” is illegal.  We’re not saying that the xenon bulbs themselves are illegal or that you won’t be seeing them on vehicles any more…but the conversion kits are, for a couple of reasons:

  1. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) Blinding HID Glaretraditional filament headlamp housing units are “optimally designed for the volume of light and filament placement …that OEM filament bulbs have.  The HID conversions result in two to three times the volume of light and potentially imprecise arc placement.  Such conversions often result in beam patterns that behave nothing like the original filament beam pattern, cannot be precisely aimed and have many times the permitted glare intensity.
  2. The NHTSA has declared that HID conversion kits “are a potential hazard to those who share the road.”  The logic behind this statement is largely based on the first reason given.  While it is true that drivers using the HID xenon conversion kits will have increased road visibility, the resulting unpredictable beam patterns cause a more intense, longer lasting road-glare blindness to other people on the road.

To Buy or Not to Buy?

Like we said earlier, the HID Xenon bulbs themselves are not illegal.  Neither is their use on motor vehicles.  In fact, many new vehicles are coming straight from the factory with these newer, brighter, longer-lasting bulbs…so odds are that, at some point, the automotive industry as a whole will make a complete switch from halogen to xenon.

Whether you buy the halogen to xenon conversion kit or not is completely up to you, but we caution that these kits are illegal, they may have a negative impact on the driving ability of others on the road and their use in a non-OEM headlamp may result in civil penalties (traffic ticket) depending on local law enforcement.

 

If you have questions about alternative lighting options for your vehicle, give Axleboy a call at (636) 939-5337 or stop by.

 

 

Source: http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rulings/glare.html

Welcome to the Team

Axleboy Hires New Technician

Michael MarshallAxleboy Automotive of St. Peters is pleased to announce that Michael Marshall has joined their team of automotive technicians, effective April 7, 2014.

Michael brings with him over 8 years of mechanical expertise, having worked with both foreign and domestic vehicles.  He is a Master-Certified Mercedes-Benz technician with a high level of proficiency in diagnostics, electrical repair, engine rebuilds and transmission work.  Axleboy has full confidence in Michael’s abilities to handle any service or repair job that comes through their doors.

If you haven’t already taken the opportunity to meet Michael Marshall, stop by Axleboy today and say, “Hello.”

 

Axleboy Automotive

(636) 939-5337

Tire Care Aware

As Americans we want to get the most use out of every investment and it is not uncommon for us to push things (like tires) to their limits.  Is it any surprise that in 2012 the Car Care Council found that 10 percent of vehicles had excessive wear and were in need of replacement?  According to Randy Goodrich, service manager at Axleboy Automotive, “Tires are one of the easiest things for the average person to check and yet they are the most neglected.”

It only takes a few minutes to check tires.  The experts at Axleboy suggest three critical components to be aware of:

Tire Pressure: Maintaining appropriate tire pressure is not only helps ensure even wear, giving your tires a longer life, it is also proven to improve fuel efficiency by up to 3%.  Checking tire pressure is a quick and easy process that could save drivers hundreds of dollars each year.

Tread Depth: Tread is what keeps tires from slipping while turning corners or driving in wet conditions.  If tread depth measures below the minimum legal limits or if the rubber has started to crack, it may be unsafe to operate the vehicle.  If you’ve never heard of the “penny test” stop by Axleboy and one of our experts will show you to do this test yourself.

Alignment:  If your vehicle consistently pulls to one side or you experience stronger than normal shaking, you may have an issue with the alignment.  A vehicle that is not properly aligned is not only uncomfortable to drive, but it can also lead to premature, uneven tread wear.  Under normal driving conditions, the Car Care Council recommends “hav[ing] your car’s alignment checked at least once a year.”

In addition to being attentive to tire pressure, tread depth and vehicle alignment, Scott Carline, owner of Axleboy Automotive, suggests rotating the tires every 6,000-8,000 miles.  “Many people are not even aware that their front and rear tire tread wears down at a different rate,” says Scott.  “Generally, rotating tires at every other oil change can help minimize uneven wear and allow drivers to realize the full life expectancy of their tires.”

 

Schedule your next automotive service today and we’ll show you what to look for when assessing the tires on your vehicle.

Got Oil?

Pushing the Limits of Motor Oil

“To change or not to change?”  When it comes to motor oil, this isn’t a relevant question.  Instead, we should be asking ourselves, “When to change?”

 

You’ve probably heard the phrase “every 3,000 miles or 3 months.”  For decades, auto shops and quick lube stops have endorsed the idea that frequent oil changes help to extend the life of a vehicle…and much to their credit, it was true.  “But a lot has changed over the past 30 years,” says Scott Carline, owner of Axleboy, “especially with regards to motor oil.”

 

With modern advancement in the chemical composition of fully synthetic and even synthetic blends, combined with technological improvements under the hood, the old 3,000 mile rule is near obsolete.  Most modern automobiles, under normal conditions, can actually run for around 5,000 miles on a good synthetic blend, and some of the newer models can reportedly go an impressive 10,000-12,000 miles between changes before the oil starts to break down.

 

So, how often should your oil be changed?  Just because some vehicles can run more than 10,000 miles does not in any way mean that you should push your vehicle to those limits.  Every vehicles needs are different, and the answer to that question depends a lot on the driver, but we would suggest following the maintenance schedule and oil specifications outlined in your Vehicle Owner’s Manual.

 

Don’t know where your owner’s manual disappeared to?  A lot of these owner’s manuals are now online and can be downloaded for free, or simply ask one of our experts next time you are in the shop.

 

Axleboy Automotive

Monday –Friday 8:00 AM -6:00PM

4150-A Ehlmann Rd.

St. Peters, MO 63376

(636) 939-5337

We Honor Sport Moms

Salute To Sports-Team Moms

Sports-Team Moms, we salute you!!  You are the superheroes of the 21st century and we admire the many roles you fulfill.  At any moment, you take on the role of party planner, master of ceremonies, operations manager, medic and/or nutrition specialist.  You are the voice of reason, the shoulder to cry on and the embodiment of kindness, compassion & selfless service.

Like all superheroes, you have a specialized vehicle full of gadgets that can do almost anything.  Its comfortable seating and spacious cargo area make your mini-van the ultimate vehicle of choice among responsible super-sport-moms.  With you at the helm, no matter what obstacles appear, we are confident that you will get our team there on time.

We understand that there are times when things don’t turn out exactly as you planned, and it’s okay, Mom.  That’s all part of the superhero-cycle.  Even Superman and Wonder Woman had challenges to overcome, and often times they relied on a faithful sidekick for additional help.  We want you to know that when the trouble-light comes on, help is one simple phone call away.  Your dependable sidekick, Axleboy, can accurately assess the danger and provide a viable strategic plan to keep you and your team safely on the road.

Oil Changes, Transmission Work, Wheels & Tires, Axles, Differentials, Safety & Emissions and so much more.  No matter what you need, we’re here for you!  We can even set you up with a courtesy van at no additional cost so that your team doesn’t have to miss a single game.

Windshield Wash Fluid

Washer Fluid

Underneath the hood of your vehicle should be a small plastic container full of blue fluid.  In the winter months that fluid can be a real life-saver as it works with your wiper blades to keep your windshield clean.  Here are some common questions we’ve heard this winter about washer fluid.

Is there any alternative to buying fluid from the store?

Yes. You can find several DIY solutions online.  We advise that you use caution when following recipes that appear online.  Unfortunately some solutions may cause a significant amount of damage over time.  So, if you don’t want to spend the $1-$2 and purchase fluid from the store just make sure you do your research. Or bring your vehicle to Axleboy and we’ll top you off.

Can I just use a mixture of water and detergent?

You could…but we absolutely do NOT recommend it for several reasons.  First, the chemical properties of detergents may actually leave a residue on the inside of hoses which can lead to system failure.  Second, this combination is not rated for low temperatures.  When water freezes it expands and may completely bust the plastic fluid container.  Finally, the chemicals found in many detergents can be harmful to an automobile’s paint, making it more likely to peel and blister in warm weather.

Does my mechanic top off this fluid as part of my routine maintenance?

That can vary from one shop to another, but when you have your vehicle serviced at Axleboy the answer is definitely YES.  Every time your vehicle comes into our shop, for routine maintenance and repairs, we check and top off essential fluids.  Your safety on the road is our primary focus.

Is there a special winter blend that I should buy?

There are essentially two types of windshield fluid: a diluted form of the blue stuff which is good at any temperature above 40°F and the standard winter blend, rated for temperatures as low as -20°F.  At Axleboy, we use the winter blend all year long and it works great.  Whether you buy the pre-mixed solution or one of the many concentrates available, we recommend that you check the temperature rating on the label and follow all directions…or you could just bring you vehicle to Axleboy and we’ll take care of it for you.

Windshield Wash Fluid

 

8 Tips For Safe Driving

8 Tips for Better Winter Driving

Have you had it up to your eyes with this winter weather yet? At Axleboy Automotive, we have too.  We are tired of icy roads and snow-topped cars.  Thankfully, Spring is just around the corner and before you know it, we’ll be turning up the AC.

Until then, here are 8 tips for safer driving in winter-weather conditions:

Tip # 1: Put down your cell phone.

It is estimated that at least 23% of annual car accidents in the US involve some form of cell phone use.  23% may not sound like much, but that represents about 1.3 million crashes.  People have a hard enough time driving in a straight line when the skies are blue and the roads are dry.  Using the phone while driving in addition to snow and ice conditions significantly increases the risk of causing a car accident.  If you ABSOLUTELY MUST talk on the phone while driving, then use a Bluetooth device so that both hands can be on the steering wheel.  Otherwise, wait until the car is safely parked to send texts and make calls.

Tip # 2: Increase your distance.

Snow and ice can be unpredictable factors when driving on the highways and local roads.  Give yourself plenty of room to maneuver and some extra cushion space for stopping.  Remember, with reduced traction, your car needs more space to make even simple changes.

Tip # 3: Limit your distractions.

In 2011, 10% of fatal car accidents were reported to involve some form of driver distraction.  Driving with snow and ice on the road requires significantly more attention than normal driving.  In addition to following tip #1, we suggest either turning down or turning off the radio, avoid getting caught up with rubber-necking and make sure that children and/or pets are all properly secured before the vehicle is put in gear.

Tip # 4: Slow down.

We’ve all heard this a thousand times, but it doesn’t make it any less important.  We aren’t suggesting that people do 25 mph on the highway, but the posted speed limits are a recommended maximum speed in ideal conditions.  The old Driver’s-Ed classes teach: “Slow-down 10 mph for every adverse element on the road.” Adverse conditions affect your overall reaction time and maneuverability, so even if you are in a 4×4, slow down.

Tip # 5: Don’t use the brakes while turning.

Most cars that end up in the ditch or go off the road will do so on a curve.  In a small number of cases there is nothing that the driver could do to prevent the accident.  In almost all other cases, the accident is a result of driver error.  In winter weather we have a tendency to use our brakes at unnecessary times.  Curves and corners are ironically one of the worst places to use the brakes for two reasons: 1. Using the brakes on a turn reduces what little traction tires may have & 2. Pressing the brakes reduces a driver’s ability to appropriately accelerate out of a turn.

Tip # 6: Clear off your windshield.

De-Ice Before Your Drive

Have you ever woken up late and had to rush out the door just to make it to work on time?  It’s easy to rush through our routines, jump in the car and hit the road, right?  It’s not so easy when you see a sheet of ice on your windshield.  Even though you may be in a hurry, the best thing you can do in a situation like this is clear the windshield.  Using the defroster is a good start, but any ice that remains on the windshield when you start driving creates a visual impairment, especially when driving into the sun.

Tip # 7: Watch out for idiots.

There are plenty of them out there…and they seem to multiply when bad weather hits.  Unfortunately, these drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but to you as well.  Our advice is to recognize these types of drivers and do your best to position your vehicle safely out of their way.

Tip # 8: Stay home.

If you don’t absolutely have to go out when there is snow or ice on the roads, then stay home.  Before venturing out, determine if your destination is worth the risk of personal injury or damage to your car.

 

Statistics from: http://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html#2011-cell-phone-statistics

We Service Fleets of All Sizes

Maintaining Your Fleet in 2014

Most business owners and managers have a lot on their mind.  Whether they are hiring& training technicians, balancing the books Axleboy Automotive offers a wide range of fleet maintenance services that can help keep your vehicles on the road, keep your customers happy and keep the revenue rolling in. or finding new ways to expand their client base, in business, there always seems to be something that is in need of critical attention.  The last thing that any business owner or fleet manager wants is a phone call from a stranded driver.  That one phone call often turns into a mountain of paperwork, costly repairs and cranky customers.  On top of all that, whenever one fleet vehicle is out of commission, some other vehicle has to compensate for the adjusted work load, incurring greater wear and tear.

Here’s what we have to offer:

1.      Regular service reminders

Fleet vehicles are always on the go and it’s easy to forget the small things that keep them running.  At Axleboy Automotive, we ease the burden of having to remember routine maintenance items by sending out email reminders to our customers.

2.      Tire Rotation

Properly rotated tires helps to extend the longevity of your tread.  What this means, is that your drivers will be able to put on more miles before needing new tires.  Our service manager, Randy, suggests that tires should be rotated at every other oil change.

3.      Regular Oil Changes

Not changing your oil is the absolute worst thing you can do to an engine.  The chemical additives in clean oil help keep moving parts lubricated, carry heat away from the metal parts suspend dirt so it can move to the oil filter.

Over time though, these additives break down.  Push your oil too far and it will turn into a gooey black sludge that loses its ability to lubricate and actually becomes counter-productive.

Got Oil?

4.      30 Point Inspection

Our goal is to keep your drivers on the road longer.  Whenever one of your fleet vehicles comes into Axleboy Automotive, our technicians run a full check the critical components to ensure that all systems work according to their design.  If anything doesn’t look quite right, we’ll write it up for you and provide an accurate cost estimate.

5.      Vehicle Pickup and Delivery

For business owners big and small, time is money.  At Axleboy Automotive, we recognize that taking time out of your already packed schedule to service a fleet vehicle costs precious time.  We offer two unique solutions: 1. Our technicians will save you the time of coming in by picking up your vehicle to be serviced and delivering it when completed and 2. If you still need access to transportation, we are more than glad to reserve one of our two courtesy vehicles.

 

Fleet Trucks

Turbo Lexus Coupe LSD (Limited Slip Differential) Differential Install | St. Louis Differential and Axle Repair

St. Charles based differential and axle specialist install a limited slip (LSD) differential into a turbo charged Lexus coupe.  Axleboy Automotive repairs rear axles and differentials on most vehicles, including domestic, light truck, heavy truck, industrial equipment, Airport GSE equipment and Utility Vehicles.

LSD_4 LSD_3 LSD_2 LSD_1

5 Winter Car Care Tips You Need to Know!

When temperatures drop below freezing, you wouldn’t even think about heading outside without a coat, or at least a few extra layers.  So, why would you expect your car to function just like it did all Summer without proper preparation?

At Axleboy Automotive, we specialize in complete car care and we want to make sure that you don’t find yourself stranded this winter season.  Here are 5 key areas that our automotive experts have identified to help keep you on the road.

1.Check and Change Your Tires

There’s nothing worse than feeling your car slide through a red light or into another lane and know that you have lost all control.  Under some circumstances, even the best tires cannot improve your traction, however many accidents can be avoided by checking two things: tire pressure and tread.  Making sure that your tires are properly inflated and that they have the right tread to handle rain, sleet and snow is critical to providing proper traction.

Many tire manufacturers recommend changing all four tires in the winter to “snow tires.”  These tires are specifically designed to be heavier which offers better performance in the winter season.

Click Here

2.Change Your Wiper Blades

 

Cold weather can cause old wipers to become brittle and hard, resulting in reduced contact with the windshield.  This is especially dangerous when the winter weather systems roll in, bringing snow and sleet with them.  When wiper blades don’t make full contact with the windshield it can result in streaking, smudging and ultimately reduced driver visibility.

3.Fill up on Coolant/ Antifreeze

Engine coolant does more than regulate engine temperatures in the summer.  What happens when you don’t use proper coolant ratios in the winter time?  Coolant, or antifreeze, contains ethylene glycol which is an integral component in protecting your engine from corrosion.  Without that protection, corrosion can build up inside the engine and eventually lead to failure or a cracked engine block.

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4.Test or Replace Your Battery

 

Most people have experienced, at some point, cold-induced battery problems.  Winter is especially hard on batteries and every year countless employees call in to work as a result of battery failure.  Why does this happen?  Cold weather does two things that can increase your frustration with the car battery.  First, it slows down the chemical reactions that create the battery’s power.  At zero degrees, a fully charged battery puts out less than 50% of its potential power capacity.  Second, the cold weather causes motor oil to thicken which ultimately means that it takes more power to get the engine moving.

If your battery isn’t holding a full charge or if it’s over 3 years old, you may want to consider changing out that battery for a new one before the cold weather really sets in.  At Axleboy Automotive, we check batteries at no cost.

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5.Get Your Brakes Checked

 

Whether you have noticed it or not, you drive different in the winter…often times because of the other drivers on the road.  It seems like anytime it rains or snows everyone else on the road forgets how to drive.  The time it takes to get to work suddenly doubles because of traffic accidents, drivers on the highway either turn into speed-demons or turtles and people seem to forget to use their mirrors or turn signals.  All of these conditions result in increased dependency on your braking system.  The last thing anyone expects is to be in a highway wreck, but when the brakes are worn and cold, it can increase the distance required to stop by up to 60%.

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Schedule an appointment or stop our convenient location in St. Peters before the bad weather hits.

Axleboy Automotive

4150-A Ehlmann Rd

St. Peters, MO 63376

(636) 939-5337

Reclaim Van

Fleet Services and Repairs for St. Peters and St. Charles

Today we are helping out our friends at Reclaim St. Louis with some electrical problems on their fleet service van. Our Fleet customers are important to us! We know they need to be reliable and on the road in a moments notice. Keeping your vehicles on the road and ensuring your bottom line is our focus. Check out our friends at Reclaim St. Louis for all of your emergency and storm remediation and cleanup work.