Tag Archives: St. Charles

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.

Closed Friday, June 3, 2016

Notice:

 

Axleboy will be closed this Friday, June 3, 2016 so that our technicians can attend the Unlimited Off-Road Expo in Louiville, KY.

We apologize for any short term inconveniences that this may cause, and hope you will bear with us as we network with industry manufacturers, suppliers and innovators for a few short days.  We look at events, such as this, as opportunities to really connect with the latest trends and discuss areas of improvement.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We’ll be back to work, first thing Monday morning!

 

Sincerely,

Axleboy

Careers with Axleboy

You may have heard that Axleboy had a great year in 2015 and that we’re looking to grow in 2016.  The rumors are true!

We are at that point where we “either need to start turning work away or bring more people into the team,” said Scott Carline, owner of Axleboy. “And with Spring and Summer just around the corner, there are no plans to slow down production in the shop.”

With that in mind, Axleboy is looking for fresh talent in the automotive and off-road customization industry.  Anybody can be trained to turn a wrench, but we are extremely selective about who we invite to work on our team.

At Axleboy, quality is more than a goal or an obscure hope for the future. Our team members eat, sleep and breathe quality.  It is at the center of everything that we do and the defining element of who we are.

If you consider yourself a problem solving, quick moving, optimistic and skilled automotive technician…or you know someone who fits that description, we might have your next great opportunity.

 

Check out our Careers page by clicking here.

Fall Wheeling

10 Things to Take Wheeling in the Fall

It has been a great wheeling season so far this year, and with Fall in full swing we’re glad to say, “The best is yet to come!”  Cooler temperatures and foliage on the trail present an interesting new twist to the off-road experience.  We want you and your passengers to have a safe and enjoyable time wheeling this Fall.

Before you head out to explore new trails or roll through your favorite wilderness playground we recommend checking your rig for the following must-have items:

  1. Tow Straps (looped ends…not hooks)- Any time you’re going out on the trail with any other Jeepers, it’s a good idea to pack along at least one loop-ended tow strap.  Nobody plans to get stuck on the trail, but sometimes the forces of nature catch us off guard.
  2. Tow Hooks (D-ring)- Why take the chance of having a tow strap slip off an open end hook? We’re all about safe wheeling and strongly encourage the use of D-ring style tow points.
  3. Full Size Spare Tire- The last thing you want to see when you puncture or tear out the sidewall on your oversize tires is an undersized sized spare.
  4. Jack- The best type of jack to use with your Jeep is the one that came with it.  Of course, once you lift your Jeep and put on big tires, your jack will need some modification or assistance to reach an effective height. Another option is the Hi-Lift jack.  These jacks are significantly less stable, and should be used with extreme caution.
  5. Winch– You might not be the sort to push the limits, but when you find yourself in a jam, having a reliable winch can be just the thing you need to make it up, over or around an obstacle.
  6. Tree Saver– We’re not as extreme as some folks, and we don’t expect you to be either.  Tree savers allow you to use a tree trunk as a winch anchor point and cause minimal damage to the tree (so others can use it in the future) and to your winch cable.
  7. Trail Cleaning Equipment- Things like a shovel, kitty litter, super absorbent pads and moisture-proof waste bags are a must have.  Jeeping is all about enjoying nature and going where other vehicles simply cannot.  The last thing we want to do is harm the environment with spilled oil, antifreeze or other fluids.
  8. Tool bag/box- It’s better to have a bag of tools and not need them, than to need a tool and know exactly where it is in the garage at home.
  9. CB Radio– More than just a way to be chatty (and sometimes obnoxious ) with friends, the CB radio is a safety tool that can be used to warn other Jeepers of hazardous trail conditions or send out a distress call.
  10. Blanket and/or Coat– During the day, the weather might be just right…but if you’re out on the trail when the sun starts to go down, temperatures can quickly drop.  Having a jacket and or blanket in the back can help keep you and your passengers more comfortable if you find yourself running behind or (worst case scenario) stranded over night.

 

**An Intro to Off-Road event is taking place October 17, 2015 at Sayersbrook (Potosi, MO).  Registration is through the Mid West Jeep Thing.

Warranty Fact or Fiction

Mopar Lift Kits and Performance Parts

As Missouri’s off-road authority the guys at Axleboy are regularly asked about the Mopar lift kit.  Several dealership salesmen are indicating during the sales process that “Mopar lift kits are the only lift covered or approved under the manufacturer’s warranty.”

Sales people say a lot of things…some of which is absolutely true and much of which is less so. In considering what has been said about the Mopar lift, we feel obligated to point out that this particular lift is considered a “Mopar performance part,” identified as a part number that begins with the letter “P.”

Why is this significant?  Well, if you have a few minutes, call up the dealership parts department and ask them what the warranty is on Mopar performance parts.  You may be surprised with their response.

Still curious, but not interested in calling the dealership?  We’ve included an excerpt from page 38 of the of the Mopar Performance Catalog, which states:

MOPAR PERFORMANCE PARTS LIMITED WARRANTY

NO PARTS WARRANTY – “AS IS”

“Mopar Performance parts are sold “as is” unless otherwise noted. This means that parts sold by Mopar Performance carry no warranty whatsoever. Implied warranties, such as warranties of merchantability are excluded. (An implied warranty of merchantability means that the part is reasonably fit for the general purpose for which it was sold.) The entire risk as to quality and performance of such parts is with the buyer. Should such parts prove defective following their purchase, the buyer and not the manufacturer, distributor or retailer, assumes the entire cost of all necessary servicing or repair. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep® and Ram vehicle and parts warranties are voided if the vehicle or parts are used for competition. The addition of performance parts does not by itself void a vehicle’s warranty. However, added performance parts (parts not originally supplied on the vehicle from the factory) are not covered by the vehicle’s warranty, and any failure that they may cause is not covered by the vehicle’s warranty.”

 

Ask us about OUR 12 month/12,000 mile parts and labor warranty.

Night Drop

How To Use the Night Key-Drop

Key Drop InfographicCongratulations!  Your Jeep is ready for the next upgrade. The next step is to talk with the guys at Axleboy, get on their schedule and make the drop off.

The majority of vehicles we work on get dropped off during standard business hours (between 8:00am and 6:00pm), but for some folks standard hours just don’t work.  That’s where our night key-drop comes into play.

 

Instructions for using the night drop are fairly basic:

  1. Locate the black box labeled “Key Drop” next to our main entrance.
  2. Open the box and fill out one of the envelopes inside with your personal & vehicle information.
  3. Insert your vehicle key(s) into the envelope.
  4.  If you have wheel locks, put the wheel lock key in the envelope as well.
  5. Seal the envelope and push it through the mail slot in our front door.

It’s really that simple.  90% of night-drop users will read this short article and think “Well duh”… but roughly 1 in 10 will leave the envelope blank, forget the wheel lock, shut the envelope in the black box or leave the keys and envelope outside the front door.

The whole idea here is that we are trying to provide you with a safe, secure and convenient way to drop off your vehicle outside of standard business hours.  Thankfully, our neighborhood is pretty tranquil and we don’t see much crime…but by the same token, following the 5 simple steps outlined above will help us keep it that way.

We’re excited to help take your Jeep to the next level and, if you use the night key-drop, we’ll look forward to seeing your keys first thing in the morning.

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

 

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.

We Are Hiring

Axleboy is Hiring

Our shop foreman will be taking new responsibilities in the service department and that is going to leave us under-staffed in the shop.  If you think you’re qualified to fill this void, check out the job description below and email us a copy of your resume.

 

Title: Technician

Wages: $18-25 per hour

Daily Responsibilities:

We are a FULL service automotive maintenance and repair shop specializing in suspension and drivetrain components.  This means that our employees must be versatile enough to re-gear a differential, install a lift kit (we do a lot of this), diagnose electrical issues, weld and even change oil and balance tires once in a while.  In no way is this a comprehensive list of responsibilities, but it should give you an idea of what we do.

Qualifications:

  • ASE Certified
  • Diagnose Electrical
  • Must be self-motivated & able to work without close supervision
  • Quality driven
  • Experience working on:  Driveline, Axles and Manual Transmissions
  • Must be able to drive vehicles with standard transmission
  • Read, comprehend and follow instructions*

Benefits:

  • No weekend work
  • Competitive base pay with performance incentives
  • Ongoing training
  • Modern equipment
  • Fun place to WORK
  • Comprehensive Health/Dental/Life Insurance
  • Shop leadership opportunities may be available
  • Involvement with the Jeep and off-road lifestyle

Disclaimer:  If you are looking for an easy job… just screwing in spark plugs, hanging water pumps and changing brakes… then this is not the place for you.

 

*To apply, email your resume to: axleboy@axleboy.com

 

Warn Rebate

Warn Rebates

Get up to $150 on Zeon Platinum and other Winches

With winter coming to a close, right now is the perfect time to get that Warn winch you’ve been looking at since last Spring!  Now through April 30th, Warn is offering up to $150 in cash rebates toward your purchase of a new winch.

Think about the trails, the hunts, those secret fishing spots and all the other overland adventures you’ll be taking this year.  Whether you’re looking for you first winch or just an upgrade, you’ve got places to go, and we can help get you a dependable Warn winch that will take you anywhere your Jeep will fit.

Axleboy is an authorized Warn retailer.  Contact us online or give us a call at (636)939-JEEP(5337).

Follow this link to view/print the Official Warn Rebate Form

2015 Axleboy Chili Cookoff

Axleboy Chili Cook-off

Can you believe that we’re already this far into February?  In spite of recent snow fall, winter will soon be but a frigid memory and we’ll have all Spring, Summer and Fall to go topless & doorless in the great outdoors!

To help pass the time Axleboy will be hosting our annual Chili Cook-off sponsored by Mid West Jeep Thing on Saturday, February 28th from 11:30-2:00pm.

Whether you are new to the Jeep & offroad community and looking for opportunities to meet other Jeepers, or you just really like chili, this is the perfect time to come hang out at Axleboy.  Wrangle up the family or grab a friend and stew up your best pot of chili.  We’ll see you on the 28th!

We’ll have:

  • A Wide Variety of Chili
  • Free Soda and Water
  • Time to Show off your Jeep
  • Information about Jeep Clubs
  • Trophies for the Best Chili &
  • Raffle Prizes

Don’t forget, Saturday, February 28th from 11:30-2:00pm, Axleboy is the place to be!

 

Axleboy:  For directions, see our address below or give us a call at (636)939-JEEP (5337).
 
WARN Winch

Winch Rope is Right for You?

Steel vs. Synthetic Winch Rope

Axleboy sells and installs a number of WARN winches every year.  Did you know that WARN offers a number of wire rope and synthetic rope options on their winches?  Perhaps a better question would be, “Which rope is right for your rig?”

Here’s a quick look at some of the material qualities that you should be aware of when considering which rope will meet your winching needs:

Steel rope is:

  • Extremely durable
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Good for utility applications where the line may contact objects like stumps, rocks, and other things that rub against the rope.
  • Used for decades by enthusiasts and workers alike.
  • Heavier than synthetic line
  • Less flexible than synthetic line.
  • Less expensive than synthetic.

 

Synthetic rope is:

  • Strong
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle
  • Floats on water
  • More prone to damage by abrasion, and requires the use of the included abrasion sleeve when the rope comes into contact with an object
  • Should be inspected before each use for abrasion wear or fraying.
  • More expensive than steel rope

WARN Winches Rock

 

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?

 

Voluntary Recall Notice

Nitto Tire Recall

Nitto® recently announced a voluntary recall on a handful of Dura Grappler® tires and we thought it would be beneficial to pass this information on to you, our customers.  Please note that this recall does not include the Tera Grappler® brand that we frequently sell and install on Jeeps.

 

If you purchased Dura Grappler® tires from us and are affected by this recall, we simply ask that you let us know as soon as possible, so that we can make appropriate arrangements to have them replaced.

 

Nitto® has made it super convenient to identify if your tires are directly affected by using the following link to their website, NittoTire.com, or by calling their help hotline at (888) 529-8200 (10:00am to 7pm Central Time).

 

Axleboy

4150-A Ehlmann Rd

St. Peters, MO 63376

(636) 939-5337

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Safe Travels

With relatively few exceptions, many people this season will head “over the river and through the woods”… and some will travel much farther to get to Grandmother’s house.

Wherever you plan to go this holiday season, all of us at Axleboy wish you safe travels and a very Merry Christmas.

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.

Atturo Tires at Axleboy

Atturo Tires

At Axleboy, we believe that quality matters.  That’s why we prefer to stick with those brands that have been pressed to the limits and proven themselves over time- brands like Cooper, Teraflex, ARB and Warn.

Every now and then, a supplier or customer will suggest selling a product that we aren’t familiar with.  For example, one of our suppliers recently suggested that we look into the Atturo Tire brand as a competitive option for light trucks and SUVs.

We really don’t know much about the Atturo brand, aside from the assertions made on their website…so we decided to have Scott try them out on his F-350 before we make any recommendations.

New Atturo Truck Tires

Rain drops

Rainy Day…Smear?

When was the last time you had your wiper blades changed?  If you are like most people, checking and replacing wiper blades doesn’t rank very high on the priority list.  That makes a lot of sense, since we don’t typically use them on a daily basis…but it can be pretty frustrating to turn them on and see streaks across the windshield.

According to a study conducted by the Car Care Council, 1 in 5 vehicles on the road have deficient wiper blades or washing systems.  That doesn’t sound so bad, right?  According to information gathered at statista.com, there were approximately 254 million registered vehicles on the road (in the U.S.) in 2012, and if only 1 out of 5 is deficient, then around 50.8 million drivers may be visually impaired when driving at night or in precipitous weather conditions.

What can you do to avoid being part of the 20% problem?  For starters, you can keep your windshield and side windows clean.  Use the courtesy squeegees provided at most gas stations each time you refuel your vehicle.  In addition to using the squeegee, check and replace wiper blades that are cracked, split or leaving streaks.

According to the experts at RainX, “Wiper blades should be replaced [at a minimum] every year” as part of a routine, preventative maintenance schedule.  At Axleboy, we realize that drivers make critical decisions nearly every moment they are on the road, and those decisions are based primarily on visibility.  Our top concern is keeping you on the road, and a good set of wipers can go a long way to helping you make the safest driving decisions.

Rain Drops on Windshield

RainX Wipers

Axleboy now carries a full line of the premium RainX Latitude windshield wiper blades.

Sources:

www.carcare.orgwww.rainx.comwww.statistica.com

Axleboy Now Recycling

One Can At A Time

We do a lot of awesome stuff at Axleboylift kits, regears, engine swaps, part sales, routine maintenance and a whole lot more.  In a recent staff meeting, we were discussing what things we could do better, and one idea that came up was “reducing the amount of waste” (referring to material items).

We drink a lot of tea, soda and (sometimes) Monster throughout the day and those aluminum cans have always been tossed out with all the other “trash.”  Not any more though!  Everyone at Axleboy is doing their part to ensure that our aluminum cans stay out of the landfill.

If you come in to Axleboy, you’ll now see that we have little blue recycle cans in the waiting area and behind the counter, and we have a 55 gallon bin in the shop, so that aluminum cans can be collected and recycled.  It might not be much in the grand scheme of things, but every little bit helps keep this world awesome.

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

 

Steinjäger Accessories

The Latest Jeep Accessories

For over 10 years now, Axleboy has proudly been the go-to place for Jeep upgrades and customization. During that time, we’ve been there as thousands of stock Jeeps made the transformation into tough, mountain-conquering machines.  And when things haven’t gone as well as you planned, we were there to help pick up the pieces and make your Jeep strong again.

At Axleboy, we believe in building things to last and that’s why we partner with some of the best companies in the business.   Companies like Teraflex, building world-class, affordable suspension systems, or Yukon, making top-of-the-line gears and backing them up with the best warranties around.

Recently, we decided to invite another company into our close-knit circle of strength.  Steinjäger, while still young in the industry, has developed a wide assortment of accessories specifically with today’s Jeeper in mind.  If you haven’t already, we invite you to check out a handful of their latest innovations on display in our shop and imagine the possibilities.

Steinjäger

Axleboy Shocks and Struts

Want a Better Ride?

When you want increased traction, better cornering and more control on the road, what is the first thing you look at?  Probably tires, right?  The right set of tires can certainly do a lot to enhance vehicle control, but there are two other components that are equally important when it comes to maximizing vehicle control and minimizing stopping distance.  We’re talking about the shocks and struts.  At Axleboy, any time we take the tires off, we also check the shocks, struts and brakes.

Teraflex 9550 Shock Absorber

What do the shocks and struts do?

Shocks and struts play an important role in absorbing jolts and vibrations and making sure your tires have constant contact with the road.  As they begin to age and wear out, you will notice your vehicle start to dip, sway, bounce and over-react…making it more difficult to maintain control.

 

How often do they need to be replaced?

Under normal driving conditions, we recommend that factory shocks and struts be replaced after approximately 50,000 miles, as a routine maintenance item.  Vehicles exposed to harsh weather conditions, unpaved roads or winding roads may require more frequent replacements.

 

Shock Lifespan

Warning Signs:

Does your vehicle bounce or rock from side to side when you go over even small bumps in the road?  When coming to a stop, does your car rock back and forth?  Does your vehicle bottom out on speed bumps?  These are all possible symptoms of shocks or struts that are under performing.

A completely failed unit will may: Rattle or make knocking noises, Leak hydraulic fluid, Cause uneven tire wear and Create unsafe driving conditions.

If you are noticing any of these warning or complete failure signs, give Axleboy a call at (636)939-5337.

Ignition Switch Recall Notice

Ignition Switch Recall

NEWS: Chrysler Recalls certain 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2006-2007 Jeep Commander vehicles; Faulty IGNITION SWITCH

 

Report Receipt Date: JUL 21, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V438000
Component(s): IGNITION SWITCH
Potential Number of Units Affected: 600,000+

 

SEPT 2014 – Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) has begun recalling certain model year 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured February 11, 2004, to July 5, 2007, and 2006-2007 Jeep Commander vehicles manufactured January 31, 2005, to July 5, 2007

A defect in the ignition switch, for certain 05-07 Grand Cherokee and 06-07 Commander vehicles, may affect the safe operation of the airbag system. Chrysler began notifying affected vehicle owners in September of 2014.  Until this recall is performed, drivers are advised to adjust their seat, allowing sufficient clearance between the driver’s knee and the ignition key, and remove all items from their key ring, leaving only the vehicle key.

In the vehicles affected by this recall, drivers may inadvertently bump the ignition key with their knee causing the key to slip out of the run position.  When this happens, the engine and various safety systems will lose power, which may increase the risk of crash.

Chrysler’s number for this recall is P41. Vehicle owners may contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov

Keep it Cool this Summer

Don’t Overheat this Summer

With the summer heat sending temperatures in St. Louis through the roof, knowing how to assess the overall health of your vehicle is a vital part of making sure everyone remembers this year’s summer trip for all the right reasons.

At Axleboy, we’ve noticed that summer is one of the busiest times of year at our auto shop.  “Why is that,” you might ask?  We believe that most major engine problems start with minor issues in the cooling system, and that many of those minor problems go undiagnosed during the fall, winter and spring months.

Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council advises:

“Neglecting your cooling system can result in serious damage and even complete engine failure, which would put a sudden end to your summer road trip.   If the cooling system doesn’t receive regular maintenance, it’s not a question of whether it will fail, but rather when it will fail. Performing regular checkups of belts, hoses, the water pump and fluids will ensure your car remains properly cooled and healthy for many miles down the road.”

Under normal driving conditions, most engine temperatures fluctuate between 190 and 215°F.  If the engine cooling system isn’t working just right, those temperatures can soar, causing a multitude of malfunctions.

 

Symptoms of a Sick Cooling System

To help prevent coolant-related breakdowns this summer, pay close attention to these common symptoms before you hit the road: frequent overheating, constantly low coolant levels and the sweet smell of syrup.  All of these are symptoms of a sick cooling system that should receive immediate mechanical attention.

 

Routine Maintenance

According to the Car Care Council, “A major factor that affects the replacement of cooling system parts is the frequency of regular maintenance, such as coolant changes.”  We advise motorists to follow the service schedule in their owner’s manual for specific recommendations about how often to change antifreeze and flush the coolant system (typically every couple of years).  These schedules are formulated by the manufacturer to optimize engine performance and reliability.

In addition, motorists should regularly (like once a month) check the coolant levels at the reservoir and top off as needed.  The reservoir can be topped off with a 1:1 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water.  Using tap water is discouraged because, over time, the mineral deposits left behind when tap water evaporates can clog lines, leading to additional problems.

At Axleboy, we realize that NOBODY likes to pay for car repairs and that costs seem to add up quickly.  The fact is, small repairs will almost always be less expensive than a complete engine overhaul.  So, if you notice chronically low fluid or any of the other trouble symptoms, get to your trusted mechanic right away.

 

To make an appointment with Axleboy call: (636) 939-5337

2013 Jeep Rubicon

2013 Rubicon Upgrade

We just wanted to give a shout out to Mr. Orthwein, of the Anheuser-Busch family, who recently asked us to upgrade a 2013 4-door Jeep Rubicon.   We absolutely love the way this Jeep turned out and hope it brings you many miles of on and off-road adventure.

 

Customizations included:

  • ARB bumpers in front and back
  • N-Fab side steps
  • WARN winch
  • Old Man Emu 2-2.25” Lift
  • Speaker fog lamps
  • K&N Cold air intake
  • Hi-Lift Jack and mount
  • And several other enhancements

 

Thank you for giving the team at Axleboy this opportunity to earn your trust!

 

Lifted 2013 Rubicon

Jeep Rubicon2013 Jeep Rubicon

ABCs of Smart Driving

The guys at Axleboy are more than just mechanics.  We’re also husbands, fathers, and daily drivers.  While automobiles are our specialty, safety is our top priority and we make it as easy as ABC.

 

A. Adhere to a preventative maintenance plan.   A properly maintained car or truck can easily last 200,000 miles or more…while a vehicle that is not maintained will likely see the junkyard before it reaches even 100,000.  When your car or truck is serviced at Axleboy, we’ll even send you convenient reminders when your vehicle is due for service.

B. Be aware of your vehicle.  Every car is different and the driver who is aware will often notice as soon as anything seems amiss.  The steady hum of the engine, the scent & sound of ventilation, the feel of the steering and much more are all unique to your vehicle.  Familiarize yourself with the way your vehicle sounds, smells and feels so you can catch a problem before it becomes a catastrophe.

C. Consult with an automotive professional at the first sign of abnormality.  It doesn’t cost anything to talk with the guys at Axleboy, and our professionals are always willing to discuss options. Unfortunately procrastination of even minor service treatments may lead to increased automotive damage and higher repair bills down the road.

 

Schedule your appointment today:

Yellow Rubicon

Midwest Spring Jamboree

Gear up for the Midwest Spring Jamboree coming up April 5th and 6th!

This event is being put on by Mo4wd Club at the Moonlight Racing Offroad Park and promises to be a fun time for all skill levels.  For a detailed schedule of events, check out the Mo4wd website.

 

Before you roll out, make sure your vehicle is ready to ride the trails.  Stop by or call Axleboy and talk with one of our off-road experts to take care of all your off-road needs.

 

Axleboy: The Best Off-road and Jeep Specialists in St. Louis!  Call us at (636) 939-JEEP.

Buy Tires at Axleboy

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

When it comes to keeping your vehicle on the move, choosing the right tires is a major decision.  There are so many brands with different tread styles, speed ratings and seasonal ratings that it may seem like a daunting task.  When you think about the fact that those four little tires are the only thing keeping you on the road, there is a lot riding on your choice of tire.  Consider the following 4 points before you purchase your next set of tires:

How do you drive?

When choosing tires, the first step is to determine what kind of driving you intend to do.  Will you be going off-road, spending a lot of time on the highway, just tooling around town or perhaps a little of everything?

Define your expectations.

From there, determine how long you expect the tread life to last (i.e. 40,000-60,000 miles). When you start looking for that perfect set of tires, one thing you can look at for assistance is the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading). The U.S. DOT requires every tire manufacturer to grade its tires based on UTQG to establish ratings for tread wear, traction and temperature resistance.

What’s in the budget?

The cost of a high quality tire can be intimidating.  One way to cut costs and reduce your “sticker shock” is to purchase tires with a lower speed rating.  Rather than getting tires that are “V” rated, for speeds up to 149mph, consider going with an “H” or “U” rating.  Let’s be honest, how often do you plan to drive at speeds over 125 mph?

Better handling or a smoother ride?

Finally, consider what kind of ride you expect.  While low-profile tires have become a popular trend and the stiffer sidewalls improve handling, they don’t offer the same amount of cushion as traditional tires when going over bumps, and they make the rims more vulnerable to damage.

When you walk into Axleboy, our top priorities are your safety and satisfaction.  Come in today and let one of our experts help you find the perfect set for you and your vehicle.

Find Your Tires at Axleboy

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

 

Road Salt vs. Vehicle

The Good

With snow and ice come salt, chemicals and sand.  Placing salt and other chemicals on the roadways helps to lower the freezing point of water, effectively melting ice despite freezing temperatures.  Adding sand to the mix provides temporary traction, and also helps to keep salt in place.

The Bad

According to the DMV, “While road salting helps people travel safely, it has drawbacks. It can cause major body and undercarriage damage to your vehicles unless you take extra care and precaution.”  Salt buildup damages the clear-coat finish on paint, it fuels body corrosion and it can eventually lead to the breakdown of a vehicles mechanical parts.

In the St. Louis area, it is nearly impossible to avoid driving through salt-rich sludge that forms on the roadways in winter. So what can be done to prevent vehicular corrosion?  The DMV suggests that keeping your vehicle clean is the best solution to reduce damage that may be caused by salt and sand.

The Not-So-Ugly

The most effective way to keep a vehicle clean is to use the car wash as often as possible.  Most automated car wash bays in the St. Louis area offer undercarriage cleaning and wax coating which helps to remove saline buildup and then protect against future accumulation of salt and dirt.  Following a carwash, consider taking a little extra time to hand-dry the edges of the vehicle doors and trunk to prevent them from freezing shut overnight.

 

Now through through the end of February, Axleboy Automotive is giving away a free car wash with every service over $50.

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