Fuel System Cleaning at Pitts Repair Service in Concord for Better Performance

A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle’s engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel, to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

The pressure in a fuel injection system varies depending on its type. Many gasoline engines use port injection systems, which operate with a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch. Newer direct injection systems operate at 10 to 30 times that pressure. Some diesel passenger vehicles have fuel injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch.

Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle’s control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle and adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle’s engine.

Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in MPG and loss of engine performance.

So it’s vital to keep your fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name NC fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel than do bargain stations in the Charlotte area.

The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

Check your owner’s manual or Pitts Repair Service in Concord to find out how often you should change your fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle, your filter will need to be changed more often.

You can also purchase cleaners that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won’t be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use.

If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at Pitts Repair Service in Concord that will result in better MPG and improved vehicle performance.

Good car care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

Custom Wheels and Tires For Your Concord Ride

It seems like everywhere you go in the Charlotte area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans – it doesn’t matter, motorists are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some NC auto owners want smaller tires and wheels – some want larger – and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At Pitts Repair Service, we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you’re after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.

Let’s start with something easy – you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your SUV factory wheels.

First, what is offset? The wheel bolts onto the hub on the SUV’s axle. The distance from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on, is the offset. If the new wheel has a different offset from the factory, the tires may rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. That could lead to catastrophic and (pricey)  tire failure.

Your tire and wheel professional at Pitts Repair Service in Concord can help you find the right size wheel – or install adapters to make your new wheels fit. All you have to do is pick from the hundreds of styles available.

Pitts Repair Service
325 NW Pitts School Rd.
Concord, NC 28027
704-786-6894

So, what about Concord car owners who want to upsize? Well, if you choose bigger wheels, but you want to keep the same overall tire diameter, that’s pretty easy for the team at Pitts Repair Service. The same offset concerns apply. You need to know that the tires will likely be a little bit wider than the originals and you don’t want them to rub when you make sharp turns. Your tire professional at Pitts Repair Service in Concord will help you avoid this.

It is also essential to keep the same overall tire diameter because changing the rolling diameter can mess with your SUV anti-lock brakes and stability control systems. Are you starting to see why you want to speak with your appreciative, honest, efficient Pitts Repair Service tire and wheel expert at Pitts Repair Service in Concord? Is “super-size me” your motto? If it is, you are going to have to lift your vehicle to make room for those huge tires. A mild lift doesn’t require extensive modifications. An extreme lift means a lot of new hardware under the vehicle. It also means a lot of stock electronic systems need to be recalibrated to the new tire size. For example, your speedometer and odometer will give false readings if they aren’t recalibrated. (You don’t want to risk getting speeding tickets on NC interstates because your speedometer shows a lower-than-actual speed.)

Concord car owners who want to upsize should also be aware of possible performance issues. Bigger tires and wheels weigh more. NC automotive experts refer to this as unsprung weight because it isn’t held up by your SUV suspension system. Increased unsprung weight affects performance in different ways than an equivalent amount of groceries or little soccer players in the SUV passenger compartment. Acceleration is negatively affected. Stopping distances may also be increased – sometimes significantly. Concord motorists who want really big tires and wheels, might need to upgrade their brakes to compensate.

Heading the other direction, some drivers in the Charlotte area like to run smaller than standard wheels and lower the suspension. All of the same fitment issues still apply as well as calibration issues. Don’t think that SUV suspension modifications are a bad thing. Many systems actually improve ride, function and performance over the stock set-up.

Regardless of your budget, you want your SUV to continue to do all the things you need it to do. Some of those show cars and trucks you see on TV and Concord showrooms  look remarkable, but have been modified in ways that may not suit your needs. For example, if you put large rims on your SUV with low profile tires, you may be in for busted rims if you go off-roading a lot around Charlotte. There just isn’t enough sidewall to absorb the impact of thumping over rocks.

Some motorists stuff the largest tires and wheels possible in their vehicles but have to severely restrict suspension travel so that the tires aren’t rubbing all day. That can lead to a very harsh ride around NC. Again, talk with your Pitts Repair Service wheel professional about all of these things: how you drive in Concord, what look you are going for, your budget and what compromises you are willing to make.

At the end of the day, you’re going to be rollin’ out of Pitts Repair Service with one sweet ride.

What is That? Check Engine Light Service At Pitts Repair Service

Okay. You went to your local Concord car wash and while your SUV was under the dryer, the check engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the SUV! You head for the nearest Concord service station, but on the way, the check engine light stops flashing, and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your SUV in to get serviced. In the meantime, the check engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty, or that when it comes on it doesn’t mean anything, or that it’s just in your SUV as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary expensive repairs. You’re glad you didn’t take your car to the Concord repair shop and resolve to ignore that engine light in the future.

Whoa! Let’s look at what really happened. Your SUV was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report to the engine computer, where a warning was triggered: there shouldn’t be that much airflow when the SUV engine is idling. This is a serious problem that could cause permanent engine damage. Warning! The check engine light starts flashing, letting you know you need to take immediate action to prevent that damage.

You drive out from under the dryer, and the air intake sensor sends a new message to the computer. The computer realizes that everything is normal and tells the check engine light to stop flashing. The SUV doesn’t need immediate attention; but there was a problem, and it should be checked out by your tech. After a few days the computer senses that the problem is gone, so it turns off the warning light.

You may think this story illustrates the uselessness of a check engine light, but you should remember that a computer can’t think for itself, it can only follow its programming. It doesn’t know the difference between a car wash air dryer and a serious malfunction in your SUV engine. That doesn’t make it useless. It just means you have to be the smart one.

Being smart doesn’t mean ignoring your SUV check engine light. It lets you know when something is wrong, and you can prevent a lot of damage to your vehicle by paying proper attention to it.

Your engine computer is constantly collecting data about what is going on inside your SUV engine. It knows what parameters are normal, and when a reading may indicate a problem. It uses the check engine light to let you know when something isn’t right. It then stores a code in its memory that a tech can retrieve that indicates which reading was abnormal.

The service professional uses this code as a starting place to find out what’s wrong with your SUV. It’s like going to the doctor with a fever. The fever is the reading that is abnormal — your temperature is too high — but the doctor still has to figure out what’s causing it. It’s probably an infection, but what kind? Sinus infection? Appendicitis? Flu? The problems and their solutions are quite different. But a fever also tells a doctor what’s NOT wrong with you. Fevers don’t accompany stress headaches, ulcers or arthritis, so there’s no sense in testing for those conditions.

Your Concord service advisor responds to a trouble code in your SUV’s computer in the same way. The code doesn’t say exactly what’s wrong, but it does give the technician a good indication of where to start looking —and where he/she doesn’t need to look.

Now, you wouldn’t consider diagnosing yourself with a serious medical problem; good medical advice — unless you’re a doctor. So you shouldn’t consider trying to diagnose your vehicle’s troubles by yourself; good auto advice — unless you’re a trained mechanic.

There are cheap scanners available on the market and some Concord auto parts stores offer to read trouble codes from your SUV engine computer for you, but these are really not good alternatives to taking your vehicle to a qualified service center such as Pitts Repair Service in Concord. Your engine’s computer has both short-term and long-term memory, and there are some codes that are specific to a particular make of vehicle. Cheap scanners can’t read an engine computer’s long-term memory nor can they interpret manufacturer – specific codes. That’s why manager Chris Warren at Pitts Repair Service spends a lot of money on high-end diagnostic tools.

It’s as if you had a choice between a doctor who had a tongue depressor and a thermometer and one who had all the latest medical diagnostic equipment on hand. Honestly, which would you choose?

Getting your codes read at your Charlotte auto parts store isn’t really a money-saver, either, unless you’re a trained mechanic. You’ll end up with a code that tells you a symptom. What usually happens next is that the Charlotte parts store sells you something that directly relates to the symptom. It may or may not fix the problem. It’s actually cheaper to just go to the Pitts Repair Service in Concord and get things fixed right the first time.

Remember, a fever can indicate a sinus infection or appendicitis. An antibiotic may be okay for that sinus infection, but it won’t help your appendicitis. Is it really wise to wait around to see if the antibiotic helps when you might have appendicitis?

Part of good car care is knowing where you can get a problem fixed, and fixed right. Preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping you out of the repair shop, but eventually, we will all have a problem that needs fixing. Let’s do it right the first time at Pitts Repair Service. In the long run, it’s actually the less pricey choice.

All About Your TPMS In Concord

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wiper Blades In NC

If you’re gonna drive around the Charlotte area, you’ve got to be able to see! So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important. We’ve all experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our windshield is just dirty.

It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. But windshield wipers are like most other vehicle parts– they require regular attention in order to work their best.

You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If it’s going to be a particularly harsh winter in Concord, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall. Winter blades are designed to resist freezing.

Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That’ll just tear up the blades and cause them to wear out more quickly. It may even damage the wiper motor.

Over time, wiper blades become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t cover the windshield effectively.

Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire windshield; a big cost for such a little part.

Replace worn blades right away. Your local service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. They cost about the same as they would at the store; but installation is included at Pitts Repair Service.

Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though your local Concord service center will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home, or in the car if you are on a long trip.

Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy bottled water, may freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t do a good job of cleaning your windows.

And remember that some vehicles have two reservoirs: one for the windshield and one for the back window – which may be under the hood or somewhere in the back.

So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road, and give us a call at Pitts Repair Service or come by our shop at 325 NW Pitts School Rd., Concord, NC 28027. Call to make an appointment at 704-786-6894

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Budget For Maintenance in Concord

Sometimes busy Concord residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Charlotte in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today’s automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Concord motorists spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today’s vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today’s Concord motorists would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s Concord auto owners didn’t care much for it, either. So on today’s vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Concord area auto service centers.

Concord drivers should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in Concord is simply more pricey than it used to be. So if you think about it, NC car owners can avoid many expensive SUV repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Edmunds.com has a great calculator to help you estimate car repair costs. Charlotte motorists can enter the year, make and model for your vehicle, and the calculator will give you an estimate of what it will cost to service and repair your vehicle for the next five years. It also estimates the costs for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel.

These estimates can be used to set up a reasonable budget to manage your car repair and maintenance expenses. Of course, they are just estimates. All Harrisburg auto owners know that life hands out a lot of surprises — some good, some bad, so there’s no way to know exactly what your SUV will need. But a good estimate helps you make a good budget, and a good budget is always helpful when it comes to car repairs.

Let’s look at one example. For a 2003 Toyota Camry, here is Edmunds’ estimate for the cost of repairs and maintenance for the next three years (as of the time of this writing):

Yr. 1 Yr. 2  
Yr. 3 
3-Yr. Total  
Maintenance 748    
225      
794     
1767  
Repairs 352      
409 476 1237  
                           Total 1,100 634 1,270 3,004  
Monthly Average 92 53 106 83  

According to this estimate, the owner needs to set aside about $83 a month to defray the costs of car care. That sounds like a lot until you compare it to the payment on a new automobile. And even if car repairs are more pricey than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.

Just a bit of auto advice from Pitts Repair Service: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you’re afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and NC auto insurance with an older Concord vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for vital preventive maintenance in NC, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less costly!

Pitts Repair Service Service For Your Exhaust System

Your SUV’s exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems on your SUV. Maintaining it is good Pitts Repair Service auto advice for Concord auto owners, but it’s also good health advice and good environmental advice.

The exhaust system includes your emissions system. Because this system may affect your health and the health of our Charlotte area environment, it is subject to strict government regulations. Satisfying these regulations demands some high-tech, computer-controlled equipment, which means that the emissions system is a lot more sophisticated than it was thirty years ago. Most car makers recommend that you have your SUV exhaust and emissions systems checked by a qualified service professional at regular intervals.

The exhaust system starts with the exhaust manifold. Pitts Repair Service Service For Your Exhaust SystemThe manifold is attached to the SUV engine. It collects exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe. Gaskets seal the connection of the manifold to the engine and to other joints. A cracked or loose manifold or a leaking or damaged gasket can allow dangerous gases to enter the passenger compartment of a vehicle. One of these gases is carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly. For this reason, it is vital that Charlotte car owners keep their exhaust system in good repair.

The pipes that connect the various parts of the exhaust system can rust or be damaged by rocks or other road debris. Such damage can cause dangerous gases to leak into the air. So it is important that exhaust pipes get an automotive analysis regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next important component of your SUV exhaust system. It sort of looks like a muffler. Its job is to change dangerous gases into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any regular maintenance, but it can wear out. If it fails, you will need a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test in NC. Call Pitts Repair Service at 704-786-6894 if you suspect a problem with your catalytic converter.

Oxygen sensors in the exhaust pipe monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust. This helps the SUV engine’s computer keep the fuel-to-air mixture at optimal levels.

The muffler is also part of your SUV exhaust system, but it deals with a different kind of emission. It keeps your SUV from emitting bad sounds. Mufflers act like finely tuned musical instruments. They create a feedback of sound waves to absorb or decrease the noises made by your engine. Different mufflers can create different sound waves, so you can actually “tune” your car to produce a particular sound, anything from whisper to rumble.

It is vital for damaged mufflers be replaced immediately at your Concord automotive service center, especially if they are leaking. Not only will the extra noise annoy your Concord neighbors, a leaky muffler could be serious.

The entire exhaust system is attached to your SUV by hangers and clamps. These fasteners can rust, come loose or break. The essential components of the exhaust system can get very hot, so when the hangers or clamps fail, these hot components can come into contact with other parts such as wires and hoses. These can melt, causing serious and expensive damage to your vehicle. Good car care requires that you have your exhaust system inspected regularly.

Let’s not forget the tailpipe. It’s the last vital piece in the exhaust system — and of your SUV, for that matter. Exhaust fumes exit your SUV through the tailpipe.

If your SUV has any of the following symptoms, it may have a problem with the exhaust system: it’s hard to start, it runs rough, it’s noisy, it’s smoking. Also, if your “check engine” light comes on, especially if it’s flashing, it is important to get your SUV to Pitts Repair Service in Concord right away. Often, the “check engine” light indicates a problem with the emissions system.

Caring for your SUV exhaust system yields cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety. Your life, or the life of a loved one, may actually be on the line.

Suspension Service At Pitts Repair Service In Concord

Suspension systems function effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles. Eventually, however, SUV suspension components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive around Concord and Kannapolis.

As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth NC highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy Concord roads or haul heavy loads. In addition to just wearing out, SUV suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, SUV manufacturers recommend periodic inspections.

Suspension Service At Pitts Repair ServiceDuring an inspection at Pitts Repair Service in Concord, your appreciative, honest, efficient automotive service technician will check for worn, broken or missing parts.

Here’s a quick rundown of suspension system components:

First there are the springs which hold the weight of your SUV. There are several varieties of springs. Springs are obviously essential heavy duty parts that rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers work in conjunction with springs to smooth out the ride and help keep the tires on the road. Good shocks are essential for handling performance and ride comfort.

You’ve probably heard of struts. They combine a shock absorber and a coil spring in one unit. Shocks and struts will wear out over time. If your tires develop a cupped wear pattern, your shocks or struts may be wearing out. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your SUV dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you’ve stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it’s definitely time to replace them at Pitts Repair Service.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit Pitts Repair Service for a a key suspension inspection. Same if you’ve been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. If your SUV suspension actually fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so don’t put it off.

When you replace your shocks, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four at the same time. That’ll give you more even handling. Talk with your appreciative, honest, efficient Pitts Repair Service service specialist because you don’t want a big difference between the performance of your shocks from wheel to wheel, and replacing all may be the safest bet.

There are different grades of shocks and struts. You always want to use a replacement shock or strut that equals the one that came as original equipment when your SUV was new. But remember, they were designed to meet the expected needs of the broad range of Kannapolis people who buy that particular vehicle. Your needs may be more specialized.

For example, if you want increased handling performance, your appreciative, honest, efficient Pitts Repair Service advisor can recommend an upgraded shock or strut specially designed for improved handling. If you haul heavy loads or trailers in Concord, we can recommend some heavy duty shock absorbers.

Lease Or Buy?

Lease? Or buy? These are the options for Concord car financing. It’s always a tough question for Concord drivers. But here is some info that’ll help you make an informed decision.

If you buy, you’ll pay the full cost of the car, with maybe an initial down payment, then monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.

Concord car owners who lease, finance the portion of the cost of the car that’s used up during the term of the lease. You’ll pay some money up front; fees, security deposit, first month’s payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the car to your local Charlotte area dealership. 

So how do Concord motorists decide?

First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down.

How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.

A lease needs requires better credit, so that’s a factor.

How long will you keep the car? Concord auto owners who keep their cars around for a while will pay less if they buy. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.

Pitts Repair Service
325 NW Pitts School Rd.
Concord, NC 28027
704-786-6894

If your car might suffer a ding or two, like, say a work truck would, then buying’s better. The Concord auto leasing company will want their vehicle back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you’ll pay.

How many miles do you drive in and around the Harrisburg area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit, and if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile when the lease is up. So high mileage NC car owners should definitely buy.

Will the car be used in your Concord business? Check with your Concord accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.

Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper for Concord drivers. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing always costs more in NC.

Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment, rather than price. So sometimes Concord leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.

Here is a tip: If the Concord salesman asks if you’ll be leasing or buying, say you’re not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at your Concord financing options.

Here’s another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the car, you’ll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments, and usually, it’s less than the car’s fair Charlotte market value  – and that’s all your NC auto insurance company will pay. But ask your Concord agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.

Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition, and may need to do all the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service and maintenance, or face penalties. So see your local service professional at your Concord auto repair shop  or Pitts Repair Service on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It’s well worth it.

It’s About Time: Following Service Intervals at Pitts Repair Service

There are a lot of things in life that Concord residents have to do on a regular basis. We wash dishes every day, do our laundry and mow our lawns every week, and pay the bills every month. We should go to our Concord dentist twice a year and see our doctor for a check-up once a year. When we don’t stay on schedule with these routines, it can lead to embarrassing, painful or expensive consequences.

Scheduled maintenance is also part of good car care. Concord drivers should take their SUVs in regularly for a good check-up. But many Charlotte folks struggle to remember, or actually even ignore, this auto advice. When it comes to our cars, we’re more likely to listen to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” than “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Yet it is the second adage that is the more applicable one.

Regular brushing treatments prevent cavities. Filling a cavity prevents a more painful and more expensive root canal. In the same way, replacing coolant/antifreeze, for example, vehicle can prevent cooling system leaks. Repairing leaks can prevent engine failure. So why do we procrastinate?

One reason might be that “ignorance is bliss.” We can see dirty dishes on the counter and how long our grass is getting; we can smell how dirty our clothes are; but we don’t notice how dirty our transmission fluid is getting. However, trouble in our SUVs is like trouble in our bodies—ignorance is not bliss. High blood pressure can lead to heart damage, and inadequate coolant can lead to engine damage. However, we can’t know about either one unless we take the time for a diagnostic check-up at Pitts Repair Service in Concord.

Another reason us Concord motorists put off scheduled maintenance for our vehicles may be that we are simply intimidated by automotive care. After all, we understand how to take care of clothing, dishes, lawns, etc. Most of us have a basic working knowledge of our bodies and feel qualified to explain how we feel. But our vehicles? What exactly does routine, preventive maintenance involve? Most Concord motorists don’t know.

Of course, our SUVs come with owner’s manuals that do a good job of explaining what routine maintenance is and how often our vehicles need it. But how many Concord car owners actually read them?

The good news is that all Concord drivers have to do is remember to take our vehicles to a reputable, service center like Pitts Repair Service in Concord. Like a good doctor, your appreciative, honest, efficient Pitts Repair Service tech will be able to tell you what maintenance and service your car needs and when. The service center can track your car’s maintenance records—just as a doctor maintains your health records—so that your vehicle is getting the service it needs in a timely manner.

Here are some guidelines to help Concord car owners understand the basics of preventive maintenance: Fluids. If it’s a liquid, it has to be replaced regularly. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often. Liquids include oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and differential fluid. There may be others. Check with your owner’s manual or your service center for specifics on your vehicle.

Tires. They need routine, scheduled care to wear well. Primarily, they need air. But they also need to be rotated, balanced and aligned.

Brakes. Brakes and shock absorbers wear out. There’s no way to avoid it. Worn parts need to be replaced.

Fuel. Obviously your SUV needs gas on a regular basis. But the fuel system also needs periodic maintenance. Air filters and fuel filters get dirty and need to be replaced. The fuel system needs to be kept clean.

These are the basics of car maintenance. Of course, there are other parts of your car that need to be inspected regularly, such as the battery, exhaust system, belts, etc. These parts have longer life cycles than your fluids, tires, brakes and filters, and so don’t need to be replaced as often.

If you are taking your SUV in for the basics, then your Concord service center will let you know when it is time for an inspection of these other things. Or they may notice a problem when doing routine maintenance and let you know. Either way, you’ll get a heads-up when your vehicle needs more attention.

If you’re not convinced yet that your SUV needs regular service, consider this: not doing so will cost you in decreased fuel efficiency, lower performance and compromised safety. These could lead to costly repair bills and costly accidents.

Just like a good dental check-up, a good auto check-up at Pitts Repair Service in Concord can save you from experiencing embarrassing, costly and painful situations.