How to make your car more sustainable for Earth Day

It seems obvious, but when you think about it — your car is one of the most important ways that you can contribute sustainability on this planet. A Time Magazine article jokes that “Like Americans themselves, American cars are getting heavier and heavier every year, the average car in the U.S. weighed over 4,000 pounds in 2010, up from an average of 3,221 pounds in 1987. That weight extra 800 pounds, as you can imagine, makes a huge difference in terms of fuel-efficiency and the carbon footprint you personally leave on this planet. So, for Earth Day, here are some ways that you can get your car into the best shape it’s ever been — and reduce your personal impact on the planet (or enhance it, depending on how you look at it!). Use green driving best practices Driving technique has a lot to do with your fuel economy. Avoid sudden starts and stops and go the speed limit. Driving consistently puts a lot less pressure on your engine to get back up to speed every time you have to slow or stop. Tires Pumping up our tires is routine maintenance but it’s something lots of us will forget about until it becomes a problem. Just because your car is still driving okay doesn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from a top up of air and it’s free at many gas stations. If each time you top up your car with gas you also top it up with air, then you’ll use less fuel to travel the same distances and you’ll get around faster too. Weight When you look in...

Our Employees have Health Benefits

Right about now you may be wondering, why did Concours Motors publish a blog post about their employees’ health benefits? It’s simple, really. When we started this business many years ago, we wanted it to be the best auto repair shop you could find — not just in Ventura, but anywhere. We wanted our customers to trust that if they came to Concours their car would be returned to them in an exceptional condition, with an extended warranty. Just as importantly, we wanted you to know that we care about you and your family. The only way to accomplish that was to hire good people — the kind that genuinely care about others and naturally want to take care of them. Well, we did just that. We have been so grateful to our team for doing such consistently incredible work over the years. You might say we’re like a family. And so, when we were able to take on health care benefits for each and every member of our team, so that they can be healthy and present with their families, it was cause for a major celebration. So…this blog post is really a thank you to our incredible team. You guys are the best. Also, we are grateful to have such a wonderful community of customers. Without you, there wouldn’t be a business. So in a way, you’re taking care of us, too....

Paperless Office: another step towards sustainability

A Paperless Shop. We’re excited to announce that we’re bringing in the new year with the ultimate move in sustainability: a paperless office. Well, more like a paperless shop. Every technician has a tablet, and the service consultants you meet when you come in have a screen dedicated to the system, to show you everything the technician has documented. This means that we don’t have to print a single sheet of paper except the ones required by law (which are few). These days at the shop, work gets dispatched digitally — so its instant. Everyone who touches your car knows exactly what you told the service consultant when you came in (which you have an opportunity to double-check). No more hand-written notes. Technicians take pictures of everything so that you can see the problem and really understand what’s going on. Not only will you see it, but all of the images associated with the repair will be sent to you, including images of future repairs your car may need labeled as “Good,” “Needs further attention,” or “Needs immediate attention.” This way you can see what your car needs and have a real sense of what you need to come in for, and when. Another cool feature of entering the new digital world is that the entire team has an instant chat feature, so we don’t have to waste time walking to the office and waiting for the service consultant to hang up or finish with a customer. Yes, we are nerding out over here at Concours Motors over our new toys. But you would have expected that, right? To...

Back to School

Back to School So, it’s almost September, and the kids are heading back to school. If you’re like our shop owner JR, you might be dealing with a whole new reality: his eldest is off to college soon. To start his own life. With his own car. In another city. Yes, we’re talking to a very select group of customers. Your children are off to start their own lives, for the first time. It’s time to trust that you’ve given them all the tools they need to succeed. Yet there are simple life tools, that we can’t possibly expect them to have in their first years, starting out. Some of these may be budgeting, cooking, keeping their own house clean, and, of course, taking care of their own car. We wrote this blog to help you out with the last one. It is a great idea to look into competent technicians when you visit your child’s college. This is something that they probably won’t think of, and they might not know what to look for. If you won’t have time to do this during your visit, you can always share this list with them. What to look for in an automotive repair shop for your kids: Make absolutely sure that they offer a warranty on all of their repairs. Check their reviews, are they reputable? Do they have many certifications displayed for more than one person. The shop should have a clean, professional appearance, and so should all of the employees and technicians. Hint: check out their restroom. Is it nice and clean? How many years have they been...

Fuel Injection Service

These services are often overlooked, as they are not part of the regular maintenance schedule for many cars. However, they are very important for some engines. Direct Injection Engines have a big problem with carbon build-up. You could almost call it an epidemic. The car will run poorly, initially only when it’s cold, but over time the poor performance will take place as long as it’s running. Even in its early stages, it can begin to have an effect on fuel mileage. Once the carbon has really built up, it requires a maintenance professional to remove the intake manifold and manually clean the valves. This, of course, is quite a bit of work, and fortunately can be avoided through preventative care, which can be scheduled during your next regular maintenance. If you’ve noticed that your car is running poorly, particularly in the morning when it’s cold, come in for a free inspection so that we can check your engine for carbon build-up, as well as other possible issues. If you’re not sure whether your car has a Direct Injection Engine, check the back of your vehicle for the letters “GDI.” Most newer Audi’s, Mercedes, Volkswagen and BMW’s are fitted with this kind of engine, as well as many other cars. Did You Know? Direct Injection Engine’s were originally designed for Formula 1 race cars. Each Formula 1 teams spends hundreds of millions of dollars in Research & Development, simply to stay in the race. Did you know that if your car is younger than 10 years old you have Formula 1...

An Oil Change Myth

An Oil Change Myth 12/08/2014 Oil changes are the perfect demonstration of a common misconception about European cars. People have a tendency to think that they cost so much more to maintain. In a way, this is true. If you go to an auto repair shop with a BMW and ask for an oil change, it be at least double, probably more like triple the cost of of a “standard” oil change. This is because BMW’s and most European vehicles require premium all-synthetic oil. However, the difference between a European car and another vehicle that requires only standard oil is that most of them need only 1 oil change for every 3-4 that a standard vehicle requires. In other words, instead of an oil change required every 3 months or every 3-4,000 miles, these vehicles will go 1 year or 10-12,000 miles before it’s time to visit the shop again. If you do the math, the cost is exactly the same, because you’re coming in so much less frequently. And, well, you’re coming in less frequently. So if you factor in your time to the equation, a European car is actually less expensive. Its like the difference between buying an oak dresser vs. one made of particleboard. The oak dresser will last a lifetime, but it may cost you a few thousand dollars. A particleboard dresser on the other hand… Well, you get the...

Our shop is green!

No, not in color. 😉 To us, being a business owner is like being a leader in the community. It’s important to us to continuously do what we can to take care of our customers, our community, and the future of our planet. So we’ve put a great deal of effort into making sure that our shop is as sustainable as possible. As you know, cars have a tendency to be dirty. Car maintenance also produces a great deal of used parts, that are no longer useful to cars. We have worked with sustainability professionals to help us determine all of the ways in which we can contribute to a cleaner environment. Here are just a few of the things that we do: We do not use paper towels or disposable fender covers. We have our shop towels and fender covers (cloth to protect the paint of cars) cleaned to minimize waste. We use an aquaus parts washer, that stores hot soapy water, to clean up parts. We do not use aerosols with harmful environmental impacts. We use high efficiency lights. We dispose our fluids to companies that recycle: waste oils, coolant, and oil filters. We also recycle old battery’s and anything that has any kind of metals. We do not let vehicles leak oils uncontained, to protect our storm water. Our toilets are equipped with low water usage controls. All our shop flashlights are rechargeable to cut battery waste. We have coated our floors with epoxy, so that we are able to mop up oil and other residue of each days work, rather than using a power spray....

Tis The Season to Change Tires

Tis The Season to Change Tires There was a day, not too long ago, when tires were not expected to hold. When travelling a long distance it would not be surprising to have to change a popped tire at least once, maybe even twice along the way. But as car technology has improved, tires have as well. This is great for all of us, except that sometimes we rely a bit too much on our tires, and so we’re shocked when one of them gives out. The reality is that worn out tires are dangerous. The worst-case scenario is that a worn tire causes you to lose control of your vehicle an can lead to accident. The biggest menace when it comes to tires is not only wear, but also dry rot. Oils and chemicals on the road, combined with steady UV exposure and simply the heat of driving at fast speeds can cause the rubber to lose its flexibility and become brittle. You can see this especially when a tire starts to crack. Think of an old rubber band, particularly one that has been exposed to the sun over time. When you try to use this band for its purpose, it breaks. If you start to see cracks in your tire, it is definitely time to bring it in for a free inspection. As is more commonly known, it is important to check the tread depth of your tires. One way of doing this is to place a quarter, head down, into the tire. Washington’s head should be covered, at least down to his forehead. If it’s not,...

Welcome to the Concours Motors Community

At its core, Concours Motors is a family-owned business, run by a staff of technicians who have all become extended family. When Gerardo Luna, our shop’s owner, decided to open a shop for European cars, he wanted it to be the best automotive service and repair shop in Ventura County, where quality work and customer service is a daily way of doing business. So this is what we strive to create in everything we do including servicing your cars, the way we interact with our customers, our contribution to the local community, and all the way down to the type of messages we send out, hoping to brighten your day and make sure your car and your family are safe on the road. And that is exactly what this blog is about. Surely you have many questions about how your car works and what it needs to do its work best. Customers come to us with so many different questions and car problems, we thought we’d put these questions and their answers online to inform all those with similar questions. Also, if you’d like to be connected with these types of questions, specials, cool car talk, innovative car talk, and more… Follow our Facebook Page. Thank you for checking out our blog, and feel free to come by and give us a visit any time! We look forward to serving you and getting to know you even...