Colorado Springs Auto Repair 4074 Reviews
6 Convenient Locations
View Phone Numbers + -
  • (719) 445-4200
  • Jet Stream - Colorado Springs
  • (719) 634-4257
  • North Union Boulevard - Colorado Springs
  • (719) 227-1315
  • Mark Dabling - Colorado Springs
  • (719) 632-6144
  • Tutt Boulevard - Colorado Springs
  • (303) 400-8812
  • South Dawson Circle - Centennial
  • (303) 625-9544
  • West Coal Mine - Littleton
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
* The Dawson store in Centennial
is closed on Saturday

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Aspen Auto Clinic Announces Father's Day Contest Winners!

Posted on 07/10/2015

  For two weeks in June, Aspen Auto Clinic ran a promotion at all six Colorado Front Range car repair shops for Father's Day offering 2 Grand Prizes for two lucky dads.  We also had a booth at the Walk for Life Event at Memorial Park to benefit Life Network.  We had tons of customers who came in to enter their favorite fathers for the contest and many fans that came to the Aspen Auto Clinic booth to register for the drawing.  It was a great promotion and the winners were drawn on June 18th.

  Congratulations to Anthony M. our Grand Prize winner of the 4 pack of Colorado Rockies Baseball tickets for the Father's Day game and a $50 VISA gift card!  His son entered him into the drawing and he was very surprised.  Anthony has been a customer for a couple of years and referred his son Chris to us for auto repairs.  They both bring all of their vehicles to our location at 4401 Mark Dabling Blvd, in Colorado Springs.

  "I can't believe it!  I haven't won anything since the 5th grade, and that was just a stuffed animal.  Ths is so much better!" said Anthony when he was awarded the prize.
  Anthony, his wife, and 2 friends enjoyed the Rockies game against the Brewers on June 21st. 

  With two Grand Prizes to give away, we had the privelege of also presenting Miles D. with a 4 pack of tickets to the Colorado Petroleum Suite at the Jet Car National Races on the 4th of July at Bandimere Speedway! Miles' wife Susan entered him into our drawing as her favorite dad. 

  Miles and his family have been bringing their Subaru to our location at 1755 Jet Stream Drive for quite awhile now.  Susan says her favorite thing about Aspen Auto Clinic is the customer service, without question.  Susan entered Miles into the drawing at the Walk for Life event.  Erik Smith, Store Manager at the Jet Stream store presented  the Grand Prize to Miles and Susan who were elated to find out that the tickets to the Jet Car Nationals included the Box Suite courtesy of our friends at Colorado Petroleum.  Susan said, "we are so blessed to be the winners."  They were able to spend the entire day at the races and the family festival along with enjoying the traditional 4th of July fireworks show. 

  Here are some pictures of Miles and Susan's day at the races!  Congratulations again to both winners of the Aspen Auto Clinic Father's Day Contest, Miles D. and Anthony M., dad's who deserved a great day trip away!

 

 

 

 

 

Timing Belt Replacements - What You Need To Know

Posted on 06/03/2015

   In the last decade, more Americans are keeping their cars longer instead of trading in for a newer model vehicle.  We also are buying older, used cars for teen drivers to save money as well.   Keeping cars longer usually equates to operating them at higher mileage points.  One "must do" service operation that all car, truck, and vehicle owners need to know about is timing belt replacement.  Knowing about timing belt replacements will, at a minimum, save you from uexpected breakdowns and in the extreme can help you avoid thousands of dollars in repair costs.

  Without getting too technical, one of the crucial things to be aware of is whether the engine in your car is considered an interference engine or not.  The synchronization between two internal engine parts (the crank shaft and the cam shafts) is accomplished with the help of the timing belt.  In the process of these two parts moving, the valves open and close in proximity to the pistons.   This constitutes an interference engine, because if the timing belt jumps a tooth on the sproket it rides on or the belt fails altogether, the valves and pistons will "interfere" with each other.

  This "interference" will cause major damage to your engine.  The repair costs for this on older vehicles will often exceed the value of the car.  On the other hand, a car with an engine that is not configured this way will simply lose power or will not start.  While this is more desirable than huge repair costs, it is best to be avoided.   

  Obviously, preemptive replacement of the timing belt is the best policy altogether.  So how do you know when to replace your timing belt?  Your owner's manual is a good resource and will indicate the mileage interval necessary for your specific vehicle make and model.  Depending on the manufacturer of the vehicle, mileage ranges for recommended timing belt replacement is anywhere from 50,000 miles to 90,000 miles.  Your trusted ASE Certified Technician and/or Service Advisor at Aspen Auto Clinic in Colorado Springs, Littleton, or Centennial are also great resources on when your car should have the timing belt replacement done.  They will also be able to tell you if your engine is or is not an interference engine.

  Many automotive repair centers will just replace the timing belt.  Timing belt replacements are very labor intensive.  During a timing belt replacement the water pump is usually accessed in the same operation.  Remember that the water pump has also been operating for the same mileage time as the timing belt, 50,000 to 90,000 miles.  At Aspen Auto Clinic we don't replace timing belts, instead we do a complete timing belt service that saves the customer in the long term.  A timing belt service includes replacing the water pump at the same time as a timing belt replacement even if the water pump has no leaks.  Often when only a timing belt is replaced and the water pump is not replaced the vehicle needs a water pump soon afterward and is back in the shop for another round of intensive labor to replace the water pump.  Saving the labor costs and preventing a pump replacement later on that will necessitate another belt replacement is the best option.  Aspen also includes changing the tensioners and pulleys with our timing belt replacement service.  All these components are considered wear items and are usually very worn by the time a timing belt replacement is needed.  These additional items help avoid subsequent failure and is less expensive than doing these services individually. 

  A few other things to consider regarding timing belt replacements are:
1. Is the vehicle leaking any type of fluid that could damage the belt?  If so, disregard the suggested replacemet interval and replace the belt and repair the leak immediately.
2.  Do you know the repair history of the vehicle?  If it is not verifiable you should err on the side of safety and replace the belt. 

  Protect the investment in your vehicle and take care to follow your recommeded service intervals and maintain the integrity of your manufacturers warranty by caring for your car.  It will not only saves dollars and cents, but it makes sense! 
 

Aspen Auto Clinic's Tips for Spring Cleaning & Organizing Your Car

Posted on 05/02/2015

  Have you ever considered how much time you actually spend in your car?  Many Americans spend more time in their cars than in most of the rooms in their homes, yet our rides get neglected when it comes to "housekeeping".  Cars, trucks, and minivans, our main source of transportation, become a "junk closet" or "trashcan on wheels" but still remains the second largest purchase after our homes that consumers make in this country!  

  Do you need to clear off a seat or a floorboard to have a passenger in your car - or both? If someone looked in your windows can they tell where you picked up breakfast, lunch, or grabbed a coffee this week? Or month?  Are you spending excessive time in the driveway or parking lots looking for something you KNOW you put in there "somewhere"? Does your trunk or cargo space look like something from a junk yard? Are you a truck owner with a truck bed of moving items rolling around or maybe even flying out while you are cruising down the road?  These are some indicators that it's time for a wake-up call to take action and clean-up. 

  At Aspen Auto Clinic our ASE Certified Technicians have seen every combination imaginable in our Colorado drivers vehicles!  If you answered yes to any of the above questions, let's get you going with some spring cleaning strategy for your car.

  Here's five action steps to take that will get you more organized, cleaned up, and save you time once completed.
  Step one:  Get your supplies ready
  You will need: 
1. 3 - 5 boxes or containers (or space to make piles)
2. small box about the size of a shoe box
3. Trash Bags
4. Vacuum cleaner
5.Disposable cleaning/disinfecting wipes or rags and cleaner, (Armor-All has a cleaner and protectant all-in-one that works well)

Step two:  Empty, Sort, and Clean
  Take everything out the vehicle!  This includes car seats, seat covers, items stored in the glovebox, seat pockets, door pockets, floor mats, etc.  Don't forget the trunk and cargo areas!
  While you are emptying out your car, throw the trash away!
All other items sort into one of these categories in the boxes or containers you have ready:
*things you use all the time
*things you need occasionally
*things you need in case of emergency
*floor mats, cup holders, trays, - pieces from car that can be removed and cleaned
*use the shoe box for things that come out of the glove box
*things that belong somewhere else (like house, garage, or need to be returned somewhere)

  Once the car is emptied out completely, it's time to clean!
Let's start with the pile of items with the floor mats, cup holder parts, trays, etc that you removed.
Place in sink with soapy hot water to soak while you clean the inside of the car.  The floor mats, if they are rubber can actually go into the washing machine!  Be sure to shake off all the excess dirt first.  Add an old towel or rags to the load with your rubber mats, laudry soap and have the washer clean the mats while you vacuum and wipe down the inside of the car and vacuum.

  Wipe down and disinfect the cabin of the car. Clean the inside of the windows.  Don't forget the air vents and inside the glove box.  Wipe down the doors and handles, even to pedals for gas and brakes!  Vacuum out the car very well.  Now is a great time to spot clean the seats and carpets too.  Seat covers in most cases can also be washed in the washing machine.  Check the care labels first.

  Now go to the "belongs somewhere else" box and put all of those items where they belong.  We all get busy and accumulate many things in the car and just haven't taken the time to return items where they belong.  Take that time now.

Step Three:  Analyze and Prioritize
  Next, once the car is all cleaned out, it's time analyze and get real with yourself.  Think about how you use your car.  What's your life like?  Are you a salesperson with lots of samples and literature you need to keep at the ready?  Are you a full-time mom with toddlers and car seats?  Are you the one carting all the teens to and from practices and sporting events?  Are you a realtor taking clients around town?  Do you make a lot of short trips or are long road trips the norm for you?  What things do you struggle to find while in the car?   The answers to these types of questions will determine your priorities and how you get organized.  

  Depending upon your needs, go through your remaining boxes (or piles) and prioritize the most important items in each group.  What do you need to have close by and what can be relegated out of the front seat/driver area to the second row or back of the car?  Pay attention to multiple items.  Everyone should have drinking water in the car but that doesn't mean several half-empty bottles.  Check for seasonal items too.  Just like your clothing items in a closet that get switched out for seasons, the same can be done for your car to save space and stay organized.  Items like tire chains and ice scrappers can be put in a container in the garage and stored during the summer months.  Label the stored items for the car and it will be easy to bring them out in time for winter weather. 

Step Four:  Containing your items

  Loose objects in your car can be dangerous.  In the event of a sudden stop or a crash, they can cause damage to the car or worse, injure yourself or your passengers.  Loose objects in the car also lead to disorganization and mess.  There's a large variety of cargo containers and organizers on the market for every part of the car, from leakproof pop-up litter bins, storage and trunk organizers, to drink coolers, kids' entertainment centers, and on-the-go office organizers. Talus has a great line of car organizing products, including the CarGanizer. They also have a line for your pets-on-the-go too!  Other stores like The Container Store, and Target also have great items that can make a world of difference to your "in the car" experience! You can even color coordinate and add some decorating flare to your organizing if you'd like, try CarDecor.com for some great products that are fun and fuctional!

  Sort through the items in the shoe box that were in your glove box.  Your glove compartment should have your important documents, such as insurance and registration for the vehcile.  Consider your owners manual, and other documents like AAA membership, roadside assistance information, and vehicle warranty information.  A small flashlight in case of emergency is also a good idea.

Step Five:  Organize and Set Up

  As a driver, the front seat area is your "primary real estate" space.  This space should only contain items that you as the driver need to access at a moments notice or that you need most frequently.  Do you have a rag within reach like under the driver seat to access for those inevitable spills?  Do you have tissues within reach?  A large box of tissues can be replaced with a tissue cup that dispenses them one at a time and fits in a cup holder.  Or how about a travel size soft pack that fits in your door storage area? Do you have a place for your car chargers for your mobile devices? USB ports?  Or were they just floating around in the car and hard to find and access?
  Be creative about storing the items that don't need to be in your primary real estate space. These are items that you need occasionally and should be in your "secondary space" like the backseat or cargo area.   Most cars have nooks and storage areas around the spare tires or in the rear walls of the vehicle that can hold an emergency roadside kit, roadside flares, or jumper cables. Why not get a kit that has those items packed together for you like this one available at all Aspen Auto Clinic locations?



 

  Your ride should also have a first-aid kit inside somewhere too. Check to be sure you have a jack in the car and you know where it is located.  Keep a tire gauge and extra batteries for flashlights in the car too.  Most of these items are already in Aspen's choice kit for you.  Pick one up at our counters for only $59.95 and take all the stress from this part of your organizing knowing we have done this part for you!  This has been Aspen ASE Certified Technician approved!
  Other items for the "secondary space" would include dvds for the kids, toys, and other items passengers use in the car.  Some other storage items you might find useful include pocket organizers that hang from the seatbacks to store these items neatly. Find a container to hold jackets and umbrella especially for those notrious weather changes in Colorado.  Keep a storage bin in your cargo area for groceries and other items you pick up at the store and keep things from spilling our of those plastic store bags while you are driving.  Keep reusable bags to carry your purchases in the bin too.  Designate a place for a small pad of paper and a pen, hand sanitzer, and other things you and your family use on a regular basis when on the road.  Here are some photos to help inspire ideas for you.

    Once your have it all your items repacked and organized in their assisgned areas, here are some more tips to complete the spring cleaning project for this "room" that is used almost everday. 

  1.   Don't put anything on the floor, once you start putting things on the floor, you will find it becomes easy to keep adding to it and soon it will be cluttered again.
  2. When getting out of the car begin the habit of removing all the trash and have the family help with  that.  Double check for missed trash with each stop for gas.
  3. Remember that your vehicle is like a home away from home, is used frequently and needs to be cleaned and straightened up on a regular basis just like other rooms in your home. 
  4. Have your cabin air filter changed regularly. Why not do it on the same rotation as daylight savings time? Most of us are in the habit of checking the batteries in our smoke detectors on time-change days, just add scheduling your cabin air filter change with your automotive experts at Aspen Auto Clinic.  This service is as important as changing your air filter in your home furnace.  This filter is not the air filter that is checked when you get an oil change, that's the filter for the outside air to the engine.  Your in-cabin air filter is the air you breathe inside the car.  Call your service advisor for more information on your vehicle cabin air-filter service.

Now is a good time to schedule an annual inspection for your car, truck or minivan if you haven't already.  All cars need a physical just like you do.
  Show your car some love with this spring cleaning project and you will be much happier in your well used room and so will your passengers.  Your vehicle takes care of you, spread some love your vehicles way.  You'll be glad you did!

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Aspen Auto Clinic's Tips to Prepare your Car for Spring and Summer

Posted on 04/29/2015

  Colorado is warming up and spring is finally moving our way!  Packing up the winter sweaters, coats and boots to make room for shorts, sandals and outdoor items and making plans for summer fun to come is on everyone's list.  Have you remembered to add your vehicle to your spring cleaning list?  Your car needs the same benefits and attention that your closets and homes get this spring season.  The warmer weather means long weekend getaways, longer road trip vacations, more driving and time spent in your vehicle. Taking time now to perform seasonal maintenance today will help avoid costly trouble with your car later.

  Aspen Auto Clinic has these tips for Spring Cleaning and Maintenance for your car.  Some of these tips can be done yourself, others are best left to expert mechanics, some will help your car look better.  Most of these tips will help your car perform better and can increase your gas mileage.  We have even added some tips that will save you time!

  1.   Check the tires
    Tire pressure changes about one pound per square inch for every 10 degree change in outside temperature.  This makes it important to check tire pressure after weather changes.  Check your vehicle owner's manual for the recommended tire pressure and make sure to never exceed that.  Always check the presure when the tires are cold, since driving even a couple of miles to the gas station can provide a false reading.  Higher pressure in the tires generally results in improved steering response and fuel economy, but a rougher ride and it will wear out the tread in the center of the tires.  Underinflation generally provides a smoother ride, but it causes tires to wear out on the sides.  Low pressure also lowers your fuel economy and wastes gas because the tires need more power to push the vehicle.  Prolong your tire life by taking a few minutes to check your tire pressure and tire wear.  Remember, if your valve stem cap is green then your tires have nitrogen instead of air.  You will need to have them filled at an autorized auto maintenance facility. 
  2. Check the wiper blades
    Wiper blades take a beating all winter removing dirt, debris, snow, ice, salt spray, and sand from snow removal during the Colorado winter season. The life expectancy of wiper blades is only about six months to a year.  Check to be sure the blades are making contact with the windshield and are not loose or dried out.  Don't wait for a heavy spring rain shower or thunderstorm to discover your blades aren't performing properly.  Check the washer fluid reservoir too and be sure it is full. 
  3. Rotate the tires
    This is a pretty simple car care procedure that will extend the tread life of your tires.  This should be done about every 10,000 - 12,000 miles and easy to keep up with if you just have it done every other oil change service.  Your owner's manual will have the exact intervals but following the every other oil change is an easy way to remember.
  4. Get rid of road salt on the undercarriage
    Road salt and chemicals from snow and ice removal services can damage our vehicle by eating away at the undercarriage.  Use a garden hose with as much water pressure as your system can muster to loosen winter grime and salt.  Or, if you have a moveable lawn sprinkler, set that under the car or truck to wash away what you can't reach yourself. 
  5. Change the oil and oil filter
    Make sure that each time you change the oil in your vehicle you also have the oil filter changed.  A dirty filter simply will not keep the new oil clean. 
  6. Change the air filter
    Did you know that replacing a clogged filter can imporove your gas mileage as much as ten percent?  The air filter prevents dust and other impurities from getting in to the combustion chambers of the cylinders, resulting in wasted gas and weaker engine performance.  The best way to check for dirt is to hold the filter up to the light, but since many new filters show light when dirty, or show no light when clean, it is more reliable to change the air filter every six months, and even more often in dusty locations, like we have here in Colorado. 
  7.  Check the radiator and gas caps
    Your radiator cap should be snug.  A well fitting radiator cap helps raise the cooling sytstem pressure, giving added protection against boil-overs.  These caps don't last forever.  Replace yours whenever you have your cooling system flushed.  Pressure recommendations vary, so get the right cap for your vehicle model.  Be sure to check your gas cap too. This prevents the gas from evaporating.  Nearly 20% of vehicles have gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing altogether, wasting nearly 150 million gallons of gas every year.  Can you imagine how much of your money might be evaporating just from not having a properly fitting gas cap? 
  8. Check the battery and spark plugs
    When checking the battery, make sure the battery posts and connections are secure and free of corrosion.  Spark plugs fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles.  They produce heat and wear and tear in the form of electrical and chemical erosion.  Dirty spark plugs can cause misfiring, which also wastes fuel.  If your planning a long trip, consider replacing the battery and spark plugs if they are more than 2 years old. 
  9. Flush and fill your cooling system
    The cooling system for your vehicle keeps your engine from overheating.  The Car Care Council recommends flushing your cooling system every two years or 24,000 miles for most vehicles.  Simply draining your radiator is not enough;  the entire system needs to be flushed with a radiator flush product, not just plain water.  Radiator flush products are designed to remove stubborn rust, grease and sediment.  Then, refill with a mixture of coolant and water.  The average ratio would be 50% coolant with 50% water, but if you live in a severe climate,  the percentage of coolant should be raised to as much as 70%.
  10. Have your air conditioning checked and recharge as needed
    You don't want to wait until the temperatures are at their hottest and find out that your A/C isn't working properly or not at all.  Take the time to schedule an appointment for this and have an ASE Certified Technician with A/C certification take a look at it for you.  Having this checked by a professional annually can save you from expensive repairs down the road. At Aspen Auto Clinic we perform an A/C check for FREE for you.  We can also perform any needed recharge, repair, or a full-system check for you.  Call your favorite Aspen location for more information on our air conditioning services. 
  11. Check and change the cabin air filter
    Don't forget about the air you breathe inside the car.  Most vehicles now have an in-cabin air filter, very similar to the air filter for your furnace at home. This should be changed once a year at a minimum.  If you have allergies, change it more frequently or if you live and drive in a dusty, drier climate like Colorado Springs.  Many times this air filter is not as easily accessible and should be done by a professional. 
  12. Eliminate unpleasant odors from air system
    Automotive air conditioners remove moisture from the air.  This moisture can combine with airborne debris and settle in the system evaporator.  This can cause the growth of mold spores and fungi.  This, in-turn leads to an odor in the air that blows into the vehicle, sometimes smells mildewy, or like an old dirty gym sock (yuck).  Aspen Auto Clinic can perform a BG Frigi-Fresh Service to quickly kill the mold, mildew, fungi and other odor causing organisms that grow in the air conditioners evaporator core.  It also includes powerful deodorizers that will keep your car smelling fresh and clean.  Definitely improves your health quality!
  13. Check Your emergency roadside kit
    Pull out your emergency kit that is in your car and make sure it has all the proper items you may need in the event of an emergency.  Does the flashlight need batteries?  Do you have enough band-aids and first aid supplies?   Do you need to update any prescriptions that you may have in there?  If used in the past year, did all the items get returned or replenished?  If you don't have an emergency kit, Aspen Auto Clinic has a great kit prepacked with all the major essentials you would need including jumper cables and reflector triangles.  They are available at any of our six locations in Colorado Springs, Centennial, and Littleton. 

14. Clean the cabin
The way your car looks on the inside is important for many reasons.  For one, if it's clean you feel better mentally as well as physically, no matter what season of the year.  Most importantly, keeping clutter and trash out of the car keeps you safer.  If you have to brake quickly items that are unsecure can fly around or if in an accident can cause serious injury to you and your passengers. For some great organizing ideas see our previous blog post Aspen's Tips for Spring Cleaning and Organizing Your Car.  
A few other things to do to prepare your car for spring and summer are to check your spare tire and see if it needs air.  Vacuum out the entire car including under the seat and the cargo areas.  Use a vinyl cleaner and soft cloth on the dashboard, steering wheel, door panels and vinyl seats.  This helps protect against cracking, sun damage and fading.  Use a quality household upholstery cleaner for fabric seats.  If you have leather seats follow the manufacturers recommendations for cleaning. Next use an aerosol silicone spray to treat the weather stripping around the outside of doors, windows and the trunk.  Make sure you wipe away the excess spray.  Now you're ready to wash and wax the body of the car.  Use two different sponges for the body and the wheels.  Buff dry with a soft cloth and apply a protective coat of wax if needed.  Once done you should treat yourself to a leisurely ride - you'll have earned it by this point!

  There you have it, 14 tips for preparing you car for spring and summer.  If you would like to take the shortcut version of all of the above try these simplified steps instead:

  1. Call Aspen Auto Clinic and schedule an appointment to have all of these done for you in just a couple of hours! 
  2. Enjoy your time at the golf course or spa with our Anywhere Shuttle Service to take you where you want to go while we do your spring and summer car preparation!  We will also pick you up when your car is ready!
  3. Number 14 is left for you to personalize with your own organizing system.  We can however make recommendations for some great detailers if you want a referral.

 

 

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