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GENERAL MAINTENANCE

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GENERAL MAINTENANCE

It's Time for the 21st Century Tune-up

Times are changing...cars are changing. One of the biggest changes in today's automotive industry is the perception of a "tune-up." Ask 10 vehicle owners their definition of a tune-up and chances are there'll be 10 different answers. The classic "tune-up" was once the heart of the automotive business and contrary to some beliefs; today's modern vehicles still need tune-ups to keep them performing at the most efficient levels.

The tune-up was historically associated with the routine replacement of key ignition system parts like spark plugs and ignition points, along with some basic adjustments to help "tune" the engine. Mounting pressure for increased fuel economy and lower emissions drove the car manufacturers to adopt electronics and to do away with ignition points in the '70s, along with the carburetor in the middle '80s. This eliminated the need for the replacement and adjustment of a growing number of ignition and fuel system parts.

As the pace of technology quickened, the procedures required to perform a traditional tune-up changed dramatically. Highly sophisticated ignition and fuel systems are now the norm, using one or more onboard computers to control critical engine and transmission management functions. Things that were once handled mechanically are now controlled electronically through the widespread use of onboard computer technology.

Because vehicles have changed so much over the years, the Car Care Council has introduced the 21st Century Tune-up. This program is designed to help re-define and educate motorists as to what a tune-up should consist of on today's modern vehicles.

"There is a misconception that today's modern vehicles don't need tune-ups because they never break down, but that simply is not true," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "If you're at work and your computer goes down, you can't get any more work done. It's the same with your vehicle. If the vehicle isn't being properly maintained, you're not going to get where you want to go."

As part of the 21st Century Tune-up on today's modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected:

  • Battery, charging and starting
  • Engine mechanical
  • Powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks)
  • Fuel
  • Ignition
  • Emissions

Vehicle owners ask for tune-ups for a variety of reasons, including improving performance, maintaining reliability, planning a vacation, preparing for winter/summer or because they're giving the car to a friend or family member.

To help ensure good performance, fuel economy and emissions, the Car Care Council also recommends that motorists take the time necessary to become familiar with their vehicle from every aspect. Study the owner's manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter

Mechanical failure—an inconvenience anytime it occurs--can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. Besides, a well-maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, lasts longer, and could command a higher resale price.

Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of a professional auto technician.

  • Engine Performance - Get engine drivability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters-air, fuel, etc.
  • Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture from forming.
  • Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual—more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.
  • Cooling Systems - The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
  • Windshield Wipers - Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent-you'll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.
  • Heater/Defroster - The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Check your owner's manual for the location and replacement interval.
  • Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
  • Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
  • Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.
  • Tires - Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.
  • Carry emergency gear: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Summer

Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance. . . Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!

Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.

  • Air Conditioning - A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner's manual for location and replacement interval.
  • Cooling System - The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
  • Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual-more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.
  • Engine Performance - Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended-more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
  • Windshield Wipers - A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
  • Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
  • Tires - Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
  • Brakes - Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.
  • Battery - Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
  • Emergencies - Carry some basic tools-ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first aid kit, flares, and a flashlight. Consider buying a cellular phone.

Keeping Your Vehicle in Tune with the Environment

Car care is definitely a win-win situation. Besides helping the environment, a properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer, and will last longer-up to 50% longer, according to a survey of ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians. The following tips should put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care.

  • Keep your engine tuned. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%. Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended.
  • Check your tires for proper inflation. Under inflation wastes fuel-your engine has to work harder to push the vehicle. Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder, too. Properly maintained tires will last longer, meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
  • Keep your air conditioner in top condition and have it serviced only by a technician certified competent to handle/recycle refrigerants. Air conditioners contain CFCs-gases that have been implicated in the depletion of the ozone layer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, almost one third of the CFCs released into the atmosphere come from mobile air conditioners; some simply leaks out, but the majority escapes during service and repair-so it's important to choose a qualified technician.
  • Do-it-yourselfers: dispose of used motor oil, anti-freeze/coolant, tires, and old batteries properly. Many repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local municipal or county government for recycling sites. Never dump used oil or anti-freeze on the ground or in open streams.
  • Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases sharply above 55 mph.
  • Drive gently. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky stop-and-go's. Use cruise-control on open highways to keep your speed as steady as possible.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family. Today's vehicles are designed to "warm up" fast, so forget about those five-minute warm ups on cold winter mornings.
  • Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Store luggage/ cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.
  • Plan trips. Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to travel when traffic is light to avoid stop-and-go conditions. Join a car pool.

Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it, and how its fluids, old parts, and tires are disposed of all have serious consequences on the environment.

What People Say About Us


  • -Barbara

    Always excellent service!


  • -Carol

    Friendly. Helpful. Explained everything to me.


  • -Antoinette

    I have brought all of our family cars to the shop. Always felt well taken care of. Trustworthy, reliable and will definitely recommend.


  • -Valerie

    Busted Knuckle Garage made me feel comfortable, were very knowledgeable and it was an all-around friendly experience. I trust no one else to work on my vehicle. They care about my budgets and map out what is a must vs what can wait. Love this place!


  • -Thad

    Busted Knuckle Garage is a great place to have your vehicle worked on. They are a friendly, honest and knowledgeable crew.


  • -Paul

    My car was towed in for a fuel pump. The day after I picked it up it would not start again. The car was towed in and it was discovered that the reason it would not start was not related. I was not charged for the tow back in. Service was great.


  • -Katie

    Even when parts didn't show up on time, The employees at Busted Knuckle Garage were very friendly and worked overtime to get my car fixed as soon as possible. As a mom with a kid, they understood my urgency and gave me a loaner car for the day!!!! They actually care about their customers; I'm not just a number or money.


  • -Todd

    Hands down best garage in the area.


  • -Eileen

    Have been searching for a good repair shop for a while and now I found a great one!


  • -Daniel

    Fast, efficient service with no nonsense or run around. Nate and the crew always treated me fairly and didn't try to upsell or add on unnecessary work during my annual inspection, but also took the time to explain everything I would need to have done in the near future.


  • -Joel

    Overdue inspection, got me in quickly, notified me of things needing attention with good estimates for additional work, went with some of what was recommended and was completed timely and at a reasonable cost.


  • -Eric

    I am experienced in the automotive industry, and I feel the service I received was well above par. I am very happy with their service.


  • -Darius

    Nathan and the whole crew at Busted Knuckle are great. They do great work and are also caring and genuine. Very knowledgeable and reliable.


  • -Stephen S.

    Great shop to work with. Fair prices, honest mechanics, and an owner that has great pride for the shop that he runs. Would not go anywhere else.


  • -Jim H.

    Great shop! Knowledgeable techs. Great price. Will never go anywhere else. Would recommend to everyone!!


  • -Eric M.

    Very pleased with my result. The service was fast and affordable. I was really in a bind and could not do the work myself, so I'm very happy with the speed and price these guys gave me. I will be bringing my car here again and again.


  • -Shawn O.

    I visited the guys at Busted Knuckle today to try and diagnose a rattling noise I have been dealing with for some time now. They found the problem within 20 minutes. Nate, Steven and crew are extremely knowledgeable in what they do. They took the time to explain what they found, and I know nothing about vehicles. But I left knowing exactly what was wrong, and I can now address the problem that is under warranty. You guys rock! Should I need to, I'll be a return customer for sure.


  • -Ms. N.

    Nate is a great auto mechanic. We started working with him a few years ago when our car needed a tow and we've been going back to his shop ever since. Easy going, honest and doesn't price gouge--he'll even go out of his way to reduce your bill so long as it's not a detriment to your car. We will be sticking with Busted Knuckle since we know they are reliable and will do a great job every time.


  • -Cody S.

    I took my Jeep there because it was overheating. They ran some tests and found that the fan cluch wasn't working properly. They suggested an upgrade for the fan so I decided that it wouldn't hurt. The Jeep is running much cooler now. They also gave me a loaner car so I could get to work. I will definitely be back for any other issues that I have.


  • -Daniel C. B.

    Nate and his crew have consistently gone above and beyond to make sure I was happy with their work, and somehow do top notch work quickly while often being WAY under what one would expect to pay. BKG has made it clear to me that they don't want my money as much as they want repeat customers for life. Glad to say I am one.


  • -Erik S.

    Fantastic personalized service. Nate is down to earth and very honest and up front about what needs to be done. I trust them completely with my cars! No hesitation at all to recommend to all of my friends!


  • -Steve Y.

    Nice shop next to where I bought my Jeep. Dealt with Nate who owns the shop and he got me a super good price on my winch setup. Thanks!


  • -Christina S.

    Amazingly helpful and nice. Highly recommended.


  • -Tom Y.

    Nate always takes care of me and makes sure my Jeep is running strong. Great shop, nice people, high quality service, highly recommend.


  • -Heather P.

    Needed something fixed last minute, stopped in and even though it was almost time to close they took my Jeep in anyway, and I was back on the road in no time! Everyone was super friendly, and I'll definitely be taking all 3 of my vehicles there, and recommending them to anyone I can!


  • -Jason S.

    Very knowledgeable and helpful. Quality work by friendly and honest guys who make sure the job is done right. Excellent prices and prompt service. Highly recommended.


  • -Jaret F.

    Amazing Shop! Great service and extremely knowledgeable employees.


  • -Dan S.

    We were driving back to Canada, from Florida and had an issue with our jeep. The guys came in after hours, diagnosed the problem, ordered our part for us to pick up which was an hour away, down the I-75, and did not charge us a single penny. We were back on the road (with heat) in no time. Restores your faith in humanity when you get treated so amazingly. They did not have to come in as the shop was closed, and then to not charge for the diagnosis and work they did really shows what kind of guys they are. Recommend these guys to anyone and everyone.


  • -Steve L.

    Can't say enough about this crew. Always willing to go the extra mile to take care of people. Very meticulous and strives for perfection. THANK YOU Nate and Steve for all your help.


  • -Peter T.

    The guys at BKG are excellent, honest guys! They have put on my entire lift kit on my Jeep, as well as fixed some other problems I was having with it. If something doesn't seem right, I give them a call and they are usually quick to take a look to see what the problem is! Haven't had an issue that these guys couldn't find a fix!


  • -Chelsea P.

    I will never go anywhere else. I had an amazing experience at Busted Knuckle Garage. I came in for them to simply read my "check engine light" and not only did they fix the problem, and educate me on the issue, but they checked my oil and a few other things since they noticed I drive a lot for work. They took care of me and cared about me as a customer and person. Thank you to Busted Knuckle Garage, so happy I finally found a trustworthy shop!


  • -Kate M. W.

    Quality work by friendly and honest guys who make sure the job is done right. Excellent prices and prompt service.


  • -Jennifer R.

    Thanks for the awesome work on my husband's Jeep!!


  • -Johnny B.

    Sunday afternoon I broke the track bar bolt on my '06 LJ and needed it fixed ASAP for an upcoming road trip. I heard of these guy through a co-worker and from driving past the shop on the way to work everyday. These guys are the real deal! Friendly and speedy service that I will recommend to anyone in the Bucks County area. Support your local business and head on over to Busted Knuckle Garage if you have any issues. Thanks again guys, keep up the great work!!


  • -George Z.

    Thanks for the awesome job guys! Quality work at a great price, what more can you want? Very knowledgeable about Jeeps and 4x4 also!


  • -Jarrett H.

    Nothing but positive things to say! Great staff and honest pricing. A mechanic you can definitely trust.


  • -Mel P.

    I just had my GMC Sierra 3500 towed by this company, They were FAST, ON POINT, and did a GREAT JOB towing my baby. Scott towed my parents wrecked car a few days ago, HE was polite, and took the time to make sure no further damage happened to the car when he pulled it onto the rollback. Two instances in just a few days, and 100% great job. They will be fullfilling my towing needs from now on....


  • -Erica F.

    Busted has a great staff, always fair prices, and always great service.


  • -Jessica L.

    I owe a huge thank you to Nathan and the guys at Busted Knuckle Garage. After my jeep was hit by a drunk driver and was in need of repairs, Nathan came and towed my jeep to the shop, dealt with the insurance company so I didn't have to and got all of the repairs finished. Jeep is now back to normal. Thank you guys for doing such an awesome job and taking care of my baby! Highly recommend this place!


  • -Felipe P.

    I ONLY trust my Jeep to the guys at #BNG. These guys are fantastic! They make things easy for me: they tell me what repairs I absolutely need and what I can hold off. If you need anything done, big or small, this is the place to go to!


  • -Steven B.

    This is the 2nd time that I have been towed by this garage, and both times have been beyond excellent! Tom has helped me twice and both times he has been a great help! Thank you so much for the beyond excellent service.


  • -Madelene G.

    I visited Busted Knuckle in December for my inspection, and I'm happy to say I've found my go to auto shop. Everyone was extremely friendly and patient. When it came to telling me what was needed to fix my car/pass inspection, they were honest in what was needed immediately and what could wait. And, to top it all off, their prices are very reasonable. I was extremely happy with the whole experience!


  • -Sharonne V.

    This place is the best. They were really fast and super efficient. Fair prices, honest work and treat their customers like family.


  • -Ben F.

    Amazing service in a timely manner with very knowledgeable staff!


  • -Lee R.

    Saved my Jeep. Great place. Thats all I have to say about that.


  • -Matt H.

    Great service. Thanks again. Very good service. Drive me home.


  • -Andrew W.

    Great service!


  • -John Z.

    Great shop. Talented mechanics. I would take my Jeep here again!


  • -Laura B.

    Found out about these guys from my brother after my uncle closed his shop. These guys are top notch. Spent a week working on my car to get her back up and running. Thanks guys, you're the best!


  • -Kyle J.

    The best service around. Nate and Todd do a phenomenal job! Had an issue with my vehicle; it was out of commission, and they offered me a loaner car! I recommend this shop to anyone and everyone. They worked with me while my insurance was trying to figure it out!


  • -Ryan A.

    Friendly, timely, helpful, and fair priced! I was stuck in a bind and Busted Knuckle Garage helped me out by fitting me in their schedule last minute. They quickly got my car safe again and back on the road. Definitely consider this shop as they will treat you fairly! Thanks guys!


  • -Sandy B.

    I highly recommend Nate and his crew! Took my JK in today and couldn't be happier with the results! Give these guys a shot, they won't let you down! Very fair and reasonable. They treat you like good friends and take great care of your vehicle as if it were their own. Thanks Busted Knuckle!


  • -Eric M.

    You guys have been extremely helpful in keeping my hybrid in good shape. I really appreciate your speed and affordability. I will be returning with other vehicles and friends with vehicles. Please say hi to Murphy for me. Thanks again.


  • -John Z.

    I recently moved to Virginia and was headed back to PA for a family wedding, when my radiator blew up on the trip. Nate and his team squeezed me in that following Monday and repaired my Jeep, and had it ready that day for my 3 hour commute back home. These guys are amazing! If I lived in the area still I would take my Jeep exclusively here for work! Thanks again guys!


  • -Dylan T.

    Excellent work, exceptionally honest, super friendly. Three hard to find qualities in any mechanic shop these days. Couldn't recommend this shop enough!


  • -Paul H.

    Just had them rebuild my '08 tranny, that I actually blew parts apart in, and so far so good. Runs like it used to and that's all I asked for. Super fast service also, couldn't beat the price for the 2 day turn around.

Call us for service: 215-441-4414

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