Does Your Car Have Trouble Getting Out of Bed in the Morning?

Do you ever have mornings when you’re sluggish and downright unhappy to start the day? We all have mornings like that, for sure. We can sip some coffee or promise ourselves to get more rest the next night. But your car is different. If it seems more ready to hit the snooze button than the road, you might want to have us take a look at it.

What Does the O2 sensor Do?

The engine control computer needs precise data about exhaust gasses to gauge fuel metering, delivery and timing. O2 sensors detect and offset changing levels of altitude, air temperature, engine temperature, barometric pressure, and engine load. One or more O2 sensors are mounted in the exhaust stream. Often one is placed near the exhaust manifold and another is farther down the system, beyond the catalytic converter.

Newer vehicles even have a heated element for the sensor to make up for when it’s cold outside!

After a while, O2 sensors tend to get mucked up with carbon and deposits of soot. Leaked silicone from lubricants or grease and oil from coolant can also leak into the exhaust system and cause trouble. When this happens, you get lower gas mileage, loss of power, black tailpipe smoke, rough idling, hesitation, stalling or poor starting. Unfortunately, if you don’t address these symptoms, you can damage the catalytic converter and other components. This might mean an expensive repair sooner, rather than later. 

Older sensors tended to last 30,00-50,00 miles, though newer ones can up to 100,000 miles before replacing them. Replacement is not a difficult job, though on some cars the sensor can be difficult to access and may require removing other parts. Occasionally, they have gone through so many heat-up/cool-down cycles that the threads seize, making removal more difficult.  

This is where you need a true professional! You can count on us for all of your automotive needs! We have been recognized four times in the last ten years by industry leader Motor Age as one of the top ten auto repair shops in the nation. In 2012, we were honored as the absolute best automotive repair shop in all of America!

Get out of Bed, Sleepyhead!

When you and your car are feeling sloth-like in the morning, have a cup of joe and call us at 253-854-6762 or set up your appointment online. Getting to bed earlier is on you. But we can make sure your car is ready to rise and shine every time you need it to!

Are Car Repairs Tax Deductible?

Are Car Repairs Tax Deductible?Do you use your car for business? Not commuting to work, but to actually perform business functions, such as deliveries or service calls? Then you’re probably already aware that you can deduct your typical vehicle expenses when you do your taxes. You may be wondering if there’s a car repair credit or deduction as well, however.

How Can You Deduct Car Repairs?

Even if you only use your vehicle for business part-time, you may still be able to find some savings during tax season. In order to figure out whether your vehicle is eligible for tax credit, you should ask yourself the following three questions:

  • Would my car be considered a business vehicle?
  • Which deduction method will I be using?
  • What are deductible repairs?

When we ask whether or not a car is a business vehicle, we’re only considering cars, trucks, and SUVs that are used for business. Equipment vehicles like fork lifts or “cars for hire” like taxis are not eligible. It’s also important to note that you can’t subsidize a “luxury” car used for business. Make a note of who, or what, officially owns the vehicle – employee, business, or business owner?

Next, you should understand the difference in deduction methods. Many people who use cars for business use the “standard mileage rate” for deductions (53.5 cents per mile in 2017), which is considered to include general wear and tear on the vehicle, including repairs. If you want to deduct repairs specifically, then you need to keep records of all individual expenses incurred for the vehicle while it was in business use, usually as an itemized list.

Which brings us to the next important factor: if you use your car for business, then keep good records! You can’t just guess when tax season comes around. You need the actual miles and/or expenses. You can actually buy a “vehicle expense log” that’s made exactly for this purpose. Keep it in your glove compartment and get into the habit of recording everything! This will also help you determine whether you’ll get a better deduction by using the standard mileage rate or filing individual expenses.

If you choose the standard mileage rate, then the only other deductions you can make are on registration fees and taxes, loan interest, and tolls or parking fees. When you keep an itemized list of actual vehicle expenses, however, you can also include gas and oil, licenses, tires, depreciation, insurance, maintenance and repairs, and a few other odds and ends.

Record everything if you’d like to deduct your car repairs during the next tax season. If you use your car for business, your repairs should be deductible as long as you file your actual car expenses. You can’t deduct repairs if you use standard mileage rate, so keep that in mind. If you have other questions, feel free to ask us here in the shop – we’re very familiar with the process!