• AUTO VALUE
  • 319-988-4078

  • 636 Dale Dr
    Hudson, IA 50643

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GENERAL MAINTENANCE

Working Hours
  • Mon 7:30AM - 5:30PM
    Tue 7:30AM - 5:30PM
  • Wed 7:30AM - 5:30PM
    Thu 7:30AM - 5:30PM
  • Fri 8:00AM - 2:00PM
    Sat Closed
  • Sun Closed

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.

  • HAVE QUESTIONS?

    Call 319-988-4078


    Confidence Plus North American Warranty

What People Say About Us


  • -Dean S.

    I always like the way you take time and explain the challenges encountered with my truck. Thank you for making the automobile operate properly before leaving the Shop.


  • -Steve H.

    Another great experience @ the Shop. Tony fixed & inspected everything I asked. Fair price & done on time.


  • -Annette

    I have been nothing short of impressed with The Shop in Hudson! From the friendly and professional staff to the competent and timely service, my automotive work has been quick and stress free! I especially like the photo text that shows me exactly what the technician has evaluated and my best recommended repair. The free loner is also appreciated! I highly recommend The Shop!!!


  • -Nicole H.

    I have taken my car to the dealers in the past and now will only use The Shop - excellent customer service and Bella makes my morning when I drop off the car. They always have a loner car waiting for me. Best shop to work with!


  • -Steve H.

    Just had a repair done on my wife's Infinite. Great experience. Very knowledgeable about repairs needed. Prices very competitive. Tony had the car done when promised. You can trust in what Tony tells you.


  • -Julie S.

    I've always had a good experience at The Shop. Excellent service and customer service!


  • -Don S.

    We've been using The Shop for several years now. I always get great advice from Tony along with an excellent description of what was found, what options are available and what he would recommend. The Shop provides great service and excellent value.


  • -Robert M.

    Friendly service and more importantly. ..quality work.


  • -Tim & Julie S.

    We have been taking our cars to Tony at the Shop for almost 20 years! In that time we have owner 7 different cars manufactured by Honda, Ford, GM, Subaru and Chrysler. Tony and his crew have always come through for us, whether it's routine maintenance or significant issues. The work has always been completed in a timely manner and at very reasonable costs. He explains the work that was done and you leave confident that your car is ready to go! We'd highly recommend The Shop!


  • -Bonny R.

    So glad they offer a service car to use. Great guys!


  • -Zola K.

    Very excellent customer service and excellent communication on repairs to be done


  • -Doug C.

    Tony and the entire staff at The Shop are courteous and are always ready and willing to help customers. Their free auto inspections are sent to the customer with a thorough review, photos and recommendations. I asked to have a needed repair made, but Tony personally called me and informed me that the after market parts he had ordered and received for my 1999 Dodge Viper were substandard. He gave me my options and installed the Mopar parts the next day. The service was prompt, but more importantly, was honest and personal.


  • -Samuel K.

    The Shop always provides great service and an honest assessment of my vehicles. It's nice to get your vehicle back from an oil change with vacuumed carpets, clean exterior, and a snack on the console.


  • -Annette D.

    I highly recommend the The Shop in Hudson. Customer service is awesome. My starter went out last fall when I was on my way to work. Tony was nice enough to come to my work to take a look at it and arranged a tow truck for me. He took care of everything and made a very stressful situation much easier.


  • -Ryan V.

    Very efficient and friendly company to bring my business to! Unfortunately, car problems will never go away, but it's such a relief to know that these professionals will always work hard to minimize them! You're in for a treat! Literally....they give you treats after every job.


  • -Steve H.

    My experience @ The Shop was outstanding! Knowledgeable mechanics, competitive prices, and friendly staff! This is a place you can go for repairs and know that you can believe what they tell you is the truth!


  • -J E.

    Tony and the whole crew at The Shop are fantastic! They've earned our business over the years, and never disappointed us with friendly, quick and knowledgeable automotive service. I don't hesitate to recommend them to friends and neighbors -- I know others receive the same fine service my family has experienced. (The cookies in the bag we always find on the car seat after they're done with the car are great, too, but I'd write a raving review for The Shop even if we didn't get the cookies! )


  • -Elizabeth P.

    We've been using the shop to do our regular maintenance and service. We have always received great service, and it is a great experience!


  • -Elaine R.

    Great work!


  • -Brett V.

    Best shop ever!


  • -Jane W.

    The Shop is the best place for automotive service, because they care about their clients. I've never experienced such quality interpersonal interactions thru all parts of the experience...appointments, estimates, explanation of work...even triage your service & give you options as to when & how much work you need performed. They earned my loyalty from the first visit!!


  • -Matt B.

    I was very pleased with my experience at the shop today. I went in for an oil change and tire rotation and received excellent customer service.


  • -Abraham K.

    Took our beater in and had brakes done. Great job. They are pros who stand behind their work. Will be returning for any other maintenance needs.


  • -Marquon J C.

    I love the shop. Honest, reliable and very friendly, and Bella the mastiff is just as friendly.


  • -Brian K.

    Friendly staff, timely turn around, and they will leave a treat in your vehicle.


  • -Brian R.

    When I took my Dodge truck to Tony's shop, I found that he was a very fair and honest mechanic. He fixed my transfer case and so much more, when my thermostat went out for the second time he replaced it for free. So like I said, Tony is a very fair and honest person.


  • -Carol P.

    I am so thankful for the mechanics at The Shop in Hudson, Iowa!! They are very knowledgeable and very trustworthy and very affordable!! I have been pleased as to how they stand behind their work too!! On one occasion my vehicle started acting up close to Hudson. I pulled into The Shop, they gave me a loaner car and promised to let me know the next day what was wrong with my vehicle. I was able to make it to my appointment on time and my vehicle was fixed in a timely manner too!! Thank you guys for always doing great work.


  • -Laura K.

    The service at The Shop is outstanding! I really appreciate that they stand behind the work that they do, and I know I can trust them. They are so very friendly and make some very yummy cookies! I would highly recommend The Shop to everyone!


  • -Elizabeth P.

    Just bought my first (nice) car in April of 2016, and I won't trust anyone but The Shop to work on it! The Shop has always been trustworthy, and they always stand behind their work!! So thankful I found them!! And the cookies they leave in my car after every oil change is like a cherry on top!!


  • -Brandon H.

    Tony and the guys at The Shop are knowledgeable and efficient. I really appreciate the communication with things that need to be done right away, and things that can wait. I find their inspections to be very helpful.


  • -Craig Engstrom

    I have been using The Shop for my auto service needs for over a year now. Very happy with the service! Car is clean and happy when it is ready with a bag of cookies to boot. Thanks guys!


  • -Chris A.

    It is difficult these days to find a place that is both fair and trustworthy when it comes to your vehicle maintenance. The Shop is both! If it needs to be fixed, Tony will tell me, and if it can wait awhile, he will tell me that as well. Sara is great, and the entire staff are all friendly and willing to assist the customer.


  • -Shelby C.

    Wonderful place to take your car to get fixed!!! Super friendly people and helpful!!! I know my car is in good heads with them!!! Highly recommend anyone to go there !!!


  • -Tim E.

    I have had my car worked on several times at The Shop and am delighted with my experience. Friendly and great customer service.


  • -Missie S.

    Highly trustworthy, honest and reasonable. Great customer service which is sometimes hard to find! I'm glad we found them and will happily make the drive to Hudson to have our cars serviced and maintained! Definitely recommended!


  • -Dennis K.

    Tony treated me very well when he replaced my intake manifold gasket and water pump and other parts on my car. Unlike some repair shops Tony and Sarah keep you in the loop every step of the way. Give The Shop in Hudson a try for small town value and service.


  • -Tony P.

    Always a great experience with The Shop. From the people to the quality work, it is worth the trip to Hudson. Always feel like my needs are taken care of in a professional manner.


  • -Darren C.

    Competent, friendly, personable, honest, helpful, convenient, fair prices. I admire their efforts at customer service. And, since I now associate oil changes with oven-baked cookies (they will leave some in a bag on your seat), I look forward to visiting every three to five thousand miles.


  • -Rick D.

    Tony and the gang at The Shop are the greatest! We've been going there for close to 15 years now, and I'll never go anyplace else! They really care about giving you the best service and really care about your vehicle. They don't stop until they get to the root of the problem and their prices are wonderful too. Love the monthly newsletter, too! Do yourself and your car a favor and go to The Shop!


  • -Lyle Carol P.

    Tonight on the way to Bible Club our car stopped working. It actually died on the street right in front of The Shop. The guys at The Shop gave us a vehicle so we could continue on our way and promised to have our car fixed when we came back home. About 2 hours later, our alternator was replaced, and two bags of delicious cookies were waiting for us when we returned to The Shop!!

Call us for service: 319-988-4078

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