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Recent blog posts

“Elder Care” for Senior Cars

Posted by on in Service

We all get older, and so do our cars and trucks. But if you’d like to give your vehicle the longest, healthiest life possible, here are some things you can do:

Follow the book - Your vehicle almost certainly came with an owner’s manual showing exactly what service the manufacturer recommends at specific intervals. When in doubt, do what the car maker says to do, from transmission flushes and oil changes to brake service. We’re happy to provide our recommendations as well so you can make the most informed decision.

Protect the body - It’s true for boxers, and it’s true for cars: If you want to keep going, guard the body. Countless hours in direct sunlight or under bird-laden trees can do lasting damage to your car’s finish, and letting it sit in a pile of road-salted ice can rust the undercarriage and possibly cause your brake or fuel lines to fail. Washing and waxing can help your car hold together longer.

Watch the gauges - Too many people see a Check Engine light flashing and automatically assume that all they need is a new Check Engine light. While that might be the case, usually your computer throws error messages for a reason, and the gauges are telling you to get the care checked out. Pay attention to them!

Keep doing the simple stuff - Any car, of any age, benefits from normal maintenance tasks such as changing the oil and oil filter, checking fluids and changing or adding fluid as needed, replacing worn tires and checking air pressure, et cetera. You’d be amazed at how much longevity these simple little details can add to your faithful vehicle.

Bring your senior car to Al’s Automotive & Tire. We can provide the loving care necessary to help you enjoy its “golden years.”

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A Fun Fenton-Area Halloween

Posted by on in Community

Boo! Okay, we didn’t manage to scare you, but we do have a lot of entertaining ideas for your Halloween fun this year:

Halloween Story Time - Here’s a seasonal twist on the regular Story Time sessions for children ages 3 through 6 at the Meramec Valley Branch of the St. Louis County Library. Equip your little ones with their costumes and goodie bags for this 10am storytelling event, because the whole group will visit the Fenton Government complex for some fun, safe trick or treating.

Scarefest: Creepyworld - We mentioned this as a September thing, but according to the Scarefest website, it continues to run through November 2nd. It’s 10 haunted houses in one, all situated next to Koller Plastics on Highway 141 at 13th Street in Fenton. Check out the site details to make sure you and your kids would enjoy it.

Scarefest (St. Louis) - If the Fenton Creepyworld isn’t enough to scare the older kids and kids-at-heart in your group, don’t forget about Scarefest’s St. Louis attractions. You might want to brave the Darkness for its 20th-anniversary renovation. There’s also the Haunting of Lemp Brewery, an assortment of underground buildings and caves that claims to host genuine paranormal activity. Read the online warnings first!

Stuckmeyers Farm Fun Days - If you prefer harvests to hauntings, head on over to Stuckmeyers Farm Market and Greenhouse for Farm Fun Days every weekend in October. It’s a great place to pick up fresh pumpkins, Indian corn and other seasonal produce -- plus hayrides, pony rides, a barrel ride, a slide, and other good clean fun for the whole family.

Of course you don’t want to add to a spooky Halloween with a scary nighttime automotive accident or breakdown. Let’s Al’s take the unwanted fear out of your holiday!

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Getting a Grip on Road Rage

Posted by on in Uncategorized

You see and hear it all around you: Cars cutting each other off, cars honking, tires squealing angrily around corners, people shouting at other through rolled-down windows. Has the world gone crazy? Well, yes, sort of. Only this dangerous form of madness is called road rage, and it can infect practically any driver -- including you.

Road rage is a violent form of aggressive driving that occurs when people lose their cool behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as the act of committing “moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”

What can you do to avoid turning into the Incredible Hulk when someone cuts you off or disobeys traffic lights? First of all, give yourself as much time to get to your destination as possible, because last-minute panic can turn into frustration and road rage. Second of all, get plenty of sleep, because too many of us try to survive on caffeine (a stimulant that makes people edgy) instead of getting to bed at a decent hour. When driving, check your physical responses. Is your foot tapping nervously? Do you have a “death grip” on the wheel? Relax, take deep breaths, and switch to relaxing music or plain old silence. And before you express your frustration through your car, remember that the other driver has a car too -- and he may not be afraid to use it against you.

Regarding other drivers, your best hope against their road rage is to stay alert, watch out for signs of aggressions, and just drive as defensively as you can. Your car may need to react with split-second precision as well, so make sure you’ve had its brakes and other systems checked over by the team at Al’s Automotive & Tire. Stay safe!

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Check Out Our “Back to School” Special Offer!

Posted by on in Other

As you probably know, a school semester in full swing can be a stressful time for parents and kids alike. You may be serving as the family chauffeur on top of your daily work commute, putting an extra burden on you and your car. To make matters worse, many teenagers will be hitting the road for the first time this school year -- and most of them are driving, not brand-new cars, but second-hand vehicles that may need extra care. And teens are not exactly known for their delicate touch behind the wheel, either.

Need to get that “school express” in good shape and keep it that way, ideally without breaking the bank? Well, your pals at Al’s Automotive & Tire have just the thing. Right now we’re offering big Back to School Savings in the form of printable online coupons. The first item you’ll probably notice is our coupon for $10 off a full-service oil change with seasonal checkup. This is a critical step in keeping any vehicle running smoothly, so if you know it needs to be done, why not save some money doing it?

If your vehicle needs other work, take advantage of our Get Acquainted Offer for $10 off any repair or service of $100 or more -- or $20 off $200 or more, or $30 off $300 or more. And don’t forget to use the coupon at the bottom for a free comprehensive vehicle inspection and free alignment check when any service purchase. These treats end on Oct 31st, so come and collect them now!

Oh, and don’t worry about that auto service disrupting your kids’ ability to get to and from school. Our free loaner cars and local shuttle service can help your family members maintain their cars and their grades at the same time!

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Al’s Automotive History: Ford’s Assembly Line Turns 100

Posted by on in Other

Gosh, how time flies. It was only a century ago that automobiles were hand-built in a laborious process that took up to 12 hours per car, making them quite a pricey investment for those privileged few who could afford them. Today, cars -- well, they aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re a lot more widely attainable than they used to be, and compared to the old days they practically fly out of the factory. So we’d like to commemorate Henry Ford’s first automotive assembly line, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year!

The idea of a continuous-flow assembly system was actually nothing new; they had been used in other industries for the production of canned, baked and brewed goods. Ford made a note of how easy it was to train a worker to perform just one function, and speedily a whole line of such workers could do their assigned tasks. Even the disassembly of carcasses in meat-packing houses had been made faster and more efficient using the continuous-flow method. Ford was inspired by these models to break the assembly process of his own Model T down into 84 separate steps, with vehicle chassis moving at a stead speed along as mechanized belt. Now a car that had taken 12 hours to assemble was ready to roll in 2.5 hours!

Ford complemented his new assembly line with other techniques to boost production speed. These included interchangeable parts and automated stamping machines to knock those parts out with no need for human labor. Today’s assembly lines are faster still, producing more cars even more affordably. Of course, those parts can still develop problems, but you won’t find an “assembly line mentality” here at Al’s -- we provide each car, and each car owner, with personalized, one-of-a-kind care!

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