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950 N Stadem Dr. Tempe, AZ 85120

950 N Stadem Dr. Tempe, AZ 85120

Monday-Friday 7:30 am - 5:30 pm

Oil Change

How often should I change the oil in my car?

Synthetic: Every 5,000 miles or 5 months
Regular: Every 3,000 miles or 3 months

How long does it take to change the oil in my car? 

It takes about 1.5 hours once the car is pulled into the shop. At our shop this includes your safety inspection checking the brakes, lights, turn signals, fluid levels, filters, tires, for any leaks and a visual inspection of the whole car.

Can I wait for it to be completed?

Yes, you are welcome to wait. We have free coffee, water, comfy chairs and wifi. If you would like a quick ride to Tempe Town marketplace we can drop you off and come back to get you when it is done. 

The answers to the following oil related questions can be found in your cars user manual. If you do not have one there is a link to the car brands we service on our website here: www.sunvalleyimports.com/car-care  Please scroll to the bottom.

What kind of oil should I use in my car?

Most German and European cars are manufactured with fully synthetic oil. Please check your cars owner manual for specific brands and weights.

How much oil should be used in my car?

Most sedans and coupes, 4 doors and 2 doors, use 4-6 quarts of oil while SUVs tend to use more. The amount depends on the car you drive. Check your owners manual before attempting to add oil to your car or doing an oil change. Always call us with questions.
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Brakes

How do I know when to change my brakes?

Common symptoms of brake issues:
Pulsation (vibration in the wheel or pedal)
Audible Noise
Brake Warning Dash Lights
Hard to stop the vehicle

What kinds of brakes are recommended for my car?

Please use original equipment or original equipment equivalent, factory or OEM parts. The type of brake depends on the car itself and this information can be viewed in the owner’s manual or via visual inspection at our shop. 

Why do my brakes squeak? 

Because the wear indicators are making contact with rotors to let you know its time to change the brakes. Or the pads and-or rotors are overheated and have become glazed. In either case it is time to change the brake pads, rotors and sensor.

How much does it cost to change my brakes?

This depends on each car and the parts used. The time to change brakes varies which is a factor in providing an accurate amount. We are happy to provide an estimate.

How long does it take to change the brakes?

This depends on the car but most take less than two hours for front OR rear brake replacement. We recommend making arrangements to drop the car off for a few hours. 

Do you change just the brake pads or do you have to change the rotors and the sensors as well?

This depends on a few factors. Changing the pads, rotors and sensor/s is common practice today. We do not recommend just changing the pads as this can lead to noise and uneven wear.

Do you use OEM parts?

Yes. This is dependent on part availability. Ask at the time of the repair for a more accurate answer. 
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Car maintenance

What does car maintenance consist of?

Regularly scheduled maintenance is recommended by the manufacturers. It includes visual inspection of all major car components and in most cases the changing of filters and fluids. For greater detail on the maintenance needed at a given time on your car please call us, we are happy to help. 

How often should the car maintenance be completed?

The owner’s manual can tell you when maintenance is needed. If you do not have it
visits the car care page of our site and scroll to the bottom where there is a link to most car manuals on manufacturer websites. We can always help you if you call, text or email us. 

How often should the transmission be serviced?

All cars have different maintenance schedules. Because of this we ask that you call us to find out exactly or refer to your user manual.

How often should the fuel filter be changed?

This is another question that is dependent on your car. Please call, text or send an estimate request online for a specific answer.

How often should spark plugs and wires/coils be replaced? 

Spark plugs and wires or Coil packs don't need to be changed frequently unless they have just quit working. Your car will likely sputter or loose power when coil packs stop working properly. For scheduled maintenance reason, refer to your user manual or call us to give you a specific answer.

What is the cabin air filter?

This filter is normally located behind the glove box. It filters the air inside your car. When you have a bad smell in the car this is the first item you want to change in order to resolve the smell.
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Lights

What types of lights do you use?

We use OEM or equivalent parts when changing the lights in your car. 

How much does it cost to change the lights in my car?

This varies depending on the light being changed, the type of car you have, difficulty of labor, and if you just need a bulb vs needing a whole light assembly. Call for an estimate.

How long does it take to change the light bulbs for my headlights, taillights, or interior lights?

This also varies depending on the same factors from above. This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the labor involved. 

What does DRL mean? 

Daytime Running Lights are the lights that are on during the day. They are also known as parking lights but do not confuse them with reverse lights.
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Emissions

Will my car pass emissions if the check engine light is on?

No. To pass emissions in Arizona the check engine light must be off and the system has to show a ready status. 

How much does it cost to find out why the check engine light is on? (Diagnostic Fee)

Pulling the codes from the check engine light in most cases is free of charge. Finding out why it is giving those codes can take 30 minutes or longer depending on the code itself. Some codes are simple because it is telling you to replace an O2 Sensor. Other codes mean we need to do a smoke test. 

Does the Diagnostic fee get waived once I have the work completed?

In some cases the diagnostic fee can be waived. This varies depending on the
situation and diagnostic needed. 

Once the repair is complete, how long do I need to wait before I go to get the emissions test?

Once the code is cleared and the car’s light does not come back on, it should pass
emissions. There cannot be more than one readiness monitor that has not been set when testing emissions. A good rule of thumb is waiting about three days. 
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Check Engine Light

What is the check engine light for?

This is an indication there is a problem that should be addressed. If it is flashing, DO NOT DRIVE THE VEHICLE!

How long does it take to find out what the check engine codes are?

It takes only a few minutes to pull the codes and find out what they are. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to diagnose a check engine light code depending on what it is.

How much does it cost to diagnose the check engine light issue?

This depends on the hourly labor rate. At this time our labor rate is $99.80 per hour. So 30 minutes would be about $50 and it goes up from there. The diagnosis will tell you what needs to be changed to correct the check engine light.
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Exhaust

How do I know if I have an exhaust leak? 

1) When you smell fumes you may have a leak.
2) When you hear an arrhythmic ticking coming from under the car at a stop.
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AC/Heat

The car is blowing air but it is not hot/cold, what could be wrong with it?

There is a failure somewhere in the AC system. It could be any component of the system failing.
A Similar situation is when the car is blowing hot but when turned to cold it still blows hot and vice versa.

There is no air blowing from the vents in my car, what could that be? 

This is usually caused by a failing blower motor.

Why is there water in my floorboard when the A/C is turned on?

This could be due to a plugged drain or a bad heater core. If there is water in the floorboard all the time the heater core is probably bad. If there is water only when the AC is on, the drain is likely plugged. 
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Door Locks

What are the main reasons a door lock would stop working?

These are the main reasons the door locks on your vehicle are not working properly.
Key Fob is dead or faulty
The fuse is bad
Solenoid issues
There is a broken wire

How long does it take to find out what is wrong with my door lock?

This depends on the car itself and the issue occurring. It can be as quick as 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. 

How long will it take to repair it?

This also depends on the car and the issue. Some car doors are harder to dismantle
and put back together. If we have done the diagnostic to find out what is wrong and replace the part as soon as we know which one it is then it may just take about 2 hours. Everything depends on the issue and the car model. 

Does the repair need to happen to each door? 

In some cases the repair affects all doors but only in rare cases would each door need to be taken apart. If there is a switch out that governs all of the doors then maybe just that switch needs to be replaced. Again this is dependent on the car model and the issue. Please come in and have the diagnostic done so we can tell you with certainty.
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Alignment and Suspension

How do I know if I need an alignment?

Uneven tire wear on the tires or the steering wheel is off center. 

How do I know if there is something wrong with the cars suspension?

Vibrations, uneven tire wear, loose feeling in steering wheel and noises when driving over
bumps. 

How much does an alignment cost?

A four wheel alignment is most common and at Sun Valley Imports it costs $109.99.

Why are there noises when I drive over bumps?

The suspension components are wearing out. A visual inspection of the suspension is strongly advised to find out exactly what the issue is as this could be a safety concern. 

What is the issue when the car does not react as soon as the steering wheel is turned? 

This is what we call a loose steering. This could be the rack and pinion, control arms or any number of suspension issues. This is another safety concern that needs to be visually inspected. 
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Coolant System

What do I do if my car starts to overheat?

IMMEDIATELY shut off the car as soon as it is safe to do so. This can lead to irreparable harm to the engine and could require an engine replacement which is fairly costly.

How do I know if I have the right coolant in my car?

This information is normally found in your owner’s manual. If you are unsure of what is in the car please bring it to us so we can check the fluid for you.

How much coolant should I have in my car?

The coolant reservoir will normally have a minimum and maximum level mark. The Radiator will overflow when there is enough fluid in the car. If you have concerns please bring the car in so we can assist you.

How do I know if there is a leak in my cooling system?

Your vehicle may start overheating if enough coolant has leaked out. Normally you will either see drops on the ground and/or smell a sweet, almost maple syrup like smell. Please keep an eye on your temperature gauge and do not let it get between the normal temp and hot.
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Car Windows

Why is my window stuck down?

In most cases this is due to the regulator not working. This is not always the case. If you would like to know for sure drop in and let us check it for you.

Why do I hear a grinding noise when I try to roll the window
up but it will not roll up?

Sometimes there is a blockage in the regulator and the gears are unable to make the window roll up or down.

What is the window regulator?

It is a system of cable driven levers that move the window up or down the window track.

What is the window track?

The window track is what guides the window up and down. Think of it as a sliding glass door track for your house, but in your car door.
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Battery and Charging System

How do you know if the alternator in your car is not working right?

The cars battery dash light will turn on in newer cars. Your battery itself keeps dying. The voltage in the battery is drained by the dying alternator. 

What is the price of a battery for my car?

This depends on the battery you want to purchase and the cars battery requirements.
Including labor? Labor cost varies depending on how long it takes to get to your car. It can
start at $50 +tax and go up from there. In cases where you are not sure the battery needs to be changed we can check the full charging system for only $25 +tax.

How long does it take to switch the battery out for my car?

This depends on where the battery is. Some batteries are located in the trunk some under the front tire and some under the hood. The batteries that are harder to get to are going to take longer to replace. 

How do the alternator and battery work together? 

The alternator and battery are both part of the charging system. The main purpose for the battery in a car is to start the car and keep the radio and other electronics turned on. The alternator charges the battery as you drive. 

What are some signs and symptoms of a failing charging system? 

You will lose power. This means you could lose power while driving. If this happens you may need to be towed. The car may not start at all or it could start and then die shortly after. You may end up needing a jump every time you want to
start the car. The best thing to do is to have the charging system diagnosed here for $25. 

How do you check the life of the battery?

The battery cells can be checked at most auto stores like AutoZone and O’Rielys. We
are happy to check the battery life for you.

Why did my battery or charging light on the dash board come on?

This turns on when the car’s charging system needs to be checked. Please bring the car in to have the charging system reviewed by our technicians.