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Catalytic converters getting stolen from vehicles

In News by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Those who park their cars in commuter lots should stay vigilant.

Recently, HomeTowne Auto Repair has received four cars that had their catalytic converters stolen.

Located after the exhaust manifold, this component adjusts the exhaust emission, decreasing the amount of air pollution a car produces.

A vehicle may have between one and five catalytic converters.

They are made with very expensive metals and can be sold at scrap yards for $50 to $500.

Catalytic converter thieves tend to target commuter lots and hit a few cars at one time.

When there are hundreds of vehicles packed into a space, they are able to slip into the middle rows and are in and out within a few minutes.  

From what we’ve learned, there are multiple people using multiple tools. New reciprocating saw blades are used, with the old ones left in the parking lot.

This occurs in waves and isn’t done randomly.

We recommend keeping your car in plain sight and have a camera on it at all times.

There are companies, like CatClamp, that produce catalytic converter locks. 

We installed this on a truck after a customer had their converter stolen twice in one year.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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HomeTowne Auto Repair pickup and delivery option

In News by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Are you stuck at home? Is your car in need of repair?

A new service is making sure that it’s ready for the road.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is offering a pickup and delivery service.

Those who would like to use the service can call us at (703) 594-4646 and schedule to have their vehicle picked up from their home. 

After taking photos of any damage they see, a staff member will drive it to HomeTowne Auto Repair.

We will call you with information from the inspection and an estimate, and when we have your approval we will proceed with the repairs.

Once the work is complete, our staff will reach out to you, and you will be able to pay over the phone.

A drop off time will then be scheduled.

Towing can be arranged for vehicles that shouldn’t be driven or aren’t starting. Our pickup and delivery service can be impacted by severe weather.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Shuttle and pickup options for our auto repair shop during Coronavirus

In News by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is taking several steps to protect customers and their families, as well as staff members.

We are offering a scheduled pickup and delivery service for those working from home or taking care of the kids.

If you’re interested in this option, please call us at 703-594-4646.

Anyone who doesn’t wish to come into the building may drop off their car and place keys in the “After Hours” drop off slot — even if we’re open.

You can also give us a call, and a staff member will come outside to collect the keys and information.

We are still offering our free shuttle service.

Customers are welcome inside the building, however, we are limiting our waiting area to one person or party at a time.

HomeTowne Auto Repair is also increasing the number of times we are sanitizing door handles and common areas.

Our bathroom and waiting room area are being cleaned after each use.

After working on your vehicle, we are cleaning certain areas, such as the steering wheel and door handles.

This additional cleaning may cause more delays than normal, so please be patient. 

Thank you for your continued support. We hope to do everything we can to make this difficult time less hectic.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Buick tire alignments

In News, Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

While you’re driving your Buick, you feel that the car is pulling to one side.

It could be time for you to get a wheel alignment.

A vehicle pulling in one direction, uneven tire wear, and a crooked steering wheel are signs that a tire alignment is needed.

There are some issues that may be mistaken for a wheel alignment problem.

Curbs, potholes and suspension wear can cause tires to go out of alignment.

We recommend tire alignments when you get new tires and every 15,000 miles.

If you drive a Buick and don’t have an alignment performed regularly, you run the risk of having tire wear problems.

This not only means that your tires will wear out sooner, but there will also be a chain reaction of symptoms. 

For example, if you have a tire that wears out on the outer shoulders and it gets bad enough, then your car might start traveling to the left.

At that point, a new alignment won’t address the issue, because it has become a tire problem. 

We have state-of-the-art equipment, and specs for all makes and models.

Read about what occurs when you during tire alignments.

In addition to alignments, we provide an assortment of services, including repair for Buick cars and SUV’s.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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How to deal with sun glare

In News by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

It’s that time of the year where the sun is at a bad angle and blinds drivers during their commute.

Here are a few tips for addressing the sun glare.

  • Using a sun visor is one solution.
  • Drivers should also make sure their windshield is clear by cleaning it inside and out.
  • They can also set their defroster to the warm setting and turning the fan up.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep a pair of sunglasses in your vehicle.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Is your battery light on?

In Automotive Diagnostics, News by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

If your battery light comes on or flickers on your dashboard, it could be a sign of an alternator going bad.

The alternator is driven by the engine to produce electricity to run the accessories in a vehicle and recharge the battery.

Some common problems that could lead to an alternator not working correctly can be normal wear and tear, and the brushes or diodes going bad. A common overlooked problem is a drive belt — or serpentine belt — becoming loose or stretched and slipping around the alternator.

The large number of electronics in today’s vehicles and all the accessories drivers like to plug in puts a heavy load on the alternator. The alternators actually have to be more heavy duty than before so they can charge the battery at a consistent rate. 

The battery light coming on steady or flickering, especially when you come to a stop, are some signs that you’re having an alternator problem.

If you’re having a problem starting your car, it could be because the alternator is struggling to charge the battery.

If you believe you’re having any problems, you’ll want to have your vehicle checked with good electrical diagnostic equipment at your local auto repair shop. Because of the demand on the electrical system and the way alternators are designed, the old way of checking alternators isn’t always accurate.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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HomeTowne Auto Repair receives ‘Best Tire Store’ award

In News by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire was recently awarded “Best Tire Store” in Prince William County. 

The shop received the title from InsideNOVA’s 2019 Best of Prince William.

Best of Prince William is an annual contest influenced by members of the community voting for services and organizations throughout the county. 

“We appreciate the support from members of the community,” HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire Owner ST Billingsley said. “We aim to exceed our customers expectations of an auto repair and tire shop. Thank you for voting for us.” 

This is the third consecutive year the repair shop won “Best Tire Store.”

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Free shuttle service available at HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire

In News by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Having regular maintenance performed on your vehicle can lengthen its lifespan and save you money.

However, it’s not always convenient.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire offers a few amenities that allow you to complete your daily tasks while your vehicle is being worked on.

Need a lift?

We a free shuttle service to customers who are heading home or to work, starting at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Car and booster seats are available for families.

Those who choose to stay at the repair shop, may relax in our family-friendly waiting room. It offers a chalkboard that children can use.

Free WiFi and outlets are available for your devices, as well.

During your visit to HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire, you may also enjoy our free snack bar, coffee and cold water.

Before you leave, don’t forget to grab a “Thank you” bag for yourself and the kids. Our children “Thank you” bags contain coloring and activity sheets that were designed by a staff member.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire supports local business, community

In Community Involvement, News by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Two area businesses are supporting their community.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire recently purchased a meal package at a Boys & Girls Club fundraiser. Dyvine BBQ in Motion donated the food.

“One thing that’s very important that I’m a big believer in is supporting businesses that support our community,” HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire Owner ST Billingsley said.

He encourages others to consider doing the same.

“When you see these fundraisers or you go to them, pay attention to who’s supporting those organizations and please support those businesses,” Billingsley said.

Dyvine BBQ in Motion Owner Derrick Wood brought the meal to HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire on Friday.

Wood, who also serves as the Mayor of Dumfries, contributes to Boys & Girls Club fundraisers because the organization gives children an outlet.

He appreciates businesses and individuals who purchase the packages.

“The money actually goes to get these kids off the streets to get them recreational programming and to actually help develop and stimulate them for a lasting lifetime, to build better citizens in this community,” Wood said.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Meet Calli: HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire’s newest Service Writer

In News by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Calli Thacker recently joined the HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire family. The auto repair shop’s newest Service Writer has been working in the automotive industry for 10 years.

What brought you to the automotive industry?

I started the year after I graduated high school. It was, actually, just a job after high school that I thought was just going to be a temporary thing, and here I am 10 years later.

What do you like about being a Service Writer?

I enjoy the fact that you never stop learning … You’re never going to be at a standstill, you’re always going to be able to learn more … I like that you get to work with people, and meet all different types of people, and help people. For me, personally, I like being able to interact with people all day compared to being stuck in an office by myself.

How is HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire different from other businesses you’ve worked for?

I’ve worked at car dealerships and independent shops, but this independent shop in particular does things their own way, for sure. They have a unique way of doing things, which works out for them and for their clientele base … Their customers seem to feel taken care of and safe, and they’re trusting of us.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in the automotive industry?

Being a younger woman … at first some people can be standoffish, and not sure if you are going to take care of them the right way or the same way as a man would, or if they can trust you, or if you’re going to know what you’re talking about. But once they get to know you and once they see, “Oh, you know, she does know what she’s talking about and she is able to help me in the same way,” then that puts them at ease and they feel better. And then they learn to know you and once they keep seeing your face, they realize, “OK. I can go to her. I know she’s going to take care of me.” But just being young and being a girl, it’s hard … Once you talk to them, and once they hear you speak and see how you speak, and see that you know what you’re talking about, they feel better and they feel confident. And I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had people say, “Oh wow. I’m sorry for underestimating you. I didn’t realize that you could help me perfectly.”  

What do you recommend to women who are considering a career in the automotive industry?

I recommend if it’s something that you truly want to do and you are ready to learn — because there’s so much to learn and you never stop learning — you have to be open minded, you have to be willing to learn new things and take advice, and have people explain things to you and show you things. If you’re willing and wanting to do all those things, then definitely go for it, definitely try it out. You have to have thick skin and you have to be accepting to all different types of people, but if you have patience and you can handle stressful situations well, then definitely go for it. But you’ve got to keep in mind that it’s not easy, and it takes a lot of time and patience and learning.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.