Sometimes we hear people in Coralville say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's vehicles are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most Coralville drivers don't realize how high tech automotive fluids have become, fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.
Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and distances march on for all of our cars. Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories we've heard to emphasize and show how important it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and money. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.
The first comes from someone who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on a highway in IA and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced - just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundreds of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.
Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. This guy took his SUV in for the IA safety inspection to renew his registration. At the Coralville inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the money. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind - over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a little on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story for Coralville drivers: don't skip your annual inspections. The irony is that many Coralville service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.
Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy's little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn't get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire - so it was enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later - and then an alignment.
Situation: son and wife with cars from the same vehicle manufacturer with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son's maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done - it cost several hundred dollars. His wife's car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed, the entire head was shredded and it had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule? You bet he does - every time he passes a big-screen TV.
The team at Off Campus Auto Repair in Coralville recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better. Plus, it is more economical to operate in IA. Remember to save those maintenance records. It'll show potential buyers that you've taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren't any, assume that the maintenance hasn't been done and take it to Off Campus Auto Repair in Coralville for an inspection. Take care of unperformed routine maintenance sooner rather than later.
I had very prompt and very efficient flat repair service from a very friendly service person (Harold). He arrived at our house and was very pleasant and helpful. He spoke highly of and enjoyed working at Off Campus which says a lot for the management.
-Dave Reynolds - Iowa City
Harold arrived quickly and gave me several options for my battery problems. Was nice and replaced my battery right where i was stranded. 10/10 Service, I highly recommend.
-Jared - Iowa City
We were camping at Sleepy Hollow Campground off of I-80 and when closing up the trailer discovered one of the tires was flat. My husband did not have the needed tools to change the tire. On went on the internet and found Offcampus Auto Repair/Campus Towing. Everyone was great, from Jessica on the phone who explained things in detail to Harold who was the tow truck operator. People like these are a true blessing for folks out on the road away from home. Harold is a true road angel. Thanks ever so much!
-Joel & Lu Ann Balch - Rockford, Illinois
I just had a great AAA service call from Harold. I needed a replacement battery and he got it taken care of quickly! You can't go wrong with this company!
-Kathyl Jogerst - Coralville Iowa
I had an old dead battery that would not keep charge. After calling AAA, I received a call back from the tow and roadside assistance service within minutes. The woman I spoke with was very pleasant and efficient. After 15min, Harold came out to where I was on the far East side of the Iowa City limit. Harold was a pleasure to meet and work with. He assessed the battery, explained the battery health report well and I decided to have him replace it then and there. Everything went well. The whole process was quick, efficient, professional, and pleasant. For any future similar car troubles, I will definitely be calling them again.
-Robert Marini - Iowa City, IA
Harold was super friendly and very professional. He was efficient and he did a great job too!
-Courtney - Iowa
Very happy with service.
Friendly, reliable, competitive rates.
Great customer service! Always excellent service!
Best Auto Repair in the Area!
We remain fans of this comprehensive auto repair business. Feel blessed to have found them!
-Daleine & Jack C.
I took my '88 mercury ford cougar into them to get my transmission fluid & transmission filter changed. They where informational about if something was already wrong with the transmission, then the work that they were going to do could make it worse.
They let me drive a nice loaner car for free, without having to fill out any paperwork, for as long as my car was in the shop.
On the bill, they had recommend work that needed to be done at some point, that included the price of each job.
They didn't push for the most expensive thing to be done first, they actually recommend the 2 cheapest things be done first, which was the back break light, so that I don't get pulled over by the cops, & the serpentine belt, so it wouldn't end up breaking in me.
I highly recommend them to everyone with car problems & I plan on getting all recommend car work done there.
Office staff was courteous and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend their services to my friends. Thanks for repairing my vehicle and making it sound like a new vehicle.
-Matt M. - Iowa City
Traveling from Rapid City to Indianapolis my dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. I want to thank Off Campus Auto Repair for fitting us in and getting us back on the road quickly. Their honesty and thorough explanation was greatly appreciated.
-Carson S. - Rapid City, SD
I had the pleasure of meeting Harold today who was very kind, personable, and knowledgable. He was a delightful man who replaced my battery very quickly, while we shared various personal stories in the process. Could not have asked for better service.
-Robby B. - Iowa City, IA
Our vehicle blew a spark plug in Iowa City on a Sunday. Being 7 hours from our home in Ohio, off campus not only provided quick and professional towing for our vehicle, their staff also provided a loaner car for us to get food, lodging and a rental. Since we had to return to Ohio prior to repairs, the off-campus staff was thorough in keeping us informed on the status of repairs, as well as providing an exact cost estimate along the way. In a world of sketchy dealerships and repair shops, I was completely blown away by the service provided by the off campus technicians. I would like to thank James, Keith and the entire off campus crew for taking great care of both my vehicle and family during this ordeal, and would encourage anyone reading this post to use off campus if you need a tow or vehicle repair while in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.
-Ryan D. - Beavercreek, Ohio
-Bill - Coralville Iowa 5224
I had an accident returning to MI. Off Campus Towing picked up my van and they were very nice to even take me to a hotel, and that was only the beginning of their over the top helpfulness. The accident was on 9-10-15. They were very helpful in getting the insurance company to appraise the van Then Off Campus Repair took over. They put the Van back to together with excellent workmanship. Everyone of the employees were over the top helpful. Beautiful facility and they know their craft. I highly recommend Off Campus Towing and Repair. Thanks!
-Bill and Margo M. - Fenton MI 48430
My A/C seized between Nebraska and Pennsylvania. They were able to work me in and get me back on the road quickly. Complete professionals, courteous and would even recommend Off Campus Repair to Grandma!
Off Campus keeps us safely rolling year after year. Efficient, knowledgeable, HONEST professionals - so happy we found them when we arrived in the area.These guys have ALWAYS given us the best value for our money.
Outstanding service and polite employees. You can trust this business completely!