Auto shop class was a frequently offered elective in high schools nationwide, ensuring that a lot of kids knew their way around a car’s engine bay. As a result, when an automobile broke down, the owner was much more likely to understand how to repair it themselves, or at least have a pal or a household member who could fix it for them.

The circumstance has actually changed dramatically over the years. Today’s vehicles are much more intricate, and their owners are much less likely to have actually had any vehicle training. As an outcome, dealerships and garages are repairing a higher percentage of vehicles than ever, and mechanics’ rates have actually risen in accordance with the increased requirement of their services.

Those who do not like the circumstance have another alternative. With a little automotive training, most individuals can perform more of the routine maintenance on their vehicles, decreasing the costs connected with automobile upkeep and allowing them the satisfaction of a task well done.

An oil change is a fairly easy treatment in the majority of cars, requiring just enough automotive training for the individual to know the area of the oil filter and drain plug. A standard vehicle care class must teach vehicle owners how to find significant elements under the hood and perform simple upkeep tasks, as well as imparting important suggestions for starting do-it-yourselfers.


Depending on the vehicle and the mileage recommendations on the parts, a basic tune up can also consist of changing the fuel filter and/or the oxygen sensing unit. On many vehicles, these parts are quickly accessed and require just a basic understanding of automobile functions.

A do-it-yourselfer who has had standard vehicle training can likewise replace his or her own brakes. Changing the brake pads on a vehicle is normally a easy but dirty job, requiring just a fundamental understanding of the braking parts on an automobile. Additionally, there are numerous routine repair and maintenance jobs that an intermediate level amateur mechanic can generally manage on his/her own, such as changing a battery, alternator, starter, timing belt, and lots of other elements.

Naturally, a substantial benefit of having automotive training is that dealers and garages can not take advantage of you by advising upkeep that may not actually need to be done. A fundamental understanding of car mechanics will enable you to smartly discuss any issues with your mechanic, comprehend exactly what he or she is speaking about, and recognize when his/her suggestions are completely or overstated unnecessary.


Undoubtedly, understanding the fundamentals of how a car runs can be exceptionally beneficial, conserving you money in more ways than one. Starting vehicle training classes are normally offered at your regional auto tech school or neighborhood college. Whether you plan to venture a few repairs by yourself, or you merely want to have the ability to hold your own with your mechanic, taking a car care class ensures that you will not be a victim of your very own lack of knowledge.


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Shocks and struts influence the control and handling characteristics of your vehicle while holding the tires to the road. They control the action of the spring to resist bottoming out– like when you hit a pothole– and keep the movement of the springs under control when they rebound. Without shocks and struts, a vehicle would continually bounce and bound down the road, making driving difficult.

“It is important that shocks and struts are in top condition during the Fall/Winter months,” says James Plogger, vice president of sales for Gabriel Ride Control Products, Inc. “It is recommended that vehicle owners have their vehicles’ ride control systems checked by an ASE certified service technician.”

How They Work

Shocks provide resistance by forcing hydraulic fluid (oil) through valves in the piston as it moves up and down. Because the oil can not be compressed, only a certain amount of fluid can be forced through these valves, which creates resistance to the vehicle movement.

How to Tell if Shocks and Struts Need Replacement

Under normal conditions, shocks and struts wear out gradually. Many factors can affect how much wear is actually occurring and at what rate it is occurring.

“For example, two people buy the same vehicle new off the dealer lot– one lives in the city close to the office, and drives mostly on straight roads. The other lives in the country, 45 miles from the office and must travel 10 of those miles on a winding, often muddy gravel road. Because shocks operate in an extremely hostile under-vehicle environment, where anything from gravel to ice, and snow to grit can affect the life of the product, it is a good bet that driver number two will need to replace his shocks long before driver number one,” explains Plogger.

The piston rod can easily be nicked or damaged by flying gravel allowing grit and dirt to damage the piston seal.

Among signs of worn shocks or struts:

Do you experience excessive bounce (three or more bounces) when crossing an intersection?
When stopping quickly does your vehicle rock back and forth?
While applying your brakes firmly at higher speeds, does your vehicle drift left or right?
When changing lanes quickly does your vehicle rock or sway from side to side?

Many components contribute to handling. Having your vehicle inspected by a Subaru Certified Technician if you experience any of the above signs is good preventive maintenance.

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On Saturday the twelfth of December, Make-A-Wish of Massachusetts and Rhode Island joined us for our Fill-A-Forester toy drive! We had a blast playing games, eating food, and taking pictures all while collecting donations for the toy drive. WEEI 105.5 FM and KIX 100.9 were both there as well! We were able to collect a large number of toys for less fortunate kids this holiday season and you helped make the difference. We were even joined by other Make-A-Wish Children from past events! The toy drive went very well and we can’t wait for next year’s celebration! Enjoy some of our favorite pictures from the event below.


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Save Money and Stay Safe

Planning to vacation by car this Winter? Getting the right preventative maintenance before you leave can help prevent roadside delays, as well as increase your gas mileage!

Our service experts recommend checking these systems:

  • Oil and Filter – Oil and Filter. Fresh filters help provide better fuel economy, smoother running and optimum power. Oil is your engine’s lifeblood. It is extremely important that the engine oil and filter be changed regularly, and especially before a long trip. Change the oil and oil filter as indicated by the maintenance schedule in the your vehicle’s Warranty and Maintenance Booklet.
  • Tires – To extend tire life, keep wear uniform, and help ensure that you don’t get stranded at the roadside, have your car’s tires rotated if they haven’t been within the last 7,500 miles. Any unevenly worn or damaged tires should be replaced. Also, check and adjust your tire pressure according to the tire placard on the inside driver’s door frame for the best fuel economy, ride comfort and handling.
  • Cooling system – A properly functioning cooling system is critical to engine operation. It is recommended that the cooling system and hose connections be checked frequently for leaks, damage or looseness.
  • Your best bet – Consider taking advantage of the 25-point Vehicle Inspection. A factory-trained technician will perform a thorough, multi-point inspection of your vehicle, paying special attention to safety and maintenance items.

Proper preventative maintenance can help ensure that your vehicle provides safe and trouble-free motoring throughout your travels. Have a safe Winter driving season, and please buckle up.

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St. Francis Hospital and Bertera Subaru Outlet in Hartford have partnered up to provide our customers with a FREE monthly car seat checkpoint event. Everyone is welcome to have their car seats inspected by a trained professional. Be sure to take advantage of our next checkpoint on January 10, 2016 from 1 – 3 PM. Follow us on social media to remain updated on all of our events. Below you will find our favorite images from this weekend’s Car Seat Checkpoint!

Did you know?

Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States. Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.

For vehicle safety tips please click here

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Source: Safe Kids Worldwide

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We recently made our annual donation of canned goods to the Palmer Food Share. With the holidays just around the corner now is the best time to donate to the Food Share or any Food Pantry for that matter. Everyone deserves a nice holiday meal, and you can make sure that happens with a small donation. For more information on volunteering opportunities or donations please contact the number below.

Palmer Food Share
39 Walnut St
Palmer, MA – 01069
(413) 283-3614
Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Please contact the number above before dropping off any donations.

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Now up until January 2nd Subaru of America will donate $250 to a charity of your choice when a new Subaru is purchased or leased!

During the 2014 Share The Love event we managed to raise $48,223 for Make-A-Wish of Mass & RI. Our goal for Share The Love 2015 is to raise even more money than last year, and we need your help to do so. Learn more about our local charity:

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island grants wishes for kids with life-threatening medical conditions to help provide them with hope and a beautiful memory. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, approximately 500 children in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions each year. Our mission is to grant wishes for every single one of them. By the end of this year, Subaru and participating retailers will have donated over $65 million to charity and are one step closer to reaching our goal. For more information on Subaru’s Share The Love Event click here. Enjoy some of our favorite moments from last year’s Share The Love Event!

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Battery Maintenance


All Subaru vehicles are equipped with maintenance-free batteries. The term “maintenance-free” can be misleading – as these batteries do require some attention to maintain their cleanliness and efficiency.

It is extremely important to have your car’s battery checked by a Subaru-trained technician regularly. A battery check will include an examination of cable connections for cleanliness and tightness. Loose or corroded connections can dramatically diminish your car’s starting power; and if the connections grow loose or crusty enough, they can shut off your car’s electrical flow entirely and leave you thinking you have a dead battery.

High temperatures also reduce the efficiency at which a battery is recharged.

Fall/Winter driving conditions frequently require the use of A/C for extended periods while driving at slow speeds. This additional load requires the charging system to work properly so that it sufficiently charges the battery the next time you start your car’s engine. For this reason, your service technician should also check your battery’s charging system and voltage regulator, and inspect your vehicle’s alternator to ensure that all components are operating properly.

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