The salesman at the dealership where I purchased my new car said that if I have you work on my car, it will void my warranty. Is this true?

False! Consumers are entitled to have their cars serviced wherever they choose.

Always read your warranty to understand what constitutes a covered service item. As long as detailed records are kept (as we do here for all of our customers) and the service intervals are met with Genuine parts your warranty will never be void.

What should I know about my tires?

Don't fall into the TRAP of poor tire maintenance.

T - Tread... Visually check your tread for uneven wear. Check for signs of damage. Your tires MUST be replaced when the tread is worn to 1/16 of an inch. A good way to check the tread is by inserting a penny into the groove. If you can see Lincoln's entire head, its time for new tires.

R - Rotate... You should rotate your tires every 6000 - 8000 miles. This is the best way to insure even wear, and to get the maximum mileage from your tire investment.

A - Alignment... Have your alignment checked regularly. Also check the balance of your tires. If your alignment and tire balance are off, you will experience irregular wear and the result will be premature replacement.

P - Pressure... The proper air pressure for your vehicle is always specified in your owner's manual or sill panel. Under inflation is the biggest cause of tire failure. Always check your tire pressure between Summer and Fall, because a 10 degree drop in temperature corresponds to a 1 or 2 pound drop in tire pressure.

What should I know about my car's pollen filters?

Most late model European vehicles come standard with a cabin air filter. The purpose of these filters is to filter allergens, irritants and airborne particles. These can include bacteria, pollution, dust, odors and spores. The main benefit of these filters is passenger comfort, although failure to replace at the required 15,000 mile interval could impact the efficiency of the air conditioning and heating system. In addition no filter, clogged or missing filters may cause the premature corrosion of the A/C evaporator.

Other symptoms that your filter may need to be replaced is the potential excess hazing of the windows. These filters are available and we recommend replacement every 15,000 miles. In heading into the summer season there are more of these particles in the air and keeping your A/C system in peak performance may require the replacement of these filters.

What is your policy on customer supplied parts?

We prefer not to install parts that a customer brings to our facility. There are several reasons for this. First, how does the customer know what part to supply? Who diagnosed what is wrong with the vehicle? Is the part the correct application ie correct chassis number or engine number?

Many parts are different based on whether the car has ABS brakes etc. Is the part supplied up to our quality standards? We pride ourselves on quality work and that includes quality parts. In our opinion, bring your own parts is the same as taking your own food to a restaurant. However, that being said, we will install your parts but we do charge additional labor and there is no warranty!

How often should I have my car serviced?

It varies from model to model, but as a general rule you should change your oil every 5,000 miles (3,000 miles for conventional oil) and perform the annual recommended factory scheduled maintenance.

What are the most common Volvo repair problems?

Electronic Throttle Module - If there is intermittent engine idling or sudden "Limp Home Mode" driving, the Electronic Throttle Module (ETM), which keeps the speed of the vehicle and engine idle as well as the cruise control in check, may be acting up. A "Check Engine" or "ETS" warning message, however, should best single out the problem at hand. To avoid compromising one's safety on the road, any of these solutions should be considered: (1) cleaning and refitting of the ETM, (2) replacement of the ETM, and (3) software upgrade for the Electronic Throttle System.

Fuel Pumps - In some front wheel-drive vehicles, there appears to be a problem with the right rear shock upper mount being unable to deliver the shock throughout the body. This then cuts off the fuel pump connections, leading to the wire harness short circuit and a likely wire thawing. The easy solution to this is to replace the fuel pump to restore the efficiency of the fuel system. To complete the fuel pump replacement, the fuel filter should be replaced as well because it might have been contaminated with metal particles from the damaged fuel pump. A faulty fuel filter won't do you or your Volvo any good so better to replace than repair and regret it later.

Relays - Several years of routing electrical current to components like headlights, power windows, fuel pumps, cooling fans, Anti-lock Braking Systems, ignition circuits, air con compressor clutches among others eventually take their toll on the relays. Once this happens, these components would naturally stop operating. Though it may seem that the culprit is solely a blown fuse, investigation of the problem should not stop there. Replacing the fuse could prove to be just a temporary fix and may indicate more serious electrical problems. Thus, bypassing the relay to see if the related component could still be restored is necessary. In doing so, too, a rather costly misdiagnosis of the problem-buying a new fuel pump when it is just the fuel pump relay that needs a replacement-could be prevented. To accurately check the relay's condition, a scan tool or an ohmmeter may be used. Once the relay has been identified as broken, a replacement is essential. The relay with the correct part should be installed to avoid premature failure and further damage.

Air Idle Control Valve - Experiencing rough idle from time to time or simply being unable to idle if the vehicle starts at all could mean the Air Idle Control Valve (AIC) is defective. The AIC, which is part of the intake system, allows air to pass through the throttle body to ensure that engine idle is smooth. So if you're getting some rough idling, chances are, it's due to an AIC-related problem. Usually, cleaning the valve with a carburetor cleaner and a screwdriver set, making sure to take the sludge off it, can easily fix the problem. If nothing has changed, though, the AIC should be better off replaced with a new unit.