Auto Maintenance/Auto Tuneups
Auto Maintenance isn’t just a quick oil change. It’s having an experienced mechanic look at and listen to your car.
As Bill says, “at Tonka, we don’t just change the oil, we look at the belts, the hoses, the tires and the brakes every time. You’re not getting that at a chain.”
He added, ﾠ“I like to sleep at night. I don’t want to tell you that you need $5000 of work on your car when all you need is a spark plug and a plug wire. An auto tuneup is cheap. Repair is expensive.”
Auto Heating Repair
No heat in January can make a drive from Plymouth to Minnetonka verrrry long. The problem could be as simple as a thermostat or as difficult as a head gasket. Or maybe the radiator has popped. We’ve seen and fixed them all.
And as Bill tells it, “And then there was the guy who came in and said that when he turned the heat on there was a terrible smell. It turned out he had a dead mouse in his HVAC box. We had to dissect it, get it out of there and get rid of the smell for him!
Now that’s Auto Heat Repair!”
Auto Engine Repair
Your car doesn’t start. Or it’s running so poorly that you can’t drive it.
Bill explains, “Car companies are trying to get 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag. Ford, for example, has its Ecoboost, which is a smaller engine with direct injection and twin turbos. They’re getting more horsepower but making the power plant smaller. You’re still trying to move two tons of metal down the road. How long is it going to last?
That’s why we emphasize auto maintenance, so we can catch small problems before they become auto engine repair.”
Auto Exhaust Repair
Bill says that auto exhaust systems are better than ever. “With the newer stainless alloys usually what happens is a weld breaks or a gasket wears out and it comes apart. I try to fix them because to buy the whole system is very expensive. If we can’t fix your auto exhaust, we’ll refer you to a specialist who won’t try to sell you other things that you probably don’t need.”
Why are my lights dim? How come my car stalls during rainstorms? What’s that smell coming from my battery? Tonka Auto Center has seen just about every auto electrical problem you can imagine, including this one!
“Car Talk doesn’t get all the good stories! One of our clients liked to nap in her car at lunchtime. Well one day, she forgot that she had a gallon of water in the back seat. When she reclined, she popped the water, which flowed under the seat and short-circuited the seat’s control module. So she had it towed over here, I fixed it, and poked a little fun at her abou it and she says ‘I’ll never do that again!’ Six months later, same car, same problem.”
Now that’s an auto electrical problem!
Auto Tire Sales/Wheel Alignment
New auto tires aren’t just about the tire. Ever aware of maintenance, Bill says, “When we sell tires, we get to look at the brakes, the suspension, etc. You may need an alignment, or your old tires may be getting worn. We’ll see if you need to replace a tie-rod end so we can do the alignment correctly. The chain shops are just going to put the tires on.” Bill also notes that, “some chain stores don’t do wheel alignments, and I’ve been told that some shops that will do alignments sell you stuff you don’t need. I’m not going to try to sell you something you don’t need.”
Light Auto Welding
Welding tiny little lights together for decorations is not what we mean. By light welding we mean repairing exhaust systems, or springs, or perhaps something like this story.
“I was closing up one evening and had to get ready for a funeral. A guy comes rippin’ in here, never seen him before, and says, ’you gotta help me.’ ‘Well,’ I say, ‘what do you need?’ ‘I gotta have this welded. Somebody told me you’d weld it for me.’ So I asked, ‘what do you need welded?’ He pulls this broken seat bracket out of his truck. Well, my first though was, ‘Isn’t there enough room for a case of beer behind the seat to hold it up?’ which is what we used to do with a broken seat when we were kids. ‘No, it’s my dad’s seat, and we need to get it fixed, we’re going out of town, it’s Friday afternoon …’ ‘OK,’ I said. So I quick get my welder out, start to clean it up and get ready to put it back together and he says, ‘Can you make it a little bit stronger than it was?’ I look at him, he looks at me. ‘Is he … big?’ He says, ‘Yup.’ So I put a gusset on there, welded it up and off he went, very relieved.”
Now that’s auto welding service; whether it’s “light” or not we leave to you!