The needs of your car change with the seasons, making auto maintenance an ongoing requirement. Here in the Valley of the Sun, it’s especially important to make sure your car is ready for summer. Tasks that may be standard maintenance in other parts of the country take on added importance here, where summer highs can reach 120 degrees or more, and the temperature routinely exceeds 100 degrees for several months.
Trust the ASE-certified technicians at Sun Devil Auto to perform seasonal maintenance and repairs on your vehicle, from engine and transmission work to the all-important cooling system. Mark Seigh is the manager of our Tempe service center, where, as your alternative to the dealer, you’ll find quality service at competitive pricing. Mark and his team of technicians are highly skilled and, as he puts it, “have a lot of under-the-hood time, so your car will be diagnosed right, the first time.”
At Sun Devil Auto, we know how impressive Mark and his staff are, and we want you to know it too. We asked him to give us some details about his background and experience in the automotive service industry and here are his responses.
1. How long have you been in the automotive repair industry?
2. How did you get your start?
Pumping gas and changing tires at a service station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and, yes, I washed every customer’s windshield and checked the oil and tire pressure. I think gas prices were 80 cents a gallon, and I filled up your tank with a smile. I also remember customers having a charge account. I had the receipt book in my pocket. Wow, times have changed!
3. What’s your favorite auto repair to complete?
That’s easy: Any customer’s car that is broken. You never break down at a convenient time, and I know you have to pick the kids up from school or get to that appointment. So, giving your keys back with a reliable, running car so you can get on with your life is the best reward.
4. What’s your favorite type of vehicle to make repairs on?
1969 Ford Mustang.
5. What are the qualities a Sun Devil Auto technician possesses?
At the Tempe service center, we staff ASE-certified technicians and have a master certified technician who has been employed with Sun Devil Auto for 32 years. We have very experienced technicians with many hours of under-hood time, so your car will be diagnosed right the first time.
6. What type of training do your technicians need to complete? What’s included in this training?
Training with state-of-the-art equipment. Technology is constantly advancing, and we stay ahead of that curve by providing training on hybrid systems, new, variable valve-timing systems, high-pressure fuel systems and even the differences in oil technologies.
7. What’s the most commonly asked question you get about automotive repair?
Customers ask us about the tire light all the time when the weather cools off, and while most of the time it’s nothing to worry about, we always recommend you bring in your vehicle for a free check to make sure. If your tires are under-inflated, you can lose gas mileage, and it can also cause more wear and tear than normal. Safe driving is our top priority and that’s why we perform tire pressure checks free of charge. Most people assume that it’s due to the cold air altering the pressure inside the tire, and they’re right. As the weather gets colder, it causes tires to contract, and if the pressure gets low enough, it will trigger the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on your vehicle, which causes that annoying little light to click on. If the light turns off as you drive, that doesn’t mean there are no issues with your tires. As you drive, friction between the tire and road, as well as high temperatures, can increase the pressure in your tires and cause the TPMS light to go on. This can be misleading however, as your tires may have lost air pressure and the sensors may have been temporarily misled by other variables.
8. If you could dismiss one myth about automotive maintenance/repair, what would that be?
That cars today are virtually maintenance-free. They certainly require less maintenance than cars built 25 years ago, particularly in the first few years of ownership, but they still need regular care. Oil changes and tire rotations should be done at least annually and, for most drivers, at least twice a year. In addition, engine and cabin air filters usually need to be replaced every year. With some exceptions, those are the main service items for many vehicles during the first three or four years. Depending on how you drive, brake pads and rotors may need to be replaced every couple of years, though some drivers can coax more time out of theirs. Tires and batteries can last five years or longer, but may need to be replaced sooner in hot climates and on vehicles that rack up a lot of miles. All of that is good news compared to cars from the 1990s and earlier, when service and maintenance needs were more frequent. Low maintenance doesn't mean no maintenance, however. Check the service schedule in your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s service needs.
9. What is your favorite part of the job? Your favorite part about working for Sun Devil Auto?
Sun Devil Auto is family-owned and has been in business for 38 years. We have one rule: customer service.
10. What’s the number one tip you would provide to car owners about maintaining their vehicle?
A well-maintained car will save you money over the lifetime of your car and also give you better satisfaction with your vehicle.
If you live in Arizona, you know that your car’s air conditioning and engine cooling systems are just as important as the HVAC unit in your home. Since the extreme heat season is so long here in Tempe and surrounding areas, it’s critical to maintain your vehicle’s proper service schedule to prevent system malfunctions on a blistering hot day. Properly functioning systems can help keep both you and your car from overheating.
When you need help with a car repair or maintenance task, give Sun Devil Auto a call at 480-831-2831, or drop by our Tempe location at 1824 E. Elliot Road. Call us today to schedule your next service.