Archive for June, 2011
Are you trying to locate the nearest Volvo Dealership Service Center and Volvo Independent Shops.
Volvo Service in the Washington DC Area: Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland
Martens Volvo Service Center
5206 River Road
Bethesda, Md 20816
Phone: (301) 656-6166
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. No weekends.
Martens Volvo Dealership for new and used car sales:
4800 Wisconsin Avenue
Washington DC, DC 20016
Phone: (202) 537-3000
Fax: (202) 537-3938
Virginia Volvo Dealerships
1231 West Broad St.
Falls Church, VA 22046
Phone: (703) 237-5000
Fax: (703) 237-5028
21830 Pacific Blvd
Dulles, VA 20166
Phone: (703) 421-5700
Fax: (703) 673-1335
7416 Richmond Hwy, Rt 1 S
Alexandria, VA 22306
Phone: (703) 768-5800
Fax: (703) 768-5358
11050 Main St
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: (703) 591-1820
Fax: (703) 352-2960
Maryland Volvo Dealerships
3121 Automobile Blvd.
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Phone: (301) 890-6200
Fax: (301) 890-4696
15401 Frederick Rd
Rockville, MD 20855
Phone: (301) 309-3900
Fax: (301) 309-3915
6001 Urbana Pike
Frederick, MD 21704
Phone: (301) 662-7600
Fax: (301) 695-8395
9610 Reisterstown Rd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Service phone:(877) 861-6059
333 Buschs Frontage Road
Annapolis, MD 21409
Service Phone:(410) 349-8800
Independent Volvo shops I can recommend are:
108 Crabb Ave.
Rockville, MD 20850
2.Bethesda Import specialist
5435 Butler Road
Bethesda, MD 20816(301) 656-0056 Other Volvo Dealerships and Independent Volvo shops in Maryland
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Good Volvo Service
In my experience I would rate our volvo service center as good because most of our customers have been with us for tens of years and many own more than one Volvo, all serviced by us.
Majority of our factory trained auto technicians are highly qualified and do excellent work. But this does not mean that we are perfect because I have seen a few cases of bad and ugly services.
Bad Volvo Service
The few cases of bad service I have seen is mainly due to greedy auto technicians and a service advisor losing control over his team of technicians.
In this case, the Service Advisor was great at his job because he was aggressive in setting up a high volume of appointments, thus feeding his technicians with a steady stream of work.
His technician’s loved having their pick of the ‘Gravy Jobs’, and they simply pushed aside the more technical jobs that required complex diagnostics, ‘project cars’ as we call them. Project cars were thus doomed to spend months on end in the shop, and their owners were appeased by getting a free loaner car to run around in.
This in turn tied up loaner cars, so that at any one time we had fewer loaner cars available for customers.
The dealership pays auto technicians on a ‘flat rate’ basis, meaning that each job is broken down into hours. Another name for flat rate is piece work, if you don’t have work coming in, then you don’t get paid. But the work or hours you put in, translates into more money in your pocket.
For example, a typical gravy job may require two and a half hours to complete, but a super fast, skilled technician may complete it in thirty minutes. The name of the game is ‘beat the clock’.
So, an auto technician turning over 25 hours worth of work a day in a regular 8 hour day cycle is doing pretty good. A team lead, or master tech can thus make 100K easy, in annual income. But the ugly truth is that when volume goes up, quality usually suffers. Come backs is the measure of ugly service. Simply, cars that are being returned because of shoddy repair work.
Ugly Volvo Service
Ugly service or ‘come backs’ were the mainstay of the service team manned by the greedy auto tech’s. They were so busy turning hours to care about the quality of their auto repairs.
For example, a super fast technician completes an oil change in 15 minutes and forgets to add new fresh oil after draining out contaminated oil. The customer picks up his or her car only to discover the red warning oil lamp flashing ‘low oil level’. This did happen.
Such a disaster can potentialy cost a dealership up to $4500 for a replacement engine when the original engine is destroyed from lack of engine oil. This is what I term as ugly service.
The Service Adviser retired and the gravy train was shut down by the Service Director. Forced to complete the pending project cars, the greedy tech’s decided to call it quits and resigned. The service team is now rebuilding from scratch.
Avoid auto technicians with high return rates or ‘come backs’. High volume = poor quality repairs.
Washington DC Volvo – The Secret of How To Get A Service Appointment in Washington DC At Short Notice
We open our doors at 7 a.m. and when you come in early without an appointment, most likely you will get your car serviced. This is because in my experience at least one or two customer will be no-shows. Customers will call us and reschedule because something urgent came up, maybe a doctor’s appointment, or a conflict in their schedules. So, come in early or call us before 9 a.m.
Our appointments system
We open at 7 a.m. and close at 6.30 p.m., Monday through Friday and we accept vehicles up until 9 a.m. Your vehicle will be ready to be picked up in the afternoon and if you need it earlier than that just inform your service advisor. However, for a major service like a timing belt may take a couple days and major repairs like transmission work will take even longer.
The following is what to expect when you make a service appointment.
Some of our customer choose to drop off after hours because of their work schedules. We have a night drop box, where you simply place your key in an envelope, write out the concerns or symptoms that your car is experiencing and drop the envelope and keys through the drop slot.
This simply means that you want to wait for your car while it’s being serviced. A good time to wait for your car at our Service Center is to come in at about 7.45 a.m. or 8 a.m. This is because the Technicians start arriving at 7.30 a.m. and by 7.45 a.m. they are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.
Mean while, you can wait in one of the two lounges. One is the lounge quiet lounge with internet access, WiFi and the other lounge is the noisy lounge with the TV.
We have a coffee machine that dispenses free coffee, and although it tastes like 5W-30 grade oil, we all drink it like it’s going out of style. Free is FREE. No questions!
Please expect to wait for at least an hour depending on what is wrong with your vehicle. If it takes longer than anticipated, the service advisor will notify you and he or she may put you in a loaner, if one is available.
I once witnessed one customer wait for the entire day, which is very rare. The problem was that she had warranty through some shady company that would not pay for the repair.
This is service while you wait, meaning an hour or less and it’s normally available between 8 a.m. and 11a.m. Express service is typical for small jobs like a basic oil change (oil and filter change), to have new keys cut and programmed, to check your battery, to have bulbs changed, and to fix a flat tire.
All other Jobs
The majority of services require you to leave your car with us and pick it up again afternoon. A major service or major repair will take longer. So, if you are due for a timing belt this may take one or two days.
We open at 7 a.m. and close at 6.30 p.m. However, it would be wise to pick up the vehicle by 6 p.m. in order to avoid the last minute rush. You may also choose to pay over the phone and have your car locked up and parked at a convinient location for you to pick up after hours.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are normally slow days, so you can probably get away with a last minute appointment. Call early to schedule a service appointment.
A Chipped or Cracked Windshield Spells TROUBLE.
The summer heat wave is upon us again. Temperatures are rising and your windshield cracks are getting bigger by the minute. If you don’t believe me just take another look at your windshield. No chip! then you have nothing to worry about.
Customers are asking about our complimentary free car washes. But if your windshield is chipped or cracked, you have to steer clear off car washes, free or not, or else you will soon be looking for a replacement windshield. Call Banner glass right now and have your windshield repaired, before it’s too late.
Now, this is what happens when you bring your vehicle to the service center. We place a ticket on it and park it outside in the parking lot. And when the technician gets to your vehicle he pulls it into the shop, completes the repair job or service, test drives the car and then parks your car outside.
After the technician’s work is complete, the lot attendent takes over. The lot attendant picks up the keys and drives your car into the free car wash.
Now, when the icy cold soapy water hits your hot and chipped windshield, the result is shattered glass, not a pretty sight at all. That is why we won’t wash your car if the windshield is chipped.
However, your vehicle’s windshield is made of specialized catalyzed adhesives that are used to form a chemical bond in order to minimize shattering.
Modern windshields are made of two curved sheets of glass with a Polyvinyl Butyrate laminated layer between the two pieces of glass for safety reasons.
Advantages of laminated windshields include;
- Minimizes cracks, thus prevents injury to occupants.
- Does not obstruct the drivers view.
- Can be easily repaired and does not need not be replaced every time it’s damaged.
- UV coating can be applied to it to filter out harmful UV rays.
Our customers tend to drive more during the summer than in winter, thus a little chip or crack in the windshield will soon expand into a crack.
So, here are a few precautions you might want to take in order to prevent expensive windshield replacement costs.
- Inspect the chip or crack and have your windshield repaired as soon as possible.
- Do not touch the windshield chip as you may contaminate the damaged area with moisture from your fingerprint.
- Apply a clear piece of tape on the windshield chip to keep it free of contaminants.
- Do not put your car through a car wash unless you want to replace your windshield.
- Do not slam car doors. Vibrations may cause your windshield chip to form into a crack.
- Do not park the car out in the hot sun.
- Do not run the AC on high, a rapid change in internal temperature can stress out and weaken the windshield, causing it to fail.
- Use a certified windshield repair man to do the job.
- Ask for original equipment glass (OEM) and quality glass and sealants. Ask for Volvo Windshields from a Volvo Dealership, dont get some poor quality aftermarket winshield just because it’s cheap.
As Benjamin Franklin famously put it ” an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“. Preventive car maintenace is always cheaper than a major repair. As for you my Volvo friends, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Spread the word.
I was pissed, really mad today, when one of our Volvo technician said this to my face, ” You know what, you are one pain in the butt”.
I quietly asked him why? but he wouldn’t give me an answer.
I was simply trying to get some answers about one of our customer’s vehicle. I know that sometimes I ask way too many questions.
But that is me; short, aggressive, bald headed, and maybe a royal pain in the butt.
My reason for being is to help people. I happen to be in a position where I can help Volvo owners. And that is why I blog, to help you, Volvo owners.
The objective of this blog is to help my readers save money on Volvo Maintenance.
I spend a lot of time researching and writing on topics that I believe can be of help my readers. Sometime I use my everyday experiences at the dealership to tell it like it is.
You won’t believe it; but day in day out, our customers have the same concerns, the very same issues. Male or female, accent or no accent
Some folks have different accents because a big part of our clientele are Washington DC diplomats. But the questions and concerns are all the same. Mostly about service, check engine lights, and lost keys etc. But the key question lurking in our customers mind is, ” is my car safe to drive”?
Therefore, our job is not only to sell safety, but to ensure that Volvo remains the most safe car to drive. That is what my understanding of Volvo is.
So, that is why I blog. I am simply trying to answer your questions in advance. In short I am simply trying my best to be a pain in the butt.
It’s been very difficult journey growing and nurturing this blog, and I now have about a thousand hits and growing.
My question to you all is, am I helping anyone? or am I just a royal pain in the butt.
Pull off the road safely and come to a complete dead stop if the oil warning lamp illuminates.
Low oil pressure will damage your vehicle’s engine. So, You must not take the oil pressure warning lamp lightly.
The oil warning lamp does not come on until the oil pressure is dangerously low. And this warning light let’s you know that the lubrication system cannot maintain adequate oil pressure.
Causes of low oil pressure
- A faulty oil pump.
- Clogged up oil strainer.
- Excessive wear on high mileage engines.
- Low oil volume.
- Burning oil due to worn out piston rings or valve seals.
Oil pressure system
The oil pressure system consists of:
- The oil pan
- Oil Pump
- Pressure relief valve
- Oil filter
- Dip stick
The oil pump’s job is to produce oil flow; and the resistance to oil flow is known as oil pressure. Oil pressure or resistance is created by oil being pumped through tiny oil holes in the engine block, this is similar to water pipes feeding water under pressure to your house. The Large pipes (mains) feed into smaller pipes, small pipes feed into yet smaller pipes leading to a build up in water pressure.
Oil feeds through the oil pump and on to the oil filter, the filter further screens out all the little particles that got through the strainer.
Full oil pressure is used to force oil through the main gallery, lubricating: the crankshaft main bearings, connecting rod bearings, camshaft, and hydraulic valve lifters.
Worn out bearings will increase the gap between the crankshaft and the bearings, allowing for more oil to pass through, the result is lower oil pressure. 1/1000 of an inch, worn off an engines main bearings will lead to a 20% loss in oil pressure.
Alternatively, if the clearance is too small, then oil can get stressed out from being forced into a tightly restricted space.
The flow of oil reduces as it continues to flow further and further away. But oil pressure is maintained as oil flows through smaller passages: oil holes, and oil jets.
The oil pan is a shallow holding tank at the bottom of the engine block. The oil pan also helps the oil cool down by discharging excess heat into the surrounding air.
The oil pump draws the oil upwards from the oil pan, through the strainer, and into the oil filter.
As the oil flows through the strainer, debris: tiny pieces of plastics, rubber, gaskets, metal shaving and dirt are screened out.
A clogged up strainer can lead to low oil pressure because the flow of oil will be impeded.
The oil pump is mounted on the cylinder block and is driven by either the crankshaft or camshaft by use of a gear, belt, or a drive shaft.
Pressure relief valve
The pressure relief valve limits oil pressure from building up too high in the oil pump. The pressure valve opens at a preset limit and sends some of the oil straight back into the oil pan to be recirculated. Excessive oil pressure damages seals and gaskets and the result is an oil leak. High oil pressure heats up the oil, breaking it down to form a sludge or gel. Gel or sludge is bad news for the engine.
The oil filter traps small particles of metal, dirt, and other debris suspended in oil so that these particles do not circulate in the engine. The oil filter keeps the engine clean and reduces wear and tear.
Most oil filters are the full flow type and all the oil passes through the oil filter.
The filter contains a paper element that screens out particles in the oil. Oil flows from the oil pump and into the oil filter and through the outside material and into the center of the element.
Finally, the clean oil flows out free of debris and onto the main gallery through a tube in the center of the filter.
Your oil filter can easily get clogged up with debris if you don’t change your oil and oil filter on a regular basis or every 3500 miles. Clogged filters can lead to engine damage and to prevent this from happening use original manufacture (OEM) oil filters. OEM oil filters include a spring loaded bypass release valve. when the back pressure builds up, the spring on the bypass valve releases to let dirty unfiltered oil through.
Oil Dip stick
One way to determine if your engine oil needs changing is to pop open the hood, pull out the dip stick, and examine how dirty the oil looks. However, the main function of the dip stick is to measure the level of oil in the oil pan.
The best way to examine the level of oil in the oil pan is to pull out the dip stick, wipe it clean and dip it back into the oil reservoir.
The dip stick has a maximum and minimum oil level marking and it is important to keep the oil level ABOVE THE ‘MIN’ LINE at all times. Add oil immediately if the level falls below the ‘MIN’ level. Consult your owner’s manual for recommended oil grade.
Never overfill engine oil. Too much oil will allow the crankshaft to make contact with oil at the bottom and churn it into a foam. Now, the oil pump cannot pump foam and foam will not lubricate engine parts.
Therefore, the oil level will drop, creating dangerously high temperatures, which will lead to engine failure. Oil pressure that is too high or too low will increase oil consumption.
Consult your owners manaul for the correct oil capacity and recommended oil.