by Tom Bryant
    This page is used to share information concerning service, maintenance, diagnostics, and repair of your vehicle. Hopefully, there will be information here that equip you to better understand your vehicle, as well as, communicate more effectively with Service Personnel when your vehicle requires attention.

Any suggestions about topics to be covered in the future are welcomed, just drop a card to me at P.O. Box 493280, Redding CA 96049-3280, e-mail at, or stop by BRYANT AUTOMOTIVE on Churn Creek Rd. just one block north of Cypress. Your input will be appreciated.


 Cooling System Electrolysis  Timing Belt Replacement   35th Year Celebration
 Your Car's Health Preventive Maintenance Estimates
Air-conditioning Service The Gross Polluter Tune-up
Price Shopping Safer Jump-starting  Automotive Heaters & Defrosters 

Cooling System Electrolysis
If you have had routine service on your vehicle for a time, you have likely been told that the cooling system needs to be serviced to prevent electrolysis. Very likely though no one explained to you what cooling system electrolysis is, how it comes to be, and how electrolysis affects your vehicle.
According to Webster, Electrolysis is:
"The decomposition into ions of a chemical compound in solution by the action of an electrical current passing through the solution."

The coolant circulating in the engine block is subjected to electrical current because the engine block is the ground circuit for much of the electrical system. Over time the coolant becomes a voltage producing solution. It then begins to eat away the metal it contacts.

Before computerized engine controls this was the major concern. Now however, the voltage produced by the coolant also upsets the logic of the computer system that can produce drivability problems.

Have your coolant checked periodically to prevent this problem.

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Timing Belt Replacement
The recommended mileage for timing belt replacement on most of today's engines is 60,000 miles.

The timing belt is a rubber & fabric cog belt that keeps the rotation of the crankshaft and pistons in the correct relationship with the camshaft and valves. There are two classes of engines produced with timing belts, the "noninterference engine" and the "interference engine."

In the case of the "noninterference engine", if the timing belt fails, the engine will fail to start, or if running when it fails, it will quit running. An inconvenience, but no internal damage should result.

The reason that timing belt replacement is a critical Preventive Maintenance Operation is because most of today's engines are designated as "interference engines." This means that if timing belt breaks and the camshaft stops turning, or if it should jump teeth and gets too far out of time, the pistons will collide with open valves causing major damage in the process.

If you are in doubt about your car, check the Owner's Manual or call us @ 222-3313,


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"35 Year Celebration"
    Early in 1968, Margaret and I came to Redding from Orange County looking for two things:
    A community that would support a new auto repair business, and an environment suitable to raise our four children.
    We fell in love with Redding, because of its rural atmosphere, the Sacramento river, and the picturesque setting among the mountains. We knew that this was the place!
    On May 15th 2003, Bryant Automotive completed its 35th year providing Quality and Affordable Service to motorists in Redding and the surrounding area. 
    Tom, Margaret, Dan, and Barry Bryant want to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to the community for the support that it has given us through the years. Our hundreds of customers, many who have been with us from the early years, are special to us, it is because of you that we are able to celebrate this 35th year.

Today, September 10, 2010, we are at 42 plus years serving the Redding community. Except for two changes since our 35th Celebration, on August 9, 2009, Barry lost his life and is missed by us, our customers and the community...our eldest son, Jeff, has joined the Bryant Automotive Staff. Our mission remains "Bryant  Automotive is dedicated to providing the motoring public with safe, reliable service and repairs at a price that is fair to all concerned and to guarantee these services and repairs for a reasonable period of time."

    If you are not now our customer, we invite you to investigate what we have to offer. Give us a call at 222-3313 or stop by 2354 Churn Creek Rd., and meet our friendly staff.

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Your Car's Health
    Is it time for your vehicle to have a physical check up? If you depend on it to meet your transportation needs, it is important that you know if your vehicle is in good health.
    We believe in and promote Preventive Maintenance. Finding and making minor repairs before they become major problems makes good economic sense and can save the frustration of breakdowns.
    We, recommend that you give your car a complete physical to find what is needed, make the repairs, and then do the periodic services as required,
    Springtime is a good time for a checkup. Is the Air-conditioning working properly? Does the engine run smoothly? Has the gas mileage dropped? Even if there is no problem evident, something may be lurking in the dark ready to leave you stranded, or at least inconvenienced. For peace of mind, make sure that your car is ready for the summer months. We offer a variety of services that will insure your motoring comfort.
    Give us a call at 222-3313 or come by and visit our shop at 2354 Churn Creek Rd. Oust I block north of Cypress) and see what we have to offer.
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Preventative Maintenance
    The vehicle we drive is the second largest investment that many of us will make. Yet most of us don't protect that investment with proper maintenance.
    There is no situation that I can think of that is more frustrating than having problems with a vehicle when on the road. First, your schedule is interrupted by unexpected delays. Second, if you are away from home, you have to put your vehicle in the hands of someone your don't know.
    At Bryant Automotive we encourage periodic evaluations of the vehicle's condition to minimize these problems.
    With the change of seasons comes special concerns, now is a good time to have your car, truck, or motor home checked for potential problems.
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    We receive many phone calls asking for estimates on various types of auto repairs. We are reluctant to give estimates over the telephone for two reasons. First, it is very difficult to give an accurate estimate without having the vehicle in the shop. There are too many variables in equipment and design that have an bearing on the repair procedures, size of the engine, transmission type, air-conditioning, power steering, etc. Second, to often when people are shopping by phone, their main concern is price. A wise man once said, "First there is the price, then there is the cost!" We know that there are always shops that will work for less to get the job.
    Some questions the customer needs to ask before being concerned about price:
    Is the shop qualified to do this repair? Do they have the proper equipment? Are the technicians qualified and ASE Certified? What kind of warranty is offered? Is this an established business, will it be here to honor a warranty?
    Bryant Automotive is Qualified, uses up-to-date Equipment, employs ASE Certified Technicians, offers warranties on all repairs, and have been serving the greater Redding area since 1968.
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Air-conditioning Service
    Whether we live in Redding, are vacationing, or are just passing through, there is one thing we all have in common at this time of the year,  if the air-conditioning in our vehicle quits working, we are not a happy camper.
    As I'm am sure you are aware, making a decision today about how to approach service or repairs on air-conditioning has been complicated by the phase out and the soaring prices of refrigerant R-12. If you are driving a pre-early 90's vehicle, chances are you have a R-12 System. When major repairs are needed, I recommend that strong consideration be given to converting to the R-134a refrigerant that is being used in the new cars & trucks. In many cases there is little added cost because of the difference in price of the refrigerants.
    There are refrigerant substitutes that are aggressively advertised as drop in replacements for R-12. A word of caution about substitutes ...These are generally blends of various refrigerants that require completely emptying and recharging the system if a leak occurs, or they contain butane or other flammable that could cause, even more serious consequences. In any case a shop today must have equipment to identify what is in your vehicle's system. A system that contains traces of anything other than R-12 or R134a, will require special handling, disposal, and increased fees.
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The Gross Polluter
    Today, if you are looking for a heated discussion, just mention Smog Check II, or more specifically, the "Gross Polluter". A Gross Polluter is a vehicle that has failed a smog check due to tampering, which is altering the vehicle's smog control system in such a way that it is rendered inoperative by modifying, disconnecting, or installing unauthorized equipment, or because of excessively high tailpipe emissions. In either case, repair waivers and economic hardship extensions are only available after the vehicle has been brought below Gross Polluter Standards and all tampering has been corrected.
    Change of Ownership, and vehicles being initially registered in California, must be repaired regardless of cost and are ineligible for either the repair waiver or economic hardship extension.
    This is a federally mandated program and it is focused on a small number of vehicles that produced the major part of our air quality problems. If you have questions related to the Smog Program, or other automotive problems, call us or stop by Bryant Automotive. We are here to help!
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    Without a doubt, POOR COMMUNICATION is the greatest barrier to good relationships. GOOD COMMUNICATION requires GOOD LISTENING skills, and the EXPRESSION OF THOUGHTS in a manner that guarantees CLEAR UNDERSTANDING. This is especially true in the customer and auto repair shop relationships. Too often assumptions are made, by both the customer and the service writer, resulting in misunderstandings.
    As a customer, the best way avoid being misunderstood is to tell the service writer how your vehicle is misbehaving rather than asking for a specific service. For instance, asking for a Tune-up has always meant different things to different people.... With today's computer controlled systems, it gets even more complicated. Often there is something wrong with the CONTROL of the system that is causing the concern. If that is the case, then a DIAGNOSIS is needed to determine what is wrong.
    When a preventive maintenance tune-up is needed, (normally recommended at 30,000 mile intervals) We offer a basic tune-up operation which includes spark plugs. However, if you have a drive ability or performance problem, a tune-up may not be the answer to the problem.
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Price Shopping    
You are on the phone looking for the shop that will do a certain repair for the lowest price. Two things are wrong with this picture. First, without being able to personally inspect the vehicle for engine size, optional equipment, etc., rarely can we give an accurate estimate. Secondly, I don't believe that price, although important in your mind, is the most important question to be asked.
    There was a study done in the eighties where people were asked, "What are you most interested in when choosing an Auto Service Center?" When the replies were tallied, Quality came in first, followed by Convenience, and then Speed and Courtesy. Price was last on the list.
    If we as a shop, focus on quality and ignore price, we become labeled as a "Pricey Shop". I prefer to put the emphasis on both quality and price at the same time. This is known as "value". I think that you will agree that things we value seldom have a low price. If price is your major concern, we may not win your business, but if you want value, Bryant Automotive should be your shop.
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Safer Jump-starting for Dead Batteries
    Jump-starting your car can be hazardous to the car's computer, radio, alarm, and other electronic equipment because of voltage surges. A dead battery should be disconnected from a car's electrical system when being recharged. But if you must jump-start, you can minimize the risk of damage to delicate electronic equipment with the following steps....
  1. Turn off all car accessories, but switch on the blower for the heater/air conditioner on both the disabled and the "able" cars.
  2. Switch off the ignitions on both cars before attaching the jumper cables.
  3. Attach the jumper cables at arms length, making the last negative connection on the engine block of the disabled car.
  4. Run the engine of the able car for 10 to 20 minutes to charge the battery of the disabled car.
  5. Start the disabled car, and let the engine warm up.
  6. Switch off both cars before disconnecting the cables. Disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order in which they were connected.
  7. Restart the disabled car immediately.
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Automotive Heaters & Defrosters
    Not only for your comfort, but for your driving safety as well, it is time to get your Automotive Heaters and Defrosters in proper working order. Often, through the summer months when the heater is not being used, problems will develop in the system. Of course these problems are not evident until you need the heater or defroster.
    If there is no heat from the heater or defroster system after the engine is properly warmed up, the water circulation control valve or air mixing doors may have become stuck in a closed position. The heater hoses or the heater core may also become plugged with sediment while idle through the summer months.
    If there is an unusual odor when the system is activated, the windshield becomes fogged when the defroster is first turned on, or the passenger's side floor mat is wet, the heater core may be leaking.
    We service both Manual and Automatic Comfort Systems. Whatever the problem with your vehicle's Heater, Defroster, or Air-conditioning System, we have you covered. Call us at 222-3313 for an appointment.   

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Last Updated: 09/09/2010