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Archive for April, 2013


The axiom “you could, but should you” applies to wearing tube tops, bungee jumping off a short bridge and auto repairs. Just because you can change the wiring system in your Mazda3, should you? Previous generations of car owners took pride in changing out the timing belt. But today, is that something a typical Chapman Arizona new car owner can attempt? Or is that a costly repair best left to a professional?

Joshua Wojtyna, the Service Manager at Chapman Mazda, suggests leaving the timing belt replacement to a certified technician. “A timing belt is a crucial component in an engine, and if you don’t have the tension right, or the belt is placed incorrectly, you may damage the engine,” Wojtyna says. “There are timing marks to align the belt to, and the tension must be correct. It’s not an easy job for the average vehicle owner to perform.”

Even an oil change on a new car can be a costly exercise in frustration. There are supplies to buy, like the oil, a filter, and oil pan, as well as the disposal method for the oil. That’s right, gone are the days when you can just dump the oil down the street drain, or in the dirt next to the driveway. Per Arizona state statute, If you change your own oil, you must take the old, sludgy stuff to a hazardous waste facility for disposal. The hassle of getting the oil plug out of the bottom of the engine block is minor compared to finding a disposal site near your home. It is more convenient to visit your local Chapman Arizona Service Center for an oil change and ditch all of the hassle.

Wojtyna has worked for Chapman Mazda for nearly 3 years, and has been a mechanic for 19. Here are his suggestions for vehicle owners who have basic car knowledge and who want to perform maintenance items themselves:

  • Oil change – Correct oil weight and amount is VERY important
  • Air filter
  • Cabin filter in most cars – some require disassembly to replace
  • Fuses – be sure to use the correct amperage fuse when replacing
  • Tire rotation – front to back only on same side of vehicle. Some tires are directional. A torque wrench is required
  • Windshield wipers – use the correct length
  • Battery replacement – use only the correct size for the vehicle and make sure it is secured properly, and the cables are firmly attached

The following repairs are best left to a professional vehicle mechanic:

  • Brakes – correct pads and shims need to be used, and the rotors should be machined
  • Spark plugs – a mechanic can “read” the plugs and determine the condition of the engine
  • Transmission services – the fluid is strained for particulates and the color checked to determine transmission condition
  • Hoses
  • Fluids – at Chapman Mazda, we perform a flush and cleaning, not just a drain and refill
  • Any tune-up related items

For those repairs that only a mechanic can perform, turn to one of Chapman Arizona’s Service Centers. The certified professionals who work there can take care of your vehicle in a timely manner, and get you back on the road quickly. To find a center near you, visit