My truck is making a noise. It can be a fear-inducing thought to the owner who heads to a repair shop.
Mechanic Dan Shover combines 20 years of experience and his tools to diagnose and solve the problem. Communication with his customers is the first tool the owner of Coyote Auto Truck and RV Repair employs.
"I try to ask them, describe the noise. If the vehicle is having a pre-ignition problem in the fuel tank it will sound like a bb in a coffee can," he said.
To pinpoint the problem, he will often take the vehicle for a test drive with the owner.
If Shover is not using OEM (original equipment manufactured or "dealer") parts, his parts of choice are manufactured by Car Quest, because of the "quality, service and coast to coast guarantee."
Certain problems have simple, less expensive solutions than parts replacement and the labor involved.
For instance, a vehicle engine light comes on and a person goes and gets a free test at a parts store because their engine light is on and the test indicates the problem is the O2 sensor, so they buy it and want their mechanic to install it.
"Are you sure that's the problem? Just because that sensor code came up, does not mean that (the sensor) is bad. Something else could be triggering that sensor -- a simple vacuum leak can. When I (check a vehicle) just because the O2 sensor code came up, I don't stop right there, I go find out why," he said.
According to Shover, it could be the sensor, it could be a bad regulator, and it could be that he can fix the problem with a new piece of vacuum line -- something he did the other day for a customer.
"She was tickled pink. It took me five minutes. I didn't charge her."
Why is it when you take your car in for service the mechanic often finds something else wrong? Is that a part of preventive maintenance?
"Pretty much," Shover said. "It is kind of like going to the dentist when you have one tooth hurting and they look around your mouth and say ‘this other tooth is not looking good either.'
"Your car's manual will tell you what needs to be done at the 10,000-, 20,000-, 30,000-mile service," and Shover recommends following it, and will give customers a print-out so they have a heads-up on what needs to be done. Much of the required maintenance is just inspection, he explained.
"A lot of people up here are retired and on Social Security. If they can get by for another 3,000 miles, I'll tell them. If not, I'll let them know you need to address this problem right away."
As a Tech-Net Professional repair facility, Shover and his mechanics attend continuing education classes each year at the Car Quest Training Institute. Coyote's technicians are ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified.
Training and certification are not state requirements, but it is quite often a dealer requirement in order to perform warranty work, so for Shover, education just makes sense.
He has a computer program that provides him with the latest information on vehicles, plus technical service bulletins from dealers and manufacturers.
In addition to repairing gas and diesel cars and trucks, Coyote Auto repairs recreational vehicles, including transmission work.
Jeeps are a specialty of the company.
Shover said he "loves fixing problems. Having a car leave running and the customer happy is what it is all about."
Shover and his brother Rob Shover have been in business in Star Valley since Jan. 9, 2000. Dan began his career as an "island boy," pumping gas at a Valley Exxon station. Being a mechanic is a family tradition -- Dan owned a shop in the Valley with his father.
Dan chose the Rim Country for the recreational opportunities. He enjoys fishing and skiing. "Here, you're 30 miles from two different lakes."
Coyote Auto Truck and RV Repair and Cheapest Tow in Town is on the north side of the highway at 256018 E. Highway 260, #3, Star Valley. Call (928) 472-1100 for repairs and /or towing.