Archives for Boise

Don’t wait too long to check your timing belt/timing chain








It’s an all-too-familiar story from our clients:

Our good friend was driving along and his car suddenly stopped working. He coasted into a parking lot and gave us a call.

A car suddenly not working can be caused by several things: a fuel pump, an electrical issue, a plugged fuel filter, etc. It didn’t take long to realize he had a broken timing belt.

Broken timing belt on a Toyota Rav4 at The Shop Auto Repair Boise

Broken timing belt on a Toyota Rav4 at The Shop Auto Repair Boise


Our friend lucked out in this situation. There are two types of engines: interference and noninterference. His was a noninterference. If this happened on an interference engines, there would be furthur damage inside the engine between the pistons and valves. The repair (of either a rebuilt or new engine) would have cost over a thousand dollars. But because he had a noninterference engine, we were able to replace the timing belt with minimal work.

Car manufacturers include a timing belt repair in the scheduled list of tune ups and maintenance. We recommend you follow the recommended schedule of maintenance and replace your timing belt or chain before it breaks. It’s too risky to push it past, especially if you have an interference engine.

If you are concerned about your timing chain or unsure of when it needs to be replaced, give us a call. We can look up your car’s tune up schedule and also find out if it is an interference or noninterference engine.

Is your check engine light on?

gas cap leak causes check engine light The Shop Boisegas cap leak causes check engine light The Shop Boise

This has happened a few times in the last week or so, so we wanted to share this tip with you.

Some customers came in to The Shop with a check engine light on. They had been waiting to get it fixed for quite a while because they thought it would be expensive. We pulled the code and found an emissions leak. All they needed was a new fuel cap, a simple and inexpensive solution.

If you have a check engine light on and have not had it checked or fixed yet, come visit us at The Shop. We can look up the code and get you a quote for free. It may not be as bad as you think.

Veterans Fund Run Car Show at Idaho State Veterans Home

We have a good friend Bob who works across Main Street at NAPA Auto Parts where The Shop is a frequent visitor. We told us about an upcoming car show we hadn’t been to yet called the Veterans Fund Run on May 18. Although we didn’t have the Buick quite ready to enter, we stopped by the Idaho State Veterans Home to say hi to Bob (who was helping with his car club that ran the show) and take a look at the classics that showed up.

They had a great showing this year, with almost 200 cars in a variety of years and makes. And it was great to see the veterans at the peruse the cars to choose their favorites. The Best of Show award is chosen by the veterans.

Here are a few of the photos we took at the show. Excuse the many shots of the Buicks in attendance — we are a bit partial.

Shop Class: Month 2

May’s Shop Class was a great continuation of the important information you need to know about your car, in particular the sounds your car makes and what they mean.

Attendees at the May Shop Class

Thank you to all who attend our May Shop Class: From left, Lindsie Bergevin, Wendy Shentu, Amy Taylor, Jessica Swain, Misty DiPietro, Pamela Hallenberger with her daughters Leanora and Cordelia, and instructor Chris Bergevin. The other instructor, Travis Jenkins, was the photographer.

We learned about how to listen to your car — to pay attention to how your car normally sounds and how to notice when there is something out of the ordinary.

When discussing sounds with your mechanic, you should describe the pitch, longevity or frequency and the volume. That will help your mechanic narrow down where and what part of the car the sound is coming from, and can greatly help in determining the cause of the problem.

A couple of other tips taught during the May Shop Class:

  • A blaring radio is the most dangerous sound your car can make, as it will cover up other sounds that are important for you to pay attention to.
  • A vehicle has close to 34,000 moving parts and with all of that metal working together, grease and oil are important to keeping the parts moving smoothly and quietly. This is why it is important that you ask if your mechanic can check your car’s grease zerts when you get a tune up or oil change.
  • Dashboard lights are another way your car communicates with you. Read your car’s manual and become familiar with what each of them mean and what you may need to respond to.

A big thanks to all of the ladies that came to the May Shop Class! We hope to see you next month!


Derelicts – Our kinds of classics!

Chris & Lindsie Bergevin's 1955 Buick Roadmaster

The classic stylings of 1955 as original as can be. Photo by Shawn Raecke.

We at The Shop are of a firm belief that there is a time and place for everything — a time to cherry-out restore and a time to leave it be; a time to upgrade and improve, and a time to restore the stock parts for another 50 years of life.

Every now and then we find a restoration we love and get ideas we can incorporate into our current projects. And then there are those cars we find and drool after and which totally change our lives…

This “Derelict” restomod by automotive expert Jonathan Ward of Los Angeles is one such project that we recently discovered and totally falls in line with what we (Chris and Lindsie) are looking at doing with our 1955 Buick. This clip is from Jay Leno’s Garage last summer. Ward married a 1952 DeSoto to a Chrysler Town & Country. Take a look:

Don’t you just love that patina? It’s just like our Buick. We’ve been thinking for a long time about just leaving it be — exterior, chrome, bumper, everything but upgrade everything you can’t see.


Chris & Lindsie's 1955 Buick Roadmaster

A shot from our 2010 Christmas card photo shoot featuring our 1955 Buick Roadmaster. Photo by Shawn Raecke.

I’m not sure how quickly this concept will be adopted by the car restoration industry. The rat-rod experts out there are doing their part to help, but it’ll take a few years to gain steam. We found this evident in the last couple car shows we entered our Buick in. Yes – we entered her even though we had done almost no work to her at all. That wasn’t the point — we feel that classics are a piece of history and need to be seen, not parked.

Chris & Lindsie's 1955 Buick Roadmaster

The Buick at it’s second ever car show — in disguise as Puff the Magic Dragon. Photo by Lindsie Bergevin.

The Buick gained acceptance at the annual Halloween Trunk or Treat at a local Boise drive in. The dry ice clouds pouring from the snout did a number on the small kids, but all the same, it was a load of fun. The condition of her exterior fit right in. We got lots of comments and laughs.

But a real-live car show? That was another story.

Chris & Lindsie's 1955 Buick Roadmaster

A young high school couple were the perfect models for a quick photo in the ’55 Buick. Photo by Chris Bergevin.

The 2012 Northwest Motorfest was the real deal — a juried show and we were one of few of the ’50s era Buicks that attended. None had the patina like ours, though. We got a lot of comments: some encouraging, some discouraging. Everything from “Oh, my mom had one of these and I remember riding in it as a kid….” to “you’ve got a lot of work head of you.” Some people couldn’t believe why we entered. Others were glad to see something not perfect. All in all, though, it was good to spread the message of the value of imperfect, classic, daily drivers.

Maybe one day it will be totally cherried out — most likely it’ll be rebuilt on the inside but will be a total surprise to everyone else. Either way, it’s going to get its time in the sun. That patina still has more aging to do!