John DeCostanza, Contributing Writer

After 35 years plus John DeCostanza knows his way around an auto repair operation and offers varied insights into that industry and other automotive topics.


Getting A Car Repair Right The First Time
Getting A Car Repair Right The First Time

The service department of a large dealership had a unique way to promote quality control. Above the repair area floor, there was a catwalk from which management could oversee the happenings below. On the wall behind the catwalk was a huge banner that read “Fix It Right The First Time.”...Read More»

2001 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
How To Avoid Buying A Bad Used Car

Bad used cars can turn what should be a happy occasion--fresh wheels in your driveway--into a nightmare. But buying a used car has all of the pitfalls of buying a new car, plus many of its own, not the least of which is inheriting someone else's problems. “Let your mechanic look it...Read More»

Vinsetta Garage
Just Another Day At The Garage

There's always tension at an auto repair shop, but not much excitement. The closest anyone gets to an adrenalin rush is when something remarkable is noticed when a car makes it to the lift. Oddities like a squirrel setting up housekeeping in the air filter housing, or discovering that the little...Read More»

2011 Toyota RAV4 FWD 4-door 4-cyl 4-Spd AT (GS) Grille
Toyota Care: Peace Of Mind Or Sales Hype?

What is Toyota Care and what can it do for you? Since December the car company has been offering "Peace of Mind," a maintenance and roadside assistance plan that's complimentary with the purchase of every new Toyota. The throw-in is represented in their ads by an idyllic couple who are stowed away...Read More»

2011 Chevrolet Camaro
Extended Warranty? Not When It's New

When the new car dealer asks if you want an extended warranty, please say no. It's a little hard to know where to start to describe why the timing just doesn’t make sense, but I’ll try. It is important to know that these are not extended warranties, since the only company that can...Read More»

Oil cap
Five Ways To Make Your Car Repair Green

Being kind to the environment doesn’t need to end when you leave home. As consumers we have control over what happens to the earth as a consequence of our purchases. Auto repair is one instance when our choices can have a positive impact. This can be as simple as letting our desires be known...Read More»

2002 Chevrolet Malibu
How Good Is This Used Car?

Maybe you inherited a car, or possibly you got carried away with your “great find” and purchased a used car without having it checked out. But now, you have to take the guesswork out of evaluating your vehicle--and you need to establish some benchmarks for maintenance and service items...Read More»

40-car Garage For Sale-House Included
Will Auto Insurance Pay for This Repair?

Sometimes the first call you make when your car breaks down should be to your insurance man. If you come out and find two flat tires on the same side of the car – find a good neighbor. If you have a catastrophic loss of motor oil, check with the good hands people. And if you start your car...Read More»

2011 Chevrolet Camaro Synergy Series
Auto Repair: No Friend Of State Lawmakers

The auto repair industry finds itself under assault on a number of fronts. In no fewer than three states, there are legislative efforts being made to earmark auto repair sales as taxable, while in another there is a law that would require repair shops to perform a free service. The reason why...Read More»

2011 Ford Mustang GT
How To Know When To Have Your Brakes Checked

You know how to check your car's other vital systems--oil, tire air, and gas--but what about the brakes? The trouble with brakes is that they can fail anytime. Depending on the type of driving conditions they have been exposed to, their wear rates can drastically differ, too. But if you look for...Read More»

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