Is Your Car Ready for Winter Weather?

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ASE Master Technicians at Team Ryan Automotive recommend some simple steps to get your car winter ready. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way to give you peace of mind and help avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown during severe weather.

“The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down in cold, harsh winter weather,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A vehicle check before the temperatures drop is a sensible way to avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold and with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.”

Here are the top 9 action items Team Ryan Automotive recommends:

  1. Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.

  2. Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.

  3. Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.

  4. Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.

  5. Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Have your technician check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.

  6. If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.

  7. Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.

  8. Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.

  9. Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.

We recommend to keep your gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Drivers should check the tire pressure of the spare in the trunk and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

Did you know that Team Ryan Automotive checks all 9 of these recommendations as well as the tire pressure on your spare with every oil service?

Bike for Kids Donation Drive Success!

Big Thanks to those that contributed to our Bike for Kids drive! We feel that it is important to remember to be humble and grateful for what we have in this life. Giving back to those who wouldn’t have much of a Christmas otherwise makes a big difference! For some, this bike will be their only gift.

Huge thanks to all of the community members that supported this effort of new and used bikes!! A great big thanks to the team-members at Team Ryan Automotive for getting the used bikes in beautiful condition and ready to ride!

Team Ryan Automotive donates $2 For Every Facebook Page Like to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia

Make your clicks count this Holiday Season! Simply “like” the Team Ryan Automotive facebook page and we will donate $2 per like up to a total of $1000 now through December 17th. In honor of our rescue, Sophia, who passed away this year at the elder age of 14, we want to help other homeless animals find forever homes by being an Adoption Angel for the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. Help us reach our goal of $1000 by liking our page below.

Team Ryan Automotive Named as Finalist At The Gwinnett Chamber Pinnacle Awards

Team Ryan Automotive was named as a Finalist in the Rising Star category in 2015 and then Winning in that category in 2016. We have been honored to be a Finalist in the Small Business 0-5 employee category in 2017 and 2018. Hoping to bring home another win next year!

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To See All Finalists including Team Ryan Automotive click here. To See All Award Winners click here. Many respected and aspiring Gwinnett Chamber businesses were in attendance at this years award luncheon and conference.

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I hadn’t heard of Jesse Itzler before hearing his keynote speech at the Gwinnett Chamber Small Business Summit this year , but after hearing the enthusiasm and clarity in which he has pursued life, he is definitely on my radar now. His honesty about self doubt and overcoming it make him even more believable.

JESSE ITZLER only eats fruit 'til noon, loves Run-D.M.C., and enjoys living life "out of the box." In fact, he doesn't even have a box. The author of the New York Times bestseller, Living with a Seal, cofounded Marquis Jet, the world's largest private jet card company which he and his partner sold to Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets. Jesse then partnered with Zico coconut water, which he and his partner sold to The Coca-Cola Company.

He's a former rapper on MTV and wrote and performed the NBA's Emmy Award-winning "I Love This Game" music campaign and the popular New York Knicks anthem "Go NY Go." When he's not running ultra-marathons, eating vegan food or being a dad to his four kids, Jesse can be found at the NBA's Atlanta Hawks games, where he's an owner of the team. He is married to Spanx founder Sara Blakely. To find out more, check out:

If you are curious about who the other speakers were at the conference, click here.

Team Ryan Automotive's Own, Dan Ryan Named 40 Under 40 By Georgia Trend Magazine

When Dan Ryan founded Team Ryan Automotive in 2015, he trusted that customers wanted what he would want in a mechanic. “All we have to do is be honest, fix what needs to be fixed, talk to our customers, inform and educate,” he says. “When you do those things, taking care of your customers, it promotes the type of relationships you want.”

Turns out, he was right. The company has grown 30 percent to 40 percent in sales each year. Team Ryan Automotive is the only ASE Blue Seal of Excellence-recognized shop in Hall County and North Gwinnett.

He and his wife and business partner, Shara, are ardent supporters of the local Kiwanis and promote environmental causes through their business, too, even recycling oil from vehicles and oil filters to heat the shop in the winter.

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For 22 years, Georgia Trend has celebrated the state’s rising stars under the age of 40. We’ve continued to watch as they advanced in their careers, achieved much success and positively influenced the lives of other Georgians.

This year’s group of inspiring young leaders represents government, small and large businesses, nonprofits, education, healthcare, banking and professional sports. They were nominated by readers throughout the state who know them well. From more than 300 nominations, the Georgia Trend staff made the final selections. We’re proud to share their stories.

"Luck Favors The Prepared"

One of my favorite new quotes: “Luck favors the prepared”

While it is important to walk in this world with confidence, it is just as important to remain humble enough know there’s still much to learn. The technical training that our team was able to participate in with the Nace Automechanika event this summer was invaluable. The new skills that our technicians brought back around advanced diagnostics as well as the enthusiasm good teachers provide permeated the whole team back at the shop.

Just last weekend Dan and I had the opportunity to attend Ratchet & Wrench Conference and meet other independent shop owners like ourselves. There were several hundred kindred souls with the passion to do right by customers and fix vehicles right the first time. With an industry that has come to be known for not being honest, it was refreshing to be among so many peers committed to being the change that the industry needs.

There is a certain amount of luck to help an entrepreneur succeed. However, I firmly believe that most of that luck has to do with the direction that one point their ship and the effort put forth in moving in the right direction. Education is a lifetime journey.

It’s almost fall! Time to Think About Your Coolant

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It might not actually feel quite like fall yet but we all know its coming! We know how much fun it is to take a drive through North Georgia to see the best fall colors. This is a good time to think about your engine cooling system. Regular inspections and pressure tests of your cooling system are of utmost importance, as is good maintenance by following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended coolant change intervals.

As time passes, the protective anti-corrosive additives in the antifreeze break down and lose their effectiveness. But antifreeze has two other very important jobs as well:

  • It is used to decrease the temperature at which the coolant freezes.

  • It is used to raise the temperature at which the coolant will begin to boil.

It is also very important that the proper ratio of water to antifreeze is always maintained. Unless specified otherwise by the vehicle manufacturer, the coolant in most vehicles should consist of a mixture of 50% water and 50% antifreeze before being added to the cooling system. This 50/50 solution not only prevents freezing, but also preserves proper cooling properties.

Also concerning the antifreeze to water mixture ratio: adding more antifreeze to the mix (once again, unless otherwise specified by the vehicle manufacturer) to increase its percentage in the mixture is not better. Generally speaking, after the ratio exceeds more than about 65% antifreeze to 35% water, freeze protection can actually diminish, but even worse, heat dissipation can radically decrease, since the water is the primary substance used for this purpose. Antifreeze itself actually has fairly poor heat transfer characteristics. Having too much antifreeze in the mixture can actually cause engine overheating.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere. To find out more about how Team Ryan Automotive is Eco-Friendly click here.

Top Qualities to Look For In Your Auto Repair Shop

As published on "Figuring out who you can trust to fix and maintain your car is hard enough, but figuring out who is going to make honest recommendations can be even more difficult!  Unfortunately, that is not an unfounded fear since so many people in the auto industry are not up front and honest.  Because of this, our friends at Team Ryan Automotive have put together some valuable tips for our readers. We hope you find these helpful!"

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1.  Reviews. The best indication of future experience is based on past performance. Check out what people are saying on Google, Facebook or other reviews and social media sites.  A personal referral may hold even more weight to convince you to try a new place out, but online reviews are the modern-day referral network. At minimum, you should look for a place with at least 50 google reviews and a 4.3 star rating or better. If an auto repair shop is piling up negative reviews and has less than a 4.3, you can save your time and continue your search elsewhere. 

2. Authorizing Work. Don’t authorize work until you are completely comfortable with their explanation! A professional repair facility should be able to clearly and comfortably explain the scope of work needed to diagnose and repair your vehicle. If needed, they should have no problem providing pictures of the part of the car that they are discussing with you. If pictures are not an option, they should show you on the vehicle. Don’t let them get away with being obscure. A good and honest shop will be ready, willing and able to show you what is going on with your vehicle.

3. Price. Make sure you understand the price upfront. It is the shop’s responsibility to explain the price for what you are purchasing. Unfortunately, many shops are not as up front and clear with customers as they should be. Be your own advocate and make sure you understand exactly what is being done for what amount

4. Warranty. Does the shop have a warranty? Does it cover both parts and labor? Some places will have a very short warranty or have loop holes in their warranty offering. Did you know most dealerships only have a 12 month / 12,000 mile warranty on their repairs? We recommend that the shop maintaining or repairing your vehicle have at least a 2 year / 24,000 mile warranty.

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5. Qualifications. How can you tell if the technicians at an auto repair shop really know what they are doing? Ask if the mechanic working on your vehicle is ASE certified. Even more specifically, ask what certifications they have because you want to make sure that they are certified in the actual repair that your car needs. For example, if your vehicle needs a check engine light diagnostic, you want to make sure your technician is certified in that specific area.  You wouldn’t want a podiatrist operating on your heart would you? ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence, and it is the benchmark for technician certification. The only way a shop can be recognized with this designation is by having a very high percentage of certified employees. Don’t be satisfied with unqualified mechanics “fixing” your car. Find out more about ASE and use the shop locator here.  

6. Dealerships: There is a misconception that new car dealerships have unrivaled service technicians, the newest equipment and the best service. A lot of times this simply is not the case. It is common for dealerships to have a large number of entry-level mechanics with a very small number of certified and experienced technicians. It is very difficult to know with certainty what level of technician is servicing your vehicle, and the odds are not in your favor! We have all been in a situation where we felt like nothing more than a number, and that is no way to feel when you are getting your vehicle serviced.

7. Scheduling. Effective scheduling can at times seem like a lost art. This is a good indication of the overall professionalism of a shop. Before the process even begins, they should be able to give you a clear idea of when a technician will be starting on your vehicle and at least an estimate on how long the repairs will take. Of course, the larger the repair or service, the more variables there are in the process, but this is OK! The key here is clear communication of what is known right now, and an expectation set by the shop of when further information will be available.

8. Shuttle or Loaner Car. What happens if you don’t have a spare car? Will the auto repair shop give you a ride home or to work? Or even better, do they have a loaner car that you can use while your car is in the shop?

9. Treatment. It is the shop’s job to make the process for having maintenance and repair done on your car as easy for you as possible. If you feel like they are making things challenging, then feel good about yourself by taking your business elsewhere.

10. Presentation. You can tell a lot about a place by how it looks. Is the shop clean and well maintained? What does the office look like? Automotive repair is very detailed work, the facility as a whole needs to be neat, clean and organized. This is a good indication that the employees take pride in their work, and with that you can be confident that you will receive quality service.

Have questions about your car or truck? Team Ryan Automotive is ready to answer them. 

You can find this article published on Suwanee Magazine

Team Ryan Automotive named "Runner Up" in Gwinnett Daily Post Reader's Choice Awards!

Thank you Gwinnett Daily Post and THANK YOU to all of our supporters for voting for us! Out of 74 Gwinnett nominated service & repair shops, I am very pleased to announce that we came in 2nd overall. We are pretty excited about being named "Runner Up"! 

Check it out on the Gwinnett Daily Post website. Under the menu "For Cars" select "Auto Mechanic" to see the full list of winners and nominees. 

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Why Choose Team Ryan Automotive for your car repair needs?

We offer a 2 year / 24,000-mile warranty on ALL PARTS & LABOR.  Getting your car repairs done can be stressful enough, now you have one less worry by having your vehicles serviced by our ASE Certified Mechanics. We know there’s never a good time to have a problem on the road, but the reality is it happens. We go the extra mile to SHOW you pictures or walk out to your car with you to discuss recommendations to ensure you feel empowered to make the right decisions for your vehicle.