• Thank you for helping us launch Houska Heavy Duty!

    Posted on 24, April, 2017

    If you’ve driven past Houska’s location on Riverside Avenue in recent months, you may have noticed that we have been working hard to add a new shop to our business. At the beginning of April 2017, we proudly opened the doors of Houska Heavy Duty, a state-of-the-art fleet and large-truck repair center.

    This snazzy new building is home to seven stalls, each one large enough to service – as the name implies – “heavy duty” vehicles, including but not limited to motor homes, delivery trucks, semis, etc. We also look forward to servicing northern Colorado companies’ fleet vehicles to help them keep business running smoothly.

    It has been our pleasure to handle our neighbors’ heavy duty repairs and maintenance for many years, and we are excited to now have an entire division dedicated solely to these vehicles. As you know, our customers come first, and this will give us more room to devote to keeping their vehicles in prime condition.

    In true Houska fashion, we didn’t just open the doors of our new business – we threw a party for a few hundred of our closest friends (including Mayor Troxell!) with a “1960s lounge” theme. The night consisted of prize giveaways, delicious food from Elli’s Deli and other local food trucks, lots of gold glitter and – you guessed it – music and dancing!

    Thank you for joining us for a spectacular night, and we hope you’ll enjoy these photos from the night!

  • 4 Benefits of Proper Wheel Alignment

    Posted on 20, April, 2017

    Whether you are driving a little sedan or a heavy duty delivery truck, wheel alignment is crucial to your vehicle’s performance. If you tend to drive on washboard surfaces or other bumpy roads, we recommend getting your car’s alignment checked out by Houska's mechanics. Here are just a few benefits of proper wheel alignment:

    1. Get Better Gas Mileage

    According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, vehicles with poor wheel alignment can be up to 7 percent less efficient than those that are properly aligned due to the extra effort exerted by the engine. It may not sound like much, but this small percentage can add up to big bucks over time.

    2. Drive Safer in Rainy Weather

    Deficient wheel alignment leads to more wear and tear on the tire tread because of the constant drag along the road surface. Without decent tread, driving in wet conditions is highly dangerous. Furthermore, it is more difficult to stop on a dime, which causes extra hazards while driving.

    3. Keep Your Car Straight and Smooth

    This may be the most important benefit of keeping your wheels properly aligned. Unsatisfactory alignment causes more drifting and a bumpy sensation on the road. This inhibits the overall safety of your driving experience and can pose a danger to the drivers on either side of you as well.

    4. Improve Stopping Distance

    When hitting the brakes in a vehicle with poor alignment, the stopping distance is dramatically greater than that of a correctly aligned vehicle. According to Tire Business, a car that has a tire only one inch out of alignment causes the vehicle to be dragged 100 feet sideways for every mile.

    Don’t let your fuel efficiency and safety suffer because of poor wheel alignment. If you frequent rough road surfaces or if it’s just been a while since your last alignment, stop by Houska and we’ll get you back in business!

  • Women’s Car Care Clinic: April 29

    Posted on 13, April, 2017

    Calling all ladies in northern Colorado! It’s time for Houska Automotive’s spring Women’s Car Care Clinic.

    This free event on Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. – noon, is open to all women in the area who want to brush up on their automotive skills. At Houska, we know the days where only men need to know about car maintenance are long. Our team believes it is equally important for women to get to know what’s under the hood so they can stay safe and feel equipped to take care of their own vehicles.

    Our mechanics are looking forward to hosting this clinic so that women in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley and surrounding towns can learn about automotive repairs and maintenance in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask specific questions about particular vehicles and become more familiar with procedures.

    Here are just a few subjects that will be covered:

    1. The meaning of the different dashboard lights

    2. Vehicle maintenance indicators (mileage intervals, tune-ups, fluids breakdown)

    3. Important safety items on vehicles

    4. Different types of motors

    5. Winter driving

    6. Emission laws

    7. Automotive certifications (know what training your technician has and what it means)

    8. Find out what your shop is doing to be “green”

    The morning will also include light snacks and giveaways. Women are encouraged to sign up early by calling 970-482-0156. We’ll see you there!

  • Test Your Automotive Trivia Knowledge!

    Posted on 27, March, 2017

    Come on down! It’s time for Houska’s car trivia challenge, where you can test your automotive knowledge. We thought it would be fun to pull random tidbits on cars from around the Internet so you can see where your expertise lie (and hopefully learn a thing or two!).

    1. For how much did the most expensive car ever sell?

    a)         $5 million

    b)         $15 million

    c)         $30 million

    d)         $50 million

     

    2. Which popular SUV used to come with a picnic table as a standard feature?

    a)         Honda CRV

    b)         Saturn Vue

    c)         Hyundai Santa Fe

    d)         Subaru Forester

     

    3. In what year was the first rearview mirror used?

    a)         1909

    b)         1911

    c)         1913

    d)         1915

     

    4. In what African country can you legally attach flamethrowers to the side of your vehicle to protect it from getting stolen?

    a)         Egypt

    b)         South Africa

    c)         Nigeria

    d)         Kenya

     

    5. What were the top three auto manufacturers in the U.S. during the 1950s?

    a)         General Motors (GM), Mercedes-Benz, Ford

    b)         Dodge, Chrysler, Ford

    c)         General Motors (GM), Chrysler, Ford

    d)         Dodge, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz

     

    6. In what year were the first automatic windows introduced?

    a)         1978

    b)         1964

    c)         1955

    d)         1946

     

    7. How many parts does the average car have?

    a)         5,000

    b)         10,000

    c)         20,000

    d)         30,000

     

    8. How many hours each year does the average American spend stuck in traffic?

    a)         26

    b)         38

    c)         44

    d)         52

     

    9. How many cars are currently being used on the planet?

    a)         1 billion

    b)         1.7 million

    c)         1.3 million

    d)         1 million

     

    10. How much did a Ford cost in the 1920s?

    a)         $265

    b)         $310

    c)         $445

    d)         $500

     

     

    1. c

    2. a

    3. b

    4. b

    5. c

    6. d

    7. d

    8. b

    9. a

    10. a

     

     

     

    Sources:

    http://www.factslides.com/

    http://www.kickassfacts.com

    http://jalopnik.com

    http://www.anythingaboutcars.com

    http://www.greggsauto.net

  • When to Tell Your Car Goodbye

    Posted on 17, March, 2017

    It may sound crazy, but we all know that cars can feel like part of the family. You’ve been through college road trips, harrowing blizzards and countless other momentous life events together. But, like with all great adventures, there comes a time when your car’s journey reaches its end. It’s always tough to tell your car goodbye, but here are some things to consider so you know when that time comes:

    Consider the cost of current repairs. A couple small repairs are easy to stomach, but when your car’s problems start to take a hit at the pocketbook, that’s when it’s time to make decisions. Here are a couple good rules of thumb to follow:

    • Is the cost of repair less than half the market value of your car?
    • Is the cost of repair less than a few months’ payment on a new car?

    If you answered yes to both of these questions, it’s probably more cost-efficient to go ahead with the repairs versus buying a new car.

    Consider the cost of anticipated future repairs. If the repairs are a one-time deal, you don’t mind dropping the cash. If the current repairs are only the beginning of a long list of anticipated repairs, that may mean it’s time to turn in the keys. Ask your mechanic what repairs are predicted for the next six months, and if the cost rises above half of the car’s market value, it’s time to think about getting yourself a new set of wheels.

    Consider the car’s overall safety. This is especially true for vehicles that are a couple of decades old. Newer cars are manufactured with more safety concerns in mind, and some old cars lack basic safety features, such as airbags or stability control. We recommend asking your mechanic about the safety of your vehicle and its risk for breaking down.

    Consider the car’s fuel efficiency. Even if large repairs are not a problem, you may be paying far more on gas than necessary. The older the car, the lower the fuel efficiency. Calculate your gas mileage by dividing the miles traveled by the number of gallons it took to fill up the tank, and if you find your mileage rate is steadily decreasing, it may be time to trade it in.

    Consider your current living and financial situation. Lifestyle changes are a huge influencer when it comes to saying goodbye to your car. Do you have young children whose safety takes top priority? Did you take a new job that requires a long commute? Did you just score a promotion that can go towards a new vehicle? All of these factors should play an important role in your decision making.

    Houska is here to help through every moment of your car’s lifespan. Talk to our mechanics to get a clear idea of your car’s repair costs and safety outlook so that you can make an informed choice about its fate. Call us at 970-818-5687 to set up an appointment today.