Announcing Our New, Bigger, Better Location!

tommys-sqYou read that right — Tommy’s Automotive is moving! But don’t worry, we can still be found in the same part of West Chester. We’ve just upgraded.

Our new garage has twice the square footage of our old shop. It also has plenty of parking, unlike our previous location, so feel free to stop by and pay us a visit! What’s more, we’ll now be equipped to work on larger vehicles because the new place has great, spacious ceilings.

This move is a sign of bigger, better things to come for Tommy’s Automotive. We’re expanding our services without losing any of that “neighborhood shop” feel. Tommy’s is proud to now better serve our West Chester customers, who have really become family over the years. We thank you for your loyalty and hope to see you at our new location. Check back for updates during the moving process, or if you’d like to help carry some boxes!

Camp Out For Hunger 2013

Every year we donate to WMMR’s Camp Out for Hunger. One dollar from every state inspection this year at Tommy’s Automotive was donated to Philabundance at Preston and Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger.

This year we donated over $1000! We love contributing to such a great cause. Thanks to all of you who had their car inspected at Tommy’s this year.  We will continue to donate so keep coming in for your state inspections!

This year’s Camp Out for Hunger raised $241,371.43 in monetary donations and 386 TONS of food.

The Importance of Wheel Alignment

Q: What’s the deal with wheel alignment? Should I really be concerned about it?

A: The answer is yes. If you notice your car seems to drift to one side of the road, you may need to get your tires checked. If your vehicle has properly aligned wheels, then you will travel straight and true. Plus, wheel alignment is considered standard auto maintenance and proper adjustments help to reduce tire wear.

Tommy’s Automotive provides Chester County wheel alignment services, which we consider an important part of routine maintenance. The process involves adjusting a vehicle’s wheel angles. Properly aligned wheels help to cut down on a vehicle’s rolling resistance. This means that your car won’t require as much power or fuel to move. Additionally, if you have your tires in place, your car will be better protected from normal wear and tear.

Tommy’s donates to WMMR’s Camp out for hunger – 2011

One dollar from every state inspection this year at Tommy’s Automotive was donated to Philabundance at Preston and Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger.

This is the second year we have donated, and we won’t get into specifics but there were nearly twice as many inspections in 2011.  Thanks to all of you who had their car inspected at Tommy’s this year.  We hope to inspect even more cars this year so that we can donate more at next years Camp Out.

You can hear them talking on the radio about it in December of 2010.

Lets hope he can get another radio plug this year.

Tommy’s is expanding

Auto Repair ShopWe’ve started to expand into the shop next door to our location in the alley on Bolmar St. This new space will have an additional repair bay, and a new office and waiting room.

Thanks to our loyal customer base for keeping us busy enough to expand. We thank all of you who have referred friends and family to our shop, and posted your positive feedback in an online review for others to see.

How to get a Tommy’s Automotive T-Shirt


Option A: Steal one of Tom’s dirty work shirts.

Option B: Get Tommy’s Automotive a new customer.

Tom is giving anyone who refers a new customer to Tommy’s Automotive a T-shirt. Ask about it the next time you’re in.

Why are dealerships so expensive? Are they ever worth it?

Q: Tom, when should I go to my car manufacturer’s dealership for repair? Is it ever worth the money?

A: The easy answer is if your car is under warranty, go to the dealership, if your warranty has expired, take it to a private shop. You should also take your vehicle to the dealership for any recalls and service bulletins.

In general you will pay much more for your repair at a dealership. You will get a mechanic trained to work specifically on your type of car, but unless you have a rare and complicated problem, a competent mechanic at a local garage will likely give you the same parts and service for up to 40% below what you would pay at a dealership. Some people feel that they need to take their cars to dealerships for factory maintenance. The requirements for factory maintenance are published online and can be performed by any auto repair shop.

I think the most important thing in auto repair is the customer-mechanic relationship. You are less likely to get to know the mechanics at a dealership, and they are less likely to get to know you and vehicle. On the other hand, a dealership represents a multi-million dollar corporation, so they go to great lengths to make sure their service is consistent and reliable. You need to do some research on a private shop before you take your car there because they could be way over-priced, unreliable, or just plain rude.

Alicia's Mitsubishi

Q: I have a 2001 mitsibushi galant es. when ever i hit 45 or 50 mph it jerks and sometimes when i park it just cuts off. what could be the problem??

A: Thanks for the submission Alicia. There are a few components that can cause a similar problem. One of them is a transmission issue, a part of the transmission called the torque converter is designed to “lock up” at highway speeds to help out with fuel economy. If the converter gets stuck locked on it can cause the car to stall when coming to a stop. The other main cause that comes to mind is a faulty EGR valve. This component is designed to reduce emissions when the engine is under a load, but if the EGR sticks in the open position at the wrong time it can cause a jerking condition, and or stalling concern. Is the check engine light on? If so this could narrow it down easily. The best bet in this situation is to have a technician drive the car and perform some basic diagnostic tests. Let me know what fixes it. Good Luck!

Battery/Starter Problem

Q: I own a 1990 Buick Century, 6cyl. I bought a new battery and 2 battery cables. When I attempted to connect the cables to the battery, the engine cranked-like it was trying to start- as if I turned the ignition key. What’s wrong? – RT

A: It sounds to me like you need to check your connections. If your cable from the battery to the starter is installed incorrectly then the starter could be powered whenever the battery is connected instead of just when the key is turned. I know that if one of the cables connecting to the starter is at all touching the other terminal on the starter it will cause this problem.

My axle boot is torn

Q: My right front outer CV axle boot is torn. The car rides fine right now. How long do you recommend I go before replacing the boot/axle?

A: The purpose of the boot on a CV axle is to retain the grease that lubricates the axle joint. When the boot tears the grease is thrown out of the joint while driving. The axle will not last long without the proper lubrication. There is no way to tell for sure how long it will last, however there is a way to tell when it absolutely must be replaced. If it starts making a clicking noise when turning it is on its last leg and needs to be replaced asap.