Category Archives: Car Care

Mechanic checking battery life in service bay

Car Care | How Often Should I Replace the Battery in My Car?

Recommended battery change intervals for your new vehicle 

It’s no secret that there are plenty of moving parts that are depended on to keep your car running at peak efficiency and performance. To ensure that your electronics are in proper working order, along with your engine, it’s essential to have a battery under the hood that’s able to keep a charge for as long as you need it to. Still, like with any other vehicle asset, batteries aren’t immortal.   Read the rest of this entry >>

Hands pouring oil into engine bay

Car Care | When do I Change the Oil in My Vehicle?

Recommended oil change intervals by composition for your vehicle

Keeping your vehicle in top shape is always essential, but it’s especially important now that the weather is starting to get colder. The best thing you can do to combat the elements is get a fresh batch of oil in your engine, in order to ensure that you’ll be able to get started and rolling no matter the condition. Still, if you’re wondering how long you can wait before replenishing your model’s supply, we’re here to help. Come with Boucher Auto Group below as we show you the recommended oil change intervals by composition for your vehicle! Read the rest of this entry >>

Two vehicles inside garage with space heater running

Car Care | Keep Your Vehicle Protected from the Elements This Winter

Tips for storing your vehicle during the winter months

It may not be a welcome change for some of us, but winter will be arriving in Wisconsin soon, and with it comes slicker driving conditions, colder temperatures, and the need to keep your vehicles safe from harm. Salt, cold air, and the road itself can cause trouble for smaller vehicles, so if you need to keep your model in storage during the winter season, we want to help you out. Read the rest of this entry >>

Group of winter tires stacked on snowy backdrop

Car Care | Should I get All-Season or Winter Tires?

Difference between All-Season and Winter Tires for your vehicle

We’ve reached the point of the year when we have to start preparing for fall weather, and a big component behind keeping safe in snow and sleet is making sure you have the right tires on your model. There are two main tire types that are sure to keep you moving forward with peace of mind this season – all-season tires, and winter tires. If you’re unsure about the difference between the two, we’ll give you the rundown on both today! Read the rest of this entry >>

Industry Information | Service Team Now Hiring

Boucher Service Team

When people start thinking about pursuing a career in the car industry, most automatically think about positions on the sales side. However, they’d be mistaken to ignore the many possibilities the Service Department can provide within their own career path. At Boucher, we provide all the tools needed to be successful and develop within the company, along with competitive pay, health insurance, and paid vacation. Whether you’re just out of high school looking for an opportunity to grow, a tech school student or graduate looking for a chance to prove yourself, or simply just looking for a change of scenery, Boucher has you covered. 

Positions

Service Helper | Service Helper is one of three entry level service positions Boucher currently offers. The primary focus of the Service Helper will be to help the Service Team wherever you can, including odd jobs and basic Service Department maintenance. Duties include:

  • Maintaining / cleaning equipment in the shop
  • Disposing of scrap metal / garbage
  • Keeping the parking lot clean and making sure all cars are parked in the proper areas on the lot
  • Keeping the general areas of the dealership clean (bathrooms, waiting rooms, coffee areas, etc.)

In addition, a proper candidate must have a positive attitude and the willingness to learn any other job that may be required.

 

Lot Attendant | Lot Attendant is one of three entry level service positions Boucher currently offers. The primary focus of the Lot Attendant is ensuring a well maintained car lot and building, along with moving new & customer vehicles. Duties include:

  • Moving Customer vehicles efficiently and safely through facility.
  • Maintaining service parking area, dealership lot, service area, and showroom appearance.
  • Wash vehicles.
  • Preparing vehicles for purchase.
  • Performing seasonal snow removal tasks when required.
  • Picking up & deliver parts, as needed.
  • Delivering vehicles to correct locations and performing shuttle service.

In addition, a candidate for Lot Attendant must hold the safety of the customer and their vehicle as their highest priority.

 

Porter / Detailer | Porter / Detailer is one of three entry level service positions Boucher currently offers. The focus of the Porter / Detailer is cleaning & washing customer vehicles. Duties include:

  • Cleaning vehicle’s interior and exterior.
  • Operating hoses, vacuums, buffers, and other cleaning equipment; experience with buffers and extractors is a plus.
  • Applying cleaning, restorative, and protective agents to maintain & enhance vehicle appearance.
  • Inspecting vehicles for cleanliness.
  • Moving & parking vehicles; delivering vehicles to correct locations and performing shuttle service.

Along with Lot Attendant, a Porter / Detailer must also prioritize the safety of each customer and their vehicle.

 

Lube Technician | Lube Technicians perform basic car maintenance on customer vehicles. Duties include:

  • Performing Oil & Filter changes.
  • Checking fluid levels and tire pressure.
  • Performing Multi-Point Inspections to ensure vehicle safety.

With experience, Lube Technicians will also be given expanded responsibilities, learning intermediate maintenance tasks when called upon.

 

Service Adviser | Service Advisers are the face of the Service Department. They’re main focus is maintaining a positive relationship with each customer, ensuring their continued patronage with the dealership. Duties include:

  • Listening to each customer’s descriptions of vehicle symptoms and determine automotive problems and services required.
  • Examining vehicle maintenance records; determining warranty and service contract coverage.
  • Providing vehicle service estimates.
  • Arranging vehicle repair orders, acquiring customer signature, and entering repair order information into service database system.
  • Keeping a friendly demeanor and attitude.

Along with being the point person between each customer and the Service Department, the Service Adviser must also have a high CSI (Customer Service Index) score. ADP experience is preferred.

 

Service Technician | Service Technicians diagnose and service all major repairs for vehicles. Duties include:

  • Diagnosing mechanical problems.
  • Testing parts and systems to ensure proper function.
  • Servicing vehicles in a timely manner in accordance to manufacturer and dealership recommendations.
  • Communicating with customers about their vehicle issues, repairs, and options.
  • Maintaining a working knowledge of required skills and best practices by attending workshops, seminars, or classes.
  • Following OSHA safety standards.

In addition, each candidate must provide their own tools. ASE & Manufacturer experience is a plus.

 

Service Manager | Service Managers oversee the Service Department, assigning duties to employees, maintaining quality of work & customer service, and achieving sales objectives. Duties include:

  • Problem solving customer inquiries.
  • Monitoring and developing processes to ensure high CSI (Customer Service Index) scores.
  • Hiring & monitoring all service department employees.
  • Operating and maintaining Service Department budgets to ensure department profitability.
  • Working with marketing directives to promote new business.
  • Providing training to new and existing employees; ensuring Service Technicians are up do date on training through workshops, seminars, or classes.
  • Communicating with Manufacturer representatives on updated warranty and policy changes

Service Managers should have strong communication skills to work with customers, employees, and vendors. Candidates must have an extensive technical background along with business management training.

 

Fixed Operations Director | Fixed Operations Directors oversee the Service Departments, Parts Departments, and Body Shops of a select number of dealerships. Duties include:

  • Working with managers to maintain and grow the profitability and efficiency of each fixed ops department.
  • Hiring & monitoring all service, parts, and body shop managers.
  • Operating and maintaining fixed operation budgets to ensure profitability
  • Creating procedures and protocols to ensure positive relationships with employees, customers, and community.
  • Spot checking departments to ensure efficiency, accuracy, and quality of work.
  • Working with marketing directives to promote new business.

Fixed Operations Directors should demand high standards in all departments, while also encouraging growth and continued training for all employees. All candidates should have previous Service Manager experience, strong communication skills, and ASE training.

We currently have positions open for our eighteen dealerships throughout Southeastern Wisconsin catering to those looking for entry level positions and to those with a bit more experience beneath their belt. For more information on what’s available, check us out on Boucher.com/careers.

Car Care: Spring Cleaning for Your Vehicle

Spring cleaning tips for your vehicle

The temperatures are rising. The birds are singing. The salt covered roads have returned to their natural charcoal-tinted, cracked selves. In other words, spring has sprung, and you’re probably busier than a bee spring cleaning every room inside your house and tending to your neglected, winter-beaten landscape and patio. In your dedication to your cleaning chores, don’t forget to add “spring clean the car” to your list. Just as your home has weathered the winter months, so has your car, and it, too, needs a lot of attention, inside and out.

Exterior

Road salt, grime and dirt can eat away at your vehicle’s pristine paint job as well as corrode the undercarriage. Flying debris — like rocks — that hit your car while driving can cause tiny nicks in the exterior, which can grow and cause rust to form. According to AutoTrader.com writer Doug DeMuro, washing your car and ridding it of winter’s footprint is essential.

A thorough washing does more than remove these contaminants to reveal a pretty finish; it protects your car from ongoing, costly and unsightly damage. Bust out the bucket, soap and water for a DIY wash, drive to your local automated car wash or patronize a car wash fundraiser; the method doesn’t really matter as long as your car comes out squeaky clean.

“Once your car is dry, apply wax. A synthetic polymer-based wax will offer you longer-lasting protection,” advises Matthew C. Keegan, writer for NAPAonline.com.

While you are giving your car a spit shine, be sure use some elbow grease on the tires.

“Because standard car wash cleaner will not get your tires sufficiently clean, use a dedicated tire and wheel cleaner,” advises Keegan. “Liberally apply the tire cleaner to the outer surface, then use a tire brush to vigorously scrub back and forth.”

Now is a good time to review the health of your car’s tires and wiper blades, too. Is the tread wearing unevenly? Are your tires inflated to the manufacturer-recommended psi?

DeMuro advises checking the blades for cracks and wear. Since wiper blades have a productive lifespan of approximately six months, Keegan recommends replacing your winter-weathered blades with new ones to take on the demands of spring and summer and again in the fall as part of your cold-weather car care prep.

Interior

You and your passengers probably tracked a lot of dirt and salt over the past few months onto your floor mats and the seats. Keegan says it’s time to fire up the vacuum to rid your interior of crumbs, dust, dirt and salt. He also recommends you apply a “foaming fabric and upholstery cleaner” to your cloth seats and to refer to your vehicle’s manual for instructions on how to clean and revitalize wood and leather materials.

Under the hood

Your car’s engine worked overtime getting you through winter and as a result is suffering from depleted resources. DeMuro recommends checking that your coolant is at its proper level as well as doing a review of your engine’s belts and hoses to make sure nothing is cracked, loose or broken. If you’re unsure what to look for, DeMuro advises taking it in for a service check, and while you’re at the shop, “ask for a quick suspension and alignment check.”

With these tips, your car will be ready to take on warmer temperatures and the demands of spring.

Car Care: Maintenance Tips for a Lasting Relationship

Car care tips to extend the life of your car

A car is a major financial investment, and it is often the key to keeping your life and all of your responsibilities on track. But without regular maintenance, the machine that keeps your life humming will break down.

To keep your car moving along for years to come, implement the following maintenance tips into your car care regimen.

Start smart

Investing in any car won’t get you the mileage you need. That’s why ConsumerReports.org stresses the importance of purchasing a vehicle that has a stellar, reliable and safe reputation as well as boasts the features you need to complement your lifestyle.

“While you’re out shopping, keep a sharp eye out for cars that have the latest safety features,” advises to ConsumerReports.org. “Electronic stability control is a must, and consider a vehicle with a rear camera and forward collision, lane departure, and blind-spot warnings. Remember to research how well any vehicle you’re interested in performed in government and insurance-industry safety tests.”

Make it shine inside and out

A dirty car is not only an eyesore; it’s a sign that your car is slowly deteriorating. According to PopularMechanics.com Alex Leanse, a good washing removes corrosion-causing contaminants especially during winter months when road salt saturates every inch of your car. Be sure to pay special cleaning attention to your vehicle’s undercarriage because road salt will decimate metal parts.

Opening the door to a cluttered, filthy cabin will diminish the joy of driving. Plus, who wants to breathe in gross, unidentifiable smells on their daily commute? Be sure to lessen the contents in your trunk as well — extra weight will just make your car work harder than it already does, according to Leanse.

Change oil (regularly)

Oil changes are not optional. If you want your car to run as well as it can for as long as it can, consistent oil changes, as recommended by your owner’s manual, are the equivalent to maintenance gold.

“Check and change the oil. No single step will help an engine last more than regular oil and filter changes will. Conversely, nothing will destroy an engine faster than neglecting oil-level checks or fresh-oil changes,” reports KelleyBlueBook.com.

In addition to recommended oil changes, your owner’s manual also boasts a regular maintenance schedule unique to your ride, which ConsumerReports.org highly advises you follow. By keeping up with scheduled maintenance, you can potentially avoid costly repairs by spotting problems early.

Engage your senses

If you only give your car a passing glance, you’ll miss out on important warning signs. Is your tire tread wearing unevenly? Is there a scratch on your exterior that wasn’t there before and seems to be growing before your eyes? Do your tires look low? When was the last time you checked the pressure? Do you notice a weird smell when you hit the gas? What about the grinding sound you hear when you hit the brakes? Has your steering wheel always vibrated that much?

If you see, smell, feel or hear something that doesn’t seem right, it’s best to investigate the problem further and/or get your vehicle to the mechanic as soon as possible, according to ConsumerReports.org.

With regular maintenance, consistent cleaning and knowing when to seek help from an automotive professional, you’ll be able to keep your car running for miles and miles.

Car Care: Maintenance Resolutions for Your Car

Resolve to keep your vehicle running smoothly all year long

New Year’s resolutions are a tradition. You might be determined to clean out the clutter in your home, adopt a new fitness regimen or commit to better eating habits, which are all noble pursuits, but don’t forget about the one thing that keeps your life running smoothly: your vehicle. This year, in addition to the best intentions for your personal and family life, include a dedicated resolution to taking care of your vehicle so that it runs at peak performance all year long.

Mechanics maintenance

Nothing is more important in the realm of routine automotive maintenance than consistent, manufactured-recommended oil changes. Without proper oil levels, your engine runs the risk of severe damage and eventual failure.

While you’re getting your oil changed, you might as well check your vehicle’s other fluids. According to Wheels.ca writer Yuki Hayashi, these include clutch, brake and coolant fluid.

CarCare.org recommends switching out your fuel filter every 24,000 miles or every two years and regularly checking the condition of your brakes.

Bi-annual checkups are a smart way to avoid major problems and expensive repairs, according to Hayashi. Be proactive with your vehicle’s maintenance to ensure dependable and strong performance throughout the year.

“You should test your battery every fall. If you car’s battery is three years old or more, consider replacing it since the chances of failure increase,” CarCare.org reports.

Cabin care

A clean cabin is not only important for your driving comfort, but also for resale value. Stained upholstery and ripped leather seats will discourage future buyers and decrease your trade-in value. Plus, no one likes to ride in a vehicle with spilled coffee, food crumbs, overflowing bags of trash and unidentifiable smells.

Seeing clearly is vital to driving safety, so be sure that your windshield and windows are always free of dirt and debris.

Once you’ve removed the dust and dirt, apply an automotive-approved product to your dashboard, console and controls to renew and protect the appearance of your interior.

Appearance attention

Outside forces such as snow, rain, road salt, mud and leaves will continuously wreak havoc on your vehicle’s exterior, dulling and damaging the paint job and causing deterioration such as rust. With regular car washes and waxes, you can protect the integrity of your vehicle’s appearance as well as prevent rust spots from beginning or getting worse. Regular washes, especially thorough ones that tend to the undercarriage of your vehicle, will reveal any nicks, scratches or areas in need of repair.

Over time, your headlights will start to dim. Take time to test the brightness and position of your headlights. If driving at night seems to be less illuminated than you remember, it’s time for new bulbs.

The appearance of your tires can reveal a lot about your vehicle’s health, so it’s important to look them over regularly. You’ll want to review the depth and quality of your tires’ tread. Hayashi recommends checking your tires’ air pressure at every other fill-up. An underinflated or overinflated tire can lead to a blowout while driving. The outside temperature can adversely affect tire pressure, so when the weather fluctuates you should pay even more attention to your wheels.

“Performing regular tire checks and routine maintenance will help to ensure your vehicle will stay in optimal condition. This will aid performance, fuel economy and tire wear,” explains ConsumerReports.org.

For a year of safe driving, resolve to keep regular car care at the top of your to-do list.

Car Care: What to Pack in Your Emergency Kit

Never drive off without a well-stocked emergency kit

It’s impossible to predict a vehicle breakdown like a flat tire or engine fail, but a change in weather can force you to pull over to the side of the road and prevent you from continuing on your journey. A mistake in navigation can leave you stranded in an unfamiliar area. Luckily, it is possible to be prepared to handle such unfortunate circumstances with a well-stocked emergency kit.

Vehicle trouble

For all the things that can go wrong with your set of wheels, it’s important to stock your trunk with tools and items that can assist with mechanical mishaps. A set of jumper cables is a must, according to PopularMechanics.com. Items such as a portable compressor, aerosol foam tire sealant, work gloves, a tire plug kit, “a good-quality gas can” and spare fuses and bulbs are welcome additions, too.

Paul M. Eng, ConsumerReports.org writer, recommends including flares, hazard triangles or warning lights in your kit so other drivers will be alerted to your car breakdown. If you find yourself venturing out in harsh winter weather, Eng also suggests including a reflective safety vest, tow strap, tire chains, a collapsible shovel, kitty litter and an ice scraper.

According to Philip Reed, Edmunds.com senior consumer advice editor, you’ll also appreciate items such as a flashlight with extra batteries; a quart or more of motor oil; a tool kit complete with pliers, pocket knife, adjustable wrench and screwdrivers; a tire pressure gauge; a gallon of coolant; and a spray bottle filled will washer fluid.

Personal injury

A first-aid kit is essential to soothing minor cuts or bruises while on the road. PopularMechanics.com recommends burn ointment, sunscreen, nausea medication, antiseptic wipes, gauze bandages in various sizes, cloth tape, non-aspirin and aspirin pain relievers, safety pins, tweezers, scissors, an elastic sprain bandage, eyewash cup and duct tape.

Forces of nature

Before Mother Nature rages and your car’s battery gives up, Eng recommends hauling warm blankets, a winter hat, chemical hand warmers, a winter hat, gloves, and extra layers so you and your passengers will be protected from chilly temperatures.

A tarp will serve as a short-term shelter according to PopularMechanics.com, and it’s a good idea to have a hand-crank or solar-powered radio/light/cellphone charger as well.

Health boost

To keep everyone’s morale and energy up during a breakdown, be sure to stock your car with snacks and water. “Bring enough food and water to sustain you and any passengers for at least a meal—longer for remote areas or in extreme cold regions,” reports Eng. Reed suggests energy or granola bars and bottled water for sustenance.

According to PopularMechanics.com, “The biggest hurdle when carrying water: It weights eight pounds per gallon, and considering each person in the car will need to drink about a gallon a day, that’s a heavy load to haul around. It’s easiest to pack a case of 16 small drink boxes of water. Another option would be to carry refillable water bottles. When empty, they won’t add unnecessary weight, and you can fill them if you think you might be driving into remote areas. If you bring empty water bottles, bring water purification tablets.”

Whether you’re embarking on a road trip or your daily commute, never drive away without a smartly-stocked emergency kit.

Car Care: Take Care of Your Car for the Holidays

Ready your car for holiday travel with these maintenance tips

With everything you have to do and everywhere you want to go during the holidays, you need a vehicle you can trust. You will be logging a lot of miles as you haul gifts, decorations and culinary treats to and from your loved ones’ homes and drive around to appreciate twinkling lights and outdoor scenes. To ensure that your vehicle can keep up with the demands of the season, you need to put car care on your holiday to-do list now.

Exterior check

You won’t be able to appreciate the look of the season if your car is unable to cut through the darkness. That’s why ConsumerReports.org recommends doing a perimeter check of your vehicle to test if all of your vehicle’s lights are working at full capacity.

Along with goodwill, the holiday season brings differing levels of condensation that can significantly impede your visibility while driving. In order to see clearly, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) recommends installing new windshield wiper blades.

“If your climate is harsh, purchase rubberclad (winter) blades to fight ice buildup,” advises the ASE. “Stock up on windshield washer solvent; you’ll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.”

Winter weather challenges tires, so it’s important that yours are in great condition. According to the ASE, you should “examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping,” and “the sidewalls for cuts and nicks.” The ASE also advises monitoring tire pressure each month and reviewing the quality of your jack and spare tire.

If you’re expecting a snow-covered holiday season, ConsumerReports.org advises investing in winter tires or top-quality, all-season tires.

Interior review

If your car has been acting up, the ASE advises seeking a mechanic’s help immediately because a drop in temperature will exacerbate mechanical troubles. Now is also the time to change out fuel, PCV and air filters as well as schedule a routine oil change.

“Check the radiator and heater hoses for cracks and leaks. Hoses should be firm yet pliable when squeezed,” explains ConsumerReports.org. “Generally, the antifreeze mix should be flushed at least every two years to prevent corrosion buildup. If your vehicle is almost due, take care of it now.”

Since cold weather puts a strain on your car’s battery, ConsumerReports.org suggests getting it evaluated by a professional.

“At zero degrees Fahrenheit, your battery has only half of the cranking power it has at 80 degrees. And, all batteries lose strength as they age, do don’t take any chances,” explains ConsumerReports.org.

Be sure to check how well your defroster and heater are working, too, advises the ASE; you want to be as comfortable as possible with quality visibility when traveling through dropping temperatures.

Even with the best intentions and maintenance schedules, mishaps can occur, which is why ConsumerReports.org recommends stocking your glove box or trunk with jumper cables, a first aid kit, flare or warning lights, a flashlight, cell phone and charger, a fire extinguisher and winter clothing such as warm-weather gloves and hats. The ASE also suggests keeping boots, blankets, kitty litter or sand, as well as some “high-energy” snacks in your vehicle.

With preventative and corrective car care now, your holiday season of driving should be smooth and reliable.