Campus Auto Repair
Campus Auto Repair

Ask A Campus Repair Mechanic

Having a car problem and you don't know where to begin? Is it serious enough to bring it in to a shop, or could you just do the work yourself? There are so many questions about cars, and if Campus Repair can save you a trip in to the shop ... we're happy to help!

Click on the 'Ask Your Question' button below and ask your question.  We'll respond online to your question just as soon as we can. 

My 2002 Chevy Cavalier has a broken lock cylinder--it takes so long to get my car started! I have brought it into the shop before and I think you all gave me an estimate on it then, but I have lost the estimate and am wondering how much it would cost altogether to replace my broken lock cylinder. Thanks for the help!



Nicholas Hess


Thanks for checking in with us! I put together a quote for the lock cylinder with all the necessary components, like new keys and reprogramming it. The total replacement cost would be $556.22 for parts, labor and tax. You would get two new keys and the passlock system would be reprogrammed. It has been a while since your last visit and I am not sure you would need all of that, ideally we would want to take a look at the key and how it fits into the lock and see if there was a more economical approach. Feel free to call the shop and we can schedule you in!

Our Mechanic

My brake light and battery light came on in my car.  It was very dim and would fade in and out.  Can you tell me what this may mean?

Jessie Raschen


This is a great question! The lights on the dash each mean a different thing, for instance the brake light will come on when the parking brake is engaged or if the brake fluid is low. When the battery light is on it means that either the battery or the alternator output has dropped below 12.6v. If the voltage is low in the system that can cause other lights to come on, so sometimes the battery light has to be treated first. We can do a full diagnostic for you for only $49.09. 

Our Mechanic

I have a 2009 ram 1500 and the when I'm driving down the road the front end squeaks non stop on any road unless it is really smooth. Any ideas what could be wrong or would it be best to bring it in?

Tyler Riviere


There are a lot of things in the suspension that could cause a squeak over bumps, to name a few there are shocks, ball joints, sway bar links and any of the steering components like tie rod ends. So it would be beneficial to bring the vehicle in so that we could narrow it down to where the squeak is coming from. It could be as simple as a ball joint that needs lubrication! Let us know when you would like to schedule an inspection!

Our Mechanic

I have a 2000 Camry with 275,000 miles on it. I have never had to do any major repairs on it, but have kept it maintained over the years.

Right now I have a problem with the car not wanting to start. It started happening several months ago. It would have a hard time starting after sitting overnight. When it starts the clock and radio settings are wiped out. My battery is two years old. I had it tested and it seems good.

Recently I took off the battery cables and cleaned the inside of the connectors. The engine light went out and the car was starting right away. That was about a month ago. Now I have to start the car every few hours to make sure it will start and the clock and radio have reset within that amount of time. 

My check engine light was on for about 6 years with mechanics saying they couldn't find a reason. Each time I changed the battery, the light would go off for a few months. It went out again with the most recent cable cleaning. It makes me wonder if there is something electrical draining the battery. Or starter cables not connecting, or something drawing on the alternator. 


Can you give me suggestions? Thank you. 

Karen Richwine


I agree that there may be something drawing down the battery or an issue with the battery itself. Sometimes the battery can perform well on a bench test but not perform well in the vehicle. We would be happy to help you solve this problem so that you can have more confidence starting your vehicle! We would start with a general starting/ charging systems test which costs only $46.75, if that did not offer any insight we would move on to electrical testing which starts at $93.50 and goes by the hour. Please let me know if you would like to schedule an appointment. Call the shop at (970)484-4040. Thanks for thinking of us!

Our Mechanic

I have a 1997 Honda Accord. The key will fit in the ignition but it will not turn. I have tried spraying rubbing alcohol into the ignition an sliding the key in and out as well as jiggling the key and quickly turning it left then right. Initially my steering wheel was not locked but one of the times I was trying to get the key to turn and turning the wheel simultaneously the wheel locked. I checked my battery terminals and they are not dirty, I also had a new key cut for the car. So far none of these things have worked. 



It is possible that the ignition lock is simply worn out and needs to be replaced. It is common on older Japanese vehicles that this would happen and is usually caused by excessive weight on the keychain that pulls down on the lock cylinder and makes the wafers misalign. We would be happy to help you get this problem solved, feel free to call the shop to schedule an appointment (970)484-4040

Our Mechanic

I have a 2009 impala with 3.5 , has a small oil drippings from the drivers side front by radiator what could it be





There are a number of seals that could be leaking in that area. It could be a leaking transmission or engine oil cooler line that is leaking where it goes into the radiator. It could also be a leak from a different part of the drivetrain that is traveling along the skid plate and landing on the ground near the radiator. When we are hunting down a leak the key is to follow the dripping up to the highest point and start there. Sometimes it is necessary to clean the engine first in order to get an accurate read of where the leak is or if what you are seeing is residue. Typically we charge $46.75- $60 to find leaks on an engine. Please give the shop a call (970) 484-4040 if you have any further questions!

Our Mechanic

 I have a 1997 Honda Civic. About a year or so ago, my fuel gauge stopped working. I was using the odometer to figure when it was time to refuel my car.. Very recently, the speedometer/tachometer AND the odometer all stopped working. Is it a cable, of is it more?




It is not likely that a cable could be causing all four of those issues. The fuel gauge not working could be caused by a faulty gauge or a faulty fuel level sender in the tank. Given that you are also having issues now with the other gauges, it is possible that the instrument cluster has failed. The instrument cluster usually receives information from either the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) or the Body Control Module (BCM). There could also be an issue with either one of those modules or the wiring to and from them. Either way the only way to know for sure is to do a series of electrical tests to find the culprit. This type of testing ranges but we start with a preliminary inspection to mitigate issues like blown fuses, rodent damage, etc. This inspection is only $46.75 and we can fit you in this week! Please feel free to call the shop for more information! (970)484-4040

Thanks for thinking of us!

Our Mechanic

I have an issue with my car it's an 06 camry. Whenever I put on the brakes it makes a hissing noise. I think I need new brakes. How much does that cost?



There are a lot of things that can cause a hissing noise when applying the brakes. It could be something as simple as a rock caught in the wrong place! In order to get you an accurate estimate I encourage you to swing by for a brake inspection, there is no cost to you and we can get to the bottom of your noise concern. Please feel free to call the shop to set an appointment! (970)484-4040 Thanks for thinking of us!


Our Mechanic

I have a 1996 gmc jimmy 4x4 and when I try to start it it make a loud metal grinding or winding noise and it doesn't start please help!!!



It sounds like it may be the starter that is the source of the grinding or winding noise. We can tow it to the shop just to make sure for $65. From there the starter replacement would be about $400 for parts and labor with a lifetime warranty on the starter. Give us a call to schedule your vehicle in today! (970)484-4040

Our Mechanic

I am having windshield wiper problems on my 2010 Subaru Forester. My driver side windshield wiper gets stuck under the passenger side wiper. That wiper also is extremely loose and has fallen off the side of the car multiple times. I am unsure whether this is a wiper motor issue or if the hardware keeping it tight is stripped. How much would a repair like this cost? Thank you!



From the sounds of it your wiper transmission may be having issues, that is where the wiper arms bolt down and the back and forth motion is transferred from the wiper motor. Replacement on that piece would be around $550-$575 and the parts take about 3 days to come in. For this case it would be good to make sure that was the actual cause, we would charge about $46 to make sure that we are replacing the right parts to fix your vehicle and also explore any other options to get you back on the road sooner! Give us a call to set up a time to check out your vehicle (970)484-4040

Our Mechanic

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Campus Repair     970-484-4040

The Fort Collins car repair that's central, certified, and conscientious.
For expert car, SUV, and light truck repairs in Fort Collins and serving all of Northern Colorado.
Open Monday through Friday | 7:30 A.M to 5:00 P.M.
1800 S. College Ave. | Fort Collins CO, 80525
Phone: 970-484-4040 | Fax: 970-484-0205