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. 

How much do you charge to figure out a check engine light? How come some places charge for it and some don't? My car isn't running any differently but the light won't turn off. 




It sounds to me like you may have an evaporative emissions code, they always turn the check engine light on but often do not effect the way the engine runs. First we would check the codes stored and develop a game plan for the diagnosis from there.

Every shop is different in what they charge for the work they do, here at Campus Repair we charge $92.00 for a check engine light diagnosis which is an hour's worth of the technicians time whether it takes him an hour or more. We have ASE Certified technicians with ten years or more of experience working on your vehicle and they are using the most up to date industry standard equipment. Though some shops choose to do this for free we prefer to make sure our technician is paid for his time so that he or she does not rush or jump to conclusions. It also makes it easier for the front desk staff because they won't have to make up for lost time by selling repairs that are extra or unnecessary. The best part is for our customers, with the diagnostic fee we include a full vehicle inspection. We prioritize any thing we find as well as the repairs for the check engine light so that you know what is necessary to keep the car running for today, next year or five years!


Our Mechanic

I recently had both front and rear breaks on my car replaced along with all the rotors yet when I step on my breaks it sounds like there is a grinding in the front driver side. What would it cost to have someone look at where the noise might be coming adn when might be the best date to book something?

Charlie Jimenez


We can look into your grinding noise for $46 at the very most, if there is indeed a brake problem discovered and you approve the work I will not charge you at all. Right now I am booking for Thursday the 22nd if you need to have it done on the same day. If you can drop it off and leave it for a day or two you are welcome to do so at anytime. Thanks for checking in with us!

Our Mechanic


2001 Suburban 1500, 5.3 liter, 145K miles, driven daily, front compressor, front and rear heat exchangers.  

On long summer road trips, the A/C is normal, then fades after about 45 minutes and is non-existant after about an hour.  After the vehicle is turned off for about an hour, the A/C is normal again, then the fade cycle repeats. No frost/ice formation is ever seen on any A/C components or lines, and the rear heat exchanger drain is not clogged.  Problem has existed for previous 2 summers.  My local shop examined and said I need a Dealer's "advanced A/C repair equipment".  Is this within your capabilities?  Thanks.

Mike Pientka


Advanced A/C repair equipment is a rather vague statement, but we would be happy to take a look at your A/C system to find out what is going on. Both of our technicians are certified to work on any type of A/C system and I have total faith that they will get to the bottom of the issue. Please feel free to give the shop a call at (970)484-4040 so we can schedule you in for an appointment or to get more information. Thanks for thinking of us!


Our Mechanic

what could be the reason for losing all the brake fluid

katy richman


There are many places where both oil and brake fluid could go. The brake system uses its fluid to transfer the movement from your foot on the pedal to the brake pads at the wheel. The whole system carries fluid throughout so fluid could be lost at any point in the system. The most common places are at the master cylinder, brake calipers and/or wheel cylinders. Oil loss is very similar, there are a lot of sealing surfaces throughout the engine that have to hold pressure over time, when these break down they will leak oil. We can check into both leaks for you for $46.00. It is important not to procrastinate on either leaks considering the damage that can be done to your engine from lack of oil as well as the brake system not working without fluid. Please call us at the shop to set an appointment. (970)484-4040



Our Mechanic

I have a 1988 Nissan Maxima that has been giving me trouble off and on since April 2013.  When my problem started my car would irratically die while driving.  It was at lower speeds when my rpms were 1500 or lower and it would sputter and then die.  It appeared to be a cold related problem to me because it only happened when it was snowy and freezing outside (the car had been given ample time to warm before being driven). It would start and idle just fine but when put in gear would die.  I had it towed into a shop a couple times but it always behaved perfectly and they were unable to diagnose a problem.  In the last 5 months the problem has progressed from dying occasionally while being driven to dying immediately when put in gear and it's now difficult to start, requiring gas both to get it started and for a couple minutes to keep it running.  My altenator light has been coming on as well but goes off when given gas. The frequency with which my car dies had increased but is still intermittent, sometimes it drives perfectly fine and I cannot predict when it will work or for how long so I have stopped driving it.  The last time I drove it as long as I was giving it gas it was pretty much ok but when I took my foot off the gas it would start to stutter and the altenator light would come on.  My family believes the alternator needs replaced.  Does this sound like an alternator problem and if so how much would you charge to diagnose and replace it?



The only thing that makes me think it would be something other than the alternator would be if your vehicle restarts immediately after it dies. If the alternator is not working properly it will usually drain the battery because that will run the car when the alternator does not, causing it not to start back up after it dies. With the details you gave about needing to keep the gas pedal depressed it sounds more to me like a fuel delivery problem, like it is not getting enough gas and as the rpms fall and it starts to shut off the battery light will come on naturally. Of course we would like to verify all this before we quote any repairs. To diagnose your vehicle we would charge a maximum of $92.00. Please give us a call at the shop with any more questions you may have or to schedule a time for us to look at your car (970)484-4040. Thanks!

Our Mechanic

I have a 2007 Nissan Altima 3.5 Sl, and my sunroof quit working. The motor is fine, I took it into the Nissan dealership in Greeley (where I boughten my car), and they gave me an estimate of $4,000.00 to fix a couple cables and everything in my sunroof! I thought this was outrageous, as in how I found all the new parts, even a new motor for my sunroof for under $400 brand new! Do you guys fix sunroofs? And if so, how much would you charge? My sunroof will go up and down, but it makes a grinding noise when I slide it back, and since it made that grinding noise, I have not touched it. My Altima only has 39,000 miles on it! Is there anything you can do to help me out? Thanks!

bobbie grugal


We do fix sunroofs here! I did some searching online myself and found that some parts of the sunroof are inexpensive like you said while others are in the 5-800 dollar range. I priced the labor for working on the sunroof at $487.60. Even with the information you have given (which is very helpful by the way!) I wouldn't be sure if I can beat Honda of Greeley's quote for the repairs without looking at the vehicle first. We would be happy to take a look at it for you though. The cost for that would be $46.00 and then we would provide an estimate from there. I hope this helps you with your decision making! Thanks for thinking of us!



Our Mechanic

I drive a 1999 Lexus ES300 and on Friday I was driving to the grocery store and as I was driving my car started to stutter. It felt like my car was going to stall. I was stopped at a stop light and at a complete stop my car started to do the same thing and my RPM's would drop. It never completely stalled. I pulled into the nearest place & turned my car off. I let it sit for a few minutes, started it & it was fine (in park & neutral). When i put my car in drive it started to do the same thing. I found that if I wasn't accelerating my car would feel like it was misfiring/stalling. Again, I had to come to a complete stop & my car would lose power, per say. I let my car sit for a few days & tried starting it this morning and it barely started and once I got it started it stalled & completely shut off. I can't start it & have it run long enough to get it to a shop for a code run. Any suggestions???



It sounds like you have a serious driveability issue. We would be happy to diagnose the issue for you for $92.00, after we discover what it is exactly that is causing this issue we will give you an estimate on the total cost of the repairs. We can also tow your vehicle in to our shop from any where in Fort Collins for $65.00. Please feel free to call the shop so that we may set up an appointment. Thanks!


Our Mechanic

What is wrong wirh a 2002 Mazda Tribute that won't turnover the battery is fully charged.  The dash board lights are bright. I bumped the starter and it spined the motor but didn't start the motor. What can be wrong? ?

Mike Johnson


From the sounds of it you either have a failed starter or a fuel delivery/spark issue. If you bumped the starter motor and it cranked the engine but did not start it that could be evidence of a bad starter. If however the starter will crank on its own without a little "motivation" then the problem is either fuel delivery or spark. We would be happy to look at your vehicle to get down to the bottom of your starting issue for $46.00. Please feel free to call the shop if you have any more questions or would like to set up an appointment 970-484-4040. Thanks for thinking of us.


Our Mechanic

Good Morning!

I have a 2008 Chevy Impala LS with a 3.5-liter V-6 flex fuel engine, and about 130,000 miles on it.  I was driving home on I-25 last night, when my car suddenly lost speed and my traction control light came on, and my engine light came on.  My dash display is going back and forth between "service traction control" and "reduced engine power".  I realize this isn't much information, and bringing in my vehicle is the best plan of action; however, if I could get an idea of both the worst and best case scenarios and how much those might cost, I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks for your time, 




I put in a little research for the parameters of the "Reduced Engine Power" message that you saw on your dash and found that often times the cause of this light is a problem with the throttle body. The engine computer has found a feedback from the throttle controls that is out of the parameters it considers acceptable and put the car in "Limp In" mode so as to avoid a catastrophic failure. This is something that you should have looked at very soon because your vehicle will likely not go over 25-30 mph until the issue is solved. It can be something as simple as wiring or the whole throttle body assembly itself may need to be replaced. Either way to diagnose your issue it will be $92.00 and then we will call you with an estimate for the repairs. I hope this helps shed some light on what is going on with your vehicle.

Thanks for thinking of us!

Our Mechanic

I own a 2000 dodge durango with a V8 engine and 160,000 miles on it. I've been having problems starting my car for the last 4 months. Most of the time, I can eventually get my car to start after a few tries and long cranks (7-10 sec.). But when it is wet out, I seem to have a problem (like right now). The car cranks, but will not start.

When I have gotten it to start, I have to press the gas pedal all the way to floor to get the car to move out of a parked position. Once I've done this, the car drives normal on the road.

I have also have noticed the car has a rough idle that seems to be getting worse.

I'm not sure if any of these symptoms or problems are related. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you



The rough idle and hard start may be related if it is a fuel delivery issue. It is also possible that there is a problem with the battery, starting or charging system. The long crank issue can be caused by a bad battery, poor charging from the alternator or a fuel pump that is weak or not holding reserve pressure. The rough idle can be related to the fuel pump being weak, or be more of an ignition issue. Thats just a few ideas of what could be the source of your concern. To really get to the bottom of it we would need to diagnose your vehicle which would be $46.00. Feel free to call us to set up an appointment or set one up online. Thanks for thinking of us!



Our Mechanic

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Campus Repair

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 | (970) 484-4040

Campus Auto Repair
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