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Welcome to our Blog page!

Our blogs are updated once a month, usually on the first day of the month. On this page, we offer advice, tips, and insights for becoming a safer driver and for better travels on Chico roads. Bookmark this page and remember to check back!

If you need auto repair service, don’t forget that you can schedule an appointment at this link for D&E Auto Repair in Chico. We look forward to seeing you! Remember that you are a part of the family at D&E Auto Repair in Chico. We’re located at 3328 Esplanade St., Chico, CA 95973.

Articles:

Best Summertime Road Trip Destinations From Chico

Best Summertime Road Trip Destinations From Chico

We love living in Chico, and we all have Butte County pride. But in the summertime -- especially this summer -- many of us are itching to travel out of Chico. Home is home, but some of us want to go camping, seek cooler climates, hit the beach, or drive across our beautiful country. Here are some of the best summertime road trip destinations from Chico in 2021. Sacramento -- Not too far away from Chico is Sacramento’s Old Town by the waterfront. Yeah, it’s a tourist trap, but it’s fun! Now that we get to ease COVID restrictions, there is a lot to do in Sacramento. We love getting a horse-drawn carriage tour to see the sites and soak in the history of the gold rush. If you love fondue and want to treat yourself to something special, visit The Melting Pot in Sacramento, which recently reopened in April. Truckee -- Want to head into the mountains to cool off a little? Truckee is an adorable town, and the outdoors will be calling you to get out and play. You have many a ... read more

Categories:

Tips

What You Need to Know About Timing Chains

All engines have either a timing belt or a timing chain to synchronize the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves.  This keeps the engine running smoothly and efficiently.  If the timing is off, it may not run at all.  Timing belts need to be replaced on a schedule.  A broken or slipping timing belt could cause extensive engine damage. Timing chains are being used more and more in modern engines.  They are more durable and usually do not have a recommended replacement interval.  However, timing chains and their associated components do wear over time.  The tensioner and guide rails can wear causing the chain to be loose.  A tooth on a cam sprocket could break allowing the chain to slip.  You don’t want to wait for a complete failure (and possible extensive damage) so you need to watch for the signs of impending failure.  You may notice sluggish performance, reduced fuel economy, or difficulty starting when the timi ... read more

MAF Sensor

Air and fuel are mixed together to be burned in your engine. You request how much of each you need by how hard you press on the accelerator, by going up or down a hill or by how much you are carrying in your vehicle as your drive around CHICO. Based on how much air you need – and how much is available – your engine management computer sends the needed amount of fuel to your engine. But what if the computer is getting the wrong information about how much air is coming into your engine? Well, it would send get the wrong amount of fuel and your engine wouldn't perform the way you need it to. The Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor measures the volume, temperature and density of the air coming into your engine. With that information, the computer calculates how much oxygen is available to burn and adjusts the amount of fuel it sends. A dirty or damaged MAF sensor will provide inaccurate air flow readings, which can lead to drivability problems, damage your catalytic converter, set ... read more

Top 10 FAQs About Auto Repair

Top 10 FAQs About Auto Repair

Photo by Arek Socha from Pixabay At D&E Auto Repair in Chico, we believe in helping our community, one car repair at a time. But we appreciate that not everyone is as into car service and maintenance as we are. Over the years, many car owners have asked questions about preventive maintenance, repairs, and other issues concerning their vehicles. That is why we assembled this list of frequently asked questions. Here are the top 10 FAQ's we receive from our Chico neighbors about auto repair: How do I know what the tire pressure of my tires is supposed to be? It's conveniently printed on a sticker on the inside of the driver's seat door for you.  What is the difference between timi ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Do I Need a New Battery?

Today’s vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sunroofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus, there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. And of course, summer heat can take a real toll on battery life. Fortunately, battery technology has given us resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is; batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your car. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because t ... read more

Spark Plugs

In CHICO, CA, the days when CHICO drivers changed their spark plugs every couple of years has ended. Back in the day, spark plugs really did wear out that often. A couple of things are different now… First, spark plugs are made of better materials that last longer for CHICO drivers and they're designed better. The second reason spark plugs used to have to be changed in vehicles and other autos was that they were fouled up with carbon deposits. The deposits built up when fuel wasn't burned completely. With modern engine management controls that just doesn't happen as often. Engine control computers precisely time when fuel is injected into the engine and when spark plugs fire. Unless something's wrong, spark plugs just don't foul like they used to. Electricity from the battery goes into a coil that allows power to build up to anywhere from 12,000 to 45,000 volts, depending on the vehicle. The engine management computer tells the coil when to release the pow ... read more

How To Beat The Heat In Chico

How To Beat The Heat In Chico

Grant Porter on Unsplash Now that we’re in April, temperatures are rising, and we will be using our automotive A/C more often. In this month’s blog, we offer some tips on how to beat the heat in Chico. First and foremost, let’s talk about the health of your automotive air conditioning system. If COVID kept you home most of the time and you put fewer miles on your car throughout the pandemic, you may be surprised to learn that your vehicle is in significant need of a safety inspection.  We are NOT saying this to scare you. We advise a complete safety inspection of your car because it sat for too long without getting the drive time it needs. Your A/C system could have an excess of mold, refrigerant leaks, an ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

Need A Suspension Inspection At D AND E AUTO REPAIR In CHICO?

Your suspension system keeps your car up off the road. From there, it’s responsible for a smooth and comfortable ride. It also keeps your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many critical parts that do a big job. They should be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time would be when you get your semiannual alignment check. Here are some warning signs of suspension problems: the car pulls to one side, wandering, erratic steering, uneven tire wear, leaning, shocks bottom out, poor ride or handling, oil leaking from shocks, and excessive bouncing. Now suspension parts just wear out over time. Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control your ride. If you’re in an accident, your suspension can be damaged or knocked out of alignment. Even a minor accident, like hitting a curb, pothole or large rock can mess things up. If you suspect suspension problems, ask for an inspection and let us s ... read more

Simple Answers from D AND E AUTO REPAIR for CHICO: Improve Fuel Economy

Question What can I do to improve my fuel economy? Answer There are a lot of things you can do – some of them are easy. One of the first things you should do is make sure your tires are properly inflated. On the inside of driver’s door or door jamb is a plate that says the correct tire pressure. Careful – there might be a different pressure for the front and rear tires. Check them at least once a month. Carrying extra weight in the vehicle hurts fuel economy. Leave unnecessary stuff home. Do we even need to mention driving fast and jackrabbit starts? Gently accelerate and plan your stops so that you can ease into them a bit. This really makes a big difference. Now there are several maintenance items that improve fuel economy. Lubricants should be replaced on schedule – dirty oil, transmission fluid and differential fluid cause more friction and drag which hurt fuel economy. A big one is having a fuel system cleaning done if needed. A dirty fuel system can r ... read more

Suspension Integrity In Chico

Your skeleton provides the structure to hold up your weight. Your joints cushion you as you walk and allow you to change direction. Your vehicle’s suspension system is similar: It bears the weight of your vehicle, absorbs bumps in the road and controls the body as you steer. Like the bones in your body, suspension parts are connected by joints that allow all the components to move as they should. Over time and miles, the joints start to wear, and your suspension gets loose and doesn’t operate as precisely as before, reducing proper tire contact with the road. An accident, pothole or hitting a curb or rock can also damage or break suspension components. If you’ve ever hurt your foot, you know you’ve had to walk differently to keep it from hurting as bad. Do that long enough and your ankle, knee, hip and even your back will start to hurt from the strain of not moving normally. The same thing happens in your vehicle when one joint or part is worn or damaged: it ... read more