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Simple Answers from D AND E AUTO REPAIR for CHICO: Exhaust Service

Question:My car failed its emissions test – what do I need to do? D AND E AUTO REPAIR Answer: Let's get this out of the way: a leak in your exhaust system could be deadly. If CHICO drivers smell exhaust in the passenger cabin or hear an unusual exhaust sound, they should get their exhaust system checked and repaired. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at D AND E AUTO REPAIR. Carbon monoxide in your exhaust is odorless, colorless and tasteless can be fatal to you and your passengers, so don't delay if you suspect an exhaust leak. There could be a number of reasons for a failed CA emissions test so some diagnostic work is in order. A common reason is that the catalytic converter has failed. The catalytic converter removes some of the harmful elements in exhaust. When a catalytic converter fails it must be replaced, which isn ... read more

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Fuel Saving Tip: Myths

With high fuel prices comes lots of gas saving advice.  Some of it, like what you hear on AutoNetTV, is great.  Some is myth.  And some is just designed to prey on people desperate to save some money on gas. When you get one of those e-mails that’s going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.  Does it really make sense?  Does it defy the laws of physics?  Do some research on the internet or ask your service advisor. There aren’t any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank and the government hasn’t suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your car run on air. So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional.  You’ll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement. Give us a call D AND E AUTO REPAIR 3328 D ESPLANADE CHICO, CA 95973 (530)

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Tips

Steering

Steering is one of the things we take for granted in our vehicles.  Let’s break it down into two areas: first, the power assist and second the actual parts that steer the vehicle. Most people under 40 have never driven a car or truck without power steering.  Most vehicles today have a hydraulic power steering pump that provides boost to help you steer.  The pump is usually driven by the serpentine belt, but some newer vehicles have an electric pump.  Some vehicles even have an electric motor that directly powers the steering. The important thing to keep in mind is that these pumps and motors will eventually wear out and the hoses will start to leak.  You can postpone that day by having a power steering service from time to time.  We will drain the old fluid and replace it with fresh fluid.  This removes water and contaminants that can corrode power steering parts.  Ask your service advisor for the recommended change interval. What about ... read more

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Tips

The 20.9 Percent Factor (Oxygen Sensor)

Do you know what gas makes up 20.9% of the air we breathe? It's oxygen.   Oxygen is an important part of the combustion process that enables your engine to make power.  The amount of oxygen in the exhaust provides clues as to how well your engine is running.  Your vehicle has oxygen sensors that provide the engine computer with the information it needs to adjust the combustion process. Many vehicles have more than one oxygen sensor.  They are positioned in the exhaust system, one between the engine and the catalytic converter, and another after the catalytic converter.  An onboard computer compares the oxygen levels before and after the catalytic converter to determine if the converter is working properly. An oxygen sensor may fail for many reasons.  You could have bad fuel that contaminated it.  Your sensor may have simply worn out.  Your engine may be burning oil, and that soot can ruin the sensor.  Road contaminants, like salt ... read more

Supplemental Restraint System – Airbags

After they’ve had an accident, some people wonder why their airbags didn't go off. Movies and television lead us to believe that airbags go off with the slightest bump. The reality is much more complicated. First, airbags come out with great force and speed. Now getting hit in the face with an airbag is way better than getting hit in the face with a windshield – but if the accident impact isn't hard enough that you would be severely injured, the airbags may not be triggered at all because they could do more harm than good. So how does your vehicle know when an accident is likely to result in life threatening injuries that would merit deploying the airbags? Well, there are sensors all around your vehicle that send information to the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) computer that decides which airbags should be deployed and when. There are impact sensors that measure the direction and intensity of an impact in the front, rear and sides of the vehicle. There are se ... read more

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Airbags

Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down in CHICO

There's not much CHICO residents can do about the price of gas in CA, but we can control - up to a point - how much we use. Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy. The first thing we can do is watch the go-pedal. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don't need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year in improved fuel economy. Go a little slower on CA roads. CHICO residents who go more than 60 mph/100 kph will see their drop dramatically. Leave early so you don't need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speeds use less gas. Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands around CHICO. Hey, at current CHICO gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot. Give us a call. D AND E AUTO REPAIR 3328 D ESPLANADE CHICO, CA 95973 (530) 343-9703 At D AND E AUTO REPAIR we install quality NAPA replacement parts

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Tips

Check Engine Light

When your Check Engine light comes on, you may be torn between utter panic and just wanting to ignore it and hope it goes away. That's perfectly understandable. That same Check Engine light could come on for anything from a serious engine or transmission problem all the way down to a loose gas cap. There's a very common misconception that the trouble codes stored in your engine computer when your check engine light comes on will specifically identify a problem. It's really more like pointing to the symptoms of a problem. Call D AND E AUTO REPAIR at (530) 343-9703 for help with your Check Engine light. Think of taking your temperature. Say it's 101°. Your heat sensor – the thermometer – tells you that your temperature is out of the normal range. But it doesn't tell you why you have a fever. Is it the flu or a sinus infection? You need more information, more tests. For any given trouble code, there could be a number of causes. So you ... read more

Cooling System

We’re often asked questions about the cooling system – the system that cools your engine and keeps it at the proper operating temperature.  Let’s examine the topic in two areas: first the coolant itself and, second, the parts that make up the cooling system. The coolant is the mix of water and antifreeze that circulates through the engine to draw off heat.  First, you need to have the proper amount.  If you don’t have enough coolant it can’t keep your engine cool.  You also need the right kind of coolant.  Different makes of vehicles require different coolant formulation to protect against corrosion.  Finally, your coolant needs to be fresh.  Over time and miles, the anti-corrosion additives in the coolant are depleted and the coolant can start to eat away at the cooling system parts.  Your owner’s manual and your service adviser can help you with the recommended coolant replacement schedule and make sure yo ... read more

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Cooling System

Windshield Wipers

We’re going to talk about windshield wiper blades.  Now that may seem like a pretty mundane topic but think about how important your vision is:  We protect our eyes.  If we need contacts or glasses, we taken care of them too.  And, well, wiper blades are critical to our vision when we drive. We really ought to think about wipers as part of an important safety system.  We should think about maintaining safety – not just responding when our wiper blades fail: how many times have you been caught off-guard by the first storm of the season with a streaky windshield you can barely see out of?  Or with no washer fluid.  Wiper blades live outside the vehicle, exposed to heat and sun in the summer and cold and ice in the winter.  It’s no wonder that they get dry, brittle and torn. We recommend changing wiper blades twice a year – before they’re so damaged that they don’t work.  If you replace them in one of your ... read more

Wired! (Battery Cables and Maintenance)

Chances are you've had the power go out in your neighborhood at some time, and you know how helpless you feel.  No lights, no microwave oven, no cold refrigerator: Yikes, it's like living in another century.  Well, your vehicle is also highly dependent on having power for it to run properly.  When your battery cables are failing, that power is not transferred as it should be. Battery cables are essentially the wires that connect your vehicle to its battery.  The positive cable supplies the power to various components that use them and the negative grounds the system to the vehicle chassis.  This setup allows you to have power throughout your vehicle. When a battery cable fails, your vehicle may not start, your starter may turn over very slowly, or you may hear a clicking noise.  And you may see your battery warning light go on. Just like a house with no power, a vehicle with no power needs to get it back for things to work the way they should ... read more

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Batteries