Articles:

Better Service, Better Fuel Economy in CHICO

Maintaining your car or truck will make it more efficient.  It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel:  And you save money. To help organize our discussion, let’s think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. Friction.  Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the engine.  It must work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel.  The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil.  Low oil means there’s not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there’s more friction.  The wrong viscosity and grade of oil can also adversely affect fuel economy.  Dirty oil won’t lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid.  Getting your oil changed and transmission serviced on schedule will reduce friction and save money.  Consider upgrading to synthetic oils in your dif ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Upsizing Wheels and Tires in Chico

Hello CHICO drivers! Let's pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for our discussion of upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don't eat them now – you're going to need them later. Many CHICO drivers want to accessorize their car and make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some custom wheels (http://dandeautorpr.mynapatools.com/contact-us/). There are thousands of wheel designs out there to get you the look you want. And for many, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that vehicles came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more. So let's talk about what CHICO drivers should consider when they want to upsize their wheels. It's not exactly a do it yourself project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling ... read more

Categories:

Tires

Do I Need AWD? (Pros and Cons of AWD)

When the cold weather rolls around and the first slippery days confront drivers, it's tempting to say, "I need an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicle to deal with the weather." Well, maybe you don't. Maybe there's another solution that is much more economical and may even have better results for you. There are a lot of people who think having power at all four corners of the vehicle is the answer to all winter can throw at you. True, you can get going more quickly in an all-wheel-drive (AWD) or 4- wheel-drive (4WD) vehicle. That's because power can be sent to each wheel, and four traction spots are better than two. And an AWD or 4WD vehicle may have a higher resale value in places with harsh winters. But AWD and 4WD vehicles cost hundreds, even thousands, more. They use more fuel economy and require additional maintenance. Some people who get AWD and 4WD vehicles think they're invincible in the snow when the truth is they might get going more eas ... read more

Diesel Engines

When someone mentions diesels around CHICO, images of smoky, rattly trucks may spring to mind. The fact is that the modern, clean diesel engine is much more refined than in the old days. Sure, diesel engines remain a very popular choice with heavy duty pick-up truck drivers in CHICO, but they are finding their way into nearly every segment of the CA automotive market. Why is that? Well, it's science. Diesel fuel contains more energy than the same amount of gasoline. So it takes less diesel fuel to do the same amount of work as gas.  so CHICO diesel drivers get more miles per gallon/kilometers per liter and lower emissions. In Europe, where fuel is very expensive and good fuel economy is very important, around half of passenger vehicles are powered by diesel engines. This goes for small economy cars all the way up to the world's most luxury vehicles. The driving experience is also very good with diesel engines.  In fact CHICO residents may not even be able to tell th ... read more

A Few "Key" Facts (Ignition Key Issues)

You expect your key to turn in your vehicle's ignition.  But sometimes it won't, and that's a problem, whether you're trying to start your vehicle or trying to leave it.  Several things can cause this.  One of the most common is that the steering column locking mechanism is stuck.  Locking steering columns are an anti-theft feature introduced in the 1970s.  If yours is sticking, try moving the steering wheel a little from side to side as you turn the key; sometimes it will release.  A key may also stick if the vehicle is in gear.  Most vehicles will only let you start in neutral or park.  If you have an automatic transmission vehicle, make sure it's in park. Move the shift lever through the gears and back into park to make sure. If the key still doesn't turn, you can try jiggling the shift lever as you turn the key.  Electrical and mechanical contacts sometimes don't line up properly, and a little jiggle might n ... read more

Oil Change

An oil change:  Sounds simple, but there’s some important things to know about preventing oil sludge. Oil eventually starts to turn into jelly.  Literally – petroleum jelly.  Sludge clogs up oil passages and keeps oil from getting to some areas of the engine, causing parts to wear out prematurely.  And that means expensive engine repairs. That’s why you need to change the oil and oil filter on schedule – to get the old oil out before it turns to sludge.  Your manufacturer will have a recommendation for how many miles you can go between oil changes.  They also usually have several months between recommended oil changes.  That’s because the detergents and other additives in the oil break down over time. Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for time and mileage, but you need to remember that it’s based on using the recommended weight of oil.  And if your vehicle came from the factory with synthe ... read more

Evaporative Emissions Control

The oil and fuel in your vehicle give off vapors that are very harmful to the environment. Evaporative emissions control systems – EVAP for short – are mandated in all cars and trucks. The EVAP system is there to capture these vapors and direct them into the engine to be burned – kind of an on-board recycling program. The EVAP system is a complicated network of hoses, valves, filters and such. Issues with the EVAP system are in the top 5 reasons for a Check Engine light to be illuminated. Your friendly and knowledgeable D AND E AUTO REPAIR service advisor can pull the trouble codes and begin a diagnostic procedure to isolate the fault. With the proper equipment, your technician can test the valves in order to trace a blockage. A low pressure smoke test can be performed to find any leaks. The repairs are then made to get the EVAP system working again and to reset the Check Engine light. While EVAP problems don't generally lead to vehicle damage, the fact that th ... read more

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Tip: Use The Correct Fluids In Your Vehicle

Big advances in automotive technology have led to the development of high-tech fluids to keep pace.  A simple example of this is the cooling system.  For decades it was primarily made from iron, steel and rubber hoses.  There was one kind of coolant that protected these components from corrosion.  Now cooling system components are made with various metal alloys and plastics.  These materials require different additives to protect them from corrosion.  Since the materials used vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, we now have several different kinds of coolant. And it’s important to use the right coolant.  If you pour in the wrong kind, it won’t protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty.  Of course, your service advisor will know the proper coolant to use.  If you’re concerned you may have used the wrong fluid, be safe and have your technician flush the system and start fresh with the correct fluid. Brak ... read more

Tips on TPS (The Throttle Position Sensor)

When you step on the accelerator, you expect your vehicle to speed up, not slow down.  But, what if it doesn’t?  That can be a big problem. The answer may be a problem with the sensor that helps your vehicle determine that the proper mix of air and fuel for your engine.  It's called the TPS, or Throttle Position Sensor. Here's how it works. Your vehicle’s throttle opens when you need more air to accelerate and closes when you need less.  The throttle position sensor does pretty much what its name says: it senses the position of the throttle.  That reading, along with air flow measurements, is sent to the vehicle's computer.  The computer factors in air temperature, how fast the engine is turning over, and air flow to determine how much fuel to supply the engine.  If everything's working correctly, you'll get the acceleration you want along with the fuel economy you expect.  However, if the TPS fails, your vehicl ... read more

Nailed It! (Tire Repairs)

We've all been there.  You park somewhere only to return and find one of your tires is flat; you've picked up a nail on the road.  You're hoping you can just have it patched and be on your way.  That beats the cost of replacing the tire, but will that patch hold up for the long haul? The key is where the tire has been punctured and how big the hole is. First, tires can be punctured by more than just nails.  Sometimes you can put a hole in a tire when you hit a curb, pothole, or road debris.  Holes larger than ¼ of an inch or 6 mm, cannot be safely repaired.  The next factor is where the puncture is.  If it's in the tread blocks, that's good.  But if the hole is on the sidewall or shoulder of the tire, then it's time to replace the tire. Here's why. Sidewalls flex on a tire when you drive.  The strain from that flexing eventually can cause a repair to loosen up.  A weak spot in the sidewall will be m ... read more