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Simple Answers from D AND E AUTO REPAIR in CHICO : Severe Service

Question: What is a severe service maintenance schedule?D AND E AUTO REPAIR Answer: When I was a kid in CHICO, Sunday meant having a bath, getting dressed for church and then hanging up my Sunday clothes soon as we got home. Mom didn't have to wash those clothes but once a month or so. Now, Saturdays were another story entirely: catching lizards, splash contests in mud puddles and crawling through the brush with GI Joe. Those clothes went straight into the laundry basket. My Sunday clothes – easy use. My Saturday clothes – hard use. They required a different laundry schedule. Severe service maintenance schedules are kind of like that for CHICO drivers. “Normal” driving has a regular schedule; “hard” driving has a severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe schedule. Most owner's manuals will describ ... read more

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Maintenance

The D AND E AUTO REPAIR Guide To Battery Replacement

CHICO folks know that car batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things CHICO drivers should know when looking for a new battery: one is cold cranking amps and the other is reserve capacity. Let's start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in CA, specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors are that the colder an engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with. The other factor is the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient in the cold. So the colder it gets in CHICO, more power is needed, but the available power drops. So if you live where it's cold, you need a battery with more cold cranking am ... read more

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Batteries

Axle

Question: I hear a clunking sound from my front wheel when I make a turn. What could be the problem? D AND E AUTO REPAIR Answer: One possible cause of the problem is a worn axle. Front-wheel drive vehicles have axles that transfer power from the transmission to your front wheels. There is one for each front wheel. These axles are called constant velocity axles or CV axles for short. Rear-wheel drive vehicles have axles that are in back and run between the differential and the rear wheels. Of course, all-wheel drive vehicles will have an axle at each wheel. When a front CV axle goes bad, it will make a clunking noise as you make a slow turn. When a rear axle goes bad, the clunking or moaning sound will be in the back. Now there really isn't any preventive maintenance you can have performed to make your axles last longer, but you can have them inspected from time to time to see if a problem such as a leaking seal or torn protective boot has arisen ... read more

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Axles

Go Straight With A Wheel Alignment At D AND E AUTO REPAIR In CHICO

Ever had one of those shopping carts – you know the one with a messed-up wheel that wobbles like crazy.  Your cart shakes and pulls to one side – if you’re not careful it’s clean up on aisle three.  Wheel alignment on your car is a lot like that.   One or more of your wheels can get out of alignment; you feel a vibration in your steering wheel – which may also be off-center.  Your vehicle might pull to one side and your tires start to wear unevenly – you could chew through a tire in a few months.  Sometimes wheels get knocked out of alignment by something big like hitting a curb or slamming into a pothole.  But everyday driving takes a toll and vehicles lose alignment over time.  That’s why vehicle manufacturers recommend an alignment check at regular intervals. In your alignment inspection, your technician will check your tires and your suspension system for damage.  He’ll test your alignme ... read more

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Wheels

The 3 Vehicle Service Items You Shouldn't Put Off

When it comes to vehicle service, a lot of people procrastinate.  The reasons? Don't want to spend the money, don't have time to get it done, it's not urgent.  Sound familiar? Here are the three service items you shouldn't put off, no matter what. Oil Change.  Oil is one of those things that just quietly does its job.  You don't see it working; you don't hear it working.  Heck, you don't even know it's there.  Oil is the substance that keeps the metal parts in your vehicle working together and not fighting each other.  It keeps things gliding smoothly and prevents wear and tear every second your engine is turned on.  Don't put off changing it!  Check with your NAPA AutoCare Service Advisor and your owner's manual to know how often to have it changed, either by distance you travel or time that goes by – and they’ll know the correct oil for your vehicle. Tire Pressure.  It's so eas ... read more

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Maintenance

Timing Chain

As your engine runs, the intake valves need to open up to allow air into the engine. They remain closed while the air and fuel is compressed and ignited, powering the piston. Then the exhaust valves open to release the exhaust. This all has to be timed very precisely. It is the job of the timing belt or timing chain to make sure all of this is synced up properly. Timing belts are made of a very tough compound that can last for a long time. Timing chains are made of metal and last for a very long time as well. If your vehicle has a timing belt, your vehicle's owner's manual has a schedule for replacing the belt. If your vehicle has a timing chain, there may not be a specified schedule for replacing it, but that doesn't mean that the timing chain system is indestructible and never needs attention. For example, the chain runs on sprockets on the crankshaft and the camshafts. A broken tooth on a sprocket can cause the chain to slip a little. When timing is off a little y ... read more

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Maintenance

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Tech Question On Your Check Engine Light

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Tech Question: I'm Alex. My Check Engine Light came on in my vehicle. I've tried several things to make it go off but nothing has worked. What should I do? D AND E AUTO REPAIR Answer: Like Alex, most of us in CHICO have experienced a check engine light coming on suddenly. We're frustrated because we don't know why. Of course that's perfectly understandable: There are hundreds of reasons for the check engine light to come on – and there's only one light. Alex said she tried several things to get the light to go off – but it didn't work. Her goal was to get the light to turn off. I would suggest that the goal should be to find out what caused the light to come on in the first place – and fix it. You can search the Internet and find millions of sites with tricks to get your ... read more

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Maintenance

Fuel System Service at D AND E AUTO REPAIR

Today's D AND E AUTO REPAIR post contains a quick overview of the fuel system. It starts with the fuel tank. The fuel pump is located inside the tank and pumps fuel out to the engine. Somewhere along the way is a fuel filter whose job is to filter out dirt before it hits the engine. Then there's the fuel intake system and the fuel injectors that deliver the fuel to be burned in the engine. Our focus is to discuss how to make the various components of your fuel system work well and last as long as possible. The best thing you can do for your fuel pump is to use good quality fuel. Top tier CHICO gas typically has fewer contaminants and more detergents to keep things clean. Using good gas, or adding a fuel system cleaner to your tank, can prolong the life of your fuel pump. Because the fuel pump lives inside your tank, it's pretty expensive to replace, so helping it last as long as possible is a worthwhile goal. The fuel filter catches dirt and contam ... read more

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Fuel System

Making Your Vehicle Last With Regular Service in CHICO

A lot of people in CA have older vehicles. They're good commuters, grocery-getters or toy-haulers. They enjoy that fact that they're paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their vehicles for 200,000 miles/320,000 kilometers or more – as long as it's economical to do so. There are plenty of people in CHICO whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own cars on the road. A common denominator is that they never skip an oil change. That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it's really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine. Enough said. There's another reason the scheduled oil change is so important. It's simple — a ... read more

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Maintenance

Battery Upgrades at D AND E AUTO REPAIR in CHICO

Batteries are a huge part of modern CHICO life. I mean, how many battery chargers do you have in your CHICO home? Of course, our purpose here is to talk about car batteries in CHICO. When CHICO drivers come into D AND E AUTO REPAIR and need a new battery, they're really not that happy about having to spend the money. But the fact is that 70% of batteries don't make it for 4 years. There are some things CHICO drivers can do to extend the life of their battery. First, keep it clean. If you see it getting dirty or greasy, let your friendly and knowledgeable D AND E AUTO REPAIR service advisor know so it can be cleaned off. A dirty battery runs hotter and that shortens its life. If your battery terminals are corroded, let us take a look at that too. We can clean them, and if the corrosion has gotten into the battery cables, we can replace them. Also running your battery way down is bad for it: Things like running the headlights or watching a DVD player with ... read more

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Batteries