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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:

Simple Answers from D AND E AUTO REPAIR: Engine Air Filter

Question What's the harm in putting off replacing my engine air filter a little longer? Answer That's a fair question because the harm takes a while to manifest.  Let's take a small step back and talk about what an engine air filter does. The air all around us contains dust, dirt, pollen, spores, etc.  Some areas and times of the year have more contaminants in the air.  The job of the air filter is to keep that stuff out of your engine.  The benefit of that is obvious. Now your engine uses a lot of air – like 12,000 gallons of air for every gallon of fuel – so the engine air filter has a big job to do.  When the filter gets full and can't hold any more dirt, all that air still has to get to the engine, so dirt gets forced through the filter and heads on downstream. The air flows passed the mass air flow (MAF) sensor on its way to the engine.  The MAF sensor tells the engine control computer how much air is coming so the co ... read more

Scheduled Wheel Alignment at D AND E AUTO REPAIR

People need to be concerned about wheel alignment for two primary reasons: safety and money.  When your wheels are out of alignment, they can pull to one side. A moment of inattention could put you into on-coming traffic or off the road.  And a bad alignment will chew up your tires very quickly. We had one guy in the shop who said his wheels were a little out of alignment before a family vacation, but he didn't think it was that bad, so he didn't take care of it before he left.  A couple days and a thousand miles later, his front tires were worn down to the cords.  He had to take a half day out of his mountain vacation to find a town big enough to have a tire center for replacements. All four wheels are supposed to be lined up and point in the same direction.  Sometimes one or more goes out of alignment and is pulling against the rest of the team.  In addition to excessive tire wear, this also hurts fuel economy. Part of the alignment service is ... read more

Categories:

Tires

Cooling System Service at D AND E AUTO REPAIR in CHICO

CHICO drivers often ask questions about the cooling system, the system that cools your vehicle 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 vehicle 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 of driving, the anti-corrosion additives in the coolant are depleted, and the coolant can actually start to eat away at the vehicle's cooling system parts. Your owner's manual and your D AND E AUTO REPAIR service advisor can help you with the reco ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Automotive Tips: Axles

The axle assemblies in your vehicle transfer power out to the drive wheels.  On a rear-wheel drive vehicle, there is an axle shaft that goes from the differential in the center of the axle to each rear wheel.  On a front-wheel drive vehicle, the axle shafts go from the transmission to each front-wheel.  All-wheel drive vehicles have axle shafts connected to all four wheels.  Axles assemblies are tough parts: they transfer torque from the engine to the wheels to move the vehicle.  Tough as they are, they are still subject to normal wear and tear.  The axle shafts are in a sealed housing with lubricant that protects the axle shaft.  When there is a leak anywhere in the axle assembly, lubricant gets out and dirt, water, and other contaminates can get in.  This can greatly accelerate axle wear.  If an axle assembly fails, you're not going anywhere. A worn or damaged axle assembly on the front will make a clunking sound during low speed tur ... read more

Categories:

Axles

The Harm in Skipping an Oil Change

Some new vehicle manufacturers are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more.  Following these recommendations is very important to avoid engine damage.  When you go too long between oil changes, oil starts to turn to sludge.  This causes small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail. What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage.  There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge.  Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil.  This water also creates sludge.  Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation. Severe driving includes short trips under four miles or trips under ten miles in freezing conditions.  The engine just doesn't get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate. Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem.  Stop and go driving, towing, dusty condi ... read more

Categories:

Oil Change

Fuel Injector Cleaning In CHICO

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your vehicle engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. High temperatures under your hood and variations in CHICO gas quality cause fuel injectors to be fouled with wax, dirt, water, additives and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure. When your vehicle's injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn't burn as efficiently, resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it's important to keep your fuel injectors clean. We can perform a full fuel system service for you at D AND E AUTO REPAIR in which the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time. CA drivers sh ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Tech Question on Tire Wear

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Tech Question on Tire Wear

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Tech Question: My name is Dan. My vehicle tires wore out early and I had to replace them. What can I do to make my tires last longer? D AND E AUTO REPAIR Answer: Dan's problem – premature tire wear – is very common for CHICO residents. Here are several ways to lengthen the life of your tires: First, tires lose air pressure over time, so check them at least once a month and fill them up as necessary. A sticker on the driver's side door jamb has the recommended pressure. Tire rotation is also important to increase the life of tires. Your front tires take the brunt of stopping and steering forces so they wear faster than the rear tires. They should be rotated regularly so that all four tires wear more evenly. Talk to us at D AND E AUTO REPAIR in CHICO for more information. Out of balance wheels can also cause a tire to wear too fast. CHICO drivers who feel a vibration in their seat or steering ... read more

Categories:

Tires

Importance of Maintenance Schedules

Your vehicle isn't the only aspect of CHICO life with recommended intervals: you have dental cleanings, physical exams, laundry, mowing the lawn and paying the bills. What would happen if you didn't follow these intervals? Well, you'd get more cavities. You might miss health issues that benefit from early detection and treatment. And you'd wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your overgrown lawn and have your utilities shut off. CHICO men and women realize there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don't, there are negative consequences. For CHICO drivers who want to be more proactive with their car care, here are some simple ways to remember what has a maintenance interval. First: Fluids. If it's liquid, it's got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc. We can take care of all of these for you at D AND E AUTO RE ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Headlamps

You may be surprised to learn that 40% of traffic fatalities take place at night even though there's 60% less traffic.  It goes to show how important proper visibility is to nighttime driving. Obviously, a clean windshield is important – so are good wiper blades.  Your headlights play a big role as well.  There are two main concerns.  One is with the headlamp, or bulb.  The other is with the lens.  The fact of the matter is that headlamps go dim over time.  You just need to replace them.  Some vehicles come with a standard blub which you can replace, or you can upgrade to a halogen bulb that's much brighter.  Halogen costs a little more, but you'd be amazed at the difference. It's a good idea to replace your headlamps once a year.  The idea is that your lamps never dim to the point that they become a safety issue.  Just take care of it at a fall oil change so that your lights will be bright for the coming l ... read more

Categories:

Headlamps