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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.

Yearly Archives: 2021

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

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