Monthly Archives: April 2020

Thermostat

The thermostat is part of your cooling system. CHICO residents' vehicle thermostats perform a similar function to the thermostats in their homes. At home, you set your thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature range. When your home gets too hot, the air conditioning kicks on and when it gets too cool, the heater turns on. Now your engine also has an optimal temperature range: warm enough to run efficiently and not so hot as to cause engine damage. Your vehicle's thermostat is a valve between the engine and the radiator. When CHICO residents first start a cold engine, the valve (thermostat) is closed, allowing the coolant surrounding the engine to warm up to the proper operating temperature. As the coolant gets hotter, the thermostat opens, allowing coolant to flow through to the radiator to be cooled. The thermostat opens and closes to keep the engine within a certain temperature range. Now thermostats are rated for a specific temperature depending on the engine &ndash ... read more

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Cooling System

Emergency Items for Your Vehicle

Emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So, you may always want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip. Your close-to-home kit would have some basic items to work on your car:  everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You’ll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots.  Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card. If you live in an area with frequent severe weather or earthquakes, may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies. For trips away from home, consider the weather and geography as you asse ... read more

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Emergency

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Advice on Your Cooling System

Last week I was out running errands and my temperature warning light came on – total panic!  I pulled over and my car was overheating After it cooled down, I went right in to my service center to have them look.  My service advisor told me my water pump was leaking and needed to be replaced.  He said water pumps just wear out and that you need to replace them because they pump the coolant that cools the engine.  He told me they checked out my radiator hoses, serpentine belt and tensioner and that they were OK.  But I was overdue for changing my coolant – like, embarrassingly overdue.  I didn’t realize there was a schedule in my owner’s manual for when to change my coolant.  My service advisor said that the coolant becomes corrosive over time and could damage my radiator, head gaskets, intake manifold gaskets, heater core, metal cooling pipes, expansion (frost) plugs, etc.  That’s why they recommend changing the flu ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

All new cars and light trucks since 2008 have come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system.  The TPMS system detects when a tire becomes under-inflated and lights up a warning light on the dash. So, what’s the big deal?  Well, under-inflated tires can be a real safety concern.  First, they don’t handle properly and that can lead to an accident.  Second, under-inflated tires can overheat and cause the tire to come apart, which can also lead to an accident. Government regulations requiring TPMS systems aim to reduce accidents and save lives:  A very worthy goal.  There are also positive environmental effects because under-inflated tires are fuel wasters – you lose 1% of your fuel economy for every 3 pounds of pressure below ideal.  So proper tire inflation can save you a tank of gas a year.  And your tires last longer so you won’t have to replace them as often. There are two kinds of TPMS systems.  So-called ... read more

Categories:

Tires

Fuel System

I’d like to give you 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.  Now the best thing you can do for your fuel pump is to use good quality fuel.  Top tier 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 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