Monthly Archives: July 2020

Cooling System

We’re often asked questions about the cooling system – the system that cools your 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 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, the anti-corrosion additives in the coolant are depleted and the coolant can start to eat away at the cooling system parts.  Your owner’s manual and your service adviser can help you with the recommended coolant replacement schedule and make sure yo ... read more

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Cooling System

Windshield Wipers

We’re going to talk about windshield wiper blades.  Now that may seem like a pretty mundane topic but think about how important your vision is:  We protect our eyes.  If we need contacts or glasses, we taken care of them too.  And, well, wiper blades are critical to our vision when we drive. We really ought to think about wipers as part of an important safety system.  We should think about maintaining safety – not just responding when our wiper blades fail: how many times have you been caught off-guard by the first storm of the season with a streaky windshield you can barely see out of?  Or with no washer fluid.  Wiper blades live outside the vehicle, exposed to heat and sun in the summer and cold and ice in the winter.  It’s no wonder that they get dry, brittle and torn. We recommend changing wiper blades twice a year – before they’re so damaged that they don’t work.  If you replace them in one of your ... read more

Wired! (Battery Cables and Maintenance)

Chances are you've had the power go out in your neighborhood at some time, and you know how helpless you feel.  No lights, no microwave oven, no cold refrigerator: Yikes, it's like living in another century.  Well, your vehicle is also highly dependent on having power for it to run properly.  When your battery cables are failing, that power is not transferred as it should be. Battery cables are essentially the wires that connect your vehicle to its battery.  The positive cable supplies the power to various components that use them and the negative grounds the system to the vehicle chassis.  This setup allows you to have power throughout your vehicle. When a battery cable fails, your vehicle may not start, your starter may turn over very slowly, or you may hear a clicking noise.  And you may see your battery warning light go on. Just like a house with no power, a vehicle with no power needs to get it back for things to work the way they should ... read more

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Batteries

Simple Answers from D AND E AUTO REPAIR for CHICO: Power Brakes

Question: What is power brake service and why do CHICO drivers need to have it done?D AND E AUTO REPAIR Answer: Imagine: you pour a tablespoon of water in your hand and throw it as hard as you can. Now, suppose you suck up a tablespoon of water into a syringe, push the plunger and squirt it out. Which would go further? Of course it's the water squirting out of the syringe. That's because you pressurized the water. Your power brake system is kind of the same thing. When you step on the brake pedal, the master cylinder pressurizes brake fluid which actuates the brakes so you can stop. CHICO drivers who don't have enough pressure can't stop. A leak in your brake system would reduce – or even eliminate – your stopping power. Brake fluid attracts moisture which can cause leak-inducing corrosion. So a great way for CHICO drivers t ... read more

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Brakes

Steamed Up (Vapor Coming Out of Vents)

Sometimes you may notice a little steam or vapor coming out of your vehicle's vents when running the air conditioning or heater.  Is this something about which you need to worry? The answer is it may or may not be troublesome. Sometimes it can be caused by water accumulating in the vent system after it condenses.  That water can wind up at the bottom of a vent, and when you turn on the blower motor, it can cause what looks like steam or vapor to come out of the vents.  It may go away on its own when the system dries out after you've run the fan for a while.  Of course, moisture sitting around for more than a short time in a hot vehicle is the perfect breeding ground for mold to develop, and you don’t want your vehicle to smell like musty mold. Sometimes the moisture can build up because a drain is clogged.  A technician can clean that out and get things draining again. If the vapor coming out of the vents has a sweet, syrupy smell, it could be ... read more

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Troubleshoot

Simple Answers from D AND E AUTO REPAIR for CHICO: Windshield Wipers

Question:When should I replace my windshield wipers? D AND E AUTO REPAIR Answer: Well, most CHICO drivers wait until they fail. The problem with that is that you find out they have failed when you actually need them most – a little too late. Wiper blades are really a safety system for CHICO drivers. As you can imagine, 90% of our driving decisions are based on what we see. If you can't see well because your wipers can't clear your windshield, your ability to drive safely is significantly impaired. So the simple answer: of course, CHICO drivers should change wipers if they don't work well. But replace them before they go bad so they are always ready when that storm hits. For some CHICO drivers, once a year may be enough. For others – those who drive a lot, whose wipers are exposed to a lot of sun or use their wipers more – replacing the blades ... read more

The Hot Switch (Coolant Vacuum Valve Switch)

When the weather gets cooler, you want the cabin of your vehicle to stay warm.  When you switch on the heat, you may find the air that comes out of the vents just isn't hot.  The problem could be a part in the heating system that not that many people understand.  It's called the coolant vacuum valve switch or thermostat vacuum switch.  Here's what it does. When you don't need heat in your vehicle, you don't need hot coolant from your radiator to go through the heater core in your vehicle.  (The heater core is like a small radiator that exchanges heat between the coolant and your cabin air.)  When you turn on the switch for heat or defrost, it signals the coolant vacuum valve switch to open.  That should send hot coolant to the heater core which heats your cabin air or defroster air.  If the coolant vacuum valve switch isn't working, you don't get warm air to either. Sometimes the coolant vacuum valve switch can crac ... read more

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Cooling System