Category Archives: Maintenance

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 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

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

Viva la Differential

With front-wheel drive being so common these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most folks don’t even have to think about it.  And most rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for many miles, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind.  So, it’s not uncommon for people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service. To better understand what a differential does, think about a high school track.  There are lanes marked off on the track.  For the long-distance races, the starting lines are staggered.  The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes.  That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes.  Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run. The differential compensates for the difference in speeds on drive ... read more

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Maintenance

D AND E AUTO REPAIR Takes Care of Your Vehicle's Suspension

After many years and tens of thousands of miles CHICO vehicles' suspension system components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in CHICO. As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth CA highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads in CA. In addition to just wearing out, vehicle suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in a bumpy CHICO road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your vehicle's manufacturer recommends periodic inspections. During an inspection, your friendly and knowledgeable D AND E AUTO REPAIR service advisor will check for worn, broken or missing parts. Signs for CHICO residents that shocks or struts are wearing out: the vehicle tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. CHICO r ... read more

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Maintenance

Fuel Pump

Your fuel pump sends fuel from the fuel tank to the engine. Fuel pumps just wear out over time; it might be the electric motor, a sensor, a valve, a relay or some other electrical component. Whatever the exact cause for the fuel pump failure may be, the solution to getting you back on the CHICO road is to replace the pump assembly. When one component has failed, another one is probably just around the corner, so it makes sense to replace everything at once and save the future labor costs. The fuel pump is inside the fuel tank on most vehicles, and for many cars, trucks and SUVs, the fuel tank must be removed to replace the fuel pump. As you can imagine, that is pretty labor intensive: removing heat shields, retaining straps, all of the EVAP lines, fuel lines and electrical connections. And, of course, there is properly and safely handling the fuel that must be drained from the tank. Some vehicles have an external fuel filter that should be replaced at the same time. The fuel tank may ... read more

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Maintenance

Wheel Alignment Service at D AND E AUTO REPAIR in CHICO

When all a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment.  Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving can cause your wheels to be out of alignment.  This can lead to expensive premature tire and suspension wear. Here are some alignment basics: The first angle is called toe: do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire. The next angle is called camber: do the wheels tip in or out at the top. And finally, there is castor.  Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.  Alignment service starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – so see if anything’s bent, broken or worn out.  Then the technician will look at tire condition.  From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading ... read more

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Maintenance

Looking Down The Road In CHICO: Wiper Blades

It’s said that 90% of our driving decisions are based on visual information.  Our wiper blades play an important role in this.  A dirty or streaked windshield can catch the glare of the sun or on-coming headlights and make it nearly impossible to see. Most of us deal with our wiper blades from a failure perspective.  We address them when they no longer function.  Instead, we should think about wipers blades as an important safety system that we should maintain, rather than repair. And don’t think that your wiper blades will last longer because you don’t use them very often.  Hey, they live outside in the harsh sun and freezing cold – ice and wind.  They just dry out and crack over time. Experts recommend that we change our wiper blades twice a year, in the spring and fall.  That way you have functional blades for those spring showers and winter storms.  And consider a windshield treatment to help repeal water and make i ... read more

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Maintenance
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