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Archive for August 2012

Deep Clean Your Fuel System at Folsom Autotech

Posted August 28, 2012 12:00 PM

Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your vehicle into Folsom Autotech for a check up.

In today's Folsom Autotech auto post, we're talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. Folsom residents need fuel to go, and the cleaner the fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better mileage .

A clean fuel system saves money for Folsom drivers at California gas stations. We guess you could say it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things Folsom residents can do to keep their vehicle fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.

So buying cheaper gas in California can actually be more expensive for Folsom drivers in the long run. Now, most cars on California roads are more than five or six years old. That means they've had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your vehicle engine. That's the fuel filter's job.

When the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. So Folsom residents should have their fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner's manual or ask your friendly and knowledgeable Folsom Autotech service advisor if your fuel filter is due for replacement.

Folsom Autotech
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274



Which Item Is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Folsom?

Posted August 21, 2012 12:00 PM


 

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Folsom?

Is it:

  1. Stereo
  2. Wheels
  3. Air Bag
  4. DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in California – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in California.

Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

Contact us at Folsom Autotech for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 1126 A Sibley St, Folsom, California 95630
You can reach us by phone at: (916) 985-0274

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

That is definitely one car part you don't want to take a chance with, so Folsom Autotech recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Folsom Autotech).

 

  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.

 

  • You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.

 

Folsom Autotech
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274



Make Your Battery Last

Posted August 14, 2012 12:00 PM



Today's report from Folsom Autotech is on vehicle batteries, why they die and what we can do to lengthen their life. Most of us have had a dead battery at one time or another. In fact, it would be very unusual if you hadn't. You may be surprised to learn that only 30 percent of Folsom vehicle batteries last for 48 months.

Now that's an average. How long a battery lasts depends on many factors. You may not know that one of the biggest factors is the temperature where you live and drive around in California. You might suppose that cold weather was harder on batteries because it takes more power to crank a cold engine, but the opposite is actually true.

For more information on your battery, please visit us:
Folsom Autotech
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274

Batteries in very cold climates have a life expectancy of 51 months as opposed to 30 months in very warm climates. The reason is simple: batteries are chemically more active when they're hot than when they're cold.

A vehicle battery will actually start to discharge on its own within 24 hours in hot weather. It takes several days in cold weather. When batteries are left too long in a state of partial discharge, the discharged portion of the battery plates — for the lack of a better word — 'die.' Recharging the battery will not restore the dead part of the battery plate.

One of the big problems for the way most of us drive in the Folsom area is that our batteries are often partially discharged. The biggest job the battery does is to start the vehicle. It takes some time for the alternator to recharge the battery after starting. If you're driving short distances, especially if there are several starts and stops, your battery may not fully recharge.

Another issue is that vehicles are coming equipped with more and more electricity-hungry accessories like navigation systems, DVD players, CD and MP3 players, heated seats, heated steering wheels and so on. And we often plug in cell phones, computers and other gadgets. Combine that with short trips and it's no wonder that our batteries are partially discharged.

Experts say we can extend our battery life by topping off the charge periodically using a good quality battery charger. You may have heard these chargers referred to as 'trickle chargers.' They're attached to the battery and plugged into a wall outlet to slowly bring the battery up to full charge.

Now, there's some science involved with how fast a battery should be recharged. If you buy a cheap manual charger, you'll have to tend it. Frankly there is a learning curve on how to do it right and it requires much attention. A computer controlled charger – or smart charger – monitors the process and determines the appropriate rate of charge. And it even stops charging when it's fully charged. It costs more than the manual charger, but the automatic model is worth it.

The suggestion is to charge once a month in warm weather and once every three months in cold weather.

Another thing to avoid is deeply discharging your battery, something like running the headlights and stereo with the engine turned off. That'll take months off the battery life every time you do it.

Now, as we discussed, heat is hard on a battery. A dirty, greasy battery holds more heat. You can wipe off excess dirt with a paper towel or ask your service advisor at Folsom Autotech to clean it for you. We can even test your battery and tell you if it's time to replace it.

Batteries are fairly expensive, so taking a few steps to make them last longer is well worth it. Of course, the battery will eventually need to be replaced. Always make sure you get a new battery that meets the factory specifications for your vehicle. If you feel you need more battery capacity than what came with your vehicle, talk with your service advisor at Folsom Autotech about appropriate upgrades.

If you have a dead battery, be careful to inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. And deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

Folsom Autotech
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274



Wheel Bearings

Posted August 7, 2012 12:00 PM

Your wheel bearings may be something to which you've never given a thought while driving around Folsom, California. Wheel bearings are what enable your wheels to spin freely. Since they bear the entire weight of the vehicle, they have to be tough. Wheel bearings can last well over 60,000 miles or 100,000 kilometers. They do wear out though and must eventually be replaced.

You might hear a groaning sound from your wheels. The sound might disappear at some speeds and reappear at others. Your Folsom, California, service technician at Folsom Autotech can quickly tell if your bearings are bad by raising the vehicle and wiggling the wheel. When you grasp the top and bottom of the tire, it shouldn't move along the vertical axis.

Many vehicles these days have wheel bearing assemblies that cannot be serviced at Folsom Autotech. When the bearings go bad, we simply replace the entire wheel bearing assembly.

For those vehicles with wheel bearings that can be accessed, we can do some preventive maintenance. You may have heard the phrase "pack the bearings." With this procedure we remove the bearings, carefully clean them and inspect for any imperfection or wear. If the bearings can be reused, we reinstall them and pack them with grease. If not, we put in new bearings. Check your owner's manual or ask your Folsom, California, service advisor at Folsom Autotech if your bearings can be serviced, and if so, when it should be done.

Now, taking care of bad bearings is extremely important. When bearings go bad, they generate tremendous amounts of heat, enough to lock up the wheel. That's not a good thing at any speed. In some cases the wheel can even fall off. Either of these could cause a serious accident. So have your wheel bearings inspected if you suspect a problem and replace them right away if there is one.

Folsom Autotech
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274

 

At Folsom Autotech we install quality NAPA replacement parts.



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What our clients are saying about us

We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!

These mechanics fix your vehicle and stand behind their work. They bent over backwards to accommodate me and my schedule. They are located on an easily accessible corner with plenty of parking. The manager, Ron, and owner, Jim, were professional and courteous at all times with such great smiles and information as well as many years of experience and knowledge. A real find and I will continue to use them for my mechanical needs. quotes-image
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Folsom Autotech has been my go-to garage for over 15 years. I asked the guys I work with where they'd send their wife or daughter for car repairs and the resounding recommendations was Folsom Autotech. They were right, this is MY garage and I don't want or trust anyone else to work on our cars!quotes-image
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