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Archive for February 2013

Keep Your Folsom Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

Posted February 26, 2013 12:00 PM

Hey Folsom - this is something really amazing: Your vehicle uses 12,000 times as much air as fuel when you drive it. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That's like 100 gallons (380 liters) of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very important but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn't, well, it can lead to problems. Of course, your vehicle manufacturer recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your vehicle in California affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions around Folsom or polluted city driving means you'll need to change your filter more often. Our trained professionals at Folsom Autotech can check your filter for you. In fact, it's often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won't allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your vehicle needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.

Dirtier filters don't work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much; after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most vehicles. These high performance filters cost a little more, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

So it's important for Folsom drivers to make sure and have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn't cost very much at Folsom Autotech in Folsom and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel economy before your next oil change.

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




 



Drive Train - What You Need to Know in Folsom

Posted February 19, 2013 12:00 PM



One Folsom automotive service issue that doesn't get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don't get talked about very much around Folsom, but they're very important. First let's define what the driveline is:

Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.

That's not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you're not moving. So Folsom residents need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we're going to have to oversimplify a bit.

If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call at (916) 985-0274.

Let's start with front wheel drive. The point where the transmission stops and the driveline begins is a little blurred with front wheel drive because the transaxle houses both the transmission function and the differential function. The half shafts that send power to each front wheel come out of the transaxle. The shaft is connected to the wheel by a constant velocity, or CV, joint. The CV joint is protected from dirt and water by an airtight, flexible rubber boot.

So, Folsom Autotech driveline service would include properly servicing the transaxle and inspecting the cv boot to see if it's torn or loose. If it is, it needs to be replaced and the CV joint inspected for damage. Repairs may be in order. Besides visual damage to the airtight CV boot, you might hear a clicking noise when turning. Recommended maintenance for the transaxle and CV joints will be spelled out in your owner's manual, or check with your friendly and knowledgeable Folsom Autotech service advisor.

On to rear wheel drive. The driveline for a rear wheel drive vehicle starts with the driveshaft – that long tube that connects the transmission with the differential on the rear axle. Some vehicles in Folsom have a two piece drive shaft. The shafts are connected to the transmission and the differential with big universal joints. Most Folsom residents have probably heard the term 'u-joints.' These joints can wear out, just like the CV joints in front wheel drive vehicles. You may hear some clunking or feel a jolt when shifting into drive or reverse – if you do, get your driveline inspected at Folsom Autotech in Folsom.

The differential on the rear axle sends power out to each rear wheel through half shafts in the axle. The differential fluid needs to be drained periodically and replaced with clean fluid. When the seal on the end of the axle is damaged or leaks, the axle will need to be serviced. The routine maintenance item here is differential service. Be sure to check your owner's manual or Folsom service advisor for intervals.

Now let's go on to all wheel drive. Remember that the difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive is that an all wheel drive vehicle is essentially providing power to all of the wheels all of the time. The vehicle may be able to shift more of the power to the front or to the back depending on where you need traction. All wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well on dry pavement. Even some high-end sports cars from makers like Lamborghini and Porsche have all wheel drive.

Some all wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well off-road in Folsom, but all hard-core rock crawlers are four wheel drive. These guys thrive in mud, sand, rocks and hills – but they don't work well on dry pavement when they're in four wheel drive. So they have the option to shift to rear wheel drive only on dry pavement.

Most all-wheel drive vehicles are very similar to front wheel drive when it comes to the front end. They also have a center differential that transfers power to the rear differential. Connecting it all is a shaft from the transaxle to the center differential and another from the center differential to the rear differential. So all of the normal front wheel drive service is recommended as well as service to the center and rear differentials.

Four wheel drive can be thought of as a rear wheel drive vehicle that can also send power to the front axle. There's a transfer case in the middle of the vehicle that can be shifted to send power through a drive shaft to a differential on the front axle. So Folsom residents need differential service for the front and rear differentials and for the transfer case as well.

The bottom line for Folsom residents is that the maintenance schedules are in your owner's manual. Your Folsom service advisor can answer any questions you've got. If this is the first time you've heard some of this stuff – it's time to ask someone at Folsom Autotech if any of it needs to be done now.

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



What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

Posted February 12, 2013 12:00 PM

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Folsom, California, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Folsom drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of Folsom customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Folsom Autotech in Folsom at (916) 985-0274 for information about differential service, or stop by our Folsom, California, auto center at 1126 A Sibley St, 95630.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Folsom high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer 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 between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Folsom, California area weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds (1,400 and 2,800 kg) – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That's a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So vehicle manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

The professionals at Folsom Autotech will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then they’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Folsom Autotech service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacture's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual. Give us a call at (916) 985-0274 for more information about your differential service.

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



Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth in Folsom

Posted February 5, 2013 12:00 PM

There's a segment of the Folsom area population that's not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. drive

Now, the ignition system in your vehicle is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers). So tune-ups used to force you in to Folsom Autotech for service, and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.

Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new vehicles in Folsom have been leased. These folks plan on turning the vehicle in after two or three years, so they haven't focused on the maintenance that helps a vehicle last longer.

Given all that, what's the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your vehicle will perform better and return better fuel economy.

Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren't just repairs that are a long way off. Modern vehicle engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.

And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.

Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At Folsom Autotech, we have been taking care of all those little things for years. Your vehicle still needs to be taken care of – it's just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in Folsom drivers vehicles did not go away.

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



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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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