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Archive for June 2013

The Folsom Autotech Guide to Vehicle Diagnosis

Posted June 25, 2013 12:00 PM

Modern Folsom vehicles have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions – and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle.

Think about that for a minute – things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It's no wonder that when something goes wrong with their vehicle it can be pretty complicated for Folsom drivers to track down the source of the problem.

To help your service advisor at Folsom Autotech figure out what's wrong, your vehicle is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The Check Engine light comes on to tell you there's a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Your friendly and knowledgeable Folsom Autotech technician connects a scan tool to your vehicle's diagnostic port and retrieves the trouble codes as well as other important data.

Trouble codes are like clues for the technician to follow as he diagnoses what's wrong with your vehicle. In a way, it's like going to your Folsom doctor with a problem. She'll run some additional tests and gather the information she needs to make a diagnosis and form a treatment plan. How much a vehicle diagnosis costs at Folsom Autotech in Folsom depends on how much time it takes to sort out the symptoms and find the underlying problem.

Give us a call.

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



Keep Your Cool in Folsom: Air Conditioning Services

Posted June 18, 2013 12:00 PM

 

Most Folsom drivers don't even think about their air conditioner.

Now here's a tip for Folsom vehicle owners: Run your air conditioner every so often during California winters. This circulates the lubricant to help keep the seals from drying out.

The air conditioner actually removes some of the moisture in the air. So if you have trouble with fogging on your vehicle windshield during California winters or during a rain storm, running the A/C on the defrost setting should help. Now on some Folsom cars you can't run the A/C at the same time as the defroster. Don't ask me why, but I suspect lawyers were involved.

Also, air and water can get into the A/C system. That can reduce the efficiency of the system and also lead to corrosion that causes damage. Folsom drivers should periodically purge the system and replace the refrigerant to remove the air and water.

California drivers would be wise to learn the early warning signs of A/C trouble: 1) The air's not as cold as it used to be. 2) It makes unusual noises when the A/C cycles on. Those are signs to get your vehicle into Folsom Autotech in Folsom before the damage gets worse.

By following the recommended service intervals in your vehicle owner's manual, you can help prevent mechanical failure of your air conditioning system. Your A/C system contains some components like the compressor, condenser, dryer, etc. Anything Folsom car owners can do to lengthen the life of their A/C is well worth it. 

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



Keep Your Cool in Folsom

Posted June 11, 2013 12:00 PM

Folsom drivers rely on their vehicle's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your vehicle engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.

There's a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that's easily reached inside your vehicle's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.

Also, if it's freezing outside in Folsom, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the California cold.

So, if you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone.

Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in and around Folsom.

Whenever your vehicle is running, the coolant in the cooling system is working to keep your engine from overheating. When it's cold outside, the coolant acts as antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing in your engine.

All that exploding fuel in your engine creates a lot of heat. Without coolant, the metal vehicle engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. The parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole vehicle's engine is ruined and has to be junked.

This is why it is critical that Folsom drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their vehicle's cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your vehicle has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner's manual or ask us at Folsom Autotech in Folsom.

The reason Folsom drivers need to change the coolant is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system's a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the radiator and other vehicle cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.

Many Folsom auto owners ask our advisors at Folsom Autotech why there are different colors of antifreeze. It is very important that you use the correct type of antifreeze. The different types of antifreeze – or coolant – are different colors so you don't mix them up.

They use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them.

So check with us at Folsom Autotech in Folsom or your owner's manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your vehicle cooling system.

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



Finding Vehicle Recall Information From Folsom

Posted June 4, 2013 12:00 PM



No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice to Folsom residents and to fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone who owns that type of car in Folsom and elsewhere until the work is done.

If you have questions about vehicle recalls, give us a call:
Folsom AutoTech
1126 A Sibley St Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274

These recalls always affect safety, so you need to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.

Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that you still might want to know about. In this case, manufacturers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell service centers how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

The pros receive updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. You can buy access to these for an annual fee.

Whatever your source, pay attention to vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.



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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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