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Archive for July 2013

Folsom Autotech: Good Service and Good Fuel Economy

Posted July 30, 2013 12:00 PM

Most Folsom auto owners want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving economy. At Folsom Autotech, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Folsom drivers actually save?

In today's Folsom Autotech article, we're focusing on the things you can do to improve your vehicle’s economy driving around California. We'll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at $3.50, and we'll show a chart that also shows the savings at $3.00 and $4.00.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

TUNE UP 4%.12.14.16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best mileage. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air's clean protects your engine. That can save you up to 10 percent or 35 cents a gallon.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON$3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

AIR FILTER 10%.30.35.40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to 40 percent. That's a whopping $1.40 in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Folsom Autotech in Folsom and we'll check your oxygen sensor.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON$3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40%1.201.401.60


Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your Check Engine light will come on. Now, there are any number of things that could cause your Check Engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it's on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Folsom Autotech.

Here's an easy one for Folsom auto owners. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or 11 cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your economy, so check your tires every week.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON$3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

TIRE INFLATION 3%.09.11.12

Your vehicle has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced economy, or up to seven cents a gallon.

Another thing Folsom vehicle owners can do to improve that costs nothing is to toss the junk out of our trunks. In other words, clean out the car and stop hauling around non-essentials. Don't treat your vehicle like a storage locker. Dumping 100 pounds of extra weight adds up to a 2% savings at the pump.

So when you tell someone you were going somewhere anyway and they're welcome to come along, that's okay. But if someone tells you they need to come along and it's no harm to you since you were going anyway—well, now you can tell them, “Sorry, dude, but you're an extra fifteen cents a gallon!”

All joking aside, let's all do ourselves a favor and fatten up our wallets by practicing good car care and better driving habits in California.

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

 



Battery Basics for Folsom

Posted July 23, 2013 12:00 PM

drive

It's important for Folsom drivers to know battery basics. First, let's talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold California weather. Most Folsom area drivers think it's cold weather because that's when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold vehicle engine.

However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Folsom trips because the alternator doesn't have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Folsom drivers can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the summer and every three months during the winter.

As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren't capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your vehicle alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.

If you're pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your friendly and knowledgeable Folsom Autotech service assistant for a battery test to see if it's recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery on a California road, but you'll save unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle alternator.

Give us a call.

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

 



Steer Right in Folsom

Posted July 16, 2013 12:00 PM

Virtually all vehicles come with power steering, so many Folsom drivers have never driven a car or truck without it. Power steering assists you when you turn your vehicle steering wheel. Without it, it would be very hard to steer.

Now this power assist comes in a couple of forms. In recent years, a lot of vehicles have an electric motor that reduces steering effort and helps improve performance and handling.

The other kind of power steering is hydraulic. This is the kind most older California vehicles — and a lot of newer ones — have. Power steering fluid is pressurized by a pump and is used to assist steering. Of course, vehicles need the right amount of fluid in the system. If it's too low, your steering is affected and you could damage your vehicle pump.

Also, power steering fluid can become corrosive over time and damage the pump, hoses and connectors, leading to leaks and repairs. Power steering service at Folsom Autotech in Folsom includes removing the contaminated fluid and replacing it with fresh fluid.

A word for Folsom drivers about power steering pumps: Some are powered by an electric motor. Others are driven by the serpentine belt. A worn serpentine belt stresses all of the vehicle components it drives, including the power steering pump, so replace the belt at Folsom Autotech as advised to avoid undue repairs.

Losing your power steering while driving in Folsom can be unsettling – just remember that you can still steer, it'll just be harder. Check with your service advisor at Folsom Autotech to see if it's time to service your vehicle's power steering system.

In addition to power steering service, at Folsom Autotech we offer comprehensive automotive services.

Give us a call.

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



Check Your Shocks and Struts at Folsom Autotech

Posted July 9, 2013 12:00 PM


 

Today we're talking to Folsom drivers about shocks and struts. They're so easy for California folks to forget about because they last so long and wear out so slowly. But your shocks are really responsible for keeping your tires on the road – so they're very important.

Without shocks, your wheels would be bouncing over bumps and lifting on corners. The shocks push the tire down to the road to maximize traction. Good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling for Folsom drivers.

There's a difference between shocks and springs. Springs support the weight of the vehicle, keeping it suspended up off the axles. The shocks moderate the rebound motion as wheels hit bumps. Now a strut combines a shock and a coil spring in one compact unit.

It's best to replace all four shocks at the same time. That way you'll have even, predictable handling at all four corners. Anything less could be dangerous.

Visit Folsom Autotech to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional.


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



Stay Headed in the Right Direction, Folsom

Posted July 2, 2013 12:00 PM

Power steering is standard on nearly every vehicle in Folsom, California, these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that's driven by a belt powered by the engine.

Contact the automotive professionals at Folsom Autotech in Folsom for questions about your power steering.

The pump generates power that assists drivers as they steer their vehicle around Folsom, California. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it's a good idea to have Folsom Autotech inspect them at every oil change.

A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change at Folsom Autotech because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it's important to use the correct type – just ask your service advisor at Folsom Autotech.

In addition to providing a boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. Over time, the lubricants and detergents diminish so Folsom drivers need to replace their old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.

Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many outline power steering service intervals in the owner's manual. Unfortunately, this service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. For Folsom drivers who are not sure, every two years is a good rule of thumb. 

At Folsom Autotech, we use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.

Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist or loud whining coming from the pump, you may have a power steering problem. Another sign is having to frequently top off the fluid.

Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out quickly. We want you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly at your service center, or Folsom Autotech in Folsom, to keep you headed in the right direction.

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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