Skip to main content

Best Auto Repair, Folsom

CONTACT US

AUTONET TV


Archive for March 2015

Budget for Maintenance in Folsom

Posted April 1, 2015 12:00 PM

Sometimes busy Folsom residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around California in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Folsom residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's Folsom drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's Folsom drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Folsom area auto service centers.

Folsom drivers certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Vehicle care in California  simply costs more than it used to. So if you think about it, Folsom drivers can avoid many vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Just a bit of auto advice from Folsom Autotech: If you like new vehicles and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new vehicle every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and California auto insurance with an older vehicle and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for preventive maintenance you have done at Folsom Autotech, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less!

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



What Is That? Check Engine Light Service at Folsom Autotech

Posted March 26, 2015 12:00 PM

Okay. You went to your local Folsom car wash, and while your vehicle was under the dryer, the Check Engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the vehicle! You head for the nearest Folsom service center, but on the way, the Check Engine light stops flashing and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren't as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your vehicle in to get serviced. In the meantime, the Check Engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty; maybe when it comes on it doesn't mean anything, or maybe it's just in your vehicle as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary repairs. You're glad you didn't take your car to the Folsom repair shop and resolve to ignore that Check Engine light in the future.

Whoa! Let's look at what really happened. Your vehicle was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report to the engine computer, where a warning was triggered; there shouldn't be that much airflow when the vehicle engine is idling. This is a serious problem that could cause permanent engine damage. Warning! The Check Engine light starts flashing, letting you know you need to take immediate action to prevent that damage.

You drive out from under the dryer, and the air intake sensor sends a new message to the computer. The computer realizes that everything is normal and tells the Check Engine light to stop flashing. The vehicle doesn't need immediate attention; but there was a problem, and it should be checked out by your Folsom Autotech service advisor. After a few days the computer senses that the problem is gone, so it turns off the warning light.

You may think this story illustrates the uselessness of a Check Engine light, but you should remember that a computer can't think for itself; it can only follow its programming. It doesn't know the difference between a car wash air dryer and a serious malfunction in your vehicle engine. That doesn't make it useless. It just means you have to be the smart one.

Being smart doesn't mean ignoring your vehicle Check Engine light. It lets you know when something is wrong, and you can prevent a lot of damage to your vehicle by paying proper attention to it.

Your engine computer is constantly collecting data about what is going on inside your vehicle engine. It knows what parameters are normal and when a reading may indicate a problem. It uses the Check Engine light to let you know when something isn't right. It then stores a code in its memory — which a technician can retrieve — that indicates which reading was abnormal.

The technician uses this code as a starting place to find out what's wrong with your vehicle. It's like going to the doctor with a fever. The fever is the reading that is abnormal — your temperature is too high — but the doctor still has to figure out what's causing it. It's probably an infection, but what kind? Sinus infection? Appendicitis? Flu? The problems and their solutions are quite different. But a fever also tells a doctor what's NOT wrong with you. Fevers don't accompany stress headaches, ulcers or arthritis, so there's no sense in testing for those conditions.

The pros at Folsom Autotech respond to a trouble code in your vehicle's computer in the same way. The code doesn't say exactly what's wrong, but it does give the technician a good indication of where to start looking —and where he/she doesn't need to look.

Now, you wouldn't consider diagnosing yourself with a serious medical problem — good medical advice unless you're a doctor. So you shouldn't consider trying to diagnose your vehicle's troubles by yourself — good auto advice unless you're a trained mechanic.

There are cheap scanners available on the market, and some Folsom auto parts stores offer to read trouble codes from your vehicle engine's  computer for you. But these are really not good alternatives to taking your vehicle to a qualified service center such as Folsom Autotech in Folsom. Your engine's computer has both short-term and long-term memory, and there are some codes that are specific to a particular make of vehicle. Cheap scanners can't read an engine computer's long-term memory nor can they interpret manufacturer-specific codes. That's why our manager at Folsom Autotech spends a lot of money on high-end diagnostic tools.

It's as if you had a choice between a doctor who had a tongue depressor and a thermometer and one who had all the latest medical diagnostic equipment on hand. Honestly, which would you choose?

Getting your codes read at your Folsom area auto parts store isn't really a money-saver, either, unless you're a trained mechanic. You'll end up with a code that tells you a symptom. What usually happens next is that the Folsom area parts store sells you something that directly relates to the symptom. It may or may not fix the problem. It's actually cheaper to just go to Folsom Autotech and get things fixed right the first time.

Remember, a fever can indicate a sinus infection or appendicitis. An antibiotic may be okay for that sinus infection, but it likely won't help your appendicitis. Is it really wise to wait around to see if the antibiotic helps when you might have appendicitis?

Part of good vehicle care is knowing where you can get a problem fixed — and fixed right. Preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping you out of the repair shop, but eventually, we will all have a problem that needs fixing. Let's do it right the first time at Folsom Autotech.

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

 



Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, Folsom Car Owners

Posted March 18, 2015 12:00 PM

A generation ago, Folsom drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle's preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Taking your vehicle in to your Folsom shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Folsom used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the vehicle was in for a tune-up at Folsom Autotech, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today's engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our vehicles don't experience a huge performance drop when they're ready for some care. But it doesn't mean that they don't need it.

Modern Folsom drivers need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner's manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, Folsom Autotech in Folsom can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Folsom Autotech in Folsom, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you'll get better engine performance and fuel economy. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern vehicle engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they're more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the vehicle isn't driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your vehicle on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your vehicle engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and damage the vehicle's engine parts it was designed to protect. It can eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this damage, and it's a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Folsom drivers than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Folsom who purchases used vehicles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Folsom folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don't want to be bothered with maintenance or vehicle care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

We can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel economy and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Give us a call or send us an email for more helpful tips.

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

 

 



Hitting the Brakes in Folsom

Posted March 12, 2015 12:00 PM

Safety should always be an element of your vehicle care. So even if you don't care about how your vehicle looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other Folsom drivers — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

Brakes need a regular inspection. There are  parts that wear out or wear down, and it's best to replace them before you have serious problems.

Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that's a good sign that you need your brakes checked. You can also tell something is wrong with your brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate serious problems. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is to get your brakes checked.

Brakes come in two basic types. With disc brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor and close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the vehicle's wheels, from turning.

When Folsom Autotech services your brake system, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at Folsom Autotech compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be expensive. But if your vehicle brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

Brake pads come in several different grades such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more expensive, but they also work better. California drivers who want better and smoother braking should consider upgrading. However, Folsom drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than their vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.

After your brake pads are checked at Folsom Autotech, it's also wise to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will decrease your braking power. The pads just won't be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your vehicle. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to an accident in Folsom.

Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause corrosion in your braking system. Eventually this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So Folsom drivers should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your vehicle owner's manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced, or you can ask a service advisor at Folsom Autotech. 

Remember, Folsom folks, safety first. It's auto advice for all Folsom drivers on the road. You're not just protecting others; you're protecting yourself.

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



When Do My Shocks Need to Be Replaced?

Posted March 5, 2015 12:00 PM

A good suspension system gives a vehicle a smooth, even ride while providing Folsom drivers with good handling and control. But like any system on your vehicle, parts of the suspension system can wear out, leading to a lower ride quality and safety concerns. So it's a good idea for drivers in Folsom to remember their suspension system in their schedule of preventive maintenance. Springs do most of the work of the suspension system. The most common types of springs are coil and leaf, but air springs and torsion bars are becoming more common. The body of the vehicle is “suspended” by the springs.

If springs were the only working component in your suspension system, however, you'd spend your travel time bouncing up and down like a bobblehead. That's where your shocks come in. They keep the rebound, or bounciness, of the springs under control. Shocks also keep your tires on the road, which keeps the driver in control of the vehicle. Some vehicles have struts in their suspension system. Struts are a compact combination of springs and shocks. They do the same job but in a single package.

Shocks wear out gradually, so it can be difficult for Folsom drivers to notice when they need to be replaced. There's no definitive point when a vehicle's ride goes from "smooth and controlled" to "a bit imprecise." To check if your shocks or struts are worn, you should first do a visual inspection on them. If they are leaking fluid, they need to be replaced.

There are other less obvious signs that your suspension system needs attention. For example, an uneven, cupping wear on your tires may indicate that your shocks are worn. If your vehicle feels “floaty” when you turn, or, in other words, you don't feel that you have full control of the vehicle, you should check your shocks. Also, if the front end of your vehicle dips noticeably when you stop, it's time for new shocks.

Your owner's manual gives recommendations on how often the shocks should be checked, usually between 15,000 and 30,000 miles (24,000-50,000 km). If one of your shocks does need to be replaced, you should replace all four. This will keep your suspension even and ensure good handling of your vehicle. If you carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive on uneven Folsom area terrain, you might also consider upgrading to a heavy-duty shock.

Regular shocks contain hydraulic fluid. The fluid helps them absorb the bumps or “shocks” of the road so the impact doesn't transfer to the vehicle's body. Premium shocks are filled with compressed nitrogen gas, which costs more but does a better job of controlling body motions. Regular shocks can develop air bubbles that reduce their effectiveness; the premium shocks don't have this problem. So if you want higher handling performance, if you drive off-road around California or if you just want added comfort, you should consider upgrading to premium shocks or struts.

Replacing struts can put your vehicle out of alignment, so an alignment check should always follow this type of repair. Talk to your service advisor at Folsom Autotech in Folsom for more information.

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

 



Search



Archive

November 2011 (4)
December 2011 (4)
January 2012 (5)
February 2012 (3)
March 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
June 2012 (4)
July 2012 (4)
August 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
October 2012 (5)
November 2012 (4)
December 2012 (4)
January 2013 (5)
February 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
April 2013 (4)
May 2013 (5)
June 2013 (4)
July 2013 (5)
August 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
October 2013 (5)
November 2013 (6)
December 2013 (4)
January 2014 (4)
February 2014 (5)
March 2014 (4)
April 2014 (5)
May 2014 (2)
July 2014 (3)
August 2014 (8)
September 2014 (4)
October 2014 (5)
November 2014 (4)
December 2014 (5)
January 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
March 2015 (4)
April 2015 (5)
May 2015 (2)
June 2015 (6)
July 2015 (1)
September 2015 (2)
October 2015 (4)
November 2015 (5)
December 2015 (2)
February 2016 (2)
March 2016 (4)
April 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
June 2016 (4)
July 2016 (5)
August 2016 (4)
September 2016 (4)
October 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
December 2016 (4)
January 2017 (5)
February 2017 (3)
March 2017 (5)
April 2017 (4)
May 2017 (4)
June 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
August 2017 (4)
September 2017 (3)
October 2017 (5)
November 2017 (4)
December 2017 (2)
January 2018 (5)
February 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
April 2018 (5)
July 2018 (5)
August 2018 (4)
September 2018 (5)
October 2018 (1)
November 2018 (2)
December 2018 (5)
January 2019 (5)
February 2019 (4)
March 2019 (5)
April 2019 (4)
May 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
August 2019 (4)
September 2019 (5)
October 2019 (4)
November 2019 (4)
December 2019 (5)
January 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
March 2020 (5)
April 2020 (4)
May 2020 (5)
June 2020 (4)
July 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
October 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
December 2020 (4)
January 2021 (6)
February 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
April 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
June 2021 (4)
July 2021 (4)
August 2021 (5)
September 2021 (4)
October 2021 (5)
November 2021 (4)
December 2021 (4)
January 2022 (6)
February 2022 (4)
March 2022 (4)
April 2022 (4)
May 2022 (5)
June 2022 (4)
July 2022 (5)
August 2022 (4)
September 2022 (4)
October 2022 (5)
November 2022 (4)
December 2022 (4)
January 2023 (5)
February 2023 (4)
March 2023 (4)
April 2023 (5)
May 2023 (4)
June 2023 (4)
July 2023 (5)
August 2023 (4)
September 2023 (4)
October 2023 (5)
November 2023 (2)
January 2024 (1)
February 2024 (4)
April 2024 (1)
May 2024 (4)
June 2024 (5)
July 2024 (3)

Categories

Tires and Wheels (39)Fuel System (46)Automotive News (9)Maintenance (58)Cabin Air Filter (8)Timing Belt (7)Drive Train (10)Dashboard (3)Safety (6)Alignment (17)Monitoring System (3)Service Standards (13)Air Conditioning (17)Steering (15)Cooling System (20)Tire Rotation and Balancing (4)Fluids (16)Windshield Wipers (9)Wheel Bearings (2)Battery (21)Service Intervals (10)Parts (7)Shocks & Struts (9)Brakes (23)Inspection (11)Transmission (11)Diagnostics (5)Older Vehicles (4)Fuel Economy (11)Headlamps (6)Check Engine Light (6)Exhaust (12)Diesel Maintenance (2)Engine Air Filter (3)Suspension (3)Differential Service (3)Keys to a long lasting vehicle (4)Serpentine Belt (6)Winter Prep (7)Alternator (6)Auto Safety (6)Emergency Items (1)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)What Customers Should Know (82)Trip Inspection (4)Customer Detective Work (1)Oil Change (8)Safe Driving (1)Tires (11)Water Pump (2)Winter Tires (1)Spark Plugs (2)TPMS (3)Transfer Case Service (1)Brake Service (5)Fuel Pump (1)PCV Valve (2)Shocks and Struts (2)

Partners

ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
IDENTIFIX
Jasper
OReilly
Car Care Aware

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
reviewicon
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
reviewicon