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Archive for June 2015

Drive Defensively in California

Posted June 26, 2015 12:00 PM

Car care is part of auto safety in Folsom. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on California roads is to drive safely.

Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won't let anyone take your safety away from you. You'll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.

Don't leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.

Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.

Never drive impaired: Alcohol is a factor in half of all fatal crashes. Never drink and drive.

Other impairments include being sleepy, angry, daydreaming or talking. If you suddenly wonder how you got where you are – you're not paying enough attention.

Keep your windows clean and uncluttered. No fuzzy dice and stickers.

Keep your car in good shape so that it handles properly: Maintain tires, lights, brakes, suspension, wheel alignment and steering.

Always use your turn signals while driving around Folsom, California. Avoid other vehicles' blind spots.

Don't drive faster than your headlights – if you can't stop within the distance you can see, you're going too fast.

Avoid driving over debris in the road. Even harmless looking items can cause damage or an accident.

Keep your wheels straight when waiting to turn at an intersection in Folsom . That way if you're hit from behind, your car won't be pushed into on-coming traffic.

My daddy always said that when you drive, you're actually driving five cars: yours, the one in front, the one behind and the ones on either side. You can't trust that other drivers will do the right thing, so you've got to be aware of what they're doing at all times.

If you see another car driving erratically, weaving, crossing lanes, etc., stay back. Take the next right turn if you're downtown Folsom, or take the next exit on the California highway. Notify the police if you see someone driving dangerously in our Folsom community.

Never follow too closely. The minimum distance is the two second rule. Pick a landmark ahead, like a tree or road marker. When the car in front of you passes it, start counting: 'one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand.' If you pass the landmark before reaching two-one-thousand, you're following too closely.

Remember that the two second rule is the minimum – it assumes you're alert and aware. Three seconds is safer. Move out to five seconds or more if it's foggy or rainy.

Someone will inevitably move into your forward safety zone – just drop back and keep a safe distance.

If someone follows you too closely, just move over.

Don't play chicken by contesting your right of way or race to beat someone to a merge. Whoever loses that contest has the potential to lose big and you don't want any part of that. So stay alert, constantly scan around your car and arrive safely.

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



Fresh Air Inside Your Car in Folsom

Posted June 24, 2015 12:00 PM

Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There's a filter that cleans the air going into our vehicle's engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment?

Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers haven't been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. Folsom residents who suffer from allergies or have a respiratory disorder should be a lot more comfortable. And even if you don't have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally.

Cabin air filters are still fairly new in the Folsom area, so you'll have to check your vehicle owner's manual to see if you have one. If you do, your routine car care will have to include changing the filter as part of your preventive maintenance. The owner's manual will give recommendations on how often the filter has to be changed, but if the air where you live in California is particularly dirty or if you're prone to hay fever, you may want to change it more often.


Your friendly service advisor at Folsom Autotech can also offer suggestions on how often to change your cabin air filter in your Folsom area. They're the ones who actually see the dirty filters, after all.

There is no standardized location for cabin air filters. Folsom residents can usually find them in the vehicle engine compartment or under the dashboard, but they might be somewhere else. So the ease of changing the filter will depend on its location. Some are readily accessible, but others make you wonder how they got installed in the first place. Bring your car into Folsom Autotech and we will locate your cabin air filter for you.

However, if you have a newer vehicle, it's good auto advice to find out if it has a cabin air filter. If it does, you should change the filter regularly. A sure sign that a filter needs to be changed is that the interior of your vehicle will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some Folsom drivers discovered that they had cabin air filters in the first place!

Cabin air filters are just one more way we have to stay safe, stay healthy and stay on the road in California.

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



Vive la Differential at Folsom Autotech in Folsom

Posted June 19, 2015 12:00 PM

There are a lot of drivers in Folsom who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before. With front-wheel drive being so common in California these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Folsom folks 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 your mind. It's not uncommon for people in Folsom to not know they have a differential, let alone know that it needs service.

To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any California high school. 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 vehicle 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 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 manufacturers recommend intervals for when to replace your differential fluid.

Your knowledgeable Folsom Autotech service technician will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He'll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Folsom Autotech service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacturer's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual.

At Folsom Autotech, we've been providing quality automotive service for our valued Folsom customers since . If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at (916) 985-0274.

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



Smart Folsom Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Posted June 11, 2015 12:00 PM

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Folsom drivers to prevent.

The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fans on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.

The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.

Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner's manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of coolant/antifreeze may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.

Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Folsom drivers to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.

This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don't realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Folsom Autotech in Folsom.

If your vehicle sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs serviced. This service is critical and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.

In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your vehicle so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, your owner's manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.

Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to Folsom Autotech in Folsom where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in first place and ensure it doesn't happen again.

Regular maintenance of a vehicle's cooling system is just good auto advice for Folsom drivers. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn't take long at Folsom Autotech. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

Talk to our service advisor at Folsom Autotech for more information. 

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



Breathe Free in Folsom: Cabin Air Filter Replacement at Folsom Autotech

Posted June 5, 2015 12:00 PM

There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on Folsom drivers' vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.

A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in Folsom. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our Folsom area atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in California prone to air pollution.

Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you'll probably want to go to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Folsom Autotech to get it done. Check your vehicle owner's manual to find out if your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter and how often it should be changed. Recommendations vary, but generally a cabin air filter should be changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 kilometers).

Of course, if you are an allergy sufferer in Folsom, you may want to replace it more often. Also, if you do a lot of driving in polluted or dusty areas in California, you'll also want to shorten the cabin air filter replacement period. Dirty air filters just don't work well, and they can exude an unpleasant odor if ignored for too long.

Most Folsom folks know that good car care includes keeping your vehicle clean, including the air inside the passenger compartment, so changing your cabin air filter should be part of your routine preventive maintenance. It's good auto advice as well as good medical advice that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You really shouldn't wait until the interior of your car starts to smell and your eyes start to water before you change your filter. And trying to cover it up with a dangling green pine tree is not the right answer, either!

Cabin air filters can be a welcome relief to Folsom allergy sufferers, but they're also a great idea for anyone in California who just wants to breathe better.

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

 



Below 45 Degrees in Folsom: Consider Winter Tires

Posted June 3, 2015 12:00 PM

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Folsom drivers couldn't wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. California drivers ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Folsom area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with California winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Folsom temperatures below 45°F (7° C) which reduces their traction. That's a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that Folsom drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it's dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.

The all-season tire that is popular among Folsom drivers is a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Folsom drivers in either season but aren't great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather but lousy performance in winter. Folsom drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed by your friendly and professional service advisor at Folsom Autotech. It's best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. Folsom drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

For more auto advice about tires for any California season, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Folsom Autotech tire professional. They can help you find the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don't forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for the best durability, safety and performance, but don't overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us in Folsom.


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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