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Archive for September 2021

Motor Oil?The Synthetic Advantage (Synthetic oil vs Conventional)

Posted September 26, 2021 7:45 AM

You’ve probably already heard that regular oil changes are extremely important for the health of your vehicle’s engine. That’s sound advice.  But what you might not know is when it comes to motor oil, the real thing may not be the best thing for your engine.

There are different types of motor oil:

  • Conventional oil, extracted from the ground and refined.
  • Synthetic oil, manufactured from high-quality base oils and artificially-made chemical compounds.
  • Synthetic oil blend, a mixture of conventional and synthetic oils.

The first thing you need to know is that most new engines require synthetic oil.  If synthetic oil is recommended for your car – you MUST use it.

For the rest, there are many advantages to using synthetic oil over conventional oil.

  • Synthetic oil provides better protection for your engine while helping it to perform better.
  • Conventional oil breaks down over time, while synthetic oil lasts longer.
  • Synthetics can stand higher temperature extremes, both heat, and cold.

Synthetic oil can be a better choice if you live in an extremely hot or cold climate or put a lot of strain on your engine by towing or carrying heavy loads.  It also may be good for older engines that sometimes have a tendency to develop sludge.

Synthetic oil is a more expensive option, but you likely won’t have to have your oil changed as often.  Some synthetics are recommended to last 10,000-15,000 miles/16,000-24,000 km between changes.

You might also consider a synthetic blend that gives you some of the advantages of synthetic oil at a lower cost. Have a talk with your service adviser about recommendations for what will best suit your vehicle and driving habits.

It’s interesting to note that in recent years, more than one out of two vehicle owners are opting for synthetic oil or a synthetic blend when they get their oil changed. Sounds like they’re on to something. In the long run, if you have fewer oil changes with synthetics, you’ll use less oil, a bonus for our environment.

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



Such a Little Part (Climate Control Resistor)

Posted September 19, 2021 9:39 AM

You expect your heater/air conditioner to work like it should.  You have a control for temperature and one for fan speed.  You even have a control for what vents the air comes out of. 

Don't be surprised one day if your blower fan develops a mind of its own and starts going crazy.  Most of the time, you may find that it starts blowing at full speed, and nothing you do to try to control it does any good.  This is what may be happening.

Your blower motor has an electronic component called a resistor.  It does what its name says; it offers resistance.  When you want the fan to run more slowly, you turn the fan speed down.  That resistor accomplishes that by turning its resistance up.  When the resistor fails, the power has nothing to slow it and the fan speeds up. 

It's a small part and can fail due to age or corrosion.  It's usually not an expensive part, either, but it's often found in a location that's not that easy for the technician to get to.  That means labor costs will vary depending on the design of your vehicle. 

Occasionally, a faulty resistor can cause the blower motor not to work at all or only partially come on.  But other things can cause that as well, such as a faulty fan switch or vent control. 

This is where a technician's training comes in.  Special equipment can track down precisely where the issue is so you can be assured the correct part is being replaced.

It's just not pleasant when the blower motor isn't following orders.  Have your service facility check it out so you can be the blower's boss, like it should be. 

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



Don't Be Shocked (Shock Absorbers)

Posted September 12, 2021 7:01 AM

If you've ever ridden down a rough road on your bicycle, you know how hard a ride it can be.  Yet drive down the same road in your car, truck or SUV and it miraculously will smooth out the ride.  That's because it is equipped with shock absorbers.  They are built to dampen impacts from road irregularities.  But after taking hundreds of hits from potholes, railroad tracks and curbs, your shock absorbers can wear out.  Besides the rough ride that can cause, there are other ways your vehicle's performance can be affected.

When it comes to braking for example, you may take a longer distance to stop.  That's because shocks help keep your tires in contact with the surface of the road.  If the shocks aren't working properly, the tires won't make contact like they should.  So when you slam on the brakes, your vehicle will take longer to stop.

Consider what worn out shocks are doing to your tires.  Since the bumps aren't being dampened as much, your tires can bounce up and down more.  That can produce a problem of uneven wear called cupping.

And when you start out from a stop, your vehicle may not have the traction it should since the shocks aren't keeping them down on the road as you accelerate.  If you have front wheel drive, you may lose some steering control on acceleration. Obviously, many of these things involve safety concerns.

Pay attention to any deterioration in your vehicle's ride quality.  If your vehicle is starting to bounce up and down and its ride feels bumpier than before, head on over to your vehicle service facility and get your suspension checked out.  Do the same if steering response isn't as good as it used to be.  Notice that your vehicle nose dives when you brake?  Are your tires wearing in an unusual manner? All are signs that your shocks may be on their last legs.

If the last time you replaced your shocks was 50,000 miles/80,000 kilometers ago, a technician should evaluate them.  Don't be "shocked" if it's time for new ones.


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



Cool Running (Water Pump)

Posted September 5, 2021 11:43 AM

Your vehicle is like you in a way.  When it gets hot, it needs to be cooled down.  And one of the key parts to keeping it cool is the water pump.

Now, that's a bit of a misnomer.  It IS a pump, but it's pumping coolant, not pure water.  Cooling off your engine is vital since it builds up heat when it creates power by burning fuel.  Your water pump acts as a way to recirculate that coolant.  It goes through a series of tubes and hoses through the engine where it picks up heat, then is sent off to the radiator to get rid of that heat.  Cooled off, the coolant is recycled through the water pump to start the journey again.

The water pump works by taking mechanical power from the engine, usually from a belt.  Obviously, that belt has to be in good condition and adjusted properly or else the water pump won't be able to do its job.

Here are some things to look for that will signal problems with your water pump.  If your heat gauge is erratic or showing a much higher than normal temperature, that could be a sign of trouble.  Another is if you hear a whine under the hood.  And if that gets louder when you go faster, get it checked right away.  You may see steam coming out from under the hood or coolant may be leaking. 

These signs signal that it's time for you to have a technician check to see where the problem is. Some water pumps are powered by a timing belt.  If your vehicle has that design and your timing belt is due for replacement, sometimes it's a good idea to replace the water pump too, even if it's working properly.  That's because the labor to replace the timing belt can be expensive and it may be wise to proactively take care of the water pump while it's disassembled.

Your service advisor will explain the options available and offer the best path to keeping your water pump doing its job.  Your engine's life depends on it.

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



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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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