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Archive for October 2022

Shifty Letters PRNDL (Transmission)

Posted October 30, 2022 9:19 AM

You probably figured out those shifty letters.  They're what you see on your automatic transmission shifter and stand for Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Low.  Your automatic transmission is one of the great automotive inventions; here are some ways you can keep yours working well.

Maintain your transmission regularly.  A technician will check your transmission fluid's level and even its appearance and smell.  If it's dark or has an unusual odor, that could be a sign of trouble.

Change from one transmission direction gear into another only when your vehicle is stopped.  So many drivers want to switch from Reverse to Drive quickly or the other way around.  If you do that when the vehicle is moving, you can damage your automatic transmission.

Keep your vehicle's cooling system in top shape.  What does the cooling system have to do with the transmission? It helps keep the transmission fluid from overheating. 

Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for maintaining your transmission.  Some recommend at least an annual checkup by a trained technician. 

Let your powertrain warm up a little before overtaxing it. Especially in cold weather, don't step on the throttle too aggressively before all components are warmed up.  That way both your engine and transmission will last longer.

Transmissions can be costly to fix.  If you treat your powertrain with respect and regularly maintain it, you'll not only avoid expensive repairs, but you’re also much less likely to find yourself stranded because of a transmission problem. 

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



Road Ready (Trip Inspection)

Posted October 23, 2022 10:16 AM

Maybe you've been cooped up for a while and are yearning for a change of scenery.  Or maybe you need to visit a relative who lives far away.  You choose not to fork out the big bucks for airline tickets, so it's time for a road trip.  Make sure you're road ready by having your vehicle professionally inspected before the big drive.

One of our technicians can check out several of your vehicle's most important systems so you can be more confident that you'll be able to go the distance without a breakdown.  Here are a few things a trip inspection may include:

Your vehicle stops with brakes that, in turn, stop the tires.  They must both be in sound condition. The technician can look at your tire tread, the condition of the sidewalls, and note the tires' age.  Brakes have pads and rotors that should meet certain specs, so an expert inspection of their condition is important, too.

A technician can check other vital fluids such as engine coolant, power steering, transmission, and windshield washer fluid. Your wipers must be in good condition so you can see, and they're often one of the most neglected parts of a vehicle. 

Your headlights must work correctly and be aimed properly so you can see and so that you're not blinding oncoming drivers. They're powered by your battery, and a technician will check how old yours is and how well it holds a charge, all important for reliable starting. 

For cabin comfort, your climate control system needs to work correctly, which means both heat and air conditioning.  If things need to be repaired - before the trip will be a lot more convenient than trying to do it while you're traveling.

The technician can inspect hoses and belts, two things that frequently fail on a long trip.  And the big advantage of having a pro look over your vehicle is that they not only know what to look for but also can make the repairs the right way.  Now that's the ticket to being road ready.

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



A Hot Mess (AC System-Compresser)

Posted October 16, 2022 7:39 AM

Air conditioning used to be a real luxury in a vehicle, but now it's standard in most.  Your vehicle's air conditioning system is built to last a pretty long time, but like anything mechanical, sometimes it fails. 

It helps to know a little about how the A/C works. There's a compressor that pressurizes the refrigerant (you probably recognize the term Freon).  That makes it hotter, so it then goes through a condenser that cools it off.  Then another component takes out impurities and humidity before the Freon goes to a device that makes it lose pressure before it goes to the evaporator.  That's where it gets colder and takes the humidity out of the air. Then your vehicle's ventilation system blows air over the evaporator, cooling the cabin air that gives you such relief on a hot day.

Of all these parts, one that does a lot of work is the compressor.  It has to compress that refrigerant and circulate it through the system.  It turns on and off several times when it's working. The good news is that if it's going to fail, it sometimes lets you know. 

One of the signs that your air conditioning compressor is going bad is a noise under the hood when the engine is on, sometimes a squealing or grinding sound. It usually is pretty noticeable. Compressors have a bearing that can seize up after time, causing the belt that drives it to squeal when it's trying to turn something that won't turn.  It will sometimes cause that belt to break. 

Your service advisor can tell you if your compressor is repairable or must be replaced.  In the case of a broken belt (often a serpentine belt that drives several components) the belt will have to be replaced as well.

The compressor also has a clutch that turns the compressor on and off so it doesn't have to run all the time. Sometimes that clutch can fail, too, and your service advisor will often recommend you replace the compressor and the clutch at the same time. Our technicians can help make sure your air conditioning system keeps its cool, and you along with it. 

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



A Clean Sweep (Fuel Injector Cleaning)

Posted October 9, 2022 7:12 AM

Your vehicle gets its power from burning fuel, usually gasoline, and it counts on something called fuel injectors to send gas to the engine in a spray that is easy to ignite.  It’s a precise operation, and when it’s working well, you have plenty of power and an efficient engine.

But after time, contaminants in the fuel system may prevent the injectors from spraying like they’re supposed to.  They can also shoot contaminants into the engine. 

One sign that could point to dirty fuel injectors is a misfiring engine. Misfires can be caused by several things, so it’s a good idea to bring your vehicle to us so we can trace the cause. Another sign is that your fuel economy has gone downhill or your engine doesn’t have the “pep” it used to.

If we discover that your injectors are clogged or not working the way they should, we can clean them to get rid of those contaminants to restore your engine to its top performance.  When you bring your vehicle to us, we will connect the flushing equipment, flush out the injectors and reassemble the system.

A good time to have fuel injectors inspected is when you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance.  An oil change is an ideal time to have a technician take a close look at your entire fuel delivery system. 

When you have your fuel injectors cleaned, you may see your mileage go up, your engine performance improve, and your exhaust emissions decrease.

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



A Clean Start (Battery Cleaning)

Posted October 2, 2022 9:40 AM

You may be fanatical about keeping the outside of your vehicle clean.  But what about what's under the hood? Have you ever thought about how dirt and grime may be affecting your engine's components?

One of the most important parts under your hood to keep clean is your vehicle's battery.  With a daily barrage of dirt and moisture, outside parts of your battery can corrode, namely the cables and terminals.

Gases vented by batteries can also promote corrosion.  That can create connection problems and affect your vehicle's electrical system.  If corrosion is not cleaned off, it may damage wires and terminals so badly that they will stop properly conducting electricity.  At that point, they may need replacing.

When you bring your vehicle to us for a battery inspection and cleaning, we will remove any corrosion and put corrosion-resistant protection on each post. A technician will also visually inspect your battery.  Plus, we can test how much life is in your battery as part of a more comprehensive battery service. 

Batteries don't last forever and should be regularly cleaned, inspected, and tested.  Usually, they'll need to be replaced anywhere from three to five years after they were first installed, but their lifespan depends on how, where, and how much you drive.  Your battery is a very important component of your vehicle.  Keep yours in tip-top shape, and it's less likely to let you down when you need it most.

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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