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Archive for December 2022

A Head Start on Starting (Battery Testing)

Posted December 25, 2022 11:31 AM

If your vehicle isn't starting or doesn't sound like it used to when you crank it, the culprit may be the battery.  You may have left a light on, or something plugged into one of charging ports.  Maybe you accidentally left your vehicle in the "on" or "accessory" position when you last got out. Maybe you've left it in the garage or driveway for a long time without starting it.  That can spell the end for a vehicle battery.

It's also possible that your battery is just simply too old. There's no standard lifespan of a battery, but 3-5 years is about average, even though some people only get 2 and heavier duty batteries may last many more. It's possible your battery is defective, too.  And it could be your vehicle's charging system isn't recharging the battery. 

Whatever the cause, if you're having problems with your battery, it's a good idea to bring it in and have us perform a thorough battery test.  With state-of-the-art testing equipment, a technician will see if there's a bad cell in the battery or if it can be recharged.  We will also look at the date it was made. 

At the same time, the technician will look at the whole charging system, including the alternator, starter, cables, and connections.  From there, the service advisor can go through your options. 

Your best chance of not getting stranded by a dead battery is to have your system checked as part of a regular maintenance plan.  That should give you a head start on dependable starts.

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



Keeping Your Cool (Coolant System)

Posted December 18, 2022 9:17 AM

No matter what the weather is like outside, your internal combustion engine expects to keep its cool all the time, even when it's really cold.  That's because engines create the power that moves you to your destination by a series of tiny explosions of a fuel and air mixture. In turn, that generates a lot of heat in a small space.

Your vehicle has a complete cooling system with a lot of different parts that work together to keep the temperature at a point where the metal engine parts won't heat up enough to warp.  Its lifeblood is coolant, a liquid that circulates through the engine (and, in most vehicles, the transmission, too) through a series of hoses and tubes. 

In order to get rid of the coolant's heat, your vehicle has a part you probably recognize: the radiator.  It does what its name proclaims: radiates heat.  The radiator has a series of thin metal fins that coolant goes through, and when outside air passes over them, the heat is dissipated from the radiator into the air.

The water pump (which is technically a coolant pump) is what propels the coolant where it needs to go. 

When there's a problem in the coolant system, it may because it's leaking somewhere.  A few things to look out for are the temperature gauge heading into the hot, or red, zone, fluid leaks under your vehicle, or the sweet smell of coolant under your vehicle after it's been parked.

If your vehicle has any of those signs, bring it in so we can check things out.  A technician will inspect the water pump and hoses for any signs of leaks.  They'll also look for leaks or holes in the radiator core or cores. 

One other potential trouble spot is the radiator cap that can sometimes fail to keep the required pressure in the radiator.  Once the problems are fixed, they'll add the correct coolant and you'll be on your way.  We want you to always keep your cool. 

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

 



The New Blade in Town

Posted December 11, 2022 10:44 AM

If your windshield wipers are streaking and chattering when you turn them on in the rain or snow, it's time for a little "blade renewal." And when it comes to new wiper blades, there are some new designs that are worth a look.

One of the latest is called the beam blade.  It's different than conventional blades you might be used to.  Instead of a metal frame and a rubber blade that slides in the frame on a track, the beam blades have an enclosed spring-steel band that allows the rubber wiper to conform to the windshield glass shape much more tightly. 

There are some key advantages to beam blades, which is why many vehicle manufacturers are making them standard on their latest models.  For one thing, they work well in all weather conditions, including the heat of summer and the icy, snowy cold of winter.  Since there is no separate frame, snow and ice can't form in gaps like conventional wipers and prevent the blade from clearing your windshield. 

Many beam blades also have a mini "wing" on them. It uses the air moving over your windshield to create a little extra downward pressure that presses the blade even more tightly against the glass.  The faster you go, the more firmly the blade can sweep off moisture. That means a clearer view. 

Beam blades are an upgrade that can add to your vehicle's overall safety with that increased visibility.  The best thing is to discuss wiper blades with your service advisor to see if it's a good choice for you and your vehicle, keeping in mind the type of driving you do and the climate you live in.  Remember that when it comes to wipers, it's important that you are using blades that are designed to fit your vehicle and that they are installed correctly. 

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



In That Case? (Transfer Case Exchange)

Posted December 4, 2022 7:48 AM

Ever wonder how all-wheel-drive or 4-wheel-drive vehicles get the power from the engine to the front and rear wheels? The magic happens in what's called a transfer case.  In some all-wheel-drive vehicles, it's sometime called a power take-off unit, or PTU.

Inside the transfer case is a set of gears.  And to keep those gears meshing smoothly, they have to be lubricated and kept cool.  What does that is called transfer case fluid. Depending on your vehicle's type of transfer case, it is filled with either an automatic transmission fluid, a gear oil that's a bit thicker or transfer case fluid designed to be use for your transfer case.

As happens with all lubricating fluids, the transfer case fluid has things in it that break down the older they get.  They have corrosion inhibitors, detergents and anti-foaming agents that keep the lubricant from getting air bubbles in it. Transfer cases don't have filters in them to clean out impurities.

If you don't have your transfer case fluid exchanged for fresh, you risk damage to the case, and that can run into thousands of dollars.  So the wise driver makes sure the fluid is changed according to the manufacturer's recommendations.  For many vehicles, that is every 30,000 mi/50,000 km, but some require it more frequently.   Your vehicle service facility can advise you on what your vehicle's optimal interval is.

During the fluid exchange, any metal filings that may have come off are cleaned off of the drain and fill plugs that are usually magnetized to catch the stray metal pieces.

If you hear grinding noises coming from under your vehicle or if it is having trouble shifting gears or going in and out of 4-wheel-drive, those could be signs your transfer case needs service. In that case, have our technicians check it out.  The best plan of action?  Keep your transfer case fluid maintained and it should keep you heading down the road for years to come.

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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