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Archive for May 2023

A Clean Start (Battery Cleaning)

Posted May 28, 2023 9:15 AM

Your vehicle is loaded with electrical devices. Computerized components are everywhere, so good electrical connections are important.  Those begin with your vehicle's battery, so it's important that its connections are in top shape.

Ever had a flashlight that didn't work, took out the old batteries to replace them and noticed the old batteries were all corroded? The same thing can happen to your vehicle's battery. 

The battery type used in most vehicles is a lead-acid, which can be very corrosive.  Corrosion can build up around your battery's terminals that can prevent the electrical connection from being as solid as it needs to be.  You may have even seen discoloration around your battery's terminals if you look under the hood, a sign of corrosion.

Or you might notice visible signs of fraying or loose battery cables. All of your vehicle's components are affected by vibrations from the engine and road surface imperfections, and the battery cables take a lot of jostling every time you drive.  Frayed cables won't conduct as much electricity as intact ones.  Plus, there's the possibility that a frayed cable may touch a piece of metal in the engine compartment that can cause shorts and other problems.

There are some signs to watch out for that might tell you if your battery terminals are corroded or your cables aren't making good contact with them.  You might find your vehicle isn't starting as easily as it used to. You also might see the battery warning light illuminated on your dash. That light looks like a rectangle with a "-" and "+" sign inside.

Our technicians can make sure your battery and cables are at optimal operating capability with regular service and cleaning.  A technician will clean the terminals and portions of the cables that are connected to them.  They may also add an anti-corrosion agent to the cables/terminals. Nothing like giving your vehicle a clean start!

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



All Lined Up (Alignment Inspection)

Posted May 21, 2023 7:29 AM

When you head down a straight road, does your vehicle pull to one side?  Do you feel vibration in any of the wheels? If you've noticed any of these things, it's probably time for you to get your wheel alignment checked.

When your vehicle left the factory, its wheels were parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.  That maximizes traction for good steering and braking. Every time you take your vehicle on the road, normal wear and tear will affect your alignment. Hit a bump, a pothole or a curb and all those little knocks will add up

Bad alignment not only can cause your steering wheel to pull unevenly, it can also wear your tires out a lot faster than they should. In fact, if you look at your tires and see one side of the tread is a lot smoother than the other, it could be another sign of bad alignment.

Since different problems can cause similar symptoms, the first thing our trained technician will do is test drive your vehicle. Then, they'll check the front end and steering linkage as well as look for tire wear.  Then, the technician will put your vehicle on a lift and use computerized diagnostic equipment to measure alignment angles so they can precisely align your vehicle's components.

There are different kinds of alignments.  One is a front-end alignment that aligns components of the vehicle's front axle.  Another is a thrust alignment that makes sure the front wheels are lined up with the direction the rear wheels are pointed.  A third type is four-wheel alignment which is usually used on all-wheel drive and  4-wheel drive vehicles.  It's also recommended for front-wheel drive vehicles that have independent rear suspensions.  It makes sure the angles of all the wheels are where they should be relative to each other and also the vehicle's body or frame.

Your steering wheel should be perfectly centered if you are heading straight down the road, so the technician will adjust it so it is. Finally, they'll take your vehicle back on the road for a final test drive to make sure it's performing the way engineers intended.

Your service adviser can recommend how often you should have your alignment inspection, since it depends on the type of vehicle you drive (SUV, sporty car, etc.) and your driving environment.  Properly aligned wheels can help your vehicle perform better and save you from expensive repairs down the road.

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



Oil's Well That Ends Well (Oil Change Grades and Weight)

Posted May 14, 2023 11:42 AM

Changing your oil regularly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your vehicle running well.  And knowing the right type of oil to use is also very important. 

Engine oil is classified by weight, but it doesn't refer to how much the oil would weigh if you put it on a scale.  It refers to viscosity, or how easily the oil flows through the engine.  Most engines operate normally at around 210°F/99°C.  The viscosity, or weight, is assigned a number by how well it flows at that temperature.  The lower the number, the more freely it flows. 

Most vehicle engines use what's called a multigrade oil which behaves differently in different temperatures. Multigrade oils have a "W" in their viscosity number that you may have seen on a bottle of oil, something like 5W30.  The W stands for winter and shows how freely it flows in colder temperatures.

That means a 5W30 oil will behave like a 5 weight oil in lower temperatures (less viscous or thinner) and a 30 weight oil in warmer temperatures (more viscous or thicker).  That's important on a cold day because the oil needs to behave like a thinner oil when you start your engine since it need to lubricate engine components immediately to protect the metal components. Then as the engine warms up, it behaves like a thicker oil to prevent friction among those parts.  Pretty neat trick, right?

The type of oil you use can differ depending on what type of climate you operate your vehicle in and how your vehicle is used (carrying big loads, towing, etc.). Your owner's manual contains several different recommendations based on these factors.  Your service advisor can recommend the right oil for your needs.  Like Shakespeare said, "Oil's well that ends well."

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



Refresh Your Brakes (Brake Fluid Exchange)

Posted May 7, 2023 7:57 AM

Brakes are one of your vehicle's most important safety components, and you may have noticed that they don't stop as surely as they used to.  Maybe it takes you applying a little more pressure to them than before, or perhaps you get the feeling that they're not stopping you as quickly.

Those could be signs that your brake fluid needs changing.  Hydraulic brake systems use a fluid that enables the brakes to apply their stopping power to the wheels.  That fluid can wear out, degrade, become contaminated or pick up air and moisture.  All those can eventually contribute to brakes that feel sluggish. Driving with old, worn-out brake fluid may also shorten the lifespan of other braking components.

Our technicians can evaluate your brake fluid to see if it needs changing. Your vehicle's manufacturer recommends how often that should be done, and when it needs changing may depend on how and where you drive. Our technicians can check the condition of your brake fluid when you have your regular oil changes. 

A technician will remove the old fluid and replace it with the type the vehicle manufacturer recommends. They will also bleed the air from the brake system, check it for any leaks and inspect other components such as the hoses, rotors and brake pads. Because brake fluid is combustible and toxic, it's important that it be disposed of properly so as not to create environmental damage. 

And just a reminder that if you continue to drive with old, contaminated brake fluid that's past its lifespan, other components of your brake system can fail.  Let's face it. Brakes that don't stop you when you need them can endanger your life—and the lives of those near your vehicle.   

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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