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Archive for June 2023

Restore Your Get-Up-and-Go (Fuel and Air Induction Cleaning)

Posted June 25, 2023 11:51 AM

You may have heard the old saying, "My get-up-and-go got up and went." If your vehicle's engine's fuel economy is noticeably worse, your engine is idling roughly or stalling or your vehicle's acceleration isn't what it used to be, ask your service advisor if you might need your vehicle's fuel and air induction systems cleaned.

As the hours pile up on your engine, carbon deposits can build up.  It's not unusual for some of the impurities and additives in fuel to leave behind a black residue that eventually will negatively affect your fuel economy and performance. Maybe you're noticing your engine is harder to start, you hear knocking or pinging in your engine and your vehicle just doesn't have the pep it used to.

While it's a sophisticated process with a lot of components, a gasoline engine essentially produces power by drawing in air from the outside and mixing it with fuel in the cylinders where this blend of fuel and air is ignited by spark plugs in synchronized explosions.

The fuel and air enter your engine through the fuel induction system and air induction system. Because of things like high operating temperatures and impurities, carbon in the fuel can leave behind dark, sooty deposits in the fuel induction system such as the fuel injectors and the throttle body. These and other residue reduce your engine's efficiency and performance. Our service center can use special fuel injector cleaners to remove those deposits from your engine.

The technician may manually clean some of the deposits and also put a fuel additive in the fuel tank that will get rid of other deposits that are still in the fuel system

Keeping the air induction system clean is also important.  A technician can use a liquid cleaner specially designed for the job. Not only can this improve your fuel economy, it may also reduce exhaust emissions and help your engine last longer.

Most gasoline now contains detergents that help reduce or prevent these problems, but direct injection is now being used in more vehicles that are more susceptible to clogging. Ask your service advisor if your vehicle could benefit from fuel and air induction cleaning. 

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



Slipping into Fall (Driving with ABS Brakes)

Posted June 18, 2023 7:33 AM

As the weather changes over from hot to colder, drivers will have to deal with more slippery streets.  And it's important to know how to drive with the brakes you have on your vehicle. 

In the 1970s, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) started to be installed on vehicles and they've been a game changer for drivers.  Most modern vehicles have ABS and it's important to know how to drive with them.

In older vehicles without ABS, the driver applies the brakes by pushing down the pedal.  That, in turn, sends braking pressure to all four wheels at once.  But all four tires don't have the same traction because the road surface they're each on isn't exactly the same.

ABS allows sensors to determine when particular wheels are slowing down more quickly.  The ABS then reduces braking pressure to the wheels that are about to lock up.  That way the wheel turns and the tires keep some grip. (You have to have grip to stop.) It's kind of what drivers try to achieve when they pump the older-style brakes without ABS.

Another engineered feature of ABS is that it makes sure your front wheels will continue to rotate and maintain some traction.  That's important because the front wheels are used to steer, and being able to steer gives a driver more control in a quickly-changing situation.  So ABS is all about stopping as fast as the road surface will allow but at the same time enabling the driver to maintain control. 

ABS is designed for the driver to put steady pressure on the brake pedal and let the vehicle’s computerized system handle the braking.  Pumping the pedal in a vehicle with ABS can defeat what the system is trying to do to help you maintain control.

Because stopping techniques in a vehicle with ABS are different than those without, it’s important to know which brakes you have so you can operate them accordingly. 

If you have any doubt, consult your service advisor.  ABS involves sophisticated technology and must be maintained in order for it to work properly.  Your service advisor can recommend a maintenance schedule for you to follow so your ABS is always on the ready to help you stop when you need to.

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



I'm Cool With That (AC Exchange)

Posted June 11, 2023 10:34 AM

On a hot day, you want your vehicle's air conditioning to work.  When the air blowing out of your vents isn't cold, it's easy to think, "I'll just take it by the shop and have them top off my refrigerant." But while some people think air conditioning is that simple, it's actually not.

If your refrigerant is low, something has to have happened for it to be depleted.  Perhaps there's a leak in the system.  Or some hoses or clamps have failed.  If the system isn't evaluated by someone who knows air conditioning, it's possible that adding refrigerant will just be a band-aid solution.

It's also possible that contaminants have gotten into the refrigerant, such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, or air.  Some of those gases do not condense like refrigerant does which can increase the pressure inside the system and strain the lines and other components. At that point, the best course of action may be to have the old refrigerant (with its contaminants) bled from the system and have your AC recharged with new refrigerant.

Bring it to us, and we can inspect and test the system and all its components.  That will include a pressure test for leaks.  Most vehicle manufacturers don't have a service schedule for air conditioning systems, so one way to know when you should have it looked at is when it's not behaving the way it used to.  For example, it may not get cold as fast as it did before or even at all.

So, when hot air is exiting your vents when you want it to be cold, schedule an appointment and have a trained technician take care of it.  Are you cool with that?

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



The Little Valve that Could (PCV Valve Replacement)

Posted June 4, 2023 9:41 AM

It's easy to get letters like PVC and PCV mixed up.  PVC is a plastic that's used in a lot of things, especially plumbing pipes.  And PCV is a valve that helps your engine burn off excess fumes rather than having them pollute our atmosphere. 

PCV stands for positive crankcase ventilation.  When your engine ignites gasoline in the cylinders, some of the gases produced make their way into the crankcase, where oil is held to lubricate the engine.  In earlier days, those gases would be vented out through a hose and go directly into the air.  It was a waste of gasoline (since about three-fourths of the gases were unburned fuel) and a nasty source of pollution.

So engineers devised a one-way valve that directed those gases back into the engine's air intake system to be burned again.  After a while, the PCV valve can get clogged up with gummy oil.  Not only does that reduce the recirculation of the gases, but it can also cause pressure in the crankcase to increase and possibly lead to an oil leak.

Signs your PCV valve has failed are oil leaks around the engine compartment or under your vehicle and poor engine performance. Your fuel economy will get worse. If you notice those signs, we can check your PCV valve. 

At the same time a technician inspects the PCV valve, they'll also check the vacuum hose that runs back to the air intake.  Plus, they'll make sure the vehicle doesn't have any other engine problems that might be contributing to your issues. 

Many technicians recommend replacing your PCV valve with each major tune-up, so you get ahead of any problems before they develop.  Now that you're an expert on PCV, it may be time to check out those PVC pipes in your bathroom!

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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