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Archive for October 2023

Keeping Your Cool (Water Pump Replacement)

Posted October 29, 2023 9:46 AM

No matter what the temperature is outside, it's important for your vehicle's engine to remain cool, calm, and collected.  Well, cool, anyway. If your vehicle has a gasoline engine, it's powered by a bunch of explosions involving spark plugs, pistons, gasoline, and air.  And the by-product of all those things working together? HEAT.

There's a whole cooling system to keep everything at a tolerable temperature for your engine's parts, and a key part of that is the water pump.  Technically, it's pumping more than water. It should actually be called the "coolant" pump since the liquid that circulates through the system is a mixture of water and coolant. 

Basically, the water pump keeps this coolant moving through your engine, where it picks up the engine heat, and then is pumped into the radiator where it gets rid of that heat.  When a water pump fails, the engine heat can build up.  When you get a warning light on the dash (either a gauge or a light) that shows the temperature is too high, it could mean a bad water pump. 

They can fail for many reasons. They have bearings in them that wear out, as does the seal between the pump and the engine. They're often driven by a belt or chain that can go bad.  Corrosion can spell the end of a water pump, too. 

If a technician determines your water pump has failed, it's time to replace it. In addition, other components of the cooling system will be inspected.  The best way to avoid a water pump failure is regular maintenance of your cooling system which includes regular draining and flushing of the coolant. 

Just like it's important for you to keep your cool, the same goes for your vehicle's engine.

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



Reaching the Braking Point (Brake hose replacement)

Posted October 22, 2023 2:06 AM

If you notice your brakes aren’t working like they used to, that’s the kind of thing that’s important to have checked out soon.  That’s because your brakes are extraordinarily important to the safe operation of your vehicle. 

Sometimes you feel like your brake pedal is feeling a little soft or it’s lower than usual. Or you might feel like the brakes are on all the time, holding you back. Maybe when you release the brake pedal, it comes back up more slowly than usual. There are a few different problems that can cause your brakes to feel like any of those things, so bring your vehicle in to us and we can inspect them.

One possible cause of those brake issues is a damaged or worn-out brake hose.  Your hydraulic brakes work by carrying brake fluid to each of your wheels.  There are steel lines that carry the fluid most of the way, but because your wheels are moving all the time, a flexible hose is used to connect the steel lines and the brakes themselves.  

Sometimes those brake hoses leak, since there’s a lot of pressure inside when you use your brakes dozens or hundreds of times a day.  Road debris, aging, and corrosion at the hose fittings can loosen up that connection.  Sometimes the hoses can get blocked up if the interior lining separates from the outside. And sometimes, it’s simply a matter of the hose getting too old, and age eventually causes the rubber to fail.

When you experience brake problems, bring your vehicle in so we can have a technician take a look. Visual and manual inspections can usually pinpoint the problem areas.  The technician will look for corrosion and physical damage, plus run a pressure check.

For your vehicle to be safe on the road, your brakes need to be working the way they were designed to.  Stop. And think about it!

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



I Can See Clearly (Wiper Blade Replacement)

Posted October 15, 2023 1:15 AM

Warm weather can bring severe storms, and when the rain is coming down hard, that's one time you really need to be able to see as clearly as possible out your windshield.  Having wiper blades that are fit for the job are important to maintain that safe view.

Maybe you live in a climate where you use blades made for winter weather and you have haven't changed them since the weather changed.  Those blades are made of heavier materials and don't work as well in warmer temperatures. Blades made for warm temperatures are lighter and clear water better in the warmer months.

The general rule of thumb is you should change your blades every six months, but if you use them a lot, you might have to change them more often.  A couple of signs that your blades need changing? If you are seeing streaks on the glass or hearing a chattering sound when your wipers are working, time for a new pair.

Wiper blades have cleaning windshields on vehicles for more than 100 years.  The original designs have a multi-part frame that are better for flatter windshields.  But newer vehicle designs now have curvier windshields, so a more recent design is called a blade wiper.  It's designed to conform better to the glass so cleans it better. 

Conventional wipers also aren’t as aerodynamic as blade wipers. Wind buffeting can reduce the pressure they apply on the rubber to the glass.  With a spoiler as part of their design, blade wipers are pressed more tightly to the glass, an advantage in clearing water from it.

Another option is hybrid blades, essentially a conventional blade with a plastic shell around the wiper's frame that makes it more aerodynamic and, some say, gives it a more aesthetic look. 

There are lots of choices, so consult our service professionals for a recommendation on which blade fits your needs—and budget—best.  Keep your eyes on the road and keep your windshield sparkling clean, rain or shine.

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



Don't Blow a Gasket! (Valve Cover Gasket Replacement)

Posted October 8, 2023 7:05 AM

When you head out to your vehicle after it's been parked and notice oil leaking underneath it, that's something to have looked at right away.  Oil leaks mean your oil level is probably low and running a vehicle in that condition can lead to expensive repairs.

While there are many reasons oil leaks develop, one possibility is a bad valve cover gasket.  Vehicle engines have a cover bolted over the spot where the engine valves are, and that cover keeps the oil inside the engine. In between the cover and the engine is a gasket that keeps that seal tight.  But after many years of high engine temperatures and vibrations, that gasket or the bolts that hold on the valve cover can fail or loosen, and oil can leak.

You may see dirty oil on the valve cover in the engine compartment, near the spark plugs, or around the bolts that hold the valve cover on.  All those are signs of leakage and time to bring your vehicle in for our technicians to check out.

In some vehicles, taking off the valve cover and replacing the gasket is a relatively easy job. In some models, though, other engine parts are located near that part of the engine and must be removed to get at the gasket, so repair costs can vary widely.

The technician will measure to make sure the valve cover isn't warped so it can be reused. If it is warped, they'll recommend replacing it with the gasket.  

While the technician has that area of your engine accessible, they will also check to see if other components need replacing at the same time, which could save you money.  And because valve cover gaskets usually fail in older vehicles, the technician will check for other oil leaks then, too. 

One of the best ways to be sure your valve cover is doing its job is to have your vehicle regularly maintained.  The technician will periodically look over your engine compartment and make sure you know when things are showing signs of age and wear BEFORE they fail and leave you stranded.

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



Read a Good Tire Lately? (Tire Wear)

Posted October 1, 2023 10:05 AM

There's lots of good information to read in books and online.  You might not know that you can also "read" your tires and learn a lot about what shape they're in and if they are in need of attention. It's important to know how your tires are doing because a tire failure can be very dangerous to you, your passengers and others on the road near you.

You read your tire by looking at the surface that rides on the road, where the tread is.  Check out the outer and inner edges.  If you notice there's more wear on the inner or outer edge than on the rest of the tread, your vehicle could be out of alignment.  Wear on an inner or outer edge could mean your wheels are leaning too much to one side.  When you see this, visit our service center soon to have the alignment checked.

What about if both edges are worn? That could be a sign that you don't have enough air in that tire.  In an underinflated tire, the middle is not contacting the road surface as much as the edges, so the edges wear down first.  It could also mean that you're taking corners too aggressively or your tires haven't been rotated on a regular schedule.

Another thing you might see on your tires' tread area is wear in the center of the tire.  That means you likely have too much air in that tire.  Too much air makes your tire contact the road in the middle more than on the edges so the middle wears down prematurely. 

You might also see some smooth spots on the tread in irregular spots. This is called cupping. This is sometimes caused by suspension problems. A technician can examine your suspension to see if it is up to the manufacturer's specifications.

Finally, you may spot tires that are worn unevenly in a pattern that goes diagonal to the tread pattern.  This could mean your tires are out of balance, something our service center can check. They might also check alignment at the same time.

Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that contacts the road surface.  That means your acceleration, traction, steering and braking are all dependent on your tires being healthy. Maintain your tires by having one of our trained technicians read the clues and making sure they're always in roadworthy shape. 

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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