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Tag Archives: Tips

Treat Your Fuel Pump Well

Car manufacturers don’t mention this, but it is important not to drive “on fumes”. As a matter of fact, AC Delco in its Women’s Car Care Seminar recommends that we make a stop at the gas station any time the tank is less than 1/3 full. The reason for this advice is to protect the fuel pump. The fuel pump in modern vehicles is an electrical/mechanical device. All such devices need to be cooled. There are two ways that a fuel pump is cooled: 1) Gasoline flows through it and heat passes from it to the engine. 2) The fuel pump is immersed in gasoline and cooled in a fuel bath. As the fuel tank gets close to empty, this second way of cooling the fuel pump becomes less and less effective. Running “on fumes” will usually not destroy your fuel pump immediately but it does cause it to work at higher than optimal temperatures. Over time, this will cause faster wear. That may make it necessary to replace the fuel pump sooner than expected. Another reason n ... read more

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Topping off your fuel tank hurts you, your pocketbook and the environment.

Being busy, we try to squeeze in as much gasoline as possible to stretch out our trips to the gas station. But topping off after the gas pump automatically shuts off is a bad idea. There are two very important reasons why topping off is bad for you and the environment. When the automatic shutoff occurs, your tank has the right amount of gasoline. If you put more gasoline in the tank, some of the gasoline may get into the carbon filter – this component is only supposed to carry fumes. This will not destroy your car. But over time, it can result in lower mileage, higher emissions, and unnecessary repairs. This is bad for your pocketbook, and bad for the environment. Don’t over fill. You’ll keep the Bay Area a bit less smoggy. When you continue to top off your fuel tank after the automatic shutoff, there is a possibility that the extra gasoline will spill out. Three reasons why this is bad: You are spilling money on the ground – literally ... read more

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Is your new Audi, BMW or Subaru burning too much oil?

Consumer Reports just released a result of its annual survey of car owners. One of the surprising results was that some newer cars (2010-2014) consumed as much as a quart of oil per month. Such oil consumption is considered normal in older cars – those with over 100,000 miles – but for newer cars to be burning oil at that rate is unusual to say the least. Consumer Reports went one step further, and called on the car makers to repair these cars under the powertrain warranty or to extend warranties. Models most likely to experience this problem are: Audi A3, A4, A5, A6 and Q5 BMW 5, 6, and 7 Series and X5 Subaru Outback, Legacy, Forester and Impreza An article by AP cites Audi spokesman Bradley Stertz saying that “a class action lawsuit against Audi over oil consumption by the 2.0-Liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines is close to being settled without the company admitting liability or wrongdoing.” The settlement affects 2009 A4, 2010 A4 and A5, and ... read more

38-Ford Announces Predictions for New Vehicle Technology

Ford Experts predict that sensor fusion, machine learning and “big data” will be among the next wave of technology in Ford vehicles—advancements that have significant implications for repairers. New Ford models are becoming increasingly equipped with multiple sensors that heighten driver awareness, according to Ford. For example, the 2013 Fusion has 145 actuators, 4,716 signals, and 74 sensors that monitor radar, sonar, cameras, accelerometers, temperature and rain.The sensors generate over 25 gigabytes of memory per hour that is processed by more than 70 computers. Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s Chief Technology Officer, said in a prepared statement that the Fusion represents the future of Ford’s technological research and advancement. – From Ratchet and Wrench.com

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36- Are Factory Parts Always the Best Options for my Car?

The answer is no.There are times when they are and times when they aren't. The parts supplied by the car companies while of good quality, are often more expensive than what they could be if supplied by other manufactures (aftermarket). Many times the new car makers contract with the aftermarket to make their new car products. But, when they do so, they stamp them with the original equipment (O.E.) stamp. The ultimate seller of these parts, the new car dealers, has to mark up the prices substantially to make their margins. This of course makes the parts more expensive to the end user. If that same part if sold by the same supplier without the O.E. stamp and without the dealer mark-up, to the local parts store the end cost is substantially lower. This is the identical part at a much lower cost. This usually happens with faster moving and popular parts such as brakes, water pumps and radiators. In another scenario such as the case of shock absorbers, the factory p ... read more

35-Insurance Companies Using Spy Devices

Insurance companies keep finding new ways to make us pay. Now some are giving you an incentive to let them hook up a spy-device to your car. They obviously are going to charge you more if you drive more miles. But some monitor how often and for how long, you exceed 80 mph. They can even monitor how aggressively you drive including how fast you take corners and brake to a stop. When they get more sophisticated, I can see them determining your location by GPS to see if you are exceeding the posted speed limits. State Farm says that people who have signed up for their program get
about 10 percent off their bill. My question is: Can this data be used against you in an accident? If they monitor your speed and turning data, can’t this be used against you? The airbag computers already store some incriminating evidence of what was going on just before they deploy and
the courts are having to sort out when this data can be used. Is it worth 10 percent to give up your pr

... read more

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30-How Much is a Brake Job?

How long is a stick? That really is how ambiguous that question is! There are no legal definitions of a 'brake job'. So anyone that uses that term can define it any way they want. Professional automotive organizations such as the ASCCAwww.ascca.com have been working for years to develop legal definitions. You see there are numerous factors that come into play when working on the brakes of a modern automobile. Without a thorough brake inspection there is no way anyone is going to tell you what your car needs unless they already know your car, its condition, mileage, and how you drive it. The better question might be, 'I want my car to stop like itdid when it was new. What needs to be done to get to that condition?' After all, isn't that what you want? A car that stops? A set of brake pads or shoes can be replaced on your car or truck. But it may not stop any better than it did before. In some shops (especially thos ... read more

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29-Fall is the Time for Car Care

As autumn comes we should focus some of our Fall thoughts on
the weather that is about to visit us.Typically October brings a change of the seasons-virtually always rain,and in some areas snow and ice. This means that drivers should pay extra attention to the parts of the car that are affected by changes in conditions. Things such as wiper blades, coolant/antifreeze, heater and defrost operation, and perhaps tire-tread depth and rubber conditions, should be inspected before the winter is upon us. Any or all of these parts or systems can wreak havoc on yourwallet or your family’s safety if they fail at the wrong time. Believe it or not, as the operator of a motor vehicle, it is possible to almost ensure that your safety and well-being are guaranteed with proactive maintenance. By simply having the various systems and parts of your vehicle inspected proactively, you are helping to keep repairs as well as the chance of an accident to a minimum. A lot of folks balk
... read more

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28- How often should I have the A/C charged in my car?

The short answer is: when the vent air goes from feeling cold to feeling cool. Often times in moderate climates, such as we have in the Bay Area, one can go for several months without using the air conditioning in the car. Meaning, if there is a problem at the end of summer or fall, we may not notice it until the first warm day of spring, when we turn it on for the first time of the year and not too much happens. The air conditioning system in a car is a closed loop system filled with Freon. The Freon is pumped throughout the car’s a/c system of various pipes, hoses, condensers, and various other devices at high pressures. Over time some of the seals and hoses may develop small leaks. If enough Freon leaks out, the system will not be as efficient at cooling or it may stop working altogether. Unless you develop a large leak or blow a hose out altogether, the first notice you will get is the feeling that it’s just not as cold as it used to be. Now this can happen for a s ... read more

27- Hats Off To Valvoline

Recently, Valvoline Oil Company came out with a blend of partially remanufactured motor oil. They have been promoting it and have even used it in one of their NASCARS; and, sure enough, they’ve even won a race or two while using it. So what is remanufactured motor oil and what’s the big deal? Remanufactured oil is used motor oil that has been essentially re-refined and is every bit as good as virgin motor oil. Valvoline is the first major oil company to successfully market a re-refined oil product. Even though the product named Nexgen, is a partial blend of virgin oil and remanufactured oil, it has been proven that we don’t need to rely on our ever decreasing petroleum supplies to get a highly regarded first rate motor oil. If every motor oil producer could make a similar product, the world could save millions of gallons of crude oil per year. Sturken Automotive is proud to say that we hav ... read more

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