Archive for December 25, 2012

Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

In our auto video today we’ll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that “modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free”.

Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Auburn Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn’t so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.

Here are some examples for our friends in Auburn.

  • Some cars in Auburn no longer require chassis lubrication. They’re made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There’s literally is no way to grease those joints.

-Chalk one up for the myth.

On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn’t even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.

  • So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.

-A point to maintenance.

  • Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.

-Myth gets a point.

  • Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.

-Point for maintenance.

I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they’ve always been.

So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Auburn if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there’ll always be a check list.

Let me mention a couple of items on modern vehicles that folks need to be aware of. One of the most of the most important is timing belt replacement. Used to be that all engines had timing chains – you know, metal chains. They rarely broke.

It’s cheaper to make engines with timing belts rather than chains, so replacing the timing belt is on most engines’ maintenance list. The money the manufacturer saves by using a belt is more than off-set by what the vehicle owner has to pay to replace the belt. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of repairing the damage if the timing belt breaks.

So make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced. You don’t want to miss that. If you have 60,000 miles or more, break out your owner’s manual or ask your Auburn service advisor at Euro Motors to check on the recommendation right away.

Another is sealed wheel bearing assemblies on some vehicles. As you might have guessed, it’s cheaper to make a sealed unit than one that has access to inspect or service the wheel bearings. The problem is that when the bearings fail, you have to replace the entire unit, not just the bearings. That’ll cost 5 or 6 times as much.

For our friends in Auburn, we hope this has underscored the importance of knowing and following your maintenance schedule. Come in and see us at Euro Motors. You’ll find us at 10068 Streeter Rd. #14 in Auburn, California 95602. Just give us a call at 530-776-5343.

Fuel System Cleaning At Euro Motors

Is your car sometimes hard to start on an early Auburn morning? When you turn the key, does it hesitate or stutter? If so, the problem could be the result of a dirty fuel system. Your car’s fuel system starts with the air filter and ends in the top of your engine. Over time, different parts of the system get dirty, which robs you of performance and hurts your fuel economy.

Euro Motors
10068 Streeter Rd. #14
Auburn, California 95602
530-776-5343

Most of our Sedan in Auburn have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. Fuel injection systems have fewer problems and require less adjustment. But they still need to be properly maintained. This is why your owner’s manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Some people are interested in buying fuel system cleaners that you can pour into your gas tank. You can do that – and there are lots of great products available that can help maintain an already clean fuel system – but these products cannot do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see your service center at Euro Motors. Euro Motors has the professional tools and chemicals to really do a complete service.

Your service center at Euro Motors in Auburn California uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. You need to remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently. After a professional fuel system cleaning, you’ll notice more power, better fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions.

The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate vital engine parts.

Fuel system cleaning is just one of those recommended service items that helps keep your vehicle running strong. As with all maintenance, it can help avoid costly repairs that often result from not taking the right preventive steps. And you will notice the difference in how well your car runs. Check with your service advisor at Euro Motors in Auburn California to see when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.

An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

Keeping Your Auburn Air Fresh When Driving With A Clean Cabin Air Filter

What is a cabin air filter? Is it:

A. A filter for your Auburn house?
B. A fresh, piney scent?
C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?

Clever you, it’s C.

A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment. It filters out common Auburn air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.

These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

Not all vehicles in Auburn have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene. About forty percent of new vehicles sold in Auburn come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.

Cabin air filters can make for a very nice driving environment. Your car can be a haven during our Auburn allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. However, the filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.

Check your owner’s manual for recommended replacement intervals. Often, the owner’s manual forgets about the cabin air filter, so ask your service technician at Euro Motors for a recommendation. It’s usually every year or 12,000 miles / 19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in dusty conditions around the Sacramento area, or if you start to notice an odor from your ventilation system.

So keep your cabin air filter clean. It may not help with your brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience around Auburn more enjoyable.

Come by Euro Motors and we’ll take a look at your cabin air filter for you.

Auburn Exhaust And Emissions Service

Sometimes when we talk about exhaust service in Auburn, we think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. And if you can see smoke, or if it’s too loud. But, exhaust service at a place like Euro Motors is really a lot more comprehensive these days.

For example, in the U.S., the federal government mandated catalytic converters for all cars in Auburn in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. California and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations. Cars sold in Canada follow the same guidelines.

So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now a big part of that. And because it’s so sophisticated, your vehicle manufacturer recommends having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Euro Motors, regularly to make sure everything’s working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles.

If your ‘check engine light’ comes on while you are driving around the Sacramento area, especially if it’s flashing, then you need to get your car looked at right away. Chances are it’s an emission related problem. You might have exhaust or emissions trouble if your car is hard to start, runs rough, or if it’s noisy or smoking.

So let’s review the exhaust system. Everything starts with the exhaust manifold. That’s the part that attaches to the engine and collects the exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe.

The exhaust gaskets help seal the connection with the manifold and other joints along the way. Now, if the manifold is cracked or loose, or a gasket is leaking, then dangerous gases could escape into the passenger compartment, where you ride. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so it’s important that your exhaust system doesn’t leak.

The exhaust pipes connect the various components. They can rust or be damaged by a rock, so they need to be inspected periodically.

Next comes the catalytic converter. This part actually looks like a muffler. It changes chemicals that are dangerous to your health, and to the local California environment, into harmless carbon dioxide and water. Now it doesn’t require any maintenance itself. But eventually they wear out. If it has, you’ll probably find out when your car fails an emissions inspection.

Now the muffler. Its main job is to quiet engine noises. Mufflers work by either absorbing or baffling sound. And you can actually customize your car’s sound with different mufflers – which is pretty cool because you can change the look of your car, and the way it sounds.

Rusted or road-damaged mufflers can actually leak and they need to be replaced right away. The exhaust system is attached to the car by a series of hangers and clamps that hold the system in place. And when these hangers come loose or break then hot exhaust components can touch and melt wires, hoses and lines. Just think of the damage a hot curling iron can do – but worse. It’s not good to have that waving around.

And finally, we end at the tailpipe. Appropriate name. This is the final outlet for the exhaust. And one other component is the oxygen sensor. It monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust so the engine-control computer can adjust the fuel-to-air mix to keep the car running right.

We hope this hasn’t been too ‘exhausting’ of a discussion, but these things impact everything from life and death safety due to exhaust leaks, to just fine-tuning the sound of your ride. And talk with your service advisor at Euro Motors if you feel you need any of these items inspected on your vehicle, because a quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.

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