Archive for March 26, 2014

Maintenance Free Myth


Sometimes we hear Auburn car owners say, “What’s up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don’t break down.” While it is true that today’s cars and trucks are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most Auburn drivers don’t realize how high tech automotive fluids have become. Fluids like, engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.

Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today’s automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle’s components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and miles march on for all of our cars. Please don’t think we’re using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance – but here are some personal stories from AutoNetTV staff members to emphasize and show how critical it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and bucks. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.

The first comes from a staffer who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on a highway in California and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced – just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundred of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.

Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. Our staffer took his SUV in for the California safety inspection to renew his registration. At the Auburn inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the money. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind – over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a little money on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story for Auburn drivers: don’t skip your important annual inspections. The irony is that many Auburn service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.

Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy’s little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn’t get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire – so it was strong enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later – and then an alignment.

Situation: son and wife with cars from the same auto maker with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son’s maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done – it cost several hundred dollars. His wife’s car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed and the entire head was shredded and had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the automobile manufacturer’s maintenance schedule? You bet he does – every time he passes a big-screen TV.

The team at Euro Motors in Auburn recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better and is more economical to operate in California. Remember to save those maintenance records. It’ll show potential buyers that you’ve taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren’t any, assume that the maintenance hasn’t been done and take it to your Yuba City or Elk Grove service center or Euro Motors in Auburn for an inspection. Take care of unperformed important routine maintenance sooner rather than later.

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

Fuel Injection Basics For Auburn

All modern Auburn vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it’s a topic Sacramento drivers need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount, at the right time; to be mixed with air and burned in the engine.

So how many fuel injectors does your car have? There’s one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in Auburn, California. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty high-tech.

Euro Motors can help Sacramento car owners with a fuel injector cleaning service. What’s the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. It’s important that the fuel is sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.

Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, effecting the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn’t get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and hurts fuel economy.

What about dirty fuel – how does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high quality fuel. It’s tempting to shop for bargains in  Sacramento with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the Auburn, California area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.

What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is an essential component of the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it’s clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.

It’s essential to replace the fuel filter when your vehicle manufacturer recommends it. That’s part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.

There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines Auburn drivers are starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There’s no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.

There are a lot of good products available in Auburn, California that can clean fuel injectors. They’re best used by Auburn drivers to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can’t clean a seriously gummed up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning, like those we offer at Euro Motors in Auburn. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you’ve had Euro Motors take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.

Give us a call if you think your Sedan may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.

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

PCV Valve Service At Euro Motors In Auburn

Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a key job for Auburn car owners. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.

The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the Sedan engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase.

These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel.
PCV Valve Service At Euro Motors In AuburnThis can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause Sedan engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Euro Motors. At high speeds on Auburn freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

Back in the old days, auto makers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the Sedan’s engine.

This is much better for air quality and improves gas mileage also. (Budget-conscious Auburn motorists take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets detrimental gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased fuel economy.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at Euro Motors in Auburn and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Auburn motorists don’t know about it. Check your Sedan owner’s manual or ask your Euro Motors service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at Euro Motors when it gets dirty.

Please ask your Friendly Auburn service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Auburn, you can avoid some very pricey engine repairs.

Euro Motors Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Today’s Euro Motors post focuses on using the proper fluids for your vehicle. Significant advancements in automotive technology have lead to the development of high-tech fluids to keep modern cars operating at peak performance. This is due to both engineering advances and new high-tech materials used to build Sedan automotive systems.

A simple example of this is the cooling system. For decades it was primarily made out of iron, steel and rubber hoses. There was one kind of coolant that protected these components from corrosion.

Now cooling system components are made with various metal alloys and plastics. These materials require different additives to protect them from corrosion. Since the materials used vary among Sedan car makers, we now have a number of different kinds of coolant.

It’s essential for Rosevile car owners to use the right coolant. Euro Motors Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your VehicleIf you pour in the wrong kind, it won’t protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your Sedan owner’s manual. Of course, your Euro Motors automotive advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.

Brake fluid is confusing for some Rosevile drivers. Back when we opened Euro Motors 15 years ago, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Auburn people mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That’s not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your Sedan.

Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Euro Motors: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in Sedan automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.

Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to Rosevile car owners and Euro Motors professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today’s high-tech Sedan engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances. Every year, engines make more power and (thankfully!) get better fuel efficiency. And along with all the complexity and sophistication, they still have to be durable.

That’s where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those Sedan engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.

At Euro Motors in Auburn, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as impressive as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, make sure you always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.

Check your Sedan owner’s manual or ask your Rosevile service technician.
The wrong fluid can cause damage to your Sedan engine. If you drive a car or truck around California with 75,000 miles or more, consider high mileage formulations. These fluids contain extra detergent to clean dirtier older engines as well as additives to condition seals and gaskets. That’ll help prevent leaks. Always be sure that the high mileage fluid is the same weight or type of fluid recommended for your Sedan.

Fuel Saving Tip: Dirty Oil In Your Auburn Sedan

If you’re a quart low in your Sedan, there isn’t enough motor oil to lubricate your engine properly. The extra friction causes drag that reduces fuel economy while you’re driving around the Sacramento area.

Clean Oil for your Sedan The same goes for dirty oil; it doesn’t reduce friction properly. The result is you get to watch those numbers at your local Sacramento gas pump rolling higher and higher.

The transmission also needs the proper amount of clean fluid to do its work. When it’s in need of service, the transmission drags your fuel economy down.

So keep it clean and give yourself a fighting chance.

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