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Three Tips to Improve Your Gas Mileage

Three Tips to Improve Your Gas Mileage

Did you know that California has the second highest average gas prices of any state? Even when prices go down in the golden state, they can still take up a big chunk of a monthly budget. The good news is that there are a number of things every driver can do to maximize their car's fuel efficiency and give themselves a break at the pump. Try these three tips to boost your miles-per-gallon and save money with every tank of gas. 1. Get an Engine Tune-Up  If an engine isn't properly tuned, it has to work much harder to deliver the same amount of power, and that means burning more fuel. Two components to pay particular attention to are the spark plugs and the fuel injectors. The spark plug needs to be strong to make sure the engine burns fuel properly. Fuel injectors are designed to spray a mist of fuel that is readily combustible. Over time, however, they can clog and send out a jet of fuel. When this happens, some of the fuel doesn't ignite and instead sits in the botto ... read more

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Car Maintenance

What is an Oxygen Sensor?

What is an Oxygen Sensor?

An oxygen sensor senses how much oxygen is coming through the exhaust system on a vehicle. There is a predetermined air/fuel ratio that the computer expects to see from the sensor. Based on the oxygen sensor reading, the vehicle computer will adjust how much fuel it delivers to the engine, hence affecting the oxygen level. The oxygen sensor is also referred to as the air/fuel ratio sensor or the lambda sensor. For the purposes of this article, we will refer to these sensors as oxygen sensors. Most vehicles have at least two oxygen sensors, one in front of the catalytic converter and one behind it. Vehicles that are equipped with two banks (like a V6 or V8) then will have four oxygen sensors. How Do Oxygen Sensors Work?  Just like catalytic converters, oxygen sensors need to get hot before they start working. Most oxygen sensors are equipped with a small heater inside of them to heat them up quickly. The heater element in the sensor, much like a hair dryer element or an incandes ... read more

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Auto Parts

What is a Catalytic Converter?

What is a Catalytic Converter?

A catalytic converter is a portion of a vehicle’s exhaust system that cleans up the vehicle’s emissions. Since 1975, cars, vans, and light trucks were required by law to be outfitted with a catalytic converter for smog purposes. Where Is the Catalytic Converter Located? The catalytic converter looks a lot like a muffler. On the inside of the converter, there is a honeycomb structure made up of special material. The exhaust gases pass through the honeycomb structure, and when the converter gets hot enough, it will “convert” some of the vehicle’s harmful emission to a fraction of what it used to be before it exits the tailpipe. How Will I Know If My Catalytic Converter Is Not Working Correctly? It would be safe to assume the catalytic converter is working properly until one of two things happen. You might get a check engine light on the dash alerting you that the catalytic convert ... read more

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Auto Parts

What to check when buying a used car

Did you know that a new car loses approximately 10% of its value the minute it's driven off the lot? That rapid depreciation is a major reason why many people find used vehicles to be a better value for their dollar. While used car buyers run the risk of getting stuck with a lemon, it's a risk that can be easily avoided. For buyers who want to spend their hard-earned money on a used vehicle, there are two things to keep in mind: you'll need to learn the key warning signs of poor car maintenance, and it's also best to polish up a new-to-you vehicle with help from an experienced mechanic with excellent customer reviews. Here are a few things to check when buying a used vehicle. Get the Vehicle History Report  A vehicle history report is the first must-have. This will show you any issues with the vehicle’s title, as well as provide you with information on any accidents or damage the vehicle has undergo ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Be Aware of Your Spare

Be Aware of Your Spare

Having a spare tire in the car at all times is essential for driving safety. But in order to be fully prepared, make sure to know the answers to these questions about the tire itself.   What Type of Tire Is It?   Most cars come with a spare tire already in the trunk and ready to go. However, some may be surprised to learn that this spare isn't meant to replace a flat tire for an extended period. These tires are actually just temporary tires known as "donuts." To prevent changing the tire twice, drivers can switch the included donut out with an actual spare tire before a tire change is needed.   Has the Tire Expired?   Many people don't know that tires have expiration dates just like perishable foods, and driving on an expired tire can be as dangerous as forgoing engine repair. To see if a tire has expired, check the manufacture date on its sidewall. If six or more years have p ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

How Long Should a Hybrid Battery Last?

How Long Should a Hybrid Battery Last?

Hybrids are fantastic cars for drivers who want to save on gas. But some drivers encounter an unpleasant surprise when they realize their battery needs to be replaced just a few years later. While Toyota states that their hybrid auto battery used in the Prius has an expected lifespan of about 10 years, that number could be very different for each driver, and here’s why. Vehicle Usage The first factor to consider is how often the car is driven. According to Toyota, the battery pack in a hybrid Toyota is warrantied for 10 years or 150,000 miles in California and 8 years or 100,000 miles in all other states. This is great news for those who drive their vehicle a short distance to and from work every day. They will likely get closer to that ten-year mark than a full-time Uber driver. Ultimately, the more the battery is used, the shorter its lifespan will probably be. Service and Maintenance Another factor that affects battery life in a hybrid is how often the vehicle is serviced a ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

What Does The Maintenance Required Light Mean?

What Does The Maintenance Required Light Mean?

Unlike a “check engine” light, a maintenance required light is based strictly on a car’s mileage and when the light was previously reset. A qualified service technician can diagnose the car’s maintenance needs and provide the necessary services, including an engine oil and oil filter change, tire rotation, or a general vehicle inspection. Since the maintenance required light has no way to determine the condition or level of the engine oil, it’s important to bring your car into a trusted auto shop to make the needed service changes. What Does a Flashing Maintenance Required Light Mean? A maintenance required light comes on after 4,500 miles to alert you that your car is due for service. The light will come on each time the car is started to test the bulb for about 6 seconds and then turn off. At some point, the maintenance required light will start to flash after starting your car. The flashing maintenance required light will start ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

What do I do if my car overheats?

Things You Need To Know If Your Car Overheats A long summer road trip, climbing up a grade, 100 degrees outside, car loaded up with luggage… this is a recipe for an overheating car! There are a few things you can do to stop your car from overheating. We are going to share four of them with you. 1. Be Aware Of Your Car’s Temperature Gauge - When the temperature gauge is resting half way between hot and cold, this is perfect (which is between 190-215*F or xx-xx*C). Any time the gauge exceeds that temperature, your car is starting to overheat.  You’ll want to glance at the gauge periodically and definitely more often when you are climbing, going faster than 70 mph, towing, or have a fully loaded car. If the gauge is creeping up or if you have any warning that the car is overheating, read below on what to do.  2. Turn Off The Air Conditioning - The car’s air conditioning compressor typically operates by draw ... read more

3 Wet Weather Driving Tips

As wet weather settles in, driving on the road becomes increasingly dangerous. Each year there are over 1.2 million accidents related to weather and of those, 73% due to wet pavement. In this article, we share 3 tips that you need to know before you get behind the wheel on a wet day. 1. Slow your vehicle speed: There was an old saying, "speed kills". Not to be over dramatic but lowering your speed is the number one thing that you can do to keep safe. When water on the roads is kicked up on your windshield, your visibility is drastically decreased. This lack of visibility impairs your reaction time to maneuver your vehicle quickly and avoid hazards. 2. Leave more distance:  When the roads are wet, the pavement friction is reduced by almost 1/2. The coefficient of dry payment is 0.7 while wet pavement is 0.4 for an "all weather" tire.  This tip is simply a matter of leaving extra distance between your car and the c ... read more

Toyota Sienna Safety Recall

Toyota Sienna Safety Recall for Sliding Doors On Nov. 22, 2016, Toyota issued a safety recall for about 744,000 model year 2011 - 2016 Toyota Sienna Mini-Vans.  In certain vehicles, under certain conditions, it's possible that the sliding door locking mechanism could allow the door to slide open while vehicle is in motion.  The way these safety recalls work is that a limited about of vehicles are typically effected, not all vehicles. It's always best to check the manufacture website with your VIN# to see if your vehicle is one that is under the recall notice. Typically, the manufacture (Toyota in this case) will know which vehicles have the effected part and can just recall that specific vehicle with the faulty part. You can read further information and check to see if your vehicle is effected by this Toyota Sienna Safety Recall For Sliding Doors&nb ... read more

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