Sacramento and Elk Grove Auto Repair

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Does Power Steering Fluid Need To Be Replaced?

Does Power Steering Fluid Need To Be Replaced?

Fluid exchanges are an integral part of the general vehicle maintenance routine. However, most drivers only think about engine oils and transmission fluids when it comes to fluid flushing. They fail to understand that power steering fluid also plays an important role and that it needs changing as per the manufacturer's instructions. With time, your car's power steering fluid breaks down and becomes filled with sludge and grit. Grit features sand-like particles that get lodged in pinion seals and racks, eventually causing damage. Without flushing out the fluid, you'll end spending money replacing racks. Do I Need a Power Steering Flush? You can tell whether your power steering pump requires a flush by checking the color of the fluid. Car fluids acquire a darker shade when old. Therefore, if it acquires a deeper red shade, that shouldn't be an indicator of a bad fluid. It would help to go through the manufacturer's manual to know the fluid flushing routine. It is ... read more

Why are Shocks and Struts Important?

Why are Shocks and Struts Important?

The shocks and struts on your vehicle help to stabilize its movements. They also aid control when you turn or when you have to brake or accelerate. You won't notice the uneven road surfaces as much when this part of your car is working well. And they help to keep the tires in contact with the pavement at all times. If your shocks or struts were missing, your vehicle would be much more bouncy. Since this part of the vehicle gives you a smooth, comfortable ride, it's important to take note of the signs that occur when they are going bad. Here are a few to watch for: That Bouncing Feeling You know how your vehicle normally drives and if you feel it bouncing down the road instead of giving you a smooth ride, there's likely something up with the shocks and struts. You want to smooth things out before any damage is done. Vehicle Tips When Turning If you feel like your vehicle is tipping further when you are trying to turn, it might be the sh ... read more

What Can Wear Down Tires Prematurely?

What Can Wear Down Tires Prematurely?

Have you noticed an unusual amount of wear and tear on your car tires lately? There are a few things that could be causing this. In this article, we talk about four things that can cause premature wear-and-tear on your car tires -- and how to avoid them. Let's start by looking at tire pressure issues. Tire Pressure Issues Can you remember the last time you checked the air pressure in your car tires? According to Nationwide Insurance and the National Transportation Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "driving on under-inflated tires is one of the primary causes of tire failure in vehicles on the road today". It's important to maintain your tire's air pressure according to the vehicle and tire manufacturer's instructions to avoid premature wear-and-tear or tire damage. When your tires are under-inflated, this causes the tires to work harder and can lead to a rapid breakdown of your tires. Refer to your owner's manual or an automotive service ... read more

How to Detect Water Pump failure in Elk Grove

How to Detect Water Pump failure in Elk Grove

Your vehicle's water pump functions as the heart of the cooling system. It regulates the flow of coolant and circulates it throughout the cooling circuit. Water pumps are most commonly driven externally by a pulley/belt combination. If the water pump is damaged, the engine can eventually overheat. Water pumps are designed to last a fair amount of time, but it can break down as you add on miles with other vehicle parts. When it's time to replace the water pump, it will start to display some warning signs. Below are four signs that indicate water pump failure.  There's a coolant leak. The water pump has multiple gaskets and seals that hold the coolant and are consistently delivered to the engine. Over time these seals and gaskets can degrade and wear out. If these seals are dry up and crack, coolant can leak and puddle on the ground. Coolant is usually green or red and will typically be near the front of your engine.  There ... read more

Signs It’s Time for A Brake Service in Elk Grove, CA

Signs It’s Time for A Brake Service in Elk Grove, CA

Your brakes are put to the test every time you drive your vehicle, so they must stay in top condition. A healthy brake system gives a type of peace of mind that most drivers take for granted during their routine commutes. Brake maintenance is essential because neglecting the brakes can impact your vehicle's response time. Failing brakes can be a matter of life and death. The brakes aren't designed to last forever; they have a natural life span that causes them to wear over time. Your brakes will alert you when they need to be serviced; you just need to be aware of the signs. To help you identify whether it's time to have your brakes serviced, below are three signs, it's time for professional maintenance.   Your car takes longer to stop.  Brake fade is the technical term when your brakes start to wear over time, causing your vehicle to take more time to slow down. There are different types of brakes fade; the most common types are a friction fade and bra ... read more

My High Beams Work, But My Low Beams Don’t

My High Beams Work, But My Low Beams Don’t

Headlights are essential, and without them, driving becomes increasingly dangerous. If your high beams are working, but the low beams aren't, several reasons can be the cause. While it's easy to assume this may be due to a bad bulb, if changing the bulb doesn't help, a deeper issue may be the culprit. Don't neglect this problem by choosing to drive in the daytime. Driving without headlights is not just hazardous; it's illegal. You may find yourself coming out of pocket for a fix-it ticket. Below are 3 of the most common issues that can illuminate the high beams while leaving the low beams inactive.  The Relay is Damaged In layman's terms, a vehicle's relay is a switch that operates electronically. If the relay has gone bad, it may be receiving the electricity but cannot complete the full circuit. This will require a new relay. Some vehicles have different relays for their high beams and low beam lights. If one relay goes bad, the other one ... read more

Tips for Better Fuel Efficiency in Elk Grove

Tips for Better Fuel Efficiency in Elk Grove

If you’re a commuter, gas may be an expense you’d like to keep as affordable as possible. Gas prices are incredibly volatile, and changes occur almost in the blink of an eye. Even with the instability of gas prices, you can still do some things to increase fuel economy. Below are a few helpful tips to improve gas mileage and save money in Elk Grove:   Remove the Extra Weight  A car holding a heavy load or extra packed weight makes it challenging to get the required traction it needs from all four tires. If the tires can’t make efficient traction, fuel efficiency decreases. Excess weight doesn’t just affect traction; it also forces the engine to use more power to attain and sustain a certain speed. Removing any extra weight in your vehicle will create significant improvements in fuel economy. Use the Correct Fuel Most drivers assume that no matter what type of vehicle they’re driving, premium gas is the be ... read more

Benefits of Using Synthetic Oil During Your Next Oil Change - Elk Grove

Benefits of Using Synthetic Oil During Your Next Oil Change - Elk Grove

Oil changes are one of the most essential maintenance services that you can do. Clean oil keeps your engine lubricated and prevents corrosion. When you’re getting an oil change, the service attendant may ask you whether you’d like to use synthetic or regular oil. If you aren’t familiar with the differences, this question may leave your head spinning. Below are some critical points to examine to help you make a more informed decision.  Synthetic oil is always the superior choice, but why? Synthetic motor oil is a high-quality base oil, while conventional oil is a less-refined base oil. Synthetic oil provides prominent engine performance and greater protection for the engine than conventional motor oil. In comparison, conventional oil breaks down quicker and faster in high temperatures and does not have a long lifespan.  Synthetic motor oil is the superior choice because it outperforms conventional oil by:  Keeping the engine cleaner Offering more eng ... read more

Wheel Balance vs Wheel Alignment in Elk Grove

It seems like tire balancing and tire alignments are used almost interchangeably, leaving most drivers confused. There appears to be a common misunderstanding between the service of lining up the front end of a car and balancing tires.  A tire balance and alignment are two very different services. Both of these services contribute to a smoother ride, improved handling performance, and extended tire life. However, they shouldn’t be confused for the same thing. A tire balancing service corrects any uneven distribution of the weight of the wheels. If your wheels are not adequately balanced, your tires can experience excessive wear and tear. This can lead to your suspension becoming damaged, resulting in your vehicle vibrating during drives. Your wheels can become unbalanced due to normal wear or worn suspension parts. Sometimes if your car accidentally hits a curb, it can throw off the wheel balance as well. To combat this issue, your tires are placed on a balancing machine du ... read more

Prevent your car from overheating in Elk Grove

After staying home for several months, the summer sun becomes a welcomed visitor. We turn on our A/C, prepare the lemonade, and lather on the sunblock, forgetting about our beloved vehicles. When the temperature rises outside, it’s essential we also prioritize the safety of our car. We can prevent significant engine damage by making an extra effort to keep our vehicles protected from the sun.  Here are some helpful tips to keep your vehicle safe in the blistering summer sun:   Park in the shade.  If you have to make a road trip, it’s always best to choose a shady area to park your vehicle. Just as the shade helps protect our skin from the sun, the shade also protects your vehicle. If there aren’t any available shaded parking spots, use a sunshade to limit the amount of heat that flows into your car. Some retailers also sell window shades that shield your vehicle from the sun’s UV rays. If you have a few extra dollars to spe ... read more

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