Thursday, June 30, 2016


One of the dreaded things car owners face is oil consumption. Most people give this no thought at all, especially if the "oil light" has not come on or they are driving newer vehicle. One would think that oil consumption is the oil's fault, the truth however is not so simple.

Oil consumption has many reasons.

  • Engine design.  Some engines consume oil by design.  From day 1.  The consumption can be as high as 1.7 quarts per mile.  This depends on the make and model of the engine so if oil consumption matters to you a lot then you are better off asking questions before purchasing.
  • Driving style.  RPM affects oil consumption.  The higher your usually RPM is the more oil will be consumed.  That's because you put extra pressure on the seals and gaskets and some of the oil finds its way around and gets burned away in the combustion chamber.
  • Seal and gasket condition.  The more worn they are the more oil will be consumed.  As mentioned in the previous section: the oil finds its way around the seals and it gets burned away in the combustion chamber or it simply leaks out.
  • Higher-than-normal engine temperature.  The hotter your engine runs the thinner your oil will be. Once again it will be simpler for a thin oil to reach the combustion chamber and get mixed and burned with the fuel. 
  • Too-low viscosity motor oil.  If you use an oil with a viscosity below the recommended by the engine manufacturer than you will experience oil consumption for the same reason as presented in the previous section.  By viscosity I do not mean SAE viscosity only.  The HTHS viscosity also counts.
  • Low quality motor oil with high volatility.  I mention this as the last one because this is the least common reason.  If the oil's volatility is very high than it could be noticeable in the oil consumption rate.
  • There are also numerous other reasons including but not limited to high oil level, the damage or clogging of different engine parts and the fuel contamination of the oil.
Do not wait for the "oil light" to come on.  Get into the routine of checking your engines oil level at least every other fuel up.  Do not wait for the vehicle to tell you to change your engine oil, it is recommended every 3,000 miles or 3 months which ever occurs first.

Your vehicle is one of your most important assets - if you take care of it, it will be reliable for you for a long long time.  If you have any questions regarding maintenance please contact the ASE certified experts at The Auto Analyst (530) 621-4591 or visit our website

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Did you know?

The Health and Safety Code 44032 states the following:  No person shall perform, for compensation, tests or repairs of emission control devices or system of motor vehicles required by this chapter unless the person performing the test or repair is a qualified smog check technician and the test or repair is performed at a licensed smog check station.  Qualified technicians shall perform tests of emission control devices and systems in accordance with Section 44012.

An often asked question is, can a regular auto repair shop diagnose my vehicle's check engine light? Legally no.  Since the check engine light is part of a vehicle's emission control system, an illuminated check engine light will cause a smog check failure and will require a smog check repair certified mechanic at a smog test & repair certified auto repair center diagnose and repair the fault.

The Auto Analyst is a licensed smog testing and repair facility.  The Auto Analyst's licensed smog technician is also an ASE Master Technician.

What's the difference between a regular auto repair facility and a licensed smog testing & repair facility?  Equipment, training, and expertise!

Check engine light on?  Give The Auto Analyst a call at 530-621-4591 or visit our website at to schedule an appointment.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Road trip car trouble can be a real nightmare, but having the Auto Analyst perform a pre-trip vehicle check helps you avoid a vacation breakdown disaster.

Having the Auto Analyst perform a pre-trip inspection gives you peace of mind by reducing the chance of unplanned, costly car trouble and providing an opportunity to have any repairs performed by a trusted Auto Analyst technician before hitting the road.

Some of the items that will be check during the Auto Analyst pre-trip vehicle check include:

  • Checking the tires including pressure and tread.
  • Checking the hoses and belts as they can become cracked, brittle, frayed, or loose.
  • Checking filters and fluids including engine oi, power steering and brake, and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Checking the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen.
  • Checking the brakes and battery to be sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free and that the brakes are functioning properly.
Call the Auto Analyst today (530) 621-4591 or visit our website and schedule a pre-trip vehicle check.