Thursday, April 13, 2017

UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE FOUR MOST COMMON LIGHTS ON YOUR INSTRUMENT PANEL MEAN #4

BATTERY LIGHT - Historically, the battery light comes on when the engine is failing to adequately charge the battery; however, the light may illuminate on newer vehicles when the condition of the battery suggests there may be another problem with the charging system.  If you ignore this light, the vehicle will eventually stop functioning due to a loss of charge.  It's important to note that you shouldn't run out to your nearest parts store for a new battery at the first sign of a battery warning light, since just replacing the battery will not solve the problem in many cases.  Your vehicle's charging system needs to be inspected by a professional to determine the root cause of the battery drain.

Is this light illuminated on your vehicle's dashboard???  If so, call The Auto Analyst, your Placerville one stop auto repair shop, at (530) 621-4591 or schedule an appointment online at www.theautoanalyst.com for testing of the charging system.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE FOUR MOST COMMON LIGHTS ON YOUR INSTRUMENT PANEL MEAN #3


ABS LIGHT - People who have an anti-lock brake (ABS) light illuminated on their vehicle might be tempted to continue driving with it on since the brakes may appear to be functioning properly.  The reality is that this light is activated when the ABS brakes experience a problem that could negate their use.  if your ABS system isn't working as it should, you're at a greater risk of losing control of the vehicle and suffering a crash.

The most common cause of ABS lights is a malfunctioning wheel speed sensor or a worn wheel bearing that contains the wheel speed sensor.  Other causes could stem from malfunctioning sensors or issues with the device that controls the brake pressure.  You will need to have the system diagnosed to determine the origin of the problem first to know what is causing the ABS malfunction.

Call The Auto Analyst, your local Placerville one stop auto repair facility, at (530) 621-4591 today to schedule an appointment or visit our website www.theautoanalyst.com to schedule online.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE FOUR MOST COMMON LIGHTS ON YOUR INSTRUMENT PANEL MEAN #2

BRAKE LIGHT: The red brake light on your dashboard can come on for three reasons.  First, it will come on when the parking or emergency brake is engaged.  Second, it can become activated if the brake fluid in the reservoir has dropped below a safe level, which is a sign your brake pads are worn.  Third, you can expect to see a brake light on the dash when there is a leak in your braking system.  A brake light needs to be addressed immediately because it is a sign your brakes have failed or will fail soon.


Are these lights illuminated on your dash?  Give The Auto Analyst, your Placerville one stop auto repair shop, a call today at (530) 621-4591.  We are here to help you with all your automotive needs.  Visit our website at www.theautoanalyst.com.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

BENEFITS OF A TRANSMISSION FLUSH

A transmission flush is one of the regular maintenance services offered by auto shops.  It is believed that by having this service performed on your vehicle, it will help avoid unnecessary repair costs in the future.  But what is this service about and how can it really benefit you and your vehicle?

Flushing the Transmission

Transmission fluid is just like the regular motor oil.  The first time you put it in your vehicle's engine, it is healthy and clean.  After time, the fluid will break down causing the contaminants to pollute the oil.  In the end, the contaminants will damage your vehicle's engine.  This is the reason why old fluids should be replaced regularly.  All fluids have a purpose, the purpose of not only lubricating but cleaning the parts that it is flowing through.

Therefore, a transmission flush is a process where the old transmission fluid is flushed out of your vehicle's transmission.  The technician will use pressure and some cleaning agents to flush down the old fluid.  There are vehicle manufacturers that recommend vehicle owners to perform a flush every 30,000 miles.

The Benefits of Transmission Flush

When the old fluid is removed, a new and healthy transmission fluid is used.  The new fluid will now help your transmission operate more effectively and efficiently.  The transmission flush service also includes changing the transmission filters.  This helps in maintaining the condition of the transmission as well as making it live longer.

A transmission flush will help lessen any power-flow interruption problems when you shift gears.  Both manual and automatic vehicles use transmission fluid when shifting gears.  But manual vehicles tend to use up a bit more.  The power of the transmission is affected by the transmission fluid you have.  So it you want smooth shifting, this is the service you must get.

Repairing transmission systems can be very expensive, which is why you need to prevent it from breaking down.  Flushing the transmission helps prevent the wear and tear of your transmission.  Although the breaking down of the transmission is inevitable, you can still do something to lengthen the time it will take you to face such a problem.  Removing the old fluid and using a new one regularly can help you in this matter.

Have questions regarding transmission flushes?  Give The Auto Analyst, your one stop auto repair shop, in Placerville a call at 530-621-4591 or visit our website at www.theautoanalyst.com.

Inside vehicle's transmission pans are magnets that collect any metal material that may be breaking loose from any transmission parts.  Below is a picture of the magnet of a vehicle that never had a transmission flush, needless to say, with this much metal material the vehicle will need major transmission repairs.



The fluid on the left is old and dirty.  The fluid on the right is clean and fresh.

Friday, March 3, 2017

UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE FOUR MOST COMMON LIGHTS ON YOUR INSTRUMENT PANEL MEAN #1

When a light on your dashboard comes on, it is a sign that the computers controlling the vehicle's systems have detected a problem that could impact the emissions, performance and safety of the vehicle.  These lights should not be ignored since failing to address any problems can increase potential repair and operating costs and also lead to a broken-down vehicle.  The next four weeks we will be addressing each of the lights individually explaining what it looks like and what it does.

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT


The check engine light or malfunction indicator light, is designed to alert the driver when there is a problem with the engine or transmission.

The light is not activated at the first sign of trouble; rather, certain parameters must be met before the warning light is triggered.  If the light comes on means there is a problem that needs to be addressed.  Ignoring the light could lead to a damaged engine and emissions components.

If the light begins to flash that is an indication that the engine is misfiring and your engine or catalytic converter is suffering damage.  Get to a repair shop as soon as possible!

Remember reading codes in the system will NOT tell you what the problem is.  It is just a way to narrow down a starting point for the diagnostic testing.

If you have any questions please give The Auto Analyst, your Placerville one stop auto repair shop, at call at (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at www.theautoanalyst.com.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Shocks and Struts - What's in it for You

For the large amount of time that most Americans spend in their car, today's vehicles need to be both comfortable and safe.  That's where your shocks and struts come in.

Many drivers don't their of their shocks and struts when they think of vehicle safety.  Shocks and strus help keep your tires in constant contact with the road.  When shocks and struts wear, the tires will bounce more under acceleration.  This can create issues with handling, steering performance and stopping time.

Shocks and struts also absorb the force of the road for the rest of the vehicle.  When your shocks and struts are worn all the other suspensions components are left to pick up the slack causing premature wear.

Many manufacturers suggest having your shocks and struts replaced after 50,000 miles.  If you're approaching this service interval, or your vehicle is showing signs of wear, talk to the professionals at The Auto Analyst, your local Placerville one stop automotive repair shop.

Replacing your shocks and struts at appropriate intervals will help preserve the life of your suspension components, maintain your vehicle's performance and save you money in the long run.

Call The Auto Analyst today at (530) 621-4591 or visit their website training about shock and struts at http://theautoanalyst.napaautotools.com/topic/shocks-and-struts/.



Thursday, February 16, 2017

How to Get Rid of Rats/Mice in Cars

The rainy season is making the rats and mice seek dry warm areas such as your vehicle's engine.  Over the past years we have seen a lot of damage caused by these little but sometimes big creatures costing our clients hundreds of dollars if not dealt with.  Most of the time you do not even know you have a problem until you go out to your vehicle and it won't start or a check engine light is on.

I have done a little research for those of you who do not wish to call an exterminator, use poison, or place traps yourself.  Here are some other ways that could possibly help with keeping them out of our engine:


  1. Place peppermint essential oil (not extract) drop around your engine.
  2. Place moth balls directly under your car to create an offensive odor.
  3. Place rubber snakes underneath you car.  They are fearful of snakes and will usually steer clear. Change out the snakes every few days or weeks to keep the rodents from growing accustomed to them.  Coat the snakes in peppermint essential oil for an added deterrent.

Hope the above information helps. Remember getting rid of the pesky rodents isn't easy and will take some time.  It's important to deal with the problem as soon as possible, since replacing parts can get very expensive.

If you have any questions please give The Auto Analyst, your Placerville one stop auto repair shop, at call at (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at www.theautoanalyst.com.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

THE HIDDEN FILTER

Most of you know about oil, fuel, and air filters, but you may not be aware of a fourth filter in your vehicle that's responsible for cleaning the air you breathe - the cabin air filter.

Suffer from allergies?  Then a quality cabin air filter is an essential feature.  The cabin air filter prevents dust, pollen and other contaminants from entering the passenger compartment.  Many have the ability to trap odors, an additional advantage.

The cabin air filter also provides protection for the air conditioning evaporator inside the vehicle's HVAC system.  This environment is perfect for mold and mildew growth.  An accumulation of mold and mildew can produce unpleasant odors and the formation of irritating and toxic spores.

Besides the health benefits of changing your cabin air filter, there are performance benefits as well.  A plugged cabin air filter can restrict airflow through the heater, defroster, and air conditioner.

Cabin air filters typically have a service life of two to three years, or 20,000 to 30,000 miles, but actual service life will depend on driving conditions.  Odor-absorbing cabin air filters with activated charcoal are good for about 12 to 14 months, or 15,000 miles, so annual replacement is recommended.


Give your local Placerville one stop auto repair shop, The Auto Analyst, today to schedule to have your vehicle's cabin air filter replaced (530) 621-4591 or schedule online at theautoanalyst.com.

Friday, February 3, 2017

VEHICLE MAINTENANCE - Why does it matter?

The improvement in vehicle reliability has lulled many vehicle owners into a comfortable complacency.  Most think of their vehicle only as a way of transportation.  Just add the gas and go onto their destination.  Even though most parts have been redesigned and tend to last longer does not mean they will never wear out or prematurely fail.  Nothing is forever.   Regular vehicle maintenance has been proven to extend the life of the vehicle, as well as save money by preventing catastrophic failures caused by neglected service.  Your vehicle is an extremely important asset not only does it get to the grocery store, soccer games, etc it gets you to work so you are allowed to make the money for you to do all the things that you enjoy.

It's time for you to get in the driver's seat when it comes to your vehicle's maintenance...do not opt for service only when something starts smoking, screeching or rattling.  Instead, make a commitment to talk with us here at The Auto Analyst about setting up a vehicle maintenance schedule to keep your car performing at its best for as long as you own your automobile.  Think of regular maintenance checkups as the equivalent of going to your doctor for a year exam rather than waiting for something serious to head to the emergency room.

To schedule your consultation please call The Auto Analyst, your Placerville one stop auto repair shop, at 530-621-4591 or online at www.theautoanalyst.com.  

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE ~ THE BEST INSURANCE YOU CAN HAVE!!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

VEHICLE PREPARATION AND WINTER DRIVING TIP #8

Maintain the engine oil.  For engine protection throughout the year, change the oil and oil filter at the intervals recommended by your car's manufacturer.  Always use an oil that meets the requirements of your vehicle's manufacturer.  To schedule an oil change at your Placerville's one stop auto repair facility, The Auto Analyst, call (530) 621-4591 or online at www.theautoanalyst.com


Thursday, January 19, 2017

VEHICLE PREPARATION AND WINTER DRIVING TIP #7

GET A BRAKE INSPECTION.  Have the brake system inspected by a certified technician as recommended by your car's manufacturer.  Brake inspection is needed if the fluid level is low or you notice a brake pedal pulsation, steering pull, grinding sound or other unusual noise when braking.  For additional information or to schedule an appointment call (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at www.theautoanalyst.com.


The Auto Analyst, Placerville's one stop auto repair shop.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

VEHICLE PREPARATION AND WINTER DRIVING TIPS #6

Inspect your lights.  Visibility is increasingly important in the dark winter months.  Inspect all lights and bulbs and replace any that are burned out.  Clean road grime or clouding from all lenses.  Badly weathered plastic headlight lenses can be restored by professional services or using do-it-yourself kits available at auto parts stores.

If you would like to schedule an appointment to have your headlight lenses restored please call The Auto Analyst, your Placerville one stop auto repair shop, at 530-621-4591 or schedule online at www.theautoanalyst.com.


Friday, January 6, 2017

VEHICLE PREPARATION AND WINTER DRIVING TIP #5

Always keep an emergency kit handy.  Carry an emergency kit equipped for winter weather.  The kit should include:

  • Bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats
  • Snow shovel
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Window washer solvent
  • Ice scraper
  • Cloth or roll of paper towels
  • Jumper cables
  • Gloves, hats and blankets, enough for everyone who may ride in your car
  • Warning devices (flares or triangles)
  • Drinking water
  • Non-perishable snacks (energy or granola bars)
  • Extra clothes
  • First-aid kit
  • Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
  • Mobile phone and car charger with important numbers programmed in it, including a roadside assistance provider

Your Placerville one stop auto repair shop, The Auto Analyst, wants all to be safe on the roads this winter.  If you would like to have your vehicle inspected before any trip please call (530) 621-4591 or visit our website www.theautoanalyst.com.