Thursday, December 28, 2017


Here are a few symptoms of failing shocks and struts you can feel and hear:

  1. The Vehicle Bounces - when shocks and struts are stuck, damaged or loose, the tires can lose contact with the road as the vehicle is driven, resulting in a bumpy, uncomfortable ride.  Your vehicle's shocks and struts help control the movement of the springs so that the wheels don't move up and down excessively.
  2. The Front End Dives and/or the Rear Squats - Shocks and struts help keep the vehicle stable during acceleration and braking.  When a vehicle's shocks and struts are damaged, the front end can dive upon braking while the rear end squats during acceleration.  This happens when these components aren't strong enough to handle the weight of the vehicle.  New shocks and struts not only makes your ride smother, but can also make a vehicle corner and brake like when it was new.  They also can give extra stopping distance, better control, and more confidence in emergency situations.
  3. The Vehicle Exhibits Signs of Body Roll - Does it feel like your vehicle is leaning into a turn, even on slight turns?  Over 50,000 miles, the dampening capabilities of a shock or strut will degrade to the point where it can impact ride and handling.  This can be a safety issue that requires immediate action since it can impact braking and steering effectiveness.
  4. You Hear Unusual Noises - As shocks and bushings wear, they lose their ability to properly support the strut.  The result is that the strut can bottom out.  When the  strut bottoms out, the metal-to-metal contact can cause a knocking sound that emanates from the front or rear wheels.  Irregular tire wear such as cupping or scalloping, can be another cause of suspension related noise.
If you have experiencing any of the above symptoms please contact The Auto Analyst, your local one stop auto repair facility, by calling (530) 621-4591 or visit our website


Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Lead-acid batteries have an average service life of roughly three to five years depending on the climate while some other batteries may last a few years longer, both are prone to failure as the temperature dips.  The only way to spot a weak battery is by testing it.

How old is the battery in your vehicle?  When was it last tested?  Don't be caught with a dead battery, contact The Auto Analyst, your one stop auto repair facility, today to schedule a battery test.  Please call (530) 621-4591 or schedule online at

Thursday, December 7, 2017


There are three major reasons to replace a cabin air filter in the Winter:

  1. Increased particulate Emissions - as cars idle on cold winter mornings, the exhaust can pump out damaging emissions that are harmful to drivers' respiratory systems.  The most damaging component of tailpipe emissions are particulates.  Vehicle emission particulates range in size from 2 microns to 10 microns in diameter, and can aggravate the lungs when inhaled.  The one thing that can stop exhaust particulates from reaching vehicle occupants is a cabin air filter.
  2. Defroster performance - In the winter, clogged cabin air filter can restrict defroster performance, making it harder to see out of the windshield.  If a cabin air filter is clogged, it will create a restriction that will decrease the amount of hot air the blower can deliver to the windshield, which diminishes visibility and adds time that it takes to defrost the window.
  3. Summer and Fall can be brutal on cabin air filters - Following months of battling heavy pollen, dust, leaves, bugs and other debris, winter is the perfect time to give a your vehicle a fresh cabin air filter.
When was the last time your vehicle's cabin air filter changed?  Give us a call and we can check our records and if needed get you an appointment scheduled, (530) 621-4591.

The Auto Analyst, your local one stop auto repair shop.  Visit our website to schedule an appointment today.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


The last few months we have had many clients come in for State Brake and Lamp inspections because their insurance has totaled their vehicle after being in an accident.  Lately, even the smallest of fender benders vehicles are being totaled.  The insurance companies give the owners a buy back option and what looks like a "great deal".  Once you buy back your vehicle you will need to register it as "salvaged".  In order to do this you must have a smog inspection, state brake inspection, and a state lamp inspection.  In order to pass the state brake and lamp inspections your vehicle MUST pass 100% and most don't.  We have had many upset clients because their vehicle has failed for one reason or another.  I just want to remind everyone that we, The Auto Analyst, DO NOT make the laws!!  When we become certified to perform these inspections we are required to follow the testing procedures that have been determined by the State of California.  I urge all of you who have been given the option of buying back your totaled vehicle to do a little research BEFORE opting to take the deal.

If you have failed any of the tests, before pointing the finger of blame at us write or call the Bureau of Automotive Repair to voice your concerns.  Remember we did not make the laws we have to follow them or pay the extensive fines.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


We are always asked if it's really necessary to perform a coolant flush.  So I want to educate you on exactly what the cooling system does.  Engine coolant, some may know it a antifreeze, runs through your engine's cooling system.  The water pump moves the fluid from the radiator to the engine and back again.  The primary job of the coolant is to transfer excess heat from the engine to the radiator.  The radiator's job is to allow cooler air to bring down the temperature of the coolant.  Pure water is the best fluid for transferring heat, however at 190 degrees Fahrenheit, water is extremely corrosive to the inside of your engine.  For this reason it's mixed 50/50 with antifreeze, or coolant which contains anti-corrosion additives.  If coolant is not mixed with water, your engine can run hotter than normal.  Coolant also has anti-cavitation additives to prevent cavitation around the water pump impeller.

The interesting thing about these chemical additives is that they wear out over time, much the way prescription drugs lose their potency and effectiveness over time, hence the discard date on pill containers.  We want to flush coolant before the anti-corrosion additives lose their effectiveness.

Another consideration is that the current the engine starter uses returns to the battery negative terminal by running from the starter through the block to where the big black cable is attached, and then back to the battery negative terminal.  This process can build up a slight charge in the engine coolant over a long period of time, resulting in a condition called electrolysis.  Electrolysis will cause metal to come off the inside of your engine and be deposited in the radiator and heater core, which explains why we sometimes find that a failed radiator we take out is significantly heavier than the new one we install.  The same holds true for heater cores, which can be very difficult to access and replace.

So the answer to the coolant flush questions is a definite YES.  We want to flush out the coolant and replace it with new before it is visibly bad, due to additive depletion and the possibility of electrolysis.  The usual time frame is two years or 30,000 miles for standard coolant, however some cars have extended life coolant that can go longer.  The bottom line is that flushing and keeping the coolant fresh is always less expensive than repairing a heater core or radiator, head gasket or engine rebuild/replacement.

Don't wait until it's too late, flush your vehicle's cooling system today.  Give The Auto Analyst, your one stop auto repair shop, a call today at (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at to schedule an appointment.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Driving in the first rain of the season can be downright dangerous.  Why you ask?  Rain mixes with oil from motor vehicles and oil from new asphalt.  The result is a slipper roadway.  And only if it rains hard enough and long enough, does the rain wash off the oil and the slippery conditions are reduced.  the rain also makes it difficult to see.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination when it is rainy outside.  Never rush when it's raining heavily: accidents are even more likely when weather conditions are poor.

Be more cautious with braking.  When you're driving in a downpour, you simply cannot brake late the way you can in ideal weather conditions.  The roads are slippery, which means you could slide more if you brake too quickly.  There's also a chance that you could get water in your brakes, which will cause them to lose their stopping power.  You want to avoid slamming on your brakes - when it's raining, you should brake with less force.  So be sure to keep plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you to avoid any of these situations.

Remember it is a law that you must have your headlights on when using your windshield wipers.  However, contrary to what you may think, using your high-beam headlights will actually make things worse: the light from the beams will reflect back at you off the water in the air, actually making it harder for you to see.

Do not use cruise control.  While you may think having your car travel at a set speed when it's raining is a good idea, cruise control can actually become problematic when it's raining.  If your car hydroplanes while you have your cruise control set, your car can actually accelerate - which is not something you want to happen when you are hydroplaning.  Having your foot away from the pedals can also be hazardous when you are driving in torrential rain.

Make sure your wipers and all lights are in good working condition before the rain starts.  Also, now is a good time to make sure your tires do not need replacing.  If you have any questions regarding your vehicle's readiness for the rainy season please call The Auto Analyst, your one stop auto repair shop at (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at  Your safety is our #1 concern!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


A drive cycle is a special test drive that duplicates the scenario of a person starting their car and making a short freeway trip, as if the person was driving to work.  While the drive cycle test is going, the engine computer runs little tests to see if the emissions system is working properly.  If during the test the computer senses a problem it almost always triggers a Check Engine or Service Engine Soon Light.  This signals that an emission system problem and fault code has been recorded in the powertrain control module (PCM). The problem indicated by the faulty code must now be accurately diagnosed and repaired.

Once the problem has been corrected and the fault code cleared out of the system the computer will run a series of self tests to determine whether or not the repair actually corrected the problem and if the various emissions systems are running correctly.  Once the computer sees that there are no problems then each monitor will be cleared.

This process was designed to prevent a vehicle from slipping through an emissions test with a known problem.  Until 1996, a common tactic was to turn off the Check Engine Light by clearing the code just before an emissions test, without performing the proper repair.  The drive cycle and emissions readiness monitors have, for the most part, stopped this unethical tactic.

Still have questions about emissions readiness monitors?  Contact The Auto Analyst, your one stop auto repair facility, at (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


The question of how long will my alternator last has come up recently and I wanted to take a little time to explain what exactly the alternator does and what affects the longevity.

The alternator is an important car part that recharges the battery using power from the engine.  The alternator keeps the battery from losing its charge and eventually dying, because when the battery dies, all the electrical features included on your vehicle go along with it.

We ask a lot from our auto parts, especially our vehicle's electrical system.  It wasn't that long ago when an alternator only had to power headlights, the radio and a few other accessories.  But now, our cars come complete with GPS navigation system, electric seat heaters and even DVD players.  It's easy to see how alternators and batteries have to handle a much heavier load these days.

Factors Affecting Alternator Longevity

As mentioned earlier, alternators have a tough job.  Every year, cars are built with more and more complex electrical system and devices.  The alternator is the car part responsible for supplying the power to the battery that keeps them all running.  Starting the car and using the radio, the on-board navigation system, the heated seats, power mirrors and windows and any other electrical equipment will decrease the alternator's longevity.

The action that generates electricity as a rotor spinning past coils inside the alternator.  That rotor is spun on a needle bearing, an auto part which can break due to excessive wear or dirt and grime that can build up inside.  In addition, the diodes inside the voltage regulator can fail after time.  Heat from the engine also puts an extra strain on the part, decreasing its car part longevity.

In other words, an alternator is an auto part that cannot last forever.  Since there are so many factors that can affect its life, it's hard to say exactly how long an alternator can actually last.  It depends on the car, the engine, the conditions in which it's used, how much electrical equipment it's regularly operating and so on.

If you have any questions regarding this article please give The Auto Analyst, your one stop auto repair shop, a call today at (530) 621-4591 or visit our "Service Assistant" page on our website

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Is Your Vehicle Ready For Fall?

Be Car Care Aware...

Preventative maintenance is by far the cheapest and best way to prevent even larger problems down the line. Here are a few Fall car care tips:

  • BATTERY:  Have your battery checked especially after the extremely hot weather where it was overworked.
  • TIRE PRESSURE:  Make sure your tires have the correct pressure.  Air pressure in a tire decreases 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.  For an accurate reading make sure to check tire pressure when the tires are cold.  Driving even a mile can affect the psi reading.
  • TIRE TREAD:  Check your tire tread to make sure that you have the recommended safe about of tread left.  Also check for cracks, bubbles, and any other irregularities.
  • BRAKE CHECK:  Driving on worn brake pads and/or shoes not only decreases stopping power but can damage brake rotors and/or drums as well.
  • WASHER FLUID:  May not seem like a safety feature but water will freeze on your windshield in the winter.  choose a cold weather washer fluid that won't freeze in colder temperatures.
  • CHECK FLUID LEVELS:  Keeping an eye on fluid levels can alert you to a needed service or potential problem like a leak.
  • HEATING AND COOLING:  Check the HVAC system.  Proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons such as defrosting.
  • PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE:  Keeping up with basic car care helps save from a breakdown or unexpected repair.
  • WINDSHIELD WIPERS:  Now is the perfect time to check to make sure that your wipers work properly without smearing.  Don't wait until you are in a down pour to find out that your wiper blades only smear causing vision obstruction.
  • LIGHTS:  Winter days mean longer nights.  Make sure all of your vehicles lights are functioning properly.
Next time you are in for maintenance or repair make sure you ask for your Fall Courtesy Vehicle Inspection free of charge at your one stop automotive repair shop, The Auto Analyst.  Schedule an appointment today by calling (530) 621-4591 or online at

Thursday, August 17, 2017


According to AAA, potholes have cost U.S. drivers $15 billion during the past five years, which adds up to about $3 billion annually.

When your vehicle goes into a pothole the strut fully extends, pushing your tire into the pothole.  This is not a normal driving condition for a strut.  Then the whole brunt and wight of the impact comes down and the strut is not designed for that.  After this happens repeatedly the strut becomes damaged.  A damaged strut does not absorb impact as it should and the impact is absorbed by the tire or rim.

Most of today's tires are low profile so there is less absorption in the sidewall therefore the rim will take the brunt of the impact most likely causing it to crack or bend.

With the condition of the roads here in the county after the extremely wet winter it is advised to have your struts, tires, wheel, front end components & alignment checked.

Give us a call at (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at to schedule an appointment for an inspection.

The Auto Analyst is your local one stop auto repair shop.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


When you think of a dead car battery, you probably think about it being the dead of winter.  You try to start your car one frigid morning and nothing happens.  This week alone we have had 4 battery failures with 1 of the failures actually exploding when the car was being started.

Battery failures can occur in the cold weather but that's not usually what has caused the problem.  The drain on the battery's resources most likely occurred during the summer's hot weather.

There is no battery that last forever!  When you buy a battery the label usually tells you how long you can expect it to last.  Five to seven years is not unusual as long as the battery is operated under normal conditions.  Extremely hot weather and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life, according to the Car Council.  The battery contains liquid and heat causes it to evaporate.  Low fluid levels will damage the internal structure of the battery.

Your car's voltage regulator can be another source of trouble.  If it malfunctions, allowing too high a charging rate, your battery suffers a slow death.  There may not be any warning signs until one morning, when you are already late for an appointment, your car won't start.

Your driving habits can also contribute to shorter battery life.  Frequent engine on/off cycles will cause more wear on the starter than a simple back and forth to work.

Other factors include driving and weather conditions, mileage, vehicle age and excessive electrical draws like in-vehicle entertainment systems.  A tel-tale sign your battery could be on its last legs is when you notice headlights and interior lights dim, accessories fail to operate, or the "check engine" and/or battery light comes on.

By having your battery routinely checked will allow you go get more life out of it.  Keep the top of the battery clean.  Dirt and engine grease can build up and, when they do, they serve as a conductor, which drains battery power.  Look for corrosion accumulating on battery terminals.  The corrosion, often blue in color, services as an insulator, reducing current flow.

Call The Auto Analyst, your local one stop auto repair shop, (530) 621-4591 to have your battery checked today.  Visit our website

A picture of what your battery should NOT look like.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Get Your Car Ready to Go Back to School

One item not usually on the top of to-do list when getting ready to go back to school is car care maintenance.  Consider some of the items below to help get your car ready for a great school year.

Under the Hood
To help prevent maintenance issues or potentially costly repairs, open the hood of your vehicle and check the following:

  • Fluid levels of engine oil, coolant and transmission, and brake and power steering fluid - your owner's manual will illustrate where everything is located and the proper levels to maintain.
  • If your car is leaking fluid, its color may help you determine what it is and locate the source.
  • Battery - Consider testing the battery with a voltmeter and replace it if it shows signs of reduced performance.
Check the Tires
Check the tires for uneven tread wear, nails or other potential hazards.  One easy way to check tread depth is inserting a penny into a groove - if any part of Abe Lincoln's head is obscured, you have enough tread. Check the pressure on each tire with a gauge when they're cold (not driven).  Follow the vehicle manufacturer's suggested pressure, which is located on most vehicles on a sticker inside the driver's door, center console, glove compartment lid or in the owner's manual.  Also, make sure the spare tire is inflated and a jack, lug wrench, lug nut key (if equipped with locking lug nuts) and jumper cables are in the trunk.

Check the Lights
Check all lights including the headlights, turn signals, emergency flashing lights, and brake lights.  Vehicles can have many different types of bulbs and they have varying life spans.  Inspect you vehicle regularly to ensure your lights are working properly.

We are Here to Help
Maintenance issues still can occur despite your preventive maintenance efforts.  if you have any concerns after your own inspection, give The Auto Analyst, your local one stop auto repair facility, a call and we will have one of our certified auto repair technicians perform a safety check which can help minimize maintenance issues and get you on the road to a fantastic school year.

The Auto Analyst can be reached at (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Over the years we have seen many vehicles that have been totaled by the insurance company and then bought back by their owners.  Many don't realize that when you buy back your vehicle you must register it with DMV to get a "salvaged" title.  Besides completing the necessary required paperwork you must also have State Brake and Lamp Inspections and sometimes a State Smog Inspection.  The State Brake and Lamp Inspections are extremely detailed inspections. You may think that your vehicle is in tip top shape but many find out otherwise.  Some even find out that to pass these inspections it is going to cost a lot of money. So my advice to you, if you are ever in the situation and must decide what to do, please have your vehicle inspected for the State Brake and Lamp certificates to see if there are any unseen problems and what the cost would be to have repaired.  Some will be surprised that you may be money ahead to just let the insurance keep the vehicle.

The Auto Analyst, your local one stop auto repair facility, is a licensed State Brake and Lamp facility along with a State Smog Inspection Station.  We can be reached at (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Did you know that the Fourth of July is one of the top deadliest holidays for driving?

Here are a few tips:

  • Stay where you are - if possible don't drive at all.  
  • Don't ride your motorcycle - with so many more vehicles on the road this would be a good day to leave your motorcycle at home.
  • Drive home early - the later your leave for home, the likelier you will encounter impaired drivers.
  • Always wear your seat belt - not only is that a no-brainer but it is also the law.
  • Never test or use your cell phone while driving - again it is the law.
  • Maintain safe following distances - stay several car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you this will give you a much better chance of seeing erratic driving and avoiding its consequences.
  • Be extra careful when approaching intersections - don't assume they're going to stop.  Most impaired drivers don't obey traffic signals and signs.
  • Be the designated driver - be the hero and make sure everyone gets home safe.  Remember even a couple of beers can impair your driving ability.
  • Don't drive and drive - if you don't have a designated driver, call Uber or Lyft.
Happy and Safe 4th of July to all!!!

Remember The Auto Analyst, your one stop auto repair shop, is always here for all your automotive repairs.  Visit our website to schedule your appointment or give us a call at (530) 621-4591.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Don't Let Tires Ruin Your Summer Travel Plans

Getting a flat tire is no fun for anyone at any time, especially on vacation.  Here is a quick tire check to do before you leave on your summer road trip and will help you to avoid having to change a flat tire on the side of the road.

  1. Make sure all tires (including the spare) are inflated to the proper pressure levels.
  2. Make sure all tire tread depth is appropriate.
  3. Check to make sure there is no irregular wear as uneven wear indicates a need for a wheel alignment.
  4. Check tires for cuts, bruises, bulges, bald spots or other signs of problems that may lead to a flat tire.
Did you know that the professional technicians at The Auto Analyst, your local one stop auto repair shop, can to a pre-trip inspection for you?  Give us a call today (530) 621-4591 or visit our website to schedule your pre-trip inspection.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Improve your fuel efficiency and save $$$ at the gas pump.

Your vehicle's fuel injectors are designed to deliver an even, controlled supply of atomized fuel to the engine. In just 15,000 miles deposits can form, usually at the injector tips which may cause uneven atomization of fuel.  Some symptoms that may arise from this is poor fuel economy; the vehicle won't start; or the "check engine" light is illuminated.  To keep the injectors free from these contaminants we recommend performing a fuel injection system cleaning service every 15,000 miles.

With the high cost of fuel you want to make sure that you are getting the most mileage for your fuel.  Call (530) 621-4591 today to schedule you appointment or visit our website to schedule online.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Auto Care Steps for a Stress Free Road Trip

Auto Care Steps for a Stress Free Road Trip: Summer road trip season is here. Taking proactive steps to make sure your vehicle is operating properly will help avoid the hassle and unexpected cost of a breakdown away from home, says the...

A Little Auto Care Goes a Long Way

A Little Auto Care Goes a Long Way: Performing simple preventative maintenance on your vehicle will go a long way toward protecting your vehicle investment, says the non-profit Car Care Council. 'Buying a new car today comes with a...

Thursday, May 25, 2017


If you are having to add antifreeze to your cooling system that is a symptom that there is a problem. Antifreeze does not evaporate.

The engine cooling system affects your car's overall dependability and engine longevity.  Cooling systems have advanced over the years with new coolant formulations and new radiator designs and materials.  If you suspect a problem with your cooling system, you should have it checked immediately.

The key parts of the cooling system remove heat from the engine and automatic transmission and dissipate heat to the air outside.  The water pump circulates coolant through the engine.  The coolant absorbs heat and returns it to the radiator where heat is dissipated.  the thermostat regulates the coolant temperature to keep it consistent for efficient engine operation.

Factors that affect the replacement of cooling system parts include:

  • Driving habits
  • Operating conditions
  • Type of vehicle
  • Type of coolant
  • Frequency of regular maintenance such as coolant changes
  • Overheating
  • Sweet smell
  • Leaks
  • Repeatedly needing to add fluid
Have questions or problems with your engine cooling system?  Give your local Placerville, one stop auto repair shop, The Auto Analyst, a call today at (530) 621-4591 or visit our website

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Your car's heating, ventilating and air conditioning system (HVAC) keeps your car interior comfortable in any season by providing the right temperature and humidity level.  The HVAC system also helps improve defroster operation.

Did you know that it is recommended that your vehicle's HVAC system be checked annually?  Even if it feels cold there could be hidden problems beginning and if not caught in time could be a catastrophic failure that could cost hundreds of dollars.

An annual inspection consists of checking pressures, refrigerant charge, and outlet temperatures.  During this inspection if the system is found to be low on refrigerant, a leak test should be performed to find the source of the leak.

This annual inspection should also include a check of the compressor's drive belt and tension.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this annual service please call The Auto Analyst, your local one stop auto repair facility (530) 621-4591 or visit our website at


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Are Your Brakes Trying to Tell You Something?

Look for the following warning signs that your brakes need to be inspected:

  • NOISE -  Screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.
  • PULLING -  Vehicle pulls to one side while braking.
  • LOW PEDAL - Brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging.
  • HARD PEDAL - Must apply extreme pressure to the pedal before brakes engage.
  • GRABBING - Brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.
  • VIBRATION -  Brake pedal vibrates or pulses, even under normal braking conditions.
  • LIGHT - Brake light is illuminated on your vehicle's dashboard.
If you are experiencing any of the above please call The Auto Analyst, your Placerville one stop auto repair shop, today to schedule a brake inspection.  Or schedule online at

Thursday, April 13, 2017


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 for testing of the charging system.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


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 to schedule online.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


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

Thursday, March 9, 2017


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

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


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.


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

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

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


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

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 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  


Wednesday, January 25, 2017


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

Thursday, January 19, 2017


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

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


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

Friday, January 6, 2017


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