Truckee Auto Repair

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Articles:

Hey TRUCKEE Drivers: How Do You Save Gas?

Higher TRUCKEE fuel prices aren't going away any time soon. That's not good news for our wallets. A lot of TRUCKEE drivers are trying to find ways to cut down on fuel consumption and hang on to some of their hard-earned money.North Americans drive billions of miles less during months of high fuel prices. That's right, billions. Of course CA vehicle owners can't stop driving altogether, so we still need to find other ways to cut fuel bills.Preventive maintenance at The Auto & Tire Doctor Inc in TRUCKEE and good vehicle care can actually pay for themselves by lowering our fuel consumption. Here's a real-life example of how that can work.A family planned a four-day camping trip. Before leaving, they took their SUV into The Auto & Tire Doctor Inc for an oil change. They flushed the cooling system, serviced all three differentials and cleaned the fuel system. They replaced the PCV valve and breather element. Then they checked the tires to ensur ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy

What to Do After You Buy a Used Vehicle in TRUCKEE

So you've bought a used vehicle in the TRUCKEE area. Do you know what you're getting? It is hard to know what you're getting because people in the TRUCKEE area sell vehicles for different reasons. Think about why you've sold vehicles. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from? Maybe it was a little of both.Used vehicles in CA with 25,000 to 35,000 miles/40,000 to 55,000 km on them are often lease returns, corporate program cars or rental fleet vehicles. Most TRUCKEE buyers feel pretty confident about these because they're newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained?TRUCKEE drivers who are planning to own a vehicle for a long time will keep up on auto maintenance so that they can avoid repairs down the road. But, if you know you're only going to have the vehicle for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenance. It would be easy to think that skippin ... read more

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Older Vehicles

The The Auto & Tire Doctor Inc Guide to Saving Fuel: Get Rid of Dirty Oil

A lot of us drivers are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? TRUCKEE area residents are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives. Preventive Maintenance Preventive maintenance is an important way people in TRUCKEE can conserve fuel by improving fuel economy. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle adequate and clean.Oil lubricates your vehicle engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at The Auto & Tire Doctor Inc will tell you the proper weight and type of oil for your vehicle. Responsible Car Care Dirty oil grits up your engine, w ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Battery Basics for TRUCKEE

Battery Basics for TRUCKEE

It's important for TRUCKEE drivers to know battery basics. First, let's talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold CA weather. Most TRUCKEE area drivers think it's cold weather because that's when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold vehicle engine. However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short TRUCKEE trips because the alternator doesn't have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. TRUCKEE drivers can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the summer and every three months during the winter.As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren't capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your ... read more

Categories:

Battery

To Fix or Not To Fix: That Is the Question.

No matter what vehicle you drive, when certain things break, you have to make a decision.  Should I get it fixed now, later or never?  Air conditioning is one of those things.  You can certainly live without air conditioning, but it sure is nice to have on a sweltering day. Let's say your air conditioning breaks in the fall and you live in a climate where it gets quite cold in the winter.  Should you get it fixed now, wait until spring since it won't get warm until then or maybe not get it fixed at all? That can be a tough decision.  There are several reasons air conditioning in vehicles break.  One is fairly simple: It could be an electrical problem, perhaps a relay or solenoid is not turning on the system.  It's also a fairly inexpensive repair and doesn't require hours of labor. Or, the problem is that the coolant has leaked out.  Your service facility can find the leak and replace the parts that are leaking.  With a refrigerant recharge ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning

Steer Right in TRUCKEE

Virtually all vehicles come with power steering, so many TRUCKEE drivers have never driven a car or truck without it. Power steering assists you when you turn your vehicle steering wheel. Without it, it would be very hard to steer. Now this power assist comes in a couple of forms. In recent years, a lot of vehicles have an electric motor that reduces steering effort and helps improve performance and handling. The other kind of power steering is hydraulic. This is the kind most older CA vehicles — and a lot of newer ones — have. Power steering fluid is pressurized by a pump and is used to assist steering. Of course, vehicles need the right amount of fluid in the system. If it's too low, your steering is affected and you could damage your vehicle pump. Also, power steering fluid can become corrosive over time and damage the pump, hoses and connectors, leading to leaks and repairs. Power steering s ... read more

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Steering

E-85 Fuel Safety Advice from The Auto & Tire Doctor Inc

  Today at The Auto & Tire Doctor Inc we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You've probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the TRUCKEE area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not. Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to The Auto & Tire Doctor Inc at 12000 PIONEER TRL in TRUCKEE, CA 96161, to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling 5305872178. E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower exhaust emissions to our local TRUCKEE community.All gas engines can ... read more

Categories:

Warranty

Emergency Items for Your vehicle

Local TRUCKEE roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip.Your close-to-home kit for around TRUCKEE would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You'll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools.Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card.People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies.For trips away from home, conside ... read more

Categories:

Parts

Save Fuel by Watching Your Weight

Most TRUCKEE drivers are all talking right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. CA folks want to save the environment and our pocketbooks.And we TRUCKEE drivers all know — or should know — that preventive maintenance will help maintain maximum fuel efficiency. But is there something more we can do? After all, some of us TRUCKEE road warriors can't cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get around TRUCKEE. And that means buying more gas and producing more emissions.Of course, your vehicle's weight isn't negotiable. And you can't do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn't an article about diet and exercise.But look around your car. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight while driving around TRUCKEE? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave yo ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy

On Board Diagnostics for Your Engine

Starting in 1996, The Auto & Tire Doctor Inc service technicians have been able to use a standardized diagnostic system to help determine what is wrong with a vehicle. This diagnostic system works in tandem with the Engine Control Modules for each vehicle's engine. The Engine Control Module is a computer that monitors and controls many engine functions.Sensors throughout a vehicle send readings to the Engine Control Module. These readings help the computer make adjustments in various vehicle systems to allow for constantly changing driving conditions and even to compensate for minor problems. However, if the computer encounters a situation it can't adjust for, it turns on the Check Engine light. (The Check Engine light is called the “service engine soon” light on some vehicles.)If the Check Engine light is burning steadily, it indicates a problem that needs to be taken care of soon. If it is flashing, however, the vehic ... read more

Categories:

Diagnostics