Phoenix Auto Repair

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Monthly Archives: January 2019

Gasoline: Additives and Detergents

Gasoline: Additives and Detergents

Gasoline has been around for decades and the changes to the formulation have been incredible. The basic refined crude is mostly the same. What makes each brand unique is the additives and detergents package mixed in. Regular fuel has less additives than the premium blend. One of the biggest changes to gasoline is the introduction of ethanol. Ethanol has brought us lower emissions and a little better MPG, but it also has caused some new drivability issues. Most fuels started with a small amount of ethanol; now the base amount is 10%. As we randomly test fuel from the tanks we see as much as 30% ethanol. What that means is the ethanol and the detergents added do not work together! Ethanol washes the detergent away that is supposed to help stop carbon build up inside the engine. Type “engine carbon” into a browser and there are many articles to scan. The tough part for you, the driver, is you don’t know it’s happening until it gets bad. Here are the symptoms of ... read more

Is Your Automotive Service and Repair Shop Certified?

Is Your Automotive Service and Repair Shop Certified?

In a recent study of several hundred people, the question was asked, “Does the auto shop you use have certified technicians?” The vast majority said they assumed that they were. The shop you use may have certified people, but the reality is there is no mandatory certification required to own or operate an auto repair shop. This is one part of our industry that I would like to see reviewed. A professional that cuts hair or fingernails is required to be state certified, but a mechanic who works on tires, engines or brakes doesn’t need a single day of training or any tools to do so. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a series of tests that a technician can take to be certified in many different areas of the car. All tests are voluntary, not required. At my shop, I require all staff to be ASE certified and I know many other shops do as well. ASE tests are all written tests and it does not necessarily mean a person is competent to work on a car. AAA Approved aut ... read more

A Healthy Car

A Healthy Car

Cars are built better than ever these days and give us miles of service. Keeping them healthy is important and extends their life. Oil is their lifeblood. Dirty oil makes it harder for your engine to turn over and causes premature engine wear. Belts and hoses are made of very durable material with relatively long lives but they do deteriorate over time. We recommend an eight to ten-year replacement cycle. Leaks are not normal except for condensation from your air conditioner. 11 different fluids keep your car running; brake fluid, antifreeze, engine oil, power steering fluid, air conditioner refrigerant, shock absorber fluid, battery electrolyte, windshield washer solvent, rear axle or CV boot lubricant and fuel. If any of these leaks, they need to be fixed right away. Tires need to be kept properly inflated to save gas and tire wear and rotated every six months. Coolant, when neglected c ... read more

How Often Should You Check The Oil Level In Your Car?

How Often Should You Check The Oil Level In Your Car?

Question: How often should you check the oil level in your car? Every 1,000 miles of driving; the newer the car and the lower the mileage. This seems to be the forgotten “check list” item. Question: How often do you check the oil level in your car? From what we can tell…rarely! Our shop is seeing more cars come in with no visible oil on the dipstick. Granted, the majority of the cars have 75,000 miles or more. Remember, that many cars with smaller engines also have less oil capacity (four quarts or less) to lubricate the moving parts. When technology builds in lights, bells and whistles to replace opening the hood and pulling a dipstick or visually inspecting the under-hood fluid, I get concerned. The warning systems are great backups but should not replace physically inspecting items. The reason for the oil consumption concern is due to low tension piston rings, used to get better miles per gallon. This causes engines to run ho ... read more