Everyone in the Reno NV area wants our tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to maximize tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.
When wheels are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. And they vibrate. To fix this, your service technician at The Auto and Tire Doctor puts weights on your wheels to balance them out. If a front wheel is out of balance you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. If it’s a rear wheel you’ll feel it through your seat.
That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a car wear out more quickly than the rear tires. As they push through turns from Truckee to Squaw Valley, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.
Proper tire inflation will also help your tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear excessively on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Over-inflated tires wear to fast in the middle.
Four wheel drive trucks and SUV’s tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give us a call to get our recommendation on your Subaru or 4 wheel drive.
See your owner’s manual or ask your service technician at The Auto and Tire Doctor for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It’s usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
Tires cost a lot and they are one of the most critical safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.
There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn’t seem right.
Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember, because it is a long list, but your service center at The Auto and Tire Doctor can help you know what’s scheduled to be taken care of.
Some of us in Truckee California really don’t look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things the manufacturer recommends.
But automotive maintenance is all about prevention, and addressing small problems before they get big. Let’s take the fuel filter for example.
You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our Truckee California roads is over nine years. When cars get older, five years or so, they’ve accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. So somewhere between that dirty gas tank and the price of a great vacation – is the lowly fuel filter: a very inexpensive part that doesn’t cost too much to replace. And your car’ll just run better too.
A clogged fuel filter can’t let enough fuel through. You might notice at first that your car is running fine around town, but struggles or sputters on the Truckee California freeway or when you accelerate. Enough fuel can’t get through to meet the demands of higher speed. If it gets bad enough your engine might just shut off or not start at all, which could be dangerous.
Some fuel filters have a bypass. When they get clogged, they allow dirty fuel to move around the filter element so dirt ends up in the engine. We’ve already talked about how expensive that can be.
The fuel filter is even very important for newer cars. The fuel is still dirty even if there isn’t rust in the tank. It’s just that the fuel filter will need to be changed more frequently as the vehicle gets older.
How often should you change your fuel filter? Check your owner’s manual. Your Truckee California service advisor at The Auto and Tire Doctor can tell you as well. It’s usually around thirty thousand miles or so. Ask if it’s time for a full fuel system cleaning as well. They often go hand in hand.
It’s good to know that your Truckee California service center has your back. When you’re motivated to maintain your vehicle’s performance and to reduce operating costs, you’ll think of The Auto and Tire Doctor as your ally – and maybe even your memory.
When your car breaks down in the Truckee California area, or just needs some routine service, it can make you a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And, with the problem fixed right the first time.
We’ve been checking into some of the training our Truckee California technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.
Today there are four cylinder engines that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.
Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.
Then there’s the electronics. Some cars in the local Truckee California area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. We take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.
It’s a real challenge for your local Truckee California technicians to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.
So where do Truckee California technicians go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.
And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.
Service centers in Truckee California have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like The Auto and Tire Doctor subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.
It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. As consumers we want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.
So, be more relaxed next time you take your car in. You really should trust your service advisor at The Auto and Tire Doctor. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.
We live in such a disposable society here in Truckee. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away.
New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – we had to do without.
We couldn’t afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days.
They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.
Is it really that bad to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled and they start to wear out faster.
Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.
It’s also even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re a bit more stressed anyway. But it’s never too late to get back on track with your maintenance and to hold off further damage.
It’s just another example of our parents being right. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net – go in for oil changes on time, and let your service advisor at The Auto and Tire Doctor help you keep track of the rest.
Of course, some things are going to wear out along the way, stuff like alternators, water pumps and such. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It’s like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.