Many drivers forget about the hard working, fuel squirting Injectors that are a vital part of the engine. Sooner or later the fuel injectors will get dirty and clogged, causing the vehicle to show signs of less efficient drive-ability. This is not a case of if, it's a case of when. It's just one of those unavoidable things that comes with the territory of driving modern day, fuel injected engines. Even though we cannot be absolutely sure there is a problem with the injector without physically removing them, there are some clogged fuel injector symptoms that we can notice.
Engine stutter or hesitation: without the proper air/fuel mixture, the combustion inside the chamber is hindered.
Performance Loss: If combustion is hindered, engine power suffers.
Increase Fuel Consumption: when fuel combustion efficiency is negatively affected, you will often burn more fuel to achieve the performance needed.
Engine Misfire: poor air/fuel mixture in the cylinders can cause incomplete combustion.
Rough idling/engine stalling: uneven supply of fuel during idling can cause RPM to fall too low and result in stalling.
Emissions Test Fail
There are many reasons to have a vehicles fuel injectors cleaned. The main circumstances include fuel contamination, having uneven cylinder fueling/spark plug wear, an unexplained cylinder misfire where you have spark, general maintenance 80k-100k miles, and for peace of mind at time of engine rebuild.
Fuel injector cleaning methods and results vary dramatically whether you choose to perform an on-car cleaning method, or an off-car fuel injector service.
First, let’s cover on-car cleaning methods, of which there are two. One method simply uses a pour-in additive to the fuel tank. The concentrated cleaner is mixed with fuel in the tank where it slowly makes its way through the fuel system, eventually passing through to the injectors.
The other on-car method uses a pressurized canister of injector cleaner. The canister is connected directly to the fuel rail. During this process, the fuel pump is disabled and the engine actually runs off of the cleaner, not the fuel in the tank. The chemical passes through the injectors, cleaning them in the process. The engine usually operates for about 5-10 minutes on the cleaner. This process is more time consuming than the pour-in method and requires special equipment and training.
There are many disadvantages to using the on-car cleaning method. The chemicals used are not very aggressive. The chemicals used have to be similar in nature to gasoline since the engine must run on the chemical alone. Because the cleaning is done on-the-car, the cleaner must not damage any of the other components on the vehicle that are sensitive to chemical contamination such as the oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, and others. Therefore, the cleaner used is a fairly mild detergent. Also, the technician really never knows what results the on-car cleaning accomplished.
Without being able to perform spray pattern tests, flow-rate test, and leak-down tests, the technician “hopes” the on-car method will increase vehicle performance.
For preventative maintenance, on-car cleaning usually won’t hurt. However, if an injector is restricted to the point that it is causing a driveability problem, don’t expect on-car cleaning to help. At this point, you’re most likely wasting time and money.
Off-car cleaning is a completely different process than either method used for on-car cleaning. Once the injectors are removed from the vehicle they are cleaned ultrasonically. The injectors are cleaned internally and externally while being pulsed at varying pulse widths and frequencies (RPM). The ultrasonic waves create cavitation bubbles in the cleaning fluid. When the microscopic bubbles touch a surface, they implode, creating forces in excess of 10,000 psi. These implosions, combined with the correct cleaning chemistry and the all important “back-flush” are what guarantee a thoroughly cleaned fuel injector.
Once the injectors are cleaned, their operation is verified using the injector flow bench. The flow bench can be used to examine the injector’s spray pattern, dynamic and static flow rate and to perform a leak test, none of which can be performed with the “on-car” method.
Once the injectors are cleaned and fully tested, critical components are replaced to complete the service. This includes any o-rings, seals, filters and pintle caps.
When we are done the injectors are as good as or better than rebuilt injectors that can be purchased at any auto parts store.
The Dyno Shop in Santee, CA is here to help you with any of your vehicle needs!!!
The weathermen are calling for 6 days of rain and a total of 7-8 inches here in San Diego County! Is your vehicle ready? First thing, check your windshield wipers. You are looking for tears and/or lack of rubber. To drive safely we need to be able to see; if your blades are worn out get them replaced ASAP. Next, tire pressure and condition. The colder weather is here to stay for a bit and with it comes decreasing air pressure. There is a sticker on the drivers door (in most vehicles) that will have the recommended tire pressure for cold and warm temperatures. Follow this sticker when checking your current tire pressure. The condition of your tires plays a big part in keeping your vehicle driving safely down the road. To check tread depth, do the penny test. Put a penny in the tread groove head down, facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln's head your tire tread depth is too warn and your tires should be replaced.
Slow down and leave room. Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing's a cars chance of hydroplaning. It's also important to allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of them.
Even careful drivers can experience a skid. If you feel your vehicle begin to skid don't panic. Continue to look and steer in the direction you want to go and avoid slamming on the brakes which will further upset the cars balance.
Be safe out there!
Welcome to 2017!! I know most of us will be making resolutions to eat healthier, travel more, exercise more often, etc... Why not be different?! Make 2017 the best year for you and your vehicle with these 6 easy-to-commit-to resolutions. If your looking for more tips, give The Dyno Shop in Santee, CA a call anytime at 619-562-3933!
Stay on track with Regular Maintenance
If you were a bit lax about having regular maintenance performed on your vehicle in 2016, make your first resolution to stay on top of it. Having regular maintenance performed at the recommended intervals can save you money in the long run and could keep you from being stranded on the side of the road.
Keep your vehicle clean
This does not mean that you need to spend money on getting your vehicle professionally detailed every week. De-clutter, throw out the trash, and vacuum every month. I find it easy to keep my vehicle trash free when I keep a bag for trash in my Jeep. Don't forget about the outside! There are plenty of drive thru car washes around that are cheap.
No More Stress
Decide to chill out. Leave the house a bit early to give yourself time during your commute. This way you will not be stressed about time and will be able to have a more positive courteous attitude towards your fellow drivers. Not only is this great for your health, but also for your vehicles health. Less hard braking can lengthen brake life; less hard acceleration can increase gas mileage.
Give up texting and driving
We all know that texting and driving is extremely dangerous, let alone illegal in California. Make 2017 the year you save your life by quiting it! This will help you to be more attentive and courteous to other drivers by alleviating an unnecessary distraction.
Check your tires and wheels
Most of us take our tires for granted; having trust that they will always be there for us, taking us to and fro. Get into the habit of checking your tire pressure and condition monthly. Underflated, bald, cracked or torn tires can be disasterous.
It's a good idea to have your vehicle inspected twice a year by a trusted mechanic. Even if you are a do-it-yourselfer and really enjoy completing your oil changes, having a qualified profession inspect your vehicle could possibly catch something before it becomes a problem.
If you're anything like me, you are very busy on a day to day or even week to week basis. Checking my tire pressure is the last thing on my mind. Luckily for me this light turned on to let me know something was needing attention. As the temperatures finally drop a bit in San Diego, so does the air in your tires. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a warning system that warn's a vehicles operator that there is an unsafe change in pressure in one or more of the tires. The readings are provided by pressure sensing transmittors that are mounted inside each tire and sent to the ECU. TPMS was first available in about 20% of 2005 model vehicles (under 10,000 lbs). In model years 2007 or newer you 100% have TPMS.
If the TPMS light comes on, the first thing to do is check the air pressure in each tire. The recommended tire pressure can be found on a placard on the inside door panel. We do not recommend you using the pressure indicated on the sidewall of your tires, as that is the maximum inflation pressure for the tire itself, not the tire when used on your specific vehicle.
Your transmission’s vital parts get clogged with sludge and varnish deposits because, just like oil in your car’s engine, automatic transmission fluid (ATF) suffers from heat, friction and electrochemical degradation. In fact, nearly nine out of ten transmission failures are due to over heating and fluid contamination.
However, unlike oil, which can be completely drained from your car’s engine, most of the transmission fluid cannot be drained. Instead it stays in the torque converter, valve body and transmission cooler lines, making a complete fluid drain impossible.
Typical transmission service removes and replaces only 25% of your car’s contaminated automatic transmission fluid. Adding new fluid to the remaining contaminated fluid can actually cause sludge and varnish deposits to clog filter and further restrict flow. This can result in serious malfunction or even complete failure of your automatic transmission.
Now you have an option! Our transmission flush machine provides you with the latest service procedure that safely removes varnish and sludge deposits and cleans all internal transmission components, including the transmission cooler, valve body and torque converter. This service is also the best way to remove wear metals that are slowly grinding away on your transmission’s internal components along with most of the old, contaminated ATF. Your car’s transmission is thoroughly cleaned and protected with fresh ATF and conditioners that revitalize the seals and o-rings.
If your car’s transmission is showing any signs of contaminated transmission fluid, slippage, rough or hard shifting, this service is the first thing you should try before it becomes necessary to perform major repair work or even the need for a new transmission. Factory recommendation on most vehicles for a transmission fluid flush is 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Even if your vehicle is not showing signs of contamination, but the mileage is telling you it's time, don't wait! The biggest piece of advise we give is to have regular maintenance performed to keep your vehicle running stronger for longer (hopefully avoiding costly repairs).
This is what you want your ATF to look like. Give us a call today!
It has been a week since the time change of setting our clocks back and I'm still not jiving with it. The only positive that I get from this time change is that it's not dark when my kids wake me up before 6am. Over the summer I was lucky enough to buy a new-to-me car. I'd leave while the sun was up and get home before the sun set. So I rarely needed to drive with my headlights on. The other night I headed out around 5pm to run a quick errand. Not thinking much about the fact that it was already dark, but just that I forgot something for dinner at the store. Off I start to drive, turning on the headlights, and I cannot see more than 10 feet in front of me! My headlights, being of no use to me over wonderful summer, are pointing pretty straight down! The store is right around the corner from my house, so I wasn't too worried. I'm telling you about this because as I write blog posts about getting your vehicle ready for winter driving (not really different than summer driving here, haha) I've never really thought to include checking the position of your headlights. Most of us are commuting home from work when it's dark now and we need to be able to see! Here is a step by step guide to help you avoid what happened to me:
1. Make sure your vehicle is level. Remove heavy objects from the trunk or bed and park on as flat a surface as possible in front of a garage or wall
2. Turn your headlights on and mark the position of the beam on the wall. Mark the vertical and horizontal center line. The centerlines should not be any higher than 3.5' from the ground. Use a carpenters tape to verify the centerlines from each headlight are even. If one is higher, mover the higher mark down to the lower mark.
3. Back up the vehicle 25 ft from the wall.
4. Check your owner's manual to see if your vehicle has vertical and horizontal adjusting screws. If so, then find the screws and adjust one headlight at a time. Use a chair with a jacket on it to block the headlight that you are not adjusting.
5. Adjust the vertical field. The screw on the top of the housing should be turned clockwise to raise the light and counter clockwise to lower the light. Adjust the headlight until the top of the most intense part of the light beam shines directly on or just below the center of the tapeline on the wall. Make sure you turn the lights off to adjust then turn them on the view the adjustments.
6. Adjust the horizontal field. The screw on the side of the housing should be turned to get the right/left adjustment corrected. Try to aim the most intense part of the light beam just to the right of the vertical line.
Good luck!! Only 10 days until Thanksgiving! I love the feast.
Whenever a fluid is in contact with metal, an electrochemical degradation takes place, which results in a higher than normal level of acid present in any given fluid. This higher acid level, if left unchanged, can result in very costly repairs. As a result, it is recommended to flush your cooling system, and most importantly pH balance your antifreeze at least once every 2 years or 30,000 miles. This will help reduce the acid level and extend the life of your radiator, heater core, water pump, head gaskets, freeze plugs, radiator and heater hoses.
Why is it important to have your cooling system flushed by a knowledgeable repair shop with all the right equipment? Why can’t you do it yourself?
You have probably heard many times that your cooling system should be -35 degrees, and you wonder why, when it never gets that cold. The reason for this is due to many different factors. The first factor has to deal with water and why water is an important part of the cooling system. Water is the best conductor of heat because the molecules are spaced far apart letting the heat from the engine to move into the water very easily. The problem with water is that it is very corrosive when in contact with metal and can freeze. Ethylene glycol silicone based antifreeze is added to the water to protect the metal, to keep the water from freezing, and to lubricate only the moving parts in the cooling system (i.e water pump, thermostat).
So why not just use 100% antifreeze? If you use 100% antifreeze, the engine may overheat in hot weather with or without the air conditioner on. The molecules in the antifreeze are packed tightly together and are unable to remove the heat from the engine as efficiently as water. The condenser for your car’s air conditioning operates much hotter than the radiator; that’s why it is placed in front of the radiator. The radiator dissipates the heat from your air conditioning condenser, thus making the coolant even hotter!
With today’s new computer controlled engines the coolant temperature is most important. The temperature sensor tells the computer, along with other sensors, how to adjust the fuel mixture and ignition timing. This may affect engine performance and efficiency. For the best heat removal and metal protection, 50% water and 50% antifreeze is desired. The proper mix is determined by checking the coolant level: -35 degrees equals 50/50. The problem comes when the pH of the water is 7.0 to 7.2 and antifreeze pH is 10.5 right out of the gallon. A 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze would have a pH factor of 8.75. This level is too acidic for today’s cooling systems. The recommended pH level should be between 9.0 and 10.5; this level greatly reduces the acid content that together with electrochemical reaction of dissimilar materials causes electrochemical degradation.
To correct the above condition, you need to power flush your cooling system by continuously forcing the coolant under pressure through the engine, radiator, and heater core in both directions at different times. While the coolant is being forced through the system it is also going through a 25 and 5 micron filters to remove all contaminates from the coolant. Once this is done, antifreeze or water is added to the system while circulating to bring it to the desired -35 degrees throughout the system evenly. We then add a pH concentrate while still circulating the coolant to evenly reach a pH level of 10.5 throughout the system. We stop at 10.5 pH because over time, as the hot coolant flows through the system, it will slowly become more acidic as described above. The coolant should stay within the safe range of 9.8 to 10.5 pH level about 2 years or 30,000 miles. We also pressure test the system for leaks, clean the recovery bottle and test the radiator cap to see if it holds the proper pressure.
Chances are you've heard a squealing or squeaking noise while braking at some point in time. More often than not, this noise is an indicator of trouble. But there are a few instances where the squealing/squeaking or grinding is an unavoidable characteristic of a braking system.
The squeak or squeal noise occurs with front semi-metallic brake pads at medium speeds when light to medium pressure is applied to the brake pedal. Occasionally a noise may occur on rear brakes during the first few stops or with cold brakes and/or high humidity.
A grinding noise is common to rear brakes and some front disc brakes during initial stops after the vehicle has been parked over night. This noise may also occur due to trace amounts of corrosion on the metal surfaces during vehicle non-use.
It's normal to hear a small groan noise while stopping quickly or moving forward slowly from a complete stop.
So how can you tell if the brake noise you're hearing is serious or just normal? When the noise is continuous or persistent it's a good time to give your trusted mechanic a call. The squeal will usually indicate that the brake pads are in need of replacement. Grinding noises usually indicate a more serious issue. The cause of the grinding noise can be as simple as a small rock inside the brakes that needs to be removed. Or it could indicate that the brake pads have worn out completely causing the steel backing to grind against the brake rotor, resulting in a more expensive repair.
Summer is coming to an end, which means it's time to start thinking about the school year. Do you have a son/daughter heading off to college? A high school senior driving to and from school or work? They will be relying on their vehicle every day and, as parents, we want to make sure that they will be as safe as possible. Here are a few points that should be checked:
1. Lube, Oil and Filter Change. The number 1 way to help keep an engine healthy and running smooth is with regular oil changes.
2. Check all other fluids. The heat of summer can take a lot out of a vehicle and it is pretty common for it to deplete fluids. Check and fill or exchange coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid and washer fluid.
3. Tire Condition. Inspect the tires for cracks and tread depth. Take a penning with Lincoln's head facing down and towards you. If you can see his head, it is time for new tires. If the tires are in good shape and haven't been rotated in the past 6 months, we advise this be done to ensure the longevity of the tires.
4. Get a Tune-Up. Have the spark plugs and wires changed once a year is a sure way to help with keeping the engine running at peak performance.
5. Check the battery life. Inspect and clean the battery cables if needed. Check the water level (if applicable) and fill in needed.
6. Brake inspection. High on the list of safety is having the best stopping capabilities.
Our technicians are here to help! We can perform a 55-pt inspection and advise on the best steps to keeping your child's vehicle running it's best during the school year.
The cars of today are nothing like the cars of yesterday. For starters, they have more moving parts and electronics. Part of our job is to provide you with enough information to allow you to make an informed decision that's appropriate for you and your situation. Preventative maintenance always saves money!
There are at least 30,000 parts on the average new car and over 5,000 of them move. All moving parts require a clean source of lubricating oils, coolants or greases, and this is provided by some relatively inexpensive, but very hard-working, fluids and filters. In addition, we have electronic parts that can be affected by poor maintenance habits. Today's electronics are so sophisticated that cars will run even when there are serious failures beginning. The systems have enough authority to mask developing problems. By the time you have detectable malfunction, one that you can feel or otherwise sense, you may have damaged expensive parts. The only outward indication the drivers may get is a warning lamp on the dash.
Then why did my car seem to run okay?
Poor maintenance practices force electronics to work overtime, or to carry excess current to compensate for worn-out spark plugs, filters, etc. Continuous operation in overtime (engineers call this "exceeding the duty cycle") build heat in electronic components, leads to increased component on-time, and ultimately to premature failure. Electronics hate heat, excess current, vibration and violent swings in temperature and humidity. Asking them to operate beyond design limits is just begging for trouble you don't need. In many cases, your new car will run just fine right up to the point at which it won't run at all, often without any noticeable symptoms. Neglecting maintenance is a good way to force a car into breakdown, early and often.
The Choice Is Yours
In the final analysis, there is a choice -- all preventative maintenance is optional. But keep in mind, the neglected preventative maintenance that a car needed yesterday or today will still need to be done tomorrow and does not cease to exist by forgetting about it. We can help you create a time-table that fits your budget and schedule to have the routine maintenance performed.