With the graduation of our Kindergartners, 6th graders, and High School Seniors summer vacation has arrived! And so starts to count down to your summer vacation road trip! We've put some tips together to help ensure that your road trip vaca is smooth sailing:
1. Check your vehicle: Anywhere from 1 month to a week out from your vacation, we recommend that you check your travel vehicle over. We suggest having a 55-pt inspection performed, but if you're wanting to check things at home we recommend that the fluid levels, brakes, and tires be the main one's on your list.
2. Clean out the vehicle: To keep clutter at a minimum (you will be spending a lot of time in it!), clean out your vehicle before and during the vacation.
3. Have a flexible plan: Delays are the one thing you can count on with a road trip vacation. Try not to over-schedule your road trip, leaving time for unexpected delays. This can also give you time for spontaneous stops which may end up being the high-light of the trip!
4. Anticipate Trouble Spots: While planning when and where you will be on the road, remember to plan for rush hour traffic or high traffic times.
5. Pre-load electronic devices with entertainment!
6. Gather All Documents: Make sure that you have current registration and insurance cards in the vehicle along with a current sticker on the license plate. Nothing will deflate a vacation more than being in trouble with the law!
7. Check out the back roads: Sometimes you can see a lot more if you get off the main highways and venture off into the back roads.
8. Have an escape plan: If you do set off on the back roads, make sure you have a way back to the main roads mapped out.
These are our top suggestions to a successful road trip. We hope that you all have a safe and fun summer vacation. Traveling with kids? Spend a good amount of time preparing entertainment, snacks and a lot of "pee brakes!" :-)
Along with quarterly preventative maintenance, we feel that if followed correctly, these steps can help you save a large amount of money every week on your fuel budget. The information provided here is by no means a comprehensive list, but for seeing large improvements quickly we have attempted to prioritize the most important facts.
#1. Check Your Tire Pressure
The importance of correct tire pressure cannot be overstated. One out of 4 tires being low by even a pound or two of air can easily add a large amount of drag to the vehicle and cause very poor fuel economy. If you don’t know what the pressure should be, consult your owners manual. If you can’t find that, many vehicles have a sticker in the drivers door jam that tells exact tire sizes and pressures, for maximum efficiency. Most quality repair shops, and even some ‘quick lube’ places will check your tire pressure for you, and set it correctly.
#2. Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment is often the simplest cause of poor fuel economy, but also the most overlooked. It’s not something that can be see with the naked eye, unless it’s so bad that abnormal tire wear is present. Poor wheel alignment in the simplest terms means that all 4 of the wheels are not pointing in exactly the same place. Many things can affect the alignment of the vehicle. A pothole in the road, bumping a curb, wear and tear to the steering and suspension all can have a substantial affect on alignment. Take you vehicle to an authorized repair facility, and make sure they can a computerized alignment system. A simple alignment check can save you hundreds of dollars in fuel usage.
#3. Keep The Engine tuned
With computerized vehicles, the definition of what a ‘tune up’ is, has changed quite a bit. People don’t realize when their vehicle isn’t performing like it was when it was new. The computer system can compensate for a whole host of small problems, and keep the engine running great. But this doesn’t mean it’s running at maximum efficiency, and often times after a good tune up, people will remark “Wow! It hasn’t run like that in a long time, I never noticed the decline.” Much like changes in your eyesight, small amounts of change over long periods of time go unnoticed until you put on new glasses, and can see the difference. Replacing a dirty air filter, installing a new fuel filter, cleaning the pcv system, replacing work spark plugs and ignition wires and changing your engine oil all add up. Small changes that together make a big difference. If you haven’t had a ‘tune up’ check in 30,000 miles, better ask a professional to take a look, and see what your manufacturer recommends. A well tuned engine carries the additional benefit of long, trouble free operation as well as maximum fuel economy.
If you have a yellow ‘Check Engine’ or ‘Service Engine Soon’ light illuminated then getting that fixed will almost always affect your fuel economy significantly. Many times people will say bah, that light’s been on for years, car runs great”, and their right, it does run fine, but it’s burning 15-20% more fuel than it should. When gas prices are high, that means an awful lot of wasted money.
#4. Clean The Fuel Injection System
Over time small particles and varnish build up inside the engine and fuel injection system. If left unchecked they can hurt fuel economy severely. As an engine runs carbon deposits build up on the intake vales, hurting fuel economy but also performance. If it’s been 30,000 miles since you’ve had your fuel injection system professionally cleaned, then it’s time to have this service done. There are many different methods to this service. Some places just put an additive in the fuel tank. This method does provide some small benefit, but it’s not as good as a full blown professional service. Look for someplace that has a machine to hook up to the vehicle. This will give you the best results, and overall best improvement.
#5. Lay Off The Lead
This is probably the most obvious of these solutions, but also the most effective. When accelerating hard from a stop, an engine burns a minimum of 50% more fuel than if accelerating gradually. Slowing down on the accelerator will make a big difference in the cost of your daily drive.
These are a few good suggestions that can help ease the pain of high fuel prices. Let look at just a few more:
-Let you car warm up before driving – a cold engine requires 30-50% more fuel to produce the same power and smooth operation.
-Carpool – Seems simple, but hey it works.
-Install the correct tires – changing tire sizes almost always adversely affects fuel economy.
-Have the brakes professionally serviced – over time road salt and grime with cause the brakes to stick, even just slightly, causing a huge decline in fuel economy.
-Cut down on the weight you carry – the more weight in a vehicle, the harder the engine must work to provide the same power, cutting fuel efficiency sometimes in half. Empty the junk from the trunk!
-Install a new gas cap – the government did a study and found that nationally 50 million gallons of gas evaporates into the atmosphere every year from loose, missing or broken gas caps.
We hope you have enjoyed these helpful tips. Keep in mind that every little bit helps. Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions or are in need of service. We’d be happy to serve you.
Give us a call today 619-562-3933
There are many reasons why tire inflation is important. Even just a pound or two of under inflation in your tires can be a problem. Here's why:
Fuel Economy: Improper inflation of your tires can add rolling resistance, thus compromising your fuel economy. The loss of gas mileage means more fill-ups, and more fill-ups means more money out of your pocket.
Handling: Low tire pressure may cause poor handling and longer stopping distance. If you are a highway driver, this can be especially hazardous.
Tire Wear: Under inflated tires are under a lot of stress, especially the steel belts. When the steel belts have more pressure on them due to improper inflation, they become hot and are more likely to wear prematurely.
Studies have shown that proper inflation can give you as much as a 3.3 percent increase in fuel economy. It is important to remember that it is difficult to detect low tire pressure just by looking at them until they get really low (say 20 psi or so). At this point, it would be best to have your local tire shop or auto mechanic take a look at the tire to ensure the low pressure is not a faulty tire. As the temperature fluctuates, so will your tire pressure. When the air outside is colder, the air inside the tire shrinks, thus causing a lower pressure. As you drive, the air in the tires will heat and expand, hopefully to proper inflation. With newer vehicles, your PCM will most likely have a Low Tire PSI indicator light that will notify you when your tire pressure is low.
Whether your vehicle is equipped with an indicator light or not, we recommend that you check your tire pressure once a month to ensure proper inflation.
Yep, it is already that time of year again! Can you believe it?! I can't! With the first day of Spring behind us and sunny days ahead, many of us will start our "spring cleaning." Usually this pertains to our homes; cleaning the blinds, vacuuming under appliances and furniture, flipping mattresses, etc. It's also a great time to "spring clean" your vehicle too! Even though we here in San Diego do not see much snow, your vehicle will appreciate a good cleaning. From the exterior body of the car to the floor mats, every nook and cranny needs a good cleaning. Below we have compiled a list of area's you should definitely pay attention too:
10. Clean under the floor mats
9. Wash the headlights and taillights
8. Check tire tread and condition
7. Clean out the trunk/hatch
6. Check under the seats (moving them forward and backward)
5. Wash and wax the vehicles exterior
4. Hit the seats and fabric areas with a vacuum
3. Clean all the mirrors (side mirrors and rear view mirror)
2. Lift up the hood, check for debris and dirt that could lead to problems
1. Clean under the whole car (best way to prevent rust)
Happy Spring from your friendly neighborhood mechanic!
Most hose manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every four years. V-belts should be replaced every three years or 36,000 miles. The incidence of failure rises sharply after the fourth year for service for hoses and the third year for belts.
The lifespan of a typical serpentine belt is about five years or 50,000 miles. Serpentine belts are thinner and more flexible than V-belts. They run cooler and last longer, but cost twice as much to replace.
The hard part is convincing customers to change belts and hoses as preventative maintenance BEFORE THEY FAIL. Few people do, yet they could save themselves a lot on unnecessary grief and expense if they would.
Rubber hoses deteriorate with age. Tiny cracks develop in the rubber which eventually cause hoses to split, blister or leak. Oil contamination and atmospheric ozone can accelerate the process.
Engine vibration and motion can cause hoses to wear if they are too short or rub against other parts. This applies to fuel, vacuum and emission hoses as well as coolant hoses.
A visual inspection will often uncover bad hoses. Pinching hoses to check for age cracks, brittleness or mushiness can also help locate hoses that need to be changed. This pinching is to be done before the vehicle is started or warmed up.
However, neither technique will reveal all the hoses that might need replacing because hoses wear as much from the inside out as they do from the outside in. A hose that appears okay on the outside may actually be on the verge of failure because of internal deterioration.
With belts, heat and mileage are the main causes of wear. Every time a belt passes around a pulley, it bends and flexes. This produces heat which hardens the rubber over time. The wear process is greatly accelerated if the belt is loose and slips.
A belt may appear to be like new on the outside, yet be on the verge of failure because of weakened separated cords inside.
When a belt is replaced, it is important that the belt be properly tensioned. If too loose, it will slip and wear quickly. If too tight, it may damage internal cords as well as overload shaft bearing on accessories it drives.
Did you know that not only do we specialize in maintaining your everyday vehicle, we also have the ability to maintain your work vehicle? That's right! We are a full service fleet vehicle maintenance shop. Locally owned and operated in Santee, CA for over 40 years, The Dyno Shop has the best technicians and equipment to handle all your fleet vehicle's needs. Our ASE certified technicians are qualified and trained on a regular basis. We have the latest equipment and tools to provide fast and accurate diagnostics. Our 12 month/12,000 mile warranty gives piece of mind. We offer a free shuttle service (limited distance) and our staff is trained to serve you with the utmost of care. Don't just take our word for it, listen to what our fleet clients have to say:
“I have been bringing my trucks to you for 21 years. The Dyno Shop has always fixed my trucks and let me know of other things I need to watch for. That’s why I keep coming back. Thanks!” Rick A.
“The staff at The Dyno Shop did a fantastic job. They worked tirelessly and timely to find extremely hard to find parts. Along with the staff’s positive attitude, they had a professional expertise that made my experience with The Dyno Shop great!” Chris P.
If you or your employer are in need of a trustworthy fleet shop, look no further! Come give us a try and get $30 Off your first fleet service or repair! Give us a call today 619-562-3933, we hope to see you soon.
There are many symptoms that an out-of-tune vehicle will have. The first and most obvious will be gas mileage. If your average over 3 or more fill-ups has gone down 15% you are likely in need of a tune-up. Some other problems that may occur frequently are: fast idle when warm, stalling, low power, rough idle, knocking or pinging, hard starting, misfiring, hesitation, black exhaust, engine runs on when key is off (dieseling). If your vehicle is doing any of the above, you could be losing efficiency and performance!
Even if your vehicle does not exhibit any of the above listed problems we recommend a tune-up every 24 months or 24,000 miles. It is a good investment in preventative maintenance which pays off with having a reliable, smooth running vehicle.
Not sure if your vehicle is in need of a tune-up? We are here to answer any of your questions, give us a call at 619-562-3933 anytime Monday-Friday 7am to 5pm.
Why you should have your brake fluid serviced!!
There is an increasing awareness of the dangers of water and corrosion producing contaminates. Brake fluid contaminated by moisture dangerously lowers the boiling point of the fluid to the point that even under ordinary conditions your brakes could get hot enough to cause the brake fluid to boil, resulting in a low or no brake pedal. Moisture gets into the fluid because conventional brake fluid is hygroscopic (it has a magnetic attraction for moisture which it absorbs from the atmosphere). In the vehicle, moisture is absorbed through the brake master cylinder reservoir and permeable brake hoses. As a result, the moisture along with the steel line, rubber hoses, cast iron, aluminum and brake fluid temperature that can reach 450 to 500 degrees; causes an electrochemical reaction that makes the brake fluid so acidic that it can result in early failure to brake components. Brake fluid contamination has become such a concern for some major car manufacturers that they have added it to their required maintenance schedules. Failure to change your vehicle brake fluid can result in very costly repairs, if you have ABS type brakes, component failure can run into the thousands!!
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!!!