Automotion Reno

Servicing Northern Nevada Car Owners since 1975

Reno Alignment Service

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

Driving for an extended time when you’re out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. This can be dangerous and expensive. You’ll have to replace your tires sooner, but even worse – you may cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive.

The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars. The adjustment can go three different ways. The first adjustment is called toe. The next adjustment is called camber. And finally, there is castor. The engineers who designed your vehicle determined the alignment settings that will give you the best handling and safety.

There are several things involved in an alignment check. First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension – it should be checked to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s center line. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, a technician at Automotion can determine the direction they push and then aligns the front wheels to match.

Automotion
225 Telegraph Street
Reno, Nevada 89502
(775) 624-5152

Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It’s better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety.

How Do You Save Gas In Reno Nevada?

No one in Reno, Nevada likes to spend a chunk of change at Sparks gas pumps. Rising Nevada fuel prices, however, have spurred Reno auto owners to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we are car-loving Americans, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let’s look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here’s what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his fuel economy.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here’s a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Reno, Nevada. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost fuel economy. If it’s time for a tune-up, git’er done at Automotion. That’s a big item.

If your check engine light is on, have your friendly Automotion service advisor figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Sparks folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on Nevada highways and city streets: don’t speed and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That’s because there aren’t any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of “miracle fuel saver” scams in Nevada. Don’t shell out any money to swindlers, you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your service advisor at Automotion before spending your hard earned cash.

Economics of Maintenance For Reno Auto Owners

Buying a new car in Reno is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in Reno who’ve been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you live right here in Reno and have a five year old vehicle. It’s now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there’ll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don’t know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They’re able to use manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can’t predict what will happen to your vehicle in Reno, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let’s look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it’s actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Reno:

  • Ford Escape – $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado – $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent – $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Reno service advisor at Automotion. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there’s any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions:
Automotion
225 Telegraph Street
Reno, Nevada 89502
(775) 624-5152

Reno Drivers: Get Fresh Air Inside Your Car

Your browser does not support video

Let’s talk about air quality in Reno. It’s a global issue, but affects us wherever we are. Many decades ago, we began to become aware of how air pollution negatively affects health. But what about the air inside your vehicle?

Cabin air filters are now coming on most new sedans in Reno. These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment. They can filter particles down to three microns, so that’s good enough to clean out dust, pollen and most pollutants. If you suffer from allergies in Reno, this is very good news. Your car can be a haven during your Reno commute.

Reno Drivers: Get Fresh Air Inside Your CarNow, it’s only been in the last few years that cabin air filters have become common. You can look in your owner’s manual to see if you have one. If you do, there’ll be a recommendation for replacing it when it gets dirty. If you live in an area of Reno where there’s a lot of dust, pollen or pollution, you may need to change it more often.

You can also ask your service advisor at Automotion in Reno. How hard is it to change an air filter on a car? It depends on your vehicle. Some are quite accessible; others take some doing to get to them. They’re usually in the engine compartment or under the dashboard.

Because cabin air filters are so new on the scene, some Reno people haven’t heard of them – even people who have cabin air filters in their sedan. Automotion service advisors have discovered that many Reno customers who complained about an unpleasant odor in their sedan simply had a dirty cabin air filter.