Automotion Reno

Servicing Northern Nevada Car Owners since 1975

Automotion Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas

Reno drivers often ask the question: “Will using premium gas make my car run better?” The answer is simple. But first, let’s talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.

Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Reno, Nevada also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.

Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.

There’s a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your automobile manufacturer recommends.

For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by Automotion in Reno:

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

Reno drivers should read their owner’s manuals carefully to see if it’s acceptable to use lower grades. With some cars in Reno, Nevada it is; the engine control computer can adapt. Reno car owners will lose some performance, but won’t do damage. With other engines, using a lower grade of fuel could result in serious and expensive damage; so you don’t want to save a couple of bucks at the pump only to pay it out a hundred fold at your Reno repair shop.

Your car will run best on the type of gas recommended by the manufacturer.

Today’s computer controlled vehicles are optimized to run well on the recommended grade of fuel. Using a higher grade than is recommended will not give Reno motorists any additional performance or better fuel efficiency.

Regulations require detergents for all grades of gasoline, so your engine will have the same protection, regardless of the grade of fuel you use. If you do hear some knocking or pinging from your engine, take it seriously and get your sedan into Automotion. It may be a sign that you need a tune-up or some other repair.

In times of pricey gas prices, most Reno car owners are conscious of making their fuel dollar go further as we drive around Nevada. Be sure to use the right gas for your car. Keep your tires properly inflated and your vehicle well maintained and you will get the best fuel efficiency possible.

Recommended Service Intervals At Automotion

Most people in the Sparks area are aware that automotive manufacturers have recommended service intervals. Following recommended service intervals is very important. The engineers that design our vehicles have tested the various systems and components to meet durability and safety standards. Some of these standards are self-imposed and others, like those for emissions components, are government mandated for the areas around Hidden Valley, Sun Valley and Spanish Springs in Nevada.

The maintenance schedules are designed to achieve the standards. Think of the benefits of following recommended intervals as falling into three general categories: Protection, Efficiency and Safety.

Protection. Let’s start with motor oil. First of all, the engineers recommend a particular weight and type of motor oil for your sedan. All of their oil change recommendations assume using the proper motor oil. Motor oil contains detergents and other additives that clean the engine and provide corrosion resistance. Over time, the additives are depleted. The oil also becomes contaminated by water, dirt and combustion gases.

Extending your interval beyond the recommendation means that your sedan engine will be operating without the full protection of fresh motor oil. It also means that sludge can form in contaminated oil and clog up passages in the engine, starving parts from needed lubrication.

Efficiency. Some services are designed to keep automotive systems operating efficiently. For example, the fuel system gets clogged up with gum and varnish from the fuel. Fuel doesn’t flow efficiently which reduces fuel economy. A fuel system cleaning restores the fuel system’s efficiency and increases your gas mileage.

Safety. Your brakes are obviously one of the most important safety systems on your sedan. The manufacturer has scheduled brake pad replacement as well as power brake fluid drain and replacement intervals. Because brakes are so important, a brake inspection is also on the schedule to head off problems before they result in an accident.

Check your owner’s manual for recommended service schedules or talk with your Reno service advisor at Automotion by calling (775) 624-5152. You’ll find our shop located at 225 Telegraph Street in Reno, Nevada 89502.

You may be surprised to learn that various inspections may be on your list of factory recommendations for your sedan. These inspections are usually at major intervals like fifteen or thirty thousand miles. They’re designed to uncover important parts that may be close to failing.

Your sedan owner’s manual can tell you when to change your oil, but it can’t tell you that you have a radiator hose that’s bulging and about to burst. For that you need a trained auto technician. These scheduled inspections are in addition to the multi-point inspections done with a full-service oil change.

Transmission Care In Reno Nevada

Call Automotion to make an appointment to check your transmission in Reno.
225 Telegraph Street
Reno, Nevada 89502
(775) 624-5152

Do you have any plans around Reno Nevada for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends and are taking the boat up to the lake. Maybe you’ll be having a lot of fun water skiing and doing a little fishing.

You got the boat all ready. It’s all gassed up. You packed lots of snacks and the cooler’s stocked – ready to go.

How about your tow vehicle? It has plenty of gas and you’ve even vacuumed it out, but is your auto maintenance up to date?

Stop and think. You’ll have some heavy traffic on your way out of town. Hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it may be hot weather. And all the time you’re going to be towing around several thousand extra pounds.

That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Your transmission’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What’s a fun little blast to the lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

It’s important that you have enough transmission fluid. If you’re running low, the transmission will run to hot and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing.

And if it’s time for a transmission service, you really should have it done at Automotion before your trip. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.

Automatic transmissions contain a maze of passages that the fluid has to pass through to keep it shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems. Neglect your transmission for too long, and it can fail. Believe us – you don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.

You know, most of us in Reno Nevada do a lot of our driving under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips or driving in very hot or very cold weather. Also, dusty roads, city driving around Reno, and basically any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions is severe driving. We all need to think about whether or not we need to follow the severe service schedule.

So, consider going in for a full service oil change before you leave for the lake to make sure everything has been looked at. Ask for a trip inspection while you’re at it. Your Reno Nevada service technician at Automotion can check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

Don’t forget the sunscreen. And to thank your Reno service technician, how about bringing him back a nice trout?

PCV Valve Service At Automotion In Reno

Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a vital job for Reno drivers. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.

The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the sedan engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase.

These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel.
PCV Valve Service At Automotion In RenoThis can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause sedan engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Automotion. At high speeds on Reno freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

Back in the old days, auto makers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the sedan’s engine.

This is much better for air quality and improves fuel economy also. (Budget-conscious Reno auto owners take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets detrimental gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased fuel economy.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at Automotion in Reno and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Reno car owners don’t know about it. Check your sedan owner’s manual or ask your Automotion service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at Automotion when it gets dirty.

Please ask your friendly Reno service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Reno, you can avoid some very pricey engine repairs.