Automotion Reno

Servicing Northern Nevada Car Owners since 1975

The Easy Way To Save Cash In Reno

The hottest Nevada news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Reno. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things  Reno car owners can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Sparks environment. You can really improve your gas mileage by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Reno drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Reno service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your Automotionservice advisor. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Reno gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced gas mileage. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the sedan owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with vital information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Reno drivers up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s dangerous dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

One item Reno residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy! And with current gas prices in the Reno area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Reno car owners cash at the pump. 

Now most Reno car owners aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other essential services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

Automotion knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Automotion – which may also be updated with recall notices and critical maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.

Fuel System Cleaning at Automotion in Reno for Better Performance

A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle’s engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel, to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

The pressure in a fuel injection system varies depending on its type. Many gasoline engines use port injection systems, which operate with a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch. Newer direct injection systems operate at 10 to 30 times that pressure. Some diesel passenger vehicles have fuel injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch.

Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle’s control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle and adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle’s engine.

Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in fuel economy and loss of engine performance.

So it’s vital to keep your fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name Nevada fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel than do bargain stations in the Sparks area.

The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

Check your owner’s manual or Automotion in Reno to find out how often you should change your fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle, your filter will need to be changed more often.

You can also purchase cleaners that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won’t be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use.

If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at Automotion in Reno that will result in better fuel efficiency and improved vehicle performance.

Good car care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

Brake Service at Automotion in Reno

Brakes really aren’t optional equipment for Reno car owners. And taking care of them isn’t optional either.

A regular brake inspection is on every Nevada car’s maintenance schedule. At Automotion, our team will check your brake system and let you know if there are any important problems. Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into your Reno or Hidden Valley service center right away. And watch out for these problems:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle. Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Pads, called shoes, push against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle.

There are several things that need to be serviced on the brake system. First, the brake pads and shoes wear out with use, and become too thin to really help. If the brake pads wear away completely you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced and that can be costly. But putting it off is dangerous because your sedan won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Brake fluid is also vital. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid, not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and detrimental brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. Reno auto owners should change the brake fluid when their auto maker recommends it.

There are different grades of brake pads sold in the Reno area. There are regular, metallic and ceramic – higher grades are more expensive, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the vehicle manufacturer recommends.

Be sure to properly maintain your brakes because it’s a lot cheaper than paying your nearest Sparks area body shop after an accident.

Automotion Advice On Buying New Tires

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Today’s tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Reno driver’s style, habits and driving conditions.

Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all Nevada seasons.

Reno off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires’ high profile protects rims from damage.

But what if you own an SUV but aren’t interested in off-roading around Reno? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.

Automotion tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.

The same goes for wheels. When Reno auto owners shop for new wheels, they can be hard-pressed to make a selection from the thousands of styles available at Nevada tire stores. If they choose a wheel that is the same size as the ones that came with their vehicle, they can get them changed out and get back on the road, no worries. But if they change the wheel size, then they may need to make some vital adjustments to their vehicle.

Upsizing a wheel may mean changing the suspension on the sedan. The wheel and tire need to fit inside the wheel well without any rubbing during turns or when driving over bumps. Rubbing can cause uneven tire wear and even damage the tires or cause safety issues.

Upsizing wheels also increases the unsprung weight of the vehicle which has a major impact on braking performance. The larger wheels increase rotational inertia, as well, which translates to longer stopping distance and lower brake performance. Upsized wheels may require upgraded brakes. Further, wheel size is used to calculate the speed and mileage of a vehicle. Changing wheel size will cause the speedometer and odometer to give inaccurate readings unless the vehicle’s computer is re-programmed to compensate for the difference.

So if you want to customize your sedan with new wheels, you should consult with a wheel and tire professional at Automotion in Reno to ensure you get the style you want without sacrificing safety or performance — and without damaging your vehicle.

If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your sedan on the road.

So personalize your vehicle, but don’t forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in Reno a lot longer.