Automotion Reno

Servicing Northern Nevada Car Owners since 1975

Drive Defensively In Nevada

Car care is an essential part of auto safety in Reno. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on Nevada roads is to drive safely.

Defensive driving is safe driving. And defensive driving is all about attitude. You have to decide that you will be a safe driver in Nevada, no matter what anyone else is doing.

Reno drivers can start with awareness. Always maintain awareness of your surroundings, the road conditions, other vehicles on the Reno road or interstate and road hazards. Have you ever suddenly realized that you have arrived somewhere, but you don’t really remember driving there? That is unsafe driving.

Never assume that other Reno drivers are paying attention. You be the one on alert. You be the one to take initiative to stay out of the way of other Nevada drivers. And don’t let familiarity dull your alertness. Remind yourself to pay as close attention while driving on the roads near your Reno home as you would in unfamiliar territory around Nevada.

Prepare your sedan so you can give the road your full attention. Secure passengers and pets before leaving the driveway. Secure loose items in your sedan so they can’t become projectiles if you have to brake suddenly. If children or pets become a distraction while driving, pull over and take care of the problem before re-entering traffic. Unclutter your windows. Take down the danglies from your rearview mirror. And don’t use your sedan dashboard as an office. Move distractions and clutter to the backseat. Keep your windshield clear.

Properly maintain your sedan. Preventive maintenance doesn’t just prevent repairs; it prevents unsafe vehicles. Make sure your tires, lights, brakes, suspension, alignment and steering get regular check-ups at Automotion. Also, listen to your friendly Automotion service specialist when he gives you auto advice about other systems in your sedan. Knowing about the wear and tear on your sedan can help you avoid dangerous situations.

Avoid driving when you are sleepy or angry. Get a good night’s sleep before a road trip in Nevada, and learn to set aside relationship, job or other issues while you are in a vehicle. Again, you have to take charge of your own safety. Don’t daydream in your vehicle. Also, talking to passengers can be a distraction. Keep your mind on the road. Conversations may keep you from daydreaming or excessive boredom on a long trip, but always keep your driving foremost in your mind.

Maintain a proper speed. Driving too fast is dangerous on crowded Reno roads, but driving too slowly can cause accidents, too. At night, don’t overdrive your headlights. Your stopping distance needs to be shorter than the distance your headlights are illuminating.

Never drink and drive. Alcohol plays a part in half of all fatal accidents in Nevada and nationally. Also, don’t drive drugged. Pay attention to the warning labels on any medications you are taking.

Other Sun Valley motorists need to see you and know what you want to do. Use your sedan turn signals, and stay out of other Nevada drivers’ blind spots.

If you can, avoid driving over debris in the road. You can damage your sedan or end up in an accident. Of course, if swerving to avoid the debris is dangerous, then slow down and navigate as best you can. Do what you can to alert other auto owners to the problem. You may want to pull to the side of the Spanish Springs road and report the debris or move it to the side of the road, if you can do so safely.

Never follow too closely on Sparks roads or freeways. Observe the two-second rule. Choose an object ahead such as a tree or traffic sign. As the car in front of you passes it, start counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. If you reach the object before you’re done, you’re too close. Back off.

If you are on one of the Nevada freeways, or if you are hauling a heavy load, or if you are tired, or if in any way you are not the model of the alert and attentive driver, then increase that two-second rule to three seconds. Give yourself an added measure of safety. If the Sparks weather is bad, increase the rule to five seconds.

Inevitably, someone always pulls in front of you when you are trying to follow the “seconds” rules. Don’t get mad. Just back off and leave them to their bad driving habits. Remember, you are not going to give up your safety for anyone else’s cussedness. It’s always a bad trade.

If someone is following you too closely, pull over and let them pass. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. If you’re late, worry about it after you’re there, not while you’re on the road.

If you see a vehicle driving erratically in Reno, stay away. Take the next right or the next exit off the interstate. Notify the Reno police as soon as you are safely stopped.

And of course, don’t be the idiot driver we all complain about in Reno. Don’t contest your right-of-way, don’t race to beat someone to a merge, and don’t cut into someone else’s two seconds of space. Winning these types of ego trips may end up losing you your sedan—or worse, your life or the life of a friend.

The professional automotive team at Automotion wants all Reno motorists to stay smart and stay safe.

Go Big or Go Home: Upsize Your Wheels at Automotion

A lot of us Reno motorists like our vehicles to reflect our personalities. We’re picky about color and body style. We’ll customize anything from floor mats to window tints to license plates. One popular way for Nevada auto owners to customize a vehicle is to get new wheels.

Wheels come in thousands of designs. Custom wheels can add personality, style or sass to a vehicle. Many of these customizations involve getting a bigger wheel.

Fifteen or sixteen-inch wheels used to be the factory standard, But today, because a lot of Reno car owners like the look of larger wheels, many vehicles are available with seventeen or eighteen-inch wheels. Optional wheel packages of twenty inches or more are also available in Reno.

If you want to upsize the wheels on your current vehicle, however, you should know it’s not a do-it-yourself project. There are essential factors involved in ensuring your wheel change doesn’t jeopardize the safety of your vehicle.

First of all, it’s important for Nevada motorists to understand rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is the overall height of a tire. If you increase the rolling diameter of your tires when you upsize your wheels, you may have to modify your suspension to make sure the larger tires fit in the space and don’t rub in turns or over bumps. If that’s more work than you’re willing to do or pay for, then you need to maintain rolling diameter when you change your wheels.

It’s not as hard for Reno auto owners as it sounds. Imagine a doughnut. That doughnut represents rolling diameter, so you can’t make the doughnut bigger. However, you can increase the size of the doughnut hole. That gives you a bigger wheel. Tires with reduced sidewall on larger wheels will preserve your rolling diameter.

Rolling diameter is essential because your wheels and tires still need to fit inside the wheel well. Also, your speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brakes are all programmed to work with a specific rolling diameter. You’ll throw off the readings on your speedometer and odometer if you change your rolling diameter. And for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, your rolling diameter has to be within 3% of factory recommendations. While some Reno drivers who upsize may not be concerned about meter readings, throwing off the brake system is a serious safety hazard.

Further, many vehicles in Reno are now equipped with electronically controlled suspensions. Changing the rolling diameter will negatively affect this system as well, which can lead to a less smooth ride and lower handling performance as well as harmful safety concerns.

Your friendly Automotion tire professional may be able to reprogram your vehicle’s computer to adjust for a larger (or smaller) rolling diameter.

So to maintain rolling diameter, you’ll need tires with a shorter sidewall. These tires will be designed to give the sidewalls the strength they need to maintain ride quality. Consider that doughnut again. As the wheel (the doughnut hole) gets bigger, the sidewall of the tire (the width of remaining doughnut) gets shorter. That means the tire holds less air. The sidewalls have to be made stiffer to compensate for the decreased air capacity.

To improve their strength, the shorter tires will also be slightly wider than your previous tires. But this means you’ll have a larger contact patch, or, in other words, a larger area of tire making contact with the road. This can actually increase your handling performance and decrease braking distances. Many Nevada auto buffs customize their wheels just for this reason—they want the improved performance rather than looks or style. If you drive a truck or an SUV around Reno, you might be interested in the extra control an upsized wheel can provide.

Now, that larger contact patch still has to fit inside your wheel well without rubbing when cornering or when bouncing over bumps or potholes on Reno roads. This is termed fitment, and you may need a few essential adjustments so your new wheels will fit properly. You may need spacers so that your brakes will fit inside the new wheels, as well.

Automotion tire professionals are experts at mounting, adjusting and customizing wheels. They can give you a lot of good auto advice about wheels and tires and how they affect driving performance and car care. They can help Reno motorists select wheels and tires that will suit their driving needs and habits.

For example, if you drive off-road around Sparks, you should consider a higher profile tire. This type of tire will protect your rims from expensive damage while you’re bouncing over rocks. Or, if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads around Nevada, you’ll want a tire with a load rating equal to your demands. Your friendly Automotion tire professional can help you with these types of concerns.

Once you’ve got your new wheels, have your friendly Automotion service advisor review to see if you need an alignment. You don’t want those new wheels and your higher performance compromised by poor alignment. Get the most out of your investment by getting the work done right at Automotion in Reno.

Last but not least, remember tire pressure. With larger wheels, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need slightly higher pressure. You’ll need to stay on top of important preventive maintenance and keep them properly inflated. Be sure to check their pressure at least once a week. If you don’t keep your tires at their correct pressure, they will wear out really fast. It will also curtail your braking and handling performance.

So smile and show off your vehicle around Sparks. Make it all yours. Bumper stickers, vanity license plates, custom wheels — strut your stuff!

Fuel Filter Replacement

Hello Reno drivers! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your sedan feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good gas mileage. The fuel filter’s job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won’t start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your car will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow detrimental particles into your engine.

A car with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around Reno, but sputter and strain on the expressway because it’s starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in Nevada and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural Nevada, your fuel filter will have a harder time keeping the fuel clean.

And, we hate to say it, but buying the cheapest gas from bargain Sparks area stations sometimes means dirtier fuel that’ll clog the filter sooner. Major brands tend to be cleaner and certainly have higher levels of detergent additives.

Of course, auto makers recommend intervals for changing the fuel filter. But, it’s a little more complicated than that for Reno drivers. Some car makers stopped listing recommended intervals for fuel filter replacement or have very long intervals like every five years or eighty thousand miles. So you may need to look to other sources for recommendations. Cars older than six or seven years are especially at risk because they have had time for dirt and rust to build up in the fuel tank. A clean fuel filter keeps the gas flowing. Even a partially clogged filter puts added strain on the sedan fuel pump. That can shorten its life and result in a steep repair.

As is often the case, spending a little money now on something as inexpensive as a fuel filter can save money for Reno auto owners down the road by improving gas mileage and preventing costly repairs. At Automotion in Reno, we can check your fuel filter. It is better than fixing a burned-out sedan fuel pump or ruined fuel injectors.

Your Well Trained Technician At Automotion

When your sedan has a problem, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in Reno, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training Automotion professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8’s. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.

Your Well Trained Technician At Automotion

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Sun Valley gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers at the leading vehicle manufacturers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars Sun Valley auto owners drive around Nevada highways are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some sedans have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Sun Valley motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for Reno Automotion technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Sun Valley service centers as well.

Automotion technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Automotion by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there’s the financial commitment for Automotion to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications available at Automotion all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your sedan requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Sun Valley auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Automotion, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn’t.

The next time you bring us your sedan, don’t worry. You’re in good hands at Automotion.