Automotion Reno

Servicing Northern Nevada Car Owners since 1975

Transmission Service at Automotion in Reno

Let’s talk about transmission service. It can be easy for Reno car owners to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn’t need it very often. It’s easier for Nevada auto owners to remember to change the engine oil – you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your sedan running smoothly and helps us auto owners avoid expensive repairs down the road.

The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit Reno car owners see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it’s 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.

As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn’t lubricate and cool the sedan transmission as well – leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly. At worse, it could lead to expensive damage.

When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels, and improves MPG. That’s why auto manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner’s manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your friendly Automotion technician can tell you what your auto manufacturer recommends.

Hot and dusty Reno area conditions; towing, hauling, stop and go driving and jackrabbit starts all increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means Reno auto owners with these types of transmission requirements need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers or two years. If your auto maker suggests more frequent intervals or if you’re driving under severe service conditions around Sparks, you will need to change it more often.

Most Reno auto service centers (including Automotion) have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It’s downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Your friendly Automotion service professional will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it’s getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your sedan a favor and have it done. If not this time, then on your next service stop.

Time Out: Suspension Problems in Reno

Your vehicle’s suspension system has two critical jobs: to prevent the passengers from getting tossed around inside the vehicle every time it hits a bump in the road and to keep the tires firmly planted on the road around every corner and over every bump.

To see your suspension system, you’ll have to look under your vehicle. Anything that connects the wheels to the vehicle’s frame is part of the suspension system. They’re heavy-duty parts that work hard while you’re driving and take a lot of wear and tear. Because of this, you should have your friendly Automotion tech look at them once a year as part of your preventive maintenance routine. A good time for an inspection is every time you get your alignment checked.

If your suspension is in trouble, you often feel it in how your vehicle drives. If the vehicle pulls to one side or wanders, if the steering is erratic, if your ride isn’t as smooth as it should be, or if your vehicle handles poorly, you should get a diagnostic examination of your suspension system. Uneven tire wear can also indicate worn parts in your suspension system. If your shocks are leaking oil then they definitely need to be replaced. All in all, if you don’t feel in control when you’re driving, go get your suspension inspected.

Shocks and struts wear out. Wheel bearings may need to be repacked every few years. Some parts of your suspension may need to be lubricated whenever you change your oil. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle under control. Good car care can prevent accidents for Sparks motorists.

If you are in an accident, even a minor one, it can damage your suspension system or knock your wheels out of alignment. Even hitting a curb, pothole or large rock can damage your suspension. A wheel balancing or alignment won’t correct a suspension problem, and after any suspension work, you’ll may need to get an alignment.

At Automotion, we advise Reno drivers never to procrastinate important repairs to their suspension system. A damaged suspension system can lead to loss of control of a vehicle in an emergency situation and serious accidents.

Potholes are unsightly nuisances around Reno, but they’re also a major cause of suspension damage for Reno drivers. To avoid this, Reno motorists should always keep their tires properly inflated. This gives the tires maximum resiliency. When you’re driving around the Sparks area, avoid potholes if possible. If you can’t avoid one, then slow down before driving over it. Slower speeds limit pothole damage. But if you’re a little late detecting a pothole, don’t brake on top of it. This will throw the vehicle’s weight forward and increase the damage.

The suspension system may not be pretty to look at, but it provides Reno car owners with a safe, comfortable ride — as long as they maintain it properly. You don’t have to show it off, but you should be proud of it.

Service Center Standard and Procedures


All Nevada pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget essential steps. It is also how they can assure a predictable outcome.

That is why Hidden Valley and Sun Valley automotive service centers including Automotion have procedural standards for each service they perform. Automotion service specialists are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, Nevada centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and Reno car owners leave happy with how their sedan performs.

Each company trains its technicians to standards. The Nevada automotive industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual Nevada service center operators including Mark Whittaker (manager at Automotion) to apply them to every vehicle they service.

An example is how Automotion service specialists grade problems and communicate their recommendations. If your service advisor tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

The part no longer performs its intended purpose
The part does not meet a design specification
The part is missing

The service specialist may suggest repair or replacement if:

The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle manufacturer
Based on the service advisor’s informed experience

Here are some examples:

An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is critical because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak, but not leaking, the service advisor may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the Reno client.

Suppose a customer wants to improve his car’s handling, but his shocks haven’t failed. The technician may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer’s wishes.

Under these guidelines the Reno car repair shop must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition.

Let’s say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor, but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that Reno service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician’s recommendations.

The Nevada automotive service industry and Automotion want the best for you and for you to keep coming back. AutoNetTV is committed to providing automotive maintenance information to help you be confident in your service decisions.

Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades For Reno Drivers

When Reno motorists talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn’t the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around Nevada? Yet we often don’t even notice our windshields until we can’t see through them, or until our wiper blades fail.

It’s estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won’t keep their windshields clear during a storm — that’s 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety’s sake, Reno auto owners need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don’t get new ones until the old ones become a harmful safety hazard. Instead, we Reno drivers need to make wiper blades a key part of our preventive maintenance routine.

Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In Nevada areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are available that prevent ice and snow from collecting on the wiper. Ask your friendly Automotion tech about wiper blades that repel ice and snow.

No matter what blades you use on your vehicle in the winter, don’t expect them to clear the ice and snow from your windshield after your vehicle has been parked for a while. Using your wipers will shred your blades and may even damage your wiper motor. And don’t drive on Reno roads with a frosted windshield. That’s a serious safety hazard. It can cause accidents, and you could be held liable.

Wiper blades are subjected to harsh conditions in Reno. They’re out in the Sparks sun and in the cold. Over time, they become hard and brittle and lose their flexibility. Then they start to tear. Without flexibility, wipers just can’t clear a windshield of water or snow. And torn wipers can actually scratch your windshield. Then the entire windshield has to be replaced — along with the wiper blades. It’s a prime example of how preventive maintenance could have saved you a significant repair bill.

Reno drivers can purchase new wiper blades at an auto service center or at any Reno auto parts store. They cost about the same. But the auto service center will throw in the installation.

Once you have good wipers installed, don’t forget to top off your windshield washer fluid. If you take your vehicle in for a full-service oil change at Automotion in Reno, your washer fluid will get topped off then. But it’s good auto advice to purchase a jug of washer fluid to keep at home — just in case. And pack it in the car when you go on long trips.

While we’re on the subject, Automotion advises Reno car owners to always fill their washer fluid reservoir with window washer fluid. Don’t ever use water. Water can freeze in the reservoir, which can damage it. It can also freeze onto your windshield. Besides, plain water just can’t get a windshield clean. Think about it. Do you use plain water to clean your bathroom mirrors? And a bathroom mirror doesn’t get exposed to anything near the gunk that can end up on your windshield. Windshield washer fluid was designed to do one thing — to clean windshields. Let it do its vital job.

A clean windshield is not just good car care for Reno car owners — it’s a vital safety feature. Let’s keep it that way.