Automotion Reno

Servicing Northern Nevada Car Owners since 1975

Automotion Fuel Saving Tip for Reno: Check Engine Light

Here’s a question for Reno, Nevada car owners: How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light?

Hey, it’s not there to create ambiance; it’s a warning that something’s wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson’s fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

If your check engine light comes on, check your gas cap. A loose gas cap can cause a false sensor reading that’ll make the check engine light turn on.

Check Engine Light Many conditions that trigger the check engine light can hurt your fuel economy. A lot.

If your date’s eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you’ll save by getting it fixed. Give Automotion a call when you are ready: (775) 624-5152

Keep it Flowing With A Fuel Filter Replacement At Automotion

The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Reno Nevada use fuel filters.

For more information about your fuel filter, visit Automotion or come by our shop located at 225 Telegraph Street in Reno, Nevada 89502.
Please call (775) 624-5152 to make an appointment.

Generally speaking there’s not a lot of dirt in our Reno Nevada auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That’s because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your sedan is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.

That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your sedan ages. It’ll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.

A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That’s because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can’t get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can’t get enough power to get you out of harm’s way.

For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.

This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don’t want to cause them damage just because you didn’t spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.

You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It’s a little part, it’s simple and it’s cheap to take care of. But if it’s neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars of repair bills.

Those auto service schedules in your owner’s manual are there for a reason. If ever you don’t understand a recommended service, just ask your Reno service advisor at Automotion. We’ll be happy to explain.

Check Engine Light Diagnosis At Automotion

Hello Reno car owners. Have you ever had your check engine light come on? Did you panic? Or just scowl and ignore it? What should you do? Pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck? Or just keep driving? What does that little light really mean for Reno motorists?

First of all, the Check Engine or Service Engine light does indicate that something is wrong. That’s why it is called a warning light. But the something that is wrong might be a loose gas cap, or it might be serious sedan engine trouble. That’s why Sparks auto owners often don’t know how to respond to it.

The check engine light has two modes: it flashes or it stays on. A flashing light is serious. You need to get your vehicle to Automotion in Reno ASAP. No, you don’t need to call a tow truck, but, yes, you can’t wait to get your car serviced. If your check engine light is on and flashing, you should not tow trailers, haul heavy loads or drive at Nevada expressway speeds. Any of these could lead to serious damage that could result pricey repair bills for Reno car owners who ignore it.

A steady check engine light is less serious, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored by Spanish Springs drivers. You should plan to get your vehicle inspected at your local Reno automotive service center the first realistic opportunity. Not the first convenient opportunity, but the first realistic one.

Before you take your sedan in, however, check the gas cap. A loose gas cap can trigger the check engine light. If it is loose, twist it until it clicks three times. If that was the problem, your Reno engine light will reset after several days. However, if it stays on, then you need to schedule an inspection at your Reno auto repair center center or Automotion.

Modern automobiles have a computer in the engine that monitors and controls many of the engine functions. When the computer senses something wrong, it first tries to fix the problem itself by adjusting the sedan engine. If the problem persists, the computer signals the check engine light to come on.

This process stores a trouble code inside the sedan engine’s computer. Your tech scans the computer and reads the code. This does not tell the service advisor exactly what is wrong with the car, but it gives him a good idea as to where to start looking.

It is NOT good auto advice to deal with a check engine light by disconnecting the battery. Yes, this makes the light go off, but it doesn’t solve the problem. It’s rather like trying to put out a fire by disconnecting the smoke detector. Also, disconnecting the battery will erase your sedan’s computer memory. An engine’s computer, over time, learns to adjust for peculiarities of the specific sedan engine, for driving conditions in your Sun Valley area, and for your driving habits. Losing its memory means it has to learn and adjust for these things all over again.

Also, don’t buy a cheap consumer scanner or get a trouble code read at your nearest Reno auto parts store, then try to fix a problem yourself — unless, of course, you are a trained Sparks mechanic. Today’s auto repair equipment is fairly high-tech and knowing a code is only an indication of where a problem might be, not the answer to what is wrong. Trying to save a little money by doing it yourself may end up costing you big in the long run.

Of course, the best thing to do is to keep that pesky check engine light from coming on in the first place. Good car care and routine preventive maintenance go a long way to keeping your sedan out of your Reno auto repair shop. But, if that light does come on, be smart. Take care of the problem early, and take care of it professionally.

Exhaust Service at Automotion: Passing the Smell Test

The exhaust system on a vehicle is more complex than most Reno car owners realize. It contains everything from old-fashioned pipes and clamps to sophisticated computers and sensors. All Nevada folks know a properly functioning exhaust system is good for the environment, but sometimes we forget that a damaged exhaust system can be deadly. That’s why preventive maintenance on your exhaust system is so vital. We can help you with that at Automotion in Reno.

The exhaust manifold is the first component in your exhaust system. The manifold is attached to the engine. It collects the gases that are produced by the engine and directs them into the exhaust pipes. At this point, these gases are both hot and chemically dangerous.

One of the gases produced in your engine is carbon monoxide. This gas is colorless and odorless. Breathing it can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and drowsiness. Continue breathing it, and you will die.

To keep this gas, and others, from entering your sedan passenger compartment, the connections from the manifold to the engine and from the manifold to the exhaust pipes are sealed with gaskets. These connections should be routinely inspected at Automotion for cracks and to check if they have come loose.

The exhaust pipes can also get damaged, allowing dangerous gases to leak into your passenger compartment. These pipes can rust or be dented or broken by rocks and other Sparks roadway debris, so they need to be inspected regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next component in your sedan exhaust system. You can breathe a sigh of relief now, because this is where the dangerous engine gases are converted into carbon dioxide and water, greatly reducing the amount of harmful emissions in your exhaust. You’ll also be happy to know that your catalytic converter doesn’t require maintenance. However, it will wear out. If you fail an emissions inspection because of a faulty catalytic converter, you need to replace it.

The muffler’s job is far less critical, but far more noticeable, than the catalytic converter’s. It dampens or absorbs the noise from the engine. Most Reno car owners don’t realize that we can actually customize the noise our car makes with a custom muffler. You can upgrade to a muffler that will make your car sleuth-quiet, or you can advertise your presence in Reno with a sassy rumble.

Mufflers can also rust or be damaged by road debris. But just because their main function is to dampen out engine noise doesn’t mean they can be ignored. If your muffler is leaking, you need to get it replaced quickly. Exhaust fumes need to exit through your tailpipe, not your muffler.

The exhaust pipe contains at least one oxygen sensor. The sensor monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust, which allows it to adjust the fuel-to-air ratio in the engine. This keeps your sedan engine running smoothly and maintains good gas mileage. So, besides keeping you and the environment healthy, a well-maintained exhaust system also keeps your sedan healthy. The tailpipe itself can rust or get damaged by road debris, so it needs a quick inspection once in a while, too.

The whole exhaust system is mounted on the vehicle with clamps and hangers. These clamps and hangers can come loose, rust or get dinged up by road debris. Remember that the gases in your exhaust system are hot, so the exhaust system itself gets hot. The clamps and hangers keep the exhaust system attached to the sedan, but they also prevent the heated components from touching things they shouldn’t. If you don’t inspect and replace broken, loose or damaged clamps, you may end up with melted wires, hoses or lines. And that can spell some expensive repairs.

You should schedule an exhaust system inspection as recommended in your sedan owner’s manual. Because this system is critical to your health and the health of your car, and because of its sophistication and complexity, you need to have the work done at a qualified service center such as Automotion in Reno.

Maintaining your emissions and exhaust system is not just good auto advice: it’s good health advice for all Reno car owners and their families.

Automotion Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

Reno service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Reno drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

Automotion fuel system cleaning: Over time, the sedan fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

Automotion headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It’s usually good to change them every year or so.

Automotion inspections: Reno drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they’re going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle’s ready for Nevada summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used sedan and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

Automotion oil change: – there are several options: Some Reno centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

Automotion PCV valve replacement in Reno:
PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It’s a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. Just needs to be changed now and then.

Automotion power steering service: Often overlooked. Your friendly Automotion technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the sedan system running well for a long time.

Automotion serpentine belt service:
That’s the belt that powers the sedan engine’s accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You’ll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that’ll shut you down.

Automotion shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Reno people don’t notice when it’s time to change them. If they’re worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

Automotion transmission service:
This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It’s like an oil change for your transmission.

Automotion tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.