This is the time of the year when the April car buying guide of Consumer Report comes out. I highly advise reading this if you are going to buy a car, either new or used. It is the packed with valuable information. Newer vehicles are packed with great safety equipment. The “must haves” are antilock brakes (ABS), Electronic stability control (ESC) and air bags including curtain air bags. ABS brakes reduce stopping distance and helps keep the vehicle in control by not allowing the wheels to lock up, ESC helps keep the vehicle from skidding or sliding. Air bags and curtains help save lives in case of an accident. One of the newest safety equipment is cameras on each side of the rear view mirror that scans the road ahead for hazards, vehicles and reads the painted lines on the road. The camera’s information is feed into a ... read more
Just about every day, we get asked if the “check engine” light or the ABS (anti-lock brake light) is really important. We have customers that come in and are not concerned about those lights. The “check engine” light tells so much, it just amazes me. Where else can you have something so complex as a vehicle tell you that something is malfunctioning or about to breakdown. We had a customer who came in this week for other repairs and said not to worry about the check engine light, he knew that he needed an oxygen sensor but didn’t feel it was important. I spent the time to point out many concerns that I had about this. First, the “check engine” light comes on when something is malfunctioning or about to breakdown. I could be one of about 100-200 different problems, not to be known until a scanner is hooked up. If more than one problem is present, the light doesn’t light brighter or blink ... read more
Fuels, regular vs. premium One of the questions I’m asked a lot is can you use regular in a vehicle that was designed for premium. The short answer is no. The engineers that design the engines and all the controls for it are very careful with the timing of what is called the power stroke. Years ago, when you could tune engines, one of the critical adjustments was ignition timing. Ignition timing as most other “tuning” adjustments are no longer adjustable. Yes, don’t ask for your car to be tuned anymore, it’s a word of the past with newer cars. To understand ignition timing, picture swinging a kid on a swing. The timing of pushing the kid is important, if you push too late, you are just pushing air (late timing or retarded timing) If you push the kid to early, you will slap his back or maybe push the kid out of the swing, not good. The perfect timing for the kid on the swing is to push him gentle in the beginning or the forward stroke a ... read more
The Audi/VW 2.0 Turbo engines found in 2006-07 model years suffer early from a failure of the high pressure fuel system as well as the intake camshaft. The mechanical high pressure pump is driven by the intake camshaft and can get damaged as a result of the cam lobe wearing onto the cam follower. Symptoms to look out for are a check engine light on, a rough idle, low power, as well as a fuel cut at higher rpms just to name a few. This is a design flaw that is around 60-80k; keep your eyes on your dash for a check engine light. If your car is running rough and poor acceleration under a heavy load, please give us a call.