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Severe Service Requirements

Severe Service Requirements

A lot of Sacramento drivers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their vehicle's  owner's  manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for over 30 years and is a speaker, a trainer and a writer. Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because, "Most owner's manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called 'regular service' and 'severe service.' Sometimes they're simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time." Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

PCV Valve Replacement

PCV Valve Replacement

Hello Sacramento, let's talk about your often-unnoticed but extremely important PCV valve. The energy from exploding fuel is what powers your engine. But some of the vapors from the explosions escape into the lower part of the engine, called the crankcase. The crankcase is where your engine oil hangs out. These gases are about 70% unburned fuel. If the gases were allowed to stay in the crankcase, they would quickly contaminate the oil and turn it to sludge. Sacramento folks know that sludge is one of the biggest enemies of your engine, clogging it up and eventually leading to expensive failures. Also, the pressure buildup would cause seals and gaskets to blow out. Therefore, these gases need to be vented out.Pre-1963, gasoline engines had a hose that let the  fumes vent out into the air. In 1963, the federal government required gas engines to have a special one-way valve installed to help reduce dangerous emissions. (Can ... read more

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Parts

Vehicle Warranties

If you own a California vehicle with a warranty, beware! Many dealers and manufacturers suggest that you need to get your maintenance services at a dealership in order to keep your warranty. That simply isn't true! You can have your vehicle serviced at your trusted, local service center without affecting your warranty. A federal law, called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, prohibits a manufacturer from voiding your warranty just because you got parts or services from a non-dealer. In fact, a manufacturer can't require you to use their brand of oil filters, lubricant, or any other part in order to maintain your warranty protection. This protection is true for aftermarket extended warranties purchased on new or used vehicles. This protection also applies to leased vehicles. There are similar laws in Canada as well. If a manufacturer can prove that the replacement parts or service lead to a vehicle failure ... read more

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Warranty

Fuel Injectors

Fuel Injectors

The last new American vehicles sold in Sacramento with a carburetor rolled out of the California dealerships in 1990. Since then, all new vehicles here in Sacramento, and nationally, have had fuel injectors. In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much gas to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. Fuel injectors deliver fuel far more precisely than carburetors. That translates into better fuel economy and more power for Sacramento drivers. Virtually all fuel injectors for gas engines are known as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. Port fuel injectors operate at about 40 to 80 pounds per square inch of pressure.A few vehicle manufacturers have introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines recently. These systems inj ... read more

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Fuel System

Exhaust Service at Made In America Made In Japan in Sacramento

Exhaust Service at Made In America Made In Japan in Sacramento

Whenever they hear the term "exhaust service," most Sacramento residents think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. Well, actually, exhaust service at Made In America Made In Japan is a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, catalytic converters were mandated in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Governmental emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations.Exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer controlled emissions devices are now a big part of exhaust service. Because it is so sophisticated, your recommends you have your emission system checked out by a qualified Sacramento exhaust technician regularly to make sure everything is working right - usually every 6 months or 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers.If your Check Engine light comes on, especially if it's flashing, get your car looked at right away. Technicians at Made In America ... read more

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Exhaust

Differential Service

When you take a corner in your car, the outside wheels have a slightly longer distance to go than the inside wheels.  That means that the outside wheels must turn a bit faster than the inside.  The piece of mechanical wizardry that makes this possible is called the differential. The differential allows the drive wheels to rotate at different speeds in turns without the wheels binding or hopping.  If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is on the rear axle.  You’ve seen that bulge in the middle of the axle when you’re behind a truck – that’s the differential. If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the differential function is handled by your transaxle.  Of course, all-wheel drive vehicles have differentials on both axles.  They also have a center differential or a transfer case between the front and rear axles to compensate for speed differences between the front and rear. Because all the power of the engine is tra ... read more

Cabin Air Filter

Let’s talk about cabin air filters.  There seems to be some confusion about them that we should be able to clear up.  Much of the confusion starts because cabin air filters are relatively new.  Not all vehicles have them, so some people confuse their cabin air filter with the engine air filter. Every vehicle has an engine air filter that cleans the air going into the engine, but not all have a cabin air filter that cleans the air going into the passenger compartment.  Easy to get mixed up. The cabin air filter cleans out dust, pollen, spores and other pollutants.  To give a point of comparison, a grain of sand is about 200 microns across.  A cabin air filter can stop particles that are just 3 microns in size.  It really does make the passenger cabin a much more pleasant environment. When the cabin air filter gets dirty, you just need to replace it.  Your owner’s manual may have a recommended interval for changing it.  If not, we ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

Air Conditioning Service in Sacramento

Air Conditioning Service in Sacramento

Hey Sacramento! Let's talk about one of our California summertime must-haves: your car A/C. It's real easy for Sacramento drivers to take their car's air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool. Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it is time to get your air conditioner checked at Made In America Made In Japan in Sacramento. When most Sacramento folks hear the words "air conditioning problems." it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it's broken, it's hard to repair.What things can Sacramento drivers do to prevent air conditioning breakdowns?A common cause of air conditioning f ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Power Steering Service in Sacramento

Power Steering Service in Sacramento

Most Sacramento drivers are too young to remember life before power steering - cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let's look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine; a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea for Sacramento drivers to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why power steering fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owner's manual for the right type - or just ask your friendly and knowledgeabl ... read more

Categories:

Steering

Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

We would like to give you an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, cars are becoming more sophisticated everyday - and fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace. The do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many California car owners rely on the advice of their service consultant to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their car and the way they drive. Let's start with engine oil. If you have been paying attention, you will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. Ma ... read more

Categories:

Fluids
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