Last updated 9 months ago
People often view auto maintenance as a hassle and a task they would rather avoid, but it’s an essential part of ownership. It’s actually the best way to keep a vehicle performing its best, achieving optimum fuel economy, and ensuring a problem-free future. Check out the following articles to learn more about automotive air conditioning systems and the importance of oil changes.
HowStuffWorks.com explains how the air conditioning system in a vehicle functions.
Regularly changing motor oil is essential, and looking at this list of top ten worst car problems from Cars.com makes that clear.
Burning oil is never a good sign, and blue smoke coming from the exhaust is a symptom of this problem.
The New York Times reports just how bad the problem of engine sludge is and why to watch out for it when shopping for a used vehicle.
Learn about what’s in your motor oil for a better understanding of how it works to protect an engine.
Take care of all your automotive maintenance and repair needs by visiting Walt’s Danville Service on a regular basis. Visit us online, or contact us by phone at (925) 394-4092.
Last updated 9 months ago
The engine if often considered the most important single piece of equipment in an automobile, and its function as the main driving component supports this notion. It is also the most expensive piece of equipment to repair or replace, which should give owners more incentive to have regular auto maintenance performed. Find out exactly how important it is to have a vehicle’s motor oil changed below.
Breakdown The engine inside an automobile is powered by igniting compressed air and fuel in the engine’s cylinders to push pistons down and rotate a crankshaft. There are thousands of contained explosions occurring inside an engine during every minute of operation. High heat, extreme pressure, and the byproducts of combustion are all factors that engine oil must face. Eventually these factors contribute to oil breakdown and contamination, which is why oil changes are a necessity.
Friction As oil breaks down it loses its ability to lubricate—the oil’s main purpose. The result is increased friction between the metal parts inside the engine, which causes the components to wear. The increased wear metals and combustion contamination lead to further wear. In severe cases, when oil is left unchanged for extended periods of the time, the engine will seize.
Burning Another side-effect of oil breakdown is a decrease in the oil’s viscosity. The additives in motor oil that allow it to have a high and low viscosity rating—such as 10w30—wear out and tear in the high-stress areas of the engine. The result of this is excessive oil seeping past the piston rings and burning up in the combustion process. The burned oil will contaminate the engine and can destroy exhaust components such as the oxygen sensor and catalytic converter—expensive repairs.
Sludge All the previously mentioned side-effects of neglecting oil changes contribute to the build-up of oil sludge inside the engine. Clogging and sticking are common side-effects and will quickly lead to catastrophic engine failure. The damage that sludge causes will usually require a complete engine rebuild at the least.
Avoiding all of these problems is as easy as having oil changes performed on a regular basis according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Contact Walt’s Danville Service at (925) 394-4092 to schedule an oil change.
Last updated 9 months ago
Air conditioning has become a standard feature on modern day vehicles, and the majority of drivers consider it a necessity. If the air conditioning fails during the summer months, it can be miserable driving anywhere. Taking the vehicle to a qualified auto repair shop is the best solution to the problem and will often result in a quick and easy fix. Read on to learn about the different reasons that cause air conditioning failure.
Compressor The driving component of every air conditioning system is the compressor. It’s generally attached to the engine and driven with a belt. Compressors will often stop functioning for reasons as simple as a damaged belt or broken fuse. However, if the compressor is old or has seen a lot of usage, then it may have failed and will need to be replaced.
Pressure Switch Automobiles use a pressure switch in the air conditioning system to control the systems pressure. If the pressure becomes too high, it will shut down the compressor. When pressure switches fail, they will often leave the compressor turned off as a failsafe.
Expansion Valve The system’s refrigerant is in a hot liquid form as it passes the high pressure switch and continues on towards the evaporator. The expansion valve is a heat-controlled valve that closes as temperatures rise and opens as temperatures fall. It controls the amount of hot liquid refrigerant that can enter the evaporator and forces it to expand and cool as it does. If the valve fails it will usually become stuck in the open or closed position, and cause problems either way.
Refrigerant The formation of leaks and loss of refrigerant are among the most common air conditioning problems. Leaks will also let air into the system as refrigerant escapes which leads to lack of cooling ability and eventually complete failure. Even if only a small amount of air gets into the system ice may begin to form and cause failure by blockage.
Diagnosing the air conditioning system takes a thorough knowledge of the system and components and is best left to a competent auto repair shop. Walt’s Danville Service will take care of all your air conditioning and other vehicle needs. Call us at (925) 394-4092.
Last updated 10 months ago
Our recent blog topics have covered the importance of a quality repair shop and tips for dealing with an overheating car. To find out more about keeping your car in great shape and preventing roadside emergencies, take a look at the links below.
For high-quality repairs, maintenance, and smog check services in San Ramon, call Walt’s Danville Service at (925) 394-4092.
Last updated 10 months ago
How to Safely Deal With an Overheating Car Summer road trips can be extremely tough on cars, and many drivers will find themselves with overheated engines over the next few months. Do you know what to do if your car overheats on the road? Here is a quick look at how to safely deal with an overheating car:
Turn Off the AC The first action to take in response to an overheating engine is shutting off the air conditioner. This will reduce the workload on your engine and give it a chance to cool off. If this does not solve the problem, you will need to draw heat away from the engine.
Turn On the Heater To draw heat from the engine, turn your heater on all the way, but be sure to open your windows to prevent yourself from overheating. This will often be enough to return your engine to a normal operating temperature, but there are a few steps to take if it does not.
Pull Over Safely If you have reduced the load on your engine and tried to draw away the heat, and your gauge still reads hot, then you will need to get to a safe place to stop and let your car cool off. Find a wide shoulder, pullout, or parking lot and bring your car to a stop out of the way of traffic.
Wait for the Car to Cool Down Once you are safely out of traffic, turn your car off and wait for the engine to cool. Once the vehicle has cooled a bit, you can pop the hood to allow more air into the engine compartment. Do not open the radiator cap while the car is hot; coolant can boil over and present a serious safety hazard. Once the car is cool, check the fluid levels and look for any signs of leaks or damage. If the problem seems to have resolved itself, you can get back on the road. If not, call a tow truck and head to a top-quality repair center.
Bring your car to Walt’s Danville Service to take care of any overheating problems. We will thoroughly inspect your car and offer fast, high-quality repairs. To learn more about dealing with car trouble in the San Ramon area, call us at (925) 394-4092 today.