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It’s About Time: Following Service Intervals at Reliable Automotive

May 25, 2015

There are a lot of things in life that Ca residents have to do on a regular basis. We wash dishes every day, do our laundry and mow our lawns every week, and pay the bills every month. We should go to our Ca dentist twice a year and see our doctor for a check-up once a year. When we don’t stay on schedule with these routines, it can lead to embarrassing, painful or expensive consequences.

Scheduled maintenance is also part of good car care. Ca drivers should take their SUVs in regularly for a good check-up. But many Antioch folks struggle to remember, or actually even ignore, this auto advice. When it comes to our cars, we’re more likely to listen to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” than “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Yet it is the second adage that is the more applicable one.

Regular brushing treatments prevent cavities. Filling a cavity prevents a more painful and more expensive root canal. In the same way, replacing coolant/antifreeze, for example, vehicle can prevent cooling system leaks. Repairing leaks can prevent engine failure. So why do we procrastinate?

One reason might be that “ignorance is bliss.” We can see dirty dishes on the counter and how long our grass is getting; we can smell how dirty our clothes are; but we don’t notice how dirty our transmission fluid is getting. However, trouble in our SUVs is like trouble in our bodies—ignorance is not bliss. High blood pressure can lead to heart damage, and inadequate coolant can lead to engine damage. However, we can’t know about either one unless we take the time for a diagnostic check-up at Reliable Automotive in Ca.

Another reason us Ca auto owners put off scheduled maintenance for our vehicles may be that we are simply intimidated by automotive care. After all, we understand how to take care of clothing, dishes, lawns, etc. Most of us have a basic working knowledge of our bodies and feel qualified to explain how we feel. But our vehicles? What exactly does routine, preventive maintenance involve? Most Ca motorists don’t know.

Of course, our SUVs come with owner’s manuals that do a good job of explaining what routine maintenance is and how often our vehicles need it. But how many Ca car owners actually read them?

The good news is that all Ca drivers have to do is remember to take our vehicles to a reputable, service center like Reliable Automotive in Ca. Like a good doctor, your thoughtful Reliable Automotive service specialist will be able to tell you what maintenance and service your car needs and when. The service center can track your car’s maintenance records—just as a doctor maintains your health records—so that your vehicle is getting the service it needs in a timely manner.

Here are some guidelines to help Ca motorists understand the basics of preventive maintenance: Fluids. If it’s a liquid, it has to be replaced regularly. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often. Liquids include oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and differential fluid. There may be others. Check with your owner’s manual or your service center for specifics on your vehicle.

Tires. They need routine, scheduled care to wear well. Primarily, they need air. But they also need to be rotated, balanced and aligned.

Brakes. Brakes and shock absorbers wear out. There’s no way to avoid it. Worn parts need to be replaced.

Fuel. Obviously your SUV needs gas on a regular basis. But the fuel system also needs periodic maintenance. Air filters and fuel filters get dirty and need to be replaced. The fuel system needs to be kept clean.

These are the basics of car maintenance. Of course, there are other parts of your car that need to be inspected regularly, such as the battery, exhaust system, belts, etc. These parts have longer life cycles than your fluids, tires, brakes and filters, and so don’t need to be replaced as often.

If you are taking your SUV in for the basics, then your Ca service center will let you know when it is time for an inspection of these other things. Or they may notice a problem when doing routine maintenance and let you know. Either way, you’ll get a heads-up when your vehicle needs more attention.

If you’re not convinced yet that your SUV needs regular service, consider this: not doing so will cost you in decreased MPG, lower performance and compromised safety. These could lead to costly repair bills and costly accidents.

Just like a good dental check-up, a good auto check-up at Reliable Automotive in Ca can save you from experiencing embarrassing, costly and painful situations.



Cool Running In Ca

May 25, 2015

Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your SUV engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the interstate in Ca waiting for your SUV engine to cool down.

When you service your cooling system at Reliable Automotive, your technician will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your SUV owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

If your engine overheated, your thoughtful service specialist will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the SUV radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need an automotive analysis regularly. They can and do wear out.

The water pump is a critical component of your SUV cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your SUV cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.

There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service specialist will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Reliable Automotive is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Ca for 12 years.

Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the Antioch repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in Antioch.

At Reliable Automotive, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.



Coolant Service at Reliable Automotive

May 25, 2015

Ca car owners’ cars have to operate in a wide range of Antioch temperatures which requires our engine coolant to be able to perform ‘no matter what’. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive…

And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That’s why auto makers recommend different types of anti-freeze for our Ca, Antioch vehicles.

There are several different ‘families’ of anti-freeze available to us here in Ca, Antioch. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at Reliable Automotive will know the right kind for your car.

It’s critical to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in Ca, Antioch. Regular service at Reliable Automotive needs to be done to avoid failures and also to keep your warranty in place.

While the specifics of the service required may vary from vehicle to vehicle, your thoughtful Reliable Automotive service specialist will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.

Some manufacturers recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your Ca service advisor recommends.

Someday, you may have to deal with an overheating problem, so you need to know what to do if your coolant temperature warning light comes on or your temperature gauge is in the hot zone.

Now, overheating can be very expensive. Ca car owners can literally melt down their engine and have to replace the whole thing. So don’t ignore warning signs.

First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next, crank up your heater to maximum heat and run the fan at high speed. You might need to roll down the windows, but this will take a lot of heat off the engine.

Pull over as soon as you can safely do so, especially if you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, and shut the car off. It may take as much as 45 minutes for the engine to cool to the point that it’s safe to operate the car again.

If you need to add water or antifreeze, be sure to wait until the car cools down. Opening the radiator cap or even the overflow bottle when the coolant is hot and under pressure may result in serious burns.

After the engine has cooled for 45 minutes or so, look to see if the coolant is low in the overflow tank. If so, you can cover the overflow tank cap with a large cloth and open the lid. Then start the engine and pour in some water or antifreeze. Pouring it in when the car is running will circulate the new, cool fluid with the warmer fluid in the engine and avoid engine damage.

Of course, overheating is a serious problem and you need to get it fixed right away. Reliable Automotive can make sure the coolant is right before you drive home.

Those spring and winter inspections really come in handy when they head off a cooling system problem. And don’t forget that severe service driving conditions, like towing or hot, dusty driving around Ca, Antioch, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently.

At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have Reliable Automotive inspect your coolant system to find small problems before they become big, and to change belts and hoses before they fail. After all, we don’t want you to lose your cool out there in Ca, Antioch.



Watching Your Check Engine Light

May 25, 2015

Did you know that most of the cars driving around Ca, Antioch carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969?

New cars sold in the Antioch area have as many as twelve networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, auto computers have been controlling about 85 percent of your vehicle’s functions.

Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do Ca car owners know when there is a problem?

It’s simple; the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in the computer.

It can be pretty disturbing for Ca motorists when the Check Engine light comes on. We wonder just how urgent it is. Generally speaking, it is not critical like a temperature or oil pressure light. When you get one of those it means STOP NOW! When the Check Engine light shows up, you should come in to Reliable Automotive in Ca to find out what the matter is as soon as possible.

Since 1996, there has been a strong emissions control component to the Check Engine diagnostic. But if your Check Engine light flashes on and off, you know that it is more urgent and you need to get it checked immediately to prevent damage. You should slow down and avoid towing or heavy loads until you can get it checked out.

Your thoughtful Reliable Automotive technician has special diagnostic equipment that will retrieve the trouble code from the computer and help him determine what is wrong. From there, we can fix it and get you back on the road.

Stop by if you’re check engine light is on.

Reliable Automotive
3291 East 18th Street
Ca, Antioch 94509
925.777.9234



Technician Training at Reliable Automotive

May 25, 2015

Your car is important to you and keeping it running properly is critical to your Ca lifestyle. That’s why you’re smart to have it serviced regularly at Reliable Automotive in Ca. And even though it may just be routine maintenance, you want it done right by automotive professionals.

It’s also very important to your Ca service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money our Ca auto service center spends annually to make sure our thoughtful service specialists are properly trained.

Reliable Automotive offers a variety of automotive services for many kinds of vehicles. We need to be current on the latest techniques and parts so that we can give you quality service. Our Ca centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.

And each service has a checklist of standard procedures. Reliable Automotive technicians follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service.

Some services at Reliable Automotive require the use of specialized equipment. Reliable Automotive technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.

Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by the company and outside trainers. It’s not only important that thoughtful techs be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to detect potential problems before they become serious (and expensive).

The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems to car owners. For example, it’s one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better automotive service decisions.

Antioch folks may be interested to know that service technicians (including those at Reliable Automotive) are trained in compliance with federal and local Ca laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.

It’s the goal of Reliable Automotive to provide fast, courteous service. You should feel free to ask your thoughtfultech or one of the managers about your service or for more information about their recommendations.

At Reliable Automotive, well-trained service providers, established procedures, industry standards, and, of course, AutoNetTV, combine to give you the best auto service in Ca.



Clean Air for Your Engine: Engine Air Filters In Ca

May 25, 2015

Every Ca car owner who has taken their car in for an oil change has been told that their engine air filter’s dirty.

Here’s what goes into the determination of when to change the filter: First, your SUV owner’s manual will have a recommendation of when to change the filter. Second, a visual inspection by your Ca technician may determine that your filter it is visibly dirty and needs to be changed.

So between your owner’s manual and your Antioch technician’s inspection there’s really no guesswork involved for Ca auto owners.

Now, most air filters purchased in Ca, Bethel Island, Brentwwod, or Antioch don’t cost a lot to replace. It’s just that Antioch people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter at Reliable Automotive can often save enough on gas to pay for itself before your next oil change in Ca.

Think about a dirty furnace filter in your Ca home. When it’s all clogged up, enough clean air can’t get through. In your SUV, that means that your engine can’t get as much air as it needs to burn the fuel efficiently. So it makes do with less air and has to use more costly Antioch gas to move your vehicle around Antioch roads.

Your SUV actually needs about 12,000 gallons of air for every gallon of gas it burns. Engine air filters don’t cost much in Ca at Reliable Automotive. When it’s time to change yours, just get it done. You’ll get better MPG, have better performance and protect your SUV engine.



Hey Ca Drivers; What Is The Most Distracting Food?

May 25, 2015

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Ca?

Is it:

A Hamburger;
Coffee;
A Soft Drink, or
Gummy Bears?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose ‘coffee’, then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Ca and around the country.

Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!

You’ll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You’ll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won’t have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.

Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Ca road without worrying about where that spill is headed.

So; taking a food break… Or filling out accident reports. We don’t have to ask you which you prefer: It’s a no brainer.

Reliable Automotive, along with AutoNetTV, wants you to keep both eyes on the road. Please eat safely and keep your eyes on the road.

Reliable Automotive
3291 East 18th Street
Ca, Antioch 94509
Give us a call at: 925.777.9234



Reliable Automotive Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas

May 25, 2015

Ca motorists often ask the question: “Will using premium gas make my car run better?” The answer is simple. But first, let’s talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.

Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Ca, Antioch also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.

Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.

There’s a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your auto maker recommends.

For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by Reliable Automotive in Ca:

3291 East 18th Street
Ca, Antioch 94509
925.777.9234

Ca motorists should read their owner’s manuals carefully to see if it’s acceptable to use lower grades. With some cars in Ca, Antioch it is; the engine control computer can adapt. Ca car owners will lose some performance, but won’t do damage. With other engines, using a lower grade of fuel could result in serious and pricey damage; so you don’t want to save a couple of bucks at the pump only to pay it out a hundred fold at your Ca repair shop.

Your car will run best on the type of gas recommended by the manufacturer.

Today’s computer controlled vehicles are optimized to run well on the recommended grade of fuel. Using a higher grade than is recommended will not give Ca car owners any additional performance or better MPG.

Regulations require detergents for all grades of gasoline, so your engine will have the same protection, regardless of the grade of fuel you use. If you do hear some knocking or pinging from your engine, take it seriously and get your SUV into Reliable Automotive. It may be a sign that you need a tune-up or some other repair.

In times of pricey gas prices, most Ca auto owners are conscious of making their fuel dollar go further as we drive around Antioch. Be sure to use the right gas for your car. Keep your tires properly inflated and your vehicle well maintained and you will get the best fuel efficiency possible.



Professional Fuel System Cleaning

May 25, 2015

Getting adequate fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.

Today’s production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.

Ca auto owners can buy fuel system cleaners that you pour into your gas tank to help maintain an already clean fuel system, however, they can’t do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see Reliable Automotive in Ca. They have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. The thoughtful team at Reliable Automotive can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently.

You’ll find Reliable Automotive at 3291 East 18th Street in Ca, Antioch 94509. Or just give us a call at 925.777.9234 to schedule an appointment.

You’ll enjoy more power, better fuel efficiency and reduced exhaust emissions. The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate critical engine parts.

And, as with all maintenance, it can help prevent expensive repairs that can happen because you didn’t take preventative steps. Check with your thoughtful tech at Reliable Automotive and see when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.



Your Well Trained Technician At Reliable Automotive

May 25, 2015

When your SUV has a problem, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in Ca, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training Reliable Automotive professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8’s. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Brentwwod gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers at the leading vehicle manufacturers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars Brentwwod drivers drive around Antioch freeways are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some SUVs have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Brentwwod motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for Ca Reliable Automotive technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Brentwwod service centers as well.

Reliable Automotive technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Reliable Automotive by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there’s the financial commitment for Reliable Automotive to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications available at Reliable Automotive all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your SUV requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Brentwwod auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Reliable Automotive, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn’t.

The next time you bring us your SUV, don’t worry. You’re in good hands at Reliable Automotive.



CONTACT US

auto shop repair
  • Reliable Auto & Diesel Repair

    3291 E18th Street
    Antioch, CA 94531

  • Phone: (925) 777-9234

  • Feel free to call or email us to schedule your next appointment.

    Business Hours

    Monday - Friday
    8:30AM - 5:00PM

    Saturday
    10:00AM - 4:00PM

    Sunday - Closed

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