Archive for January 2012

PCV Valve Service at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol

Posted January 31, 2012 12:00 PM

Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. Unburnt fuel is forced into the crankcase as your engine runs.  The PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve vents this unburnt fuel and oil vapors from the crankcase and sends it back into the air intake system to be burned in the engine.  A clogged PCV will not allow these vapors to escape. This can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause vehicle engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. At high speeds on Connecticut freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

Back in the old days, vehicles were simply installed with a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the vehicle's engine.

This is much better for air quality and improves fuel economy also. (Budget-conscious Bristol drivers take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets  gases out of the engine, but won't let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won't work well. That can lead to all of the problems I've already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased fuel economy.

Fortunately, it's very easy to test the PCV Valve at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it's often overlooked because many Bristol vehicle owners don't know about it. Check your vehicle owner's manual or ask your Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service advisor. If this is the first time you've heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

There's another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That'll need to be replaced at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair when it gets dirty.

Please ask your Bristol service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Bristol, you can avoid some very engine repairs.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Clean Air for Your Engine: Engine Air Filters In Bristol

Posted January 24, 2012 12:00 PM

Every Bristol 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 vehicle owner's manual will have a recommendation of when the filter should be replaced.

So between your owner's manual and your Bristol technician's inspection there's really no guesswork involved for Bristol drivers.

Now, most air filters purchased in Bristol don't cost a lot to replace. It's just that Connecticut people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair can often save enough on gas to pay for itself before your next oil change in Bristol.

Think about a dirty furnace filter in your Bristol home. When it's all clogged up, enough clean air can't get through. In your vehicle, 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 gas to move your vehicle around Bristol roads.

Your vehicle actually needs about 12,000 times more air than fuel to run. Engine air filters don't cost much in Bristol at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. When it's time to change yours, just get it done. You'll get better fuel economy, have better performance and protect your vehicle engine.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Finding Vehicle Recall Information in Bristol, Connecticut

Posted January 17, 2012 12:00 PM



No matter how well they're made, vehicles in Bristol, Connecticut, will have design or manufacturing problems.

And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Bristol, Connecticut, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the vehicle  free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in Connecticut who owns that type of vehicle to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall. The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links. There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There's CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.

Recalls are serious but not all that common. Sometimes there are fewer issues, and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Economy Transmission and Auto Repair how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost. So when recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Handling Distractions While Driving Around Hartford

Posted January 10, 2012 12:00 PM



We've all seen people do crazy things while driving to or from Hartford. A guy shaving in the rear-view mirror, a woman applying makeup, people talking on their phones, texting or drinking from an enormous coffee mug. All of these are an accident waiting to happen.

The truth is everyone in Hartford Connecticut is distracted when we drive. Traffic, road construction and other things outside the car are beyond our control. But the distractions inside our car are things we can often control.

Here's some things that'll give you more control in your car, and help keep your attention on the roads around Hartford Connecticut.

  • Drivers who are 16 to 20 years old tend to be more distracted by the radio, CD or MP3 player.
  • Drivers who are 20 to 29 are more distracted by passengers in the car, including small children.
  • And those over age 65 tend to be more distracted by objects or events that are outside of the vehicle.

Other factors like fatigue, stress and lack of sleep make it harder to pay attention to driving – no matter what age we are. People are also distracted by thinking about relationships, family issues, money and bills. So what can we do to manage these distractions? Well, the first thing is to eliminate as many as we can.

When you get in your car, make sure you're belted in; that the seats, steering wheel and mirrors are adjusted; and your radio or CD player is ready.

Secure any loose objects in the car that can fall on the floor and interfere with your driving.

If you have a drink, make sure it's spill-proof and put in a cup holder. Pets should also be contained.

If you're riding with kids, make sure they're wearing seat belts or secured in safety seats. You may want to give em some distractions to keep them quiet and sitting in their seats. Don't get involved in their arguments while you're driving. Pull over if you need to find a toy or break up a fight.

If you eat while driving, keep it to simple finger foods that aren't messy.

Learning your car's controls before you drive is another way to improve your safety. Know how to work the radio by touch. The same goes for heating and air conditioning controls.

If you have to use a cell phone, a hands-free system is best. But remember, the biggest cell phone distraction isn't the phone itself – it's the conversation. Keep conversations brief and light, or pull over if you can. Your reaction time is much slower when talking and driving, so allow more space between you and the car ahead of you. Know your local laws – it may be illegal to be on the phone or text in the Hartford Connecticut area.

And if you really think you have to shave, change your clothes or put on make-up while driving – you're wrong. Just start getting ready earlier so you have enough time to finish those things before you drive into Hartford Connecticut.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Rd - RT 72
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255

Remember, driving is probably the most dangerous thing you'll do all day – so don't make it any worse. Use these tips to keep you and your loved ones safer behind the wheel.



How Your Check Engine Light Works

Posted January 3, 2012 12:00 PM



Have you ever had an experience like this in Bristol, Connecticut? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your Check Engine light starts flashing!

You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stops flashing, but stays on. By the next day, the light is off.

You wonder; "What was going on?" Well, it's actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works.

Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn't be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something's wrong. Whatever's wrong could cause some serious engine damage.

Warning, warning! It flashes the Check Engine light to alert you to take immediate action.

It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to normal. Now the engine control computer says the danger is past, but I'm still concerned, I'll keep this light on for now.

Then the Check Engine light goes off in a day or two.

The condition never did recur, so the computer says whatever it was, it's gone now. The danger is past, I'll turn that light off.

Now a flashing Check Engine light is serious. You need to get it into Economy Transmission and Auto Repair as soon as possible. But if it stops flashing you can wait a few days, so you have time to see if the problem will clear itself or if you need to get it checked. How does the computer know when to clear itself?

Think of it this way. The engine control computer is the brain that can make adjustments to manage the engine. Things like alter the air-to- fuel mix, spark advance and so on. The computer relies on a series of sensors to get the information it needs to make decisions on what to do.

The computer knows what readings are in a normal range for various conditions. Get out of range, and it logs a trouble code and lights up the Check Engine warning.

The computer will then try to make adjustments if it can. If the computer can't compensate for the problem, the Check Engine light stays on.

The computer logs a trouble code. Some people think the code will tell the technician exactly what's wrong.

Actually, the code will tell the technician what sensor reading is out of parameters. It can't really tell him why, because there could be any number of causes.

Let's say you're feeling hot. You get your heat sensor out – a thermometer – put it under our tongue and in a minute or two you learn that you have a fever of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

You know your symptom – a fever – but you don't know what's causing it. Is it the flu, a sinus infection or appendicitis?

You need more information than just that one sensor reading. But it does give you a place to start and narrows down the possible problems.

There are reports on the internet telling you that you can just go down to an auto parts store and get them to read your trouble code or buy a cheap scan tool to do it yourself.

There are two problems with that. First, the computer stores some trouble codes in short term memory and some in permanent memory. Each manufacturer's computer stores generic trouble codes, but they also store codes that are specific to their brand.

A cheap, generic scan tool, like you can buy online or that the auto parts store uses, doesn't have the ability to retrieve long-term storage or manufacturer specific codes. Your Bristol, Connecticut, service center has spent a lot of money on high-end scan tools and software to do a deep retrieval of information from your engine control computer.

The second problem is that once you've got the information, do you know what to do with it? For example, a very common trouble code comes up when the reading on the oxygen sensor is out of whack.

So the common solution is for the auto parts store to sell you a new oxygen sensor — which is not cheap — and send you off on your way. Now your oxygen sensor may indeed have been bad and needed replacing. But the error code could have come from any of a dozen of other problems.

How do you know the right solution? Back to the fever analogy, do you need surgery or an aspirin? Leave it to the pros at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. Give us a call and let us help you resolve your check engine light issue.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Search



Archive

February 2010 (2)
March 2010 (4)
April 2010 (3)
May 2010 (4)
June 2010 (4)
July 2010 (4)
August 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
October 2010 (1)
November 2010 (5)
December 2010 (5)
January 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
March 2011 (5)
April 2011 (4)
May 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
July 2011 (4)
August 2011 (21)
September 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
November 2011 (5)
December 2011 (4)
January 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
March 2012 (4)
April 2012 (4)
May 2012 (2)
June 2012 (3)
July 2012 (1)
August 2012 (1)
November 2012 (1)
December 2012 (2)
March 2013 (1)
April 2013 (3)
May 2013 (2)
October 2013 (5)
November 2013 (2)
January 2014 (2)
February 2014 (3)
March 2014 (2)
July 2014 (3)
August 2014 (7)
September 2014 (4)
October 2014 (5)
November 2014 (4)
December 2014 (4)
January 2015 (5)
February 2015 (4)
March 2015 (4)
April 2015 (5)
May 2015 (2)
June 2015 (6)
July 2015 (2)
September 2015 (2)
October 2015 (5)
November 2015 (3)
December 2015 (3)
February 2016 (1)
March 2016 (5)
April 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
June 2016 (4)
July 2016 (5)
August 2016 (4)
September 2016 (4)
October 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
December 2016 (4)
January 2017 (5)
February 2017 (4)
March 2017 (4)
April 2017 (4)
May 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
July 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
September 2017 (3)
October 2017 (5)
November 2017 (4)
December 2017 (3)
January 2018 (5)
February 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
April 2018 (5)
May 2018 (4)
June 2018 (4)
July 2018 (5)
August 2018 (4)
September 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
November 2018 (4)
December 2018 (5)
January 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
May 2019 (2)
June 2019 (5)
July 2019 (2)
August 2019 (2)
September 2019 (4)
October 2019 (5)
November 2019 (4)
December 2019 (5)
January 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
March 2020 (5)
April 2020 (1)
May 2020 (2)
July 2020 (2)
August 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
October 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
December 2020 (4)
January 2021 (6)
February 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
April 2021 (4)
May 2021 (2)

Categories

Air Conditioning (12)Alignment (16)Alternator (3)Auto Safety (6)Automotive News (8)Battery (13)Brakes (14)Cabin Air Filter (7)Check Engine Light (2)Cooling System (15)Customer Detective Work (1)Dashboard (3)Diagnostics (5)Diesel Maintenance (1)Differential Service (3)Drive Train (9)Emergency Items (1)Engine Air Filter (2)Exhaust (9)Fluids (17)Fuel Economy (8)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)Fuel System (46)Headlamps (4)Inspection (7)Keys to a long lasting vehicle (4)Maintenance (55)Monitoring System (3)Oil Change (3)Older Vehicles (4)Parts (9)Safe Driving (1)Safety (5)Serpentine Belt (3)Service Intervals (9)Service Standards (13)Shocks & Struts (8)Spark Plugs (1)Steering (13)Suspension (2)Timing Belt (8)Tire Rotation and Balancing (1)Tires (4)Tires and Wheels (41)Transmission (8)Warranty (2)Water Pump (1)What Customers Should Know (45)Wheel Bearings (1)Windshield Wipers (9)Winter Prep (1)