Articles:

Power Steering: Keep Headed in the Right Direction, Camarillo

Power steering is standard on nearly every car and truck in Camarillo, CA these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the heart of the system is a pump that's driven by a belt powered by the engine. Contact us at Camarillo Car Care Center for questions about your power steering. The pump generates boost that assists you as you steer your SUV around Camarillo, CA. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it's a good idea to inspect them at every oil change. A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so you need to use the correct type just ask your service consultant at Camarillo Car Care Center. In addition to providing boost, the flu ... read more

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Steering

Winter Prep Service

When winter approaches, we break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for winter conditions. Your vehicle needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing you want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your vehicle to be safe and reliable. It's a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime – but the stakes are higher in the winter. There are some specific things that we need to do to have our vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can't properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done. In the cold months we always worry abo ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Shocks and Struts

If you're like most of us, you want your car to handle well. That's the job of your suspension system. There are different types of suspension systems, but they all work on the same basic principles. First, there are the springs, which bear the weight of the car. The most common springs are coil or leaf – although we see air springs and torsion bars more often. The springs do most of the work. But if all you had were springs, your vehicle would be bouncing around like a bobble head. That's where the shocks come in. They control the rebound of the springs and smooth out the up and down motions. They also keep the tires on the road, and you in control. Some cars use struts. Struts are a combination of shocks and springs, together in a more compact system. Shocks wear out slowly over time, so it's hard to notice when they get badly worn. One way to tell is to look for an uneven, cupping wear on your tires. If the ... read more

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Suspension

Keep Your Camarillo Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

This is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your Camarillo car burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean. That's like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn't, well, it can lead to costly problems. Of course, your manufacturer recommends intervals for changing your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car affects when your filter needs to be changed. Dusty conditions in and around Camarillo or polluted city driving means you'll need to change your filter more often. Your Camarillo Car Care Center technician can check your filter for you. In fact, it's often a routine part of ... read more

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Maintenance

Exhaust And Emissions Service

Sometimes when we talk about exhaust service in Camarillo, we think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. And if you can see smoke, or if it's too loud. But, exhaust service at a place like Camarillo Car Care Center is really a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, in the U.S., the federal government mandated catalytic converters for all cars in Camarillo in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. CA and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations. Cars sold in Canada follow the same guidelines. So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now a big part of that. And because it's so sophisticated, your vehicle manufacturer recommends having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ... read more

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Exhaust

Alignment Service

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel’s off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin. Driving for an extended time when you’re out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. This can be dangerous and expensive. You’ll have to replace your tires sooner, but even worse – you may cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars. The adjustment can go three different ways. The fi ... read more

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Auto Tips Videos

Tire Replacement

You know you need new tires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank. Tire size can be confusing. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight. Even though there's a lot on a tire – if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing. Let's start with the size number. For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters – the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio – the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high performance tires ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Service to Improve Fuel Economy

The price of gas has got everyone talking. It seems that people who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are especially hit hard. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy. First let's start with how we drive. People may not realize that they can really save on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts – you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster too. Another thing is to drive slower – but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the highway we drive an extra five … ten . . . twenty … over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Check Engine Light

Did you know that today's cars carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969? New cars have as many as 12 networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, computers have been controlling about 85% 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 you 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 when t ... read more

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Dashboard

Vehicle Warranties

If you own a CA 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, they can void a portion of the warranty. Of c ... read more

Categories:

Warranty
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