This fuel saving tip is so simple, no one will believe it. It has to do with your gas cap.
The first thing is to make sure it's screwed on tight. If it's loose, gas vapor will be constantly leaking out; wasted gas.
This could cause the Check Engine light to come on as well.
A worn gas cap can have the same effect. If you constantly smell gas when you walk by your tank, you might need a new gas cap.
So, twist your cap until it clicks three times – that means it's on tight. Have your Lancaster area service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley inspect the cap to see if it needs to be replaced.
See, I told you it was simple.
Don't forget to call The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley at 661-949-8484 for an appointment to optimize your vehicle for better fuel economy.
Today we're going to talk about on-board diagnostics and the questions we hear from folks around Lancaster, California, who need answers about diagnostic services. They want to know what diagnostics are, what's involved and what the benefits are. They really want to understand the value of diagnostic scans by a trained technician in Lancaster.
These are valid concerns. If you don't understand something it's really hard to know its value. Let's start with some history.
Since 1996, all cars and light trucks in Lancaster, California, have been required to use a standardized diagnostic system to help repair technicians determine what's wrong with your vehicle. The diagnostic system works with the vehicle's Engine Control Module – the computer that controls many engine functions.
The computer monitors dozens of components and processes. Depending on what the sensors read, the computer will make adjustments to compensate for conditions and minor problems. When there is a condition that it can't adjust for, the computer will turn on the Check Engine light.
It is also called the 'service engine soon' light on some vehicles. The warning light signals you to get into your local service center so that the trouble code can be read and the problem can be fixed. Your service center will have a scan tool and powerful software that will help the technician diagnose the problem.
If you've searched for Check Engine light on the internet, you may have seen that you can buy an inexpensive scanner or go to an auto parts store to have the trouble code read to tell you exactly what's wrong.
That's a common myth. The code itself doesn't tell you what's broken. It starts you looking in the right place. It tells you what engine parameter is out of range – but it won't tell you what's wrong or how to fix it.
Let's say you think your daughter has a fever. You take her temperature and it reads 102 degrees F/38.9 degrees C. You've confirmed a fever, but you don't know what's causing it. Is it a 24 hour flu, an infection, appendicitis or leukemia? A fever is a symptom of all of these medical problems, but it takes a skilled physician's examination and additional diagnostic tests to find out what is actually causing the fever.
An example of a trouble code could be: P0133, which reads 'Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response.' This means that the front oxygen sensor has a slow response time to changes in the air-fuel mix. If that's all you knew about cars, you would think your oxygen sensor was broken and would replace it. Now, it could be the oxygen sensor – but it could also be a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, exhaust leak, electrical problem, an intake manifold leak or any of a number of other things.
You can imagine a lot of oxygen sensors have been replaced because of that code. So the on-board diagnostics point the way to where the trouble lies, but it takes some skill and high-tech equipment to actually pinpoint the problem. The cheap scan tools that a consumer can buy do not have the ability to retrieve some of the operating history that's stored in the engine control computer. That history's very helpful in diagnosing the problem. Service centers like The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley invest a lot of money in high-end diagnostic tools to help solve the mystery and get you back on the road as soon as possible without replacing a lot of parts that don't need replacing.
So, on-board diagnostics provide a powerful starting place for a highly-trained, well-equipped technician to get to the bottom of your problem. When your Check Engine light comes on, get it checked at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. If the light burns steadily – don't panic. Get in to The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley soon to have the engine scanned. A flashing Check Engine light means that there is a severe engine problem. Get in as soon as you can – waiting too long can lead to very expensive damage.
And try to not drive at high speed or tow or haul heavy loads with a flashing Check Engine light.
Make an appointment with The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley to have your on board diagnostics analyzed.
I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement in Lancaster
Feb 08, 2011
About 90% of our driving decisions in the Lancaster area are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.
Most Lancaster drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our vehicle windshield is just dirty. In fact, it's estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can't adequately clear their windshield in a storm.
It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we need them the most. If that sounds like you, you've got plenty of company in the Lancaster area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.
Lancaster drivers need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as vehicle safety component. Then we'll stay ahead of the storm.
Lancaster vehicle owners really ought to replace wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of California, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.
Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Lancaster conditions, if your vehicle has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.
Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don't clear the vehicle windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren't just a safety hazard for Lancaster drivers; they can also scratch their windshield. That may require replacing the entire vehicle windshield – that's the consequence for neglecting such a small part.
The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley recommends Lancaster drivers replace worn blades right away. We can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.
Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Take it with you if you're heading out on a road trip.
Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn't cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won't clean your windows as well.
So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eyes on the road.