Cold Start

In the last couple of weeks I have had a few of my VW and Audi customers complain about “hard starts” from their vehicles in the morning. As the weather is finally starting to get colder, there are things that we can look for and check to try to prevent this from happening. One of the the biggest problems we see is carbon building up on throttle plates. Gone are the days of a cable connected to a butterfly valve and manual fuel pump. Almost all late model fuel injected cars use a fly by wire throttle assembly. The throttle assembly is the heart of the intake system. Most people think that fuel is where the engine gets power but actually the amount of air that flows through the engine determines the amount of power produced. Fuel is just the catalyst and engines are just big air pumps. The more air we can force through the engine, the faster we can go. That is why we always hear about turbos and superchargers in advertising. Getting back to the topic at hand, what exactly doe ... read more

How to prep your car for the winter

I had a customer ask me the other day how she could best prepare her car for winter. I first thought this was quite a strange question, given that the Bay Area has been dealing with a drought. While we are lucky not to experience the -30 F temps – like those who live places like Chicago – many of us take road trips to Lake Tahoe and maybe Mammoth, so it is important to think about winter car preparation. The most important considerations for winter car prep follow. Traction Make sure that your tires are in good condition and have plenty of tread for wet or freezing conditions. They must be all-season tires. If they will be used in the snow, look for an MS (mud and snow) rating. Tread depth is important. There is a wear bar in the center of the tread. For the tire to perform properly in winter conditions, there should be 5 mm or more of tread from the wear bar. Check the age of your tires – even if the tire has a lot of tread, the rubber might be old and cracking. The Department o ... read more

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