Tip & Articles

  • Winter Tip - Opening a Frozen Door

    Posted on 02, January, 2017

    Winter weather can wreck havoc on your vehicle in many ways.  For those who park their vehicle outside overnight, a  frozen door in the morning can be a real annoyance.  Heed our warning, don’t ever yank or pull on the door handle to open a frozen car door. If it breaks, you will be seeing us sooner than you planned and having a  winter adventure you didn’t anticipate.  An easy simple trick might be to give the door a hip check to loosen the ice and then lift and pull the door from the bottom.  Use the handle only to unlatch the door while doing this.    If you are still frozen out, try the passenger side door.  Often the other side of the car has been less expose to wind and weather.  You can also use warm water (never hot) to loosen the ice or a de-icing product.  If you are lucky enough to have a remote starter, you can start the car and allow the interior warming to loosen the ice.   Here is the important part.  Never, and tell your kids and student drivers this too, make the common mistake of pulling hard on the handle.  The handle is not made to withstand the force and the cold may make it even more brittle.  This winter tip has been provided to you by Quality Automotive and Smog located in the SaveMart/Crossroads shopping center off Hwy 89 South and Deerfield Drive.  If it has been useful please comment and share it with your friends.  In Truckee there is only one Quality Automotive and Smog.  Look for the RED CHECK inside the “Q” for “Quality” and know you are at Your Trusted Local Auto Care. For a service appointment call 530-587-1933.  California Smog Checks are available on a walk-in basis along with convenience DMV registration services.   

  • Don't Burn Out The Wiper Motor - Clear Your Windshield of Snow and Ice

    Posted on 29, December, 2016


    Winter has finally arrived and with the recent wet, snowy and icy weather, remember to turn off the wipers when you turn off your vehicle.  Taking care of this simple task could help you avoid damage to your wiper blades and the internal motor that powers them.  Most ofus don’t think about how that blade manages to move across our field of vision.  That’s why one of the most common and preventable repairs for any mountain car, truck or SUV is replacing the wiper blade motor.   Requiring a wiper blade to clear a snowy windshield or unstick itself after a wet, icy storm puts stress on the motor which can cause it turn burn out and fail.    The result may be you driving down the road with your head out the window along with an unwanted repair expense.  Avoid this by always turning off your wiper blades when you stop the vehicle.  If possible, pull the blades away from the windshield to preventsticking.   This simple action will allow your blades to last longer and save the wiper blade motor from unnecessary stress.  With the harsh conditions in Truckee and Lake Tahoe, the need to always have clear vision out the front and rear windows while driving is essential for safety.  We at Quality Automotive and Smog recommend replacing blades twice per year for the best performance.  Until the end of 2016, QAS Red Check Club members receive one free winter blade with the purchase of one.  Call today for your blade replacement, vehicle maintenance, brakes, repair and service at 530-587-1933.  There’s a knowledgeable service writer, backed by an expert technician ready to take care of all your service needs.  We are Your Trusted Local Auto Care, located in the SaveMart/Crossroads Center off Highway 89 South and Deerfield Drive.  Look for the red check inside the Q for Quality. ​

    Tagged: Wiper Blades
  • Change the Cabin Air Filter & Breathe Cleaner Air

    Posted on 19, July, 2016

    New cabin air filter vs old cabin filter  

    • Time to Change Your Cabin Air Filter
    • With the pine pollen season behind us, now is a good time to change out your cabin air filter.  Over time, the cabin air filter becomes less effective when it has done it's job filtering dust, debris, smoke and pollen from entering the cabin of your vehicle.  “With our dusty roads and heavy particles in the air we suggest an annual change of the cabin air filter, “ says Bill Greeno, owner of Quality Automotive and Smog.  Greeno also mentioned that anyone who drives dirt roads or who attends Burning Man should be especially diligent about the annual change. The cabin air filter began appearing in vehicles in 2002.  It prevents dust, pollen, dirt and other pollutants from entering your car through your A/C and heat vents.  With the driving conditions we experience everyday on our mountain roads, a clean cabin air filter will keep you breathing easier.  

    Other Filters on Your Vehicle

    There are two other filters on your vehicle that need to be changed regularly; the air filter and the oil filter. The oil filter should be changed at every oil service.  We recommend a high quality filter in order to keep particles from entering the engine and potentially saving you from costly repairs down the road.  With longer intervals between oil changes, it is especially important to not settle for a lower quality oil filter.  The air filter filters air running through the engine, so it too will become compromised if it is full of debris, dirt and pollen.  Changing the air filter may be an easy way to get better performance from your vehicle as well. 

    Premium Products Are Worth the Price

    Quality Automotive and Smog uses a premium quality products not available at most discount chains, auto parts stores or even dealerships. As a rule of thumb, if you pay a little more for these products, you are getting better protection for your engine and extending the life of your vehicle. 




    Tagged: performance
  • Summer Heats Up, Your Cooling System Cools it Down

    Posted on 12, July, 2016

    The cooling system  of your vehicle will be working hard this summer as temperatures in Truckee and Lake Tahoe heat up.  To be sure your truck, SUV or car can take the heat have a qualified technician at Quality Automotive and Smog run through a checklist of items that will keep you on the road.  Here are some things to consider in maintaining a healthy cooling system and your safety on the road. 

    1. The ratio of coolant in the radiator should be 50:50 with the manufacturer recommended coolant for your engine and distilled water. 
    2. Coolant should be flushed and changed regularly. The professionals  at Your Trusted Local Auto Care suggest it be done annually for Glycol systems and every 100K with modern coolants. This keeps the system fresh and free of containements which will prevent corrosion and assures that the coolant has the proper boiling point and protection. 
    3. If you experience overheating while driving, pull over at the next safe spot.  You can do severe damage to your engine if you keep driving. Call roadside assistance (provided with every service at Quality Automotive and Smog) to help out.  DANGER: Never open the radiator cap while the vehicle is hot!  
    4. It’s a good idea to have a pressure test, a thermostate test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection for leaks and corrosion, performed annually and especially before any trip. These checks are provided for Quality Automotive and Smog customers with any service. We call it ServicePlus. 
    5. Hoses and drive belts should be checked for cracks, bulges or frayed edges. This simple inspection can relieve you of a lot of headache if it blows driving over Donner Summit. Again this is included in Quality Automotive and Smog's ServicePlus. 
    6. The radiator should be kept clean by periodically using a garden hose and a soft brush to carefully remove bugs, dirt and debris.  With driving conditions in the mountains that includes pollen, road dust and bugs, this is an often overlooked simple maintenance item.  
  • Keep Your Engine Healthy With a High Quality Oil Filter

    Posted on 25, March, 2016

    The buzz around ‘extended oil change intervals’ for passenger cars and SUVs is everywhere. Most vehicle manufacturers are recommending longer oil change intervals. Oil companies are offering oils that they promote as having extended life. And motorists, pressured by the challenges of a tight economy and a hectic lifestyle, like the prospect of fewer trips to get their car’s oil changed.


    There are a few issues with extended oil change intervals.  One is the quality of product used.  The oil filter needs to have the require a capacity and efficiency to stand up against the impact of dirt, dust and engine contaminants over an extended period of time. As an owner that wants to protect your engine, know that not all oil filters are equal and a discounted oil change will probably be using a less quality filter that just can not stand up.

    1.  Filter Capacity

    The term ‘capacity,’ when used in reference to an oil filter, does not mean the amount of oil it can hold. Rather, it refers to the filter’s ability to capture and hold all the debris it is likely to encounter in its service life.  When the oil filter cannot hold any more contaminants, it becomes obstructed and causes the bypass valves to open, which will allow unfiltered oil to reach critical engine parts.  If unfiltered oil reaches the crankshaft, engine bearings or other precision components, the result can be catastrophic.*  


    2. Filter Efficiency & Construction

    Two other considerations with selecting an oil filter are filter efficiency; a measure of the percentage of particles of a given size that a filter is able to capture, and construction; materials and construction that are able to withstand the added demands of extended service. 


    “Fortunately, It’s not necessary that you know all this,” says Gary Gunter Service Specialist at Quality Automotive and Smog.  “You simply need to know that as the intervals between oil changes increases, it is all the more important to visit a shop that will install a high quality filter”.  Additionally, Gunter stresses that inspection of the entire vehicle at this time is also important.  More time between visits to the shop means more time for problems with the vehicle to go undiagnosed.  Quality Automotive and Smog is proud to provide a ServicePlus partnership with all customers.  They provide a Oil Service that includes an inspection for the vehicle. Each customer receives a Red Check inspection detailing the condition of various systems on the vehicle.  This inspection provides the customer with recommendations for services that maybe needed immediately and what to plan for down the road.  "As Your Trusted Local Auto Care, our aim is to keep you on the road to your next adventure," quote owner Bill Greeno. "Whether your dropping the kids off at school or dropping in to a run of fresh tracks on snow or dirt, know that your vehicle will get you there."