Articles:

While at College...Don't Blow Up Your Engine

While at College...Don't Blow Up Your Engine

If your Truckee or Lake Tahoe student is heading off to college and bringing a vehicle, now is the time to start preparing.  As a parent of a future college freshman, I know that there is alot to think about in getting ready to send them off. Sometimes the last thing on the to-do list is the vehicle they may be taking.  Here are some hints from the folks at Quality Automotive and Smog that will make your students trip back and forth to school safe and worry free.    Have the oil serviced and get an inspection:  The last thing you need is for your student to be seeking out a mechanic and dealing with a repair while at school.  Before they leave, have the vehicle in for an oil service and complimentary Red Check Inspect at Quality Automotive and Smog.  We will rack to vehicle and give it an overall look.  You receive a report giving you an idea of the condition of the vehicle and alerting you to any issues. &nbs ... read more

Categories:

Oil Service

Earth Day: Beyond the Blue Bag

Earth Day: Beyond the Blue Bag

  One of the biggest things you can do this Earth Day is pay a little attention to your vehicle.  By changing a few habits and paying attention to maintenance, you can do your part in helping the environment.  Here’s the Quality Automotive and Smog short list of things you can do to be a “Green Vehicle Owner”.  Save gas, save on landfill material, save the planet.   1. Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the owner’s manual or by your Quality Automotive and Smog service technician. 2. Don’t ignore that ‘Service Engine’ light. Today’s vehicles have much cleaner tailpipe emissions that they did 30 years ago, but a poorly running engine or faulty exhaust system will pollute much more than it would otherwise.   3. Keep tires prope ... read more

Categories:

Fuel economy

Local student Ryden Thanks Quality Automotive for Donation to Truckee Bike Park

We’d like to introduce you to Truckee local, Ryden, who is probably the most excited about the $1000 donation to the Truckee Bike Park in the Quality Automotive and Smog Season of Giving.  Ryden is an 8 year old bicycling powerhouse who started at the park as a strider when he was just 2-years-old.  It didn’t take long for this little guy to discover the various tracks and eventually move on to jumps.   He loves to ride at the Truckee Bike Park because it’s just fun - all day fun!  Taking clinics from his favorite coaches Brooks, Greg, Cierra and Courtney has taught him not only to ride well, but also learn to respect the terrain, take care of the park and have respect for others using it. He has learned skills like how to push into the berms and claw your feet when you’re coming into a jump.  His favorite features are the jumps and he hopes to master the Baby Tooth Gap with a future eye on Jaws.  Ryden enjoys the park wit ... read more

Winter Tip - Opening a Frozen Door

Winter Tip - Opening a Frozen Door

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. &nbs ... read more

Categories:

Recommendations

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

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

  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.   T ... read more

Categories:

Recommendations

Change the Cabin Air Filter & Breathe Cleaner Air

Change the Cabin Air Filter & Breathe Cleaner Air

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 ca ... read more

Summer Heats Up, Your Cooling System Cools it Down

Summer Heats Up, Your Cooling System Cools it Down

  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.  The ratio of coolant in the radiator should be 50:50 with the manufacturer recommended coolant for your engine and distilled water.  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.  If you experience overheating while driving, pull over at the ... read more

Keep Your Engine Healthy With a High Quality Oil Filter

Keep Your Engine Healthy With a High Quality Oil Filter

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 ... read more

Mountain Braking

In our high altitude mountain environment, your car , SUV and truck brakes take a beating.  Driving in dusty conditions, freezing temperatures, and on steep grades takes a toll on all brake components.    All these severe environmental conditions individually are tough on a vehicle.  Now put them all together on a mountain road and you have some real challenges for your braking system. Brake pad wear, rotor warping, squeaks and grinding noises are all the result of every day braking in our severe environment.  So when it’s time to replace any of these components, it’s important to visit a shop that now only knows brakes, but will install a quality product that will hold up to these severe conditions.  For example, a brake pad sold for a Honda Civic in Sacramento will not be beefy enough for a heavier SUV or truck in Truckee.  The bottom line is, if you choose an economy brake job, you will receive an economy product which will wear easily ... read more

Categories:

Brake

When To Change Windshield Wipers

When Should I Replace My Wiper Blades?   Well, many Truckee drivers will wait until they fail. The problem with that is that you find out they have failed when you actually need them most – a little too late.   Wiper blades are really a critical safety system for travelers to Truckee and Lake Tahoe and mountain residents. As 90% of driving decisions are based on what we see, if you can’t see well because your wipers can’t clear your windshield, your ability to drive safely is significantly impaired.   The simple answer to when windshield wiper blades should be replaced is when they are not working well. But replacing them before they go bad and prior to a first big storm is wise.  For some Truckee and Lake Tahoe car owners, once a year may be enough. For others – those who drive a lot, whose wipers are exposed to a lot of sun, or use their wipers more – replacing the blades a couple of times a year might be in order.   ... read more

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