Videos and articles designed to help you diagnose and maintain your vehicle.
Put On The Brakes: Brake Service At Valley Auto Care
Date: August 12, 2014 5:06 PM - Category: Brakes
When it comes to preventive maintenance and car care, most Apple Valley drivers know how key it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.
The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction, which stops the vehicle. It’s no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and that brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.
Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn’t mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.
But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A brake inspection in Apple Valley at Valley Auto Care includes a check of these parts as well as the pads and shoes. Your experienced Valley Auto Care service specialist can then advise you of any parts that need cleaning or replacement.
The fluid component to the brake system needs a regular check-up at Valley Auto Care as well. The brake fluid cools and protects your brake system. Protective additives are gradually depleted by the operation of the brake system, and moisture build-up inside the fluid can diminish its effectiveness. When you have your brakes serviced at Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley, the fluid should be checked and, if needed, replaced, which will clean out water, debris and dirt.
It is key to remember that your brake system also includes your tires. No matter how well your brake system is performing, if your car tires are worn, you won't get good stopping power. Traction is the gripping power of your tires to the roadway. Traction is always better on tires with a good tread. Good traction translates to good braking.
This is particularly key on wet Apple Valley roads. A good tire will give you good braking on either wet Minnesota roads or dry. But stopping distance increases dramatically when worn tires meet wet roads. Tread on a tire acts to channel away water as the car passes over the wet road, thus maintaining contact between the tire’s surface and the road, which maintains traction. But the thinner the tread, the less effective the water channels become, and water can get between the tire and the roadway, reducing friction. A loss of friction means a longer stopping distance and possibly the loss of control.
Braking depends on two things: the weight of your car and the speed of the vehicle. The heavier the vehicle or the faster the vehicle, the more braking power it requires. Thus, brake systems vary from vehicle to vehicle. For example, a pickup that is designed for heavy loads has a more powerful braking system than a compact car. Sports cars also have higher-grade braking systems than minivans.
Regardless of what kind of car you drive in Apple Valley, it is always good auto advice to keep your brake system in good repair, and that means ALL of your brake system. Just one more way to keep your travels accident and worry-free.
The Valley Auto Care Guide To Custom Wheels
Date: August 6, 2014 5:36 PM - Category: Tires and Wheels
If you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your car, there are a few things you should know first.
Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Apple Valley car owners have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the car when they turn or go over a bump.
To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Valley Auto Care tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your car. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.
But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable Apple Valley professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Apple Valley custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.
The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your car are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason drivers should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Apple Valley. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.
Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your car, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in expensive damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.
If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at Valley Auto Care to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley.
After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.
Viva la Differential At Valley Auto Care In Apple Valley
Date: August 1, 2014 10:10 AM - Category: Drive Train
There are a lot of Apple Valley people who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before.With front-wheel drive being so common in Minnesota these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Apple Valley folks don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind. So it’s not uncommon for Apple Valley people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.
To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any Minnesota high school. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.
The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside car wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.
It’s a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a car moving goes through the differential. Most cars weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.
That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool. The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for when to replace your differential fluid.
Your experienced Valley Auto Care service technician will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He’ll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.
Your Valley Auto Care service advisor can look up the car manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual.
At Valley Auto Care, we've been providing quality automotive service for our valued Apple Valley customers for 25 years. If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at 952-431-2700.
Date: July 23, 2014 12:29 PM - Category: Alignment
Hello Apple Valley car owners! Let's talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly in Apple Valley.
It can even damage your suspension system, which is a costly repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for Apple Valley auto owners and their passengers.
It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday Minnesota driving. Apple Valley road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, even the bumps and bounces of normal Apple Valley interstates and surface streets can gradually put your car tires out of alignment.
So it’s good auto advice to have your car's alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment check: usually every year or two. But if you think your car tires might be out of alignment, you should take your car into Valley Auto Care now.
When you take your car in for an alignment in Apple Valley, your experienced Valley Auto Care service professional will start by inspecting the steering and suspension systems. If something is broken or damaged there, it will need to be fixed in order to get good alignment of the wheels.
If all looks good in the steering and suspension departments, the car will then be put on an alignment rack where an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels can then be aligned to the automobile manufacturer’s specifications. The ideal alignment for any vehicle is set by its engineers and may vary from vehicle to vehicle.
There are three types of key adjustments that may have to be made to correctly align a vehicle’s tires. The first is called “toe.” This refers to tires that are out of alignment because they point inward or outward at the front of the tire. Think of a person who is pigeon-toed or splay-footed, and you get the idea.
The second adjustment is the camber. This adjustment affects the angle at which the tires meet the road. Think of a solid building in contrast to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The last adjustment is the castor. This adjustment measures the angle of the tire in relation to the front axles. So, a piece of auto advice that just might be good for life as well: keep everything in alignment, and you’ll be able to steer where you want to go in Apple Valley. Drive safely.
Smart Apple Valley Drivers Protect Against Overheating
Date: July 18, 2014 1:09 PM - Category: Cooling System
Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Apple Valley motorists to prevent.
The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fins on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.
The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.
Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner’s manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.
Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Apple Valley drivers to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.
This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don’t realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley.
If your car sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs an inspection. This service is vital and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.
In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your car so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, owner’s manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.
Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to your Apple Valley service center or Valley Auto Care where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks, and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in the first place and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Regular maintenance of a vehicle’s cooling system is just good auto advice for Apple Valley motorists. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at Valley Auto Care. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.
Talk to your Valley Auto Care technician for more information.
Check Engine Light Diagnosis At Valley Auto Care
Date: July 11, 2014 9:23 AM - Category: Check Engine Light
Hello Apple Valley auto owners. Have you ever had your check engine light come on? Did you panic? Or just scowl and ignore it? What should you do? Pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck? Or just keep driving? What does that little light really mean for Apple Valley drivers?
First of all, the Check Engine or Service Engine light does indicate that something is wrong. That’s why it is called a warning light. But the something that is wrong might be a loose gas cap, or it might be serious car engine trouble. That’s why Apple Valley auto owners often don’t know how to respond to it.
The check engine light has two modes: it flashes or it stays on. A flashing light is serious. You need to get your vehicle to Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley ASAP. No, you don’t need to call a tow truck, but, yes, you can’t wait to get your car serviced. If your check engine light is on and flashing, you should not tow trailers, haul heavy loads or drive at Minnesota highway speeds. Any of these could lead to serious damage that could result costly repair bills for Apple Valley car owners who ignore it.
A steady check engine light is less serious, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored by Rosemount car owners. You should plan to get your vehicle inspected at your local Apple Valley automotive service center the first realistic opportunity. Not the first convenient opportunity, but the first realistic one.
Before you take your car in, however, check the gas cap. A loose gas cap can trigger the check engine light. If it is loose, twist it until it clicks three times. If that was the problem, your Apple Valley engine light will reset after several days. However, if it stays on, then you need to schedule an inspection at your Apple Valley auto repair center center or Valley Auto Care.
Modern automobiles have a computer in the engine that monitors and controls many of the engine functions. When the computer senses something wrong, it first tries to fix the problem itself by adjusting the car engine. If the problem persists, the computer signals the check engine light to come on.
This process stores a trouble code inside the car engine’s computer. Your service professional scans the computer and reads the code. This does not tell the tech exactly what is wrong with the car, but it gives him a good idea as to where to start looking.
It is NOT good auto advice to deal with a check engine light by disconnecting the battery. Yes, this makes the light go off, but it doesn’t solve the problem. It’s rather like trying to put out a fire by disconnecting the smoke detector. Also, disconnecting the battery will erase your car’s computer memory. An engine’s computer, over time, learns to adjust for peculiarities of the specific car engine, for driving conditions in your Burnsville area, and for your driving habits. Losing its memory means it has to learn and adjust for these things all over again.
Also, don’t buy a cheap consumer scanner or get a trouble code read at your nearest Apple Valley auto parts store, then try to fix a problem yourself — unless, of course, you are a trained Apple Valley mechanic. Today’s auto repair equipment is fairly high-tech and knowing a code is only an indication of where a problem might be, not the answer to what is wrong. Trying to save a little money by doing it yourself may end up costing you big in the long run.
Of course, the best thing to do is to keep that pesky check engine light from coming on in the first place. Good car care and routine preventive maintenance go a long way to keeping your car out of your Apple Valley auto repair shop. But, if that light does come on, be smart. Take care of the problem early, and take care of it professionally.
A Cool and Smooth Transmission in Apple Valley
Date: July 8, 2014 9:45 AM - Category: Transmission
When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Apple Valley auto owners remember to get our oil changed. But Valley Auto Care services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is an important part of car care for Apple Valley auto owners. A poorly maintained transmission will curtail fuel economy and lead to costly repairs.
The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it’s clean and well - lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your gas mileage will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.
Transmission fluid has two jobs: to cool and lubricate the transmission. The transmission operates at high temperatures. It can get 100-150°F degrees hotter inside your transmission than inside your engine. Transmission fluid transfers some of the heat away from the transmission. Transmissions work hard. Their parts need constant lubrication to prevent excessive wear and keep them running smoothly for Apple Valley drivers.
The constant shifting and movement of gears inside the transmission cause bits of the gears and clutch material to wear off. These bits of harmful grit get into the transmission fluid. This grit increases friction inside the transmission and causes even more wear – it’s like liquid sandpaper. Also, the high temperatures inside the transmission cause the transmission fluid to break down over time, making it a less effective lubricant. The fluid can actually become sludgy, which can gradually plug up the maze of passages inside the transmission. Gradually, the transmission loses efficiency and stops operating smoothly. Eventually, the transmission will be damaged or fail altogether.
This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner’s manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this key service. Or, you can meet with your experienced Valley Auto Care service advisor. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your car may be shorter or longer.
Of course, if you give your transmission a real workout, you’re going to have to change the fluid more often than the auto maker recommends. If you drive in hot, dusty Minnesota conditions, if you tow a trailer around Apple Valley, if you haul heavy loads or if you do a lot of stop-and-go Apple Valley driving, then you need to change transmission fluid more often. Also, if you demand frequent bursts of speed from your engine — especially shooting away from stops — your transmission is working harder and will need more frequent care. Check your owner’s manual for the “severe conditions” service interval.
Transmission fluids vary from vehicle to vehicle, so you’ll also need to check your owner’s manual to know what kind your car needs, or meet with your experienced Valley Auto Care service professional.
At Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley, transmission fluid can usually be changed while you wait and is simple and not particularly expensive. Compared to the cost of expensive transmission repairs or a new transmission, it’s downright cheap! So take some good auto advice from the team at Valley Auto Care and take care of your transmission. It will pay you back in improved fuel economy and a longer, smoother ride.
Go Big or Go Home: Upsize Your Wheels at Valley Auto Care
Date: June 24, 2014 12:33 PM - Category: Tires and Wheels
A lot of us Apple Valley auto owners like our vehicles to reflect our personalities. We’re picky about color and body style. We’ll customize anything from floor mats to window tints to license plates. One popular way for Minnesota motorists to customize a vehicle is to get new wheels.
Wheels come in thousands of designs. Custom wheels can add personality, style or sass to a vehicle. Many of these customizations involve getting a bigger wheel.
Fifteen or sixteen-inch wheels used to be the factory standard, But today, because a lot of Apple Valley drivers like the look of larger wheels, many vehicles are available with seventeen or eighteen-inch wheels. Optional wheel packages of twenty inches or more are also available in Apple Valley.
If you want to upsize the wheels on your current vehicle, however, you should know it’s not a do-it-yourself project. There are essential factors involved in ensuring your wheel change doesn’t jeopardize the safety of your vehicle.
First of all, it’s critical for Minnesota drivers to understand rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is the overall height of a tire. If you increase the rolling diameter of your tires when you upsize your wheels, you may have to modify your suspension to make sure the larger tires fit in the space and don’t rub in turns or over bumps. If that’s more work than you’re willing to do or pay for, then you need to maintain rolling diameter when you change your wheels.
It’s not as hard for Apple Valley drivers as it sounds. Imagine a doughnut. That doughnut represents rolling diameter, so you can’t make the doughnut bigger. However, you can increase the size of the doughnut hole. That gives you a bigger wheel. Tires with reduced sidewall on larger wheels will preserve your rolling diameter.
Rolling diameter is important because your wheels and tires still need to fit inside the wheel well. Also, your speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brakes are all programmed to work with a specific rolling diameter. You’ll throw off the readings on your speedometer and odometer if you change your rolling diameter. And for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, your rolling diameter has to be within 3% of factory recommendations. While some Apple Valley drivers who upsize may not be concerned about meter readings, throwing off the brake system is a serious safety hazard.
Further, many vehicles in Apple Valley are now equipped with electronically controlled suspensions. Changing the rolling diameter will negatively affect this system as well, which can lead to a less smooth ride and lower handling performance as well as harmful safety concerns.
Your experienced Valley Auto Care tire professional may be able to reprogram your vehicle’s computer to adjust for a larger (or smaller) rolling diameter.
So to maintain rolling diameter, you’ll need tires with a shorter sidewall. These tires will be designed to give the sidewalls the strength they need to maintain ride quality. Consider that doughnut again. As the wheel (the doughnut hole) gets bigger, the sidewall of the tire (the width of remaining doughnut) gets shorter. That means the tire holds less air. The sidewalls have to be made stiffer to compensate for the decreased air capacity.
To improve their strength, the shorter tires will also be slightly wider than your previous tires. But this means you’ll have a larger contact patch, or, in other words, a larger area of tire making contact with the road. This can actually increase your handling performance and decrease braking distances. Many Minnesota auto buffs customize their wheels just for this reason—they want the improved performance rather than looks or style. If you drive a truck or an SUV around Apple Valley, you might be interested in the extra control an upsized wheel can provide.
Now, that larger contact patch still has to fit inside your wheel well without rubbing when cornering or when bouncing over bumps or potholes on Apple Valley roads. This is termed fitment, and you may need a few critical adjustments so your new wheels will fit properly. You may need spacers so that your brakes will fit inside the new wheels, as well.
Valley Auto Care tire professionals are experts at mounting, adjusting and customizing wheels. They can give you a lot of good auto advice about wheels and tires and how they affect driving performance and car care. They can help Apple Valley motorists select wheels and tires that will suit their driving needs and habits.
For example, if you drive off-road around Apple Valley, you should consider a higher profile tire. This type of tire will protect your rims from expensive damage while you’re bouncing over rocks. Or, if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads around Minnesota, you’ll want a tire with a load rating equal to your demands. Your experienced Valley Auto Care tire professional can help you with these types of concerns.
Once you’ve got your new wheels, have your experienced Valley Auto Care service professional survey to see if you need an alignment. You don’t want those new wheels and your higher performance compromised by poor alignment. Get the most out of your investment by getting the work done right at Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley.
Last but not least, remember tire pressure. With larger wheels, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need slightly higher pressure. You’ll need to stay on top of vital preventive maintenance and keep them properly inflated. Be sure to inspect their pressure at least once a week. If you don’t keep your tires at their correct pressure, they will wear out really fast. It will also curtail your braking and handling performance.
So smile and show off your vehicle around Apple Valley. Make it all yours. Bumper stickers, vanity license plates, custom wheels — strut your stuff!
Shake It Up in Apple Valley!: Why Wheel Balancing
Date: June 24, 2014 9:41 AM - Category: Tires and Wheels
Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Apple Valley drivers generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.
When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Apple Valley drivers want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your experienced Valley Auto Care service professional spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Apple Valley car owners are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.
High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Apple Valley auto owners can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your car — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.
The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the highway, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the detrimental vibration. When Apple Valley motorists' tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and important suspension parts.
Getting a balance job at Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley can prevent costly repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your car as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your fuel economy. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Valley Auto Care, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.
Some Apple Valley vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your car. Balancing your tires is part of important preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some costly ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from Valley Auto Care. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Apple Valley drivers' nerves.
Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Apple Valley Drivers
Date: April 15, 2014 9:23 AM - Category: Fuel System
Apple Valley auto owners know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your car engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine’s cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.
There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air and before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the car engine.
Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional car engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.
For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.
Why the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the car engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.
Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the car engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.
When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won’t be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and gas mileage as well as delivering less power to the engine.
Apple Valley drivers should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more expensive. And we’re talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.
So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good car care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.
If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you’ll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Apple Valley auto owners will enjoy better fuel efficiency and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.
Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley MN helps people and their vehicles throughout Apple Valley and along Cedar Ave, County Rd. 42, Galaxy Ave, and 160th St. We work on all vehicles including the following manufacturers: Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Ford, Mazda, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, GMC, Cadillac, Mercury, Lincoln, Infiniti, Acura, Lexus, Buick, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Plymouth with most auto service needs including: Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Transmission, Tune-Up, Computer Diagnostics, Engine Codes, Suspension, Shocks, Struts, Alignment, AC, Clutch & more.