Fredericksburg Auto Repair

Monthly Archives: October 2013

Giving Engines Added Boost

Presented by Dan Ritchie: In an effort to wring the most efficiency from engines, automakers are generally following the path of downsizing, in terms of both displacement and cylinder count. In order to harness the most power from these smaller engines, auto manufacturers turn to either “turbochargers” or “supercharges.” Both work to force more air into the engine, which creates more power. Turbochargers work off the engine exhaust, which means their added power comes free. However, there is usually a slight delay from the time that the accelerator pedal is pressed to the time that the turbo generates boost, known as “turbo lag.” Although superchargers siphon energy off the engine-driven belt, their effect is immediate. Both increase mileage by roughly 10%. Regardless of the age and model of your vehicle, its engine is a critical component and the most costly to repair when something goes wrong. We not only service cars-we clean them to. HINT: So-called “twin-scroll” turbo chargers red ... read more

Cylinder Head Gasket Failure

Presented by Dan Ritchie: The gasket sandwiched between the engine block the cylinder head helps ensure maximum compression and prevent leakage of either oil or coolant into the cylinders. The likelihood of gasket failure is increased by the fact that aluminum cylinder heads thermally expand at a somewhat higher rate than cast-iron cylinder blocks. Because the cylinder head moves slightly across the gasket’s surface as the engine warms up to operating temperature, stress is placed on the head gasket. Auto manufacturers have addressed this issue by supplementing head-gasket surfaces with non-stick coatings. Still, if a head gasket were to fail, the resultant compression loss, leakage of exhaust gases into the cooling system, and/or mixing of oil with coolant all warrant immediate attention. The engine is the heart of your vehicle and probably the most costly to repair when something goes wrong. Following a routine maintenance plan can help protect your automotive investment and save you ... read more

Quick on the Draw

Presented by Dan Ritchie: A vehicle owner who discovers a dead battery will generally that the battery or the alternator needs replacing. While these suspects often turn out to be true culprits, there may be other gremlins at work. Modern automobiles are outfitted with all manner of gadgets and electronic processors that draw energy from the battery that draw energy from the battery when the vehicle is turned off. This bye of “parasitic loss” is exemplified by such electronic accessories as car radios. Which need electricity to retain information about preselected stations. Usually, collective parasitic losses do not amount to enough lost power to fully drain a battery, even over several weeks. However, if a stuck relay leads to unacceptable losses, it must be diagnosed and repaired. At Express Auto Service, we recommend regular maintenance inspections to help identify and perform needed services. If you have a question or concern about your vehicle, please stop in for a free visual in ... read more

Dealing with Power Loss

Presented by Dan Ritchie: One of the reasons behind an an engine’s inability to produce sufficient power is poor ring seal, which refers to the rings’ inability to prevent air and oil from being drawn into the combustion chamber during the intake stroke. During the compression stroke the rings make sure that air/fuel remains in the combustion chamber and is fully compressed before it is ignited. During the power strike, the rings prevent pressure from blowing past the pistons as the burning gases force the piston downward. Then, during the exhaust stroke, the rings ensure that all of the by-products of combustion are expelled. Rings that do not seal well during the four-cycle combustion process can reduce horsepower substantially. When something is not right with your car, it sends you a signal. A lack of power for example, could signal a poor ring seal. One of our ASE Certified Master Technicians can inspect the various components of the vehicle and recommend repair or replacement of ... read more

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