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Articles:

Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?

Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all Centennial residents know about them. But do we know enough?Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for Centennial residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways and blocking ... read more

On Board Diagnostics for Your Engine

Starting in 1996, Davis Automotive Repair service technicians have been able to use a standardized diagnostic system to help determine what is wrong with a vehicle. This diagnostic system works in tandem with the Engine Control Modules for each vehicle's engine. The Engine Control Module is a computer that monitors and controls many engine functions.Sensors throughout a vehicle send readings to the Engine Control Module. These readings help the computer make adjustments in various vehicle systems to allow for constantly changing driving conditions and even to compensate for minor problems. However, if the computer encounters a situation it can't adjust for, it turns on the Check Engine light. (The Check Engine light is called the “service engine soon” light on some vehicles.)If the Check Engine light is burning steadily, it indicates a problem that needs to be taken care of soon. If it is flashing, however, the vehicle need ... read more

Good Timing: Proper Timing Belt Replacement Saves Money for Centennial Drivers

Knowing how their engine works can help Centennial drivers make informed decisions about auto care and prevent repairs to their vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to timing belts.An engine's power is generated in the cylinders. Inside the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down while the engine is running. Power is generated in a cycle that includes four strokes of the piston. First, the piston drops and a valve at the top of the cylinder opens to let in fuel and air. The piston then rises, which compresses the fuel and air. At this point, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel and pushing the piston down. This downstroke transfers energy to the engine, which provides the power it needs to run. The piston rises again, and a valve opens to release the exhaust.All of this movement is orchestrated by a timing belt. The timing belt is so named because it keeps the pistons and valves operating in synch with each other, just as a conductor keeps all of ... read more

Right or Left? Davis Automotive Repair Power Steering Service

Have you ever driven a vehicle without power steering? If you have, then you probably appreciate how much easier it is to drive today's modern vehicles. Before power steering, all of the force to turn a vehicle had to come from the driver's arms. That's why old cars had such large steering wheels: they needed plenty of leverage to steer. There were some Centennial folks who had difficulty driving because they just weren't strong enough.Power steering is now standard on all vehicles, but there are several ways that power can be delivered. Most vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system system. In this system, a serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump that pressurizes the power steering fluid. The pressure activates hydraulics that provides steering power.Other vehicles use an electric pump to pressurize the power steering fluid rather than the belt-driven pump. Some newer vehicles actually have electric motors that provide steering power and don't use steering ... read more

Ask Davis Automotive Repair: What Happens When a Serpentine Belt Breaks?

The serpentine belt is aptly named since it snakes around under your hood. It may lack its namesake's fangs, but it sure packs a wallop when it breaks.The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine systems. It runs the alternator, which charges the battery; the water pump (on some vehicles), which cools the engine; the air conditioning, which cools the driver and passengers; and the power steering pump, which allows for easier steering. When the belt breaks, all of these systems shut down.Okay, so maybe you can live without air conditioning and power steering for a while, but your battery can't live very long without an alternator, and when the cooling system goes down, your vehicle engine will overheat. That's why Centennial drivers should never wait to get a serpentine belt replaced.Serpentine belts are fairly inexpensive at Davis Automotive Repair in Centennial. And they look downright cheap when you compare them to the cost of an overheated vehicle engine, a tow truck, time lost on the ... read more

Talk to Davis Automotive Repair About New Shoes for Your Vehicle

Custom wheels are one way that Centennial folks express themselves and personalize their vehicle. But they aren't as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several factors that need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the vehicle, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Centennial drivers start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose. When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require adjustments to your vehicle suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel. There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose ... read more

Fall and Spring Checkup in Centennial

When I was a kid, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it's about time to get into Davis Automotive Repair for a checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don't need seasonal service.My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family vehicle, most of them used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today's modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.Your owner's manual or Centennial service advisor at Davis Automotive Repair can tell you the right oil to use.Of course, you're concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don't want to overheat in the Colorado summer ... read more

Davis Automotive Repair Automotive Tips: Diagnostic Service

Imagine waking up one morning with a stomach ache. You pick up the phone, call the doctor’s office and say, “I’ve got a really bad tummy ache. How much will it cost to make me feel better?” Of course you wouldn’t do that. You know that there could be a lot of reasons for your symptoms and that the doctor will have to examine you, ask some questions and probably run some tests before she can tell you what’s wrong and give you treatment options. This same scenario plays out every day at Colorado auto repair facilities. When the cause of the concern isn’t obvious, the car will need to undergo a diagnostic examination. The typical car has about 30,000 parts, including several networked computers and miles of wiring. Finding exactly what is wrong can be very complicated and take some time. The most experienced technicians at Davis Automotive Repair in Centennial are the ones who tackle the difficult diagnostic jobs. Once they have determined th ... read more

Keeping Your Car Young in Centennial

As Centennial consumers, we live in a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away.New stuff comes out so fast in Colorado, and much of it is fairly cheap, so we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff - especially parents who grew up in the Depression. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough; we had to do without.  We couldn't afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It's a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us Centennial penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care. The engineering's there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's maintenance schedules.Is it really tha ... read more

Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down Around Centennial

There's not much we can do about the price of gas in Centennial, Colorado, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we're driving on our Centennial streets.Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.The first thing we can do is watch the 'go-pedal.' Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don't need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.Go a little slower on the freeway. Once you're going more than 65 miles an hour (105 kilometers per hour), your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don't need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot. Davis Automotive Repair 6867 South Emporia Street Centennial, Colorado 80112 303

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