Category Archives: Automotive News

Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle In Poway ?

There is a clear and vocal demand in Poway and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the California market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Poway area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Poway auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Poway dealership.

Poway motorists should carefully research the car care before buying an alternative vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs and MPG as well: these vehicles may help save our environment here in Poway, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You’ll need to decide what you can afford, and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your Poway area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in California.

Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

Flex fuel vehicles do have lower harmful exhaust emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles. And in Poway , E85 is usually lower in cost than regular gasoline. When gasoline prices fall in California, however, they can drop below the price of E85. This is to Poway car owners’ advantage, since the vehicle can run on either fuel, but it negates the benefits of lowered exhaust emissions and lower consumption of fossil fuels.

One piece of Poway Auto Repair auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your Vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel
Diesel engines are nothing new on California expressways, and many get great MPG. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in Poway .

Natural Gas

Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Poway and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Poway roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Poway, ask your Poway Auto Repair service professional about it.

On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline, and it will get lower MPG. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some California areas, or even unavailable, in many parts of the country.

Hydrogen
Another alternative fuel that has enjoyed a lot of hype in Poway is the hydrogen cell. The natural appeal is that the only exhaust is water vapor. In other words, hydrogen represents a truly clean-burning fuel. But hydrogen vehicles won’t come into widespread use until refueling stations become widely available here in Poway and around the country.

Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were all the rage in California some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Poway motorists. These vehicles won’t come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, the cars have a short range before their power runs out, and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge, since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

Hybrids
Hybrids have been one of the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Poway and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard automobile, and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the car. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV’s.

A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.

Auto Shop

Auto Shop Poway, CA: Poway Auto Repair

How to Get Honest Auto Repairs

When you take your car in to the auto shop for servicing, you have every reason to expect to be treated with honesty and integrity. However, it's pretty hard to know when you are lied to, over charged, or taken advantage of, when automotive care is not your expertise. So how do you know when you are getting honest auto repairs? It all boils down to the details.

What You Should Expect With Routine Maintenance

Taking your car into the auto shop for routine maintenance is always a good idea. It prolongs the car's useful life, prevents larger repair bills, and it prevents you from having to deal with unexpected problems and expenses, or wondering whether or not you really need this repair. When you take your vehicle into the auto shop, the technician should tell you what services will be performed, how long it will take, and the cost. Honest auto shops want you to know these details and strive to perform the work as described.

What About Repairs?

Routine maintenance will extend the life of the vehicle, but like any other machine, eventually parts will fail and you will need repairs. An honest auto shop will provide a diagnosis of the problem, a description of the parts or services necessary to fix the problem, and an estimate of the time and cost. They shouldn't start work without your authorization, and shouldn't do anything outside of the scope of the agreement without your consent. Auto shops that deal with integrity will not have any problem being upfront and transparent in their dealings with you, and would be willing to show you broken and replaced parts, for example.

What About Additional Work?

When you bring your vehicle in for work, it's not unusual to expect the technician to find additional problems. After all, the parts all work together to perform a task, so if one is broken or malfunctioning it will likely cause stress on another. Your repair technician should tell you what needs to be done, and it's urgency. Some repairs might need to be done as part of regular maintenance and could be delayed, others might need immediate attention.

Bringing up needed repairs isn't necessarily a sign that a repair shop is somehow dishonest. In fact, it may be just the opposite! A technician may bring up a needed repair because they have the necessary area accessible and a repair now can save you on labor. Another reason they may bring up needed repairs is that not having some things fixed could lead to unsafe driving conditions and they may be required to tell you of the danger. Other times, they may suggest repairs that could be of benefit to you such as ones that would provide better gas mileage or a smoother and safer ride.

In most cases, a shop will demonstrate honesty and integrity through their willingness to communicate and provide documentation about the work. It also takes a certain amount of trust from the vehicle owner, understanding the process and why a technician would make a recommendation.

Can Car Scent Keep You Safe On California Roads ?

Here's a travel tip that'll I'll bet you didn't know, and, it might keep you safer... The average American commuter in California spends two and a half hours daily in their car. The government says a hundred thousand auto accidents yearly are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. (Aggressive driving is the number one traffic safety concern.) So what does this have to do with how your car smells while you're driving around California? Well, which scent did you think makes drivers more alert?
Is it:
  • A. Strawberry
  • B. New Car
  • C. Pine
  • D. Warm Vanilla Breeze
It's C. Drivers are more alert and have less fatigue with pine scent in the car, according to AroMetrics. And, drivers were less angry with overall improved driving performance with strawberry and pine scents. And you thought they just smelled nice.
Poway Auto Repair 13907 Poway Rd Suite A Poway, California 92064 (858) 748-0561

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