Category Archives: Fuel System

Maintaining Your Diesel in Poway

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven’t been as common in Poway because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Poway drivers driving diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV’s.

Diesels are popular in Poway because they get better MPG than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you’re not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don’t produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in California as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Poway , we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Poway auto owners' dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles perform as well as other passenger vehicles, also. Most Poway people don’t notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer in Poway, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don’t all Poway drivers drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven’t told me about. That’s true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in California. The better fuel economy of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more expensive to drive in Poway . But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in California, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Poway drivers depends now on the current price of fuel in California and how many miles you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Poway area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in California becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive in Poway than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Poway are similar. Wait, you may be thinking, but you just told me that filters are more pricey and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Poway Auto Repair auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the Poway driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.

Poway Auto Repair Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas



Poway motorists often ask the question: "Will using premium gas make my car run better?" The answer is simple. But first, let's talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.

Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Poway, California also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.

Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.

There's a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your automobile manufacturer recommends.

For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by Poway Auto Repair in Poway:

13907 Poway Rd Suite A
Poway, California 92064
(858) 748-0561

Poway car owners should read their owner's manuals carefully to see if it's acceptable to use lower grades. With some cars in Poway, California it is; the engine control computer can adapt. Poway car owners will lose some performance, but won't do damage. With other engines, using a lower grade of fuel could result in serious and costly damage; so you don't want to save a couple of bucks at the pump only to pay it out a hundred fold at your Poway repair shop.

Your car will run best on the type of gas recommended by the manufacturer.

Today's computer controlled vehicles are optimized to run well on the recommended grade of fuel. Using a higher grade than is recommended will not give Poway auto owners any additional performance or better gas mileage.

Regulations require detergents for all grades of gasoline, so your engine will have the same protection, regardless of the grade of fuel you use. If you do hear some knocking or pinging from your engine, take it seriously and get your Vehicle into Poway Auto Repair . It may be a sign that you need a tune-up or some other repair.

In times of expensive gas prices, most Poway auto owners are conscious of making their fuel dollar go further as we drive around California. Be sure to use the right gas for your car. Keep your tires properly inflated and your vehicle well maintained and you will get the best gas mileage possible.

Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down Around Poway



There's not much we can do about the price of gas in Poway California, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we're driving on our Poway streets.

Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

Slow Down In Poway for 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 to Poway . Once you're going more than sixty-five miles an 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.

Poway Auto Repair
13907 Poway Rd Suite A
Poway, California 92064
(858) 748-0561

Poway Auto Repair Fuel Saving Tip for Poway: Check Engine Light



Here's a question for Poway, California car owners: How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light?

Hey, it's not there to create ambiance; it's a warning that something's wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson's fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

If your check engine light comes on, check your gas cap. A loose gas cap can cause a false sensor reading that'll make the check engine light turn on.

Check Engine Light Many conditions that trigger the check engine light can hurt your MPG. A lot.

If your date's eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you'll save by getting it fixed. Give Poway Auto Repair a call when you are ready: (858) 748-0561

Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Poway, California

Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our Poway environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Poway motorists very soon. For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Poway area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits to Poway car owners are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower fuel economy and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more pricey than straight gasoline. Poway motorists should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires. Diesel engines have been around the Poway area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable. There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Poway roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It's less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home. Natural gas engines don't make as much power and don't get as good MPG, but they cost Poway drivers less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Poway to Poway . Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Poway area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants. That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our California roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors. A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that's assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver fuel economy similar to their highway ratings. A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It'll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries. Another breakthrough technology from auto makers is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global vehicle manufacturers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It'll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there's widespread use in California. A quick word from Poway Auto Repair about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Poway service technician at Poway Auto Repair is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle. Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you're specifically trained on hybrid systems.

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Poway Drivers

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Poway auto owners know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your Vehicle 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 Vehicle engine.

Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional Vehicle 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.

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Poway DriversWhy the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the Vehicle 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 Vehicle 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.

Poway auto owners 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, Poway motorists will enjoy better fuel efficiency and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.

Service to Improve Fuel Economy

The price of gas in California has got Poway auto owners talking. It seems that Poway folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel efficiency.

First let's start with how we drive in the Poway area. Poway motorists may not realize that they can really save bucks on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts - you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster too.

Another thing Poway motorists can do is drive slower - but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the interstate we drive an extra five ... ten . . . twenty ... over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it only saves a few minutes out of maybe an hour long drive, and we may use 10 to 15 % more gas. Just leave Poway a little bit earlier, save some income and arrive more relaxed.

Poway motorists can also try and combine all of their errands for the day into just one trip, rather than several. If you can put off a trip today that can be combined with one tomorrow - you can save some time and money.

Using your cruise control can save cash too. Driving in Poway at a constant speed really improves fuel efficiency. Be sure to only use your cruise control in California under safe conditions - you can look in your owner's manual for some key good tips on using your cruise control.

Did you know that reducing the weight in your Vehicle saves gas? Clean out the trunk or back seat from time to time so that you are not paying to carry around a lot of stuff around Poway you do not need in the car. If you live in California where there is snow and ice, clear it off your car. They add weight and mess with aerodynamics too.

Another tip is to avoid long idle times, which includes warming it up when you start. Modern engines do not require a long warm up to get going - just take it easy for a couple of miles.

Be sure to get a new gas cap if yours leaks or is worn.

Now, let's start talking mechanical. Bottom line - the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in improved gas mileage before your next oil change - and will keep saving you money after that.

A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends in fuel economy for Poway auto owners. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power - so Poway car owners can't go wrong with that.

Some of us Poway auto owners ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy.

And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your gas mileage. Don't overlook the essential routine maintenance items, like scheduled oil changes, transmission and cooling system service. Dirty or low fluids actually use more fuel. Just look at your car maker'a recommended service intervals in the owner's manual, or ask your Poway Auto Repair service advisor for the schedule.

Don't forget your tires. Under-inflated tires waste gas. And if your wheels are out of alignment you won't get the fuel economy you need.

None of these things are very complicated or expensive for Poway drivers to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today, and prevent costly repairs tomorrow.

Fuel Injection Basics For Poway



All modern Poway vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it’s a topic Poway auto owners need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount, at the right time; to be mixed with air and burned in the engine.

So how many fuel injectors does your car have? There’s one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in Poway, California. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty high-tech.

Poway Auto Repair can help Poway motorists with a fuel injector cleaning service. What’s the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. It's essential that the fuel is sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.

Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, effecting the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn’t get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and hurts fuel efficiency.

What about dirty fuel – how does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high quality fuel. It's tempting to shop for bargains in  Poway with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the Poway, California area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.

What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is an essential component of the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it’s clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.

It’s vital to replace the fuel filter when your auto maker recommends it. That’s part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.

There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines Poway auto owners are starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There’s no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.

There are a lot of good products available in Poway, California that can clean fuel injectors. They’re best used by Poway auto owners to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can’t clean a seriously gummed up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning, like those we offer at Poway Auto Repair in Poway. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you’ve had Poway Auto Repair take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.

Give us a call if you think your Vehicle may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.

Manager: Jose Zendejas
Poway Auto Repair
13907 Poway Rd Suite A
Poway, California 92064
(858) 748-0561


Direct Fuel Injection Update From Poway Auto Repair

For those of you in Poway California who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6. For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower. So what are the differences from a conventional engine? The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it's then drawn into the engine with the air. With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cylinder during the combustion cycle is burned much more efficiently. First, the fuel is squirted in at hundreds of times more pressure, so it's atomized much better and burns cleaner and stronger. The other big advance is in electronics. Faster engine management computers can control the additional precision required to manage direct fuel injection. Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver a precise amount of fuel at exactly the right time. The design of the engine also dictates a particular spray pattern for the fuel. If a fuel injector is dirty or gummed up, it can't do its job as well. That means less power and worse fuel economy for your Vehicle and can lead to damaged fuel injectors. Replacing fuel injectors isn't cheap. Direct injection injectors are even more expensive because of the extremely high-pressure they use. Same thing for diesel fuel injectors; we're talking mortgage payment-range to replace a set of diesel injectors. A professional fuel system cleaning from Poway Auto Repair gets out the gum and varnish in the whole system, including the fuel injectors. Keep those injectors clean and they'll last a long, long time.

Clean Fuel

Your browser does not support video Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the Vehicle engine. Poway motorists don’t need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better your Vehicle engine will run. Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your Vehicle ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel. Clean Fuel – Clean Performance for Poway DriversThe harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your owner’s manual to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. Poway auto owners should change it before it becomes clogged. Your Friendly Poway Auto Repair service professional can help you with recommended fuel filter replacement schedules. If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your Vehicle engine will sputter when you drive at highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Poway, but when you need a higher flow of fuel for faster speeds, or if you need a sudden burst of fuel, you just won’t be able to get it through the filter. Poway auto owners take note: A clogged filter is actually dangerous. If you need to accelerate suddenly out of the path of danger, you just won’t have the power to do it. Fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter becomes clogged, the valve allows some fuel to bypass the filter so the engine can keep running – just not enough to be running well. That means, though, that dirty, unfiltered fuel is entering your engine. Instead of clogging up your filter, that dirt is now getting into your fuel injectors where it can cause serious damage. Fuel injectors are expensive; fuel filters are cheap. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice. Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to pricey repair bills for Poway motorists. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your Friendly Poway Auto Repair technician will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle. Good car care means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered in every owner’s manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected at Poway Auto Repair . It may save Poway auto owners money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay them in improved gas mileage, safety and peace of mind.

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