Monday, October 28, 2013

Auto Maintenance vs. Repair

In this video series, John Nielsen, director of AAAs Approved Auto Repair Network and Auto Buying Services, helps you make sense of car care. The series explains the differences between repair and maintenance and do-it-yourself repair and professional auto repair services. Tips address choosing an auto mechanic and following factory and maintenance schedules. Increasing your vehicles safety, reliability and longevity through proper maintenance also is discussed. For more AAA Automotive information, visit

Friday, October 25, 2013

Comprehensive Auto Repair Done Right

Nor Cal Performance is a family owned full-service auto repair shop in West Sacramento, California. We offer comprehensive automotive maintenance and repair for all foreign and domestic vehicles. 

As a certified NAPA AutoCare Center, we take pride in offering our customers quality auto repair at a fair price. 

Our ASE Certified Technicians are well trained and highly skilled in the repair of your car, truck, SUV, or van, no matter what the problem may be. We also offer fleet maintenance and repair, brakes, oil change, tune up, transmission, electrical, alignment, diagnostics, and much more.

We are also a STAR certified test and repair smog station.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme

Dirt and water in your fuel system steal the power from your diesel. Your engine needs an extreme cleaning. Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme is a new and powerful formula designed to rejuvenate your diesel's fuel system's performance. Add a dose of Diesel Extreme at your next fill up and your engine's fuel system will be cleaned, restored and boosted to its original performance power.

Diesel Extreme is much stronger than retail type products. It will clean everything in your tank, lines and injector tips and remove moisture. When used in conjunction with Hot Shot's Secret Stiction Eliminator you will be giving your truck a complete cleaning on the inside. Hot Shot's Secret is cleaning the oil side of the engine while Diesel Extreme cleans the fuel side.
Recommended for ALL diesel engines.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

What To Do About A Vehicle Recall

In 2010, 14.9 million vehicles were recalled by manufactures. Here is AAA's guide help you know what to if your vehicle has a recall.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NAPA Can Gets the "Silent Treatment"

What happens when a can and brakes have a fight? Click here to watch our latest TV spot and find out!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

7 Common Reasons For An Oil Change

The lifespan of any vehicle revolves around several factors one of them is the maintenance of the vehicle. Most people neglect their vehicles and when they really need it the most, the vehicle might suddenly die. This can happen not only to old cars but to new cars as well and hence it's very important to make sure your vehicle is in for a scheduled maintenance check-up often. Consider these seven reasons why you should get your oil changed.
1. Longevity - If you are looking to increase the lifespan of your vehicle you will probably want to get this done. Getting your oil changed is not expensive and by servicing you would get a filter replacement with fresh oil that would keep your engine lubricated and perform optimally. You can either do it by yourself or you can visit a mechanic who would do it for you at a small price.
2. Sludge - Do you know that your engine parts are ruined because of dirty clogs and then an engine build up acidity which causes unnecessary damage to the internal parts of your vehicle? Damaging the engine would require a replacement or repair which is much more costly than a simple process of oil change.
3. Stress - If you are going on a long road trip or going through the mountainous terrain you will need all the possible power in the engine to get you through. Changing your oil regularly will not give you any problems and your car will run just fine. If you have not been doing a regular oil change you would find that the car will have a real hard time going up the hills and engine could get over heated.
4. Most vehicles especially during mild climate regions should have its oil changed every 3000 miles. And if you're living in an area that is particularly dirty or dusty you will want to take care of this more frequently. Do not delay, as this should not take long, especially if the mechanic is not very busy. This is a simple, inexpensive, and crucial service, so forgetting to keep up with it can lead to some serious setbacks.
5. Depending on whether you are an aggressive driver and drive in a lot of stop and go traffic, you will want to check your fluid level and regularly top it off as needed. This style of driving will necessitate changing out the engine oil more often than average drivers would need to
6. Oil constantly burns as we drive and simply adding fresh lubricant bought from a store is not good enough for your car's motor. Over time, the oil inside will turn black and accumulate dirt and other debris. After a while this will likely clog your engine and can lead to permanent damage. Once this fluid is contaminated, it can lead to some serious problems. To properly address the problem, a full oil change is necessary.
7. If you have any pinging in your engine or other unusual noises could indicate that the oil level is low or that it is dirty. Oil dampens noise and reduces friction, so when it is degraded your car will typically begin making different sounds.
The above are some of the main reasons why one should get their oil changed regularly, you can do so by having a scheduled maintenance plan with your mechanic. This will increase the lifespan of your vehicle and you will be at a lot of peace when you know you're vehicle is functioning well.

Article Source:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

5 Steps to Passing Your Smog Check, Without Wasting Time

You receive your DMV notice in the mail and it's that dreaded time again. Thank God, it only happens once every 2 years but it still can be quite a daunting task. Getting that Smog registration form in the mail can be pretty nerve racking, especially with today's strict environmental standards and poor economy. Failing your smog check is no joke too because it often results in expensive repairs, dirty shops and hidden fees and upsells.
Although, I cannot fix your car, I can give you tips on how I got my smog check done in as little as 30 minutes, without having a heart attack.
1) Research - First things first, you have to do your research. If you don't, you'll end up going to the wrong shop that can play you like a fiddle. I like to go to yelp to find the top restaurants, dry cleaners, and yes smog shops in my city. If you are in San Francisco, I personally recommend Clean Air Smog. Ive been there three times already and I cannot agree more with the over 100+ 5 star reviews on their place.
2) Call To Set An Appointment - You would be surprised at how many friends I talk to that say they waited 3 hours to get their smog check. Simple solution, set an appointment and you'll be in and out in 15 minutes. (Bonus: look for a shop that has 2 smog machines and usually, you'll get done a lot quicker.)
3) MapQuest - Don't get lost and miss your appointment. MapQuest it so that you will get their prompt and on time.
4) Bring Your Favorite Mag - You will have to wait for your car to be smogged. Make sure you keep yourself entertained.
5) Drive Your Car - Don't lag, get in your car and head over to the car smog station.

Article Source:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Understanding the Importance of Your Check Engine Light

Today's automobiles are filled with technologies designed to keep us safe and let us know when something has gone awry. One such warning device is the check engine light, intended to let drivers know when something in the engine needs attention; anything from potentially catastrophic malfunctions to emission control errors to missing fuel caps. Unfortunately, this warning, illuminated in a car's instrument panel, has become so ubiquitous that most drivers ignore the light entirely.
For many, it appears as though the check engine light is always on, and that it serves no useful purpose. Many of these potential issues present no immediate danger in getting motorists from place to place, so no action is taken. This serves to reinforce the idea that the check engine light is nothing to be taken seriously, and that its illumination in your vehicle is no cause for concern. In truth, ignoring this pivotal warning can lead to seriously dangerous situations that threaten the safety of everyone onboard, even if those problems only develop much later on down the road.
In a system as complex as your vehicle's engine, a small defect left running over time can grow and destroy the integrity of the entire machine, leaving you on the side of the road, waiting for a tow truck and in need of a new car. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a loose screw or bolt, if left alone for a long enough time, can lead to breakdowns that can cost thousands of dollars to repair. For your engine to work optimally each component must do its part as intended; any breakdowns in normative functioning will hurt its efficiency, eventually leading to a malfunction.
In cases where these minor issues are allowed to grow into serious problems, they are rarely attributed to these small problems. When a transmission fails and needs replacing, or a piston ring is destroyed, the cause is seldom a spontaneous malfunction, but a gradual defect that was allowed to fester. For these reasons, having your vehicle inspected when the check engine light is illuminated is vitally important. Whatever small fees you are required to pay for a mechanic to inspect your vehicle will be more than worth the future fortune you will be forced to spend when a major problem surfaces.
If this inspection reveals an issue, however minor, have it fixed immediately. Be proactive in maintaining your vehicle. Catching a potential problem in its early stages can save you money and prevent the possibility of injury or worse. If left unattended, you become susceptible to dangerous breakdowns, stalls, and malfunctions at any time, even on the freeway at high speeds or in the middle of a crowded intersection. As one of the largest, most expensive, and most important parts of our lives today, our cars deserve adequate upkeep and maintenance.
By performing regular maintenance, like changing your oil on time, checking your tire pressure and tread levels, and investigating issues presented by the check engine light, you can prolong the life of your vehicle and drive confidently, knowing that your car will not suddenly break down, leaving you stranded and looking at a massive repair bill.

Article Source:

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Importance of Oil Changes For Cars

Changing your oil every 3,000 miles is not just a suggestion, it is a necessity. Getting oil changes for your cars on a routine basis will help to ensure the life of your automobile for many years to come.
There are a number of benefits that are associated with routine oil changes including increased gas mileage, increased performance and improved engine stability and life.
The first major benefit that is a direct result of routine oil changes is an increase in gas mileage. Dirty oil in a car's engine creates friction between the moving parts. The more friction an engine must deal with, the more heat it will produce. This combination of friction and heat will lead to a decrease in the total number of miles per gallon each engine can go in between fill-ups. With the current gas spike that is occurring across America, wouldn't it be great to get the maximum number of miles per gallon that your car can get?
Another major benefit of changing your oil every three months or 3,000 miles is that it's a great way to ensure the life of your engine for years to come. An engine that is maintained on a consistent basis will remain cleaner. A clean engine is less likely to seize up on its owner. Careful and diligent maintenance of the key engine components of your engine will keep your engine running long after the body has begun to show the signs of aging.
A car's performance depends largely on the condition of its engine. When every car is brand new, the manufacturer will release specification numbers about the car's performance. These numbers will include the maximum horsepower and torque. As the years roll past, these numbers can decrease due to engine deposits and buildup in a number of the moving parts. Routine oil changes are a great combatant to engine buildup. New oil acts as a recycling agent and helps to remove deposits, while lubricating the engine in the same process.
Along with routine oil changes, there are a number of other things you can do to your car every three months that will help to keep your car running great.
Some of these maintenance jobs include checking the rest of your fluids, removing the air bubbles that may have accumulated in the brake lines or bleeding the brakes. The final area of quarterly maintenance that should not be forgotten is to rotate the tires of your car. This aids in helping to equally distribute the wear on each tire by placing them in different positions around the car. The rotation of the tires is dependent on the drive train of the specific car that you drive. For example, a front wheel drive car should have its tires rotated in a "front cross" pattern. This means that the back two tires should be crossed and placed in the position diagonal to them, while the current front tires are moved to the two open spots directly behind them.
In order to keep your car running its best, tri-monthly oil changes for cars is a necessity. The combination of the oil change with the other maintenance measures listed above will help to ensure a well running reliable automobile.

Article Source:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top 5 Reasons to Select an ASE Certified Mechanic to Repair Your Car

It's time. Your car needs a repair and you didn't plan for it ahead - tsk, tsk. Now you need to find a good, dependable, quality mechanic, stat! Where do you go? How do you choose? There are many ways to evaluate mechanics and compare one against another, but one key way is to select an ASE Certified Mechanic. You've probably heard the phrase "ASE Certified" in relation to vehicles before, but what does it mean and why is it good? It refers to the National Institute for Automobile Service Excellence. The certification has been in existence since 1972 and here's all you need to know about why you should only select an ASE Certified Mechanic to repair your car.
1) ASE Certified mechanics have to pass a specialized exam. There are eight different specialties available for a mechanic to choose to be certified in. The specialization could be in specific areas such as: engine repair, automotive trans/transaxle, manual drive train and axles, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical / electronic systems, heating and air conditioning, or engine performance. Now, just passing an exam doesn't necessarily make a mechanic qualified to work on your car; however, it does show that they have been educated in the specifics of how to diagnose and repair the components contained within their chosen specialty.
2) To be ASE Certified, you can't just pass the exam. One is also required to have at least two years of 'relevant' work experience. Now we're talking! So they have to pass a test and then work in the field for at least two years before they are eligible to be certified by the ASE.
3) The ASE also has higher levels of education, seriously, for mechanics. That's something to be impressed with in any profession. The ability to, and the subsequent decision to pursue continuing education to become a Certified Master Mechanic shows me that this mechanic both loves his craft and appreciates that it's an ever-changing field with these fast-paced technology advancements in the auto-making industry. An Master Mechanic has passed all eight specialty exams!
4) Ethics. In addition to the training and work-requirements, an ASE Certified Mechanic is held accountable to a commitment he or she has made to only engage in ethical business practices. Finally! A mechanic we can trust!
5) ASE Certified Mechanics are sought after by the most reputable dealerships and garages; why wouldn't you demand the same level of professionalism and training that others in the industry require?
Seriously though, most mechanics are good honest citizens just trying to make a living doing something they enjoy or have always been good at. But we've all heard the horror stories of shiesters and crooks in the auto mechanic industry, and quite frankly it's made us gun-shy. Asking for a mechanics certifications and only choosing ASE Certified Mechanics do perform your auto repairs will save you a tremendous amount of worry and headaches down the road. It's nice to just not have to worry about whether it's being done right and whether you're being treated fair. An ASE Certified Mechanic takes the stress out of car repairs.

Article Source: