Monday, July 28, 2014

Look Inside a Diesel Engine with Hot Shot's Secret

Mile after mile, the injectors in your diesel power your performance on the road. The injectors are under extreme pressure, up to 35,000 PSI, which efficiently atomizes fuel, providing a cleaner burn for more power. But high pressure leads to high temperatures, which burns the oil inside your injector. The oil changes into a gummy, sticky residue coating the internals and creating friction. That sticky friction is called "stiction". Your injectors with stiction can't deliver optimum performance. First a decrease in turbo boost, then loss of power and hard starts. Your oil pressure drops; you experience hesitation, idling, and excessive black smoke. Your lifetime fuel mileage decreases. Severe cases of stiction are often misdiagnosed as "failed" injectors.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hot Shot's Secret Tune-Up-Trio, featured in a "food truck"

Matt and Bruno are at it again, servicing a food truck that is participating in the The Worlds Largest Food Truck Rally in Tampa, FL.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Oil Changes Are Important!

We hear it from our parents when we first get our license. Mechanics put little stickers as a reminder on our windshield. Over and over we're nagged to get our oil changed. But why does everyone insist it's so important? This article will hopefully give you those answers and get you onboard with getting your car's oil changed regularly.
What is an oil change for, exactly?
Simply put, oil is used in cars to lubricate the instruments. The lubrication is important to prevent friction, especially since our engines are designed with elements rubbing against each other to create energy. Because the engine demands so much use from the oil, eventually the chemical construction of the motor oil breaks down and can no longer provide lubrication. Without the lubrication, engine parts are rubbing directly against each other, the results of which can cause severe damage and, ultimately, stop working altogether. Therefore, old, less effective oil needs to be drained and new, fresh oil needs to be added to ensure proper lubrication.
Small bucks to save big bucks
On average, an oil change will cost between twenty and thirty dollars (sometimes less if you find a promotion). This pricing is for conventional oil, not synthetic oil. Synthetic motor oil will most likely be double the price, but that's because it's a higher performing oil. You can refer to your owner's manual or ask the mechanic which type is right for your car, but as long as you are keeping up on your oil changes, conventional oil is generally fine. For that twenty to thirty dollars spent now, you will be saving your engine from enormously costly repair down the line. Think of it as preventative medicine for your car. Plus, most mechanics will include other life-extending services along with your oil change such as tire pressure checks, hose inspections and transmission fluid top-offs.
The price may go up if you need to replace your oil filter, or if during your overall inspection your mechanic suggestions a new air filter, hose, transmission fluid, etc. At this point you may feel upselling pressure. Certainly, there are mechanics who are out to make money. So it's important to find a mechanic you can trust. In most cases when add-ons are suggested, it's for the health of your car so you won't be back in a few months time being towed because your hose burst on the highway or your engine stopped because the air filter was too dirty to let air flow through.
One other oil change bonus to save you money: you'll save gas mileage! New oil is slick and will easily allow the movement of engine parts. Older oil gets gummy, causing the engine to work harder to perform. And when the engine works harder, it must burn more fuel.
How often do I change the oil?
There is no absolute answer to that question. The average suggestion is every three to five thousand miles. Factors can alter that estimate. For one, synthetic oil has a longer lifespan than conventional oil (it's chemically engineered to not gum up as quickly, especially in extreme temperatures) allowing more time between oil changes. Also, if you spend a lot of time in heavy stop-and-go city traffic, you are causing more of a strain on your engine and may need an oil change sooner. Your mechanic will give you their best estimate of when to come back, and will usually put a reminder sticker on your driver's side windshield. The reminder will often say to return either when you've reached a certain mileage, or in approximately three months. Since an oil change is basically the cost of dinner for two, even if you happen to be returning a bit earlier than your car needs with that estimate, you're only helping the health of your engine in the long run.
Hopefully you've now added to your list of necessary tasks (along with dentist appointments, pet's vaccines and oven cleaning) regular oil changes for your vehicles. Be proud of yourself for staying ahead of potential costly repairs to your engine. 

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Things To Ask Your Mechanic

· Are you affiliated with the automotive service association?
Only shops with a consistent record of excellent service may affiliate with the Automotive Service Association. Look for an ASA sticker or seal in the mechanic's office. Association with ASA is a sign that the shop provides really high quality service.
· Do you have an Automotive Service Excellence certificate?
This is another sign of quality service. ASE workers do evaluations of vehicle repair shops. Shops that conform to the ASE standards are given a certificate. A certificate signifies that the shop's work is approved and of great quality.
· What are your credentials?
You want technicians that have been trained at trade school. Trained technicians are more knowledgeable and skilled. Sometimes shops will have untrained rookies work on cars.
· Does your shop specialize in any particular type of car?
Certain mechanics specialize in certain vehicles or repair work. Find out what the shop's strengths and weaknesses are.
· Do you charge an inspection fee?
Do not assume that the shop has a free estimate. You don't want any surprise charges later.
· What did you do to my car?
Ask for a detailed explanation of the repairs done. Question every single detail of the job. Also ask for a detailed breakdown on your invoice of the repairs done. This will protect you from getting scammed. Ideally, you should ask the mechanic to point out each of the repairs on your car. Ask the mechanic to discuss what was removed, replaced, or repaired. You should also ask to see the old part.
· Do I get a courtesy car?
If the repair will take a long time, you may be eligible for a courtesy car. Always ask for a courtesy car. Don't forget to ask for the cost. Sometimes repair shops will charge large amounts for a rental car.
· What are your payment policies?
Each repair shop has different labor rates and payment options. Ask your mechanic about the payment policies. You want to know exactly how much you will be paying for a repair.
· Do you offer any guarantees?
When you get your car fixed, you want to know that the repair is guaranteed. Make sure there is a warranty on the repair. You also need to know long the warranty is. If you have any issues with repairs shortly after, you will want the repair shop to cover the additional fixing costs. The warranty on your repairs is incredibly important.
These questions will help you find a great mechanic. These questions will also make sure you are getting the best possible repair service. Mechanics are necessary for proper car maintenance. You want to be able to find a great one you can rely on.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fleet Services Help Keep Your Vehicles On The Road

Nor Cal Performance provides professional repair and service for automotive fleets. We understand your busy schedule and need to get your vehicles back on the road as quick as possible with great service. Here is a list of services we offer our fleet users:

  • Priority Service
  • Reduced Maintenance Costs
  • Credit and Billing Program for Approved Accounts
  • LeasePlan USA fleet management vendor.
  • 12/12 Warranty on Parts and Labor
  • Computerized Service History for each Vehicle
  • ASE Master, and Factory Trained Technicians, to Repair Your Vehicle Quickly and Effectively
  • Latest and Most Advanced Diagnostic Equipment
  • Oil Change reminders

    We are qualified to repair diesel engines from a variety of manufacturers, including,
    Ford Powerstroke, Chevrolet Duramax, RAM Cummins, and Isuzu NPR and others.

    Nor Cal Performance
     provides professional fleet service repair on all American European and Japanese small cars to medium duty trucks

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    5 Tips To Passing Your Smog Check

    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 environment 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:

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    How to Have a Safe and Fun 4th of July

    For a lot of kids, fireworks are the highlight of a Fourth of July celebration. Unfortunately, firecrackers often lead to Independence Day accidents for many children and adults. Even the popular sparklers can be a safety hazard for a child. In this episode of Gear Daddy, Daddy Troy introduces some safe alternatives to fire works, including glow in the dark toys that parents can give to their kids.