Boise Auto Blog

Updates on cars, transportation and related subjects in Boise and Ada County.

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Be prepared with an emergency car kit

Be prepared with an emergency car kit

Winter is fast approaching, and sometimes things can happen, especially in the mountain areas that surround us. What would happen if you were stuck or your vehicle broke down in the mountains, during a snow storm, out of cell phone range? Do you have some basic winter survival stuff in your car? If the answer is no, send us a message or stop by and let us know. We have a great 65 piece winter survival kits on sale for $48.99. Let's all hope you'll never need to use it, but if you do it will be there

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Auto Care Tips

How forest fire smoke affects your air filter

How forest fire smoke affects your air filter

Since there was so much wildfire smoke in the air in August and September, we've had several people ask us if that would affect their engine air filter. No, forest fire smoke won't do anything to your engine air filter. The smoke particles are so tiny, they just pass through the filter like other small particles. The smoke may irritate your eyes and lungs, but it's harmless to your engine. However, most cars have a cabin air filter, which is designed to clean the air blown out your cabin air vents. This filter will remove the small particles that bother people and smoky air will shorten its life. A lot depends on how often you use your heater and air conditioner, or even just turn on your fan. Also, most cars allow you to choose between ouside air or recirculating cabin air. When you recirculate the air, the filter is bypassed and not used. When you switch to bringing in outside air, your filter is engaged and this will eventually clog it up. Some cabin air filters are ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

Vintage Thunderbird in for some work

Vintage Thunderbird in for some work

People bring us a lot of vintage cars for work. This is a 1956 Thunderbird, a barn find from Oregon. The car actually runs, but not very well. We're going to give it an overhaul and bring it into good mechanical condition and the owner will follow up on his own with painting, upholstery and other work. Back then, even “small” cars were large. Check out the huge trunk! The body is in pretty good shape, after having been in a barn for more than 30 years. Check out the air scoop on the hood. The upholstery is in incredibly good condition for a 61-year-old car. These Thunderbirds had small-blo ... read more

Synthetic oil is a good choice - for some cars

Synthetic oil is a good choice - for some cars

There's a lot of discussion about synthetic oils and if they're right for your car. We'd like to clear the air on this important topic. Synthetic oils have a lot of advantages, mainly because they are resistant to heat and pressure - the two biggest sources of engine stress. Oil, as a lubricant, exists to protect engine parts from heat and pressure and it takes a beating. Eventually, this heat and pressure reduces the oil's ability to protect the engine and it must be replaced. Also, your engine sucks in air, which has dirt and dust, and this makes its way into the engine. The oil filter keeps most of this away from engine parts but eventually, the oil filter becomes clogged. Depending on your driving habits, standard oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or so. The main advantage of synthetic oil is that it lasts longer and, while it's in your engine, it protects your engine better. It's been engineered to withstand heat and pressure much better than natural oil ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

Transmissions need love too

Transmissions need love too

The heat is on this summer and that puts your car under a lot of stress. While the engine gets most of the attention when it comes to overheating, your transmission also gets very hot and has fewer ways to cool itself. Too much heat, too much weight and too little maintenance will overheat your transmission! Hot weather is bad enough, but if you tow anything or go driving in the mountains, that will really heat up your transmission. Stop-and-go traffic, rapid acceleration and just having a large, heavy car will heat the transmission too. You’ll know your transmission is in trouble when it starts slipping gears. You’ll be driving along and feel a slight jerk; the car will slow down a bit, then resume its correct gear and accelerate. If that’s happening, you need to fix it right away. Usually, the problem is low transmission oil level. Also, transmission fluid needs to be replaced occasionally because it naturally breaks down. These are inexpensive maintenance procedures ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

NAPA Quiet Flow SS Mufflers are here!

Thanks to our association with NAPA, we have access to top-quality auto products. These include the NAPA Quiet Flow SS Mufflers. We are so confident that you will be satisfied with NAPA® premium include, we offer this exclusive Safe & Sound® Guarantee: 90-Day Risk-Free Trial Offer Try our premium exhaust products for 90 days*. If, for any reason, the qualifying products* don’t live up to your expectations within the first 90 days, replace the products and we will refund your original product’s purchase price (less any discounts or rebates), plus labor (up to $50 per muffler). This short video outlines why the Quiet Flow is the best choice

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Boise Auto Blog

Our 27-point inspection is standard with any service

It's common for auto repair shops to offer 10-point inspections. However, at Plantation, we believe it's worth the extra time and effort to do a more comprehensive inspection and it's standard with all service, including oil changes. Our inspections are designed to do two thing: Save you money by finding concerns that can be corrected before more expensive damage is done Locate an potential safety problems or concerns. The more you know about your car's condition, the better able you are to assess problems and issues. Sometimes, we'll identify a pressing issue that makes the care unsafe but usually, we'll find something that needs fixing in the near-term and we can advise you on how long you might be able to continue before risking serious vehicle damage. The 27 Point Inspection includes: Check interior lights and gauges Check windshield washer fluid font and rear Check all exterior lights for proper operation, (front, rear, and side) Ch ... read more

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Uncategorized

Don't neglect your differential!

Don't neglect your differential!

The engine and transmission get a lot of attention when it comes to maintenance. But you shouldn't forget about your differential, especially since winter could have hidden problems with it. If you own a rear-wheel drive car or a pickup truck, the differential is the ball-shaped thing in the middle of the underside of the car, between the rear wheels. It allows one wheel to spin a bit faster than the other, which needs to happen when the car makes a left or right turn. The differential has gears inside of it and oil to keep them cool and lubricated. Like any other fluid, it dries up and gets dirty over time and needs to be replenished. If your differential oil is low, you might not notice it over the winter, as the cold will keep the temperatures down. Diagram of differential function. In the summer, though, low oil levels can destroy the differential. You'll know you're in trouble if yo ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

New diagnostic reader adds capabilities

New diagnostic reader adds capabilities

We're constantly investing in new equipment. Our latest upgrade is a Snap-On MODIS Edge diagnostic scanner. When you bring your car in with the "check engine" like, we hook it up to a scanner; this technology has been around for about 30 years. The scanner "talks" to your car's onboard computer, which tells the scanner what's ailing your car. Advanced, state-of-the-art scanners like the MODIS can take advantage of the software capabilities of a modern vehicle. The MODIS allows us to turn off any number of engine cylinders, for example, so we can ferret out an ignition or timing problem. Plantation Tune Tech auto technician Tom Lenan diagnoses a car with our new Snap-on MODIS scanner

Your battery is in pain

Your battery is in pain

Cold weather is cruel to batteries. We're seeing a lot of people in Boise come in with weak and dead batteries as temperatures get into the single digits. Through Feb. 28, get up to a $20 VISA rebate card when you purchase a qualifying NAPA battery. According to Industrial Battery Products, lead acid battery capacity drops about 20% from normal in freezing weather and it loses half its power when temperatures sink to about -22 degrees F. If that's not bad enough, your battery has more work to do in cold weather. When an engine is cold, the oil is thicker and the engine is much harder to turn over. At the same time, people are using accessories like the heater, seat warmer, defrosters and wipers. Even if the battery is new, cold weather can reduce ts capacity to where it can't start the car. The alternator, which recharges the battery, might not be ... read more

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