Boise Auto Blog

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

Category Archives: Auto Care Tips

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

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

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

Yeah, the air conditioner reduces mileage. So?

Yeah, the air conditioner reduces mileage. So?

Few things are a sure as to start an argument as the role of the air conditioner in mileage. This article at AutoBlog talks about the issue somewhat. The bottom line is, yes, the air conditioner uses a lot of power and will reduce your mileage, sometimes by as much s 9 miles per gallon. On the other hand, according to the AutoBlog article, rolling down your windows at high speed produces a lot of drag, which also reduces mileage. A lot of it boils down to your priorities. If you place a high value on mileage, you should keep your windows up and your air conditioner off and sweat a lot. On the other hand, if you want to drive in comfort on a hot day, then turn the air conditioner off and be prepared to pay a little more at the pump. There may be a safety factor to the air conditioning: If you're hot and uncomfortable while driving, then that's a distraction. A ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

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Don't allow overheating! Extreme heat calls for protecting your car

Don't allow overheating! Extreme heat calls for protecting your car

Temperatures around Boise will hit 106 degrees today and even higher tomorrow, with triple-digits forecast for the rest of the week. That kind of heat puts extreme stress on an engine and this is a good time to think about getting your engine checked out. You definitely don't want to be one of the motorists on the side of the road, hood open Catastrophic overheating happens all the time in hot weather. and steam and fumes pouring out. An auto engine runs optimally at 200 degrees Fahrenheit and produces a great deal of heat. Overheating will destroy it within minutes. In the depths of winter, when it is the teens and single digits, an engine may run just fine without a cooling system! Most of the time, though, a cooling system is essential to keep the engine within operating temperatures. The higher the outside temperature, the less margin of error there is and the faster heat will damage your engine. The cooling system consists of the radiator, water pump, cooling fan a ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

Get that car checked before a road trip!

Get that car checked before a road trip!

Getting a checkup before a road trip is essential to a safe and enjoyable trip. Deep down you know your car should be checked before hitting the road, but with so many other things to do, some folks put it off. Bad idea, says the Car Care Council, an automotive consumer education group, especially when motorists don't realize that in as little as 10 minutes, they can determine if their car is ready for long-distance travel. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, lose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

Periodic engine cleaning a good idea

Periodic engine cleaning a good idea

Wash my engine? Seriously? A customer recently asked us how often he should wash his engine. His feeling was that it didn’t ever need to be washed, since no one ever saw it. That’s not true, though. You might not ever see your engine, but your auto repair technician does. We sometimes spend a fair amount of time cleaning dirt and oil from engines, delaying our work and reducing our effectiveness. We do this because on a clean motor, it is much easier to spot leaks, cracks and wear. With an extremely dirty motor, it is hard to spot damage, whether we’re looking for a specific problem or just doing an inspection. Dirt hides many of these problems. In extreme cases, heavy dirt buildup could aggravate overheating problems. We’d recommend a good engine wash twice a year, although once a year would do for most people. Many car washes do this as a service and prices vary. We are familiar with J’s Ultima ... read more

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Auto Care Tips

Customer review of BG 44k Fuel Additive

Customer review of BG 44k Fuel Additive

Plantation Tune Tech uses genuine BG products At Plantation Tune Tech, we are proud to stock BG Products, including the 44K Fuel Additive. Gasoline is an organic substance and leaves behind carbon-based residue when burned. BG 44K removes these deposits in combustion chambers, intake manifolds, ports and on valves. It restores flow in fuel injectors and cleans the entire fuel system, which promotes better mileage. Martin Johncox, with our Boise marketing and social media consulting firm Alexander and Associates, recently tried out a can of 44K in his 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan and here's his review

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Auto Care Tips
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