Boise Auto Blog

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

Tag Archives: engine care

To idle or not to idle?

One of the surest ways to get people arguging about cars is to ask: Should you let your car idle for brief periods? Like many things with cars, there's no simple answer. Things to consider are: How long, what's the temperature outside, and what's more important? For example, starting your car uses a jolt of gasoline, about the same amount of gas you'd use by idling for 30 seconds. So, by that reasoning, if you're going to be idling for more than 30 seconds, you'd save more gas by turning your engine off. On the other hand, you're only going to get a certain number of starts out of your starter motor - typically, 6,000 to 10,000 starts, depending on vehicle condition, climate and size of engine. After that, you'll need to replace your starter motor, which is about $500. So, one way of looking at this is: It costs between 5 and 8 cents each time your start your car. You have to factor that against the gas you'd save. Another factor to consider is the weather. If it's extr ... read more

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

Categories:

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

Categories:

Auto Care Tips
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