Sully’s Auto Repair

Providing Huntington Beach car owners with quality automotive services and repairs since 2003

Sully’s Auto Repair - Providing Huntington Beach car owners with quality automotive services and repairs since 2003

I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement In Huntington Beach

About 90% of our driving decisions in Buena Park are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.

Most Huntington Beach car owners have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our SUV windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 auto owners across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we Huntington Beach motorists need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Buena Park area. 78% of auto owners only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

Huntington Beach car owners need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as an essential SUV safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.

Huntington Beach auto owners really ought to replace wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of CA, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Buena Park conditions, if your SUV has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering Huntington Beach sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the SUV windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard for Huntington Beach motorists; they can also scratch their windshield. That may require replacing the entire SUV windshield – that’s a significant consequence for neglecting such a small part.

AutoNetTV and Sully’s Auto Repair recommend Huntington Beach motorists replace worn blades right away. Your Huntington Beach service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At Sully’s Auto Repair, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.

Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their essential work. Even though Sully’s Auto Repair will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Bring it with you if you’re heading out on a road trip.

Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t clean your windows as well.

So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road.

Find us at:

Sully’s Auto Repair
17152 Palmdale Ln.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 841-1245

Using Proper Fluids In Your SUV Or Other Vehicle

Today Sully’s Auto Repair is talking about the proper fluids for your vehicle. It’s become more complicated with changes in automotive design and manufacturing. It’s not that people in CA are confused as much as they don’t realize how much things have changed in recent years.

If you have questions about the fluids in your vehicle, please don’t hesitate to stop by Sully’s Auto Repair. You can find us on 17152 Palmdale Ln. in Huntington Beach, CA 92647.
Just give us a call at (714) 841-1245

Let’s take engine oil. Twenty or thirty years ago, there were just a handful of different weights of oil. The weight of an oil is a scientific measure of its properties, particularly its viscosity or thickness.

It was common in those days to use a lighter weight oil in the winter when it’s cold outside. That way the oil would be able to splash around inside the engine and protect the parts before it was fully warmed up. And a heavier weight oil would be used in the summer. The thicker oil wouldn’t thin out too much in the summer heat and vaporize in the engine.

Modern valve trains have become very complicated with more moving parts and small passages than ever before. The valve train is in the top of the engine, so when the car has been turned off for a while, the oil tends to run down to lower areas and the valve train parts are vulnerable at start-up, before the oil starts circulating.

So new weights of oil have been introduced to meet the engineering specifications of these newer engines.

Manufacturers are recommending specific weights of oil. The recommendation is often printed on the oil fill cap. It’s certainly in the owner’s manual. Of course, your Huntington Beach CA auto service center can look it up for you.

It’s more important than ever to have the correct weight of oil. The wrong weight could actually harm the engine.

Other fluids are also becoming more sophisticated. In the last few years new types of transmission, power brake fluid and coolant have all been introduced for some of the same reasons as for engine oil.

In addition, vehicle manufacturers are now using a wider variety of materials in these systems. Looking at the cooling system as an example, it used to be that the parts were all made out of steel or iron and the hoses were rubber. Now, some parts are plastic, aluminum or other materials.

So the anti-corrosion additives contained in the coolant, or anti-freeze, need to be different in order to protect the different materials used to make the cooling system. If you use the wrong coolant that wasn’t formulated to protect your plastic cooling system parts, they could become corroded and fail. And if you’re using the wrong coolant, your cooling system won’t be covered under warrantee. So it’s important to use the right coolant and to not mix different types.

Your owner’s manual or your Huntington Beach CA service advisor at Sully’s Auto Repair can make sure you’re using the right type. You may have heard of universal coolant. Universal, or global, coolant can be added to other types without harmful reactions. That’s OK for an emergency top off, but following your manufacturer’s recommendation for your SUV or other auto type is always a safe bet.

In the area of brake fluid, there are a couple of new formulations. It’s important to remember that the new ones aren’t better than the old ones. They’re just different formulations for different vehicles. So if your vehicle calls for DOT 3, using DOT 4 or DOT 5 is not an upgrade. Use the recommended formula.

There are fluid formulations for vehicles with higher mileage. These are special engine oil, transmission fluid, and so on that contain additives to condition and restore seals and gaskets in older engines.

They’re fine to use as long as they’re a variant of the proper fluid. In other words you can use a high mileage engine oil as long as it’s also the correct weight recommended by the manufacturer. Same goes for transmission fluid; as long as it’s the right type for your transmission.

The Sully’s Auto Repair Guide To Caring For Your Transmission

Most cars and trucks have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of La Palma drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in La Palma. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there’s an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you’re doing.

Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That’s what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on CA interstates. And automatically shifts back down to climb La Palma hills, pass or start up again.

SUV automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.

At Sully’s Auto Repair, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.

Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.

Not enough fluid can starve the transmission or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission, then the lubricant is blocked and can’t get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at Sully’s Auto Repair see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.

And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Huntington Beach service center can be quite costly. That’s why auto manufacturers have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.

It’s really important for La Palma motorists to carefully follow the manufacturer’s transmission service schedule.

At Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach, we hope you never become shiftless in La Palma because you didn’t take care of your transmission.

Fuel Injection Basics For Huntington Beach

All modern Huntington Beach vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it’s a topic Buena Park motorists need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount, at the right time; to be mixed with air and burned in the engine.

So how many fuel injectors does your car have? There’s one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in Huntington Beach, CA. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty high-tech.

Sully’s Auto Repair can help Buena Park auto owners with a fuel injector cleaning service. What’s the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. It’s essential that the fuel is sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.

Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, effecting the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn’t get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and hurts MPG.

What about dirty fuel – how does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high quality fuel. It’s tempting to shop for bargains in  Buena Park with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the Huntington Beach, CA area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.

What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is a key component of the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it’s clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.

It’s important to replace the fuel filter when your vehicle manufacturer recommends it. That’s part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.

There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines Huntington Beach motorists are starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There’s no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.

There are a lot of good products available in Huntington Beach, CA that can clean fuel injectors. They’re best used by Huntington Beach drivers to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can’t clean a seriously gummed up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning, like those we offer at Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you’ve had Sully’s Auto Repair take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.

Give us a call if you think your SUV may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.

Manager: Robert Sullivan
Sully’s Auto Repair
17152 Palmdale Ln.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 841-1245

When Do My Shocks Need to be Replaced?

A good suspension system gives a vehicle a smooth, even ride while providing Huntington Beach motorists with good handling and control. But like any system on your SUV, vital parts of the suspension system can wear out, leading to a lower ride quality and safety concerns. So it’s a good idea for Huntington Beach motorists to remember a diagnostic examination of their suspension system in their schedule of a key preventive maintenance. Springs do most of the work of the suspension system. The most common types of springs are coil and leaf, but air springs and torsion bars are becoming more common. The body of the vehicle is “suspended” by the springs.

If springs were the only working component in your suspension system, however, you’d spend your travel time bouncing up and down like a bobblehead. That’s where your shocks come in. They keep the rebound, or bounciness, of the springs under control. Shocks also keep your tires on the road, which keeps the driver in control of the SUV. Some vehicles have struts in their suspension system. Struts are a compact combination of springs and shocks. They do the same essential job but in a single package.

Shocks wear out gradually, so it can be difficult for Huntington Beach drivers to notice when they need to be replaced. There’s no definitive point when a vehicle’s ride goes from smooth and controlled to a bit imprecise. To check if your shocks or struts are worn, you should first do a visual inspection on them. If they are leaking fluid, they need to be replaced.

There are other less obvious signs that your suspension system needs critical attention. For example, an uneven, cupping wear on your tires may indicate that your shocks are worn. If your vehicle feels “floaty” when you turn, or, in other words, you don’t feel that you have full control of the vehicle, you should check your shocks. Also, if the front end of your vehicle dips noticeably when you stop, it’s time for new shocks.

Your owner’s manual gives recommendations on how often the shocks should be checked, usually between 15,000 and 30,000 miles (24,000-50,000 km). If one of your shocks does need to be replaced, you should replace all four. This will keep your suspension even and ensure good handling of your vehicle. If you carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive on uneven Buena Park area terrain, you might also consider upgrading to a heavy-duty shock.

Regular shocks contain hydraulic fluid. The critical fluid helps them absorb the bumps or “shocks” of the road so the impact doesn’t transfer to the SUV’s body. Premium shocks are filled with compressed nitrogen gas, which costs more but does a better job of controlling body motions. Regular shocks can develop air bubbles that reduce their effectiveness; the premium shocks don’t have this problem. So if you want higher handling performance, if you drive off-road around CA or if you just want added comfort, you should examine upgrading to premium shocks or struts.

Replacing struts can put your SUV out of alignment, so an alignment check should always follow this type of repair. Talk to your friendly service professional at Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach.