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

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From Sully’s Auto Repair

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the CA news. Huntington Beach people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel efficiency and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Huntington Beach motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, Huntington Beach grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their SUVs for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Huntington Beach drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own SUVs on the road in CA.

The astute Huntington Beach motorists of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Sully's Auto RepairThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your SUV’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is dangerous for your engine.

There’s another critical reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Huntington Beach car owners. It’s simple – a Sully’s Auto Repair professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Sully’s Auto Repair technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or pricey repair.

Your friendly Sully’s Auto Repair service professional will also visually inspect your SUV for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your Sully’s Auto Repair advisor will be able to remind you of other critical services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Huntington Beach dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your SUV gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some money, but they are less costly than new SUV payments in Huntington Beach. With proper service at Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more bucks in your wallet.

PCV Valve Service At Sully’s Auto Repair In Huntington Beach

Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a critical job for Huntington Beach car owners. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.

The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the SUV engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase.

These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel.
PCV Valve Service At Sully's Auto Repair In Huntington BeachThis can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause SUV engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Sully’s Auto Repair. At high speeds on Huntington Beach freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

Back in the old days, manufacturers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the SUV’s engine.

This is much better for air quality and improves gas mileage also. (Budget-conscious Huntington Beach motorists take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets dangerous gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased gas mileage.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Huntington Beach drivers don’t know about it. Check your SUV owner’s manual or ask your Sully’s Auto Repair service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at Sully’s Auto Repair when it gets dirty.

Please ask your friendly Huntington Beach service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Huntington Beach, you can avoid some very pricey engine repairs.

What Is A Differential And Do You Have One?

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Huntington Beach, CA, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Huntington Beach car owners don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind for our Huntington Beach customers. So it’s not uncommon for motorists to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach at (714) 841-1245 for information about differential service, or stop by our Huntington Beach, CA auto center at 17152 Palmdale Ln. 92647.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Huntington Beach high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It’s a very important function for us Huntington Beach motorists. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Huntington Beach, CA area weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those essential parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that breakdown over time. So auto manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

Your friendly Sully’s Auto Repair service professional will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then he’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Sully’s Auto Repair service advisor can look up the car maker’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual. Give us a call at (714) 841-1245 for more information about your differential service.

Breathe Free In Huntington Beach: Cabin Air Filter Replacement At Sully’s Auto Repair

There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on Huntington Beach auto owners’ vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.

A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in Huntington Beach. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our Buena Park atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in Huntington Beach prone to air pollution.

Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you’ll probably want to go to your friendly Sully’s Auto Repair service advisor to get it done. Check your SUV owner’s manual to find out if your SUV is equipped with a cabin air filter and how often it should be changed. Recommendations vary, but generally a cabin air filter should be changed every twelve to fifteen thousand miles.

Of course, if you are an allergy sufferer in La Palma, you may want to replace it more often. Also, if you do a lot of driving in polluted or dusty areas in CA, you’ll also want to shorten the cabin air filter replacement period. Dirty air filters just don’t work well, and they can exude an unpleasant odor if ignored for too long.

Most Huntington Beach folks know that good car care includes keeping your SUV clean, including the air inside the passenger compartment, so changing your cabin air filter should be part of your routine preventive maintenance. It’s good auto advice as well as good medical advice that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You really shouldn’t wait until the interior of your car starts to smell and your eyes start to water before you change your filter. And trying to cover it up with a dangling green pine tree is not the right answer, either!

Cabin air filters can be a welcome relief to Huntington Beach allergy sufferers, but they’re also a great idea for anyone in Buena Park who just wants to breathe better.