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

Fuel Filter Replacement

Hello Huntington Beach motorists! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your SUV feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good gas mileage. The fuel filter’s job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won’t start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your car will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow harmful particles into your engine.

A car with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around Huntington Beach, but sputter and strain on the expressway because it’s starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in CA and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural CA, your fuel filter will have a harder time keeping the fuel clean.

And, we hate to say it, but buying the cheapest gas from bargain Buena Park area stations sometimes means dirtier fuel that’ll clog the filter sooner. Major brands tend to be cleaner and certainly have higher levels of detergent additives.

Of course, manufacturers recommend intervals for changing the fuel filter. But, it’s a little more complicated than that for Huntington Beach drivers. Some vehicle manufacturers stopped listing recommended intervals for fuel filter replacement or have very long intervals like every five years or eighty thousand miles. So you may need to look to other sources for recommendations. Cars older than six or seven years are especially at risk because they have had time for dirt and rust to build up in the fuel tank. A clean fuel filter keeps the gas flowing. Even a partially clogged filter puts added strain on the SUV fuel pump. That can shorten its life and result in a significant repair.

As is often the case, spending a little money now on something as inexpensive as a fuel filter can save money for Huntington Beach car owners down the road by improving fuel economy and preventing costly repairs. At Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach, we can check your fuel filter. It is better than fixing a burned-out SUV fuel pump or ruined fuel injectors.

Diesel Maintenance For CA

At Sully’s Auto Repair we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV’s. But our CA friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there’re nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.

Here’s who’s announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in CA.

You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to CA and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that CA diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Recent government mandates to remove sulfur now opens up CA to the engines the rest of the world’s been enjoying for a long time.

Why are diesels so popular worldwide? Well, for starters, diesels get up to 30% better fuel economy than gas engines. And they last a lot longer. And modern diesel engines are refined, quiet and powerful – and there’s none of that black smoke we used to see.

Some people may think that diesels create more pollution. But, you need to rethink diesels. Environmental pollution standards for diesel cars and light trucks are scheduled to be as strict as they are for gasoline vehicles. A modern diesel engine is as clean as a gas engine.

You may also have heard a lot in the news about bio-diesel. The exciting thing about diesels is that they’re not limited to fossil fuels. They can run on fuel made from vegetable oil. There are refineries that make diesel fuel from cellulosic waste like woodchips from lumber mills. There’s even this cool new process where a special strain of algae is used to convert carbon dioxide, water and sunshine into bio-diesel. That’s still a ways off, but you can see that diesel can become a sustainable source of fuel.

And, there are not a lot of trade off’s with diesel in terms of performance. A modern passenger car diesel is very smooth, quiet and quick. Most folks wouldn’t notice any difference. For those who tow trailers and haul heavy loads, diesels will be an improvement.

Now diesel engines are heavy duty, so they cost more than gas engines. But they get better fuel economy – so the break-even point is largely dependent on the difference between CA gas and diesel prices at the pump and how many miles you drive. And diesels have a higher resale value.

Now, let’s get back to diesel maintenance. You have to keep in mind that most of the new diesels are just coming in, or will be over the next couple of years, so we don’t have the maintenance schedules to make direct comparisons yet.

But going off what we already have in CA, we can expect fluid drain intervals to be similar to gasoline engines. Diesels do require very clean fuel, air and oil, so their filters are much higher capacity than gasoline filters and cost more. The engine air filter needs to be changed more frequently as well.

Repair costs are similar. As with gasoline engines, proper maintenance is the key to long engine life and to avoiding repairs. So pretty much what we have come to expect with gas vehicles; coolant system service, transmission service, power brakes, power steering, differential, filters, fuel system, and so on. And the payoff for you, if you’re the kind that likes to keep your vehicles for a long time, is that a properly maintained diesel engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

Introduction to Diesels for Huntington Beach, CA

Something you’re going to be hearing a lot about around Huntington Beach, CA is diesel engines. We’re not talking about semi-trucks and buses – We’re talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.

Most people in Huntington Beach, CA are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import auto makers offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven’t been available in Huntington Beach, CA. But that’s about to change.

In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in Huntington Beach, CA so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered to Huntington Beach auto owners over the next few years.

Why are so many Huntington Beach car owners interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There’s more power in a barrel of diesel fuel than there is in a barrel of gasoline. The result? Better performance and improved fuel economy.

Diesel powered vehicles get about 20 percent better fuel efficiency. And as for power – why do you think that the majority of new heavy duty pick-up trucks are being sold in Huntington Beach with diesel engines?

If you think back to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, you may shudder when you think of the diesel powered cars of the day – noisy, smoky, under-powered beasts that rattled and shook their passengers. Modern diesels sold in CA have evolved considerably.

They are quiet, clean – and powerful. They’re so refined that many Huntington Beach auto owners can’t even tell they’re riding in a diesel powered SUV. In addition to fuel savings, diesels generally last longer than gasoline engines because of their heavy duty construction.

Another thing the Huntington Beach green crowd takes advantage of is the use of bio-diesel in diesel vehicles. Bio-diesel is made from vegetable oil – even recycled cooking oil from Huntington Beach restaurants. There is a lot of buzz about Hybrid cars in CA. Look to diesel-electric hybrids in years to come to make a good idea even better.

Every year, car makers introduce new diesel models. Look for diesels in domestic light trucks, SUVs and passenger cars. Import manufacturers have plans to bring more of their outstanding diesel engines to Huntington Beach, CA as well.

New Huntington Beach diesel owners need to know that properly maintaining a diesel engine is somewhat different than a gasoline engine. Fluid change intervals are different. Emissions control devices have to work harder to filter diesel fuel and to scrub the exhaust so you will need to pay attention to that. And the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures than gas fuel injection systems, so it’s vital to keep your fuel system clean with a diesel.

The good news is that Sully’s Auto Repair in  Huntington Beach is keeping up with the new diesel technology and will be able to advise you on maintaining your diesel.

When we tell you to look for more diesels on Huntington Beach streets, you won’t be looking for smoky tail pipes as a clue. You also won’t be listening for that familiar big rig rattle. And, you certainly won’t be waiting for them at the stoplight, because modern diesels are as quick as their gasoline counterparts.

From all of us at AutoNetTV, ten four, good buddy.

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Huntington Beach Drivers

Huntington Beach auto owners know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your SUV engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine’s cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.

There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air and before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the SUV engine.

Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional SUV engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Huntington Beach DriversWhy the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the SUV engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the SUV engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.

When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won’t be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and gas mileage as well as delivering less power to the engine.

Huntington Beach car owners should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more expensive. And we’re talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.

So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good car care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.

If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you’ll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Huntington Beach auto owners will enjoy better gas mileage and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.

Fuel Saving Tip: Dirty Oil In Your Huntington Beach SUV

If you’re a quart low in your SUV, there isn’t enough motor oil to lubricate your engine properly. The extra friction causes drag that reduces fuel economy while you’re driving around the Buena Park area.

Clean Oil for your SUV The same goes for dirty oil; it doesn’t reduce friction properly. The result is you get to watch those numbers at your local Buena Park gas pump rolling higher and higher.

The transmission also needs the proper amount of clean fluid to do its work. When it’s in need of service, the transmission drags your fuel economy down.

So keep it clean and give yourself a fighting chance.

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

How Do You Save Gas In Huntington Beach CA?

No one in Huntington Beach, CA likes to spend a chunk of change at Buena Park gas pumps. Rising CA fuel prices, however, have spurred Huntington Beach drivers to focus on how to improve their MPG. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we are car-loving Americans, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let’s look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here’s what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his Huntington Beach service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his gas mileage.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here’s a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Huntington Beach, CA. First get caught up on your essential routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost MPG. If it’s time for a tune-up, git’er done at Sully’s Auto Repair. That’s a big item.

If your check engine light is on, have your friendly Sully’s Auto Repair technician figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Huntington Beach drivers as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Buena Park folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on CA highways and Huntington Beach streets: don’t speed and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That’s because there aren’t any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of “miracle fuel saver” scams in CA. Don’t shell out any income to swindlers, you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your tech at Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach before spending your hard earned cash.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information In Huntington Beach CA

No matter how well they’re made, vehicles in Huntington Beach, CA will have design or manufacturing problems.

And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Huntington Beach, CA, they require the automobile manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The car maker then tries to contact everyone in Huntington Beach, CA who owns that type of car to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall issue on your car. Because these recalls always affect safety, Huntington Beach drivers should take them seriously. This isn’t difficult to do because it’s easy to see if a vehicle’s being recalled.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links. There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There’s CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.

Recalls are serious, but not all that common. But sometimes there are less important issues, and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Sully’s Auto Repair how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost. So when auto manufacturers recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.

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

Fuel Injectors

The last new American cars sold in Huntington Beach with a carburetor rolled out of the CA dealerships in 1990. Since then, all new vehicles here in Huntington Beach and nationally have had fuel injectors. In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much gas to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. Fuel injectors deliver fuel far more precisely than carburetors. That translates into better MPG and more power for Huntington Beach motorists. Virtually all fuel injectors for gas engines are known as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. Port fuel injectors operate at about 40 to 80 pounds per square inch of pressure.

A few manufacturers have introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines recently. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – hundreds of times the pressure of port injection systems. Although more complicated, direct injection technology promises greater power with improved MPG, so Buena Park auto owners can expect to see more of it in the future.

As Huntington Beach motorists can see, the level of precision required of fuel injectors is very high. It’s important that they operate properly in order for your car to run right.

High temperatures under your hood and variations in Huntington Beach gas quality cause fuel injectors to become fouled with wax, dirt, and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure. The design of each engine requires a specific spray pattern from the fuel injector that might be altered when the injector is dirty. When injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn’t burn as efficiently resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it is important to keep your SUV fuel injectors clean.

Skilled service technicians at Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach can perform a fuel system service for you. (Visit http://sullysautorepairhb.com/contact.html.) That is a fuel system service – not just fuel injector cleaning. That is because the fuel has a lot of ways to become dirty or contaminated between the Huntington Beach gas pump and your fuel injectors. A fuel system service at Sully’s Auto Repair starts with a fuel filter replacement. This filter cleans the gas as it leaves the tank. The various parts of the fuel intake system need to be cleaned from time to time to remove harmful gum, deposits and varnish. Finally, the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly for Sully’s Auto Repair and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.

Your friendly Sully’s Auto Repair technician uses a process for cleaning your SUV fuel system that includes state-of-the-art cleaning chemicals as well as some old fashioned scrubbing. Proper maintenance of your fuel system means that you will enjoyed improved fuel efficiency, enjoy strong performance and prevent expensive repairs down the road.