Direct Fuel Injection Update From Don's Complete Auto Service
Posted April 2, 2013 11:54 AM
For those of you in Kissimmee Florida who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.
For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.
So what are the differences from a conventional engine?
The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it's then drawn into the engine with the air.
With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cylinder during the combustion cycle is burned much more efficiently.
First, the fuel is squirted in at hundreds of times more pressure, so it's atomized much better and burns cleaner and stronger. The other big advance is in electronics. Faster engine management computers can control the additional precision required to manage direct fuel injection.
Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver a precise amount of fuel at exactly the right time. The design of the engine also dictates a particular spray pattern for the fuel. If a fuel injector is dirty or gummed up, it can't do its job as well. That means less power and worse fuel economy for your Automobile and can lead to damaged fuel injectors.
Replacing fuel injectors isn't cheap. Direct injection injectors are even more expensive because of the extremely high-pressure they use. Same thing for diesel fuel injectors; we're talking mortgage payment-range to replace a set of diesel injectors.
A professional fuel system cleaning from Don's Complete Auto Service gets out the gum and varnish in the whole system, including the fuel injectors. Keep those injectors clean and they'll last a long, long time.
Posted in the Fuel System category
Gas Savings In Kissimmee: Sharpen Your Pencil
Posted March 26, 2013 10:57 AM
High gas prices in Kissimmee increase the cost of living for Floridadrivers. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Kissimmee vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.
According to Florida news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.
In this area, we can take a lesson from professional Kissimmee vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Kissimmee folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.
Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel economy may put their Kissimmee business in the red.
So what does this mean to Kissimmee drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here’s a quick reminder list:
Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up. Ring any bells? Can you honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?
Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Don's Complete Auto Service. Figure that they combine to improve your fuel economy by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?
Well, the average personal vehicle in Kissimmee is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your Automobile, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.
From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Kissimmee for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in fuel economy can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Kissimmee. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.
So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Don's Complete Auto Service. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of money at Kissimmee gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.
Posted in the Maintenance category
Keeping Your Automobile Young
Posted March 19, 2013 9:44 AM
Sometimes it seems in Kissimmee we live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away.
New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in Kissimmee, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without.
We couldn't afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It's a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us Kissimmee penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering's there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.
Is it really that bad to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you've created an opportunity for sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don't get oiled and they start to wear out faster.
Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.
It's also even more important for older vehicles in the Kissimmee area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they're a bit more stressed anyway. But it's never too late to get back on track with your maintenance and to hold off further damage.
It's just another example of our parents being right. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That's like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let your service advisor at Don's Complete Auto Service in Kissimmee help you keep track of the rest.
Of course, some things are going to wear out along the way, stuff like alternators, water pumps and such. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It's like having high cholesterol; you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.
Here's an interesting statistic for our friends in Kissimmee Florida: Only thirty percent of car batteries make it to forty-eight months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from fifty-one months in extremely cold areas to just thirty months in extremely hot climates.
Why is that? It turns out that it's our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs, and entertainment computers are keeping car batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it'll die.
So you must recharge your battery. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car's demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Kissimmee or Kissimmee. The alternator just can't keep up.
The result is shortened battery life. So what can we do to improve our battery's health?
We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just twenty-four hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather's cold, sitting for several days will cause discharge.
So some highway driving between Kissimmee or Kissimmee will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it's called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is very hard on your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.
If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger.
Because our batteries are so often at less than a full charge, experts suggest that we use a battery charger from time to time to keep the charge up. They recommend once a month during hot weather and once every three months during colder times.
Now, a word on safety. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can severely burn your skin and could blind you. If you find yourself with a dead battery, carefully inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire.
Deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.
Ask us about Auto Repair, too.
Posted in the Battery category
Fuel Saving Tip: Tire Pressure Saves Fuel In Kissimmee
Posted March 5, 2013 11:09 AM
Under-inflated tires waste gas for lots of folks in the Kissimmee area. Think how hard it is to walk in sand – you just have to work harder because of the resistance. When your tires don't have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get from Kissimmee to Kissimmee.
Always check your tire pressure when you gas up at one of our local Kissimmee service stations. If they're low – even just a little bit – bring them up to proper pressure. There's a sticker on the inside of your driver's door that gives the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure.
And don't rely on your tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to when you need more air. The TPMS system is set to warn you when pressure drops twenty percent below recommendations. That's severely under inflated and you needed more air a long time ago. And if you have a slow leak – get it fixed right away at Don's Complete Auto Service.
Get some air and save some gas.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
Finding Vehicle Recall Information In Kissimmee Florida
Posted February 26, 2013 1:02 PM
No matter how well they're made, vehicles in Kissimmee, Florida will have design or manufacturing problems.
And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Kissimmee, Florida, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in Kissimmee, Florida 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, Kissimmee drivers should take them seriously. This isn't difficult to do because it's easy to see if a vehicle's being recalled.
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 significant issues, and for these, auto makers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Don's Complete Auto Service 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 makers recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.
Posted in the Fuel System category
Power Steering Service At Don's Complete Auto Service In Kissimmee
Posted February 19, 2013 10:47 AM
Many Kissimmee motorists have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in Kissimmee as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.
The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at Don's Complete Auto Service in Kissimmee use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.
Power steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects Automobile components from rust and corrosion. Kissimmee car owners should be aware that manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule. At Don's Complete Auto Service, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.
Unfortunately, many Kissimmee motorists don’t realize how critical it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it's necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.
Kissimmee motorists should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at Don's Complete Auto Service in Kissimmee.
In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at Kissimmee includes an inspection of steering components.
If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your Don's Complete Auto Service advisor do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call Don's Complete Auto Service today at 407-847-3427.
Posted in the Alignment category
Don's Complete Auto Service: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?
Posted February 12, 2013 9:45 AM
Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your Automobile engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let’s go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on Florida highways, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce twenty pounds of carbon dioxide?
The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your Automobile needs a lot of air to keep going in Kissimmee. A lot of clean air is best.
You’ve seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your Automobile also works better when its internals are clean. When your Automobile air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your Automobile engine does you no good.
So, we’re talking potential damage for Kissimmee drivers. But another big thing is wasted fuel. Your Automobile engine management computer tries to mix the correct amount of air in with the fuel. If the filter’s clogged, there isn’t enough air for the optimal fuel to air mix and that really messes with gas mileage.
In fact, replacing a dirty air filter at Don's Complete Auto Service in Kissimmee can improve your fuel economy by up to ten percent. At today’s Kissimmee fuel prices, you should be able to pay for a new air filter before your next oil change.
The verdict: When your Automobile engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in Florida. A simple visual inspection at Don's Complete Auto Service will tell you when you need a new engine air filter.
When you look at the air filter on your furnace at home and see it’s all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don’t hesitate to replace it. When your Don's Complete Auto Service service advisor shows you your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and replace it.
Posted in the Maintenance category
What To Do In Case Of An Accident in Kissimmee
Posted February 5, 2013 9:52 AM
Screeching tires, crunching metal – it’s an accident! If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Kissimmee, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.
Let’s review what you should do in case of an accident:
When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in Kissimmee is considered a crime - even if it’s not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your Florida driver’s license or even jail time.
Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other Kissimmee and Kissimmee motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call Kissimmee emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.
Always file a Kissimmee police report. It’s tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you’ll not have an objective report to help defend yourself. Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of the law, the other guy is responsible.
Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as "I was going thirty miles an hour" not "I wasn’t speeding". Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you.
Also get the officer’s name and ID number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.
Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:
Date of birth
Driver’s license number and expiration
Also take down a description of the other Kissimmee vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most Florida auto insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track the vehicle.
Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary. Always call your insurance agent or your insurance company. Call or see a physician if you think you may have been injured. For vehicle repairs, call Don's Complete Auto Service at 407-847-3427
Contact Don's Complete Auto Service to learn more about what do do in case of an auto accident. You can find us at: 508 E. Vine Street Kissimmee, Florida 34744 Or call us at 407-847-3427
Don's Complete Auto Service and AutoNetTV hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy Kissimmee travels.
Posted in the Automotive News category
Hitting The Brakes In Pine Castle
Posted January 29, 2013 12:08 PM
Hello Pine Castle , let's talk about brakes. Braking, as all Pine Castle drivers know,is slowing or stopping a vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around Pine Castle .
But the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.
Let’s step back. A new Automobile or truck rolls off a local Pine Castle dealer showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread.
Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the Automobile. We tend to focus on the brake pads. In the business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of spec that they lose stopping effectiveness.
The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail. That’s why a regular brake inspection is important for your Automobile. At Don's Complete Auto Service we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.
That leads us to brake fluid service at Don's Complete Auto Service. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the Automobile fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system deteriorate the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Don's Complete Auto Service cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.
The tires are what connect the Automobile to the road. The stopping force is ultimately dependent on the traction provided by the tires. The better they grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.
This is especially important on wet Pine Castle roads. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. Pine Castle drivers need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.