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The “check engine” or “service engine” light is a sure sign that your engine should be looked at by an expert sooner rather than later.

Most of the time, your vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics System will detect an engine issue and store the corresponding repair code, which can be accessed by a member of our service staff. Slow-cranking, rough idling, stalling, knocking, or pinging while accelerating are all signs that you should seek engine repairs or engine diagnostics to determine the full extent of your engine trouble.

A decrease in gas mileage and detectable loss of power during acceleration are also signs of an impending engine tune-up or engine repair service. Engine warning lights help alert drivers to minor issues before they become major repairs.

Be sure to follow up with our staff once your vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics System detects a problem with your engine.

Description of Engine Diagnostics and Performance

Discrepancies in performance levels are reported through your vehicle’s computer system. Once the “check engine” or “service engine” light is displayed, your next step should be to seek out an engine diagnostic service or an engine tune-up.

Engine diagnostics allow our staff to gather helpful information about the operating condition of your engine. The insights obtained during an engine diagnostic will determine the extent of suggested engine repairs. The most common diagnostic trouble codes are generated in response to malfunctions in the power-train.

Ultimately, regular engine tune-ups are necessary to optimize engine performance. A tune-up is also one of the most effective ways to prevent unexpected engine trouble.

During an engine tune-up, our staff may replace the spark plugs, spark plug wires, air filter, fuel filter, and distributor cap and rotor in your vehicle. Our experts will also check emission levels, fuel lines, and belts and hoses. Engine diagnostics and regular engine tune-ups can help extend the life of your vehicle and improve the health of your engine.

To learn more or to setup an appointment with one of our ASE certified technicians please click here. Or feel free to give us a call at (775) 525-2420 or contact us online if you have questions regarding Engine Diagnostics.

A federal mandate requiring nearly all U.S. truck operators to use electronic logging devices to track duty status has been upheld in court, meaning the December 18, 2017, compliance date remains effective. The mandate, however, will not apply to drivers of vehicles built before the year 2000 — a change made from 2014’s proposed version of the rule.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal court overseeing the case, voted to keep the mandate in place, securing a victory for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and its ELD rule. Its decision was issued Oct. 31st, following oral arguments made in Chicago on Sept. 13th.

The decision does not change the rule’s exemption for pre-2000 year-model trucks, which are allowed to operate without an ELD.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit on behalf of two truckers in March in an attempt to have the mandate overturned. But OOIDA was unable to convince the court of its arguments that the rule violates truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights to privacy. OOIDA also claimed the rule didn’t meet standards set by Congress for an ELD mandate — an argument the court also rejected.

FMCSA says the rule will save the industry $1 billion a year, mostly in time and money saved on paperwork, the agency says. It also says the rule will “save 26 lives and 562 injuries” a year, the agency said in a press release.

For the Full Story click here.

Get to know your dashboard lights.

Dash lights are nothing new, but the messages are. The following list of warning lights are the most common lights used by auto manufacturers. Not all warning lights are universal. Always refer to your owner’s manual when you’re not 100% sure what the light indicates.

If you find a warning light has switched on it may indicate a fault in your system somewhere, but cannot pinpoint the exact problem with a general light. Dashboard lights trigger OBD-II error codes in your engine and with the proper code reader you can determine the severity of the issue.

Different colors mean different things and in most cases require different levels of attention. A green or blue-lit symbol is simply informational and tells you how or what system is operating. A yellow or orange symbol means there are some parts that need to be repaired soon at a service center. And the most cautionary of all- the red symbol, indicates there is a serious safety issue or problem that must be addressed immediately.

If a dashboard warning light has switched on and you would like to fix the issue you can visit any of Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers four locations in the Reno and Sparks area to determine what the issue is. We will help you get back on the road quick!

check-engineCheck Engine or Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL): Indicates the engine computer has set a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC). Usually requires diagnosis with a professional scan tool.

 

 

battery-systemBattery/Charging Alert: Indicates voltage level is below normal level and the vehicle’s charging system is not functioning properly. Check battery terminals, alternator belt, and battery condition.

 

cooling-systemCoolant Temperature Warning: Indicates temperature has exceeded normal limits. Check coolant level, fan operation, radiator cap, coolant leaks.

Transmission Temperature: Transmission is operating at higher than optimum temperature as transmission fluid is hotter than normal. Check transmission fluid level and engine coolant level.

engine-oilOil Pressure Warning: If this light stays lit, it indicates loss of oil pressure. Immediately check oil level and pressure.

Oil Change Reminder: Indicates that oil life has expired. This is monitored by the ECM; the interval can be mileage or a combination of readings taken by the ECM. The reset procedure is listed in the owner’s manual. Some vehicles require the use of special tools to reset the light.

master-warning-lightService Vehicle Soon: Typically indicates a lighting or other electrical problem that is controlled by the BCM (body control module). Check all lights (head lights, turn signals, brake lights, and hazard lights). This symbol may also be used to warn driver of a traction control problem, or a communication problem between modules.

tpms-iconTPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System): Indicates the tire pressure monitoring system has found a tire with low air pressure or there may be a sensor malfunction. Check tire pressure. Some vehicles will allow manual reset of TPMS warning light and others will require professional diagnosis. Refer to owner’s manual.

check-brakesBrake System: Indicates one of three possible conditions: parking brake is on; problem with the braking system/brake fluid is low, or ABS problem. Check brake fluid and make sure the parking brake is fully released. If the problem is in the ABS system, it may need a professional diagnosis.

 

check-absABS Light: Indicates that the Anti-lock Brake computer has set a code and needs professional diagnosis.

 

 

cruise-controlCruise Control: Indicates that cruise control is set during driving.

 

 

esp-faultESP Fault: Indicates that there is a problem with the vehicle’s traction control/anti-skid or electronic stability system.

 

 

bulb-monitoringLight Blulb Out: Indicates that there is an exterior light on the vehicle that is not functioning properly.

 

 

open-doorDoor Ajar: Indicates that a door (including hood and trunk) is not closed. Open and close all doors, including hood and trunk. If vehicle is left in this condition overnight it can drain the battery.

 

check-airbagAirbag Fault: If this light stays illuminated after starting, it indicates that the vehicle has found a fault in the airbag system and the computer has set a code. Professional repair of the supplemental restraint system is highly recommended.

 

windshield-washer-level-lowWindshield Washer Fluid Reminder: Indicates washer fluid is low. Fill washer fluid reservoir. The cap has a symbol that looks like a windshield. Some vehicles have separate reservoirs for front and rear window washers.

 

fog-beamsFog Lamp: Indicates that the vehicle’s front fog lamps are illuminated.

For more information, please contact us

 

Our certified technicians at Sierra Car Care are equipped to complete a full range of auto repairs to keep your car in top running condition. Our skilled auto repair technicians are trained to repair most vehicles. We pride ourselves on providing preventative maintenance Reno, NV auto repair services including oil changes, brake replacement and many other Reno, NV auto repair services at affordable prices.

For auto repair and tires give us a call at (775) 525-2420 or contact us online to get a free quote. Feel free to stop by our tire and auto repair shop located in Reno, Nevada.

Set up an appointment today if your vehicle is not running properly, whether a light has switched on or not. Contact us here.

Related article.

Weather forecaster knew it was coming and warned you about the El Nino storms.

ACCUWEATHER FORECAST
Following a storm system that spread the first flakes to portions of the Western states last week, a new system will bring more accumulating snow across the region through the first half of this week.

The storm has the potential to bring the first blizzard of the season to parts of the High Plains and eastern slopes of the central Rockies, including Denver and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

A storm system will track eastward across the Western states into the Plains by Wednesday. Read more…

PREPARE YOUR VEHICLE FOR WINTER NOW
The storms have already started to hit and you need to start evaluating the condition of your vehicle. Check your fluids: oil, antifreeze, brake, windshield washer. Check your tire tread. Make sure all engine lights are off – or have a diagnostics ran of your vehicle’s computer to translate the error codes.  Or if you would rather leave that to a professional, come see Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers at any of our 4 location in the Reno and Sparks area.

FREE COMPREHENSIVE WINTER INSPECTION

free-winter-inspection

Includes: Full 30 point inspection, battery, antifreeze, tires and wipers. Please see a location near you to schedule a visit or just come on down.

TIRE COUPONS

50-off-four-tires
tire-rebate-coupon

 

Troubleshooting and diagnosing issues with your vehicle. We have most questions covered in the following articles – collected for easy and quick reference, to help you solve any vehicle issue you may be facing.

How to Choose an Auto Repair Shop? ASE

Preventive Car Care Maintenance

Extend the Life of Your Vehicle with These Helpful Car Care Tips

Auto Repair Services

Fleet & Commercial Services

Power Steering & Suspension Repair

O2 Sensor Importance ~ Clean Up For Earth Day

What To Do if Your Tire is Losing Air

Avoid Winter Battery Trouble

How to Choose Tires that Fit…

All Tires Are Not Created Equal

Why Isn’t My Car Heater Working?

Common Roadside Emergencies

What Makes Us Different?

6 Tips to Increase Gas Mileage

If you still cannot find the answer you are looking for, you may need to speak with one of our ASE certified technicians about the issue(s) you are experiencing. We are happy to help. Contact us at any one of our 4 locations in the Reno-Sparks area.

Mill Street Tire
Manager: Larry Yarborough & Lisa Smith
3180 Mill Street, Suite A
Reno, NV 89502

Sierra Car Care – Lakeside Service
Manager: Rob Wolter
190 W. Plumb Lane
Reno, NV 89509

Phone (775) 825-1185

Sierra Car Care – Northwest Service
Manager: Richard Blasey
1300 W. 7th Street
Reno, NV 89503

Phone (775) 747-1345

Sierra Car Care – Village Service
Manager: Larry Silva
1101 California Avenue
Reno, NV 89509

Sierra car Care and MST Tire CenterWe are so confident in the superior workmanship from our master mechanics, we’ll stand behind them for 36 months/36,000 miles.

Our warranty covers all parts and labor for 36 months / 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.

IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS:

• Call us right away,
(775) 525-2420 and let us know how we can help.
• Describe the issue, so we can better diagnose it.
• If you can, schedule an appointment while the problem is occurring.
• No need to bring your paperwork, we already have your maintenance records on file.

WE WILL GO OUT OF OUR WAY TO:

• Road test, inspect and diagnose your vehicle.
• Call and keep you informed at all times.
• And finally, repair any issues to have you back on the road as soon as possible.

IF YOU ARE OUT-OF-TOWN & NEED ASSISTANCE:

• Call or e-mail for details on how we can help!
• Need help from the road? Our nationwide warranty service may be beneficial. Call (800) 457-0019 and describe the problem, we can refer you to a local shop that can help.
• Nationwide warranty extends 24 months/24,000 miles on all parts and labor.

WARRANTIES COVER THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF REPAIRS AND SERVICES:
(subject to the exclusions listed in Terms & Conditions)

• Air Conditioning, heating and climate control systems
• Brake system
• Engine cooling system
• Electrical system, including the starting and charging systems
• Engine performance, drivability services and repair
• Exhaust system
• Fuel system
• Ignition system
• Electronic engine management system and on-board computer systems, (engine, body, brake and suspension computers)
• Cruise control system
• Steering/suspension system, wheel bearings, CV joints, U-joints,
• Half-shafts and drive-shafts
• Other minor repairs

TERMS & CONDITIONS:
Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers warranty most repairs for 36 months or 36,000 miles from the mileage/date of service on the invoice against any defective parts and/or labor, provided the vehicle has been properly driven and maintained since the date of the service per manufacturers guidelines. There is a 30-day warranty on all used parts. Warranty includes defective parts and/or labor only. This warranty does not include any exclusion written on the original work order, and any friction materials (belts, etc.), re-manufactured or used parts. We are not liable for any additional repairs or maintenance needed beyond the defective materials. Specifically excluded are any engine, transmission, clutch, or differential repairs, associated gaskets and seals, or assembly replacement of the same. Commercial vehicles are not covered.

We know there are a lot of choices out there for auto repair and tires, it is our privilege to serve you and your vehicle. We’re proud of our top notch workmanship and high quality parts. You can take confidence in that when you get back on the road.

Oxygen (O2) sensors play a vital role in maintaining peak engine performance. If you think your oxygen sensor is malfunctioning, there are a few factors to consider. Continuing to drive while your O2 sensor is not performing correctly can cause a 15% decrease in mileage. That can really add to your cost at the gas pump!

Earth Day 2015

What is the function of the O2 Sensor?
The O2 sensor is mounted in the exhaust manifold to monitor how much unburned oxygen is in the exhaust, as the exhaust exits the engine. Monitoring oxygen levels in the exhaust is a way of gauging the fuel mixture. It tells the computer if the fuel mixture is burning rich (less oxygen) or lean (more oxygen).

How long does an O2 Sensor typically last?
An oxygen sensor can last anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 miles depending on type and vehicle. When the O2 Sensor malfunctions your “Service Engine Soon” light will come on and a diagnostic trouble code(s) will be stored.

There may be multiple codes stored for a sensor. A fuel delivery malfunction can be the reason for an oxygen sensor to fail. A fuel injector malfunction could be the root cause for the sensor failure. Just replacing the sensor may not be a long-term solution.

Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center can help!
Bring your vehicle by any of our 4 Full Service vehicle repair and tire stations around the Reno area. One of our technicians can check your engine codes to see if there are any issues and provide solutions to get you back on the road quick.

Don’t try smog your vehicle with a malfunctioning O2 Sensor
A malfunctioning O2 sensor will not pass a smog test.

Also, if your vehicle runs from a main computer and you have just replaced your O2 sensor, your computer codes have been reset. This means that now you need to drive 50 – 75 miles without turning your vehicle off, before your computer will log any new data. After the new data has been logged, then you should proceed with a smog check.

If you go to a smog check station, typically you will be charged a fee (sometimes smaller fee than a regular smog check fee) even if your vehicle does not pass the smog test.

So, save yourself the hassle and get your vehicle looked at if you suspect your O2 sensor is not functioning properly. Visit SierraCarCare.com for locations and more information.

Mechanic with a wrenchSierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers are some of the leading auto repair shops in town. All automotive repair and mechanic services are performed by highly qualified mechanics. Our mechanic shops work on numerous vehicles daily with the best vehicle repair equipment, and are capable of servicing a variety of makes and models. Whether you drive a passenger car, medium-size truck, mini-van, or SUV, our ASE Certified mechanics strive to ensure that your vehicle will be performing its best. Our superior standards show that our mechanics always have your best interests in mind. Plus, we offer the industry’s best warranty coverage.

Looking for a one-stop automotive repair shop? Than look no further, and allow our highly qualified mechanics to estimate the extent of auto repair you may be looking at. To set up an appointment now, call 1-775-525-2420 or contact us online.

Our number one goal has always been complete customer satisfaction. Our vehicle repair shop has a long-standing reputation for quality repairs. Whether you need routine auto maintenance services or emergency vehicle repairs, contact us online or visit us during business hours.

Areas Served : Carson City NV | Reno NV | Sparks NV | and surrounding areas

Auto Repair Services

As the mornings have grown colder, I’ve noticed my heater isn’t putting out hot air. With winter approaching, I’d like to get this fixed soon.

Cold-Mornings-Car

The method used to warm a car’s cabin isn’t very different from the one used to keep the engine cool. In fact, it’s all hooked together and runs on the same circuit. Coolant circulates through the engine and absorbs engine heat, which is exchanged with the outside air by way of the radiator. A much smaller radiator called the heater core uses the same hot coolant to keep the cabin toasty. In general, there are two things that can go wrong with this setup.

Here are the two main culprits of reduced heat output in your vehicle’s cabin:

1) The first item to check is the engine temperature. To help cold engines warm up fast, the flow of coolant is restricted by way of the thermostat—a thermal valve that opens when it’s hot and closes when it’s cold. When the thermostat wears out, it remains stuck open or shut, which leads to either overheating or cool operation.

A worn-out thermostat might be preventing the coolant from getting warm enough to heat the cabin. Replacing the thermostat can be a 20-minute job or a real hassle. Check your service manual to see how involved the replacement is or stop by any of our 5 convenient locations in the Reno-Sparks area.

2) If the thermostat is fine, the flow of coolant in the heater core may be restricted by built-up goop. Sediment and grime can accumulate between coolant changes and collect in the heater core.

A flush can be done by disconnecting the heater hoses at the water pump (when the car is cold) and using compressed air to push the coolant and gunk backward, out the inlet hose. Be sure to capture all the old coolant and dispose of it properly. Follow that with a few rounds of filling the core with tap water and flushing it out in the same way, then refill the core with mixed coolant and reattach the hoses. None of these fixes are hard, but the heater-core flush is messy, so you might want to take your car to a shop for service.

Properly maintaining the cooling system is key for the heating system of your vehicle to work efficiently. Having the coolant in your engine flushed regularly and re-filled with the clean coolant/water mix is very important along with repairing any leaks that occur in your cooling system. We recommend having your cooling/heating system inspected on a regular basis with each oil change, so that you are aware of any issues and can have them repaired while they are still small.

To schedule an appointment for a FREE COOLING SYSTEM INSPECTION good until 9/31/14, or regular service, please visit any of our 5 full service repair stores:

___________________________

Sierra Car Care - Lakeside ServiceSierra Car Care – Lakeside Service
Manager: Rob Wolter
190 W. Plumb Lane
Reno, NV 89509

Phone (775) 825-1185
___________________________

Sierra Car Care – Northwest Service
Manager: Richard Blasey
1300 W. 7th Street
Reno, NV 89503

Phone (775) 747-1345
___________________________

Sierra Car Care – Village Service Sierra Car Care - Village Service
Manager: Larry Silva
1101 California Avenue
Reno, NV 89509

Phone (775) 348-7508
___________________________

Sierra Car Care – Sparks Service
Manager: Jacob Koerber
800 Prater Way
Sparks, NV 89431

Phone (775) 358-6186
___________________________

Mill Street Tire Mill Street Tire
Manager: Larry Yarborough & Lisa Smith
3180 Mill Street, Suite A
Reno, NV 89502

Phone (775)329-6434
___________________________

Would you like to receive monthly e-mails with helpful car care tips, just like this article? With the added bonus of discounts and savings e-mailed directly to you for normal vehicle maintenance? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and get exclusive offers and savings, just click here.

Thank You from Sierra Car Care

and then there’s us: a service station.

That means we’re more focused on keeping your car running its best than sending you out the door with a soda and a pile of reheated, spicy mystery meat. Each Sierra Car Care station is full-on about full-service, meaning we offer brake service, suspension and alignment, cooling system repair, computer control diagnostics, transmission repair, and, well, you get the idea. As we see it, an efficient car is far better for you than a day-old burrito. Thank you.

Enjoy these coupons, valid for a limited time.

Sierra Car Care Locations

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