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The serpentine belt is one long, snaking, winding belt that keeps your alternator, power steering pump, air conditioning and, in some cases, your water pump running smoothly and effectively. Without this belt, the battery will not get charged and none of the electrical accessory components in the car will work.

Typically comprised of rubber and guided by hydraulic (or spring-loaded) belt tensioners or idler pulleys, serpentine belts connect your alternator, water pump, power steering system AND air conditioning unit to your crankshaft and transfer power from your engine to these vital components.

Since these belts perform such an important task, having them inspected and changed out regularly is extremely important to your vehicle’s health. If they wear out and snap from constantly being exposed to the intense heat produced by your engine, your engine can shut down completely and cost you a lot of money in repairs to the various systems supported by serpentine belts.

Signs your serpentine belt needs to be replaced include loss of power, noticeable vibrations, audible squealing and steering difficulties. Loud Drive Belt– If there is a noisy squealing coming from the serpentine belt then it is important that you have your vehicle inspected immediately. If the issue is being caused by leaking or spilled motor oil though, it can mean a complete replacement is needed for the belts and it will need to be replaced immediately before any more damages can be caused.

If you notice any of these warning signs or think it’s time for your serpentine belt to be replaced, be sure to schedule an appointment at Sierra Car Care and Tire Center by clicking HERE or by giving us a call at (775) 525-2420!

Our friendly, ASE-certified technicians can help you set up a proactive preventative maintenance plan for your vehicle that will include serpentine belts as well as several other components you may not be aware of but perform important tasks for your engine.

If your air filter gets too dirty or clogged, your engine won’t be able to suck enough air into the combustion chambers. The engine will then run rich (i.e., too much gas and not enough air). When this happens, your car will lose power and run roughly. Your Check Engine light also may come on.

Your engine’s air filter is a lot like your car’s lungs. In order for it to run efficiently, function properly and pass clean air through the system, the filter must be cleaned and installed correctly.

Combustion engines rely on air to function, and a bad air filter can suffocate a vehicle. This can lead to extensive problems down the road. Luckily, dirty air filter symptoms are easy to identify once you know what to look for.

The Humble Mechanic offers his tips for inspecting your engine’s air filter.

Dirty Air Filter Symptoms

  1. Air Filter Appears Dirty
  2. Decreasing Gas Mileage
  3. Your Engine Misses or Misfires
  4. Strange Engine Noises
  5. Check Engine Light Comes On
  6. Reduction in Horsepower
  7. Flames or Black Smoke from Exhaust Pipe
  8. Strong Fuel Smell

Dirty Air Filter Symptoms Are an Easy Fix

All the parts in a car work in harmony with one another. When one piece is malfunctioning, you’ll see a chain reaction of issues building from one system to the next.

Something as simple as the air filter can cause everything from harmful emissions, wasted fuel, damaged spark plugs, and engine buildup. That’s why it’s smart to keep an eye on parts that suffer a lot of wear and tear.

If you would like Sierra Car Care and Tire Center’s friendly ASE Certified mechanic’s to give you a Courtesy Vehicle Inspection, please feel free to bring your vehicle to any of our three locations around the Reno area. The inspection includes: belts, hoses fluids, battery, windshield wipers, brakes, and tires. Most cars & light trucks.

 

There are several things that might happen if a significant amount of excess oil is added to your engine.

Changes in the oil pressure and overall lubrication of the engine can lead to:

  • Engine damage such as bent rods in the engine or collapsed valve pipes
  • Catastrophic engine failure where the engine sustains enough damage that it cannot be repaired, but must instead be replaced
  • Excess engine wear from inconsistent oil pressure over time
  • Spark plug fouling, resulting in the need to replace spark plugs more frequently
  • Excess oil deposits in the catalytic converter

Automotive oil reservoirs are designed to hold a bit of extra oil to compensate for fluid expansion in warm conditions, and to help prevent damage to the engine in case excessive oil is added to the engine. As a result, half a quart may not cause any damage to your engine, but much more than that could lead to engine damage.

When too much oil is poured into the reservoir, the excess oil can be pulled into the crankshaft as it spins. The oil is mixed with air and aerates – also known as ‘foaming’ – like what you might find on your morning latte. The combination of oil and air results in decreased oil pressure as the oil pump is unable to continue pumping the oil effectively.

Overfilling the oil can cause the car to have misfires and run rough. It will also blow a lot of smoke out of the tail pipe. This usually will not cause any long lasting damage.

If you are worried that you have overfilled your vehicles oil just bring it into any of our Sierra Car Care and Tire Center locations and our mechanics can let you know what they recommend.

Click here to learn more or to print $89.95 AC Service

Click here to learn more or to print Free Brake Fluid Flush

Click here to learn more or to print Free Oil Change Special

Click here to learn more or to print Smog Check Special

Built with durability, reliability, and optimization in mind, diesel engine systems are designed to use their own compression to ignite fuel.

In gasoline engines, the fuel is mixed with air, compressed by pistons, and ignited by a spark plug.

The rate of compression in a diesel engine is more than three times that of a regular gasoline engine system. In a diesel engine system, the air is compressed at a high compression ratio, which introduces a great amount of heat. Following this compression, fuel is directly injected into the cylinder, where the fuel vapor is ignited.

Diesel engines are built without spark plugs. Instead, diesel systems use glow plugs to start and run more efficiently in colder temperatures. Glow plugs have two heating elements that allow them to get very hot very quickly for fast starts. Turbochargers increase the compression ignition by quickly compressing the air flowing into the engine, allowing for more air to flow into the chamber. More air in the combustion chamber means more fuel can be added to the combustion process. Turbochargers provide diesel engine systems with improved efficiency, and ultimately, more miles per gallon of diesel fuel.

Importance of Diesel Engine Repair

Your diesel engine plays a major role in your vehicle, so it is especially important that you be aware of problems and seek repairs whenever you experience an issue. Because diesel engines make a considerable amount of noise during normal, everyday operation, diagnosing diesel engine problems can be hard to do if you are listening solely to the engine. However, there are a number of symptoms you can watch out for that indicate your diesel engine needs maintenance.

A diesel engine running at lower RPMs or a hard-to-start engine are signs of low fuel pressure, but these signs may also be symptoms of an insufficient fuel supply or poor fuel quality. Allowing our staff to troubleshoot your diesel engine can help ensure that the proper repair procedures are followed to repair the engine.

Every diesel engine manufacturer requires different preventive maintenance procedures, so referring to your owner’s manual will help in planning and scheduling routine maintenance services. Keeping all diesel engine components—glow plugs, fuel injectors, and turbochargers—in proper working order will increase the life of your diesel engine system while promoting overall vehicle maintenance.

Schedule your Diesel Engine Repair

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers proudly serves the Diesel Engine Repair needs of customers in Reno, NV, Verdi, NV, Carson City, NV, and surrounding areas. Please click any of the following links to setup an online appointment for your vehicle or you can contact us at a store near you to make an appointment with one of our ASE Certified Technicians.

Excessive Noise Diagnostic

Excessive Smoke Diagnostic

Glow Plug Replacement

Hard Starting and Drivability Diagnostic

Turbocharger Repair

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.

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

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