Allergens and Air Filters

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Spring means allergy season in Fortuna. As you stock up on antihistamines and tissues, don’t forget about your vehicle!

What does my car have to do with allergies?

Surprisingly, one simple maintenance task can help you breathe easy in your car:

Air Filters

The cabin air filter traps dust, pollen, and allergens from the outside and prevents it from entering the inside of your vehicle. Over time, the air filter becomes full of debris and cannot continue to do its job.

If the cabin air filter is too full, you may notice reduced air flow from the vents inside your vehicle. The air conditioning may not work as well. Place your hand in front of the vent – if you cannot feel air flow, bring your vehicle in for an inspection.

Replace your vehicle’s cabin air filter regularly for best results. The technicians at Sandera’s Auto Works can inspect your air filters every time your vehicle is in for an oil change. The cabin air filter is inexpensive to replace and can keep your car comfortable and free from irritants in the air.

In addition to the cabin air filter, the engine air filter should also be replaced periodically. Imagine trying to breathe with a dirty rag over your mouth — that’s how your engine feels with a dirty air filter. The engine air filter ensures fresh air enters the engine without any road debris or dust.

Both of these air filters should be replaced regularly to keep your engine and your passengers breathing easier! As we head into peak allergy season, replace the cabin air filter to get some extra relief inside your vehicle this spring.

To schedule your next oil change and filter service, request an appointment online. If you have any questions about air filters or maintenance for your vehicle, call our Fortuna auto repair shop at 707.725.6321

Drive Safely in the Rain

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Spring time means rain in California, rain means wet roads, and wet roads mean new challenges for drivers! From slippery brakes to hydroplaning, don’t let this season’s rain storms catch you off guard! This month, we’re offering tips for safe driving in the rain:

First, slow down! Take your time and decrease your speed to keep in control of your vehicle in wet conditions. Slowing down is the most reliable method to prevent your vehicle from hydroplaning. Plan extra time for your regular commutes so you don’t find yourself rushing to your destination.

Check your windshield wipers. Most heavy rain is accompanied by poor visibility. Make sure your windshield wiper blades are up to the task! If they leave behind streaks of water that compromise your vision, replace the wiper blades right away.

Turn your lights on. Wet roads can lead to splashing water and mist rising from the surface of the road. Your headlights can help other drivers see your vehicle. Even in broad daylight, turning your headlights on can make your vehicle more visible on wet and foggy roads.

Leave space between vehicles. Because wet conditions can slow down your vehicle’s reaction time, give the cars around you more space. Add 1-2 extra seconds of following time or an extra car length between vehicles.

Avoid puddles. Whenever possible, avoid driving through standing water. Puddles can be hiding other hazards, like potholes, which can damage your vehicle. Avoid the outer lanes and low areas where water tends to accumulate. Following in the tire tracks from other cars can help you stay in a safe path.

This season, follow these tips for driving in the rain. Stay safe on the roads in Fortuna with a spring safety inspection. Our experienced technicians will make sure your vehicle can handle the wet conditions by checking tires, brakes, and key safety systems. Request an appointment online.

Braking Bad: Five Signs of Brake Failure

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In a common driving scenario, you are driving down the highway at 60+ miles per hour and you suddenly have to stop. At that speed, your vehicle could take 100 yards or the length of a football field to come to a standstill. And that is only if you’ve kept one of the most critical systems maintained – your brakes.

Two of the most obvious signs of a brake problem are the appearance of the brake light on the dashboard or the feeling your car is taking longer to stop than it should. Both of these are areas of concern and need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Visualize a 10-speed bike. In the simplest terms, your car brakes operate in much the same way. A hydraulic system filled with brake fluid triggers a set of padded clamps, also known as calipers, causing them to squeeze together on a disc known as a rotor. The friction that occurs between the pads and the rotor eventually stops the car.

Here are five brake issues to keep in mind:

  • Worn Pads – over time pads will begin to wear thin, meaning there is a lot more distance between the pads and the rotor. When this happens, they are less effective at slowing and stopping your car.
  • Strange Sounds – a high-pitched squeal may indicate your pads need replacing. You might also hear a harsh grinding sound. This means you are damaging your rotors – the brake pads are gone.
  • Pulling – pulling might indicate a stuck caliper or a collapsed brake hose. Pulling doesn’t always indicate a problem with the brakes, it could be uneven tire wear or alignment issues.
  • Vibrations – generally speaking a vibrating brake pedal indicates warped rotors. The rotors may have become warped if they were under extreme stress for an extended period by towing something unusually heavy or driving down steep mountainsides. This is also referred to as pulsation.
  • Temperamental Pedal – there are two extremes with pedals. A mushy pedal is one that feels like you are almost pushing the pedal to the floor. This loss in pedal pressure could be a brake leak (either internal or external) or air in the brake lines. A hard brake pedal means you are losing the vacuum assist to your power brakes.

On the road, paying attention to the warning signs that indicate a need for service can mean the difference between life and death. At the first sign of one of these brake issues, bring your vehicle to Sandera’s Auto Works or call our Fortuna auto repair shop at 707.725.6321.

Welcome to the Sandera’s Auto Works Blog!

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From oil changes to truck repair, this automotive blog is your source for useful tips and advice from the experienced technicians at Sandera’s Auto Works. Check back soon for preventative maintenance tips and interesting articles.

If you have any questions about your vehicle, call the car care experts at our Fortuna auto repair shop: 707.725.6321.