Keep it Flowing With A Fuel Filter Replacement At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.

The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Castle Rock Colorado use fuel filters.

For more information about your fuel filter, visit Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. or come by our shop located at 1235 Caprice Drive in Castle Rock, Colorado 80109.
Please call 303-688-4510 to make an appointment.

Generally speaking there’s not a lot of dirt in our Castle Rock Colorado auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That’s because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your SUV is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.

That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your SUV ages. It’ll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.

A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That’s because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can’t get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can’t get enough power to get you out of harm’s way.

For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.

This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don’t want to cause them damage just because you didn’t spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.

You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It’s a little part, it’s simple and it’s cheap to take care of. But if it’s neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars of repair bills.

Those auto service schedules in your owner’s manual are there for a reason. If ever you don’t understand a recommended service, just ask your Castle Rock service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. We’ll be happy to explain.

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Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around Castle Rock

With high fuel prices in Castle Rock Colorado comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on AutoNetTV, is really great. Some is myth. And some is just designed to prey on Castle Rock Colorado people desperate to save some money on gas.

Auto Myths When you get one of those e-mails that’s going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.

Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?

Do some research on the internet or ask your Castle Rock Colorado service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc..

There aren’t any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank and the government hasn’t suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your car run on air. Not even in Castle Rock!

So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You’ll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.

We’re Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., give us a call at 303-688-4510 for good honest advice about your car.

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Timing Belt Service to Save Big Bucks in Castle Rock

Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine, has to do with the combustion cycle.

Your SUV engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned.

Call Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. at 303-688-4510 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our Castle Rock Colorado service center on 1235 Caprice Drive, 80109

It’s critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all.

The timing belt is responsible for rotating the shafts that control the valves. It’s vital and precision work. Timing belts are made of very tough flexible material. They can last a long time. But they eventually wear out and can break. The consequences can be disastrous.

In some engines, the valves actually protrude far enough into the cylinders that they could come in contact with the piston. If the timing belt breaks, the pistons will smash into the valves. Valves get bend or broken. If the engine is spinning fast enough, the broken parts will shred the cylinder head as well. Repairing this damage can cost several thousand dollars.

It’s a sad day when this happens; especially since it usually can be avoided. Manufacturers have issued recommendations for when you should replace your timing belt. For some engines, it’s at 60,000 miles. For others it’s at 90,000 miles or more. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles, or have passed it, make sure you check your owner’s manual or with your Castle Rock Colorado auto service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. for when the timing belt should be replaced. Don’t let this one slip by.

Now some timing belts are visible and can be inspected. Others are hidden under a protective cover and are hard to get to. Some timing belts also drive the water pump. If you have a leaky water pump, the coolant will contaminate the timing belt and could make it fail sooner. So if you have this kind of engine, get it in to Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. for an inspection right away if you have a coolant leak.

Most people in the Denver area with this engine design end up with a new timing belt when they replace the water pump. And when you’re having your timing belt replaced on schedule, check with your Castle Rock Colorado auto service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. to see if it makes sense to install a new water pump, even if it isn’t currently having problems, since most of the labor is already being done any way for the timing belt replacement.

As a heads up; larger engines will often have metal timing chains rather than belts. The chains don’t need to be replaced like belts.

We’ve already told you how very expensive it can be to get your car running again after a timing belt fails. You also need to know that replacing the timing belt is very labor intensive and is one of the most costly maintenance services you will have. So if you will be at the point where your timing belt should be replaced in the next year or so, ask for an estimate from Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock Colorado so you can begin to prepare for the expense.

We at AutoNetTV are committed to helping you make your driving experience as safe and economical as possible. Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., your Castle Rock service center, can be a valuable partner. Please take advantage of their knowledge and experience, and check out http://AutoNetTV.com for more great auto tips.

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Automotive Detective Work In Castle Rock

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There’s a reason we use the word “diagnose” when we talk about fixing cars in Castle Rock. Figuring out what’s wrong with your SUV has a lot of similarities to figuring out what’s wrong with someone who is ill. Vehicles are a mass of complex systems that can produce a variety of symptoms when something goes wrong. As with human diagnoses, a specific symptom may be indicative of a number of problems, and figuring out the specific cause takes training and experience.

Sometimes the diagnosis of your SUV’s trouble comes down to a matter of trial-and-error. This can be frustrating for Castle Rock motorists because time and money are on the line. You may feel you should only be paying for repair work. Of course, you only want to pay for the right repair – and a proper diagnosis is part of getting it right. Like at the Castle Rock doctor’s office — some of what you pay for is the doctor’s time and effort to figure out what’s wrong with you, not for the actual cure.

The good news is that Castle Rock drivers can do a lot to help out their Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. technician in figuring out what’s wrong with their SUV. Again, the medical office is a good analogy. The more information you can give your doctor about where it hurts, when it hurts and how it hurts, the more quickly he will be able to help you. In the same way, the more you can tell your Castle Rock service technician about when the problem occurs, what is sounds like, how often it occurs, where it occurs, etc., the more efficiently he will be able to get you back on the road.

Good auto advice: learn how to talk to your Castle Rock service specialist.

If fluid is leaking from your SUV, you should note the color of the fluid, where under the car the puddles form, and when they form (e.g. only when it’s parked for a while, only if the engine’s hot, when the weather turns cold, etc.). For example, if your SUV is making an unusual sound, you should indicate where the sound is coming from, what kind of sound it is, and when you hear it (again, be very specific). The more details you can give, the more helpful you will be. “I hear the sound when I turn left” is more helpful than “I hear the sound when I turn.” After a few conversations with your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech, you should get a feel for the kind of information he needs.

If you drop your car off, leave a detailed note describing information about your SUV’s problem. A quickly scrawled “Making a funny noise” will only lead to frustration for both your technician and for you. Good communication leads to better car care for Castle Rock car owners.

If your SUV is occasionally stalling or sputtering, you may need a little more patience than with other types of car trouble because these types of problems are intermittent. In order to fix the trouble, your tech often finds it helpful to reproduce the symptoms. And if the problem is intermittent, it may take a while to do so.

In these cases, specific information can be invaluable, as it can significantly reduce the time it takes for your Honest tech to get your SUV to misbehave. For example, if you can tell your technician that the vehicle only acts up after it’s been driven for 20 minutes and over 50 mph, it will allow him to quickly reproduce your problem, greatly reducing the time it will take for a car diagnosis in Castle Rock and then get it fixed.

Good preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping your car out of the Denver repair shop, but if you need to get it fixed, good communication will get you back on the road quickly.

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A Cool and Smooth Transmission in Castle Rock

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When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Castle Rock motorists remember to get our oil changed. But Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is a critical part of car care for Castle Rock auto owners. A poorly maintained transmission will diminish fuel efficiency and lead to costly repairs.

The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it’s clean and well – lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your gas mileage will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.

Transmission fluid has two jobs: to cool and lubricate the transmission. The transmission operates at high temperatures. It can get 100-150°F degrees hotter inside your transmission than inside your engine. Transmission fluid transfers some of the heat away from the transmission. Transmissions work hard. Their parts need constant lubrication to prevent excessive wear and keep them running smoothly for Castle Rock auto owners.

The constant shifting and movement of gears inside the transmission cause bits of the gears and clutch material to wear off. These bits of harmful grit get into the transmission fluid. This grit increases friction inside the transmission and causes even more wear – it’s like liquid sandpaper. Also, the high temperatures inside the transmission cause the transmission fluid to break down over time, making it a less effective lubricant. The fluid can actually become sludgy, which can gradually plug up the maze of passages inside the transmission. Gradually, the transmission loses efficiency and stops operating smoothly. Eventually, the transmission will be damaged or fail altogether.

This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner’s manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this vital service. Or, you can talk to your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service advisor. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your SUV may be shorter or longer.

Of course, if you give your transmission a real workout, you’re going to have to change the fluid more often than the automobile manufacturer recommends. If you drive in hot, dusty Colorado conditions, if you tow a trailer around Castle Rock, if you haul heavy loads or if you do a lot of stop-and-go Denver driving, then you need to change transmission fluid more often. Also, if you demand frequent bursts of speed from your engine — especially shooting away from stops — your transmission is working harder and will need more frequent care. Check your owner’s manual for the “severe conditions” service interval.

Transmission fluids vary from vehicle to vehicle, so you’ll also need to check your owner’s manual to know what kind your SUV needs, or speak with your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist.

At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock, transmission fluid can usually be changed while you wait and is simple and not particularly costly. Compared to the cost of pricey transmission repairs or a new transmission, it’s downright cheap! So take some good auto advice from the team at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. and take care of your transmission. It will pay you back in improved fuel efficiency and a longer, smoother ride.

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Why is My Check Engine Light On?

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The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some Castle Rock motorists and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most of us Castle Rock motorists.

Let’s get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause important engine damage. Naturally, you need to get that taken care of right away. If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at Colorado freeway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your Castle Rock service center.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist to get it checked out.

Some more Castle Rock information on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative for Castle Rock car owners. Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range the computer runs some tests and may turn on the SUV’s Check Engine Light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The computer doesn’t know if it’s a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine Light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn’t come up again, it turns off the Check Engine Light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it’ll then turn off the Check Engine Light.

If the problem can’t be resolved then the light will remain on and you should get your SUV looked at. Your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

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Economics of Maintenance For Castle Rock Auto Owners

Buying a new car in Castle Rock is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in Castle Rock who’ve been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you live right here in Castle Rock and have a five year old vehicle. It’s now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there’ll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don’t know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They’re able to use manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can’t predict what will happen to your vehicle in Castle Rock, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let’s look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it’s actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Castle Rock:

  • Ford Escape – $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado – $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent – $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Castle Rock service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there’s any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions:
Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.
1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109
303-688-4510

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Differential Service At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.: Vive ala Difference

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Every SUV on Colorado interstates has a differential, and it is essential to the proper operation of the vehicle, but most Castle Rock car owners don’t have a clue what it is.

The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the SUV must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.

Have you ever seen the large bugle-shaped object in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That’s the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV’s have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.

You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You’d be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive vehicle because its location allows it to be combined with the transmission.

In an all-wheel drive vehicle, an additional differential or transfer case is located between the front and rear axles. Differentials are strong: They have to be because of the key job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don’t want your differential to seize up. That results in pricey damage to your SUV.

So you need to have your SUV differential serviced regularly. It’s not a complicated job. At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock we’ve been servicing differentials for 34 years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your Castle Rock service center will ensure you are getting what your SUV needs.

The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner’s manual or Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. to find out how often your SUV differential needs to be serviced.

Generally, however, front-wheel drive vehicles need their differential serviced more often than rear-wheel drive vehicles. Also, if you spend a lot of time off-road or on Denver area dirt or gravel roads, or if you drive through water, you will need to service your differential more often than the standard recommendation – check with your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech.

Preventive maintenance for your differential is good car care that can spare you costly repair bills. Knowing what your differential is and how it operates is key and will help you understand why this is good auto advice. Remember, take care of your SUV, and it will take care of you.

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Emergency Items For Your SUV

Local Denver roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip.

Your close-to-home kit for around Castle Rock would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You’ll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools.

Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card.

People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies.

For trips away from home, consider the weather and geography as you assemble your emergency supplies. You’ll need to have a source of light and heat and will want to provide protection against the elements as well as adequate food and water for everyone in the car.

Always tell people where you are going and have a plan for checking in at waypoints. Then if you run into trouble, you can be reported missing as soon as possible and rescuers will be able to narrow the search area.

The key to safe travel is to keep your vehicle properly maintained, plan ahead, and let others know your itinerary.

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Battery Basics For Castle Rock

Denver Battery Service

It’s important for Castle Rock drivers to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold Colorado weather. Most Denver auto owners think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold SUV engine.

However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Castle Rock trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Castle Rock auto owners can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the Colorado summer and every three months during the winter.

As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your SUV alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.

If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service professional for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your SUV alternator.

Give us a call

Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.
303-688-4510
1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109

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