Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. Service For Your Exhaust System

Your SUV’s exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems on your SUV. Maintaining it is good Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. auto advice for Castle Rock car owners, but it’s also good health advice and good environmental advice.

The exhaust system includes your emissions system. Because this system may affect your health and the health of our Denver area environment, it is subject to strict government regulations. Satisfying these regulations demands some high-tech, computer-controlled equipment, which means that the emissions system is a lot more sophisticated than it was thirty years ago. Most auto manufacturers recommend that you have your SUV exhaust and emissions systems checked by a qualified service advisor at regular intervals.

The exhaust system starts with the exhaust manifold. The manifold is attached to the SUV engine. It collects exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe. Gaskets seal the connection of the manifold to the engine and to other joints. A cracked or loose manifold or a leaking or damaged gasket can allow dangerous gases to enter the passenger compartment of a vehicle. One of these gases is carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly. For this reason, it is essential that Denver car owners keep their exhaust system in good repair.

The pipes that connect the various parts of the exhaust system can rust or be damaged by rocks or other road debris. Such damage can cause dangerous gases to leak into the air. So it is critical that exhaust pipes get an inspection regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next vital component of your SUV exhaust system. It sort of looks like a muffler. Its job is to change dangerous gases into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any regular maintenance, but it can wear out. If it fails, you will need a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test in Colorado. Call Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. at 303-688-4510 if you suspect a problem with your catalytic converter.

Oxygen sensors in the exhaust pipe monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust. This helps the SUV engine’s computer keep the fuel-to-air mixture at optimal levels.

The muffler is also part of your SUV exhaust system, but it deals with a different kind of emission. It keeps your SUV from emitting bad sounds. Mufflers act like finely tuned musical instruments. They create a feedback of sound waves to absorb or decrease the noises made by your engine. Different mufflers can create different sound waves, so you can actually “tune” your car to produce a particular sound, anything from whisper to rumble.

It is essential for damaged mufflers be replaced immediately at your Castle Rock automotive service center, especially if they are leaking. Not only will the extra noise annoy your Castle Rock neighbors, a leaky muffler could be serious.

The entire exhaust system is attached to your SUV by hangers and clamps. These fasteners can rust, come loose or break. The essential components of the exhaust system can get very hot, so when the hangers or clamps fail, these hot components can come into contact with other parts such as wires and hoses. These can melt, causing serious and expensive damage to your vehicle. Good car care requires that you have your exhaust system inspected regularly.

Let’s not forget the tailpipe. It’s the last essential piece in the exhaust system — and of your SUV, for that matter. Exhaust fumes exit your SUV through the tailpipe.

If your SUV has any of the following symptoms, it may have a problem with the exhaust system: it’s hard to start, it runs rough, it’s noisy, it’s smoking. Also, if your “check engine” light comes on, especially if it’s flashing, it is important to get your SUV to Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock right away. Often, the “check engine” light indicates a problem with the emissions system.

Caring for your SUV exhaust system yields cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety. Your life, or the life of a loved one, may actually be on the line.

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Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.

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When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock is a lot like buying shoes, except that Castle Rock auto owners’ vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of Colorado road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Denver area drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Castle Rock need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough Colorado mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the Denver area tire market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Castle Rock often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires, but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in Denver are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the Colorado tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don’t have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, Castle Rock folks get what they pay for.

At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40-thousand-mile tire,” or a “60-thousand mile tire.” This refers to the number of miles a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you’re really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better for Castle Rock drivers to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you’re driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires, and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Denver auto owners.

So, some good auto advice for Castle Rock auto owners would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there’s some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t have to purchase tires as often.

Good car care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

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How Do You Save Gas In Castle Rock Colorado?

No one in Castle Rock, Colorado likes to spend a chunk of change at Denver gas pumps. Rising Colorado fuel prices, however, have spurred Castle Rock auto owners to focus on how to improve their gas mileage. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we are car-loving Americans, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let’s look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here’s what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his Castle Rock service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his MPG.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here’s a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Castle Rock, Colorado. First get caught up on your important routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost MPG. If it’s time for a tune-up, git’er done at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. That’s a big item.

If your check engine light is on, have your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Castle Rock car owners as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Denver folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on Colorado highways and Castle Rock streets: don’t speed and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That’s because there aren’t any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of “miracle fuel saver” scams in Colorado. Don’t shell out any money to swindlers, you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock before spending your hard earned cash.

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Higher Mileage Service Intervals For Castle Rock

Castle Rock drivers have probably noticed that the government mandates a lot of equipment on cars: emission devices and control computers; safety equipment like airbags; and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the motoring public in Denver but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car in Colorado.

Because new cars are more expensive, Castle Rock residents are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. 68% of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles/120,000 kilometers. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on going.

Some owner’s manuals don’t outline service requirements and schedules at higher mileage. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever for Castle Rock drivers to stay on top of routine auto maintenance for cars with more than 120,000 miles/190,000 kilometers. Just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 24,000 miles/38,000 kilometers should be performed at 24,000 mi/38,000 km; 48,000 mi/77,000 km; 72,000mi/116,000 km, 96,000 mi/154,000 km; and on and on.

Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule may be more appropriate than the regular schedule. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and do not hold the fluids as well as they used to. If you don’t already have one, it is more vital than ever to get a good service advisor, like any one of the automotive professionals on our team at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put some clicks on the odometer, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course.

Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints for Castle Rock drivers that trouble is brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a steep repair. Regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things Castle Rock car owners can do to really help a high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, transmission fluids and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have higher mileage.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older SUV engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better gas mileage and excellent wear protection. Come into Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock for a checkup.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high kilometer vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 mi/80,000 km, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. The fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids in Castle Rock because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold for Castle Rock motorists in terms of preventing costly repair costs down the road.

It does cost more for motorists to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle in Castle Rock – but it’s much cheaper than a new car payment!

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Looking Down the Road – Headlamps

If you’ve ever been driving around Castle Rock and had a headlamp go out, you’ve probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won’t have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. We’re at 1235 Caprice Drive in Castle Rock, Colorado 80109. Or give us a call at 303-688-4510

Experts in Castle Rock recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you’ll have bright headlamps for those long Castle Rock winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can’t believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that’s a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they’ll last for the life of your car. If you want your Castle Rock friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint – no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can’t react to what you can’t see. You need headlamps that’ll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That’s because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Castle Rock service centers offer a service to restore the lens that’s a lot cheaper.

You can’t drive if you can’t see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don’t forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

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What is That? Check Engine Light Service At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.

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Okay. You went to your local Castle Rock car wash and while your SUV was under the dryer, the check engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the SUV! You head for the nearest Castle Rock service station, but on the way, the check engine light stops flashing, and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your SUV in to get serviced. In the meantime, the check engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty, or that when it comes on it doesn’t mean anything, or that it’s just in your SUV as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary expensive repairs. You’re glad you didn’t take your car to the Castle Rock repair shop and resolve to ignore that engine light in the future.

Whoa! Let’s look at what really happened. Your SUV was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report to the engine computer, where a warning was triggered: there shouldn’t be that much airflow when the SUV engine is idling. This is a serious problem that could cause permanent engine damage. Warning! The check engine light starts flashing, letting you know you need to take immediate action to prevent that damage.

You drive out from under the dryer, and the air intake sensor sends a new message to the computer. The computer realizes that everything is normal and tells the check engine light to stop flashing. The SUV doesn’t need immediate attention; but there was a problem, and it should be checked out by your service advisor. After a few days the computer senses that the problem is gone, so it turns off the warning light.

You may think this story illustrates the uselessness of a check engine light, but you should remember that a computer can’t think for itself, it can only follow its programming. It doesn’t know the difference between a car wash air dryer and a serious malfunction in your SUV engine. That doesn’t make it useless. It just means you have to be the smart one.

Being smart doesn’t mean ignoring your SUV check engine light. It lets you know when something is wrong, and you can prevent a lot of damage to your vehicle by paying proper attention to it.

Your engine computer is constantly collecting data about what is going on inside your SUV engine. It knows what parameters are normal, and when a reading may indicate a problem. It uses the check engine light to let you know when something isn’t right. It then stores a code in its memory that a service professional can retrieve that indicates which reading was abnormal.

The tech uses this code as a starting place to find out what’s wrong with your SUV. It’s like going to the doctor with a fever. The fever is the reading that is abnormal — your temperature is too high — but the doctor still has to figure out what’s causing it. It’s probably an infection, but what kind? Sinus infection? Appendicitis? Flu? The problems and their solutions are quite different. But a fever also tells a doctor what’s NOT wrong with you. Fevers don’t accompany stress headaches, ulcers or arthritis, so there’s no sense in testing for those conditions.

Your Castle Rock technician responds to a trouble code in your SUV’s computer in the same way. The code doesn’t say exactly what’s wrong, but it does give the technician a good indication of where to start looking —and where he/she doesn’t need to look.

Now, you wouldn’t consider diagnosing yourself with a serious medical problem; good medical advice — unless you’re a doctor. So you shouldn’t consider trying to diagnose your vehicle’s troubles by yourself; good auto advice — unless you’re a trained mechanic.

There are cheap scanners available on the market and some Castle Rock auto parts stores offer to read trouble codes from your SUV engine computer for you, but these are really not good alternatives to taking your vehicle to a qualified service center such as Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock. Your engine’s computer has both short-term and long-term memory, and there are some codes that are specific to a particular make of vehicle. Cheap scanners can’t read an engine computer’s long-term memory nor can they interpret manufacturer – specific codes. That’s why manager Kevin Mahagan at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. spends a lot of money on high-end diagnostic tools.

It’s as if you had a choice between a doctor who had a tongue depressor and a thermometer and one who had all the latest medical diagnostic equipment on hand. Honestly, which would you choose?

Getting your codes read at your Denver auto parts store isn’t really a money-saver, either, unless you’re a trained mechanic. You’ll end up with a code that tells you a symptom. What usually happens next is that the Denver parts store sells you something that directly relates to the symptom. It may or may not fix the problem. It’s actually cheaper to just go to the Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock and get things fixed right the first time.

Remember, a fever can indicate a sinus infection or appendicitis. An antibiotic may be okay for that sinus infection, but it won’t help your appendicitis. Is it really wise to wait around to see if the antibiotic helps when you might have appendicitis?

Part of good car care is knowing where you can get a problem fixed, and fixed right. Preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping you out of the repair shop, but eventually, we will all have a problem that needs fixing. Let’s do it right the first time at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. In the long run, it’s actually the less expensive choice.

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The Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. Guide To Custom Wheels

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If you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your SUV, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Castle Rock auto owners have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the SUV when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your SUV. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable Denver professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Castle Rock custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your SUV are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason car owners should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Castle Rock. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your SUV, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in pricey damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock.

After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.

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Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. Engine Air Filter Replacement

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When your experienced Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech technician changes your oil, he will also inspect your air filter. You shouldn’t need a new filter at every oil change, but you will need to change it regularly. Heed your technician’s auto advice if they tell you to change your filter. It’s not costly, and it makes a big difference to your SUV.

An air filter does what its name implies: it filters stuff out of the air. Air is drawn into your engine through the filter because your engine needs air to burn fuel. If the filter weren’t there, a lot of dust and debris would come into the SUV engine with the air. That dust and debris would get hot, burn, and produce all kinds of ash and gumminess that would eventually clog up your engine.

Drop in an air filter and voilá! Problem solved.

But air filters themselves get clogged up with all the junk they clean out of the Denver air. This doesn’t allow the junk into the SUV engine, but it does block up the airflow. A blocked airflow will reduce engine efficiency.

An engine needs about 12,000 gallons of air to burn just one gallon of gasoline. Think of a runner. If he is breathing well, he can run well. But if he has a lung condition, he won’t be able to generate the oxygen necessary to keep his cells powered up. He won’t be able to run at peak efficiency.

Or consider a vacuum cleaner. Even without the light, you can tell when the vacuum bag is full because the machine just doesn’t clean anymore. Change the bag and its efficiency immediately improves.

So keep your SUV breathing well by keeping its air filter clean. That’s good car care.

Castle Rock car owners who get a charge out of the feeling of power in their engine might consider upgrading their air filter. Talk to your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. technician. Premium air filters have been proven to increase horsepower and torque. So with the cost of a premium air filter, you can increase the horsepower in your engine — there’s no cheaper way to do that!

It’s also one of the least expensive and simplest elements of vital routine preventive maintenance – and protects against damage to expensive SUV electronic systems. No Castle Rock resident should have an excuse to drive around Denver roads and expressways with a dirty air filter.

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Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down Around Castle Rock

There’s not much we can do about the price of gas in Castle Rock Colorado, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we’re driving on our Castle Rock streets.

Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

Slow Down In Castle Rock for Fuel Economy The first thing we can do is watch the ‘go-pedal’. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Go a little slower on the freeway to Denver. Once you’re going more than sixty-five miles an hour your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.

Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.

Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.

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

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Diesel Maintenance For Colorado

At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV’s. But our Colorado friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there’re nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.

Here’s who’s announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in Colorado.

You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to Colorado and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that Colorado diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Recent government mandates to remove sulfur now opens up Colorado to the engines the rest of the world’s been enjoying for a long time.

Why are diesels so popular worldwide? Well, for starters, diesels get up to 30% better fuel economy than gas engines. And they last a lot longer. And modern diesel engines are refined, quiet and powerful – and there’s none of that black smoke we used to see.

Some people may think that diesels create more pollution. But, you need to rethink diesels. Environmental pollution standards for diesel cars and light trucks are scheduled to be as strict as they are for gasoline vehicles. A modern diesel engine is as clean as a gas engine.

You may also have heard a lot in the news about bio-diesel. The exciting thing about diesels is that they’re not limited to fossil fuels. They can run on fuel made from vegetable oil. There are refineries that make diesel fuel from cellulosic waste like woodchips from lumber mills. There’s even this cool new process where a special strain of algae is used to convert carbon dioxide, water and sunshine into bio-diesel. That’s still a ways off, but you can see that diesel can become a sustainable source of fuel.

And, there are not a lot of trade off’s with diesel in terms of performance. A modern passenger car diesel is very smooth, quiet and quick. Most folks wouldn’t notice any difference. For those who tow trailers and haul heavy loads, diesels will be an improvement.

Now diesel engines are heavy duty, so they cost more than gas engines. But they get better fuel economy – so the break-even point is largely dependent on the difference between Colorado gas and diesel prices at the pump and how many miles you drive. And diesels have a higher resale value.

Now, let’s get back to diesel maintenance. You have to keep in mind that most of the new diesels are just coming in, or will be over the next couple of years, so we don’t have the maintenance schedules to make direct comparisons yet.

But going off what we already have in Colorado, we can expect fluid drain intervals to be similar to gasoline engines. Diesels do require very clean fuel, air and oil, so their filters are much higher capacity than gasoline filters and cost more. The engine air filter needs to be changed more frequently as well.

Repair costs are similar. As with gasoline engines, proper maintenance is the key to long engine life and to avoiding repairs. So pretty much what we have come to expect with gas vehicles; coolant system service, transmission service, power brakes, power steering, differential, filters, fuel system, and so on. And the payoff for you, if you’re the kind that likes to keep your vehicles for a long time, is that a properly maintained diesel engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

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