Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades For Castle Rock Drivers

When Castle Rock motorists talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn’t the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around Colorado? Yet we often don’t even notice our windshields until we can’t see through them, or until our wiper blades fail.

It’s estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won’t keep their windshields clear during a storm — that’s 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety’s sake, Castle Rock auto owners need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don’t get new ones until the old ones become a detrimental safety hazard. Instead, we Castle Rock car owners need to make wiper blades a critical part of our preventive maintenance routine.

Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In Colorado areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are available that prevent ice and snow from collecting on the wiper. Ask your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service advisor about wiper blades that repel ice and snow.

No matter what blades you use on your vehicle in the winter, don’t expect them to clear the ice and snow from your windshield after your vehicle has been parked for a while. Using your wipers will shred your blades and may even damage your wiper motor. And don’t drive on Castle Rock roads with a frosted windshield. That’s a serious safety hazard. It can cause accidents, and you could be held liable.

Wiper blades are subjected to harsh conditions in Castle Rock. They’re out in the Denver sun and in the cold. Over time, they become hard and brittle and lose their flexibility. Then they start to tear. Without flexibility, wipers just can’t clear a windshield of water or snow. And torn wipers can actually scratch your windshield. Then the entire windshield has to be replaced — along with the wiper blades. It’s a prime example of how preventive maintenance could have saved you an expensive repair bill.

Castle Rock motorists can purchase new wiper blades at an auto service center or at any Castle Rock auto parts store. They cost about the same. But the auto service center will throw in the installation.

Once you have good wipers installed, don’t forget to top off your windshield washer fluid. If you take your vehicle in for a full-service oil change at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock, your washer fluid will get topped off then. But it’s good auto advice to purchase a jug of washer fluid to keep at home — just in case. And pack it in the car when you go on long trips.

While we’re on the subject, Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. advises Castle Rock car owners to always fill their washer fluid reservoir with window washer fluid. Don’t ever use water. Water can freeze in the reservoir, which can damage it. It can also freeze onto your windshield. Besides, plain water just can’t get a windshield clean. Think about it. Do you use plain water to clean your bathroom mirrors? And a bathroom mirror doesn’t get exposed to anything near the gunk that can end up on your windshield. Windshield washer fluid was designed to do one thing — to clean windshields. Let it do its important job.

A clean windshield is not just good car care for Castle Rock auto owners — it’s a vital safety feature. Let’s keep it that way.

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Differential Service in Castle Rock, Colorado – What You Need To Know

Scratching your head? Don’t worry, if you don’t know what a differential is – you will in a moment. That fact is that if you drive a car anywhere in Castle Rock, Colorado, you have a differential. Whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, you have a differential. Some Castle Rock motorists might even have two or three.

Not surprisingly, a differential’s job is to compensate for differences. Specifically the differences in wheel speed when turning. For instance, imagine taking a corner near your Castle Rock, Colorado home. Your inside wheel has a shorter distance to travel than the outside wheel as you turn the corner. That means that your outside wheel has to turn faster to keep pace with the inside wheel.

The differential allows the wheels to turn at different speeds while still providing power to your vehicle. Without a differential, Castle Rock auto owners’ tires would scrub and hop along the pavement during turns like the early cars.

Ever noticed the big bulge in the middle of the rear axle on trucks? That’s the differential. Rear-wheel drive vehicles have a differential in back. Most four-wheel drive trucks and SUVs will also have a similar differential on the front axle. Front-wheel drive vehicles’ differential is called a transaxle because it combines the differential and transmission in one unit. An all-wheel drive vehicle will have a differential or transfer case that adjusts for speed differences between the front and rear drive wheels.

It can seem a little complex to some Denver auto owners – but you can see that all of the engine’s power is routed through your differentials. They’re strong enough to handle the work, but- we’ve said it before – they need to be properly lubricated in order to stay strong. So from time to time, you need to schedule a differential service in Castle Rock at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. The used fluid is drained and replaced with clean fluid. Some vehicle manufacturers advise certain differentials to have special additives installed.

Get your differential serviced at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock.

Recommendations for the time and mileage interval for servicing your differential can vary greatly by vehicle. A front-wheel drive vehicle’s transaxle will need servicing more frequently than the rear differential on a pick-up truck, so check with your Castle Rock, Colorado Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist or your vehicle manufacturers owner’s manual for recommendations.

How and where you drive in Castle Rock will have an important impact as well. If you drive on dirt roads or through streams around Denver, Colorado, you’ll need to service your differential much sooner than if you always stay on Colorado interstates.

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Fuel Saving Tip: Fuel System Cleaning Near Sedalia Colorado

A lot of gas is wasted in the Sedalia area by dirty fuel delivery systems.

Let’s start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That’s why there’s a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently.

The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. will leave your intake as clean as a whistle.

The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they’re clogged, the fuel doesn’t get atomized the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t get burned as efficiently.

See your owner’s manual or ask your Sedalia service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. when a fuel system cleaning is recommended.

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Shake It Up in Castle Rock!: Why Wheel Balancing

Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Castle Rock motorists generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.

When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Castle Rock drivers want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service advisor spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Castle Rock car owners are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.

High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Castle Rock drivers can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your SUV — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.

The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the freeway, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the harmful vibration. When Castle Rock motorists’ tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and essential suspension parts.

Getting a balance job at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock can prevent expensive repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your SUV as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your fuel efficiency. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.

Some Castle Rock vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your SUV. Balancing your tires is part of essential preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some expensive ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Castle Rock car owners’ nerves.

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Fresh Air Inside Your Car in Castle Rock

Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern Castle Rock world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There’s a filter that cleans the air going into our SUV’s engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment?

Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers haven’t been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. Larkspur car owners who suffer from allergies or have a respiratory disorder should be a lot more comfortable. And even if you don’t have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally.

Cabin air filters are still fairly new in Denver, so you’ll have to check your SUV owner’s manual to see if you have one. If you do, your routine car care will have to include changing the filter as part of your important preventive maintenance. The owner’s manual will give recommendations on how often the filter has to be changed, but if the air where you live in Colorado is particularly dirty or if you’re prone to hay fever, you may want to change it more often.

Your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service advisor can also offer suggestions on how often to change your cabin air filter in your Denver area. They’re the ones who actually see the dirty filters, after all.

There is no standardized location for cabin air filters. Castle Rock motorists can usually find them in the SUV engine compartment or under the dashboard, but they might be somewhere else. So the ease of changing the filter will depend on its location. Some are readily accessible, but others make you wonder how they got installed in the first place. Bring your car into Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. and we will locate your cabin air filter for you.

However, if you have a newer SUV, it’s good auto advice to find out if it has a cabin air filter. If it does, you should change the filter regularly. A sure sign that a filter needs to be changed is that the interior of your SUV will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some Denver auto owners discovered that they had cabin air filters in the first place!

Cabin air filters are just one more way we have to stay safe, stay healthy, and stay on the road in Castle Rock.

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Maintaining Your Diesel in Denver

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven’t been as common in Denver because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Castle Rock motorists driving diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV’s.

Diesels are popular in Castle Rock because they get better fuel economy than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you’re not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don’t produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in Colorado as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Denver, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Castle Rock drivers’ dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles perform as well as other passenger vehicles, also. Most Larkspur people don’t notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer in Sedalia, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don’t all Denver motorists drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven’t told me about. That’s true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in Colorado. The better fuel efficiency of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more pricey to drive in Denver. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in Colorado, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Castle Rock drivers depends now on the current price of fuel in Colorado and how many miles you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Denver area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in Colorado becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive in Castle Rock than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Castle Rock are similar. Wait, you may be thinking, but you just told me that filters are more expensive and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the Castle Rock driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.

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Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Castle Rock Car Owners

A generation ago, Castle Rock auto owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your SUV in to your Castle Rock shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Castle Rock used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the SUV was in for a tune-up at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our SUVs don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.

Modern Castle Rock auto owners need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Castle Rock service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and gas mileage. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern SUV engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of critical parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the SUV isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your SUV engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the SUV engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this expensive damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Castle Rock auto owners than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to essential engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Denver who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Castle Rock folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

Castle Rock car owners can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel efficiency, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

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Straight And True In Castle Rock: Wheel Alignment

Most Denver folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by Castle Rock car owners is a periodic alignment inspection.

Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more costly than an alignment check in Castle Rock. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Denver.

Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your SUV. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the SUV may not steer properly.

One or more wheels on your SUV can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Castle Rock street. An accident, even a minor one, that involves a wheel on your car can lead to misalignment. The small bumps and bangs of everyday Larkspur driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.

If you have had wheel damage to your SUV, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service professional will give you that piece of auto advice. But good car care suggests that you also get your alignment inspected on a regular basis. At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock, we can take care of that for you.

Your owner’s manual or Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist can give you a suggestion on how often your alignment should be checked. If it doesn’t, then once a year is a good rule of thumb. However, if you drive a lot and especially if you drive on rough surfaces a lot, then you may want to consider an inspection more often. Ask your Honest technician for a recommendation.

If your SUV is out of alignment, one or more of the wheels is not tracking correctly and will “pull” against the others. Thus, one sign of poor alignment is that your SUV pulls to one side when you drive around Denver. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.

Castle Rock car owners should also check the wear on their tires. If they seem to be wearing out too quickly, or if you notice that a tire is wearing on one side more than the other, you should get your alignment checked.

When you get an automotive analysis, your vehicle will be put on a rack and all the parts of the steering and suspension systems will be inspected for wear or damage. The alignment of the tires will be charted and compared to the original factory settings. If no repairs are needed on the steering or suspension systems, the wheels will then be adjusted to bring them back into alignment.

This may seem like a lot of bother for Sedalia motorists, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Castle Rock residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.

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What’s Up With Diesels in Castle Rock?

Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most vehicle manufacturers produce a variety of diesel-fueled cars for purchase abroad.

Diesel-fueled vehicles haven’t been as popular in the North American markets like Colorado. But that won’t be true for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we’re not talking about buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV’s.

There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight engines in passenger vehicles just couldn’t tolerate it.

But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel producers are now required to sell cleaner diesel fuel in Castle Rock. That opens the North American market to more diesel-powered vehicles. The second reason we’re going to see more of these vehicles in Castle Rock is that they’re more fuel-efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fuel has higher energy density than gasoline. That translates to more power per barrel of fuel. In your tank, that translates to better engine performance and about 20% more miles per gallon.

Castle Rock drivers may associate diesel engines with black smoke, noise and a definite “shake, rattle and roll.” That’s also a thing of the past. Modern diesel engines are smooth and quiet and produce cleaner emissions than gasoline engines. Also, forget that three-second wait behind a diesel vehicle at a stoplight. Modern diesels are just as quick to accelerate as other vehicles on Castle Rock roads.

Diesel engines have other advantages over gasoline engines. Diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines because they require more heavy-duty parts, but that means the engines are more durable and can last longer than gasoline engines. Also, diesel engines may be the engines of the future since they can burn many of the new bio-fuels.

Bio-diesel can be manufactured from vegetable oils, including used cooking oil from Castle Rock restaurants. Just think, one day you could fuel your vehicle on stuff that was once considered waste—one step closer to a cleaner environment here in Colorado. And if you think hybrid cars are environmentally sound, consider what a diesel-electric hybrid could mean. They will soon be available for
Castle Rock motorists.

Castle Rock drivers who are considering buying a diesel-fueled vehicle, should know that vital preventive maintenance and inspection schedules are different for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is harder on emissions systems than gasoline, so the filters and other devices have to be changed and checked more often. Also, the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures for diesel than for gasoline, so keeping it clean becomes a higher priority.

When you switch from a gas vehicle to a diesel, you’ll have to learn some new rules of car care. But you won’t be alone. Most
Castle Rock service centers are aware that diesels are coming to North America and are already prepared to provide service for diesel engines. At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., we are well-versed in diesel technology. You can rely on our team of automotive professionals to provide quality service for diesel powered vehicles.

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Direct Fuel Injection Update From Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.

For those of you in Castle Rock Colorado who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.

So what are the differences from a conventional engine?

The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it’s then drawn into the engine with the air.

With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cylinder during the combustion cycle is burned much more efficiently.

First, the fuel is squirted in at hundreds of times more pressure, so it’s atomized much better and burns cleaner and stronger. The other big advance is in electronics. Faster engine management computers can control the additional precision required to manage direct fuel injection.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver a precise amount of fuel at exactly the right time. The design of the engine also dictates a particular spray pattern for the fuel. If a fuel injector is dirty or gummed up, it can’t do its job as well. That means less power and worse fuel economy for your SUV and can lead to damaged fuel injectors.

Replacing fuel injectors isn’t cheap. Direct injection injectors are even more expensive because of the extremely high-pressure they use. Same thing for diesel fuel injectors; we’re talking mortgage payment-range to replace a set of diesel injectors.

A professional fuel system cleaning from Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. gets out the gum and varnish in the whole system, including the fuel injectors. Keep those injectors clean and they’ll last a long, long time.

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