Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Full Synthetic or Regular Oil

Lately I have been asked what the difference is between Full Synthetic motor oil and Regular motor oil and why one is better than the other.   Here are the differences and benefits of each and you decide for yourself what better suits your needs.

Full Synthetic is really good to use in newer vehicles for the following reasons.  Most new vehicles have a built in Maintenance Re-Minder that will tell you when it is time to change your oil.  On most vehicles this is set to go off every 5,000-7,500 depending on your manufacturer, Full Synthetic is a great oil to use because it does not degrade as quickly and does a better job of lubricating your engine allowing you to go that far without an oil change.  If you are going to use the maintenance minder as a way of tracking your oil changes we really recommend using the Full Synthetic oil.

Regular Oil is still a good oil to use but it does degrade much more quickly resulting in oil changes having to be done more often. 

Price wise, Regular oil is less expensive but the oil changes should be done every 3,000 miles.  Full Synthetic is definitely more expensive, but remember you can go almost twice as far before having to do the oil change.  This is very beneficial to those of you that do a lot of driving, it saves time, you won't have to be in the shop as often doing your oil change.

Check out our website for a great coupon for a Full Synthetic Oil Change.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Free T-Shirt Offer

Golden State Smog has T-Shirts Now ... If anyone is in the Temecula/Murrieta Area we are running a special offer ... With Any Ticket of $200 or more (while supplies last) We will give you one of our "Awesome" T-shirts Free!!!  Come On Down and Get Yours, Combine this offer with the coupon on our website for 10% off!!! Go to http://www.goldenstatesmog.com/ and print your coupon out, bring it in with you and take advantage of these offers!!! Then "Like" us on our facebook page www.facebook.com/goldenstatesmog  and watch out for specials for wearing the T-Shirt into the shop!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Check Engine Light

The "Check Engine" Light ... How many of you have been driving along enjoying your ride when all of sudden that ominous light comes on.  What is this "Check Engine" Light?  Why is it on? and What is wrong with my car? 

What is the "Check Engine" Light and Why does it come on?   Your vehicle's on board computer is constantly checking systems in your vehicle, communicating with the different sensors and relays to assure there are no problems.  In the event the computer does find an issue it will acquire a fault code for that issue and trigger the "Check Engine" Light "On".  At this point the information can be retrieved to begin the process of repair.

What is wrong with my car?  As I mentioned before when the light comes it is because the on board computer has detected an issue and stored fault codes.  Technicians can retrieve these codes with a scanner, the misconception is that the codes retrieved by the scanner will tell the technician exactly what is wrong with the vehicle.  In actuality these codes are a very good starting point, but not exact.  There are test procedures that need to be performed for most codes.  Some codes can be fairly cut and dry because there may only be a couple of reasons for this particular code to be triggered, but most times there are several components that need to be checked and many circumstance that could trigger a particular code.  At this point the technician has to do a combination of visual inspections and test procedures suggested by the manufacturer to pin point the exact problem causing your "Check Engine" Light to come "On", this can take some time.  Guessing at the problem can be very time consuming and expensive.

I have heard of a lot of places advertising "Free" Check Engine Light Diagnosis,  more often than not you will find that what they are doing for free is not a diagnosis but retrieving the fault codes for you for free, then recommended what they "think" maybe wrong with your vehicle.  Anyone with a scanner can retrieve these codes, in fact they sell basic scanners at most auto parts stores fairly reasonably, but an actual diagnosis like I have mentioned is more thorough.  At Golden State Smog, we can retrieve codes for you for "Free" and let you know what system the fault codes pertain to and if it is something that may need to be addressed right away or not, but until an actual diagnosis of your vehicle is done we are only guessing.  To diagnose a vehicle it usually will take 1-2 hours depending on the actual issue, once the diagnosis is complete we give our customers an estimate of what needs to be repaired.  So if you have a problem with your Check Engine Light, give us a call, we are always more than happy to help.  Check out our website for coupons www.goldenstatesmog.com.

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Time to "Summer-ize"

It doesn’t feel like it yet, but summer is just around the bend and it’s a good idea to start thinking about “Summer-izing” your vehicle.  What does that mean and why is it a good idea, you might ask?  Hopefully I can answer those two questions for you.

What does it mean?
“Summer-izing” your vehicle is just a fun way of saying Radiator Service and Coolant System Check.  What we do at Golden State Smog is remove all the old coolant from your system and replace it with fresh coolant, we then pressurize your system to make sure there aren’t any leaks and inspect all your belts and hoses for wear. 

Why is it a good idea?
Coolant degrades over time and does not cool your engine as efficiently, a lot of the times if our coolant levels are low we may add just water to bring the levels back up which can dilute the mixture too much.  This is not “healthy” for your vehicle for a couple of reasons.  First as I mentioned it will not cool your engine as efficiently and secondly too much water in the system causes rusting of the radiator and tubing and corrosion build up which can clog the system and obstructs the flow of coolant through your vehicle. 

A coolant service is just one more little thing that can help extend the life of your car or truck.. 

Check out our website at www.goldenstatesmog.com and print out our coupon for “Summer-izing” your vehicle. 

Thanks for reading, and remember to check us out periodically for new tips.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Save your engine, change the oil!

Why is it important to Change the Engine Oil in your car regularly?

It’s funny how my car tells me when its time to change the oil.  No I don’t have some sixth car sense (wish I did though), but have you noticed that when its time to get the oil changed in your vehicle it doesn’t seem to run quite as smoothly? Here’s some insight as to why and what clean motor oil can mean to the life of your engine. 

What does Engine Oil Do? And what happens if it’s dirty?
Engine oil acts as a lubricant and reduces friction within the engine, when the oil is dirty it moves very slowly throughout the engine and makes the internal parts of the engine work much harder, that along with friction causes wear and tear.  Your Engine Oil also cleans out your engine, picking up contaminants and debris as it flows through the system filtering out that debris as it goes through the oil filter, when it is too dirty it is no longer able to pick up any more of this debris.  Engine oil also helps to cool your engine by dispersing heat, clean oil disperses heat more efficiently.

How often should I get my oil changed?
If you are using regular motor oil most mechanics will tell you every 3,000 miles.  I have noticed that most vehicles have maintenance minder lights now and for the most part they are set at every 5,000 miles, if that is the case with your vehicle and you have a question about whether or not you should change it sooner than that, have you mechanic check the oil for you prior to your reminder light being triggered.  Another thing to consider if you don’t want to be in the shop all the time changing your oil, especially if you put a lot of miles on your vehicle, is replacing the engine oil with a synthetic.  Synthetic oil does not degrade as quickly and you can usually go for 5,000 – 7,000 miles before having to replace the oil.  Checking your oil regularly though will help take the guess work out of it.  Oil is usually amber in color, if it comes out black on your dipstick it’s time to change it.   

It’s no lie that keeping clean oil in your vehicle helps it to run more smoothly and it definitely will extend the life of your engine.  It’s a small price to pay in the long run.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Smog Checks Don't Have To Be Stressful

Smog Checks can often times be a stressful part of owning a vehicle.  The fear of the unknown sometimes makes us procrastinate, but as I see it, the sooner we know what we are up against the better.  You may just find that there was nothing to be stressed about   and your vehicle will pass the smog check without a problem. My point of this blog is to help shed a little light into the obscurity of the dreaded “Smog Check”. 

First let me give you a little insight about the smog check itself.  I get asked all the time by customers, "What do you check for during a smog check?"  The misconception is that all we check are the gases coming out of the tail pipe.  In actuality it is a three part test consisting of visual, functional, and emissions testing.  For the Visual portion of the test, the technician is looking over your vehicle to make sure that it has all the components required for reducing emission, i.e. EGR Valve, PCV Valve, Air Filter Housing, Air Duct Hose (Where applicable in your specific vehicle) etc. The Functional portion of the test requires that the On Board Computer (OBD) of the vehicle communicate with the smog machine what it has observed as it performs self tests on various systems of your vehicle. Lastly the Emissions portion of the smog check is performed by placing a probe in the tail pipe and testing the Nitrogen Oxide (NoX), Hydro Carbons(HC) and Carbon Monoxide(CO) that your vehicle is emitting.  If any one portion of the test fails the vehicle will fail the smog check. 

If your vehicle does happen to fail the smog check it can be inconvenient, but here are a few things to know to alleviate some of the anxiety.  A failed smog check can mean options.  There are state run programs that you can apply for that if you do qualify can help with the diagnosis and repairs of your vehicle or retirement of the vehicle.  You can find out more information about these programs at http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/ or call 800-952-5210.  The application process for these programs usually takes a couple of weeks and the qualifications are income based.  If you do not qualify for one of these programs the next step would be to diagnose the vehicle.  The Smog Check itself does not let the technician know exactly what needs to be repaired for the vehicle to pass, but it gives the technician a great “starting point” as far as what systems they should focus on to get to the root of the problem.  Once the repairs are done the vehicle is ready to be re-tested.
Golden State Smog is a Test and Repair Shop, so we are able to diagnose the vehicle and do the repairs as well.  If the diagnosis and repairs are done with us we only charge you for the smog check once.  The only time you would have to take it somewhere else to do the Smog Check would be if the DMV was specifically directing you to a "Test Only or Gold Shield Station"(We will address the differences of these types of stations on a later blog).

One last thing I want everyone to know is that you CAN pay for your renewal before the smog check is done.  The DMV sends the renewal notice in the mail so far in advance I always forget when its due until its almost too late, but if you notice that you need a smog check and you just can’t get to a shop before its due, pay the renewal and do the smog check later.  You just will not get your new stickers until the smog check is done, but at least you will not be accruing penalties.

Well, I hope this has been helpful to you.  Please feel free to make any comments or let me know if there is anything I can expand on or other topics you would like more information about.  Check with us periodically for new topics as well.

Thanks to all who read my blog!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New to Blogging :)

Hello Everyone!

My name is Ally and I am the Office Manager and Service Writer for Golden State Smog, we are located in Temecula, CA.  If you are from the area we would love to earn your business.  We smog check vehicles, but don't let the name of our company fool you, we are also a Full Service Auto Repair Shop as well.  

I'd like to start by giving you a little information about our company and then in my following posts I intend on posting some information I feel would be beneficial to know as a consumer not knowing much about vehicles and the smog check process.

Golden State Smog, Inc. was established in Temecula in 1995 at 27860 Del Rio Rd. Suite C, Temecula CA 92590.  We have ASE certified technicians with over 30 years experience.  We strive to provide excellent and expedient customer service and that has helped build a very loyal customer base.  We have customers that have been coming to our shop since its inception.  Check out our website for more information about what we can do for you www.goldenstatesmog.com.  I would also love to hear what you would be interested in knowing more about and I will do my best to address the question. 

I hope that my blog is able to help even a little =)!  Have a blessed day!  

Also Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/goldenstatesmog and Twitter www.twitter.com/goldenstatesmog