Yearly Archives: 2018

Gasoline Direct Injection

Gasoline Direct Injection

Question: My new car has a “GDI” engine. What does that mean to me and other Fort Collins vehicles with this new type of engine? Kens Muffler and Automotive Answer: GDI stands for Gasoline Direct Injection. It's a type of fuel injection system that is becoming very popular on modern engines. Let's talk about the two most common forms of fuel injection. Port Fuel Injection has been common in Fort Collins vehicles for the last several decades. With this type, there is a small port just outside the cylinder on the engine. • The fuel injector squirts a bit of gas into this area just before the intake valve opens • When the valve opens, air enters the port and mixes with the gas, then flows past the valve and into the engine • The gas and air mixture is compressed by the piston • The spark plug fires, igniting the gas which pushes against th ... read more

Cabin Air Filter

Let's talk about cabin air filters. There seems to be some confusion about them in Fort Collins that we should be able to clear up. Much of the confusion starts because cabin air filters are relatively new. Not all vehicles in Fort Collins have them, so some people confuse their cabin air filter with the engine air filter. Every vehicle in CO has an engine air filter that cleans the air going into the engine, but not all have a cabin air filter that cleans the air going into the passenger compartment. It's easy to get mixed up. The cabin air filter cleans out dust, pollen, spores and other pollutants. To give a point of comparison, a grain of sand is about 200 microns across. A cabin air filter can stop particles that are just 3 microns in size. It really does make the passenger cabin a much more pleasant environment. When the cabin air filter gets dirty, you just need to replace it. Your owner's manual ... read more

What does your oil filter do?

What does your oil filter do?

As your engine runs, dirt gets into the oil. Oil sludge can also start to build up. Fortunately, motor oil contains detergents that clean the engine and gather up contaminates. The oil circulates through the oil filter where clumps of dirt and sludge are captured. An oil filter can eventually get clogged up — so much so that oil cannot flow freely through the filter material. Of course, you don’t want to starve your engine of oil, so a valve opens in the oil filter allowing oil to bypass the filter material. This keeps your engine lubricated, but dirty oil is circulating through the system. Back in the day of 3 month, 3,000 mile (5,000 kilometer) oil changes, this was only a problem if you forgot to change your oil on schedule. Modern vehicles, however, typically have much longer recommended oil change intervals. 5,000, 10,000 and even 15,000 mile (8,000, 16,000 and even 24,000 kilometer) intervals are common. Of course, you need to use the manufacturer recommended type an ... read more

Why You Need to Change Your Transmission Fluid

Why You Need to Change Your Transmission Fluid

It’s easy to forget about servicing your transmission because it doesn’t need it very often, but proper transmission service keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road. The transmission undergoes a lot of stress.  The grit you see in used fluid is actually bits of clutch material. This grit flowing through your transmission under pressure eats away at seals and gaskets which can lead to leaks.  The transmission operates at very high temperatures – much higher than engine temperatures.  Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and loose efficiency. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly.  At worse, it could lead to costly damage. When your transmission’s running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels and improves fuel economy.  That’s why manufacturers have recommended changing your transmission fl ... read more

Battery Upgrades

Battery Upgrades

Battery Upgrades When that car battery finally gives up the ghost and it's time to replace it,  Fort Collins drivers have options. First, let's be clear that you should always get a replacement battery that meets or exceeds your vehicle's specifications. But you may have some special needs. When they first put the battery into your vehicle at the factory, they had no idea where it would end up over its life or how YOU would use it where you drive in CO. That battery was chosen to meet the needs of a wide range of motorists. Replacement time is a good opportunity to talk to your service advisor about how you use your vehicle so you can get just the right battery. An obvious criterion is where you live, whether in Fort Collins or somewhere else. Cold starts require a lot of power from your battery. The colder the climate, the more power needed. This comes from a combination of cold sluggish oil and the slower chemical reaction within the battery itself wh ... read more

Exhaust

Exhaust

We've all heard a car or truck in our Fort Collins neighborhoods that needs a new muffler. But there's more to the exhaust system than just the muffler. The exhaust system has three main functions: Safely get hot exhaust gas from the engine out the tailpipe Treat the exhaust to remove harmful pollutants Muffle the engine noise Exhaust gas is poisonous. You don't want it getting into the passenger compartment. For example, carbon monoxide can be deadly. That's why you should never run your engine in a closed garage. If you have a leak in the exhaust system, exhaust could get into the passenger cabin and make you sick or even kill you. If you smell exhaust in the vehicle, roll down your windows and get it inspected. You may smell or see exhaust coming from the engine compartment or under the vehicle if you have a leak. Sometimes the sound from an exhaust leak is loud and obvious. Sometimes it's a ticking sound wh ... read more

The Kens Muffler and Automotive Guide to Recommended Intervals

Most Fort Collins drivers are aware that manufacturers have service intervals for your car. The engineers that design our vehicles have tested the various systems and components to meet durability and safety standards. Some of these standards are self-imposed and others, like those for emissions components, are government mandated. The maintenance schedules are designed to achieve the standards. Think of the benefits of following recommended intervals as falling into three general categories: Protection, Efficiency and Safety. Protection. Let's start with motor oil. First of all, the engineers recommend a particular weight and type of motor oil. All of their oil change recommendations assume using the proper motor oil. Motor oil contains detergents and other additives that clean the engine and provide corrosion resistance. Over time, the additives are depleted. The oil al ... read more

Fuel Saving Tip: Fuel System Cleaning at Kens Muffler and Automotive

Fuel Saving Tip: Fuel System Cleaning at Kens Muffler and Automotive

A lot of gas is wasted by Fort Collins vehicles in dirty fuel delivery systems. Let's start at the tank. The gas tank gathers tiny amounts of dirt, rust and sediment over the years of driving around Fort Collins. 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 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 ... read more

Engine Air Filter

Engine Air Filter

Today we want to talk about your engine air filter. That's the filter that cleans the air before it's burned in your engine. Many people in Fort Collins wonder how often they should change their engine air filter. The simple answer is "when it's dirty." That's a function of how much air has passed through the filter, so your vehicle manufacturer will recommend a mileage interval for replacing the air filter. But you can imagine that how dirty the air is would affect how quickly the filter gets filled. If you drive in Fort Collins where there's lots of dust, pollution or pollen, your engine air filter will get dirty more quickly and need to be changed sooner. That's why we check the air filter with every full-service oil change at Kens Muffler and Automotive. We can visually tell if the filter needs to be changed. Your filter can only hold so much dirt. Once the filter is full, dirt will pass thr ... read more

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