Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Auto-Tune Has Closed: Welcome Al

I am delighted to announce Al Cerda the owner and master tech of Auto Tune has joined the Alliance team. Al has been a premiere source of Auto Repair in San Marcos for over 30 years now. He started repairing cars and trucks in a repair shop that was located where the San Marcos Blvd. Home Depot now sits.

Al is once again forced to move for the redevelopment of San Marcos, and the betterment of the community. The city of San Marcos has recently purchased the building that has been the home of Auto Tune for the last 20 years, and has planned another shopping development for the land.

Though San Marcos has changed a lot over the past 30 years, Al still wishes to continue providing top quality service and maintenance to your vehicle and the community. For this reason, I am very fortunate to have Al joining forces with Alliance Transmissions and Auto Repair.

 I have known Al for over 20 years now. Not only is he a great mechanic and diagnostician but he is just a good person. Al has shown himself to be one of the good guys, consistently abiding by the highest ethical standards. Al has given of his time freely, serving on the boards of two civic organizations. He is also past president of the local Automotive Service Council and His oldest son is in the Army, stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado awaiting his next tour of duty.

By: Ray Seiler: For more information on Ray's Qualifications and Experience view the About the Author page.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Wrong Car Oil

Importance of proper lubricants in modern cars has never been greater. Just a few years ago there were two basic types of oil 10w30 and 10w40.When you did your oil change service you typically
had the option of upgrading to 10w40 for a few dollars more. This was thought to offer additional
engine protection.

Welcome to the new world. The modern engines have much tighter tolerances in their internal
parts. They also control engine temperatures much more closely, the result being much better control
of thermal expansion. The old engines benefited from the heavier oils because it covered up sloppy
machining on the engine internals. Heavier oils stayed on the parts better and resisted movement reducing metal on metal wear.

The new oils offer better engine protection because they flow easier they get to the internal engine parts faster reducing wear. Another benefit of the new thinner oils is they take less horsepower to pump the oil to all the places needed, thereby increasing fuel economy with nothing
more than an oil change.

To better understand oil viscosities you need to know what the numbers mean.10w30 oil means that it is a multi weight oil. When it is real cold it will act as a ten weight and flow more easily. When the engine gets hot it acts as a 30 weight offering better protection against metal on metal wear. In
reality it never gets to 10 weight or 30 weight. It will float somewhere in between depending on
temperature.

In the newer cars I see 5w20 and even 00wt which is only possible using synthetic oil. When you
have your oil changed always go with the manufactures recommendations. They have spent millions
to design your car and how it works; don’t shortchange yourself changing your oil type. BMW's
are known to have valve noise just by the wrong oil.

If you go to the fast lube places be careful to get the right oil. They buy it in bulk to save money.
They will sometimes try to use the bulk oil instead of what should be used. You will find that most of
them will not know near as much about oil as you do now after reading this article. By using the bulk
10w30 instead of 5w20 that you should use you are losing gas mileage and premature engine wear.
You will never even know the difference it happens so slowly.


By: Ray Seiler: For more information on Ray's Qualifications and Experience view the About the Author page.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Website

Brett has finally put the new Alliance Transmissions & Auto Repair Website online for everyone to see. Though it like many things is a work in progress, you can see what Brett has been working on.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let’s talk Towing

Towing done right can be painless for you and your vehicle. Let’s start with the basics. With most automatic transmissions you should have an external transmission cooler to keep the transmission... cooler.

Why do I need a transmission Cooler?

A cooler will help the transmission live longer because it will keep it at a lower operating temperature. To understand why, you must understand how an automatic transmission works. Basically, an auto transmission is a hydraulic pump, and it uses rubber seals to contain the pressure of the pump. This is important because when rubber is made, it must be cured for a set time, at a set temperature. When you drive your vehicle your transmission heats up, and in effect continues curing the rubber seals. So in effect, you are curing your rubber seals every time you drive. However, the problem with this is that they aren't being cured correctly and are really just breaking down. At lower temp you cure them more slowly, so it may take 200,000 miles to make them fully cured or as hard as a rock instead of 90,000.

How it All Comes Together

When you tow a trailer or a car, that something resists moving. That resistance to moving causes elevated temperatures in the transmission. If you get the temp high enough you can cure the seals in a few thousand miles, meaning they no longer seal correctly and you have a transmission with low pressure, that will soon stop functioning.

There are a few things you can do to keep you transmission healthy
  1. Install a transmission cooler if you don't already have one. If you have a tow package you will already have one.
  2. When you tow always use light throttle from a stop. You aren't going anywhere in a hurry anyway and this one thing will reduce wear dramatically.
  3. All modern automatics have a lock up torque converter. This feature saves fuel and keeps the transmission temp down. Most of the heat generated in the transmission is from the torque converter. When you climb a long hill you step on the gas to maintain speed, as you do this you command the torque converter to come out of lock up so you have more power. When this happens the temp goes up rapidly. On a small hill it's no big deal but on a long climb you can overtemp the transmission and cause fluid to run out of the dipstick.GM has had a locking dipstick on their transmissions for many years. This is because when people would tow, they would be in a hurry to get up the hill and they would push the temp up until it ran out the dipstick. From there it ran onto the exhaust manifold and caught on fire. Keep the transmission converter in lock up .You can tell when a converter comes out lock up because the engine will gain 300 rpm without shifting.
  4. When I tow I take the vehicle out of overdrive. This helps it stay in lock up and reduces stress on the transmission. The biggest thing to take away from this article is speed kills. Don’t be the first up the hill or off the line and you will be ok.

By: Ray Seiler: For more information on Ray's Qualifications and Experience view the About the Author page.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How Automatic Transmissions Work

Wondering how a transmission actually works? This video should answer all of your questions. It should also help you understand some of the jargon you hear, the next time you need your car serviced or repaired.



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About The Author


Ray Seiler, the primary content provider for the Alliance Blog has owned and operated Alliance Transmissions since 1987. Before his career at Alliance Ray grew up working as a gas station attendant and was later trained as a jet mechanic in the Navy. For more information on Ray's experience visit the Alliance Transmissions About Page.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Power Flush

Q: What is a power flush and do I need one.

A: Usually power flushes are done instead of a standard transmissions flush at fast lube places using a machine. They do this for two reasons one is that it takes less time because they don't take off the transmission pan (essential for any proper transmission service) and secondly, because if they don't take the transmission pan off, it won't be their fault if it starts to leak.

The reason a power flush is advertised more than a standard transmission flush, is that shops make more money on a power flush than they would on a regular transmission flush.

Removing the transmission pan is essential. When you remove the pan, you can check for red flags of transmission problems. If you don't, those red flags remain a mystery until your transmission fails and you're ready for an expensive repair job. The reason most repair shops and quick lube places dislike to remove the transmission pan is because there is a chance of causing leaks, and a chance that one of their mechanics installs the wrong pan gasket or filter.