Category Archives: Fuel System

Clean Machine (Fuel and Air Induction Cleaning)

As your vehicle ages, its performance isn’t quite what it used to be, but many of us never notice the change because it’s gradual.  So here are a few questions to ask yourself.  Does your vehicle feel like it doesn’t have the pep that it used to? Have you noticed your fuel economy isn’t quite as good as it once was? Does it idle roughly or is it hard to start?  Do you hear the engine knocking? Has it recently failed an emissions test?

All of those can be signs that your fuel and air induction systems are dirty and need cleaning.  Your fuel system takes gasoline from the tank to the engine’s combustion chambers where fuel injectors spray fuel that mixes with air and is ignited by spark plugs.  Black carbon deposits eventually can build up, obstructing fuel flow and diminishing your engine’s performance and fuel efficiency.

The air induction system is what allows air to go into the engine’s combustion chamber.  Getting the proper air flow is necessary for you to quickly start your vehicle, accelerate, and perform the way it should and idle smoothly when you’re standing still.  Like the fuel system, your air induction system can get blocked up with deposits and other contaminants.

A professional fuel and air induction cleaning can help restore your performance and fuel economy, especially when you are experiencing problems.  A technician will use specialized chemicals that can remove the carbon buildup.  In extreme cases, they will remove the fuel injectors and clean them with specialized tools.  

After cleaning, you may notice how much more pep your vehicle has and how smoothly it runs.  Keep your fuel and air induction systems clean and enjoy your vehicle’s performance improvements.

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

Categories:

Fuel System

A Clean Sweep (Fuel Injector Cleaning)

Your vehicle gets its power from burning fuel, usually gasoline, and it counts on something called fuel injectors to send gas to the engine in a spray that is easy to ignite.  It’s a precise operation, and when it’s working well, you have plenty of power and an efficient engine.

But after time, contaminants in the fuel system may prevent the injectors from spraying like they’re supposed to.  They can also shoot contaminants into the engine. 

One sign that could point to dirty fuel injectors is a misfiring engine. Misfires can be caused by several things, so it’s a good idea to bring your vehicle to us so we can trace the cause. Another sign is that your fuel economy has gone downhill or your engine doesn’t have the “pep” it used to.

If we discover that your injectors are clogged or not working the way they should, we can clean them to get rid of those contaminants to restore your engine to its top performance.  When you bring your vehicle to us, we will connect the flushing equipment, flush out the injectors and reassemble the system.

A good time to have fuel injectors inspected is when you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance.  An oil change is an ideal time to have a technician take a close look at your entire fuel delivery system. 

When you have your fuel injectors cleaned, you may see your mileage go up, your engine performance improve, and your exhaust emissions decrease.

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

Categories:

Fuel System

Don't be Fuelish (Signs Fuel Pump is Failing)

A driver of a large SUV loaded with equipment was heading on a 7-hour work trip when he stopped at a gas station to refuel.  When he went to restart his SUV, it turned over but wouldn't catch.  Try as he might, he was never able to get it started again. 

Of course there are many things that can cause those symptoms, but the next day he had his SUV towed to a service repair facility.  Using their test equipment, they were able to pinpoint the problem.  His fuel pump had failed.  The pump, which was located in the fuel tank, had to be replaced, and after awhile he was back on the road, delayed, but happy to be up and running again. 

What had happened is that the pump was not strong enough to deliver adequate  fuel to his engine, vital to being able to start it.  It had delivered just enough pressure in the morning to get it started the first time, but it was on its last legs.  He had been having trouble starting his SUV in the days leading up to this trip, a clue that something was wrong. 

The engine relies on a certain pressure of fuel from the pump to run properly, and there are some other signs to be aware of that your fuel pump may need to be replaced.  If you are putting strain on your engine, such as going uphill or hauling a big load, and the engine sputters, it may be a sign that the pump isn't delivering that consistent pressure.  Another warning sign is if your engine is running hot and then stalls.  That could mean your fuel pump is getting weak.

Sometimes you might notice your vehicle suddenly speeds up on its own or your fuel economy goes from good to poor in a short time.  If your fuel gauge shows you have plenty of fuel in the tank and your engine stalls, that's another possible sign of a failing fuel pump. 

Technicians have special equipment to see where the fuel problems are, and there are many possibilities.  Have your vehicle checked before you're left stranded.  Oh, and one more tip to prolong the life of your fuel pump.  Since it is cooled and lubricated by the fuel in your tank, make sure you keep at least a quarter of a tank of fuel at all times.  Avoid your "low fuel" light going on and you may be helping yourself avoid having to replace your fuel pump. 

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

Categories:

Fuel System

A Door No One Can Step Through (Fuel Door Repair and Maintenance)

Your vehicle has lots of doors including that one usually near the back on the vehicle's side.  That's the fuel door, something you use every time you gas up.  These endure hundreds of open-and-close cycles, usually without any problems.  But when they act up, it can be a major inconvenience for you.

When they stick in the "open" position, it can present real dilemma.  You can still pump your gas, but do you just drive around with that flap sticking out the side? What happens if someone steals the gas cap or it gets damaged? What happens if it rains? Yep, it's decision time.

A fuel door that sticks open can be due to a number of factors.  The hinge on the door may have broken, possibly from corrosion or it may have been hit sometime.  Some vehicles have a cable that operates the door and it could be loose.  The latch that holds the door shut could have broken or it, too, could be bent from something hitting it. 

You probably want to take care of this sometime soon since your gas cap is wide open and unprotected when the door doesn't shut.  Plus, it's possible that the door could be torn off completely.  Often a stuck open fuel door can be fixed fairly inexpensively and quickly depending on the type of mechanism your vehicle has. Looks like it's an open and shut case.

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

Categories:

Fuel System

Clean Fuel ? Clean Performance for Chesapeake Drivers

Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the vehicle engine.

Chesapeake auto owners don't need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better your vehicle engine will run.

Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your vehicle ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your owner's manual to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. Chesapeake drivers should change it before it becomes clogged. Your friendly and knowledgeable West Service Center service advisor can help you with recommended fuel filter replacement schedules.

Good vehicle care means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered in every owner's manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected at West Service Center. It may save Chesapeake auto owners money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay them in improved safety and peace of mind.

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

Categories:

Fuel System

Don't Be Fuelish

If you smell gasoline in your vehicle, pay attention to your nose. That's because it has an important message for you.

Newer vehicles should never have a gasoline smell inside. One of the most dangerous conditions can come when your fuel line system has a leak or multiple leaks. Vehicles with fuel injectors are under pressure, meaning a crack or small hole in a fuel line can allow vaporized fuel to escape, sometimes around hot engine parts. Gasoline vapor and hot metal? You see the problem.

One of the most common causes of a gasoline smell inside a vehicle is a fuel tank leak. The gas tank can rot or be punctured by road debris. A West Service Center technician can evaluate the condition of your fuel tank and suggest either repair or replacement.

Fuel injectors can develop small leaks around their seals or O-rings. Those can deteriorate over time as the material they are made of gets old and less flexible. A technician can replace those parts.

Modern vehicles contain something called a charcoal canister. It gathers evaporating gasoline vapors from inside your fuel tank and prevents them from venting out to the atmosphere. If that canister has a leak, you'll smell it. One hint that you have a problem is the Check Engine light may come on.

You may have a leak in your fuel tank vent hose. Or you may be smelling gasoline simply because your gas cap is loose, the cap is faulty or—yes this does happen—your gas cap is missing altogether.

Consider the dangers of gasoline fumes seriously. Inhaling them can be bad for your health or they may start a fire. Don't fool with fuel; have gasoline odors checked out right away.

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

Categories:

Fuel System

The West Service Center Guide to Saving Fuel: Beware of Myths

There's a lot of auto advice in Virginia right now on how to save money on gas. Some of it is good advice. Some of it isn't. Some of it is myth. And it may well be a scam. Plain and simple. When someone offers you a product designed to save money on gas, ask yourself, “Does this sound too good to be true?” If the answer is yes, do more research.

The internet offers us a convenient and quick way to research someone's claims about gas savings. Chesapeake drivers can usually find out in only minutes whether that claim is questionable or not.

Chances are other Chesapeake drivers have already tried what you're being offered. If you find evidence that others feel they have been scammed, you should be wary of becoming the next victim. There aren't any pills, magic or otherwise, that you can drop into your gas tank to improve your gas mileage. Drop in enough of those pills and you can actually harm your vehicle. The last thing you need is a bunch more sediment or unknown, dissolved additives in your fuel.

There actually are proven, sensible ways that you can maintain good gas mileage, however. Good car care and consistent preventive maintenance are the keys to good fuel economy. An oil change at West Service Center in Chesapeake and a new fuel filter, when needed, will keep your engine running efficiently, which will translate to good fuel economy. It may be mundane, but it's solid, proven advice.

So be smart. Listen to advice from qualified West Service Center professionals, and stay away from unverified “magic” and conspiracy theories. Your wallet—and your vehicle—will thank you in the end.

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

 

 

Categories:

Fuel System

The West Service Center Guide to Saving Fuel: Get Rid of Dirty Oil

A lot of us drivers are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? Chesapeake area residents are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is an important way people in Chesapeake can conserve fuel by improving fuel economy. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle adequate and clean.

Oil lubricates your vehicle engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.

Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at West Service Center will tell you the proper weight and type of oil for your vehicle.

Responsible Car Care

Dirty oil grits up your engine, which also increases friction. So even if there's enough oil, you're still getting that extra drag that reduces your fuel economy. That's why your owner's manual recommends getting your oil changed regularly. It's good auto advice.

While you're checking your oil, you should take a quick look at your transmission fluid as well. Your transmission also needs clean, adequate fluid to work efficiently. An inefficient transmission also translates into lower fuel economy.

Your service advisor at West Service Center will be able to check your oil and other fluids, top you off or change your oil if necessary.
Your owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should check your oil and transmission fluid. But you can also consult with the pros at West Service Center in Chesapeake. The types of roads you drive on in Virginia, the climate where you live and the air quality in your area can all affect how often you should change your oil.

And don't forget that this will improve our environment here in Chesapeake as well. Improved efficiency translates to fewer emissions. Changing your oil as scheduled doesn't just help your vehicle (and your pocketbook), it helps keep the air clean as well.

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

Categories:

Fuel System

Fuel System Cleaning the Professional Way at West Service Center

Your fuel system needs to be clean to do its job properly. When it gets dirty, the results are lower engine performance, reduced fuel economy and impaired safety. It can even lead to costly repair bills for Chesapeake drivers. So keep your fuel system clean as part of your routine preventive maintenance.

Fuel injectors have replaced carburetors in most of today's vehicles. These injectors deliver better fuel economy than a carburetor, but they can be compromised by rust, dirt and other contaminants. They need to be clean to maintain the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume of delivered fuel so that the vehicle engine can run at peak efficiency.

There are products on the market that Chesapeake vehicle owners can add to their gas tank that will help keep your fuel injectors clean. These products will keep a clean fuel system clean but have trouble cleaning a system that has already gotten gummed up.

If your fuel system needs a major cleaning, West Service Center can help. We have the tools and chemicals necessary to clean up your fuel system. We can remove accumulated carbon, grit, gum and varnish and get your fuel system and those all-important fuel injectors back up to snuff. Once your fuel system is clean, you'll notice the difference in improved power and better fuel economy. You may not notice that your vehicle is now producing fewer emissions, but our Virginia environment will be better for it.

Chesapeake drivers should consider adding a cleaning product to their gas tank after a fuel system cleaning. Those cleaners will help prevent your fuel system getting gummed up again, plus they can prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at West Service Center if your vehicle is in need of a fuel system cleaning. That kind of auto advice can save you big bucks in repair bills down the road.

Your owner's manual and West Service Center service advisor can help you with other car care advice that can help improve the safety and performance of your vehicle. West Service Center in Chesapeake can also help you set up a schedule to perform that maintenance and help you customize that schedule so it accounts for the climate and road conditions in your area.

Chesapeake drivers should remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to vehicle care, that old adage has proven itself true.

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

Categories:

Fuel System

How to Get Better Gas Mileage in Chesapeake

There is no escaping it: things work better when you take care of them. Something most of us in Chesapeake can relate to is our computers. You've probably noticed how they get slower and slower over time. It takes longer to start up and programs take forever to load. Eventually, many of us just get a new computer at our nearest Chesapeake computer store. But computer experts know that there are things you can do to delay the need for a new computer purchase. You can run utilities that clean off temporary files and clean your memory registry. You can optimize your hard drive and a number of other things.

What you're doing is maintaining your computer to make it efficient. It's the same thing with your vehicle. You maintain it to make it more efficient. It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel while you drive around Chesapeake. And you save money.

To help organize our discussion, let's think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion.

Friction. Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the vehicle engine. It has to work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel. The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil. Low oil means there's not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there's more friction. Dirty oil won't lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid. Getting your oil changed and transmission serviced on schedule at West Service Center will reduce friction and help you get better fuel economy.

Another friction related problem is underinflated tires. When your vehicle tires are low on air, it's like driving on Virginia highways through sand – your vehicle has to work harder to move every mile. Check your tire pressure at least once a month.

Wheels out of alignment and dragging brakes also increase friction. And your tires and brake pads will wear out much sooner as well. At West Service Center, we provide quality brake and wheel alignment services.

Let's move on to Fuel. You have to get the right amount of clean fuel to the combustion chamber at precisely the right time. A dirty fuel system has varnish and gum interfering, and the fuel injectors may be unable to deliver the correct amount of fuel at the right pressure  and in the spray pattern — that the engineers intended. A vehicle fuel system cleaning at West Service Center will get all of that working right and really improve fuel economy.

Replacing your fuel filter on schedule will help keep your fuel clean. Replacing a sticky PCV valve will allow unburned fuel from the engine to be returned to the intake system to be used. Replacing worn spark plugs will burn your fuel as efficiently as possible.

All of these things can help you save money on gas at Chesapeake pumps.

Give us a call.

West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323
757-487-4420
http://westservicecenter.com

Categories:

Fuel System
904 Cavalier Blvd Chesapeake, VA, 23323 (757) 487-4420
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