Put the bounce back in your ride – Shocks and Struts

Ask your kids if its fun to ride in your old car because it bounces and bounces and bounces or maybe even sways or wiggle and jiggles as you go around curves. If they are really lucky then your car might even have some hard bounces and clanking going on as you go over bumps. Sounds like fun huh?  NOPE!

bouncy car

According to David Sherrill the owner of Gary’s Automotive service in Chico, Ca. Worn, weak shocks and struts can be extremely dangerous and can even make stopping take more distance.  In an emergency avoidance situation you are much more likely to lose control and get into an accident if your shocks and especially your struts or springs are weak and worn.


You never want to risk it. Most manufacturers will tell you on average 50,000 miles and your shocks and struts are dog tired and may need to be replaced. Now, to know for sure… you can try things like the bounce test by jumping up and down on all 4 corners of your car. But, that will only tell you when it is way beyond normal replacement time and if not done correctly you may still not have a clue.




The experts at Gary’s Automotive Service take pride in the experience knowing how to very carefully and accurately gauge if you need to replace any of your suspension system components or parts. So even though the kids might like a little wiggle and bounce. Your mama and owner David Sherrill will tell you to protect those babies and get your suspension system checked and serviced today. Plus a glide in your ride is much more fine.

When a little brakes screeching becomes your best friend

Brake pads come with a built in alarm system that literally tell you when you are down to your last 10% or less of usable brake pads.

Ignoring the screeching noises when you hit the brakes can affect not only safety — but also your purse or pocketbook.



It is the returning screeching or squealing noise that goes away when you release the brake pedal that is your friend and tells you it is time to get in and let the team at Gary’s Automotive service in Chico, Ca. get you safe before damage is done and costs sky rocket.  If the noise doesn’t stop after you let off the brakes OR if you hear a grumbling or grinding sound while braking then it’s time to replace your brake pads and possibly your rotors, too.”  So acting sooner saves a lot of money. Those of us that have had brake failure and struggled to get a car to stop can tell you it is frightening and dangerous. So, the early light squawking and squealing is really your buddy saying. “Hey lets plan soon to get me fixed”.


Here is what is going on behind the noise… when the pads wear thin, it causes a metal-on-metal scraping as the caliper rubs against the rotor. Worn rotors may cause the steering wheel to vibrate or there may be a pulsing sensation while braking, David Sherrill the owner of Gary’s Automotive Services says, “Failure to deal with the issue can cause either or both of the rotors or caliper to get damaged.” Rotors can be turned (having a lathe smooth the surface) in some cases and reduces some costs. However, a bad caliper or rotor replacement can be tricky and expensive. However, Brake failure is nothing to mess with. So David says, ” Get “r” done early and save your money.  We want your business and we want you safe. But, most importantly we want your business for years and years to come. So, our seasoned expert staff want to do everything that we can to help hold down costly repairs through well thought out and proper service, maintenance and routine repairs like brake pads. See you soon!

Timing Belt Maintenance

What Is A Timing Belt?


A timing belt, timing chain or cam belt is a part of an internal combustion engine that synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft(s) so that the engine’s valves open and close at the proper times during each cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes. It essentially keeps the top and bottom of the engine working in sync with each other so there aren’t any hiccups in the turning of the engine.

What Timing System Does My Car Have?

This answer all boils down to the year of your vehicle. Older vehicles from the 1990’s and older usually have a timing belt. Some newer car manufacturers surprisingly use timing belts too. But many of the new manufacturers are also using metal timing chains. Our advise is to check your owner’s manual for either a section about timing belts or chains. You can also check your manufacturer suggestions at the this list. A pretty normal schedule is 60,000 miles, or 5 years, or whichever comes first. If you have any questions about this we, here at Gary’s Automotive Service, are always available to answer any questions you might have.

What Should I Know About My Timing Belt?

Like other belts in your vehicle, this belt can wear out or become smooth or thin if not checked or replaced properly. Extreme temperatures and stress can cause the belt to be damaged or worn over a period of time. Checking it can be tricky since the belt is found inside the engine itself. Each type of engine also has a different configuration. Many times the water pump, timing belt tensioner and coolant replacement also need to be replaced at the time of the timing belt. Please allow the professionals at Gary’s Automotive Service to inspect and replace these items for you.

When Should Timing Belts Be Changed?

  • You will want to know if the timing belt in your vehicle is part of the original equipment of the manufacture(OEM).
  • It is wise to know if your vehicle has reached its mileage interval that it needs replaced.
  • Once you determine which timing system you have take the time to find out which maintenance schedule your manufacturer suggests.
  • The next step is to contact us here at Gary’s Automotive service to do this repair or replacement for you. It is not advised to try this yourself. This involves the inter workings of your engine and should be handled by a professional.

Fuel Injection

Why You Should Perform A Fuel Injection Service

Since you purchased your new vehicle, dirt, varnishes and carbon deposits have been forming in the fuel injection system, on the intake valves and in the combustion areas. These build-ups can rob your car of performance, and if left untreated, these build-ups may lead to costly engine repairs.

A properly maintained vehicle will operate more efficiently, be more dependable, last longer, and ensure a safer ride for you and your family. Your owner’s manual gives detailed maintenance schedules that should be performed on all your vehicle’s components and systems.


Symptoms related to carbon build-up are:

  • engine pinging
  • hesitation
  • poor acceleration
  • lack of power
  • repeated stalling or poor performance when cold
  • rough idle
  • and poor fuel economy

A Fuel Carbon Cleaning System from Gary’s Automotive Service is a revolutionary new process that will clean your vehicle’s fuel system, including injectors, and remove harmful carbon deposits. Our owner David Sherrill says the  system utilizes a unique cleaning solutions that will not damage your vehicle’s sophisticated engine components.

After our Fuel Carbon Cleaning System cleans your engine, you will notice improved performance, acceleration and increased fuel economy. Make an appointment today! Take care of your vehicle, and your vehicle will take care of you.

Fuel Injection Service Includes

  1. Clean fuel injectors.
  2. Clean ISC/ASC motor, as required.
  3. Clean throttle body air intake.
  4. Visually inspect fuel lines and fuel rail.
  5. Pressure test fuel pump.
  6. Test and visually inspect fuel pump, pressure regulator, vacuum line and connections.
  7. Decarbonize intake manifold.
  8. Decarbonize intake and exhaust valves.
  9. Decarbonize combustion chamber and pistons.
  10. Test exhaust emission.

The benefits of Fuel-Injection Service

  • Saves you money – improves fuel mileage and heads off costly repairs.
  • Reduces the risk of breakdowns.
  • Contributes to the overall performance of your vehicle.
  • Reduces air pollution.
  • Increases safety and dependability.
  • Prevents you from voiding your warranty.


Why You Should Perform A Tune-Up

The term tune-up dates to the time when Henry Ford was working on his first automobile prototype.

In Ford’s simple ignition system, there was one ignition coil for each spark plug. If there were four spark plugs, there were four ignition coils, which needed to be adjusted to provide the same spark intensity for better idle and acceleration. As these ignition coils worked, they made a buzzing sound, and when they were adjusted properly, they all buzzed in “tune”. The term “tune-up” stuck and became associated with replacing spark plugs and correcting rough idle problems effecting engine performance.

Once the distributor was developed, the term “tune-up” had no meaning, but the consumer who was used to hearing this term around a garage still associated poor performance and running quality with the need for a “tune-up”.

Today’s automobiles do not require “tune-ups”. The term indicates the need for routine maintenance and should not be associated with poor performance. Automobile manufacturers have developed recommended routine maintenance schedules, which specify intervals for replacing spark plugs, PCV valves, fuel filters, etc. These schedules also specify intervals for checking or adjusting ignition timing, idle speed and other items related to engine operation, as well as emission-control related services.

The experts at Gary’s Automotive Service in Chico, CA highly recommend that if your vehicle experiences any operating or performance  problems between maintenance intervals, that specific problem should be addresses by performing an engine analysis to isolate that particular problem.


Warning Signs That Can Occur When Tune-Up Is Needed

  1. Stalling
  2. Warning Lights
  3. Poor Fuel Mileage
  4. Brake Noises
  5. Vibrations

Tune-Up Electronic Ignition Includes

  1. Replace spark plugs
  2. Adjust ignition timing, as required.
  3. Adjust curb idle speed, as required.
  4. Visually check emission-control related devices.
  5. Visually inspect distributor cap and rotor, when accessible.

Major Tune-Up Also Includes

  1. Clean fuel injectors.
  2. Clean ISC motor, as required.
  3. Clean throttle body air intake.
  4. Visually inspect fuel lines and fuel rail.
  5. Pressure test fuel pump.
  6. Visually inspect fuel pump, pressure regulator, vacuum line and connections.
  7. Decarbonize intake manifold.
  8. Decarbonize intake and exhaust valves.
  9. Decarbonize combustion chamber and pistons.
  10. Test exhaust emissions.

The team of experts at Gary’s Automotive Services of Chico, CA lead by owner David Sherrill will be glad to assess your year, make and model of vehicle and recommend tune-ups or maintenance schedules that best suite your vehicle manufacturer specifications and your budget. If you are seeing any signs of trouble then call David at 530-342-5782 so they can help you make the choice that is best for you and your vehicle.