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.

Power Steering Fluid Flush

A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable, lasts longer and makes driving more enjoyable. That’s why your Owner’s Manual contains detailed maintenance schedules outlining operations that should be performed on your vehicle’s components and systems at specific mileage intervals. The power steering fluid works together with the power steering pump to help you the driver to turn the steering wheel and vehicle easier.  If you hear a noise coming from the power steering like a moaning or groaning sound while you are turning this means that the power steering fluid is probably low. It is probably time to have the seals and power steering fluid checked. If you haven’t had a power steering flush done within the last few thousands of miles then it definitely time to have that done.

power steering fluid flush

What’s In It For You To Do A Power Steering Fluid Flush?

  • Saves you money
  • Helps retain that “new vehicle feel”
  • Makes driving more enjoyable
  • Delivers the dependability you need and expect
  • Provides safer transportation for you and your family
  • Reduces the chance of a breakdown
  • Contributes to cleaner air
  • Keeps your warranty intact
  • Increases your vehicle’s worth at time of trade-in or sale

The engine, transmission, brake and radiator flushes are part of the general maintenance schedule a vehicle owner should already be doing. But does the power steering fluid really need to be part of the general maintenance schedule?  The experts at Gary’s Automotive Service in Chico, CA says it should. Our owner, David Sherrill, believes that flushing the power steering fluid can help avoid costly repairs later. David says that the fluid can break down and over time can become contaminated with metal and rubber grit or particles that can cause damage to the power steering pump and gears. David suggests a power steering fluid flush every 30,000 to 60,000 miles to ensure that your power steering system functions properly.

A Power Steering Fluid Exchange from Gary’s Automotive Services safely removes varnish and sludge deposits. It is also the best way to remove wear metals that slowly grind away your power steering’s internal components, including the power steering hoses, power steering pump, rack and pinion and/or gear box. Our Power Steering Fluid Exchange thoroughly cleans your vehicle’s steering system and protects it with fresh power steering fluid and conditioners that revitalize the seals and O-rings.

Let Us Help You Properly Maintain Your Vehicle!

Transmission Fluid Service

Transmission Fluid Service

Don’t slip up — Just Flush it!

90% of all transmission failure and problems are directly linked back to contaminated or old filthy fluid. Don’t slip up and end up with a transmission that slips, won’t shift properly, hesitates or growls at you with strange noises and grinding. Transmission repairs are one of the absolutely most expensive repairs that you can have done to your car.
That is why the experts at Gary’s Automotive Service in Chico, California are trained to do everything they can to help you mitigate the needs and costs of expensive repairs. Right up near the top of that list is 1st changing and/or flushing out our transmission system on a regularly scheduled maintenance schedule. Or at the first signs of trouble. Hesitation, grinding, shifting delays or any sense of slipping the first and best response is see David the owner at Garys Automotive Services in Chico and see if a fluid flush or change is right for you…

Transmission Flush vs. Change

flush uses a professional grade machine to completely flush all the transmission fluid from your vehicle and remove some grime and contaminants from the torque converter and cooler lines to prevent them from causing transmission problems. This process involves running a special solution through the lines until they come out completely clean and then fills up the system with new fluid.

fluid change on the other hand simply drains it using natural gravitational forces. Not all the fluid in the system is drained using this method and it does not flush out contaminants. Most say it only drains between 20%-40% of the total volume. The expert’s at Gary’s in Chico, CA are trained to help change as much of the fluid as possible. However, sometimes you need to really look at a total flush of the system.
Don’t’ flush you money and let it slip through your hands. Let Gary’s help you keep it in your wallet and protect your most vital investment — You car, truck or SUV.
Wheel Alignment

Wheel Alignment

Why You Should Perform A Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment is the specific adjustments made to your vehicle’s suspension to optimize ride, handling and steering characteristics. Each manufacturer specifies precise settings to achieve the maximum performance from their vehicle.

Maintaining the factory specified suspension settings will make your car safer and easier to drive. Steering pull, unsteady or loose steering, and hard steering can be caused by alignment. A properly aligned vehicle can save you money! Misalignment can cause greatly accelerated tire wear, poor fuel economy, and excessive wear on other suspension parts.

Whenever you impact a curb or pot hole hard, the alignment should be checked before unusual tire wear is detected, (edge wear, diagonal wear, cupping wear) which may result in premature tire replacement! If you experience steering or handling problems, such as loose steering, steering wheel off-center, or steering changes direction after hitting bumps, you should have the alignment checked as a part of the diagnostic procedure.

The installation of new tires or the replacement of worn suspension parts should always be accompanied by a wheel alignment to help protect your tire investment. Checking the wheel alignment as a part of routine annual maintenance can significantly increase the life of your suspension parts and tires, saving you money!

Wheel Alignment Includes

  1. Inspect suspension components for wear
  2. Adjust caster and camber, if provided by vehicle manufacturer.
  3. Adjust toe-in.
  4. Center steering wheel while adjusting toe-in.

Thrust Alignment Includes

Same as wheel alignment above plus compensate for rear wheel tracking.


For Wheel Alignment Includes

Same as wheel alignment above plus set rear wheel camber and toe-in, as provided by vehicle manufacturer.

Cooling System Flush

Cooling System Flush

Don’t let Acid destroy your Car’s worth.

Is Acid eating your Cooling System?

Here in Chico California we can not enjoy driving if our Vehicle cooling system fails. Repairs are extremely expensive and many cars lose a lot of value once the cooling system starts to fail.
Fact: Your cars acid levels climb constantly inside the cooling system! Reactions internally cause that to happen and when the acid climbs so does the damage to your parts. Nothing eats your cooling system up more than old highly acidic fluids. Ideal acid levels should be between 9.8 and 10.5. When it gets down to 8.5 or worse it is too acidic for your vehicle and really does need to be flushed and replaced.
Hi, I am David Sherrill the owner of Gary’s Automotive Service in Chico, Ca. We care about our relationship with you and really do not want to see you have to dump your car or truck. Or worse have to replace things before they really had to be replaced due to poor care and maintenance. My top mechanics have been working here at Garys Automotive Service for over 20 years. We have seen both side way too often. Those customers and friends who have followed manufacturer maintenance and those who do not.  We can help you stay on schedule with friendly reminders. Call me and lets discuss any questions or concerns you might have and lets keep you and your family safe and your assets protected.
Brake Fluid Flush

Brake Fluid Flush

Its time to do what???

Flush my brake fluid! Are you nuts! That sounds as nuts as changing out the stale air in my tires. Why in the world would anyone change out their brake fluid flush?
1) Because your car owners manual tells you to.
2) Because if your car has old brake fluid it most likely has absorbed in a lot of moisture. What it is designed to do in order to prevent your brake system from rusting inside out. Ever have to replace the components in your ABS system. Trust us you don’t want to either… it is pretty expensive and if cared for properly they should last a very long time. Brake fluid absorbs any moisture that gets into your system after about 2 years or about 30,000 miles it is bloated with water. That water is now bad for your brake system and needs to be removed.
3) Safety! You don’t want your brakes to fail due to rusty internal parts when you most need them to perform perfectly.
Here at Gary’s Automotive Service here in Chico, California we strongly advise that you do routine brake fluid replacement as recommended by your automotive manufacturer in order to keep you and your family safe and to decrease future costly repairs.
Feel free to reach out to me David Sherrill the owner of Gary’s Automotive Service and I will personally answer any questions or concerns regarding this or any other repair or routine maintenance service that you might be thinking about. I don’t use unpaid staff to answer our phones. I answer 90% of all calls myself. Our top Master Technicians have been working here at my shop for more than 20 years each. That is service you can trust!