Why Preventative Maintenance?

Why Preventative Maintenance?

Manufacturers know that customer loyalty is greatly increased with a well maintained vehicle. A properly maintained vehicle will be more dependable, safer,
last longer and increase your satisfaction with their product. Auto makers and California car and truck owners also have a responsibility to make sure emission controls receive regular service and are functioning properly. Regular maintenance helps accomplish all of these goals by keeping your engine running well and eliminating potential problems that may leave you stranded.

What’s in it for you?

3. Insures a MORE DEPENDABLE vehicle!
4. A vehicle that retains more “NEW VEHICLE FEEL”. 5. Less chance of a COSTLY BREAKDOWN.
6. A SAFER VEHICLE for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. 7. Doing your part for CLEANER AIR.
8. A car WORTH MORE at trade in or sale.
10. Always makes your “ride” MORE ENJOYABLE!

Manufacturer Maintenance Schedules

Every Automotive manufacturer indicates specific services ‘that must be done to maintain the factory warranty and extended warranty. The manufacturer also creates detailed maintenance schedules outlining specific operations to be performed on various components and Systems; these services are done at different mileage intervals to ensure proper operation and prevent premature wear.

Why “Gary’s Automotive Service”?

OUR main Master Technicians​have over 23 years experience working right here in Chico, California with me David Sherrill owner of Gary’s Automotive Service. ​That is experience that you can trust and depend on. ​I, David Sherrill personally answer almost every call to the shop. So you can feel safe that your not going to get a high pressured commission earning service writer or even worse a receptionist that has no clue how to advise you or help you. Of course, we also use​t​he latest c​omputerized diagnostic equipment a​nd a​computerized automotive information system t​hat provides detailed data for your vehicles by year, make and model. We will help you stay on your scheduled service plan and help you make sure that all of the work is efficient, dependable, and cost effective service and repairs for all of your vehicle needs!

Preventative Auto Maintenance

Preventative Auto Maintenance

Your car is your second most important investment and it works hard! It runs you and your family to work, school, activities, shopping and so much more. Most people can’t afford the lost time or major expense if your car breaks down. Doing preventative auto maintenance is important to your car or auto. Report after report shows that a properly maintained vehicle lasts longer and is much safer, dependable, and enjoyable. To avoid expensive repairs there are steps you can take that protect your wallet and your investment.

Let Us Handle Preventative Auto Maintenance

At Gary’s Automotive Service in Chico, California you can depend on their professionally trained technicians to help you repair and service your car in the most professional, timely, and economical way possible. We will help you keep your car running at peak performance and prolong its life and resale value. We can even help you with reminders when it is time for your next factory recommended maintenance scheduled service.
The cost of not keeping your car properly maintained can be catastrophic. Higher accident rates, difficulties getting everyone to work and school on time, not to mention repair bills or total car replacement that could have been avoided completely or at least delayed.

Hi, I am David Sherrill, owner of Gary’s Automotive Service, here in Chico, California, and I am proud to say that our main technicians have over 23 years experience working just for our shop. When you call you won’t get a service underwriter or a receptionist that is either pushing to maximize commissions or has no clue what you might need or how to help you. At Gary’s Automotive Services, I, David Sherrill personally answer over 90% of the phone calls. We take your needs seriously, and fight to keep your respect and loyalty for years to come. Call me personally and let’s discuss any breakdowns, or car repairs that you may need performed fast, economically, and professionally. Better yet! Call me today and let’s schedule your vehicle for a preventative auto maintenance checkup and get you started on proper preventative car, truck and auto maintenance.

Stay tuned and come back to my blog often for current topics, updates, and information on a wide range of service and repair topics.

6 Easy Steps to Check Engine Coolant

How often should you check your engine coolant level?

In order to avoid a breakdown, we suggest checking your vehicle’s coolant levels once a week.

Avoid Overheating Problems

Avoid Breakdowns

Especially during the hot summer months.

The coolant tank cap is usually colored so it is easy to identify. This tank is transparent or see through so it is easy to see how much coolant is in the tank.


If you have any trouble locating it please check with your vehicles owners manual.

The tank exterior is usually marked with a minimum and maximum markings so you shouldn’t have to remove the cap unless it needs topped off.

If your tank is below minimum you may want to consider having one of our mechanics take a look at why it is possibly losing engine coolant.

Please note: Check BOTH your coolant tank and radiator coolant levels.

Warning to all vehicle owners:

Please give your vehicle the proper amount of time to cool down before opening the radiator or coolant tanks.

They can be very hot and you could get burned if you have recently shut off the engine to your vehicle.

If the radiator cap is still hot after a few minutes then use an old rag so you don’t get burnt.

If you see any sludge or foamy coolant or antifreeze in the radiator or coolant tank please contact us immediately.


Coolant Tip:

    • While the terms “antifreeze” and “coolant” are used in conjunction with each other  “antifreeze” is mixed with water, and coolant is the combination of the two.
      • Most antifreeze is green in color. Extended-life antifreeze  is orange or red. The difference between regular and extended-life antifreeze, except for the color, is the amount of rust inhibitors and other additives it contains.

6 Easy Steps to Check Radiator Coolant Level

1. Make sure your vehicle is parked on a level surface.


2. Raise the hood on your vehicle.

raise hood

3. Locate the radiator cap.


4. Safely loosen the radiator cap.

removing radiator cap

5. Check the radiator fluid level.


6. Add coolant if needed.

adding coolant antifreeze


California Cellphone Laws

The new Wireless Communications Device or Cellphone Law (effective January 1, 2009) makes it an infraction to write, send, or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cellphone, while driving a motor vehicle.

Two additional cellphone laws dealing with the use of wireless telephones while driving went into effect July 1, 2008. The first law prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle, (California Vehicle Code [VC] §23123). Motorists 18 and over may use a “hands-free device. The second law effective July 1, 2008, prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a wireless telephone or hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle (VC §23124).

V C Section 23123 Hand Held Wireless Telephone Prohibited Use

Cellphone or Hand-Held Wireless Telephone: Prohibited Use

cellphone laws

(b) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.

(c) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless telephone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.

(d) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

(e) This section does not apply to a person when using a digital two-way radio that utilizes a wireless telephone that operates by depressing a push-to-talk feature and does not require immediate proximity to the ear of the user, and the person is driving one of the following vehicles:

(1) (A) A motor truck, as defined in Section 410, or a truck tractor, as defined in Section 655, that requires either a commercial class A or class B driver’s license to operate.

(B) The exemption under subparagraph (A) does not apply to a person driving a pickup truck, as defined in Section 471.

(2) An implement of husbandry that is listed or described in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 36000) of Division 16.

(3) A farm vehicle that is exempt from registration and displays an identification plate as specified in Section 5014 and is listed in Section 36101.

(4) A commercial vehicle, as defined in Section 260, that is registered to a farmer and driven by the farmer or an employee of the farmer, and is used in conducting commercial agricultural operations, including, but not limited to, transporting agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to, or from, a farm.

(5) A tow truck, as defined in Section 615.

(f) This section does not apply to a person driving a schoolbus or transit vehicle that is subject to Section 23125.

(g) This section does not apply to a person while driving a motor vehicle on private property.

(h) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2008, and shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2011, and, as of July 1, 2011, is repealed.

Vehicle Inspection

Car Registration Inspection

Only non-residents require a safety vehicle inspection during their first car registration. You can do this at the DMV office during your car registration appointment; the safety inspection is free.

In addition, most cars require smog and emissions testing at least once in a while, including for the first registration.

Vehicle Inspection

Emissions Exemptions

All cars need a smog check before their first California vehicle registration, except:

  • Cars that were made in the past six years (except diesel or specially constructed cars). These cars pay a smog fee instead.
  • Hybrid or electric cars.
  • 1975 year model or older gas cars.
  • Pre-1998 diesel-powered vehicles or those weighing more than 14,000 lbs (Gross Vehicle Weight).
  • Natural gas-powered cars weighing more than 14,000 lbs.
  • Motorcycles or trailers.

Smog Check at Registration Renewal

Only certain counties and zip codes require a smog check at DMV registration every other year. Check on the California DMV website to see if your county or zip codes requires emissions testing, as this information may change. Your renewal notice will also tell you whether you need a smog check.

Where to Get a Smog Test

Before you register car, you’ll need to show your smog check passing certificate to the CA DMV. The California Department of Consumer Affairs lists emissions testing centers on its website. Many local service stations also provide this emissions testing service; check in your local yellow pages.

Above article from DMV Answers. Link to this article and more

Is Your Ride Staying Cool This Summer?

Summer Car Care

Summer Car Care

Many people are planning their annual summer vacations.

Road and Travel Magazine gives the following tips for summer car care before your trip:

  1. The certified automotive technician should check the following during this inspection
    • All fluid levels, including engine oil, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer.
    • Tire pressure and tire tread depth and condition (Also, have the spare tire pressure checked).
    • Brakes
    • Belts and hoses
    • Windshield wipers
    • Lights
    • Air conditioning operation
  2. Even if the automotive technician says everything checks out fine, there is always the possibility of car trouble on vacation. No matter how long your trip will be, you should have an Emergency Road Kit in your car for those unwelcome moments. Your kit should include
    • Flashlights and flares
    • Jumper cables
    • Tire inflator
    • Extra fluids (oil, coolant, transmission)
    • A First Aid kit
    • A jack (make sure that the vehicle jack is operational and all the tools are present)
    • Gloves
    • Rags/paper towels
    • Water
    • Blanket
    • Multipurpose tools (commonly containing pliers, wire cutters, a knife, a saw, a bottle opener, screwdriver, file, and an awl)
  3. Pack as lightly as you can to avoid adding unnecessary load on your tires; this can help save some gas, too! By packing lightly, you’ll also avoid blocking the view in your mirrors while driving
  4. Following posted highway speed limits will increase your car’s fuel efficiency because gas mileage declines by a few percent for each 5 MPH increase in speed above 45 mph
  5. Finally, buckle up, slow down, and have fun!

For the full article http://www.roadandtravel.com/carcare/2007/summer-vacation-car-care.htm

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Gary’s Automotive Chico, CA

automobile disc brake

Garys Automotive Changing Oil

The past few weeks Garys Automotive has been swamped with lots of cars to repair. If I can’t impress but one thing to my readers it would be this. Do the general maintenance on your vehicles so you don’t have such a high car repair bill. You can help yourself by just changing your oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles, checking your brakes for pads and rotors needing changed, refilling the transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, so you don’t run low and cause yourself a lot of unnecessary repairs.


Here are some of the more common jobs that need to be done from time to time and the auto parts that you’ll need for them.

This is a project that usually has to be done at least every other year. Of course, it depends totally on the type of car you have as well as how old the car is that you’re driving. But brakes get worn down just as any of the other auto parts do, and they need changing from time to time.

Before you start out on the journey to change your brakes, the first thing that you’ll need is the equipment. But how much do you need to change? Many people simply think that they’ll need only the brake pads; however, it’s important to consider how long one has been driving with their brakes worn down in the first place.

For a total brake change, the auto parts that one is going to need are the brake pads, discs, and calipers. Depending on whether or not the rotors are worn down also, you may need those. Also, most cars come with a set of brake shoe sets that you will need to replace as well as everything else on the list of auto parts that you’ll need.

This is a whole other different job in itself and requires a different set of auto parts. Many professional auto repair shops will charge about $30 to perform an oil and oil filter change, and a fuel filter change costs about $50.

However, one can do these jobs easily and simply by themselves with only paying for the auto parts. In order to change the oil filter the only thing that needs to be done is to buy the oil filter itself, which usually only costs around $5.00, and change it while you’re underneath the car changing your oil.

On the other hand, the fuel filter is a little bit more expensive and the process is quite different because it actually usually involves taking off one of the wheels, but one only needs to pay for the auto parts that he or she will need, which is simply the fuel filter itself.

There are plenty of other simple repair procedures that can be done all by yourself. It’s definitely not necessary to quickly run to an auto shop like Garys Automotive every time that every little thing needs to be done. By doing the work by yourself you not only save the cost of labor, but you also only need to pay for the auto parts that you use!

Benefits of Car Maintenance

Benefits of Car Maintenance

car maintenance

What are the benefits of car maintenance? Consult with a qualified car mechanic before doing any maintenance on your car.


Gary’s Automotive

Warm weather auto maintenance tips

Summer Car Maintenance

Warm weather auto maintenance tips

Warm-Weather Auto Maintenance Tips

Learn to Protect Your Vehicle this Summer
with Tips from 24 Protect Plus


Can you imagine how it would feel if you had to run for 5 miles without a drop of

That’s what your car feels without an adequate amount of coolant

Check the coolant levels at the beginning of summer and also when you set out for a long drive to the beach

You don’t want a tête-à-tête with the serviceman instead of that gorgeous lifeguard, do you?

    1. Air Conditioning

Air-conditioning pipes and fans can malfunction and cause the car to heat up
If your has been taking it easy all winter, get it serviced before you switch it on
Avoid having to drive in the sun by taking preventive measures

    1. Tire Check

Hot asphalt can cause more flat in summer
Excess pressure can also build up, due to expanding
Check the tire and tire pressure thoroughly
Make sure you have a spare in place at all times
Get the spare repaired if need be, and always ensure that the spare isn’t flat

    1. Battery

24 Protect Plus knows that the winter months result in higher corrosion for all and accessories, including the battery
Before starting off for a beach in summer, get your battery cleaned and tested
Get the battery cables and points checked by an expert
Ensure that distilled water is filled in completely

    1. Light Bulbs

Long drives toward vacation points are common in summer
Be prepared for night travel, too
Change any headlights that aren’t working
Clean the headlight lenses to ensure optimum nighttime visibility
Ensure That You Care for Your Car Adequately so She Can Return the Favor with a Smooth Ride
Follow These Tips from 24 Protect Plus to Remain Tension-Free

Ensure That You Care for Your Car Adequately so She Can Return the Favor with a Smooth Ride