Ride with Confidence, Moving Beyond Oil Services

Although oil changes are vital, they should not be the sole concentration of car maintenance. Although replacing the "blood source" of your vehicle is vital, there are additional measures to ensure a safe and dependable vehicle. Ignoring safety inspections can have dire consequences for your safety, finances, and driving enjoyment. Envision a serene drive, interrupted by a sudden flash of a warning light on your dashboard. The potential outcomes of ignoring those signs are dire beyond what we might imagine.

In much the same way, regular safety checks on our vehicles are necessary to ensure their overall health and well-being. Early detection and rectification of issues are made possible by these inspections before they become major. Safeguarding road safety requires focusing on these assessments to prevent gradual deterioration. Paul's Automotive understands the significance of scheduling maintenance at your convenience and places great importance on your safety during every visit. By conducting digital safety inspections, we take photographs to serve as a reference and educate you on how to prioritize for budget-friendly solutions. A deeper understanding of your car's health is part of the scope of care, which goes beyond an oil change. Technicians with certification scrutinize every vital aspect to deliver top-notch vehicle performance. The unexpected nature of safety is reversed at Paul's Automotive, where you take control. By prioritizing proactive care, you can safeguard your vehicle's durability and overall health.

Put a little spark in your car’s life !!

When you hear the work spark, especially at this time of year, you think of little children holding wands with a little snap, crackle and pop at the end. This month we are talking about something kind of similar, the spark that causes the combustion in an internal combustion engine.

There are different types of spark plugs available. The type of spark plug your vehicle uses will depend on the type of fuel your vehicle uses.

Most automobile engines are 4 stroke engines. The first stroke brings air and fuel into the cylinder, the second stroke compresses the air/fuel mix, the third stroke (the power stroke) is the combustion stroke where a spark ignites the compressed air/fuel mix and the fourth stroke is the exhaust stroke. This process happens thousands of times every time you drive your vehicle. It is the third stroke of this process, the power stroke, where a vehicle’s spark plugs come into play. Without any spark, combustion will not occur and your car will not start or move.

The three main types of sparks plugs vary due to the metal used at the tip of the electrodes. Copper, Platinum and Iridium are the three different types of metal that are most commonly used. Why does the metal matter? The stronger the metal the longer it will last. Copper sparkplugs are the most commonly used spark plug. Copper is an excellent electrical conductor, but it is not as hard as the other metals and has a lower melting point. They have an average life of about 20,000 miles. Platinum plugs will typically last about 60,000 – 100,000 miles. That is because Platinum is a harder metal and has a higher heat tolerance. Iridium spark plugs have the longest life span. Iridium is 8 times stronger than Platinum and has a melting point over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, Iridium plugs last up to 25% longer than platinum spark plugs.

Silver spark plugs are also an option. Silver, like copper, is an excellent thermal conductor but, like Copper, is not as hard as platinum or iridium and will not last as long. Silver spark plugs are mostly used in motorcycles or older European vehicles.

Diesel engines do not use spark plugs at all, rather they use ”Glow Plugs”. Instead of creating intermittent sparks, glow plugs are essentially a heating element. When the compressed fuel and air in a cylinder make contact with the hot surface of the glow plug it will ignite and cause combustion.

So, there you have it! We hope we put a little spark into your day 😊

If you are experiencing difficulty starting your vehicle, rough idling, sluggish acceleration, declining fuel economy or engine knocking it could be a sign that your spark plugs are in need of replacement. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online and we would be happy to check it out for you.


The most prevalent cause of clunking noises are problems with your suspension/steering components. But where does this originate?

This can be a result of different components not performing as designed. One of these components is a strut and/or shock. What is a strut or shock? Struts are a structural part of the suspension system and are mounted to the chassis of the vehicle on the top, and they come down through. Struts will have mounts, boots and bump stops within the complete strut. They are located behind the front tires most of the time. A Shock Absorber is a part designed to keep your tires on the road and keeps vehicle from bouncing. Vehicles can have a strut and a shock on the same vehicle. You will find many cars and trucks with Struts on the Front Axle and Shocks on the Rear Axle. Generally, shocks and struts wear out every 50,000-100,000 miles. If you're a more aggressive driver and/or frequently drive on rough roads, they will wear out faster.

Shocks and struts don't go out all at once; they deteriorate slowly over time. This can also put stress on other suspension/steering components because they are no longer getting support from the struts/shocks and ultimately be an extremely expensive repair. It is crucial that you get your vehicle suspension checked regularly to avoid loss of handling and control. You may notice that your vehicle bounces excessively, rolls or sways abruptly when making a turn. Your vehicle can also nosedive coming to a complete stop and causing the brakes to wear out faster. You may feel out of control when hit by a cross wind. It can also lose their ability to control the rate of weight transfer when going around corners.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms plan a visit with us and we will be happy to perform a visual inspection, save you thousands, and ultimately keep you safe on the road.

What is TPMS and How Does it Work?

What is TPMS and How Does it Work?


In response to a surge of accidents due to underinflated tires, the US government passed the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act.  One of the outcomes of this legislation was that most vehicles sold after 2007 include a TPMS system of some kind.

Your vehicles Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is designed to warn you when the pressure in one or more of your tires may be low or require service.  The TPMS warning indicator is the yellow symbol shown above (horseshoe shape with an exclamation point).

Why is an underinflated tire so important?

  • Underinflated tires cause poor fuel economy.  The Department of Transportation estimates that underinflated tires waste 2 billion US gallons of fuel each year. 
  • The life of your tires is not as long when you drive on underinflated tires.  When your tires are underinflated the internal temperature rises and causes a breakdown of material bonds inside the tire.  Once a tire is weakened, it won’t heal after being re-inflated to the proper pressure.  So if a tire has been allowed to run low for a period of time it may need to be replaced.
  • Underinflated tires will affect the handling of the vehicle.  Properly inflated tires add greater stability, braking and a safer experience for the driver.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, vehicles with under-inflated tires release more than 300 billion pounds of carbon monoxide in the United States each year. By monitoring tire pressure on your vehicles, you can ensure tires are properly inflated so you can help reduce the emission of dangerous pollutants.

It is not uncommon for the TPMS senor to activate when the temperature drops.  The air gets denser and takes up less space, meaning reduced pressure from the air in your tires.  When the temperature turns colder check your tire pressure and add air as needed — think of adding a bit of air like topping off your gas tank.

When you see the TPMS warning indicator on your vehicle’s instrument panel, immediately check your tire pressure or stop our shop so that we can do it for you.  If your alert is still displayed after setting the tire pressure, your TPMS may need to run through a “relearn” process or even require a TPMS sensor replacement.  We can also examine your tires for damage, such as a puncture, to explain the air loss.

Wet Weather Maintenance Tips

Wet Weather Maintenance Tips

Wet Weather

Wet weather, like we have been experiencing lately, can create road hazards and some detrimental effects on our vehicles.  Some things to be aware of when you are driving are potholes.  The ground is so saturated now that potholes are starting to appear more frequently.  If you drive over a pothole, your tires and steering system can be damaged.  The rubber on your tire can be pinched when you hit a large pothole.  While this may not cause an immediate flat or noticeable damage, this will create a weak point in the rubber where it is pinched.  This may cause blistering on the side of the tire.  If the blister ruptures, your tire will rapidly lose air and create an obviously hazardous driving condition.  Make sure to inspect your tires several days after hitting a pothole to make sure a blister does not appear.  A blister cannot be repaired.  If you notice a blister, you should get a new tire as soon as possible.   A large pothole can also throw off the wheel alignment of your vehicle.  If you start to notice that your vehicle is pulling to the right or left when you are driving after hitting a pothole, you should have your alignment checked as soon as possible.  Driving over a pothole can also cause your wheels to go out of balance.  When your wheels are out of balance you will notice a chatter or shimmy in your steering wheel while driving.  If your wheels are out of balance, it creates an unsafe driving condition and additional wear on your tires you should have your wheel balance checked as soon as possible.

An often-overlooked area of vehicle maintenance is your vehicle’s drains.  All vehicles have drains to eliminate water that accumulates from rainfall or having your car washed.  Over time drains can become clogged by dirt, leaves or other debris.  When a drain is clogged, accumulated water cannot exit and will pool in the vehicle creating extra weight and causing rust. If you notice constant wet spots in your vehicle’s carpet, water stains on your door panels, your sun or moon roof is leaking or hear water sloshing around in your vehicle it could be an indication that your vehicle’s drain is clogged, and water is not draining properly.  You should have your drains checked as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing any of these issues, please give the shop a call so we can get your vehicle taken care of and get your back on the road safely.

Fuel System Cleaning Service

Fuel System Cleaning Service

Your car’s heart and lungs are found in its fuel injection and air induction systems.  Over time, these systems clog with unburned fuel that bakes on in the form of carbon deposits.  Modern engines are finely tuned and extremely sensitive to deposits that accumulate on intake valves, intake ports, fuel injectors, and combustion chambers.  As deposits build up, they cause major problems such as power loss, valve damage, increased fuel usage, and hazardous emissions.


The throttle body assembly controls the airflow into the intake ports where the air mixes with atomized fuel and swirls into the combustion chamber.  Heavy deposits build up on the back side of the throttle plate, around and behind the plate, and in the idle air control.

A fuel system service removes performance-robbing deposits in the entire fuel system.  It’s important to clean both the fuel and air systems at the same time because each depends on the other, as do the lungs and heart.

To ensure your vehicle is running at its peak performance and fuel efficiency give us a call and we will be happy to schedule you for a Fuel System Cleaning Service.

Happy Fall 2022


Happy Fall 2022! 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our valued customers for their support and continued patronage.  These past few years have been challenging with COVID and all the mayhem caused to our normal way of life due to the pandemic.   It is only because of you that we have made it through and can look forward to the coming year with optimism.

As we move into fall and set goals for the new year, I would like to look back at our last year, to some of our success and improvements so that we can provide the best experience for our customers.

Some of the Changes we made are:

  • Full staff of team players that care about their work and their craftsmanship.
  • Group of young talented guys hungry to learn, goal driven and dedicated to providing 100% every day.
  • New service writers have created a workflow system to better evaluate vehicles, communicate with our customers and get vehicles back to their owners ASAP.
  • New tools and software to help us work on all makes and models of vehicles.
  • Extra Lighting in shop and of course portable swamp coolers for those 100 degree days.
  • New A/C machine to perform service on the new 1234A systems and hybrid vehicles.
  • Purchased property at 1922 O Street.

On a sad note, we lost a truly beautiful person, our long-time tech of 20 years Frank Horne.  Frank was loved by all and an inspiration to our young crew.  He will be dearly missed.

Our Goals for 2023

  • Overall building improvements and exterior paint.
  • Teaming up with vendors to put on clinics for our customers here at the shop to learn about the ins and outs of their vehicles.
  • Excessive tech training to stay up to date on all the new technology in today’s modern vehicles.
  • Continued involvement with downtown communities, sponsoring school fundraisers and neighborhood associations and contributing to our local causes
  • Better ourselves to provide over and beyond customer service

Please feel free to reach out and let us know how we can be better.  We're looking forward to 2023, we hope it'll be a great new year for you too!

October - National Car Care Month

October is National Car Care Month

As Fall approaches and the promise of winter nears it is important to make sure that your vehicle is ready to carry you safely to your holiday destinations.  A few simple checks beforehand can ensure your safe travels.

Heating, Wipers & Lights

Test your heater, defroster and windshield wipers to make sure they work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold-weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.

Check to see that all exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.  One way to tell if headlights are correctly aimed is to park the vehicle on a level surface and shine the headlights on a garage door or wall 25 feet ahead (some cars may require a different distance). The top of the low beam shining on the wall should be at or slightly below the height of the center of the headlight lens for most vehicles. You should expect the light pattern to be higher on the right side (passenger side) to illuminate road signs and lower on the driver’s side to prevent blinding other drivers. This should give you a good idea of whether the beams on both sides are aimed correctly.  Another method is to pull the vehicle within 5 feet of the wall and then use masking tape to mark the vertical and horizontal centers of the light beams on the wall. Move the vehicle back 25 feet. With the aid of the tape line, the light beams should be roughly the same height vertically and horizontally.


Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure of all tires, including the spare. Put a penny in your tire tread grooves with the top of Abe’s head facing down. If you can see the top of his head, that tire is spent and needs to be replaced. Honestly.  During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.  Tire inflation levels are measured in psi (pounds per square inch). Because air pressure can decrease up to 10 psi a month just through every day driving and may potentially drop 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature drop, it’s important to ready your ride.  When tire tread is reduced or your tire pressure is not correct, your vehicle is at greater risk of hydroplaning.  If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads.

Wheel Alignment

The most common signs of misalignment are pulling to one side while you're driving, unusual tire wear and/or a steering wheel that's off-center even though your vehicle is pointed straight.  Even the slightest misalignment from hitting potholes and normal wear and tear can lead to premature tire wear – even if your car’s alignment is off by 100th of a degree or inch. When this happens, it can lead to further misalignment and the need to replace your tires sooner than you hoped.


Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.  Bad sounds can be signs that your brakes need work. When you push down the brake pedal, do you hear screeching, grinding, rubbing or squealing? These sounds may mean your brake pads need work or your rotors need replacing.  Another sign something is wrong- when you step on the brake pedal and the car doesn’t stop!  Don’t let it get to that point!!!

Gas, Oil & Filters

Keep your gas tank at least half full throughout the cold weather to prevent moisture from forming in gas lines and possibly freezing.

Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter.  The “W” in your type of oil stands for “winter.” And the number before the “W” (i.e. SAE 5W30) lets you know how easily this oil will pump at low temperatures. 0W is for very low temperatures, and higher numbers like 10W are designed for milder winter weather. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate.

Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.

System Checks – Charging, Cooling & Exhaust

Have the battery and charging system checked, as cold weather is hard on batteries.

Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.

Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.

Pack the Essentials

Your vehicle should always have an emergency kit with jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, extra clothes, bottled water, nonperishable food and a first aid kit with any needed medication.

Coolant Hoses and the Cooling System

The cooling system in your car is what allows your engine to cool off while creating large amounts of heat. It’s composed of the radiator, water pump, radiator cap, cooling fan, heater core, overflow tank, thermostat, hoses, and freeze plug.  The water pump forces coolant through the coolant hoses to passages in the engine block. From there, the coolant hoses send coolant into the radiator and be cooled off before being cycled back through the engine. The thermostat is between your engine and radiator, opening a valve for the coolant to be sent to the radiator if it’s hot, and sending it back through the engine if it’s still cool. Occasionally, the radiator receives additional cooling help from the cooling fan/fans, also activated by the thermostat or an electrical system that can detect coolant heat levels. Hot coolant from the engine is also sent by coolant hoses to the heater core where it can use the heat from the now hot coolant to keep you warm in a cold morning drive.

Since the engine gets extremely hot, it needs a liquid that has a high boiling point to be there to cool it off, that way once it cools off the engine it won’t begin boiling and potentially damaging something in your engine. So, along with pressurizing the engine, they created coolant as a means to prevent the engine from overheating. While this helps, pressure can still build up inside the engine, and heat up the coolant, which could blow one of the gaskets or hoses. To reduce the likelihood of that, cars have a radiator cap that can release that pressure and coolant into an overflow tank to cool off. 

Coolant also needs to have a low freezing point, otherwise the liquid could freeze in the engine and damage it. However, if your coolant should ever freeze, there are what’re known as coolant plugs that’ll pop out of the engine to prevent the engine block from cracking. During manufacturing, coolant plugs were used to fill in holes that allowed sand to be emptied from the engine, and therefore, prevent coolant from leaking out.

Coolant Management During the Summer

The summer months are finally rolling in, and for Sacramento that means it’s going to become a lot hotter. During these times people are going out and finding different ways to stay cool, but you also need to watch over your own car. Your car experiences that summer heat times 5 almost every day from your drives to work, school, or wherever you need to be. However, with that, your car is going to be experiencing even more heat than usual, which means you should be monitoring not only your coolant hoses, but your coolant system in general. The easiest way to do that is give your coolant hoses a squeeze to check for any cracking noises that could signal corrosion in the hoses. The other thing you can do is check your coolant reservoir levels every so often to make sure it's not low, which will help prevent overheating in your engine.

Regular Check Up

 With constant exposure to extreme temperatures, your coolant hoses will eventually begin deteriorating. Along with that, some acids in your coolant can begin to damage your coolant hoses over time, and with that ruin their integrity. Damaged coolant hoses can be a dangerous thing, and lead to coolant leaks, and reduce its ability to cool the engine. Replacing coolant hoses can be a little costly, but not when compared to replacing your entire engine.

Your coolant hoses need to be changed around every 93,000 miles, or every 6 years. We at Paul’s Automotive recommend changing your coolant hoses every 100,000 miles or every 5 years. You can head to Paul’s Automotive to get your coolant hoses changed and for any other car related issues you may have.  

If you have any questions regarding your coolant hoses, call (916) 444-7216 or schedule an appointment, and then head on over to Paul’s Automotive on 1922 O St. Sacramento, CA 95811. 


Brake Components And What They Do

A close up of a car engineDescription automatically generated with low confidenceA car’s main job is to get you from point A to point B as quickly, safely and as comfortably as possible. Just as much as getting to your destination quickly is important, so is the ability to stop when you get there or if something gets in your way. You constantly must be mindful of all the things on the road: fellow drivers, people, animals and other dangers that may appear. That’s where your brakes come in. The brakes in your car are what allow the wheels on your car to stop whenever you hit the brake pedal. What many don’t know is how the brake system actually works nor about the different types of braking systems that exist.

Just like any machine the braking system in a car has multiple parts that allow this complicated system to function properly. Each of these parts play a role in making sure that you can slow and stop your car in any situation. What are these key components you speak of?

Brake Rotor/Disc

The brake rotor is what feels the pressure from the brakes on a disc braking car. Th discs are attached to the wheel and move with it. When you press your foot against the brake pedal, that causes the brake pads on your car to squeeze the disc and force wheels to halt.

Brake Pads

The brake pads are what apply the pressure onto the brake discs and cause them to slow down. Once you press on the brake pedal the pads will squeeze the discs, applying frictional force. Many times, when you hear a squeal or grinding sound that means that your brake pads need to be changed as brake pads slowly wear down over time. 

Brake Shoes

Brake shoes are not common or used at all in recent cars. They have the same role as the brake pads, however, work a bit differently. The brake shoes are attached to the axle inside a drum that can expand and contract. Once you press your brake the shoes will expand to slow down the car.

Brake Drums

The brake drums are what feel the friction from brake shoes. Overtime they’ll begin to wear down from the constant friction of the shoes. At which point, you’ll need to replace them similarly to brake pads.

Brake Caliper 

The brake caliper is what holds the brake pads close to the brake rotor. They’re often visible behind all 4 wheels of your car. There are pistons inside the brake caliper that contain oil and push the brake pads against the rotor.

Brake Booster

The brake booster does exactly what it sounds like, it boosts the brakes. Located between your brake pedal and the master cylinder, it uses air from a vacuum in the engine to increase the strength felt on the brakes when you press the brake pedal. However, since it needs vacuum to work, that means that you’ll have a hard time using them when the engine is off.

Master Cylinder

The master cylinder is the main bay for all the brake fluid to be distributed to each wheel. It’s located near the end of your brake pedals and is responsible for sending all the brake fluid and pressure from the brake booster to each wheel. This allows you to brake.

Wheel Cylinders

Cars use brake calipers to squeeze the brake pads against the rotor. However, brake drums use a different type of cylinder to stop your wheels. In this case, when receiving pressure from the master cylinder, they have two sides that will expand and press against the brake.

We are happy to check your vehicle to make sure that your brakes are in tip top shape.  Schedule your appointment today!




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