Articles:

How Your Check Engine Light Works

Have you ever had an experience like this in San Diego, CA? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your Check Engine light starts flashing!You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stops flashing, but stays on. By the next day, the light is off.You wonder; "What was going on?" Well, it's actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works.Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn't be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something's wrong. Whatever's wrong could cause some serious engine damage.Warning, warning! It flashes the Check Engine light to alert you to take immediate action.It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to normal. Now the eng ... read more

Categories:

Dashboard

How Do You Save Gas in San Diego, CA?

No one in San Diego, CA, likes to spend a chunk of change at the gas pump. Rising CA fuel prices, however, have spurred San Diego drivers to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles/kilometers less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we love our vehicles, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.Let's look at a real life example. This man has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Differential Service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair

Here at AutoNetTV, we have national viewers, like your neighbors in San Diego, who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we're asked is: "What is a differential and what does it do?" You may have been told by your Pacific Highway Auto Repair service advisor that your differential needs serviced, or it's seen it as an option up on the service menu. Differential service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair covers a lot of things, so let's first talk about what a differential does.As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track - the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don't hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or ... read more

Categories:

Drive Train

San Diego Tire Repair

Most San Diego residents have experienced a flat tire. You know it's inconvenient and a pain. Our tires are important. Keeping them in good working order isn't just a big safety issue for San Diego drivers – it also has a financial impact. With high CA gas prices, we've all heard about the importance of keeping proper tire pressure to save on gas. In addition, proper inflation promotes even tread wear so your tires last longer.  There's another danger with under-inflated tires for San Diego residents. Low tire pressure puts added stress on the structure of the tire itself, causing it to break down prematurely. Also, under-inflated tires generate more heat which also reduces tire life. So get those slow leaks fixed quickly – don't just keep adding air every few days. You want to avoid tire damage. San Diego residents should only hire qualified tire professionals to perform repairs - we have a whole team of them at Pacific Highway ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Fuel Filter Replacement

Hello San Diego resident! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your vehicle feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good fuel economy. The fuel filter's job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won't start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your vehicle will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow particles into your engine.A vehicle with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around San Diego, but sputter and strain on the because it's starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in CA and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural CA, your f ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Keep Your Tires Well Rounded in San Diego: Tire Rotation and Wheel Balancing at Pacific Highway Auto Repair

Taking care of our tires is part of vehicle care for San Diego drivers. We know they have to be replaced when they wear out, but tires also require some preventive maintenance. This maintenance will improve and extend the life of the tires, so it's well worth the effort and expense for San Diego drivers to get it done. Tire maintenance includes keeping tires properly inflated, rotating tires and balancing wheels.The recommended tire pressure for a vehicle's tires is printed on a sticker on the inside of the driver's side doorjamb. A lot of engineering goes into calculating the correct pressure, so it's an important number for San Diego vehicle owners to know. Not following this recommendation can throw off the suspension system and can lead to tire damage. Underinflated tires wear out more quickly than properly inflated tires. Vehicles also get better traction and handling on properly inflated tires. Check your tire pressure at least once a week and add air if necessary.Don't ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Keeping Your Car Young in San Diego

As San Diego consumers, we live in a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away.New stuff comes out so fast in CA, and much of it is fairly cheap, so we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff - especially parents who grew up in the Depression. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough; we had to do without.  We couldn't afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It's a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us San Diego penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care. The engineering's there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's maintenance schedules.Is it really that bad fo ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Pacific Highway Auto Repair Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas

San Diego residents often ask the question: "Will using premium gas make my car run better?" The answer is simple. But first, let's talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around San Diego, CA, also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.There's a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your vehicle manufacturer recommends. For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego. Pacific Highway Auto Repair4306 Pacific HighwaySan Diego, CA 9211061 ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Wiper Blades in CA

If you're gonna drive around the San Diego area, you've got to be able to see! So having a good set of windshield wipers is extremely important. We've all experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm or when our windshield is just dirty.It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. But windshield wipers are like most other vehicle parts– they require regular attention in order to work their best.You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If it's going to be a particularly harsh winter in CA, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall. Winter blades are designed to resist freezing.Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That'll jus ... read more

Let Pacific Highway Auto Repair Help You Keep Your Vehicle Another Couple of Years

San Diego area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.But a lot of San Diego drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles (320,000 km), as long as the repair bills don't get too expensive.There are a lot of vehicles on CA roads that have run past the 200,000 mile (320,000 km) odometer reading. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road for 200,000 mi ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance