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Know Your Towing Limits in San Diego

Some San Diego drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. Nope. If you're going to do any towing around San Diego, you should be aware of safety issues, CA towing laws and potential liability.Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. San Diego drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), but if you have a 2,000-pound (900 kg) hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds (900 kg). If you tow a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resulting dama ... read more

Categories:

Safety

Procrastination Prevention in San Diego

Every one of us has a little procrastinator inside us. Some put off getting our teeth cleaned. Others put off answering our emails. Yet others put off calling friends and family (sorry, Uncle Joe). And there are those of us who put off getting our vehicle's service done, whether it's a repair or regular maintenance. You may make the excuse that you don't have time, it can wait until tomorrow, you have other things to do. Well, there are some things you should NEVER put off when it comes to your vehicle because that procrastination could have dire consequences down the road. The biggest one is changing your oil. Yes, it's one of those things you may hear somebody nag you about, but changing your vehicle's oil regularly is probably the one thing that will do the most to keep things running smoothly… and well. It's the lubricant that keeps metal engine parts from wearing out. Oil doesn't last forever and it gets dirty, so you have to swap it out for fresh every so often. How often ... read more

NOT JUST ANOTHER CUSTOMER (Finding the Right Service Facility)

You might remember a hit TV sitcom that was set in a bar, a place where "everybody knows your name."  The idea, of course, is people feel more comfortable where they aren't just another customer among many; they're special because their relationship goes back a few years.   That comfortable relationship can extend to professionals you deal with, too.  Think of your accountant, your dentist, your doctor.  Most people try to stick with the same person or firm in those businesses.  They have grown to know their work over the years and they've learned to trust their professionalism, the quality of their work and their track record.    Ideally, you should have that same relationship with your automotive service facility, like your friends here at Pacific Highway Auto Repair. You may have tried several facilities over the years until you found one that did good work at a reasonable price.  The longer your relationship with your service facility, the be ... read more

Fuel System Cleaning at Pacific Highway Auto Repair for Better Performance

Hi San Diego residents. Let's talk fuel injectors. A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle's engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle's control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle.  It also adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle's engine. Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detrim ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

The Maintenance Free Myth

Sometimes we hear people in San Diego say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's vehicles are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most San Diego drivers don't realize how high tech automotive fluids have become,  fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and distances march on for all of our cars. Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories we've heard t ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Why a Trip Inspection Is a Good Idea

At Pacific Highway Auto Repair we get a lot of San Diego drivers asking about vehicle trip preparation. That's a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas around CA, so it's important to know that the vehicle is up to the task and won't leave you stranded.Smart San Diego drivers plan ahead for a major road trip – and there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around San Diego to see if you can feel any vibrations: Are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? Come to Pacific Highway Auto Repair for a peace-of-mind trip inspection.4306 Pacific Highway San Diego, CA 92110 619-299-7700htt ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Pacific Highway Auto Repair

Today in the Pacific Highway Auto Repair auto care blog, we're going to talk to San Diego drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Pacific Highway Auto Repair customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).In real world San Diego driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego.The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. B ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

Regular Schedule or Severe Service Schedule at Pacific Highway Auto Repair?

Today's Pacific Highway Auto Repair article focuses on severe service maintenance. Many San Diego drivers are not aware of them and yet there are also very vocal advocates in CA who think that severe service schedules apply to everyone. Somewhere between a complete lack of awareness and the dire blanket statements lies a reasonable approach to severe service maintenance at Pacific Highway Auto Repair.To back up a little, vehicle owner's manuals have schedules for preventive maintenance: things like oil changes, transmission service and so on. They say you should change your oil after a certain distanced traveled or after so many months. San Diego drivers understand this very well. What they may not know is that there are actually two service schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. The mileage and time intervals are lower on the severe service schedule.Now when you hear 'severe service,' you may think it doesn't apply to y ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

The Puzzling Puddle (Leaks Under Vehicle)

Ever notice a little spot of liquid under your vehicle after you've parked in your driveway or garage? It may have been something as simple as water left from air conditioning condensation.  But then again, it could be a sign that there's trouble brewing in one of your vehicle's systems. You can help your service facility diagnose the problem by getting a little sample of the drip.  At the same time, you may save yourself a tougher clean up task by preventing the leaky fluid from really messing up the driveway or garage floor.  The first thing is to put something under the vehicle. A flattened out cardboard box will do fine.  You may also want to slip a little disposable aluminum tray or pan under it to catch a bit of the fluid.  Chroma and consistency can help a technician quickly figure out what kind of fluid you're dealing with.  You can take your sample with you when you go to your service facility. Also note how much of the substance is there over wha ... read more

The Right Automotive Fluids for San Diego Drivers

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for San Diego drivers. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won't work as well and could even cause damage.In addition to new grades of engine oil, many vehicles now leave the factory with synthetic oil. People in San Diego should always use the grade recommended by their manufacturer. All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your vehicle cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.Most passenger vehicles on San Diego roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake ... read more

Categories:

Fluids
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