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Straight Ahead (Wheel Alignment)

If every road was straight and smooth, we wouldn't have to worry much about wheel alignment. But they're not, so we do.  Hitting potholes or driving on rough pavement can knock your vehicle out of alignment and you'll notice it in one of several ways. Your steering wheel may not be centered when you're driving straight ahead, or your vehicle may pull to one side.  You may find your tires wearing on one side or they may squeal.  All are signs that could point to you needing an alignment. Your wheels should be perpendicular to the road and parallel with each other.  If not, your tires will wear out faster and your vehicle won't go straight on a level straightaway. In alignment, there are several factors that must be checked.  One is camber.  Your wheels should be straight up and down if you look at them from the front. If not, you'll wear your tires unevenly on one side. Another factor is caster, the angle of the steering pivot.  Most vehicles have what ... read more

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Alignment

The Best Test

Would you buy a jacket without even trying it on? Probably not, but it might surprise you that one study shows about half the people buy a vehicle after a short test drive around the block or none at all.  If you're in the market for another vehicle, make sure you check out the most important things so you'll know if that's the right vehicle for you. Check out the gadgets.  Love a good sound system? Then turn it up loud.  Does it have enough bass for you? See how you like its navigation system if it has one.  Try pairing your Bluetooth smartphone with the vehicle.  Test out how to set the cruise control and how steady it keeps the speed. Back up and check out the rearview camera. If you buy this vehicle, you'll have to live with all of these things every time you drive. Test the vehicle on roads you know.  See how it handles bumps and potholes, how it takes that tight curve that you drive every day to and from work.  Driving on familiar roads gives yo ... read more

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Automotive News

Alternative Fuel Vehicles in San Diego, CA

Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our CA environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for San Diego drivers very soon.For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the San Diego area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits to San Diego drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and when gas prices are low, E85 can be more than straight gasoline.San Diego drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.Diesel engines have been around CA  f ... read more

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Fuel System

Follow the Bouncing Vehicle (Bad Struts and Shocks)

If you hit a bump in the road and your vehicle just keeps bouncing up and down for a lot longer time than it used to, you may have bad struts and shocks.  They're the things that help to keep your vehicle's wheels and tires planted to the road surface. But they don't last forever.  With care and depending on where and how you drive, shocks and struts should be replaced at intervals ranging from 50,000 miles/80,000 km to 100,000 miles/160,000 km.  If you drive on bumpy roads with a lot of potholes, that interval will likely be shorter. Rough surfaces can take their toll. But how do you know if your shocks and struts are doing their job properly? The best way is to have your vehicle checked by a technician.  He or she can inspect the shock absorbers and struts for leaks, corrosion and damage.  Mounts and bushings can also go bad and they should be evaluated as well.  A thorough examination by a technician will also include looking at other suspension parts ... read more

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Shocks & Struts

Automotive Tips from Pacific Highway Auto Repair: Serpentine Belt System Wear

The primary job of the serpentine belt for San Diego drivers is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at optimal speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded around San Diego with a dead battery. In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your friendly and professional Pacific Highway Auto Repair service advisor can inspect your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.Give us a call.Pacific Highway Auto Repair4306 Pacific HighwaySan Diego, CA 9211061 ... read more

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Serpentine Belt

All Lined Up: Wheel Alignment Service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair

When all of your vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in San Diego can cause your vehicle's wheels to be out of alignment.Driving for an extended time around San Diego when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded CA highway. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early. The ideal alignment for your vehicle was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything's bent or broken. Then your friendly and knowledgeable Pacific Highway Auto Repair technician will look at tire conditio ... read more

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Alignment

Free Money (Almost) (Fuel Saving Tips)

You spend a lot of money on a vehicle, probably the most money you'll spend on anything except a house.  But the spending doesn't stop after you've bought it.  It goes into things like insurance, repairs and fuel.  One good piece of news is that you can cut down the amount you spend on fuel if you follow a few tips. Keep your speed under 50 mph/80 kph.  Anything over that and your fuel economy will go down quickly the faster you go.  Sure, you can legally drive  faster than that, but practice this one tip and it can save you from 7%-14% on fuel. Use cruise control.  The steady speed increases fuel economy by avoiding unnecessary braking and accelerating.  If your vehicle is carrying unnecessary weight, unload it.  If you can save 100 pounds/45 kilograms, it can save you 1% of your fuel.  Don't idle.  Let's say you're sitting in a parking lot with your engine running for 10 seconds.  Any more and you're wasting fuel.  Turn ... read more

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Fuel Economy

Tacky or Techie? The Tachometer.

There's a gauge that many vehicles have that says RPM on it.  And there are a lot of people who either don't pay any attention to it or don't even know what it is. Here's why it's a good gauge to know about. It's called a tachometer, and that "RPM" label means it is measuring how many revolutions per minute (RPM) the engine is turning.  Automotive experts know that a vehicle's engine can be damaged if it turns too fast (revving too high) or too slowly ("lugging" the engine). A tachometer (sometimes called a tach) is almost a "must-have" gauge for vehicles with a manual transmission; the driver has to manually change gears; the tach helps the driver know when revolutions are in the optimal range. Some say you don't need a tachometer if you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission. It's true that most drivers of automatics don't even look at it.  But there are times when paying attention to the tach can help you prevent an expensive repair. Here's a good example.&nbs ... read more

No Yolk! Rotten Egg Smell (Sulfur Smell Causes)

The pungent smell of rotten eggs can send people running for the hills.  So when that odor is inside your vehicle, yikes!  Yolks!  The good news is that a trained service technician can search the source of that smell and stanch the stench… that comes from another words that begins with S.  Sulfur. Fuel contains small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, but they're enough to stink up a vehicle when it's not properly burned.  You may know that the smell of rotten eggs can often be a sign of a catalytic converter that isn't working the way it should.  That could be due to age, damage or an abundance of oil that's clogging it up.  If a sensor in charge of managing the fuel has failed, the engine can run with too rich of a fuel mixture.  That can overload the catalytic converter and allow some of the byproducts to escape without interruption from the chemical reaction that is supposed to prevent them from going out the tailpipe. There's another possi ... read more

What to Do In Case of an Accident

If you've ever been in a vehicle accident around San Diego, CA, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do.Let's review what you should do in case of an accident in San Diego, CA:When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in CA, even if it's not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver's license or even jail time in our local San Diego lockup.Most places, including CA, require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.Warn other San Diego motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.Always file a police report. It's tempting to skip ... read more

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