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Direct Fuel Injection Update from Pacific Highway Auto Repair

For those of you in San Diego, CA who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same fuel economy. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.So what are the differences from a conventional engine?The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it's then drawn into the engine with the air.With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cylinder d ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

What's up with Diesels in San Diego?

Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most manufacturers produce a variety of diesel-fueled cars for purchase abroad.Diesel-fueled vehicles haven't been as popular in the North American markets like CA. But that won't be true for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we're not talking about buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV's.There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight engines in passenger vehicles just couldn't tolerate it.But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel ... read more

Save Fuel by Watching Your Weight

Most San Diego drivers are all talking right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. CA folks want to save the environment and our pocketbooks.And we San Diego drivers all know — or should know — that preventive maintenance will help maintain maximum fuel efficiency. But is there something more we can do? After all, some of us San Diego road warriors can't cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get around San Diego. And that means buying more gas and producing more emissions.Of course, your vehicle's weight isn't negotiable. And you can't do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn't an article about diet and exercise.But look around your car. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight while driving around San Diego? Do you really need your golf clubs every time yo ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy

When You Hear the Crash in San Diego: What to Do After an Accident

Motorists in North America drive about 3 trillion miles/4.8 trillion kilometers every year. There are over 250+ million licensed drivers, and approximately 6.2 million accidents happen every year. Unfortunately, if we're going to drive vehicles, there are going to be accidents. Knowing what to do in case of an accident can help reduce the stress and cost of the situation. It can also protect you from false claims, incorrect judgments and unjust liabilities. Never leave the scene of an accident. This is a crime, even if the accident is not your fault. If you leave the scene, it is referred to as a “hit-and-run,” and the fines are steep in CA. You can even lose your driver's license or spend some time in jail. If someone has been injured in the accident, most laws require you to help them. You must call for help. If you can, you must also render first aid. Call 9-1-1 or get someone else to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if ... read more

Categories:

Auto Safety

Battery Replacement for Your vehicle

Modern vehicles in and around San Diego run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done for San Diego drivers without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today's vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks windows and sun roofs. And then us CA drivers have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers and DVD players.We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off.Fortunately, battery technology has given San Diego drivers resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wear out ... read more

Categories:

Parts

Good Service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair Equals Good Fuel Economy in San Diego

Whether we're trying to save money, save gas or save the environment, most of us San Diego drivers have an interest in decreasing fuel consumption. We've all heard about ways to save money on gas in CA, but does it really add up to much? How much can we boost our fuel economy through preventive maintenance and more courteous driving?The US government has a website that actually answers that question. Let's look at some of the data and find out if any of these fuel-saving ideas are really worth the effort. We've all heard that a tune-up can improve gas mileage. It turns out that it can save us 4% at the pump. At $3.50 a gallon, that's 14¢ per gallon in savings, and at $4.00 a gallon, that's a 16¢ per gallon savings.Other common repair items can also save you at the pump. For example, if your oxygen sensor is faulty, it's not delivering the information to your engine's computer that allows it to calculate the right fuel-to-air ratio. The result? The f ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

We live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term "built to last" goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They're still a very big investment and San Diego drivers want to make them last as long as possible.  We also want to make keeping them running as cheap as possible. When talking vehicles, it's all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, "A stitch in time saves nine," and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your vehicle. A great example is coolant service in San Diego.Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing, it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That's why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.The same is true for your po ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Ask Pacific Highway Auto Repair: What Happens When a Serpentine Belt Breaks?

The serpentine belt is aptly named since it snakes around under your hood. It may lack its namesake's fangs, but it sure packs a wallop when it breaks.The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine systems. It runs the alternator, which charges the battery; the water pump (on some vehicles), which cools the engine; the air conditioning, which cools the driver and passengers; and the power steering pump, which allows for easier steering. When the belt breaks, all of these systems shut down.Okay, so maybe you can live without air conditioning and power steering for a while, but your battery can't live very long without an alternator, and when the cooling system goes down, your vehicle engine will overheat. That's why San Diego drivers should never wait to get a serpentine belt replaced.Serpentine belts are fairly inexpensive at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego. And they look downright cheap when you compare them to the cost of an overheated vehicle engine, a tow truck, time lost on t ... read more

Categories:

Timing Belt

Air Conditioning Maintenance at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego

Warm weather or cold, San Diego drivers still need to think about their vehicle's air conditioning. Most San Diego people don't service their air conditioning until after it fails. At Pacific Highway Auto Repair, we can advise you on your vehicle manufacturers preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on. Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the vehicle's air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can't cool the air as well. We see that a lot at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego.The refrigerant also contains oil that lubricates air conditioning components and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all San Diego vehicle owners know that air condit ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning

TPMS: Tire Pressure Monitoring for Your San Diego Vehicle

San Diego drivers may know that all 2008 model year and newer cars, mini-vans and light trucks in CA come with a tire pressure monitoring system. Many slightly older vehicles around the San Diego area have these systems as well. A tire pressure monitoring system – called TPMS – consists of sensors on each wheel that measure tire pressure.If tire pressure drops 25 percent below the vehicle manufacture’s recommended pressure, the sensor sends a signal to a monitoring unit that causes a warning to light up on the dashboard. When drivers see the warning light, they know it's time to put some air in the tires.There are many benefits to people in San Diego who drive with properly inflated tires. First is cost savings. Running at the correct air pressure improves fuel economy. Driving on underinflated tires is like driving through sand – it drags down your fuel economy. Drivers in San Diego will also see longer, more even tread wear so your t ... read more

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