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Gear Up: Transmission Service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego

Gear Up: Transmission Service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego

The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.How does it know when to change gears? Today's automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing and changes the gears as needed.Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds,” are being added. Almost all vehicles have at least four speeds. Five or six is common. Some are even increasing to seve ... read more

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Transmission

Automotive Tips from Pacific Highway Auto Repair: Alignment Inspection

Uneven tire wear, the car pulling to one side or a steering wheel that is off-center are signs for San Diego drivers that their wheels may be out of alignment.When doing an alignment inspection, the service advisor at Pacific Highway Auto Repair will inspect your tires for uneven wear as well as suspension and steering parts for signs of wear or damage. He?ll also compare your current alignment with the vehicle manufacturer?s settings.Your vehicle owner?s manual will have a recommendation for when to check alignment. Of course, this recommendation is based on normal driving. If you have been in a crash, hit a curb/pothole, frequently drive off-road around San Diego, or notice any symptoms of misalignment, have your Pacific Highway Auto Repair service advisor perform an important alignment check.Pacific Highway Auto Repair4306 Pacific HighwaySan Diego, CA 92110619-299-7700https://www.PacificHighwayAutoRepair.co ... read more

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Alignment

Keeping Your 'Old Faithful' Auto Running

At Pacific Highway Auto Repair we've had a lot of San Diego customers asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that's been building for several years in CA. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. It looks like it's going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of CA folks are putting off buying a new car. So let's say you're one of the average in the San Diego area; you've got a nine-year-old car with 80,000 miles (130,000 km) on the odometer. What can you do to make it last another year or two?Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care in San Diego. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there's no reas ... read more

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Maintenance

The Fallacy of Cheap Tires

The Fallacy of Cheap Tires

Do you ever shop for shoes in one of our American Fork area shoe stores?When buying a running shoe, is quality important?Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pair of lower quality shoes at the same price?Is the warranty important when buying tires?When you choose new tires in San Diego, what's the most important factor for you? Give us a call at Pacific Highway Auto Repair at 619-299-7700 for tire recommendations. You know, buying tires in San Diego is a big deal. It's a big ticket item so you know you'll be spending a lot. You're not only concerned about the price, but you want to know that it'll be a long time before you need to buy new tires again.And of course there's the safety aspect as well. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. They need to be up to the task. Yo ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

In our auto video today we'll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that "modern vehicles are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free."Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to San Diego Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn't so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.Here are some examples for our friends in San Diego. Some vehicles in San Diego no longer require chassis lubrication. They're made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There's literally no way to grease those joints. -Chalk one up for the myth.On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts are up in ... read more

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Maintenance

Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, San Diego Car Owners

Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, San Diego Car Owners

A generation ago, San Diego drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle's preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Taking your vehicle in to your San Diego shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.For example, almost everyone in San Diego used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the vehicle was in for a tune-up at Pacific Highway Auto Repair, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.Today's engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys repo ... read more

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Maintenance

On Board Diagnostics for Your Engine

Starting in 1996, Pacific Highway Auto Repair service technicians have been able to use a standardized diagnostic system to help determine what is wrong with a vehicle. This diagnostic system works in tandem with the Engine Control Modules for each vehicle's engine. The Engine Control Module is a computer that monitors and controls many engine functions.Sensors throughout a vehicle send readings to the Engine Control Module. These readings help the computer make adjustments in various vehicle systems to allow for constantly changing driving conditions and even to compensate for minor problems. However, if the computer encounters a situation it can't adjust for, it turns on the Check Engine light. (The Check Engine light is called the “service engine soon” light on some vehicles.)If the Check Engine light is burning steadily, it indicates a problem that needs to be taken care of soon. If it is flashing, however, the vehicle ... read more

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Diagnostics

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment for San Diego Automobiles

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment for San Diego Automobiles

San Diego drivers may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel's off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn't feel like it handles right as they drive down San Diego, CA, streets and roads.When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around San Diego are great ways to knock a car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels start pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.The team at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego wants you to know that driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.At the very least, those who drive with wheels out of alignment will have to replace their tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, whic ... read more

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Alignment

Differential Service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair: Viva la Difference

Differential Service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair: Viva la Difference

Every vehicle on CA roads has a differential, and it is important to the proper operation of the vehicle.  But most San Diego residents don't have a clue what it is.The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the vehicle must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.Have you ever seen the large bulge in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That's the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV's have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You'd be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive ve ... read more

Keep Your Cool in San Diego

Keep Your Cool in San Diego

San Diego drivers rely on their vehicle's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your vehicle engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.There's a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that's easily reached inside your vehicle's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.Also, if it's freezing outside in San Diego, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the CA cold.So, if you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than eit ... read more

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Cooling System
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