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The Economy of Maintenance for San Diego Drivers

Do I keep my old vehicle or buy a new one? It's a question most San Diego drivers ask themselves at some time or another.Generally, what it comes down to is the choice between a car payment and the possibility of repair bills. Most of the time, we want to choose the car payment because we don't like the inconvenience and uncertainty of vehicle repairs. But that payment has a detrimental effect on our budget and bank account.Edmunds.com is a great website to help you with your decision. This site uses repair histories to calculate the average repair bills for specific makes and models of cars. You can plug in the information for your vehicle and get an estimate on what it will probably cost you to continue owning that vehicle.Now, Edmunds.com isn't a crystal ball. It can't know what will happen to your specific vehicle. But it can guide you in knowing how much money to budget for the repair and maintenance of your vehicle ... read more

Fall and Spring Checkup in San Diego

Fall and Spring Checkup in San Diego

When I was a kid, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it's about time to get into Pacific Highway Auto Repair for a checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don't need seasonal service.My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family vehicle, most of them used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today's modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.Your owner's manual or San Diego service advisor at Pacific Highway Auto Repair can tell you the right oil to use.Of course, you're concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don't want to overheat in the CA summer ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Watching Your Check Engine Light

Watching Your Check Engine Light

Did you know that most of the cars driving around San Diego, CA, carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969?New cars sold in the San Diego area have as many as 12 networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, auto computers have been controlling about 85 percent of your vehicle's functions.Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do San Diego drivers know when there is a problem?It's simple; the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in the ... read more

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Dashboard

Fuel Saving Tip: Tire Pressure Saves Fuel in San Diego

Fuel Saving Tip: Tire Pressure Saves Fuel in San Diego

Underinflated tires waste gas for lots of folks in the San Diego area. Think how hard it is to walk in sand – you just have to work harder because of the resistance. When your tires don't have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get from here to there.Always check your tire pressure when you gas up at one of our local San Diego service stations. If they're low – even just a little bit – bring them up to proper pressure. There's a sticker on the inside of your driver's door that gives the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure.And don't rely on your tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to when you need more air. The TPMS system is set to warn you when pressure drops 20 percent below recommendations. That's severely underinflated and you needed more air a long time ago. And if you have a slow leak – get it fixed right away at Pacific Highway Auto Repair ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Straight and True in San Diego: Wheel Alignment

Straight and True in San Diego: Wheel Alignment

Most San Diego folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by drivers in San Diego is a periodic alignment inspection. Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more expensive than an alignment check in San Diego. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in San Diego. Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents and can seriously damage your vehicle. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident since the vehicle may not steer properly. One or more wheels on your vehicle can be knocked out ... read more

Categories:

Alignment

Breathe Free in San Diego: Cabin Air Filter Replacement at Pacific Highway Auto Repair

Breathe Free in San Diego: Cabin Air Filter Replacement at Pacific Highway Auto Repair

There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on San Diego drivers' vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in San Diego. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our San Diego area atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in CA prone to air pollution.Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you'll probably want to go to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Pacific Highway Aut ... read more

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

Drive Defensively in CA

Drive Defensively in CA

Car care is part of auto safety in San Diego. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on CA roads is to drive safely.Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won't let anyone take your safety away from you. You'll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.Don't leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.Never drive impaired: Alcohol is a factor in half of all fatal crashes. Never drink and drive.Other impairments include being sleepy, angry, daydreaming or talking. If you suddenly wonder how you got where you are – you're not paying enough attention.Keep your windows clean and uncluttered. No fuzzy dice and stickers.Keep your car i ... read more

Categories:

Safety

Are There Blind Spots in San Diego?

Are There Blind Spots in San Diego?

All San Diego drivers have blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around San Diego.First let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others...To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your vehicle before you start to drive.First, San Diego drivers should adjust their rear view mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their vehicle. San Diego folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty obvious, the rear view mirror should reflect the rear.Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of the ca ... read more

Categories:

Automotive News

Maintenance on My Mind

Ask any San Diego man or woman if they've taken their vehicle in for preventive maintenance lately, and the answer may well be “no.” Surveys indicate that over 80% of vehicles on the road today are in need of some kind of repair or maintenance. Now, ask that same person why he hasn't taken his car in for care. The answer will probably be that he forgot or that he just didn't think about it. Most San Diego residents seem to have a hard time remembering about scheduled maintenance for their vehicles.Funny, because most of us in San Diego have no trouble remembering to wash our clothes, mow our lawns or brush our teeth. It isn't that we can't remember to take our vehicles for service; it's a matter of making it a priority.When it comes to our vehicles, San Diego drivers like myself, need to be a little more maintenance-minded. The fact is, we can choose to do it, or we might find ourselves being compelled to do it.For example, when we consiste ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

How Your Check Engine Light Works

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
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