Articles:

Deciphering the Pacific Highway Auto Repair Menu Board

Let's talk about deciphering the auto service menu board. San Diego, CA, service centers like Pacific Highway Auto Repair have a board that lists the routine services they provide. But some people don't know what these services really are unless they ask. Let's go down a typical list, in alphabetical order, starting with air conditioning service. Feel free at any time to give Pacific Highway Auto Repair a call at 619-299-7700 to learn of the many services we offer, or stop by our San Diego, CA auto center at 4306 Pacific Highway, 92110. First remember that all of these services are recommended by vehicle manufacturers. They set how often or at how many miles/kilometers the service should be done.Air conditioning service involves purging the old refrigerant and capturing it for proper disposal. Then fresh refrigerant is installed. The fresh refrigerant will lubricate the system and wi ... read more

Rotation Explanation (Tire Rotation Patterns)

You may notice that when you get your vehicle's oil changed, your service adviser may recommend that you have your tires rotated at the same time.  The reasons are simple.  That will allow your tires to wear more evenly and reduce the noise your tires make as you drive down the road. There are different ways of rotating tires. If your vehicle has non-directional tires and the same size wheels at each corner, here are the different rotation patterns. For all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles, one is called the rearward cross pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front and stay on the same side of the vehicle, and the front tires are moved to the rear on the side opposite of where they were on the front.  For all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles, use the X pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front on the opposite side of the vehicle, and the fronts are moved to the rear on the opposite side of where they were on the front. For front-wheel dri ... read more

Full of Hot Air (Air Conditioning)

In warm weather, you want to be in a cool vehicle. When we're talking cool, we don't mean stylish or trendy, but cool as in not sweltering inside.  And if your vehicle's air conditioner stops working correctly, it seems to always break at the worst time—during a heat wave.  Automotive air conditioning problems fail for a number of reasons: Blower motor not working.  No air comes through the vents, even though the rest of the system could be working fine. Refrigerant leak. When the gas that cools the air off escapes from the air conditioning system, your air conditioner can no longer cool off the outside air Condenser and compressor. These are parts of your AC system that compress and expand a refrigerant gas to cool off the outside air. They are fairly complex. When you bring your vehicle into our service center, we'll run a series of diagnostic tests to figure out what isn't working correctly.  The air conditioning system has a lot of parts. There are elect ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Oh, Stop! (Disc Brake Service)

Every time you drive your vehicle, you wear down your brakes just a little bit.  And after a while, that adds up.  Gradually, your stopping power isn't like it used to be.  Since brakes are one of your vehicle's most important safety features, it just makes sense to keep them performing well. Most vehicles have disc brakes.  One key component, as the name suggests, is the disc.  Most vehicles have discs on their front and rear wheels.  The discs (also called rotors) are made of metal, and each rotates with the wheel hub.  Your brakes also have pads that make contact with the rotors when you press down on the brake pedal, and the friction stops your vehicle. After many, many stops, that friction wears down both the pads and the discs and reduces their ability to stop the way you need them to.  The discs may also become uneven from all the heat they generate, and your brakes won't stop as well as they used to when they were newer.  Some signs ... read more

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Brake Service

Breathe Easier (Cabin Air Filter)

When you get in your vehicle, how does it smell? If it's not so nice, it may be time to have your cabin air filter changed. It's not the same one that filters out the air used in the engine.  The cabin air filter screens out dust and other particulates from the outside air so when it enters the cabin, you don't have to breathe them in when you're driving.  Maybe your commute finds you traveling along dusty rural roads, or maybe you pass by some city factories that have smokestacks spewing out smoky exhausts.  Or in spring, maybe you notice your allergies acting up because of the pollen in the air.  The cabin air filter will remove a lot of those things. The more it filters out, the more those small particles add up.  That reduces how much airflow the heating/air conditioning system can handle, and you may notice not as much air is coming through your vehicle's vents.  That can also be a sign you need your air filter replaced. Our technicians will remove an ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

Fuel Injection Basics for San Diego

All modern San Diego vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it's a topic San Diego drivers need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount at the right timeto be mixed with air and burned in the engine.So how many fuel injectors does your vehicle have? There's one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in San Diego, CA. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty high-tech.Pacific Highway Auto Repair can help San Diego drivers with a fuel injector cleaning service. What's the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. It's important that the fuel is sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.Over time, var ... read more

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Fuel System

Shifty Letters PRNDL (Transmission)

You probably figured out those shifty letters.  They're what you see on your automatic transmission shifter and stand for Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Low.  Your automatic transmission is one of the great automotive inventions; here are some ways you can keep yours working well. Maintain your transmission regularly.  A technician will check your transmission fluid's level and even its appearance and smell.  If it's dark or has an unusual odor, that could be a sign of trouble. Change from one transmission direction gear into another only when your vehicle is stopped.  So many drivers want to switch from Reverse to Drive quickly or the other way around.  If you do that when the vehicle is moving, you can damage your automatic transmission. Keep your vehicle's cooling system in top shape.  What does the cooling system have to do with the transmission? It helps keep the transmission fluid from overheating.  Follow the manufacturer's recommendati ... read more

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Transmission

Dashboard's a Funny Name (Instrumental Panel Warning Lights)

Every day you drive, you're sitting behind the dashboard. But how in the world did it get that name? Back in the days of the horse-drawn carriage, horses would kick up dirt and mud on the driver and passengers, "dashing" debris against the carriage. So those who built carriages began installing a board to protect them. So, dash-board. Dashboard. The dashboard is still there, though changed quite a bit from the early days. Now its main purpose is to house the controls and instruments for your vehicle's systems. Of course, you have the speedometer, tachometer and gas gauge. But there are four warning lights you need to pay attention to on your dashboard and instrument panel. Some of these may even be gauges, depending on your model of vehicle. Regardless, paying attention to them is a good idea if you want your vehicle to keep going as long as possible. Oil pressure—The oil pressure light will come on if your engine doesn't have enough pressure in its system. Low oil pressure means ... read more

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Dashboard

Maintaining Your Diesel in San Diego

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven't been as common in the San Diego area because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more San Diego diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV's.Diesels are popular in CA because they get better fuel economy than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you're not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.Diesels don't produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in CA as for other vehicles.Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic w ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

On Board Diagnostics for San Diego Motorists

Some San Diego vehicle owners wonder why Pacific Highway Auto Repair and other San Diego auto repair shops charge a fee for vehicle diagnostics. Receiving a diagnostic charge at Pacific Highway Auto Repair for a tricky automotive problem shouldn't be a surprise. In the San Diego area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your vehicle brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy CA road, you pull off at the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you're having an intermittent problem with your vehicle engine, however, a Pacific Highway Auto Repair diagnosis may be much more involved.Much of the San Diego driver's confusion comes when the problem involves the Check Engine light. The Check Engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem. There's a common misconception among CA drivers that the trouble code tells the Pacific Highway Auto Repair te ... read more