Yearly Archives: 2024

Mercury Rising (Hot Weather Vehicle Concerns)

The heat is on, and your vehicle takes a beating when it is.  Several of your vehicle's systems are under extra stress in hot weather, so here are a few to make sure are getting the care and maintenance they need. It makes sense that the cooling system is one to make sure is in top shape.  Vehicle breakdowns in summer are often due to a problem with one of the cooling system's components.  Coolant levels have to be up to specs, the ratio of coolant to water must be correct and the hoses, pumps, belts and radiator must all be working properly in order to prevent vehicle overheating. Summer is also hard on your air conditioning system.  You might find that no air is blowing out of the vents or maybe only hot air is coming out.  Air conditioning equipment is best diagnosed and repaired by a trained and experienced technician.  The problem could be in any number of components, including the condenser, compressor or blower motor. You may think the battery gets ... read more

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Cooling System

Automotive Tips from Pacific Highway Auto Repair: Tire Replacement Overview

Tires are an expensive purchase, so knowing when tires should be replaced is important for San Diego drivers. Tires will just wear out with normal use. The depth of the tread on your tire determines how well it will stop, start and steer – especially in wet conditions. 4/32th of an inch (3.2 mm) of tire tread is considered a safe amount of tread.Uneven tread wear can be a symptom of other problems, and simply replacing your tires will not prevent the same uneven wear from happening to the new tires. At Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego, we can inspect your tires for excessive or uneven wear. Unusual wear may lead to further inspection of steering, suspension or alignment problems. We can help with necessary repairs and with getting you the right tires for your needs.Give us a call.Pacific Highway Auto Repair4306 Pacific HighwaySan Diego, CA 92110619-299-7700http://www.PacificHighwayAutoRepair.com ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Do I Need Brake Service? (Brake Service)

Think of how many times you put your foot on your vehicle’s brake pedal every day.  And think of how much you rely on your brakes to slow down and stop your momentum.  When it comes to safety systems, your brakes are at the top of the list, and that’s why it’s so important to keep them in top condition. Brakes are something you make sure you keep maintained before they start showing signs of problems. Some of those signs are a grinding sound when you step on the brake pedal, your vehicle pulling to one side when you brake, you don’t feel your brakes stopping you as quickly as they used to, or you notice the brake light is illuminated on your instrument panel.  We ask a lot of our brakes.  They have to work no matter how hot or cold it is outside.  That means whether it’s sunny, snowing, raining, or icy; you’re traveling at highway speeds or school-zone speeds; or when suddenly you find yourself trying to avoid hitting another ... read more

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Brake Service

In That Case? (Transfer Case Exchange)

Ever wonder how all-wheel-drive or 4-wheel-drive vehicles get the power from the engine to the front and rear wheels? The magic happens in what's called a transfer case.  In some all-wheel-drive vehicles, it's sometime called a power take-off unit, or PTU. Inside the transfer case is a set of gears.  And to keep those gears meshing smoothly, they have to be lubricated and kept cool.  What does that is called transfer case fluid. Depending on your vehicle's type of transfer case, it is filled with either an automatic transmission fluid, a gear oil that's a bit thicker or transfer case fluid designed to be use for your transfer case. As happens with all lubricating fluids, the transfer case fluid has things in it that break down the older they get.  They have corrosion inhibitors, detergents and anti-foaming agents that keep the lubricant from getting air bubbles in it. Transfer cases don't have filters in them to clean out impurities. If you don't have your transfer ... read more

ICE - In Case Of Emergency In San Diego CA

When accidents occur in San Diego, CA, the victims' emergency contacts are extremely important. Too often, those involved aren't able to provide rescuers with phone numbers and medical information.When CA police and rescue workers must sift through pockets, glove compartments, wallets, purses and cell phone directories, they waste precious time.In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident, you have people in the San Diego, CA, area who you'll want to be contacted to arrange help, give consent to treatment and inform San Diego paramedics of medical conditions, allergies or medications.A brilliantly simple solution is now spreading through San Diego and around the globe: ICE. ICE – standing for In Case of Emergency – is a way to identify emergency contacts in your cell phone directory.Simply put 'ICE' before a contact name in your cell phone, like 'ICE – Dad,' 'ICE – Nancy.' or 'ICE &nd ... read more

Cool Running (Water Pump)

Your vehicle is like you in a way.  When it gets hot, it needs to be cooled down.  And one of the key parts to keeping it cool is the water pump. Now, that's a bit of a misnomer.  It IS a pump, but it's pumping coolant, not pure water.  Cooling off your engine is vital since it builds up heat when it creates power by burning fuel.  Your water pump acts as a way to recirculate that coolant.  It goes through a series of tubes and hoses through the engine where it picks up heat, then is sent off to the radiator to get rid of that heat.  Cooled off, the coolant is recycled through the water pump to start the journey again. The water pump works by taking mechanical power from the engine, usually from a belt.  Obviously, that belt has to be in good condition and adjusted properly or else the water pump won't be able to do its job. Here are some things to look for that will signal problems with your water pump.  If your heat gauge is erratic or sho ... read more

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Water Pump

Rubber Match (Tire Replacement)

A set of new tires isn't probably high on anyone's list of exciting purchases.  But since your life is literally riding on them, it's probably a good idea to know when it's time for you to buy new ones. If you've been feeling your vehicle slipping more in wet weather or it takes a longer distance to stop, those are a couple of signs you may need new rubber all around. Here's how to make your decision. First thing to do is look at your tires.  The surface of the tire that contacts the road is the tread. When that tire was new, the tread was deep (the grooves in the rubber that provide traction). If they're starting to look somewhat smooth, you have a seriously worn tire that definitely needs replacing.  Bring your vehicle in for us to look at your tires and we can check your tread with a tread gauge. Also look at the sides of your tires.  If they have cuts or cracks in them, or if you see signs of bulges or scrapes made by hitting curbs or potholes, those could be si ... read more

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Tires

Synthetic Oil for San Diego Autos

If you are a driver in San Diego and you aren't currently using synthetic motor oil in your vehicle, maybe now's the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. Synthetic oil doesn't gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around San Diego, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil, with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle. Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils ... read more

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Maintenance

Looking Down the Road - Headlamps

If you've ever been driving around San Diego and had a headlamp go out, you've probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won't have the same brightness, which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Pacific Highway Auto Repair. We're at 4306 Pacific Highway in San Diego, CA 92110. Or give us a call at 619-299-7700.Experts at Pacific Highway Auto Repair recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It's easy to remember if you do it when Daylight Saving Time changes in the fall. That way you'll have bright headlamps for those long CA winter nights.There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can't believe the difference. If you ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

The Byte Stuff (Your Vehicle's Computers)

Nobody has to tell you that computers are a part of so many things in our lives.  Smartphones, kitchen appliances, vacuum cleaners, televisions.  You name it—it has a computer in it.  And your vehicle is no exception. The earliest cars relied on the technology of their time, and there was no such thing as a computer.  But now, it's not unusual for a vehicle to have as many as 150 computers in it. They perform a variety of functions. An important one is diagnosing your vehicle's problems.  There are various sensors throughout modern vehicles that measure thousands of data points.  When something is not working correctly, they send a signal to another computer that stores that information. The data can be read by someone who has a special computer that plugs into a port in your car.  It displays certain codes that help technicians track down the culprit.  But it's not just the diagnostics that are computerized.  Everything from your vehi ... read more