Category Archives: 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

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Maintenance

Hold the Oil! (Oil Pan Gasket Replacement)

You've likely heard how important oil is to your vehicle's engine. Did you know that there's one part that's responsible for holding that oil so you can use it every day? It's called the oil pan, and it sits at the bottom of the engine. The oil pan is a vital, though simple, part of your engine's lubrication system. Oil circulates through parts of your engine to keep them lubricated. It reduces friction so everything works smoothly. Without oil, friction would quickly destroy your engine. The oil pan keeps that oil contained in the lubrication system, so it's important that the oil doesn't leak out. Since it's a metal part attached to another metal part, there is a gasket between the oil pan and the part of the engine it attaches to. Various things can put stress on the oil pan and gasket, including weather extremes, the speed you're traveling and the condition of the oil. You may drive over a couple of bad roads and kick up debris onto your oil pan. All this wear and tear, heat and ti ... read more

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Maintenance

Pacific Highway Auto Repair Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

Pacific Highway Auto Repair Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

All San Diego service advisors know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles. The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.) So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why your vehicle manufacturer and your service advisor at Pacific Highway Auto Repair have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn't fail.Your friendly and knowledgeable Pacific Highway Auto Repair service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon ... read more

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Maintenance

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From Pacific Highway Auto Repair

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the CA news. San Diego people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage and receive a government rebate. A lot of San Diego motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They're good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they're paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their vehicles for 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) or more – as long as it's economical to do so. There are plenty of San Diego drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own vehicles on the road in CA.The San Diego drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change. That may sound a bit unsophisticated, b ... read more

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Maintenance

Maintaining Your Older Car in San Diego, CA

The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in San Diego, CA: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the San Diego motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new vehicle.Because new vehicles are more expensive, people in the San Diego area are driving their old vehicles longer. The average vehicle is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in CA have more than 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today's cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin'.Give Pacific Highway Auto Repair a call at 619-299-7700 to schedule your next maintenance.Some owner's manuals don't specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn't mean it doesn't have to b ... read more

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Maintenance

Pacific Highway Auto Repair On Your Serpentine Belt

  Today we're going to be talking about serpentine belts for our San Diego, CA, customers. Let's start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That's the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there's the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you're driving around CA in the summer.The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most San Diego residents' vehicles. Those pumps provide pressure that assists your steering and braking.In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around San Diego, CA, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That's really a lot of work for one belt ... read more

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Maintenance

Budget for Maintenance in San Diego

Sometimes busy San Diego residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around CA in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time San Diego residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's San Diego drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's San Diego drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the ... read more

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Maintenance

I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement in San Diego

About 90% of our driving decisions in the San Diego area are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.Most San Diego drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our vehicle windshield is just dirty. In fact, it's estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can't adequately clear their windshield in a storm.It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we need them the most. If that sounds like you, you've got plenty of company in the San Diego area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.San Diego drivers need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as vehicle safety component. Then we'll stay ahead of the sto ... read more

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Maintenance

Training Received by Technicians in San Diego, CA

When your vehicle breaks down in the San Diego, CA, area, or just needs some routine service, it can make you a little nervous. Because your vehicle's so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible — with the problem fixed right the first time.We've been checking into some of the training our San Diego, CA, technicians receive, and we're very impressed. It's amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern vehicle. So it's not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over the weekend.Today there are four-cylinder engines around San Diego that make more power than the V-8's in luxury cars did 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/97 kph.Our engines are more and more powerful. And they're so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to San Diego drivers at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from ... read more

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Maintenance

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth in San Diego

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth in San Diego

There's a segment of the San Diego area population that's not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Now, the ignition system in your vehicle is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers). So tune-ups used to force you in to Pacific Highway Auto Repair for service, and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new vehicles in San Diego have been leased. These folks plan on turning the vehicle in after two or three years, so they haven't focused on the maintenance that helps a vehicle last longer.Given all that, what's the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your vehicle will perform better and return better fuel economy.Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repair ... read more

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Maintenance