How Does the Check Engine Light Function?

How Does the Check Engine Light Function?

A flashing check engine light is no laughing matter, and it means you need to bring your car into an auto repair shop in San Diego immediately. If it stops flashing, you have some time to find out the problem and have your car checked out. How does the check engine light work, anyway? 

Check Engine Lights Indicate a Symptom

The control computer in the engine functions like the brain and is able to make adjustments, like altering the air to fuel ratio. The computer depends on multiple sensors in order to obtain the information needed to fix a problem. 

When readings are out of the normal range, the computer will log a trouble code, illuminating the check engine light. At this point, the computer will make whatever adjustments possible. If the problem can’t be fixed, the light remains on. 

The trouble code will be logged in the computer, and an auto mechanic in San Diego can use this code to determine the issue. 

The code informs the technician which sensor is off, but it doesn’t exactly specify the problem.

For reference, imagine that you are feeling unwell. You use a thermometer to find out you have a fever of 102 degrees. This is a symptom of your condition, but you aren’t really sure what’s the cause. This is similar to how a check engine light operates. 

Diagnosing the Check Engine Light

How Does the Check Engine Light Function?Just like when you have a fever, more details are necessary than a single sensor reading. However, this can provide a starting point to diagnose the larger problem. 

If you look online, it says you can just go to a local auto parts store in San Diego CA and have them read the code, or you can do it yourself with a cheap scan tool. However, these options can only do so much. 

These codes are stored in the computer’s short-term or long-term memory, and these codes include more generic trouble codes as well as brand-specific codes. 

With a cheap scan tool available at an auto parts store, you lack the ability to retrieve codes stored in the long-term memory. Automobile Repair Shop San Diego has invested in high-quality scan tools and software that can do a deep dive and retrieve critical information from your engine’s computer. Once you get this information, what do you do with it? You need a qualified auto technician in San Diego CA to diagnose any engine problems. 

Engine Repair San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.

Get Your Headlamp Replacement in San Diego CA

Get Your Headlamp Replacement in San Diego CA

There have been immense advancements in motor vehicle technology, including headlight design. These developments have made the roads safer, and headlights provide improved visibility when traveling on dark roadways. More than that, they also improve your ability to see around you and view obstacles on the road with greater clarity. This allows drivers to more properly react to roadway conditions. This is important when you consider that nearly half of all deadly crashes take place in the evening, and an aging population means that headlights can help us all stay safe while traveling on San Diego CA roads at night. 

What Type of Headlights Do I Have? 

Get Your Headlamp Replacement in San Diego CAThe majority of modern vehicles come with halogen headlamps. This once expensive component has now become a standard, meaning that prices have come down. Luxury vehicles often come with high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, which you have probably seen on the road. These are extremely bright and have a slightly bluish hue. 

HID headlamps have quickly become the safest option for nighttime drivers. Unfortunately, complaints about these lights have become common, which has led to increased scrutiny of HID headlamps that may end in regulation. 

Halogen headlamps will become dim with use, and many experts in the automotive field recommend changing them out every year. At Automobile Repair Shop San Diego, our auto mechanics in San Diego suggest that you should change your car headlights in the fall at the end of Daylight Savings Time. You should change all your headlamps at once to ensure that all have the same brightness. Trust us that you will appreciate it next time you hit the road late at night. 

Older vehicles have a different style of headlamp, but most models have the option for a halogen replacement lamp. The difference will be noticeable. 

Changing Your Headlights 

You can even upgrade to a premium lamp that can help filter out some of the yellow light. A brighter, white light is easier on the eyes and can improve reaction time on the road. 

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, you may be able to upgrade to HID headlamps, which will likely last the entire life of your car. However, there is a price. This upgrade can cost hundreds of dollars per pair. 

Drivers who have questions about their headlamps should take their vehicle to an auto repair shop in San Diego for a quick inspection. 

Auto Repair San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.

DThe Dangers of a Delayed Oil Change in San Diego CA

The Dangers of a Delayed Oil Change in San Diego CA

Your oil is probably what works the hardest in your engine. There are so many moving parts inside modern engines, and engine oil needs to be changed frequently to keep all of them in optimal condition. 

The old adage is that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles or about every three months. However, these days, many vehicle manufacturers have started to extend oil change intervals. A modern vehicle can go as far as 5,000 miles or more before needing an oil change. 

What’s the Right Oil Change Interval for My Car? 

This recommendation is under the right circumstances. There are two different maintenance schedules included in your owner’s manual: one suited for “normal” driving conditions and another for “severe service.” 

What’s included in severe service? Routine things such as stop-and-go traffic, short trips, towing, hauling, or even just driving in extreme temperatures. That is why our auto mechanics in San Diego will often recommend the severe service schedule. 

DThe Dangers of a Delayed Oil Change in San Diego CA

Four of the biggest vehicle manufacturers have recently introduced extended warranty coverage for engine damage due to oil sludge because of these extended oil change intervals. These companies found that real-world driving conditions require more frequent oil changes than what is being recommended. 

Frequent Oil Changes Can Prevent Sludge

Oil sludge is responsible for a lot of engine damage. This is when oil has become thick and lost its viscosity, which can block engine passages and prevent oil from lubricating crucial engine components. This will cause parts to wear more rapidly and even fail sooner than they should. 

Sludge is the result of multiple factors. Time is one factor. Engine oil will become contaminated by the exhaust, causing it to turn to sludge. That is why it is recommended to change your oil about every three months at an auto repair shop in San Diego. Sludge can also be caused by water and condensation build-up. Just a few minutes of driving on the highway can cause oil to heat up to the point that water evaporates. The issue is that water does not have time to evaporate during short trips to the store. 

If you think your car is overdue for an oil change, bring it over to Automobile Repair Shop San Diego to have it checked out by one of our licensed auto technicians. 

Oil Change in San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.

Finding Out Recommended Service Intervals for Auto Maintenance San Diego

Finding Out Recommended Service Intervals for Auto Maintenance San Diego

At times, it can be confusing to decipher the recommended intervals provided by your vehicle manufacturer. There are so many things that you need to take into consideration, including: 

  • Oil changes
  • Transmission
  • Coolant
  • Air conditioning
  • Power steering
  • Brakes
  • Fuel system
  • Filters
  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Alignment
  • Rotation
  • Balancing 

With this laundry list, it can be difficult to stay on top of all auto maintenance in San Diego. Especially when you consider that less than 1% of car owners actually read their owner’s manual.

If you add more than one car into the mix, it can become even more perplexing. You really need an assistant to help keep track of all these repairs. At Automobile Repair Shop San Diego, we have a computer to help us out. If you are ever wondering when it is time to take your vehicle in for an oil change, you can come to us to see. 

Finding Out Recommended Service Intervals for Auto Maintenance San Diego

Factors that Affect Your Auto Maintenance Schedule

There are a few different variables that need to be considered when developing your maintenance schedule, such as: 

  • Weather conditions
  • Altitude
  • Driving conditions

All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when you visit your auto mechanic in San Diego. You may even decide that the severe service schedule provided in your owner’s manual is needed for your situation. 

Anything that isn’t highway driving in moderate weather is considered severe. That means most drivers in San Diego CA need to consider a severe schedule. 

Oil Change San Diego

Even a basic oil change can become complicated considering any issues with your car. The motor oil you use in your vehicle contains special additives that are intended to clean the inside of the engine and corrosion inhibitors. High-quality motor oil will do more than just lubricate your engine — it will even help it stay clean and run more efficiently. 

Over time, these additives will start to run out, and this is why the majority of maintenance recommendations will include time and mileage as indicators, such as every three months or 3,000 miles. 

If you have missed a few oil changes, there’s no reason to worry. You just need to take your car over to an auto technician at Automobile Repair Shop San Diego. It will provide you with a sense of relief in the end. By following the recommended intervals, you can keep your vehicle running longer while avoiding some significant repairs in the process. 

Auto Maintenance San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.

How Does the Check Engine Light Function?

How to Get the Most Out of Your Car Battery in San Diego CA

Let’s take a closer look at your car battery. These crucial parts of your vehicle will inevitably give out, but there are ways you can extend the life of your car battery. We have all experienced a dead battery at one time. Statistics show that nearly 30% of car batteries last only 48 months. 

That is just a general figure, and the longevity of a battery rests on multiple factors. One of the most significant factors is the temperature where you live and drive. Many vehicle owners in San Diego believe that colder weather is bad for your battery because of the increased power needed to power the engine, but in fact, the opposite is true. 

If you have any questions about the longevity of your battery, meet up with an auto mechanic in San Diego at Automobile Repair Shop San Diego today. 

Factors Impacting Car Battery Life

How to Get the Most Out of Your Car Battery in San Diego CAIn extremely cold climates, the average lifespan of a battery is around 51 months, compared to 30 months in warmer areas. This is due to the fact that batteries are more chemically active in hot temperatures compared to cold temperatures. 

After being in a hot climate for 25 hours, your vehicle battery will begin to discharge on its own. The same process can take many days in colder climates. When your battery is in this state for an extended period of time, the discharged area of the battery plate will start to give out, and recharging the battery will not be able to recharge the dead portion of the battery plate. 

A serious issue for many of us in San Diego is that our batteries are partially discharged. The most important job for your battery is to start the engine, and the alternator needs a bit of time to fully charge a battery before starting. When you just drive a short distance, with a lot of stops added in, your battery will likely not be at peak charge. 

Another concern is that cars are coming with more electric accessories, such as GPS systems, DVD players, heated seats, and other features as many of us plug in our cellphones and other tech. When you factor in short trips, a partially discharged battery makes more sense. 

Maintain Your Battery Charge

There are ways to extend the longevity of your battery, such as the use of a high-quality charger. If you are having problems with your car battery, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop in San Diego today. 

Car Battery Replacement San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.

Do You Have the Right Motor Oil for Your San Diego Car? r Cleaning in San Diego CA

Do You Have the Right Motor Oil for Your San Diego Car?

There isn’t a lot said about having the right fluids for your San Diego car, and choosing the correct type of fluid has become more complicated due to changes in vehicle design and manufacturing. Many vehicle owners in San Diego CA are unaware of how things have changed over time, meaning that they may be unsure of what kind of fluid to put in their car. 

Oil Change San Diego

Take engine oil for example. About thirty years ago, there were only a few varieties of motor oil. The weight of an oil is a measurement of its unique properties, such as viscosity or thickness. 

Back in the day, it was more common to use lighter-weight oil during the winter months so the oil could better protect components of the engine before warming up completely. At the same time, heavier weight oil would be in use during the summer months because thicker oil does not thin out during the summer heat, becoming instantly vaporized inside the engine. 

Do You Have the Right Motor Oil for Your San Diego Car? r Cleaning in San Diego CA

Innovations in valve train technology have resulted in more complex systems with more moving components and passageways. The valve train is located in the uppermost area of the engine. That means when your car has been turned off for some time the oil will run downward into lower areas. This leaves the valve-train exposed when your vehicle starts before the oil has had the chance to circulate throughout the system. 

In order to meet these new engine specifications, new weights for motor oil have been introduced. 

There are certain weights recommended for certain engines, and these recommendations can usually be found on the oil fill cap. If not, it will surely be in the owner’s manual. You can always take your car to an auto mechanic in San Diego to check for you. 

Advancement in engine design means that it is more important than ever to choose the correct weight of oil. Failure to do so could risk damaging the engine. 

Other Vehicle Fluids

Motor oil isn’t the only thing that has changed. Other fluids have also become more sophisticated over time. There have been many kinds of transmission, power brake, and transmission fluids introduced recently in order to meet new design specifications for San Diego cars.

A local auto repair shop in San Diego can help make sure that you put the right fluids in your car. 

Auto Repair San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.

Finding Out Recommended Service Intervals for Auto Maintenance San Diego

Keep Your Fuel Clean with a Fuel Filter Replacement in San Diego

The way your fuel filter works is fairly simple: it filters the fuel in your vehicle. It is located in between the fuel tank and the engine, and both gas and diesel cars utilize fuel filters. 

What Does the Fuel Filter Do?

In general terms, there is not that much dirt and grime in the fuel supply. However, there are contaminants that need to be filtered out. The issue of dirty fuel compounds as your car ages due to the fact that the dirt, rust, and other contaminants will start to settle at the bottom of the fuel tank. Even after having a car for just five years, a significant amount of dirt and build up in the tank. 

This basically means that the fuel filter has a tougher job the older your car becomes, and it will become clogged sooner and more frequently. This means you will need to change your fuel filter more often. 

One sign of a clogged fuel filter is a sputtering engine when traveling at highway speeds or when accelerating. This is because your engine has the fuel it needs when traveling around town, but when you need to hit higher speeds, not enough is able to get through the filter. If your car or truck doesn’t have enough power to get out of the way of an oncoming car, you can find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. 

Do You Have the Right Fluids for Your San Diego Car?

That is why fuel filters come with a bypass valve. When a filter is seriously clogged, fuel is able to bypass the filter entirely, meaning that dirty fuel is reaching the engine and being burned for power.

What Happens If I Don’t Change my Fuel Filter?

This dirt can wreak havoc on your engine and clog fuel injectors, which are not cheap to replace. You don’t want to risk damaging an important engine component just because you wanted to save a few dollars by forgoing a fuel filter replacement in San Diego CA. 

The fuel filter is a key factor in preventative auto maintenance in San Diego. It is a small component that is easy and cheap to fix, but if it is ignored too long, it can leave you with a repair bill costing thousands of dollars. 

Your vehicle manufacturer provides auto service schedules for a reason. If you are unsure of when you need a certain service or repair, just take your car to a nearby auto repair shop in San Diego to discuss it with a qualified auto technician. 

Auto Maintenance San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.

Save Money Today with a Timing Belt Repair in San Diego

Save Money Today with a Timing Belt Repair in San Diego

The mechanisms that come together for your engine to function operate in a precise manner. Even if the smallest component goes wrong, it can have a substantial impact. If the timing in your engine is off, it may be unable to run entirely. The combustion cycle is probably one of the most complex systems in your engine. 

Your Engine is Powerful and Complex

The engine of your car contains cylinders, with pistons constantly going up and down. There are valves at the top of these cylinders that transport air to the fuel system, and there are other valves that let the exhaust escape after the fuel is burned. 

It is key that these systems are timed properly to ensure that they open and close at an exact time in the combustion cycle. If not, the engine will not run too well — and it may be unable to run at all. 

Timing Belt Repair San Diego

Save Money Today with a Timing Belt Repair in San DiegoThe timing belt is tasked with rotating the shafts controlling these valves, and it is crucial to the precision of this complicated system. Timing belts are composed of sturdy materials and designed to run for a long time. However, like all things, they will wear out over time and break down, and this can result in disastrous consequences. 

Certain engines have valves that extend into the cylinders, meaning that they can be in contact with the piston. A broken timing belt will send the pistons crashing into the valves, causing them to bend or break. The broken components can shred the cylinder head in an engine that is working at full capacity, and the repair for this kind of damage can easily cost thousands of dollars. 

This kind of damage can be easily avoided. Vehicle manufacturers provide recommendations for when a timing belt should be replaced, which is usually around 60,000 miles but can be as high as 90,000 miles for certain engines. If you have reached or surpassed the 60,000-mile mark, you should check in with an auto repair shop in San Diego to see if you are overdue for a timing belt replacement. 

Certain timing belts are easy to inspect, while others are hidden and difficult to access. Some timing belts power the water pump, and a leaky pump may release coolant that contaminates the timing belt, making it fail sooner than it would normally. 

Take your car into an auto mechanic in San Diego to see if your car is in need of any crucial repairs at Automobile Repair Shop San Diego. 

Auto Maintenance San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.

Proper Tire Pressure Can Save Lives in San Diego CA

Proper Tire Pressure Can Save Lives in San Diego CA

There are tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) including in most newer passenger cars in the San Diego area. These systems are intended to alert the driver that their tires are underinflated. However, many still have questions about the new TPMS. 

Tire Pressure Tips

Firstly, you should check your tire pressure each week. At the least, every time you gas up your car. The TPMS alert will show up when your tire is 20% below the recommended pressure. That means if the recommended pressure is 35 pounds per sq. inch, the system will not come on until the pressure reaches 28 pounds. This is a cause for concern, and driving on a significantly underinflated tire can be extremely dangerous. 

Tire failure is the worst-case scenario. A seriously underinflated tire may overheat and fail entirely, and your handling may diminish to an extent that you are unable to steer. Underinflated tires will also wear much more quickly and decrease overall fuel efficiency. It can cost you if you neglect proper tire inflation. 

The Benefits of the TPMS

Proper Tire Pressure Can Save Lives in San Diego CAThere are two main benefits of the TPMS. It can alert a driver that they are losing pressure, either due to a puncture or bent rim, or it can be a key warning that you need to inflate your tires. It can be a reminder to check our tire pressure, alerting us to any problems that may be growing. 

There are some other factors that may set off the TPMS. The sensors are mounted to the wheels and contain small batteries, sending a signal to the monitor. If the batteries die, the TPMS will alert you. If a sensor breaks, it will let you know. 

There are some common hassles that auto repair shops in San Diego have to deal with. When you have your tires rotated, the TPMS has to re-calibrate in order to know which tire is where on the vehicle. This is also the case for special tire sets or flat repairs. 

This can take some time, and you need an auto mechanic in San Diego that has the correct equipment and knowledge to handle it. Costly and specialized tire change machines are required for most sensors, and it can be overwhelming due to the fact that there are so many different kinds of TPMS that are commonly in use in San Diego. 

Tire Wheel San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.

Get Your Headlamp Replacement in San Diego CA

Routine Auto Repair in San Diego Can Improve Fuel Economy

Just by adjusting some driving habits, car owners in San Diego can save some money at the pump. 

Easy Ways to Improve Gas Mileage

Simple things like grouping your errands in a single trip can pay off, saving some time and money in the process. You can even save just by using your cruise control because a constant speed is good for your fuel economy. However, only do so under the right circumstances. 

You can even save on gas by reducing the weight of your vehicle. By cleaning out the trunk or back seat, getting rid of things that you do not routinely use, you can improve mileage. Any unwanted debris, even like snow or ice, can weigh down your car and affect the overall aerodynamics. 

Long idle times can really start to take a toll. Most modern engines don’t need to idle to warm up, so save the hassle. While you’re at it, if your gas cap leaks or is worn, get a new one. 

Auto Repair San Diego for Increased Fuel Economy

Routine Auto Repair in San Diego Can Improve Fuel EconomyThe bottom line is that a well-maintained vehicle will use less fuel, and proper auto maintenance in San Diego can really add up over time. For instance, changing out a contaminated air filter will pay for itself in fuel savings alone, and it will only continue to keep more money in your pocket. 

Needless to say, a properly maintained fuel system can really pay off. You can waste gas with a clogged fuel filter, and the same can be said of dirty fuel injectors or plugged valves. By having a fuel system service performed at an auto repair shop in San Diego, you can greatly increase engine power. 

The check engine light is something that often goes ignored, but fixing the problem early on can really help save down the road. It may just be a bad oxygen sensor robbing you of your gas mileage. 

Your vehicle may just be in need of a tune-up, which can greatly improve your fuel economy. Routine maintenance items should never be overlooked, including: 

  • Scheduled oil changes
  • Transmission service
  • Cooling system service. 
  • Changing dirty fluids

If you want to know if your car needs any maintenance, just consult with the owner’s manual or ask a technician at Automobile Repair Shop San Diego. 

Lastly, don’t skip on your tires. Underinflated tires can reduce your mileage, and a bad alignment can rob you of proper fuel economy. 

Auto Maintenance San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto repair in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.