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Top 12 Most Common Vehicle Repairs in San Diego

Check Engine Lights

For most car, truck, and SUV owners in the United States, warning or check engine lights are the most common issue. These lights come on when the vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU) detects an error code triggered by a sensor. Because there are upwards from 200 possible codes, having a qualified mechanic complete a check engine light inspection is the recommended way to determine the cause in order to make the proper repairs. 

Sputtering Engine

The engine runs optimally when air and fuel mix and burn properly in the combustion chamber. In order to properly complete this process, a series of fuel and ignition system components have to work together. Though many moving components aid the engine, engine sputtering or misfiring is a common issue. IN order to reduce issues related to engine misfire, be sure to replace fuel and ignition system parts as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. 

Poor Fuel Economy

When the engine is running optimally, it will burn fuel at a rate that improves overall fuel economy, but many fuel system components, such as fuel filters, air filters, mass airflow sensors, and O2 sensors, will eventually wear out. If this happens before they are replaced, it can result in the engine consuming more fuel than usual. Be proactive about routine servicing to avoid these issues. 

Dead Battery

The majority of car batteries typically last around three years or 50,000 miles. A dead battery is often the result of reduced amps, or electrical currents, which will cause the battery to lose its ability to maintain a charge. A damaged alternator, battery temperature sensor, or other charing system components can make the problem worse. It is advised to replace your car battery every 50,000 miles or three years, even if it is not showing any signs of damage. 

Flat Tires

The majority of tires will become flat after hitting an object or being punctured, but it is possible for routine wear and tear to be the cause. Extend the lifespan of your tires by keeping them property rotated, per the recommendations set by your vehicle manufacturer. Usually, rotating tires every 5,000 miles, or whenever you change your oil, is advised. 

Brakes Squeaking or Grinding

Like any other moving component of your vehicle, the brake system is meant to wear out over a set amount of time. Brakes are crucial for stopping safely, so when they start to show any signs of problems, including squealing, squeaking, or a soft brake pedal, it should be inspected by an experienced auto technician immediately. Minor issues can cause squeaking or squealing noises, but once the brakes start to grind, it is a sure sign that they should be replaced. 

Alternator Failure

The alternator is the part of your car that keeps all the electrical systems running once the engine starts. It is also responsible for supplying a charge to your battery to make sure it is optimal condition. When an alternator breaks, it will cause the battery to wear out prematurely and could cause other problems as well. Check your recommended service intervals and replace the alternator before it breaks to avoid these issues. 

Broken Starter Motor

The starter motor is responsible for cranking the engine. When this part fails, it is often caused by an electrical solenoid that has been damaged, the start motor breaks, or other electrical issues, such as a starter relay. A starter can be replaced before it fails, but it is hard to predict when this will occur. It is advised to have a car-starting inspection to determine the issue before assuming it is the starter. 

Steering Wheel Shaking

Multiple concerns can lead to the steering wheel shaking while driving. If it occurs right after starting your vehicle and starting to drive, wheel bearings or damaged suspension components are often the cause. If it takes place at higher speeds, it is usually a tire or wheel balance problem. No matter the cause, having a professional mechanic inspect the car is the best way to properly diagnose and resolve this problem. 

Failed Emissions Test

Most states in the country require an emissions test to register your vehicle, and a failed test can happen for many reasons. In many states, if a check engine light is on, it is an instant fail. Most emissions centers will let you know why the car failed the test, so you can contact an auto technician to complete the required repairs. 


You may think that overheating is a common concern, but it actually happens pretty rarely. In most modern vehicles, the cooling system is complicated, containing many sensors that monitor coolant temperature, flow, and other aspects. Staying vigilant with radiator flush services and changing the water pump before it breaks are two easy to reduce possible overheating problems. 

Slipping Automatic Transmission

Top 12 Most Common Vehicle RepairsYouWhen maintained properly, an automatic transmission can last for nearly 200,000 miles without any issues. The modern automatic transmission is a hydraulic system composed of many seals, gaskets, and lines that can become damaged, clogged, or start to leak. When this occurs, a transmission may slip or fail to shift properly. To avoid this common vehicle issue, stay on top of the recommended transmission service for your car. 

All vehicles require maintenance in order to stay functioning. Even when you stay on top of all the typical maintenance services in San Diego, such as oil changes and tire rotations, problems can still happen. 

Auto Repair Shops in San Diego

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing the best repair experiences in San Diego. We will offer you hassle-free auto repairs in San Diego starting with a precise damage assessment or estimate. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize for a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. Contact us today to see how we can help.