San Carlos Auto Repair

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Top Things to Check When Buying a Used Car

Did you know that a new car loses approximately 10% of its value the minute it's driven off the lot? That rapid depreciation is a major reason why many people find used vehicles to be a better value for their dollar. While used car buyers run the risk of getting stuck with a lemon, it's a risk that can be easily avoided. For buyers who want to spend their hard-earned money on a used vehicle, there are two things to keep in mind: you'll need to learn the key warning signs of poor car maintenance, and it's also best to polish up a new-to-you vehicle with help from an experienced mechanic with excellent customer reviews. Here are a few things to check when buying a used vehicle. Get the Vehicle History Report  A vehicle history report is the first must-have. This will show you any issues with the vehicle’s title, as well as provide you with information on any accidents or damage the vehicle has undergo ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

Be Aware of Your Spare

Be Aware of Your Spare

Having a spare tire in the car at all times is essential for driving safety. But in order to be fully prepared, make sure to know the answers to these questions about the tire itself.   What Type of Tire Is It?   Most cars come with a spare tire already in the trunk and ready to go. However, some may be surprised to learn that this spare isn't meant to replace a flat tire for an extended period. These tires are actually just temporary tires known as "donuts." To prevent changing the tire twice, drivers can switch the included donut out with an actual spare tire before a tire change is needed.   Has the Tire Expired?   Many people don't know that tires have expiration dates just like perishable foods, and driving on an expired tire can be as dangerous as forgoing engine repair. To see if a tire has expired, check the manufacture date on its sidewall. If six or more years have p ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

How Long Should a Hybrid Battery Last?

How Long Should a Hybrid Battery Last?

Hybrids are fantastic cars for drivers who want to save on gas. But some drivers encounter an unpleasant surprise when they realize their battery needs to be replaced just a few years later. While Toyota states that their hybrid auto battery used in the Prius has an expected lifespan of about 10 years, that number could be very different for each driver, and here’s why. Vehicle Usage The first factor to consider is how often the car is driven. According to Toyota, the battery pack in a hybrid Toyota is warrantied for 10 years or 150,000 miles in California and 8 years or 100,000 miles in all other states. This is great news for those who drive their vehicle a short distance to and from work every day. They will likely get closer to that ten-year mark than a full-time Uber driver. Ultimately, the more the battery is used, the shorter its lifespan will probably be. Service and Maintenance Another factor that affects battery life in a hybrid is how often the vehicle is ser ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

What Does a Maintenance Required Light Mean?

What Does a Maintenance Required Light Mean?

Unlike a “check engine” light, a maintenance required light is based strictly on a car’s mileage and when the light was previously reset. A qualified service technician can diagnose the car’s maintenance needs and provide the necessary services, including an engine oil and oil filter change, tire rotation, or a general vehicle inspection. Since the maintenance required light has no way to determine the condition or level of the engine oil, it’s important to bring your car into a trusted auto shop to make the needed service changes. What Does a Flashing Maintenance Required Light Mean? A maintenance required light comes on after 4,500 miles to alert you that your car is due for service. The light will come on each time the car is started to test the bulb for about 6 seconds and then turn off. At some point, the maintenance required light will start to flash after starting your car. The flashing maintenance required light will start after 4,500 miles s ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

4 Things You Need To Know If Your Car Overheats

4 Things You Need To Know If Your Car Overheats A long summer road trip, climbing up a grade, 100 degrees outside, car loaded up with luggage… this is a recipe for an overheating car! There are a few things you can do to stop your car from overheating. We are going to share four of them with you. 1. Be Aware Of Your Car’s Temperature Gauge - When the temperature gauge is resting half way between hot and cold, this is perfect (which is between 190-215*F or xx-xx*C). Any time the gauge exceeds that temperature, your car is starting to overheat.  You’ll want to glance at the gauge periodically and definitely more often when you are climbing, going faster than 70 mph, towing, or have a fully loaded car. If the gauge is creeping up or if you have any warning that the car is overheating, read below on what to do.  2. Turn Off The Air Conditioning - The car’s air conditioning compressor typically operates by drawing ... read more

3 Wet Weather Driving Tips You Need To Know

As wet weather settles in, driving on the road becomes increasingly dangerous. Each year there are over 1.2 million accidents related to weather and of those, 73% due to wet pavement. In this article, we share 3 tips that you need to know before you get behind the wheel on a wet day. 1. Slow your vehicle speed: There was an old saying, "speed kills". Not to be over dramatic but lowering your speed is the number one thing that you can do to keep safe. When water on the roads is kicked up on your windshield, your visibility is drastically decreased. This lack of visibility impairs your reaction time to maneuver your vehicle quickly and avoid hazards. 2. Leave more distance:  When the roads are wet, the pavement friction is reduced by almost 1/2. The coefficient of dry payment is 0.7 while wet pavement is 0.4 for an "all weather" tire.  This tip is simply a matter of leaving extra distance between your car and the c ... read more

Toyota Sienna Safety Recall for Sliding Doors

Toyota Sienna Safety Recall for Sliding Doors On Nov. 22, 2016, Toyota issued a safety recall for about 744,000 model year 2011 - 2016 Toyota Sienna Mini-Vans.  In certain vehicles, under certain conditions, it's possible that the sliding door locking mechanism could allow the door to slide open while vehicle is in motion.  The way these safety recalls work is that a limited about of vehicles are typically effected, not all vehicles. It's always best to check the manufacture website with your VIN# to see if your vehicle is one that is under the recall notice. Typically, the manufacture (Toyota in this case) will know which vehicles have the effected part and can just recall that specific vehicle with the faulty part. You can read further information and check to see if your vehicle is effected by this Toyota Sienna Safety Recall For Sliding Doors&nb ... read more

How To Install Snow Chains

How To Install Snow Chains

How To Install Snow Chains In this blog post, we have made a video guide on how to install snow chains. Please be sure to follow the chain and vehicle manufacture instructions, only use this information as a guide. There are a few things to remember when installing snow chains. Get your vehicle to a safe, flat, spot away from traffic. Don't drive the vehicle over the recommended miles per hour on the chains or by the vehicle manufacture. We recommend to install the chains on the wheels that drive the vehicle (i.e. front wheel drive would call for the chains to be installed on the front wheels of the vehicle.) Don't allow any sharp components to be facing the rubber tire. Never install chains that are missing components or have any visual damage. When it comes to the installation of the chains, if you are unsure about any of the procedure, make sure to get professional help.  Click to watch the ... read more

How To Properly Jump Start A Dead Battery

How To Properly Jump Start A Dead Battery

Learn How To Properly Jumpstart A Dead Battery A dead battery will probably leave you stranded at least once in your life so it is important to learn how to properly jump start a dead battery.   There are two common methods to jumpstart a dead battery. You can use the traditional battery jumper cables or a newer battery jumper pack. Each requires a similar process but with the battery jumper cables you will need an extra car in order to jump the dead battery.   1. Turn the ignition key off before making any connections. (if you are using battery jumper cables, leave one car running and remove the key from the dead car. Then make sure none of the jumper battery cable ends touch each other or any painted area of the car.)   2. Clamp the positive (red +) clamp onto the vehicle (red +) battery post. If you can't find the battery there will probably be a connection point under the hood some where marked with a "+" symbol ... read more

5 Things You Must Check Before You Take A Road Trip - (Including Photos)

5 Things You Must Check Before You Take A Road Trip - (Including Photos)

5 Things You Must Check Before You Take A Road Trip (Includes Photos) Before embarking on a road trip in your car, there are 5 things you must check on your car. The items below won’t take more than 10 minutes and it could save you from a breakdown and a ruined trip! Check Lights, Fluids, and Tire Pressures - I am a mechanic by trade at A+ Japanese Auto Repair in San Carlos, CA https://aplusjapaneseautorepair.com/ and more often than not, I find cars that have issues with their lights, fluids, or tire pressures. Below I will walk you through the steps of checking your lights, fluids, and tire pressures. Lights - When checking your vehicle’s lights, I am referring to the exterior lights. Start by have someone sit in the car and start it. One at a time have them push the brake pedal (check the brake lights), turn on the blinkers (check in front an ... read more