Articles:

Why are my Brakes Squeaky?

Why are my Brakes Squeaky?

Why Are My Brakes Squeaky? Typically, before you need new brakes, the brakes will wear down, touch the brake warning indicator sensor, and cause a squeaky noise when you apply the brakes. This squeaky brake noise can also be caused the worn brake pads, damaged brake rotors, worn brake shoes, worn brake hardware, or simply a lack of lubrication on brake contact points. What is the squeaky noise when I reverse? A squeaking noise that we commonly hear from our client’s vehicles at A+ Japanese Auto Repair Inc. is from a brake pad component called the brake warning indicator or brake wear tab. The picture to the right shows the tab of metal called the wear indicator. This tab will touch the rotor when the pad is very low and will typically sound like a squeaking or whining noise as it vibrates over the brake rotor. Only quality brake pad manufacturers install pads with wear indicators. The wear indicator is a tab of sheet metal that gives a drive ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

Tags:

brakes

What is a Brake Flush?

What is a Brake Flush?

A brake flush is a service in which the brake fluid is flushed from the brake master cylinder, through the brake line, hoses, calipers, and then the fluid is expelled out through the brake bleeder screws. During the brake flush, the dirty brake fluid that is getting flushed is replaced by new brake fluid. How often should I flush my brake fluid? Vehicle manufactures recommend to flush brake fluid every 2-3 years or every 24,000 - 36,000 miles. A brake fluid flush is recommended often because the brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means, it will absorbs moisture from the air. The more moisture that the brake fluid absorbs, the less effective the brake fluid will be in dealing with heat and protecting the brake components. How much does a brake fluid flush cost? Brake fluid flush cost will range from $95 - $225 based on the type of fluid and the type of vehicle. Normal passenger cars will cost less because they typically use DOT3 brake fluid while ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

Tags:

brakes

How Do I Know If I Need New Brakes?

How Do I Know If I Need New Brakes? We put together a list of brake symptoms to help you know if you need new brakes. The brake warning light stays on the dash while driving. Squealing is heard from the brakes while reversing the vehicle. The steering wheel shakes while applying the brake pedal. You can hear grinding or squealing when applying the brake pedal. The emergency brake no longer holds the vehicle when the brake is applied. The brake pedal feels soft, spongy, or slow to respond. The brake pedal does not engage the brakes at it’s normal height. The stopping distance increased beyond the usual stopping distance. Vehicle pulls to one side when applying the brakes. If any of these braking symptoms are present, you could need new brakes. We always recommend to have your brake system inspected by a professional to determine if you need new front brakes, new rear brakes, new brake master cylinder, new brake hose, l ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

Tags:

brakes

What Does The Brake Warning Light Mean?

What Does The Brake Warning Light Mean?

What does the brake warning light mean? A brake warning light on the dash means that you either have an issue with the brake system or your emergency parking brake is on. What can cause the brake warning light to come on? In normal operation, the brake warning light will come on when you start the car, then the light will turn off immediately after you release the emergency parking brake. If the brake warning light comes on the dash for any other reason, that means your vehicle has an issue with your brake system. The brake warning light should come on under the following conditions: The brake warning light will come on upon start up of your vehicle to indicate that the brake warning light bulb is working properly. The brake warning light will stay on if the parking brake is applied. The brake warning light will come on if there is a problem within the braking system. The brake light will also come on in conjunction with the ba ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

Three Tips to Improve Your Gas Mileage

Three Tips to Improve Your Gas Mileage

Did you know that California has the second highest average gas prices of any state? Even when prices go down in the golden state, they can still take up a big chunk of a monthly budget. The good news is that there are a number of things every driver can do to maximize their car's fuel efficiency and give themselves a break at the pump. Try these three tips to boost your miles-per-gallon and save money with every tank of gas. 1. Get an Engine Tune-Up  If an engine isn't properly tuned, it has to work much harder to deliver the same amount of power, and that means burning more fuel. Two components to pay particular attention to are the spark plugs and the fuel injectors. The spark plug needs to be strong to make sure the engine burns fuel properly. Fuel injectors are designed to spray a mist of fuel that is readily combustible. Over time, however, they can clog and send out a jet of fuel. When this happens, some of the fuel doesn't ignite and instead sits in the botto ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance

What is an Oxygen Sensor?

What is an Oxygen Sensor?

An oxygen sensor senses how much oxygen is coming through the exhaust system on a vehicle. There is a predetermined air/fuel ratio that the computer expects to see from the sensor. Based on the oxygen sensor reading, the vehicle computer will adjust how much fuel it delivers to the engine, hence affecting the oxygen level. The oxygen sensor is also referred to as the air/fuel ratio sensor or the lambda sensor. For the purposes of this article, we will refer to these sensors as oxygen sensors. Most vehicles have at least two oxygen sensors, one in front of the catalytic converter and one behind it. Vehicles that are equipped with two banks (like a V6 or V8) then will have four oxygen sensors. How Do Oxygen Sensors Work?  Just like catalytic converters, oxygen sensors need to get hot before they start working. Most oxygen sensors are equipped with a small heater inside of them to heat them up quickly. The heater element in the sensor, much like a hair dryer element or an incandes ... read more

Categories:

Auto Parts

What is a Catalytic Converter?

What is a Catalytic Converter?

A catalytic converter is a portion of a vehicle’s exhaust system that cleans up the vehicle’s emissions. Since 1975, cars, vans, and light trucks were required by law to be outfitted with a catalytic converter for smog purposes. Where Is the Catalytic Converter Located? The catalytic converter looks a lot like a muffler. On the inside of the converter, there is a honeycomb structure made up of special material. The exhaust gases pass through the honeycomb structure, and when the converter gets hot enough, it will “convert” some of the vehicle’s harmful emission to a fraction of what it used to be before it exits the tailpipe. How Will I Know If My Catalytic Converter Is Not Working Correctly? It would be safe to assume the catalytic converter is working properly until one of two things happen. You might get a check engine light on the dash alerting you that the catalytic convert ... read more

Categories:

Auto Parts

What 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 serviced a ... read more

Categories:

Car Maintenance
If You Are Using A Screen Reader And Are Having Problems Using This Website, please call A+ Japanese Auto Repair, Inc. (650) 595-2277 For Assistance.