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Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake?

Why does my steering wheel shake when I hit the brakes? If you feel your steering wheel shake while you apply the brakes, you probably have warped or over heated, your front brake rotors. If you are not applying the brake pedal and the steering wheel still shakes, you may have another issue that should get checked out immediately.  How did I overheat my front brakes? The steering wheel shake while braking is caused by overheated brake rotors. If the heat you generate while braking can't be dispersed, you will over heat and deform the brake rotors. Below is a list of what causes the steering wheel to shake if you are braking: Braking down long steep hills. Braking from high speed off of the freeway Resting your foot on the brake pedal If your previous brake job was not performed properly (when calipers and moving components are not properly serviced or lubed) Thin/worn brak ... read more

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Car Maintenance

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brakes

How often should I change my oil?

How often should I change my engine oil? Lynn, thank you for the question!  On average the vehicles we work on at A+ Japanese Auto Repair are due for an engine oil and oil filter change every 5,000 miles or 6 months (whichever comes first).  As a rule of thumb…  If you are an extremely low-mileage driver you should change your engine oil and oil filter at least once a year. Every Car's Oil Change Interval is Different When you read the fine print about engine oil change intervals, you will discover that the factory recommended service interval will range from 3,500 to over 10,000 miles for an oil change.  How often you should change you engine oil and oil filter depends on the driving condition and the type of oil that you use. Most of us think we drive under as "normal" driving conditions but we are actu ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Why rotate my tires every 5,000 miles?

Why rotate my tires every 5,000 miles?

Question posted by Jim T. regarding tire rotations on his 2005 Toyota “Just curious, I noticed I am doing a tire rotation every 5,000 miles.  What is the benefit of this? Thanks for the question Jim.  Let me explain… First of all, what is a tire rotation? Rotating tires means moving them from one wheel location to another — from left to right or back to front, or even diagonally.  At A+ Japanese Auto Repair when we perform a tire rotation we will rotate your tires from back to front.  We have noticed when we rotate tires in any other manner some vehicles will start to pull to one side or the other.  When we rotate back to front we eliminate this the majority of the time. What common items are diagnosed by tire wear? Here is a tire wear chart showing most of the common items we look for when inspecting tires during a tire r ... read more

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Car Maintenance

The Ultimate Pre-Road Trip Checklist

The Ultimate Pre-Road Trip Checklist

The Ultimate Pre-Road Trip Checklist If you are heading out on a road trip, it is best to check over your car a least a few days before you travel. Don’t find yourself stranded on the side of the road or waiting for a tow truck… especially on a family vacation. 1. Check all exterior lights This is one of the easiest things to check before you take your vehicle on a road trip, but it is commonly forgotten. Turn the key to the “on” position and check the turn signals, brake lights, tail lights, low beams, high beams, and backup lights. The easiest way to do this is to have a friend or family member inspect the lights while you operate them. If you are unable to find a willing person to help you, back your vehicle up to a wall and watch for the reflection of the lights while you check all of the lights. 2. Check for fluid leaks Small fluid leaks on any car can easily turn into big ... read more

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Car Maintenance

What to check when my car won't start

What to check when my car won't start

What to check when my car won't start This article discusses a few common reasons a car won’t start. We also describe a few things for you to check to save you money. All of these scenarios are assuming your turn the key to the start position. 1. There are no lights on the dash, there is no noise from the car Starter Motor If you need further help, please contact San Carlos Auto Repair Typically, this means that you have a dead battery. But before you call for a tow truck and tell them that your car won’t start, you should check your battery connections. Locate your vehicle battery and one at a time try to move the battery connections via twisting motion (there should be no movement at all). After that go try to restart the vehicle. Okay… still no luck?? Now it’s time to call the tow truck. 2. I hear one click, but still, the car won’t start When you get one loud click, that typically is the starter solenoid engag ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Why is my tire pressure light on?

Why is my tire pressure light on?

Why is my tire pressure warning light on? When the tire pressure warning light is on solid, that means you have a tire with low pressure or you have a fault in your tire pressure monitor system (TPMS). Is it safe to drive with the tire pressure warning light on? If the tire pressure light is on, the car may not be safe to drive. Low pressure in the tire can cause an issue with the car's handling, risk of the tire blow out, damage the tire tread or sidewall, all which could cause loss of control of the car.  What should I do if my tire pressure light comes on?  We the following: 1. Pull your vehicle over to a safe spot away from traffic. 2. Visually inspect the four tires for signs of damage, wear, and if they look low. 3. Bring your vehicle to a station or shop where you can have your tire pressures checked. 4. Inflate your tire pressure to the factory recommended pressure (typically found listed on the driver's door jam.) ... read more

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Car Maintenance

5 Tips To Save Gas

5 Tips to Save Gas We have explained 5 simple way for you to save gas while driving your vehicle. Learn when most of your gas is being used, how to avoid it, and ultimately save gas & money. 1. No heavy acceleration – This is where your car swallows up most of it’s fuel. Acceleration in general is where you are moving a few thousand pound vehicle from a complete stop to 35 miles an hour and beyond. If you accelerate reasonably you can see about 25% increase in fuel savings, try it for one tank! 2. Avoid using the air conditioning - Understandably, this is not-popular, but it is worth mentioning. When clients bring their vehicles in for service, the air conditioning is usually on the low setting. The air conditioning compressor is like a small engine and it takes extra fuel to run it. You will see a fuel savings of about 5-10% depending on the type of car. 3. Obey the speed limit - Most vehicles are ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Toyota Land Cruiser – FJ80 Build

Toyota Land Cruiser – FJ80 Build

1993 Toyota Landcruiser Build - FJ80 PROJECT CAR: A 1993 Toyota Landcruiser, also known as an FJ80 – Performed by A+ Japanese Auto Repair in San Carlos CA This is the beginning of many blog posts about Toyota Land Cruiser builds at A+ Japanese Auto Repair. We will gather photos and information to share about products that we recommend, installation instructions, and our on going reviews from our clients about their experiences. Over the next 6 months, we will showcase rock sliders, undercarriage armor, front and rear bumpers, tires, lift kit, mechanical work, body work, and a few photos of these vehicles on the trail. FACTS: Over 200,000 miles – odometer stopped working at 203,486 miles. Typical forest green paint damage on the hood and roof . Great donor car with front, center, and rear differential lockers come factory from Toyota 4.5 liter 1FZ-FE in-line 6 cylinder engine paired with A442F Transmission In need of a mechanic with ... read more

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Car Maintenance

How to choose a good auto repair shop

How to choose a good auto repair shop

How To Choose A Good Auto Repair Shop A mechanic is a lot like a doctor, once you find a repair shop (doctor) that you trust, it is a good idea to build a history so they know your needs and your vehicles’ needs (or your health history and your body’s needs.) Below are 5 tips – How to choose a good auto repair shop.1. Location/Convenience - First of all, the location needs to be convenient. Is it close to your home or work? Hours of operation? Can you have the vehicle worked on while you are at work? Will the auto repair shop provide a ride to and from their facility? Does the auto shop have Saturday service? Is it easy to schedule an appointment? 2. Check Online Reviews - Auto repair shops can range from the dark, dingy, unprofessional, engines and transmissions laying around leaking engine oil type shop to the bright, painted epoxy floors, technicians in uniforms, professional waiting room and staff. L ... read more

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Car Maintenance

What is a power steering flush?

What is a power steering flush?

What is a Power Steering Flush The power steering system is standard on nearly every car and truck these days. It is one of the most important systems on your vehicle. If the steering "goes out", there is a possibility it will be tough to turn, spray power steering fluid around your engine compartment, or even create a loss of control. Not all power steering systems are hydraulically controlled, there are more and more new electric power steering systems on cars. For the most part, the heart of the system is a pump that’s driven by a belt powered by the engine. It is important to understand the different types of power steering services that are required to keep from costing you time and money. The Power Steering Pump The pump generates boost that assists you as you steer your SUV. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it’s a good idea to inspect them at every oil change. Powe ... read more

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Car Maintenance
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