Category Archives: 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

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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

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Car Maintenance

What Does The Maintenance Required Light Mean?

What Does The 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, such as changing the engine oil and oil filter or providing 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?  Every time you start the car, the maintenance required light will turn on for about six seconds to test the bulb, and then go out. A flashing maintenance required light comes on after 4,500 miles. This is an alert for you to make an appointment for car service because yo ... read more

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Car Maintenance

What do I do if my car overheats?

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 typica ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Learn how to properly jump start a car battery

Learn how to properly jump start a car battery

Learn How To Properly Jump Start 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 method requires a similar process but with the battery jumper cables, you will need a vehicle or another 12-volt battery.   The 8 Steps To Jump-Start A Dead Car 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 ... read more

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Car Maintenance

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Battery

What does the battery light mean?

What does the battery light mean?

What does the battery light mean on my dash ? If the battery light comes on your dash which you are driving, that means there is a problem with the car's charging system. About 90% of the time, the alternator is under or over charging the battery. You probably have less than 15 minutes before the car will stop running. Can you drive with the battery light on? You can drive the car with the battery light on but you will only have on average 15 minutes. After roughly 15 minutes, your car will run out of electrical power and the car will stall.  What can you do when the battery light comes on while driving? Since the vehicle is only running on the power that is remaining in your car's battery, you will want to turn off all electrical components that allow you to still safely operate the car. Depending on the battery condition and the electrical loads on your system, you probably have about 10-20 minutes of driving until your vehicle ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Poor headlight performance in SUVs

Learn if your small SUV headlights properly illuminate the road A recent study by the by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has concluded that many SUV do a poor job of illuminating the road. Among the 21 small SUVs that were tested, there were over 41 different available lighting options. They included halogen, HID, LED, Adaptive Headlights and a few other options manufacture options. The Insurance Institute used a headlight rating system which included acceptable, marginal, and poor. The Institutes rating system is different from the government agency which regulates headlight standards. In the government agency, they rate headlights in the lab for output and angle. In this study, they headlights are studied for illumination in real world situations. “Acceptable” ratings were given to the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and the Mazda CX-3. Each of these vehicles had been tested with the highest lighting package available.  A few ... read more

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Car Maintenance

How Long Should My Car Battery Last

How long should my car battery last? Car batteries last anywhere from 3-6 years based on the size, quality, location, and the type of battery.  Flooded Lead Acid Car Battery Most car batteries are still using lead acid flooded batteries. The battery consists of lead plates, an acid solution in which the plates are flooded, positive/negative terminals, and a plastic housing which holds it all together. Lead is known as a toxic agent and it will effect ones health but the battery companies still use lead. It’s a great material for maintaining a batteries’ charge, accepting a new charge, and the more lead a battery uses, usually the more energy it’s capable to hold. Size Of The Battery, Bigger is Usually Better The size of a car battery is rated to the amount of the Cold Cranking Amps that a car requires to start. A larger battery will typically last longer than a smaller battery but it certainly depends ... read more

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Car Maintenance

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Battery

Our mechanic knows Toyota and Lexus

Our mechanic knows Toyota and Lexus

Paul knows Toyota & Lexus Paul is our head Toyota and Lexus technician.     For over 11 years, Paul has been a Master technician with A+ Japanese Auto Repair in San Carlos focusing on Toyota and Lexus products. Many of the cars he works with daily includes Toyota Sienna Mini Vans, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Highlanders as well as the other vehicles on the Toyota line. Most of the Toyota vehicles that he repairs require not much more than service items. Those items might be brakes, timing belts, major and minor services, electrical diagnostic, air conditioning, and check engine light work. With amount of experience & training that he has on these vehicles, he is one of the top technicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. And of course Lexus. Lexus is actually owned by the Toyota corporation. Lexus is the higher end line for Toyota but they really share quite a few parts and posses the ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Do you bring your car to Jiffy Lube? You should read this.

If you bring your car to Jiffy Lube for service, you should follow this article. After a 3 year investigation, the California Bureau of Auto Repair has found several violations against a northern CA family owned chain of Jiffy Lube stations.  The investigation is on going but we want all customers to be aware of what's out there. Brought to you by: San Francisco (KGO) State undercover agents say they've found a pattern of fraud at dozens of Bay Area Jiffy Lubes -- all operated by a family franchise. In a story exclusive to ABC7 News, state investigators claim those locations have been selling services customers don't need. (KGO-TV) http://abc7news.com/news/state-undercover-agents-allege-pattern ... read more

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Car Maintenance
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