Category Archives: Car Maintenance

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

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Car Maintenance

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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

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Car Maintenance

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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

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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

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Car Maintenance

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

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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
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