San Carlos Auto Repair

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Tag Archives: car maintenance

Best Directions Apps for Drivers

Best Directions Apps for Drivers

There are tons of mobile apps out there designed to help us make our lives more efficient, including apps for directions. Most of these direction apps are geared toward being hands-free, meaning they are safe for you to use while driving. In fact, many of these apps are equipped with warnings to remind you to put down your phone while driving and listen to the voice commands programmed into the mobile app.  Not only are there mobile apps, but there are several GPS devices that are designed solely for the purpose of driving directions. Mobile apps, however, can be used for various forms of transportation, not just driving such as walking and biking. Here are 5 of the most helpful, free direction apps:  Google Maps: This is the classic direction app and has proved its sufficiency time and time again. It has tons of voice commands too, really demonstrating its ability to be hands-free.  Waze: This app not only offers directions but has several bonus features, including u ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Road Trip Ideas for Summertime in San Carlos

Summer is just around the corner, which means it is the perfect time to start planning your summer vacation. We can’t wait to embark on our summer adventures, especially if that means a road trip with your family. We are fortunate to live in such a lovely area, as we are surrounded by many beautiful places all within a day’s drive. Here are the top 7 road trip ideas for summertime in San Carlos: Nicasio, one of the tiniest towns in Marin County, is complete with some of the most delectable cheese and wine tasting in the region. Point Reyes, including Point Reyes National Seashore and make sure to hike and picnic along Abbotts Lagoon. North Bay Movie Tour in Petaluma is an excellent way to spend the day. George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars,” filmed the classic, “American G ... read more

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Car Maintenance

5 Ways We make Auto Repair Convenient for You

At A+ Japanese Auto Repair, we recognize how busy your day can get. From racing across town to drop your son off at his baseball game to being stuck in rush-hour traffic for your morning meeting, you have a jam-packed schedule. Sometimes, a trip to an auto repair shop can make your busy day even busier. With us, we strive to ensure your experience with us is stress-free and seamless, so you can continue to check items off your to-do list. Here are five ways we make auto repair convenient for you:  Complimentary loaner vehicles: while our technicians are servicing your vehicle, you can utilize one of our ten loaner cars to get where you need to be. Yes, you can make it to your son’s baseball game or your morning meeting.  Complimentary courtesy shuttle: our team can take wherever you need to go in the local area. Just because your car is in the shop doesn’t mean your day needs to come to a complete halt.  After Hours Drop-off and Pickup: you can quickly drop ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Spring Flowers: Minimize the Allergens in Your Car

Spring is almost here, which means we can say good-bye to chilly temperatures and say hello to green grass, sunny skies, and of course, that pesky pollen. Some of the outside elements can find their way into our vehicle, and we might see ourselves doing more sneezing instead of stepping on the gas. If you are looking to minimize the allergens in your vehicle and still enjoy the spring flowers, we recommend following these helpful tips:   Use the A/C system instead of rolling down the window. When you roll down the window to feel that breeze, you may be letting in several allergens. Wool seat covers and cloth floor mats are likely to trap dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. If you can get rid of the wool seat covers and cloth floor mats, you can be saving yourself from being exposed to several allergens. Mold can cling to any wet towels, clothes, or leftover food you have in your vehicle. Remove any areas or items that may have excess moisture that can lead to ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Winter Car Maintenance Tips

Winter Car Maintenance Tips

Whether it's a vehicle's first winter or fifteenth, it's important to properly prepare it to handle dropping temperatures and inclement weather. Here's a maintenance checklist to make sure cars are ready for winter. Test the Battery  Batteries expend more energy in cold, winter weather than they do during warmer months. A weak battery may die more quickly when temperatures drop. Before it gets too cold, drivers should consider testing the voltage of their car's battery and replacing it if necessary. Check Lighting Conditions When winter comes, most car owners take lower temperatures and other conditions into account. However, it's easy to forget that winter also means fewer daylight hours. Before the days begin to shorten, it's important to make sure that a vehicle's lights are in good shape, which means clearing up foggy or yellow lights and making any necessary repairs or replacements. Top Off Antifreeze Antifreeze keeps the engine from reac ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Four Signs It's Time for a Wheel Alignment

Four Signs It's Time for a Wheel Alignment

It's a familiar situation for many drivers: a vehicle starts pulling hard to the left or right while on the road. When this happens, it’s often time for a wheel alignment. A wheel alignment is a necessary car service that keeps a vehicle performing at its best. But why do wheels need to be aligned, and how do drivers know when to do it? Why Is a Wheel Alignment Necessary?  New vehicles are pre-set with their tires positioned at a very precise alignment, which must be maintained for optimal performance. The vehicle drives smoother and tires last longer when all four are pointed in the same direction. Wheels that are out of line will see uneven tire wear, a shorter lifespan, and poor drivability. Plus, a smoother ride requires less fuel, which can lead to savings on gas, too. Drivers can check for these four signs that an alignment may be needed. Pulling to One Side When tires are properly aligned ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Spongy Brake Pedal? Here's What Could Be Causing It.

Spongy Brake Pedal? Here's What Could Be Causing It.

A brake pedal should feel firm and tight to quickly stop a moving vehicle. A pedal that lacks a distinct firmness may have problems stopping the car, threatening the safety of the driver and passengers. Drivers experiencing sponginess in their brake pedals should visit a mechanic. Air in the Brake Line Brakes operate by evenly distributing fluid through a hydraulic pressure system to reduce speed. Brake fluid is the only thing that should be in the brake lines. If air seeps into the lines, it can prevent the flow of brake fluid, reducing pressure and increasing the vehicle’s stopping time and distance. The driver will experience a soft brake pedal and notice difficulty when stopping. Bad Disc Brake Calipers To decrease speed, disc brake calipers clamp the brake pads down on the rotors. This produces significant amount of heat, causing caliper corrosion over time. This corrosion causes internal pistons to leak brake fluid, resulting again in a spongy brake pedal. Bad Brake Flu ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Is Premium Gas Really Necessary for Your Vehicle?

Is Premium Gas Really Necessary for Your Vehicle?

Gas is expensive, and filling up with premium gas in San Carlos can cost well over four dollars per gallon. Fortunately, regular unleaded gas works well in most vehicles. However, if an automaker requires premium gas, failing to use it can cause serious engine damage. Here’s why it’s critical to follow the manufacturer’s fuel guidelines. Understanding the Octane Difference  The key difference between regular and premium fuels is the octane rating. When gas and air ignite before they should, an explosion called a pre-ignition occurs, causing a knocking sound in the engine. Fuel is given an octane rating based on how well it resists pre-ignition. Premium gas, typically rated at 90 or above, is less prone to pre-ignition and contains additives that help engines run cleanly. Required vs. Recommend Fuel Some owner’s manuals “require” premium fuel, while others “recommend” it. Though this may seem like a semantic difference, some vehic ... read more

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Car Maintenance

Unusual Car Noises Drivers Should Never Ignore

Unusual Car Noises Drivers Should Never Ignore

Pops, hisses, and sizzles are great when cooking steak but not when they’re coming from the engine of a vehicle. Unusual noises coming from the hood, brakes, or underside of a car can be indicative of serious problems. Drivers who hear strange sounds should take their car to a mechanic for maintenance as soon as possible. Alarming Noises Under the Hood  A loud, squealing noise coming from under the hood is likely caused by a loose or worn serpentine belt, which powers the car’s major systems. Once the belt snaps, drivers are left with a vehicle that won’t move. If a car makes hissing or sizzling noises after the engine is turned off, the most likely issues are coolant or oil leaks, an overheated engine, or leaking vacuum lines. Knocking or tapping noises can be caused by a number of issues, including ignition problems, clogged fuel filters, or damaged or dirty spark plugs. Even using fuel that’s a lower grade than the owner’s manual specifies can ca ... 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
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