What To Look For In A Great Mechanic Shop

Do you know what to look for in a Great Mechanic/ Repair Shop? How do you know that the repair shop has the certified technicians to perform the necessary repairs on your vehicle?

Here are some tips from Hybrid Repair San Diego to help you make an informed, correct choice for the Mechanic Repair Shop to do the needed repairs on your vehicle.

  • There should be visual documentation in the customer waiting area for the employees and technicians that are servicing your vehicle. This information is usually posted in the office area of the repair shop along with other required city licenses.
  • In the choice of a car repair shop, there are some visual indicators that can help you select the best shop to get your vehicle repaired and safely back on the road.
  • This might sound weird, but it’s kind of like looking for a good restaurant. The shop should have a clean, safe work area for the employees and service technicians.
  • Is the repair shop neat and organized or is it pretty cluttered and dirty? That could make a difference in how the shop can service or repair your vehicle correctly.
  • Are there signs of a cluttered work area? Knowing that certain tools are required to do any repair, it can be obvious when the work area is not in good order. This can be important for the technician to work efficiently on your vehicle repairs.
  • It doesn’t matter who the technician is in the repair shop, or how long that technician has worked there, it’s always good to see that they have access to an on line computer in the service area to help them keep up to date on the most current repair diagnosis for your particular vehicle application.
  • Some shops require a scheduled repair appointment to have work done on your vehicle. That is an indicator that the shop is doing good work because customers are getting the best service possible for the needed service on their vehicles, and they have a good repair reputation.
  • Another good observation about the service shop is the waiting area. No one wants to wait for the service for your vehicle, but sometimes it happens. Most shops want to get your car in and fixed quickly so you can get down the road. If the waiting area looks like a storage area for car parts….hmmm.
  • And of course it should be customer friendly. You know, clean bathroom facilities and the like.
  • Most of these repair shops have internet ratings such as Yelp or Facebook that could be a great place to start for deciding where to take your car in for repairs

This should help you make an informed decision on where to have your vehicle serviced.

Do I Really Need to Have My Oil Changed?

A common myth ingrained in the hearts and minds of car owners is the infamous ¨3,000 mile oil change¨. This concept has prevailed through generations. Its origins stem from a time in which automotive technology seems primitive and ancient by today’s standards. The fact of the matter is, you aren’t driving your Dad’s ‘55 Chevy. Engine technology and oil chemistry have improved greatly in recent years and as a result, oil stays cleaner for longer. Changing your oil too frequently will waste your money and possibly hurt the environment. Much to the bane of your local mechanic, we at RSC Automotive Repair, San Clemente, will attempt to explore these facts and shatter the misconceptions.  Your schedule might be sooner and it might be later.

The truth is, there is no hard-and-fast rule to oil changing. It’s clear that changing your oil on a regular basis will keep your engine running smoothly and prevent long-term degradation, but exactly how often we need to perform this sacred transfusion depends on a number of factors.

The primary factor that should shape your oil habits is the make, model, and year of your car. Across the great spectrum of automobiles, you will find different necessities and recommendations for all maintenance—oil care included.

Manufacture’s Recomendation

Establishing the true number of miles you must travel before changing your oil is as simple as flipping through the pages of your owner’s manual or checking the dealer’s website. Many vehicles have a handy light for alerting the driver when the oil is close to the end of its life—this isn’t for show. The vehicle is designed to measure the average speed and engine revs and combine this with the vehicles baseline oil recommendation.

If we simply take a moment to reflect on the goals and motives of your car manufacturer, we will come to the conclusion that car companies have a significant incentive to correctly instruct us on vehicle maintenance. Their reputation depends on the customer’s belief in the longevity and reliability of their product. Honda and Ford are unlikely trying to scam you into paying too much for oil. They invest millions in the testing of their vehicles. This information trumps the opinions of your friends and mechanics. Trust your manufacturer above all else!

Type of Driving

So, we have established the manufacturer’s recommendation is a solid starting point, but there are other concerns. Most cars will fall somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 miles before needing an oil change. The rest of the story depends on what type of driver you are. In manufacturer’s terms, driving ranges from ¨severe¨ to ¨mild¨.

Counterintuitively, ¨severe¨ driving can mean a short trip to the coffee shop, driving the kids to school, or sitting in stop-and-go traffic. The oil in your car is designed to function while warm. Without proper warming of the oil—like in these quick trips—the oil won’t efficiently absorb the contaminants produced by internal combustion. Driving conditions such as low temperatures, high humidity, or significant dust and dirt also fall under the ¨severe¨ category.

¨Mild¨ driving is something akin to your 45-mile commute to work on a clean highway on a nice day. Under these conditions, the oil is more efficiently utilized, placing you on the higher end of the mile-per-oil change spectrum.

Type of Oil

Finally, there is a bit to be said on the synthetic vs. regular oil debate. Research has clearly shown synthetic oil is better at preventing engine damage and lasts significantly longer. Synthetic oil degrades more slowly and functions better in extreme temperatures, The Synthetic stuff is usually more expensive, but the investment can pay off with your infrequent oil changes.

Conclusion

As with all car maintenance decisions, it’s best to do your own research, rules from 35 years ago may not apply today, and it may be difficult to resist the firm assertions of a mechanic. Always ask questions and follow your gut. A few minutes of research can save you a lot of time and money.

Toyota Or Saturn? Which Brand Is More Reliable?

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Car brands; and the debate of which is the best car to purchase has been going on for many years. When looking for a new car, you may come upon a crossroad (pardon the pun) between two different brands of cars. The brands I wish to compare today are the popular brands of Toyota and Saturn.

Both are widely known and have been producing cars for many years. They have also been known for competing over the same clients, and producing cars that are similar, and striving to out compete the other.

Overall, the Toyota models seem to be far higher priced and weak when it comes to their interior designs and functions (such as the radio), than those of Saturn.  The brand of Saturn is known for placing cars on the market that are fuel efficient, a smooth ride, have well built-in safety features, and handle well on the road.

According to Toyota Service Orange County, the Toyota is currently in competition with Honda and has upgraded all its features for the Toyota Camry in order to target the market. This, however, raises the price of the car and does not make it any more durable. Toyota has been known for doing this, on its earlier models, and many customers have been disappointed by the hasty upgrades in order to pull ahead of the competition.

Overall, did not fix the flaws that were seen in the earlier models but made the car more expensive. This can be seen in comparing the 2009 Saturn Outlook, the 2009 Toyota Highlander, and the 2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The Saturn Outlook got better reviews for all of its features. The Toyota Highlander was noted for being fuel efficient and a smooth ride.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid also offers better features for a far higher price, including four-wheel drive. However, critics were still disappointed in its performance compared to the 2009 Saturn Outlook. The same flaws from past models within the interior were within the vehicle and the upgrades did not cover for them. And the heightened price made it more reasonable to go to the Saturn.

All in all, both, the Toyota and the Saturn make good choices for the road and families. They both carry good compact SUV’s with some of the very same features. However, the Saturn always seems to stand above when it comes to its overall credibility and customer reviews, hence, making the Saturn more reliable.

Is a BMW more expensive to maintain then a Saturn?

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BMW and a Saturn are two of the most popular cars on American roads.  San Francisco BMW Repair wants to present some information about the maintenance costs of the two cars for you to consider as you a decision about purchasing one of these cars.

Maintenance cost is basically cost you will incur for the general repair and maintenance of your car. Initially, when you buy a car, everything is in order. Your engine runs fine, all your car’s body parts are in order and there is no damage to any of the internal functions of your car. This is especially true for high-end Sedans like BMW.

But as your car ages, there will be some problems you are bound to face. And according to yourmechanic.com, BMW ranks as the costliest cars to maintain. No BMW cars come for cheap and that is also true for their maintenance parts. So naturally, maintaining a BMW is going to be far more expensive than maintaining a Saturn. Saturn’s car parts come at a comparatively cheaper rate.

Of course, it all also depends upon what model we are talking about. Maintenance cost will differ for different cars and it is safe to assume that more expensive your model is, be it either BMW or a Saturn, costlier your maintenance costs are going to be.

But let’s just come down to the numbers to see the difference between the maintenance cost of a Saturn and a BMW. According to the data published by yourmechanic.com, the average annual cost of maintaining a BMW comes at around $200-$300 compared to Saturn which will cost about $500-$700 to maintain.

It’s not even a match and it is almost expected because everything that is related to BMW is going to be expensive.  Besides, there is the factor of exclusivity that makes BMW more expensive to maintain than Saturn. Also, a small glitch in Saturn can be repaired at your local garage shop but it is not the case with BMW. You will have to visit your BMW dealership to get the smallest thing fixed, the reason being the overly complex aspects of BMW. For example, the majority of the cockpit buttons in a BMW car is a network of integrated networks instead of just simple switches in a Saturn.

Regardless, there is a sense of prestige when you drive a BMW and their comparatively expensive maintenance costs should not deter you from buying them. BMW offers a lengthy duration of free maintenance programs for your car that will ensure that your car drives long enough for you to consider selling it. So this is something one can look forward to when buying a Beamer.

Alternator or Battery; What Needs Replacing?

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It is a terrible feeling to turn the key in the ignition and hear a low rumbling sound. As soon as the car doesn’t start, you know something’s wrong. Unfortunately, this happens to everyone and is just a part of owning a car. In order to avoid these issues, and to fix your car and get yourself back on track quickly, Newmans Automotive it feels it is important to know what’s wrong. In most cases, it will be either your battery or your alternator.

Battery

Batteries run out of life eventually, and it may be that yours has just reached the end of its natural term. If it hasn’t been changed in four or five years, or since you first bought the car, it is probable it may be the issue.

As batteries become older and the metal corrodes inside them it becomes harder for them to retain a charge. We need this charge for the car’s electrical system to run, so when there is not enough charge in the battery, this can lead to faults in your vehicle.

You can check your car battery on the dashboard. If the light is dim then it is a sign that something is wrong. Luckily, the battery can be jump started using cables from another car, but should still be looked after and replaced if necessary.

Car batteries are not too expensive, costing from about $50 to $150.

Replacing them every few years is a good way of making sure you never get that sinking feeling of your car not starting up in the morning.

Alternator

If even after attempting to jump start your battery, your car still won’t start, it may be a sign that something is wrong with the alternator. The alternator generates electric power in your car, charging your battery as well as running extra electric appliances such as heating or cooling.

If the lights in your car are dim or dim gradually as you drive, this may be a sign you need a new alternator. Furthermore, if your car is making a growling sort of noise, or if you smell hot rubber, it is definitely time to replace your alternator.

These are signs to look out for that signal your alternator may be about to fail. This means it is not keeping the battery charged, leading to faults in your vehicle. Replacing alternators can sometimes be expensive, but car insurance often assists with these costs.

By remembering these tips and generally being vigilant with the care of your car you should be able to avoid any problems. Making sure the battery is charged and the alternator is adequately providing power will eliminate any problems in starting up your vehicle.

The Best Road Trip Destinations Using Car Rental

When you want to hit the road, sometimes it doesn’t even matter where you’re going. If you want to get away and aren’t sure where to head, here are some ideas from www.newmansauto.com. You can start out from the East Coast and head West since that’s where all the adventure is. You can begin from your New York car rental and travel to the following best road trip destinations:

Chicago.

There are few American cities as beautiful as the Second City, so called because it got rebuilt after the great Chicago fire of 1870. A vibrant addition to the cultural scene is the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute. And don’t forget your deep dish style pizza and the picturesque views of Lakeside Drive.

St. Louis:

After Chicago, there are a lot of beautiful plains and small towns, so if you want to head south along the Mississippi, check out this city, which was America’s fourth largest during the 1904 World Fair. That’s why they built the arch, in this gateway city to the West.

New Orleans

One of the oldest American cities, this Louisianan city is home to the French Quarter, delicious Creole and Cajun cuisine, and some incredible music (it birthed jazz).

Cleveland.

In this city, there is plenty to see, although it has suffered over the past few decades. The Museum of Art is home to many masterpieces. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is also based here and is worth seeing. For lunch, check out the rich Slovenian history by trying some brats.

Las Vegas.

One of the best road trip destinations, Vegas is worth seeing even if you don’t want to gamble. There are plenty of things to do, including shows to see, buffets to eat, and people to watch. It’s a new crossroads of the West, and while you’re there, you might as well see the Grand Canyon a few hours away.

California.

This state is the only other place in the world to have Mediterranean weather. The entire 770 miles of coast is a National Monument. Then factor in the great American cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco and you’ll see what the West Coast is all about. The ride on Rt. 1 between Cambria and Monterrey is gorgeous.

After you see these sites, you can pretty much say you know America. Of course, there are much more things to see along the way like all the National Parks, cities, small towns, prairies, plains, mountains, lakes, but this should get you started.

Most Common Catalytic Converter Issues

The catalytic converter is a container that boosts emissions control in your vehicle exhaust system. All the harmful chemicals from your vehicle get filtered through this converter including carbon monoxide, nitrogen compounds and any other unwanted risky emissions. However, there are issues or hindrances that affect the operation of the catalytic converter. Below are the most common catalytic converter issues that affect its effectiveness:

Overheating

Excessive heat in the exhaust system causes failure in the catalytic converter which will be indicated by the engine light even when driving. One of the reasons for this excessive heating is the failure of the one or more oxygen sensors which are connected to the exhaust system. The main duty of the oxygen sensor is to measure the ratio of air to liquid fuel, and when it fails, the mixture is not well regulated, and this causes overheating in the converter. Oxygen sensor failure can be detected by use of engine diagnostic system which is mostly found in many modern vehicles.

Clogged

When you fail to maintain your exhaust system properly, your catalytic converter will clog over a certain period. Additionally, the exhaust system might also fail to work efficiently, and this can also lead to clogging. Failing to recognize the problem earlier can be costly as the clogging might cause excessive damage to your catalytic converter and the exhaust system. Cleaning and maintaining your exhaust system is one proper way of preventing clogging in the converter.

Contamination

The filtering container can also be affected by contamination and this can result from several different circumstances. These situations that lead to contamination include excessive end particles that build up in the exhaust system as a result of the burning of fuel. The coolant can also leak into the engine and cause contamination. Early detection of contamination can save you from paying costs to high repair your catalytic converter.

The information above represents the most common catalytic converter issues to look out for and make the necessary decision regarding Auto Repair for your vehicle to properly get rid of the harmful chemicals.

 

Developments in Driver Safety through Technology

Technology sometimes seems to be the enemy of driver safety these days with the distraction brought on by handheld phones and texting. Technology of this sort has also made cars safer. One example of this would be seatbelts which have saved thousands upon thousands of lives.  Here are 3 other technical options that you can use to keep you and your family safe and less likely to need Auto Repair in Eugene.

G.P.S.

Although it is reducing our ability to use maps or get to places just suing memory, GPS is relatively hands off meaning that we don’t need to have maps and other things laid out before us. We also will not be distracted by looking for the right street since the GPS will tell us. In this way, the GPS ha removed distractions from the driver’s focus. This has arguably made roads safer.

Back-Up Camera

Backing into a parking space or pulling out of drive way can be a nerve wracking experience as well as be a literal pain in the neck. Back Up Cameras however make it easier to navigate these situations and give the driver more visibility behind the car. This way it is easier to notice a detail like that they are too close to a tree just behind them as they are backing up or a car not following the speed limit in residential area that rockets by them as they try to pull out of their driveway to go to work.

Bluetooth

Although we could just listen to the radio while driving, there seems to be this urge in our culture to stay connected through smartphones and other devices even while driving. Also, important information does need to be conveyed while driving at a times, such as a change of plans for a meeting place. The Bluetooth has helped with this, because someone can stay on the phone with both of their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes fully on the road. The danger that is texting while driving has been mitigated.

In some very expensive cars there are now Pre-Collision Systems which will calculate the likelihood of an accident. If the system determines that the accident is likely enough to be unavoidable, it will slow down and stop the car and lock the seatbelts. Although this may also be a stepping stone to AI’s taking over human society and becoming our post-human overlords, it also could prevent many collisions. If you can afford it, it might be worth it. Would you rather be 4,000 dollars richer or alive?

How to replenish the Freon in your Air Conditioner

If your AC isn’t keeping you as cool as you like in these Maryland summers we provide Auto Repair in Graysonville.  If you want to find out about charging the Freon yourself, here is how:

1. Can it be recharged with Freon?

Before restoring your air conditioner to a state of being fully recharged with Freon there is something that you must check. You must make sure that your car uses the right refrigerant. Cars made after 1994 use R134 whereas many cars made before that use R12. You must first check which type your car uses. If it uses the older refrigerant than you should get it converted before continuing.

Once you have established that your car uses the right refrigerant, you may proceed. If you have had a recharge in the past.

2. Using a recharge kit for R134

Recharging the air conditioning system with Freon requires, well, Freon of course which is a pressurized refrigerant which allows the air conditioner to produce cool air. You also need a pressure gauge to monitor the amount of Freon to make sure that all of it gets into the system.

There are recharge tools used by professionals, but they usually rather expensive. If you are just trying to maintain a couple of personal vehicles and not an army of automobiles set to transform the world we know into the one witness in Cars, there are kits which usually consist of a can of Freon and a pressure gauge which can be used by anyone who needs to fix a car. This particular kit is called the all-in-one kit.

Also, don’t forget to inspect your air conditioning system for leaks.

3. Preparing the kit for a recharge

Within the kit you will find the pressure gauge, a rubber hose, and a can of Freon. You will follow the instructions provided and assemble it. Typically, the hose and the gauge will already be attached. The gauge must be screwed counterclockwise until it resists any further counterclockwise turning before being attached to the can. Once everything it attached there is a pin within the gauge which will pierce the can as the gauge is turned counterclockwise. Do not pierce that can until you are ready to use it, otherwise the earth will become a flaming ball of plasma, ok not actually, but it is best to keep the can unpierced until it is ready for use.

4. Constructing the kit

Once the pin is a safe distance from the rest of the kit, connected the gauge to the other side of the hose. There is something you must do before connecting the hose to the can. Once you have done this, you must calibrate the pressure gauge. Do this by setting the calibration dial to the ambient temperature in your vicinity. Remember to turn ensure that the coolant is not tapped on since that will produce heat and throw off the calibration.

5. Identifying the port of low pressured

The air conditioning system has both high and low pressure components. You will need to recharge your system using the port that says “L” or low pressure. The high pressure port will be labeled “H” The ports will be different size for low pressure and high pressure so connecting it to the wrong one is unlikely. Nonetheless, it is always good to check.

6. Cleaning the port of low pressure

To prevent fragments from getting into the port and damaging the air conditioning system, you should clean the outside of it before and after removing the cap. This may seem excessive, but it is better to be overly cautious than not cautious enough.

7. Pressure testing

Turn the gauge tightly clockwise before connecting the hose to the port. The hose attaches to the pressure port by a latch. Simply pull the latch back and then once release once the hose is around the pressure gauge. Once you have done all of this, start your engine and turn on the AC. Give the pressure gauge a few minutes to equalize and then you can get an accurate reading and see how much your AC system needs to be recharged. Turn off the engine before going onto the next part of this process

8. Adding refrigerant

To add refrigerant, just turn the gauge clockwise in order to use the piercing pin. Screw the gauge tightly onto the can by turning it clockwise. Do this until you hear the can rupture. Turn the gauge counter clockwise again so that the pin can be retracted.

Connect the hose attached to the can and the gauge to the low-pressure port. Now turn the engine back on and turn on the AC again. In order to release the R134 coolant in the system start slowly turning the gauge counterclockwise. The segment of the gauge indicating outside temperature will show whether it is full. More instructions can be found in the manual.

9. Concluding advice

Once you are finished recharging it, reattach the cap to prevent any debris from entering the system. The gauge can be used more than once to so hold onto it. You however will have to get a new can.

4 tips for making driving with your dog safer

Image result for dog truck windowWell, there is the option of just not driving with your dog if you can manage. Dogs don’t like being in cramped spaces, they are descendants of woodland creatures. But sometimes dogs do have to be driven places like to a veterinarian and some people just like taking their pets everywhere. If you are looking for Auto Repair in Lake Elsinore or just some tips for driving with your dog, we are here to help.

1. Bring Supplies

If you are driving with your dog, bring everything you will need for the dog. This includes collars, ID tags with contact information in case the dog gets lost, treats and snacks, and doggie bags in case the dog needs to cleanse its bowels, that might have been to graphic actually, anyway, you know what I mean. Bring what you need.

2. Kennels

True, dogs are often fluffy creatures which are fun to cuddle with, except when they are not anything of the sort, but it is safer for the dog and for you to keep it in a kennel which is strapped down by bungee cords or some sort of restraint. If you are a dog-owner, I would recommend you procure one.

3. Dog seatbelts

If the kennel idea does not work out there are also dog seatbelts. These can come in a variety of sizes to fit different dogs depending on size and weight. It is apparently safer, though it may sound odd.

4. Keep them Calm

Kennels and seatbelts make them safer, but sometimes you may not be able to use these or the dog may just not be cooperating and may be too much of a distraction. Once way avoid this would be to keep them calm while in the car. For a dog, especially a puppy, being in a car can be an exciting experience, thus it is important to keep them calm. This could include rewarding them for sitting down and staying quiet by giving them cuddles or petting them, while stopped at a stoplight or stopping point of course, whenever they behave and keep themselves calm. This could be easy or difficult depending on the dog and will require an owner to know its dog and have an understanding of dog psychology. Any owner should be able to do this though.

Regardless of how safe your pet is, that may not matter if your car is not a safe place so it would be best to make sure it is safe and driving well. You can do this by stopping by AB Auto Repair & Tire Shop. They will take care of you.