Escondido Auto Tech utilizes the latest in diagnostic equipment and information for routine service or major repairs of your vehicles. Their blog covers topics ranging from regular maintenance to automotive diagnostics to auto maintenance.
You may be ready for the summer heat, but the hot temperatures, combined with dust, sand and highway traffic jams, can push your car to the max. Is your car ready?
Regular maintenance can reduce the odds that your vehicle will suddenly die on the interstate in the hot summer sun, and it should lengthen your car’s life span.
Here are some tips to prepare your car for summer:
Get your air conditioning examined. An experienced auto technician will do a thorough job to ensure your vehicle doesn’t fail in hot and humid weather. A qualified technician will be able to test Freon for contamination and add Freon if necessary. Your air conditioning system should be tested for any leaks or pressure and temperature issues, as well as inspecting your drive belt.
Flush and refill your cooling system. Your vehicle’s cooling system should be flushed and refilled every two years. Your coolant should also be checked periodically to make sure the coolant is at the recommended level, condition and concentration. Your cooling system is particularly critical in the hot summer months since it is often the primary cause of summer side-of-the-road breakdowns. It’s important to use a professional to check your drive belts, hoses and clamps since a certified technician would be a good judge of the condition and proper tightness of these critical cooling system features.
Change your oil and oil filter. Most car owner’s manuals recommend that you change your oil and oil filter about every 3,000 miles. You may need to change it more often if you are rough on your vehicle by often towing a trailer or camper or find yourself often stuck in stop-and-go traffic.
Replace worn windshield wipers. A dirty windshield wiper and lack of windshield wiper fluid can pose a serious hazard, and unfortunately, most of the time you won’t realize it until you’re stuck in the middle of a rainstorm. Take preventive measures and keep your wiper fluids topped off and immediately replace any bad wipers.
Regularly inspect and clean your headlights. Make a point to regularly clean your headlights of insects, dirt and other debris with a wet towel or rag. Check all your lights and replace any bulbs that are burned out.
Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles. Check the pressure on your tires at least once a month, and don’t forget to check the pressure on the spare in the back. Your tire jack should also be in good condition and ready for use if needed. If your tires appear to have uneven tread or are worn and bulging, it could be time for new tires.
Get your brakes inspected. Check your owner’s manual to see how often your brakes should be inspected. If you’re noticing any jerking motions, noises or it’s taking longer to stop, you should get your vehicle in for a brake inspection.
To beat the summer heat, contact Escondido Auto Tech at www.eatauto.com or (760) 745-4454, to schedule an appointment.
Your vehicle’s AC system is responsible for cooling, purifying, and circulating air.
Your air conditioning system works through a series of processes that involve refrigerant. In your vehicle, the refrigerant is responsible for removing heat from the cabin compartment. Refrigerant goes through a continuous cycle of air compression that is dependent on your compressor’s drive belt. The compressor pumps the refrigerant through the system where it is transformed from a hot gas into a liquid and then cooled. Through a number of other components, such as the condenser, compressor, and evaporator, the liquid is again processed into a gas, pressurized, and vaporized before being released into the cabin as cool air.
Like most aspects of car maintenance, treating a problem with your vehicle’s air conditioning system early can help prevent major repairs. For example, an air conditioning system operating on low refrigerant due to a leak will eventually damage the compressor. Replacing or repairing the compressor can be more expensive than sealing the leak and refilling the refrigerant. Some symptoms to beware of regarding a faulty air conditioning system include an inoperative fan or blower, an unusual amount of noise during regular operation, and, of course, reduced cooling capability. Stale smelling air is another sign that something is wrong with your vehicle’s air conditioner. A clogged compressor, evaporator, condenser, or expansion valve can contribute to AC system failure.
Routine maintenance now can help you avoid major AC repairs down the road. At Escondido Auto Tech, we have all of the equipment necessary to check and service your auto air conditioning. If you would like us to check out your system, please schedule an appointment at Escondido Auto Tech by calling us at (760)745-4454
Don’t forget about your car’s shocks and suspension wear!
Your car’s suspension is often something that we take for granted, and don’t think about servicing it ahead of time.
However eventually your shocks, bushings and other components will begin to loosen and wear out, and repairs and service will become inevitable. Properly aligned steering and suspension can help deliver a smooth and controlled ride. EAT offers great service…
Why service is important: The steering and suspension system
should be inspected at least annually to avoid significant repairs. Anytime you
feel indicators of steering or suspension problems have your mechanic evaluate
your vehicle to correct the problem quickly. Prolonged steering and suspension
issues will cause extreme safety hazards in the near future.
What they do: The steering system and suspension systems
bear the weight of your car, maintain the tires on the road when driving and
aid in delivering a smoother, safer trip.
Here are some things you may experience when driving, which
may be signals that it’s time to bring your car in for suspension component
Uneven tire treads – Your tires are a glimpse into the
dynamics of your vehicles performance over the road. If you notice the tread is
wearing down unevenly on your tires, or if you notice balding spots, this is
often a symptom that the suspension isn’t holding the car evenly, and therefore
putting uneven amounts of pressure on the tires.
Do “bounce test” on the front and back of your vehicle – If
you suspect your suspension is going bad (perhaps due to one or more of the
symptoms we mentioned above), try this simple test. With the car in “park,”
press down on the front of the vehicle with all your weight, “bounce” it a few
times, then release. Do it again on the rear of the vehicle. If the car
continues to rock or bounce more than 2-3 times after you release it, the
suspension is wearing out.
Car rides roughly – Most people can tell their shocks or
struts are wearing out when they begin to feel every bump in the road, or when
every bump causes the vehicle body to “bounce.” A rough ride is an obvious sign
that your vehicle’s suspension needs work.
Dips or “nose dives” when stopping – When the shocks are
worn out, you’re likely to feel the vehicle body lurching forward and downward
nose-first when you apply the brakes firmly. This can actually affect your
ability to stop the car quickly.
Oil Soaked Shocks – If you can look under the vehicle, take
a look directly at the shocks or struts. If they look greasy or oily, there’s a
good chance that they are leaking fluid and therefore aren’t working properly.
It’s probably time to get those shocks replaced.
Drifting or pulling during turns – With a failing suspension
system, you’ll often feel the vehicle “drift” or “pull” when you’re turning.
This basically means the shocks are no longer keeping the vehicle body stable against
the centrifugal force of a turn, increasing your risk of a rollover. If you
feel this sensation while turning, it’s time to take the car to a trusted auto
repair shop for servicing.
At Escondido Auto Tech, we are suspension experts and know
what it takes to return your car to that factory new ride. If you get any of the feedback signals
listed above, please schedule an appointment at Escondido Auto Tech by calling
us at (760)745-4454.
New safety features are added each year
Whether you are driving for the sheer enjoyment of it or for more practical reasons, it is important to do so safely.
There are many risks that are associated with driving a car, truck, or SUV. These risks stem from various factors that can be within or outside of the driver’s control. Following basic car safety tips is something that a driver can control, and will prevent the vast majority of accidents that happen on the road.
Use Your Senses and
Try listening, and being aware of unusual smells, smoke or anything out of the ordinary. You are probably accustomed to certain sounds on a daily basis, so any noise that is new, different or suspicious may indicate something has changed and now there is a problem.
Unusual smells can be a sign of trouble for your vehicle. Many people ignore these warning signs, when acted on, can result in lower repair costs and greater safety. Bring your car to a qualified auto technician to get a professional opinion of your observations.
Stay on Your
Being aware of your car will help you address any issues
before they become bigger problems. Over time, some car parts and components
start to show significant wear or become damaged. The key to preserving your
vehicle and your investment is doing basic maintenance. Keeping up with fluid
changes, proper tire inflation, tire wear inspection checks, filter changes and
other services will help avoid bigger repairs.
Preserve your Cars
Preserve your resale value and make it easy to sell when the
time comes. A car that is poorly maintained will not only loose much of its
value, it will become very difficult to trade in or sell when it is time to get
a different vehicle. By remaining aware of your car’s condition on a regular
basis, you can guard against getting blindsided by a big repair bill or letting
your investment decline dramatically.
By taking care of your cars finish, it will continue to look
as good as the day you bought it, and hold its value and appeal for years.
For the best auto service in North County, contact Escondido
Auto Tech at www.eatauto.com or (760) 745-4454, to schedule an appointment.
Spring is one of the prime times for bringing your car back to the state it was when it was new. That requires both special car care, and certain maintenance items.
That first wash on a warm Saturday afternoon is a chance to catch up with your vehicle. Some proper preparation and attention now will help ensure an excellent driving experience later in 2019.
Wash and Wax – A good, thorough wash and wax is the most important thing to do with your car once the winter is over. Allowing debris and grime to build up on your car can affect its paint and finish, while allowing road grime to build up can lead to rust and other paint problems. –
Clean the Inside, Too – Spring is the perfect time to give your car some spring cleaning! Remove and throw away all the interior papers, trash and other items that have collected in the back seat. Sprinkle baking soda onto all the fabric surfaces of your vehicle and leave it overnight before vacuuming the interior. Not only will this be easy to clean up, but your car will have neutralized smells, leaving your vehicle interior fresh for spring.
Check Your Tire Pressures – Tire pressure is especially important in the spring. As air temperatures get cooler during the winter, tire pressures decrease, which probably caused you to fill up your tires during the winter months. But as air gets warmer again in the spring, tire pressures can increase. If the pressure increases past your manufacturer specification (because you added air during the winter), it can seriously affect your car’s drivability and fuel economy. This is an important part of car care, so if you don’t feel comfortable checking your car’s tire pressures.
Inspect Your Wiper Blades – As spring starts and temperatures warm up, check your wiper blades for any signs of cracking or wear, you’ll need those wipers for our spring rains, so be sure they’re in good working order.
Have your Mechanic Check Under the Hood – Do a thorough check under your hood to make sure your car’s engine made it through the winter without problems. Specifically, check belts and hoses to ensure the colder temperatures haven’t rendered them brittle or heavily worn. Check your coolant to make sure it’s not too old — an important factor for avoiding overheating as temperatures gradually climb. Have hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc. corrected before hot weather sets in. Flush and refill the cooling system (radiator) according to the service manual’s recommendations. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.
Have them Check Alignment and Suspension – Winter in San Diego is short,but it creates a build up on body and suspension. The County also has its share of potholes. If you find yourself frequently traversing roads with huge potholes or rocks that have emerged from the asphalt, it could ruin your car’s alignment or damage suspension components. If you’ve taken your car to your mechanic to check under the hood, ask for a quick suspension and alignment check to make sure nothing is too far outside the manufacturer’s specifications.
Be sure to also read the owner’s manual and follow the recommended service schedules. If your vehicle needs routine services or a check-up, schedule an appointment at Escondido Auto Tech at (760) 745-4454 or online at eatauto.com.
When it comes time to get your car smogged, not all shops are equal.
There are actually three different types of smog shops, so what’s the difference between test & repair, “test only” and repair only shops?
A smog check includes an assessment
of other parts of the vehicle to make sure that they are in good working
condition. This is mostly done on the parts that are related to the motor
vehicle’s emissions control. The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) licenses or
contracts with several different types of Smog Check facilities. The various
stations are designed to provide consumers with multiple options to meet their
needs. The station is required to post a sign on the services it performs.
Test Only Stations – Test-Only stations are licensed by the state to perform Smog Check inspections, but not repairs, on vehicles. A test only center is expected to ensure a non-biased smog test inspection. Vehicles that are prescribed for test only centers most likely will have the characteristics of failing a previous smog inspection test by recording high emission readings that would normally classify them as gross polluters, or those that are deemed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair as having high chances of failing a smog inspection. A test only station is also prohibited from performing or commenting on any diagnosis or even on any possible required repairs. If you have a relatively new car, which you feel will pass, you may get by with a “test only” facility.
Repair Only Stations – There are a few facilities in California which only do smog equipment repairs, and do not issue the test certificates afterwards. Using these is obviously inconvenient for the consumer. –
Test and Repair Stations – Test-and-Repair stations are licensed by the state to provide Smog Check inspections and repairs. If there is any chance that your vehicle may need some work – a tune up, replacement of smog equipment, etc, then be sure to take it to a STAR certified facility that is both test and repair. –
If your vehicle is due for a smog certificate or needs smog repairs, schedule an appointment at Escondido Auto Tech at (760) 745-4454 or online at eatauto.com.
Automatic transmissions are pretty reliable. However, when you drive a number of miles, it may be time to service and maintain your transmission.
The reason why it needs some attention is that your trans is the most complicated piece of machinery on your car.
In 2019 a growing number of cars and sport utility vehicles now come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) instead of a conventional automatic. CVTs have been used in passenger cars since 1989, but if you haven’t been car shopping in several years a CVT may be new to you. There are different things that you need to do in order for you to ensure that your CVT-powered vehicle will last for years.
The most common problem CVT owners encounter is overheating, therefore, it is important that you ensure that your vehicle has ample fluid. However, please take note that adding fluid should not be more than 75%, or about a ¾ quarter, of the reservoir. It has to be just within the cross-hatch mark.
Another thing you should always keep in mind is the fluid change schedule. The schedule will depend on the type of vehicle that you have but most of the time, it’s within the 100,000 km range.
Do not overload your vehicle as it will cause your belt to wear due to excessive heat. Make sure that you stick to the suggested weight your vehicle can carry. Watch out for the following signs of trouble:
TRANS LEAKING FLUID ON THE DRIVEWAY (THIS MAY CAUSE VERY LOW FLUID LEVEL WHICH IS GOING TO CAUSE PROBLEMS)
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT COMES ON (ALSO HAS TRANS SENSORS)
ODD SMELL (SMELL THE TRANS DIPSTICK FOR A BURNT SMELL)
TRANS MAKES NOISES
WON’T GO INTO A GEAR
If your vehicle has any of the above symptoms, or is showing an engine light, take it to Escondido Auto Tech. The guys at EAT are used to diagnosing the problem quickly. Schedule an appointment today at Escondido Auto Tech by calling us at (760)745-4454.
AUTO AIR CONDITIONERS SHOULD BE CHECKED EACH SEASON
Car air conditioning systems promote a comfortable trip experience and help prevent driver fatigue. During normal vehicle operation, a substantial amount of heat is created by the engine and exterior contributors like the road and sun.
Your vehicle’s AC system is responsible for cooling, purifying, and circulating air. Your air conditioning system works through a series of processes that involve refrigerant. In your vehicle, the refrigerant is responsible for removing heat from the cabin compartment. Refrigerant goes through a continuous cycle of air compression that is dependent on your compressor’s drive belt. The compressor pumps the refrigerant through the system where it is transformed from a hot gas into a liquid and then cooled. Through a number of other components, such as the condenser, compressor, and evaporator, the liquid is again processed into a gas, pressurized, and vaporized before being released into the cabin as cool air.
Like most aspects of car maintenance, treating a problem with your vehicle’s air conditioning system early can help prevent major repairs. For example, an air conditioning system operating on low refrigerant due to a leak will eventually damage the compressor. Replacing or repairing the compressor can be more expensive than sealing the leak and refilling the refrigerant. Stale smelling air is another sign that something is wrong with your vehicle’s air conditioner. A clogged compressor, evaporator, condenser, or expansion valve can contribute to AC system failure.
Routine maintenance now can help you avoid major AC repairs down the road. At Escondido Auto Tech, we have all of the equipment necessary to check and service your auto air conditioning. If you would like us to check out your system, please schedule an appointment at Escondido Auto Tech by calling us at (760)745-4454.
Your cooling system affects the longevity of your engine, and your patience in traffic.
Nothing affects the reliability of your car or truck more than your vehicle’s cooling system.
The cooling system consists of a cooling fan, water pump, thermostat, radiator, heater core, heater valve, and various other parts that primarily work together to dissipate and remove heat from a vehicle’s engine. Your vehicle’s cooling system is responsible for reducing the temperature inside your engine and preventing possible overheating. Excess heat can build in a variety of places in your vehicle’s engine. When the engine reaches maximum operating temperatures, the thermostat opens and releases antifreeze from the engine to the radiator, which initiates the circulatory flow to absorb excess heat. The antifreeze is also responsible for keeping other engine fluids from boiling or freezing. After the antifreeze flows through the engine, it cycles back to the radiator, where the excess heat escapes through the radiator’s walls. The antifreeze is cooled by the cooling fan and readied to be re-released into the engine to dissipate additional heat.
Regular Cooling System Maintenance
Over time, antifreeze breaks down and loses its efficiency. If not drained and replaced, old antifreeze can lead to corrosion. During a cooling system flush and fill, our staff will drain the antifreeze from the radiator, flush the cooling system, and fill the radiator with new antifreeze. The cooling system’s cooling fan circulates air through the radiator and passes excess heat out of the engine. If the cooling fan malfunctions, your vehicle’s engine will overheat. During an inspection of the cooling system service, our experts will check the cooling fan for damage and the fan belt for cracks. Because the radiator is responsible for cooling the antifreeze as it circulates throughout the cooling system, a leak or a broken radiator hose can lead to major engine failure. A radiator pressure test is one way we can check for potential leaks or radiator damage.
Ultimately, neglecting basic cooling system and radiator maintenance can lead to a potential radiator replacement and major engine or radiator repairs down the road.
At Escondido Auto Tech, we have all of the equipment necessary to inspect your cooling system and let you know your options. Please schedule your appointment at Escondido Auto Tech by calling us at (760)745-4454.
At EAT we are methodical in our analysis of your car’s problem
Figuring out whats wrong with your car is an exacting process. That’s why local car owners leave it up to the Certified Repair personnel at EAT Auto.
At EAT auto, our use of state of the art computer diagnostic equipment keeps us a step ahead of the game, and allows you to keep your automobile in the best shape possible. We know that your car is a very Important part of your life, and your time is valuable. Why should you come to us for diagnosing problems with your car? Because were serious about using the latest in technology to save you time and money and get the best result!
Our cutting edge computer diagnostic equipment is a great complement to our skilled technicians. The two work together here to allow us to do some of the best auto repair work you can get, were talking dealership level service – but without dealership level prices. Thats something that anyone can appreciate here in inland north county, great work at a reasonable price!
If you think that your vehicle needs diagnostics, maintenance or repairs, schedule an appointment at Escondido Auto Tech at (760) 745-4454 or online at eatauto.com.