Same Great Service at All Locations!

Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

La Mesa Location

(619) 403-9426

7447 University Ave, La Mesa, CA 91942

Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Sat & Sun: Closed

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El Cajon Location

(619) 404-5645

10813 Airport Dr., El Cajon, CA 92020

Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Sat & Sun: Closed

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Articles:

Introduction to Diesels for San Diego, CA

Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around San Diego, CA, is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses; we're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.Most people in CA are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import brands offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in San Diego, CA. But that's about to change.In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in San Diego, CA, so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.Why are so many San Diego drivers interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There's more power in a barrel ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Drive Train - What You Need to Know in San Diego

One San Diego automotive service issue that doesn't get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don't get talked about very much around San Diego, but they're very important. First let's define what the driveline is:Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.That's not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you're not moving. So San Diego residents need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we're going to have to oversimplify a bit. If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call at 619-280-9315. Let's start with front wheel drive. The point where th ... read more

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Drive Train

Coolant/Antifreeze Service in San Diego, CA

San Diego auto owners may know that most automotive failures in San Diego, CA, are tire related, but do you know the second most common cause of vehicle failure? Nope, it's not teenagers. It is the coolant system. But if you take good care of your vehicle coolant system, it will take good care of you.A vehicle's engine creates a lot of heat - so much heat, that if it is not properly cooled, the engine can lock up, resulting in massive damage and repair bills. But when everything is working right, your vehicle engine operates at the proper temperature and all is well. Without antifreeze in your cooling system, the water could freeze and cause vehicle engine damage. This could be very expensive, not to mention inconvenient.The right mix of water and antifreeze protects the engine against damage from freezing and overheating. Antifreeze also protects the coolant system against corrosion that could cause the system to fail. The thing to remember is this: coolant system failure is ver ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

Odometer Rollback on Your San Diego, CA Vehicle

  How do San Diego drivers know if an odometer is telling the truth?Well, back in '86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect CA consumers against mileage fraud. It says a CA seller must certify the mileage reported is the actual mileage.To have your odometer checked in San Diego, CA, stop by John's Automotive Care: John's Automotive Care6267 Riverdale StSan Diego, CA 92120   If it isn't, the seller must say why; for example, maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.If the seller tells you the mileage isn't accurate, there's not much chance of putting a good number to it. And there's the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it isn't. What can San Diego vehicle owners do?You can go to www.CarFax.com, where, for a small fee, they'll give you a c ... read more

Categories:

Older Vehicles

San Diego Alignment Service

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn't feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes around San Diego and smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then, one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.There are several things involved in an alignment check at John's Automotive Care. First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension systems - their components should be checked to see if anything's bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's center line. If ... read more

Categories:

Alignment

San Diego Exhaust and Emissions Service

Many San Diego residents don't realize that there is more to exhaust system maintenance than just tailpipes and mufflers, if you can see smoke or if it's too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like John's Automotive Care is really a lot more comprehensive these days.For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. CA and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it's so sophisticated, we recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at John's Automotive Care, regularly to make sure everything's working right – which is usually ev ... read more

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Exhaust

Make Your Vehicle Last

We live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days, CA folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough - they had to do without. Most San Diego drivers couldn't afford new vehicles very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.It's a good thing that vehicles are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us CA penny pinchers is that a modern vehicle can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us San Diego vehicle owners making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.Every time you go a little farther between recommended oil changes, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and for clogg ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Fuel Filter Replacement

Hello San Diego resident! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your vehicle feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good fuel economy. The fuel filter's job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won't start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your vehicle will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow particles into your engine.A vehicle with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around San Diego, but sputter and strain on the because it's starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in CA and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural CA, your f ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

How Do You Save Gas in San Diego, CA?

No one in San Diego, CA, likes to spend a chunk of change at the gas pump. Rising CA fuel prices, however, have spurred San Diego drivers to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles/kilometers less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we love our vehicles, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.Let's look at a real life example. This man has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System
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