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:

A Fluid Situation (Check Fluid Levels)

There's one fluid in your car you are always careful to keep at a certain level: the fuel. If you don't have fuel, you're not going anywhere.  Your vehicle has other fluids which are vitally important to proper and safe operation, too.  So, here's a "level" headed approach to those "other" fluids. Engine oil.  This one's probably the most important fluid to maintain at the proper level. Without enough oil, you'll wear out your engine prematurely.  Sometimes vehicles have warning lights on the dash that will tell you to get your oil checked.  Don't ignore that one; get it checked immediately.  Certainly don't go on a long trip at high speeds with your oil level low. Oh, and it's not good to have too much oil in, either. Our pros at John's Automotive Care can advise you on oil levels and tell if you if you should be concerned about abnormal fluctuations. Windshield washer fluid.  OK, this is one you probably know about.  You certainly miss it when ... read more

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Fluids

Steering You Right (Power Steering Signs of Problems)

Nearly every modern vehicle on the road today has power steering, a wonderful invention that makes steering take far less effort than it did in the "good old days."  Today, we take our steering for granted: until something goes wrong, that is. Most power steering these days is rack-and-pinion, the rack being a metal bar between the front wheels with notches in it and the pinion being a gear whose teeth fits into those notches.  Adding power assist makes it easy to turn. That assist comes in the form of hydraulic fluid that is pressurized by a pump powered by the engine, an electric motor that adds a power assist or a system that uses both an electric motor and hydraulic fluid. Your vehicle usually gives you a heads up that something is going wrong with its steering. Here are a few signs to look for: A humming, whirring, rubbing or grinding sound coming from you engine compartment when you turn. Signs of hydraulic fluid leaking, such as wet spots under your vehicle. The smell ... read more

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Steering

Exhaust Service at John's Automotive Care in San Diego

Whenever they hear the term "exhaust service," most San Diego residents think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. Well, actually, exhaust service at John's Automotive Care is a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, catalytic converters were mandated in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Governmental emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations.Exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer controlled emissions devices are now a big part of exhaust service. Because it is so sophisticated, your recommends you have your emission system checked out by a qualified San Diego exhaust technician regularly to make sure everything is working right - usually every 6 months or 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers.If your Check Engine light comes on, especially if it's flashing, get your car looked at right away. Technicians at John's Automotive Care in ... read more

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Exhaust

A Sticky Brake Situation (Parking Brake Service and Maintenance)

We've all been there.  You park your vehicle on a steeper than usual hill and worry about it rolling down while you're running your errands.  So you decide you'll use the parking brake.  When you get back, you release the parking brake, hit the ignition, put it in gear and—uh, oh—you can feel the parking brake is still on.  It's stuck.  What do you do now? Welcome to the world of infrequently-used parking brakes.  Yes, they do stick for several reasons. It's common for components to corrode and get locked up.  Sometimes if you have applied it extra hard, it can jam.  Could be a rusty cable, could be a spring that doesn't return the brake to its disengaged position.  Some pieces just break when they're stressed for the first time in a while. A caliper or the pivot arm it's on can also stick. There are a few things you can try to unstick it.  Carefully rock your vehicle by putting it first in drive and then reverse.  You ... read more

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Brakes

A Head Start on Starting (Battery Testing)

If your vehicle isn't starting or doesn't sound like it used to when you crank it, the culprit may be the battery.  You may have left a light on, or something plugged into one of charging ports.  Maybe you accidentally left your vehicle in the "on" or "accessory" position when you last got out. Maybe you've left it in the garage or driveway for a long time without starting it.  That can spell the end for a vehicle battery. It's also possible that your battery is just simply too old. There's no standard lifespan of a battery, but 3-5 years is about average, even though some people only get 2 and heavier duty batteries may last many more. It's possible your battery is defective, too.  And it could be your vehicle's charging system isn't recharging the battery.  Whatever the cause, if you're having problems with your battery, it's a good idea to bring it in and have us perform a thorough battery test.  With state-of-the-art testing equipment, a technician wil ... read more

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Battery

Alternative Fuel Vehicles in San Diego, CA

Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our CA environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for San Diego drivers very soon.For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the San Diego area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits to San Diego drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and when gas prices are low, E85 can be more than straight gasoline.San Diego drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.Diesel engines have been around CA  f ... read more

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Fuel System

Breathe Deep in San Diego With a New Cabin Air Filter

Poor interior air quality is nothing to sneeze at, and San Diego auto owners might be interested to know that more and more new cars are coming equipped with a cabin air filter. Check your vehicle owner's manual, but they typically need to be replaced at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 kilometers).The filter is usually under the vehicle hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you'll want to have your friendly and knowledgeable John's Automotive Care service advisor take care of replacing them.As we said, many San Diego people don't realize they have a cabin air filter and come to John's Automotive Care saying "my vents are smelling bad." It usually turns out to be a dirty cabin air filter. A switch out and they're on their way, smelling sweet.San Diego residents who suffer from allergies can really benefit from a cabin air filter as it keeps irritants to a minimum.If you're one of them, you'll want to r ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

Automotive Tips from John's Automotive Care: Timing Belt Overview

In your engine, valves over each combustion chamber open to allow fresh air in, close during the combustion event, and then other valves open to let out the exhaust. All of this happens over and over thousands of times a minute when you are driving around San Diego. The timing belt’s important job is to make sure that all of this happens as it should – at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run efficiently or maybe not at all – so a good timing belt is important. If it should break, you could end up at John's Automotive Care with expensive engine damage.Ask your friendly and professional John's Automotive Care service advisor when your timing belt is scheduled for replacement.Give us a call.John's Automotive Care6267 Riverdale StSan Diego, CA 92120619-280-9315http://www.johnsautomotivecare.com

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Timing Belt

Arrive Alive in San Diego

We've all seen drivers do crazy things while driving to or from San Diego. A guy shaving in the rear-view mirror, a woman applying makeup, people talking on their phones, texting or drinking from an enormous coffee mug. It's a wonder we even dare drive on CA roads.The truth is that all of us are distracted when we drive. Unfortunately, traffic, road construction and other external factors are beyond our control. The distractions inside our car, however, are things we can often control.Here's some things that'll give you more control in your car, and help keep your attention on the roads around San Diego. San Diego drivers who are 16 to 20 years old tend to be more distracted by the radio, CD or MP3 player. San Diego drivers who are 20 to 29 are more distracted by passengers in the car, including small children. Those over age 65 tend to be more distracted by objects or events that are outside of the vehicle. Other factors like fatigue, stress and lack of sleep make it harder to pay ... read more

Emergency! (Vehicle Emergency items)

"I never expected it could happen to me." Countless drivers have said that after they've had an emergency turn their lives upside down. So before that happens to you, let's thinking about planning ahead for an emergency with a few things you should keep in your vehicle. Road flares. If you've ever driven by a disabled vehicle sitting at the side of the highway at night, you know how terribly hard it is to see, especially in bad weather like rain.  If you are the one in that broken down vehicle, you run the risk of being hit by a vehicle whose driver literally may not be able to see you.  The best emergency signal includes one or more road flares.  There's a reason police officers and firefighters carry them in their vehicles.  When you see a series of burning red flares at the side of the road, you know something serious is going on.  These are far more visible at a much longer distance than nearly any other portable signal device.   Fire extinguisher ... read more

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Safety
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