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La Mesa Location

(619) 403-9426

7447 University Ave, La Mesa, CA 91942

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

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Yearly Archives: 2021

Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down in San Diego

There’s not much San Diego drivers can do about the price of gas in CA, but we can control - up to a point - how much we use. Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.The first thing we can do is watch the go-pedal. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year in improved gas mileage.Go a little slower on CA expressways. San Diego drivers who go more than 65 miles an hour (105 kilometers per hour) will see their gas mileage drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speeds use less gas.Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands around San Diego.Hey at current San Diego gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot. Give us a call John's Automotive Care6267 Riverdale StSan Diego, CA 9212061 ... read more

Start Me Up (Ignition Systems)

When you start up your gasoline engine car, you may not know that it's using the same ignition principles as it has for decades.  You have spark plugs that require enough power so a spark can jump across a gap at its tip.  Years ago, a vehicle's 12-volt system had to produce 15,000-25,000 volts to do that, so engineers came up with something called an ignition coil that bumps up the voltage. It also has to be done at just the right interval called timing. The first systems had a distributor, a mechanical device with a rotating disc that switched the power to the ignition coil on and off.  That higher voltage then was sent to the spark plugs at the correct time interval. But the mechanical "points" had to be replaced and adjusted every 12,000 miles/20,000 kilometers.  Engineers later replaced the switching mechanism with solid state ones, but they still needed replacement after 120,000 miles/200,000 kilometers. The next evolution came in the 80's when the distributor ... read more

The Sign of the Shield (Heat Shield Repair and Replacement)

Even in the months where temperatures are cooler, heat is still an enemy of your vehicle.  When your engine runs, it creates heat, so there are numerous heat shields that protect other parts from those higher temperatures. Heat shields are installed around several areas of the exhaust system.  Others prevent heat from reaching parts of the vehicle.  Still others prevent heat from reaching the ground (or maybe grass underneath) and starting a fire.  If you remember your space travel history, you'll know how important a heat shield can be. John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, but during that maiden orbital flight, a sensor on board was indicating the heat shield on his capsule, Friendship 7, was loose.  If it had come off, his spacecraft could have burned up upon re-entry.  Fortunately, the heat shield stayed on, and Glenn made history. Unfortunately, the heat shields on your vehicle don't have warning systems like the space vehicles did.&nb ... read more

Categories:

Exhaust

The Right Oil for the Season (Engine Oil Viscosity)

As the temperatures plunge, certain types of engine oil may not flow as easily as they did when it was warmer.  Makes sense, doesn't it? Just like molasses gets thicker as the temperature goes down, engine oil does the same thing. So, maybe you're wondering if you have to change your oil as the seasons change so it's just the right thickness to lubricate your engine parts.  How well engine oil flows is called its viscosity. There are different types of oil—some that have just one viscosity and others called "multigrade" oils.  Here's the difference. A single viscosity oil will flow better when it's hot but not as well when it's cold.  A multigrade oil is engineered so that its flow properties at cold temperatures are different than they are at warm temperatures.  In other words, a multigrade oil can start out in colder temperatures acting like a thinner oil and then behave like a thicker oil when it's warm.  That's a pretty cool trick and it's why mu ... read more

Categories:

Oil Change

Wiper Blades in CA

If you're gonna drive around the San Diego area, you've got to be able to see! So having a good set of windshield wipers is extremely important. We've all experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm or when our windshield is just dirty.It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. But windshield wipers are like most other vehicle parts– they require regular attention in order to work their best.You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If it's going to be a particularly harsh winter in CA, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall. Winter blades are designed to resist freezing.Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That'll ju ... read more

Know Your Towing Limits in San Diego

Some San Diego drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. Nope. If you're going to do any towing around San Diego, you should be aware of safety issues, CA towing laws and potential liability.Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. San Diego drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), but if you have a 2,000-pound (900 kg) hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds (900 kg). If you tow a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resulting dama ... read more

Categories:

Safety

Fall and Spring Inspection at John's Automotive Care

Good vehicle care for us San Diego residents has always meant taking our vehicles in every spring and fall for a check-up. Vehicles needed routine maintenance to prepare them for the changes in weather. Today's vehicles aren't quite as sensitive to seasonal changes. Older vehicles required different weights of oil for summer and winter. But today's engines can run on the same oil all year. Both the engines and the oils have been improved.Antifreeze—or coolant as it's also called—protects the engine from both freezing and hot temperatures and thus is required by the engine year-round. Modern coolants don't have to be changed as often as they did in the past, but your owner's manual has a recommendation for when it should be replaced to extend cooling system life.Getting a spring and fall checkup at John's Automotive Care in San Diego for your vehicle is still good auto advice.First of all, there is a lot of preventive auto maintenance involved ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Growing Old Together (Maintaining an Older Vehicle)

More and more of us are hanging on to our vehicles longer.  A company by the name of HIS Markit recently released a report that shows the average age of light vehicles in the U.S. is now 11.8 years.  Light vehicles are cars, SUVs (sport utility vehicles) and CUVs (compact utility vehicles).  In Canada, the average life expectancy of a vehicle there is around 13 years, and in the U.S., it's around 15.  Vehicles are lasting longer these days, and there are several reasons for that. One expert cites better technology and overall quality improvements.  While in past years, vehicles were made mainly of heavier steel components, more modern vehicles contain lighter magnesium and aluminum alloys, high-strength steel, polymers and carbon fiber.  They last longer and reduce the overall vehicle weight, and that can contribute to better fuel economy. Modern internal combustion engine designs have been improved, and since they use more computers, they are more efficie ... read more

Categories:

Older Vehicles

Power Steering Service in San Diego

Most San Diego drivers are too young to remember life before power steering - cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let's look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine; a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea for San Diego drivers to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why power steering fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owner's manual for the right type - or just ask your friendly and knowledgeable ... read more

Categories:

Steering

Automotive Tips from John's Automotive Care: Air Conditioning ? Common Problem

Your auto air conditioning system cools and conditions the air in your passenger compartment when you are driving around San Diego. It also removes moisture from the air to keep your windows from fogging up.A common A/C problem for San Diego drivers that visit John's Automotive Care is contaminated refrigerant (the gas that cools the air). The inside of the A/C hoses deteriorates over time and tiny fragments of rubber clog passages. This makes the system less efficient and overworks various components.Leaks can develop at seals and gaskets and may reduce the amount of refrigerant, causing the system to work too hard to compensate. Dirty components can have the same consequences.Ask your John's Automotive Care service advisor for an air conditioning system inspection to make sure everything is up to spec.John's Automotive Care6267 Riverdale StSan Diego, CA 92120619-280-9315http://www.johnsautomotivecare.com   ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning
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