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7447 University Ave, La Mesa, CA 91942

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Category Archives: Maintenance

Change Your Wiper Blades Twice Yearly at John's Automotive Care

Because 90% of our driving decisions are based on visual information, unobscured vision is paramount. Which brings us to the topic of today's John's Automotive Care article: wiper blades. While this isn't the most exciting automotive subject, it's important. You wouldn't drive at night in San Diego with your headlights off, but a dirty or streaked vehicle windshield can catch the glare of the sun or on-coming headlights and make it just as difficult to see.Most of us in San Diego replace our wiper blades when they no longer do the job. They are so worn, hard or brittle that they can't clean the windshield. They may even be falling apart. In other words, we deal with our wiper blades from a failure perspective. We address them when they no longer function. The theory, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," doesn't apply here. Instead, we should think about wipers blades as an important safety system that we should maintain rather than ... read more

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Maintenance

Severe Service Requirements

A lot of San Diego drivers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their vehicle's  owner's  manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for over 30 years and is a speaker, a trainer and a writer. Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because, "Most owner's manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called 'regular service' and 'severe service.' Sometimes they're simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time." Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture ... read more

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Maintenance

Clean Air for Your Engine: Engine Air Filters In San Diego

Every San Diego car owner who has taken their car in for an oil change has been told that their engine air filter's dirty. Here's what goes into the determination of when to change the filter: First, your vehicle owner's manual will have a recommendation of when the filter should be replaced. Now, most air filters purchased in San Diego don't cost a lot to replace. It's just that CA people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter at John's Automotive Care can often save enough on gas to pay for itself before your next oil change in San Diego. Think about a dirty furnace filter in your San Diego home. When it's all clogged up, enough clean air can't get through. In your vehicle, that means that your engine can't get as much air as it needs to burn the fuel efficiently. So it makes do with less air and has to use more gas to move your vehicle around San Diego roads. Your vehicle actually needs about 12,000 ti ... read more

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Maintenance

Training Received by Technicians in San Diego, CA

When your vehicle breaks down in the San Diego, CA, area, or just needs some routine service, it can make you a little nervous. Because your vehicle's so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible — with the problem fixed right the first time.We've been checking into some of the training our San Diego, CA, technicians receive, and we're very impressed. It's amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern vehicle. So it's not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over the weekend.Today there are four-cylinder engines around San Diego that make more power than the V-8's in luxury cars did 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/97 kph.Our engines are more and more powerful. And they're so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to San Diego drivers at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from ... read more

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Maintenance

John's Automotive Care On Your Serpentine Belt

  Today we're going to be talking about serpentine belts for our San Diego, CA, customers. Let's start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That's the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there's the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you're driving around CA in the summer.The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most San Diego residents' vehicles. Those pumps provide pressure that assists your steering and braking.In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around San Diego, CA, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That's really a lot of work for one belt ... read more

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Maintenance

John's Automotive Care: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

John's Automotive Care: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your vehicle engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let's go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on San Diego streets, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide?The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about 12,000 gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your vehicle needs a lot of air to keep going in San Diego. A lot of clean air is best. You've seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your vehicle also works better when its internals are clean. When your vehicle air filter is ... read more

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Maintenance

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

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Maintenance

Serpentine Belt Service at John's Automotive Care

Most San Diego folks occasionally have days when they've got a bunch of errands to run. Yesterday was my day off and I needed to fill the gas tank, pick up some groceries at my San Diego market, swing by the ATM and get the kids from school. I could have made four trips . . . but that would have been totally inefficient. Instead I got unusually organized and planned my stops. I hit the ATM first and got gas next. Then I went to the supermarket and picked up the kids on the way home. I was proud of my wise use of time and money.What does this have to do with your car? Well, back in the day, each of your engine's accessories, like the alternator and air conditioner, were powered by separate belts. A vehicle might have five or six belts. These days, vehicles have a single belt to run all the accessories. It's called the serpentine belt. A pulley attached to the vehicle engine's crank provides the power to turn the serpentine belt. On the engine in the video, the first accessory in line i ... read more

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Maintenance

The Easy Way to Save Cash in San Diego

The hottest CA news story may be different every day, but there's one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in San Diego. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in San Diego can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here's a review of things you can do for your vehicle that'll save gas no matter how you drive.The first one for San Diego drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most San Diego service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask John's Automotive Care. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many San Diego gas stations have an air ... read more

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Maintenance

New School: Automotive John's Automotive Care Technician Training

San Diego consumers are demanding. We want a safe, reliable vehicle that handles well and is comfortable to ride in. Oh, and we want good fuel economy, too. We also want vehicle repairs that are cheap, fast and easy. Unfortunately, one usually comes at the cost of the other.Today's vehicles have made significant improvements in reliability and performance over the last few decades. They also deliver more power to San Diego drivers more efficiently than ever before. For example, some of today's 4-cylinder engines are equal to yesterday's V-8's. Our vehicles also offer an amazing range of features that make them more comfortable and convenient than ever before.But all of that improvement has come at a price for San Diego vehicle owners. Our vehicles are more complicated and difficult to repair than ever before. They have numerous mechanical and electrical systems. Fuel systems are so complex they have to be run by a computer. Our vehicles are covered with sensors and high-tech elect ... read more

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Maintenance
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