We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over Poway. Some days it’s all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That’s why you’ve gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps - we have to keep track of it all.
So let’s talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the critical scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.
Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by Poway car owners. They’re all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.
1. Power Steering Service
Be honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your important power steering parts are protected from harmful corrosion. Next time you're in for an oil change, ask your Poway service advisor if it’s time for a power steering check-up.
2. Wheel Alignment
When your wheels are out of alignment your Vehicle pulls to one side. It’s pretty annoying, but it’s also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast; which is an unneccessary expense! Most auto manufacturers owners manuals suggest you get your alignment checked once or twice a year.
3. Differential Service
Did you even know you had a differential? Well, you do - one, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they’re part of the drive-train that transfers power from your Vehicle engine to your wheels. They don’t need service that often, but you can’t completely forget them. Check with your Friendly Poway Auto Repair service advisor.
4. Cabin Air Filter
More and more Poway cars these days have cabin air filters (a great feature, in my opinion) to clean the air in the passenger area where we sit. They filter out dust and pollen. When they’re clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.
5. Timing Belt Replacement
Most cars and some vans and trucks driven around the Poway area have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let’s just say that your car won’t run without it – period. And if it breaks while you’re driving it can do thousands of dollars worth of costly engine damage. Check your owners’ manual or with your Poway service advisor. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles; definitely look into it right away.
6. Transmission Service
Transmission serviceis very basic, but it’s often forgotten by Poway auto owners. Your Vehicle transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep operating efficiently and avoid pricey repairs. And it can also improve your fuel economy.
7. Air Conditioning Service
Most of us Poway drivers don’t think about our air conditioning until it fails on a hot day in Poway. If you’re lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you’re not, some of the components may have been ruined. Of course, these components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service at Poway Auto Repair in Poway adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.
8. Brake Service
No we’re not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We’re talking brake fluid. Over time the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won’t work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your Poway Auto Repair technician for recommendations.
9. Coolant System
Another thing that’s so easy for Poway drivers to forget about: When you don’t change your antifreeze on schedule it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the pH balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you’re stranded - bummer.
10. Fuel System Cleaning
In these times of high fuel prices, fuel system cleaning is vital. Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning at Poway Auto Repair in Poway will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors also get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule at Poway Auto Repair will really help your fuel economy.
There you have it; 10 services that are often overlooked. Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn’t been performed? Considering our busy lives, we’re not surprised.
Poway car owners know it takes some thought and effort to actually maintain a vehicle; but it not only saves cash in the long run – it saves time too. And we can all use a little more time.
Poway Auto Repair can help with any of these services. Give us a call at (858) 748-0561 .
Most Poway auto owners worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy California highway but don’t worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown at the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during Poway rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot Vehicle .
A lot of Poway drivers judge their vehicles’ air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keeps the Vehicle running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very expensive in Poway.
Poway auto owners should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system’s components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing costly repairs, and keep it at peak performance.
Inadequate refrigerant indicates a leak in the air conditioning system. Over time, seals in the system can crack, causing the refrigerant to leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system. Replacing these seals will keep your Vehicle air conditioning system at its best, and, again, will help you avoid more costly repairs.
At Poway Auto Repair , we advise our Poway customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.
Check with your Vehicle owner’s manual or with your Poway service specialist for information about how often your Vehicle air conditioning system should be serviced.
Another piece of good auto advice: if your Vehicle air conditioner isn’t working or is starting to show signs of breakdown, NOW is the time to get it fixed at Poway Auto Repair in Poway. Waiting will only increase the chances that you are in for major repairs and a significant repair bill.
On a final note, if you own an older vehicle, you should check into upgrading the air conditioning system. Vehicles manufactured before 1993 often contained a refrigerant known as Freon. The manufacture of Freon was outlawed in 1993, leading to an ever-dwindling supply, which leads to an ever-steeper price for Poway motorists in California. If your vehicle still uses Freon, you should have it retrofitted to use the new, EPA-approved R134A refrigerant. The retrofit will actually pay for itself by reducing the cost to recharge the refrigerant in your Vehicle .
Remember, preventive maintenance — of your entire car — will keep you on the road. And, in this case, it will help you keep your cool!
When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Poway auto owners remember to get our oil changed. But Poway Auto Repair services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is a critical part of car care for Poway drivers. A poorly maintained transmission will reduce fuel economy and lead to pricey repairs.
The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it’s clean and well - lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your gas mileage will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.
Transmission fluid has two jobs: to cool and lubricate the transmission. The transmission operates at high temperatures. It can get 100-150°F degrees hotter inside your transmission than inside your engine. Transmission fluid transfers some of the heat away from the transmission. Transmissions work hard. Their parts need constant lubrication to prevent excessive wear and keep them running smoothly for Poway drivers.
The constant shifting and movement of gears inside the transmission cause bits of the gears and clutch material to wear off. These bits of harmful grit get into the transmission fluid. This grit increases friction inside the transmission and causes even more wear – it’s like liquid sandpaper. Also, the high temperatures inside the transmission cause the transmission fluid to break down over time, making it a less effective lubricant. The fluid can actually become sludgy, which can gradually plug up the maze of passages inside the transmission. Gradually, the transmission loses efficiency and stops operating smoothly. Eventually, the transmission will be damaged or fail altogether.
This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner’s manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this vital service. Or, you can talk to your Friendly Poway Auto Repair service professional. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your Vehicle may be shorter or longer.
Of course, if you give your transmission a real workout, you’re going to have to change the fluid more often than the car maker recommends. If you drive in hot, dusty California conditions, if you tow a trailer around Poway, if you haul heavy loads or if you do a lot of stop-and-go Poway driving, then you need to change transmission fluid more often. Also, if you demand frequent bursts of speed from your engine — especially shooting away from stops — your transmission is working harder and will need more frequent care. Check your owner’s manual for the “severe conditions” service interval.
Transmission fluids vary from vehicle to vehicle, so you’ll also need to check your owner’s manual to know what kind your Vehicle needs, or talk to your Friendly Poway Auto Repair tech.
At Poway Auto Repair in Poway, transmission fluid can usually be changed while you wait and is simple and not particularly pricey. Compared to the cost of costly transmission repairs or a new transmission, it’s downright cheap! So take some good auto advice from the team at Poway Auto Repair and take care of your transmission. It will pay you back in improved fuel efficiency and a longer, smoother ride.
If you've walked through the automotive fluids of an auto parts store in Poway , you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?
As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Poway area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.
First let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.
Some vehicles around Poway come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet is to always use what the factory recommends. The recommendation is what's been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.
A good quality oil has more additives that are engineered to clean and protect the engine. They cost a bit more, but are worth the extra protection. If you buy budget oil, you might want to consider shortening your oil change interval.
Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We've seen special coolant in Poway for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler and others.
The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.
The really good news is that your Poway service center has databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that'll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer's recommendations.
Of course, your full-service oil change will top off your fluids. But it's a good idea to have some of everything at home in case you need to top something off yourself or to take on a trip. Ask your Poway service advisor at Poway Auto Repair or check your owner's manual for fluid specifications.
It's important to know that there are national warranty laws that say that a manufacturer cannot require you to use their brand of fluid to maintain your warranty. That said, there are two things that may affect your warranty.
Using the wrong type of fluid may void the warranty. Going back to radiator coolant, the correct type protects against corrosion and the wrong type will not. So it's important to be right.
Also some warranty protections are conditioned on taking care of scheduled preventive maintenance. Please review your warranty if you have questions.
It's important for Poway car owners to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold California weather. Most Poway auto owners think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold Vehicle engine.
However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Poway trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Poway car owners can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the California summer and every three months during the winter.
As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your Vehicle alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.
If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your Friendly Poway Auto Repair service advisor for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your Vehicle alternator.
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Poway Auto Repair
13907 Poway Rd Suite A
Poway, California 92064
Modern cars and trucks in and around Poway run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done for Poway car owners without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today's vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then us California car owners have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players.
We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off.
Fortunately, battery technology has given Poway auto owners resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your Vehicle . Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have just worn out. Or, in other cases, they have developed a leak which makes it even more important to get it replaced.
Special safety precautions are taken when working with batteries in the shop at Poway Auto Repair in Poway, California. These precautions also apply to anyone who is poking around the battery. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can damage your eyes and burn your skin, so safety glasses and rubber gloves are a must for any Poway car owners working with their battery. Be careful to not spill acid on your clothes or the Vehicle 's paint. Of course, avoid short circuiting the battery as well.
Replacement car batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some cars have limited space that requires a specially shaped battery to fit. Larger engines require more powerful batteries to get them started. If you live where it gets cold in California you will need a more powerful battery because engines are harder to start when it is cold.
Sometimes there is quite a price range in Poway auto part stores for batteries that will work in a particular car. Think of it as "good", "better" and "best". More expensive batteries have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things, paying a little more up front saves bucks in the long run for Poway car owners.
Poway Auto Repair
13907 Poway Rd Suite A
Poway, California 92064