09
Feb

Timing Belt Replacement

Timing Belt Replacement

Timing Belt Replacement

Timing Belt Replacement means realizing that a timing belt is a very critical engine component.  On most vehicles, a broken timing belt means you’ll be buying a new engine!

A timing belt, timing chain or cam belt is a part of an internal combustion engine that synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft so that the engine’s valves open and close at the proper times during each cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes.  Many car owners may wonder how often to replace a timing belt. The old rule was every 60,000 miles but as technology improves, many manufacturers now recommend intervals up to 100,000 miles.    If your vehicle has anywhere near that mileage and you’ve never replaced your timing belt, you’re on borrowed time!  To be safe you should check what the vehicle’s manufacturer recommends and stay within that mileage.

Common symptoms that might indicate that your timing belt is wearing out or has broken are:

  1. Ticking noise coming from the engine
  2. Engine won’t turn over
  3. Engine misfires
  4. Oil leaking from front of the motor

Keep in mind:

  1. When replacing a timing belt, we suggest you also replace the water pump, tensioner, and pulleys.
  2. If the pulleys and tensioners fail after only replacing the belt, this can cause valve or piston damage and lead to more expensive repairs.
  3. We will only replace the water pump if it is driven by the timing belt (true for most cars).

Not all vehicles have a timing belt, some have a chain which usually doesn’t require regular replacement.  DRIVE AutoCare will be glad to review your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service and tell you if you have a timing belt or a chain.

31
Jan

All German Auto Repair Specialists in Solana Beach

All German Auto Repair Specialists in Solana Beach

All German Auto Repair Specialists in Solana Beach

All German Auto Repair Specialists in Solana Beach at DRIVE AutoCare.  We are an independent, full service auto repair facility serving the communities of Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe and Carmel Valley .  We provide exceptional repair and maintenance services for Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen and Mini Cooper.  Located in Solana Beach, we employ the best, most experienced ASE-certified master technicians and state-of-the-art diagnosis equipment.  At DRIVE, we only use brand new, OEM and OE Supplier parts and provide a warranty longer than the dealer.

Our list of services include:

    • Factory Scheduled Maintenance
    • A/C Services
    • Alternators & Batteries
    • Brakes & Rotors
    • Belts & Hoses
    • Clutch Repair
    • Heating & Cooling System
    • Electrical Services
    • Exhaust & Mufflers
    • Oil Changes & Lube
    • Computer Diagnostics
    • Steering & Suspension
    • Safety Checks
    • Light Replacements
    • Tire & Wheel Services
    • Water Pumps & Radiators
    • Ignitions & Starter
    • Emissions Work
    • Tune-Ups

We are your dealer alternative.  In most cases, DRIVE AutoCare is less expensive and more convenient than the dealer. We provide the following benefits to our customers:

  • We can perform the same repairs and maintenance that your dealer can and our work keeps your warranty intact.
  • We check for manufacturer Technical Service Bulletins, software updates and recall information and we always check the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, making appropriate recommendations.
  • Our ASE Master Certified Technicians inspect for warranty-related concerns and we always advise you if a repair is covered by a dealer warranty, giving you the option to return the dealer for the free repair.
  • We only use the manufacturer or equivalent replacement parts and we offer a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty on all repairs. That’s as good as the dealer warranty!
  • We have specialized diagnostic computers and tools that are specific to your make and model.
  • We provide a free shuttle and, when necessary, we can arrange for a rental or an UBER.
26
Jan

DRIVE AutoCare Del Mar Rancho Santa Fe Solana Beach Cardiff Encinitas

DRIVE AutoCare Del Mar Rancho Santa Fe Solana Beach Cardiff EncinitasDRIVE AutoCare Del Mar Rancho Santa Fe Solana Beach Cardiff Encinitas

DRIVE AutoCare Del Mar Rancho Santa Fe Solana Beach Cardiff Encinitas

DRIVE AutoCare Del Mar Rancho Santa Fe Solana Beach Cardiff Encinitas with two SOLANA BEACH locations to serve you:  128 N. Cedros Avenue and 371 N. Highway 101.  DRIVE AutoCare enhances automotive value, comfort and safety. Forevermore, we will be obsessive in our quest to exceed the expectations of our community with trustworthy advice and legendary service.

LOCALLY-OWNED FOR 37 YEARS:  In 1980, California Import Auto opened at the corner of Highway 101 and Cliff Street in Solana Beach. In 2003, we opened North Coast Alignment specializing in suspension, brake repair and wheel alignments. We expanded east in 2005 opening Align-Tech in Escondido.  In 2015, we rebranded all three locations as DRIVE AutoCare to better reflect our full-service repair and maintenance capabilities. We employ San Diego County’s finest ASE-certified mechanics who consistently earn 5 star quality rankings.

YOUR DEALER ALTERNATIVE:  In most cases, DRIVE AutoCare is less expensive and more convenient than the dealer. We provide the following benefits to our customers:

  • We can perform the same repairs and maintenance that your dealer can and our work keeps your warranty intact.
  • We check for manufacturer Technical Service Bulletins, software updates and recall information and we always check the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, making appropriate recommendations.
  • Our ASE Master Certified Technicians inspect for warranty-related concerns and we always advise you if a repair is covered by a dealer warranty, giving you the option to return the dealer for the free repair.
  • We only use the manufacturer or equivalent replacement parts and we offer a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty on all repairs. That’s as good as the dealer warranty!
  • We have specialized diagnostic computers and tools that are specific to your make and model.
  • We provide a free shuttle and, when necessary, we can arrange for a rental or an UBER.
25
Jan

Car Care Del Mar Solana Beach Encinitas Cardiff Rancho Santa Fe

Car Care Del Mar Solana Beach Encinitas Cardiff Rancho Santa Fe

Car Care Del Mar Solana Beach Encinitas Cardiff Rancho Santa Fe

Car Care Del Mar Solana Beach Encinitas Cardiff Rancho Santa Fe means regular automotive repairs and maintenance.  However, if you’re hands on, there are some jobs you should definitely leave to the pros according to cheatsheet.com:

  1. Body Work and Paint:  Repairing damaged panels and applying paint is expensive, messy, noxious, and time consuming. We believe that auto body work is one of those repairs that a specialized professional is the only obvious option.
  2. Computers and Tuning:  Unless you are an ASE-certified master technician, you shouldn’t be fooling with air/fuel ratios, shift points, and redline limiters.
  3. Windshield Replacement:  By the time you pay for all the adhesive, fresh clips, and any required window trim pieces, the $300 quote you got doesn’t seem all that bad.  We recommend you make the investment in a brand-new windshield that’s professionally installed, because the last thing you need is a leaky piece of glass ruining your interior.
  4. Electrical Gremlins:  There are endless yards of electric wiring in a car  (for example, a Bentley utilizes an adult’s weight in wiring), with hundreds of connectors, sensors, and computers plugged into them. We recommend you shy away from this hornet’s nest.
  5. Fuel System Fixes:  Fuel systems have the capacity to cause headaches, garage fires, 3rd degree burns and even unconsciousness. Play it safe and leave anything having to do with replacing a fuel pump, tank, injectors, rails, or pressurized lines to the pros
  6. Snapped Coil Springs:  Always under extreme pressure and strong enough to kill, the springs on a car are tightly wound and the dangers associated with swapping springs make it a chore that’s best to hand-off to a mechanic.
  7. Transmission Fixes:  A car’s transmission is a twisted maze of gears, tensioners, bearings, and rods, all of which have to fit right back where they belong in order to work.  Good luck getting all those sensors out of the way without breaking a few crusty clips and smashing a finger or two. Even automatic gearboxes on a small four-cylinder weigh a lot, so you’ll also need some serious assistance in order to get a new gearbox to go in its home.
  8. A/C System Restoration:  The amount of parts that require replacement on a car when an A/C compressor locks-up is staggering. Expensive, time consuming, and dangerous, this is a task that even trained professionals dread doing.
  9. Brake Plumbing and Reservoir Replacement:  Even the small stuff, like replacing your brake pads and rotors can put you in dangerous territory really quick so when something like a master cylinder or a line rusts in half, it’s usually best to take your car to a shop for repairs in order for everything to be flared and fixed properly.
  10. Defective Air Bag: Unplugging everything properly and removing the old air bag unit is one thing; fitting in the fresh airbag can be a completely different story. Relying upon trained professionals will provide you both with peace of mind and factory fitment without all the headaches.

Need help with any of these items?  Contact DRIVE AutoCare‘s team of ASE-certified master technicians.

 

20
Jan

Rancho Santa Fe Automotive Concierge Service

Rancho Santa Fe Automotive Concierge Service

Rancho Santa Fe Automotive Concierge Service

Rancho Santa Fe Automotive Concierge Service, provided by DRIVE AutoCare, is a complimentary service whereby we pick your vehicle up at you home, drive it to our facility, repair it, wash it (if on list of services requested), and return it to your driveway or garage — like it never even happened!

How does it work?  It’s easy:

  1.  Call either of our Solana Beach locations and schedule an appointment.  North Cedros 858-793-0560 or Highway 101 858-755-5015.
  2.  We will drive to your home (or office) and leave our vehicle in your driveway.  We will then drive your car to the respective location.
  3.  We will perform all necessary repairs and charge your credit card for payment.
  4.  We will return your car to your home.

This is better than driving to the dealer, waiting in line, checking in, getting a loaner car, driving home…. and returning at the end of the day to do it all over again.

18
Jan

Tires Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, Cardiff, Rancho Sante Fe

Discount Tires Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, Cardiff, Rancho Sante Fe

 

Tires Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, Cardiff, Rancho Sante Fe

Tires Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, Cardiff, Rancho Sante Fe requires consumers of tires to consider the following when purchasing new tires in order to maximize their value:

1. Size Matters:  A tire’s size is listed on its sidewalls in a sequence such as P265/70R16.  Replacement tires should always match what’s noted in your owner’s manual or car door jamb, not necessarily what’s currently on your vehicle.

2. Age Matters:   Tires naturally deteriorate over time and even faster in warmer climates.  A tire’s manufacture date is noted as a four-digit number following a letter sequence beginning with DOT, indicating the week and year it was manufactured — 5009, for instance, means the 50th week of 2009.  Vehicle manufacturers recommend you replace tires after six years, no matter what their condition. Since some tire retailers stock old tires, we recommend you check the age code to make sure you’re not being sold tires that are already several years old.

3. Know Tire Lingo:  “All-season” tires are a popular and wise choice for most drivers. But “high-performance” or “ultra high-performance” tires many not be for you because they will likely wear out quicker.

4. Think Twice About the Value of the Warranty:   Tire manufacturers often tout mileage warranties up to 80,000 miles.  In truth, drivers never get that kind of mileage from their tires.  Before buying tires based on mileage warranties, you should read the fine-print details: If tires wear out prematurely, you only get a prorated credit for replacements — you don’t get a new set of tires — and you’ll probably hvae to prove you properly cared for the tires by keeping them inflated to the right pressure, aligned and rotated every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. T

5. Don’t Rely on the TPMS:  TPMS is the  Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which warns when tires are underinflated. Insufficient air pressure not only is a safety hazard but speeds tire wear.  But the tire pressure monitoring system gives a warning only when tires are underinflated by 25 percent or more.  To make your tires last longer, take five minutes every month to ensure that they’re inflated according to specs listed on the car’s door jamb. What’s noted on the tires themselves is the maximum allowable pressure, not the pressure you want.

The Service Managers at DRIVE AutoCare are a great resource for you.  We recommend Discount Tire in Encinitas.

 

17
Jan

Interstate Batteries Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, Cardiff, Rancho Santa Fe

Interstate Batteries Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, Cardiff, Rancho Santa FeInterstate Batteries Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, Cardiff, Rancho Santa Fe

Interstate Batteries Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, Cardiff, Rancho Santa Fe

A trusted brand for over 65 years, Interstate Batteries Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, Cardiff, Rancho Santa Fe are backed by a worry-free, nationwide warranty and they are the official battery of Joe Gibbs Racing.  Fact:  Interstate Batteries is the #1 recycler of batteries, they recycle more than they sell.  Interstate’s long-lasting batteries promise to provide equal or improved power for your vehicle. Whether you’re looking for superior performance in hot or cold weather or dependable power for long hauls, Interstate has the perfect battery for your vehicle. And with an unbeatable nationwide warranty, they have you covered anywhere the road may lead.

Interstate offers different types of batteries, which type of auto battery is best for you?

A basic consideration is the physical size of the car battery and your vehicle manufacturer’s requirements.

Cost is another consideration.

Maintenance-required car batteries are inexpensive but usually don’t last as long as maintenance-free batteries.

An off-road vehicle requires a stronger casing to prevent lead plate failure.

Car batteries are electrical storage units that convert chemical energy to electrical energy. The battery in your car is known as a lead-acid battery. The acid, or electrolyte, reacts with the lead plates inside the battery and this produces electricity. Overtaxing an automotive battery may cause the electrolyte reaction to fail prematurely.

Choosing the best car battery replacement can help prevent battery failure.  DRIVE AutoCare Service Manager can help you find the best car battery for your vehicle.

 

Automotive battery electrolyte is made of sulfuric acid and water. Use caution when handling car batteries.

 

 

07
Jan

Del Mar Automotive Repair and Car Care Service

Del Mar Automotive Repair and Car Care Service

Del Mar Automotive Repair and Car Care Service

Del Mar Automotive Repair and Car Care Service means coming to Solana Beach for 5 Star Automotive Repair and Maintenance Services.  While DRIVE AutoCare has free coffee and free wireless, Solana Beach offers our customers some fun things to do while they are waiting for their Del Mar Automotive Repair and Car Care Service vehicles to be repaired.  Here are some of our favorites:

  • COFFEE :  Java Depot, Peet’s Coffee, Lofty Coffee
  • BREAKFAST/LUNCH:  Lockwood Table, Wild Note Cafe, Pillbox Tavern, Local Greens, T’s Cafe, Java Depot, California Pizza Kitchen, Claire’s, Roberto’s, Station Sushi, Alfonso’s of La Jolla, Beach Grass Cafe, Crush, Yummy Yogurt, Juicers, Pizza Port, Chiefs, Solana Beach Fish House, Similan Thai
  • EXERCISE:  Fletcher Cove and Pillbox Beach, Coastal Rail Trail (between Lomas Santa Fe and Villa de la Valle), Pedigo Electric Bike Rentals, San Elijo Lagoon
  • SHOPPING:  Cedros Soles, His, Passion Fine Jewelry, Chic Weed, Leaping Lotus, Muttropolis, Aaron Chang Ocean Art Gallery

DRIVE AutoCare has 2 locations in Solana Beach:  371 N. Highway 101 (858-755-5015) and 128 N. Cedros Avenue (858-793-0560).  Or schedule your appointment online.

 

23
Dec

Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, VW Repair in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe

Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, VW Repair in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe

Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, VW Repair in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe

DRIVE AutoCare‘s German auto repair mechanics (Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, VW Repair in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe) are highly trained to diagnose, service, and maintain the superior braking, engine and suspension systems that are characteristic of German engineered automobiles. These sophisticated vehicles call for a high level of care and maintenance to retain maximum performance.

Germany is listed as one of four of the top auto manufacturing countries along with China, Japan, and the United States.  Germany is considered the birthplace of high performance automobiles and the history of automobiles there is as diverse as the makes and models that were developed there. It all began in 1886 when the first gasoline-powered car was designed by Carl-Friedrich Benz. Germany was generating about 900 cars a year by 1901 but in 1926, the brand name Mercedes-Benz was launched from a merger that created the Daimler-Benz AG Company. BMW started production in 1928.

Today approximately 6 million automobiles are manufactured in Germany, with an additional 5.5 million produced overseas. Five German companies and seven marques reign supreme in the country – Volkswagen (along with subsidiaries Porsche and Audi, BMW, Daimler AG, Ford-Werke and Adam Opel.  Today, some of the best-selling luxury brands in the United States are German, and they are Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Porsche. When it comes to performance and innovation, German luxury cars are unsurpassed.

According to Forbes magazine, luxury German auto repair can be expensive. For example, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Audi A8 have an estimated 5-year repair cost of $1,640. The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class comes in at about $1,540 every 5 years as well as the Jaguar XK at approximately $1,629.  German automobiles are designed with performance first in mind, and maintenance second, which makes them more challenging to repair.

DRIVE AutoCare employs ASE-certified technicians who are expert in German automotive repair and maintenance.

Schedule an online appointment or call us at 858-755-5015 (Highway 101) or 858-793-0560 (N. Cedros)

 

23
Dec

Oil Change in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe

Oil Change in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe

Oil Change in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe

Here’s 3 technical reasons why you should regularly perform an Oil Change in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe:

  • Oil is subject to high temperatures and, as anti-oxidizing and anti-wear additives break down, sludge can form, making it difficult for oil to flow and squeeze itself between moving metal parts.
  • Viscosity modifiers break down after exposure to high temperatures, making the oil thinner at high temps and less effective at separating metal parts sliding past one another.
  • Metal, dirt, soot and other particulate buildup in oil —much of which is too small to get caught by the filter— which causes the fluid to become abrasive, significantly accelerating engine wear.  Over time, detergents and dispersants that are meant to combat those small insolubles break down, and are unable to protect the engine.

The takeaway here is: Change Your Oil!   Check your service manual, making sure you know your recommended oil change interval.  Whatever you do, just realize how important that amber fluid is in your engine. It’s what keeps your car’s heart beating.

At DRIVE AutoCare, our oil change service includes a complete vehicle inspection, that’s why we take nearly 90 minutes!  Our goal is to provide you with information and guidance so your car will always perform within the manufacturer’s specifications.  If you are in need of additional repairs or maintenance, our Service Managers will take the time to explain whether these services are recommended immediately or they can be deferred until you next service interval.

Schedule an online appointment or call us at 858-755-5015 (Highway 101) or 858-793-0560 (N. Cedros).

 

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