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DRIVE AutoCare (N. Cedros Solana Beach)
(858) 793-0560
DRIVE AutoCare (Hwy 101 Solana Beach)
(858) 755-5015

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Yearly Archives: 2020

5 Unusual Car Smells & What They May Mean

5 Unusual Car Smells & What They May Mean

We all don’t expect our vehicles to always smell like roses, but we don’t anticipate a nauseating smell either. If your car releases a strong odor, it can help you identify a potential problem. Unless you have a new air freshener, an unusual smell should be inspected to prevent dangerous mechanical problems and costly repairs. Below are five strange car smells to look out for and what they may mean.  Sweet Smell Coolant is usually lime green and smells very sweet smelling. If you notice a sweet smell inside your car cabin, there may be a coolant leak. In some cases, the coolant leak will be visible underneath the front of your vehicle. However, a coolant leak may not always be visible because it can take place beneath the dashboard. A sweet smell may seem nice but should be inspected by a professional.  Burning Smell  A burning smell may occur if the brake pads and rotors have overheated due to hard braking. If the burnin ... read more

Win Free Tickets to Belly Up Livestream

Win Free Tickets to Belly Up Livestream

Help us support local business and listen to some incredible music live from the Belly Up stage. Whether you’re sheltering-in-place, parents of children who are “zooming” instead of attending school, or a family separated from loved ones, we know that COVID-19 has been hard on everyone. Running two auto repair businesses in Solana Beach (N. Cedros and Highway 101) we talk to a lot of neighbors and we know that these are trying times for sure. The crisis has hit especially hard at the arts, musicians and the venues that support the artists.  Since 1980, DRIVE AutoCare has been an integral part of the small business community in Solana Beach. Building a business in a beautiful place like North County we have a lot to be proud of. That’s why we’re so passionate about supporting other local businesses like ourselves. To support our local community, DRIVE AutoCare is giving away 10 FREE tickets to the ... read more

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Why is My Coolant Milky?

Why is My Coolant Milky?

Coolant is an essential fluid that should be regularly checked as your vehicle tacks on miles. Periodically inspecting the coolant can find potential problems before they turn into severe damage. If you pop the hood and check the coolant, it should be pollutant-free and sweet-smelling. Healthy engine coolant is typically green and pink. Coolant in an unhealthy engine is milky-looking. Milky coolant can appear grey, dull, dark, or white. Coolant that is milky and dull in color can indicate a significant issue with the head gasket that needs immediate attention. A vehicle’s head gasket is fitted between the engine block and cylinder head. It’s usually made of copper or steel material. The head gasket has numerous functions, but its primary job is to keep the coolant and motor oil separate from the combustion chamber. If this function fails, the coolant can become diluted with oil. Diluted coolant will not be able to adequately cool the engine, eventually leading to the engin ... read more

California Wildfires and Your Vehicle's Cabin Air Filter

California Wildfires and Your Vehicle's Cabin Air Filter

Record-breaking hot weather, low humidity, and wind have fueled California wildfires during the 2020 historic fire season. During the month of September, San Diego experienced ash, soot, and dust from the wildfires in addition to our normal pollen and pollutants. Your vehicle’s cabin air filter is designed to protect you from these contaminants. Normally, the cabin air filter is changed every 12,000 miles. However, under the current fire conditions, your cabin air filter should be changed more often. (Read to the bottom of this article for DRIVE AutoCare’s special offer!) About the Cabin Air Filter In most cars, the cabin air filter sits behind the glove compartment. This filter is a small pleated unit, often made of an engineered material or paper-based, multifiber cotton. Before air can move into the interior of the car, it goes through this filter, trapping any contaminants within the air to prevent them from infiltrating the air you breath ... read more

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6 Important Items To Include In Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

6 Important Items To Include In Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

Vehicle maintenance is an important responsibility for all drivers. While maintenance tasks such as oil changes and tire alignments are undoubtedly important, most people forget about their vehicle’s emergency kit. The unexpected can happen, and staying prepared can potentially save someone’s life. At the very least, staying prepared can make minor setbacks more manageable. In case of an emergency, there are a few essentials that you should keep stored in the trunk in case you may need them.  Extra Phone charger A phone charger specifically just for the car is a great item to keep tucked inside the trunk. A phone charger allows you to stay accessible.  Jumper Cables If an electrical accessory is left on, a dead battery can follow.  This can leave you completely standard. If another driver is present, jumper cables can get you back on the road safely in no time. If you have a few extra dollars, a portable jump starter may be a better al ... read more

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Car Culture

Try Our Concierge Service

Try Our Concierge Service

At DRIVE AutoCare, our business is designed with your safety and convenience in mind. With our Concierge Service you can get your vehicle serviced without leaving your home or office! This complimentary service is another example of our commitment to customer service excellence. Concierge Service from Your Home or Office With DRIVE AutoCare’s Concierge Service you can get your vehicle serviced without leaving your home or office! The process is simple: Schedule your service by making an appointment. Make your appointment here.   We pick-up your vehicle at the agreed-upon time. We bring your vehicle to DRIVE AutoCare and complete the services you’ve scheduled. When your repair service is complete, we’ll return your vehicle to your home or office. Even payment is simple through our remote payment option. We keep you in the loop throughout the entire process! &nb ... read more

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Car Culture

Back to School Vehicle Maintenance

Back to School Vehicle Maintenance

We understand that this month's back to school season looks a little different than usual. Your children may be in smaller class sizes, may have to wear their mask at school, or might be learning from home virtually. Even though back to school looks different, this is still a great time of the year to catch up on your vehicle's maintenance and ensure that your car will be safe on the road.  The summer can actually take quite a toll on our vehicles, which is why a pre-fall inspection is so important. Getting your vehicle ready for the changing season and the increase in driving is critical so that you don't have to deal with any unexpected vehicle breakdowns or major repairs any time soon.  Here are the vehicle maintenance items to take care of now:  Tires - check that your tires have proper air pressure and are in condition, meaning that they have good tread and there is no obvious sign of wear and tear.   Oil change - be sure to have your oil chang ... read more

Why is There No Pressure in My Brake Pedal?

Why is There No Pressure in My Brake Pedal?

Stepping on your brakes to slow down your vehicle and finding a spongy brake pedal can be alarming. The brake pedal may feel like it doesn't offer the same pressure as it did before, which can raise some red flag when it comes to your brake's performance. If there's no pressure in your brakes, there's definitely a reason and the cause is typically due to brake fluid. Let's take a look at the potential causes and what to do next.  The brake system is hydraulic, which means that it uses brake fluid in order to create pressure which helps activate the brakes when you press down on the brake pedal. If there is air in the brake line or your brake fluid is suddenly low, then the system won't be able to work properly. If you're dealing with soft brakes, something is wrong with the brake fluid.  Typically, a problem with the brake lines is due to a leak somewhere in the system which is causing brake fluid loss or there is a bad seal in the master cylinde ... read more

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UPDATE: DRIVE AUTOCARE'S COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS

UPDATE: DRIVE AUTOCARE'S COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS

DRIVE AutoCare has been monitoring the coronavirus updates from the State of California and the local San Diego government. We are doing everything in our power to keep our shop open so that we can keep your car on the road. You can count on us at a time like this especially if you need our help. For your peace of mind, we are adhering to the following guidelines in our shop as suggested by the CDC and other medical professionals: – We are continuing to disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, handles, restrooms, counters, tables, and furniture multiple times throughout the day. – Our technicians wear disposable gloves while working on the interior & exterior of your vehicle. – Your vehicle’s steering wheel and gear shift are covered with a protective plastic covering. – Your car’s interior, including the dashboard and door handles, are sanitized before your vehicle is returned to you. – Our staff is re ... read more

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Celebrate Safely this July 4th

Celebrate Safely this July 4th

July 4th is a celebrated day here in America because it symbolizes our freedom and the independence of our nation. We know that Independence Day this year will look a lot different than in previous years. Festivals will be canceled and fireworks shows may not run. However, there are still ways in which you can enjoy the holiday while keeping safe during the pandemic.  Even though you won't be able to have your usual parties or attend your usual festivities, you can still enjoy the day with loved ones, fire up the grill, and enjoy some small fireworks at home. If you're planning on going to a family member or friend's home, you'll be on the road with many other drivers. Safety should be a priority, so here are some tips on how to enjoy the day safely and without incident:  Since we are still in the midst of a pandemic, be sure to follow recommendations by the CDC which including wearing a mask in public, washing your hands regularly, sanitizing ... read more

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