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Tag Archives: auto repair

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

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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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

My Car Won't Start - What Do I Do?

My Car Won't Start - What Do I Do?

Getting into your vehicle to find that it won’t start up can be extremely stressful. You look around frantically to see if you may have left on a light or if a door was left open. While sometimes you find that you left your headlights on and your battery has most likely died, other times the cause of the no start isn’t as obvious. If you’re having trouble starting your vehicle, give the experts a call at DRIVE AutoCare in Solana Beach. Our ASE certified technicians are experienced with all makes and models of vehicles and will be able to determine the exact cause of your no start issue.  Often times, a no-start car can indicate a battery problem. A dead battery can be jump-started back to life if there is still some charge left. However, if the battery is very old, it may be time to replace it. Typically, your vehicle’s battery needs to be replaced every 3-5 years. Our experts can test your battery to see how much power it has left and determine if a ... read more

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Why is My Vehicle Making Strange Noises?

Why is My Vehicle Making Strange Noises?

Is your car making strange noises while driving? When your vehicle is telling you something, its best not to ignore it. A strange noise can definitely be an indication that there is an issue with your vehicle, and understand what you hear and when it happens can help narrow down where the problem is stemming from.  If you do hear a strange noise, don’t ignore it! The best thing to do is to make a mental note of when the noise happens and what it sounds like. If the noise is persistent and doesn't go away, we recommend getting your vehicle into DRIVE AutoCare as soon as possible. The sooner we get the issue taken care of, the less repairs that will be needed and the better off your vehicle will be.  Here are some of the most common noises heard while driving:  Squealing, screeching, or grinding while braking Sputtering or rattling exhaust noises from underneath the car Chirping or squealing noise from under the hood Humming, growling or roaring noise while ... read more

What is a CV Axle Replacement?

What is a CV Axle Replacement?

All front wheel drive and four wheel drive vehicles are equipped with parts called the CV axles. The CV axles are an integral part of the suspension system. It is essentially a shaft that has two CV, or constant velocity, joints at the end of either side. These joints are in place to allow the axle shaft to spin as the suspension goes up and down when you steer your vehicle. A front wheel drive vehicle will have two, one for the passenger side and one of the driver's side. In an all wheel driver vehicle, you'll have the two mentioned above plus two in the rear.  The CV joints on either end of the axles are covered with a rubber boot that will hold in grease and prevent dirt and water from getting inside the axle and joints. Eventually, these boots can wear out just with regular use of your vehicle. When the rubber boots are worn, grease can seep out and dirt and water can enter into the joints, causing suspension system issues.  A CV axle re ... read more

What Car Parts Need to Be Replaced?

What Car Parts Need to Be Replaced?

When you own a vehicle, there are two things that you may find yourself spending money on: maintenance and repairs. The difference is, maintenance is much more affordable and actually helps you avoid having to spend money on repairs. It also protects the overall integrity of your vehicle and increases resell value in the future.  When you spend money on repairs, typically these repairs are needed due to poor maintenance. Repairs can be much more costly because they include having to often times replace parts all together and can be intricate depending on where the part is or how extensive the repairs are. Your car is an investment, and the better you take care of it, the more you get out of your investment. Cars are built with many different parts, and even with great maintenance, some items will wear out and need replacing over time. So, lets look at what goes wrong with vehicles, and when.  Dead battery - the typical car battery only lasts between 3-5 years, so it will n ... read more

Don't Ignore These Car Maintenance Items

Don't Ignore These Car Maintenance Items

Car maintenance is a key part of car ownership especially when it comes to both your safety on the road and the overall integrity of your vehicle. Whether or not you intend to resell your vehicle sometime in the future, the best care you take of your car, the most reliable it will be on the road.  Car maintenance and how often you will need it will vary depending on the service as well the make and model of your vehicle, its age, and your own driving habits. Regular vehicle inspections are a great way to stay current with your vehicle's maintenance and being able to schedule out services when they are soon to be due so that you don't miss any important items.  Maintenance can mean a number of things, from regular inspections to oil changes and other recommended services by your vehicle's manufacturer. While all maintenance items are typically important, here are some of the services that should never be ignored in terms of getting them done when they are du ... read more

What to Do When Your Exhaust is Smoking

What to Do When Your Exhaust is Smoking

You're driving your vehicle and you check the rearview mirror to see smoke coming from your exhaust - you wonder, what could be causing this and what do I do now? Well, first things first, try to determine when this exhaust smoke happens. Does it happen when you accelerate, and how long does it last? Also, make a note of the color, as black and white smoke can point to different issues.  Next, give us a call here at DRIVE AutoCare. We can help you identify any exhaust issue and determine what may be causing the smoke to appear. This can be caused by a number of different underlying issues, including the following:  Clogged air filter Clogged fuel injectors Damaged fuel-pressure regulator Clogged fuel return line Dirty transmission fluid A stuck PCV valve A faulty transmission vacuum modulator Excessive oil consumption Bad turbocharger As soon as you notice smoke, whether black, white or gray, coming from your vehicle's exhaust, don't hesitate to give us ... read more

Automotive Air Conditioning Services

Automotive Air Conditioning Services

AUTOMOTIVE AIR CONDITIONING SERVICES With summer's warmer temperatures and longer vacation driving just around the corner, we suggest that you get your car into an independent repair facility for automotive air conditioning services.   Even if everything seems fine now, it's still important to schedule regular maintenance at DRIVE AutoCare.  You may not be aware but your car’s heating system is also responsible for cooling your car’s engine on hot days and the air conditioning system plays a vital role during the colder months as well.  If you ignore these performance issues it can lead to expensive repairs down the line. Here are some things go consider: THE HEATER KEEP THE ENGINES COOL It might sound strange, but the engine's cooling system is directly related to the heating system.  Your engine produces heat during operation and w ... read more

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