The winter months can take their toll on your vehicle. Despite the lack of severe cold weather in southern California, you may have neglected to maintain your car during the past cooler months, thinking that your vehicle would hold out until the summer. If you haven’t done maintenance on your car this spring, then you probably should hop to it.
Here are a few items to take into consideration;
Check the battery: You can’t get where you are going if the car won’t start. Signs of a weak battery: dimming headlights or interior lights; power windows that take longer than usual to go up and down.
Check the brakes: Winter conditions and salt on the roads can lead to corrosion of brake parts; nothing is more crucial to your safety than your brakes, so get them checked. Trouble signs: pulling to one side when you hit the brakes, squeaking or grinding noises and a brake pedal that feels too soft.
Inspect the tires: Worn-down tires make it hard to stop, even if your brakes are in good order. Try the coin test on your tires: insert a quarter into several grooves across each tire. If part of Washington’s head is always covered, you still have 4/32 inch of tread left and can probably drive safely. If you have less tread, it’s time to think about replacements. (A definite danger signal comes when you slip a penny into a groove and the tread does not reach Lincoln’s head.) Even if your tire tread are OK, make sure you keep them inflated to the pressure listed on the placard visible when the driver’s door is open. You can boost your gas mileage by 3% or more and make the car safer as well. To get an accurate reading, check the pressure of tires when they are cold, not when you have been driving.
Check the belts and hoses: A broken belt or hose can cause problems ranging from the loss of power steering to an overheated engine, but these parts are easily overlooked. Look for cracks and peeling on the belts, softening on the hoses – or ask your mechanic to do it for you.
Test the air conditioning: Turn on the cooler full blast and make sure it reaches that max chill in short order. If you suspect problems, get a mechanic to check it out soon.
Check your oxygen sensor: This one is obscure, but it is important to gas mileage. Because the sensor helps set the fuel mix going into your engine, a faulty one can cause too much gas to be used – cutting your mileage by up to 40%. Replacing the sensor, which usually costs less than $200, needs to be done every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. And it is the repair problem that most often causes the “Check Engine” warning to light up near your speedometer. Getting a spring checkup for your car not only could avoid a summer breakdown, it could save you money on your monthly gas budget.
To ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly this coming summer, schedule a maintenance appointment with Made in Japan Morganhill. Call (408) 776-7686 today and be sure your vehicle is ready for the upcoming warm weather!
Spring is almost here and with the season, you may be doing more driving. A faulty oxygen sensor can cut your gas mileage by as much as 40% and increase the level of pollution your vehicle emits! The oxygen sensor helps set the fuel/oxygen mix going into your engine. If yours is not working properly, it may be sending too much fuel into your engine. When an oxygen sensor fails, the computer cannot sense the air/fuel ratio causing poor performance. On average, your cars oxygen sensor should be replaced every 50,000 to 90,000 miles. As the sensor ages, contaminants accumulate in the sensing element reducing its ability to respond. The reduced gas mileage and increased pollution may not be noticed right away because the change in performance occurs gradually. It is important to know what you are looking for. The experts at Made in Japan Morgan Hill are ready to help you determine if your oxygen sensor needs to be replaced. Schedule an appointment today by calling (408) 776-7686 or online at http://madeinjapanmorganhill.com/appointment.php.
All front-wheel-drive and many rear-wheel-drive vehicles have constant velocity joints called CV Joints that transfer torque from the driveshaft to the wheels and allow the suspension system to move up and down over bumps. These joints are protected by a rubber tube or “boot” that holds in the grease the joints are packed in. A torn boot can allow dirt and moisture in displacing the grease and impairing and damaging the joint. If left unprepared, the joint will drain its lubricant leaving the joint metal to metal and under constant friction shortening the life of the joint. As long as a CV joint remains sealed inside its protective environment, it will do its job until it wears out. Age, heat, cold and road debris create conditions that break down the protective boot. Once the boot is breached, damage quickly follows. Made in Japan Morgan Hill has experts that can check your CV Boots. Make an appointment today by calling (408) 776-7686 or online at http://madeinjapanmorganhill.com/appointment.php.
All internal combustion engines require air to operate. But, not just any air will do. The air must be cleaned before it gets pulled into engine’s air intake plenum and combustion chambers. You run the risk of dirt and debris clogging your engine and causing poor performance if you do not inspect and change your air filter when needed.
Inspecting and replacing your air filter is an easy task. Follow these simple steps:
- Remove the black plastic covering of the air filter box by unscrewing or unsnapping the latches.
- Remove the old air filter. Note that the screen always faces the engine. The pleats face the incoming air.
- Clean out the filter housing of any dirt or debris.
- Replace with old filter with a new filter. Check your owner’s manual to determine proper filter to be used.
- Replace and secure filter housing cover.
If you need help determining whether your air filter is ready to be replaced, Made in japan experts can inspect your filter for you. Schedule an appointment today by calling (408) 776-7686 or online at http://madeinjapanmorganhill.com/appointment.php.
The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping and the windows are going up. Odors build up as food spills, pets odors or cigarette smoke invade the cabin of your car. It’s far better to clean them up than mask them with air fresheners.
- Using your owner’s manual, locate your cabin filter, if you have one, and determine the recommended type of filter for replacement. Open all vents before replacing the filter. Use a small can of compressed air to clean inside the filter compartment and filter intake and dash vents. Alternate both heat and AC and use the compressed air to clean in both recirculating and fresh air modes. Spray the filter compartment and filter intake with anti-bacterial spray and do not wipe out.
- Clean the filter box with soap and water, dry and install the new filter.
- Use a shop vac or vacuum with attachments to thoroughly clean carpeting and seats. Remember to move seats forward and back and adjust seats in the full back and full forward positions to clean all the crevices. Sprinkle carpets with baking soda and use a whiskbroom to spread it around. Allow the soda to sit for at least two hours and vacuum again.
- Use a bucket of warm water with two or three capfuls of vinegar with a sponge to wash the inside of the windows. Dry with a clean towel.
- Use a leather or vinyl cleaner on your leather or vinyl surfaces.
- Spray a liberal amount of anti-bacterial spray inside AC and heat vents and let your heater run on the hottest setting and highest fan speed for 10 minutes in the recirculating mode. Then switch to the fresh air mode for another 10 minutes.
Made in Japan Morgan Hill can change your cabin filter quickly and easily. To make an appointment call 408-776-7686 or you can schedule online
Many people make the mistake of using the wrong products when washing their car; always use a product that is specifically formulated for automotive paint. Dishwashing detergent or other household detergents are too harsh to use on your car’s paint. Careless washing can leave the paint in worse condition than when you started. Drive through car washes can have brushes that hold dirt and debris that can harm your car’s finish. Ditch the drive through wash and follow these simple do-it-yourself steps to a clean car.
- Don’t wait too long between washings. Bird droppings, dead bugs or other debris can build up on the paint surface and can eat into the clear coat.
- Move your vehicle to a shady are and allow the surface to cool if it has been in the sun. Heat causes the soap and water to dry too fast and can dull the finish.
- Hose off your vehicle before washing. A thorough pre-rinse will not only cool the surface but will also remove loose dirt and debris that could scratch the surface.
- Wash your vehicle in sections to keep the suds from drying and dulling the finish. Wash from the top down.
- Rinse your sponge often. Do not wash your tires with the same sponge you use on the rest of the car.
- Give your vehicle a final rinse with a fine spray.
- Use a chamois, terry towel or synthetic chamois to dry your vehicle. If you use a terry towel, have several towels available.
- Finally, using wax adds shine to the car’s appearance and protects the paint job itself from the elements
Read all our car care tips on our Made in Japan Morgan Hill blog
Made in Japan Morgan Hill can help you maintain your car to keep it running safely for years to come. Contact us with your automotive questions today
Timing belt replacement is a service repair that every auto owner should be aware of. Failure to replace a worn belt can cause damage to your vehicle’s engine. The timing belt is the sole component that keeps the camshaft (valves) and the crankshaft (pistons) in synch. If the timing belt slips, or “jumps a tooth” it will cause the valves and pistons to interfere with each other. This collision will cause major damage to your vehicles engine. On an older vehicle the cost of the repair can exceed the value of the car. Check your vehicles maintenance manual for the manufacturers recommendation on replacement. The cost of replacement is certainly lower than the cost of the repair. Made in Japan Morgan Hill has experts that can check the health of your timing belt and make a recommendation you can trust. Make an appointment today by calling (408) 776-7686 or online at http://madeinjapanmorganhill.com/appointment.php.
For years it has been said that you replace tires based on the depth of the tread. The truth is that rubber compounds deteriorate over time. An old tire can pose a safety hazard regardless of the tread. For most drivers, old tires will never be an issue, given that the typical driver drives between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year. But if you drive only 8,000 or fewer miles per year, aging tires can be an issue. Cracks in the rubber begin to develop over time causing the steel belts in the tread to separate from the rest of the tire. Tires rated for higher mileage have an anti-oxidant chemical compound built into the rubber that will slow the aging process. However, this does not stop the tire from aging. The same applies to your spare tire. Even if your spare is never used, the rubber is aging. The experts at Made in Japan Morgan Hill can help you analyze your tires for signs of breakdown. Schedule an appointment today by calling (408) 776-7686 or online at http://madeinjapanmorganhill.com/appointment.php.
With people paying more and more at the pump it might not occur to you that where you get your gas can save you big bucks. Make sure you are asking the right questions before you fill up. Ask the attendant if the gas they provide is filtered at the pump, or if the station has a policy in place about changing the filters in the pumps on a regular basis. If they don’t have a straight answer for you, it might be time to find another provider. If a station doesn’t regularly change their gas filters, or more importantly doesn’t have them at all, you are at risk for putting dirty gasoline in your car. This will cause problems that might lead to very expensive repairs. When you find a gas station that has all the right answers and maintains their facility correctly, you should stick with them!
Keep Your Car Kicking. Drive with Care!
We all baby our car when we first buy it. We don’t eat food in it or drive too fast or slam on the breaks too hard. Once this honeymoon phase is over, however, most will find themselves being too tough on their ride. It might sound like a no brainer, but driving with care will not only save your life, but also your pocket book!
To keep your car out of the repair shop follow these simple tips and tricks!
- It is natural to want to show off your vehicle, but racing the engine, especially during start up, is one of the main ways you can cause engine wear.
- We are all in a hurry to get where we are going, but accelerating too quickly will wear on your engine and drive train, especially in the first 10 to 20 minutes of driving.
- Slow down speed demon. Getting the lead out of your foot will not only save you on the speeding tickets but also on your repair bill.
- Watch how hard you turn the steering wheel. If you keep in all the way to the right or all the way to the left you can damage your power steering pump, and that is a very costly mistake.
For more tips and tricks call an ASE Certified technical at Made in Japan Morgan Hill. Made in Japan Morgan Hill will service all vehicles, makes and models and offers a 15 month or 15,000 mile warranty (whichever comes first) on all repairs. Call or click today to set up your appointment.