Articles:

Reasons for Your Car to Pull to the Side

You're driving along the highway and lift a hand off of the wheel for a second to switch on the air. You notice that your car starts to veer to the side - and you find yourself having to jerk the steering wheel a little bit to travel straight again. You'll start noticing it more and more, how your vehicle is pulling to one side on the road. But what is causing it?  Your car pull to one side either while driving or braking is a common car symptoms among drivers. Luckily, the answer for why this is happening is typically an easy one to come upon. The reasoning typically lies within the steering and suspension system or wheel alignment. An inspection at one of our trusted Family Auto Service locations can get to the bottom of the issue.  Reasons for your car to pull to the side:  Bad wheel alignment Low or inconsistent tire pressure Tire conicity problems Steering part issue Worn out suspension parts Uneven brake pads Bad wheel bearings Worn steering  ... read more

All About Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are a vehicle component that many have heard of, but not many understand. You may have had your spark plugs replaced if you've had a tune-up performed on your vehicle - but what are spark plugs and what do they actually do?  The name of the component says it all - spark plugs basically create a little spark of electricity which is needed to start your vehicle. The spark plugs will put ignite the combustion system, which will put the engine's pistons in motion. This will start your vehicle and allow it to run smoothly throughout your drive.  Without working spark plugs, your car won't start. Often times, when spark plugs are getting bad and need to be replaced, you'll notice a lack in over engine performance and fuel efficiency. This is because your vehicle is probably misfiring during acceleration and isn't running at the power it should.  Spark plugs typically need to be replaced every 30,000 miles or so, but the frequency will also de ... read more

Did Your Vehicle Fail Emissions Testing? Here are Some Possible Causes

California is a state that requires emissions testing every other year in order to qualify for vehicle registration. If you own an older vehicle, you may have encountered a situation where your car has failed emissions testing. This can happen often with vehicles that are much older and have a lot of miles. The failed emissions test is basically a way to say that your car doesn't currently match up to California's standards for pollution emissions.  If your vehicle has failed emissions, the experts here at Family Auto Service can help. We can help determine why your vehicle failed and figure out the repairs needed in order for your vehicle to pass during its next test. Here are some of the reasons why a car may fail its emissions test:  Dirty air filters Bad spark plugs Vacuum leaks Defective sensors Valve issues Broken rings Cracked pistons Dirty fuel injectors The reasons listed above are just some examples of what can cause a car to fail an emissions test ... read more

Important Car Maintenance Intervals

Car maintenance can be difficult to keep track of, especially when you aren’t sure of what services are due at what intervals. Although it can be confusing, car maintenance is pretty straightforward once you understand what is needed for your vehicle and when. The experts at our shop can help you stay on top of these services and ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly for years to come.  Below are some of the most important car maintenance items that should never be missed for your vehicle: 1. Oil Change - every 3 months or 3,000 miles to every 6 months or 6,000 miles 2. Tune-up - every 30,000 miles or so 3. Fluid Flushes - every 10,000 miles to every 30,000 miles, depending on the fluid 4. Bumper to Bumper Inspection - at every oil change, or at least twice a year 5. Tire Inspections, Rotation, and Alignment - twice a year or every 6,000 miles These are some of the most important services that will ensure that your vehicle remains reliable. Although these intervals are j ... read more

How To Drive Safely

Being safe on the road is important while driving. If you expect to get to your destination safely and without trouble, driving cautiously and abiding by driving laws and regulations are key. After years of driving, we often forget what we learned when we first started, and being reminded of some of those safety tips can help keep us all safe on the road. Here at 5 tips on how to avoid car accidents: Drive according to the speed limit and with caution. The speed limit on roads is there for a reason - it is the speed that is deemed safe for that area. Driving according to the speed limit will allow you to have proper control of your vehicle and be able to slow down or stop safely when needed. Always signal when changing lanes. Your blinkers are extremely important when it comes to letting others on the road know where your vehicle is planning to go. Not using your blinkers can cause other drivers to have to slam on their brakes or swerve out of the way if they aren’t prepared fo ... read more

Tips to Extend the Life of your Vehicle

With the constant traffic associated with commuting and driving to our destinations in populated cities, the daily driving tends to take a toll on our vehicles. You may not realize it, but driving in traffic actually causes more wear and tear on our vehicles than a normal drive. If you’re one of those who drives on the daily, here are some tips on how to extend the life of your vehicle and increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.  Drive Safely Giving yourself plenty of time to slow down or stop behind the vehicle in front of you actually protects your vehicle. When you drive the speed limit, you’ll increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and you’ll be much safer on the road.  Stay on Top of Regular Maintenance Making sure your vehicle is always properly maintained is a great way to extend the life of your vehicle. When you have regular inspections or service, you avoid major repairs and unwanted breakdowns that can happen when a car is poorly ... read more

Springtime Car Maintenance

Spring is a great time to take control of your vehicle’s maintenance. Driving in the winter weather can take a toll on our vehicles, causing wear and tear that can affect overall performance and fuel efficiency. Before your spring and summer road trip plans, be sure to come by our shop for a spring vehicle inspection. Here are the top spring maintenance items to keep your vehicle running smoothly into the summer! Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual and see if any recommended services are due Make sure you are current with your vehicle’s oil and filter change Have coolant levels, condition, and concentration checked Inspect belts & hoses for any wear and tear Test air conditioning and verify if it is working properly Check your tires - look at the overall condition, tread, and check tire pressure  Look at all lights, interior and exterior, to make sure they work properly including headlights, tail lights, and brake lights Change your windshield wi ... read more

Signs Your Vehicle Needs a Wheel Alignment

Proper wheel alignment is important for many reasons - it makes sure that you have proper control of your vehicle, keeps the wheels and brakes working properly, and avoids excessive tire wear. A wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of your vehicle’s tires to manufacturer specifications.  Vehicle manufacturers have various recommendations for how often your car needs a wheel alignment. However, once a year to every two years, depending on the amount of driving you do, is usually recommended. A wheel alignment sets the caster, camber and toe for the front wheels on your car. Although the service is usually done on a recommended basis, sometimes an alignment is needed sooner if your car’s tires are forced out of alignment, which can happen from hitting potholes, speed bumps, debris, and more.  Signs your vehicle needs a wheel alignment include: Car veers to one side Uneven tire wear Vibrating while driving Steering wheel isn’t straight Diffic ... read more

My Car Battery is Dead - What do I do?

We understand that dreaded feeling of getting into your car in the morning and trying to start it with no avail. You may hear that “click-click-click” noise of your ignition attempting to start your car, or hear nothing at all. The good news is - a car battery is typically an easy fix. It just depends on the problem at hand.  If your car won’t start, the first thing to do is attempt to jump start your vehicle with jumper cables. You will need a friend, family member, or neighbor to help you by using their working car to connect jumper cables to. If jump starting your car works - great! That is always a good sign. However, it doesn’t mean that your car battery is good to go. If you are successful at jump starting your car, you should drive your vehicle into your local trusted auto repair shop for a quick check. We will use a tool to check your battery and see how much life it has left. It will also help us determine if the issue was caused by the battery it ... read more

Happy New Year from Family Auto Service!

It’s that time again, where we think about the goals that we want to make for the new year. While you may be thinking the usual, such as being on time more often, visiting family, or going to the gym more often, you may not have considered making a resolution or two for your vehicle. Here are some resolution ideas that you can make for your car to keep you safe on the road into 2019!   Clean Out your Car   Cleaning out the inside of your vehicle will help you to feel more organized and give your car that new car feeling! A clutter car can make it difficult to feel comfortable while driving, especially for passengers.   Schedule your Vehicle Maintenance Deadlines in your Planner   The most important part of owning a vehicle is staying current with your vehicle’s recommended maintenance and services. If you have a planner or calendar, jotting down dates of your upcoming services will help you keep track of when it’s time to bring your vehicle i ... read more

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