Auto Repair Tips From our Best Mechanics
No matter how long you’ve had your car, there will always be things that leave you scratching your head. How long should I really go between oil changes? When should I get new tires? How can I get the grime off my headlights? At General Auto Repair, we’ve seen and heard it all. With this in mind, our best mechanics have compiled their favorite auto repair tips to help you extend the life of your vehicle and enjoy a safer, more comfortable ride.
Never skip an oil change
We often get asked if it’s really necessary to get an oil change every 3,000 miles. Honestly, it depends on your driving conditions. If you sit in rush hour traffic every day or take frequent weekend trips through the desert to Palm Springs, your oil will get dirty faster than someone who rarely uses their vehicle. To be on the safe side, never go any longer than 5,000 miles between oil changes.
Clean your headlights with toothpaste
Cleaning your headlights is an affordable, effective way to make your car shine. While a professional job will always yield the best results, you can give your vehicle an instant boost with nothing more than some toothpaste, an old rag, and water to rinse. Simply add some toothpaste to the rag, scrub down your headlights, and watch the grime come right off. Just be sure to avoid contact with the surface of your car, as the abrasiveness of the toothpaste could affect your paint job.
A high-mileage oil change isn’t always worth the cost
Pretty much every major oil brand makes special oil for engines with over 75,000 miles. These high-mileage products contain conditioners that claim to rejuvenate seals and prevent oil leaks, which makes them more expensive than a standard oil change. However, if your engine isn’t burning or leaking oil, it might not be necessary to pay the extra cost. If you’re not sure what type of oil is best for your high-mileage car, just ask one of our ASE-certified technicians.
Regular maintenance is the key to better gas mileage
If you’ve been filling up your gas tank more than usual, it might be time to bring your car in for a routine tune-up. Regular fuel injection service is one of the best ways to improve your fuel economy. This should be done once a year, or every 15,000 miles; think of it as an annual check-up for your car. Changing your engine’s air filter every 30,000 miles can also maximize your gas mileage. Lastly, roll up your windows and turn on the air conditioning. At speeds of 25 mph or more, the aerodynamic loss of having your windows down exceeds mileage lost due to using the A/C.
If you don’t know how long you’ve had your tires, it’s probably time to replace them
In theory, we expect at least 50,000 miles from the original tires that come with a new vehicle. Unfortunately, they often wear out much sooner. Driving on underinflated tires shortens their lifespan, as does driving a car with wheels that are out of alignment. If you seldom (or never) have your tires rotated, this can also accelerate wear. At General Auto Repair, our 24-point inspection includes a detailed look at your tires to check for proper inflation, tread depth, and wear patterns. We’ll let you know if we see any red flags and help you select new tires if necessary.
Looking for honest auto repair in San Diego? Come see us
With so much information out there about when and how to maintain your vehicle, it can be hard to know who to trust. At General Auto Repair, we’ve provided honest and affordable auto repair services to San Diego drivers for nearly 20 years. Whether you need a routine oil change, a smog check, or a wheel alignment, our ASE-certified technicians will carefully inspect your car and make the necessary repairs to get you safely back on the road.