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Welcome to the Family Auto Service blog! Not only does the team at Family Auto Service want to provide you with next-level auto repair, but we want to be a source of information for your family’s auto needs in the San Diego County area. Let us teach you how to care for the machine you’ve invested your family’s time and money in! To do so, each month on our blog you’ll find helpful informational posts from our experienced auto mechanics as well as ideas for your next family road trip, and much more. Make sure to take a look at Family Auto Service’s monthly blog posts for auto repair information you can trust in the San Diego County area.

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Engine Head Gaskets 101

Engine Head Gaskets 101

  Your vehicle's engine comprises hundreds of different parts, all working together to provide you with a seamless driving experience. One of these components is the head gasket. What exactly is an engine head gasket, and what is its purpose?   The head gasket is typically smaller and doesn't look as complex as other parts of your car. It is described as a flat piece of metal with holes in it. There are multiple types of gaskets in your vehicle, not just the head gasket. They all work together to prevent debris from disrupting the engine, maintain the engine's internal pressure, and keep the engine's vital fluid intact.    Types of Gaskets Found In Your Vehicle Head Gasket  The head gasket is found in your engine's cylinder and has the task of restraining any combustion gases from reaching the cooling system. This piece is located between the cylinder head and the engine block. While it is durable, this part can fail if your engine ov ... read more

Road Trip Games To Keep Your Whole Family Entertained

Road Trip Games To Keep Your Whole Family Entertained

Road trips can be fun with the possible exception of when you have kids in the car, right? Actually, if you are creative, having the kids in the car can be fun too. You just need to know how to amuse them. Here are some ideas for family games you can play on a road trip. I Spy One of the kids is nominated to be "it." He or she picks out something in the car to focus on. The other kids take turns guessing clues until somebody is able to guess the object the first kid has in mind. Whatever adult is not driving the car can be the moderator. Prepare to Play the License Plate Game For this game, each child in the vehicle must have a paper map that they are permitted to mark up. The objective of the game is for the participants to spot as many license plates from different states as they can. The first person to see an out-of-state plate gets to call it, then check it off on their map. This can be educational too as the children get to learn ab ... read more

Summer and Keeping it Cool in California

Summer and Keeping it Cool in California

Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash   Welcome to Family’s May blog!    We’re mid-spring now, and the dog days of summer are thankfully still months away. There’s time to enjoy the nicer days out before the summer comes crashing in. For all the beautiful things it brings us, it does bring the heat.    What are you doing to combat driving in a hot car? Do you have a plan for how to proceed coolly into the hottest months of the year? Here’s our checklist of things to watch for as summer arrives    Use simple physics to correct the problem. If you roll down the back windows, you can use your driver’s door to take in and push the hot air out through the rear windows. I ... read more

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Symptoms That Indicate You May Need a Tune-Up

Symptoms That Indicate You May Need a Tune-Up

Symptoms are warning signs, they are the clues we receive telling us that something requires our action and the attention of an expert. We rely on our cars daily, and our cars rely on more than fuel to keep them performing at their best. A tune-up includes an inspection of your engine's functioning and attendance to any issues, or symptoms, that are present. Regular tune-ups at your mechanic will not assist in avoiding breakdowns they will also maintain fuel economy, prolong the life of your engine, and assist it to function at its optimum. Five symptoms that suggest you should see your mechanic for a tune-up today: 1. Check engine light illuminates The warning lights on your dashboard are there for a reason, typically they indicate a fault in your vehicle's system, diagnosing the exact nature of fault requires your mechanic's expertise. 2. Engine stalls Faulty spark plugs or dirty connectors are two common issues that cause an engine to stall. 3. Fuel economy falls ... read more

Sentimental Journeys: Remembering the Road Trips You Took With Your Car

Sentimental Journeys: Remembering the Road Trips You Took With Your Car

Welcome to the April Blog for Family Auto Service in San Diego! Today, we’re thinking about looking back at the cars we have loved and lost over the years, that have kept us sheltered as a family during long trips and comforted us along the way.  In our generation, VW Buses were great for long road trips. Then came the 1980’s and the minivan, and as of late, the SUV. Long trips got a bit easier to take the more technology progressed. Even the age-old question “Are We There Yet” became a thing of the past, as kids can use driving apps on their phones or tablets to see exactly how far they are from their destination! When we’re living day-to-day, life goes by in a hurry and we just move on to the next things. And then we’re on the road for a break, and we expect our cars to pick up our slack. We practically live in these cars, but we rarely stop and appreciate how much these cars will come to mean to us when they’re gone.  One way t ... read more

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What Does Transmission Fluid Actually Do?

What Does Transmission Fluid Actually Do?

There are a lot of fluids that are needed for your vehicle to properly run; one of those is transmission fluid. With that, many don't know what transmission fluid is used for; it is in your vehicle to lubricate the parts of your vehicle's transmission that will allow the best performance with your vehicle. When you have a vehicle that has automatic transmission the transmission fluid will also act as a coolant. When it comes to transmission fluid there are different types; the type that will be used for your vehicle will depend on the type of transmission you have inside. Automatic Transmission: An automatic transmission will use regular automatic transmission fluid   Manual Transmission: A manual transmission will have fluid that will vary; it will either use plain motor oil, a transmission oil that is mostly called heavyweight hypoid gear oil, and it may also call for automatic transmission fluid. When you are looking at the type of transmission fluid that needs to ... read more

Preparing Your Car for Allergy Season

 Preparing Your Car for Allergy Season

Welcome to Spring 2021! There is so much to appreciate here in San Diego County. The sun is shining. We live in a beautiful place. Flowers and plants are blooming with lush, green leaves and lovely flowers. And though many are still wearing masks due to the pandemic, a lot of us are suffering through allergy season.  Have you prepared your family vehicle for allergy season? Getting ready for allergy season in your car means doing a few things to help you and your passengers travel comfortably, regardless of how much pollen is floating through the air. Here are three ways you can prepare your vehicle for allergy season: Change the cabin air filters to reduce the amount of pollen getting inside your vehicle’s climate control system. We invite you to Family Auto Service at any of our five locations in Alpine, Santee, Miramar, La Jolla, and La Mesa so we can change your vehicle’s air filters. Stock the car with oral antihistamine medications, bottled water, hand sanitiz ... read more

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Reasons Behind A Faulty Car Heater

Reasons Behind A Faulty Car Heater

A car heater failure, especially in winter, can be an exasperating and stressful experience. There is no fun when your car heater fails after you already left home in colder temperatures. This is why it is important to know the signs and causes of a failing car heater for timely action. Symptoms of A Failing Car Heater A Pungent Rotten Egg Smell: If there is an odd smell leaning towards pungency, this may be a sign that your heater is about to fail. Your car's heater core may be damaged, and it may be time for a repair. The odd smell indicates that your radiator's fluid is leaking. Reduced Heat: The purpose of your car's heat is to emanate heat. If the heat exuded is low or there is no heat at all, your car's heater is about to fail. Watch Out for Foggy Windows: When your car's heater is about to break down, its defroster will have a reduced capacity to warm the air to eliminate ice or fog. If you ... read more

Falling in Love Again

 Falling in Love Again

Love can be a funny thing. You may have found yourself sitting next to a total stranger, over time, and wonder (like the Talking Heads song), how did I get here?   We are growing and constantly changing in our lives until the first taste of our mortality sets us in place for the last significant change. Loving someone at 20 is not the same as loving them at 30, 40, or 50. Everyone changes. The people in our lives sometimes let us down or leave us feeling lonely.   In a good marriage, you find common ground that binds you together and allows it all to come back. We can sometimes grow with each other, loving each other to the very end of the line. And sometimes, along the way, we grow apart irreparably and must forge a new path on our own.   This situation can also apply to our car. It’s no wonder that a shiny 2021 model can turn our heads. New models have improved features and contemporary comforts. Even a good, faithful car can become too familiar over time ... read more

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What are the Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts?

What are the Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts?

Most drivers depend on their senses to recognize when it is time for service. However, some vehicle components do not display physical warnings that they require service. Some of these components include worn shocks and struts. Synonymous with increasing the stopping distance, shocks and struts gradually wear out, making it hard to notice the wear and tear. Worn shocks and struts are also a safety hazard to you and your loved ones. What are shocks and struts? Shocks and struts dampen the movement of the spring and stop oscillation and bounce. These parts stabilize a vehicle's movement and enhance control when braking, turning or accelerating. Even though these parts play a joint role in a vehicle, they are entirely independent components. Shocks are an integral part of the vehicle suspension system, while struts are crucial for a vehicle's alignment and steering system. Signs of worn shocks and struts · Veering or sliding off the road You may begin to experience ins ... read more

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