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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.

Articles:

Five Day Trip Ideas In San Diego County

If you want to get away for a day trip, Family Auto Service has five day trip ideas for you that are within San Diego County.   First, let us mention how much we love San Diego County. We really don’t have to travel far to enjoy some beautiful scenery. For example, Sunset Cliffs is one of our favorite beaches. We’ve been coming to this beach since childhood and we all took turns jumping off the cliffs into the water below. You can stay here all day, if you wish, and soak in the sunshine. Be sure to bring sunscreen! For directions, click here.   Second, you can’t miss out on Balboa Park and all that is has to offer. Yes, it is in our backyard, and yes, it isn’t fully open, but when was the last time you spent quality time with the family walking ar ... read more

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Why Vehicles Fail Emissions Testing

Why Vehicles Fail Emissions Testing

Here in California, biennial smog or emissions testing is required in order to renew registration. Biennial means that you need to have this testing done every two years. The reason behind smog testing is to ensure that every registered vehicle meets certain basic requirements when it comes to vehicle emissions. This is in an effort to protect our environment and reduce the volume of greenhouse gases that we release into our atmosphere.  Failing an emissions test can definitely be a shock, especially if you thought your vehicle was running fine. There are certain reasons why your vehicle may have failed emissions, and all will more than likely require a repair to fix. Let's look at some of the most common reasons why vehicles failed emissions testing:  Your check engine light is on - no car will pass emissions with a check engine light on. Depending on the reason for why the check engine light is on in the first place, you'll need to have the u ... read more

How To Drive On The Beach Without Getting Stuck In The Sand

If you plan to take a trip to the beach, you may be tempted to drive on the sand. In California, there are only a handful of beaches you can drive on. But if you do choose to drive, make sure you take precautions not to get stuck in the sand. Trust us, it’s not fun getting stuck and you don’t want to have a tow truck pull you out. To avoid getting stuck in the sand at all, the obvious choice is to limit your driving and parking to the parking lots. Parking lots truly are your best choice for safety and not getting stuck in the sand. If, however, you decide to drive on a beach in your car, the number one rule is to stay on the hard-packed sand. The hard-packed sand is easiest to maneuver on and you should not have any problems.  If you have to drive in soft sand, DO NOT stop the car. Keep driving until you have gotten out of the soft sand and onto the hard packed sand. If you stop in the soft sand, you will lose your momentum and your traction, which will cause you t ... read more

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What are the Warning Signs of Bad Brakes?

What are the Warning Signs of Bad Brakes?

Working brakes are vital when it comes to being able to accurately slow and stop your vehicle on the road. Being aware of how your brakes work regularly and understanding some signs of bad brakes can make the difference between getting stuck with failing brakes and being able to detect an issue early on.  We recommend that your vehicle's brake system is looked at by one of our experts here at Family Auto Service at least once a year to verify that your brake pads, rotors, lines, and other components are working correctly. An issue with a major brake component such as the brake line or brake pads, can cause sudden brake problems and is definitely something to try and avoid at all costs. Proper brake maintenance will help you avoid these dangerous and uncertain situations and keep you safe on the road.  The following symptoms can be warning signs of bad brakes:  Brake warning light is on Noticeable decrease in brake power Vibrating while b ... read more

Top Parent-Approved Vehicles For Young Drivers

Do you remember getting your first car after turning 16? Few things get us more excited in life than this monumental event. It seems that all those kids think about in the months leading up to the day they get their driver's license, while as parents, we worry about what car will be right for them.  There are so many things to consider when deciding on a first car. Perhaps it is best to find one with less horsepower and a smaller engine. This can help keep them from putting "the pedal to the metal" so to speak. Are you considering a compact? It might be better to choose a more substantial, heavier car to help keep them safe. Perhaps find a vehicle that has electronic stability control (ESC) to help them stay on the road safely. Here are some of the top cars recommended for teens from the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) under $20,000 to consider: Ford Fusion  This mid-size sedan comes in three trim levels to help with price-point as well ... read more

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Keep Your Vehicle Clean at the Beach

Keep Your Vehicle Clean at the Beach

Living close to beautiful beaches definitely has its perks. In the Southern California area, getting in your vehicle and heading to the beach is probably a regular occurrence, especially during the warmer months. While going to the beach is almost always a fun time, you may dread having to clean up your vehicle after the outing. A beach day can mean a sandy and dirty vehicle, even more likely if you have kids or pets coming along for the ride. Luckily, we have some tips on how you can keep your vehicle clean while still enjoying your day by the water.  Before returning to your car, be sure to really shake out your bags, blankets, and other belongings to get ride of as much sand as possible.   If your beach has feet showers, use them!   Consider using an old sheet or blanket to cover your backseat and trunk. This will make it a lot easier get rid of sand and protect your interior.   Use trash bags to cover your floor mats for easy sand removal from shoes and ... read more

Fun Family-Friendly Road Trip Ideas For Spring Break

Fun Family-Friendly Road Trip Ideas For Spring Break

With so many family-friendly places to go, how do you choose? Well, here are a few of our favorite trips to take with our families around California that are sure to leave you with many good memories for years to come. So many of us decide to jump on a plane to go on an adventure. However, our backyard is a playground filled with many amazing places to explore together. Palm Springs is a dreamy place to take your family for spring break; you can spend your time with family outdoors and not feel too chilled or hot from the desert heat this time of year. If your family wants to take a dip, they have plenty of pools to choose from. There are fantastic golf courses, and of course, a great day trip is to the Joshua Tree National Park. Surrounding towns such as Rancho Mirage, Indian Springs, and Palm Desert are great little towns to explore if you run out of ideas. However, you won't want to miss the living desert museum while you are there, so be sure to bring a sun hat and plenty of w ... read more

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A Message About COVID-19 From Family Auto Service

A Message About COVID-19 From Family Auto Service

We understand the growing concern surrounding COVID-19 and we want to ensure you that the health and safety of our guests and team members are always our top priority. Here's what we're doing to ensure your health & safety while you visit us: Our technicians will continue to be vigilant about washing hands before entering your vehicle. When work is completed and vehicle is ready for pickup, the technician will also wipe down contacted surfaces, ex: steering wheel, shifter, door handles, keys.   All team members are taking extra care to wash their hands frequently with soap and hot water and use a hand sanitizer after contact with each customer.   We have disinfectant cleaning supplies that we use to wipe down and clean contact surfaces in our waiting area twice a day. Hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap are available to all guests who are waiting in our waiting room.   How can you help? If you are concerned abo ... read more

Why Are Fluid Exchanges So Important?

Why Are Fluid Exchanges So Important?

We all want to get the most out of our investments, and a car is a pretty significant investment. Believe it or not, the fluids in our vehicles are designed to protect the engine and components; they play a significant role in extending the life of our car. Over time, these fluids, be they synthetic or petroleum, break down over time. Because of this, flushing and exchanging these fluids preserve and extend the life of your car. Is your goal to keep driving your car for as long as possible? If so, it might be time to schedule a flush for your vehicle. It is a simple fact of life that, over time, things break down or wear out. Oils, synthetics, and other liquids all fall victim to this same misfortune. The side effects are not pretty when we don't properly care for ourselves or our vehicles. Your car has engine oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, brake fluid, and coolant all running through its veins. Each one of these fluids plays an essential role in keeping your car in top ... read more

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What Does the Battery Warning Light Indicate?

What Does the Battery Warning Light Indicate?

Your vehicle's battery is extremely important to the overall operation of your vehicle. It helps to power your vehicle's electrical system and keeps your car running on the road. The battery itself is a component of the entire starting and charging system which all works together to start your vehicle and maintain a charge. When you see the battery warning light turn on, it can be an indication of a problem with a number of different parts.  Some of the common causes for a battery warning light to turn on include:  Faulty alternator, which can prevent energy from being recycled while your car is running, which is necessary to charge the battery Bad voltage regulator, which can cause problems with the voltage that the alternator outputs  Worn serpentine belt, which is needed to run the alternator Corroded battery cables or terminals Dead battery As soon as you see this battery light appear, it's important to have your vehicle inspected by an expert at on ... read more

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