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3 Essential and Affordable Car Maintenance Tips

Everyone knows that cars require a significant amount of maintenance. One of the best ways to keep your car in good condition, is to stay vigilant with that maintenance. However, care maintenance can get expensive over time, and it is easy to fall behind. Today we will go over 3 affordable maintenance activities that you can easily keep up with.

car maintenance

Keeping it Clean

Cleaning your car isn’t just about aesthetics or pride. Allowing dirt and grime to build up on the exterior can damage your car’s finish and paint. Additionally, allowing the inside of the car to be dirty can damage your leather or upholstery, or even cause fading or peeling on the dashboard and doors. Keeping your car clean is easy, and affordable, so make sure you don’t skip it!

Changing The Oil

Your vehicle’s engine oil is affordable to replace, and an extremely essential part of your vehicle’s maintenance. Low or dirty oil can cause damage to your engine, and lead to costly repairs. Keeping up with the right schedule for your oil changes will save you time and money down the line!

Monitoring Tire Pressure

A air pressure gauge for your car is very cheap, usually less than $15, and it can help you make sure you aren’t wearing out your tires too quickly. Driving with the ideal tire pressure is the best way to make sure you won’t be buying new tires prematurely.

To learn more or to schedule repairs, give our team a call today at (760) 941-5002!

How To Deal With Common Winter Vehicle Annoyances

dealing with icy weatherWinter time can bring lots of icy and sleet, all of which are surely a nuisance. From unsafe driving conditions to excessive wear and tear on your vehicles, your car definitely feels the annoyance of icy weather. Today we will provide you with a few helpful tips to manage these winter vehicle nuisances.

Frozen Windshield

Nobody wants to deal with a frozen windshield, particularly if you’re in a hurry or late for work as it is! There are a few ways you can prevent a frozen windshield. One interesting home prevention technique is to rub a raw onion half over the windshield the night before a freeze. This is meant to prevent freezing in the morning. Some people prefer to cover their windshield with rubber bathmats instead. Just be sure to remember not to pour hot water on your windshield if it freezes. NEVER try that one.

Frozen Key-lock

If you are the kind of person who unlocks your car the traditional way, with the key, you may have seen the lock freeze from time to time. Simply blowing into the keyhole with a normal drinking straw should melt the ice. However, if that doesn’t work, you can lightly warm your key with a lighter and slowly slide i into the keyhole as a way to gently melt the ice.

Icy Side Mirrors

If your mirrors tend to get icy, a great way to prevent that is to place plastic bags over them and secure the bags with rubber bands. In the morning, remove the bags and enjoy your ice-free mirrors.

Foggy Windows

Foggy windows tend to start long before the icy weather, and there are some easy ways to address is, from opening your windows a crack at night so that the car temperature stays the same as the temperature outside, or you can keep a clean chalkboard eraser handy to wipe away the moisture without leaving a smudgy mess.

When You Should Get Your Power Steering Repaired

When You Should Get Your Power Steering Repaired

Power steering is a great feature in modern cars. For a long time, it was very difficult to turn the car’s steering wheel, but with the help of power steering, you don’t have to work so hard to turn right or left. Like most components in our cars, our power steering will need repairs from time to time. Knowing when to get your power steering repaired will be very helpful in the long run. Below are signs you need to get your power steering repaired.

Fluid Leaks

Any type of fluid leaking from your car is never good, so it’s important to take your car to an auto mechanic ASAP. The power steering is dependant on the fluid in the steering wheel, so make sure any leak isn’t a steering leak by taking it in.

Unusual Noises

It’s pretty common for our cars to make a little bit of noise, but squealing noises coming from the steering can spell trouble. The squealing noise can be due to lower levels of fluid, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and take your car in immediately for car maintenance.

Steering is Difficult

The purpose of power steering is to make steering the car a lot easier. From a worn out drive belt to a damaged power steering pump, whenever you are having difficulty steering your car’s wheel, you need to call a professional mechanic.

For power steering repair in Vista, CA, call GM Exclusive at (760) 941-5002 today to get your power steering fixed.

What Your Battery Light Means

Your dashboard has many different warning lights and signals to alert you when something under the hood isn’t working properly. One of these lights is the battery light, which alerts you to the fact that something in the electrical system isn’t working properly. If you see this light in your car, bring it by GM Exclusive Auto Repair and we’ll determine whether you have a battery or alternator problem.

What to Do When Your Battery Light Comes On

Check Battery Light

Your Check Battery Light Indicates That Your Vehicle is Running Low on Electrical Power.

If your battery light comes on while you’re driving, it means that the electricity that is running the car is running low. It could be because the battery is weak or because the alternator is going out. Either way, you are going to run out of power within a few miles. Here are some helpful tips for how to handle a check battery light on your dashboard.

During the Day
If you check charging systems light comes on during the day, make sure your headlights are off and turn off all other parts of the car that require electricity. Then get to a safe place as soon as you can. Call a tow truck and have them bring the car to GM Exclusive Auto Repair and we’ll take care of everything.

During the Night
If your check battery light comes on while you are driving at night, you are in serious trouble because the headlights are quickly draining the battery. Turn off the radio, heater or a/c and get to a place where you can safely park your car immediately. Call a tow truck and have them deliver the car to us. We will help you understand what’s wrong with your car the next day.

Contact Us

If you’re check charging systems have been coming on and off or you’re experiencing problems with your car not starting, contact our office at (760) 941-5002 and bring your car by for a diagnostic.

Detecting Suspension Damage

When it comes to your vehicle, detecting damages can be simple, or difficult, depending on what the problem is. Suspension problems are serious, but easy to detect. Beyond smooth riding, your suspension keeps your vehicle stable for stops, turns, and more. Today we will discuss several ways you can tell if your vehicle is in need of suspension repair. If you notice any of these problems with your car, give us a call today at (760) 941-5002!

Vehicle Suspension

Do You Need Suspension Repair?

Does Your Vehicle Pull To The Side? If your car pulls during turns, you may be looking at a suspension problem. turns exert a certain amount of force on your vehicle, and the suspension is responsible for ensuring those turns go smoothly. Pulling indicates there is a problem with that stabilization.

Do Your Car Jerk Or Bounce? While you’re driving, is your car all over the road? a significant amount of bumps or jerks on what appears to be a fairly smooth road is one of the most common indications of problems with a vehicle’s suspension. Be sure to take your car in ASAP.

Does Your Car Jerk When You Stop? If your vehicle jerks after you break gently, your suspension is not distributing force properly through your vehicle. Any sort of lurch forward, or downward dip should be taken seriously.

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to try out the bounce test. Essentially, you put your car in park and then stand in front of the front bumper. With open palms, place your weight on the hood, and gently proceed to bounce the vehicle. Watch for any signs of bounce after you’ve removed your weight from the vehicle. After the front, use the same method to check the back. If you’re still uncertain, head over to the GM Exclusive Auto Repair Shop in Vista, CA! We’re always happy to help with all of your car repair needs.

Call today at (760) 941-5002 to get started!

 

Getting Your Teen’s Car College Ready

As your college student goes back to school, it may seem that you are lost in a maze of supplies, furnishings, clothes, and equipment. In all the hustle and bustle that is carried out in the weeks before school starts, it’s imperative to remember to check your teen’s car. A simple, standard inspection can prevent your child from being stranded on the road, or worse, in an accident.

Tire Safety

Check all four tires for signs of extreme wear including visible cables and bumps on the tire. These are indicators that your tires need to be changed immediately. To check the tread on your tires try the penny test. Simply insert a penny into the tread, and if Lincoln’s head doesn’t disappear, it’s time for a new set.

Fluid Check and Replacement

Vehicle Fluid CheckBefore your child makes the long trip back to school, check the oil to make sure your teen’s engine stays healthy. Examine the oil for a dark color or gummy texture, which could signal engine trouble. Top off your oil as needed, and take note of when the next oil change should be. It’s also a good idea to check the rest of the vehicle’s fluids including transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant. These main fluids play a vital role in the health of your teen’s vehicle. 

Wiper Blades

This step seems straightforward, but it typically doesn’t register in someone’s mind until there is a problem or too much wear in your wiper blades. Check your student’s blades before they leave to help ensure safe travel.

Emergency Kit

Every vehicle should have a basic emergency kit inside. These kits can include things like a flashlight and extra batteries, jumper cables, basic tools, traffic triangles, and sometimes even non-perishable food and a blanket. Having these simple items in your vehicle can not only make road issue less inconvenient but also keep you safe.

Mechanic Inspection

Before your teen pulls out, make sure to go to your local mechanic to do a routine inspection. Ask your mechanic to check the condition of hoses, connectors, seals, and belts. Your mechanic should also check the brake system and the transmission system, looking for symptoms that could lead to a big problem.

Preparing your teen’s vehicle for their college trip will not only help to keep them safe but also relieve some worry and stress from your mind. When you need proper pre trip inspection of a vehicle, call the professionals at GM exclusive at [nw_date field=phone] today.

When You Should Get Your Car Brakes Serviced

When Should You Get Your Car Brakes Serviced?

When Should You Get Your Car Brakes Serviced? Below Are Some Signs.

Our car brakes are some of the most important functions in our car. They help us stop, slow down, and ensure we are safe. Since they are very crucial to the operation of our car, we need to make sure they are always in good shape. But when should you get your car brakes serviced? Below are some signs you need to take your car in to get inspected.

Unusual Sounds

Typically, our brakes don’t make a lot of noise when we use them. However, if your car brakes are making screeching noises or squeaking noises, this is when you should get your car brakes serviced. It could be a sign of worn brake pads, which need to be repaired ASAP.

Vibrations

Again, just like you shouldn’t be able to hear anything when you brake, you shouldn’t be able to feel anything. When we put our foot on the brake pedal, it just go down easy, but there can be a cause for concern when you push down and you feel vibrations or pulsing. This is usually due to your brakes becoming worn out.

Pulling

When we stop at a light, our car is usually straight; when we stop at a light and it pulls to one side, this is when you should get your car brakes serviced. Your brake pads don’t both wear out at the same time, hence why one side pulls to the other and one side stays straight.

If you are needing brake repairs in Vista, CA, call the experts at GM Exclusive today at (760) 941-5002.

 

Signs of Transmission Failure

A transmission stands as one of the most integral and structurally-sophisticated components of your car. The hundreds of parts that transfer power from your engine to tires enable your car’s forward motion — and can also fail through improper maintenance and simple wear-and-tear. To keep an eye on your car’s transmission problems, remain mindful of the following signs.

transmission problems

Don’t get stuck on the side of the road. Stay attentive to transmission problems.

Warning Light Activation

Modern vehicles come equipped with sensors that can detect minute inefficiencies and problems in your transmission. In most cases, these problems get detected far enough in advance that, with proper repair, you can avoid transmission failure.

Fluid Leaks

Unlike motor oil, transmission fluid never gets consumed. It stays within the contained gear box, and continually serves its function until it gets replaced. Your car needs all of its transmission fluid, and a leak can spell major problems. Maintain vigilance for this sweet-smelling fluid, and get your car serviced should it start to appear beneath.

Movement Delays

The timely transfer of gear shifts serves as a major function of your transmission. If you’ve begun to experience delay when you change gears, then your transmission could exist on the verge of failure. If the engine revs after you change gears, this stands as further evidence of a problem. As a serious issue, transmission slipping should get investigated without delay.

At GM Exclusive, we exist to service the needs of General Motors vehicles. If you’ve begun to experience problems with your car’s transmission, do not delay. Contact us today at (760) 941-5002 for all transmission problems in Vista, CA. 

Road Trip Prep For Your Car

With summer comes road trip season, the time of year when families and friends hit the highways in search of adventure. As more people elect to drive to avoid the hassle and cost of airfare, you can expect more company on the road than ever. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to properly prepare their vehicle for a long trip. Before you drive off into the great wide open, get your car ready with these five acts of preparation.

road trip

Don’t get stranded! Follow these tips to prepare for your next road trip.

Car Travel Tips

  1. Check Your Battery: Most people forget about their battery until it’s too late. To make sure that you don’t wind up stranded, check the strength of your battery before you leave. While you’re at it, you can ahead and clean those terminals with a little water and baking soda.
  2. Check Your Tires: A highway blowout factors into no one’s idea of a fun vacation. Before you leave, review your tires for tread wear, worn patches, or bulges.
  3. Be Prepared: Create a kit to keep in your trunk in case of a wreck or breakdown. At the very least, you should have a blanket, first aid kit, flashlight, and basic tools.
  4. Stay on Track: While GPS-enabled smartphones have become widespread, consider a dash-mounted GPS for your trip. It will provide a safer alternative when you need directions in unfamiliar areas.
  5. Schedule a Check-Up: If you haven’t needed to take your car in for maintenance in awhile, consider a general check-up before your trip. This will help identify any issues before you find yourself in the middle of nowhere.

Need a check-up for your GM car or truck? Trust the experts at GM Exclusive. We’re just a short phone call away at (760) 941-5002.

3 Ways To Avoid A Car Accident

maintenance can prevent a car accident

Proper maintenance can help you prevent a car accident!

When it comes to accidents, the main cause is often distracted driving. Cell phones pose a huge percentage of the distractions we attribute accidents to, but other distractions also include things inside and outside of your car. While we can’t help you not get distracted by a squirrel running across the road, we can give you 3 tips on how to prevent a few other types of accidents, simply by taking proper care of your car!

Tires

It is critical that you keep up with tire maintenance. Your tires are too important to overlook. As a typically expensive part of a vehicle, many drivers tend to wait until they get a flat, to even consider replacing their tires. However, your tires have a limited lifespan, depending how often you drive, and the kind of conditions you drive in. Be sure to check your tread, and if the tread is low, it is time to replace. Also watch for cracks and balls in your tires, which can cause a serious accident if they cause your tire to blow out! 

Visibility

When it comes to driving, one of the key requirements is visibility. You need to be able to clearly see all around your vehicle, particularly through the front windshield. Many accidents in rainstorms happen because the drive could not see clearly. So how can you protect against conditions that cause poor visibility?

Windshield Wipers

Always take time to check your windshield wipers. These handy helpers are essential for keeping your windshield crystal clear. Be sure to watch the edges for signs of drying, warping, or cracking, as any of these symptoms can indicate it is time to replace. When buying new wipers, choose a quality brand, and the correct size for your car. A clean windshield is a major part of road safety.

Lights

Next, periodically check your lights. In urban areas, street lights can often make it difficult to notice if one of your lights has gone out. taking time once a month to look at your headlight, tail lights, and fog lights, can not only save your life, but also save you from getting a ticket! Your lights are essential not only for your own visibility, but they also help other drivers see you at night.

Call GM Exclusive in Vista, CA

Follow our car maintenance tips and be a safer driver today. If you need car maintenance or car repair in Vista, CA, or surrounding areas, call the experts from GM Exclusive today at (760) 941-5002! Customer service is our number one goal!