Articles:

The Benefits to Choosing Hybrid Vehicles

Have you been contemplating a hybrid vehicle for your next car purchase? You are not alone. With more people driving now than ever before, hybrid cars are increasing in popularity. A hybrid is a vehicle that combines at least one electric motor with a gasoline engine to operate. It is a system that recaptures energy via regenerative braking. Hybrid cars are not all produced the same. Some hybrid models have an electric motor that does all the work, while other types use a gas engine; other models may use both.   Below are some helpful reminders if you are considering making the switch to an electric vehicle:    Hybrids may save you money over time.  With some hybrid models going for 40-60 mpg, owning one will save you money at the gas pump. While the cost of a hybrid vehicle may be up to 20% more expensive upfront, there are tax benefits and incentives that make these vehicles smart buys. These federal and state electric car credits help lower the upfront cost ... read more

Tips for Teaching Your Teen How to Drive

Tips for Teaching Your Teen How to Drive

It’s the summer months, which means that your teenager is home from school and has much more time to start learning and understand how to drive before the big test. If you’ll be working on teaching your teenager how to drive this summer, here are some helpful reminders and tips to communicate in order to promote safe and legal driving.  If your teenager has a driver’s learner’s permit, the best place to begin your teaching is in a parking lot that is vacant or not too busy. Here, you can practice basic stop and go methods and parking techniques. This is always less stressful for a beginning drive since there isn’t much traffic around.  Teach your teenager about the SMOG method. This is a great way to teach your teen how to safely switch lanes while on the road. S - signal the direction you wish to turn, M - check rear view and side mirrors for other vehicles, O - be sure to look over your shoulder to check your blind spots, and G - go when all ... read more

What to Do if Your Car Battery is Dead

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

Dhillon Motorsports is Open During COVID-19 Shutdowns

Dhillon Motorsports is Open During COVID-19 Shutdowns

Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man Test & Repair, has been servicing the community for over a decade. We want you to know that during these uncertain times, we are remaining open to serve you. We know how difficult times are dealing with the scare of COVID-19 and how it is effecting our everyday lives. Even with business shutdown orders and shelter in place mandates in California, auto repair is considered an essential business.  Auto care is an essential need because people in our community are relying on their vehicles to get to work to support their families or get to the store to buy supplies to keep their loved ones fed and healthy. We have taken steps to ensure the safety of our customers and staff by putting new protocols in place.  Measures we are taking to better serve you and prevent the spread of COVID-19 include:  We will be taking appointments only. This will allow us to schedule in a way to allow social distancing to take place. Lim ... read more

What are the Common Causes Behind Tire Feathering?

What are the Common Causes Behind Tire Feathering?

When you look at your tires and notice excessive wear, balding, or feathering - this is never a good sign. A worn out tire means safety issues and can decrease your ability to properly steer, slow, and stop your car when you need to. It also means that there could be an issue that is causing your tires to wear down excessively, and if so, this is going to cost you money on new tires probably faster than you would have needed new tires otherwise.  Feathering tires is a specific type of wear that appears as if the tire rubber is fraying. It specifically points to wear and tear that is being done at a certain angle, which can cause one side of the wear to be sharp and the other side to be rounded. Tires are designed to be properly angled, balanced, and regularly rotated in order to preserve their lifespan and ensure that they remain in the best condition possible for their age. When the tires aren't aligned properly, such as the bottom of the tires sticks out too far or the fro ... read more

Basic Tire Maintenance for Everyone

Your vehicle's tires are one of the most vital components when it comes to safety and drivability. With excellent care, a new set of tires can last you years. However, if you don't properly maintain your tires or your vehicle as a whole, your tires can wear down excessively and unevenly. This can require you to replace one or more tires more often. This is why proper tire care and maintenance is so incredibly important when it comes to saving you time and money.  Tire maintenance isn't difficult! Every driver should be aware of how to inspect and take care of their tires. Here are some of the basic tire maintenance items to remember as a car driver:  Your vehicle's tires should always have the proper tire pressure. Driving with low tire pressure not only decreases your vehicle's fuel efficiency, but it also can cause trouble with steering and can put you at risk for a tire blow out. Newer cars will be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system which ... read more

Prepping Your Car for Traveling in the Winter

Whether you’re planning to travel by car this winter season or will just be driving to and from work each day, prepping your car for winter can help you avoid car troubles on the road and keep you safe while driving in winter weather conditions.  Before you hit the road for any type of extended travel, we recommend bringing your vehicle into our shop for a winter car inspection. This will give you peace of mind on the road knowing that an expert took a look at your vehicle and made sure that everything was in working order to stay reliable in the cold weather.  Here are some of the top ways in which you can prep your car for traveling this winter:  Get your car serviced if it is due and inspected for other issues Check your manufacturer’s website for any recalls Inspect your tires to verify they have good tread and are in overall good condition Install new windshield wipers and top-off wiper fluid Check all vital fluids  Be sure to test your vehi ... read more

Happy Thanksgiving from Dhillon Motorsports!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Dhillon Motorsports! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. With all the holidays comes lots of travel, so if you are planning a road trip in the near future, we recommend that you check off some important travel measures before you hit the road.  Be sure to have your vehicle inspected by the experts here at Dhillon Motorsports before you hit the road. You never want to be caught in a situation where you are stuck without a working vehicle, so guaranteeing that your vehicle is ready for any road trip will keep your family safe and bring you peace of mind on the road.    Pack ample blankets and coats for the road to keep warm if you’re traveling in the cold this winter.    Have an emergency kit on hand in your trunk to help out in cases of emergencies. Some things to make sure you have with you include a spare tire, jack, wrench, flashlight, flares, cell phone charger, and ... read more

Why Did My Check Engine Light Come On?

Why Did My Check Engine Light Come On?

Some people panic when their check engine light comes on; other people shrug their shoulders and ignore it. Don't do either. Find the middle ground and heighten your senses to assess unusual car behavior. Do you hear strange sounds, see visible issues such a smoke, or smell anything odd? If not, drive your vehicle to Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose. If so, pull over to safety and call for a tow. Check Engine Light Overview Your vehicle has an onboard computer that monitors operating systems all the time. If something minor goes awry, the onboard computer will correct it. If something goes wrong that the computer cannot correct, it will warn you using the dashboard lights, i.e. the brake light signals an issue with your brake system. The CEL is catch-all for issues not covered by their own light. What Could Be Wrong When the Check Engine Light Comes On? Because ... read more

What If My Car Fails The Inspection

What If My Car Fails The Inspection

In many states throughout the US, drivers must bring their car in for an emissions or smog test before it can be registered. The reason for these tests is to help reduce the volume of dangerous, toxic gases that automobiles release into the air and environment. When you pass the smog test, you're given a certificate that allows the vehicle to be registered by your state. If your car fails the inspection, you likely need some kind of repair performed to ensure that it meets your localities' specific smog compliance rules. If You Fail the Smog Inspection Unfortunately, failing a smog inspection can become quite a hassle. The DMV will not register your vehicle which means you won't be able to obtain a license plate to drive it legally. So, what should you do if this happens? Each vehicle is different, and some may only require a small fix to get the car back into compliance. Others ma ... read more