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4 Moments You Should Shift into Neutral

4 Moments You Should Shift into Neutral

The neutral gear serves an essential function for manual drivers. Before you drive a manual transmission, the vehicle must be placed in neutral first. Automotive drivers can move straight into the drive gear and take off, leaving some wondering what purpose the neutral gear serves. Neutral isn’t necessarily a gear; it’s a state when no gear is engaged on the vehicle. In an automatic transmission, the wheels continue to spin independently of the gas pedal, so the car keeps moving. While in neutral, the gas pedal does nothing to speed the vehicle; no power from the pedal is transmitted to the wheels. Neutral is rarely engaged in most driving trips, leaving some automatic drivers wondering – when should you shift into neutral? During A Drive-Thru Car Wash Most drive-through car washes have an automotive system that requires the car to be placed in the neutral gear to move and stop fluidly through the scrubs.  If the ... read more

Commonly Neglected Vehicle Maintenance Tasks

Commonly Neglected Vehicle Maintenance Tasks

Being a vehicle owner is a major responsibility. Staying on a consistent vehicle maintenance schedule not only benefits you, but it also benefits other drivers. Neglecting to prioritize your vehicle maintenance can lead to costly mechanical issues later down the road. Unfortunately, some maintenance tasks are completely forgotten by drivers. Below is a list of maintenance tasks commonly overlooked over the lifespan of a vehicle:  Transmission Fluid  Regularly changing your engine oil is a task embedded in most driver's brains and for a good reason. Oil changes keep your engine lubricated. However, most drivers forget about the maintenance of their transmission. You don't want to wait until you have a problem with your transmission before getting it inspected. Fixing and rebuilding a transmission can leave you thousands of dollars short if you neglect to maintain it. Some newer vehicles have a transmission system made to last the lifetime of the warra ... read more

What’s Coming Out Of Your Exhaust Pipe?

It’s no secret that vehicles release some pretty harmful chemicals and gasses into the environment. These gases and emissions can severely reduce air quality, especially in larger cities that may be more congested with cars. This may be the reason some people choose to drive a hybrid or fully electric vehicle. It’s also widely believed that exhaust fumes released into the atmosphere are a contributing factor to global warming. What pollutants are being released from our vehicle’s tailpipe?  Particulates –Particulates are primarily released from diesel engines and typically emit the black airborne soot you may be familiar with. Most modern diesel vehicles have diesel particulate filters to prevent most of it from being pumped into the air.   Carbon dioxide (CO2) – Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that is a severe contributing factor to climate change and ocean acidification. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated th ... read more

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