Category Archives: Auto Blog

Why Every Driver Needs A Roadside Emergency Kit

Why Every Driver Needs A Roadside Emergency Kit

What's that saying….anything that can go wrong will go wrong? Yes, well if you've lived long enough, you know this one bears some truth, especially when it comes to your vehicle. While paranoia serves little purpose, you can navigate life's roadside catastrophes more handily with a little forethought and a few essentials. Here are some tools that might help you out in a bad situation: Flat Tire Accessories – Hopefully you have a spare, but if it's already in use and another tire needs help, you can find commercial products that temporarily fix a damaged tire (Fix-A-Flat, for example). Tire Changing Tools – If you need to put on the spare, you'll need more than the tire: tire iron, jack, lug nuts. Water – If the worst happens in the middle of nowhere, you might need to hydrate while waiting for help. It never hurts to have a few water bottles ... read more

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Auto Blog

Who Makes the Most Reliable Cars?

Who Makes the Most Reliable Cars?

When you get ready to buy a new car, you want to know what models withstand the years, staying reliable and sturdy through weekend road trips, weekday commutes, and extreme weather. In fact, dependability ranks high in consumer preferences since it plays a large role in resale value. Fortunately, J.D. Power has recently released its 2019 Vehicle Dependability Study, helping savvy consumers understand which carmakers have upgraded technology and safety systems and which ones have remained static. Here's a brief summary of the findings. How the Study Works J.D. Power's Study takes 3-year-old cars and measures the problems experienced (for 100 vehicles) over the last year. The numbers rack up along with the issues–177 common problems spread among 8 vehicle categories–so a lower score means higher quality. In good news, 2016 models held up well, showing a 4 percent ... read more

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Auto Blog

What Happens If I Wait A Few Extra Thousand Miles To Have My Oil Changed?

What Happens If I Wait A Few Extra Thousand Miles To Have My Oil Changed?

Keeping the engine healthy with the proper amount of clean oil is vital to a well-functioning engine. But what happens if you forget? Well, it depends how many miles over you let things go. Clean oil protects the engine's many moving parts, creating a barrier between metal pieces that rub together at high speeds in a heated environment. It also collects contaminates created by the combustion process, moving them to the oil filter that traps sludge until it can be disposed of. Eventually, the extreme environment in the engine will start to break down the oil, causing it to lose its lubricating characteristics. When this happens, the compromised oil will damage the engine, since friction can take over and promote overheating.This heavy-duty job makes oil vulnerable to breakdown with time, which is why manufacturers recommend having the oil repla ... read more

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Auto Blog

Should I Consider Using Synthetic Motor Oil In My Vehicle?

Should I Consider Using Synthetic Motor Oil In My Vehicle?

With various motor oils to choose from (and different opinions to sift through), how can you know which one will work best with your vehicle? Fortunately, the process of finding a great fit doesn't have to be overwhelming, and it mostly depends on factors like driving habits, vehicle style, and climate. Here's a comprehensive look at all types of motor oil so you can decide for yourself. Full Synthetic Oil Synthetic oil has several positive attributes. For example, with its higher viscosity, it combats sludge buildup and more easily withstands oxidation and thermal breakdown. Synthetic oil also has a more uniform molecular size, which limits friction inside the engine, minimizing drag and increasing fuel efficiency. If you own a high-performance vehicle than needs an extra dose of lubrication, synthetic oil is an excellent choice. It also works well fo ... read more

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Auto Blog

Why Is My Radiator Leaking?

Why Is My Radiator Leaking?

A radiator leak is more than annoying its dangerous. Your vehicle relies on its engine coolant to keep the engine at the optimal temperature. Should the engine overheat, the scorching environment will damage parts. Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose might be emissions experts, but we also know a thing or two about radiators. Here are a few reasons why yours is leaking. Coolant We understand the need to save money in today's economy but don't do it at the expense of your vehicle's cooling system. Subpar, cheap, watered down, or even the wrong engine coolant will cause your vehicle to overheat. As will substandard coolant flushes or adding water instead of the proper water/coolant mix to the reservoir. When this happens, it isn't so much that your radiator is leaking as it is pushing coolant out of the system. Heater Core Your vehicle's heater core can affect the ... read more

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Auto Blog

A Family Member Gave Me A Car. Is A Smog Inspection Required?

A Family Member Gave Me A Car. Is A Smog Inspection Required?

In California, if a family member gives you a car, it might not need a smog inspection to transfer the title. It depends on a few factors, including the familial relation. Bear in mind, California is one of the strictest states when it comes to vehicle emissions testing, so it's best to check with the DMV to ensure you don't need a smog. If you do, Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose is a STAR-certified station. Family Relationship The DMV understands that if you receive a vehicle from an immediate family member, chances are you know whether it's due for a smog check or not. For example, you would be exempt from a required smog inspection if you acquire the car from a Domestic partner/spouse Parent Grandparent Sibling Child Grandchild These are the only relationships that allow for a smog inspection exemption, however. Should your aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, cousin, or another relative offer ... read more

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Auto Blog

What If My Car Fails Smog Inspection?

What If My Car Fails Smog Inspection?

If your car fails its required smog inspection, do not panic. We here at Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose, CA, can help. As you know already, California is strict when it comes to vehicle emissions, which is why you get that dreaded smog test required notice in registration renewal every couple of years. If you bring your vehicle to a test and repair station rather than a test-only station, you already have the upper hand should the vehicle fail the check. Reasons Why Your Vehicle Failed Your car's exhaust is made up of several components including the catalytic converter, EGR system, evaporative emissions charcoal canister, fuel cap, oxygen sensor, PCM, and purge control valve. If any of these parts are compromised, your vehicle will fail its smog check. The most common issues we see when a car doesn't pass the test include Improper air/fuel mixtur ... read more

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Auto Blog

What Is a STAR Station 2

What Is a STAR Station 2

Living in California is a dream, except when it comes to the required smog check every two years for your vehicle registration renewal. You could grumble about California's tough emission standards, but let's be honest: They are what keep The Golden State beautiful. Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose is a STAR station. What does that mean? Keep reading! Your Renewal Notice If you received a notice in your vehicle's renewal registration letter that says you must have your car, truck, or SUV smog tested at a STAR station, it means the check must be performed by a station that meets “higher performance standards,” per the State of California Bureau of Automotive Repair. This is the top certification for smog stations in California. STAR Station Advantages Even if your renewal notice didn't specify a STAR stat ... read more

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Auto Blog

What Car Complaints Are Not Worth Repairing?

You love your car and you never, ever want to get rid of it, but at what point are you wasting money by keeping your baby on the road? Trust us, we here at Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose understand, and we'll do what we can to help keep your vehicle running as it should. That said, there are some repairs – or car complaints – that are not worth the hit to your pocketbook. Rod Knock There's a term we use in the auto service industry and it is “rod knock.” What this means is your car engine's pistons are punching through your engine block. This happens when you drive like a maniac without taking care of your car. In other words, you don't change your engine fluids or have other maintenance done as you should. Either or both can cause the rod bolts and bearings to loosen, which gives the pistons the freedom they need to slam against the block. A damaged engine block and pistons will cost you more than you care to know to repair. Ben ... read more

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Will You Pass A Smog Check If Your Check Engine Light Is On?

Will You Pass A Smog Check If Your Check Engine Light Is On?

No, it is likely your vehicle will not pass a smog check if your check engine light is on, but let's look at this further. Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose are experts who can spare you grief if you'll bring your vehicle into our shop the minute the check engine light comes on. This warning light doesn't always mean an expensive repair bill. Rather, it could be something simple, such as a loose gas cap that's triggering the onboard computer to turn on the check engine light. Your Check Engine Light and Emissions Generally, the check engine light illuminates when your vehicle is experiencing an emissions problem, and this is the primary reason why it won't pass a smog check with the light on. Whether there is a legitimate issue or not, your onboard computer has detected a fault, and it will return that fault until it is fixed or ... read more

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Auto Blog