The FTS Auto Repair Guide To Custom Wheels

If you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your Imports, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many San Diego car owners have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the Imports when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your FTS Auto Repair tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your Imports. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable San Diego professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional San Diego custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your Imports are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason car owners should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in San Diego. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your Imports, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in costly damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at FTS Auto Repair to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at FTS Auto Repair in San Diego.

After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.

Drive Train Service in San Diego at FTS Auto Repair

The drive train in your vehicle includes all the vital components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending on what type of vehicle you drive, namely, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The preventive maintenance your driveshaft needs will also differ by what type of vehicle you drive.

Let’s start with front-wheel drive. In this vehicle, the transmission and the differential are combined in one component, known as the transaxle. The transaxle is connected to two half-shafts (axles), which are then connected to the wheels with a constant velocity (or CV) joint, which is protected by an airtight rubber boot.

FTS Auto Repair service for this type of driveline includes servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot. If the boot is damaged, the CV joint will need to be inspected, and the boot will need to be replaced. If you hear a clicking noise in your wheel wells when you turn, you may have a damaged CV joint. A damaged CV joint should be replaced.

Rear-wheel drive vehicles generally have a transmission in the front of the car and the differential in the back. A driveshaft (it looks like a long tube) connects the transmission to the differential. Some vehicles may have a two-piece driveshaft, which are connected to the differential with universal joints or U-joints. Again, the differential is connected to two half-shafts that go out to the wheels.

FTS Auto Repair service on the drive train on a rear-wheel drive vehicle starts with servicing the differential. It will need its fluid drained and replaced regularly. The seals on the axles should also be inspected for wear or leaks. Leaking or damaged seals may mean the axle needs to be serviced as well. Also, U-joints can wear out. If you hear clunking or feel a jolt when you shift into drive or into reverse, it could indicate a driveline problem.

All-wheel drive Importss provide power from the transmission to all of the wheels, instead of just to the front or rear. The advantage is that the vehicle can adapt to different driving conditions and transfer more power to the front or back wheels as needed. The disadvantages are that the driveline is more complicated, and the vehicle weighs slightly more.

Many all-wheel drive vehicles are based on a front-wheel drive set-up. They also have a differential in the rear and one in the center of the vehicle that allows power to transfer to the front and rear. A shaft runs from the transfer case to the center differential, and another from the center differential to the rear differential.

Servicing an all-wheel drive at FTS Auto Repair involves servicing ALL of the differentials and inspecting the joints and seals for wear, leaks or damage.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are rear-wheel drive vehicles that have an option to transfer power to the front wheels. In other words, they can be driven as either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. These vehicles are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions San Diego drivers encounter off-road. The driveline in a four-wheel drive vehicle is similar to that of an all-wheel drive vehicle. The center differential, however, is a transfer case. Maintenance requires servicing both of the differentials and the transfer case, as well as an inspection of the joints and seals.

San Diego auto owners would be wise to check with their owner’s manual for recommendations on how often to service their Imports drive train. It’s also good auto advice to check with your Honest FTS Auto Repair technician as well. You may live in an area in Ca where weather or driving conditions require more frequent servicing of the drive train.

If you drive off-road, it is critical to service your driveline more often frequently than the typical recommendation. Conditions encountered off-road around the San Diego area are particularly hard on your driveline.

Good car care at FTS Auto Repair in San Diego always includes taking care of your driveline. Without it, your Imports becomes a very large paperweight.

FTS Auto Repair is located at 3727 Convoy St in San Diego. We provide comprehensive auto repair and maintenance services for residents of San Diego, Terrasanta, Carmel Valley, Clairemont and San Diego.

Smart San Diego Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for San Diego auto owners to prevent.

The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fins on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.

The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.

Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner’s manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.

Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for San Diego car owners to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.

This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don’t realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at FTS Auto Repair in San Diego.

If your Imports sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs a diagnostic examination. This service is essential and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.

In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your Imports so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, owner’s manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.

Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to your San Diego service center or FTS Auto Repair where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks, and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in the first place and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Regular maintenance of a vehicle’s cooling system is just good auto advice for San Diego motorists. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at FTS Auto Repair. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

Talk to your FTS Auto Repair service advisor for more information.

Cool Running In San Diego

Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your Imports engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the highway in San Diego waiting for your Imports engine to cool down.

When you service your cooling system at FTS Auto Repair, your service professional will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your Imports owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

If your engine overheated, your Honest service professional will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the Imports radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need an automotive analysis regularly. They can and do wear out.

The water pump is a critical component of your Imports cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your Imports cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.

There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service specialist will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at FTS Auto Repair is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in San Diego for 17 years.

Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the San Diego repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in Ca.

At FTS Auto Repair, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

FTS Auto Repair Service For Your Exhaust System

Your Imports’s exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems on your Imports. Maintaining it is good FTS Auto Repair auto advice for San Diego car owners, but it’s also good health advice and good environmental advice.

The exhaust system includes your emissions system. Because this system may affect your health and the health of our San Diego area environment, it is subject to strict government regulations. Satisfying these regulations demands some high-tech, computer-controlled equipment, which means that the emissions system is a lot more sophisticated than it was thirty years ago. Most manufacturers recommend that you have your Imports exhaust and emissions systems checked by a qualified technician at regular intervals.

The exhaust system starts with the exhaust manifold. FTS Auto Repair Service For Your Exhaust SystemThe manifold is attached to the Imports engine. It collects exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe. Gaskets seal the connection of the manifold to the engine and to other joints. A cracked or loose manifold or a leaking or damaged gasket can allow dangerous gases to enter the passenger compartment of a vehicle. One of these gases is carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly. For this reason, it is important that San Diego drivers keep their exhaust system in good repair.

The pipes that connect the various parts of the exhaust system can rust or be damaged by rocks or other road debris. Such damage can cause dangerous gases to leak into the air. So it is important that exhaust pipes get an inspection regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next essential component of your Imports exhaust system. It sort of looks like a muffler. Its job is to change dangerous gases into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any regular maintenance, but it can wear out. If it fails, you will need a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test in Ca. Call FTS Auto Repair at 858-279-7724 if you suspect a problem with your catalytic converter.

Oxygen sensors in the exhaust pipe monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust. This helps the Imports engine’s computer keep the fuel-to-air mixture at optimal levels.

The muffler is also part of your Imports exhaust system, but it deals with a different kind of emission. It keeps your Imports from emitting bad sounds. Mufflers act like finely tuned musical instruments. They create a feedback of sound waves to absorb or decrease the noises made by your engine. Different mufflers can create different sound waves, so you can actually “tune” your car to produce a particular sound, anything from whisper to rumble.

It is important for damaged mufflers be replaced immediately at your San Diego automotive service center, especially if they are leaking. Not only will the extra noise annoy your San Diego neighbors, a leaky muffler could be serious.

The entire exhaust system is attached to your Imports by hangers and clamps. These fasteners can rust, come loose or break. The vital components of the exhaust system can get very hot, so when the hangers or clamps fail, these hot components can come into contact with other parts such as wires and hoses. These can melt, causing serious and expensive damage to your vehicle. Good car care requires that you have your exhaust system inspected regularly.

Let’s not forget the tailpipe. It’s the last important piece in the exhaust system — and of your Imports, for that matter. Exhaust fumes exit your Imports through the tailpipe.

If your Imports has any of the following symptoms, it may have a problem with the exhaust system: it’s hard to start, it runs rough, it’s noisy, it’s smoking. Also, if your “check engine” light comes on, especially if it’s flashing, it is important to get your Imports to FTS Auto Repair in San Diego right away. Often, the “check engine” light indicates a problem with the emissions system.

Caring for your Imports exhaust system yields cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety. Your life, or the life of a loved one, may actually be on the line.

FTS Auto Repair Engine Air Filter Replacement

When your experienced FTS Auto Repair service professional technician changes your oil, he will also inspect your air filter. You shouldn’t need a new filter at every oil change, but you will need to change it regularly. Heed your service specialist’s auto advice if they tell you to change your filter. It’s not pricey, and it makes a big difference to your Imports.

An air filter does what its name implies: it filters stuff out of the air. Air is drawn into your engine through the filter because your engine needs air to burn fuel. If the filter weren’t there, a lot of dust and debris would come into the Imports engine with the air. That dust and debris would get hot, burn, and produce all kinds of ash and gumminess that would eventually clog up your engine.

Drop in an air filter and voilá! Problem solved.

But air filters themselves get clogged up with all the junk they clean out of the San Diego air. This doesn’t allow the junk into the Imports engine, but it does block up the airflow. A blocked airflow will reduce engine efficiency.

An engine needs about 12,000 gallons of air to burn just one gallon of gasoline. Think of a runner. If he is breathing well, he can run well. But if he has a lung condition, he won’t be able to generate the oxygen necessary to keep his cells powered up. He won’t be able to run at peak efficiency.

Or consider a vacuum cleaner. Even without the light, you can tell when the vacuum bag is full because the machine just doesn’t clean anymore. Change the bag and its efficiency immediately improves.

So keep your Imports breathing well by keeping its air filter clean. That’s good car care.

San Diego motorists who get a charge out of the feeling of power in their engine might consider upgrading their air filter. Talk to your Honest FTS Auto Repair tech. Premium air filters have been proven to increase horsepower and torque. So with the cost of a premium air filter, you can increase the horsepower in your engine — there’s no cheaper way to do that!

It’s also one of the least pricey and simplest elements of important routine preventive maintenance – and protects against damage to expensive Imports electronic systems. No San Diego resident should have an excuse to drive around San Diego roads and freeways with a dirty air filter.