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3 Signs Your Car Needs a Tune-up

3 Signs Your Car Needs a Tune-up

While emergency repairs get you back on the road after auto failure or an accident, routine auto maintenance will help deter malfunctions. While modern cars can be driven for long periods between servicing, they benefit from periodic tune-ups to keep their essential systems and components in peak condition. Use the following guide to determine if your ride is due for a tune-up. How to Know When to Service Your Vehicle 1. Frequent Stalling Stalling, which occurs when the engine stops unexpectedly, can be due to insufficient air or fuel intake, electrical problems, or failed engine components. All cars stall occasionally, and restarting the engine is usually enough to resolve the issue. However, if your vehicle stalls frequently at intersections or when accelerating, schedule auto maintenance immediately. 2. Poor Fuel Economy A wide range of factors affects fuel efficiency, from the wheel alignment to the car’s electrical s ... read more

Aftermarket Extended Auto Warranty

Extended Auto Warranty While it may sound like a good idea to purchase an extended warranty for your vehicle, they often come with a high price tag and don't necessarily cover repairs that are needed. Plus, many consumers who buy extended warranties never use them. In that case, an extended warranty becomes a cost with no financial return. Extended warranties do not cover scheduled maintenance such as oil changes, timing belt replacements or tune-ups. Most extended warranties don't cover wear & tear items, such as brake pads and windshield wipers. Our experience is that warranty companies have a hard time with pricing in different areas of the United States that they cover. We here in Hawaii have a higher cost of living so our parts cost more & we charge a higher labor rate to survive. Warranty companies are mostly not willing to consider this & make it hard for the consumer to find a reputable repair shop to cover the repairs. Consumers should do their research b ... read more

High Octane Fuel Myth or Fact?

High Octane Fuel Myth or Fact? Unless your engine is knocking, buying higher octane gasoline is a waste of money. Premium gas costs 15-20 cents per gallon more than regular.. Studies indicate that altogether, drivers may be spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year for higher octane gas than they need. It may seem like buying higher octane “premium” gas is better for engine performance, but take note: the recommended gasoline for most cars is regular octane. If you car recommends regular fuel than putting a higher octane will be a waste of money. It won't make your car perform better, go faster, get better mileage, or run cleaner.  The only time you might need to switch to a higher octane level is if your car engine knocks when you use the recommended fuel. This doesn’t happen too often.  But if it does, than put a higher grade. What are octane ratings? Octane ratings measure a gasoline's ability to resist engine knock — a rattlin ... read more

Smelly Air Conditioning

What Causes the Car AC to Smell Bad? Moisture Your vehicle’s AC system does not actually create cold air. The AC system takes heat and moisture out of the air that is outside of your car, which in turn, makes it feel much cooler than the air around you. Hot air flowing into the unit can create moisture pockets that surround the condensing unit in your AC system. This may create small pools of water that are drained outside of the car. However, if moisture becomes stuck or for whatever reason cannot find its way out of the AC unit, by drainage or evaporation, the water will pool inside the unit and around the coils creating moisture inside of the AC unit. Mold AC systems collect moisture which creates mold. The air that passes through the evaporator and the units’ mold build-up will carry the foul smell inside of your car through your dash vents. Mold is the most common culprit for causing smells to come out of your cars’ AC. As a vehicle gets older, bacteria, mold, an ... read more

Meaning of the Warning Indicator Lights on in the Dash

Meaning of warning light indicators in your dash: Modern cars have sensors and warning systems that notify you that something is going wrong. Consumers that take great precautions to keep their vehicles as healthy as possible can’t cover all these areas of their vehicle, even with meticulous maintenance.  Luckily, nowaday vehicles come with super systems to help in these events. Check engine light – This indicates a problem in the many systems of your vehicle that have various sensors controlling different areas. There are more than 4,000 OBD-II codes that can light up the “Check Engine Light”. If this indicator light comes on, you want to contact a certified repair shop to have this diagnosed. Maintenance light – This indicator light that will usually tell you you’re of need of a scheduled maintenance service. It may come in various prints like “service”, “maint reqd&r ... read more

Brake Inspections

Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they’re going to need to be replaced. A vehicle’s braking system should be checked at least once a year and a thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.  Brake inspections are more crucial when your vehicle is driven in a lot of stop & go traffic.   If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, they should be inspected. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake dragging, low pedal, pulsation, hard pedal feel and squealing.   Pearl City Auto Works will inspect your car’s brake system and diagnose any problems right away. We will service any worn brake components on Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Infiniti, Honda, Acura, Kia, Hyundai, M ... read more

Wiper Blade Maintenance & Tips

Wiper Blade Maintenance & Tips When Inspecting your wiper blades: Broken frame at the arms, joints or connection points. Metal Corrosion at joints and claws. Visible cracks, tears, and missing pieces in the wiper blades rubber edge. Flex wiper blades rubber back and forth to see if the wiper blade is pliable. Aged wiper blades will have difficulty conforming to the shape of your windshield and create streaks. Check the wiper blades edge for rounded edges which can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield and reduces wipe quality. Tug to ensure wiper blade has been securely installed on the wiper arm.        Wiper blades deteriorate causes: Sun Rays Oil from waxes, polishes or additives to car washes Airborne debris: Sand, mud, dust, oil deposits from roads Moisture: Salt water Heat: Tropical weather, wiper blades left on hot windshield

Navigating on Bad Roads

Be aware of the road conditions, so you don’t get into an accident or become the victim of a blown out tire or worse.   Clear Zone Issues – Examples include utility poles, fallen trees, uncovered water drains,  or debris. Irregular Intersections  – Examples include narrow roads, sharp turns that require mirrors, one way streets, or misguided turning lanes. Pothole Fillers – Temporary fix for roads that need to be resurfaced. This temporary fixes can have high or low points.   Lane Guidance – Poorly painted lines, broken, hidden, or missing signs can cause accidents on roads. Construction Signage – Roads marked with construction signs, when the construction isn’t being worked on may cause confusion to drivers. Wheel Ruts – When roads haven't been resurfaced in a while, grooves where wheels often go dig into the road and make it uneven and unsafe ... read more

Sense of Smell

Using your sense of smell to determine if your vehicle needs attention:   The smell of burnt rubber could be faulty drive belts. The belts may be rubbing on a binding pulley or attached to a faulty rotating component. Check engine components when the engine is cooled down.  The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, take to a certified repair shop. Leaking oil on the exhaust may cause a fire or major damage from the loss of oil.  The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire, so immediate attention should be given.  Take to a certified repair shop to get the leak repaired for safety.  The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car’s cooling system. A coolant leak can be detrimental to a vehicle’s operating performance. Do not open the ... read more


Hawaii roads can tear up your shocks and struts. Potholes and patched up roads can cause your car’s suspension to take a real beating. A typical shock or strut is designed to have a life of about fifty thousand miles. When your suspension starts to wear out your car’s ride might become harsh, stiff, excessively bouncy, or make strange noises. These things may present a real safety hazard. If your suspension isn’t in great condition, it may cause a reduction in your ability to avoid an obstacle in the road or a compromised handling in an emergency. The suspension system of a vehicle (i.e. struts or shocks) is something that many people often take for granted. However, it is vital for providing a comfortable, stable, and safe ride. It absorbs the bumps and lumps found in various road surfaces and helps you corner, accelerate, and brake safely. Over time, the suspension components wears out, and you may start noticing that the ride is rougher than usual. If your suspen ... read more

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