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Yearly Archives: 2020

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

COVID-19 Car Tips

Many of our cars will be parked in the driveway for about another month during a statewide “stay-at-home” order which mandates a lot of people to remain home unless they are making essential trips. Here’s some car care tips for longer-than-expected parked vehicles: Battery Boost: Start your vehicle every couple of days to keep the battery at a full state and prevent unexpected drain. Let the engine run for a few minutes to recharge the battery, then turn it off.  You can also consider using a battery tender to keep the battery charged up. The battery tender would remain connected to the stored vehicle. Tire Pressure: Adding an extra 10 psi of pressure than the recommended psi to each tire to prevent flat spots from forming on the tires while the vehicle sits. This occurs when the area of the tire touching the ground becomes rigid due to sitting in one position for an extended period. Moving the vehicle would be suggested to keep this from happening.  Winds ... read more

Spark Plugs Need to Be Maintained Periodically

The spark plug performs a huge job in delivering a vehicle’s power, performance, and fuel efficiency. Spark plugs may be one of the hardest working parts of a vehicle. A spark plug can fire 400 times per minute per cylinder.  Car owners make the mistake to delay spark plug repair on their vehicles, even after they have failed. This is a mistake since faulty spark plugs can lead to engine damage, reduced fuel efficiency and poor performance.  Faulty spark plugs can cause “check engine” lights, misfiring, & poor driving operation. Periodic maintenance may reduce the following issues to cause breakdown.  Rattling, pinging or knocking noises. When spark plugs begin to misfire, you may notice unusual noises from the force of the pistons and combustion not working properly. Pistons travel at high velocities; if the spark plug fires at the wrong time, this could lead to constant rattling, pinging or knocking sounds. Hard vehicle start. If your car is ha ... read more

Timing Belt

How the timing belt works: The timing belt is part of most internal combustion engines.  It synchronizes the engine’s functions. The timing belt is made from rubber. It controls the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft and the opening and closing of the engine’s many valves to allow air and gas in and out, which causes the fuel to ignite in the combustion chamber. During this explosion, the valves push the pistons down.  Sometimes when the timing belt breaks, the valves, will open at the wrong time and hit the larger pistons and cause damage. The timing belt maintenance is crucial in the operation of the vehicle.     When to replace the timing belt? Unfortunately, the timing belt isn’t visible without removal of parts so inspecting the belt isn’t done routinely.  Knowing if the timing belt is in good health is difficult so in many cases, it will just break. That’s why highly rated auto mechanics recommend replacing it e ... read more

Maintenance Tips

Keeping your vehicle in optimum operating order by regularly maintaining your vehicle may be the link to minimal breakdowns. All brands, Acura, Honda, Lexus, Toyota, Infiniti, Nissan, Hyundai, GM, Cadillac, Ford, Dodge, Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes.....all need to be maintained in order to prolong vehicle life. Regular oil changes & tire pressure maintenance should be done between 3-6 month intervals. Efficient repair shops will constantly inspect the other fluids to keep the fluid breakdown to a minimum. Pearl City Auto Works is an Aiea repair shop that will be on the lookout for these services for our valued customers.    Vehicles with warning lights on in the dash should be brought into the shop immediately. Check engine lights are an indicator that something is going on with the mechanical operations. If the check engine light is blinking, vehicles need to be driven to a safe area & possibly towed into the repair shop. Airbag lights are indicating an error in ... read more

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