Van Nuys Auto Repair & Service Center

AAA

Angie's List
Female Friendly Dealer

3 Tire Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car Tires in Good Shape

3 Tire Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car Tires in Good Shape

  Vehicle tires are not a cheap expense, which is why it is vital to keep them running in tip-top shape year after year and season after season. When your tires are cared for properly, it allows you to handle your vehicle better, increase fuel efficiency, and save money over time. Most importantly, it means increasing your and others’ safety on the road. The team at Auto Aid is stoked to share these 3 essential tire maintenance tips with you: Tip #1: Monitor Tire Pressure Tire pressure can change drastically throughout the year from wear and tear and temperature changes. In fact, your tires can shift by 2% for every 10-degree change in temperature outside. The air pressure will typically increase in warmer weather and decrease in colder weather. To prevent driving on overfilled or underfilled tires, we recommend checking your tire pressure, using a pressure gauge, at least once a month. This is an easy task that you can do at your local gas station or even at home. Tip ... read more

Why Does My Car’s A/C Vents Smell Bad?

Why Does My Car’s A/C Vents Smell Bad?

When air conditioning systems are well taken care of, they should let out clean or neutral-smelling air from their vents. If the air circulating throughout your car smells foul, it could signal problems with the ventilation system or other surrounding parts. For the safety of yourself and other passengers, please bring your car to AutoAid for an inspection at your earliest convenience if you notice a strange smell when your A/C is on. Leaks Leaking fluid or gasses are a prevalent cause of strange or bad smells from the A/C. Some of the air gets picked up from the engine bay. Sometimes, your nose might catch the smell of motor oil leaking from hoses, gaskets, or the oil filter. And if you smell a sweeter scent, it could very well be coolant or antifreeze. If you smell anything suspicious coming from your car, our technicians will indeed check for leaks. Mold For vehicles that operate in hot and humid areas, bacteria is a common problem that lingers inside the A/C system. If moisture ... read more

4 Reasons Why Your Car Won't Start

4 Reasons Why Your Car Won't Start

When it comes to car troubles, a hard-to-start vehicle is one of the most frustrating problems to deal with. Luckily, you can count on the certified mechanics at AutoAid to diagnose the problem and suggest the necessary repairs. For your car to get started and continue running, it needs a balance of air, fuel, and spark. If any of these things are missing or deficient, your car will simply not run or start. Today, we will go over four problems that are commonly linked to car starting problems: Problem #1: Dead Battery  Have you ever put the key in the ignition, just to get nothing as a response? The most common explanation for this is a dead battery. Car batteries can last anywhere between 3-5 years before dying. However, leaving a door open or electronics turned on overnight can often be the culprit of draining your vehicle’s battery. If jump starting or recharging the battery doesn’t work, please bring your vehicle to our shop. Problem #2: Fuel Delivery Issue The ... read more

Hot Weather Can Damage Your Car’s Battery

Hot Weather Can Damage Your Car’s Battery

I frequently remind customers, especially those with teenagers or young adults, to make sure the kids make regularly scheduled checkups for their vehicles, especially during the hotter months. Hot weather can damage your car’s battery. Younger drivers are less likely to pay attention to how the car is functioning and more likely to drive a car into the ground. And, because they generally don’t take their parents’ advice, no one is checking the fluids, hoses, oil levels, gaskets, etc. A few weeks ago, my assistant told me I had a call from Cynthia. I wasn’t familiar with the name but when she mentioned she asked for Uncle Jack, I had a better idea of what this was about. You see, I tell my customers that if the ... read more

Brakes Take a Beating in the Heat

Brakes Take a Beating in the Heat

For many, summer vacation is over, but the intense heat will continue to plague us and our cars. More people on the road means more traffic and more time that your vehicle is idle. Brakes take a beating in the heat.   Just ask Diana. She walked into the shop last week and was visibly frustrated. She had just returned from a trip out to Bakersfield. On her return route, she pressed down on the brakes and realized something was off, so she brought “Bessie” (her nickname for her 2009 Camry) into the shop.  I met her as she pulled up in the driveway.  Waving me down, I heard Diana say, “Jack, there’s something wrong with Bessie.” It took me a moment to remember that Bessie was her car and not a family member. After offering her some cold water, it was hot out that day, I asked her to tell me what had happened. “Well, I was driving home from a client in Bakersfield. It was a quick two-day visit. I was about ten minutes away from m ... read more

Overheated Engine Could Mean a Kink in the Cooling System

Overheated Engine Could Mean a Kink in the Cooling System

I walked into work a few weeks ago and heard my ASE Certified Mechanic on the phone. "Is it smoking? We'll send the tow truck to pick you up. An overheated engine could mean a kink in the cooling system. Did you have us check that the last time you came in? Oh, I see. You had to rush out that day. I only mentioned that because we could have probably saved you this inconvenience." Oh, brother. Every year I ask my customers to bring their cars in for scheduled maintenance before it becomes an issue. Most do, but there are always a few who can't find the time to come in until their vehicle breaks down. During the warmer months, the cooling system can become a huge problem. I watched the tow truck pull in. I was surprised to see it was a newer model car. Carrie, the granddaughter of a customer, was in the truck. She seemed upset. My guys got the car keys from her, and I asked if she needed a ride anywhere. " ... read more

Heat Can Wreak Havoc on Your Car

Heat Can Wreak Havoc on Your Car

We’re entering the triple-digit heat season in Southern California, and this is the time of year I begin to hear more from customers. It’s not so much that they want to stay in touch, although they like us, but that their automobile, truck, or van is experiencing problems. Part of the issue is that many people don’t shield their car from the intense damage heat pounding down on it can cause. I sometimes feel like a broken record, but I’m always telling customers, “heat can wreak havoc on your car.” They usually don’t pay much attention until their AC doesn’t work, their tires aren’t holding up, or the engine oil isn’t up to snuff.   Along these lines, Lila, referred to me by my long-time customer, Cherry, stopped by the shop. That morning, before getting into her car, she noticed that her driver’s side tire looked odd; it was bulging. In her words, “it looked as if it were pregnant.”   “Ha ... read more

It’s Too Hot to Handle

It’s Too Hot to Handle

Over the years, I’ve learned that my customers with poor or no air conditioning in their cars are the most unhappy. This has been especially true if they had to drive their car into my shop on a hot day--by the time they get here, they are irritated. Take my customer, Velma. She’s been coming to my shop almost since I opened my doors in the late 1970s. Her car issues have been  minor (she’s been great at bringing it in for maintenance) until her car’s air conditioner stopped working. It was over 90 degrees F. that day. I had just walked out of my office, and I saw Thelma looking a bit harried. “Jack, my air conditioner isn’t working. It’s too hot to handle.” I couldn’t agree more. We depend so much on our car’s air conditioning systems during the hot weather, which seems to be year ... read more

Is My Hybrid Battery Kaput?

Is My Hybrid Battery Kaput?

I arrived at the shop the other morning just in time to answer a call from Sally, a long-time AutoAid customer. “Is my hybrid battery kaput?,” she asked. “I don’t know. Tell me what is happening, Sally.”   My hybrid battery isn’t working. I’m spending much more in gas.  I know the car is 12 years old, and that hybrid batteries last about a decade. It’s just that it’s been so reliable I’ve become accustomed to nothing going wrong.”   “Why don’t you bring your car in so our team can take a look at it. We can do some diagnostics on it and replace it if necessary.”     Time for a Change Sally was right on target. The battery ... read more

Who Wants My Catalytic Converter Anyway?

Who Wants My Catalytic Converter Anyway?

In 2021, we published an article on the theft of catalytic converters, especially those found in hybrid and higher-end vehicles. Since then, these thefts have continued to increase, so we thought it was worth updating.    Last week a second-generation customer called me. I’ve known Jennifer since she was a tyke, and now she has her own family. Time flies. Her conversation started like this: “Hi Jack, do you have a minute? I just bought a new Toyota Prius. The dealer told me to make sure I get a cage clamp, or my Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched on it. Is that necessary? It sounds like a lot of drama for nothing. Who wants my catalytic converter anyway?”   “First of all, congratulations on the new car, Jennifer. As for what your dealer suggested, I think it’s an excellent idea and would also like to give you the same advice. Did you know that To ... read more

12
AutoAid is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call AutoAid (818) 901-1113 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.