Walnut Creek Auto Repair

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What Is An OBD Scanner?

What Is An OBD Scanner?

Every car owners' worst nightmare involves the check engine light being on their dash. When you notice it, your first instinct may be to take your car to the repair shop to find out what's wrong. Life would be a lot simpler if cars could communicate with us exactly where the problem stems from.   Well - it sort of can. Our technicians at Central Automotive can get to the root of the problem using OBD scanners. These scanning devices plug into the OBD port in your vehicle to read data collected from the numerous sensors in your car. It will show a specific line of code that mechanics learned to read. If you had one of these OBD scanners, you'd be able to check it yourself, right? Well - yes and no. You have to have good knowledge of OBD scanners and error codes before you can interpret the data.   The acronym OBD stands for On-Board Diagnostics. It's a system in your automobile that monitors and records data from the Electronic Control Units (ECU), a collec ... read more

How to Diagnose a Head Gasket Leak

How to Diagnose a Head Gasket Leak

A head gasket is a portion of your engine that you can locate between the cylinder head and engine block. It is a barrier that helps stop engine fluids from being leaked into the cylinders. Due to its placement, a head gasket is often exposed to extremely high temperatures. The most common damage that can occur to the head gasket is a leak. The temperatures can cause marks on the gasket's surface, causing what's known as a blown gasket.   There are various signs and symptoms to look for if you suspect a head gasket leak. It may be as apparent as you may look for the leaks yourselves. You can also examine your exhaust fumes to trace them back to your head gasket. To do this, you should start your car. And if you notice a whitish-gray or blue vapor coming out of your exhaust, then it's probably a gasket leak. Any form of unusual smoke is never a good sign because it's also a common sign of engine overheating.    Another sign to look for is the discolora ... read more

What Are the Most Common Signs (& Causes) of Brake Failure?

What Are the Most Common Signs (& Causes) of Brake Failure?

Brakes are your primary line of defense against vehicle accidents or collisions on and off the road. If you're like most drivers here in Walnut Creek, CA, you probably only get your brakes inspected once you've noticed that something's wrong. You should have a professional check out your braking system from time to time to catch any issues before they start to make scary noises or fail. A simple way to remember is to get them inspected each time you go in for an oil or filter change at Central Automotive. Not maintaining your brakes is a danger to both you and other motorists on the road. Here are some of the most common symptoms of malfunctioning brakes that we see at our shop!   Grinding or Screeching Noises Whenever You Press On the Pedal Cause: Unusual sounds usually signal that your brake pads are worn down and need to be replaced pronto. Drivers should never take the grinding and screeching lightly. Neglecting to have your brake pads replaced will result in se ... read more

Do I Need Summer Car Maintenance?

Do I Need Summer Car Maintenance?

The summertime is a period where many families and friends like to get out of their homes. That also means that people are going to depend on their cars more than before. Whether it's a road trip to the beach or a quick ride to grab dinner, the hot weather can heavily affect our vehicle's condition. The simple answer is: YES, you should get car maintenance. To avoid your chances of a vehicle breakdown this summer, you need to give your vehicle the proper attention it deserves. You might wonder what car components you need to have inspected before summer is in full swing. Here are the four parts of every car that you should regularly examine this summer.   Air-Conditioning System  With the high temperatures on the rise, the most unfortunate thing that could happen to you is to have to drive without AC. If your air conditioner is older, then it may leak freon. If you notice a leak, bring your vehicle to Central Automotive. We are equipped with state-of-the-art tools ... read more

Dangers of a Dirty Cabin Air Filter

Dangers of a Dirty Cabin Air Filter

Even though a cabin air filter doesn't directly affect whether your vehicle can drive doesn't mean you should push off getting a replacement. Changing your cabin air filter is just as important as getting an oil change or tire alignment. It is an essential part of regular vehicle maintenance, and ignoring the air filter will negatively affect your vehicle.    What are the dangers of having a dirty cabin air filter?   Personal Health at Risk - A functional cabin air filter is essential in keeping the inside of your car free of pollutants. An air filter that is filthy or clogged won't filter those contaminants, causing problems for those who suffer from allergies or have breathing impairments. A new cabin air filter will block pollen from making its way into a vehicle and provide fresh, clean, breathable air.    Poor Function of HVAC System - A cabin air filter left beyond its life span will make a vehicle's HVAC system work significantly ha ... read more

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