Full Service Auto Repair Center

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We Pride Ourselves In Our Knowledge Of Auto Repair And Maintenance To Get Your Car Back On The Road.

At Hillside Auto, our trusted ASE certified technicians have years of experience on handling any auto repair and maintenance service for your vehicle. Located in Canyon Lake, our state-of-the-art auto center is ready to serve all your vehicle repair and maintenance needs.Whether you need service for your car, truck, SUV, or commercial equipment, Hillside Auto is just the place for you. From low-cost oil changes and maintenance to tune-ups, our repair shop offers you quality auto repair and tire service without costing you a fortune.

Call us today for more information on how we can help with all your automotive needs!

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How Can I Tell If My Radiator Is Leaking?

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When the temperature gauge on your dashboard reads high or a temperature warning light comes on, you have a cooling system problem that may be caused by a leak — be it in the radiator itself or some other component.

First, make sure it’s coolant that’s leaking, not another fluid. (Coolant is often referred to as antifreeze, but technically coolant is a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.) You can easily check the coolant level in your see-through overflow tank. If it’s empty or low, the next step should be to check the coolant level in the radiator, but that should be done only when the engine is cool.

Once you know you’re losing coolant, the radiator is a good place to start. Some radiator leaks will be easy to spot — such as a puddle underneath the radiator — but others not so much. It’s best to check the radiator from every angle, not just from above, and pay particular attention to seams and the bottom. Corrosion inside the radiator or holes from road debris also can cause leaks.

Antifreeze comes in different colors — green, yellow and pinkish-red, for example — feels like slimy water and usually has a sweet smell. If you can’t see coolant dripping or seeping, look for rust, tracks or stains on the radiator. Those are telltale signs of where it has leaked.

If the radiator appears to be OK, the cooling system offers several possibilities for leaks, including the hoses from the radiator to the engine, the radiator cap, water pump, engine block, thermostat, overflow tank, heat exchanger (a small radiator that circulates hot coolant into the dashboard for cabin heating) and others. A blown gasket between the cylinder head and engine block is another possibility, allowing coolant inside the combustion chambers — a problem that must be addressed immediately by a mechanic.

If you can’t find a leak, have it checked by a professional. Coolant has a way of escaping only under pressure when the car is running — possibly in the form of steam, which may not leave a trace.
Read more at https://www.cars.com/articles/how-can-i-tell-if-my-radiator-is-leaking-1420684864902/#uvRlyXPllyHPJwTr.99

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When to change spark plugs

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When to change spark plugs:

1. Engine has a rough idle

Your engine idles when it is a stationary and in this position the engine normally produces around 1000rpm. The sound the engine gives off is constant and smooth but if your spark plugs aren’t performing as they should, your engine will produce a rough and jittery sound while producing larger vibrations through the car. Not having this checked can lead to costly damage being done.

2. Having trouble starting your car?

Many people put their car not starting down to being out of fuel or having a flat battery. One possibility you may overlook is having bad or worn spark plugs. If your spark plugs don’t produce the spark needed to get the vehicle moving, then you’re going nowhere. It is also possible that faulty spark plugs are causing your battery to drain. If so you need to have your battery and spark plugs changed as soon as possible.

3. Your engine misfires

When your engine misfires it causes the vehicle to halt for a fraction of a second and then continues it’s usual movement. This means the vehicle isn’t functioning as smoothly as it should because one or more cylinders aren’t firing properly, which can also lead to higher amounts of emissions.

4. Engine surging

When a vehicle sucks in more air than usual in the combustion process it can cause the vehicle to jerk and then slow down or continually start and stop, which means the vehicles engine is working inefficiently. This is also known as engine hesitation and dangerous situation can arise if this occurs in traffic.

5. High fuel consumption

If your spark plugs have deteriorated you’ll notice that your vehicles fuel economy can decrease by up to 30% due to incomplete combustion. If you notice you’re having to fill up more often than usual it can be caused by deteriorating spark plugs. To get back to your vehicle’s optimum level of fuel consumption all you’ll need to do is have your spark plugs changed.

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Your Tuneup Parts Shopping List

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Here is a list of tuneup parts you should consider when performing routine maintenance work on your car:

– Spark Plugs –
– Spark Plug Wires (Ignition Wire Set) –
– Distributor Cap –
– Distributor Rotor –
– Oxygen Sensor (O2 Sensor) –
– Oil Filter –
– Air Filter –
– PCV Breather Filter –
– Fuel Filter –
– Transmission Filter –
– Vacuum Hoses –
– Temperature Sensors –
– Lubricants –
– Coolant Hoses –
– Belts –

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THE PENNY TEST

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In the United States, tire tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch. New tires typically come with 10/32” or 11/32” tread depths, and some truck, SUV and winter tires may have deeper tread depths than other models. The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends replacing tires when they reach 2/32”, and many states legally require tires to be replaced at this depth.

The idea of the penny test is to check whether you’ve hit the 2/32” threshold. Here’s how it works:

  1. Place a penny between the tread ribs on your tire. A “rib” refers to the raised portion of tread that spans the circumference of your tire. Tire tread is composed of several ribs.
  2. Turn the penny so that Lincoln’s head points down into the tread.
  3. See if the top of his head disappears between the ribs. If it does, your tread is still above 2/32” , If you can see his entire head, it may be time to replace the tire because your tread is no longer deep enough.
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What not to do to your car!

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Owning a car can be a dream or a nightmare depending on how well you take care of your vehicle, says the non-profit Car Care Council. The following are six things that many motorists do that can harm their car and their wallet.

  1. Ignoring the check engine light. Ignoring an illuminated check engine light can result in serious engine trouble and costly repairs. At the very least, this warning light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy.
  1. Failing to change fluids and filters. Many fluids are required for the operation and protection of vehicle systems and components. Checking fluid levels regularly, along with the filters, helps ensure that your vehicle runs dependably and extends vehicle life.
  1. Neglecting your tires. Your vehicle’s tires should be checked frequently for inflation and tread depth. Underinflated tires can wear out more quickly, needing to be replaced sooner, and can negatively impact safety, gas mileage and performance.
  1. Not following a service schedule. Because many car parts and components wear out or become damaged over time, vehicles need to be routinely serviced in order to perform optimally. Routine inspections and timely repairs will help keep your car running efficiently and will help you avoid more expensive repairs down the road.
  1. Keeping a dirty car. Allowing your car to go too long without a wash leads to buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt, increases the potential for rust from road salt and interferes with proper visibility needed for safe driving.
  1. Being a severe driver. Whether it’s stop-and-go traffic, extreme weather, rough roads or heavy loads, it can sometimes be difficult to limit severe driving conditions. However, you can drive smart and improve fuel economy by observing the speed limit; avoiding aggressive driving, including quick starts and stops; not hauling unnecessary items; and keeping your vehicle properly tuned.
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What is the job of coolant fluid?

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It’s the working fluid for the cooling system, which controls the operational condition of the engine. Because the engine is a controlled explosion, it needs to be kept between a specific temperature range for optimal performance. Whether it’s cold or hot outside, the cooling fluid allows the cooling system (including the radiator) to keep the engine and radiator at just the right temperature. Think of this way: coolant fluid is a warm blanket in the winter and a misting fan in the summer.

A car’s coolant system operates on a loop, pumping a mix of water and antifreeze to your radiator to regulate engine temperature. Because coolant absorbs the heat generated by the engine and transports it to the radiator to cool down, it stands to reason that low or weak coolant levels mean its job performance is compromised and your car can overheat.

Coolant breaks down like any other engine fluid. Just as motor oil has vital engine performance additives, your coolant has additives that prevent boiling, freezing and corrosion. When these additives are depleted, contaminants and debris can begin to build up on your radiator, affecting its performance. It’s essential to have your coolant fluid exchanged every so often. And by the way, coolant spelled backward is tnalooc – a word that makes absolutely no sense.

Surprise, surprise: vehicles don’t need new coolant over the same time periods. Some vehicles have long-life fluids pre-installed on the assembly line and don’t require servicing as often. So, go ahead and jump up and down if you’re one of the lucky ones with longer life fluids. You win.

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