Jax Auto Repair

Servicing Brea and the surrounding area since 1985

Jax Auto Repair - Servicing Brea and the surrounding area since 1985

Headlamp Replacement

Like everything automotive, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. We can all drive more safely at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility down the road, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the quicker you can react to road conditions. This is important because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as the country’s population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.

Most new cars come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on the road, they’re very bright and have a bluish tint.

From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going. However, many people complain about HID lights in on coming traffic or when they approach from behind. In fact, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called for public comment, they received a record number of complaints about HIDs. This has lead to several studies – your tax dollars at work. Some expect future regulation of HID lamps.

All halogen headlamps dim over time. Experts recommend that they be changed out once a year. AutoNetTV suggests you replace your headlamps in the fall at the end of Daylight Savings Time. It’s easy to remember – when you change your clock, change your headlamps. Remember to replace all headlamps at the same time – then all your lights will be equally bright. You will appreciate it during those long winter nights.

If you have an older car with old style headlamps – they make halogen replacement lamps for most cars. You’ll be amazed at the difference this upgrade will make.

In addition to regular halogen lamps, you can upgrade to premium lamps that filter some of the yellow light, making a bright white light that’s more like natural sunlight. This light’s easier on the eyes and should improve reaction time.

Now, you may be able to step up to HID headlamps, depending on the kind of car you drive. These lamps should last the life of your car, but cost several hundred dollars a pair. If you want other drivers to think you’re running HID lamps, you can even buy regular halogens that have a bluish tint. Does she or doesn’t she? Only her California automotive service technician knows for sure.

Over time, plastic headlight covers can get cloudy or yellowed. In fact, AAA reports that nine out of ten headlights are dirty or yellowed, greatly reducing vision. In addition to helping you replace your headlamps, many service centers such as Jax Auto Repair in Brea, California can restore your headlight covers. Headlights can be restored at a fraction of the cost of replacing.

Brake Service

Brakes really aren’t optional equipment. And taking care of them isn’t optional either.

A regular brake inspection is on every car’s maintenance schedule. An inspection will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems. Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into a Brea or Fullerton service center right away. And watch out for these problems:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle. Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Pads, called shoes, push against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle.

There are several things that need to be serviced on the brake system. First, the brake pads and shoes wear out with use, and become too thin to really help. If the brake pads wear away completely you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced and that can be expensive. But putting it off is dangerous because your vehicle won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Brake fluid is also important. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid, not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. You should change the brake fluid when your manufacturer recommends it.

There are different grades of brake pads. There are regular, metallic and ceramic – higher grades cost more, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the manufacturer recommends.

Be sure to properly maintain your brakes because it’s a lot cheaper than paying your nearest La Habra area body shop after an accident.

The Importance Of Brea Drivers Following Service Intervals

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Today in our Jax Auto Repair blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your sedan isn’t the only aspect of your life in Brea with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental cleaning. And physical exams. How about laundry, mowing the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d probably not become aware of health issues that benefit from early detection and treatment. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your overgrown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

The Importance Of Brea Drivers Following Service IntervalsWe all realize there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our sedans? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. Everyone in Brea can see our dirty shirt, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, Brea people don’t need to memorize their sedan owner’s manuals. You can let your Jax Auto Repair advisor remind you of the manufacturer’s recommendations: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your sedan. You really can rely on Jax Auto Repair professionals to help you make good car care decisions.

For Brea drivers who want to be more proactive with their sedan care, here are some simple ways to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, think brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your sedan go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Brea car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Jax Auto Repair for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You use more gas, your sedan doesn’t perform as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment For Brea Automobiles

You may have an alignment problem if your car drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel’s off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right as you drive down our local Brea California streets.

When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around Brea, California are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

Driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.

At the very least, you’ll have to replace your tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars.

Now, let’s talk about some alignment basics. Wheels are adjustable for toe, caster and camber. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.

So, what is involved in an alignment check at our Brea California auto dealership? First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything is bent or broken. Tire condition will also be evaluated.

From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and we take an initial alignment reading.

If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s centerline. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, the direction they push is determined and the front wheels are aligned to match.

Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive around the La Habra area. It’s better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety.

Come see us at Jax Auto Repair for more information about your tire alignment. We look forward to seeing you.