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  • The Engine Light: What It Could Mean and What to Do About It

    Check engine light

    There’s a good chance you do a lot of driving around in your car, and when an issue pops up, you just drive it to a mechanic’s shop or have it towed. But sometimes you may not have to automatically go to a repair shop; there are times where if you understand what’s going on with your car, you’ll know what to do about it and potentially save time and money down the road. That’s why our team at Leale’s Transmission & Auto Services is here to let you know what to do when the dreaded engine light turns on!

    What’s The Engine Light Mean?

    The check engine light belongs to the onboard diagnostics system on your car. The computers on your vehicle control and monitor vehicle performance. If there’s a problem that it can’t fix, the computer will turn on an indicator (the “Check Engine” light) and store a trouble code to identify the problem. With a scan tool or a diagnostic computer, the code can be read and solved—which you can do if you’re a DIYer; otherwise, you’ll often have to go to a repair shop. Even with a code scanner, interpreting the code correctly can be difficult, so it’s recommended to take it to the experts. Most importantly, don’t ignore the light. But when the light comes on, here are a few of the problems it could mean.

    • Replace the Oxygen Sensor. It’s the part of the car that keeps track of the unburned oxygen from the exhaust and monitors the amount of fuel burned. If the sensor isn’t functioning properly, there could be a decrease in gas mileage. Your engine will burn too much fuel and there could be damage to the spark plug. Take your car to a shop, or unclip and replace the old sensor with a new one if you know where it is.

    • Replace the Catalytic Converter. This part of the car reduces exhaust gases and converts carbon monoxide into harmless compounds. If it’s not functioning properly, your car won’t run properly and your mileage will dramatically increase. Take your car to a mechanic ASAP for proper diagnosis.

    • You Have a Loose or Malfunctioning Gas Cap. While you may not think that the gas cap is pretty important, a loose gas cap means the fuel vapors will trickle out and can put the whole fuel system at risk. You’ll increase emissions and have poorer gas mileage, but there are some things you can do. If the light is on but there’s no shaking or jerking, tighten the gas cap and see if it’s cracked. You can also buy a gas cap at a store and get it replaced.

    Where Do I Take My Car To?

    When it’s time to take your car to an auto repair shop, choose Leale’s Transmission & Auto Services. With our superior diagnostic and repair services in the San Jose, CA area, we’re confident we can solve all your vehicle issues for you. For an appointment, call us at (408) 286-5353 today!

  • Why You Need to Service Your Brakes Before Winter

    Brake repair

    The good ol’ days of summer are gone: the days are shorter, the sun rises later, and the nights are chillier. Soon, fall will be over and the winter season will be upon us. While there are many great things about the winter months, it’s also important to be prepared before winter comes. The same applies to your car: it’s important to have it serviced, especially the brakes. Today, the team at Leale’s Transmission & Auto Services is here to let you know why servicing your brakes before winter is important!

    Reasons to Check Your Brakes Before Winter

    If your brakes aren’t checked, neglecting to do so could lead to costly repairs down the road. A simple tune-up or maintenance checkup could easily prevent you from spending so much money down the road. As time passes, dirt and other debris could infiltrate the braking system, and when winter comes, the debris could freeze and stick to the brake pads. This can damage the rotors in the long run. Cold weather can impact fluid stability, since old dirty brake fluid congeals and is less effective in lubricating the brakes.

    You’ll also have to put extra pressure so you can brake properly on slippery roads because there’s less traction on the road, which means there’s more power applied on the brakes. If you get them checked before winter comes, you’ll be able to see if they can handle the extra pressure. The winter season will also make your brakes stiff, so monitoring advance will make sure they’re able to work properly.

    Do I Need New Brakes? Why?

    It’s important to have properly functioning brakes, especially during the winter months. When it’s rainy or snowy and there’s ice on the road, you need to be able to stop faster on slippery roads. Squealing, grinding, or clicking sounds, or feeling the brake pedal shake when you apply pressure are signs that you need new brakes. The pads and rotors wear out over time and need to be replaced, and waiting until winter isn’t a wise move. If you wait for when there are worse driving conditions you’ll shorten the lifespan of your brakes. Getting them repaired or replaced before winter starts and then keeping them properly serviced will mean there’s less of a chance of having a potentially dangerous incident on the road. Even if there are no immediately visible signs that there’s something wrong with your car, going to an auto repair shop for a tune-up is the smart move.

    What’s the Next Step?

    For high-quality, reliable service in the San Jose, CA area, come to Leale’s Transmission & Auto Services. For more than 50 years, we’ve been providing amazing service to our loyal clients, and we’d love to do the same for you. Whether it’s a repair or check-up, we can make sure that you’ll leave the shop happy with our services! For more info or an appointment, give us a call at (408) 286-5353. We’d love to hear from you!