The auto mechanics and the rest of our team at Import Auto Specialists in San Diego love to educate our customers, and that’s why we write this blog. Any way that our auto repair team can provide you useful information, that’s exactly what we want to do. That’s also why we perform digital inspections and take the time to listen to you thoroughly and what you have to say about your car. Import Auto Specialists in San Diego offers a 3 year/36,000 mile parts and labor warranty on most repairs. We also have a 3 Year/36,000 Mile NAPA AutoCare Peace of Mind Warranty on parts and labor. To make your experience with us even better, when you bring your vehicle in for any major service or repair, you’ll drive away with a vehicle that has received a complimentary full-service! When you are ready for top-quality auto care, give us a call at 858-576-7186, or schedule an appointment today. We hope you enjoy our blog!

Category Archives: Blog

Top Parent Approved vehicles for new drivers

Top Parent Approved vehicles for new drivers

This December, some new drivers may wake up Christmas morning to find keys to a car in their stocking. As they prepare to move out of the home and on to college, parents are buying their kids used cars, more and more, as their ‘starter’ car.    If you’ve been thinking of a car to pair with your new driver, U.S. News and World Report has done a very comprehensive look at the best used cars for new drivers. Here’s a look at what they found out!   The features most parents want their kids’ first car to have are very safety-focused:   Driver Assistance features - forward collision warning automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and teen driver controls (with notifications for parents) Strong predicted reliability ratings Excellent crash test scores   The things that we most important to avoid were the unsafe elements:   Sports cars - showy cars that go to drivers’ heads High seating cap ... read more

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Five Top Driving Apps

Five Top Driving Apps

If you do a lot of driving in the city, as Uber/Lyft drivers and pizza delivery drivers do, you know more than a few handy mobile applications to help you get the job done. We’re looking at the top 5 free driving apps, available both on Android phones and iPhones! 5. Parkopedia -  It’s great to have a program to get you where you need to be, but what do you do when you arrive and there’s no parking? Parkopedia shows you the nearest available parking. 4. GasBuddy - Ever held off on getting gas thinking that your usual spot would be the lowest, and then feel the sting of seeing you could have had your gas cheaper where you were, GasBuddy is for you, letting you know what the lowest gas is between destinations. 3. Roadtrippers -  If you’re doing any traveling over the holidays, Roadtrippers is a great free app for calculating the cost of your travel and the pit stops and detours you’ll need to make along the way. 2. GoogleMaps - There’s so ... read more

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3 Key Benefits to Keeping Your Car Parked in The Garage During the Winter

3 Key Benefits to Keeping Your Car Parked in The Garage During the Winter

It may be easier to leave your car parked on the street rather than in the garage, especially if you're in a rush. However, parking inside the garage or under a covered port can have some significant benefits that outweigh the additional time. As the weather cools down, it's time to put some extra consideration on where your vehicle is stored. Not only does cold weather subject your vehicle to damage, but environmental elements can be harmful as well. A garage may feel like a thing from the past, but it's always the best place to park. Below are three benefits to parking in a secured garage.  Protection from the elements. This is an obvious benefit because extreme weather can be your vehicle's worst enemy while it's parked. The sun's UV rays can also damage the paint and wreak havoc on the battery. Rainy weather can attract dirt and pollution that can eat away the paint and attract rust. Frigid San Diego winters can also leave e ... read more

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How To Keep Your Cool When Traffic Gets Hot

How To Keep Your Cool When Traffic Gets Hot

The holidays will soon be here, and with it, the horrors of mall shopping for gifts and the traffic that comes with it… in the time of COVID-19, too. Traffic is going to get hot soon, and it’s important that you keep your cool on the road, whether alone or with your family. Have you ever noticed that the better behaved you are in traffic, the more likely it is that someone will absolutely take advantage of your good nature?  You’re following the speed limit, over to the right to let fast traffic through, letting in anyone who signals. You’re obeying all the rules, and giving adequate braking distance between you and the car ahead of you, when some %#$&# (let’s call this driver So-and-So from now on, even fake cursing is a bad habit) decides to put on their blinker and swerve right in front of you in the very same motion. Then the car ahead of them brakes... and the So-and-So has to hit their own brakes, forcing you to suddenly brake, too, sendi ... read more

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Common Signs of Faulty Spark Plugs

Common Signs of Faulty Spark Plugs

Spark Plugs ignite fuel in the combustion chamber to create a small explosion to power the engine. Thus, spark plugs play an essential role in the ignition system. Spark plugs are made of durable material that can withstand millions of explosions. However, over time the spark plugs can become worn and corroded, leading to weaker and smaller sparks. If the spark plugs aren’t replaced, the engine performance will be drastically impacted with a loss of efficiency. In severe cases, worn spark plugs can cause the engine to misfire or fail to fire altogether. Below are five significant signs that your spark plugs need to be replaced.  Bad Gas Mileage  If the spark plugs are bad, you may need to make more frequent trips to the gas station. Faulty spark plugs can lead to a significant increase in fuel consumption, leaving a dent in your wallet.  Lack of Acceleration Power If your vehicle is struggling to accelerate and it takes longer ... read more

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Stop In the Name Of Love: Why October Is Brake Month

Stop In the Name Of Love: Why October Is Brake Month

Although National Brake Month is actually the month of July, many auto mechanics, including the ones at Import Auto Specialists in San Diego, think October is the most important month for getting your brakes checked out and dealt with if they need repairs or parts replacement. Why is that? You know how important it is to have good working brakes. Losing control of a car in an emergency stop situation is a terrible situation. The best measures in your car -- in terms of not just your car’s care, but your own expenses -- is to be proactive with preventive repairs.  There are a variety of elements around October that make us mindful that people need to attend to their brakes: School’s back in session. With kids back out in the streets, and coming home in the late afternoon, you will once again have to worry about kids suddenly in the road. Not to mention inexperienced teenage drivers learning to drive for the first time in the midst of COVID19.  Halloween is at t ... read more

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Signs of a Faulty Alternator

Signs of a Faulty Alternator

A vehicle’s alternator is a mechanical component that most drivers have heard of but may not know what it does. The alternator serves the essential function of keeping the car battery charged. It helps supply the power a driver needs to use a vehicle’s electronic accessories such as your headlights, radio, and ignition. It can come as a surprise when your car won’t start and lead you to suspect various causes. If you believe you may be experiencing problems with your alternator, below is a list of a few signs to look out for:  The Engine Smells like Burning Rubber or Wires If you notice an unusual odor of burnt rubber or wires, it could indicate that parts of the alternator have worn out. As you drive, the alternator’s drive belt stays under constant tension and friction. With time, it may wear out and emit an unpleasant smell. If the alternator is overworked, it will push too much electricity through its wires, causing them to heat u ... read more

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What’s The Main Difference Between Asian and European Vehicle Maintenance?

What’s The Main Difference Between Asian and European Vehicle Maintenance?

At Import Auto Specialists, we do a lot of preventive maintenance work for the vehicles that come into our auto repair shop. When people start to compare Asian vehicles with European vehicles, our team will often hear the question, “What’s the main difference between Asian and European vehicle maintenance?”. In this month’s blog, without getting too technical, we will explain the main differences, plus the pros and cons of each category of vehicle. First and foremost, the main, number one difference between Asian and European vehicle maintenance is cost. Asian vehicles are mostly less expensive to maintain than European vehicles. Why is it more affordable to maintain Asian vehicles? Simply put, the parts for Asian cars are less expensive. Plus, their engines are designed to last for high mileage, like upwards of 250,000 miles.  European vehicles, on the other hand, have more expensive parts and the engines typically are not designed to last beyond ... read more

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Is Your Student’s Vehicle Ready For School?

If you had told us back in January 2020 that a lot of Californians would be uncertain if the back to school season was going to be normal, we would have given you a very curious look. Now that we’ve all lived through the ups and downs of childhood education throughout the COVID-19 era, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the back-to-school season will look like for anyone who is of school-age. With that being said, there are going to be a lot of school kids who are old enough to drive who will need a car for commuting purposes. Whether that child is in high school, attending community college, or driving long distances to a state or private university, he or she will need a reliable vehicle. Which leads us to the question: Is your student’s vehicle ready for school? Before the COVID-era, most parents had the vehicle of the young driver inspected before their kid began the school season. Then, after the school year was over, the vehicle required another safety inspe ... read more

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Independence and Your Car: A Discussion About Drivers Of All Ages

For several generations, owning a car gives a sense of independence and freedom. We can remember when we started wanting to own our first car when we were kids. Owning a car meant you were (almost) an adult, that you could go where you wanted to go, and you could go on an adventure on a moment’s notice. But, this begs a discussion with drivers of all ages about what independence and your car means. From the teens learning how to drive defensively, to the elderly drivers who need to surrender their car keys for safety, we all have something to talk about.  Teen drivers. We know how it feels. We’ve been there. You dream of the car you want. You talk your parents into letting you practice driving. You eventually get a car to drive. And you have to listen to your parents lecture you throughout your early driving career to be safer behind the wheel. We get it. A car gives independence, yes, but freedom comes with responsibility.  You parents want yo ... read more

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