29 Wildwood Avenue, Piedmont CA | (510) 654-0512 | Garage Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-7:30pm, Sun 8am-5pm | Pumps open 6:00am - 10:00pm

Auto Care Tips

At Piedmont Auto Care, we’re honored to have Super Mechanic tinkering in our garage. Second cousin to the man of steel, he’s prohibited from wearing his cape at work. But, costume or no,  our hero is faster than a speeding ticket, able to leap tall Buicks in a single bound.

Want to discuss your car’s funny sounds?  Call Super Mechanic from 9-5 Monday through Friday at (510) 654-0512.  His aliases include Ron, Troy and Eddie.

Gas prices are so high! Any way to beat the Gas Pump Blues?

Put away your harmonica.  There are simple ways to get more miles out of each gallon.

  • Keep tires inflated to proper pressure.  See up to 3% more efficiency.
  • Use the oil recommended for your car’s engine.
  • Replace clogged air filters.  Up to 10% more efficiency.
  • Fix oxygen sensor.  This can upgrade your fuel efficiency by 40%.
  • Lighten up on the gas pedal.  Life in the fast lane means more time at the pumps.

Is there anything I can do to help the brakes on my car last longer?

With the Bay Area’s hilly, stop and go traffic, we can go through brakes pretty fast.  We see brakes last anywhere from 6-25 thousand miles. Some tips to keep your brakes in better shape:

  • Weight matters. The heavier your load, the more strain on the brakes.  Consider renting a truck to deliver those landscaping boulders across town.
  • Driving style.  Dial it down a notch.  Nothing burns through those pads like constantly riding the brakes.
  • Trucker strategy.  When you’re on a steep slope, downshift.  Let the engine help you reduce speed.

Do you always need a four-wheel alignment?

You might only need two wheels aligned, but you might as well have all the wheels checked at once.  It costs the same to check alignment as it does to do it.   Bring it in as soon as you feel that tell-tale pulling to the left or right.  Delaying could cost you 10,000 miles off your tires’ life.

My car shakes at certain speeds…what causes this?

It depends.  Does it happen while you’re going from a high to a lower speed?  Then it might be a case of warped brake rotors.  A more serious reason for shaking would be loose ball joints or tie rod ends.  Either way, we’ll need to test drive it and put it on the rack.  It’s important to check out shaking.

What happens if I just ignore the Check Engine light?

What happens when you just ignore a fuming spouse?  Things get worse!
Your engine might be telling you that there’s an issue with a fuel or vapor leak.  At best you’ll reduce your gas mileage; at worst you’ll damage your catalytic converter and stall your car. It’s not a good strategy to simply ignore the light. If something’s wrong, we need to look at it.