Timing Belt Replacement

Posted on November 3, 2015 | Repair Issues

Recently, our Honda Pilot reached over 105,000 miles.  In the old Pilot, the maintenance schedule had the timing belt replaced at 105,000 miles or earlier if you drive it under certain stressful conditions.  So I was expecting the Honda Maintenance Minder (MM) to trigger some sort of maintenance code.  Yet, after another 2,000 miles, no […]

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Steering Wheel Vibrating

Posted on October 16, 2015 | General Advice

Dear AutoReportCard, can you help me with a problem?   My steering wheel shakes/vibrates when driving on the highway.  It does not happen on a normal road under regular speed (<60 mph).  The car is a Honda minivan, and the local garage has done a wheel balance check and even added new tires.  I don’t think […]

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Leveraging AAA

Posted on October 2, 2015 | General Advice

Did you know AAA offers some DMV services?   Not too many people know this but you can avoid the long lines and the (cough cough) inefficiencies of the DMV by using the AAA for certain services.  In California for example, you can use the AAA to order duplicate registration papers, titles, and stickers.  You […]

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When to Get the Best Deal on a New Car.

Posted on September 15, 2015 | Buying Advice

Normally the best time of the year to buy a car is at the end of the calendar year between Christmas and New Years.  To find out if this was true we conducted the best non-scientific study possible among our dealer customers.  In other words, we got them drunk and asked them questions when their […]

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How to Use Craigslist Efficiently

Posted on August 18, 2015 | Buying Advice, General Advice

It can be frustrating searching for cars on Craigslist.  The search can be simplifies by using their standard filters. There are plenty of filters already available, such as filtering for dealer vs. owner, price ranges, mileage ranges, model year ranges, etc.  However, sometimes the search results aren’t exactly what you are looking for or you […]

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Mobile Wash and Wax

Posted on August 4, 2015 | General Advice, Repair Issues

There is a recent proliferation of mobile companies that come to your home or office and do everything from simple car washes to full details.  Some are just one person units while others are part of a larger company or network.  In any case they can save you a lot of time without costing you […]

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Regular vs Premium Gas

Posted on July 28, 2015 | General Advice

This is a pretty common question.  Is it ok to put regular gas in a car when premium gas is recommended.  The simple answer is yes, it is safe to do so.   What is OCTANE? The difference between regular and premium gas is the concentration of octane in the gas.  Octane is simply a […]

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CA Regulations: Garages Must Inflate Tires

Posted on July 21, 2015 | General Advice, Repair Issues

Did you know that there is a CA regulation that states garages must inflate tires to the recommended pressure every time they provide an automotive service on the car?   The California Air Resource’s Board, on September 1, 2010, issued the Tire Pressure Regulation in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.   The regulation […]

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Vehicle History Report: The False Negative

Posted on July 14, 2015 | Buying Advice, General Advice

The vehicle history report (VHR) is an important weapon in the used car buyer’s arsenal.   The VHR will tell you important information about the used car, like the number of previous owners, maintenance history and accident history.   You can purchase them on a one by one basis, subscribe for a limited time, or even […]

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CA: Used Car Cancellation Option

Posted on July 7, 2015 | Buying Advice, General Advice

In California, there is no “cooling off” period.  Instead, the CA Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights gives used car buyers the right to purchase a 2-day cancellation option.   So, should you purchase the option? Generally speaking, no. It is not cost effective.   First of all, and most importantly in our opinion, two days is just […]

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