Location

151 S Sunshine Ave
El Cajon, CA 92020

Opening hours

Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sat & Sun – Closed

(619) 444-1696

Opening hours

Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sat & Sun – Closed

Location

151 S Sunshine Ave
El Cajon, CA 92020

Car Radiator Repair

Finding the right Radiator Repair Mechanic can save you hundreds of extra dollars in the price and longevity of your car's engines most important accessory for maintaining the longevity of your car's engine. Your car will have no better friend than a properly working radiator and a safe driver.

Radiator Repair Services

How Radiators Work

Your vehicle’s radiator helps keep your engine cool. Overheated engines can lead to numerous problems, including eventual breakdowns. Your vehicle’s radiator sits at the front of the engine bay. It’s made up of slim, hollow channels that run between the inlet and outlet tanks. Coolant is pumped through tubes and all around the hot engine and absorbing much of the heat from the engine block. From the hot engine the near boiling coolant goes to the radiator, where the hot flowing liquid is cooled from the cool passing air over the radiator. The cooled liquid cycles back through the engine, where it absorbs more heat and the process is repeated. This cycle allows the engine to keep working at ideal temperatures. If your car is experiencing problems with the radiator, bring it by Sunshine Auto Repair for radiator repair in El Cajon, CA. Give us a call at (619) 444-1696 if you have questions or concerns about your car, or if you need a complimentary tow to our shop.

Do you need a new Radiator?

If your vehicle overheats, you may need radiator repair. An elevated temperature gauge is a big sign that your radiator might be malfunctioning. Puddles of green, yellow or orange coolant under your car could indicate that there is a radiator leak, which could be caused by corrosion. If you notice any of these signs, bring your vehicle to Sunshine Auto Repair so our licensed mechanics can see what’s ailing your cars radiator. El Cajon, CA is not a great place to let your car’s engine get too hot. The repercussions of driving your vehicle around with improperly functioning radiator could cause catastrophic damage to your engine. Our team of experts can fix leaks or replace your radiator so you can get back on the road.

Maintain Coolant Levels

Just by checking your Radiator Coolant Levels and inspecting your car for leaking you can avoid most radiator problems before the metastasize into a bigger and more expensive nightmare. Quite often people simply forget to check for proper coolant levels, this can put significant strain on the radiator and cause it to overheat or corrode the radiator fins. It is always prudent to check for proper coolant levels before a long trip or during your monthly/weekly maintenance check. Older cars should generally inspected more often. It is also recommended that you get a radiator coolant flush every two years. Another problem that arises from time to time is a collapsed bottom radiator hose. A collapsed radiator hose generally occurs when the hose has degraded over time or a slight vacuum has formed due to the expansion and contraction of the coolant.

How long do car & truck radiators last?

Most auto mechanics feel that a properly maintained radiator should last for at least eight to 10 years. Older metal radiators, when well maintained, can last for the life of the car, but modern radiators are mostly made from plastic rather than metal, and plastic expands and contracts as the radiator heats and cools.

Can I put water in my Car’s Radiator?

Water will boil and evaporate in a hot temperature range, coolant DOES NOT! The antifreeze (aka: Coolant) is known to stay in the liquid state at greater temperature variations. This fact alone explains why you can’t replace coolant with water. Emergency driving may warrant it but you are taking your car’s life into your own hands. It is permissable to use A MAJORITY OF ANTIFREEZE AND A MINORITY OF WATER. It’s not optimal, but it will work. Always read the manufacturer’s requirements of your vehicle before attempting any home maintenance. Some coolant concentrates allow you to combine a mixture of coolant and water. Make sure you know what you are buying first.

(619) 444-1696

What Does It Mean When My Brakes Squeak?

Brake pads are built with a special feature that’s automatically activated when they have worn out past their useful life. Simply, a metal tab or blade is attached to the brake pad, where it hovers just above the brake rotor. As the brake pads wear out (just like your pencil eraser), they get thinner, which brings the metal tab closer and closer to the metal brake rotor. At some point, the brake pad material will hit its minimum safe thickness. Here, the metal tab physically contacts the metal brake rotor, where it generates an irritating squealing sound. This is an audible signal from your brakes that it’s time to replace those worn out brake pads. Just remember that brakes sometimes squeal or squeak, but not as a result of component wear. In any case, drivers should have their brakes inspected to determine the root cause of any unexpected noise.

What Does It Mean When My Brakes Squeak or Squeel?

Brake pads are built with a special feature that’s automatically activated when they have worn out past their useful life. Simply, a metal tab or blade is attached to the brake pad, where it hovers just above the brake rotor. As the brake pads wear out (just like your pencil eraser), they get thinner, which brings the metal tab closer and closer to the metal brake rotor. At some point, the brake pad material will hit its minimum safe thickness. Here, the metal tab physically contacts the metal brake rotor, where it generates an irritating squealing sound. This is an audible signal from your brakes that it’s time to replace those worn out brake pads. Just remember that brakes sometimes squeal or squeak, but not as a result of component wear. In any case, drivers should have their brakes inspected to determine the root cause of any unexpected noise.

Why Does My Brake Pedal Pulse?

This form of pulsation is the telltale sign of disc distortion, which is sometimes referred to as brake rotor warpage. Here’s the sticky: brake rotors are steel discs that need to be perfectly flat, like a vinyl record, to do their job smoothly. Sometimes, brake rotors become warped, losing their perfectly flat shape. Much more commonly, the brake rotors wear unevenly, meaning the thickness of the rotor is uneven around the disc. In any case, dimensional variation of the brake rotor discs, whether caused by wear or heat, causes uneven braking output at the surface of the rotating disc, which results in a feel of pulsation and roughness when the brakes are applied. Rotor warpage is rarely an issue with high-quality brake rotors and is typically caused by a failure of low-quality rotors to hold their shape against the tremendous heat generated in the braking system during severe use. If you use low-quality brake rotors and use your braking system hard (perhaps on hilly terrain, or while towing, or while driving a vehicle fully loaded with passengers and gear), rotor warpage is nearly guaranteed.

Should I Replace My Brake Pads and Rotors at the Same Time?

This is a common and highly-debated topic with drivers looking to save a buck or two. Your brake pads and rotors are partners. They work together every time you press the brake pedal. They’re best pals. But one of these two components may wear out before the other, leading many to wonder if they should replace both at once, or just what’s worn out. The generally-accepted principle of changing pads and rotors at the same time has several benefits. First, pads and rotors are designed to wear down together. Over time, small grooves will form in the brake rotor surface and corresponding brake pad. These grooves fit into each other, ensuring 100 percent of your brake pad is acting on 100 percent of the rotor, for 100 percent stopping power. Change the brake pads and not the rotors, and the grooves no longer line up. When choosing this route, 100 percent of your new brake pad may be acting on only 80 percent of the grooved brake rotor surface. Accordingly, braking power will be reduced. Also, the old grooved rotor surface will rapidly chew up your smooth new brake pads, wearing them rapidly. Finally, if your brake rotors wear out 4 months after the pads do, you’ll be making another visit to the shop to have them replaced, and you’ll be paying the labor rate a second time to change them. For instance, changing pads and rotors might take a technician one hour in total, but changing them separately means you’re paying the majority of that labor rate, twice.

Why Does My Brake Pedal Go All the Way to the Floor?

There are several reasons a vehicle’s brake pedal may go all the way to the floor, and all of them are serious and require immediate attention. Causes may include a leak in the hydraulic portion of the braking system, contamination of the brake fluid by air or water, or severely worn pads and rotors. If you experience a brake pedal that goes all the way to the floor, you’re best to stop driving as soon as possible and have a professional assess the vehicle.

When Is It Time to Change My Brakes?

Your braking system has numerous components, but the brake pads and brake rotors are the stars of the show when it comes to getting your vehicle stationary. When you apply the brakes, hydraulic pressure squeezes the pads into the rotors, slowing the vehicle down with tremendous amounts of friction. The pads and rotors wear down slightly every time you press the brakes, eventually wearing to a point where they can no longer do their job. It’s a little like the rubber eraser on the back of a pencil, which wears out a little at a time until there’s almost nothing left. Many factors affect the rate at which things wear out. These include the vehicle, driver habits, types of use, for example, towing or other severe driving, terrain characteristics, and even owner maintenance habits. The quality of parts has a lot to do with their lifespan too, with cheaper components tending to wear out and require replacement more quickly. When do your brakes need to be changed? In simple terms, they should be changed when the thickness of the brake pads and/or rotors falls below a certain safe limit. As this limit approaches, stopping power may feel reduced, a loud squealing sound from the brakes may become irritating and constant, and visible wear to the brake rotor surface may be noted. A technician may also recommend replacing brakes after a system inspection, which drivers should have completed regularly for peace of mind. Finally, some vehicles are equipped with special sensors that detect brake wear and can alert the driver to have the system serviced.

WHY DOES MY BRAKE PEDAL GO ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR?

You should immediately check your master cylinder under your hood.

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