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Will a Falling BUllet Kill You?

A mostly intact 9mm bullet that fell from the sky embedded in a license plate

From time to time we find bullets in cars. Usually, they’re fired into the car. (I know. Welcome to the Bay Area.) This time the bullet had clearly fallen from the sky, since it was mostly undamaged. If you’re one of the people who shoot in their backyard on the 4th (or any other time), …

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Art’s Automotive now uses Full Synthetic Motor Oil in Every Car

In case you didn’t know, there are 3 types of motor oil: conventional, semi-synthetic, and full synthetic. Up until now, we have serviced some cars with conventional and some cars with full synthetic. Most older engines were fine with conventional oil, and there was no advantage to using synthetic, provided the car was operated under …

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Car Donation

Every person has a tipping point, when an auto repair expense is just a little to high to justify. And let’s face it: a newer car is usually going to be more reliable, be safer, have lower emissions, and have more features. While fixing your old car is almost always the cheapest option, your time, …

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What to do If you add diesel to your gasoline car

This is a problem we address every few months. Usually a new driver borrows a car and does the responsible thing – fills it up before returning it to the owner. Which nozzle to use? Well, the green one looks good. Oh, no! They added diesel fuel to the gas tank! They’ll usually manage to …

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Prius converter stolen 4 times on the same car

prius converter welded in place with 4 cable

Converter Theft is out of control Having your catalytic converter stolen is bad luck. Having it stolen 4 times in a row? Well, that’s living in Berkeley with Gen2 Prius. That’s exactly what happened to one of our customers. In case you’re thinking of blaming the victim and saying, “Well everyone knows Prius converters are …

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They’re starting to steal gen3 prius converters

The underside of a 2012 Prius with the catalytic converter sawed out.

We’ve been talking people out of anti-theft devices for the Gen3 Prius (2010-2015) for one simple reason: we’d never seen one stolen. Why go to the expense of installing an anti-theft system if theft isn’t an issue? Also, having an anti-theft device on your Prius will add to the costs of some types of future …

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Broken Subaru Lug Nuts and Lug Studs

A fine (1.25) Subaru lug stud laying next to a course (1.5) Toyota lug stud

Why do Subaru Lug Studs Keep Breaking? The Problem With Subaru Lug Nuts  Occasionally a lug nut gets stuck and the lug stud snaps off when you try to remove it. This is a normal part of auto repair. Sometimes it’s because the car came from somewhere with snow and salt. Or it might be  …

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Is it necessary to fix that ABS light?

ABS light shining on a Prius dashboard

The real cost of ignoring an ABS light When money’s tight, ABS lights tend to be ignored. Unlike the check engine light, California doesn’t require these systems work in order to re-register your car. As long as you’re not polluting the environment, you’re welcome to endanger yourself and others. But are you? Endangering others that …

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I can’t turn my Prius off!

prius combination meter staying on after trying to turn the car off

My Prius doesn’t turn off when I press the power button The 2004-2009 Prius has a common issue that can make it impossible to turn the car off in the normal way. Here’s how you can turn your Prius off if this happens to you. Insert the Smart key into the key slot in the …

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Should I reseal TPMS sensors when replacing a tire?

Are we regressing? I’m kind of shocked that this is a point of debate in our industry. For years nearly every shop has automatically replaced the rubber valve stems when replacing a tire. The reason is simple: a bad valve stem can cause the tire to go flat, and a customer isn’t going to differentiate …

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What to do if your engine is overheating

How to decide what to do when your car overheats Overheating is really bad news and can quickly cause serious and costly damage to your motor. When is it safe to let the car cool down and drive to the shop and when should you call a tow truck? What you decide can mean the …

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We’re dropping some Nissan services from our menu

Some of the least common services and repairs cost the most to equip for Tooling up to be able to offer all of the same services as a dealership is expensive. Most auto repair shops are content to provide around 90% of the services and refer the car back to the dealership when it needs …

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Consumer Reports best used cars for under $5000

I told you so! Anyone who has asked me which low-cost used cars are good will recognize this list. While I don’t agree with everything Consumer Reports about everything, in fact I think they’ve made a couple small errors in this selection, I do think they got it right overall. There may be a bit …

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You may be familiar with the “wayback machine”. If not, you should be! It’s an archive of the internet. Yep, the whole thing. For how long? You guessed it — way back. Anyway, as I was updating our website and and proudly showing off my work, one of my co-workers said, “I dunno. Looks OK …

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Stolen Catalytic Converter

Picture of a converter with cables securing it to the car to prevent theft.

Concerned about the increase in stolen catalytic converter and what to do about theft deterrence? Read more about what is going on, and how to schedule with Art’s Automotive to reduce your risk of becoming victim of catalytic converter theft.