Toyota Service and Repair in San Diego


Do you live in San Diego and own a Toyota? Good news for you is that Toyota is one of the brands of vehicles with the highest resale value. As long as you keep your car properly maintained, you can expect to be happy with your trade-in price years down the road. Pacific Automotive’s ASE Certified Technicians use the latest software and diagnostics to keep your Toyota reliable and properly serviced.
San Diego Toyota owners need to keep up to date on recall information. Although it is widely accepted that Toyota cars are generally of high quality and are a great value, they are also known for having a lot of recalls. Various defects of been found on many different models of Toyota, and this can impact their value and also the safety of you and your family. At Pacific Automotive, we stay up to date on Toyota recalls and what that means for your specific make and model. If you want to check the official Toyota recall information, click here.

Common Toyota Problems

Knocking noise when starting the vehicle

If you notice a knocking noise in your Toyota, particularly when you start it, the probable cause is that the valves are out of alignment and what you are hearing is valve noise. It probably sounds like a ticking noise and can be very noticeable, especially while the car is idling. As you start to move the car, the increased speed probably masks the sound a bit. Don’t worry – just call us and we can easily adjust the valves and enable you to continue to drive worry-free.

Feels like car is swaying in the wind


If you are driving your Toyota, particularly at higher speeds, and you feel like your car is “swaying in the wind,” you are probably driving on the original factory installed tires. You can fix this problem by upgrading the tires. If your vehicle is older than 1999, we may be able to install a second-generation shock-strut assembly or a strut brace to make your car feel more stable and safe.

Tires feel like they are shaking or shimmying

If your vehicle feels like it is vibrating or shaking as you drive, notice if this is only at high speeds or also at low speeds. If it at low speeds as well, the problem is probably one of the following: worn steering or brake components, loose or bent wheel, worn suspension, unbalanced wheels, tire, or tire pressure. If the shaking gets worse as you go faster, this indicates a tire imbalance. The first thing you can do before calling an auto repair shop is to check your tire pressure.
The minimum recommended tire pressure is on the placard in the car and the maximum recommended tire pressure is stamped on the sidewall of each tire. The tire pressure should be even on all four tires. If you know how to check the lug nuts, you can make sure they are not too tight or too loose. If you have to struggle to get the nuts off then they were on too tight. If the vibration continues, call us.
At Pacific Automotive, our ASE-Certified Technicians will use the latest diagnostic equipment and software to force variation tire balancing and speed balancing on your Toyota. This will take care of more difficult tire balance issues.

Rod knock or engine knock

If you hear a rhythmic banging sound that sounds like someone is banging on the engine with a baseball bat, and it increases in speed as you go faster, that is called an engine knock or rod knock. The cause usually has to do with oil issues. Either the engine has run out of oil, the wrong type of oil was used, there is a loss of oil pressure or oil quantity, or the oil passages have become clogged. As soon as you hear this, call us right away. You may be able to drive the vehicle to us yourself, as long as you drive gently and avoid the high speeds on the freeway. If you use a hard acceleration or go fast on a freeway, the connecting rod can break and the broken end will crash through the side of the engine. In this case, you would need the engine rebuilt – and this is something you want to avoid. This is called “throwing a rod.” If your engine actually stopped and you had been hearing the engine knock, check under the engine and you will probably find oil perhaps mixed with coolant and pieces of the engine block. In this case your engine would have to be rebuilt.

Piston Slap

Many Toyota owners hear a piston slap and this can be very soft to incredibly loud. You probably notice it more when then engine is idling, although it does increase with engine speed but you are less likely to hear it. Some makes and models will be louder and more annoying than others. This is most often caused to faulty piston design, or an engine that was not properly broken in. Unless you want to have your engine rebuilt, there is not really a solution to this. But if you notice any oil consumption issues or oil compression problems call us right away and we can scan your car with the latest software and diagnostic equipment to keep your Toyota reliable and running safely.