Our Japanese Auto Repair Blog
The last few months have been hard for everyone, especially with the COVID global shutdown making it difficult to work and go on with everyday life, that’s why it was disappointing to see an increasing number of Prius owners coming in needing a Catalytic Converter. Unfortunately, all these customers had one thing in common, each had their vehicle’s Catalytic Converter cut off and stolen right where their car was parked!
Today most people in the Automotive industry know that Catalytic Converter theft is a wide-spread problem. It’s a billion-dollar black-market industry that’s destroying the environment and the lives of so many Prius owners.
Now, Catalytic Converter theft is not partial to Prius only; it’s a problem with many vehicles on the road today, but Prius has been at the forefront of this issue. On top of that, dealers in many instances are on a national backorder of replacement Catalytic Converters and because of this, repairs are taking much longer.
Although precious metal prices dropped in March/April, they have once again started climbing. One of these precious metals, palladium, is already worth $2426 per ounce at the time of this article. The thieves who are stealing these Catalytic Converters aren’t stupid, they know how to be in and out within 3 minutes or less. You could walk into a friend’s house and come back a few minutes later and be wholly blindsided with a repair cost of your Prius from $2500 to $5000.
Just in the past two months, Seattle has seen a huge increase in these thefts. Already the Seattle Police Department has issued a warning to people in the area to be sure everyone was made aware. A good place to check to see if your area has seen an increase is to check your local crime watch sites/organizations.
There are a few ways to keep your Toyota Prius safe from these cat burglars. First, park in a well-lit area and somewhere near possible theft deterrents like security cameras. Second, if you can, park in a garage where potential thieves can’t even see the Prius. Although even with both these suggestions, we’ve still had customers tell us how their Prius was in a secured parking garage and the thieves were still able to cut the catalytic converters off and get away.
That’s why Greg’s is now offering a new security plate that can cover the underbody of the car protecting the Catalytic Converter, installed with rivets and security screws making your Catalytic Converter not only hard to get to but extremely hard to cut off.
Catalytic Converter theft continues to increase. The sheer demand from these thefts has made it harder for dealers to get replacement converters in a timely fashion for our cars, and hundreds of Prius each week are sitting on dealer lots or garages waiting for repair.
Your Prius could be next, and so could mine. I’ve already scheduled to install a Cat Security plate on my personal Prius, especially since I live in an area where I park out in the open. Save the time, the towing, and the inconvenience of losing your Prius for any extended amount of time. Take some SERIOUS consideration to protect it with the best protective shield on the market through Greg’s Japanese Auto.
Think about it this way, for less than a few hundred dollars you can avoid $2500-$5000 in unnecessary repairs. Call your local Greg’s Japanese Auto today for more information and to schedule your appointment.
Fluid flushes are among the most important types of regular maintenance for your car, truck or SUV. The systems in your vehicle rely on specialized liquids to make sure they can continue to function properly, and it’s important to keep the fluids as fresh and clean as possible. Depending on the system, it may need fluids to offer hydraulic assistance, lubrication, or cooling.
No driver likes it when their steering wheel starts shaking. This is a sure sign that there’s something going wrong with your vehicle, and it can also make driving unnecessarily stressful and scary. If the road is smooth and your ride still feels jerky, there’s nothing to blame except for the vehicle itself. Waiting for the problem to take care of itself will only make things worse, so we strongly suggest that you take action as soon as possible when you notice that your steering wheel is shaking.
It’s one of every car owner’s biggest nightmares– the check engine light has become illuminated in your dash. This is a sure sign of problems under the hood of your car, and it’s hard to know exactly how serious those problems are.
It could be a quick fix, or it could be a problem that leaves you stranded and costs you thousands of dollars unless it’s addressed quickly. Either way, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible.
After driving your car for only a few weeks, you should be familiar with all of the little peculiarities that make it special. You know the sound it makes when you first ignite the engine and how it should sound when you accelerate (if it makes any sound at all). To keep your vehicle in excellent working condition, you need to recognize and diagnose issues immediately. Strange sounds often indicate car problems, and you do not want an expensive mechanic’s bill because you failed to act sooner. These are the most common car problems and what they most likely are.
Too often, you’re not in a convenient location when you need to change a flat tire. Fortunately, with a little preparation, it doesn’t have to ruin your day. Changing a flat tire might be tricky at first, but before you know it, you’ll be a pro.
Your vehicle’s brakes are its most important safety feature, designed to keep you and everyone else on the road safe. The entire braking system is deceptively complex, involving many parts that need to be checked and replaced often. Not many people know with absolute certainty when their systems are failing, or when an inspection is required. Keeping the following guidelines in mind lets know exactly when to bring your car in for a brake check.
Most car owners know when to perform routine maintenance tasks, such as having your tires rotated and your brakes inspected. When it comes to fluids, however, many have the same question: when should you get an oil change? While many manufacturers recommend specific intervals, everything from the environment to the type of traffic you typically endure can mean you need your oil changed much sooner. Being familiar with the signs you need an oil change is a crucial part of car ownership.
Figuring out if your car has a timing chain vs. timing belt often makes a huge difference when budgeting repairs. While belts and chains both connect the crankshaft to the camshaft(s), they have different lifespans and are prone to varying types of damage. Learning more about each one ensures your car runs smoother for longer. Belts are smooth, rubber objects making the connection while chains resemble large, thick bicycle chains.
You can learn much about your vehicle’s health by periodically examining its engine oil, coolant, automatic transmission fluid, brake fluid, and battery fluid.