The Most Common Car Repairs in Southern California


According to KQED, in 2022, California had almost 61,000 auto service workers. The same website reported that the average annual salary for those workers was nearly $55,000. Although the types of services offered by auto repair shops are changing due to the advent of electric cars, auto service workers continue to provide valuable services for car owners. Here are some of the top types of auto services currently offered at car repair facilities in California:

Car Crash Repairs

Auto body collision repair shops offer the services of trained auto technicians who fix internal problems and car body damage after a collision. Types of car services provided at a collision repair shop include dent removal, auto glass repair, and repair of damaged internal parts. Some insurance companies will specify which garages can be used for repairs after a collision.

After a collision, the insurance company will want to send a representative to inspect the damage to the car before any work can be done. They will then allow the repair garage to estimate how much the repairs will cost. The collision repair facility will give you an itemized record of their estimate, and you can submit that estimate to your insurance company. According to Key Collision, you should check the estimate’s details to be sure all replacement parts will be new.

After the insurance company approves the repairs, they will pay the facility directly. With some insurance policies, you may be able to pay all or part of your rental car rates when your car is being repaired. Part of the repairs will be to repaint the car’s exterior after smoothing out the scratches. If the extent of approved exterior repair doesn’t give you a thorough enough result, you can decide to pay for any extra bodywork you would like to have done.

Fixing Routine Auto Problems

Bringing your car to auto body repair garages will fix routine auto problems. These facilities offer many types of car services. These services can include brake repair and replacement, engine repair, wheel alignment, and replacement of auto parts worn down in the ordinary course of auto use.

There are three primary types of auto repair facilities. According to Frank’s Auto Repair, one common type of facility is a dealership. These garages are typically owned by auto manufacturers and sell auto parts and services. Their services may be covered by warranties, which are given to you when your car is purchased.

The same website reports that the most frequently found type of auto repair facility is an independent garage. Although their mechanics are trained to do most general types of repairs, these garages don’t typically have a complete selection of parts. The third type of garage is a specialty shop. Specialty shops employ mechanics who specialize in one type of car or service, such as brakes or a specific make of foreign car.

Replacing Broken Glass

If your windshield is damaged in an accident or by a storm, it is imperative that it be repaired as soon as possible. Even a chip or small crack in your windshield can put your visibility in danger. When a car with a broken windshield is brought to an auto glass shop, the trim is first removed from the existing windshield.

With the trim removed, the technician uses large suction cups to remove the entire pane of the existing glass. The pinch weld must be cleaned out before the new glass can be inserted. This pinch weld is the gap where the new glass can be inserted. That gap must be thoroughly cleaned of any residue before a new window can be inserted.

To insert replacement windshields on a car, urethane is applied inside the pinch weld to act as a glue. Large suction cups are used to lift and insert the new windshield into the pinch weld. The urethane helps seal the new glass inside the car’s hood. New trim is used to finish the windshield’s placement.

Important Maintenance Tasks

One of the most frequent specialty auto service garages offers oil change services. Your engine uses motor oil to ease the movements of its gears and allow your car to operate. According to AAA, a car should change its oil every 5000 to 7500 miles. Technicians at an oil change facility will check all the other systems of your vehicle at the same time they change your oil.

According to WyoTech, the first step of the oil change process is to lift the car. After the car is lifted, the oil pan must be located. A car’s oil pan is typically large and dips down near the engine. The technician will take out the nuts or screws to loosen the oil pan and then remove the pan.

Before the technician opens the oil plug, they place an oil collection container beneath the car. Open the plug and drain the oil into the collection container. They will then close the plug, replace the cover over the oil pan, and lower the car. The technician can then refill the car with the proper type of new, clean oil.

Adjusting Engine Status

Your car’s transmission is vital to its overall function. According to Universal Technical Institute, the purpose of the transmission is to move the car’s power from the engine to the wheels. The two major types of transmission are manual – which uses a clutch pedal and shifter – and automatic, which uses a computer to change gears.

One type of transmission service that is frequently needed is a transmission fluid exchange. Automatic transmission fluid lubricates the gears of the transmission, and the process of fluid exchange for the transmission echoes the steps of an oil change. Your transmission also has a filter, which occasionally needs to be changed.

If you bring your car to a transmission repair facility, its technicians are typically skilled in all types of transmission-related car services. For example, manual transmissions may need a fluid change or a mechanical adjustment. If your car is older, it may require a complete transmission service. In addition to the fluid exchange, this complicated service checks and replaces all necessary transmission components.

Assist With Car Safety

Your brakes must be in good working order for your driving to be safe. Although most auto body shops can typically handle basic brake problems, some car owners prefer going to a ‘Brake Shop.’ Types of car services available in those facilities can include car brake replacements – which can entail the replacement of brake shoes, brake pads, or brake lines.

You may first notice your brakes need service by hearing a squealing sound when braking. There might also be a clicking or grinding sound. Leaking brown fluid would show you need to get your brake fluid refilled. A burning rubber smell is a signal that you should stop right away to get your brakes serviced.

Response to Collisions

If your car breaks down or needs an emergency repair, you will be glad if you are enrolled in a program that provides emergency roadside assistance. These services can offer car services such as a “jump” for a dead battery, a tire change, or being locked out of your car. Some companies specialize in providing these services and selling memberships for the privilege of using them. However, non-members can get the same types of services from a towing service that makes their services available on a nearby road.

Membership in a program that offers roadside assistance can benefit people whose job requires them to drive during their duties. If you are on the road and your car breaks down, a quick repair could determine whether you see your next client. Another advantage to membership in a roadside assistance program is that it covers the cost of the service. Although membership doesn’t cover the equipment cost, it may give you a discount.

Moving Cars When Needed

When your roadside emergency needs your car towed, you’ll need help from one of the area’s towing companies. If you belong to an organization that provides roadside assistance, they will likely also provide towing services. Drivers who don’t belong to a roadside assistance program will be able to get towing services with the aid of the police.

Another type of car service towing companies provide is relocating illegally parked cars. These services might be used by finance companies trying to repossess cars. A tow truck will also remove cars that park in tow-away zones. Clients whose cars are towed will have to pay a fee to get them back.

Manage Auto Shop Offices

No matter which types of auto services you need, the places where you take your car will use some kind of record-keeping system. According to Medium, car shop software must evolve to keep pace with the demands of the facility using it. Software is needed to keep inventory, prepare estimates, provide bills, and maintain client records.

Auto repair shops with established clientele can use software to their advantage. For example, an oil change facility could use software to prompt their clients about the next date when they should return for their following oil change. If a visit leads the mechanic to recommend a repair needed in the future, the software can prompt the shop manager to remind the client of that required repair.

The software can also create periodic promotional newsletters to give loyal customers the latest auto industry services. Inventory software can also help the auto shop manager know which parts are being depleted and must be ordered. In addition, new computer software could help locate parts that aren’t in stock so necessary repairs can be done.

Protect Car Owners

Regardless of the functional status of your car, you’ll need auto insurance. You can get information about auto insurance options at car insurance agencies. The cost of auto insurance will vary, depending on how much coverage you want to buy. Some states require a specific minimum amount of insurance.

According to Progressive, auto insurance has three categories: comprehensive, liability, and collision coverage. Collision coverage reimburses the cost of damaging your car during a collision. If you are financing your car through a lender, the lender will require you to have collision insurance. They need this because your car is the collateral for your car loan.

Most states require liability insurance for your car. If you are found at fault for the accident by the police who respond to the accident, the liability part of your insurance will pay for the damage to the other person’s car and any medical expenses caused by the accident. The comprehensive part of your car insurance will cover any damage to your vehicle due to an act of nature (like a storm) or vandalism.

The Future of Auto Services

The types of car services offered by auto service centers continue to be vital to drivers everywhere. Although these services will remain necessary in the future, there will be an increased need for services for the emerging number of electric vehicles. According to KQED, California is moving toward a ban on new gas-powered vehicles. To lessen the burden of the emissions of gas-powered cars on the environment, California has proposed a law that will mandate that gas-powered vehicles be phased out.

Electric vehicles will need service, and auto repair facilities will be called on to repair them, but the repair methods will change. Owners of non-electric vehicles will still patronize garages that offer traditional services, but mechanics will need to retrain their staff to work on electric cars. As jobs for gasoline station attendants will necessarily decrease due to these changes, there will be an increased need for electrical service employees.

As time passes, all types of cars will need service, and mechanics willing to expand their knowledge will continue to be in demand. The most essential thing California mechanics can do is to stay aware of the changes occurring in their neighborhoods. Traditional car repair and maintenance services will remain necessary for many years, but learning about electric vehicle care is a good idea for anyone who wants to stay in business. The future of auto services will be waiting for those willing to grow and change along with it.

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