5 Causes of Car Turning Off While Driving

5 Causes of Car Turning Off While Driving

If your car turns off while you’re driving, you certainly have a problem going on. It might be an expensive one, and it might not be an expensive one. This is how you can tell.

Car Turns off While Driving

From the obvious to the obscure, here are some things that could cause your car to turn off while you’re driving it.

Out of Gas

Before you quickly disregard this one, if you have an older car then it’s possible the fuel gauge is broken. It can be showing a full tank (or any other level) and actually be completely out of gas. So fill it up and keep an eye on it to see if it’s misrepresenting the amount of fuel in your tank.

Ignition Switch

Sometime the ignition switch will start falling apart inside. If it shorts out then it’ll cause the car to turn off – even when you’re driving. If the ignition switch has been giving your grief lately, suspect that first.


A dead alternator doesn’t work and when that happens, the battery will step up to the task of running your vehicle. But that isn’t going to last forever. The battery will run out of charge and die, too. When that happens your car will turn off.

Computer Problems

Just when you thought you were safe from a computer problem by driving around in your car, the computer problem will find you. Cars are run by computers these days and they break, too, just like in your office. When a car computer breaks, all sorts of weird things can happen.

You Might Be Hacked

If your vehicle has the ability to access the internet, then a hacker might have taken control of your car and shut it off as a prank. Most car owners don’t think of this as a possibility, but it is a possibility.

Get Your Car Checked Out

If your car ever turns off while you’re driving it, call A1 Performance Auto Repair for an appointment. We’ll get to the bottom of it and get it fixed.

Telltale Signs the Car Head Gasket is Blown

Telltale Signs the Car Head Gasket is Blown

There are worse problems than a blown head gasket, but a car head gasket problem is bad news, for sure. If you’d like to try to rule out this costly repair, here are some signs that let you know it’s probably a blown gasket.

White Smoke

White smoke coming from the tailpipe usually means one thing: the car head gasket is having issues.

Water Coming Out of Tailpipe

While it’s a sign of a head gasket problem, it is also a sign of some other things that are not problems. It could be condensation in the exhaust on a cold day or just the catalytic converter doing its job. The water alone is not a sure sign of a problem.


Engine overheating is always a problem, it may or may not be a costly one. If your coolant is full and the car’s overheating, you need to figure out the cause before driving it again. It’s a sign the head gasket needs replacing.

White Stuff in Oil

Finding what looks like milk in your engine oil is a real bad sign. Your coolant has mixed with your oil. You certainly have some type of engine problem.

Bubbling Radiator

If your radiator is bubbling as soon as you turn on the car then the head gasket is blown. If it is just a little bit of bubbling, then you can try an additive to seal up the head gasket. But it’s always best to have the mechanic at A1 Performance Auto Repair properly replace the head gasket. Sometimes additives can do more harm than good.

Head Gasket Repairs

If you’re concerned about how your car is running and suspect the car head gasket, then give us a call for an appointment. We can let you know right away if that’s the cause. It is always best to catch this type of problem right away, before it causes more damage.

What to Do About that High-Pitched Squeal

What to Do About that High-Pitched Squeal

If you’re having a high pitch squeal when you drive, should you stop driving and start freaking out? Naw. It is a warning sound that you should pay attention to, but it doesn’t mean your car is going to blow up or that aliens are about to land. Although, it does sort of sound like that last one. Here is what you need to know.

The High-Pitched Squeal

If the high-pitched squeal happens while you’re driving and goes away when you push on the brake pedal to slow down or stop the car, then it’s just a warning indicator that’s built into some brake pads. So, not to worry, it’s ok. But it is telling you that something is amiss. Your brake pads have worn down to the point where if you don’t replace them then it’s about to get expensive. So get that appointment on the calendar to have the mechanic at A1 Performance Auto Repair replace your brake pads.

But what if you just replaced the brakes?! If you hear the squeal when you’re braking instead of when you’re driving around, and you just had a brake job, it’s likely the brake pads. Some budget-priced brake pads are noisy when you brake. The only thing you can do is to have them replace the pads with ones that are quiet.

Another thing with just having a brake job is that the mechanic might not have lubricated all the spots that needed it. Or the pads and shoes are slightly out of adjustment. That doesn’t do any harm to the vehicle, but it will make an annoying noise. The best thing to do is to return to your mechanic to have them make adjustments and lubrication to stop the noise.

A1 Performance Auto Repair

When you want to avoid high-pitched squeals, have the mechanic at A1 Performance Auto Repair fix your brakes. We hope to see you soon.

6 Causes of Poor Gas Mileage

6 Causes of Poor Gas Mileage

Here are some of the most common reasons you’ll suddenly start getting poor gas mileage. The odds are the cause is one of these, but if you rule these out you’ll need to get some help diagnosing the problem. Hopefully, it is one of these easy things to fix and you’ll be getting that great gas mileage again.

Causes of Poor Gas Mileage

There are a whole bunch of problems that can cause your great gas mileage to drop. Here is where to start in diagnosing the problem and getting it fixed.

Missing Gas Cap

You’d think it wouldn’t matter if your gas cap was on or not, but it does. It can have a dramatic effect on mileage. So, be sure it is on and screwed down tight.

Incorrect Tire Pressure

Make sure your tire pressure is correct. It should be listed in the doorjamb of your car. But you can look it up on the tire manufacturer’s website if you think the information is incorrect in the door.

Low Oil Level

Check your oil and make sure the level is where it should be. If it’s low then you might have a leak. Have that checked out right away.

Dirty Oxygen Sensor

Have this checked at your next oil change or sooner

Fuel Pump Issues

You probably already thought of this one but check it. If it looks to be leaking or smells of gas, have it checked out right away. You don’t need a fire under the hood.

Your Nephew

Your sister’s kid has been racing the car. Seriously, is someone else with poor driving habits driving your car lately? Jackrabbit starts and speeding uses a lot of gas. If it’s you, still blame the nephew.

Get it Checked Out

If you’ve checked all the easy stuff you can control and you still haven’t located the cause of your poor gas mileage, then make an appointment with A1 Performance Auto Repair. We’ll find the problem and get it fixed.

Where Can I Buy Classic Cars?

Where Can I Buy Classic Cars?

The oldies are the best cars ever. They were stylish, expertly crafted out of real wood and steel and drove like a boat floating on water. At A1 Performance Auto Repair, we love the classics, too, and love to work on them. So, “Where can I buy classic cars?” you ask? There is a place close-by in San Jose.

Where Can I Buy Classic Cars?

It is easy to think only SoCal has options for a good place to buy classic cars, but here in the Silicon Valley there’s a place. So, don’t worry, you won’t have to become Jay Leno’s best buddy in order to snag a great classic car.

American Motors Custom & Classics specializes in selling restored classic cars. They’ve got your muscle cars, your Studebakers and Edsels. They are fully restored and some you can even customize.

This company sells cars and trucks worldwide. So, if you’re looking to sell the classic you already own, they’d likely be a good choice to help you sell it.

It’s always best to purchase from an expert. You might think you’ve scored big on an old car that a private seller has, only to find out it has parts from unrelated vehicles from different time periods and fake parts. It is very easy to trick a person who doesn’t look at these cars all day, every day. If you like the car, there is nothing wrong with buying a car that was inspired by one of the great models. But you sure don’t want to pay the price of an collector’s car, if it isn’t an original.

A1 Performance Auto Repair

From time to time we might know of a classic car for sale, as many of our customers drive restored cars. When you come in for maintenance or repair, ask us if we know of anyone who is selling. We’re happy to help you find where you can buy classic cars, when we know of someone who is selling.

Signs of a Bad Water Pump in Your Car or Truck

Signs of a Bad Water Pump in Your Car or Truck

These 4 signs of a bad water pump will help you narrow down what the problem is with your car or truck. While you’re trying to figure out the real culprit, your water pump is getting worse. It is best to get it replaced immediately, so that you don’t have to suffer through replacing more parts after the water pump goes out. These specific signs will help you know whether it is the water pump or something else.

Signs of a Bad Water Pump

For a little part, it has quite an important job to do. This is the part that gets that coolant moving around to keep the radiator in good shape and the engine cooled. If your water pump is going out, you need to replace it immediately. These signs below should give you a good idea if you should replace it now or start looking at a different part as the cause.

The Puddle

The #1 indicator of a water pump failing is the puddle of coolant under the front of the car. The color will be either orange or green – matching the color of the coolant you use.

Engine Keeps Overheating

When the water pump fails, the engine will overheat. Some cars will give you a dummy light to let you know coolant is low. Don’t drive the car if it is overheating.

Gunky Build-up

Sometimes the failure takes time. During that time period of the pump slowly dying, it’ll leak out a little bit of coolant. This dries on the water pump making it look rather gunky and messy from the dried coolant.

Steam from Under the Hood

If you see what appears to be steam coming out from under the hood, pull over. Do not open the hood. Call your roadside service. This means the engine has overheated. It might or might not be from the water pump.

A1 Performance Auto Repair

If you’re within 3 miles of our shop in Sunnyvale, we can tow your car in for free. (Farther will have a charge.) We’ll be happy to accurately diagnose the problem and fix it for you promptly. Give us a call.

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