Undercar Services: Maintenance & Repair
Rely on Alternative Automotive in Escondido, CA 92029 to provide quality care for your vehicle's undercarriage. Stop by our shop to see how we can help you or call 760-480-0851 for more information.
To keep your vehicle running at peak performance, we provide undercar services that include:
Wheel alignment (or simply alignment) is standard car maintenance that involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are set to the manufacturer's specifications. The main purpose is to let the suspension and the steering systems operate at their desired angles - this reduces tire wear. Alignment is a complicated process and not all mechanics get it right. To have experts handle your car's alignment, visit Alternative Automotive.
Anti-lock brakes prevent wheel lock-up when rapidly decelerating by automatically modulating the brake pressure during an emergency stop. With this system, the wheels are able to maintain traction with the road while braking. Failure of the anti-lock brakes could lead to an increase in the risks of multiple vehicle crashes and run-off road crashes. To avoid this, have your anti-lock brake system checked and repaired by experts. At Alternative Automotive, we have anti-lock brake experts who will examine and repair your faulty ABS - keeping you safe.
Brake System Flush
Brake fluid is hygroscopic (it absorbs moisture). The absorbed moisture lowers the fluid's boiling point. It also corrodes the lines and cylinders. With the lowered boiling point, the brake fluid could boil during braking which makes you lose braking ability. Although this is an extreme scenario, it does happen in heavy braking. To reduce the effects of the absorbed moisture, auto manufacturers recommend that you have a brake flush done periodically. A brake system flush involves the replacement of used and contaminated fluid with fresh fluid. With Alternative Automotive's quick lube services, you will have a brake system flush performed by brake experts. Call 760-480-0851 or visit Alternative Automotive today.
A brake is a mechanical device for slowing or stopping a vehicle (usually by means of friction). In short, a brake inhibits your car's motion. It lets you stop the car whenever and wherever you choose. Brakes are one of the most important parts of a motor vehicle. Without them, you would not be able to stop the car. If your vehicle's brakes are having issues, consider having them worked on. Brake experts at Alternative Automotive can work on your car's brakes to ensure you have a safe drive.
A chassis is the car's internal framework that supports the body and other parts like the wheels, engine, transmission, driveshaft, differential, and suspension. A weak or damaged chassis will translate to a weak car. To have a strong and properly working vehicle, have your car's chassis checked for defects. At Alternative Automotive, there are experienced undercar service providers who can work on your chassis.
The differential is a car part that compensates for the difference in travel distance between the inner wheels and outer wheels when the vehicle is turning. Due to the differential's position in most non-four-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicles (located at the rear and under the car), it does not get any of the star treatment the engine gets. The one thing that every car owner needs to know is that failure of the differential will mean failure of the car. To save the differential from failure, you need to have differential fluid changed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Changing the oil on the differential is as important as changing the car's engine oil. Although checking and changing differential oil is pretty easy, you need to visit an auto shop to get a comprehensive differential flush. For differential flush services, visit or call Alternative Automotive in Escondido, CA 92029 today.
The differential transfers the engine power to the wheels. One important function of the differential is to pass on power to the wheels while allowing them to rotate at different speeds - thus the name differential. When turning, the outer wheels travel a larger distance than the inner wheels do (also the front wheels travel a longer distance than the rear wheels). This means that all four wheels travel at different speeds during a turn and this is where the differential comes in to help. To make sure your vehicle's differentials are working properly, have them checked regularly. Contact Alternative Automotive today for differentials examination and servicing.
A driveline is a part of your motor vehicle that connects the engine and the transmission to the wheel axles. The driveline consists of the parts of the powertrain less the engine and transmission. Failure of the driveline means that the car would not move since energy cannot be transmitted from the engine to the wheel axles. Therefore, make sure that your car's driveline is regularly inspected and serviced. And, at Alternative Automotive, you can have the driveline serviced by experts.
In a motor vehicle, an exhaust system is a piping used to guide exhaust fumes away from the engine - usually to the rear of the vehicle. A properly functioning exhaust system not only sounds better, it is better - for you, your car, and the environment. Alternative Automotive has expert technicians to service your car's exhaust system.
Shocks (or shock absorbers) are mechanical devices designed to smooth out rough roads. The devices do this by converting kinetic energy to another form of energy. Properly working shocks reduce the effect of traveling over rough ground, leading to improved ride quality and vehicle handling. When shocks develop problems, driving on poorly leveled roads becomes unpleasant, and your vehicle may sway when turning. To have your vehicle's shocks diagnosed and repaired, visit Alternative Automotive today.
Much like a shock absorber (shocks), your car's struts provide a dampening effect as you travel over a road's surface. By absorbing the shock of the road, struts allow passengers to ride in a car without constant and uncomfortable motion. Struts work a bit differently than shocks in that they provide structural support for your car's suspension. This means that struts support your car's weight, unlike shocks which only regulate the speed at which the weight is transferred. Struts usually last around 50,000 or 60,000 miles. This is simply because the damping characteristics of the parts gradually deteriorate over time. Call Alternative Automotive at 760-480-0851 if you have questions about the struts on your car. Our expert technicians will diagnose any problems and help you make an informed decision about repairs.
As tires get older, they lose traction and deteriorate from the inside out, increasing the likelihood of a tire bursting. This can cause a rapid loss of control of your vehicle. To have a better performing vehicle, you need to make sure the tires are in good condition. For all your tire needs, contact Alternative Automotive today.
Suspension Questions and Answers
Q: What is included in a front-end alignment?A: Front-end alignment is a service performed on the front wheels. The process includes adjustments to the camber, toe and casters. Your 'thrust angle adjustment' may also need adjustments, to ensure that all four wheels are in alignment.
Q: How often should shocks be replaced?A: Experts recommend that shocks be replaced at 50,000-100,000 miles. If you are a more aggressive driver or frequently drive on rough roads, they will wear out faster. Shocks don't go out all at once, they deteriorate slowly over time. If you are noticing problems with handling, making smooth turns or ride smoothness have one of the professionals at Alternative Automotive inspect your shocks.
Q: Are shocks difficult to replace?A: Shock absorber replacement is usually a straightforward job, taking less than an hour of labor, but they should be replaced by a professional. Some models require other components to be removed or replaced before working on the front shocks. Bring your car to Alternative Automotive in Escondido and we will help you determine what needs to be done and get you back on the road quickly.
Q: Are struts difficult to replace?A: Replacing struts is simple and fast for a professional. Replacing your front struts yourself is not recommended, especially if you need a new complete strut assembly kit. When you get your truck's struts replaced you also need to have the front-end alignment checked. Ask the professionals at Alternative Automotive to replace your struts and we will complete the work quickly and easily.
Q: What is the difference between shocks and struts?A: Shocks and struts are both parts of a vehicle's suspension system. However, each has a very specific job. Your vehicle has either shocks or struts. You cannot replace your shocks with struts and vice versa. Shock absorbers are hydraulic components that help minimize movement generated by the vehicle's springs. These springs absorb some of the jolts you might feel from uneven or damaged roads. Struts are structural components of certain vehicles' steering and suspension systems. They usually consist of a spring and a shock absorber. Struts are designed to be much stronger than shocks since they are designed for vehicles that carry heavy loads.
Q: Is it necessary to get an alignment after strut replacement?A: Alternative Automotive recommends performing an alignment anytime shocks, struts or other steering and suspension components are replaced. Getting your vehicle's alignment within factory specifications ensures optimal tire wear and helps prolong the life of your tires.
Q: What happens if I only replace one strut or shock?A: If you replace only one shock or strut, it will create poor handling when changing lanes or driving over bumps. If your car is new, replacing only one strut or shock absorber may be ok since the opposite side shock is not worn out yet. Generally, Alternative Automotive recommends replacing both shocks or struts.
Differential Questions and Answers
Q: Is it necessary to change front and rear differential fluid?A: Over time, the differential fluid breaks down and becomes dirty and impacts performance. It is necessary to have your car or truck's differential serviced regularly. It is generally recommended to have the differential fluid changed every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. However, if you are a more aggressive driver you may need to get your front and rear differential fluid changed sooner. If you are in Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, San Marcos or the surrounding area, give us a call and we can help you figure out what makes the most sense for your vehicle.
Q: What is front and rear differential service?A: Differential services performed by one of the professional technicians at Alternative Automotive usually includes draining the old fluid from the differentials and replacing it with new fluid according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations and specifications. Sometimes other components surrounding the differential may need to be serviced as well.
Who? Me?, 07/05/2023
I first talked to Daniel when I was calling multiple mechanics for a pre purchase inspection for a new car. Daniel was so friendly and accommodating, that I programmed their number into my phone, so, when I ultimately decided to fix my own car instead of buying a new one, I gave them a call. Steve, the mechanic, personally took time to answer all of my many questions and patiently explained the process to me. He ultimately rebuilt my engine for me, and I couldn't be happier. My total bill including engine rebuild (which from drop-off to pick-up took about 5 1/2 weeks), timing belt, water pump, etc. was $6300.
Fluid Top-Off Service, Tire Inspection & Rotation, Multi-Point Vehicle Safety Check
Plus tax. Certain restrictions apply.
Includes: 0W20 full synthetic oil (up to 5 qts) & filter, reset reminder light, inspect brakes, rotate tires, top off fluids as needed, complete safety inspection.
Other synthetic oil prices may vary.
Call for details. No other discounts apply.
Call for deatils. Must present coupon at time of service. Not valid with any other offers.