Subaru WRX and Subaru Forester 2.0XT Recalled For Engine Stall

Apparently, 2015-2016 Subaru WRX and Subaru Forester 2.0XT have turbocharger air intake ducts that may crack and cause problems with engine performance. Subaru engineers found turbocharger air intake duct was made with incorrect materials during part production process – resulting in possibility of cracks.

If your car has cracked turbocharger air intake duct, the symptoms include engine idling rough, reduced engine power, and even engine stalling.

Recalled cars:
2015-2016 WRX manufactured between April 10, 2015 and October 21, 2015.
Forester 2.0XT SUVs built between April 10, 2015 and October 20, 2015.
IMPORTANT: not all cars have the faulty parts – Subaru has identified part numbers that can be used to determine if your car has the faulty part.

If you own one of these cars, you can call Subaru at 800-782-2783 and use recall number WTA-62.

Driver-less Cars? They are here…

You may not know that California, Michigan, Florida and Nevada have all passed laws allowing driverless cars to operate on public highways and roads. So far, it’s mostly Google’s cars – and they do have drivers – it’s just that the drivers do not do anything – the car drives itself.

Google currently has about 20 cars. Lexus RX450h hybrid SUV vehicles, that have self-driving technology built in. They are driving all over the Bay Area. Google says they are driving about 10,000 miles per month, and by June 2015 Google claimed to have logged more than a million miles. You may have read that one of those cars became the first driverless car stopped by police – for driving too slowly!

Having done a lot of testing, Google is trying to get into car manufacturing. Until recently Google was modifying cars made by Volkswagen and Toyota. But now they are talking about developing their own vehicle.

Google has partnered up with Roush Enterprises – the company created by Jack Roush who got his automotive experience at Ford Motor Company. The car will be made in Michigan and has no name as of yet. As for the road tests – well, in Mountain View of course – right where Google is located.

So get ready for “Google car” – it’s coming to a town near you!

Is your Prius HV Battery overheating?

The Prius battery is a great design but it must be kept cool. It is really important to make sure that your Prius battery cooling system is in good operating condition.

There is a cooling fan located in the rear trunk area of the car that should be inspected at least annually. Perhaps more often if you travel with a dog in your car. The cooling intake duct is located in the rear seat area and will easily fill itself with dog hair and cease to cool the High Voltage Battery. This may set a MIL code and cause your warning triangle to illuminate. If this happens it can be easily repaired if it is addressed promptly. It is really important to have your car inspected quickly for any warming lamp.

A battery that is overheated for an extended period will have a shortened life. It is possible to have a cooling fan that is partially clogged. This may not set the code but still be harming your HV battery.

HV cooling fan inspection is part of our regular service at Sturken’s San Jose Hybrid Shop.

If you have not had your battery fan inspected in the last year, it probably should be looked at.

Call us to schedule your preventative maintenance:


If you prefer online scheduling, click here

Oil Change – Your Car’s Best Friend

It used to be that everybody knew to change their motor oil every 3000 miles. Then because of better technology and engine building techniques, manufacturers started recommending longer oil change intervals. The advent of new synthetic oils, which tend to stay slippery longer cause many car owners to go even longer between oil changes.

Well, if you want your car to last forever – frequent oil changes are the key. At Sturken Auto Repair we recommend that even if you use synthetic motor oil you should change your oil every 10,000 miles at most. With conventional motor oil, changing motor oil every 5000 miles is a good idea.

The reason we recommend more frequent oil changes has to do with the multiple functions that motor oil serves in your car:

  1. Lubrication – primary function of motor oil is to lubricate your engine. Oil lubricates the moving engine parts to minimize friction and helps to keep engine cooler.
  2. Garbage collection – as oil circulates through your engine it picks up dirt and small bits of metal that collect in the engine. It then goes through the oil filter where those bits of metal get filtered out.
  3. Cleaning – motor oil has detergents and dispersants. The detergents clean out the dirt and grime from the engine. Dispersants keep dirt suspended in the oil where it can do little harm.

As time goes on those additives get depleted and the oil does not perform its function as well as it does when new. This increases wear on the engine. Having plenty of fresh motor oil keeps your engine happy and humming.

Regular oil changes also give us an opportunity to do preventive maintenance and checks. Better auto repair shops like Sturken’s have long recognized the importance of preventive maintenance. We have replaced simple oil changes with a minor service – in addition to an oil and filter change, we perform a number of checks that make it possible to spot trouble early – cracked hoses, battery issues, underinflated tires, cooling system issues, etc.

At Sturken Auto Repair our minor service includes a multi-point inspection. We check various systems on your car to catch trouble before it fully develops.Having your car serviced regularly means that your car will be in top condition.We have a chance to minimize the probability of serious problems developing while you are on the road.

Many of today’s engines are smaller and are running hotter. This makes regular service even more important. So next time you need a minor service bring your car to Sturken’s.

Set up an appointment ONLINE or call 408-295-7195.

Toyota Discontinues Scion – We Still Support It!

At Sturken Auto Body, Auto and RV Repair, we are big fans of Toyota Scion. This car is fuel efficient, economical to operate, and if properly maintained, will go on forever (almost).

To our great sadness, Toyota announced just a few days ago that it would no longer produce Scions. Car industry analysts suspect that lower gasoline prices had adverse impact on Scion sales, since it was designed with fuel efficiency in mind.

The good news is that at Sturken Auto Repair we will fully support your Scion. Whether you need body work, maintenance, or major repairs, we will continue to service your Scion. We do not foresee any shortages of spare parts, as Scion is Toyota, so the parts will be available. Our experienced mechanics can take good care of your vehicle. So keep driving your Scion knowing that if the need arises – we are here ready to help.

Takata Airbag Recall

If you drive a Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru or a Toyota, you might have heard about the airbag recall. You may have even received a notice from your dealer. The Takata airbag recall has exceeded 34 million vehicles recalled in the United States alone.

If you received a notice, call your dealer to schedule an appointment. While some of the dealers still have pretty long wait times, many will be able to schedule replacement within a few days, often less than a week.
Takata airbags have been found to deploy with too much force, sending shrapnel into the interior of the vehicle. This is apparently due to moisture getting into the inflator and destabilizing the chemical compound responsible for the explosion that inflates the airbags – due to the moisture, the compound is more explosive than intended.

Bottom line – if you got a recall notice, call your dealer to get a free replacement. This work is done by dealers and is free of charge. Not quite sure if your car should have the airbags replaced – you can check your VIN here – this is a site provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – you can check if your car has had incomplete recall work done within the last 15 years.

38-Ford Announces Predictions for New Vehicle Technology

Ford Experts predict that sensor fusion, machine learning and “big data” will be among the next wave of technology in Ford vehicles—advancements that have significant implications for repairers.  New Ford models are becoming increasingly equipped with multiple sensors that heighten driver awareness, according to Ford.  For example, the 2013 Fusion has 145 actuators, 4,716 signals, and 74 sensors that monitor radar, sonar, cameras, accelerometers, temperature and rain. The sensors generate over 25 gigabytes of memory per hour that is processed by more than 70 computers.  Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s Chief Technology Officer, said in a prepared statement that the Fusion represents the future of Ford’s technological research and advancement.

From Ratchet &

37-Special Offer for PacBrake Products

Sturken Automotive & RV

 A proud re-seller and installation facility for PacBrake Products

Purchase a Pacbrake PRXB exhaust brake or a LoadLeash engine brake and receive 10% off the purchase price! 

Contact your  Service Advisor at Sturken’s RV to schedule your installation.

You will be glad you did!


Offer valid until June 1, 2013

35-Insurance Companies Using Spy Devices

Insurance companies keep finding new ways to make us pay. Now some are giving you an incentive to let them hook up a spy-device to your car.  They obviously are going to charge you more if you drive more miles.  But some monitor how often and for how long, you exceed 80 mph. They can even monitor how aggressively you drive including how fast you take corners and brake to a stop.  When they get more sophisticated, I can see them determining your location by GPS to see if you are exceeding the posted speed limits.  State Farm says that people who have signed up for their program get
about 10 percent off their bill.

My question is:  Can this data be used against you in an accident?  If they monitor your speed and turning data, can’t this be used against you?  The airbag computers already store some incriminating evidence of what was going on just before they deploy and
the courts are having to sort out when this data can be used.  Is it worth 10 percent to give up your privacy?  Maybe a better alternative is to find a cheaper insurance company.

–Jerry Spradlin

Reprinted with permission-Import Automotive Parts & Accessories Magazine, October/November

33-How Much Does It Cost…?

…to fix my (fill in the blank)?  This is a question we get all too frequently in the automotive repair business.

The first question that any competent service writer would ask is, “How do you know that is the problem?” The answer to that question can vary quite a bit but it usually involves a friend or family member’s opinion. Or, sometimes it’s “that’s what the guy at the parts store said it was,” or my favorite is, “that’s what the tow truck driver said.”

How do these folks know these things?  Are they highly skilled, trained automotive technicians?  Perhaps they just moonlight as tow truck drivers or counter
salesmen.  Modern automobiles have so many systems and sub-systems that even problems that seem simple, aren’t.

The modern technician needs to have as much input from the vehicle’s daily driver as
possible.  This conversation can last from 5-15 minutes and then add on a test drive.
And, this is before anyone lays a hand on the car.  From there the car has to be inspected on a lift or in a service bay.   Next it needs to be analyzed for where things (conditions) are currently, and then we try to duplicate or replicate the
issues.  Then and only then can we figure out what is wrong and what course of action might be necessary to fix it.

So how much does it cost?  Still don’t know yet.  Now we may need to ask you a few more questions confirming our findings and perhaps getting some more information
regarding previous repairs at other shops. At this point we can finally do all of the remaining research and quote you a price.

“How do other shops quote prices,” you ask?  My response is always the same.  I don’t
know.  And how could they?  They know nothing about your car’s condition or history.  Think about it.  Do you want to know what’s wrong with your car or do you want to guess or hope?  I don’t know about you, but my money, time, and my family’s safety is far more important than getting a cheap price for a repair or replacement of a part on
my car.

Think about it like this.  If you call three places and ask for a price you will get three different answers (or if the shops are smart, no answer).  What do the prices mean? Absolutely nothing!  Because none of these shops know anything about your car’s specific condition.  They just throw a price out there hoping that you will bite and they get the job.  But what happens when you actually get there? The price almost always changes.  You probably didn’t tell them the right things or they may say,  “the parts cost
more than we thought”.  At that point you are in for a ride, as we call it in the industry.  You took the low price and now you are hooked.

So what are your options?  First, find a repair shop that you can trust.  Explain the symptoms or problems as best you can.  Go for a test drive if possible to duplicate the issues. Don’t be in a hurry if it is an intermittent issue.  It often takes time to duplicate problems and even longer to find the causes.  And, by all means, respect the professional shops time and be prepared to pay a reasonable inspection fee in addition to the repair cost. (At times the diagnosis is harder than the repairs.)

In regards to the aforementioned “How much does it cost?” the answer from the repairman’s side should always be, “Not a penny more than it should.”  If we schedule an appointment to inspect the car, more than likely we will be able to give you an accurate quote.  Until that time, it’s anyone’s guess as to how much “it” costs.

For a complete analysis of your car,
truck or RV, call Sturken Auto today.

Why guess when it comes to repairing your car?