5 Signs Your Car Needs a Brake Service

Brake repair is critically important because faulty brakes can make your car excessively dangerous to drive. If your brake pads, rotors, or something else in your brake system is malfunctioning, it’s important to take action as soon as possible.

The first step toward a solution is in realizing that there’s a problem in the first place, so drivers should always know some of the signs that there’s a problem with their vehicle’s brakes. Here are a few things you should be aware of when you think about whether or not the brakes are working properly.

1 – Squealing Noise From Brakes

The good news here is that brakes are made in a way that they’re supposed to squeal sometimes. The bad news is that they only start squealing when they get low.

This noise is there to let you know that you should go get your brake pads replaced as soon as possible because waiting too long can lead to unresponsive brakes or even brake failure. Simply take your car into a trusted Gilbert mechanic, explain what you heard, and they’ll know to replace the brake pads in your vehicle.

2 – Car Leaking Fluid

It’s never a good sign when your car is leaking fluid, so we always recommend taking your car to a mechanic if you start to see wet puddles under your spot in the garage. The leak could be from a variety of different things (like the air conditioner or the engine oil), but none of those things are good.

One potential cause for the wet spot under your car is that you’re leaking brake fluid. If that’s the case, you could start to lose braking power if you ignore the problem. Take your car to a mechanic in Gilbert right away to get it checked out.

3 – Car Swerves When Braking

You don’t need an experienced auto mechanic to tell you that it’s not good when your car veers unexpectedly to one side or the other. This is dangerous because it can take you out of your lane and cause an accident.

Aside from being a major concern as it relates to the safety of yourself and others on the road, this is a sign that your brake caliper may be sticking. If your car starts to swerve when you apply the brakes, take it to a mechanic as soon as possible and tell them about what’s been going on.

4 – Grinding Noise While Braking

The squealing noise mentioned above is a sign that your brake pads are starting to get worn out, while this grinding or howling noise is a sign that they’re almost entirely gone.

At this point, you have metal grinding against other metal, and you may even need to replace your brake rotors or drums in addition to the brake pads.

5 – Brake Pedal Feels Soft

If you have to push the brakes harder or further than before, it could be one of these three things:
1. Your brakes are worn down.
2. Your brake fluid is low.
3. You have air in the brake lines. Take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to get to the bottom of things.

Brake Repair in Gilbert AZ

Here at Highline Car Care, we value your time, money, and safety. We’ll always find the fastest and most affordable way to repair brake problems and get you back on the road. Come see us at our Gilbert auto repair shop, or schedule an appointment for maximum convenience.

Image Credit: Shutterstock By CC7

Why Your Hybrid Battery Should Be Replaced, Not Reconditioned

“Should I repair or replace my hybrid battery?” It’s a question we hear all the time from drivers here in Gilbert. Typically, these drivers are presented with two options– you can either replace or recondition your hybrid battery. The truth is that reconditioned batteries rarely (if ever) get back to “good as new” condition. Before you make your final decision, though, it’s important to understand your hybrid battery and what the options are.

How Do I Know if My Hybrid Battery Is Bad?

The first question in this process is really, “is my hybrid battery still working?” If so, you don’t need any work whatsoever, but we’re guessing there’s a reason you’re reading. Here are some of the most common ways drivers can tell their hybrid battery is dying:

  • The engine is making unusual noises. Whether or not it’s related to the battery, strange noises definitely warrant an immediate trip to your local auto repair shop.
  • The battery bars drop unexpectedly. If you’ve had your vehicle for a while, you should have a general feel for how long the battery normally lasts. Just like with your phone, it’s a sign when your hybrid needs to be recharged more frequently. Similarly, you should find a mechanic in Gilbert if your battery level seems to be going up and down.
  • Your MPG isn’t what it used to be. One of the great things about hybrid vehicles is that they allow drivers to visit the pump less frequently. If you’re noticing that your car burns more gas than it used to, it’s time to investigate the hybrid battery.
  • Your engine engages more frequently. Does it seem like your hybrid has become more of a traditional gas-powered car because the combustion engine is running all the time? If so, your battery is almost definitely to blame.

Hybrid Battery Repair

Most mechanics that “repair” hybrid batteries are doing something called reconditioning. Basically, they’re only changing out the battery cells that are especially depleted. This is the equivalent of changing one battery in your TV remote instead of both, and is a good way to set yourself up for another repair bill in the near future.

Hybrid Battery Replacement

In almost every case, the best option is to get your hybrid battery replaced completely. A mechanic will already remove the battery completely to “recondition” it, so it’s more cost-effective to just get a completely new hybrid battery. Doing so will save you time, frustration, and money, especially when you consider the entire life of your vehicle.

How Do You Know When Your Hybrid Battery Needs to Be Replaced?

If you’re even looking into whether or not you need a new hybrid battery, it’s probably time to get a professional opinion. Take your hybrid to a trustworthy mechanic so they can run some diagnostics. It’s important, at this stage, to make sure you pick someone with hybrid car experience.

Hybrid Battery Service Gilbert AZ

Here at Highline Car Care, we treat every single vehicle that enters our shop as if it’s our own daily driver. That means we’ll perform a complimentary multi-point inspection to pinpoint the root of your problem and make sure we’re responding appropriately. Once we’ve completed that, our experienced mechanics will give you their honest professional opinion about your best course of action.

We’re committed to offering the right service at the right time, and that promise extends to hybrid vehicles. Schedule an appointment today, and we’ll get to work on your hybrid car battery.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/ metamorworks

New refrigerant HFO 1234yf service for cars

What is HFO-1234yf Refrigerant?

Scientifically speaking HFO-1234yf is 2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoropropene.  But we’re not scientists here at Highline, we are mechanics.  So let’s talk about what R1234yf is to the rest of us.  If you’ve been around the car industry for anyHFO-1234yf-AC-Service-Mesa-AZ-Highline-Car-Care length of time here in Mesa AZ, you may remember 1994 when refrigerant R12 ceased production and R134a became the standard automotive refrigerant.  Scientists had found that R12 depleted our ozone layer and was bad for the environment.  R134a was significantly safer, and has a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 1,430, compared to R12’s GWP of 10,900.

While refrigerant R134a was significantly safer than it’s predecessor, it still has a considerable global warming potential of 1430.  In 2006 The European Union implemented directive 2006/40/EC that required all newly manufactured automotive AC systems to have a GWP below 150 by 2011.  It turns out that HFO-1234yf has a GWP of less than 1 and fit the bill.  As far as commercially produced refrigerants go, this is likely THE safest for our atmosphere that will ever be developed.

HFO-1234yf does have one nasty little character trait though – It is mildly flammable.  Automotive refrigerants are constantly exposed to high temperatures, and car AC systems can spring a leak in many common circumstances.   A front end collision will likely puncture your car’s AC condenser which will release refrigerant.  A failed AC component can do the same.  Road debris may also create system leaks.  All of these scenarios make scientists nervous – All it takes is a heat source to cause a fire and furthermore, create very toxic by-products.  This being said the European Union performed real world tests, as did several other manufacturers (Mercedes and Chrysler), along with Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority.  Results varied between tests, but generally speaking it was found that HFO-1234yf will not ignite without a heat source greater than 1650 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is significant because at 1650 degrees every single fluid in your vehicle would be on fire as well, in which case it would not really matter if your refrigerant was flammable or not.  This being said, auto manufacturers have unanimously agreed HFO-1234yf is safe for use in automotive AC.


Which Vehicle Manufacturers use HFO-1234yf Refrigerant?

If you are living in the European Union, any vehicle that was made in 2011 or newer contains HFO-1234yf.  But what about back here in Mesa AZ, and the US?  General Motors started using this refrigerant in 2013 in certain Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC models – All models will be converted by 2018.  Chrysler, Honda, and Subaru began switching over in 2017.  One key difference with the switch over of HFO-1234yf vs the previous switch to r134a is that there is currently NO deadline for manufacturers to make the switch.  While we have no factual data, we at Highline Car Care believe most vehicles will contain HFO-1234yf by 2025.


How Do I Refill, Service, or Add this new refrigerant HFO-1234yf to my car or truck?

We’ll spare you the lecture for now, as to why you should not service your own car air conditioner.  But if you’d like to read exactly why, click here

That being said, we recommend you visit a 609 MACS certified AC shop whenever having your air conditioning serviced or repaired.  HFO-1234yf machines are specific to this refrigerant and you cannot use a r134a machine to service your new style system.  At Highline Car Care in Mesa, AZ we have done our homework.  We invested in a dedicated HFO-1234yf machine even though 95% of the shops in the Valley do not own one.  We pride ourselves in being leaders in our industry.

HFO-1234yf service is very similar to the old system.  Refrigerant must first be evacuated, the system will be pulled into a vacuum to remove any air or moisture, and the proper amount of refrigerant will be added to the system.  Remember, a discrepancy of +/- .5 ounces can cause system malfunction or failure.


Is HFO-1234yf AC service expensive?

Short answer – You bet!  This new refrigerant is currently over $150 per pound – Most new vehicles take 1-1.5 pounds.  Previous r134a refrigerant averages about $20 per pound.  We expect the cost to head downwards once availability grows, but in the meantime expect to pay a bit over double what your old system costed to service.


Need a FREE AC quick check?

Let the Pros at Highline perform a 5 point AC quick check to pinpoint any issues with your car's air conditioning.


Nissan GTR R35 Bellhousing Repair

GT-R R35 Bellhousing Highline Car Care Mesa AZ

Bellhousing failure is an all too common issue with the R35 Nissan GT-R.  It first manifests itself as a faint rattle at idle, but will eventually become an unavoidable clanking sound that reverberates in your head and sucks the pleasure right out of your Sunday drive.  Let’s take a look at what exactly the bellhousing is, what it does, how it fails, and how the folks at Highline have made them more durable:

First off, the R35 GT-R is an all wheel drive vehicle with the transmission located at the rear of the vehicle (as if you didn’t already know!)  That being said, a simple bellhousing is mated to the rear of the engine in lieu of the contemporary transmission placement. The bellhousing is an aluminum housing with a shaft running through the middle.  This shaft is connected to a damper at the engine end that bolts to the engine flywheel – It looks like a sprung hub clutch disc at a quick glance.

GTR Bellhousing Center Shaft with Bearings Highline Car Care Mesa AZ

Center Shaft Assembly with Support Bearings



The other end of the shaft bolts to the driveshaft which travels rearward to the transmission/transaxle.  The shaft is supported by two small bearings inside the bellhousing, and herein lies the problem….  This shaft is subject to 500+ horsepower, and well over 6,000 RPM’s at times.  The resulting torque will cause the bearings (made of steel) to wallow out the aluminum bellhousing over time.  The bearings will eventually float freely from the housing, and the clanking sound is caused by the bearings (and shaft) rattling around.  Believe it or not, Nissan has YET to devise a cure for this.  Even a brand new $1600 Nissan OEM bellhousing may only last a handful of launches.  This is where Highline stepped in with their expertise.

A Modified Bellhousing that is Cheaper AND Stronger than OEM – Only at Highline Car Care

GTR Bellhousing Repair Highline Car Care Mesa AZ

A Bellhousing being milled for new sleeves at Highline

If you’ve followed our blog, you might already know that Wes (Our Owner) picked up a 2010 GT-R project a while back.  It had the “rattle” from the very beginning, which progressively got louder.  It eventually got loud enough to sap the joy out of driving and a solution was to be devised!  In typical Wes fashion, he did not rest until the matter was resolved.  The bellhousing was removed from the car – The Nissan labor guide calls for removal of the entire engine to replace this item.  However, we are able to remove it by supporting the engine and lowering the subframe.  Much less invasive, and quicker!

Once the bellhousing was removed and disassembled, we devised a fix.  Replacement bearings were ordered, and the bellhousing itself would need to be repaired so that the new bearings would not come loose.

The “Highline” Bellhousing is bored out and fitted with steel sleeves that have been retained by set screws

The Highline bellhousing uses precision milled steel sleeves and only high quality replacement bearings to ensure trouble free operation.  Nothing is 100% bulletproof, but we have yet to see one of ours fail.  That’s saying a lot,

considering Nissan hasn’t been able to solve the problem in 10+ years.  Give us a call or shoot us a message today if you’d like to have your bellhousing replaced – The experts are standing by


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Maserati Ghibli Navigation Screen Repair

Highline Car Care always strives to be on the forefront of automotive technology.  In this quest, we have found many of our consumers with late model Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte are in need of NIT touch screen repair.  Whether the screen is physically cracked, scratched, damaged, or just unresponsive to your touch – we are usually able to repair at a fraction of the cost found at the dealerships.


We are currently only able to repair 8.4″ touch screens, so please measure the diagonal size of your screen to be certain yours is repairable.  We are happy to handle the entire job if you are local to the Mesa-Phoenix area.  If you happen to be out of state, you are able to ship your navigation unit to us for repair.  Please contact us for more details.


Click HERE to purchase parts for DIY repair



Maserati touch screen repair mesa az highline car care

Maserati 8.4″ NIT touch screen display


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Uber & Lyft Vehicle Safety Inspection in Mesa AZ

Since 2010 our Phoenix clients have been returning to Highline Car Care for quick, consistent, and convenient service.  We always have your best interests at heart, and always promise to install only top quality parts.  We service small families and large businesses alike.  But did you know about our inspection services?  We offer complimentary 20 and 35 point digital safety inspections with every visit.   We also offer comprehensive vehicle pre-purchase inspections for only $104.97.  One of our newest inspection services came in response to a growing demand for Uber and Lyft vehicle inspections.

Uber & Lyft Vehicle Inspections

If you’re reading this, the chances are pretty good you need an inspection.  Both Uber and Lyft require annual vehicle safety inspections, and will not allow you to transport passengers without it.  Fret not, we are here to help!  The experts at Highline can get you in and out with a quick Uber/Lyft safety inspection AND offer 10% off additional maintenance and repair(ask for details).  Our Uber and Lyft certified inspection is only $41.99 plus tax, and will take less than an hour.  Give us a call or shoot us a message today!


We are conveniently located just south of the US60 and West of Mesa Drive – Next door to La Mesa RV and across the street from the Courthouse and DMV and open Monday thru Friday

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Honda & Acura Repair Service in Mesa, AZ

We love Japanese vehicles because they make so much sense to us – Two of our favorites to service are Honda & Acura.  It is evident that the Honda engineers put a lot of time and thought into each and every design, component, and accessory.  The engine compartments are always neat and easy to access.  Components are made from quality materials that do not deteriorate over time.  Nothing ever seems like an afterthought with Honda.

Honda and Acura repair service in Mesa, AZ

Highline Car Care in Mesa, AZ – Tucked away just south of the US60 and West of Mesa Drive. Next door to La Mesa RV

Common Honda & Acura Maintenance

Highline Car Care specializes in the following repair services that are unique to Honda and Acura vehicles:

  • Timing belt & tensioner service with water pump replacement – Using only OEM quality parts with a 2 year 24,000-mile warranty
  • 90,000 mile Honda factory maintenance – Spark plugs, cabin & air filter, transmission service, brake fluid replacement, and inspection
  • Honda brake repair – Using only the finest, most quiet, and best wearing ceramic brake pads available
  • Valve adjustment – Very critical on Honda Fit and Pilot models
  • Window regulator repair – Nobody likes a window that won’t roll up or down
  • Door lock repair – Faulty door locks can be a nuisance
  • CV axle replacement – Axle boots are common to rip or split in AZ, spewing out all their critical lubricants
  • Oil pan reseal – We fix those leaks that leave spots in the driveway
  • Transmission service – Big or small, we know a guy
  • Air Conditioning service and compressor repair – We’ll keep you cool in the AZ summers
  • Check engine light diagnostic service – Our quick check is FREE

Don’t Let Just any Shop Service Your Honda or Acura

Honda and Acura are special and require expert attention.  They have service needs that are unique to any other vehicle manufacturer.  We have heard so many horror stories of customers being taken advantage of due to lack of experience.  Repetition makes for consistent service – A shop that is not familiar with Honda service and diagnosis may end up throwing a whole pile of unnecessary parts at your vehicle, which will cost YOU more money.  Or worse yet, affecting the longevity of your Honda.  Let the Honda Pros at Highline handle your next service and keep your car safe and reliable for many years to come.  Call or email today!

Honda and Acura repair service in Mesa, AZ

A Classic Honda CVCC at Highline Car Care

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Dodge Dart Chrysler & Jeep Touch Screen Digitizer Repair

Highline Car Care in Mesa AZ is an automotive shop that specializes in car maintenance and repair.  But did you know that one of our specialties is automotive touch screen & digitizer repair?  Newer vehicles are relying more and more on large touch screens to control audio, climate, navigation, and other information, so when this screen fails it can become a BIG problem.  We heard our clients needs and found a solution!  Whether your touch screen digitizer has been physically cracked and damaged,  or does not respond to your touch (non responsive) – We are likely able to repair it at a fraction of the cost of buying new.


Dodge Navigation MFD Touch Screen Repair in Mesa AZ

We are currently able to repair touch screens & digitizers on the following Dodge & Chrysler models:

  • 2012-2016 Dart with 8.4″ RB5 display
  • 2011-2018 Journey with 8.4″ RB5 display
  • 2015-2016 Challenger with 8.4″ RA3 or RA4 display
  • 2013-2017 Ram with 8.4″ RA3 or RA4 display
  • 2013-2017 Dodge/SRT Viper
  • 2014-2017 Jeep Cherokee & Grand Cherokee
  • 2015-2017 Chrysler 200
  • 2015-2016 Chrysler 300
  • 2014-2017 Dodge Durango
  • All Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler 4.9″ RB3 units



This 8.4″ RB5 digitizer stopped responding to touch, and it’s owner decided to punch the display. We don’t judge, we just repair!


We are local to Mesa, AZ and usually offer same day service.  If you are not in the area, please contact us to arrange shipment for repair.  MOST repairs are $300-$500 – 1/3 to 1/2 of what the dealership charges for replacement!  We are always looking to expand our lineup of navigation repairs.  If you have a need for a model that is not listed, please don’t hesitate to contact us with information.  Our auto repair shop aims to please.

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Nissan & Infiniti Repair in Mesa AZ

Looking for a trustworthy shop to maintain, service, or repair your Infiniti or Nissan in Mesa AZ?

Highline Car Care is your one-stop shop!  We love Japanese vehicles! In fact, this is where we got our start.  Our owner Wes Hawkins worked for Toyota 10 years before starting up business on his own.  He has always appreciated the simplicity and reliability of Japanese vehicles.  Nissan and it’s luxury cousin Infiniti are no exception.  We are very familiar with the intricacies of these vehicles, including but not limited to the following:

  • Power steering leak repair – We know that every Nissan over 90,000 miles is going to need special attention to this area.  Leaks can pop up in the steering rack and pinion, pump, high & low-pressure hoses.
  • Suspension complaints – Clunks, rattles, worn tires, bouncy suspension are all common with used Nissan and Infiniti’s.  We will make short work of lower control arm, struts, and mounting issues to get you back on the road quickly.
  • Engine mount replacement – Front wheel drive Nissan Altima, Maxima, Sentra, and Murano all need engine mounts in time.  We are adept in the knowledge needed to provide a quality repair with long-lasting replacement parts
  • Cam position sensor diagnosis and replacement – Yep, the Maxima, G35, and 350z all require cam sensor attention in time.

Nissan and Infiniti brake repair in the East Valley

The Pros at Highline Car Care know how to keep your brakes functioning smooth and quiet.  We only use high-quality ceramic brake pads, new hardware, and will machine your brake rotors with our ProCut on car brake lathe – The ONLY way to ensure a 100% true fitment.

Nissan engine replacement in AZ


A recent Infiniti G35 that received an engine transplant at Highline Car Care

Nissan builds a very reliable engine, but even the best will need replacement in time.  We are able to economically source used, low mileage Nissan & Infiniti engines to get your car back on the road in no time.  We will not cut corners in our installations, which almost always include

  • New engine rear main seal
  • New spark plugs
  • New drive belts and radiator hoses
  • New thermostat
  • New coolant and engine oil
  • New gaskets as needed

We also offer a minimum 12 month/12,000 mile parts and labor warranty on engine replacement.

Need to get that Nissan in for service?

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