Keep Your Tires Well Rounded in Mission Viejo: Tire Rotation and Wheel Balancing at Elite Motors

Taking care of our tires is a critical part of car care for Mission Viejo drivers. We know they have to be replaced when they wear out, but tires also require some critical preventive maintenance. This maintenance will improve fuel efficiency and extend the life of the tires, so it’s well worth the effort and expense for Mission Viejo car owners to get it done. Tire maintenance includes keeping tires properly inflated, rotating tires and balancing wheels.

The recommended tire pressure for a vehicle’s tires is printed on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s side doorjamb. A lot of engineering goes into calculating the correct pressure, so it’s an essential number for Mission Viejo auto owners to know. Not following this recommendation can throw off the suspension system and can lead to expensive tire damage. Underinflated tires wear out more quickly than properly inflated tires. Vehicles also get better traction, handling and fuel economy on properly inflated tires. Check your tire pressure at least once a week and add air if necessary.

Don’t be tempted to add a bit of extra air to your tires when you fill them. Overinflated tires will cause the center tread to wear unevenly because of improper contact with the road. It will also impair the handling performance of your vehicle.

Rotating tires allows all four tires on a vehicle to wear evenly. Front tires get more wear than rear tires because they do most of the work on turns. Tire rotation allows all of the tires to spend time on the front of the car so they all experience the extra wear.

For most vehicles, tire rotation is simply a matter of moving the front tires to the rear and vice versa. Some vehicles, however, recommend a cross-rotational pattern. Other vehicles use asymmetrical tires, which means the right tires have to stay on the right side of the car and the left tires on the left. Some vehicles use differently sized wheels on the front and back of the car and should not have their tires rotated.

What kind of rotation do you need? Check your owner’s manual or talk to your friendly Elite Motors service specialist. Your owner’s manual will have information about how to rotate your vehicle’s tires as well as letting you know how often you should get it done. For most vehicles, that’s usually every 5,000 miles. Your friendly Elite Motors technician can also offer auto advice about tire rotation. A quick tire inspection can also indicate whether or not your tires are due to be rotated.

When it comes to tire maintenance for Mission Viejo drivers, wheel balancing is usually what we know least about. Balancing a wheel is necessary to keep it in constant contact with the road. If a tire is not balanced properly, it actually hops along the roadway. You can feel this hopping as a vibration in your steering wheel if the unbalanced tire is a front tire. You’ll feel the vibration through your seat if a rear tire is unbalance. Properly balancing your tires is critical and will extend their life span, improve handling and improve the safety of your vehicle. When you replace your tires, the new tires need to be balanced.

Never use different sized tires on the same axle of a vehicle. In other words, your front tires need to be the same size and your rear tires need to be the same size. Mixing sizes can lead to some serious handling problems for Mission Viejo auto owners.

If you have an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle all four tires need to be the same size. If your tires are wearing out, you can sometimes make a new tire purchase fit within your budget by only buying two tires at a time. When you do this, the new tires should be installed on the rear of the vehicle. Rear tires are more in need of the traction than your front tires to avoid spinning out on slippery surfaces. If you drive a vehicle around Laguna Niguel, you need tires, so Mission Viejo auto owners need to know how to care for them. The safety of your sedan can depend on the condition of your tires.

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment For Mission Viejo Automobiles

Laguna Niguel motorists may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel’s off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn’t feel like it handles right as they drive down Mission Viejo, California streets and highways.

When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around Mission Viejo, California are great ways for Mission Viejo drivers to knock their car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

The team at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo wants you to know that driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.

At the very least, Mission Viejo auto owners who drive with wheels out of alignment will have to replace their tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which can be costly. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars.

Now, let’s discuss some alignment basics. Wheels are adjustable for toe, caster and camber. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.

So, what is involved in an alignment check at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo? First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything is bent or broken. Tire condition will also be evaluated.  Next, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and we take an initial alignment reading.

If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s centerline. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, the direction they push is determined and the front wheels are aligned to match.

Like most things, vehicle manufacturers have recommended a mileage interval for having alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive around the Laguna Niguel area. It’s better for Laguna Beach car owners to have their alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at Elite Motors when necessary is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety in California.

Come see us at  for more information about your tire alignment. We look forward to serving you.

Automotive Guide for Mission Viejo: Wiper Blade Options

Wiper blades are critically important to Mission Viejo car owners for good driving visibility and safety. When it’s time to replace your wiper blades, there are a number of different wiper blade designs and grades. Mission Viejo drivers should always use at least the design or grade that came with their vehicle.

If you live in California where there is a lot of wet weather, flying insects, or do a lot of highway driving, you may want to upgrade to a more advanced design or premium quality wiper blade. Your friendly Elite Motors service advisor can share the options available for your automobile and help you decide which wiper blades are best for you.

Give us a call

Elite Motors
(888) 320-9834
23725 Via Fabricante # F
Mission Viejo, California 92691

Elite Motors Auto Tips and Car Care: Tire Replacement Overview

Tires are a costly purchase so knowing when tires should be replaced is important for Mission Viejo motorists. Tires will just wear out with normal use. The depth of the tread on your tire determines how well it will stop, start and steer – especially in wet conditions. 4/32th of an inch of tire tread is considered a safe amount of tread.

Uneven tread wear can be a symptom of other problems and simply replacing your tires will not prevent the same uneven wear from happening to the new tires. We can review your tires for excessive or uneven wear. Unusual wear may lead to further analysis of steering, suspension or alignment issues. We can help with necessary repairs and with getting you the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call

Elite Motors
(888) 320-9834
23725 Via Fabricante # F
Mission Viejo, California 92691

The Elite Motors Auto Report: When to Replace Your Wiper Blades

There are several essential factors that go into how often Mission Viejo motorists should replace their wiper blades. Of course, the more you use your wipers, the faster the blades will wear out – especially if you use them on an icy windshield. Whether it’s a lot of bugs and road grime from California highway  driving or lots of wet weather – your blades get a work out and start to wear.

But your wiper blades break down even when they aren’t used frequently. They are damaged by sunlight and temperature changes as well. The rubber in the blades can dry out and crack and eventually fall apart. Check your wipers: If they’re not doing their critical job, have them replaced.

Talk to your Elite Motors service professional about how you drive – we can advise you on the prime blades for your needs.

Give us a call

Elite Motors
(888) 320-9834
23725 Via Fabricante # F
Mission Viejo, California 92691

What To Do In Case Of An Accident

If you’ve ever been in a car accident around Mission Viejo California, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.

Let’s review what you should do in case of an accident in Mission Viejo, California:

When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in California – even if it’s not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver’s license or even jail time in our local Mission Viejo lockup.

Most states, including California require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.

Warn other Mission Viejo motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.

Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.

Always file a police report. It’s tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you won’t have an objective report to help defend yourself.

Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of California law, the other guy may be responsible.

Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going 35 miles per hour” not “I wasn’t speeding”. Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you.

Also get the officer’s name and badge number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.

Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number and expiration
  • Insurance information

Also take down a description of the other vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track the vehicle.

Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary.

Always call your insurance agent or your California auto insurance company’s 800 number.

Call or see your local Mission Viejo physician if you think you may have been injured.

We here at Elite Motors hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy travels.

Clean Fuel Equals Clean Performance For Mission Viejo Drivers

Hello, Mission Viejo drivers. Let’s talk fuel filters. Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.

Mission Viejo car owners don’t need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better an engine will run.

Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your sedan ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your sedan owner’s manual or Elite Motors to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. You should change it before it becomes clogged. Your Elite Motors service specialist can help you with recommended replacement schedules.

If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your engine will sputter when you drive at California highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Mission Viejo, but when you need a higher flow of fuel for faster speeds, or if you need a sudden burst of fuel, you just won’t be able to get it through the filter.

A clogged filter is actually dangerous. If you need to accelerate suddenly out of the path of danger, you just won’t have the power to do it.

Fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter becomes clogged, the valve allows some fuel to bypass the filter so the engine can keep running – just not enough to be running well.

That means, though, that dirty, unfiltered fuel is entering your engine. Instead of clogging up your filter, that dirt is now getting into your fuel injectors, where it can cause serious damage. Fuel injectors are expensive; fuel filters are cheap. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice for Mission Viejo auto owners.

Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to costly repair bills. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your friendly Elite Motors tech will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle.

Good car care for Mission Viejo drivers means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered at Elite Motors and in every owner’s manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected. It may save you money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay you in improved MPG, safety and peace of mind.

Clean Air for Your Engine: A New Engine Air Filter at Elite Motors

All of us Mission Viejo auto owners know we have to get the oil changed in our sedans periodically. That’s just part of good car care. But when Laguna Niguel techs change your oil, they also usually inspect your air filter. That’s why they sometimes let you know that your air filter needs to be changed before releasing your sedan.

Don’t just chock this up to trying to sell you something else. Lake Forest drivers really do need to change their air filter when it gets dirty. You can check your owner’s manual to see how often your air filter should need to be changed, but remember, if you live in an area in California with poor air quality, or if you drive a lot or drive under harsh conditions in the Laguna Niguel area, you may need to change that filter more often than is recommended.

Changing an air filter isn’t guesswork. If a filter’s dirty, it needs to be replaced. Air filters aren’t very pricey at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo. But the problems they cause if Mission Viejo motorists don’t change them can get to be pricey.

For every gallon of gas your sedan burns, it needs 12,000 gallons of air. Clean filters allow better airflow into your engine, which means that your engine will get more air more quickly. That means your sedan engine runs more efficiently.

Dirty air filters cut airflow to your engine. All the debris in the filter clogs up the spaces the air needs to pass through to get to the engine. This dirty air can damage costly electronic components.

If you are in tune with your sedan, you’ll notice a difference when you change a really dirty air filter for a clean one. Your sedan may actually purr for you again. Its performance improves when it has a new, clean filter. So remember, changing your air filter is one of the most vital elements of preventive maintenance. At Elite Motors, it’s inexpensive, it’s effective, and it’s essential.

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

Mission Viejo auto owners live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term “built to last” goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They’re still a very big investment and Mission Viejo drivers want to make them last as long as possible – and we want to make keeping them as cheap as possible. When talking cars, it’s all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, “a stitch in time saves nine” and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service in Mission Viejo.

Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing – it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, Mission Viejo motorists shouldn’t forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don’t forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs less pricey.

Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper for Mission Viejo auto owners than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don’t forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent expensive mechanical damage and improving gas mileage.

Now this is a lot to remember for Mission Viejo auto owners – too much really. But it is your Mission Viejo automotive technician’s job to keep on top of this stuff. At Elite Motors we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which  maintenance schedule you should use – the regular schedule or the severe service schedule – depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older sedan.

Bottom line – take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent pricey damage and maintain your warranty coverage.

Of course, you want your car to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you’ll be proud to drive it longer.

Most of us Mission Viejo drivers can’t afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient – and pricey – problems down the road, and can keep driving “old faithful” for years to come.

Shake It Up in Mission Viejo!: Why Wheel Balancing

Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Mission Viejo auto owners generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.

When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Mission Viejo auto owners want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your friendly Elite Motors tech spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Mission Viejo car owners are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.

High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Mission Viejo auto owners can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your sedan — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.

The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the expressway, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the dangerous vibration. When Mission Viejo drivers’ tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and essential suspension parts.

Getting a balance job at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo can prevent costly repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your sedan as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your MPG. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Elite Motors, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.

Some Mission Viejo vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your sedan. Balancing your tires is part of essential preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some expensive ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from Elite Motors. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Mission Viejo auto owners’ nerves.