Archive for July 30, 2013

Steer Right In Laguna Niguel

power steering service Laguna Niguel

Virtually all vehicles come with power steering so many Mission Viejo drivers have never driven a car or truck without it. Power steering assists you when you turn your sedan steering wheel. Without it, it would be very hard to steer.

Now this power assist comes in a couple of forms. In recent years, a lot of Laguna Niguel vehicles have an electric motor that reduces steering effort and helps improve fuel economy.

The other kind of power steering is hydraulic. This is the kind most older California vehicles, and a lot of newer ones, have. Power steering fluid is pressurized by a pump and is used to assist steering. Of course, Laguna Niguel drivers need the right amount of fluid in the system. If it’s too low your steering is affected and you could damage your sedan pump.

Also, power steering fluid can become corrosive over time and damage the pump, hoses and connectors; leading to leaks and repairs. Power steering service at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo includes removing the contaminated fluid and replacing it with fresh fluid.

A word about power steering pumps: Some are powered by an electric motor. Others are driven by the serpentine belt. A worn serpentine belt stresses all of the sedan components it drives, including the power steering pump, so replace the belt at Elite Motors as advised to avoid undue repairs.

Losing your power steering while driving in Mission Viejo can be unsettling – just remember that you can still steer, it’ll just be harder. Check with your friendly Elite Motors service advisor to see if it’s time to service your sedan power steering system.

In addition to power steering service, at Elite Motors we offer comprehensive automotive services including factory scheduled maintenance, factory scheduled maintenance and transmission service.

Give us a call

Elite Motors
(949) 243-7956
23725 Via Fabricante # F
Mission Viejo, California 92691

Emergency Items For Your sedan

Local Laguna Niguel roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip.

Your close-to-home kit for around Mission Viejo would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You’ll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools.

Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card.

People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies.

For trips away from home, consider the weather and geography as you assemble your emergency supplies. You’ll need to have a source of light and heat and will want to provide protection against the elements as well as adequate food and water for everyone in the car.

Always tell people where you are going and have a plan for checking in at waypoints. Then if you run into trouble, you can be reported missing as soon as possible and rescuers will be able to narrow the search area.

The key to safe travel is to keep your vehicle properly maintained, plan ahead, and let others know your itinerary.

Serpentine Belt Service At Elite Motors In Mission Viejo

If you’ve ever heard a squealing sound under your sedan hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems in your sedan. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Mission Viejo.

Serpentine Belt Service At Elite Motors In Mission ViejoMore importantly, the belt powers the alternator
. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your sedan’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).

And, on most sedans, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Mission Viejo cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.

When they understand what it does, Mission Viejo auto owners realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owners manuals. If this important maintenance component is not included in your owners manual, come see us at Elite Motors.

At Elite Motors in Mission Viejo, your service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.

If it has lost a significant amount of thickness, it also needs to be replaced. There’s a special spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Elite Motors, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

As mentioned, a squealing sound could alert you that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your sedan.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s is critical to the operation of your sedan. And it’s not that expensive to replace at Elite Motors – so it’s good to do so before it fails.

Fuel Saving Tip: Fuel System Cleaning Near San Clemente California

A lot of gas is wasted in the San Clemente area by dirty fuel delivery systems.

Let’s start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That’s why there’s a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently.

Elite Motors Fuel System Cleaning The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at Elite Motors will leave your intake as clean as a whistle.

The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they’re clogged, the fuel doesn’t get atomized the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t get burned as efficiently.

See your owner’s manual or ask your San Clemente service advisor at Elite Motors when a fuel system cleaning is recommended.

Service Center Standard and Procedures

All pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget important steps. It is also how you can assure a predictable outcome.

That is why Laguna Beach and San Clemente automotive service centers have procedural standards for each service they perform. Technicians are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and you are happy with how your car performs.

Each company trains its technicians to standards. The industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual service center operators to apply them to every vehicle they service.

An example is how service technicians grade problems and communicate their recommendations. If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. The part is missing

The technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  4. Based on the technician’s informed experience

Here are some examples:

An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is required because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak, but not leaking, the technician may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the customer.

Suppose a customer wants to improve his car’s handling, but his shocks haven’t failed. The technician may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer’s wishes.

Under these guidelines the service center must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition. Let’s say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor, but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician’s recommendations.

The automotive service industry and Elite Motors want the best for you and for you to keep coming back. AutoNetTV is committed to providing automotive maintenance information to help you be confident in your service decisions.