Archive for July 22, 2014

Tracking True In California: Wheel Alignment In San Clemente

Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy San Clemente and Lake Forest drivers until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or pothole on a Laguna Niguel highway or surface street.

When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. This causes several serious problems. First off, the tires will wear out faster and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to expensive sedan suspension problems.

Tracking True In California: Wheel Alignment In San Clemente

But the big issue for San Clemente, Lake Forest, and Mission Viejo auto owners is safety. When your sedan wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo.

When undergoing an alignment service at Elite Motors, your sedan is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.

Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.

Lake Forest motorists should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Laguna Niguel service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in California that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.

Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but San Clemente drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.

That’s why vehicle manufacturers recommend periodic alignment checks. If your sedan owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Ron Vrooman or your service advisor at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo.

One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at Elite Motors is cheaper for San Clemente auto owners than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.

Fuel System Cleaning at Elite Motors for Better Performance

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Hi Mission Viejo drivers. Let’s talk fuel injectors. A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle’s engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel, to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

The pressure in a fuel injection system varies depending on its type. Many gasoline sedan engines use port injection systems, which operate with a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch. Newer direct injection systems operate at 10 to 30 times that pressure. Some diesel passenger vehicles have fuel injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch.

Fuel System Cleaning at Elite Motors for Better PerformanceVehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle’s control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle and adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle’s engine. Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in fuel efficiency and loss of engine performance for Mission Viejo drivers.

So it’s to Mission Viejo auto owners’ advantage to keep their fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel to Mission Viejo car owners than do bargain Laguna Niguel area service stations.

The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

Mission Viejo motorists should check their owner’s manual to find out how often they should change their fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle between Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach and San Clemente , your filter will need to be changed more often.

You can also purchase cleaners at Elite Motors that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won’t be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use. If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo that will result in better fuel efficiency and improved vehicle performance.

Good car care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

Deciphering the Elite Motors Menu Board

Let’s talk about deciphering the auto service menu board. Mission Viejo, California service centers like Elite Motors have a board that lists the routine services they provide. But some people don’t know what these services really are unless they ask. Let’s go down a typical list, in alphabetical order, starting with air conditioning service.

Feel free at any time to give Elite Motors a call at (888) 320-9834 to learn of the many services we offer, or stop by our Mission Viejo, California auto center at 23725 Via Fabricante # F 92691.

First remember that all of these services are recommended by vehicle manufacturers. They set how often or at how many miles the service should be done.

Air conditioning service involves purging the old refrigerant and capturing it for proper disposal. Then fresh refrigerant is installed. The fresh refrigerant will lubricate the system and will also help it cool better.

Alignment. Service centers like Elite Motors make sure all four wheels are lined up and track with each other. This reduces tire and suspension wear and improves safety and handling.

Battery service. Service centers like Elite Motors inspect the battery for corrosion, leaks or damage. Test the battery’s ability to hold a charge. If the battery’s still strong, clean it up. If not, replace it.

Brake service. This could be two things. A brake inspection to see if the brakes are working well mechanically and to see if the pads are still safe. If not, replace the pads and make any repairs that might be in order.

The other thing is to evacuate the brake fluid, clean out the system and replace it with fresh fluid. This is important, but often over looked.

Cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is the filter that cleans the air that comes into the passenger compartment. It works like the filter on your furnace at home. It gets dirty and needs to be changed often.

Cooling system. This is the cooling system for your engine. Replace the old coolant with fresh to protect your radiator and other cooling system components from corrosion.

Differential service. Every vehicle has at least one differential. They don’t require service very often, so people don’t think of them much. The differential transfers power from the drive train to your wheels. Drain the old fluid and add fresh lubricant.

Engine air filter. This filters the air that’s burned in the engine. It also gets dirty and needs to be replaced often.

Fuel filter. This filter cleans the fuel before it gets to the engine. Like the other filters, it too gets clogged and needs to be replaced in order to maintain good flow.

Contact Elite Motors, your Mission Viejo, California auto repair center, by calling us at (888) 320-9834.

Keeping Your Car Young In Mission Viejo

As Mission Viejo consumers, we live in a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away.

New stuff comes out so fast in California, and much of it is fairly cheap, so we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in Laguna Niguel, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff – especially parents who grew up in the Depression. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without. 

Mission Viejo drivers couldn’t afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us Mission Viejo penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the car maker’s maintenance schedules.

Is it really that bad for Mission Viejo motorists to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for harmful sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled and they start to wear out faster. 

Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It’s also even more important for older vehicles in the Mission Viejo area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re working harder anyway. But it’s never too late for Mission Viejo motorists to get back on track with essential maintenance and to hold off further expensive damage.

It’s just another example of our parents knowing what’s best. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let your technician at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo help you keep track of the rest.

Of course, it is inevitable for Mission Viejo car owners that some things are going to wear out along the way – critical stuff like alternators, water pumps and such – they don’t last forever. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It’s like having high cholesterol; you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

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

Transmission Service

Let’s talk about transmission service. It can be easy for Mission Viejo auto owners to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn’t need it very often. It’s easier for California auto owners to remember to change the engine oil – you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your sedan running smoothly and helps us car owners avoid pricey repairs down the road.

The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit Mission Viejo motorists see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it’s 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.

As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn’t lubricate and cool the sedan transmission as well – leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly. At worse, it could lead to pricey damage.

When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels, and improves . That’s why manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner’s manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your friendly Elite Motors service advisor can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends.

Hot and dusty Mission Viejo area conditions; towing, hauling, stop and go driving and jackrabbit starts all increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means Mission Viejo motorists with these types of transmission requirements need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers or two years. If your auto maker suggests more frequent intervals or if you’re driving under severe service conditions around Laguna Niguel, you will need to change it more often.

Most Mission Viejo auto service centers (including Elite Motors) have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It’s downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Your friendly Elite Motors technician will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it’s getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your sedan a favor and have it done. If not this time, then on your next service stop.