Archive for October 31, 2014

Line

Your browser does not support video

Hello Mission Viejo motorists! Let’s talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly in Mission Viejo.

It can even damage your suspension system, which is an expensive repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for Mission Viejo car owners and their passengers.

It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday California driving. Mission Viejo road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, even the bumps and bounces of normal Laguna Niguel freeways and surface streets can gradually put your sedan tires out of alignment.

So it’s good auto advice to have your sedan’s alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment check: usually every year or two. But if you think your sedan tires might be out of alignment, you should take your sedan into Elite Motors now.

When you take your sedan in for an alignment in Mission Viejo, your friendly Elite Motors technician will start by inspecting the steering and suspension systems. If something is broken or damaged there, it will need to be fixed in order to get good alignment of the wheels.

If all looks good in the steering and suspension departments, the sedan will then be put on an alignment rack where an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels can then be aligned to the auto manufacturer’s specifications. The ideal alignment for any vehicle is set by its engineers and may vary from vehicle to vehicle.

There are three types of critical adjustments that may have to be made to correctly align a vehicle’s tires. The first is called “toe.” This refers to tires that are out of alignment because they point inward or outward at the front of the tire. Think of a person who is pigeon-toed or splay-footed, and you get the idea.

The second adjustment is the camber. This adjustment affects the angle at which the tires meet the road. Think of a solid building in contrast to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The last adjustment is the castor. This adjustment measures the angle of the tire in relation to the front axles. So, a piece of auto advice that just might be good for life as well: keep everything in alignment, and you’ll be able to steer where you want to go in Laguna Niguel. Drive safely.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

Your browser does not support video

 

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some Mission Viejo motorists and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most of us Mission Viejo car owners.

Let’s get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause critical engine damage. Naturally, you need to get that taken care of right away. If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at California freeway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your Mission Viejo service center.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with your friendly Elite Motors technician to get it checked out.

Some more Mission Viejo information on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative for Mission Viejo motorists. Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range the computer runs some tests and may turn on the sedan’s Check Engine Light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The computer doesn’t know if it’s a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine Light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn’t come up again, it turns off the Check Engine Light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it’ll then turn off the Check Engine Light.

If the problem can’t be resolved then the light will remain on and you should get your sedan looked at. Your friendly Elite Motors tech will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

Service to Improve Fuel Economy


The price of gas in California has got Mission Viejo auto owners talking. It seems that Mission Viejo folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve gas mileage.

First let’s start with how we drive in the Laguna Niguel area. Mission Viejo car owners may not realize that they can really save cash on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts – you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don’t drive with one foot on the brake. That’s also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster too.

Another thing Mission Viejo auto owners can do is drive slower – but only when it’s safe. Sometimes on the highway we drive an extra five … ten . . . twenty … over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it only saves a few minutes out of maybe an hour long drive, and we may use 10 to 15 % more gas. Just leave Mission Viejo a little bit earlier, save some money and arrive more relaxed.

Mission Viejo car owners can also try and combine all of their errands for the day into just one trip, rather than several. If you can put off a trip today that can be combined with one tomorrow – you can save some time and cash.

Using your cruise control can save income too. Driving in Laguna Niguel at a constant speed really improves fuel economy. Be sure to only use your cruise control in California under safe conditions – you can look in your owner’s manual for some essential good tips on using your cruise control.

Did you know that reducing the weight in your sedan saves gas? Clean out the trunk or back seat from time to time so that you are not paying to carry around a lot of stuff around Laguna Niguel you do not need in the car. If you live in California where there is snow and ice, clear it off your car. They add weight and mess with aerodynamics too.

Another tip is to avoid long idle times, which includes warming it up when you start. Modern engines do not require a long warm up to get going – just take it easy for a couple of miles.

Be sure to get a new gas cap if yours leaks or is worn.

Now, let’s start talking mechanical. Bottom line – the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in improved fuel efficiency before your next oil change – and will keep saving you income after that.

A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends in gas mileage for Mission Viejo motorists. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power – so Mission Viejo motorists can’t go wrong with that.

Some of us Mission Viejo car owners ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy.

And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your gas mileage. Don’t overlook the critical routine maintenance items, like scheduled oil changes, transmission and cooling system service. Dirty or low fluids actually use more fuel. Just look at your auto manufacturer’a recommended service intervals in the owner’s manual, or ask your Elite Motors service advisor for the schedule.

Don’t forget your tires. Under-inflated tires waste gas. And if your wheels are out of alignment you won’t get the fuel efficiency you need.

None of these things are very complicated or expensive for Mission Viejo car owners to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today, and prevent costly repairs tomorrow.

The Importance Of Mission Viejo Drivers Following Service Intervals

Your browser does not support video

Today in our Elite Motors blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your sedan isn’t the only aspect of your life in Mission Viejo with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

The Importance Of Mission Viejo Drivers Following Service IntervalsClearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Mission Viejo takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our sedans? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Mission Viejo neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, Mission Viejo people don’t need to memorize their sedan owner’s manuals. You can let your Elite Motors advisor remind you of the guidelines established by car makers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your sedan. You really can rely on Elite Motors professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

For Mission Viejo drivers who want to be more proactive with their sedan care, here are some simple ways for Mission Viejo motorists to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your sedan go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Mission Viejo car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Elite Motors for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel efficiency, your sedan doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Elite Motors

Your browser does not support video

Anyone that drives a car in Mission Viejo knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your sedan cooling system in good condition.

A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the sedan’s engine to absorb more heat.

Why shouldn’t San Clemente auto owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your sedan engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.

So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold California weather. That would spell disaster for your sedan’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!

Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your sedan. Laguna Niguel drivers should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.

That is just good auto advice. Your sedan’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your friendly Elite Motors technician for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among auto manufacturers.

Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.

Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the sedan cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.

But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Elite Motors service advisor if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your sedan cooling system.

You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your sedan engine by using the wrong antifreeze.

One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.

Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Elite Motors to keep you on the road and help your life in Mission Viejo run more pleasantly.