Archive for June 26, 2015

Mission Viejo Exhaust And Emissions Service

Many Mission Viejo car owners don’t realize that there is more to exhaust system maintanance than just tailpipes and mufflers. And if you can see smoke, or if it’s too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Elite Motors is really a lot more comprehensive these days.

For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in Mission Viejo in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. California and federal emissions requirements have forced vehicle manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.

So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it’s so sophisticated, vehicle manufacturers recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Elite Motors, regularly to make sure everything’s working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles.

If your ‘check engine light’ comes on while you are driving around the Laguna Niguel area, especially if it’s flashing, then you need to bring your car into Elite Motors ASAP. Chances are it’s an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.

So let’s do a quick rundown of the exhaust system for Mission Viejo motorists. First up, the exhaust manifold. That’s the part that attaches to the engine and collects the exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe.

The exhaust gaskets help seal the connection with the manifold and other joints along the way. Now, if the manifold is cracked or loose, or a gasket is leaking, then dangerous gases could escape into the cabin, where you ride. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so it’s important that your exhaust system doesn’t leak.

The exhaust pipes connect the various essential components. They can rust or be damaged by a rock, so they need to be inspected periodically.

Next comes the catalytic converter. This part actually looks like a muffler. It changes toxic chemicals into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any maintenance itself for Mission Viejo auto owners, but eventually it wears out. If yours has stopped working, you probably won’t discover it until your car fails its California emissions inspection.

Next, the muffler. The important job of this aptly-named part is to muffle engine noises. Mufflers work by either absorbing or baffling sound. Many Mission Viejo car owners don’t know that you can actually customize your car’s sound with different mufflers – which is pretty cool because in addition to changing the look of your ride, you can also customize its sound!

Rusted or road-damaged mufflers can actually leak and they need to be replaced right away. The exhaust system is attached to the car by a series of hangers and clamps that hold the system in place. And when these hangers come loose or break then hot exhaust components can touch and melt wires, hoses and lines. Just think of how harmful a hot curling iron can be – but worse. It’s not good to have that waving around. Talk to your friendly Elite Motors service professional.

And finally, we end at the tailpipe. Appropriate name. This is the final outlet for the exhaust. And one other component is the oxygen sensor. It monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust so the engine-control computer can adjust the essential fuel-to-air mix to keep the car running right.

We hope this hasn’t been too ‘exhausting’ of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is vital for Mission Viejo drivers’ health and safety. Talk with your friendly service professional at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo if you think you might need an automotive analysis of your exhaust system. A quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.

Auto Tips Videos provided for Elite Motors by AutoNetTV.

Elite Motors Fuel Saving Tip for Mission Viejo: Check Engine Light

Here’s a question for Mission Viejo, California car owners: How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light?

Hey, it’s not there to create ambiance; it’s a warning that something’s wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson’s fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

If your check engine light comes on, check your gas cap. A loose gas cap can cause a false sensor reading that’ll make the check engine light turn on.

Check Engine Light Many conditions that trigger the check engine light can hurt your MPG. A lot.

If your date’s eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you’ll save by getting it fixed. Give Elite Motors a call when you are ready: (888) 320-9834

The Elite Motors Guide To Custom Wheels

If you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your sedan, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Mission Viejo car owners have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the sedan when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Elite Motors tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your sedan. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable Laguna Niguel professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Mission Viejo custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your sedan are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason auto owners should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Mission Viejo. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your sedan, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in costly damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at Elite Motors to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo.

After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.

Maintaining Your Older Car In Mission Viejo California

The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Mission Viejo California: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Mission Viejo California motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.

Because new cars are more expensive, people in the Laguna Niguel area are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Laguna Niguel have more than 75,000 miles. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin’.

Give Elite Motors a call to schedule your next maintenance.
23725 Via Fabricante # F
Mission Viejo, California 92691
(888) 320-9834

Some owner’s manuals don’t specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles.

First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 15,000 miles should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles, and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule – ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and don’t hold the fluids as well as they used to.

It’s also time to make sure you have a good Mission Viejo California technician. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble’s brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.

And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it’s way cheaper than a new car payment!

Maintaining Your Diesel in Laguna Niguel

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven’t been as common in Laguna Niguel because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Mission Viejo car owners driving diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV’s.

Diesels are popular in Mission Viejo because they get better MPG than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you’re not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don’t produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in California as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Laguna Niguel, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Mission Viejo drivers’ dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles perform as well as other passenger vehicles, also. Most Lake Forest people don’t notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer in San Clemente, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don’t all Laguna Niguel motorists drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven’t told me about. That’s true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in California. The better fuel economy of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more expensive to drive in Laguna Niguel. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in California, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Mission Viejo drivers depends now on the current price of fuel in California and how many miles you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Laguna Niguel area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in California becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive in Mission Viejo than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Mission Viejo are similar. Wait, you may be thinking, but you just told me that filters are more expensive and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Elite Motors auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the Mission Viejo driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.