Archive for July 29, 2015

Talk To Elite Motors About New Shoes For Your Vehicle

Custom wheels are one way that Mission Viejo folks express themselves and personalize their sedan. But they aren’t as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several important factors need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the sedan, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits, and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Mission Viejo car owners start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose.

When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require expensive adjustments to your sedan suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping in Laguna Niguel or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel.

There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose a wheel that is already the same size as the ones on your sedan. Second, you can choose larger wheels, and third, you can choose smaller wheels. Mounting wheels that are the same size as the ones already on your car sounds easy enough. But, even though the wheel may be the same diameter as your current wheels, but that doesn’t mean it will fit your sedan. Besides diameter, wheels also have an offset. This is the measurement from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on. If your new wheel does not have the same offset as your current wheels, your sedan tires can rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. This can lead to blowouts, uneven tread wear, and other mechanical problems.

The tire and wheel professionals in Mission Viejo at Elite Motors on 23725 Via Fabricante # F can help you select a wheel that has both the correct diameter and offset for your sedan. Or, if you really want a specific wheel in spite of the offset difference, your may be able to install adapters that will make the wheels fit.

Mounting larger wheels is a more involved process. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount larger wheels, but keep the overall tire diameter the same. Or you can “supersize” your tire/wheel combo. Mounting larger wheels while maintaining the same overall tire diameter is the easiest way to increase wheel size. You still need to adjust for offset. Generally, this alteration means that your new tires will be wider than the originals, so you will have to install adapters to keep them from rubbing on the wheel wells. Consult your Elite Motors tech by calling (888) 320-9834.

If you want to install larger wheels and increase the overall tire diameter, it is critical that the package fits in the wheel well: you may have to do some minor modifications to your suspension. More importantly, you will have to reprogram your sedan engine’s computer to calibrate for the larger tire size. The computer calculates your speed based on the rotation of your tires, so increasing the size of the tires will render it inaccurate. Inaccurate speed calculations can mess up your anti-lock brakes and your stability control systems, as well as your speedometer and odometer.

As you can see, the more modifications you make, the more vital it becomes to have your friendly Elite Motors technician tire and wheel professional help you with your car care.

If you really want those “super-sized” tires, great: just factor in the issues listed above, plus you may have to have modifications done to your suspension system.

The larger wheels and tires will add weight to your vehicle. This weight is not held up by the suspension system, so is referred to as “unsprung” weight. Adding unsprung weight affects your car differently than just adding loads inside of your car. Unsprung weight can affect acceleration and braking. Putting large wheels on your sedan may require an upgraded brake system.

Also, you may not get the performance from your sedan that you’ve been used to. It may be sluggish when accelerating or harder to handle when turning. You may also find that the ride is bumpier than it was before. Of course, done right at Elite Motors, a good wheel job can sometimes improve a vehicle’s ride or performance. It just depends on your vehicle, the type of wheels you choose, and what you are hoping to accomplish.

Now let’s suppose you want smaller wheels on your vehicle. That should be easier, right? Not really. You still have to worry about offset, and it is essential that your computer be reprogrammed to account for calibration issues. And you may need adjustments to your suspension system.

Remember your budget? All of these scenarios require that you shell out some money. Perhaps now you can see why it is good auto advice for San Clemente auto owners to make that consideration first, before setting their heart on a specific type of wheel.

Another consideration should always be your driving habits. Do you do a lot of off-roading on the outskirts of Laguna Niguel? Do you carry heavy loads? Do you tow a trailer on California interstates? All of these factors must be considered when replacing your tires and wheels. Some wheels just may not be up to the work you need them to do.

For example, if you mount large rims on your vehicle, then add low-profile tires to avoid major adjustments to other systems, they won’t be able to handle off-roading as well as larger tires. There won’t be enough sidewall on the tires to absorb the impact from off-roading. You could end up with dented or broken rims.

At the end of the day, Mission Viejo motorists should always put safety ahead of appearance. That’s why you shouldn’t add custom wheels to your vehicle without consulting with your Elite Motors tire and wheel professional. Cutting corners when installing custom wheels by not making necessary adjustments to all of the systems impacted by the change can result in dangerous operating conditions as well as expensive repairs down the road.

The friendly auto professionals at Elite Motors want to remind Mission Viejo auto owners of the basics of vehicle safety: preventive maintenance, emergency preparedness and professional repairs. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

Mission Viejo California Winter Prep Service For Your Auto

When winter approaches in California, Mission Viejo auto owners break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for Laguna Niguel area winter conditions. Your sedan needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing Mission Viejo motorists want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your sedan to be safe and reliable. It’s a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime – but the stakes are higher in cold California winters.

There are some specific things Mission Viejo drivers we need to do to have their vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can’t properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.

In the cold months around Mission Viejo we always worry about being able to stop in time when it’s slick out. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. Of course, you want your brakes to be working properly. A thorough brake inspection will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your friendly Elite Motors service advisor to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.

It is also a really good idea for Mission Viejo motorists to have their battery tested. A battery’s cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to a California drivers. There is nothing like a dead battery in a snow storm.

Which leads us to an emergency kit. You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded on a remote California road. If you will be venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is critical if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.

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

Winter in Mission Viejo, California always makes drivers think of their windshield wiper blades – usually during that first storm when they aren’t working right. That’s why it’s a really good idea to replace your blades in the fall before the California winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.

The final thing for Mission Viejo motorists to consider is their tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80 degrees outside when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it’s 40 degrees out, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That’s enough to be a real safety issue and it hurts fuel economy too. You may need special winter tires in Mission Viejo as well. Your friendly Elite Motors tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your expected road conditions.

If you’re getting winter tires, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, have them put on the rear – even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.

This is a a critical safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow on California s is a matter of not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should always be on the rear.

Watching Your Check Engine Light

Did you know that most of the cars driving around Mission Viejo, California carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969?

New cars sold in the Laguna Niguel area have as many as twelve networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, auto computers have been controlling about 85 percent of your vehicle’s functions.

Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do Mission Viejo auto owners know when there is a problem?

It’s simple; the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in the computer.

It can be pretty disturbing for Mission Viejo auto owners when the Check Engine light comes on. We wonder just how urgent it is. Generally speaking, it is not critical like a temperature or oil pressure light. When you get one of those it means STOP NOW! When the Check Engine light shows up, you should come in to Elite Motors in Mission Viejo to find out what the matter is as soon as possible.

Since 1996, there has been a strong emissions control component to the Check Engine diagnostic. But if your Check Engine light flashes on and off, you know that it is more urgent and you need to get it checked immediately to prevent damage. You should slow down and avoid towing or heavy loads until you can get it checked out.

Your friendly Elite Motors service professional has special diagnostic equipment that will retrieve the trouble code from the computer and help him determine what is wrong. From there, we can fix it and get you back on the road.

Stop by if you’re check engine light is on.

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

Fuel Injection Keeps Getting Better For Mission Viejo Motorists

Mission Viejo auto owners know that engines burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine’s cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.

There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air and before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the engine.

Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same fuel economy. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.

Why the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions and improved fuel economy.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization.

Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.

When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won’t be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and gas mileage for Mission Viejo auto owners as well as delivering less power to the engine.

Fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more expensive. And we’re talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.

So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice for Mission Viejo motorists. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good car care and preventive maintenance at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.

If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you’ll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, your fuel injectors will last for a long time.

Good Timing: Proper Timing Belt Replacement Saves Money for Mission Viejo Drivers

Knowing how their engine works can help Mission Viejo motorists make informed decisions about car care and prevent pricey repairs to their vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to timing belts.

An engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. Inside the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down while the engine is running. Power is generated in a cycle that includes four strokes of the piston. First, the piston drops and a valve at the top of the cylinder opens to let in fuel and air. The piston then rises, which compresses the fuel and air. At this point, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel and pushing the piston down. This downstroke transfers energy to the engine, which provides the power it needs to run. The piston rises again, and a valve opens to release the exhaust.

All of this movement is orchestrated by a timing belt. The timing belt is so named because it keeps the pistons and valves operating in synch with each other, just as a conductor keeps all of the instruments in an orchestra in time with one another. Thus, the timing belt is critical to the proper operation of your engine.

Not all vehicles in the Mission Viejo area have timing belts. Some have timing chains. A timing chain is more durable and rarely breaks, but timing belts are cheaper, so many automobile manufacturers use them to save money.

Timing belts wear out and break, so an important part of preventive maintenance for Mission Viejo drivers is to replace the timing belt on schedule.

The results of failure of a timing belt depend on the type of engine in your vehicle, but they are always inconvenient and can be very costly for Mission Viejo car owners. If your engine is a non-interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the engine simply stops running. Now that can be an incredibly detrimental situation depending on where you are driving around Mission Viejo when it breaks, but it won’t cause any engine damage. On the other hand, if your vehicle has an interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the valves on your cylinders will actually fall into the path of the pistons. Then things start getting chewed up by the motion of the engine and it will cost thousands of dollars to get everything sorted out again. Compounding the problem is that there aren’t any warning signs before a timing belt breaks. A visual inspection of the belt is difficult also. In some vehicles, parts of the belt may be visible, but most vehicles hide the belt under a cover.

The timing belt doesn’t even have to break to cause major engine damage. If it slips, even one notch, the result could be engine damage with repair costs in the thousands of dollars.

Our only car care option is to simply replace the timing belt periodically. You can check your owner’s manual to find out how often your timing belt should be replaced. Many vehicles need a replacement at 60,000 miles, but the recommended replacement mileage could be as high as 90,000 or 100,000 miles. If your owner’s manual recommends replacement at 60,000 miles, however, don’t wait until 65,000 miles to get it done. Remember what you’re risking.

Replacing a timing belt is not a cheap part of preventive maintenance for Mission Viejo drivers. The belt is usually difficult to get to and often requires removal of some of the engine accessories. The cost of the replacement, however, is a lot less than the repairs may cost if the timing belt fails.

For more auto advice on timing belts and other engine components, you can always consult with your friendly Elite Motors service advisor. When it comes to car care, ignorance is not bliss. It can end up costing you in a big way.