There’s not much we can do about the price of gas in Mission Viejo California, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we’re driving on our Mission Viejo streets.
Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.
The first thing we can do is watch the ‘go-pedal’. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Go a little slower on the freeway to Laguna Niguel. Once you’re going more than sixty-five miles an hour your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.
Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.
Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.
Elite Motors 23725 Via Fabricante # F Mission Viejo, California 92691 (888) 320-9834
Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Mission Viejo drivers, sedan manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Mission Viejo auto owners follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Are most of your trips less than four miles around Mission Viejo? Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero California temps? Are most of your trips off-highway in California? Do you drive often in dusty Laguna Niguel areas? Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Mission Viejo? Do you drive in very hot or very cold California weather?
Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Mission Viejo interstate on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Laguna Niguel or Laguna Beach? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Mission Viejo surface streets?
Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and Mission Viejo weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.
Why should Mission Viejo auto owners care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Mission Viejo or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to dangerous oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why California motorists need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.
Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in warm California summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent detrimental corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your fuel efficiency. If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly Elite Motors advisor. We can help you restore your sedan to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.
To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.
Elite Motors (888) 320-9834 23725 Via Fabricante # F Mission Viejo, California 92691
Brakes really aren’t optional equipment for Mission Viejo auto owners. And taking care of them isn’t optional either.
A regular brake inspection is on every California car’s maintenance schedule. At Elite Motors, our team will check your brake system and let you know if there are any vital problems. Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into your Mission Viejo or Laguna Beach service center right away. And watch out for these problems:
Low or spongy brake pedal
Hard brake pedal
A brake warning light that stays on
Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes
There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle. Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Pads, called shoes, push against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle.
There are several things that need to be serviced on the brake system. First, the brake pads and shoes wear out with use, and become too thin to really help. If the brake pads wear away completely you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced and that can be pricey. But putting it off is dangerous because your sedan won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.
Brake fluid is also vital. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid, not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and detrimental brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. Mission Viejo car owners should change the brake fluid when their auto maker recommends it.
There are different grades of brake pads sold in the Mission Viejo area. There are regular, metallic and ceramic – higher grades are more expensive, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the auto maker recommends.
Be sure to properly maintain your brakes because it’s a lot cheaper than paying your nearest Laguna Niguel area body shop after an accident.
If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Mission Viejo vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.
Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Mission Viejo, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.
Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.
The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?
Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.
Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.
Most of us here in Mission Viejo have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?
Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.
Give us a call at (949) 243-7956 to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Elite Motors website.
It’s important for Mission Viejo auto owners to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold California weather. Most Laguna Niguel drivers think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold sedan engine.
However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Mission Viejo trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Mission Viejo auto owners can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the California summer and every three months during the winter.
As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your sedan alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.
If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your friendly Elite Motors technician for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your sedan alternator.
Give us a call
Elite Motors (949) 243-7956 23725 Via Fabricante # F Mission Viejo, California 92691