Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Mission Viejo car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and – well a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Mission Viejo, California folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.
Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more.
The old adage: ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is really true when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.
Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Mission Viejo car owners have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule.
Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.
Don’t let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventive auto maintenance is a great way to keep your operating costs down in Mission Viejo.
We know that this is a lot for busy Irvine area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at Accurate Auto Repair keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your auto manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.
Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent expensive repairs and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Accurate Auto Repair today for an appointment; you can reach us at (949) 734-4133.
Let us take good care of your car at Accurate Auto Repair in Mission Viejo, and it’ll take good care of you.
Accurate Auto Repair Give us a call today at (949) 734-4133. Or stop by at 25675 Taladro Circle Units G & H, Mission Viejo, California 92691
If you’re reading this article in Mission Viejo, California, then you probably care about your car and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your service technician tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you had planned. And you worry that if you say “no”, you might be harming your sedan or risking your family’s safety.
At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. Service recommendations are in your owner’s manual. But it is not like you want to keep your sedan auto maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.
Cars are complicated machines and it takes some effort for Mission Viejo drivers to keep them running well. That is why vehicle manufacturers have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your sedan performing efficiently and prevent pricey breakdowns. In a typical owners manual you’ll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning, and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks – yeah, it is a really long list!
Fortunately, this isn’t a test: Ladera Ranch car owners don’t need to have it memorized. Your friendly Accurate Auto Repair technician has access to your manufacturer’s recommendations. Don’t be surprised when your tech at Accurate Auto Repair reminds you something is due. Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let Accurate Auto Repair help you stay on top of important maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. We’ll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.
This is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your Mission Viejo car burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.
That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to costly problems. Of course, your manufacturer recommends intervals for changing your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car affects when your filter needs to be changed.
Dusty conditions in and around Mission Viejo or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your Accurate Auto Repair technician can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.
When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your car needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.
Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters cost a little more, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.
So have your air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel economy before your next oil change.
Stop by Accurate Auto Repair at 25675 Taladro Circle Units G & H, Mission Viejo, California 92691, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at (949) 734-4133 to make an appointment.
There’s a segment of the Lake Forest population that’s not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Mistaken perceptions have crept into the California area over time. Many Lake Forest motorists think the root lies in the fact that modern cars are so reliable. Reliability has improved dramatically in recent years. Quality surveys report fewer problems with new cars than ever before.
Back when cars spent more time in the repair shop, Lake Forest drivers were more mindful of routine service. Now, it’s much easier to put it off.
Take tune-ups for example. In the days of mechanical ignition systems, an engine needed to be tuned-up every couple of years. The ignition points had to be replaced, spark plugs and coils replaced and the timing adjusted. If your engine was out of tune, you knew it. It ran poorly and got bad fuel economy.
Now, the ignition system in your sedan is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as a hundred thousand miles. So tune-ups used to force you in to Accurate Auto Repair for service and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.
Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new cars in Lake Forest have been leased. These folks plan on turning the car in after two or three years, so they haven’t focused on the maintenance that helps your car last longer.
Given all that, what’s the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your sedan will perform better and return better fuel economy.
Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren’t just repairs that are a long ways off. Modern sedan engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.
And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.
For example, your sedan engine coolant could actually become so corrosive that it eats holes in your radiator or other cooling system parts. Of course, that could lead to massive engine damage, all for the want of replacing the coolant on schedule.
Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At Accurate Auto Repair, we have been taking care of all those little things for 29 years. Your sedan still needs to be taken care of – it’s just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in Lake Forest did not go away.
At Accurate Auto Repair we’ve had a lot of Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, and Rancho Santa Margarita clients asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that’s been building for several years. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles on them. It looks like it’s going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices a lot of Irvine folks are putting off buying a new car. Thanks to AutoNetTV, we can provide you with a video answer to this key question.
So let’s say you’re one of the average people in the Irvine area; you’ve got a nine year old car with 80,000 miles on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two?
Let’s start with the premise that there’s no reason that a modern car can’t run for 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.
Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there’s no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if you stay on top of your recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some owner’s manuals runs out at 60,000 miles or so: how do we know what to do when we’re way past that?
It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles for the first 60,000 miles you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles after you hit 60,000 miles. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it’s very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Accurate Auto Repair, for example, leaves an opportunity for harmful sludge to build up.
So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Irvine are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:
it keeps fuel economy from decreasing;
it prevents costly repairs, and;
they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.
Having the oil changed may be the most important thing. A full service oil change means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your friendly Accurate Auto Repair service professional a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get expensive. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren’t scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.
If you live in the Irvine area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner’s manual and talk with your service advisor at Accurate Auto Repair. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.
And, we would strongly encourage you to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They’re fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some Mission Viejo auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles as a preventive measure.
Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Irvine. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.
Give us a call for more information:
Accurate Auto Repair 25675 Taladro Circle Units G & H Mission Viejo, California 92691 (949) 734-4133
In our auto video today we’ll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that “modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free”.
Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Mission Viejo Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn’t so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.
Here are some examples for our friends in Mission Viejo.
Some cars in Mission Viejo no longer require chassis lubrication. They’re made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There’s literally is no way to grease those joints.
-Chalk one up for the myth.
On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn’t even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.
So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.
-A point to maintenance.
Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.
-Myth gets a point.
Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.
-Point for maintenance.
I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they’ve always been.
So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Mission Viejo if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there’ll always be a check list.
Let me mention a couple of items on modern vehicles that folks need to be aware of. One of the most of the most important is timing belt replacement. Used to be that all engines had timing chains – you know, metal chains. They rarely broke.
It’s cheaper to make engines with timing belts rather than chains, so replacing the timing belt is on most engines’ maintenance list. The money the manufacturer saves by using a belt is more than off-set by what the vehicle owner has to pay to replace the belt. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of repairing the damage if the timing belt breaks.
So make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced. You don’t want to miss that. If you have 60,000 miles or more, break out your owner’s manual or ask your Mission Viejo service advisor at Accurate Auto Repair to check on the recommendation right away.
Another is sealed wheel bearing assemblies on some vehicles. As you might have guessed, it’s cheaper to make a sealed unit than one that has access to inspect or service the wheel bearings. The problem is that when the bearings fail, you have to replace the entire unit, not just the bearings. That’ll cost 5 or 6 times as much.
For our friends in Mission Viejo, we hope this has underscored the importance of knowing and following your maintenance schedule. Come in and see us at Accurate Auto Repair. You’ll find us at 25675 Taladro Circle Units G & H in Mission Viejo, California 92691. Just give us a call at (949) 734-4133.
For advice on how to make your sedan last longer, visit us at Accurate Auto Repair 25675 Taladro Circle Units G & H Mission Viejo, California 92691 (949) 734-4133
These days many people in the Irvine area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. It’d be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you’ve had the vehicle for a while, or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that’s where you start.
Go through the maintenance schedule for your sedan and see what’s been done and when. Have your Mission Viejo service advisor at Accurate Auto Repair do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.
Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles. You might be pretty overwhelmed.
To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there’s a failure. In consultation with your Mission Viejo service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you’ll be prepared for it in a few months.
Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.
Today we’re going to be talking about serpentine belts for our Mission Viejo, California customers. Let’s start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That’s the device that makes electricity to power the sedan and recharge the battery. Then there’s the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you’re driving around California in the summer.
The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most vehicles. Those pumps provide pressure that assists your steering and braking.
In many sedans, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around Mission Viejo, California, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.
The radiator cooling fans on some sedans are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That’s really a lot of work for one belt.
But modern engine design has a single belt that snakes around the front of the engine and drives most if not all of these accessories. Serpentine belts do a lot of work, but they’re tough and can last for thousands of miles.
Just how long will they last? That’ll vary for each individual car in the Mission Viejo, California area. Your vehicle manufacturer will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need it sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection at Accurate Auto Repair can detect a belt that’s getting close to failing.
Your friendly Accurate Auto Repair service professional can look at the belt: if it has more than three or four cracks per inch, it needs to be replaced. A deep crack that’s more than half the depth of the belt – replace. Frayed, missing pieces, a shiny glazed look? Toss it.
What’s involved in replacing the belt at Accurate Auto Repair? First the old belt is removed. Then a new one is fitted around all the pulleys for the accessories and the drive. There’s a special pulley called a tensioner.
This pulley is mounted to the engine block with a spring loaded arm. Its job is to apply the correct amount of tension to the belt to keep it from getting loose and maybe slipping off. Because the spring in the tensioner pulley wears out, AutoNetTV and the automotive professionals at Accurate Auto Repair recommend replacing them at the same time as the belt. It just makes sense.
What are the warning signs that there’s a problem with the serpentine belt? You may hear a squealing sound from under the hood when accelerating around our Mission Viejo streets. A loose belt might give you a slow, slapping sound.
What do you do if your belt breaks? If you’ve actually had that happen on a busy Irvine freeway, it can be a little scary. The first thing Mission Viejo motorists usually notice is that they have no power steering or power brakes. Don’t panic – you can still steer and brake, but you’ll have to do the work. It’ll be harder to steer and you’ll need more time and effort to stop, so plan accordingly.
Your dashboard will light up will all kinds of warnings. You’ll see a warning about your cooling system if you have a water pump that’s driven by the serpentine belt. This is very critical because without your cooling system working, your engine will overheat. If you don’t stop you’ll have massive engine damage, maybe to the point that you need a new engine. Open your windows and turn the heater on full blast to provide a little engine cooling. Pull over as quickly as you safely can!
The battery light will come on because the alternator isn’t working. If your car’s water pump isn’t driven by the serpentine belt, you’re not in danger of overheating so you can drive a little further if necessary. But the battery will run down to the point where the car will just shut off. You don’t want that to happen while you’re driving in our local Mission Viejo, California traffic.
Remember, you can avoid this stressful scenario if you replace your sedan serpentine belt on schedule. Ask your friendly Accurate Auto Repair service professional to check your belts and hoses from time to time so you can take care of them if they need to be replaced prematurely.
Accurate Auto Repair 25675 Taladro Circle Units G & H Mission Viejo, California 92691 (949) 734-4133
A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Mission Viejo people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.
A lot of Mission Viejo motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their sedans for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.
There are plenty of Mission Viejo drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own sedans on the road in California.
Mission Viejo drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your sedan’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine.
There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Mission Viejo car owners. It’s simple – a Accurate Auto Repair professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Accurate Auto Repair technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.
Your Accurate Auto Repair advisor will also visually inspect your sedan for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.
And your Accurate Auto Repair advisor will be able to remind you of other services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Mission Viejo dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.
Realistically, things are going to wear out as your sedan gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.
Of course, these things cost money, but they are far cheaper than new sedan payments. With proper service at Accurate Auto Repair and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.
Buying a new car in Mission Viejo is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?
People in Mission Viejo who’ve been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?
For purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you live right here in Mission Viejo and have a five year old vehicle. It’s now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there’ll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don’t know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.
Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They’re able to use manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.
Of course, these projections can’t predict what will happen to your vehicle in Mission Viejo, but they do give you information to use in your decision.
Let’s look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.
So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it’s actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.
Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Mission Viejo:
Ford Escape – $116 a month
Chevy Silverado – $131 a month
Jeep Grand Cherokee – $138 a month
Hyundai Accent – $85 a month.
Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Mission Viejo service advisor at Accurate Auto Repair. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there’s any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.
And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.
There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.
We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.
Give us a call if you have any questions: Accurate Auto Repair 25675 Taladro Circle Units G & H Mission Viejo, California 92691 (949) 734-4133