Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

Servicing Costa Mesa, and all of Orange County since 1999

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center - Servicing Costa Mesa, and all of Orange County since 1999

Ethics of Automotive Repair in COSTA MESA

We’re going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the COSTA MESA automotive service and repair industry hasn’t been given a pass either.

Unfortunately, every profession in COSTA MESA has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.

Yet some people remain uncomfortable with COSTA MESA automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.

If we understand what’s recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off – we’ll have more trust in the recommendation. So communication is key. It’s like going to the doctor; If she’s using medical jargon and takes a lot of basic medical knowledge for granted, we have a hard time following her train of thought. It can be like that with your COSTA MESA service advisor too. He’s so familiar with all things automotive, he may forget you don’t know a PCV from an EGT.

If you don’t understand what your doctor’s talking about: ask some questions. If you don’t understand what your COSTA MESA automotive advisor’s talking about: ask some questions.

Let’s go back to those ethical standards; when we hear a repair recommendation, we always ask ourselves, “Is this really necessary?” Well, here’s the industry standard:

If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. The part is missing

For example, it you take your car in for a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, you may just think you need new brake pads. After the inspection, the technician at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center says that you have a cracked rotor and need to replace it.

If you tried to get him to simply put new pads on, he would say that if you didn’t want to replace the rotor; Costa Mesa Auto Service Center would ethically have to refuse the repair.

To just put pads on a cracked rotor would have been very wrong. The brakes could’ve failed at anytime and needed to be repaired – not just have a band-aid slapped on them.

Now, looking at something not so serious, the technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  4. Based on the technician’s informed experience

Of course, the technician has the burden of making ethical recommendations and properly educating their customers. For the customer, if you are uncomfortable with a recommendation, ask some questions. More information is always a good thing.

Transmission Service

Let’s talk about transmission service. It can be easy to forget about getting your transmission serviced because it doesn’t need it very often. It’s easy to remember to change the engine oil – you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your car running smoothly and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road.

The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it’s 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and loose efficiency.

As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn’t lubricate and cool the transmission as well – leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly. At worse, it could lead to costly damage.

When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels, and improves fuel economy. That’s why manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner’s manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your service center can tell you what the manufacturer recommends.

Hot and dusty conditions; towing, hauling, stop and go conditions and jack rabbit starts all increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means you need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers or two years. If your manufacturer suggests more frequent intervals or if you’re driving under severe service conditions, you will need to change it more often.

Most service centers have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It’s downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Your service technician will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it’s getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your car a favor and have it done. If not this time, then on your next service stop.

Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In COSTA MESA CA

Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the COSTA MESA CA area (zip code: 92627) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Irvine area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance:
Costa Mesa Auto Service Center
1749 Anaheim Avenue
COSTA MESA, CA 92627
949.645.7878

Many people in COSTA MESA are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern sedans are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn’t have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in COSTA MESA with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let’s start with the special needs of the older vehicle…

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There’ll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they’re worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Talk with your COSTA MESA service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your sedan is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your COSTA MESA auto service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven’t gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it’s time to start taking care of those things. It’ll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.

What To Do In Case Of An Accident in Irvine

Screeching tires, crunching metal – it’s an accident! If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Irvine, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.

Let’s review what you should do in case of an accident:

When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in COSTA MESA is considered a crime – even if it’s not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your CA driver’s license or even jail time.

Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other Corona Del Mar and Costa Mesa motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call Irvine emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.

Always file a COSTA MESA police report. It’s tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you’ll not have an objective report to help defend yourself. Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of the law, the other guy is responsible.

Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going thirty miles an hour” not “I wasn’t speeding”. Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you.

Also get the officer’s name and ID number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.

Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number and expiration
  • Insurance information

Also take down a description of the other COSTA MESA vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most CA auto insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track the vehicle.

Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary. Always call your insurance agent or your insurance company. Call or see a physician if you think you may have been injured. For vehicle repairs, call Costa Mesa Auto Service Center at 949.645.7878

Contact Costa Mesa Auto Service Center to learn more about what do do in case of an auto accident.
You can find us at:
1749 Anaheim Avenue
COSTA MESA, CA 92627
Or call us at 949.645.7878

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center and AutoNetTV hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy COSTA MESA travels.

Your Well Trained Technician At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

When your sedan has a problem, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in COSTA MESA, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training Costa Mesa Auto Service Center professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8’s. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.

Your Well Trained Technician At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Corona Del Mar gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers at the leading car makers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars Corona Del Mar drivers drive around CA highways are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some sedans have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Corona Del Mar motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for COSTA MESA Costa Mesa Auto Service Center technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Corona Del Mar service centers as well.

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there’s the financial commitment for Costa Mesa Auto Service Center to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications available at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your sedan requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Corona Del Mar auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn’t.

The next time you bring us your sedan, don’t worry. You’re in good hands at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center.