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

Lease Or Buy?

Lease? Or buy? These are the options for COSTA MESA car financing. It’s always a tough question for COSTA MESA car owners. But here is some info that’ll help you make an informed decision.

If you buy, you’ll pay the full cost of the car, with maybe an initial down payment, then monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.

COSTA MESA drivers who lease, finance the portion of the cost of the car that’s used up during the term of the lease. You’ll pay some money up front; fees, security deposit, first month’s payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the car to your local Irvine area dealership. 

So how do COSTA MESA motorists decide?

First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down.

How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.

A lease needs requires better credit, so that’s a factor.

How long will you keep the car? COSTA MESA auto owners who keep their cars around for a while will pay less if they buy. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center
1749 Anaheim Avenue
COSTA MESA, CA 92627
949.645.7878

If your car might suffer a ding or two, like, say a work truck would, then buying’s better. The COSTA MESA auto leasing company will want their vehicle back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you’ll pay.

How many miles do you drive in and around the Huntington Beach area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit, and if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile when the lease is up. So high mileage CA drivers should definitely buy.

Will the car be used in your COSTA MESA business? Check with your COSTA MESA accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.

Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper for COSTA MESA car owners. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing always costs more in CA.

Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment, rather than price. So sometimes COSTA MESA leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.

Here is a tip: If the COSTA MESA salesman asks if you’ll be leasing or buying, say you’re not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at your COSTA MESA financing options.

Here’s another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the car, you’ll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments, and usually, it’s less than the car’s fair Irvine market value  – and that’s all your CA auto insurance company will pay. But ask your COSTA MESA agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.

Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition, and may need to do all the auto maker’s recommended service and maintenance, or face penalties. So see your local technician at your COSTA MESA auto repair shop  or Costa Mesa Auto Service Center on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It’s well worth it.

Fall and Spring Checkup In COSTA MESA

When I was a kid in COSTA MESA, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it’s about time to get into Costa Mesa Auto Service Center for my checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don’t need seasonal service.

My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.

Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family sedan, most cars used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today’s modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.

Your owner’s manual or COSTA MESA service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center can tell you the right oil to use.

Of course, you’re concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don’t want to overheat in the CA summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against both of these things. And modern coolant, or as it’s sometimes called; ‘antifreeze’, is up to doing both very well. It’s designed to last for more miles than most people drive in a year or two.

So how does a Spring and Fall check-up fit in? Let’s start with Spring. Summer is coming. That means heat, more miles driven and road trips. It just makes sense to check your fluid levels and do a visual inspection to see that everything is up to snuff.

You may not be scheduled to drain and replace the coolant for some time, but you need to make sure you have enough coolant, and that you don’t have any leaks or hoses that are about to fail.

That’s pretty practical; a check-up to see if there are any problems or emerging conditions that could later become a problem, like a cracked belt.

And the same principle applies for getting ready for winter. Cold weather means lots of failed batteries. It takes more power to crank up a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available.

So a battery test in the Fall could tell you if you’ve got a battery that is running on its last legs. And of course, if you live where winter temperatures get below 45 degrees or you have ice and snow, you’ll want to consider changing to winter tires.

So Spring and Fall auto checkups at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center are practical reminders to get ready for the demands of the hot and cold seasons to come.

And odds are that you have one or more routine services that are due anyway. Like a transmission service, brake or power steering fluid, differential service – stuff like that. Are your wiper blades still good? Are your headlamps starting to dim?

So Spring and Fall: change your clocks, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors – and get a check-up for your cars.

See, dad was right again.

Come and see us at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center for your Spring and Fall automotive checkup.
Costa Mesa Auto Service Center
1749 Anaheim Avenue
COSTA MESA, CA 92627
949.645.7878

Budgeting for Maintenance In COSTA MESA CA

Life’s full of surprises in COSTA MESA CA, some of which cost money. A leaky roof, a broken tooth, or an unexpected car repair. Costa Mesa Auto Service Center of COSTA MESA CA and AutoNetTV have done some research on how we can budget for proper vehicle care.

Everyone in COSTA MESA CA does our best to budget for scheduled vehicle maintenance. What’s hard is unexpected repairs. The truth is that our vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before with proper maintenance. That’s because of improved vehicle design and manufacturing quality. But some of those same improvements also lead to higher repairs costs.

Let’s take the fuel pump. Previous generations were often stranded by the side of the road by vapor lock. This occurred when the gas vaporized between the gas tank and the fuel pump. Fuel just stopped flowing.

You had to sit and wait until the car would start again. To alleviate the problem, fuel pumps are now located inside the gas tank. This is a great solution, but when the fuel pump fails, it’s a much more expensive proposition to replace it.

Sealed wheel bearing assemblies are another example. These wheel bearings can’t be serviced – you just have to replace the entire assembly when it starts to fail. That costs several times as much as service on non-sealed bearings.

So we all benefit in COSTA MESA CA from design improvements, but we need to plan for repairs down the road.

There’s a tool that can be found on Edmunds.com that you can use to prepare your service and repair budget.

Let’s suppose you have a 2003 Toyota Camry – a very popular car in COSTA MESA CA. It’s now paid for and you’d like to keep it running for the next three years. You can go to Edmunds’ True Cost to Own calculator and enter your vehicle’s data. The calculator will provide estimates of what it’ll cost to service and repair your vehicle over the next five years. The estimate is based on where you live in or near COSTA MESA CA, manufacturers’ recommendations and repair experience for your particular model.

Of course these are just estimates – there’s no way to predict what’ll actually happen to the car in your driveway, but it’s a good starting point.

The calculator also has estimates for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel costs.

Let’s focus on maintenance and repair. This table shows that the average monthly cost of maintenance and repairs is eighty-three dollars. That may sound like a lot, but compare it to a new car payment.

Budgeting for Maintenance

So if you set aside eighty-three dollars a month, you’d go a long ways towards taking care of routine maintenance and being prepared for the unexpected repairs that arise.

Of course, you can’t predict when something will go wrong or what it’ll cost, but at least you have a reasonable target to shoot for.

Some people around COSTA MESA CA are afraid of what can go wrong with their older car so they buy a new one. That’s fine if you really want a new car, but if you properly maintain your older vehicle, you’ll save a lot of money on new car payments and insurance. It just makes good economic sense.

Get with your COSTA MESA CA service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center and work out a plan for keeping your vehicle on the road.

You can visit Costa Mesa Auto Service Center at 1749 Anaheim Avenue in COSTA MESA, CA 92627 or just give us a call at 949.645.7878.

Irvine Safety Systems: Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of Irvine motorists driving around on under-inflated tires. Admittedly, it’s hard to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your sedan tire’s considered significantly under inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

New laws required vehicle manufacturers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System – or TPMS system – in all cars and light trucks by the 2008 model year. The system has a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below manufacturer’s pressure recommendations.

Irvine Safety Systems: Tire Pressure Monitoring SystemThis technology has been used by Irvine race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from under inflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track. It’s up to your sedan’s manufacturer to determine which of many TPMS systems available they’ll use to comply with the law.

Obviously, all of this doesn’t come free for Irvine drivers. U.S. government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases.

The costs are partially offset by improved fuel economy and longer tire life. There’s also a potential savings in property damage avoided and fewer travel delays. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100. The government predicts fewer fatal accidents. They estimate that it will cost between three and nine million dollars for every life saved.

Your safety has always been a priority at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center. We want you on the road and accident free. We’ve traditionally provided things like tire rotations, snow tire mounting and flat fixes at a very low cost. We’ve been able to quickly and cheaply provide the service, and pass the low cost on to you as an expression of our good will.

That’s why we’re concerned about how you’ll perceive the changes that this new law requires. Every time a tire is changed: taken off to fix a flat, a new tire installed, a snow tire mounted; the Costa Mesa Auto Service Center service technician is now going to have to deal with the TPMS system.

Even a simple tire rotation will require that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system will need to be reprogrammed. TPMS sensor batteries will need to be changed and failed parts replaced.

Like all other COSTA MESA service centers, here at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center we’ve had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and to update expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems. Our Costa Mesa Auto Service Center service technicians have been thoroughly trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to perform what was once a very inexpensive service for you.

So when you start so see the cost of tire changes, flat repairs and rotations going up at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, please keep in mind that it’s because of government mandated safety equipment. We want to keep you safely on the road – and we’re committed to doing it at a fair price. This new safety equipment will help you avoid the most common types of vehicle failure in Irvine, and possibly a catastrophic accident.