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

Coolant Service at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

COSTA MESA auto owners’ cars have to operate in a wide range of CA temperatures which requires our engine coolant to be able to perform ‘no matter what’. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive…

And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That’s why auto manufacturers recommend different types of anti-freeze for our COSTA MESA, CA vehicles.

There are several different ‘families’ of anti-freeze available to us here in COSTA MESA, CA. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at  Costa Mesa Auto Service Center will know the right kind for your car.

It’s vital to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in COSTA MESA, CA. Regular service at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center needs to be done to avoid failures and also to keep your warranty in place.

While the specifics of the service required may vary from vehicle to vehicle, your considerate Costa Mesa Auto Service Center service specialist will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.

Some vehicle manufacturers recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your COSTA MESA tech recommends.

Someday, you may have to deal with an overheating problem, so you need to know what to do if your coolant temperature warning light comes on or your temperature gauge is in the hot zone.

Now, overheating can be very costly. COSTA MESA drivers can literally melt down their engine and have to replace the whole thing. So don’t ignore warning signs.

First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next, crank up your heater to maximum heat and run the fan at high speed. You might need to roll down the windows, but this will take a lot of heat off the engine.

Pull over as soon as you can safely do so
, especially if you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, and shut the car off. It may take as much as 45 minutes for the engine to cool to the point that it’s safe to operate the car again.

If you need to add water or antifreeze, be sure to wait until the car cools down. Opening the radiator cap or even the overflow bottle when the coolant is hot and under pressure may result in serious burns.

After the engine has cooled for 45 minutes or so, look to see if the coolant is low in the overflow tank. If so, you can cover the overflow tank cap with a large cloth and open the lid. Then start the engine and pour in some water or antifreeze. Pouring it in when the car is running will circulate the new, cool fluid with the warmer fluid in the engine and avoid engine damage.

Of course, overheating is a serious problem and you need to get it fixed right away. Costa Mesa Auto Service Center can make sure the coolant is right before you drive home.

Those spring and winter inspections really come in handy when they head off a cooling system problem. And don’t forget that severe service driving conditions, like towing or hot, dusty driving around COSTA MESA, CA, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently.

At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have Costa Mesa Auto Service Center inspect your coolant system to find small problems before they become big, and to change belts and hoses before they fail. After all, we don’t want you to lose your cool out there in COSTA MESA, CA.

Fuel Filter Replacement

Hello COSTA MESA drivers! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your sedan feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good fuel economy. The fuel filter’s job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won’t start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your car will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow damaging particles into your engine.

A car with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around COSTA MESA, but sputter and strain on the interstate because it’s starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in CA and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural CA, your fuel filter will have a harder time keeping the fuel clean.

And, we hate to say it, but buying the cheapest gas from bargain Irvine area stations sometimes means dirtier fuel that’ll clog the filter sooner. Major brands tend to be cleaner and certainly have higher levels of detergent additives.

Of course, manufacturers recommend intervals for changing the fuel filter. But, it’s a little more complicated than that. Some auto manufacturers stopped listing recommended intervals for fuel filter replacement or have very long intervals like every five years or eighty thousand miles. So you may need to look to other sources for recommendations. Cars older than six or seven years are especially at risk because they have had time for dirt and rust to build up in the fuel tank. A clean fuel filter keeps the gas flowing. Even a partially clogged filter puts added strain on the sedan fuel pump. That can shorten its life and result in an expensive repair.

As is often the case, spending a little money now on something as inexpensive as a fuel filter can save money down the road. At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA, we can check your fuel filter. It is better than fixing a burned-out sedan fuel pump or ruined fuel injectors.

E-85 Fuel Safety Advice From Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

Today at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You’ve probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the Irvine area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not.

Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Costa Mesa Auto Service Center at 1749 Anaheim Avenue in COSTA MESA, CA 92627 to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling 949.645.7878.

E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower harmful exhaust emissions to our local Irvine community.

All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol and in fact a lot of gasoline sold in the COSTA MESA CA area does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning people without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.

At a 15% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles in COSTA MESA CA. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.

You can imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. Fire fighting experts caution consumers to only use E-85 if they know they vehicle is certified to handle it. They expect vehicle fires to increase because of using the wrong fuel in non-Flex Fuel vehicles.

So are people who don’t have a Flex Fuel vehicle but use E-85 to help the environment actually putting themselves at risk? Yes. In fact, service and repair centers in COSTA MESA CA are being warned to purchase fire extinguishers that use the special foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution in case starting-up an ethanol damaged engine leads to a fire.

Obviously, this isn’t something you want to have in your COSTA MESA CA garage at home, either. If you have a Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, feel free to protect the environment by using E-85 gasoline. If not – please do not use E-85 in an engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center we are concerned about your safety. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if your vehicle can safely use E-85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.

Take a look at our attached auto safety tips video from Auto Tips Videos.

Upsizing Wheels and Tires With Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

At AutoNetTV we love doughnuts. So let’s pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for today’s discussion about upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don’t eat them now – your going to need them later.

Many COSTA MESA motorists want to accessorize their car – you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at Irvine area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many Huntington Beach auto owners, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more.

So let’s talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It’s not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your sedan suspension, you’ll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.

Let’s think about those three golden doughnuts in front of you. They’re all about the same size. So if we pretend they’re tires, they would have the same rolling diameter. The doughnut hole is the size of the wheel. Now pretend we’ve made the hole bigger on some. That’s like having a bigger wheel – but the rolling diameter is the same.

It’s important to keep the rolling diameter the same for several reasons. First of all, if the tire is bigger, it might not fit in the sedan wheel well. Next the speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brake system are all calibrated for the factory rolling diameter. In order for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, the rolling diameter must stay within 3% of the factory recommendation. If you ignore that, you run the risk that your anti-lock brakes won’t work properly.

Some motorists have cars with electronically controlled suspension that will be negatively affected by changing the rolling diameter. Let’s think about the doughnuts again. You see, as the size of the wheel gets bigger, the sidewall gets shorter. The tire holds less air, so the sidewalls are made stiffer to compensate.

Low profile tires from top auto makers use special compounds that give the sidewall the strength it needs without compromising ride quality. As you increase your wheel size, you’ll typically get a slightly wider tire. This means that you have a larger contact patch. The contact patch is part of the tire that contacts the road. Because there’s more rubber on the road, the vehicle will handle better. And braking distances will be shorter. A lot of COSTA MESA folks with trucks or SUVs love the extra control.

CA drivers need to watch out that the contact patch isn’t so big that the tires rub in turns or over bumps. What we’re talking about here is fitment. Your tire professional at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center can help you get this right. He’ll install your new wheels, add spacers if needed to make sure your brakes fit inside your new wheels, and get you rolling.

Also, if you drive off-road in CA a lot, you may need a higher profile tire to protect your new rims. And make sure your new tires have the load rating you need if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads. Again, your tire professional at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center knows how to help.

And don’t forget about tire pressure. If you have larger rims, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need to run a slightly higher pressure. Forget that and you’ll wear your tires out fast. Finally, get an alignment at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center after you get your new shoes. AutoNetTV wants you to safely have the look you want.

Stop by Costa Mesa Auto Service Center to learn more about how you might upsize your wheels or tires.
You’ll find us at 1749 Anaheim Avenue in COSTA MESA, CA 92627.

Fuel Saving Tip: Fuel System Cleaning Near Corona Del Mar CA

A lot of gas is wasted in the Corona Del Mar area by dirty fuel delivery systems.

Let’s start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That’s why there’s a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently.

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center Fuel System Cleaning The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center will leave your intake as clean as a whistle.

The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they’re clogged, the fuel doesn’t get atomized the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t get burned as efficiently.

See your owner’s manual or ask your Corona Del Mar service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center when a fuel system cleaning is recommended.