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

Tracking True In CA: Wheel Alignment In Corona Del Mar

Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy Corona Del Mar and Costa Mesa auto owners until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or pothole on a Irvine interstate or surface street.

When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. This causes several serious problems. First off, the tires will wear out faster and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to expensive sedan suspension problems.

Tracking True In CA: Wheel Alignment In Corona Del Mar

But the big issue for Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, and COSTA MESA car owners is safety. When your sedan wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA.

When undergoing an alignment service at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, your sedan is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.

Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.

Costa Mesa motorists should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Irvine service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in CA that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.

Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but Corona Del Mar drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.

That’s why car makers recommend periodic alignment checks. If your sedan owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Anthony Betts or your service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA.

One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center is cheaper for Corona Del Mar car owners than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information In COSTA MESA CA

No matter how well they’re made, vehicles in COSTA MESA, CA will have design or manufacturing problems.

And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in COSTA MESA, CA, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in COSTA MESA, CA who owns that type of car to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall issue on your car.

Because these recalls always affect safety, Irvine motorists should take them seriously. This isn’t difficult to do because it’s easy to see if a vehicle’s being recalled.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links.

There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There’s CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.

Recalls are serious, but not all that common. But sometimes there are less significant issues, and for these, vehicle manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Costa Mesa Auto Service Center how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost.

So when vehicle manufacturers recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.

The Costa Mesa Auto Service Center Guide To Tire Specs

You know you need new tires, but you’re not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the COSTA MESA service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.

Tire size can be confusing for many COSTA MESA car owners. There’s so much on the side of the tire, and it’s hard to keep straight.

Even though there’s a lot on a tire – if you know what it all means, it’s actually more helpful than confusing. Let’s start with the size number.

For example, let’s say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters – the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio – the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high performance tires will have a lower number.

The R signifies it’s a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.

The 92 is the load rating index – it’s the load carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty sedan can be safe with a lower number, but you’ll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads. The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating – with the exception of H – it comes between U and V (don’t ask why).

There’s a lot of fine print that most Irvine motorists probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.

And then there’re the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a tread wear index. 100 is the base line – a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within a auto manufacturer’s product line – you can’t compare with other manufacturers. And it’s important to note that a lower rating might be just what you want – a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won’t wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on windy CA roads.

The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A – the best, B – intermediate, C – acceptable.

Temperature grade measures a tire’s resistance to heat build up in government tests. A, B and C – from best to acceptable.

It’s safe to go with the original equipment recommendations that came on your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you’ll now be better equipped to communicate with your considerate Costa Mesa Auto Service Center tire professional.

Automotive Detective Work In COSTA MESA

There’s a reason we use the word “diagnose” when we talk about fixing cars in COSTA MESA. Figuring out what’s wrong with your sedan has a lot of similarities to figuring out what’s wrong with someone who is ill. Vehicles are a mass of complex systems that can produce a variety of symptoms when something goes wrong. As with human diagnoses, a specific symptom may be indicative of a number of problems, and figuring out the specific cause takes training and experience.

Sometimes the diagnosis of your sedan’s trouble comes down to a matter of trial-and-error. This can be frustrating for COSTA MESA motorists because time and money are on the line. You may feel you should only be paying for repair work. Of course, you only want to pay for the right repair – and a proper diagnosis is part of getting it right. Like at the COSTA MESA doctor’s office — some of what you pay for is the doctor’s time and effort to figure out what’s wrong with you, not for the actual cure.

The good news is that COSTA MESA auto owners can do a lot to help out their considerate Costa Mesa Auto Service Center technician in figuring out what’s wrong with their sedan. Again, the medical office is a good analogy. The more information you can give your doctor about where it hurts, when it hurts and how it hurts, the more quickly he will be able to help you. In the same way, the more you can tell your COSTA MESA service technician about when the problem occurs, what is sounds like, how often it occurs, where it occurs, etc., the more efficiently he will be able to get you back on the road.

Good auto advice: learn how to talk to your COSTA MESA tech.

If fluid is leaking from your sedan, you should note the color of the fluid, where under the car the puddles form, and when they form (e.g. only when it’s parked for a while, only if the engine’s hot, when the weather turns cold, etc.). For example, if your sedan is making an unusual sound, you should indicate where the sound is coming from, what kind of sound it is, and when you hear it (again, be very specific). The more details you can give, the more helpful you will be. “I hear the sound when I turn left” is more helpful than “I hear the sound when I turn.” After a few conversations with your Costa Mesa Auto Service Center service specialist, you should get a feel for the kind of information he needs.

If you drop your car off, leave a detailed note describing information about your sedan’s problem. A quickly scrawled “Making a funny noise” will only lead to frustration for both your technician and for you. Good communication leads to better car care for COSTA MESA drivers.

If your sedan is occasionally stalling or sputtering, you may need a little more patience than with other types of car trouble because these types of problems are intermittent. In order to fix the trouble, your technician often finds it helpful to reproduce the symptoms. And if the problem is intermittent, it may take a while to do so.

In these cases, specific information can be invaluable, as it can significantly reduce the time it takes for your considerate service professional to get your sedan to misbehave. For example, if you can tell your technician that the vehicle only acts up after it’s been driven for 20 minutes and over 50 mph, it will allow him to quickly reproduce your problem, greatly reducing the time it will take for a car diagnosis in COSTA MESA and then get it fixed.

Good preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping your car out of the Irvine repair shop, but if you need to get it fixed, good communication will get you back on the road quickly.