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

Gear Up: Transmission Service at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA

The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.

How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.

Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some automobile manufacturers are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for COSTA MESA motorists: it improves fuel efficiency and increases performance.

But there is a drawback for COSTA MESA car owners: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from COSTA MESA drivers. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.

That’s why changing transmission fluid is such a critical part of preventive maintenance for COSTA MESA car owners. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer expensive damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.

Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.

New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive for COSTA MESA motorists at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing costly transmission repairs.

COSTA MESA CA Winter Prep Service For Your Auto

When winter approaches in CA, COSTA MESA car owners break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for Irvine area winter conditions. Your sedan needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing COSTA MESA drivers want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your sedan to be safe and reliable. It’s a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime – but the stakes are higher in cold CA winters.

There are some specific things COSTA MESA car owners we need to do to have their vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can’t properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.

In the cold months around COSTA MESA we always worry about being able to stop in time when it’s slick out. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. Of course, you want your brakes to be working properly. A thorough brake inspection will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your considerate Costa Mesa Auto Service Center service professional to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.

It is also a really good idea for COSTA MESA motorists to have their battery tested. A battery’s cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to a CA drivers. There is nothing like a dead battery in a snow storm.

Which leads us to an emergency kit. You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded on a remote CA road. If you will be venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is vital if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.

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

Winter in COSTA MESA, CA always makes motorists think of their windshield wiper blades – usually during that first storm when they aren’t working right. That’s why it’s a really good idea to replace your blades in the fall before the CA winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.

The final thing for COSTA MESA auto owners to consider is their tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80 degrees outside when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it’s 40 degrees out, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That’s enough to be a real safety issue and it hurts gas mileage too. You may need special winter tires in COSTA MESA as well. Your considerate Costa Mesa Auto Service Center tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your expected road conditions.

If you’re getting winter tires, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, have them put on the rear – even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.

This is a a critical safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow on CA s is a matter of not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should always be on the rear.

Exhaust Service at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center: Passing the Smell Test

The exhaust system on a vehicle is more complex than most COSTA MESA motorists realize. It contains everything from old-fashioned pipes and clamps to sophisticated computers and sensors. All CA folks know a properly functioning exhaust system is good for the environment, but sometimes we forget that a damaged exhaust system can be deadly. That’s why preventive maintenance on your exhaust system is so vital. We can help you with that at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA.

The exhaust manifold is the first component in your exhaust system. The manifold is attached to the engine. It collects the gases that are produced by the engine and directs them into the exhaust pipes. At this point, these gases are both hot and chemically dangerous.

One of the gases produced in your engine is carbon monoxide. This gas is colorless and odorless. Breathing it can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and drowsiness. Continue breathing it, and you will die.

To keep this gas, and others, from entering your sedan passenger compartment, the connections from the manifold to the engine and from the manifold to the exhaust pipes are sealed with gaskets. These connections should be routinely inspected at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center for cracks and to check if they have come loose.

The exhaust pipes can also get damaged, allowing dangerous gases to leak into your passenger compartment. These pipes can rust or be dented or broken by rocks and other Irvine roadway debris, so they need to be inspected regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next component in your sedan exhaust system. You can breathe a sigh of relief now, because this is where the dangerous engine gases are converted into carbon dioxide and water, greatly reducing the amount of harmful emissions in your exhaust. You’ll also be happy to know that your catalytic converter doesn’t require maintenance. However, it will wear out. If you fail an emissions inspection because of a faulty catalytic converter, you need to replace it.

The muffler’s job is far less critical, but far more noticeable, than the catalytic converter’s. It dampens or absorbs the noise from the engine. Most COSTA MESA car owners don’t realize that we can actually customize the noise our car makes with a custom muffler. You can upgrade to a muffler that will make your car sleuth-quiet, or you can advertise your presence in COSTA MESA with a sassy rumble.

Mufflers can also rust or be damaged by road debris. But just because their main function is to dampen out engine noise doesn’t mean they can be ignored. If your muffler is leaking, you need to get it replaced quickly. Exhaust fumes need to exit through your tailpipe, not your muffler.

The exhaust pipe contains at least one oxygen sensor. The sensor monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust, which allows it to adjust the fuel-to-air ratio in the engine. This keeps your sedan engine running smoothly and maintains good gas mileage. So, besides keeping you and the environment healthy, a well-maintained exhaust system also keeps your sedan healthy. The tailpipe itself can rust or get damaged by road debris, so it needs a quick inspection once in a while, too.

The whole exhaust system is mounted on the vehicle with clamps and hangers. These clamps and hangers can come loose, rust or get dinged up by road debris. Remember that the gases in your exhaust system are hot, so the exhaust system itself gets hot. The clamps and hangers keep the exhaust system attached to the sedan, but they also prevent the heated components from touching things they shouldn’t. If you don’t inspect and replace broken, loose or damaged clamps, you may end up with melted wires, hoses or lines. And that can spell some expensive repairs.

You should schedule an exhaust system inspection as recommended in your sedan owner’s manual. Because this system is critical to your health and the health of your car, and because of its sophistication and complexity, you need to have the work done at a qualified service center such as Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA.

Maintaining your emissions and exhaust system is not just good auto advice: it’s good health advice for all COSTA MESA auto owners and their families.

Busting Automotive Myths In COSTA MESA CA

Myths passed around our COSTA MESA CA community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the sedans of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.

To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the COSTA MESA area, come over to Costa Mesa Auto Service Center.
You’ll find us at 1749 Anaheim Avenue, COSTA MESA, CA 92627.
Give us a call at 949.645.7878 to make an appointment for your next auto service.

Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.

The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.

The truth on which this myth is based is that many new cars come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around COSTA MESA. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in COSTA MESA still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.

Another common rant you’ll hear around COSTA MESA is that modern cars don’t need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a ‘tune-up’, which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. Costa Mesa Auto Service Center would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.

This definition just doesn’t apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like Costa Mesa Auto Service Center generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles or so.

Of course you can’t lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can’t adjust a carburetor if your car doesn’t have one. You probably don’t need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles. What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?

The danger with these modern-day myths, is that they prevent people in our local COSTA MESA community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .

You get the picture. Your sedan is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your COSTA MESA service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, or do some research of your own.