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

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

Most COSTA MESA and Corona Del Mar auto owners want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving fuel efficiency. At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can COSTA MESA car owners actually save?

The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way COSTA MESA car owners can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your sedan engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas in COSTA MESA, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

In today’s Costa Mesa Auto Service Center article, we’re focusing on the things you can do to improve your sedan MPG driving around CA. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a chart that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TUNE UP 4% .12 .14 .16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best fuel efficiency. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.OO $3.50 $4.00
AIR FILTER 10% .30 .35 .40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40% 1.20 1.40 1.60

Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center.

Here’s an easy one for brilliant COSTA MESA car owners. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your fuel efficiency, so check your tires every week.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TIRE INFLATION 3% .09 .11 .12

Your sedan auto maker has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced fuel efficiency, or up to seven cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2% .06 .07 .08

Here’s one that’s free for COSTA MESA drivers that  want to save bucks: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on COSTA MESA roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your fuel efficiency.

Cutting out aggressive driving around COSTA MESA can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the expressway it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that – and leave a little earlier.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5% .15 .18 .20
DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$ .99 1.16 1.32

A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour on your COSTA MESA interstate,  an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7% .21 .25 .28
SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23% .69 .81 .92

The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our sedans tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.

Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.

Direct Fuel Injection Update From Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

For those of you in COSTA MESA CA who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.

So what are the differences from a conventional engine?

The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it’s then drawn into the engine with the air.

With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cylinder during the combustion cycle is burned much more efficiently.

First, the fuel is squirted in at hundreds of times more pressure, so it’s atomized much better and burns cleaner and stronger. The other big advance is in electronics. Faster engine management computers can control the additional precision required to manage direct fuel injection.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver a precise amount of fuel at exactly the right time. The design of the engine also dictates a particular spray pattern for the fuel. If a fuel injector is dirty or gummed up, it can’t do its job as well. That means less power and worse fuel economy for your sedan and can lead to damaged fuel injectors.

Replacing fuel injectors isn’t cheap. Direct injection injectors are even more expensive because of the extremely high-pressure they use. Same thing for diesel fuel injectors; we’re talking mortgage payment-range to replace a set of diesel injectors.

A professional fuel system cleaning from Costa Mesa Auto Service Center gets out the gum and varnish in the whole system, including the fuel injectors. Keep those injectors clean and they’ll last a long, long time.

Questions To Ask Your COSTA MESA Service Advisor

We find that a lot of COSTA MESA service and repair at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions, but don’t want to be embarrassed or to seem pushy. Cars are very complicated and there’s more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it’s because cars have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn’t need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.

You know, your local hospital has a Patient’s Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our COSTA MESA automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.

It’s all about the communication. It’s a little harder when you’re trying to find the right service center in COSTA MESA. But once you’ve developed a relationship, the communication should come easier.

What are some of the barriers to communication? Well, let’s go back to the medical example. When your doctor’s explaining something to you, it’s something that she understands very well and is very familiar with. So she may use jargon you don’t understand or that you don’t have the education and training that’s foundational to understanding what she’s trying to explain.

So you fall behind and get frustrated.

It can be the same with your COSTA MESA automotive service advisors. Most of them are very busy trying to service and fix cars to get their customers back on the road. So, just ask when you feel you need more information.

Financial related issues seem to be most frustrating to customers. If you’re not sure, ask what the payment policies are. For example, there’s a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Diagnosing a problem may take quite a while. Make sure you know what’s done as a courtesy and what has a fee. Remember, you still have to pay for the office visit even if the doctor says you only have a cold.

Communication is a two way street. If you have some real budget concerns, ask your COSTA MESA service advisor what he can do. He can give you priorities and options. He can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons. Then you can work out a plan for when to get the rest done. He can also help you with options on the parts. The preference is to always use a high-quality part with a reputation for reliability. But if money is real tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt part or a used part. He should tell you the difference in the guarantee for the part so you can make a good decision.

Ask about warranties for parts and labor. Be sure to get all the paperwork you need to make a possible claim in the future. Your service center and its technicians stand behind their work and want you to understand precisely what that means.

Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed explanation of all the work that’s done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.

Call Costa Mesa Auto Service Center to make an appointment.
1749 Anaheim Avenue
COSTA MESA, CA 92627
949.645.7878

What To Do In Case Of An Accident

If you’ve ever been in a car accident around COSTA MESA CA, 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 in COSTA MESA, CA:

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

Most states, including CA require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.

Warn other COSTA MESA motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.

Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.

Always file a 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 won’t 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 CA law, the other guy may be responsible.

Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going 35 miles per 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 badge 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 vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most 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 CA auto insurance company’s 800 number.

Call or see your local COSTA MESA physician if you think you may have been injured.

We here at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy travels.

Keep Your COSTA MESA Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter


Hey COSTA MESA motorists – this is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your sedan burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very essential but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to expensive problems. Of course, your auto maker recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car in CA affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions around Irvine or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your considerate Costa Mesa Auto Service Center service advisor can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your sedan needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters are a little more pricey in COSTA MESA, but they increase horsepower and may improve MPG to boot.

So it’s vital for COSTA MESA drivers to have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA and it should easily pay for itself in better MPG before your next oil change.

Stop by Costa Mesa Auto Service Center at 1749 Anaheim Avenue, COSTA MESA, CA 92627, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 949.645.7878 to make an appointment.

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