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

When Do My Shocks Need to be Replaced?

A good suspension system gives a vehicle a smooth, even ride while providing COSTA MESA drivers with good handling and control. But like any system on your sedan, critical parts of the suspension system can wear out, leading to a lower ride quality and safety concerns. So it’s a good idea for COSTA MESA drivers to remember a diagnostic examination of their suspension system in their schedule of a vital preventive maintenance. Springs do most of the work of the suspension system. The most common types of springs are coil and leaf, but air springs and torsion bars are becoming more common. The body of the vehicle is “suspended” by the springs.

If springs were the only working component in your suspension system, however, you’d spend your travel time bouncing up and down like a bobblehead. That’s where your shocks come in. They keep the rebound, or bounciness, of the springs under control. Shocks also keep your tires on the road, which keeps the driver in control of the sedan. Some vehicles have struts in their suspension system. Struts are a compact combination of springs and shocks. They do the same critical job but in a single package.

Shocks wear out gradually, so it can be difficult for COSTA MESA car owners to notice when they need to be replaced. There’s no definitive point when a vehicle’s ride goes from smooth and controlled to a bit imprecise. To check if your shocks or struts are worn, you should first do a visual inspection on them. If they are leaking fluid, they need to be replaced.

There are other less obvious signs that your suspension system needs important attention. For example, an uneven, cupping wear on your tires may indicate that your shocks are worn. If your vehicle feels “floaty” when you turn, or, in other words, you don’t feel that you have full control of the vehicle, you should check your shocks. Also, if the front end of your vehicle dips noticeably when you stop, it’s time for new shocks.

Your owner’s manual gives recommendations on how often the shocks should be checked, usually between 15,000 and 30,000 miles (24,000-50,000 km). If one of your shocks does need to be replaced, you should replace all four. This will keep your suspension even and ensure good handling of your vehicle. If you carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive on uneven Irvine area terrain, you might also consider upgrading to a heavy-duty shock.

Regular shocks contain hydraulic fluid. The essential fluid helps them absorb the bumps or “shocks” of the road so the impact doesn’t transfer to the sedan’s body. Premium shocks are filled with compressed nitrogen gas, which costs more but does a better job of controlling body motions. Regular shocks can develop air bubbles that reduce their effectiveness; the premium shocks don’t have this problem. So if you want higher handling performance, if you drive off-road around CA or if you just want added comfort, you should consider upgrading to premium shocks or struts.

Replacing struts can put your sedan out of alignment, so an alignment check should always follow this type of repair. Talk to your considerate service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA.

Vehicle Maintenance Videos by Costa Mesa Auto Service Center: When to Replace Your Wiper Blades

There are several essential factors that go into how often COSTA MESA auto owners should replace their wiper blades. Of course, the more you use your wipers, the faster the blades will wear out – especially if you use them on an icy windshield. Whether it’s a lot of bugs and road grime from CA highway  driving or lots of wet weather – your blades get a work out and start to wear.

But your wiper blades break down even when they aren’t used frequently. They are damaged by sunlight and temperature changes as well. The rubber in the blades can dry out and crack and eventually fall apart. Check your wipers: If they’re not doing their vital job, have them replaced.

Talk to your Costa Mesa Auto Service Center service professional about how you drive – we can advise you on the optimal blades for your needs.

Give us a call

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

ICE – In Case Of Emergency In COSTA MESA CA


When accidents occur in COSTA MESA, CA, the victims’ emergency contacts are extremely important. Too often, those involved aren’t able to provide rescuers with phone numbers and critical medical information.

When CA police and rescue workers must sift through pockets, glove compartments, wallets, purses and cell phone directories they waste precious time.

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident, you have people in the COSTA MESA, CA area who you’ll want to be contacted to arrange help, give consent to treatment, and inform Irvine paramedics of medical conditions, allergies or medications.

A brilliantly simple solution is now spreading through Irvine and around the globe: ICE. ICE – standing for In Case of Emergency, is a way to identify emergency contacts in your cell phone directory.

Simply put ‘ICE’ before a contact name in your cell phone, like ‘ICE – Dad’, ‘ICE – Nancy’, or ‘ICE – Doctor Roberts’. Rescuers will be able to quickly identify your emergency contacts, saving valuable time.

Bob Brotchie, a Cambridge, England paramedic came up with the idea and designed a promotional campaign in England in 2005. This effective idea is gaining attention in COSTA MESA, CA and in other countries. COSTA MESA rescue workers all know of how many times they are unable to find a wallet or purse on an accident victim, yet most Irvine area folks over fourteen years of age are seldom without their cell phone.

There are national and worldwide disaster databases, but participation can cost up to two hundred dollars a year. ‘ICE’ is free to the 276 million cell phone users in the U.S.

It is easy for COSTA MESA auto owners and their families to designate some ICE contacts in their cell phone. Remember to keep the listings current.

Please join Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in getting the word out. Help us put COSTA MESA, CA on ICE!

The Costa Mesa Auto Service Center Guide To Caring For Your Transmission

Most cars and trucks have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Huntington Beach motorists only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Huntington Beach. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there’s an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you’re doing.

Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That’s what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on CA freeways. And automatically shifts back down to climb Huntington Beach hills, pass or start up again.

sedan automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.

At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.

Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.

Not enough fluid can starve the transmission or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission, then the lubricant is blocked and can’t get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.

And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any COSTA MESA service center can be quite costly. That’s why auto makers have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.

It’s really important for Huntington Beach auto owners to carefully follow the manufacturer’s transmission service schedule.

At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA, we hope you never become shiftless in Huntington Beach because you didn’t take care of your transmission.