Auto Care Plus

Serving Orange and the surrounding area for over 40 years

Auto Care Plus - Serving Orange and the surrounding area for over 40 years

Odometer Rollback On Your Orange CA Auto

How do you know if an odometer is telling the truth?

Well, back in ’86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect CA consumers against mileage fraud. It says a CA seller must certify the mileage reported is the Actual Mileage.

To have your odometer checked in Orange CA, stop by Auto Care Plus:

Auto Care Plus
1432 N Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 771-7587

If it isn’t, the seller must say why; like maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 miles and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.

If the seller tells you the mileage isn’t accurate, there’s not much chance of putting a good number to it; And there’s the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it’s not so. What can you do?

First, you can go to www.CarFax.com, where for a small fee, they’ll give you a comprehensive vehicle history search on your SUV, showing local Orange CA ownership history, accident reports, total-loss events, Manufacturer buybacks, Lemon reports and warranty status.

You can get a mileage history by checking with the local Orange CA DMV (or wherever you happen to be) and other verified sources looking for inconsistencies in the mileage reported when the car’s bought and sold. If there are signs odometer rollback, now you’ll now.

If so, proceed with caution. Or, negotiate a lower price. Or just walk away. There’s always another.

Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

In our auto video today we’ll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that “modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free”.

Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Orange Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn’t so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.

Here are some examples for our friends in Orange.

  • Some cars in Orange no longer require chassis lubrication. They’re made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There’s literally is no way to grease those joints.

-Chalk one up for the myth.

On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn’t even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.

  • So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.

-A point to maintenance.

  • Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.

-Myth gets a point.

  • Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.

-Point for maintenance.

I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they’ve always been.

So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Orange if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there’ll always be a check list.

Let me mention a couple of items on modern vehicles that folks need to be aware of. One of the most of the most important is timing belt replacement. Used to be that all engines had timing chains – you know, metal chains. They rarely broke.

It’s cheaper to make engines with timing belts rather than chains, so replacing the timing belt is on most engines’ maintenance list. The money the manufacturer saves by using a belt is more than off-set by what the vehicle owner has to pay to replace the belt. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of repairing the damage if the timing belt breaks.

So make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced. You don’t want to miss that. If you have 60,000 miles or more, break out your owner’s manual or ask your Orange service advisor at Auto Care Plus to check on the recommendation right away.

Another is sealed wheel bearing assemblies on some vehicles. As you might have guessed, it’s cheaper to make a sealed unit than one that has access to inspect or service the wheel bearings. The problem is that when the bearings fail, you have to replace the entire unit, not just the bearings. That’ll cost 5 or 6 times as much.

For our friends in Orange, we hope this has underscored the importance of knowing and following your maintenance schedule. Come in and see us at Auto Care Plus. You’ll find us at 1432 N Glassell St. in Orange, CA 92867. Just give us a call at (714) 771-7587.

Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In Orange CA

Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the Orange CA area (zip code: 92867) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At Auto Care Plus we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Buena Park area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance:
Auto Care Plus
1432 N Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 771-7587

Many people in Orange are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern SUVs are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn’t have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in Orange with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let’s start with the special needs of the older vehicle…

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There’ll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they’re worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Talk with your Orange service advisor at Auto Care Plus about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your SUV is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your Orange auto service advisor at Auto Care Plus help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven’t gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it’s time to start taking care of those things. It’ll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.

What To Do In Case Of An Accident

If you’ve ever been in a car accident around Orange 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 Orange, 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 Orange 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 Orange 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 Orange physician if you think you may have been injured.

We here at Auto Care Plus hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy travels.