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

Custom Wheels and Tires For Your Orange Ride

It seems like everywhere you go in the Buena Park area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans – it doesn’t matter, auto owners are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some CA motorists want smaller tires and wheels – some want larger – and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At Auto Care Plus, we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you’re after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.

Let’s start with something easy – you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your SUV factory wheels.

First, what is offset? The wheel bolts onto the hub on the SUV’s axle. The distance from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on, is the offset. If the new wheel has a different offset from the factory, the tires may rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. That could lead to catastrophic and (expensive)  tire failure.

Your tire and wheel professional at Auto Care Plus in Orange can help you find the right size wheel – or install adapters to make your new wheels fit. All you have to do is pick from the hundreds of styles available.

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

So, what about Orange auto owners who want to upsize? Well, if you opt for bigger wheels, but you want to keep the same overall tire diameter, that’s pretty easy for the team at Auto Care Plus. The same offset concerns apply. You need to know that the tires will likely be a little bit wider than the originals and you don’t want them to rub when you make sharp turns. Your tire professional at Auto Care Plus in Orange will help you avoid this.

It is also important to keep the same overall tire diameter because changing the rolling diameter can mess with your SUV anti-lock brakes and stability control systems. Are you starting to see why you want to speak with your friendly Auto Care Plus tire and wheel expert at Auto Care Plus in Orange? Is “super-size me” your motto? If it is, you are going to have to lift your vehicle to make room for those huge tires. A mild lift doesn’t require extensive modifications. An extreme lift means a lot of new hardware under the vehicle. It also means a lot of stock electronic systems need to be recalibrated to the new tire size. For example, your speedometer and odometer will give false readings if they aren’t recalibrated. (You don’t want to risk getting speeding tickets on CA freeways because your speedometer shows a lower-than-actual speed.)

Orange car owners who want to upsize should also be aware of possible performance issues. Bigger tires and wheels weigh more. CA automotive experts refer to this as unsprung weight because it isn’t held up by your SUV suspension system. Increased unsprung weight affects performance in different ways than an equivalent amount of groceries or little soccer players in the SUV passenger compartment. Acceleration is negatively affected. Stopping distances may also be increased – sometimes significantly. Orange drivers who want really big tires and wheels, might need to upgrade their brakes to compensate.

Heading the other direction, some car owners in the Buena Park area like to run smaller than standard wheels and lower the suspension. All of the same fitment issues still apply as well as calibration issues. Don’t think that SUV suspension modifications are a bad thing. Many systems actually improve ride, function and performance over the stock set-up.

Regardless of your budget, you want your SUV to continue to do all the things you need it to do. Some of those show cars and trucks you see on TV and Orange showrooms  look , but have been modified in ways that may not suit your needs. For example, if you put large rims on your SUV with low profile tires, you may be in for busted rims if you go off-roading a lot around Buena Park. There just isn’t enough sidewall to absorb the impact of thumping over rocks.

Some auto owners stuff the largest tires and wheels possible in their vehicles but have to severely restrict suspension travel so that the tires aren’t rubbing all day. That can lead to a very harsh ride around CA. Again, talk with your Auto Care Plus wheel professional about all of these things: how you drive in Orange, what look you are going for, your budget and what compromises you are willing to make.

At the end of the day, you’re going to be rollin’ out of Auto Care Plus with one sweet ride.

Protecting Your SUV From Theft In Orange, CA

Every car in Orange, CA is at risk for theft. So it’s up to us Orange motorists to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:

  1. Common sense
  2. Visible and audible devices
  3. Immobilizing devices
  4. Tracking devices

Let’s review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in CA where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it’s against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.

And don’t leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Orange car owners would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.

Orange car owners should know that it’s essential to roll up their windows completely and avoid leaving their car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.

Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive “smash-and-grab” targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.

There are lots of essential visible and audible devices available for Orange drivers. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what’s going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.

Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don’t approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.

And here’s a great one – immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car’s electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can’t drive your car away.

Finally, Orange auto owners can also get a tracking device that allows Orange police to track their car down and recover it quickly.

Remember, where you live, work and drive around Orange, CA has a great impact on your decisions. If you’re in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your Orange, CA auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.

Of course, the common sense suggestions from Auto Care Plus don’t cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves. Take a look at the attached video auto tip from AutoNetTV.

Come see us at Auto Care Plus in Orange for practical advice on keeping your SUV safe.

Fuel Saving Tip: Tire Pressure Saves Fuel In La Habra

Under-inflated tires waste gas for lots of folks in the La Habra area. Think how hard it is to walk in sand – you just have to work harder because of the resistance. When your tires don’t have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get from Orange to La Habra.

Orange Tire Pressure Always check your tire pressure when you gas up at one of our local La Habra service stations. If they’re low – even just a little bit – bring them up to proper pressure. There’s a sticker on the inside of your driver’s door that gives the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure.

And don’t rely on your tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to when you need more air. The TPMS system is set to warn you when pressure drops twenty percent below recommendations. That’s severely under inflated and you needed more air a long time ago. And if you have a slow leak – get it fixed right away at Auto Care Plus.

Get some air and save some gas.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Orange, CA

Let’s talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our Orange environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Orange motorists very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Buena Park area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn.  The benefits to Orange car owners are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more pricey than straight gasoline.

Orange drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around the Buena Park area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Orange roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It’s less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Natural gas engines don’t make as much power and don’t get as good fuel economy, but they cost Orange drivers less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Orange to Buena Park.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Orange area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our CA roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that’s assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver gas mileage similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It’ll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

Another breakthrough technology from car makers is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global manufacturers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It’ll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there’s widespread use in CA.

A quick word from Auto Care Plus about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Buena Park service technician at  Auto Care Plus is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you’re specifically trained on hybrid systems.