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

Auto Care Plus Service For Your Exhaust System

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Your SUV’s exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems on your SUV. Maintaining it is good Auto Care Plus auto advice for Orange auto owners, but it’s also good health advice and good environmental advice.

The exhaust system includes your emissions system. Because this system may affect your health and the health of our Buena Park area environment, it is subject to strict government regulations. Satisfying these regulations demands some high-tech, computer-controlled equipment, which means that the emissions system is a lot more sophisticated than it was thirty years ago. Most auto manufacturers recommend that you have your SUV exhaust and emissions systems checked by a qualified service specialist at regular intervals.

The exhaust system starts with the exhaust manifold. Auto Care Plus Service For Your Exhaust SystemThe manifold is attached to the SUV engine. It collects exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe. Gaskets seal the connection of the manifold to the engine and to other joints. A cracked or loose manifold or a leaking or damaged gasket can allow dangerous gases to enter the passenger compartment of a vehicle. One of these gases is carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly. For this reason, it is important that Buena Park drivers keep their exhaust system in good repair.

The pipes that connect the various parts of the exhaust system can rust or be damaged by rocks or other road debris. Such damage can cause dangerous gases to leak into the air. So it is vital that exhaust pipes get an automotive analysis regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next essential component of your SUV exhaust system. It sort of looks like a muffler. Its job is to change dangerous gases into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any regular maintenance, but it can wear out. If it fails, you will need a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test in CA. Call Auto Care Plus at (714) 771-7587 if you suspect a problem with your catalytic converter.

Oxygen sensors in the exhaust pipe monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust. This helps the SUV engine’s computer keep the fuel-to-air mixture at optimal levels.

The muffler is also part of your SUV exhaust system, but it deals with a different kind of emission. It keeps your SUV from emitting bad sounds. Mufflers act like finely tuned musical instruments. They create a feedback of sound waves to absorb or decrease the noises made by your engine. Different mufflers can create different sound waves, so you can actually “tune” your car to produce a particular sound, anything from whisper to rumble.

It is important for damaged mufflers be replaced immediately at your Orange automotive service center, especially if they are leaking. Not only will the extra noise annoy your Orange neighbors, a leaky muffler could be serious.

The entire exhaust system is attached to your SUV by hangers and clamps. These fasteners can rust, come loose or break. The important components of the exhaust system can get very hot, so when the hangers or clamps fail, these hot components can come into contact with other parts such as wires and hoses. These can melt, causing serious and pricey damage to your vehicle. Good car care requires that you have your exhaust system inspected regularly.

Let’s not forget the tailpipe. It’s the last important piece in the exhaust system — and of your SUV, for that matter. Exhaust fumes exit your SUV through the tailpipe.

If your SUV has any of the following symptoms, it may have a problem with the exhaust system: it’s hard to start, it runs rough, it’s noisy, it’s smoking. Also, if your “check engine” light comes on, especially if it’s flashing, it is important to get your SUV to Auto Care Plus in Orange right away. Often, the “check engine” light indicates a problem with the emissions system.

Caring for your SUV exhaust system yields cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety. Your life, or the life of a loved one, may actually be on the line.

Buying the Right Tires and Wheels In Orange CA

Everyone in Orange CA eventually replaces their tires, whether it’s because they’re worn out or they’re just looking for something different. There are so many great tire choices in Orange CA, it can be difficult to sort them out. Let’s group the broad spectrum into several categories that will help in the selection process.

One category is often referred to as “summer tires”. Summer tires are designed to be driven on the road when temperatures are generally above 45 degrees. Their tread design is optimized for traction on dry roads in Orange CA and they’re also able to effectively displace water on rainy roads.

Orange Selecting Tires and Wheels Now the rubber compound gets a little hard and stiff as temperatures drop below 45 degrees as it occasionally does here in Orange CA. And the tread which handles dry roads so well, can get packed with snow or mud – which provides very little traction in those conditions.

So if you live where its summer all year round, these tires will work well for you. If you like maximum performance in warm weather, but still live where it gets cold and snowy, you’ll want to change your summer tires for winter tires as the weather starts to change.

Summer tires can be purchased with an emphasis on handling performance, smooth ride or long life. Your Orange CA tire professional at Auto Care Plus can help you find the right tire for the way you drive.

As you can imagine, winter tires are designed to work very well in snow and ice. Their tread is designed with many channels and grooves that throw the snow out of the tread as the wheel turns. This means the tire is always be able to bite into the snow.

The rubber compound used in winter tires is specially formulated to be flexible at temperatures below 45 degrees. This maximizes cold weather traction. When it gets warmer, the softer rubber will wear faster on warm dry pavement than summer tires, so change them out once the weather has turned.

There’s a range of tires within the winter tire category. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, look for the mountain and snowflake icon that signifies a severe snow rating. If you have milder winters and still want a performance component, they make a winter tire for you as well.

For many people, an all-season tire is the answer. You will give up some of the performance at the extreme ends of the summer tire/ winter tire spectrum, but you will find a long wearing tire that gives both good highway performance and winter traction on our Orange CA roads.

Within the all-season category, there are many choices that you tire advisor can help you evaluate.

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

Outside of these three main categories, some people in Orange with trucks and SUVs like a tire that is designed for both on-highway and off-highway use. They can handle the rocks and bumps off-road, but still work well on the street. Again, many options depending on the relative emphasis on on-road verses off-road.

You may want new wheels to go with your new tires – well, there are hundreds and hundreds of styles to choose from. That’s a matter of personal taste. If you want to change the size of your wheels and tires, do get some professional help.

The computers on your vehicle are programmed to the size of wheel and tire combination that comes from the factory. Tire size affects various computer controlled functions like anti-lock brakes, traction and stability controls, speedometer and odometer. Of course, you want these systems to work properly. The computers can be re-programmed for different tire sizes.

And if you want to increase the size of your wheels and tires, you’ll want so help to make sure they’ll fit in the wheel wells of your vehicle without rubbing during turns or over bumps.

Auto Care Plus Advice On Buying New Tires

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Today’s tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Orange driver’s style, habits and driving conditions.

Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all CA seasons.

Orange off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires’ high profile protects rims from damage.

But what if you own an SUV but aren’t interested in off-roading around Orange? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.

Auto Care Plus tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.

The same goes for wheels. When Orange car owners shop for new wheels, they can be hard-pressed to make a selection from the thousands of styles available at CA tire stores. If they choose a wheel that is the same size as the ones that came with their vehicle, they can get them changed out and get back on the road, no worries. But if they change the wheel size, then they may need to make some vital adjustments to their vehicle.

Upsizing a wheel may mean changing the suspension on the SUV. The wheel and tire need to fit inside the wheel well without any rubbing during turns or when driving over bumps. Rubbing can cause uneven tire wear and even damage the tires or cause safety issues.

Upsizing wheels also increases the unsprung weight of the vehicle which has a major impact on braking performance. The larger wheels increase rotational inertia, as well, which translates to longer stopping distance and lower brake performance. Upsized wheels may require upgraded brakes. Further, wheel size is used to calculate the speed and mileage of a vehicle. Changing wheel size will cause the speedometer and odometer to give inaccurate readings unless the vehicle’s computer is re-programmed to compensate for the difference.

So if you want to customize your SUV with new wheels, you should consult with a wheel and tire professional at Auto Care Plus in Orange to ensure you get the style you want without sacrificing safety or performance — and without damaging your vehicle.

If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your SUV on the road.

So personalize your vehicle, but don’t forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in Orange a lot longer.

Go Big or Go Home: Upsize Your Wheels at Auto Care Plus

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A lot of us Orange car owners like our vehicles to reflect our personalities. We’re picky about color and body style. We’ll customize anything from floor mats to window tints to license plates. One popular way for CA auto owners to customize a vehicle is to get new wheels.

Wheels come in thousands of designs. Custom wheels can add personality, style or sass to a vehicle. Many of these customizations involve getting a bigger wheel.

Fifteen or sixteen-inch wheels used to be the factory standard, But today, because a lot of Orange motorists like the look of larger wheels, many vehicles are available with seventeen or eighteen-inch wheels. Optional wheel packages of twenty inches or more are also available in Orange.

If you want to upsize the wheels on your current vehicle, however, you should know it’s not a do-it-yourself project. There are vital factors involved in ensuring your wheel change doesn’t jeopardize the safety of your vehicle.

First of all, it’s vital for CA car owners to understand rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is the overall height of a tire. If you increase the rolling diameter of your tires when you upsize your wheels, you may have to modify your suspension to make sure the larger tires fit in the space and don’t rub in turns or over bumps. If that’s more work than you’re willing to do or pay for, then you need to maintain rolling diameter when you change your wheels.

It’s not as hard for Orange motorists as it sounds. Imagine a doughnut. That doughnut represents rolling diameter, so you can’t make the doughnut bigger. However, you can increase the size of the doughnut hole. That gives you a bigger wheel. Tires with reduced sidewall on larger wheels will preserve your rolling diameter.

Rolling diameter is essential because your wheels and tires still need to fit inside the wheel well. Also, your speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brakes are all programmed to work with a specific rolling diameter. You’ll throw off the readings on your speedometer and odometer if you change your rolling diameter. And for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, your rolling diameter has to be within 3% of factory recommendations. While some Orange drivers who upsize may not be concerned about meter readings, throwing off the brake system is a serious safety hazard.

Further, many vehicles in Orange are now equipped with electronically controlled suspensions. Changing the rolling diameter will negatively affect this system as well, which can lead to a less smooth ride and lower handling performance as well as dangerous safety concerns.

Your friendly Auto Care Plus tire professional may be able to reprogram your vehicle’s computer to adjust for a larger (or smaller) rolling diameter.

So to maintain rolling diameter, you’ll need tires with a shorter sidewall. These tires will be designed to give the sidewalls the strength they need to maintain ride quality. Consider that doughnut again. As the wheel (the doughnut hole) gets bigger, the sidewall of the tire (the width of remaining doughnut) gets shorter. That means the tire holds less air. The sidewalls have to be made stiffer to compensate for the decreased air capacity.

To improve their strength, the shorter tires will also be slightly wider than your previous tires. But this means you’ll have a larger contact patch, or, in other words, a larger area of tire making contact with the road. This can actually increase your handling performance and decrease braking distances. Many CA auto buffs customize their wheels just for this reason—they want the improved performance rather than looks or style. If you drive a truck or an SUV around Orange, you might be interested in the extra control an upsized wheel can provide.

Now, that larger contact patch still has to fit inside your wheel well without rubbing when cornering or when bouncing over bumps or potholes on Orange roads. This is termed fitment, and you may need a few essential adjustments so your new wheels will fit properly. You may need spacers so that your brakes will fit inside the new wheels, as well.

Auto Care Plus tire professionals are experts at mounting, adjusting and customizing wheels. They can give you a lot of good auto advice about wheels and tires and how they affect driving performance and car care. They can help Orange motorists select wheels and tires that will suit their driving needs and habits.

For example, if you drive off-road around Buena Park, you should consider a higher profile tire. This type of tire will protect your rims from pricey damage while you’re bouncing over rocks. Or, if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads around CA, you’ll want a tire with a load rating equal to your demands. Your friendly Auto Care Plus tire professional can help you with these types of concerns.

Once you’ve got your new wheels, have your friendly Auto Care Plus service specialist inspect to see if you need an alignment. You don’t want those new wheels and your higher performance compromised by poor alignment. Get the most out of your investment by getting the work done right at Auto Care Plus in Orange.

Last but not least, remember tire pressure. With larger wheels, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need slightly higher pressure. You’ll need to stay on top of vital preventive maintenance and keep them properly inflated. Be sure to check their pressure at least once a week. If you don’t keep your tires at their correct pressure, they will wear out really fast. It will also impair your braking and handling performance.

So smile and show off your vehicle around Buena Park. Make it all yours. Bumper stickers, vanity license plates, custom wheels — strut your stuff!

Why A Trip Inspection Is A Good Idea

At Auto Care Plus we get a lot of Orange motorists asking about car trip preparation. That’s a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas outside of Orange so it’s important to know that the car is up to the task and won’t leave you stranded.

Smart Buena Park car owners plan ahead for a major road trip – there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Orange to see if you can feel any vibrations: are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? Come to Auto Care Plus for a peace-of-mind trip inspection.

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

The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your critical fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. You may also need a new PCV valve and an engine air filter.

How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?

How are your wiper blades? There’s nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from Orange.

Check your owners’ manual for any other critical recommended service and have Auto Care Plus in Orange do the multi-point inspection before you head out in CA.

Consider also having the coolant system serviced at Auto Care Plus – you want to stay within the automobile manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re towing a trailer in Orange you’ll want to be keep in mind that you’ll be going a long way under severe conditions.

A lot of Orange folks overlook severe conditions like towing, or Orange summer heat, or driving on dirt roads in CA. Plan ahead for your next road trip – Auto Care Plus wants you to get there and back.