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

Breathe Deep With Your Cabin Air Filter

Bad air quality while you’re driving around La Habra is nothing to sneeze at. But seriously, more and more vehicles these days come equipped with a cabin air filter. Since they’re fairly new on the scene, a lot of folks don’t know about them yet.

These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment, or cabin, of your car or truck. They do the same job as the furnace filter you have at home. They can filter out particles as small as thee microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

So your cabin air filer can clean out dust, pollution, pollen and spores, to keep the air in your car nice and clean. And just like your furnace filter, they need to be replaced when they get dirty. Check your owner’s manual, but they typically need to be replaced at around twelve to fifteen thousand miles.

The filter is usually either under the hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you’ll want to have your Orange CA service center, Auto Care Plus, take care of replacing them.

As we said, many people don’t realize they have a cabin air filter and go to their shop complaining about a funky smell in the ventilation system. It turned out to be a cabin air filter that was long overdue for replacement – really dirty and starting to smell. A quick replacement and they were on their way and smelling fine.

People who are allergy sensitive can really benefit from a cabin air filter, as it keeps allergens to a minimum. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to stay on top of your filter replacement schedule.

Of course if you do a lot of driving in dusty or polluted conditions, you’ll need to change your cabin air filter more often.

Orange Road Trip Preparation

People from Orange CA love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than a CA road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it’s great! But there’s nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now you can’t always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip.

Heading out on a CA road trip? Stop by Auto Care Plus before you head out to make sure everything is in good repair.
1432 N Glassell St., Orange, CA 92867
Call us at (714) 771-7587

Let’s look at some of the auto maintenance related problems you might encounter on a road trip and what you might do to avoid them.

It all starts with a thorough trip inspection by your Orange CA service professionals at Auto Care Plus. Let’s talk about some of the items on the trip inspection checklist.

The most common vehicle component to fail is the tires. Of course, you can’t always avoid a road hazard that leads to a flat, but you may be able to head off some maintenance-connected tire problems.

A good tire inspection will start with looking over the condition of the tire itself. Are there signs of uneven tire wear? Are the tires properly inflated? Is the tread worn to the point that the tire should be replaced? The answers to these questions may lead to a recommendation to balance or rotate your tires. It may also be time to have an alignment service.

Your brakes should be inspected for function as well as to determine how much life is left in your brake pads. You’ll also want to know if it’s time to service your brake fluid. Over time water and contaminants make their way into your brake fluid and the system needs to be flushed, cleaned and filled with fresh fluid.

While looking under your car, your Orange auto technician should also inspect your suspension system for worn or damaged parts. If you need new shocks or struts, you’ll really notice the difference on your trip once you have them replaced.

Now the second most common vehicle failure is the cooling system. It may be time for a coolant exchange or flush. These services remove old fluid that has become corrosive and replaces it with fresh, clean fluid that restores the effectiveness of your cooling system.

The cooling system inspection will reveal leaks and weakened hoses. Replacing worn parts, like the radiator cap or water pump may be indicated. Even though cooling system failure is fairly common, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to prevent with proper maintenance.

Another thing people often overlook their transmission service. This is very important before a road trip because transmission problems tend to take some time and money to get fixed. Not the way you want to spend your vacation.

Your technician will inspect your belts to see if they should be replaced. A failed belt is at best an inconvenience. He’ll also give your exhaust system the once over to make sure there aren’t any dangerous leaks that could harm you and your passengers.

Of course, there are the usual things as well. An oil change, engine air filter, fuel system cleaning, a tune up. If you need any of these things, get them done today at Auto Care Plus – the improved fuel economy will be appreciated on your road trip.

If your heater or air conditioning isn’t working as well as you’d like, let your Orange CA service consultant know at Auto Care Plus.

Some important items that are often overlooked are power steering service, differential service and timing belt replacement. If these things don’t ring a bell, have your service consultant check to see if they’re due.

Now while you’re out seeing the sights, you’ll want to make sure you can see the sights. Replace your windshield wipers if they aren’t working well. And don’t forget your headlamps. They gradually lose their brightness and you don’t even realize it. Many people replace their lamps once or twice a year.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all come into focus as you plan for your trip. They’ll always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss the world’s largest ball of string, would you?

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

 

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some Orange motorists and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most of us Orange drivers.

Let’s get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause essential engine damage. Naturally, you need to get that taken care of right away. If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at CA expressway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your Orange service center.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with your friendly Auto Care Plus tech to get it checked out.

Some more Orange information on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative for Orange drivers. Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range the computer runs some tests and may turn on the SUV’s Check Engine Light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The computer doesn’t know if it’s a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine Light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn’t come up again, it turns off the Check Engine Light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it’ll then turn off the Check Engine Light.

If the problem can’t be resolved then the light will remain on and you should get your SUV looked at. Your friendly Auto Care Plus technician will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

Stay Headed In The Right Direction, Orange

Power steering is standard on nearly every car and truck in Orange, CA these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that’s driven by a belt powered by the engine.

Contact the automotive professionals at Auto Care Plus in Orange for questions about your power steering.

The pump generates power that assists drivers as they steer their SUV around Orange, CA. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it’s a good idea to have your Orange service specialist inspect them at every oil change.

A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change at Auto Care Plus because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it’s important to use the correct type –just ask your tech at Auto Care Plus.

In addition to providing boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. Over time, the lubricants and detergents diminish so Orange motorists need to replace their old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.

Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many auto manufacturers outline power steering service intervals in the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, this critical service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. For Orange drivers who are not sure, every two years is a good rule of thumb. 

At Auto Care Plus, we use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.

Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, loud whining coming from the pump you may have a power steering problem. Another sign for Orange car owners is having to frequently top off the fluid.

Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out real fast. AutoNetTV wants you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly at your service center or Auto Care Plus in Orange to keep you headed in the right direction.

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

Save Fuel By Watching Your Weight

Most Orange motorists are all talking gas mileage right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. CA folks want to save the environment and our pocketbooks.

And we Orange drivers all know — or should know — that preventive maintenance will help maintain maximum fuel economy. But is there something more we can do? After all, some of us Orange motorists can’t cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.

Weight is one major enemy of MPG. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from Orange to La Habra to Stanton. And that means buying more gas and producing more emissions.

Of course, your vehicle’s weight isn’t negotiable. And you can’t do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn’t an article about diet and exercise.

But look around your car. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around Orange? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your Orange neighborhood? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don’t. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.

The same goes for anything else in your SUV: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don’t.

Clean out your vehicle. You’d be surprised how much weight you’re lugging around in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food, and regular old dirt. Even if it’s not a lot of weight, you’ll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.

Now, don’t toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire — the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in the car when you go on a longer trip, but you don’t have to lug it around Orange all the time.

After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?

Lose the junk and save some money
.