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: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your SUV engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let’s go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on CA expressways, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce twenty pounds of carbon dioxide?

The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your SUV needs a lot of air to keep going in La Habra. A lot of clean air is best.

Auto Care Plus: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?You’ve seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your SUV also works better when its internals are clean. When your SUV air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your SUV engine does you no good.

So, we’re talking potential damage for Buena Park drivers. But another big thing is wasted fuel. Your SUV engine management computer tries to mix the correct amount of air in with the fuel. If the filter’s clogged, there isn’t enough air for the optimal fuel to air mix and that really messes with gas mileage.

In fact, replacing a dirty air filter at Auto Care Plus in Orange can improve your fuel economy by up to ten percent. At today’s La Habra fuel prices, you should be able to pay for a new air filter before your next oil change.

The verdict: When your SUV engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in CA. A simple visual inspection at Auto Care Plus will tell you when you need a new engine air filter.

When you look at the air filter on your furnace at home and see it’s all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don’t hesitate to replace it. When your Auto Care Plus service advisor shows you your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and replace it.

The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at Auto Care Plus

Service to a vehicle’s power steering system is an essential part of preventive maintenance for quick Orange auto owners. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your SUV’s wheels would have to come from you.

The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer SUVs have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost.

Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system.

Orange car owners should remember that fluid levels in the power steering system should be checked at every oil change. Low fluid levels can damage the pump, which can be expensive to repair. Low fluid levels may also indicate a leaky hose in the power steering system, so it is a good idea to inspect the hoses, especially if your fluid levels are low.

Power steering fluid breaks down over time, losing its effectiveness. It also gradually collects moisture, which can lead to corrosion in the steering system. So the fluid needs to be replaced occasionally. You should check with your owner’s manual or ask your friendly Auto Care Plus tech to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.

When your fluid is replaced, your friendly Auto Care Plus technician will remove the old fluid and replace it with new. Power steering fluids are not all created equal; the fluid has to be compatible with your hoses and seals. Your Auto Care Plus service professional can ensure that you get the right fluid for your vehicle, or you can consult your owner’s manual.

Signs that your power steering system is in trouble can include the following: a steering wheel that is hard to turn, auxiliary steering power that cuts in and out, or a whining sound coming from the pump. Also, Orange auto owners who are not topping off the power steering fluid on schedule may hear squealing coming from the engine belts.

To protect your steering system should never hold the steering wheel in the far right or far left position for more than a few seconds at a time. This can wear out your pump in a hurry.

Preventive maintenance for your steering system primarily involves the power steering components, but your steering system has other parts that can wear out or be damaged by rough CA driving conditions. Such parts include the ball-joint, idler arm, steering gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod. Signs that they are in need of attention include play in the steering wheel, a vehicle that wanders, uneven tire wear and a steering wheel that is off-center. Orange auto owners should have their alignment checked annually. This check-up can reveal bent or damaged steering components.

For answers to other questions about your steering system, or for auto advice on any type of vehicle maintenance, check with the team at Auto Care Plus. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.

Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight And Your CA Driving

Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from here to Irvine knows this makes sense.

Some of us in the Irvine area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I’m not talkin’ what you see in the mirror.

SUV Weight Guys; sports equipment and tools. Ladies; well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about forty-five pounds of French fries on the floor.

All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and Irvine, and everywhere else.

Lose the junk and save some money.

…And you really only need one of those spare tires.

Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Orange Car Owners

A generation ago, Orange motorists seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your SUV in to your Orange shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Orange used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the SUV was in for a tune-up at Auto Care Plus, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our SUVs don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.

Modern Orange car owners need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Orange service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Auto Care Plus in Orange, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and gas mileage. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern SUV engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of essential parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the SUV isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your SUV engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the SUV engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this costly damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Orange motorists than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to important engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Buena Park who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Orange folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

Orange motorists can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better MPG, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.