Archive for Maintenance

Commitment to Make Your Mercedes – Lexus Last At Exclusive Motors

For advice on how to make your Mercedes – Lexus last longer, visit us at Exclusive Motors
1961 E Miraloma Ave # A
Placentia, California 92870
(714) 795-3065

These days many people in the Yorba Linda area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. It’d be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you’ve had the vehicle for a while, or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that’s where you start.

Go through the maintenance schedule for your Mercedes – Lexus and see what’s been done and when. Have your Placentia service advisor at Exclusive Motors do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.

Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles. You might be pretty overwhelmed.

To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there’s a failure. In consultation with your Placentia service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you’ll be prepared for it in a few months.

Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.

Make Your Vehicle Last

We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days California folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most Placentia drivers couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days for Placentia motorists. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us California penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Placentia car owners making sure we follow the automobile manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some Mercedes – Lexus parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older Mercedes – Lexuss. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Placentia at Exclusive Motors, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your Friendly Exclusive Motors service specialist help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Exclusive Motors is cheaper than a a significant new car payment for Placentia motorists. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

Budget For Maintenance in Placentia

Sometimes busy Placentia residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Yorba Linda in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today’s automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Placentia motorists spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today’s vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today’s Placentia drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s Placentia auto owners didn’t care much for it, either. So on today’s vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Placentia area auto service centers.

Placentia auto owners should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in Placentia is simply more expensive than it used to be. So if you think about it, California drivers can avoid many expensive Mercedes – Lexus repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Edmunds.com has a great calculator to help you estimate car repair costs. Yorba Linda drivers can enter the year, make and model for your vehicle, and the calculator will give you an estimate of what it will cost to service and repair your vehicle for the next five years. It also estimates the costs for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel.

These estimates can be used to set up a reasonable budget to manage your car repair and maintenance expenses. Of course, they are just estimates. All Anaheim Hills car owners know that life hands out a lot of surprises — some good, some bad, so there’s no way to know exactly what your Mercedes – Lexus will need. But a good estimate helps you make a good budget, and a good budget is always helpful when it comes to car repairs.

Let’s look at one example. For a 2003 Toyota Camry, here is Edmunds’ estimate for the cost of repairs and maintenance for the next three years (as of the time of this writing):

Yr. 1 Yr. 2  
Yr. 3 
3-Yr. Total  
Maintenance 748    
225      
794     
1767  
Repairs 352      
409 476 1237  
                           Total 1,100 634 1,270 3,004  
Monthly Average 92 53 106 83  

According to this estimate, the owner needs to set aside about $83 a month to defray the costs of car care. That sounds like a lot until you compare it to the payment on a new automobile. And even if car repairs are more pricey than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.

Just a bit of auto advice from Exclusive Motors: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you’re afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and California auto insurance with an older Placentia vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for vital preventive maintenance in California, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less expensive!

Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Placentia Car Owners

A generation ago, Placentia auto owners 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 Mercedes – Lexus in to your Placentia shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Placentia 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 Mercedes – Lexus was in for a tune-up at Exclusive Motors, 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 Mercedes – Lexuss 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 Placentia 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 Placentia service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Exclusive Motors in Placentia, 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 Mercedes – Lexus 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 important 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 Mercedes – Lexus 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 Mercedes – Lexus 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 Mercedes – Lexus 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 expensive damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Placentia auto owners 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 essential 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 Yorba Linda who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Placentia 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.

Placentia 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 gas mileage, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Following Recommended Intervals For Your Mercedes – Lexus

If you’re reading this article in Placentia, California, then you probably care about your car and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your Friendly Exclusive Motors technician tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you had planned. And you worry that if you say “no”, you might be harming your Mercedes – Lexus or risking your family’s safety.

At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. Service recommendations are in your owner’s manual. But it is not like you want to keep your Mercedes – Lexus auto maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.

Cars are complicated machines and it takes some effort for Placentia auto owners to keep them running well. That is why auto makers have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your Mercedes – Lexus performing efficiently and prevent costly breakdowns. In a typical owners manual you’ll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning, and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks – yeah, it is a really long list!

Fortunately, this isn’t a test: Placentia auto owners don’t need to have it memorized. Your Friendly Exclusive Motors service professional has access to your car maker’s recommendations. Don’t be surprised when your tech at Exclusive Motors reminds you something critical is due. Your automobile manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let Exclusive Motors help you stay on top of vital maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. We’ll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.

Exclusive Motors and the Maintenance Mindset

When it comes to their vehicles, some Placentia auto owners don’t have a maintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Placentia drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance, but just may have not applied it to their Mercedes – Lexuss.

For example: the lawn. You water it and mow it every week. And weed the flower beds and rake the leaves. Exclusive Motors And The Maintenance MindsetThere are other things that Placentia residents are diligent about. Going to the dentist twice a year. Clothes to the dry cleaner. Flu shots. Taking the kids to your Placentia doctor for a checkup before school starts.

So Placentia motorists really are maintenance minded. They just have to learn to apply that mindset to cars. I mean, if you never brush your teeth or go to the dentist, you’ll become painfully aware of your neglect when you get a big cavity. Once the damage is done, most of us learn our lesson and shape up.

Unfortunately, Placentia motorists too often learn a hard automotive lesson when they bring their vehicle to Exclusive Motors on a tow truck. So many times a little routine maintenance would have prevented a steep breakdown.

So how can Placentia motorists get into the habit of taking care of their Mercedes – Lexus? It’s so easy to forget. If you skip cutting the grass, you see it every time you pull in the driveway.

Here’s something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your Friendly Exclusive Motors service professional will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason why. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he’ll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they’ve got you covered. And at Exclusive Motors, we check to see if your Mercedes – Lexus automobile manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.

The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done.
The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you’ve got to remember that Mercedes – Lexuss are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their operation. Without them, the Mercedes – Lexus won’t run at all.

So when you come in to Exclusive Motors for an oil change, you get an automotive analysis from your Friendly service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your Friendly Exclusive Motors service advisor can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and helping you avoid expensive breakdowns.

Serpentine Belt Service At Exclusive Motors In Placentia

If you’ve ever heard a squealing sound under your Mercedes – Lexus hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems in your Mercedes – Lexus. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Placentia.

Serpentine Belt Service At Exclusive Motors In PlacentiaMore importantly, the belt powers the alternator
. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your Mercedes – Lexus’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).

And, on most Mercedes – Lexuss, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Placentia cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.

When they understand what it does, Placentia drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why car makers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owners manuals. If this important maintenance component is not included in your owners manual, come see us at Exclusive Motors.

At Exclusive Motors in Placentia, your Friendly tech can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.

If it has lost a significant amount of thickness, it also needs to be replaced. Talk to your Friendly service professional at Exclusive Motors. There’s a special spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Exclusive Motors, we recommend Placentia auto owners that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

As mentioned, a squealing sound could alert you that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your Mercedes – Lexus.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s is essential to the operation of your Mercedes – Lexus. And it’s not that expensive to replace at Exclusive Motors – so it’s good to do so before it fails.

Clean Air for Your Engine: Engine Air Filters In Placentia

Every Placentia car owner who has taken their car in for an oil change has been told that their engine air filter’s dirty.

Here’s what goes into the determination of when to change the filter: First, your Mercedes – Lexus owner’s manual will have a recommendation of when to change the filter. Second, a visual inspection by your Placentia technician may determine that your filter it is visibly dirty and needs to be changed.

Clean Air for Your Engine Placentia Engine Air Filter

So between your owner’s manual and your Yorba Linda technician’s inspection there’s really no guesswork involved for Placentia car owners.

Now, most air filters purchased in Placentia, Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, or Villa Park don’t cost a lot to replace. It’s just that California people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter at Exclusive Motors can often save enough on gas to pay for itself before your next oil change in Placentia.

Think about a dirty furnace filter in your Placentia home. When it’s all clogged up, enough clean air can’t get through. In your Mercedes – Lexus, that means that your engine can’t get as much air as it needs to burn the fuel efficiently. So it makes do with less air and has to use more costly California gas to move your vehicle around Yorba Linda roads.

Your Mercedes – Lexus actually needs about 12,000 gallons of air for every gallon of gas it burns. Engine air filters don’t cost much in Placentia at Exclusive Motors. When it’s time to change yours, just get it done. You’ll get better fuel efficiency, have better performance and protect your Mercedes – Lexus engine.

Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In Placentia California

Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the Placentia California area (zip code: 92870) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At Exclusive Motors we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Yorba Linda area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance:
Exclusive Motors
1961 E Miraloma Ave # A
Placentia, California 92870
(714) 795-3065

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

Local car owners in Placentia 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 Placentia service advisor at Exclusive Motors 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 Mercedes – Lexus 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 Placentia auto service advisor at Exclusive Motors 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.

Exclusive Motors Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

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Placentia service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Placentia drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

Exclusive Motors fuel system cleaning: Over time, the Mercedes – Lexus fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

Exclusive Motors headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It’s usually good to change them every year or so.

Exclusive Motors inspections: Placentia drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they’re going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle’s ready for California summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used Mercedes – Lexus and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

Exclusive Motors oil change: – there are several options: Some Placentia centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

Exclusive Motors PCV valve replacement in Placentia:
PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It’s a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. Just needs to be changed now and then.

Exclusive Motors power steering service: Often overlooked. Your Friendly Exclusive Motors technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the Mercedes – Lexus system running well for a long time.

Exclusive Motors serpentine belt service:
That’s the belt that powers the Mercedes – Lexus engine’s accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You’ll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that’ll shut you down.

Exclusive Motors shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Placentia people don’t notice when it’s time to change them. If they’re worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

Exclusive Motors transmission service:
This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It’s like an oil change for your transmission.

Exclusive Motors tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.