Archive for Maintenance

Why A Trip Inspection Is A Good Idea

At Exclusive Motors we get a lot of Placentia drivers 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 Placentia so it’s important to know that the car is up to the task and won’t leave you stranded.

Smart Yorba Linda drivers 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 Placentia to see if you can feel any vibrations: are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? Come to Exclusive Motors for a peace-of-mind trip inspection.

1961 E Miraloma Ave # A
Placentia, California 92870
(714) 795-3065

The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your essential 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 Placentia.

Check your owners’ manual for any other essential recommended service and have Exclusive Motors in Placentia do the multi-point inspection before you head out in California.

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

A lot of Placentia folks overlook severe conditions like towing, or Placentia summer heat, or driving on dirt roads in California. Plan ahead for your next road trip – Exclusive Motors wants you to get there and back.

Gas Savings In Placentia: Sharpen Your Pencil

High gas prices in Placentia increase the cost of living for California car owners. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Placentia vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to California news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

Gas Savings In Placentia: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional Placentia vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Placentia folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in gas mileage may put their Yorba Linda business in the red.

So what does this mean to Placentia drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your fuel efficiency. Here’s a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Placentia auto owners honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Exclusive Motors. Figure that they combine to improve your gas mileage by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in Placentia is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your Mercedes – Lexus, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50
20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Placentia for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in fuel efficiency can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Placentia. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
10 MPG $480 $660 $840
20 MPG $165 $255 $345
30 MPG $60 $120 $180

 

So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Exclusive Motors. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of income at Placentia gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

 

 

Looking Down the Road – Headlamps

If you’ve ever been driving around Placentia and had a headlamp go out, you’ve probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won’t have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Exclusive Motors. We’re at 1961 E Miraloma Ave # A in Placentia, California 92870. Or give us a call at (714) 795-3065

Experts in Placentia recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you’ll have bright headlamps for those long Placentia winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can’t believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that’s a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they’ll last for the life of your car. If you want your Placentia friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint – no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can’t react to what you can’t see. You need headlamps that’ll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That’s because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Placentia service centers offer a service to restore the lens that’s a lot cheaper.

You can’t drive if you can’t see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don’t forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

The Importance Of Placentia Drivers Following Service Intervals

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Today in our Exclusive Motors blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your Mercedes – Lexus isn’t the only aspect of your life in Placentia with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

The Importance Of Placentia Drivers Following Service IntervalsClearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Placentia takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our Mercedes – Lexuss? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Placentia neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, Placentia people don’t need to memorize their Mercedes – Lexus owner’s manuals. You can let your Exclusive Motors advisor remind you of the guidelines established by vehicle manufacturers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your Mercedes – Lexus. You really can rely on Exclusive Motors professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

For Placentia drivers who want to be more proactive with their Mercedes – Lexus care, here are some simple ways for Placentia car owners to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your Mercedes – Lexus go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Placentia car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Exclusive Motors for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel economy, your Mercedes – Lexus doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

Which Item is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Placentia?

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Placentia?

Is it:

  1. Stereo
  2. Wheels
  3. Air Bag
  4. DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Placentia – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Placentia.

Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

Contact Exclusive Motors for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 1961 E Miraloma Ave # A, Placentia, California 92870
You can reach us by phone at: (714) 795-3065

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

That is definitely one car part you don’t want to take a chance with, so Exclusive Motors recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Exclusive Motors).
  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.
  • You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.

For more information, contact Ron at Exclusive Motors by calling (714) 795-3065.

Keeping Your ‘Old Faithful’ Auto Running

At Exclusive Motors we’ve had a lot of Placentia, Anaheim Hills, and Villa Park clients asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that’s been building for several years. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles on them. It looks like it’s going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices a lot of Yorba Linda folks are putting off buying a new car. Thanks to AutoNetTV, we can provide you with a video answer to this essential question.

So let’s say you’re one of the average people in the Yorba Linda area; you’ve got a nine year old car with 80,000 miles on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two?

Let’s start with the premise that there’s no reason that a modern car can’t run for 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there’s no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if you stay on top of your recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some owner’s manuals runs out at 60,000 miles or so: how do we know what to do when we’re way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles for the first 60,000 miles you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles after you hit 60,000 miles. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it’s very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Exclusive Motors, for example, leaves an opportunity for harmful sludge to build up.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Yorba Linda are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it keeps fuel economy from decreasing;
  2. it prevents costly repairs, and;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most important thing. A full service oil change means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your Friendly Exclusive Motors service professional a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get expensive. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren’t scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the Yorba Linda area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner’s manual and talk with your service advisor at Exclusive Motors. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, we would strongly encourage you to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They’re fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some Placentia auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Yorba Linda. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

Exclusive Motors
1961 E Miraloma Ave # A
Placentia, California 92870
(714) 795-3065

Keeping Your Car Young In Placentia

As Placentia consumers, we live in a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away.

New stuff comes out so fast, and much of it is fairly cheap, so we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in Yorba Linda, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff – especially parents who grew up in the Depression. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without.

Placentia auto owners couldn’t afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us Placentia penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the auto manufacturer’s maintenance schedules.

Is it really that bad for Anaheim motorists to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled 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. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It’s also even more important for older vehicles in the Placentia area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re working harder anyway. But it’s never too late to get back on track with your maintenance and to hold off further damage.

It’s just another example of our parents knowing what’s best. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let your tech at Exclusive Motors in Placentia help you keep track of the rest.

Of course, it is inevitable that some things are going to wear out along the way – stuff like alternators, water pumps and such – they don’t last forever. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It’s like having high cholesterol; you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

Exclusive Motors
1961 E Miraloma Ave # A
Placentia, California 92870
(714) 795-3065

Busting Automotive Myths In Placentia California

Myths passed around our Placentia California community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the Mercedes – Lexuss of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.

To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the Placentia area, come over to Exclusive Motors.
You’ll find us at 1961 E Miraloma Ave # A, Placentia, California 92870.
Give us a call at (714) 795-3065 to make an appointment for your next auto service.

Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.

The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.

The truth on which this myth is based is that many new cars come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around Placentia. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in Placentia still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.

Another common rant you’ll hear around Placentia is that modern cars don’t need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a ‘tune-up’, which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. Exclusive Motors would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.

This definition just doesn’t apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like Exclusive Motors generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles or so.

Of course you can’t lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can’t adjust a carburetor if your car doesn’t have one. You probably don’t need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles. What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?

The danger with these modern-day myths, is that they prevent people in our local Placentia community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .

You get the picture. Your Mercedes – Lexus is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at Exclusive Motors have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your Placentia service advisor at Exclusive Motors, or do some research of your own.

Technician Training at Exclusive Motors

Your car is important to you and keeping it running properly is vital to your Placentia lifestyle. That’s why you’re smart to have it serviced regularly at Exclusive Motors in Placentia. And even though it may just be routine maintenance, you want it done right by automotive professionals.

It’s also very important to your Placentia service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money our Placentia auto service center spends annually to make sure our Friendly techs are properly trained.

Exclusive Motors offers a variety of automotive services for many kinds of vehicles. We need to be current on the latest techniques and parts so that we can give you quality service. Our Placentia centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.

And each service has a checklist of standard procedures. Exclusive Motors technicians follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service.

Some services at Exclusive Motors require the use of specialized equipment. Exclusive Motors technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.

Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by the company and outside trainers. It’s not only important that Friendly techs be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to detect potential problems before they become serious (and pricey).

The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems to drivers. For example, it’s one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better automotive service decisions.

California folks may be interested to know that service technicians are trained in compliance with federal and local Placentia laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.

It’s the goal of Exclusive Motors to provide fast, courteous service. You should feel free to ask your technician or one of the managers about your service or for more information about their recommendations.

Well-trained service providers, established procedures, industry standards, and, of course, AutoNetTV, combine to give you the best service experience possible.

The Harm In Skipping An Oil Change For Placentia Drivers

People in Placentia have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you’re wondering: What are the key issues?

Some new vehicle manufacturers in Placentia are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new car manufacturers announced that owners like those in Placentia were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.

The manufacturers’ standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.

What causes oil sludge? It’s a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.

Visit Exclusive Motors in Placentia, California 92870

Severe driving around Placentia includes short trips under four miles or trips under ten miles in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn’t get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.

Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.

The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Placentia just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule, or to the standard schedule.

Some types of Mercedes – Lexus will give oil change reminders. But it’s important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It’s programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.

For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Placentia service advisor at Exclusive Motors and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it’s a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what’s needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.

If you’re realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.

So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.