Archive for Maintenance

Placentia Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Placentia motorists, Mercedes – Lexus manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should you follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero California temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway?
Do you drive often in dusty areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Placentia?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold California weather?

Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Placentia freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Yorba Linda or Anaheim Hills? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on surface streets?

Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and Placentia weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.

Why should Placentia motorists care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Placentia or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why California motorists need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in sunny California summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your fuel efficiency. If you want some expert advice, talk with your Friendly Exclusive Motors advisor. We can help you restore your Mercedes – Lexus to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.

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

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

We’re living in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term “built to last” goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They’re still a very big investment and we want to make them last as long as possible – and we want to make keeping them as cheap as possible. When talking cars, it’s all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, “a stitch in time saves nine” and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service.

Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing – it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, don’t forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don’t forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don’t forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent mechanical damage and reduce fuel consumption.

Now this is a lot to remember – too much really. But it is your Placentia automotive technician’s job to keep on top of this stuff. At Exclusive Motors we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which maintenance schedule you should use – the regular schedule or the severe service schedule – depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older vehicle.

Bottom line – take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent costly damage and maintain your warranty coverage.

Of course, you want your car to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you’ll be proud to drive it longer.

Most of us can’t afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient – and expensive – problems down the road, and can keep driving “old faithful” for years to come.

Maintaining Your Older Car In Placentia California

The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Placentia California: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Placentia California motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.

Because new cars are more expensive, people in the Yorba Linda area are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Yorba Linda have more than 75,000 miles. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin’.

Give Exclusive Motors a call to schedule your next maintenance.
1961 E Miraloma Ave # A
Placentia, California 92870
(714) 795-3065

Some owner’s manuals don’t specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles.

First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 15,000 miles should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles, and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule – ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and don’t hold the fluids as well as they used to.

It’s also time to make sure you have a good Placentia California technician. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble’s brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.

And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it’s way cheaper than a new car payment!

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Exclusive Motors

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Placentia people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Placentia motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their Mercedes – Lexuss for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Placentia drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own Mercedes – Lexuss on the road in California.

Placentia drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change. Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Exclusive MotorsThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your Mercedes – Lexus’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine.

There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Placentia car owners. It’s simple – a Exclusive Motors professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Exclusive Motors technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.

Your Exclusive Motors advisor will also visually inspect your Mercedes – Lexus for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your Exclusive Motors advisor will be able to remind you of other services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Placentia dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your Mercedes – Lexus gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost money, but they are far cheaper than new Mercedes – Lexus payments. With proper service at Exclusive Motors and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.

I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement In Placentia

About 90% of our Placentia California driving decisions are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.

Everyone in Placentia California has experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 motorists from Yorba Linda and across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Yorba Linda area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

We need to change our thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as an important safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.

You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of California, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

Winter blades are designed to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can just shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

Your wiper blades live outside; freezing cold and blistering sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire windshield – a big cost for such a little part.

AutoNetTV recommends you replace worn blades right away. Your local service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. They cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included at the service center.

Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Exclusive Motors will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle in the car if you’re on a road trip.

Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t do as good job of cleaning your windows.

So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road.

Find us at:

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

Keep Your Placentia Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

This is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your Placentia car burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to costly problems. Of course, your manufacturer recommends intervals for changing your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions in and around Placentia or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your Exclusive Motors technician can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your car needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters cost a little more, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

So have your air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel economy before your next oil change.

Stop by Exclusive Motors at 1961 E Miraloma Ave # A, Placentia, California 92870, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at (714) 795-3065 to make an appointment.

Better Service – Better Economy

The hottest Placentia news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Placentia. But we’ve found several basic things that any Placentia vehicle owner can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Yorba Linda environment. You can really impact your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one is keeping your tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Placentia service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your service advisor. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you get gas in your car. Many Placentia gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel efficiency. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

One item Placentia residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced fuel efficiency! And with current gas prices in the Placentia area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save big bucks at the pump.

Now most people aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other key services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

Exclusive Motors knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Exclusive Motors – which may also be updated with recall notices and maintenance schedule items from your manufacturer.

Exclusive Motors On Your Serpentine Belt

Today we’re going to be talking about serpentine belts for our Placentia California customers. Let’s start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That’s the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there’s the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you’re driving around Placentia California in the summer.

The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most vehicles. Those pumps make the pressure that assists your steering and braking.

In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around Placentia California, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.

The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That’s really a lot of work for one belt.

But modern engine design has a single belt that snakes around the front of the engine and drives most if not all of these accessories. Serpentine belts do a lot of work, but they’re tough and can last for thousands of miles.

Just how long will they last? That’ll vary for each individual car in the Placentia California area. Your manufacturer will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need it sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection can reveal a belt that’s getting close to failing.

Exclusive Motors can look at the belt: if it has more than three or four cracks per inch it needs to be replaced. A deep crack that’s more than half the depth of the belt – replace. Frayed, missing pieces, a shiny glazed look? It’s out of there.

What’s involved in replacing the belt? First the old belt is removed. Then a new one is fitted around all the pulleys for the accessories and the drive. There’s a special pulley called a tensioner.

This pulley is mounted to the engine block with a spring loaded arm. Its job is to apply the correct amount of tension to the belt to keep it from getting loose and maybe slipping off. Because the spring in the tensioner pulley wears out, AutoNetTV recommends replacing them at the same time as the belt. It just makes sense.

What are the warning signs that there’s a problem with the serpentine belt? You may hear a squealing sound from under the hood when accelerating around our Placentia California streets. A loose belt might give you a slow, slapping sound.

What do you do if your belt breaks? If you’ve actually had that happen on our local Placentia California freeway, it can be a little scary. Often the first thing you notice is that you have no power steering or power brakes. Don’t panic – you can still steer and brake, but you’ll have to do the work. It’ll be harder to steer and you’ll need more time and effort to stop, so plan accordingly.

Your dashboard will light up will all kinds of warnings. You’ll see a warning about your cooling system if you have a water pump that’s driven by the serpentine belt. This is very critical because without your cooling system working, your engine will overheat. If you don’t stop you’ll have massive engine damage, maybe to the point that you need a new engine. Pull over as quickly as you safely can. Open your windows and turn the heater on full blast to provide a little engine cooling and pulled over as soon as possible.

The battery light will come on because the alternator isn’t working. If your car’s water pump isn’t driven by the serpentine belt, you’re not in danger of overheating so you can drive a little further if necessary. But the battery will run down to the point where the car won’t run and will just shut off. You don’t want that to happen while you’re driving in our local Placentia California traffic.

Remember, this does not have to happen if you replace your serpentine belt on schedule. Ask your technician at Exclusive Motors to check your belts and hoses from time to time so you can take care of them if they need to be replaced prematurely.

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

Exclusive Motors Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

Today’s Exclusive Motors auto maintenance article focuses on 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. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your Mercedes – Lexus air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Yorba Linda.

Next, 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. Exclusive Motors Maintenance Tips The Belt Goes OnAll Yorba Linda drivers know that 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 and power brakes. And, on many Mercedes – Lexuss, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures as you drive around Yorba Linda.

Now on some Mercedes – Lexuss, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt. So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why manufacturers and your service advisor at Exclusive Motors have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail.

Your Yorba Linda service technician can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

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 that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s an important part for the function of your Mercedes – Lexus.
And it’s not that expensive to replace in Yorba Linda – so it’s good to do so before it fails.

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth In Anaheim Hills

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There’s a segment of the Anaheim Hills population that’s not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Mistaken perceptions have crept into the California area over time. Many Anaheim Hills motorists think the root lies in the fact that modern cars are so reliable. Reliability has improved dramatically in recent years. Quality surveys report fewer problems with new cars than ever before.

Back when cars spent more time in the repair shop, Anaheim Hills drivers were more mindful of routine service. Now, it’s much easier to put it off.

Take tune-ups for example. In the days of mechanical ignition systems, an engine needed to be tuned-up every couple of years. The ignition points had to be replaced, spark plugs and coils replaced and the timing adjusted. If your engine was out of tune, you knew it. It ran poorly and got bad fuel economy.

Villa Park The Maintenance-Free MythNow, the ignition system in your Mercedes – Lexus is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as a hundred thousand miles. So tune-ups used to force you in to Exclusive Motors for service and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.

Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new cars in Anaheim Hills have been leased. These folks plan on turning the car in after two or three years, so they haven’t focused on the maintenance that helps your car last longer.

Given all that, what’s the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your Mercedes – Lexus will perform better and return better fuel economy.

Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren’t just repairs that are a long ways off. Modern Mercedes – Lexus engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.

And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.

For example, your Mercedes – Lexus engine coolant could actually become so corrosive that it eats holes in your radiator or other cooling system parts. Of course, that could lead to massive engine damage, all for the want of replacing the coolant on schedule.

Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At Exclusive Motors, we have been taking care of all those little things for 23 years. Your Mercedes – Lexus still needs to be taken care of – it’s just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in Anaheim Hills did not go away.