Archive for September 24, 2013

Using Proper Fluids In Your Mercedes – Lexus Or Other Vehicle

Today Exclusive Motors is talking about the proper fluids for your vehicle. It’s become more complicated with changes in automotive design and manufacturing. It’s not that people in California are confused as much as they don’t realize how much things have changed in recent years.

If you have questions about the fluids in your vehicle, please don’t hesitate to stop by Exclusive Motors. You can find us on 1961 E Miraloma Ave # A in Placentia, California 92870.
Just give us a call at (714) 795-3065

Let’s take engine oil. Twenty or thirty years ago, there were just a handful of different weights of oil. The weight of an oil is a scientific measure of its properties, particularly its viscosity or thickness.

It was common in those days to use a lighter weight oil in the winter when it’s cold outside. That way the oil would be able to splash around inside the engine and protect the parts before it was fully warmed up. And a heavier weight oil would be used in the summer. The thicker oil wouldn’t thin out too much in the summer heat and vaporize in the engine.

Modern valve trains have become very complicated with more moving parts and small passages than ever before. The valve train is in the top of the engine, so when the car has been turned off for a while, the oil tends to run down to lower areas and the valve train parts are vulnerable at start-up, before the oil starts circulating.

So new weights of oil have been introduced to meet the engineering specifications of these newer engines.

Manufacturers are recommending specific weights of oil. The recommendation is often printed on the oil fill cap. It’s certainly in the owner’s manual. Of course, your Placentia California auto service center can look it up for you.

It’s more important than ever to have the correct weight of oil. The wrong weight could actually harm the engine.

Other fluids are also becoming more sophisticated. In the last few years new types of transmission, power brake fluid and coolant have all been introduced for some of the same reasons as for engine oil.

In addition, vehicle manufacturers are now using a wider variety of materials in these systems. Looking at the cooling system as an example, it used to be that the parts were all made out of steel or iron and the hoses were rubber. Now, some parts are plastic, aluminum or other materials.

So the anti-corrosion additives contained in the coolant, or anti-freeze, need to be different in order to protect the different materials used to make the cooling system. If you use the wrong coolant that wasn’t formulated to protect your plastic cooling system parts, they could become corroded and fail. And if you’re using the wrong coolant, your cooling system won’t be covered under warrantee. So it’s important to use the right coolant and to not mix different types.

Your owner’s manual or your Placentia California service advisor at Exclusive Motors can make sure you’re using the right type. You may have heard of universal coolant. Universal, or global, coolant can be added to other types without harmful reactions. That’s OK for an emergency top off, but following your manufacturer’s recommendation for your Mercedes – Lexus or other auto type is always a safe bet.

In the area of brake fluid, there are a couple of new formulations. It’s important to remember that the new ones aren’t better than the old ones. They’re just different formulations for different vehicles. So if your vehicle calls for DOT 3, using DOT 4 or DOT 5 is not an upgrade. Use the recommended formula.

There are fluid formulations for vehicles with higher mileage. These are special engine oil, transmission fluid, and so on that contain additives to condition and restore seals and gaskets in older engines.

They’re fine to use as long as they’re a variant of the proper fluid. In other words you can use a high mileage engine oil as long as it’s also the correct weight recommended by the manufacturer. Same goes for transmission fluid; as long as it’s the right type for your transmission.

Placentia Alignment Service

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

Driving for an extended time when you’re out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. This can be dangerous and expensive. You’ll have to replace your tires sooner, but even worse – you may cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive.

The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars. The adjustment can go three different ways. The first adjustment is called toe. The next adjustment is called camber. And finally, there is castor. The engineers who designed your vehicle determined the alignment settings that will give you the best handling and safety.

There are several things involved in an alignment check. First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension – it should be checked to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s center line. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, a technician at Exclusive Motors can determine the direction they push and then aligns the front wheels to match.

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

Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It’s better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety.

Battery Basics For Placentia

Yorba Linda Battery Service

It’s important for Placentia drivers to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold California weather. Most Yorba Linda drivers think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold Mercedes – Lexus engine.

However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Placentia trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Placentia drivers can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the summer and every three months during the winter.

As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your Mercedes – Lexus alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.

If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your Friendly Exclusive Motors service professional for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your Mercedes – Lexus alternator.

Give us a call

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

Villa Park Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?

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Improved fuel economy has two benefits: less fuel is necessary and fewer emissions are released. Villa Park cars and trucks run cleaner than ever. Villa Park car owners may not realize that the first federally mandated pollution control device came out almost fifty years ago.

California car owners that were around in the early 60’s may remember that the PCV valve came out on 1964 model cars. PCV stand for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. Villa Park Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.

When fuel is burned in the Mercedes – Lexus engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.

Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine leading to damage.

Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in Placentia.

Enter the PCV valve. It’s a small, one-way valve that lets out the gases from the crankcase, and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine.
Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the bad air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.

Villa Park drivers that skip oil changes now and then will notice that the PCV valve gets gummed up even faster. If the PCV valve is sticking in your Mercedes – Lexus, the gases won’t circulate as well, leading to increased pressure in the crankcase. That, in turn, can lead to oil leaks. Fortunately, the PCV valve is very inexpensive to replace at Exclusive Motors in Placentia. Some can even be checked by your Friendly Exclusive Motors advisor.

Your Mercedes – Lexus auto manufacturers usually recommend they be changed somewhere between twenty and fifty thousand miles. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some Mercedes – Lexus owner’s manuals, but at Exclusive Motors, we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.

All of us Villa Park car owners can do our part for the environment. Watch that lead foot, stay on top of our automotive maintenance and don’t forget to replace our PCV valve.