Archive for January 31, 2015

Tire Tread Depth for Placentia, California Drivers




Driving on bald tires is like playing roulette. Though you may be fine today, eventually your luck is going to run out.

The Feds don’t have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider two-thirty-seconds of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider one-thirty-second to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at Exclusive Motors; (just call (714) 795-3065) to find out what your requirements are in the Placentia, California area.

Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there’s just 2/32” of tread left. But does that older standard give Placentia car owners enough safety?

Consider this: Consumer Reports recommends tire replacement when tread reaches 4/32”. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the critical issue is braking on wet surfaces.

We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but Placentia auto owners also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it’s wet or snowy in Placentia California, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving in Placentia over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires actually need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a detrimental condition known as hydroplaning. When there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

This is where the studies come in. We think Placentia motorists will be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to submerge it. 

A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32” of tread were tested (the depth suggested by Consumer Reports.)

When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph with the worn tires.

Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That’s a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. How many Placentia auto owners follow that far behind the Mercedes – Lexus ahead? Obviously, this is a vital safety issue.

The tests were conducted with the same vehicles, but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable was the tires.

How do Placentia drivers know when their tires are at 4/32”? Well, it’s pretty easy. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But a penny gives you 2/32” of an inch to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32”.

Tires are a big ticket item and most auto owners in Placentia, California want to get thousands of miles out of them. Just remember: driving on bald tires is like playing roulette.

Have Mr. Washington look at your tires today. If he recommends a new set, come see us at Exclusive Motors in Placentia.

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

Clean Fuel Equals Clean Performance For Placentia Drivers

Hello, Placentia car owners. Let’s talk fuel filters. Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.

Placentia car owners don’t need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better an engine will run.

Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your Mercedes – Lexus ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your Mercedes – Lexus owner’s manual or Exclusive Motors to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. You should change it before it becomes clogged. Your Exclusive Motors tech can help you with recommended replacement schedules.

If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your engine will sputter when you drive at California highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Placentia, but when you need a higher flow of fuel for faster speeds, or if you need a sudden burst of fuel, you just won’t be able to get it through the filter.

A clogged filter is actually dangerous. If you need to accelerate suddenly out of the path of danger, you just won’t have the power to do it.

Fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter becomes clogged, the valve allows some fuel to bypass the filter so the engine can keep running – just not enough to be running well.

That means, though, that dirty, unfiltered fuel is entering your engine. Instead of clogging up your filter, that dirt is now getting into your fuel injectors, where it can cause serious damage. Fuel injectors are expensive; fuel filters are cheap. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice for Placentia drivers.

Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to pricey repair bills. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your Friendly Exclusive Motors service advisor will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle.

Good car care for Placentia drivers means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered at Exclusive Motors and in every owner’s manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected. It may save you money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay you in improved fuel efficiency, safety and peace of mind.

Smart Placentia Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Placentia motorists to prevent.

The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fins on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.

The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.

Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner’s manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.

Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Placentia drivers to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.

This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don’t realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Exclusive Motors in Placentia.

If your Mercedes – Lexus sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs an inspection. This service is vital and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.

In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your Mercedes – Lexus so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, owner’s manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.

Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to your Placentia service center or Exclusive Motors where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks, and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in the first place and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Regular maintenance of a vehicle’s cooling system is just good auto advice for Placentia motorists. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at Exclusive Motors. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

Talk to your Exclusive Motors service advisor for more information.

Drive Defensively In California

Car care is a vital part of auto safety in Placentia. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on California roads is to drive safely.

Defensive driving is safe driving. And defensive driving is all about attitude. You have to decide that you will be a safe driver in California, no matter what anyone else is doing.

Placentia auto owners can start with awareness. Always maintain awareness of your surroundings, the road conditions, other vehicles on the Placentia road or highway and road hazards. Have you ever suddenly realized that you have arrived somewhere, but you don’t really remember driving there? That is unsafe driving.

Never assume that other Placentia car owners are paying attention. You be the one on alert. You be the one to take initiative to stay out of the way of other California drivers. And don’t let familiarity dull your alertness. Remind yourself to pay as close attention while driving on the roads near your Placentia home as you would in unfamiliar territory around California.

Prepare your Mercedes – Lexus so you can give the road your full attention. Secure passengers and pets before leaving the driveway. Secure loose items in your Mercedes – Lexus so they can’t become projectiles if you have to brake suddenly. If children or pets become a distraction while driving, pull over and take care of the problem before re-entering traffic. Unclutter your windows. Take down the danglies from your rearview mirror. And don’t use your Mercedes – Lexus dashboard as an office. Move distractions and clutter to the backseat. Keep your windshield clear.

Properly maintain your Mercedes – Lexus. Preventive maintenance doesn’t just prevent repairs; it prevents unsafe vehicles. Make sure your tires, lights, brakes, suspension, alignment and steering get regular check-ups at Exclusive Motors. Also, listen to your Friendly Exclusive Motors technician when he gives you auto advice about other systems in your Mercedes – Lexus. Knowing about the wear and tear on your Mercedes – Lexus can help you avoid dangerous situations.

Avoid driving when you are sleepy or angry. Get a good night’s sleep before a road trip in California, and learn to set aside relationship, job or other issues while you are in a vehicle. Again, you have to take charge of your own safety. Don’t daydream in your vehicle. Also, talking to passengers can be a distraction. Keep your mind on the road. Conversations may keep you from daydreaming or excessive boredom on a long trip, but always keep your driving foremost in your mind.

Maintain a proper speed. Driving too fast is dangerous on crowded Placentia roads, but driving too slowly can cause accidents, too. At night, don’t overdrive your headlights. Your stopping distance needs to be shorter than the distance your headlights are illuminating.

Never drink and drive. Alcohol plays a part in half of all fatal accidents in California and nationally. Also, don’t drive drugged. Pay attention to the warning labels on any medications you are taking.

Other Anaheim motorists need to see you and know what you want to do. Use your Mercedes – Lexus turn signals, and stay out of other California drivers’ blind spots.

If you can, avoid driving over debris in the road. You can damage your Mercedes – Lexus or end up in an accident. Of course, if swerving to avoid the debris is dangerous, then slow down and navigate as best you can. Do what you can to alert other motorists to the problem. You may want to pull to the side of the Villa Park road and report the debris or move it to the side of the road, if you can do so safely.

Never follow too closely on Yorba Linda roads or interstates. Observe the two-second rule. Choose an object ahead such as a tree or traffic sign. As the car in front of you passes it, start counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. If you reach the object before you’re done, you’re too close. Back off.

If you are on one of the California interstates, or if you are hauling a heavy load, or if you are tired, or if in any way you are not the model of the alert and attentive driver, then increase that two-second rule to three seconds. Give yourself an added measure of safety. If the Yorba Linda weather is bad, increase the rule to five seconds.

Inevitably, someone always pulls in front of you when you are trying to follow the “seconds” rules. Don’t get mad. Just back off and leave them to their bad driving habits. Remember, you are not going to give up your safety for anyone else’s cussedness. It’s always a bad trade.

If someone is following you too closely, pull over and let them pass. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. If you’re late, worry about it after you’re there, not while you’re on the road.

If you see a vehicle driving erratically in Placentia, stay away. Take the next right or the next exit off the freeway. Notify the Placentia police as soon as you are safely stopped.

And of course, don’t be the idiot driver we all complain about in Placentia. Don’t contest your right-of-way, don’t race to beat someone to a merge, and don’t cut into someone else’s two seconds of space. Winning these types of ego trips may end up losing you your Mercedes – Lexus—or worse, your life or the life of a friend.

The professional automotive team at Exclusive Motors wants all Placentia motorists to stay smart and stay safe.

What Is A Differential And Do You Have One?

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Placentia, California, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Placentia auto owners don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind for our Placentia customers. So it’s not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Exclusive Motors in Placentia at (714) 795-3065 for information about differential service, or stop by our Placentia, California auto center at 1961 E Miraloma Ave # A 92870.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Placentia high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It’s a very important function for us Placentia drivers. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Placentia, California area weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those essential parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that breakdown over time. So auto makers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

Your Friendly Exclusive Motors tech will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then he’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Exclusive Motors service advisor can look up the auto maker’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual. Give us a call at (714) 795-3065 for more information about your differential service.