Archive for June 24, 2015

Road Trip: Be Ready for Anything With a Trip Inspection at Exclusive Motors

Road trip, anyone? Nothing spoils a great vacation for us Placentia auto owners then ending up stranded on the side of the road or spending a week in a rundown motel while our vehicle sits in the shop. Long days on the road can bring out the worst in your vehicle, so before you leave, prepare it for the journey by getting an automotive analysis at Exclusive Motors in Placentia. After all, you wouldn’t travel without clean socks, why ask your vehicle to travel with a load of detrimental dirty oil?

The first step in a trip inspection at Exclusive Motors is to look at your travel plans. What kinds of roads will you be driving on? Will you be in the California backcountry or on the freeway? Will you be crossing mountains? Off-roading? What will the weather be like? How many miles away from Placentia will you be traveling? How much are you hauling? Will you be towing a trailer or lugging a rooftop carrier? Will you encounter dust, mud, snow or sea salt? All of these questions can help Placentia motorists find out which Exclusive Motors services are the most needed. And don’t hesitate to meet with your Exclusive Motors service advisor. He can give you good auto advice on what trip conditions are hardest on what systems of your car and what kinds of services your vehicle realistically needs. Start with the tires and survey them for tread wear and proper inflation. Replace or rotate them as needed. If you need to change them out for winter tires, then do so.

Then survey your shocks or struts for wear. Replace them if needed. You’ll want that extra comfort on your trip. Be sure to review your alignment. Steering a vehicle that is out of alignment is tiring, and dangerous. Don’t overlook your brakes. With extra passengers and baggage, your brakes are going to get a workout. You want them in top condition.

In addition, review belts and hoses. If any of them are close to wearing out, have them replaced before your long trip does them in.

Change your engine air filter if it needs it or if it’s close to needing it. For every gallon of gas you burn, your air filter processes 12,000 gallons of air. A clean air filter will protect essential electronic sensors that effect how your engine runs.

Get an oil change at Exclusive Motors in Placentia if it’s coming due. Make it a full-service oil change while you’re at it. That way, all of your fluids will get checked and topped off. Change any dirty or old fluids. Placentia auto owners don’t want to overstress their cooling systems or transmissions with detrimental dirty fluid during a long trip.

Does your vehicle smell? Check the cabin air filter. The bad smell could also indicate an exhaust leak, which can be fatal on a long trip. So don’t ignore bad odors; check them out.

If your air conditioning hasn’t been up to snuff, then give it an overhaul. You want your vacation to be relaxed and pleasant, and that means keeping the passenger compartment comfortable.

And be sure to survey your wiper blades and your headlamps. You may find yourself driving in unfamiliar territory at night after a long day. You’ll want to be able to see as much as possible.

Of course, almost everything listed here is just part of vital preventive maintenance for smart Placentia drivers. If you keep up with your car care on a regular basis, a trip inspection will be a breeze at Exclusive Motors.

Taking care of your vehicle before you leave for a road trip will pay you back in safety, peace of mind, improved comfort and better fuel economy. It will also help your vacation go as planned by keeping you on the road and headed for that next great adventure. Just don’t forget to pack your socks.

Time Out: Suspension Problems in Placentia

Your vehicle’s suspension system has two essential jobs: to prevent the passengers from getting tossed around inside the vehicle every time it hits a bump in the road and to keep the tires firmly planted on the road around every corner and over every bump.

To see your suspension system, you’ll have to look under your vehicle. Anything that connects the wheels to the vehicle’s frame is part of the suspension system. They’re heavy-duty parts that work hard while you’re driving and take a lot of wear and tear. Because of this, you should have your Friendly Exclusive Motors service specialist look at them once a year as part of your preventive maintenance routine. A good time for a diagnostic examination is every time you get your alignment checked.

If your suspension is in trouble, you often feel it in how your vehicle drives. If the vehicle pulls to one side or wanders, if the steering is erratic, if your ride isn’t as smooth as it should be, or if your vehicle handles poorly, you should get an automotive analysis of your suspension system. Uneven tire wear can also indicate worn parts in your suspension system. If your shocks are leaking oil then they definitely need to be replaced. All in all, if you don’t feel in control when you’re driving, go get your suspension inspected.

Shocks and struts wear out. Wheel bearings may need to be repacked every few years. Some parts of your suspension may need to be lubricated whenever you change your oil. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle under control. Good car care can prevent accidents for Yorba Linda drivers.

If you are in an accident, even a minor one, it can damage your suspension system or knock your wheels out of alignment. Even hitting a curb, pothole or large rock can damage your suspension. A wheel balancing or alignment won’t correct a suspension problem, and after any suspension work, you’ll may need to get an alignment.

At Exclusive Motors, we advise Placentia motorists never to procrastinate essential repairs to their suspension system. A damaged suspension system can lead to loss of control of a vehicle in an emergency situation and serious accidents.

Potholes are unsightly nuisances around Placentia, but they’re also a major cause of suspension damage for Placentia car owners. To avoid this, Placentia drivers should always keep their tires properly inflated. This gives the tires maximum resiliency. When you’re driving around the Yorba Linda area, avoid potholes if possible. If you can’t avoid one, then slow down before driving over it. Slower speeds limit pothole damage. But if you’re a little late detecting a pothole, don’t brake on top of it. This will throw the vehicle’s weight forward and increase the damage.

The suspension system may not be pretty to look at, but it provides Placentia car owners with a safe, comfortable ride — as long as they maintain it properly. You don’t have to show it off, but you should be proud of it.

Charge It In Placentia For Extended Battery Life

Here’s an interesting statistic for our motorists in Placentia, California: Only thirty percent of car batteries make it to forty-eight months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from fifty-one months in extremely cold areas to just thirty months in extremely hot climates.

Why is that? It turns out that it’s our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs, and entertainment computers are keeping Mercedes – Lexus batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it’ll die.

It’s clear that you Placentia motorists need to recharge your batteries. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car’s demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Placentia or Anaheim. The alternator just can’t keep up.

The result is shortened battery life. So what can we Placentia drivers do to improve our battery’s health?

We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just twenty-four hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather’s cold in Placentia, sitting for several days will cause discharge.

So some highway driving between Placentia or Yorba Linda will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it’s called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is also very detrimental to your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.

If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger or talk to your Friendly Exclusive Motors tech.

Because our batteries are so often at less than a full charge, the experts at Exclusive Motors suggest that we use a battery charger from time to time to keep the charge up. They recommend once a month during hot weather and once every three months during colder times.

Now, a key word on safety for Placentia motorists. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can severely burn your skin and could blind you. If you find yourself with a dead battery, carefully inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. Deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

At Exclusive Motors, we provide quality automotive service including Factory Scheduled Maintenance, Factory Scheduled Maintenance and Computerized Diagnostics.

When Do My Shocks Need to be Replaced?

A good suspension system gives a vehicle a smooth, even ride while providing Placentia auto owners with good handling and control. But like any system on your Mercedes – Lexus, essential parts of the suspension system can wear out, leading to a lower ride quality and safety concerns. So it’s a good idea for Placentia drivers to remember an automotive analysis of their suspension system in their schedule of an important preventive maintenance. Springs do most of the work of the suspension system. The most common types of springs are coil and leaf, but air springs and torsion bars are becoming more common. The body of the vehicle is “suspended” by the springs.

If springs were the only working component in your suspension system, however, you’d spend your travel time bouncing up and down like a bobblehead. That’s where your shocks come in. They keep the rebound, or bounciness, of the springs under control. Shocks also keep your tires on the road, which keeps the driver in control of the Mercedes – Lexus. Some vehicles have struts in their suspension system. Struts are a compact combination of springs and shocks. They do the same critical job but in a single package.

Shocks wear out gradually, so it can be difficult for Placentia auto owners to notice when they need to be replaced. There’s no definitive point when a vehicle’s ride goes from smooth and controlled to a bit imprecise. To check if your shocks or struts are worn, you should first do a visual inspection on them. If they are leaking fluid, they need to be replaced.

There are other less obvious signs that your suspension system needs important attention. For example, an uneven, cupping wear on your tires may indicate that your shocks are worn. If your vehicle feels “floaty” when you turn, or, in other words, you don’t feel that you have full control of the vehicle, you should check your shocks. Also, if the front end of your vehicle dips noticeably when you stop, it’s time for new shocks.

Your owner’s manual gives recommendations on how often the shocks should be checked, usually between 15,000 and 30,000 miles (24,000-50,000 km). If one of your shocks does need to be replaced, you should replace all four. This will keep your suspension even and ensure good handling of your vehicle. If you carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive on uneven Yorba Linda area terrain, you might also consider upgrading to a heavy-duty shock.

Regular shocks contain hydraulic fluid. The important fluid helps them absorb the bumps or “shocks” of the road so the impact doesn’t transfer to the Mercedes – Lexus’s body. Premium shocks are filled with compressed nitrogen gas, which costs more but does a better job of controlling body motions. Regular shocks can develop air bubbles that reduce their effectiveness; the premium shocks don’t have this problem. So if you want higher handling performance, if you drive off-road around California or if you just want added comfort, you should look at upgrading to premium shocks or struts.

Replacing struts can put your Mercedes – Lexus out of alignment, so an alignment check should always follow this type of repair. Talk to your Friendly service professional at Exclusive Motors in Placentia.

Under Pressure in Placentia: TPMS

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat fixed in Placentia or your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely under inflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause detrimental and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on California roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Placentia motorists who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires has made it harder for Placentia car owners to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn’t look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their Mercedes – Lexuss are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the essential TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it’s being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV’s, mini-vans and pick-ups. Besides warning Placentia drivers when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won’t come without increased costs to Placentia car owners. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. Placentia service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other critical equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. Exclusive Motors service specialists have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Placentia auto owners.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, the Exclusive Motors service professional will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to Placentia drivers.

Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle’s battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

So, if you’ve noticed an increase in the cost for car care at your Placentia tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you’re paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

Of course, no warning system will save lives in Placentia if motorists don’t pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn’t come on until the tire is severely under inflated – you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. Placentia car owners can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.