Archive for August 28, 2015

Cool Running In Placentia

Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your Mercedes – Lexus engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the highway in Placentia waiting for your Mercedes – Lexus engine to cool down.

When you service your cooling system at Exclusive Motors, your tech will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your Mercedes – Lexus owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

If your engine overheated, your Friendly service specialist will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the Mercedes – Lexus radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need a diagnostic examination regularly. They can and do wear out.

The water pump is a critical component of your Mercedes – Lexus cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your Mercedes – Lexus cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.

There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service professional will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Exclusive Motors is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Placentia for 23 years.

Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the Yorba Linda repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in California.

At Exclusive Motors, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

Put On The Brakes: Brake Service At Exclusive Motors

When it comes to preventive maintenance and car care, most Placentia car owners know how important it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.

The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction, which stops the vehicle. It’s no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and that brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.

Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn’t mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.

But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A brake inspection in Placentia at Exclusive Motors includes a check of these parts as well as the pads and shoes. Your Friendly Exclusive Motors service advisor can then advise you of any parts that need cleaning or replacement.

The fluid component to the brake system needs a regular check-up at Exclusive Motors as well. The brake fluid cools and protects your brake system. Protective additives are gradually depleted by the operation of the brake system, and moisture build-up inside the fluid can diminish its effectiveness. When you have your brakes serviced at Exclusive Motors in Placentia, the fluid should be checked and, if needed, replaced, which will clean out water, debris and dirt.

It is critical to remember that your brake system also includes your tires. No matter how well your brake system is performing, if your Mercedes – Lexus tires are worn, you won’t get good stopping power. Traction is the gripping power of your tires to the roadway. Traction is always better on tires with a good tread. Good traction translates to good braking.

This is particularly important on wet Anaheim Hills roads. A good tire will give you good braking on either wet California roads or dry. But stopping distance increases dramatically when worn tires meet wet roads. Tread on a tire acts to channel away water as the Mercedes – Lexus passes over the wet road, thus maintaining contact between the tire’s surface and the road, which maintains traction. But the thinner the tread, the less effective the water channels become, and water can get between the tire and the roadway, reducing friction. A loss of friction means a longer stopping distance and possibly the loss of control.

Braking depends on two things: the weight of your Mercedes – Lexus and the speed of the vehicle. The heavier the vehicle or the faster the vehicle, the more braking power it requires. Thus, brake systems vary from vehicle to vehicle. For example, a pickup that is designed for heavy loads has a more powerful braking system than a compact car. Sports cars also have higher-grade braking systems than minivans.

Regardless of what kind of car you drive in Placentia, it is always good auto advice to keep your brake system in good repair, and that means ALL of your brake system. Just one more way to keep your travels accident and worry-free.

Budget For Maintenance in Placentia

Sometimes busy Placentia residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Yorba Linda in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today’s automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Placentia motorists spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today’s vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today’s Placentia drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s Placentia auto owners didn’t care much for it, either. So on today’s vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Placentia area auto service centers.

Placentia auto owners should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in Placentia is simply more expensive than it used to be. So if you think about it, California drivers can avoid many expensive Mercedes – Lexus repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Edmunds.com has a great calculator to help you estimate car repair costs. Yorba Linda drivers can enter the year, make and model for your vehicle, and the calculator will give you an estimate of what it will cost to service and repair your vehicle for the next five years. It also estimates the costs for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel.

These estimates can be used to set up a reasonable budget to manage your car repair and maintenance expenses. Of course, they are just estimates. All Anaheim Hills car owners know that life hands out a lot of surprises — some good, some bad, so there’s no way to know exactly what your Mercedes – Lexus will need. But a good estimate helps you make a good budget, and a good budget is always helpful when it comes to car repairs.

Let’s look at one example. For a 2003 Toyota Camry, here is Edmunds’ estimate for the cost of repairs and maintenance for the next three years (as of the time of this writing):

Yr. 1 Yr. 2  
Yr. 3 
3-Yr. Total  
Maintenance 748    
225      
794     
1767  
Repairs 352      
409 476 1237  
                           Total 1,100 634 1,270 3,004  
Monthly Average 92 53 106 83  

According to this estimate, the owner needs to set aside about $83 a month to defray the costs of car care. That sounds like a lot until you compare it to the payment on a new automobile. And even if car repairs are more pricey than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.

Just a bit of auto advice from Exclusive Motors: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you’re afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and California auto insurance with an older Placentia vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for vital preventive maintenance in California, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less expensive!

Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Placentia Car Owners

A generation ago, Placentia auto owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your Mercedes – Lexus in to your Placentia shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Placentia used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the Mercedes – Lexus was in for a tune-up at Exclusive Motors, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our Mercedes – Lexuss don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.

Modern Placentia car owners need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Placentia service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Exclusive Motors in Placentia, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and gas mileage. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern Mercedes – Lexus engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of important parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the Mercedes – Lexus isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your Mercedes – Lexus engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the Mercedes – Lexus engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this expensive damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Placentia auto owners than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to essential engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Yorba Linda who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Placentia folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

Placentia motorists can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better gas mileage, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Hitting The Brakes In Placentia

Safety should always be a key element of your car care. So even if you don’t care about how your car looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other Placentia motorists — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

Brakes need a regular inspection. There are vital parts that wear out or wear down, and it’s best to replace them before you have problems.

Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that’s a good sign that you need your brakes checked. Placentia auto owners can also tell something is wrong with their brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate problems. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is vital to get your brakes checked.

Brakes come in two basic types. With disk brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor, which close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the Mercedes – Lexus’s wheels, from turning.

When Exclusive Motors services your brake system, your Friendly tech checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at Exclusive Motors compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be expensive. But if your Mercedes – Lexus brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

Brake pads come in several different grades such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more expensive in Placentia, but they also work better. California motorists who want better and smoother braking, should consider upgrading. However, Yorba Linda drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than your auto manufacturer’s recommendation.

After you your brake pads are checked at Exclusive Motors, it’s critical to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will diminish your braking power. The pads just won’t be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your Mercedes – Lexus. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to a detrimental and costly accident in Placentia.

Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause dangerous corrosion in your braking system. Eventually this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So Placentia motorists should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your Mercedes – Lexus owner’s manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced or ask a Friendly service professional at Exclusive Motors. We have been servicing brake systems in Placentia for 23 years. 

Remember, Yorba Linda folks, safety first. It’s essential auto advice for all Placentia motorists on the road. You’re not just protecting others; you’re protecting yourself.