If you’re a quart low in your sedan, there isn’t enough motor oil to lubricate your engine properly. The extra friction causes drag that reduces fuel economy while you’re driving around the Newport Beach area.
The same goes for dirty oil; it doesn’t reduce friction properly. The result is you get to watch those numbers at your local Newport Beach gas pump rolling higher and higher.
The transmission also needs the proper amount of clean fluid to do its work. When it’s in need of service, the transmission drags your fuel economy down.
So keep it clean and give yourself a fighting chance.
Most Newport Beach motorists have experienced a flat tire. You know it’s inconvenient and a pain. Our tires are important. Keeping them in good working order isn’t just a big safety issue – it also has a financial impact. With high gas prices, we’ve all heard about the importance of keeping proper tire pressure to get the best possible fuel efficiency. In addition, proper inflation promotes even tread wear so your tires last longer.
There’s another danger to under-inflated tires. Low tire pressure puts added stress on the structure of the tire itself, causing it to break down prematurely. Also, under-inflated tires generate more heat which also reduces tire life. So get those slow leaks fixed quickly – don’t just keep airing them up every few days. You want to avoid serious tire damage.
Tires can also be damaged by road hazards in and around Costa Mesa. Punctures, cuts and unfortunate encounters with curbs or potholes can also cause damage that could lead to tire failure. Sometimes, it’s something that a diagnostic examination would reveal. Try to remember to check your tires when you’re pumping fuel. Look for slashes, missing chunks, nails or screws in the tread or just uneven wear. Of course check the air pressure too.
Now tire damage can be on the inside where you can’t see it until it’s removed from the wheel. Such damage could come from a severe impact, driving on a flat or even just low pressure. Some punctures can cause internal damage that is too extreme to be repaired. You may see our Bimmer & Benz Specialists tire professionals take the time to remove your flat from the rim and inspect the inside before repairing it, which means we’re just following best practices.
Of course, some tires just can’t be repaired. A puncture may be too large to plug. Also, the puncture could be in a location that’s not safe to repair like in the sidewall or outer portion of the tread. So called run-flat tires should not be repaired because their design is such that internal damage can’t be detected by a visual inspection.
Costa Mesa auto owners should only hire qualified tire professionals to perform repairs – we have a whole team of them at Bimmer & Benz Specialists. Newport Beach folks can buy self repair kits, but we advise you to save those for emergencies, like when you’re off-roading and need a quick fix so you can hobble back to civilization and get professional help. If you need to use a repair-in-a-can product, remember it’s a temporary measure only and your tire needs to be properly repaired as soon as possible.
Here are some other considerations: A DIY flat repair may void your tire manufacturer’s warranty – just something to keep in mind. Also, if you repair a speed rated tire, you should not use it in any motorsports or operate it above legal speed limits. Your friendly Bimmer & Benz Specialists tire specialist will repair your tire whenever it’s safe to do so and he’ll advise you when it’s better to replace it. So watch those curbs and keep the air – on the inside.
So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? You can tell if your tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on California highways. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it’s a back tire, you’ll feel the vibration in your seat.
Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Bimmer & Benz Specialists, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the tire technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it’s too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 MPH, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s where you get your vibration.
Most Costa Mesa car owners are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.
Most high-quality tires hold their balance pretty well. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some big repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better gas mileage.
Some Newport Beach drivers have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owners’ manual for your requirements, or ask your friendly Bimmer & Benz Specialists service specialist. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance
Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your sedan engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let’s go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on California expressways, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce twenty pounds of carbon dioxide?
The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your sedan needs a lot of air to keep going in Laguna Beach. A lot of clean air is best.
You’ve seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your sedan also works better when its internals are clean. When your sedan air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your sedan engine does you no good.
So, we’re talking potential damage for Newport Beach drivers. But another big thing is wasted fuel. Your sedan engine management computer tries to mix the correct amount of air in with the fuel. If the filter’s clogged, there isn’t enough air for the optimal fuel to air mix and that really messes with gas mileage.
In fact, replacing a dirty air filter at Bimmer & Benz Specialists in Costa Mesa can improve your fuel economy by up to ten percent. At today’s Laguna Beach fuel prices, you should be able to pay for a new air filter before your next oil change.
The verdict: When your sedan engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in California. A simple visual inspection at Bimmer & Benz Specialists will tell you when you need a new engine air filter.
When you look at the air filter on your furnace at home and see it’s all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don’t hesitate to replace it. When your Bimmer & Benz Specialists service advisor shows you your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and replace it.
Lease? Or buy? These are the options for Costa Mesa car financing. It’s always a tough question for Costa Mesa motorists. But here is some info that’ll help you make an informed decision.
If you buy, you’ll pay the full cost of the car, with maybe an initial down payment, then monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.
Costa Mesa motorists who lease, finance the portion of the cost of the car that’s used up during the term of the lease. You’ll pay some money up front; fees, security deposit, first month’s payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the car to your local Newport Beach area dealership.
So how do Costa Mesa auto owners decide?
First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down.
How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.
A lease needs requires better credit, so that’s a factor.
How long will you keep the car? Costa Mesa auto owners who keep their cars around for a while will pay less if they buy. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.
If your car might suffer a ding or two, like, say a work truck would, then buying’s better. The Costa Mesa auto leasing company will want their vehicle back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you’ll pay.
How many miles do you drive in and around the Laguna Beach area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit, and if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile when the lease is up. So high mileage California car owners should definitely buy.
Will the car be used in your Costa Mesa business? Check with your Costa Mesa accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.
Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper for Costa Mesa auto owners. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing always costs more in California.
Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment, rather than price. So sometimes Costa Mesa leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.
Here is a tip: If the Costa Mesa salesman asks if you’ll be leasing or buying, say you’re not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at your Costa Mesa financing options.
Here’s another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the car, you’ll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments, and usually, it’s less than the car’s fair Newport Beach market value – and that’s all your California auto insurance company will pay. But ask your Costa Mesa agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.
Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition, and may need to do all the automobile manufacturer’s recommended service and maintenance, or face penalties. So see your local tech at your Costa Mesa auto repair shop or Bimmer & Benz Specialists on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It’s well worth it.
We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over Costa Mesa. Some days it’s all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That’s why you’ve gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps – we have to keep track of it all.
So let’s talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.
Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by Costa Mesa car owners. They’re all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.
1. Power Steering Service Be honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your power steering parts are protected from corrosion. Next time you’re in for an oil change, ask your Costa Mesa service advisor if it’s time for a power steering check-up.
2. Wheel Alignment When your wheels are out of alignment your sedan pulls to one side. It’s pretty annoying, but it’s also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast; which is an unneccessary expense! Most car makers owners manuals suggest you get your alignment checked once or twice a year.
3. Differential Service Did you even know you had a differential? Well, you do – one, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they’re part of the drive-train that transfers power from your sedan engine to your wheels. They don’t need service that often, but you can’t completely forget them. Check with your Bimmer & Benz Specialists service advisor.
4. Cabin Air Filter More and more Costa Mesa cars these days have cabin air filters (a great feature, in my opinion) to clean the air in the passenger area where we sit. They filter out dust and pollen. When they’re clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.
5. Timing Belt Replacement Most cars and some vans and trucks driven around the Costa Mesa area have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let’s just say that your car won’t run without it – period. And if it breaks while you’re driving it can do thousands of dollars worth of engine damage. Check your owners’ manual or with your Costa Mesa service advisor. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles; definitely look into it right away.
6. Transmission Service Transmission service is very basic, but it’s often forgotten. Your sedan transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep operating efficiently and avoid pricey repairs. And it can also improve your fuel efficiency.
7. Air Conditioning Service Most of us don’t think about our air conditioning until it fails on a hot day. If you’re lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you’re not, some of the components may have been ruined. Of course, these components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.
8. Brake Service No we’re not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We’re talking brake fluid. Over time the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won’t work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your Bimmer & Benz Specialists technician for recommendations.
9. Coolant System Another thing that’s so easy to forget about: When you don’t change your antifreeze on schedule it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the pH balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you’re stranded – bummer.
10. Fuel System Cleaning In these times of high fuel prices, fuel system cleaning is so important. Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors also get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule at Bimmer & Benz Specialists will really help your fuel economy.
There you have it; 10 services that are often overlooked. Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn’t been performed? Considering our busy lives, we’re not surprised.
We know it takes some thought and effort to actually maintain your vehicle; but it not only saves money in the long run – it saves time too. And we can all use a little more time.
Some Costa Mesa car owners wonder why Bimmer & Benz Specialists and other Costa Mesa auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.
Think about it: When you hire a local Newport Beach HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Laguna Beach doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.
So receiving a diagnostic charge at Bimmer & Benz Specialists for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Newport Beach area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your sedan brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy California expressway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your sedan engine, however, Bimmer & Benz Specialists diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Newport Beach drivers’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There’s a common misconception among Laguna Beach, Sunset Beach, and Huntington Beach drivers that the trouble code tells the Bimmer & Benz Specialists technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.
The sedan computer’s trouble code just tells the Bimmer & Benz Specialists technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Bimmer & Benz Specialists customers. The Bimmer & Benz Specialists service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
Newport Beach service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course Bimmer & Benz Specialists wants to figure out what’s wrong with your sedan and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
When winter approaches in Costa Mesa California, we break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for winter conditions. Your vehicle needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing you want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your vehicle to be safe and reliable. It’s a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime – but the stakes are higher in the winter.
There are some specific things that we need to do in Costa Mesa California to have our vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can’t properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.
In the cold months around Costa Mesa we always worry about being able to stop in time when it’s slick out. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. Of course, you want your brakes to be working properly. A thorough brake inspection will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your service consultant to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.
It is a really good idea to have your battery tested. A battery’s cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to winter. There is nothing like a dead battery in a snow storm.
Which leads us to an emergency kit. You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded. If you will be venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is a good precaution if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.
Winter in Costa Mesa California always makes us think of our windshield wiper blades – usually during that first storm when they aren’t working right. That’s why it’s a really good idea to replace your blades in the fall before the winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.
The final thing to consider is your tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80 degrees outside when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it’s 40 degrees out, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That’s enough to be a real safety issue and it wastes gas too. You may need special winter tires as well. Your tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your expected road conditions.
If you’re getting winter tires, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, have them put on the rear – even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.
This is a very important safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow is a matter of not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should always be on the rear.
When it comes to their vehicles, some Newport Beach car owners don’t have a maintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Newport Beach drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance, but just may have not applied it to their sedans.
For example: the lawn. You water it and mow it every week. And weed the flower beds and rake the leaves. There are other things that Newport Beach residents are diligent about. Going to the dentist twice a year. Clothes to the dry cleaner. Flu shots. Taking the kids to your Newport Beach doctor for a checkup before school starts.
So Newport Beach car owners really are maintenance minded. They just have to learn to apply that mindset to cars. I mean, if you never brush your teeth or go to the dentist, you’ll become painfully aware of your neglect when you get a big cavity. Once the damage is done, most of us learn our lesson and shape up.
Unfortunately, Newport Beach car owners too often learn a hard automotive lesson when they bring their vehicle to Bimmer & Benz Specialists on a tow truck. So many times a little routine maintenance would have prevented a breakdown.
So how can Newport Beach car owners get into the habit of taking care of their sedan? It’s so easy to forget. If you skip cutting the grass, you see it every time you pull in the driveway.
Here’s something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your Bimmer & Benz Specialists tech will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason why. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he’ll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they’ve got you covered. And at Bimmer & Benz Specialists, we check to see if your sedan manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage. The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done. The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you’ve got to remember that sedans are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their operation. Without them, the sedan won’t run at all.
So when you come in to Bimmer & Benz Specialists for an oil change, you get an automotive analysis from your friendly service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your Bimmer & Benz Specialists technician can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and helping you avoid expensive breakdowns.
One topic that hits the news in Costa Mesa on a regular basis is the price of gas. The answer for some California car owners is to buy a vehicle that gets better gas mileage. For those of us who don’t want to add a car payment to our monthly expenses, we need to improve our fuel economy any way we can.
Following recommended service intervals by coming into Bimmer & Benz Specialists is one of the best ways Costa Mesa car owners can keep their family car running efficiently. That means better gas mileage. When you give it some thought, it only makes sense. Dirty oil or transmission fluid can’t lubricate or clean. That means more drag which reduces fuel economy.
Dirty engine air filters are another efficiency pirate. They rob your family car engine of enough air to effectively burn the fuel, so you need more gas to get the job done. Replacing a dirty air filter can pay for itself in fuel savings before the next oil change.
You can imagine what dirty fuel injectors can do to your sedan as you drive around Costa Mesa. If your family car owner’s manual recommends a fuel system cleaning, come into Bimmer & Benz Specialists and ask us to get it done for you.
A simple, but very effective way for car owners to save gas is to keep their tires properly inflated. Low tires can cost you up to a mile per gallon. Check your tire pressure when you gas up – or at least once a month.