Autobahn West

Providing superb car service and repairs to BMW, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Volvo and Mercedes owners since 1976

Autobahn West - Providing superb car service and repairs to BMW, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Volvo and Mercedes owners since 1976

To Save Gas Around Mission Viejo: Keep Up with Your Scheduled Service

One topic that hits the news in Mission Viejo on a regular basis is the price of gas. The answer for some CA auto owners is to buy a vehicle that gets better MPG. For those of us Mission Viejo drivers 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 Autobahn West is one of the best ways Mission Viejo drivers can keep their family car running efficiently. That means better fuel efficiency. 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 efficiency.

Keeping up with scheduled oil changes and transmission services will save gas for CA motorists.

Dirty engine air filters are another efficiency pirate. They rob your sedan 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 pickup as you drive around Mission Viejo. If your minivan owner’s manual recommends a fuel system cleaning, come into Autobahn West and ask us to get it done for you.

A simple, but very effective way for Mission Viejo 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.

Autobahn West
25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949.525.9730

The Autobahn West Guide to Saving Fuel: Car Weight

The team at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo and CA car owners are all talking fuel economy right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. Mission Viejo auto owners want to save the environment and their pocketbooks.

And we all know—or should know—that preventive maintenance will help maximize MPG. But is there something more Mission Viejo auto owners can do? After all, some of us Mission Viejo folks can’t cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.

Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from Mission Viejo to Laguna Niguel. And that means buying more gas in Mission Viejo and producing more emissions.

Of course, your pickup’s weight isn’t negotiable. And you can’t do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn’t an article about diet and exercise.

But look around your pickup. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around CA? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your Mission Viejo home? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don’t. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.

The same goes for anything else in your car: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don’t.

Clean out your Mission Viejo. You’d be surprised how much weight you’re lugging around Mission Viejo in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food, and regular old dirt. Even if it’s not a lot of weight, you’ll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.

Now, don’t toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire—the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in your Mission Viejo when you go on a longer trip, but you don’t have to lug it around all the time. After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?

Lose the junk and save some money in Mission Viejo
.

Professional Fuel System Cleaning

Getting adequate fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.

Today’s production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.

Mission Viejo auto owners can buy fuel system cleaners that you pour into your gas tank to help maintain an already clean fuel system, however, they can’t do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see Autobahn West in Mission Viejo. They have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. The understanding team at Autobahn West can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently.

You’ll find Autobahn West at 25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200 in Mission Viejo, CA 92691. Or just give us a call at 949.525.9730 to schedule an appointment.

You’ll enjoy more power, better fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions. The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate vital engine parts.

And, as with all maintenance, it can help prevent pricey repairs that can happen because you didn’t take preventative steps. Check with your understanding service professional at Autobahn West and see when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.

Service to Improve Fuel Economy


The price of gas in CA has got Mission Viejo motorists talking. It seems that Mission Viejo folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve gas mileage.

First let’s start with how we drive in the Irvine area. Mission Viejo drivers may not realize that they can really save bucks on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts – you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don’t drive with one foot on the brake. That’s also a drag on gas mileage, and it wears out your brakes faster too.

Another thing Mission Viejo motorists can do is drive slower – but only when it’s safe. Sometimes on the freeway we drive an extra five … ten . . . twenty … over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it only saves a few minutes out of maybe an hour long drive, and we may use 10 to 15 % more gas. Just leave Mission Viejo a little bit earlier, save some income and arrive more relaxed.

Mission Viejo car owners can also try and combine all of their errands for the day into just one trip, rather than several. If you can put off a trip today that can be combined with one tomorrow – you can save some time and income.

Using your cruise control can save cash too. Driving in Irvine at a constant speed really improves MPG. Be sure to only use your cruise control in CA under safe conditions – you can look in your owner’s manual for some critical good tips on using your cruise control.

Did you know that reducing the weight in your pickup saves gas? Clean out the trunk or back seat from time to time so that you are not paying to carry around a lot of stuff around Irvine you do not need in the car. If you live in CA where there is snow and ice, clear it off your car. They add weight and mess with aerodynamics too.

Another tip is to avoid long idle times, which includes warming it up when you start. Modern engines do not require a long warm up to get going – just take it easy for a couple of miles.

Be sure to get a new gas cap if yours leaks or is worn.

Now, let’s start talking mechanical. Bottom line – the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in improved fuel economy before your next oil change – and will keep saving you income after that.

A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends in MPG for Mission Viejo drivers. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power – so Mission Viejo motorists can’t go wrong with that.

Some of us Mission Viejo auto owners ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy.

And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your fuel economy. Don’t overlook the essential routine maintenance items, like scheduled oil changes, transmission and cooling system service. Dirty or low fluids actually use more fuel. Just look at your car maker’a recommended service intervals in the owner’s manual, or ask your Autobahn West service advisor for the schedule.

Don’t forget your tires. Under-inflated tires waste gas. And if your wheels are out of alignment you won’t get the MPG you need.

None of these things are very complicated or expensive for Mission Viejo motorists to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today, and prevent expensive repairs tomorrow.

Fuel Injection Basics For Mission Viejo

All modern Mission Viejo vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it’s a topic Irvine motorists need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount, at the right time; to be mixed with air and burned in the engine.

So how many fuel injectors does your car have? There’s one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in Mission Viejo, CA. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty high-tech.

Autobahn West can help Irvine car owners with a fuel injector cleaning service. What’s the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. It’s essential that the fuel is sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.

Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, effecting the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn’t get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and hurts gas mileage.

What about dirty fuel – how does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high quality fuel. It’s tempting to shop for bargains in  Irvine with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the Mission Viejo, CA area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.

What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is a vital component of the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it’s clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.

It’s critical to replace the fuel filter when your automobile manufacturer recommends it. That’s part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.

There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines Mission Viejo auto owners are starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There’s no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.

There are a lot of good products available in Mission Viejo, CA that can clean fuel injectors. They’re best used by Mission Viejo car owners to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can’t clean a seriously gummed up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning, like those we offer at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you’ve had Autobahn West take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.

Give us a call if you think your pickup may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.

Manager: Ray Dixon
Autobahn West
25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949.525.9730

Maintaining Your Diesel in Irvine

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven’t been as common in Irvine because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Mission Viejo car owners driving diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV’s.

Diesels are popular in Mission Viejo because they get better fuel efficiency than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you’re not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don’t produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in CA as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Irvine, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Mission Viejo motorists’ dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles perform as well as other passenger vehicles, also. Most Foothill Ranch people don’t notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer in El Toro, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don’t all Irvine car owners drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven’t told me about. That’s true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in CA. The better fuel efficiency of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more costly to drive in Irvine. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in CA, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Mission Viejo auto owners depends now on the current price of fuel in CA and how many miles you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Irvine area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in CA becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive in Mission Viejo than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Mission Viejo are similar. Wait, you may be thinking, but you just told me that filters are more expensive and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Autobahn West auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the Mission Viejo driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.

Fuel Filter Service in Mission Viejo CA

There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn’t seem right.

Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember, because it is a long list, but your service center at Autobahn West can help you know what’s scheduled to be taken care of.

Some of us in Mission Viejo CA really don’t look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things the manufacturer recommends.

But automotive maintenance is all about prevention, and addressing small problems before they get big. Let’s take the fuel filter for example.

You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our Mission Viejo CA roads is over nine years. When cars get older, five years or so, they’ve accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. So somewhere between that dirty gas tank and the price of a great vacation – is the lowly fuel filter: a very inexpensive part that doesn’t cost too much to replace. And your car’ll just run better too.

A clogged fuel filter can’t let enough fuel through. You might notice at first that your car is running fine around town, but struggles or sputters on the Mission Viejo CA freeway or when you accelerate. Enough fuel can’t get through to meet the demands of higher speed. If it gets bad enough your engine might just shut off or not start at all, which could be dangerous.

Some fuel filters have a bypass. When they get clogged, they allow dirty fuel to move around the filter element so dirt ends up in the engine. We’ve already talked about how expensive that can be.

The fuel filter is even very important for newer cars. The fuel is still dirty even if there isn’t rust in the tank. It’s just that the fuel filter will need to be changed more frequently as the vehicle gets older.

How often should you change your fuel filter? Check your owner’s manual. Your Mission Viejo CA service advisor at Autobahn West can tell you as well. It’s usually around thirty thousand miles or so. Ask if it’s time for a full fuel system cleaning as well. They often go hand in hand.

It’s good to know that your Mission Viejo CA service center has your back. When you’re motivated to maintain your vehicle’s performance and to reduce operating costs, you’ll think of Autobahn West as your ally – and maybe even your memory.

Fuel Injector Cleaning At Autobahn West

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your pickup engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute in every single fuel-injected car driving down Mission Viejo, El Toro, and Foothill Ranch expressways.

Fuel Injector Cleaning In Laguna Niguel, El Toro, and Foothill RanchMost fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the Irvine automotive community as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. The fuel pump provides pressure needed to squirt the right amount of fuel into the engine.

A few manufacturers have recently introduced gas direct injection systemson some engines. They are now available at some Irvine dealerships. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – many times the pressure of port injection systems.

Although more complicated, direct injection technology promises greater power with improved fuel economy for gas-poor Laguna Niguel, El Toro, and Mission Viejo drivers. CA motorists can expect to see more of it in the future.

High temperatures
under your pickup hood and variations in Irvine gas quality cause fuel injectors to be fouled with wax, dirt, water, additives and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure.

When injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn’t burn as efficiently resulting in poor gas mileage and loss of power. So it’s essential for Mission Viejo motorists keep their fuel injectors clean.

Your tech ar Autobahn West can perform a fuel system service for you in which the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.

Proper maintenance of your pickup fuel system means that you will spend less on gas, enjoy strong performance and prevent expensive Irvine repair bills down the road.

Autobahn West: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

Most Mission Viejo and El Toro motorists want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving gas mileage. At Autobahn West, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Mission Viejo drivers actually save?

The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Mission Viejo motorists can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your pickup engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas in Mission Viejo, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.

Autobahn West: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

In today’s Autobahn West article, we’re focusing on the things you can do to improve your pickup fuel efficiency driving around CA. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a chart that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TUNE UP 4% .12 .14 .16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best MPG. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.OO $3.50 $4.00
AIR FILTER 10% .30 .35 .40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Autobahn West in Mission Viejo and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40% 1.20 1.40 1.60

Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Autobahn West.

Here’s an easy one for bright Mission Viejo auto owners. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your MPG, so check your tires every week.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TIRE INFLATION 3% .09 .11 .12

Your pickup automobile manufacturer has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced MPG, or up to seven cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2% .06 .07 .08

Here’s one that’s free for Mission Viejo car owners that  want to save bucks: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on Mission Viejo roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your fuel economy.

Cutting out aggressive driving around Mission Viejo can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the expressway it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that – and leave a little earlier.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5% .15 .18 .20
DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$ .99 1.16 1.32

A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour on your Mission Viejo freeway,  an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7% .21 .25 .28
SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23% .69 .81 .92

The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our pickups tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.

Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Mission Viejo, CA

Let’s talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our Mission Viejo environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Mission Viejo drivers very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Irvine area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn.  The benefits to Mission Viejo drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more expensive than straight gasoline.

Mission Viejo drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around the Irvine area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Mission Viejo roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It’s less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Natural gas engines don’t make as much power and don’t get as good fuel economy, but they cost Mission Viejo drivers less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Mission Viejo to Irvine.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Mission Viejo area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our CA roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that’s assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver fuel economy similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It’ll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

Another breakthrough technology from auto makers is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global car makers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It’ll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there’s widespread use in CA.

A quick word from Autobahn West about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Irvine service technician at  Autobahn West is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you’re specifically trained on hybrid systems.