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

Keep it Flowing With A Fuel Filter Replacement At Autobahn West

The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Mission Viejo CA use fuel filters.

For more information about your fuel filter, visit Autobahn West or come by our shop located at 25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200 in Mission Viejo, CA 92691.
Please call 949.525.9730 to make an appointment.

Generally speaking there’s not a lot of dirt in our Mission Viejo CA auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That’s because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your pickup is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.

That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your pickup ages. It’ll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.

A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That’s because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can’t get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can’t get enough power to get you out of harm’s way.

For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.

This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don’t want to cause them damage just because you didn’t spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.

You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It’s a little part, it’s simple and it’s cheap to take care of. But if it’s neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars of repair bills.

Those auto service schedules in your owner’s manual are there for a reason. If ever you don’t understand a recommended service, just ask your Mission Viejo service advisor at Autobahn West. We’ll be happy to explain.

Watching Your Check Engine Light

Did you know that most of the cars driving around Mission Viejo, CA carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969?

New cars sold in the Irvine area have as many as twelve networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, auto computers have been controlling about 85 percent of your vehicle’s functions.

Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do Mission Viejo car owners know when there is a problem?

It’s simple; the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in the computer.

It can be pretty disturbing for Mission Viejo drivers when the Check Engine light comes on. We wonder just how urgent it is. Generally speaking, it is not critical like a temperature or oil pressure light. When you get one of those it means STOP NOW! When the Check Engine light shows up, you should come in to Autobahn West in Mission Viejo to find out what the matter is as soon as possible.

Since 1996, there has been a strong emissions control component to the Check Engine diagnostic. But if your Check Engine light flashes on and off, you know that it is more urgent and you need to get it checked immediately to prevent damage. You should slow down and avoid towing or heavy loads until you can get it checked out.

Your understanding Autobahn West service advisor has special diagnostic equipment that will retrieve the trouble code from the computer and help him determine what is wrong. From there, we can fix it and get you back on the road.

Stop by if you’re check engine light is on.

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

Make Your Battery Last

Today’s report from Autobahn West is on car batteries, why they die and what we can do to lengthen their life. Most of us have had a dead battery at one time or another. In fact, it would be very unusual if you hadn’t. You may be surprised to learn that only 30 percent of Mission Viejo vehicle batteries last for 48 months.

Now that’s an average. How long a battery lasts depends on many factors. You may not know that one of the biggest factors is the temperature where you live and drive around Mission Viejo. You might suppose that cold weather was harder on batteries because it takes more power to crank a cold engine, but the opposite is actually true.

For more information on your battery, please visit us:
Autobahn West
25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949.525.9730

Batteries in very cold climates have a life expectancy of 51 months as opposed to 30 months in very warm climates. The reason is simple: batteries are chemically more active when they’re hot than when they’re cold.

A car battery will actually start to discharge on its own within 24 hours in hot weather. It takes several days in cold weather. When batteries are left too long in a state of partial discharge, the discharged portion of the battery plates actually, for the lack of a better word, ‘die’. Recharging the battery will not restore the dead part of the battery plate.

One of the big problems for the way most of us drive in the Mission Viejo area, is that our batteries are often partially discharged. The biggest job the battery does is to start the car. It takes some time for the alternator to recharge the battery after starting. If you’re driving short distances, especially if there are several starts and stops, your battery may not fully recharge.

Another issue is that vehicles are coming equipped with more and more electricity hungry accessories like navigation systems, DVD players, CD and MP3 players, heated seats, heated steering wheels and so on. And we often plug in cell phones, computers and other gadgets. Combine that with short trips and it’s no wonder that our batteries are partially discharged.

Experts say we can extend our battery life by topping off the charge periodically using a good quality battery charger. You may’ve heard these chargers referred to as ‘trickle chargers’. They’re attached to the battery and plugged into a wall outlet to slowly bring the battery up to full charge.

Now there’s some science involved with how fast a battery should be recharged. If you buy a cheap manual charger, you’ll have to tend it. Frankly a learning curve on how to do it right and requires much attention. A computer controlled charger – or smart charger – monitors the process and determines the appropriate rate of charge. And it even stops charging when it’s fully charged. It costs more than the manual charger, but the automatic model is worth it.

The suggestion is to charge once a month in warm weather and once every three months in cold weather.

Another thing to avoid is deeply discharging your battery. Something like running the headlights and stereo with the engine turned off. That’ll take months off the battery life every time you do it.

Now, as we discussed, heat is hard on a battery. A dirty, greasy battery holds more heat. You can wipe off excess dirt with a paper towel or ask your service advisor at Autobahn West to clean it for you. Autobahn West can even test your battery and tell you if it’s time to replace it.

Batteries are fairly expensive, so taking a few steps to make them last longer is well worth it. Of course, the battery will eventually need to be replaced. Always make sure you get a new battery that meets the factory specifications for your vehicle. If you feel you need more battery capacity than what came with your vehicle, talk with your service advisor at Autobahn West about appropriate upgrades.

If you have a dead battery, be careful to 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. And deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

The Autobahn West Guide To Vehicle Diagnosis

Why is my check engine light on?

Modern Mission Viejo vehicles have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions – and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle.

Think about that for a minute – things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It’s no wonder that when something goes wrong with their pickup it can be pretty complicated for Mission Viejo car owners to track down the source of the problem.

To help your Autobahn West service advisor figure out what’s wrong, your pickup is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The Check Engine Light comes on to tell you there’s a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Your understanding Autobahn West service professional connects a scan tool to your vehicle’s diagnostic port and retrieves the trouble codes as well as other important data.

Trouble codes are like clues for the Irvine technician to follow as he diagnoses what’s wrong with your pickup. In a way, it’s like going to your Mission Viejo doctor with a problem. She’ll run some additional tests and gather the information she needs to make a diagnosis and form a treatment plan. How much a vehicle diagnosis costs at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo depends on how much time it takes to sort out the symptoms and find the underlying problem.

Give us a call

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