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

Maintaining Your Older Car In Mission Viejo CA

The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Mission Viejo CA: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Mission Viejo CA motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.

Because new cars are more expensive, people in the Irvine area are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Irvine have more than 75,000 miles. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin’.

Give Autobahn West a call to schedule your next maintenance.
25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949.525.9730

Some owner’s manuals don’t specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles.

First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 15,000 miles should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles, and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule – ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and don’t hold the fluids as well as they used to.

It’s also time to make sure you have a good Mission Viejo CA technician. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble’s brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.

And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it’s way cheaper than a new car payment!

Looking Down the Road – Headlamps

If you’ve ever been driving around Mission Viejo and had a headlamp go out, you’ve probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won’t have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Autobahn West. We’re at 25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200 in Mission Viejo, CA 92691. Or give us a call at 949.525.9730

Experts in Mission Viejo recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you’ll have bright headlamps for those long Mission Viejo winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can’t believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that’s a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they’ll last for the life of your car. If you want your Mission Viejo friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint – no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can’t react to what you can’t see. You need headlamps that’ll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That’s because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Mission Viejo service centers offer a service to restore the lens that’s a lot cheaper.

You can’t drive if you can’t see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don’t forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

The Right Automotive Fluids For Irvine Drivers

What grade of oil should I use?

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Irvine drivers. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won’t work as well for Mission Viejo motorists and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many pickups now leave the factory with synthetic oil. Mission Viejo car owners should always use the grade recommended by their vehicle manufacturer  and type of oil in their engine.

All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your pickup cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.

Most passenger vehicles on Mission Viejo roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your pickup power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.

Now, the important thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluids is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to remember to check with your understanding Autobahn West service specialist or pickup owner’s manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give us a call

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

Irvine Battery Service

It’s important for Mission Viejo car owners to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold CA weather. Most Irvine drivers think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold pickup engine.

However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Mission Viejo trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Mission Viejo motorists can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the CA summer and every three months during the winter.

As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your pickup alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.

If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your understanding Autobahn West technician for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your pickup alternator.

Give us a call

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