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

Mission Viejo Drivers: Get Fresh Air Inside Your Car

Let’s talk about air quality in Mission Viejo. It’s a global issue, but affects us wherever we are. Many decades ago, Mission Viejo car owners began to become aware of how air pollution negatively affects health. But what about the air inside your vehicle?

Cabin air filters are now coming on most new pickups in Mission Viejo. These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment. They can filter particles down to three microns, so that’s good enough to clean out dust, pollen and most pollutants. If you suffer from allergies in Mission Viejo, this is very good news. Your car can be a haven during your Mission Viejo commute.

Mission Viejo Drivers: Get Fresh Air Inside Your CarNow, it’s only been in the last few years that cabin air filters have become common in Mission Viejo. You can look in your owner’s manual to see if you have one. If you do, there’ll be a recommendation for replacing it when it gets dirty. If you live in an area of Mission Viejo where there’s a lot of dust, pollen or pollution, you may need to change it more often.

You can also ask your understanding Autobahn West technician in Mission Viejo. How hard is it to change an air filter on a car? It depends on your vehicle. Some are quite accessible; others take some doing to get to them. They’re usually in the engine compartment or under the dashboard.

Because cabin air filters are so new on the scene, some Mission Viejo people haven’t heard of them – even drivers who have cabin air filters in their pickup. Autobahn West service advisors have discovered that many Mission Viejo customers who complained about an unpleasant odor in their pickup simply had a dirty cabin air filter.

Hitting The Brakes In Foothill Ranch

Hello Mission Viejo, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all CA auto owners know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between Mission Viejo, Irvine and Foothill Ranch.

Hitting The Brakes In Foothill RanchBut the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let’s step back. A new pickup or truck rolls off a local Mission Viejo showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the pickup. Mission Viejo drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of manufacturers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around CA, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at Autobahn West is important for your pickup and your family’s safety. At Autobahn West we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at Autobahn West. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the pickup fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Autobahn West cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the pickup to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.

This is especially important on wet Irvine area freeways and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. CA auto owners need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment For Mission Viejo Automobiles

Irvine auto owners may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel’s off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn’t feel like it handles right as they drive down Mission Viejo, CA streets and highways.

When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around Mission Viejo, CA are great ways for Mission Viejo drivers to knock their car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

The team at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo wants you to know that driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.

At the very least, Mission Viejo motorists who drive with wheels out of alignment will have to replace their tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which can be costly. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars.

Now, let’s discuss some alignment basics. Wheels are adjustable for toe, caster and camber. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.

So, what is involved in an alignment check at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo? First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything is bent or broken. Tire condition will also be evaluated.  Next, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and we take an initial alignment reading.

If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s centerline. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, the direction they push is determined and the front wheels are aligned to match.

Like most things, vehicle manufacturers have recommended a mileage interval for having alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive around the Irvine area. It’s better for Laguna Niguel motorists to have their alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at Autobahn West when necessary is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety in CA.

Come see us at  for more information about your tire alignment. We look forward to serving you.

Recommended Mission Viejo Service Intervals

Everyone in Mission Viejo, CA knows we are advised to go to our Mission Viejo dentist twice a year.  Oral-conscious Mission Viejo residents have a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – “Everything’s fine, see you in six months.” Or “You’ve got a small cavity starting, let’s schedule an appointment to take care of it.” By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.

This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big pricey problems. And you avoid those huge bills.

If Irvine folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our critical car maintenance?

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

Following the auto manufacturer’s recommended intervals can be confusing. First, there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing …you get the point.

Every item has a recommended interval and it’s hard for Mission Viejo drivers to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the 1% of the CA motorists that read their owners’ manual.

And if you have more than one pickup, the complexity is multiplied. You’d need a computer to keep track of everything. Well, that’s how your service center Mission Viejo does it. For example, Autobahn West subscribes to automotive databases that have your vehicle’s recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it’s all in the database.

Well, it’s not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like Irvine weather conditions, altitude, and where and how you drive in CA. Talk about these things with your understanding Autobahn West service professional and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner’s manual is more appropriate.

Since anything that’s not freeway driving in moderate Irvine weather is considered severe, most of us do at least some of that around Mission Viejo, CA and it should be taken into account.

Let’s take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your pickup is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your pickup engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.

Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That’s why most auto manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.

It’s easy for Mission Viejo drivers to think, “Gee, I’ve only driven 2,000 miles in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change.” But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a detrimental environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that starts degrading its effectiveness even when it’s just sitting there.

A lot of people in Mission Viejo don’t realize how harmful it is to skip an oil change. There are a lot of detrimental metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it’s clogged up because you haven’t changed it, it can’t trap any more.

Oil sludge is another problem for Mission Viejo auto owners. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think ‘Vaseline’. Obviously, sludge doesn’t lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don’t get properly protected by the oil. That’ll lead to premature wear.

If you’ve missed some oil changes, don’t despair. Just talk with your understanding Autobahn West tech. Fess up – you’ll feel better. And he can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your pickup on the road and avoiding expensive repairs.

Take a look at the auto tips video in this post for more information.

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.