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 Air Conditioning Service

Working up a sweat is a great thing to do in a gym around Mission Viejo, but not in your car. When Mission Viejo motorists’ car’s AC System has a problem, they’ll often feel it right away. The question is, how long do you put up with it? You know, the old comfort versus cost dilemma. But a more comfortable drive around Mission Viejo has a lot of benefits, and keeping the AC System well maintained can help prevent pricey repairs.

A common cause for AC failure is water and air in the system. The system does not work as well with air in it. And water can cause rust that leads to damage of the A/C components. Also refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system, making it work harder to try to cool the air. That is why periodically evacuating the air conditioning system and recharging it keeps the proper amount of clean refrigerant in the system for Mission Viejo drivers so it cools better and lasts longer.

Mission Viejo motorists should also run the air conditioner regularly, even in the winter, so that it lubricates itself and keeps the seals from drying out. The seals can crack and that leads to leaks. Your automobile manufacturer’s owner’s manual will have recommendations for how often to service your air conditioner. Some service centers also have this information as part of their computer databases. Your understanding Autobahn West tech can give you more information.

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

Of course, if your AC currently isn’t working right, then now is the time to get it checked. Many service centers in Mission Viejo such as Autobahn West can inspect and test your air conditioning and offer evacuation and recharge services. This goes a long way to avoiding having to bring your air conditioner in for expensive repairs.

Recent environmental laws have stopped the manufacture of Freon, a refrigerant that was common in cars made before 1993. There is a very limited supply of Freon so the price is very pricey in CA. It may not be worth its weight in gold, but it probably is worth its weight in silver. If you have an older vehicle that uses Freon, you may want to consider having it retrofitted to use the new EPA-approved R134a refrigerant. It will pay for itself in the long run.

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

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From Autobahn West

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the CA news. Mission Viejo people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better MPG and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Mission Viejo motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, Mission Viejo grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their pickups for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Mission Viejo drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own pickups on the road in CA.

The smart Mission Viejo motorists of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Autobahn WestThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your pickup’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is harmful for your engine.

There’s another essential reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Mission Viejo car owners. It’s simple – a Autobahn West professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Autobahn West technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.

Your understanding Autobahn West service professional will also visually inspect your pickup for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your Autobahn West advisor will be able to remind you of other critical services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Mission Viejo dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your pickup gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some income, but they are less expensive than new pickup payments in Mission Viejo. With proper service at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more bucks in your wallet.

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.