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

Charge It In Mission Viejo For Extended Battery Life

Here’s an interesting statistic for our auto owners in Mission Viejo, CA: Only thirty percent of car batteries make it to forty-eight months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from fifty-one months in extremely cold areas to just thirty months in extremely hot climates.

Why is that? It turns out that it’s our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs, and entertainment computers are keeping pickup batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it’ll die.

It’s clear that you Mission Viejo auto owners need to recharge your batteries. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car’s demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Mission Viejo or El Toro. The alternator just can’t keep up.

The result is shortened battery life. So what can we Mission Viejo auto owners do to improve our battery’s health?

We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just twenty-four hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather’s cold in Mission Viejo, sitting for several days will cause discharge.

So some highway driving between Mission Viejo or Irvine will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it’s called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is also very detrimental to your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.

If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger or talk to your understanding Autobahn West service advisor.

Because our batteries are so often at less than a full charge, the experts at Autobahn West suggest that we use a battery charger from time to time to keep the charge up. They recommend once a month during hot weather and once every three months during colder times.

Now, a critical word on safety for Mission Viejo drivers. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can severely burn your skin and could blind you. If you find yourself with a dead battery, carefully 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. Deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

At Autobahn West, we provide quality automotive service including cabin air filter, windshield wipers and power brake service.

Get Where You’re Going With Power Steering Service In Mission Viejo

Today we’re going to talk about power steering service in Mission Viejo. If you took an informal poll around Mission Viejo you’d probably find that most have never heard of power steering service. That’s not surprising. Even though power steering is standard on every vehicle, most people in Mission Viejo aren’t aware that it needs periodic service.

If you’re younger than a certain age, you’ve probably never driven a car or truck without power steering. To get an idea of the difference; if you’ve ever cut a board with a hand saw, you know it’s a lot of work. Using a power saw is easy-peasy by comparison.

Without power steering, your arms have to do all the work to steer the wheels, and that’s hard, especially around downtown Mission Viejo. That’s why old cars had such big steering wheels; to get enough leverage to steer.

Steering Most vehicles in Mission Viejo have a hydraulic power steering system. The serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid. This actuates a hydraulic cylinder that provides power to help steer.

Some vehicles in Mission Viejo use an electric pump to pressurize the fluid rather than a belt driven pump. We’re also seeing vehicles with electric motors providing the power assist, not using power steering fluid at all. We’ll see a lot more electric systems as more hybrids and electric vehicles hit the market.

At least for now, the vast majority of power steering systems use power steering fluid that needs to be serviced. The fluid needs to be changed for a couple of reasons. For one, it attracts moisture. Water has different hydraulic qualities than power steering fluid, and that makes a difference in steering performance. Water is also corrosive and can damage power steering components. The fluid also just gets dirty and needs to be changed. Removing the old fluid and flushing out the system gets rid of dirt and deposits. The clean, fresh fluid lubricates and provides better corrosion protection.

So ask your Mission Viejo service advisor at Autobahn West or check your owner’s manual to see when power steering service is recommended. It’ll extend the life of your power steering components.

Custom Wheels and Tires For Your Mission Viejo Ride

It seems like everywhere you go in the Irvine area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans – it doesn’t matter, motorists are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some CA motorists want smaller tires and wheels – some want larger – and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At Autobahn West, we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you’re after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.

Let’s start with something easy – you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your pickup factory wheels.

First, what is offset? The wheel bolts onto the hub on the pickup’s axle. The distance from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on, is the offset. If the new wheel has a different offset from the factory, the tires may rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. That could lead to catastrophic and (pricey)  tire failure.

Your tire and wheel professional at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo can help you find the right size wheel – or install adapters to make your new wheels fit. All you have to do is pick from the hundreds of styles available.

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

So, what about Mission Viejo auto owners who want to upsize? Well, if you pick bigger wheels, but you want to keep the same overall tire diameter, that’s pretty easy for the team at Autobahn West. The same offset concerns apply. You need to know that the tires will likely be a little bit wider than the originals and you don’t want them to rub when you make sharp turns. Your tire professional at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo will help you avoid this.

It is also critical to keep the same overall tire diameter because changing the rolling diameter can mess with your pickup anti-lock brakes and stability control systems. Are you starting to see why you want to meet with your understanding Autobahn West tire and wheel expert at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo? Is “super-size me” your motto? If it is, you are going to have to lift your vehicle to make room for those huge tires. A mild lift doesn’t require extensive modifications. An extreme lift means a lot of new hardware under the vehicle. It also means a lot of stock electronic systems need to be recalibrated to the new tire size. For example, your speedometer and odometer will give false readings if they aren’t recalibrated. (You don’t want to risk getting speeding tickets on CA interstates because your speedometer shows a lower-than-actual speed.)

Mission Viejo auto owners who want to upsize should also be aware of possible performance issues. Bigger tires and wheels weigh more. CA automotive experts refer to this as unsprung weight because it isn’t held up by your pickup suspension system. Increased unsprung weight affects performance in different ways than an equivalent amount of groceries or little soccer players in the pickup passenger compartment. Acceleration is negatively affected. Stopping distances may also be increased – sometimes significantly. Mission Viejo car owners who want really big tires and wheels, might need to upgrade their brakes to compensate.

Heading the other direction, some motorists in the Irvine area like to run smaller than standard wheels and lower the suspension. All of the same fitment issues still apply as well as calibration issues. Don’t think that pickup suspension modifications are a bad thing. Many systems actually improve ride, function and performance over the stock set-up.

Regardless of your budget, you want your pickup to continue to do all the things you need it to do. Some of those show cars and trucks you see on TV and Mission Viejo showrooms  look marvelous, but have been modified in ways that may not suit your needs. For example, if you put large rims on your SUV with low profile tires, you may be in for busted rims if you go off-roading a lot around Irvine. There just isn’t enough sidewall to absorb the impact of thumping over rocks.

Some auto owners stuff the largest tires and wheels possible in their vehicles but have to severely restrict suspension travel so that the tires aren’t rubbing all day. That can lead to a very harsh ride around CA. Again, talk with your Autobahn West wheel professional about all of these things: how you drive in Mission Viejo, what look you are going for, your budget and what compromises you are willing to make.

At the end of the day, you’re going to be rollin’ out of Autobahn West with one sweet ride.

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
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