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

Wheel Balancing at Autobahn West

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Mission Viejo car owners can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on CA highways. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it’s a back tire, you’ll feel the vibration in your seat.

Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Autobahn West, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the service advisor will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it’s too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 MPH, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s where you get your vibration.

Most Mission Viejo car owners are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.

Most high-quality tires sold in Mission Viejo hold their balance pretty well for car owners. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and dangerous tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some pricey repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better MPG.

Some Irvine auto owners have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owners’ manual for your requirements, or ask your understanding Autobahn West service professional. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.

Air Conditioning Maintenance At Autobahn West In Mission Viejo

Warm weather or cold, Mission Viejo drivers still need to think about their vehicle’s air conditioning. Most Mission Viejo people don’t service their air conditioning until after it fails. At Autobahn West, we can advise you on your ‘s preventive maintenance schedules for air conditiong service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.

air conditioningMaintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the pickup’s air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can’t cool the air as well. We see that a lot at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo.

The refrigerant also contains an important oil that lubricates air conditioning components, and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Mission Viejo car owners know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. At Autobahn West, we recommended that the air conditioner be run regularly, even during winter months, to keep the parts and seals lubricated.

Corrosion is what leads to many air conditioning system failures for Mission Viejo motorists. The small leaks mentioned earlier also mean that air and water can leak into the air conditioning system. This can lead to rust and dirt in the internal workings of the air conditioning components. This greatly accelerates wear and, ultimately, failure.

Air conditioning service at Autobahn West starts with a visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks. The compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it’s inspected for cracks or wear. The air conditioning compressor and other components are checked for proper operation. Then comes the leak test. If a leak is detected, often in a hose or connection, it’s repaired and the system is retested.

Then the old refrigerant is evacuated and the system is recharged with clean, fresh refrigerant. A final test insures that the pickup’s air conditioner is working, and you’re on your way.

How often this should be done varies from vehicle to vehicle. Your pickup owner’s manual will have the manufacturer’s recommendation and, of course, your Autobahn West service advisor can tell you. It’s typically every two years.

If you’re not getting enough cool air out of your AC you know something’s wrong. Also, if you hear strange sounds when you turn the air on, there might be a problem with the compressor and you should get it checked out at Autobahn West. Replacing a bad A/C clutch in a pickup is cheaper than waiting for it to ruin the compressor.

Mission Viejo drivers need to be aware that there’s one more thing that isn’t directly related to air conditioning service, but does impact the quality of the air in your pickup. And that’s your cabin air filter. This filter cleans dust, pollen, pollution and other impurities in the air that comes from the heater and air conditioner. The cabin air filter needs to be replaced when it’s dirty. If you don’t it’ll start to smell. Not all vehicles have one, so ask your Autobahn West service advisor to check your cabin air filter at the same time they’re doing your air conditioning service.

Tire Rotation and Balancing at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo

Tires do a lot of important work for Mission Viejo auto owners. They transfer engine power and braking forces to the road; they handle steering control; and they cushion all those bumps and jolts while driving around Mission Viejo. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such critical work to do, you want your tires to do their job well. And since replacing tires is fairly expensive, you want them to last as long as possible.

There are three keys to long, even tire wear for Mission Viejo auto owners:

  • Proper tire inflation
  • Proper wheel alignment
  • Regular tire rotation and balancing

The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires. Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That’s especially true of front wheel drive vehicles whose front tires steer, and put the power to the road.

SUVs and pick-ups, especially four wheel drives, also tend to wear their tires more unevenly than cars because of their suspension and drivetrain set-up. Your owner’s manual will likely contain a schedule for tire rotation. It’s usually every 5,000 miles or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Autobahn West will know which is right for your vehicle. That brings us to wheel balancing. When wheels are balanced, they spin on the axle evenly. When they are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear unevenly and may transmit a vibration to the car. Your understanding Autobahn West tech puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.

Tires are a big investment for Mission Viejo auto owners. They’re vital for keeping you safely on the road in Mission Viejo. The cost for regular rotation and balancing is more than made up in extended tire life. And, can you really put a price on your safety and that of your passengers?

Keep Your Cool In Mission Viejo

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Mission Viejo auto owners rely on their car’s coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your pickup engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it’s cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.

There’s a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that’s easily reached inside your pickup’s engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.

Also, if it’s freezing outside in Mission Viejo, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the CA cold.

So, if you remember your Mission Viejo high school chemistry, you’ll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone.

Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in and around Mission Viejo.

Keep Your Cool In Mission Viejo Whenever your pickup is running, the coolant in the cooling system is working to keep your engine from overheating. When it’s cold outside, the coolant acts as antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing in your engine.

All that exploding fuel in your engine creates a lot of heat. Without coolant, the metal pickup engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. The pricey parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole pickup’s engine is ruined and has to be junked.

This is why it is critical that Mission Viejo drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their pickup cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your pickup auto maker has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner’s manual or ask us at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo.

The reason Mission Viejo auto owners need to change the coolant is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system’s a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the radiator and other pickup cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.

Many Mission Viejo auto owners ask Autobahn West why there are different colors of antifreeze. It is very important that you use the correct type of antifreeze. The different types of antifreeze – or coolant – are different colors so you don’t mix them up.

The manufacturers use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them.

So check with us at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo or your owner’s manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your pickup cooling system.