Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How often should I rotate my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles on most vehicles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.
Q. Is it necessary to replace my timing belt at the recommended interval?
YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing the engine damage from a broken timing belt is much higher than the cost of replacing the timing belt.
Q. What does it mean if my “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on?
There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the “check engine” light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, the light indicates that something internally is NOT working properly, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent bigger problems which occur if ignored.
Q. What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator; the hot fluid can cause severe burns. The best thing to do is have your car towed to Automotive Excellence.
Q. When should I get my oil changed?
You should get your oil changed every 3000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. This could vary from vehicle to vehicle and based on driving conditions.
Q. Why is engine oil milky brown?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (or other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician immediately.
Q. How do I make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected periodically to make sure they provide a good electrical connection. It is a good idea to have your battery tested once it is 3 years old.
Q. Should I consider using synthetic motor oil in my vehicle?
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines. Or for vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), and vehicles that operate in extremely cold or hot climates. Although more expensive than mineral-based oils, synthetic motor oils can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. Always refer to your owner’s manual.
Q. When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?
To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car’s fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Q. I need to replace a burned-out fuse, what should I do?
Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage (printed on the fuse) and note that if a fuse continues to “blow,” you should have the circuit checked professionally by one of our technicians for defects.
Budgeting for Auto Maintenance In Huntington Beach, California
Everyone in Huntington Beach does their best to budget for scheduled vehicle maintenance.
What’s hard is planning for unexpected car repairs.
The truth is that our vehicles can stay on our California roads longer than ever before with proper maintenance. That’s because of improved vehicle design and manufacturing quality. But some of those same improvements also lead to higher repairs costs for every car or vehicle.
There’s a tool that can be found on Edmunds.com that you can use to prepare your service and repair budget.
Let’s suppose you have a used Toyota – a very popular car in the California area…
It’s now paid for and you’d like to keep it running for the next three years. You can go to Edmunds’ True Cost to Own calculator and enter your vehicle’s data. The calculator will provide estimates of what it’ll cost to service and repair your vehicle in Huntington Beach over the next five years. The estimate’s based on where you live in California, manufacturers’ recommendations and repair experience for your particular model.
Keep in mind, these are just estimates – there’s no way to predict what’ll actually happen to the car in your driveway, but it’s a good starting point. The calculator also has estimates for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel costs.
Some folks in the Huntington Beach area are afraid of what can go wrong with their older car, so they buy a new one. That’s fine if you really want a new car, but if you properly maintain your older vehicle, you’ll save a lot of money on new car payments and insurance. It just makes good economic sense.
Give us a call at 714-841-1285 for additional advice on how to keep your car running on a budget.