Newport Autotech Center

Serving Costa Mesa and all of Orange County

Newport Autotech Center - Serving Costa Mesa and all of Orange County

Newport Autotech Center Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

Costa Mesa service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Costa Mesa drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

Newport Autotech Center fuel system cleaning: Over time, the sedan fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

Newport Autotech Center headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It’s usually good to change them every year or so.

Newport Autotech Center inspections: Costa Mesa drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they’re going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle’s ready for California summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used sedan and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

Newport Autotech Center oil change: – there are several options: Some Costa Mesa centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

Newport Autotech Center PCV valve replacement in Costa Mesa:
PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It’s a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. Just needs to be changed now and then.

Newport Autotech Center power steering service: Often overlooked. Your efficient Newport Autotech Center technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the sedan system running well for a long time.

Newport Autotech Center serpentine belt service:
That’s the belt that powers the sedan engine’s accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You’ll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that’ll shut you down.

Newport Autotech Center shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Costa Mesa people don’t notice when it’s time to change them. If they’re worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

Newport Autotech Center transmission service:
This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It’s like an oil change for your transmission.

Newport Autotech Center tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.

Keeping Your ‘Old Faithful’ Auto Running

At Newport Autotech Center we’ve had a lot of Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Garden Grove clients asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that’s been building for several years in California. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles on them. It looks like it’s going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of Irvine folks are putting off buying a new car. Thanks to AutoNetTV, we can provide you with a video answer to this vital question.

So let’s say you’re one of the average drivers in the Irvine area; you’ve got a nine year old car with 80,000 miles on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two?

Let’s start with the premise that there’s no reason that a modern car can’t run for 200,000 miles with proper care in Costa Mesa. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there’s no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if quick Costa Mesa auto owners stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some auto manufacturer’s owner’s manuals runs out at 60,000 miles or so: how do Costa Mesa car owners know what to do when they’re way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles for the first 60,000 miles you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles after you hit 60,000 miles. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it’s very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Newport Autotech Center in Costa Mesa, for example, leaves an opportunity for detrimental sludge to build up. Talk to your efficient Newport Autotech Center service professional.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Costa Mesa are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it keeps fuel economy from decreasing;
  2. it prevents pricey repairs, and;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most important thing auto owners can do. A full-service oil change at Newport Autotech Center means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your efficient Newport Autotech Center technician a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get expensive. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren’t scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the Costa Mesa area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner’s manual and talk with your tech at Newport Autotech Center. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, the team at Newport Autotech Center strongly encourages Costa Mesa motorists to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They’re fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some Costa Mesa auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Irvine. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

Newport Autotech Center
728 West 16th Street
Costa Mesa, California 92627
(949) 264-3030

Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

In our auto video today we’ll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that “modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free”.

Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Costa Mesa Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn’t so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.

Here are some examples for our friends in Costa Mesa.

  • Some cars in Costa Mesa no longer require chassis lubrication. They’re made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There’s literally is no way to grease those joints.

-Chalk one up for the myth.

On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn’t even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.

  • So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.

-A point to maintenance.

  • Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.

-Myth gets a point.

  • Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.

-Point for maintenance.

I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they’ve always been.

So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Costa Mesa if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there’ll always be a check list.

Let me mention a couple of items on modern vehicles that folks need to be aware of. One of the most of the most important is timing belt replacement. Used to be that all engines had timing chains – you know, metal chains. They rarely broke.

It’s cheaper to make engines with timing belts rather than chains, so replacing the timing belt is on most engines’ maintenance list. The money the manufacturer saves by using a belt is more than off-set by what the vehicle owner has to pay to replace the belt. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of repairing the damage if the timing belt breaks.

So make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced. You don’t want to miss that. If you have 60,000 miles or more, break out your owner’s manual or ask your Costa Mesa service advisor at Newport Autotech Center to check on the recommendation right away.

Another is sealed wheel bearing assemblies on some vehicles. As you might have guessed, it’s cheaper to make a sealed unit than one that has access to inspect or service the wheel bearings. The problem is that when the bearings fail, you have to replace the entire unit, not just the bearings. That’ll cost 5 or 6 times as much.

For our friends in Costa Mesa, we hope this has underscored the importance of knowing and following your maintenance schedule. Come in and see us at Newport Autotech Center. You’ll find us at 728 West 16th Street in Costa Mesa, California 92627. Just give us a call at (949) 264-3030.

The Easy Way To Save Cash In Costa Mesa

The hottest California news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Costa Mesa. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things  Costa Mesa auto owners can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Irvine environment. You can really improve your gas mileage by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Costa Mesa car owners is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Costa Mesa service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your Newport Autotech Centerservice professional. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Costa Mesa gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the sedan owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with essential information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Costa Mesa motorists up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s detrimental dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

One item Costa Mesa residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy! And with current gas prices in the Costa Mesa area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Costa Mesa motorists bucks at the pump. 

Now most Costa Mesa auto owners aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other important services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

Newport Autotech Center knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Newport Autotech Center – which may also be updated with recall notices and vital maintenance schedule items from your automobile manufacturer.

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth In Huntington Beach

There’s a segment of the Huntington Beach population that’s not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Mistaken perceptions have crept into the California area over time. Many Huntington Beach motorists think the root lies in the fact that modern cars are so reliable. Reliability has improved dramatically in recent years. Quality surveys report fewer problems with new cars than ever before.

Back when cars spent more time in the repair shop, Huntington Beach drivers were more mindful of routine service. Now, it’s much easier to put it off.

Take tune-ups for example. In the days of mechanical ignition systems, an engine needed to be tuned-up every couple of years. The ignition points had to be replaced, spark plugs and coils replaced and the timing adjusted. If your engine was out of tune, you knew it. It ran poorly and got bad fuel economy.

Garden Grove The Maintenance-Free MythNow, the ignition system in your sedan is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as a hundred thousand miles. So tune-ups used to force you in to Newport Autotech Center for service and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.

Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new cars in Huntington Beach have been leased. These folks plan on turning the car in after two or three years, so they haven’t focused on the maintenance that helps your car last longer.

Given all that, what’s the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your sedan will perform better and return better fuel economy.

Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren’t just repairs that are a long ways off. Modern sedan engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.

And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.

For example, your sedan engine coolant could actually become so corrosive that it eats holes in your radiator or other cooling system parts. Of course, that could lead to massive engine damage, all for the want of replacing the coolant on schedule.

Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At Newport Autotech Center, we have been taking care of all those little things for 15 years. Your sedan still needs to be taken care of – it’s just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in Huntington Beach did not go away.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Newport Autotech Center

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

A lot of Costa Mesa motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, Costa Mesa 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 sedans for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

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

The brilliant Costa Mesa auto owners of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Newport Autotech CenterThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your sedan’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 critical reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Costa Mesa car owners. It’s simple – a Newport Autotech Center 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 Newport Autotech Center technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or pricey repair.

Your efficient Newport Autotech Center service professional will also visually inspect your sedan 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 Newport Autotech Center advisor will be able to remind you of other essential services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Costa Mesa dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your sedan 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 costly than new sedan payments in Costa Mesa. With proper service at Newport Autotech Center in Costa Mesa and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more cash in your wallet.

Make Your Vehicle Last

We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days California folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most Costa Mesa car owners couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days for Costa Mesa auto owners. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us California penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Costa Mesa car owners making sure we follow the auto maker’s recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some sedan parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older sedans. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Costa Mesa at Newport Autotech Center, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your efficient Newport Autotech Center tech help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Newport Autotech Center is cheaper than a a steep new car payment for Costa Mesa motorists. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

Keep Your Costa Mesa Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter


Hey Costa Mesa drivers – this is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your sedan burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very important but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to pricey problems. Of course, your car maker recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car in California affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions around Irvine or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your efficient Newport Autotech Center service advisor can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your sedan needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better MPG and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters are a little more expensive in Costa Mesa, but they increase horsepower and may improve gas mileage to boot.

So it’s important for Costa Mesa motorists to have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much at Newport Autotech Center in Costa Mesa and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel efficiency before your next oil change.

Stop by Newport Autotech Center at 728 West 16th Street, Costa Mesa, California 92627, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at (949) 264-3030 to make an appointment.

Newport Autotech Center
728 West 16th Street
Costa Mesa, California 92627
(949) 264-3030

Newport Autotech Center And The Maintenance Mindset

When it comes to their vehicles, some Costa Mesa auto owners don’t have a maintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Costa Mesa drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance, but just may have not applied it to their sedans.

For example: the lawn. You water it and mow it every week. And weed the flower beds and rake the leaves. Newport Autotech Center And The Maintenance MindsetThere are other things that Costa Mesa residents are diligent about. Going to the dentist twice a year. Clothes to the dry cleaner. Flu shots. Taking the kids to your Costa Mesa doctor for a checkup before school starts.

So Costa Mesa car owners really are maintenance minded. They just have to learn to apply that mindset to cars. I mean, if you never brush your teeth or go to the dentist, you’ll become painfully aware of your neglect when you get a big cavity. Once the damage is done, most of us learn our lesson and shape up.

Unfortunately, Costa Mesa drivers too often learn a hard automotive lesson when they bring their vehicle to Newport Autotech Center on a tow truck. So many times a little routine maintenance would have prevented an expensive breakdown.

So how can Costa Mesa drivers get into the habit of taking care of their sedan? It’s so easy to forget. If you skip cutting the grass, you see it every time you pull in the driveway.

Here’s something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your efficient Newport Autotech Center tech will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason why. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he’ll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they’ve got you covered. And at Newport Autotech Center, we check to see if your sedan auto manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.

The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done.
The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you’ve got to remember that sedans are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their operation. Without them, the sedan won’t run at all.

So when you come in to Newport Autotech Center for an oil change, you get an automotive analysis from your efficient service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your efficient Newport Autotech Center tech can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and helping you avoid expensive breakdowns.

Gas Savings In Costa Mesa: Sharpen Your Pencil

High gas prices in Costa Mesa increase the cost of living for California motorists. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Costa Mesa vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to California news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

Gas Savings In Costa Mesa: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional Costa Mesa vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Costa Mesa folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their Irvine business in the red.

So what does this mean to Costa Mesa drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your fuel efficiency. Here’s a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Costa Mesa motorists honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Newport Autotech Center. Figure that they combine to improve your gas mileage by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in Costa Mesa is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your sedan, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50
20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Costa Mesa for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in fuel efficiency can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Costa Mesa. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
10 MPG $480 $660 $840
20 MPG $165 $255 $345
30 MPG $60 $120 $180

 

So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Newport Autotech Center. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of income at Costa Mesa gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.