9062 Garden Grove Blvd, Suite E.,
Garden Grove, CA 92844
If you aren't mechanically inclined, when something goes wrong with your vehicle you have no idea what to do. Instead of going into a panic, you can start to troubleshoot the problem yourself. Chances are there is someone else who has gone through the same exact situation. That is why we have compiled a list of FAQs for you to reference to get to the bottom of your issue.
Trust in our professionals. With over 30 years of experience in the German auto industry, you can be sure that your car will be taken care of properly.
Proper inflation is the most important part of tire care. You should check or adjust the inflation of your tires with a quality tire gauge every few months with the inflation recommended by the manufacturer. Checking air pressure should be completed on any routine visit to your vehicle service center. It is especially important to check the inflation when tires are cold, when the vehicle has been driven less than a mile or more than one hour after driving.
When you have reviewed answers to your questions, and it points towards a visit to the garage, schedule an appointment with our friendly staff. You can get everything you need here including engine diagnostics with the highest quality equipment, air conditioning services, factory scheduled maintenance services, oil changes, and much more.
If a tire loses all or most of its air pressure, it is crucial that it goes through a complete internal inspection to ensure that it is not damaged. Tires that are used after they become flat are often damaged beyond repair. Repairs can be made to most punctures, nail holes, or cuts up to 1/4 inch when they are confined to the tread. Repairs can not be made to tires with tread punctures larger than 1/4 inch, have a sidewall puncture, or are worn below 1/16 inch tread depth.
Road Hazard Protection is a replacement insurance policy on any un-repairable damage to your tires (excluding collision and deliberate destruction). Usually, these costs are minimal and are offered only at the point of sale.
Tires should always be replaced with the same size designation or manufacturer approved alternatives. Never choose a smaller tire size than the original tires that came with the car. It is always recommended that all tires be the same size, construction (radial, non-radial) and speed rating. If you choose to install tires with different speed ratings, be sure that you place the same size, type and speed ratings on the same axle. Tires of different size designations, constructions, and stages of wear are more likely to impact the vehicle's handling and stability.
Tire rotation is a great way to create a more uniform wear for all tires on the vehicle. It is recommended that you rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to prevent uneven wear and tear. Typically this service can be performed for no additional cost.
Wheel alignment is crucial as it helps to prolong the life of your tires. The average car is driven about 12,000 miles per year and a car with toe alignment of 0.34 degrees (0.17 inches) out of specification drags its tires sideways causing damage.
It is recommend to have your alignment check at least once a year unless there are obvious handling or wear problems; then a check should be performed sooner. You should have your vehicle aligned with every set of new tires and every 2 years with any suspension work or steering part replacements.
Vibration is a great indication that your car has a problem. You should have your tires, steering system and suspension system checked immediately to determine the cause and how to correct it. If the problem is not fixed, then the vibration could cause excessive tire and suspension wear.
Many newer vehicles come equipped with a temporary spare tire that is usually much smaller than the other tires on your car. These spare tires are far more limited than a full sized tire, with differences including speed and recommended driving distance. Typically it is recommended to drive no faster than 50mph and no longer than 50 miles.
The single largest reason for tire failure is due to the lack of maintenance in tire pressure. 54% of all vehicles have low pressure. Oxygen in compressed air can permeate the tire wall reducing tire pressure. However, with nitrogen, diffusion is 30 - 40% slower than oxygen so it maintains the tire pressure longer. Proper tire pressure can boost fuel economy by as much as 6%! Nitrogen disperses heat more quickly than ambient air. This slows down rolling resistance, therefore, improves fuel economy provides longer tread life and achieves cooler running tires which reduce the chances of tire failure. Nitrogen also prevents oxidation which can not only lead to tread separation and belt failure but, when combined with moisture, corrode rims. Excessive moisture can result in rust flakes that can fall into the valve stem, block the valve and cause under-pressurization. It can even cause the valve stem itself to rust. Filling a tire with nitrogen also significantly reduces the chemical aging process of the rubber components which results in fewer catastrophic failures, lengthens the tire core life and yields extra retreads and lower fleet costs.
Often seasonal temperature drops will lower tire air pressure a few pounds (a good case for Nitrogen – see 11 above) and trigger the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warning light. Correcting the air pressure yourself typically extinguishes the warning light; however, if a tire is significantly lower than the others, or lower than factory recommended pressure, a trained tire technician should have a look at it. Some TPMS systems require special tools to access the vehicle computer and advanced level tire technicians are trained and equipped for this technology.
"You get what you pay for" is, for the most part, true in tire purchasing. Since the introduction of the “radial tire” the assumption is that no significant changes have occurred in the world of tire building. Major tire builders are spending top dollar in research to improve their products and the reliability and performance of tires have taken a leap forward. Research in the area of tread compounding polymers, rubber mixing methods, tread design, casing design and materials, build processes, and other research has resulted in a product that is far advanced from the tires we were driving on a decade ago. The discovery of Silica’s use in tread rubber compound alone has greatly influenced wear and adhesion characteristics of tires. Some of today’s tires can stop a car on a wet highway in distances unfathomable a decade ago. Tire builders strive to produce a product that balances production costs against safety, noise, ride quality, wear, handling, rolling resistance, and other attributes. In general, their cheapest products will not focus on safety like the better tires will. Conversely the higher priced tire lines often fall short of the best features. Knowledgeable tire sales advisors can discuss test data and sort through the claims that manufacturers make regarding their products and help you make this important decision.
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.
If you decide to purchase from a dealer, ask around about previous experiences with the dealer. Contact CAP for complaint history information for any dealer you are considering a purchase from.
Many parts on your vehicle are interrelated. Ignoring maintenance can lead to entire system failure. Neglecting even simple routine maintenance, such as an oil change or checking the coolant, can result in poor fuel economy, unreliability and costly breakdowns. It also may invalidate your warranty. Properly maintaining your vehicle is less expensive than repairs from negligence.
In 1975 the US Congress passed the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act – a federal law that governs consumer product warranties. Among other things, Congress wanted to ensure that consumers could get complete and straight forward information about warranty terms and conditions. Generally your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty cannot require you to return to your auto dealer for vehicle maintenance – or to use only the brand of replacement parts offered by that dealer. By law your vehicle’s manufacturer’s warranty will stay in effect if you have regularly scheduled maintenance performed at a qualified facility that use appropriate parts and procedures.
When you first start your car all the dashboard lights will come on as a safety test and will go off when the test is complete. If your light comes on later, or stays on after starting it up, you should have it professionally inspected to avoid any significant issues and expensive repairs.
Modern engines have long abandoned carburetion with its many parts destined for failure in favor of simple and direct electronic injection of fuel. A properly maintained fuel delivery system offers improved reliability and efficiency. Millions of cars today run at a level of efficiency considerably reduced due to the high concentration of carbon deposits accumulated in the fuel injection system, intake valves, combustion chambers, oxygen sensor and catalytic converter. Carbon build-up clogs fuel filters, reduces fuel flow, distorts fuel spray patterns, limits fuel automation and decreases combustion efficiency. It also gradually robs your vehicle of performance and fuel economy, and may cause problems such as engine malfunction, high emissions, excessive fuel consumption, loss of performance, rough idling and hard starts. Simply infusing an additive into a gas tank will not adequately decarbonizes injectors, cylinder heads, valves, intake plenums, exhaust emission sensors and other critical components.
Carburetors and distributors are destined to failure and have been replaced with electronic injectors and electronic ignition systems. There is virtually little to wear out. Aging ignition wires and spark plugs may continue to function for 100,000 miles, but not optimally. The car manufacturer’s boastful claim of 100,000 between tune-ups is mostly a marketing ploy. A fresh set of spark plugs any time over 50,000 miles will normally make a noticeable difference.
Protecting the vital wear points of your vehicle with quality lubricants will vastly improve service life and will provide optimum efficiency. The right chemicals can restore the ph balance in radiators so that acidity will not degrade hoses and internal metals in radiators and coolers. Other chemicals such as the BG transmission flush chemicals, pulse flush equipment rinse, oxidation from the valves and other internal workings of transmissions are important components for proper efficiency.
Yes, this is very important. The failure of a timing belt can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.
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, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems.
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum tipped spark plugs.
Maintenance is done to prevent any future problems from occurring to the vehicle. Safety is to prevent any incident that would cause damage to the vehicle, to you or to the other drivers on the road.
It is a good idea to have your coolant checked to determine its freezing and boiling points and to verify whether it needs to be changed. Have your air conditioner tested before the summer heats up, it is cheaper to fix before the season gets started.
You can identify fluids by their color and consistency: • Yellowish green, pastel blue or florescent orange colors indicate an overheated engine or an antifreeze leak caused by a bad hose, water pump or leaking radiator. • A dark brown or black oily fluid means the engine is leaking oil. A bad seal or gasket could cause the leak. • A red oily spot indicates a transmission or power steering fluid leak. A puddle of clear water is usually no problem at all and may just be normal condensation from your vehicle's air conditioner.
The coloring of the liquid identifies the type of liquid. Coolant fluid is orange or green, engine fluid is brown or black, transmission fluid is red or pink, power steering fluid is light brown and differential fluid is brown. Depending on the leak it could mean trouble so don't wait until it's too late!
The smell of burned toast - often signals an electrical short and burning insulation. To be safe, try not to drive the vehicle until the problem is diagnosed.
The smell of rotten eggs - a burning-sulfur smell - usually indicates a problem in the catalytic converter or other emission control devices. Don't delay diagnosis and repair.
A thick acrid odor - usually means burning oil. Look for sign of a leak.
The smell of gasoline vapors after a failed start - this may mean you have flooded the engine. Wait a few minutes before trying again. If the odor persists, chances are there's a leak in the fuel system - a potentially dangerous problem that needs immediate attention.
Burning resin or an acrid chemical odor - may signal overheated brakes or clutch. Check the parking brake. Stop and allow the brakes to cool after repeated hard braking on mountain roads. Light smoke coming from a wheel indicates a stuck brake and the vehicle should be towed for repair. A sweet, steamy odor indicates a coolant leak. If the temperature gauge or warning light does not indicate overheating, drive carefully to the nearest service station. If the odor is accompanied by a hot, metallic scent and steam is coming from under the hood, your engine has overheated. Pull over immediately. Continued driving could cause severe engine damage. The vehicle should be towed for repair.
Squeaks, squeals, rattles, rumbles, and other sounds provide valuable clues about problems and maintenance needs. Here are some common noises and their definitions.
Squeal - A shrill, sharp noise, usually related to engine speed.
Click - A slight sharp noise, related to either engine speed or vehicle speed
Screech - A high-pitched, piercing metallic sound; usually occurs while the vehicle is in motion
Rumble - a low-pitched rhythmic sound
Ping - A high-pitched metallic tapping sound, related to engine speed
Heavy Knock - A rhythmic pounding sound
Clunk - A random thumping sound
The more details you can provide us, the better chance of locating the problem quickly. Does the noise occur when the engine is cold or warm? Hot or cold outside, rainy or dry? Does the noise occur while driving or only when parked? These clues help the technician diagnose your problems faster, saving you time and money!
Every noise should be checked by a qualified technician, however, use your best judgment, if it sounds bad, get it checked right away. Quick action on a problem can many times save you money.
Most car manufacturers say to change your oil every 7,500 miles unless you drive in severe conditions. Severe conditions are defined as dirty or dusty roads, extremely hot or cold climates, a lot of stop and go driving, taking long trips or if you tow a trailer. If you drive in severe conditions then you should change your oil ever 3,000 miles.
You should get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician.
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, for vehicles that are used for towing, or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates. Synthetic motor oils, though more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up.
If your car overheats for too long you can damage your engine. 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 as it can burn you. The best thing to do is have your car towed to a repair shop.
Every dashboard light is responsible for notifying the owner of issues that need to be addressed. If any of the following lights are lit you need to have your vehicle looked at: engine light, oil light, ABS light, traction light or tire pressure light.
Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.
Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage. It is important to note that if a fuse continues to "blow", you should have the circuit checked by one of our technicians for defects.
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.
Check tire pressure - If one tire is 5 psi low on pressure, you will lose 10% in fuel mileage. Make sure all tires are inflated to the vehicle manufacture's specified pressure.
Wheel alignment - Your car's wheels and tires were designed to roll. If the alignment is not correct; they drag causing a decrease in fuel mileage as well as premature tire wear. Fuel mileage loss can be as much as 15%.
Check and replace filters regularly - Replacing a plugged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10%. Your car's air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing the air filter improve your gas mileage, it will protect your engine too.
Change your oil regularly - The proper grade of clean oil will reduce friction. Using too heavy of oil can cause a loss of 1 - 2% in fuel mileage. Regular oil changes protect your engine and save you money at the pump.
Keep your engine properly tuned - Worn spark plugs, dirty fuel injectors and carbon on the throttle can cause fuel mileage loss up to 4%. With today's cars, computers can mask worn or dirty parts that rob your car of fuel mileage. By having these items inspected and serviced regularly, you will keep your car running smooth and improve your vehicle's fuel economy.
Take a load off - Heavier vehicles require more energy to move, so carrying around excess weight will decrease your mileage. Empty out your trunk of unnecessary items. An extra 100 pounds in your trunk will reduce fuel mileage by 1 - 2% . If you have been ignoring your service engine soon / check engine light; have it inspected. This light monitors important functions of the fuel and engine system. Depending on the cause, fuel economy could suffer by 40%. Often time when the light is on, the computer operates in a back up mode which does not optimize fuel mileage.
Observe the speed limit
Cabin air filters filter the air that comes from the outside of a vehicle into the passenger compartment. They were originally designed to remove solid contaminants like dust and soot from circulating inside the vehicle but can now also absorb gases and odors. They may also be known as passenger compartment filters, pollen filters, or dust filters.
Cabin air filters first appeared in European vehicles in the mid-1980's. They began appearing in North American vehicles in 1994.
While most cabin air filters look like simple panel filters that are used to filter air to the engine, they are much more technologically advanced and contain an entirely different filtering media. Engine intake filters protect engine components where cabin air filters protect your lungs.
Air quality is becoming a major concern for many people - outdoors, in our homes, and now even in our automobiles. An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from hay fever and other allergy-related problems.
Cabin air filters are typically located behind a vehicle's dashboard or behind the glove box. Others may be located in the engine compartment, typically in the cowl area.
Vehicle manufacturer recommendations may vary, but the general guideline for replacing cabin air filters is every 12,000 - 15,000 miles, or at least once a year.
Call us first. We are experienced in working directly with insurance companies. Our experts will verify your coverage, file the claim and handle all the necessary paperwork.
The laws protects a customer’s freedom to choose their own repair facility. Insurance companies are not permitted to dictate which auto glass shop you use. If your insurance company tries to force you into using their “preferred” auto glass repair, this is called steering and is against the law.
It is important to know the deductibles associated with your insurance policy. You may have one deductible for “comprehensive” and a different deductible for “collision”. Auto glass services, like rock chips and windshields, are usually covered under “comprehensive”. Knowing the deductible will help you decide whether it is best to make an insurance claim or to pay for the repairs yourself.
Insurance companies have recognized that auto glass services, like rock chip repairs, are usually not the fault of the driver. Most insurance companies will not penalize you or your premiums for this type of claim. In fact, many insurance companies will waive your deductible if you choose to repair your windshield instead of having it replaced. Check with an Auto Glass specialist about your insurance. We can work with the insurance company to determine your benefits and to submit the claim on your behalf.
Auto glass services are not typically covered under a liability insurance policy. We offer competitive cash prices to those without comprehensive insurance and we accept a variety of payment methods.
Most insurance companies cover 100% of windshield repair costs and do not require a deductible. It is always best to confirm this with your insurance company before ordering a repair. Talk to one of our Auto Glass Specialists, they will be happy to find out how your specific insurance company handles windshield repairs.
The windshield repair process involves specially trained technicians who will clean the damaged area and inject a clear resin to protect the area from further damage. Normally, repairs are completed in less than 30 minutes.
A repair technician can inspect the damaged areas and determine whether repair or replacement is needed. Many glass chips, dings and cracks in the windshield may be repairable. If the break is large or if it is located in the driver's line of vision, we may recommend replacement.
The windshield of your car does more than keep the wind, rain and bugs off you. It provides a backdrop for the airbags to help ensure that they inflate properly. It also provides 60% of the roof strength and helps to prevent the roof from caving in during a rollover accident.
Auto glass manufacturing has evolved over the past hundred years to incorporate important safety features. Windshields are made of “Laminated Glass” not ordinary window glass. This are formed from two pieces of glass with a layer of vinyl in between. This helps the windshield stay intact in the event of a collision. The side and rear windows are usually made of tempered glass, which has been treated to make it much stronger than other glass of the same thickness. If it breaks, it should shatter into small pieces rather than shards. In recent years, vehicle manufacturers have started using laminated windshield-type glass for side windows in some vehicles.
Call now to have all of your questions answered.