You know, at Diamond Bar Mobil we get a lot of people asking about how to prepare their car for a trip. That’s a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas outside of Diamond Bar so you may be anxious to know that the car is up to the task and won’t leave you stranded.
You really do need to plan ahead for a major road trip – there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Diamond Bar to see if you can feel any vibrations: are the wheels are in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok?
Come in and see us for trip inspection.
Diamond Bar Mobil
350 S. Diamond Bar Blvd.
Diamond Bar, California 91765
The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. You may also need a new PCV valve and an engine air filter.
How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?
How are your wiper blades? There’s nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from Diamond Bar.
Check your owners’ manual for any other recommended service and have Diamond Bar Mobil do the multi-point inspection before you head out.
Consider also having the coolant system serviced – you want to stay within the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re towing a trailer you’ll want to be keep in mind that you’ll be going a long way under severe conditions.
A lot of folks overlook severe conditions like towing, or summer heat, or driving on dirt roads. Plan ahead for your next road trip – we want you to get there and back.
A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Diamond Bar people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.
A lot of Diamond Bar motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, 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 minivans for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.
There are plenty of Diamond Bar drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own minivans on the road in California.
Diamond Bar drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change. That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your minivan’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine.
There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Diamond Bar car owners. It’s simple – a Diamond Bar Mobil 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 Diamond Bar Mobil technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.
Your Diamond Bar Mobil advisor will also visually inspect your minivan 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 Diamond Bar Mobil advisor will be able to remind you of other services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Diamond Bar dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.
Realistically, things are going to wear out as your minivan 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 money, but they are far cheaper than new minivan payments. With proper service at Diamond Bar Mobil and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.
For advice on how to make your minivan last longer, visit us at Diamond Bar Mobil
350 S. Diamond Bar Blvd.
Diamond Bar, California 91765
These days many people in the Diamond Bar area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. It’d be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you’ve had the vehicle for a while, or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that’s where you start.
Go through the maintenance schedule for your minivan and see what’s been done and when. Have your Diamond Bar service advisor at Diamond Bar Mobil do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.
Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles. You might be pretty overwhelmed.
To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there’s a failure. In consultation with your Diamond Bar service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you’ll be prepared for it in a few months.
Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.
Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of Diamond Bar motorists driving around on under-inflated tires. Admittedly, it’s hard to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your minivan tire’s considered significantly under inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.
New laws required auto makers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System – or TPMS system – in all cars and light trucks by the 2008 model year. The system has a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below manufacturer’s pressure recommendations.
This technology has been used by Diamond Bar race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from under inflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track. It’s up to your minivan’s manufacturer to determine which of many TPMS systems available they’ll use to comply with the law.
Obviously, all of this doesn’t come free for Diamond Bar drivers. U.S. government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases.
The costs are partially offset by improved fuel economy and longer tire life. There’s also a potential savings in property damage avoided and fewer travel delays. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100. The government predicts fewer fatal accidents. They estimate that it will cost between three and nine million dollars for every life saved.
Your safety has always been a priority at Diamond Bar Mobil. We want you on the road and accident free. We’ve traditionally provided things like tire rotations, snow tire mounting and flat fixes at a very low cost. We’ve been able to quickly and cheaply provide the service, and pass the low cost on to you as an expression of our good will.
That’s why we’re concerned about how you’ll perceive the changes that this new law requires. Every time a tire is changed: taken off to fix a flat, a new tire installed, a snow tire mounted; the Diamond Bar Mobil service technician is now going to have to deal with the TPMS system.
Even a simple tire rotation will require that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system will need to be reprogrammed. TPMS sensor batteries will need to be changed and failed parts replaced.
Like all other Diamond Bar service centers, here at Diamond Bar Mobil we’ve had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and to update expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems. Our Diamond Bar Mobil service technicians have been thoroughly trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to perform what was once a very inexpensive service for you.
So when you start so see the cost of tire changes, flat repairs and rotations going up at Diamond Bar Mobil, please keep in mind that it’s because of government mandated safety equipment. We want to keep you safely on the road – and we’re committed to doing it at a fair price. This new safety equipment will help you avoid the most common types of vehicle failure in Diamond Bar, and possibly a catastrophic accident.
The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Diamond Bar California use fuel filters.
For more information about your fuel filter, visit Diamond Bar Mobil or come by our shop located at 350 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. in Diamond Bar, California 91765.
Please call (909) 861-5713 to make an appointment.
Generally speaking there’s not a lot of dirt in our Diamond Bar California auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That’s because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your minivan is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.
That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your minivan ages. It’ll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.
A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That’s because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can’t get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can’t get enough power to get you out of harm’s way.
For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.
This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don’t want to cause them damage just because you didn’t spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.
You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It’s a little part, it’s simple and it’s cheap to take care of. But if it’s neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars of repair bills.
Those auto service schedules in your owner’s manual are there for a reason. If ever you don’t understand a recommended service, just ask your Diamond Bar service advisor at Diamond Bar Mobil. We’ll be happy to explain.
Most Diamond Bar drivers don’t even think about their car air conditioning system unless it fails. That’s because many Diamond Bar and Chino Hills motorists don’t really understand that automotive air conditioners need periodic service. Let me share some of the reasons why they fail.
First, like every machine, the minivan air conditioner parts need – you guessed it – lubrication. The lubricant is actually mixed in with the refrigerant (that’s the stuff that makes the air cool). Remember that even if the air conditioner is still blowing out cool air, the oil that lubricates the parts may be used up: and unlubricated parts can fail in all California cars.
Now here’s a tip for Diamond Bar drivers: Run your air conditioner every so often during California winters. This circulates the lubricant to help keep the seals from drying out.
The air conditioner actually removes some of the moisture in the air. So if you have trouble with fogging on your windshield during California winters or during a rain storm, running the A/C on the defrost setting should help. Now on some Diamond Bar cars you can’t run the A/C at the same time as the defroster. Don’t ask me why, but I suspect lawyers were involved.
Also, air and water can get into the A/C system. That can reduce the efficiency of the system and also lead to corrosion that causes damage. Diamond Bar drivers should periodically purge the system and replace the refrigerant to remove the air and water.
Diamond Bar drivers would be wise to learn the early warning signs of A/C trouble: 1) The air’s not as cold as it used to be. 2) Unusual noises when the A/C cycles on. Those are signs to get your vehicle into Diamond Bar Mobil in Diamond Bar before the damage gets worse.
By following the recommended service intervals in your minivan owner’s manual, you can help prevent mechanical failure of your air conditioning system. Your A/C system contains some expensive components like the compressor, condenser, dryer, etc. Anything Pomona and Chino Hills car owners can do to lengthen the life of their A/C is well worth it.
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 people were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most people 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. 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 Diamond Bar car owners making sure we follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.
Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between an oil change, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some 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 vehicles. 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 maintenance and to hold off further damage.
And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change they 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 service advisor 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 Diamond Bar Mobil is cheaper than a new car payment. 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.
Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a big job for Diamond Bar auto owners. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.
The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the minivan engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase.
These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel. This can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause minivan engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Diamond Bar Mobil. At high speeds on Diamond Bar freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.
Back in the old days, car makers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the minivan’s engine.
This is much better for air quality and improves gas mileage also. (Budget-conscious Diamond Bar auto owners take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased gas mileage.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at Diamond Bar Mobil in Diamond Bar and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Diamond Bar auto owners don’t know about it. Check your minivan owner’s manual or ask your Diamond Bar Mobil service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.
There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at Diamond Bar Mobil when it gets dirty.
Please ask your very friendly Diamond Bar service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Diamond Bar, you can avoid some very pricey engine repairs.
Getting enough fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.
Today’s production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.
You can buy fuel system cleaners that you just pour into your gas tank that can help maintain an already clean fuel system, but can’t do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see Diamond Bar Mobil. They have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Diamond Bar Mobil can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently.
You’ll find Diamond Bar Mobil at 350 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. in Diamond Bar, California 91765. Or just give us a call at (909) 861-5713 to schedule an appointment.
You’ll enjoy more power, better gas mileage and reduced exhaust emissions. The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate vital engine parts.
And, as with all maintenance, it can help prevent costly repairs that can happen because you didn’t take preventative steps. Check with your service technician at Diamond Bar Mobil and see when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.
Every car in Diamond Bar California is at risk for theft. So it’s up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:
- Common sense
- Visible and audible devices
- Immobilizing devices
- Tracking devices
Let’s review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen from Diamond Bar California where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys, and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it’s against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.
And don’t leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Try to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.
Remember to roll up your windows completely and avoid leaving your car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.
Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive “smash-and-grab” targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.
There are lots of visible and audible devices available. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what’s going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.
Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don’t approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.
And here’s a great one – immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car’s electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can’t drive your car away.
Finally, you can also get a tracking device that allows police to track your car down and recover it quickly.
Remember, where you live, work and drive around Diamond Bar California has a great impact on your decisions. If you’re in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your Diamond Bar California auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.
Of course, the common sense suggestions from Diamond Bar Mobil don’t cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves. Take a look at the attached video auto tip from AutoNetTV.
Come see us for practical advice on keeping your minivan safe.
Diamond Bar Mobil
350 S. Diamond Bar Blvd., Diamond Bar, California 91765
Call us at (909) 861-5713