blog

  • 11 Jun

    car-care-maintenance

    Depending on how well you take care of your car, having it can be a good experience or a total nightmare. Not following the simple basic rules may damage your car and cost you a lot of money, time and efforts to repair it.

    Here are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid the surprise situations.

    Don’t forget to wash your car. Keeping your vehicle dirty is petty dangerous as you need proper visibility when driving. When washing your car, you remove loose grime from its exterior surfaces, preventing contaminants like dust, dirt, pollen, tree sap, bug guts, salt, air-borne pollutants from adhering to your vehicle and damaging its paint finish.

    In one of my previous posts I talked about the importance of keeping your car clean and how often you should wash it. If you own a car, you have probably already asked yourself this question. The number depends on a location and climate you live in, the frequency and distance you drive, also the storage of your vehicle. Check for more information here.

    Don’t ignore the ongoing vehicle maintenance. Follow car maintenance general service schedule. It is often frustrating to encounter any form of car trouble, especially if you are in a hurry or far from an auto shop. To avoid this inconvenient situation, remember about the ongoing vehicle maintenance and address your car issues promptly. Here are some valuable tips on what you should check every three, six, nine and twelve months.

    Don’t ignore the check engine light. An illuminated check engine light is indicating at least an engine problem which is causing fuel economy problems and others.

    Don’t fail to check your tires.  Bear in mind that it is important to check the tires regularly for inflation.  Underinflated tires can easily wear out and impact negatively your vehicle´s performance.

    Don’t ignore changing fluids and filters. If you want your vehicle to operate properly, don´t forget to change fluids and filters whenever it is needed. Check them regularly to ensure that your vehicle´s system and components are protected and this way you extend its life.

    Don’t do the following. Quick start and stops, driving very fast, ignoring severe weather conditions, overloading your car, might be both dangerous for you as well as negatively impact your car. We cannot control weather conditions but we should control the speed of our vehicle and drive it reasonably.

    Hope you find this post helpful.

  • Tips on How to Make Internal Combustion Engines Better

    In my previous post, I was talking about why burning of automobile gasoline produces pollutants. In this post I will discuss some technologies that make internal combustion engines better.

    While the electric motors are on the way, we still cannot announce the demise of internal combustion engines (ICEs). How to improve ICEs?

    Clean diesel, variable displacement, revised stop-start systems, direct injection, cylinder deactivation, turbochargers, variable displacement, variable valve timing and lift are some of the tips that make the ICEs better.

    Let’s talk about each of them.

    Direct injection. With direct injection, the fuel is mixed with air inside the cylinder, allowing the better control over the amount of used fuel and variations depending on demand (acceleration vs. cruising). This process makes the engine more fuel efficient.

    Cylinder Deactivation. Cylinder deactivation feature is found on V6 and V8 engines. What does cylinder deactivation mean?
    It means that ICEs with this feature can simply deactivate some cylinders when less power is required, therefore, temporarily reduce the total volume of the engine cylinders and burn less fuel.

    Variable Displacement. Variable displacement is another way to improve the ICEs which could be done by turning off some of its cylinders. Since the throttle must be opened farther to get the same power from the remaining cylinders, intake-manifold vacuum goes down and efficiency goes up.

    Variable Valve Timing and Lift. Different valve timings produce different results (more power, better fuel economy). Traditionally, valve timing was impossible, however many modern engines can do that now, allowing the default low RPM range of the engine to have more economical timing, and the higher RPM range to go for the maximum power. Variable valve timing and lift allows a smaller displacement engine to produce more peak power, this way allowing downsizing and fuel savings.

    Turbochargers. Turbochargers allow combustion to generate more power as they increase the pressure inside cylinders, cramming more air. This process doesn’t make the engine more economical, though.
    However, since a smaller displacement engine can generate more peak power, you still can downsize and save there easier.

    Revised stop-start systems. It’s a great option to turn off an engine when stopped at a light as this way you can definitely save fuel. This action can be easily programmed with an engine-control computer to shut down an engine when the vehicle speed drops to zero and restart it when the driver removes his foot from the brake pedal. The starter and the battery might need to be beefed up to withstand more frequent use.

    Hope you find these tips valuable.

  • traffic-pollution

    Before we speak about why gasoline does not burn quickly, it’s important to understand what gasoline is.

    Gasoline is a liquid formed of carbon and hydrogen which is made up of carbon chains of different lengths ranging from C7H16 through C11H24. Imagine, if we could burn gasoline as a vapor with a hot flame and plenty of oxygen, we would get almost pure carbon dioxide and water as the combustion products. However, when it comes to an automobile exhaust, we need to consider that unfortunately it contains a lot more than carbon dioxide and water; for example, pollutants like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, unburned hydrocarbons are part  of it and might include some impurities like sulfur as well.

    As we already said, gasoline doesn’t burn cleanly because of the arrangement of its carbon chains. Why and what are these pollutants exactly?

    What is carbon monoxide (CO)? It is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless poisonous gas that is slightly less dense than air. Although it has no detectable odor, CO is often mixed with other gases that do have an odor. It is a poison that is produced when fuel is burned in an automotive engine because of incomplete combustion or from the incomplete burning of natural gas. One very important thing to know is to never let your engine run in a garage with closed doors. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious life threatening condition so be very cautious and always ensure that the exhaust of your car is not trapped in the garage.

    Nitrogen oxides (NO) are produced from the reaction among nitrogen, oxygen and even hydrocarbons (during combustion), especially at high temperatures, formed from the heat and pressure found in a car engine.

    Unburned hydrocarbons (UHC’s). UHCs are the hydrocarbons emitted after petroleum is burned in an engine. When unburned fuel is emitted from a combustor, the emission is caused by fuel avoiding the flame zones. During the combustion phase there is so little time that not all of the hydrocarbons participate in the reaction.

    In my next post I will talk about technologies that make internal combustion engines better.

    Stay tuned.

  • 14 Apr

    noise-from-steering

    Do you hear the noise when you turn on the steering wheel? If you do, no matter what type of a noise it is, be aware that it’s not a normal condition for your car and something is going wrong.

    Under ordinary circumstances, turning your steering wheel shouldn’t cause any unusual noise; it should simply direct your car in the direction you want to go.

    So if you notice some clunks, knocks or squeaks when you turn the steering wheel, it’s a sign that something in the system is causing friction that needs attention.

    Depending on the type of the noise, your car might be experiencing one of the following issue.

    If it’s clunk, squeak, click, or creak: Usually this is a sign of worn shocks, suspension bushings, ball joints or tie rods.  These noises can also be accompanied by wandering, poor ride quality or vibrations.

    Screech, squeal or whine: If you hear screech, squeal or whine, these sounds might indicate a problem in your power steering system, which could be either a lose belt, bad pump or low power steering fluid.

    Metallic grind or ring: Metallic grind or ring might speak about the worn brake components. You should get replaced either your pads, shoes or rotors as soon as possible.

    Crunching or clicking while turning sharply: If you hear crunching or clicking while turning sharply, then it’s the most likely that your CV (constant velocity) joint has gone bad and should be replaced.

    What about the hum? A hum usually indicates the wheel bearing is going bad. The best way is to get it checked by a trustworthy and qualified mechanic to solve the issue as soon as possible.

    Whatever sound it is, don’t ignore the noise from steering. In some cases, you might be able to detect and fix the problem yourself, however, if you cannot solve the issue, get your vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic.

    Hope the above-mentioned tips will help you in determining the issue your vehicle is having.

  • 8 Mar
    Prevent Transmission Breakdown Posted by admin Comments Off

    Car-Maintenance

    Car’s transmission is a complex mechanical system that controls the application of power from the engine to the driveshaft. Due to the heat and friction produced by many moving and interacting components of the vehicle, this part experiences more wear and tear over time than most of the other parts.

    Note that transmission repairs are usually pretty expensive so it’s better to avoid this issue by taking the proper care of your car. How to avoid transmission breakdown with the right regular maintenance?

    The below tips will help you look after the transmission, catch the problems early and avoid its breakdown.

    Regularly check the fluid level, color and smell.  The fluid should be checked roughly every 1 mile and should be changed every 49 miles or every other year.

    Say no to heat. Most of the time transmission failures are caused by heat. It’s important to reduce the heat back to normal operating temperatures to prolong the life span of your vehicle.

    Do not rock your vehicle. If your vehicle becomes stuck in mud or on ice, do not rock between gears. And if it’s unavoidable, make sure the wheels have stopped moving before each gear change and do so as gently as possible. This way you will drastically reduce the strain placed on the transmission.

    Don’t overload your vehicle. Overloading makes the transmission work harder, causing its overheating.  If you cannot avoid overloading it, then consider installing an auxiliary cooler to save your transmission from the damage done by excess heat.

    Warm up your vehicle on cold mornings. Give your vehicle 30 second to warm up thoroughly on cold mornings.

    Lastly, use the emergency brake when parking on an incline.

    Follow the above tips to keep up a regular maintenance schedule for your car.
    Many times major expensive issues and repairs can be avoided if the vehicle is properly maintained.

    Hope this post helps you take the right care of your vehicle.

  • 9 Feb
    Safety Tips for Driving Posted by admin Comments Off

    safety-tips

    Whether you are driving alone or with passengers, safety should always be your top concern. Take driving seriously by following the below tips to avoid any type of distraction behind the wheel.

    No distraction. If you are not driving alone and your passengers make a lot of noise that might be pretty distracting. Ask them not to talk loudly as it’s important for the driver to be maximum concentrated.

    Forget about your cell phone. What can be more distracting than a cell phone? Avoid using cell phones when driving. A lot of car accidents happen because of texting while driving as this reduces driver’s reaction time. Don’t drive and text.

    Take precautions when driving in the dark. Nighttime driving can put a strain on the eyes, however, sometimes driving at night is unavoidable. To make your nocturnal journey safe drive in a moderate speed, dim your dash lights and instrument panel and keep your windshield clean and your headlights in a good condition. Also, do not stare at oncoming lights as they can disrupt your concentration.

    Don’t drive drunk. The worst thing you can do is to get behind the wheel when drunk. Alcohol causes a number of impairments that lead to car accidents. Even at low blood-alcohol levels, intoxication reduces reaction time and coordination and lowers inhibitions, which can cause drivers to make bad choices.

    Do not drive when you are tired. All you need is to be very concentrated which is pretty hard when you are tired. Avoid driving when you are tired as drowsy driving is very dangerous.

    Keep a safe distance. If a car makes a sudden turn or stop, drivers need enough time to react so don’t follow too closely.

    Keep your vehicle safe. Vehicle maintenance isn’t just an important way to extent your car’s life – it’s a major safety issue. If your car is unsafe, your driving can’t be safe. At Pristine we will help you keep your vehicle safe, dependable and on the road longer.

    We recommend you taking these driving safety tips very seriously.

  • 25 Jan
    How Often Should You Wash Your Car Posted by admin Comments Off

    how-often-to-wash-your-car

    If you own a car, you have probably asked yourself a question how often to wash it. The number depends on a location and climate you live in, the frequency and distance you drive, also the storage of your vehicle.

    If you live in an area with mild weather and your car gets limited exposure to tree sap, bug guts and bird droppings, remains in a closed garage most of the time, then you can wash it on a fortnightly basis. Otherwise, many car dealers recommend washing your vehicle once a week.

    When washing your car, you remove loose grime from its exterior surfaces, preventing contaminants like dust, dirt, pollen, tree sap, bug guts, salt, air-borne pollutants from adhering to your vehicle and damaging its paint finish.

    Splattered bugs and bird droppings. Both are dangerous for your car’s paint finish. The longer bug remains sit on your car’s exterior, the harder it becomes to remove them without chipping the paint. The same about the bird droppings; they can cause more damage if they dry up and harden on a vehicle’s exterior. These droppings should be quickly removed to avoid the paint damage.

    Tree sap. Tree sap also causes danger to your car by corroding it and etching through the paint’s finish, leading to its discoloring and staining. If you live in a highly wooded area or regularly park your vehicle under a tree, it is more likely to get a tree sap on it. Try not to park under a tree whenever it is possible.

    Long distance driving. If you drive a significant distance every day, environmental contaminants like dirt, dust, pollen, gravel, bugs and air pollutants can damage your car. Consider weekly washing as a preventive maintenance step.

    Air pollution and the weather. If you live in an urban area, take into consideration that air pollution caused by industrial construction can create the need for additional washing. If you live in an area with lots of rain, be aware that the moisture traps contaminant on the exterior and accelerates rusting.

    Car washing and waxing keeps your car clean, and more importantly protects it from everyday environmental threats. Wash your car on a weekly basis to get rid of harmful chemicals, residues, salt, sand, tar, grease and grime and protect it from etching, discoloration, fading, rusting and more.

  • 26 Dec

    While performing routine maintenance is a must to keep the car in a good condition, it is important to drive reasonably. Driving habits have a direct effect on the lifespan of the vehicle. To prolong the life of your vehicle, be aware of the following tips.

    When driving on a cold day, let your car warm up first.  It’s well known that the cold weather is tough on a car’s engine. It is harder for the car to burn a gasoline and for the moving parts to operate when the oil is cold and thick. The best option is to turn the engine on, wait about 30 seconds to a minute at most, and then gently drive the car until it warms up without working it too hard.

    Don’t speed: Driving fast wastes gas, increases emissions and is definitely dangerous as you might lose control of the vehicle when driving even a few miles over the speed limit.

    The ideal cruising speed for most cars and trucks is about 50 to 55 miles per hour (80.5 to 88.5 kilometers per hour). To cruise at 60 miles per hour (96.6 kilometers per hour), it is required about 73 percent more horsepower and at 70 miles per hour (112.7 kilometers per hour) nearly 160 percent more horsepower. Now think how much harder your engine has to work to put out that kind of power.

    Do not overload your car: Smaller cars and smaller engines have a hard time towing big object, so do not overload your car.

    Shift gears properly: It’s important to be in the correct gear when driving. If you have a manual transmission, you should shift gears properly. If you have an automatic transmission, shifting gears should not be a problem as the car will take care of itself.

    Consider the break-in period: The car’s first 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) is usually known as the break-in period. During the break-in period the piston rings need to get accustomed to their role in a car and shape themselves to the engine’s cylinders. This takes time and requires careful driving. The car may continue to burn oil down the line if the rings aren’t seated correctly.

    Hope these tips help you prolong the life of your engine.

  • 20 Nov
    Car Maintenance General Service Schedule Posted by admin Comments Off

    car-maintenance-service-schedule
    It is often frustrating to encounter any form of car trouble, especially if you are in a hurry or far from an auto shop. To avoid this inconvenient situation, remember about the ongoing vehicle maintenance and address your car issues promptly.

    We all know that regular maintenance is critical to ensure the safety, reliability, drivability, comfort and longevity of a car. However, many times we do not follow a general service schedule for car maintenance. Regardless of the vehicle you drive, your regular maintenance schedule is inside it and can help keep your car running its best.

    What does the regular car maintenance schedule entail?

    According to car care general services schedule, you should often check dashboard indicator lights on, lights, tire inflation and condition, windshield washer fluid and engine oil level.

    Here are some valuable tips/points on what you should check every three, six, nine and twelve months.

    Check Every 3 Months/ 3,000 Miles

    • Automatic Transmission Fluid
    • Battery and Cables
    • Belts
    • Dashboard Indicator Light On
    • Engine Air Filter
    • Engine Oil
    • Exhaust
    • Hoses
    • Lights
    • Power Steering Fluid
    • Tire Inflation and Condition
    • Windshield Washer Fluid

    Check Every 6 Months/6,000 Miles

    • Automatic Transmission Fluid
    • Battery and Cables
    • Belts
    • Chassis Lubrication
    • Dashboard Indicator Light On
    • Engine Air Filter
    • Engine Oil
    • Exhaust
    • Hoses
    • Lights
    • Power Steering Fluid
    • Tire Inflation and Condition
    • Windshield Washer Fluid
    • Wiper Blades

    Check Every 9 Months/ 9,000 Miles

    • Automatic Transmission Fluid
    • Battery and Cables
    • Belts
    • Dashboard Indicator Light On
    • Engine Air Filter
    • Engine Oil
    • Exhaust
    • Hoses
    • Lights
    • Power Steering Fluid
    • Tire Inflation and Condition
    • Windshield Washer Fluid

    Check every 12 Months/ 12,000 miles

    • Automatic Transmission Fluid
    • Battery and Cables
    • Belts
    • Brakes
    • Cabin Air Filter
    • Chassis Lubrication
    • Dashboard Indicator Light On
    • Coolant (Antifreeze)
    • Engine Air Filter
    • Engine Oil
    • Exhaust
    • Hoses
    • Lights
    • Power Steering Fluid
    • Steering and Suspension
    • Tire Inflation and Condition
    • Wheel Alignment
    • Windshield Washer Fluid
    • Wiper Blades

    To make sure you follow car maintenance general service schedule, contact an experienced, honest, and reliable mechanic and an auto repair shop that serves its customers with complete ethics. At Pristine Automotive Center, we will help you keep your vehicle safe, dependable and on the road longer. Learn why you should choose Pristine Automotive Center and what makes us different.

    Keep your vehicle safe and dependable with Pristine Automotive!

  • fall-car-care-tips

    October is fall car care month and we would like to share with you some steps to keep your car up and running. Why not take a little time to be car care aware and make sure your vehicle is ready for the change of weather ahead? Take a few simple and important steps now so that you can save the cost of a possible emergency breakdown later.

    Make sure your car is ready for fall. Where should you start from?

    1. Battery – First of all, always keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. It’s wise to check the battery and charging system, as colder weather is hard on the battery. The weather in Los Angeles is not harsh at all but the problem is that there is a substantial temperature change between the afternoon and the night. Temperature fluctuations affect things like batteries and their chemical content. As you are probably aware, batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, so it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.  You can do it yourself or drop in to PristineAutobody and we would be more than happy to help you.

    2. Tires – Remember, there is a high chance that Southern California will face El Nino this summer. If that happens, we are going to have a lot of rain in L.A. So don’t forget to check the tires, also the tire pressure and tread depth. Uneven tire wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. In addition, the tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. As a general rule, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop not really in the fall but for sure during the winter.

    3. Heater, Defrosters and Wiper Blades – Check that the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system are working properly as heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting. Fall is the time to check your air filters; if wiper blades are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield, they should be immediately replaced. In general, keep in mind that wiper blades should be replaced every six months. When changing the blades, be sure to also check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir. Again, be ready for the El Nino season!

    4. Brakes – Get the brake system checked, including brake linings, rotors and drums. Brakes are critical for vehicle safety especially driving under rain. A combination of new tires and new brakes are a safety must in driving on a slippery road.

    To ensure that you have taken care of all the above steps, you need to be dealing with auto repair shops or auto body shops that are near you. If you can find an honest mechanic or auto body-mechanic, it can make your life easy and make the driving experience more enjoyable.

    Take your car to Pristine Automotive, auto body shop in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, and stay out of stress while enjoying the special discounts with quality car repairs and competitive prices.