Category Archives: Safety

  • 13 Aug
    Car Preventative Maintenance Checklist Posted by admin Comments Off

    preventative-maintenance-checklist

    Preventative maintenance, also known as planned or preventive, is a maintenance performed on a vehicle regularly to reduce its failure. To name a few, some of the advantages of preventative maintenance are improved system reliability, better spares inventory management, saving time and money on costly breakdown repairs, improved vehicle functionality, its safety and more.

    It´s important to perform preventative maintenance regularly. Simple basic procedures such as changing oil and batteries can be easily performed by you. Whole systematic inspection, detection, correction, and prevention of incipient failures is where you might need a professional´s help.

    The preventative maintenance tips that you can do on your car yourself are the following.

    • Check your oil and change it regularly. It is important to do to avoid the engine failure.
    • Check your battery and if necessary, clean the contacts. This does not require much time and efforts.
    • Check the lights and make sure all your lights are working properly.
    • Check the air pressure in your tires.
    • Check your engine´s fluids.
    • Check the hoses, belts.
    • If necessary, replace your windshield wipers. Apart from engine´s functionality, one of the top things to consider is your visibility while driving.
    • Replace your cabin air filter, this is something you can do on your own.
    • Replacing your engine´s air filter is a bit harder task. If you find it difficult, ask for a professional´s help.

    While the majority of the above tips can be done by you, obviously you can´t perform the whole systematic inspection, detection, and correction. If you need help with this, at Pristine Automotive Center, we are here to help you.

    We offer a comprehensive array of auto services in Silver Lake, Los Angeles and preventative maintenance, which is an essential part of vehicle ownership, is one of them. Maintaining your car with regular tune-ups, oil changes, brake jobs and other preventative measures will keep your vehicle running well for many years to come. You’ll enjoy better mileage, fewer break-downs and a longer lifespan for your car, truck or SUV.

    Get in touch with us here.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 13 Aug
    Tips for Driving After Dark Posted by admin Comments Off

    nightdriving

    Night driving is not just annoying, it is dangerous. Driving at night is actually the most dangerous time to drive.

    What makes driving at night dangerous? Obviously it’s dark and we tend to be more tired at night. However, sometimes driving at night is unavoidable.

    How does one make their nocturnal travels safer and better?

    Here are some easy-to-follow tips for driving after dark;  All you have to do is follow these steps and make sure your vehicle is ready for a drive at night:

    1. Your headlights should be in a very good condition: Point your headlights perfectly, making sure they are not blinding to oncoming traffic. You don’t have to be a mechanic to do this, just follow the instructions of the manual. Clean the road grime from your headlights on a frequent basis. This is especially necessary if your car is an older model with plastic lens covers. This can be very dangerous as covers tend to yellow and fade over the years. Finally, to make sure nothing blocks the light and your headlights shine through brightly, remove the haze with the headlight polish kit.

    2. Your windshield should be perfectly clean: If your windshield is dirty, it might cause glare at night. Clean it with a newspaper to remove residue. Do not touch the windshield with hands as you might leave handprints. Also, aim your exterior mirrors by cleaning and adjusting them properly.

    3. Dim your dash lights and instrument panel: To avoid stray reflections dim your dash lights. Also, do not leave your map lights on as they might disperse lights all over the interior and shine into driver’s eyes.

    4. Never stare at oncoming lights: Turn your gaze away from other lights on the road. Bright lights can disrupt your concentration. We recommend you take the night driving very seriously and avoid any type of distraction.

    I hope these tips were helpful.

  • 29 Apr
    Safety Check – Tires Posted by admin Comments Off

    tire-safety-maintenance

    Tires are the only part of the car that make direct contact with the road, making them a vital part of driving safely. Regular monthly maintenance and attention is important to keep you, your passengers and the people on the road around you safe and sound. There are some things you can do to ensure a safe ride but some that a certified shop will need to help with. Let’s start with what you can do yourself.

    • First, check the tire pressure monthly – especially during colder months. To find out the correct pressure, consult your car’s owner’s manual if it is a factory tire or the tire manufacturer directly. This is not only to ensure your tires are maintaining the correct pressure to ensure a smooth ride but it also plays an important factor in keeping good gas mileage.
    • Next, when checking the pressure of each tire, inspect the surface of the tire. Ensure there are no bubbles or foreign objects lodged into the tire. If there is a bubble in the tire, immediately have the tire replaced. If there is a foreign object in the tire, there is a chance it can be removed and the tire can be patched at a shop.
    • Lastly, check your tires’ tread. This is the part of the tire that is making the direct contact with the ground and typically has grooves and different patterns. To measure tire tread, use a small ruler that has 1/16th graduations. Measure the outer, center and inside edge to ensure they are all above 3/32s of an inch. If the depth is less than that, it’s time for new tires.

    Proper maintenance does however go beyond what we can do at home and it is strongly recommended to have your tires rotated by a certified technician every 6,000 miles to prevent uneven wear. Every 12,000 miles an alignment may need to be performed.

  • 20 Aug
    Why You Shouldn’t Top Off Your Gas Tank Posted by admin Comments Off
    gas tank spilling, Topping of Gas Tank

    Topping Off the Gas Tank?

    When you fuel up your vehicle, the gas pump shuts off automatically after the gas tank is filled. From this point, you have the option to stop fueling or add another gallon. For some reasons, you need to avoid topping off your gas tank. Below are the reasons why you shouldn’t top off your gas tank.

    Mechanical Problems          

    When you fuel up the gas tank, it expands and then creates vapors. The vehicle’s vapor recovery system absorbs this vapor and burns during the combustion. But, if you top off the gas tank, there is a huge possibility that the liquid gas will force itself to the vapor holding chamber and make it fail. This can lead to high emissions, poorly running vehicle, and end up in auto repair shop.

    Environmental Concerns

    In old cars, the gas caps have holes, allowing the vapors in the gas tank to escape. This vapors mix with the air in the environment, which leads to the huge development on how vehicles are made. These days, new car models have a gas recovery system. Besides, topping off your gas tank can lead to spills or leaks of fuel that not just hurt your pocket, but also contribute to the vapors in the environment and add to pollution.

    By not topping off your gas tank, you can save money and protect the environment at the same time. If you have the habit of topping off your gas tank, this can be the right time to stop it. Also, it’s critical that you have your car’s vapor recovery system checked for any possible damage and prevent costly repairs that may happen in the future.

  • 19 Jun
    Trusting Your Auto Repair and Body Shop Posted by admin Comments Off

    Never Trust A Backyard Mechanic!

    It never fails to happen, someone will have a car problem and they’ll seek out a backyard mechanic or someone in the family that claims to know how to fix cars. A quick fix is in then installed and the car seems to be fine for a short span of time, but in the long term, something goes awry. If you have ever gone this route, you know why it can be problematic, but there’s still a lot of people that want to get a shortcut. Instead of going that route, perhaps you should know a few reasons why this is not a promising endeavor. It’s easy to say not to do it, but is there really any harm? You may be surprised.

     

    ASE Certified Mechanics at Pristine Automotive Center

    ASE Certified Mechanics at Pristine Automotive Center

     

     

    Cars Are More Technical Today Than Ever

    It goes without saying, the automotive industry has gained a lot of great innovations in the recent years. With so many great options, your average mechanic isn’t going to know what exactly may have gone wrong with your vehicle. If the computer system up front has gone bad, or if there’s a circuitry issue below the façade, they will only make matters worse. Not only that, the engine, brakes, and a lot of other pieces that were once easy to maintain and fix, are now harder than ever to get correct. Applying a little elbow grease and duct tape is not going to work today.

    Noise Can Be The Warning Signs of Something More Complicated

    You may hear a rattle or a shaking while you’re driving. Most cars will eventually showcase a bit of wear and tear and it will be a matter of audible concern. When the problem is a loose bolt or an axle connection that has worn down, you may have a bigger problem. When this occurs, you need heavy equipment to not only lift the car, but to also test the components to see if the noise you’re having is a matter of a bigger ailment. Auto repair professionals can check to see if the noise you have is something that requires further changes. Not only that, you may find that today’s vehicles, and the ones that have been manufactured in the past 7 or so years, have hard to reach areas welded in place that will need more finesse to get to than your average mechanic may have. It’s for this reason that you may not want to go with a backyard solution, as they may not realize how in depth the issue can be. Eliminating a noise is not the answer, fixing the root cause is the ultimate goal, and that comes with experience.

    The Backyard Is Not A Certification Ground

    Even if you think that your friend or someone’s family member is great at fixing vehicles, consider this reason, certification. When you bring your car into an ASE certified auto body shop, you are going to be taken care of by someone that has trained at a professional level to fix your car. Not only that, you will be given a guarantee on the work that is done on it. The guy in the backyard is not going to offer the same guarantee, nor the same kind of expertise, and that’s a fact.

    If your goal is to save money, it’s better to save it in the long run than up front. You could save a lot right now, and your car may stop making that frenetic noise today, but tomorrow it may cause serious damage or you may not be able to start your car. Then the cost will be double or even triple. Don’t run the risk, trust a professional.

    Trust The Right Company

    When it comes down to getting your car fixed, trust a company that will help you when it matters most. In an emergency, or simply when your schedule permits, look for Pristine Automotive Center in Los Angeles. You can get towed 24 hours a day, get your auto body repair done right, at a price that will not break the bank. Check out www.pristineautobody.com , and see why social media reviews, and many clients are raving about this shop.

     

  • 14 May

    Are you planning to go on a long road trip this weekend? Well if you are planning a road trip soon then, you’ve surely landed at the right place. It’s no secret that road trips are fun and adventurous but at the same time they are risky and require a lot of caution. The amount of care and caution actually doubles up when you are taking your own vehicle for a long trip. In order to reach your desired travel destination, your vehicle may have to cover long distances- sometimes smooth and sometimes rugged, thus one must pay considerable amount of attention on the performance and efficiency of the vehicle he/she is planning to take.

    Safety Checklist Before going on a Long Trip

    In order to make this task easier for you all, here is a safety checklist for your vehicle that you should comply with before heading towards your road trip:

    • Have a look at the tires

    Tire safety must be at the top of your safety checklist, as one can’t really imagine the presence of a vehicle without this important component. Check the tire pressure, inspect uneven and rugged patterns on tires and ensure that the tire valves have valve caps. In order to be sure about the performance of tires, you may consult an experienced and professional automotive repair expert before heading for the trip.

    • Check the batteries

    In order to make sure that your long road trip goes smoothly, get your car batteries checked beforehand. The cracks or acid leaks on the battery can be located visually but it is the terminals and corrosion that need to be checked before going on a trip. Corrosion and low battery can cause lot of trouble to the travelers especially when they are away from home, thus,we advise you to visit an automotive repair shop to ensure your batteries performance.

    • Engine oil

    A number of travelers undergo lot of troubles on road trips because of problems related to engine oil. Thus, we advise all the prospective travelers to go for an engine oil change before heading to their travel destination. You can easily check the color and quantity of engine oil. If the engine oil level is not close to the Full mark on the dipstick or is black in color then it must be replaced immediately.

    • Check engine coolant

    Engine coolant which is present in the overflow tank can be checked visually by the car owner himself. All that needs to be done is to make sure that the level of coolant is between low and full marks. If the coolant level is below the recommended ‘low’ mark then, top it with more coolant mixed with water before going on a long trip. We even advise you to keep a good amount of coolant in your car, so that it can be used if emergency situation arises.

    Apart from the above-listed points, there are a number of things that one must check-in before going on a long trip such as air filters, transmission fluid, fuel tank and fuel efficiency etc. So, keep this safety checklist in mind and have a safe and exciting journey.  Feed free to contact us for more information  or call us at (323) 661-2200