Tag Archives: car care tips

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.

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.

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.

3 Aug
General Car Care Tips to Follow Posted by admin Comments Off

car-care-tips

Taking good care of your car definitely makes the difference between being a proud owner of a good looking, long lasting, reliable automobile, as opposed to being a resentful owner to a rusty, faded-paint jalopy that fell apart or broke down long before it was destined to.

How could one take care of a car? Here are some basic tips every car owner should know.

Tip 1. First of all, car care is about checking and changing oil regularly. Regular oil and filter changes will make an engine last longer, while neglecting oil-level checks or timely oil changes will destroy it faster.
This goes for both the engine oil and transmission oil.

Tip 2. The next step is to flush the cooling system and change coolant annually.
This will prevent corrosion and deposits from building up inside the cooling system and will keep it in a good shape.

Tip 3. Keep your car clean, both interior and exterior, since anything you run over can also become stuck on the inside of the vehicle.

Tip 4. It is important to apply grease to moving parts. Poor lubrication can cause early retirement of the car parts such as ball joint, etc.

Tip 5. Apply wax once every six months. With a coat of quality wax, your car paint will look good, fresh, and the car will be protected.

Tip 6. Park your vehicle in a shaded area to protect the interior plastic and use a window deflector screen.
Additionally, apply a UV protectant to prevent the interior plastic and vinyl from drying out.

Tip 7. Brake fluid easily attracts moisture and later causes car components to corrode and fail.
To avoid this, replace fluid and bleed system once a year. Brake fluid is cheaper than calipers, hoses, and sensors.

Tip 8. Finally, inspect, clean, and repack wheel bearings with wheel bearing grease according to service intervals.

Be a proud car owner! With diligent care, your car will serve you long.

22 Jul
3 Easy Ways To Keep Your Vehicle Clean Posted by admin Comments Off

3-easy-ways-to-keep-your-vehicle-clean

Keeping your vehicle clean has many advantages. Some of the key ones are keeping you and your passengers safe, prolonging value to allow to sell at higher price and allowing you to take pride in your ownership.

  • As with all things, safety is first and foremost. Loose garbage or bottles can collect and find their way under the floorboard, preventing you from being able to stop safely in an emergency. Also, should you leave food in the car for an extended amount of time, it can invite unwelcome guests like flies and other insects. But the worst of spoiled food and spilled drinks is mold which can lead to a bad odor and possibly health issues.
  • If you wash your car, take special attention to both the tires and the area between the tires and the car, called a wheel well. By keeping the tires and wheel well clean of any pebbles or debris, your car will continue to get good traction on the road and maximize the life of the tire. Keep a close eye on the tire pressure as this is a very serious component in driving safely at freeway speeds. Uneven tire pressure between tires may be dangerous. All of the tires should have the same pressure as recommended by manufacturer and also labeled on the tires.
  • Lastly, if you are planning to or have to drive on the snow, make it a good practice to wash thoroughly not only the body of the car, but underneath it to ensure there is no salt buildup that would otherwise be a staging ground for rust to form. This is often the case with many cars losing their values due to excessive wear and tear caused by weather conditions and lack of maintenance. You need to get best buck when it the time to trade-in or sell comes.

By taking these tips under consideration, you will keep yourself and your passengers safe, keep your car in good condition while making it possible to get top dollar for it!

13 May
Car Care Tips: Summer Maintenance Posted by admin Comments Off

summer maintenance

Summer can be a brutally hot time of a year that will make your car work harder through some challenging conditions where it will need to function properly while keeping you cool. Here are three ways to keep your car in tip top shape as summer approaches.

  • First thing to keep in mind is that there are many moving parts in an engine and clean motor oil is essential to keeping them run cool. Make sure that you stay on schedule for your oil and oil filter change. Are you unsure of how often you need to change your oil? Check with your mechanic to see what kind of oil is best suited for your car and the intervals of how often to change it. This is a very important piece of information as wrong oil may damage your car’s engine. Don’t have a mechanic? Give Pristine a call and we will gladly assist you. Some motor oils such as “synthetic”, may allow you to drive your car without changing the oil as often, saving you money. Whereas other oil can be specifically designed for older cars and needs changing more frequently.
  • Check your car’s radiator fluid. This fluid may be a combination of antifreeze and water which is the best combination. Often times, people just pour water or just antifreeze; however, it is a best practice to mix water and antifreeze together equally for Los Angeles, California climate. If the radiator water level keeps on dropping, you may have a leak in the radiator. Immediately check with your mechanic as this may cause serious damage to the car and may be dangerous as it will also cause sudden stops with dangerously overheated engine.
  • And lastly, check your tire pressure. Winter can put a beating on tires and it’s a good practice to ensure your tires’ pressure is equal and that there is enough tread. There will be an article discussing more about tires and how to maintain them throughout the year.

P.S. As an additional maintenance, check your windshield wiper fluid reservoir and your windshield wipers. Your mechanic will be able to tell you the size wipers you need and show you the different kinds of fluids you can use that will help keep your vision clear through the thick summer storms that sometimes bring armies of bugs crashing on the glass. An easy way to check is by feeling the wiper to feel them smooth and not rough. Also, they should be able to clean a windshield without issue. There are a variety of windshield wiper manufacturers, price typically is a sign of quality and longevity but ask your shop to hear what they say is the best.