Category: Oil Change

What is Routine Maintenance on a Car?

tune-ups-oil-change-los-angeles-90035One of the first provisions that a car owner should make is to read the car manual for the vehicle they own. This is critical. The vehicle manual will usually have a 30-60-90 schedule. This schedule is predicated on when certain items in the car need to be inspected, changed, or replaced at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles. While it is true that some parts of the vehicle, such as rubber gaskets, hoses, windshield wipers, and tires will wear out at irregular intervals, the 30-60-90 schedule is straightforward for the indicated items on your vehicle.

What is Included in Car Maintenance?

Not only is car maintenance the single most important way to lengthen the life of a car, but it can also save serious money on car repair. Car maintenance includes changing the oil, rotating the tires, checking the fluids, and more. Timing and serpentine belts are often overlooked by car owners, however, these belts need to be replaced periodically. Most mechanics agree that timing belts should be replaced every 60,000 miles or so. The owner’s manual will offer the manufacturers instructions for each component of the vehicle, taking the guesswork out of the equation.

How Do You Do Basic Maintenance on a Car?

The maintenance schedule section, located in the owner’s manual, has the basic intervals for critical engine components. Two of these components are the oil, and the oil filter. Oil is your engine’s lifeblood. When it comes time to change the oil, make sure you make an appropriate selection between synthetic and conventional oil, determined by your budget needs, and the needs of the vehicle. Next, make sure to check your tires monthly. Tires need to be properly inflated in order to perform well. Using a bicycle tire to inflate them is an excellent pro-tip.

How Do You Maintain a Car Engine?

In order for your car to perform at it’s best every time it hits the road, inspections are necessary. Through proper maintenance, future repair costs become limited and car performance is optimized. Regularly refreshing the oil in your vehicle, according to the parameters of the owner’s manual, will keep your engine in great shape. For car owners who tow a trailer or often drive in dusty conditions, your oil should be changed more frequently, and you should absolutely consider switching to the premium type of oil, synthetic. Other considerations include checking the PCV valve for proper operation and checking the spark plugs and the spark plug wires.

What Happens When a Car Hits 100k Miles?

After a car has passed one hundred thousand miles, it’s essential to routinely groom the car for any possible hiccups. Please read over the following list for essential maintenance tips:

  • Fluids. The oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid all should be completely replaced after the one-hundred-thousand-mile mark.
  • Belts. The serpentine belt in your car is made of a special type of rubber that is streamlined to work within a hot engine compartment. However, no one component is built to last forever. Ask your mechanic to look into signs of cracks, missing ribbing, marring, striping or general brittleness.
  • Water pump and timing belt. Other than the oil, the timing belt is possibly the most important item that needs to be replaced at the 100,000-mile mark. This is because the damage caused by a broken timing belt on engines can be extravagantly expensive.
  • Tires and brakes. Check your tire’s inflation level and tread depth. Any signs of uneven wear, cracking, and bulging should be addressed promptly.

Where to Get Car Maintenance

If you have noticed a slow engine crank or a low battery fluid level, it may be time to get a car battery replacement. For a car battery replacement and car maintenance, vehicle owners should find a reliable car mechanic or repair shop. Ask trusted friends where they get their vehicle serviced, and whether they would highly recommend those services. Another avenue for car owners is finding a local shop with excellent reviews. Because your vehicle is important, it will be critical to find a mechanic who has in-depth knowledge and respect for automobiles and will be able to translate that into good repairs.

Car Maintenance to Do Yourself

There are a number of things that car owners can do to improve the maintenance of their vehicle without going to the mechanic. One of the items that top the list is replacing the air filter. Car owners need a new air filter approximately once every year or twelve months. Air filters cost about ten dollars and don’t take a lot of time to install. Windshield wipers are another car maintenance item that can be replaced with relative ease. Windshield wiper blades should be replaced once every six months, and only cost about ten to twenty dollars. One of the reasons why windshield wipers are so important to manage is because old wipers can leave messy streaks on the windshield, which can lead to low visibility.

Car Maintenance vs Repair

There’s an appropriate and realistic difference between car maintenance and repair. With enough preventative car maintenance, car owners can expect a long car life with very few incidents or need for repairs. With enough knowledge and care, cars have been known to last well beyond the 100k mark. Car repairs are necessary when accidents happen and can be very expensive. It is important to note that excellent car maintenance can help relieve and even eliminate car repair, but that it is not entirely foolproof, as there are accidents that happen on the road.

Car Maintenance by Mileage

A routine car maintenance schedule is optimally based on engine mileage. While not all cars will need the same thing at the same time (see the owner’s manual), a good rule of thumb would be to follow certain parameters. Better safe than sorry, as the adage goes. Every 3,000 to 7,000 miles, the oil and oil filter should be replaced. Every 15,000 to 30,000 miles the air filter should be changed. For every 20,000 miles, the battery and coolant should be inspected. Every 30,000 miles, replace the power-steering fluid. As always, consult the owner’s manual of your vehicle to make sure that you’re on track for car maintenance success.

Do you have car maintenance on your agenda? Our friendly staff at Carotech Automotive and Tires are ready to take your phone call at (424) 283-4303. In Los Angeles, CA car maintenance is critical. Consult our experts to receive the best car advice.

Can a Seized Engine be Fixed?

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Car Engine Services

Owning a car is a huge responsibility. They are high-demand, high-performance machines that require regular attention and maintenance, most importantly, maintaining the engine. It’s recommended to get your oil changed between every 3,000 and 5,000 miles. In fact, just maintaining the oil in your car can help extend the life of your car engine. While there are, of course, several other important things to do to maintain your car engine, maintaining the oil levels can be the difference between needing a few repairs and needing a complete engine replacement. Failure to keep up with your oil can lead to internal damages, the most serious problem being an engine seizure. When your engine seizes there possibilities are few and far between to correct the issue.

Seized Engine or Dead Battery
Often times, when an engine won’t start many think the issue is with the battery. In some instances, that is true. If you’ve left your headlights on overnight or a door was not closed all the way can drain the battery, rendering your car inoperable. The difference between a dead battery and a seized engine will be what operates and what doesn’t. When your battery is dead, your car won’t start and neither will the electronic components. On the flip side, when your engine has seized, the electronic components may work, but your car won’t turn over.

What are the signs of a seized engine?

Before your engine completely stops working, there should be several indicators that it will or may seize soon. The two most obvious being the check engine light is on and a knocking or clunking sound coming from the engine. With that in mind, what actually causes an engine to seize?

Seized car engine causes:

Insufficient oil level: when the oil level is low, your engine overheats, parts melt, and the bearings ultimately become damaged.

Accumulation of water: water is not compressible like gasoline and can cause an engine to seize.

Accumulation of rust: when a car is unused for a long period of time, rust builds up, causing the engine to seize when use is attempted.

Faulty parts: this is rare, but has happened and it is why drivers should be aware of parts recalls on their vehicles.

Because of the causes listed above, a car will be at greater chance to seize than a car that has sufficient oil and maintenance. If for whatever reason, your oil levels are low, there is too much water in your engine, or you just haven’t driven your car in a while, there are several things to look for to determine if your engine has seized.

Seized car engine symptoms:

Loud cranking/clunking sounds: this is because the starter is hitting the flywheel because there is insufficient lubrication.

Piston visible: when looking at the engine, the piston may be visible because the loose components will lodge into another part of the engine with enough force.

Fumes/smoke: since the engine can’t turn over, fumes, smoke, and even fire can happen – all of which are a sure sign of an engine seizure.

Nothing: the most tell-tale sign of a seized engine is when nothing happens. When your car won’t start no matter how hard you try.

It’s important to note that it is incredibly unlikely to have an engine seized without warning. There are almost always signs that can indicate potential seizing or failure such as: knocking noises, poor engine performance, oil light is on, and more. At the end of the day, most engine failure is because of poor maintenance, specifically a lack of oil in your engine. At this time, there is debate as to whether you should use conventional or synthetic oil in your car. Either option has benefits and drawbacks, and the mechanics with Carotech Automotive and Tires can discuss this in detail with you. Call us today, (424) 283-4303, to discuss our services further.

Understanding a Seized Engine Diagnosis

If a mechanic has diagnosed your engine as seized, unfortunately, there are few options readily available to you. Depending on the severity of the damage, most mechanics will suggest a complete replacement rather than attempt a repair. This could be because, ultimately, repairs are more costly overall than just going through and replacing the engine. For the mechanics at Carotech Automotive in Los Angeles, CA engine rebuild is an option they can offer and provide. In this case, they will go through to essentially rebuild your engine from scratch, rather than go through to repair the damaged parts. Sometimes a replacement is less expensive and more applicable to your situation, but every car and case is different. It will all come down to the extent of the damage done.

Whatever it is you need, Carotech Automotive and Tires are experts when it comes to rebuilding an engine as well as engine replacements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between a motor and an engine?
No, engine and motor are used interchangeably with vehicles

Is it worth it to replace an engine?
There is no definite yes or no answer, because it will come down to the extent of the damage done to your engine. If a good mechanic from a reputable business believes that repairs will get the job done, then replacing your engine could be a waste of time and money. This would be something to discuss further with a mechanic.

How much does it cost to replace an engine?
Car owners should expect to pay anywhere between $2,250 and $4,000, or approximately 10% to 20% of the cost of a new vehicle, to replace the engine in their car

What does a seized engine mean?
A seized engine means the electronics in your vehicle may still work (i.e. the radio, A/C, etc.) but the engine itself will not turn over. Instead, you may hear a knocking or clunking sound.

Contact Carotech Automotive and Tires, (424) 283-4303, for car engine servicing in the Los Angeles, CA area.

Why Is My Car Leaking Fluids?

leaking-car-oil-change-los-angelesEvery car contains a variety of fluids that accomplish special tasks to allow the vehicle to operate. When you notice your car leaking, you likely wonder whether to feel worried, take the car in for service, or simply ignore the issue. If you know how to identify car fluids on your own, you can save money on repairs and rest assured about your vehicle’s condition.

At Carotech Automotive and Tires, we’re your local experts for the repair of leaking car fluids in Los Angeles, CA. To learn more or schedule service, reach out to us today at (424) 283-4303.

How to Identify Car Leaks

The first step to identifying a leak is knowing the nature of your car fluids. Once you can identify one fluid from another, you can adequately judge the seriousness of the problem.

Antifreeze: Antifreeze represents one of the more common fluids you may find your car leaking. Usually green, but sometimes orange or pink, antifreeze feels sticky to the touch and has a sweet smell. Though not a serious leak, you will still need to have it repaired. If you have pets, this becomes especially important, as the sweet smell will attract them to this poisonous substance.

Gas Leak: Gas is easy to identify among car fluids, thanks to its distinctive smell. Gas leaks are fairly common, and not a major cause for concern. While they still need repair, you need not worry about a gas leak as an immediate danger.

Oil: Oil can appear yellow if fresh, and dark if old. If you notice your car leaking oil, it needs immediate repair. A car that loses oil becomes vulnerable to a host of problems.

Brake Fluid: Clear to yellow in color, brake fluid leaks are rare. However, if you even suspect one, your car needs immediate service. As a matter of fact, you should probably have your car towed to the mechanic, since this fluid leak can result in brake failure.

Transmission Leak: Transmission fluid is an indispensable liquid that lubricates your transmission and prevents it from overheating. This fluid appears pink to dark red, and deserves immediate service once it begins to leak. Transmission leaks are fairly economical to repair, whereas a new transmission can cost a pretty penny.

Water: If you’ve ever noticed your car leaking water, you may wonder where it comes from. Though a common leak, the appearance of water beneath your vehicle is not a cause for concern. In all likelihood, the leak is simply condensation from your air conditioner.

Trust Our Team with Your Car Fluids

At Carotech Automotive and Tires, we’re your local source for the repair of leaking car fluids in Los Angeles, CA. We offer fast, affordable service that ensures the efficient operation of your vehicle. To learn more or schedule service, give us a call today at (424) 283-4303.

Tire Check: When to Replace Old Tires

tires-west-los-angelesKnowing when to replace old tires can be difference between a comfortable tire change at home and an emergency on the side of the road. Thankfully, you can figure out for yourself when it’s time to spring for a new tire. Here are three simple tips to help you know when the time has come.

Pro Tip #1: Use the Classic Thread Test

Some newer tire models come with a built in bar indicator to let you know when your treads are worn down. There’s no easier way to test out your threads however, than the classic Penny Test. All you have to do is grab a penny and insert Abraham Lincoln head first into the thread of each tire. If Abe’s head starts to disappear, the tread is still good. If Lincoln’s head is completely visible, you need to look for a replacement tire.

Pro Tip #2: Examine Your Manufacturing Date

Did you know that tires can expire? It may sound crazy, but even unused tires can (and do) expire after six years. Check the manufacturing date on the wall of your tires; look for a four digit code. The last two digits represent the manufacturing year, and the first two represent the week of that year. Always keep in mind: expired tires are much more likely to fail.

Pro Tip #3: Check Out Your Tire’s Sidewalls

Everybody tells you to look at the threads, but not so many tell you to examine your tire’s sidewall. Be wary of any large cracks or bulges in the sidewall, as this can mean your tire isn’t far from failing. Protect yourself from ending up on the side of the highway by having your tire replaced (if you spot this damage).

Be sure to follow these tips when it comes time to replace old tires. For more details on how to care for your car, such as checking your fluids, talk with one of our experts at (424) 283-4303, or check out our other articles on car maintenance.

When Do You Need An Oil Change

oil-change-los-angelesWhen you get a vehicle you have an obligation to take the best care of it possible while it is in your possession. This means that getting your vehicle’s oil changed comes with the territory. If you don’t know much about cars or when you need to get your oil changed, we can help you with that. Often times when you get your oil changed, the company you went to will put a sticker in your drivers’ side window in the left-hand corner that will tell you when they recommend coming back and at how many miles. This is not the exact number you should come back on, but it is pretty close usually to when you should think about heading in again. During an oil change, you will have several things done. Every place is different with what they do, but one thing’s for sure, that they will always change your filter, oil, and top off the fluids that may be getting low. If something is wrong, they will usually tell you what it is and throw in a price for reference. This is a great way to also tell if you need something more or your car will live to see another day.

Do You Need an Oil Change?

First and foremost, the length of time and miles you have driven since your last one is a major factor. If 3 months have passed, but you hardly drive your car, you can probably afford to skip it this time. If you are a commuter, you probably need to have your oil changed more regularly than that. One thing you can do right at home is pop your hood and pull the oil stick out yourself. There, you can check to see if your oil is low and if it is, go get your oil changed right away. Without oil in your motor, your vehicle engine will lock up and no longer work; talk about expensive. This is not a problem you want to have. An easy solution is to run over to Carotech Automotive and Tires and have us change your oil. Give us a call at (424) 283-4303 to set an appointment or just stop by.

Signs Of Engine Trouble

car-repair-west-los-angelesEveryone knows that cars rely on their engines, right? Now that we’ve got that part out of the way, it’s time for a hard truth. That engine needs a lot of car, and even with all the right care, your engine won’t last forever. However, if you can pay attention to the signs as your engine ages, you may be able to extend the life of that engine, or at least keep yourself from being stranded due to engine failure. Today we are going to go over some key tips you need to know about your engine’s well-being.

3What To Look For

One of the first problem signs people notice is a lack of power. Pay attention to how your vehicle responds when you accelerate. Is it no longer moving as easily as before? This can be an indication that your engine is having to work harder than it used to. If this continues, you will see a steady decline in your gas mileage as well.

You need to take your engine in for maintenance right away if it sounds rough when it runs, or if it has trouble starting up in the first place. Luckily, engines are fairly noisy when they aren’t in great shape, so if you hear any knocking or popping, you know to get it looked at ASAP.

No matter what is going on with your engine, remember that is it one of if not the most valuable parts of your vehicle. If you want to continue relying on your car, you need to take care of the engine. Call our team of experts at (424) 283-4303 if you’d like to schedule service, or if you have any questions for our experts!

Car Maintenance: Which Fluids to Check

oil-change-west-los-angelesCar maintenance is very important. You depend on your car to get you to work, get your kids to school, as well as drive you across the country for your annual road trip. If your car isn’t well maintained, any of these excursions could cause a serious malfunction in the engine, transmission or other systems in your car. Proper car maintenance can prevent a serious breakdown. Carotech Automotive and Tires offers a variety of car maintenance services.

Which Fluid Changes Are Part of Car Maintenance?

One of the biggest aspects of car maintenance is checking the fluids in your car. Here are three different types of fluid that lubricate different parts of your car. Here are the different fluids you should check and how often they need to be changed:

Oil
It is recommended that you checks the oil levels in your car once a month. This helps you to know when you should add oil. Usually, you will need to change your oil every 3,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first.

Transmission Fluid
The fluid in your transmission keeps the gears lubricated, which prevents wear and tear. You should check your transmission fluid levels at least once a month and have it changed every 50,000 miles.

Brake Fluid
The brake fluid lubricates the components of the brakes system to make sure the car stops properly. You should check the brake fluid for cleanness every time you get the oil changed and have brake fluid changed every two years.

Other fluids that you can check in your car include the power steering fluid and radiator coolant. Keeping up with the levels of fluid in your car can greatly extend the life of your engine. If you need fluid checks or other car maintenance, contact Carotech Automotive and Tires at (424) 283-4303.