Hi-Line Autocare

Servicing Mercedes Benz car owners in Orange for over 25 years

Hi-Line Autocare - Servicing Mercedes Benz car owners in Orange for over 25 years

Hi-Line Autocare Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Today’s Hi-Line Autocare post focuses on using the proper fluids for your vehicle. Significant advancements in automotive technology have lead to the development of high-tech fluids to keep modern cars operating at peak performance. This is due to both engineering advances and new high-tech materials used to build sedan automotive systems.

A simple example of this is the cooling system. For decades it was primarily made out of iron, steel and rubber hoses. There was one kind of coolant that protected these components from corrosion.

Now cooling system components are made with various metal alloys and plastics. These materials require different additives to protect them from corrosion. Since the materials used vary among sedan vehicle manufacturers, we now have a number of different kinds of coolant.

It’s essential for East Irvine car owners to use the right coolant. Hi-Line Autocare Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your VehicleIf you pour in the wrong kind, it won’t protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your sedan owner’s manual. Of course, your Hi-Line Autocare automotive advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.

Brake fluid is confusing for some East Irvine drivers. Back when we opened Hi-Line Autocare 25 years ago, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Orange people mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That’s not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your sedan.

Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Hi-Line Autocare: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in sedan automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.

Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to East Irvine auto owners and Hi-Line Autocare professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today’s high-tech sedan engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances. Every year, engines make more power and (thankfully!) get better fuel economy. And along with all the complexity and sophistication, they still have to be durable.

That’s where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those sedan engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.

At Hi-Line Autocare in Orange, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as impressive as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, make sure you always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.

Check your sedan owner’s manual or ask your East Irvine service technician.
The wrong fluid can cause damage to your sedan engine. If you drive a car or truck around CA with 75,000 miles or more, consider high mileage formulations. These fluids contain extra detergent to clean dirtier older engines as well as additives to condition seals and gaskets. That’ll help prevent leaks. Always be sure that the high mileage fluid is the same weight or type of fluid recommended for your sedan.

Using Proper Fluids In Your sedan Or Other Vehicle

Today Hi-Line Autocare is talking about the proper fluids for your vehicle. It’s become more complicated with changes in automotive design and manufacturing. It’s not that people in CA are confused as much as they don’t realize how much things have changed in recent years.

If you have questions about the fluids in your vehicle, please don’t hesitate to stop by Hi-Line Autocare. You can find us on 134 Rancho Santiago in Orange, CA 92869.
Just give us a call at (714) 602-1896

Let’s take engine oil. Twenty or thirty years ago, there were just a handful of different weights of oil. The weight of an oil is a scientific measure of its properties, particularly its viscosity or thickness.

It was common in those days to use a lighter weight oil in the winter when it’s cold outside. That way the oil would be able to splash around inside the engine and protect the parts before it was fully warmed up. And a heavier weight oil would be used in the summer. The thicker oil wouldn’t thin out too much in the summer heat and vaporize in the engine.

Modern valve trains have become very complicated with more moving parts and small passages than ever before. The valve train is in the top of the engine, so when the car has been turned off for a while, the oil tends to run down to lower areas and the valve train parts are vulnerable at start-up, before the oil starts circulating.

So new weights of oil have been introduced to meet the engineering specifications of these newer engines.

Manufacturers are recommending specific weights of oil. The recommendation is often printed on the oil fill cap. It’s certainly in the owner’s manual. Of course, your Orange CA auto service center can look it up for you.

It’s more important than ever to have the correct weight of oil. The wrong weight could actually harm the engine.

Other fluids are also becoming more sophisticated. In the last few years new types of transmission, power brake fluid and coolant have all been introduced for some of the same reasons as for engine oil.

In addition, vehicle manufacturers are now using a wider variety of materials in these systems. Looking at the cooling system as an example, it used to be that the parts were all made out of steel or iron and the hoses were rubber. Now, some parts are plastic, aluminum or other materials.

So the anti-corrosion additives contained in the coolant, or anti-freeze, need to be different in order to protect the different materials used to make the cooling system. If you use the wrong coolant that wasn’t formulated to protect your plastic cooling system parts, they could become corroded and fail. And if you’re using the wrong coolant, your cooling system won’t be covered under warrantee. So it’s important to use the right coolant and to not mix different types.

Your owner’s manual or your Orange CA service advisor at Hi-Line Autocare can make sure you’re using the right type. You may have heard of universal coolant. Universal, or global, coolant can be added to other types without harmful reactions. That’s OK for an emergency top off, but following your manufacturer’s recommendation for your sedan or other auto type is always a safe bet.

In the area of brake fluid, there are a couple of new formulations. It’s important to remember that the new ones aren’t better than the old ones. They’re just different formulations for different vehicles. So if your vehicle calls for DOT 3, using DOT 4 or DOT 5 is not an upgrade. Use the recommended formula.

There are fluid formulations for vehicles with higher mileage. These are special engine oil, transmission fluid, and so on that contain additives to condition and restore seals and gaskets in older engines.

They’re fine to use as long as they’re a variant of the proper fluid. In other words you can use a high mileage engine oil as long as it’s also the correct weight recommended by the manufacturer. Same goes for transmission fluid; as long as it’s the right type for your transmission.

The Right Automotive Fluids For Irvine Drivers

What grade of oil should I use?

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Irvine car owners. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won’t work as well for Orange auto owners and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many sedans now leave the factory with synthetic oil. Orange auto owners should always use the grade recommended by their auto maker  and type of oil in their engine.

All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Hi-Line Autocare in Orange. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your sedan cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.

Most passenger vehicles on Orange roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your sedan power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.

Now, the essential thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluids is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to remember to check with your friendly Hi-Line Autocare service advisor or sedan owner’s manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give us a call

Hi-Line Autocare
(714) 602-1896
134 Rancho Santiago
Orange, CA 92869
http://hilinembz.com/

The Right Fluids for Your Vehicle

Orange car owners’ current vehicles have over a century of engineering behind them. They have evolved into complex and powerful machines. Developments in their engines, however, have coincided with advances in many other vehicle components, including the fluids.

It’s key for Orange car owners to always use the right type of fluid for their sedan. Your service advisor and your owner’s manual are resources for auto advice on exactly what types of fluid your vehicle needs. Improper fluids can damage your vehicle and void your warranty.

Some of the fluids that have changed significantly in recent years are cooling system fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil. Each of these comes in many varieties now, and it’s critical to know exactly which one your sedan needs.

Cooling systems were once made of iron, steel and rubber. One coolant could be used to protect all of these materials. But new cooling systems have components made from a variety of metal alloys and several kinds of plastic, and coolants now contain additives that protect these various materials from corrosion. Since the materials vary among car makers, they require different additives, which means there are now a number of coolants on the market. The type of coolant your sedan needs depends on the materials used in its cooling system.

Most vehicles used to require Dot 3 brake fluid. But now many vehicles need Dot 4 or Dot 5. Some Orange motorists mistakenly think the higher numbers reflect an increase in grade—that Dot 4 is somehow better than Dot 3. But the truth is, the numbers represent variations in formulation. The different formulas have evolved to meet the demands of newer and better brake systems. For a long time, transmission fluid came in two varieties: regular and friction-modified. But transmissions have come a long way recently, and so have the fluids that protect and lubricate them. There are several new types of fluid on the market, but your sedan is designed for just one of them.

Of all the automotive fluids, motor oils have experienced perhaps the greatest advances in engineering and technology. A number of new weights and formulations have recently been developed to meet the needs of modern engines, which have more parts and tighter tolerances than ever before. Engines have become more sophisticated and complicated, but they have also increased in power and fuel efficiency. Despite these changes, Orange car owners still need them to be highly durable.

That’s the job of motor oil. Motor oil still has to perform its original, important function—lubricating and protecting the engine. It is formulated to help clean the engine as well. Modern motor oil also has to be thin enough to penetrate small engine passages yet still be resistant to vaporization.

Specialized motor oils have also been developed for high-mileage vehicles. If your sedan has 75,000 miles or more on it, you might consider switching to one of these motor oils. They contain extra detergents that help clean older engines and essential additives that condition seals and gaskets that can become brittle with age. High-mileage motor oils come in weights and types just like regular motor oils, and Orange motorists should match the proper weight and type of high-mileage oil to their vehicle in the same way you would regular motor oil.

Over time, vehicles have developed in complexity and variety, and their fluids have developed as well. Each vehicle is matched to a set of fluids that meet its specific requirements. CA vehicle owners should take care to learn their sedan’s fluid requirements before topping off at home. A large part of preventive maintenance for Orange auto owners is making sure your vehicle’s fluids are clean and adequate, but they must be the proper type as well. As our sedans become more sophisticated, car care becomes more sophisticated as well.

Learning about proper fluids for your vehicle will help you maintain its performance and prolong its life. Talk to us at Hi-Line Autocare in Orange.

How to Know When to Change Your Oil At Hi-Line Autocare

Today in the Hi-Line Autocare auto care blog, we’re going to talk about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, recommended oil change intervals have gotten longer for Hi-Line Autocare customers. High quality oil in a well-engineered sedan engine has lead to extended intervals. But it’s also lead to some confusion among Orange drivers.

The old mantra “change your oil every three months or three thousand miles, whichever comes first” once applied to every vehicle on Orange interstates. Time and miles take their toll on motor oil. But now, you could have a different oil change recommendation for every car or truck you own.

Orange car owners are like everybody else, they have a tendency to follow the oil change schedule of the vehicle with the longest interval. Of course, that can lead to problems. How to Know When to Change Your Oil At Hi-Line AutocareFor example, recently four of the world’s largest car makers shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles.

In real world Orange driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance. Quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging sedan small engine passages so the oil wouldn’t flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Hi-Line Autocare in Orange.

The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval, and provide proof of oil changes in order to make a warranty claim.

So here’s the bottom line: with longer oil change intervals, it’s essential to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles, if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn’t have time to build up much sludge.

But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles and you go over another thousand, you’re getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don’t forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in CA, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Orange conditions, hot or cold weather, or haul heavy loads, you’re driving in severe service conditions. Your Hi-Line Autocare advisor can help you determine which schedule to follow.

So check your sedan owner’s manual or talk with your Hi-Line Autocare service advisor about where and how you drive in Orange. Should you change your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.

Let me give you an example of this. Some newer sedans have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage, and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.

Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 2,500 miles to almost 7,000 miles. It’s typically just over 4,000 miles. Clearer sometimes, we’re driving easy miles that are easy on the sedan – like a long road trip. Sometimes, we’re driving hard CA miles – like towing a heavy trailer or a lot of around town driving. But, usually, it’s a combination of both.

Once again, it’s up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil at Hi-Line Autocare to protect your sedan engine. Another place where CA drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Orange owners filled with synthetic oil. Without going into a lot of detail right now, let’s just say that synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge.

But it also costs quite a bit more, so some Orange people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it’s always best to use the oil recommended by your manufacturer. Check your owner’s manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.

But getting back to the problem, if your sedan came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you can’t use the synthetic interval. You need to shorten it.

Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

We would like to give you an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, cars are becoming more sophisticated everyday – and fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.

The do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many CA car owners rely on the advice of their service consultant to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their car and the way they drive.

Let’s start with engine oil. If you have been paying attention, you will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. Manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your Orange service center will know what weight your manufacturer recommends – and it’s important to follow those recommendations. A service adviser at Hi-Line Autocare can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can explain conventional and synthetic oils.

Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, manufacturers only called for a couple of different types of coolant. Now there are several different formulations that are needed because of the different materials that manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant can actually void your warranty, so you want to get that right.

Transmission fluid is beginning to be specialized as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that mandate the use of specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.

Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids you need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more. Fortunately, your Irvine service center will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you’ll get the right fluids your car needs. It’s all part of the commitment your service center makes to your driving peace of mind.