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

Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle In Irvine?

There is a clear and vocal demand in Orange and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the CA market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Irvine area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Orange drivers should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Irvine dealership.

Irvine car owners should carefully research the car care before buying an alternative vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs and MPG as well: these vehicles may help save our environment here in Orange, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You’ll need to decide what you can afford, and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your Irvine area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in CA.

Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

Flex fuel vehicles do have lower harmful exhaust emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles. And in Irvine, E85 is usually lower in cost than regular gasoline. When gasoline prices fall in CA, however, they can drop below the price of E85. This is to Orange car owners’ advantage, since the vehicle can run on either fuel, but it negates the benefits of lowered exhaust emissions and lower consumption of fossil fuels.

One piece of Hi-Line Autocare auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your sedan unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel
Diesel engines are nothing new on CA freeways, and many get great gas mileage. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in Irvine.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Orange and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Santa Ana roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Orange, ask your Hi-Line Autocare service advisor about it.

On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline, and it will get lower gas mileage. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some CA areas, or even unavailable, in many parts of the country.

Hydrogen
Another alternative fuel that has enjoyed a lot of hype in Irvine is the hydrogen cell. The natural appeal is that the only exhaust is water vapor. In other words, hydrogen represents a truly clean-burning fuel. But hydrogen vehicles won’t come into widespread use until refueling stations become widely available here in Orange and around the country.

Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were all the rage in CA some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Orange drivers. These vehicles won’t come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, the cars have a short range before their power runs out, and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge, since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

Hybrids
Hybrids have been one of the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Orange and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard automobile, and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the car. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV’s.

A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.

What To Do In Case Of An Accident in Irvine

Screeching tires, crunching metal – it’s an accident! If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Orange, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.

Let’s review what Orange car owners should do in case of an accident:

When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in Orange is considered a crime – even if it’s not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your CA driver’s license or even jail time.

Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other Aliso Viejo and Santa Ana motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call Irvine emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.

Orange auto owners should always file a police report. It’s tempting for Orange car owners to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you’ll not have an objective report to help defend yourself. Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the Orange police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of the law, the other guy is responsible.

Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going thirty miles an hour” not “I wasn’t speeding”. Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you. Also get the officer’s name and ID number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.

Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number and expiration
  • Insurance information

Also take down a description of the other Orange vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most CA auto insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track a vehicle in CA.

Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary. Always call your insurance agent or your insurance company. Call or see a physician if you think you may have been injured. For vehicle repairs, call Hi-Line Autocare at (714) 602-1896

Contact Hi-Line Autocare to learn more about what do do in case of an auto accident.
You can find us at:
134 Rancho Santiago
Orange, CA 92869
Or call us at (714) 602-1896

Hi-Line Autocare and AutoNetTV hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy Orange travels.

Can Car Scent Keep You Safe On CA Roads?

Here’s a travel tip that’ll I’ll bet you didn’t know, and, it might keep you safer…

The average American commuter in CA spends two and a half hours daily in their car.

The government says a hundred thousand auto accidents yearly are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. (Aggressive driving is the number one traffic safety concern.)

So what does this have to do with how your car smells while you’re driving around CA?

Well, which scent did you think makes drivers more alert?

Is it:

  • A. Strawberry
  • B. New Car
  • C. Pine
  • D. Warm Vanilla Breeze

It’s C. Drivers are more alert and have less fatigue with pine scent in the car, according to AroMetrics.

And, drivers were less angry with overall improved driving performance with strawberry and pine scents.

And you thought they just smelled nice.

Hi-Line Autocare
134 Rancho Santiago
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 602-1896

Lease Or Buy?

Lease? Or buy? These are the options for Orange car financing. It’s always a tough question for Orange car owners. But here is some info that’ll help you make an informed decision.

If you buy, you’ll pay the full cost of the car, with maybe an initial down payment, then monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.

Orange motorists who lease, finance the portion of the cost of the car that’s used up during the term of the lease. You’ll pay some money up front; fees, security deposit, first month’s payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the car to your local Irvine area dealership. 

So how do Orange drivers decide?

First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down.

How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.

A lease needs requires better credit, so that’s a factor.

How long will you keep the car? Orange drivers who keep their cars around for a while will pay less if they buy. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.

Hi-Line Autocare
134 Rancho Santiago
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 602-1896

If your car might suffer a ding or two, like, say a work truck would, then buying’s better. The Orange auto leasing company will want their vehicle back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you’ll pay.

How many miles do you drive in and around the East Irvine area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit, and if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile when the lease is up. So high mileage CA car owners should definitely buy.

Will the car be used in your Orange business? Check with your Orange accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.

Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper for Orange motorists. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing always costs more in CA.

Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment, rather than price. So sometimes Orange leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.

Here is a tip: If the Orange salesman asks if you’ll be leasing or buying, say you’re not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at your Orange financing options.

Here’s another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the car, you’ll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments, and usually, it’s less than the car’s fair Irvine market value  – and that’s all your CA auto insurance company will pay. But ask your Orange agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.

Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition, and may need to do all the automobile manufacturer’s recommended service and maintenance, or face penalties. So see your local service advisor at your Orange auto repair shop  or Hi-Line Autocare on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It’s well worth it.