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

Direct Fuel Injection Update From Hi-Line Autocare

For those of you in Orange CA who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.

So what are the differences from a conventional engine?

The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it’s then drawn into the engine with the air.

With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cylinder during the combustion cycle is burned much more efficiently.

First, the fuel is squirted in at hundreds of times more pressure, so it’s atomized much better and burns cleaner and stronger. The other big advance is in electronics. Faster engine management computers can control the additional precision required to manage direct fuel injection.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver a precise amount of fuel at exactly the right time. The design of the engine also dictates a particular spray pattern for the fuel. If a fuel injector is dirty or gummed up, it can’t do its job as well. That means less power and worse fuel economy for your sedan and can lead to damaged fuel injectors.

Replacing fuel injectors isn’t cheap. Direct injection injectors are even more expensive because of the extremely high-pressure they use. Same thing for diesel fuel injectors; we’re talking mortgage payment-range to replace a set of diesel injectors.

A professional fuel system cleaning from Hi-Line Autocare gets out the gum and varnish in the whole system, including the fuel injectors. Keep those injectors clean and they’ll last a long, long time.

Hi-Line Autocare: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

Most Orange and Aliso Viejo drivers want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving fuel economy. At Hi-Line Autocare, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Aliso Viejo auto owners actually save?

The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Aliso Viejo drivers can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your sedan engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.

Hi-Line Autocare: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

In today’s Hi-Line Autocare article, we’re focusing on the things you can do to improve your sedan fuel economy driving around CA. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a chart that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TUNE UP 4% .12 .14 .16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best fuel economy. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.OO $3.50 $4.00
AIR FILTER 10% .30 .35 .40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Hi-Line Autocare and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40% 1.20 1.40 1.60

Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Hi-Line Autocare.

Here’s an easy one. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your gas mileage, so check your tires every week.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TIRE INFLATION 3% .09 .11 .12

Your sedan manufacturer has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced fuel economy, or up to seven cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2% .06 .07 .08

Here’s one that’s free: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on Aliso Viejo roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your fuel efficiency.

Cutting out aggressive driving around Aliso Viejo can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the expressway it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that – and leave a little earlier.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5% .15 .18 .20
DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$ .99 1.16 1.32

A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7% .21 .25 .28
SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23% .69 .81 .92

The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our sedans tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.

Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.

Fuel Filter Service in Orange CA

There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn’t seem right.

Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember, because it is a long list, but your service center at Hi-Line Autocare can help you know what’s scheduled to be taken care of.

Some of us in Orange CA really don’t look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things the manufacturer recommends.

But automotive maintenance is all about prevention, and addressing small problems before they get big. Let’s take the fuel filter for example.

You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our Orange CA roads is over nine years. When cars get older, five years or so, they’ve accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. So somewhere between that dirty gas tank and the price of a great vacation – is the lowly fuel filter: a very inexpensive part that doesn’t cost too much to replace. And your car’ll just run better too.

A clogged fuel filter can’t let enough fuel through. You might notice at first that your car is running fine around town, but struggles or sputters on the Orange CA freeway or when you accelerate. Enough fuel can’t get through to meet the demands of higher speed. If it gets bad enough your engine might just shut off or not start at all, which could be dangerous.

Some fuel filters have a bypass. When they get clogged, they allow dirty fuel to move around the filter element so dirt ends up in the engine. We’ve already talked about how expensive that can be.

The fuel filter is even very important for newer cars. The fuel is still dirty even if there isn’t rust in the tank. It’s just that the fuel filter will need to be changed more frequently as the vehicle gets older.

How often should you change your fuel filter? Check your owner’s manual. Your Orange CA service advisor at Hi-Line Autocare can tell you as well. It’s usually around thirty thousand miles or so. Ask if it’s time for a full fuel system cleaning as well. They often go hand in hand.

It’s good to know that your Orange CA service center has your back. When you’re motivated to maintain your vehicle’s performance and to reduce operating costs, you’ll think of Hi-Line Autocare as your ally – and maybe even your memory.

Higher Mileage Service Intervals For Orange

Orange drivers have probably noticed that the government mandates a lot of equipment on cars: emission devices and control computers; safety equipment like airbags; and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the motoring public in Irvine but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car in CA.

Because new cars are more expensive, Orange residents are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. 68% of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles/120,000 kilometers. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on going.

Some owner’s manuals don’t outline service requirements and schedules at higher mileage. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever for Orange drivers to stay on top of routine auto maintenance for cars with more than 120,000 miles/190,000 kilometers. Just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 24,000 miles/38,000 kilometers should be performed at 24,000 mi/38,000 km; 48,000 mi/77,000 km; 72,000mi/116,000 km, 96,000 mi/154,000 km; and on and on.

Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule may be more appropriate than the regular schedule. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and do not hold the fluids as well as they used to. If you don’t already have one, it is more essential than ever to get a good technician, like any one of the automotive professionals on our team at Hi-Line Autocare. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put some clicks on the odometer, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course.

Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble is brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a steep repair. Regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things Orange drivers can do to really help a high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, transmission fluids and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have higher mileage.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better gas mileage and excellent wear protection. Come into Hi-Line Autocare in Orange for a checkup.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high kilometer vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 mi/80,000 km, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. The fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing expensive repair costs down the road.

It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle in Orange – but it’s much cheaper than a new car payment!

Fuel Saving Tip: Orange Tune Up

Have you ever gone to Irvine to listen to an orchestra? The musicians take the stage early and tune their instruments. Each individual instrument must be in tune, but the critical thing is for the entire orchestra to be in tune with each other. That’s why they tune up together.

Fuel Economy Now this is no surprise; I’m going to relate the orchestra to your car. Your engine has many component systems that each need to be working properly. And the components need to be working in sync, all timed up together in order for the engine to work efficiently.

We call this, (ta-da) a tune-up. When an orchestra’s out of tune you get a bad concert. When your vehicle’s out of tune you get bad performance and bad fuel economy.

So check your owner’s manual for recommended tune-up intervals. Or ask your Orange service advisor at Hi-Line Autocare what he thinks.

…Just be careful not to say you want to make beautiful music together – that kinda makes us uncomfortable.

Fuel Saving Tip: Check Engine Light

Here’s a question for Orange, CA motorists: How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light?

Hey, it’s not there to create ambiance; it’s a warning that something’s wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson’s fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

If your check engine light comes on, check your gas cap. A loose gas cap can cause a false sensor reading that’ll make the check engine light turn on.

Check Engine Light Many conditions that trigger the check engine light can hurt your fuel efficiency. A lot.

If your date’s eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you’ll save by getting it fixed. Give Hi-Line Autocare a call when you are ready: 714.602.1896

Deep Clean Your Fuel System At Hi-Line Autocare

Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your sedan into Hi-Line Autocare for a check up.
134 Rancho Santiago
Orange, CA 92869
714.602.1896

Today we’re talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. You need fuel to go, and the cleaner your fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better fuel economy.

A clean fuel system saves money at the pump. We guess you could say, it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things you can do to keep your fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.

So buying cheaper gas can actually cost you in the long run. Now, most cars on the road are more than five or six years old. That means they’ve had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your engine. That’s the fuel filter’s job.

When the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. That could do some damage. So you should have your fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor if your fuel filter is due for replacement.

The fuel then goes up into the throttle body. This is another area where varnish and gum can accumulate. A professional fuel system cleaning will use a combination of special cleaning chemicals and old fashioned swabbing to clean out the throttle body. Now, the fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel delivery system.

It’s real important to keep those fuel injectors clean. The fuel injectors need to deliver a precise amount of fuel, at exactly the right time, in a particular spray pattern. They just can’t do that if they’re dirty. Dirty fuel injectors really rob power and waste fuel.

It is important for the fuel system proper, but there are a couple other things that will help keep your engine clean as well. Of course, air is mixed with the fuel before it’s burned. Dirty air means dirt gets into your engine, so you need to replace your engine air filter when it’s dirty.

The PCV value routes unburned fuel that escapes into the lower engine back up into the intake system to be burned. A sticky PCV valve needs to be replaced to make sure that system is working properly and the breather filter needs to be replaced if it’s dirty as well.

Do all these things and your engine’s air and fuel will be as clean as possible. You’ll get much better fuel economy and better power

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Fuel Saving Tip: Dirty Oil In Your Orange sedan

If you’re a quart low in your sedan, there isn’t enough motor oil to lubricate your engine properly. The extra friction causes drag that reduces fuel economy while you’re driving around the Irvine area.

Clean Oil for your sedan The same goes for dirty oil; it doesn’t reduce friction properly. The result is you get to watch those numbers at your local Irvine gas pump rolling higher and higher.

The transmission also needs the proper amount of clean fluid to do its work. When it’s in need of service, the transmission drags your fuel economy down.

So keep it clean and give yourself a fighting chance.

Hi-Line Autocare
134 Rancho Santiago
Orange, CA 92869
714.602.1896

Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight And Your CA Driving

Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from here to Santa Ana knows this makes sense.

Some of us in the Santa Ana area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I’m not talkin’ what you see in the mirror.

sedan Weight Guys; sports equipment and tools. Ladies; well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about forty-five pounds of French fries on the floor.

All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and Santa Ana, and everywhere else.

Lose the junk and save some money.

…And you really only need one of those spare tires.

Give Your Engine Clean Fuel With A New Fuel Filter From Hi-Line Autocare

Your sedan requires plenty of clean fuel to run. When your fuel isn’t clean, your fuel injectors can start to become clogged up. When this happens, your sedan engine may not get the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure to run efficiently. This hurts fuel economy and performance as you drive around Irvine. It can also lead to the buildup of harmful deposits on valves and in the combustion chamber.

That’s why all vehicles, including sedans, come equipped with a fuel filter somewhere between the engine and the fuel tank. Give Your Engine Clean Fuel With A New Fuel Filter From Hi-Line AutocareThe job of the filter is to clean out little pieces of dirt and contamination. The filter captures the contaminants and holds them out of the fuel stream. Of course, the filter will eventually get clogged up and need to be replaced at Hi-Line Autocare.

If your fuel filter is clogged, the sedan engine can’t get all the fuel it needs, and it may sputter at high speeds or quick acceleration. Many fuel filters have a bypass valve that will allow unfiltered fuel through when they are clogged. This keeps your engine running, but doesn’t protect it from contaminated fuel.

You may find that you need to change your fuel filter at Hi-Line Autocare more frequently as your sedan ages. Over the years, additional sediment and rust accumulates in the fuel tank and can be drawn into the fuel system. Your fuel filter stands guard at the gates to your engine to protect expensive parts and to maintain performance and fuel economy.