Beach Benz

Servicing Mercedes Benz Exclusively for over 20 years

Can Your Car Last Another Year?

Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Huntington Beach car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and – well a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Huntington Beach, California folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more for smart Huntington Beach car owners.

The old adage: ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is really true for Huntington Beach auto owners when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.

Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Huntington Beach car owners have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule.

Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.

Don’t let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at Beach Benz is a great way to keep your operating costs down in Huntington Beach.

Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the expensive damage that can be caused by failure.

We know that this is a lot for busy Fountain Valley area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at Beach Benz keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.

Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent expensive repairs and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Beach Benz today for an appointment; you can reach us at 714 842-9816.

Let us take good care of your car at Beach Benz in Huntington Beach, and it’ll take good care of you.

Beach Benz
Give us a call today at 714 842-9816.
Or stop by at 7492 Slater Ave, Huntington Beach, California 92647

Economics of Maintenance For Huntington Beach Auto Owners

Buying a new car in Huntington Beach is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in Huntington Beach who’ve been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you live right here in Huntington Beach and have a five year old vehicle. It’s now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there’ll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don’t know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They’re able to use manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can’t predict what will happen to your vehicle in Huntington Beach, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let’s look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it’s actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Huntington Beach:

  • Ford Escape – $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado – $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent – $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Huntington Beach service advisor at Beach Benz. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there’s any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions:
Beach Benz
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

Does Your Car Have A Recall Item?

No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. Think of all the moving parts. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the auto maker to issue recall notices to Huntington Beach residents and to fix the affected cars free of charge. The car maker then tries to contact all Huntington Beach motorists who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Huntington Beach service center.

To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call:
Beach Benz
7492 Slater Ave Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

These recalls always affect safety, so Huntington Beach drivers would be wise to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.

Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious for Huntington Beach drivers and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Huntington Beach drivers still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, auto makers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell Huntington Beach service centers (including Beach Benz)  how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

Your Huntington Beach tech receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. Huntington Beach motorists can buy access to these for an annual fee.

Whatever your source, pay attention to Huntington Beach vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.

Looking Down the Road – Headlamps

If you’ve ever been driving around Huntington Beach and had a headlamp go out, you’ve probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won’t have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Beach Benz. We’re at 7492 Slater Ave in Huntington Beach, California 92647. Or give us a call at 714 842-9816

Experts in Huntington Beach recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you’ll have bright headlamps for those long Huntington Beach winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can’t believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that’s a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they’ll last for the life of your car. If you want your Huntington Beach friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint – no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can’t react to what you can’t see. You need headlamps that’ll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That’s because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Huntington Beach service centers offer a service to restore the lens that’s a lot cheaper.

You can’t drive if you can’t see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don’t forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

Technician Training at Beach Benz

Your car is important to you and keeping it running properly is essential to your Huntington Beach lifestyle. That’s why you’re smart to have it serviced regularly at Beach Benz in Huntington Beach. And even though it may just be routine maintenance, you want it done right by automotive professionals.

It’s also very important to your Huntington Beach service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money our Huntington Beach auto service center spends annually to make sure our friendly technicians are properly trained.

  Beach Benz offers a variety of automotive services for many kinds of vehicles. We need to be current on the latest techniques and parts so that we can give you quality service. Our Huntington Beach centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.

And each service has a checklist of standard procedures. Beach Benz technicians follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service.

Some services at Beach Benz require the use of specialized equipment. Beach Benz technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.

Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by the company and outside trainers. It’s not only important that friendly service specialists be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to detect potential problems before they become serious (and costly).

The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems to motorists. For example, it’s one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better automotive service decisions.

California folks may be interested to know that service technicians (including those at Beach Benz) are trained in compliance with federal and local Huntington Beach laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.

It’s the goal of Beach Benz to provide fast, courteous service. You should feel free to ask your friendlyservice professional or one of the managers about your service or for more information about their recommendations.

At Beach Benz, well-trained service providers, established procedures, industry standards, and, of course, AutoNetTV, combine to give you the best auto service in Huntington Beach.

Fall and Spring Checkup In Huntington Beach

When I was a kid in Huntington Beach, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it’s about time to get into Beach Benz for my checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don’t need seasonal service.

My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.

Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family sedan, most cars used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today’s modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.

Your owner’s manual or Huntington Beach service advisor at Beach Benz can tell you the right oil to use.

Of course, you’re concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don’t want to overheat in the California summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against both of these things. And modern coolant, or as it’s sometimes called; ‘antifreeze’, is up to doing both very well. It’s designed to last for more miles than most people drive in a year or two.

So how does a Spring and Fall check-up fit in? Let’s start with Spring. Summer is coming. That means heat, more miles driven and road trips. It just makes sense to check your fluid levels and do a visual inspection to see that everything is up to snuff.

You may not be scheduled to drain and replace the coolant for some time, but you need to make sure you have enough coolant, and that you don’t have any leaks or hoses that are about to fail.

That’s pretty practical; a check-up to see if there are any problems or emerging conditions that could later become a problem, like a cracked belt.

And the same principle applies for getting ready for winter. Cold weather means lots of failed batteries. It takes more power to crank up a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available.

So a battery test in the Fall could tell you if you’ve got a battery that is running on its last legs. And of course, if you live where winter temperatures get below 45 degrees or you have ice and snow, you’ll want to consider changing to winter tires.

So Spring and Fall auto checkups at Beach Benz are practical reminders to get ready for the demands of the hot and cold seasons to come.

And odds are that you have one or more routine services that are due anyway. Like a transmission service, brake or power steering fluid, differential service – stuff like that. Are your wiper blades still good? Are your headlamps starting to dim?

So Spring and Fall: change your clocks, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors – and get a check-up for your cars.

See, dad was right again.

Come and see us at Beach Benz for your Spring and Fall automotive checkup.
Beach Benz
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

Maintaining Your Older Car In Huntington Beach California

The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Huntington Beach California: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Huntington Beach California motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.

Because new cars are more expensive, people in the Fountain Valley area are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Fountain Valley have more than 75,000 miles. 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 goin’.

Give Beach Benz a call to schedule your next maintenance.
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

Some owner’s manuals don’t specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles.

First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 15,000 miles should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles, and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule – ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and don’t hold the fluids as well as they used to.

It’s also time to make sure you have a good Huntington Beach California technician. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, 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’s brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.

And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.

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 fuel economy and excellent wear protection.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage 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 repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it’s way cheaper than a new car payment!

Clean Air for Your Engine: Engine Air Filters In Huntington Beach

Every Huntington Beach car owner who has taken their car in for an oil change has been told that their engine air filter’s dirty.

Here’s what goes into the determination of when to change the filter: First, your sedan owner’s manual will have a recommendation of when to change the filter. Second, a visual inspection by your Huntington Beach technician may determine that your filter it is visibly dirty and needs to be changed.

Clean Air for Your Engine Huntington Beach Engine Air Filter

So between your owner’s manual and your Fountain Valley technician’s inspection there’s really no guesswork involved for Huntington Beach auto owners.

Now, most air filters purchased in Huntington Beach, Westminster, Garden Grove, or Costa Mesa don’t cost a lot to replace. It’s just that California people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter at Beach Benz can often save enough on gas to pay for itself before your next oil change in Huntington Beach.

Think about a dirty furnace filter in your Huntington Beach home. When it’s all clogged up, enough clean air can’t get through. In your sedan, that means that your engine can’t get as much air as it needs to burn the fuel efficiently. So it makes do with less air and has to use more expensive California gas to move your vehicle around Fountain Valley roads.

Your sedan actually needs about 12,000 gallons of air for every gallon of gas it burns. Engine air filters don’t cost much in Huntington Beach at Beach Benz. When it’s time to change yours, just get it done. You’ll get better fuel efficiency, have better performance and protect your sedan engine.

The Harm In Skipping An Oil Change For Huntington Beach Drivers

People in Huntington Beach have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you’re wondering: What are the key issues?

Some new vehicle manufacturers in Huntington Beach are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new car manufacturers announced that owners like those in Huntington Beach were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.

The manufacturers’ standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.

What causes oil sludge? It’s a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.

Visit Beach Benz in Huntington Beach, California 92647

Severe driving around Huntington Beach includes short trips under four miles or trips under ten miles in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn’t get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.

Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.

The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Huntington Beach just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule, or to the standard schedule.

Some types of sedan will give oil change reminders. But it’s important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It’s programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.

For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Huntington Beach service advisor at Beach Benz and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it’s a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what’s needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.

If you’re realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.

So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.

The Importance Of Huntington Beach Drivers Following Service Intervals

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Today in our Beach Benz blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your sedan isn’t the only aspect of your life in Huntington Beach with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

The Importance Of Huntington Beach Drivers Following Service IntervalsClearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Huntington Beach takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our sedans? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Huntington Beach neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, Huntington Beach people don’t need to memorize their sedan owner’s manuals. You can let your Beach Benz advisor remind you of the guidelines established by vehicle manufacturers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your sedan. You really can rely on Beach Benz professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

For Huntington Beach drivers who want to be more proactive with their sedan care, here are some simple ways for Huntington Beach auto owners to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your sedan go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Huntington Beach car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Beach Benz for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel efficiency, your sedan doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.