Beach Benz

Servicing Mercedes Benz Exclusively for over 20 years

When Are Your Tires Worn Out?

Hey Fountain Valley, are your tires worn out? What is the standard for our California streets? How can you tell on your sedan?

While there may be legal requirements for the Fountain Valley area, there are safety concerns that go beyond meeting minimum replacement mandates.

2/32 is the depth of the tire tread wear indicator bars that US law has required to be molded across all tires since August 1, 1968. When tires are worn so that this bar is visible, there’s just 2/32 of an inch – 1.6 millimeters – of tread left. It’s that level of wear that’s been called into question recently.

We’re referring to the Consumer Reports call to consider replacing tires when tread reaches 4/32 of an inch, or 3.2 millimeters. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies.

The issue is braking on wet surfaces in and around Fountain Valley. Most of us think of our brakes doing most of the work, but if you don’t have enough tread on your tires, the brakes can’t do their job. When it’s wet or snowy, the tread of the tire is even more critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving over a water covered stretch of road near Fountain Valley, California. Your tires must be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means that the tire has to move the water away from the tire so that the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water.

Floating on the surface of water is called hydroplaning. So if there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

In the study a section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.

A car and a full-sized pick-up were brought up to 70 miles per hour, or 112 kilometers an hour and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths:

  • New tire tread depth
  • 4/32 of an inch
  • 2/32 of an inch

So what happened with the 2/32 tires on the car? Get this – when the car had traveled the distance required to stop with new tires, it was still going 55 miles an hour. Stopping distance was nearly doubled to 379 feet and it took 5.9 seconds.

Wow! That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, you would hit the car in front of you at 55 miles an hour with the worn tires.

Now, with the partially worn tires – at 4/32 of an inch – the car was still going at 45 miles an hour at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. It took nearly 100 feet more room to stop and 1.2 seconds longer. That’s a big improvement. We can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Of course, stopping distances were greater for the heavier pick-up truck.

How do you know when your tires are at 4/32 of an inch? Easy; just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

You may remember doing that with pennies. A penny gives you 2/32 to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new recommendation – 4/32.

How do people feel about replacing their tires earlier? Well, tires are a big ticket item and most people want to get the most wear out of them that they can. But do you want that much more risk just to run your tires until they are legally worn out?

For us, and we would guess for many, the answer is “no”.

Beach Benz
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

Introduction to Diesels for Huntington Beach California

Something you’re going to be hearing a lot about around Huntington Beach, California is diesel engines. We’re not talking about semi-trucks and buses – We’re talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.

Most people in Huntington Beach, California are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import auto manufacturers offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven’t been available in Huntington Beach, California. But that’s about to change.

In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in Huntington Beach, California so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.

Why are so many interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There’s more power in a barrel of diesel fuel than there is in a barrel of gasoline. That means better performance with better fuel economy.

Diesel powered vehicles get about 20 percent better fuel economy. And as for power – why do you think that the majority of new heavy duty pick-up trucks are being sold with diesel engines?

If you think back to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, you may shudder when you think of the diesel powered cars of the day – noisy, smoky, under-powered beasts that rattled and shook their passengers. Modern diesels are nothing like that.

They are quiet, clean – and very powerful. They’re so refined that many people can’t even tell they’re riding in a diesel powered car. In addition to fuel savings, diesels generally last longer than gasoline engines because of their heavy duty construction.

Another thing that intrigues the environmentally conscious is that it’s possible to use bio-diesel as fuel. Bio-diesel is made from vegetable oil – even recycled cooking oil from restaurants. Hybrid cars have gotten everyone’s attention these days. Look to diesel-electric hybrids in years to come to make a good idea even better.

Every year, manufacturers are planning more diesel offerings. Look for diesels in domestic light trucks, SUVs and passenger cars. Import marquees have plans to bring more of their outstanding diesel engines to Huntington Beach, California as well.

Now you should know that properly maintaining a diesel engine is somewhat different than a gasoline engine. Fluid change intervals are different. Emissions control devices have to work harder to filter diesel fuel and to scrub the exhaust so you will need to pay attention to that. And the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures than gas fuel injection systems, so it’s very important to keep your fuel system clean with a diesel.

The good news is that your local Huntington Beach, California service center is keeping up with the new diesel technology and will be able to advise you on maintaining your diesel.

When we tell you to look for more diesels, you won’t be looking for smoky tail pipes as a clue. You also won’t be listening for that familiar big rig rattle. And, you certainly won’t be waiting for them at the stoplight, because modern diesels are as quick as their gasoline counterparts.

From all of us at AutoNetTV, ten four, good buddy.

Odometer Rollback On Your Huntington Beach California Auto

How do you know if an odometer is telling the truth?

Well, back in ’86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect California consumers against mileage fraud. It says a California seller must certify the mileage reported is the Actual Mileage.

To have your odometer checked in Huntington Beach California, stop by Beach Benz:

Beach Benz
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

If it isn’t, the seller must say why; like maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 miles and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.

If the seller tells you the mileage isn’t accurate, there’s not much chance of putting a good number to it; And there’s the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it’s not so. What can you do?

First, you can go to www.CarFax.com, where for a small fee, they’ll give you a comprehensive vehicle history search on your sedan, showing local Huntington Beach California ownership history, accident reports, total-loss events, Manufacturer buybacks, Lemon reports and warranty status.

You can get a mileage history by checking with the local Huntington Beach California DMV (or wherever you happen to be) and other verified sources looking for inconsistencies in the mileage reported when the car’s bought and sold. If there are signs odometer rollback, now you’ll now.

If so, proceed with caution. Or, negotiate a lower price. Or just walk away. There’s always another.

On Board Diagnostics For Huntington Beach Motorists

Some Huntington Beach motorists are confused by Beach Benz charges for diagnostic services for a vehicle repair. Many services at Beach Benz and other Huntington Beach automotive repair shops include diagnostic fees.

When you take your laptop into a Fountain Valley computer repair shop for a problem you’ll likely have to leave a deposit for diagnostics. When we visit our Westminster doctor for a medical problem, we’re paying him to diagnose our ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.

On Board Diagnostics For Huntington Beach Motorists

So receiving a diagnostic charge at Beach Benz for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Fountain Valley area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your sedan brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy California expressway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your sedan engine, Beach Benz diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Fountain Valley public’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There’s a common misconception among Westminster, Garden Grove, and Costa Mesa drivers that the trouble code tells the Beach Benz technician exactly what’s wrong. Why then is there a diagnostic charge, the scanner just gave the diagnosis?

Reality is more involved than that. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.

The sedan computer’s trouble code just tells the Beach Benz technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the symptom.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Beach Benz Huntington Beach customers. The Beach Benz technician makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem.

Fountain Valley service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for a given trouble code. They outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented fix. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved and difficult. Of course Beach Benz wants to figure out what’s wrong with your sedan and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.